WWE: WrestleMania 27 Recap – April 3, 2011 | MatMagMania

WrestleMania 27: The Biggest WrestleMania Ever. According to WWE at least. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back, as the host. We’re in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. There’s a bit of revolving door on commentary through the night, with Michael Cole in the ‘Colemine’ Perspex box. Atlanta area native Keri Hilson sings ‘America the Beautiful’. The most opening video package serves solely to introduce guest host The Rock.

The Rock appears and luxuriates in his entrance and his reception for a few minutes before grabbing a microphone and running through his signature catchphrases in amongst hyping the event. It’s a typical Rock promo. He does some call and response etc. He also gets some shots in at John Cena in among it all. It sounds as if he’s stretching for time at points for some reason. The crowd is in the palm of his hand the whole time which lets it off being a bit indulgent. Once he’s finished, it’s time for the true opening video package for the show itself, one that focuses on the matches and moments.

WrestleMania 27: Edge vs Alberto Del Rio – World Heavyweight Championship

Del Rio won the first ever 40-man Royal Rumble earlier in the year to complete what was an incredibly rapid rise to prominence for him. The challenger’s personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez is out to introduce Del Rio, who drives onto the stage in a Rolls Royce. Christian is joining Edge at ringside to counteract Brodus Clay who is in Del Rio’s corner.

Even opening exchanges with both men getting some offense in. Del Rio starts to take over by targeting Edge’s heavily taped arm, that Del Rio had attacked in recent weeks. That focus on the limb gives Del Rio a long sequence of control as he tries to set Edge up for his ‘cross armbreaker’ submission. Del Rio goes for an attack in the ropes and takes a tumble to the floor, Edge diving on him straight afterwards. It stays fairly even after that, both men getting an opening. Both men also get some close near falls. Michael Cole on commentary already getting irritating with him blatant bias towards Del Rio.

Del Rio finally gets the ‘cross armbreaker’ locked in properly but Edge reaches the ropes to break it. Edge once again goes for some rare top rope offense, Del Rio knocks him and pins, Ricardo Rodriguez pushes Edge’s foot off the rope, and Edge kicks out. A cleverly done little sequence. Christian tries to neutralise Rodriguez and Clay on the outside but can’t stop them from interfering again. Del Rio gets the ‘armbreaker’ in again, but Edge rolls it into a pinfall to force him to break the hold and gets his own submission locked in. Del Rio fights out but Edge hits a ‘spear’ to win and retain. Edge & Christian then vandalise Del Rio’s car on the stage.

An enjoyable sprint of a match. Unfortunately for Edge he would have to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship the following night and would be retired for the next 9 years. Thankfully he was able to recover and get cleared again and settle into a fulfilling in ring role as a certified legend.

WrestleMania 27: Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio

In January 2011 Rey Mysterio broke Rhodes’ nose in a match which derailed his run under the ‘Dashing’ persona. He’s been wearing a mask ever since, but it’s clear which kind of proves he isn’t as disfigured as you’re meant to believe he is. Rey Mysterio is dressed as Captain America this year.
Straight away Rhodes is focused in on attacking Mysterio’s knee, and the brace that caused his injury. Rhodes controls a lot of the early going with his size advantage. Rhodes pulls out the dreaded double trapezius hold at one point. Michael Cole keeps saying that Mysterio doesn’t even need the knee brace, he’s clearly not been watching all the injury PSA’s Mysterio has been in over the years. Rhodes shows some impressive strength with a very long stall on a stalling superplex.

Mysterio finally gets a bit of separation and can start to fight back with a series of lucha libre moves on the floor and then a flurry back in the ring. It’s more even after this, the two men’s styles meshing quite well. A ‘619’ attempt from Mysterio gets blocked and Rhodes starts to try and remove Mysterio’s knee brace. Mysterio hits a ‘moonsault’ and removes Rhodes’ mask. The ‘619’ and a missed dive lead to a close pinfall before Mysterio puts Rhodes’ mask on himself. A series of running headbutts and a diving variation get Mysterio another close call. Mysterio goes for a dive to the floor and Rhodes hits him with his own knee brace, the ‘Cross Rhodes’ back in the ring and Rhodes win.

A fun styles clash that is hampered by the silly gimmickry and awful commentary.

WrestleMania 27: Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston & Santino Marella vs The Corre (Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel & Wade Barrett)

The last husk of the original Nexus that had been such a missed opportunity in 2010, The Corre, face off with a bunch of slightly random names thrown together. The Corre are out first, they have both the Tag Team Championships and the Intercontinental Title within their ranks, which balances out their terrible t-shirt design. Kofi Kingston is a last-minute replacement for Vladimir Kozlov on his team.
It begins. Lasts 32 seconds. It ends. The Corre lose. At least they got on the show, I guess. Way to demolish three champions at once.

