HomeResults2010sWWE: WrestleMania XXVIII / 28 Results | 1st April 2012

WWE: WrestleMania XXVIII / 28 Results | 1st April 2012

Date: 1st April, 2012
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
City: Miami, FL
Attendance: 78,363
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler & Jim Ross
Theme Songs: “Invincible” by Machine Gun Kelly featuring Ester Dean
“Wild Ones” by Flo Rida featuring Sia
“Good Feeling” by Flo Rida
“Girl Gone Wild” by Madonna
“The Memory Remains” by Metallica

[divider]

Background

WrestleMania XXVIII promotional poster
WrestleMania XXVIII promotional poster. “Once In A Lifetime”

The main event of WrestleMania XXVIII featured The Rock wrestling against John Cena. On the February 14, 2011 episode of Raw, The Rock was revealed as the host of WrestleMania XXVII, and upon his return to WWE, began a feud with John Cena (and Cena’s opponent at that WrestleMania, then-WWE Champion, The Miz), which continued for weeks in terms of verbal insults, until the March 28 episode of Raw, where Cena delivered the Attitude Adjustment to the Rock after he fended off attacks from the Miz and Alex Riley. At WrestleMania XXVII, the Rock got involved in the main event WWE Championship match, which initially ended in The Miz’s favor via a double count-out. After the match was restarted under no disqualifications, no count-outs rules, the Rock delivered a Rock Bottom to Cena, thus enabling the Miz to win the match. The next night on Raw, Cena challenged the Rock to a one-on-one match; Rock accepted and proposed that it be held at WrestleMania XXVIII. The following week, Cena announced his intent to defend the WWE Championship against The Rock in their match at WrestleMania XXVIII. On the May 2 episode of Raw celebrating the Rock’s birthday, Cena, whilst holding the WWE Championship, confronted the Rock and declared his intent to keep the title until their match. At Survivor Series in November 2011, Cena teamed with the Rock (who made his in-ring return in a match in WWE after nearly eight years, last competing at WrestleMania XX), and billed as “the most charismatic tag team”, and defeated the Miz and R-Truth, collectively known as Awesome Truth. After the match, The Rock gave a Rock Bottom to Cena. As Cena did not hold the WWE Championship heading into WrestleMania, it wound up being a standard singles match.

A second main event, billed as the “end of an era”, featured the Undertaker against Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match. The previous year at WrestleMania XXVII, in a No Holds Barred match, The Undertaker defeated Triple H via submission, in their second encounter at a WrestleMania (the first being at WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001, where the Undertaker won as well). However, in the post-match events, due to the harsh physicality suffered during the bout, the Undertaker, for the first time in his career, was carted away from the Georgia Dome by the medical staff on a stretcher. After a near ten-month long hiatus, The Undertaker returned on the January 30, 2012 edition of Raw, confronting and challenging Triple H to a rematch at WrestleMania XXVIII. The Undertaker, having been dissatisfied of his post-WrestleMania match scenario the previous year, stated that he “did not want ‘that scene’ to be a lasting memory” of him and was willing to give Triple H “another chance at immortality”. After Triple H refused to accept the challenge the next week on Raw, his close friend and WWE Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels appeared on the February 13 episode of Raw to instigate him in accepting The Undertaker’s challenge, which was in vain as Triple H stated he was willing to put his ego and personal agendas aside for the future of WWE, and viewed The Undertaker’s 19-0 undefeated WrestleMania streak as a “brand” to cash-in for the company, finally ending the argument saying he would not be the one to end it. Then, on the February 20 episode of Raw, The Undertaker still remained adamant in getting a WrestleMania rematch with Triple H, going so far as to label Triple H as a “coward”, and comparing his abilities and career to that of Shawn Michaels. Enraged by these comments, Triple H finally accepted The Undertaker’s challenge at WrestleMania XXVIII, saying that if “he [Undertaker] wanted an end, they would go all the way”, and proposed that they would compete in a Hell in a Cell match. On the March 5 episode of Raw, Michaels confronted Triple H again, this time expressing his views on the debate of who was better than the other (Michaels or Triple H), and predicting Triple H’s chances of defeating The Undertaker, in addition to announcing that he would be the special guest referee in their Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania.

