Best: Triple H Emerging From Castle Grayskull
Before memes became a thing, there were two big “this wrestler looks like x” comparisons on The Internet:
1. Edge looks like Sebastian Bach from Skid Row
2. Triple H looks like He-Man
Eventually people forgot who Sebastian Bach was (how the hell did they even remember him in the late 90s?) and Edge started looking like the guy from Puddle Of Mudd, but I’ve always enjoyed the Triple H as He-Man comparison, especially since it affords me a chance to call Stephanie McMahon “Trapjaw”.
That being said, I was extremely excited to see him embrance his Eternian roots and emerge from Literally Castle Grayskull. He should’ve ridden out on a green tiger. Regardless, it was a step up from that crummy 300 “Spartans with cardboard shields” thing where the only good part was the Metallica song that got scrubbed away on the DVD from last year.
Worst: Thanks A Lot, Hell In A Cell
I’m holding Hell In A Cell responsible for the big ass palm trees. I know they probably would’ve been there anyway, as they need to hold up the lights and we’re decades away from that cool World Class Championship Wrestling thing where you just stick a wrestling ring in a football endzone and make Kamala wander around in it, but still, how cool would it’ve been to see an outdoor wrestling show where the wrestling is also really outdoors? Besides, if I’m chancing being rained on, Zack Ryder should face those same chances.
The worst part of Hell In A Cell is that they didn’t even use it. There was some light “we’re gonna go outside and shove each other into the mesh” stuff, but it was largely pointless, and I’m wondering if it was only there to differentiate the stipulation from the “no holds barred” stuff at 27 so they could do No Holds Barred twice and not get sh*t for it.
Next year I hope Kane and Undertaker have an Inferno Match that ends with Taker just chokeslamming Kane and pinning him.
Best: Going Out For Pretzels And Sh*t During Inappropriate Ponytail Theater
Be reverent all you want, that’s your prerogative, but I literally do not give a dancing f**k about Triple H and The Undertaker’s third WrestleMania match, especially after having to write five pages of column about them over the last month and a half. They were chairshotting each other to preserve the integrity of an era of THIS BUSINESS about to go by, and I felt it would be in my best interest to go to the bathroom and buy a Super Pretzel and peruse the Zack Ryder medallions or whatever while they did it. It was a good call.
I remember trying to buy a shirt at WrestleMania 24 and getting a panic attack because of how many people were crammed up against me. This was the opposite of that so I’m Besting it, and now I have a souvenir soda cup with Daniel Bryan on the side.
Best: Okay Okay, This Turned Out Pretty Great
The best thing about bailing for the first 20 minutes of the match is that I came back in time to catch the last 10, which were fantastic. Well, here’s a mini-breakdown of what I did and didn’t like:
- I am not enough of an elitist dick to pretend like the H/Undertaker match has no significance in the context of a WWE-led wrestling Universe, so I enjoyed the story they told. I feel like they should’ve written that story, then worked backwards to build to it with compelling programming over the last two months instead of just having them grimace and pat each other, because that might’ve been wonderful.
- I like that they told a smaller, more classic story WITHIN the match, and one that nobody ever tells these days: wherein a wrestler does something dastardly early in the match (Triple H hitting Taker a thousand times with a chair) and eventually gives the wrestler comeuppance FOR that act (Taker hitting Triple H a thousand times with a chair) in the same match. Now they push everything to a four week cycle and we don’t remember what happened to cause the issues and we never get closure on anything.
- That superkick into a pedigree spot was money. I’ve never heard a crowd flip out for a nearfall like that, whether my jaded old man brain could or not.
- Mohawk Undertaker in a spiked Super Shredder suit is easily my favorite thing the Undertaker’s looked like since he was a biker with light sensitivity problems.
- I’m guessing the 20 minutes I missed would not have enhanced my experience.
- Shawn Michaels should’ve stopped being emotional about the one job he’s been asked to do in the last like three years and relax. I get that he’s selling the emotion of the story, but christ, Triple H once got dropped from a crane while he was still in the car and HOW many times exactly has the Undertaker been literally murdered? He gets buried alive at least once a year. Like ACTUALLY buried alive. Those chair shots probably hurt, yeah, but not as much as being suffocated to death for real.
Best: Undertaker Lighting
Another big Best for this match is the post-match lighting, which distracted me from the nonstop congratulatory Bro Hugging by making me feel like I was living out the ending to Close Encounters.
Editor’s note: This is also the light I see whenever Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston are in the ring together on Raw.