The Rock is backstage with the Diva’s Champion Eve Torres. He promises he’ll make a WrestleMania moment with the next person who comes up behind him. It’s Mae Young. Some old people jokes,  before Rock gets Torres to take Mae Young away. The next person around the corner is Stone Cold Steve Austin, the first time they’ve been face to face in years. A bit of tension before a handshake between the two legendary rivals.

WrestleMania 27: Randy Orton vs CM Punk

Punk was still the leader of the New Nexus by this point. At the Royal Rumble he’d set his sights on Orton by costing him a WWE Championship match. In the build up to the event Orton also beat all the member of the New Nexus to get them banned from ringside for this match. The reason for Punk’s attack is because Orton cost Punk the World Heavyweight Title all the way in September 2008. A good example of the past coming back into play in a company that typically has such a short term memory.
Straight into some pretty physical action, Orton in charge after flying out of the gates. Punk comes back in by focusing in on the heavily taped right knee of Orton. A lot of mind games as well from Punk as he limps around the ring whilst further injuring Orton’s knee. Punk also goes for a lot of pinfall attempts, trying to keep up the pressure on Orton. Orton takes over by dropping Punk crotch first onto the turnbuckle, before very slowly going for a superplex. This doesn’t put Orton on top for long though and Punk takes back over. Punk uses a series of ‘figure four’ leg locks, both around the ring post on the outside and back in the ring.

After focusing on the leg of Orton, Punk switches to his more typical submission, the ‘Anaconda vise’. Orton fights back though and hits a rope hung ‘DDT’ and stalks Punk. Orton goes for a punt kick, but his leg gives out. Punk then manages to evade a surprise ‘RKO’ attempt but then dives from the top rope right into one. Orton pins and wins.

A middle of the road match, could have been better with the talent involved.

We go back to The Rock, who’s chatting to Gene Okerlund. Apparently, John Cena’s number one fan is here to confront The Rock. It’s Pee Wee Herman, obviously. It’s as entertaining as you’d expect.
We go from that to the 2011 Hall of Fame Class. Abdullah the Butcher, Sunny, The Road Warriors, Drew Carey, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, and the headliner Shawn Michaels.

WrestleMania 27: Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler – Steve Austin as Special Guest Referee

The interminable feud between commentators that has marred the TV product for months, and the first half of this show, leads finally to a match. Because the two men have been commentating on the show so far, they’re replaced for this match by Booker T and Jim Ross. Whilst Ross is still making his way out Michael Cole appears on stage and mocks him. It’s immediately boring as sin.
What follows is fifteen minutes of ‘action’ that pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable. It’s not even bad enough to be funny, it’s just boring. The only remove saving grace is that it created some funny pictures of Michael Cole for use in future memes.
This was on the card but there were no tag team titles, no US or Intercontinental title defences, the Diva’s champion only appears in a backstage segment. Creatively bankrupt. There is no point to watch this unless you hate yourself, and even then, it’s better to just go outside or something.
Not that matters but Michael Cole wins by disqualification after ‘Anonymous Raw General Manager; reverses an original Lawler win. A half hour of your life you’ll never get back. Jerry Lawler returns to commentary after losing.

A look at WrestleMania Axxess and the general events of the week. This is more entertaining than the previous half an hour.

WrestleMania 27: The Undertaker vs Triple H – No Holds Barred

Undertaker took at brief hiatus at the end of 2010 and start of 2011, when he returned, he was confronted by Triple H who laid down a simple challenge for a match at WrestleMania. Essentially Triple H is trying to prove himself one more time by doing the thing that no one else has managed to do, defeating Undertaker at WrestleMania. The musical aesthetic takes a country-tinged direction, something that fits well with the latter day ‘Deadman’ Undertaker.

Triple H gets essentially two entrances, one accompanied by what look like Roman soldiers and soundtracked by Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’, which introduces him for his usual entrance with normal music. Undertaker would come out to ‘Ain’t No Grave’ by Johnny Cash, but on all subsequent WWE versions it has been dubbed over with his normal theme.

The previous WrestleMania between these two had benefitted from a brawling section through the crowd and the No Holds Barred stipulation here means that they can lean into that style in this match. They’re on the floor very early, quickly destroying the ‘Colemine’ now that Michael Cole has disappeared. It’s a brawl, not technically pretty, but they go for it and the intensity is there enough to elevate even relatively simply wrestling. They fight in and out of the ring and Triple takes a back body drop off one of the announce tables to the floor that looks particularly gnarly. Taker hits his signature ‘suicide dive’ over the top rope to the floor.

There’s a lot of teasing before Triple H hits Undertaker with a ‘spinebuster’ right through the Spanish announce table. Back in the ring they trade signature moves back and forth, both men getting a close pinfall. There are chair shots. Triple H hits his ‘Pedigree’ but Taker kicks out. A ‘Last Ride’ from Undertaker but Triple H kicks out in return. A ‘Tombstone Piledriver’ and Triple H again kicks out. Triple H hits a DDT right onto a steel chair, but Undertaker kicks out. Another ‘Pedigree’ and another kick out. A third ‘Pedigree’ and a third kick out.