On July 17, 2011, at the Money in the Bank event, Daniel Bryan defeated seven other wrestlers to win the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match. On the July 22 episode of SmackDown, Bryan declared his intentions of cashing-in his Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania XXVIII. However, despite this claim, he attempted to cash-in his contract briefcase on the November 25 episode of SmackDown. He pinned the reigning World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry to supposedly win the title and began to celebrate, but SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long informed Bryan that Henry was not medically cleared to compete, and declared the match void, thereby returning the briefcase to Bryan and the title back to Henry. The next week on Raw, Bryan acknowledged that he went back on his word, saying that headlining WrestleMania was his dream and that his “plans changed”; that the briefcase “doesn’t guarantee [him] anything”, since he could be put out of action at any time. WWE, however, continued to maintain the advertisement for WrestleMania, until Bryan successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract briefcase on Big Show at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event on December 18, 2011, to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

In January 2012, at the twenty-fifth annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Sheamus won the thirty-man Royal Rumble match, giving him the right to challenge either the WWE Champion or the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXVIII. Sheamus announced on SmackDown that he would decide who he wishes to face at WrestleMania after the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. At the Elimination Chamber event in February, Sheamus attacked Daniel Bryan, after the latter successfully retained his World Heavyweight Championship in an Elimination Chamber match, thus declaring his wish to challenge Bryan for his title at WrestleMania. The match was officially announced the next day on WWE.com.

Another match booked for WrestleMania featured two superstars from the Raw brand. CM Punk defending the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho. Since the summer of 2011, Punk had successfully defended the WWE Championship numerous times, calling himself the “best wrestler in the world”. On the January 2, 2012 episode of Raw, after extensive hype through several viral vignettes proclaiming the “end of the world as we know it” on that day, Chris Jericho returned to WWE after over a year, and established a villainous persona over the next several weeks. On the February 13 episode of Raw, Jericho accused Punk in an in-ring segment of being a copycat of him, and that he (Punk) stole his proclamation of being the “best in the world”. While competing in the Raw Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Jericho was knocked out by a kick to the head by Punk, rendering him unable to compete any further, and Punk went on to win that match. This incident further fueled Jericho’s animosity towards Punk. On the February 20 episode of Raw, Jericho last eliminated Big Show to win a ten-man battle royal to determine the number-one contender to face Punk for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII. In subsequent promos, both wrestlers expressed their desire to prove who is “the best in the world.”

Another title match scheduled was between Cody Rhodes and Big Show for the former’s WWE Intercontinental Championship. Their feud gained increased momentum week after week when, over January and February 2012, Rhodes began mocking Big Show’s less than stellar performances at WrestleMania over the years, calling him “a reverse Undertaker” (a direct reference to The Undertaker’s undefeated 19-0 record at WrestleMania, compared to Big Show’s 3-8 record), in addition to citing the “ridiculous nature” of some of his matches, such as his Sumo match against Akebono at WrestleMania 21 and a No Disqualifications match against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at WrestleMania XXIV, both of which Big Show lost. Rhodes also cost Big Show a chance at the World Heavyweight Championship, by eliminating him from the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February, and a shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, when he pulled Big Show over the top rope, aiding in his elimination by Chris Jericho in the end of a number-one contender’s battle royal on the February 20 episode of Raw. On the March 2 episode of SmackDown, General Manager Theodore Long announced an official match between Rhodes and Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII, where the latter has vowed “to win at all costs.”

At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February 2012, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim Raw General Manager, John Laurinaitis and his legal counsel David Otunga expressed Laurinaitis’ desire to be become the permanent General Manager of both Raw and SmackDown. Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, and Christian all came out and voiced their support for Laurinaitis over SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. Later that night, Long agreed with Laurinaitis’ desire for only one man to run both brands, but believed that it should be him. On the February 21 episode of SmackDown, the two General Managers got into an argument following a match between Raw’s WWE Champion CM Punk and SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan that ended in a draw, with each man supporting the opposing brand’s world champion. The two were then given the chance by the WWE Board of Directors to run the other show for one night in order for the Board to evaluate them, with Long running the March 5 episode of Raw and Laurinaitis in charge of the March 9 episode of SmackDown. But being still not convinced of either man’s decision-making, on March 12, the Board of Directors announced a 12-man tag team match for WrestleMania XXVIII, with the stipulation that the General Manager of the winning team being awarded stewardship of both Raw and SmackDown. The same night on Raw, Long appointed his assistant, Santino Marella to be the captain of his team, while Laurinaitis appointed Otunga to be his team’s captain, naming Mark Henry as the first member of his team. On March 15, it was announced that R-Truth had been added to Long’s team. On the March 16 episode of SmackDown, Christian officially joined Team Johnny (on Laurinaitis’ word of being named the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship after WrestleMania, if his team wins), and Kofi Kingston was announced as Team Teddy’s newest member. Prior to the March 19 episode of Raw, Laurinaitis and Otunga announced via WWE.com that Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger have been added to their team as well. On the March 23 episode of SmackDown, Long named Zack Ryder and The Great Khali as members of Team Teddy, while also making Hornswoggle his team’s mascot. And finally, on the March 26 episode of Raw, The Miz was added as the last member of Team Johnny, while due to Christian being (kayfabe) injured by CM Punk later on in the show (the real reason being Christian not having fully recovered from his real-life ankle injury), Drew McIntyre was announced as his replacement. Also, on the same night, Booker T was named as the sixth and final member of Team Teddy.