A long series of chair shots from Triple H before he hits Undertaker with his own ‘Tombstone Piledriver’. Still, it’s a near fall. Triple H gets his trusty sledgehammer but Undertaker pulls him into the ‘Hells Gate’ submission. HHH struggles for a very long while, but he submits, and Taker wins to go 19-0.

It’s a good match that, much like Triple H’s matches often did in this period, needed editing. It’s too slow to be as long as it is, even if there’s plenty of good physicality on show. It’s a step down after a run of absolutely stellar Mania matches for Undertaker. Taker needing to leave ringside with assistance would lead directly into their rematch the following year.

WrestleMania 27: John Morrison, Snooki & Trish Stratus vs Dolph Ziggler, Layla & Michelle McCool

‘Star’ of Reality TV show ‘The Jersey Shore’ Snooki is here as part of the only real celebrity involvement besides The Rock, and the only women’s match on the card. Vickie Guerrero introduces Ziggler & LayCool, she’s on screen for 20 seconds before Lawler makes a comment about her weight. Trish Stratus is back briefly from retirement from this match, sporting a Brunette look at makes her look very different.

LayCool and Ziggler attack right away, Ziggler seeming to take real exception to Snooki, who makes Stratus look tall. Stratus and McCool work pretty well early on, mixed with a couple of bits of dynamism from Morrison and Ziggler. Snooki reaches through the ropes for a tag, then hits a relatively well-executed handspring back elbow to pin McCool and win the match. Under 3 and a half minutes, that’s all you’ve got.

Apparently, John Morrison got in trouble backstage for notably not celebrating with Stratus, apparently he was defending his then girlfriend Melina who wasn’t involved on the show.

We see the contestants from the then current season of ‘Tough Enough’ before getting the attendance announced.

WrestleMania 27: The Miz vs John Cena – WWE Championship

The Miz has been the WWE Champion for a few months by this point but is coming into this WrestleMania main event as the third most important player in the feud. Ever since The Rock returned it’s been about Rock and Cena trading barbs. The video package for The Miz that tracks the course of his career to this point is pretty good though.

The Miz comes out first, to a less interesting entrance than Cena, who gets a huge choir to perform before his music even hits with an accompanying video package. Slow paced feeling out process early on. A very long one at that. Miz finally shows a bit of fire with some corner stomps. A brief run for Miz is cut off by Cena but they keep trading momentum back and forth. It’s not all interesting really, Miz is a safe and reliable worker but he’s never been flashy and Cena is at his best when working with someone who can push his level up, that’s not the Miz.

It seems to be reaching for intense and physical, and therefore slow and ‘methodical’ but it just scans as bland, Cena’s comebacks are too rote by this point. The Miz too generic when in control. A ‘Five Knuckle Shuffle’ from Cena visibly misses by a foot or so before Miz hits a DDT to get a near fall. A couple of, fantastically poorly executed, ‘STF’ submissions from Cena don’t quite get him the win. An exposed turnbuckle that has been sitting untouched for a while comes into play when Miz’s running buddy Alex Riley runs Cena’s face into it. Cena kicks out. The referee gets knocked down and can’t count the pin for Cena after an ‘AA’. Riley hits Cena with a briefcase and the referee wakes up in time for Cena to kick out.

The Miz then tries for a briefcase shot himself and manages to hit Riley instead. Cena hits an ‘AA’ and Miz kicks out. They fight out onto the floor before Cena clotheslines Miz over the barricade into the crowd. Miz legitimately bangs his head off the concrete floor and is concussed for real. The referee counts both men out. With it looking like the show will end on a disappointing draw, The Rock heads to the ring. The Anonymous Raw General Manager chimes in and The Rock goes to read the email. He disregards what the GM has suggested and throws the laptop away, he then restarts the match as no count-out and no disqualification. When Cena and the Miz make it back to the ring, The Rock attacks Cena with a ‘Rock Bottom’ and Miz limply pins Cena to win the match and retain.

Rubbish main event. Feels like a bad episode of TV. It wasn’t a very good match anyway but the entire finishing that is just building to the following years collision between Rock and Cena is uninteresting and side-lines The Miz is what should by rights be his crowning moment. Especially as The Rock attacks The Miz post-match and the show ends with Rock posing as if he’s just won the Main Event. Yes it’s The Rock and he’s a superstar but it’s still making your World Champion look like an absolute chump.


Inconsequential and ultimately boring. Only two titles make it onto the show at all, and neither changes hands, making it all feel like a transitional episode of TV instead of the big show of the year. Michael Cole on commentary for the first half of the show is appalling, and drags the show down so far, it immediately gets better the moment he’s gone. Unfortunately, he has a match which is irredeemably bad.

The highlights are probably Rhodes vs Mysterio and Undertaker vs Triple H but they aren’t great enough to lift the show from the doldrums.

More From This Author