Another match scheduled for WrestleMania was between Divas Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres taking on the team of Kelly Kelly and Extra co-host Maria Menounos. The feud between Phoenix and Menounos began on the October 12, 2009 episode of Raw when Menounos accompanied then-Access Hollywood host Nancy O’Dell, who was the guest host of Rawthat night. Phoenix, angered over having been traded to the SmackDown brand by O’Dell, barged into their office and got into a confrontation with both women, leading to a Six-Diva tag team match later that night in which Menounos’ team defeated Phoenix’s team. On the 2011 edition of Tribute to the Troops, Menounos made an appearance, this time in an Eight-Diva tag team match, winning the match for her team by pinning Phoenix. Kelly and Eve, on the other hand, had a falling apart of their friendship after Eve admitted to having used Zack Ryder and John Cena to further her own career. On the March 15 episode of Extra, Phoenix and Eve interrupted an interview between Kelly and Menounos, which resulted in a confrontation. Phoenix would then challenge Menounos to a match at WrestleMania, which the latter accepted. Later that night, it was announced on WWE.com that WWE officials had sanctioned a tag team match pitting Phoenix and Eve against Menounos and Kelly for WrestleMania XXVIII.

Another rivalry heading into WrestleMania was between Randy Orton and Kane. On the March 2 episode of SmackDown, Kane interrupted Orton’s match against Daniel Bryan, causing Orton to lose via count-out. The two men ensued in a brawl, which ended with Orton ultimately being chokeslammed by Kane, who “welcomed [Orton] back” from being injured at the hands of Bryan a few weeks ago. Orton retaliated on the March 5 episode of Raw, by delivering an RKO to Kane, who had just defeated R-Truth. On the March 9 episode of SmackDown, Orton and Kane once again brawled at the end of the show with no man appearing to gain an advantage. The next week on SmackDown, when Orton demanded Kane to explain the root cause of his attacks on him, the latter referred to his handshake with Orton after a Street Fight on the July 22, 2011 episode of SmackDown, in which Orton had defeated him. Kane, explaining that the handshake made him look weak and “human”. claimed that this “wretched” self was now gone, and now wanted to eliminate that memory, and announced that he would challenge Orton at WrestleMania XXVIII.

On March 30, WWE announced on their website that a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship between the defending champions Primo & Epico, The Usos (Jimmy and Jey), and the newly formed team of Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd, would be streamed online free before the pay-per-view on both WWE.com and the official WWE YouTube channel.

[divider]

Match Results

WrestleMania Kick-Off Match
WWE Tag Team Championship
Triple Threat Tag Team Match

Primo and Epico (c) (with Rosa Mendes) defeated Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd and The Usos (05:11)

World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan (c) (with AJ Lee) (00:18)

Kane defeated Randy Orton (10:56)

Intercontinental Championship
Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes (c) (05:18)

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres (06:49)

Hell in a Cell Match
Special Guest Referee – Shawn Michaels

The Undertaker defeated Triple H (30:50)

12-Man Tag Team Match to Determine the General Manager of Both RAW and SmackDown
Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre) (with John Laurinaitis, Vickie Guerrero, and Brie Bella) defeated Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, and Booker T) (with Theodore Long, Hornswoggle, Eve Torres, Nikki Bella, and Aksana) (10:38)

WWE Championship
CM Punk (c) defeated Chris Jericho by submission (22:21)

The Rock defeated John Cena (33:34)

(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

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