34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania 28 with Rock-Cena I hold up?

Pegged as once in a lifetime, more than 78,000 fans finally saw The Rock take on John Cena. However, a match involving the Showstopper (he didn't even wrestle for Pete's sake!) stole the show. Again.

At the time, this was the highest grossing PPV in Wrestlemania history. WHOA! Remember when WWE somehow managed to get Rock and Cena to go 1-on-1 at Wrestlemania and took a full year to build it up. "It's once in a lifetime!" And then they had the same exact main-event one year later. Pepperidge Farms remembers. I'll let Benjamin Raven handle that for Wrestlemania 29. We're on Wrestlemania 28 right now, and there was a lot of fantastic wrestling in Miami, Florida. Then there were some things that absolutely sucked at the time, only to have it influence the current WWE product. We saw the end of the era. We saw Best in the World vs. Best in the World. And we saw the decline of John Cena... for like 20 minutes. Wrestlemania 28 brought the heat!

Favorite Match: Undertaker vs. Triple H

Absolute perfection as far as story-telling. Once again, not ashamed to state that I got a little teared up watching this again. First off, this was absolutely brutal. These two performers beat the living hell out of one another. The marks on Taker's body from the brutal chair shots cannot be faked. The emotion throughout the event by both wrestlers and special guest referee Shawn Michaels is absolutely impeccable. Undertaker attacking HBK, only to have him super-kick the Deadman into a pedigree was monumental, and had me legitimately thinking the streak was over. Kicking out of Sweet Chin Music happens. Not often, but it happens. Kicking out of Sweet Chin Music AND a pedigree one after the other? Nah. Nope. Doesn't happen. Not ever. And the Deadman did it. Triple H wielding that sledgehammer until the very end, defiant until the pin was epic. Shawn Michaels looked honestly sad at the conclusion, which only added to the moment. Ending with Taker and HBK carrying Triple H up the ramp was truly the end of an era. Absolutely perfect. *Checks Dave Meltzer's rating* Anything less than 5 stars is bologna. You're welcome.

Favorite Moments:

  • Kane vs. Randy Orton was better than I remember

    • Legitimately these two put on a good match. Kane still had better than average athleticism at this point in his career, and for whatever reason Orton was motivated to perform at the highest level.

  • CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho absolutely lived up to the hype

    • I remember being disappointed at the time of this match. I felt like something was missing. Watching back though, I loved the psychology and pure wrestling in this. John Laurinaitis adding the stipulation right before the match that if Punk gets DQ'ed he loses the belt was absolutely dumb. That needed to be in the buildup for weeks, not 10 minutes before.

  • Rock vs. Cena absolutely delivered

    • I was worried Cena couldn't hang, and The Rock would be too rusty. I was wrong. This match was absolutely everything it needed to be, up until Cena getting out of character and taunting the Rock with his own move. As much as I hate that it happened again one year later, it told a great story for Cena Rock II.

Least Favorite Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

How much does it suck that I have 3 matches here that I could absolutely justify as the worst match of the night? However, as I've done in the past, you have to look at these events in a microscope. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus was downplayed on a card with the matches you see above, but I think it's safe to say a lot of people were excited to watch it. And then it ended in 18 seconds with the kiss of death? Daniel Bryan and Sheamus both deserve better than that. However, we all know that this was the catalyst for what would become the YES! movement, so in retrospect, I have to be somewhat glad it happened. At the time though? Pure vomit as a wrestling fan who wanted to see Daniel Bryan have his Wrestlemania moment. What's that? Just wait 2 years Brunner 1.0? Oh okay.

Least Favorite Moments:

  • Big vs. Cody Rhodes simply didn't work for me

    • I understand the goal of the match but it didn't pan out the way WWE brass wanted. Big Show is a giant. It's hard to make him the lovable loser in the world of wrestling. Basketball maybe... because that's a team sport. Like Yao Ming, I feel bad that he never won a championship. The Big Show is a dominating wrestler who won world championships. Sorry, not feeling bad for ya.

  • Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres focused too much on celebrity

    • Props to Maria Menounos for getting her Wrestlemania win in the most predictable fashion, but the wrestling purist in me is not a fan of this match.

  • Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny lacked everything

    • Absolutely dreadful. The few moments that really got the crowd involved were squashed by the terrible booking. They were trying to make Miz a thing before it was truly his time to be a thing.

Final Thoughts: This is overall your average Wrestlemania with a 50/50 split on matches that drew you in and those that made you think it was time for a bathroom break. The MGK and Flo Rida concerts were also a bit much but it all seemed to fit for this year. It was all about the star power of that main-event, coupled with the fantastic Hell in a Cell match with The Deadman and The Game and a solid prototypical wrestling match with Punk and Jericho. That being said, there weren't any downright terrible moments either... so...

Would it hold up in 2018?

It was only 6 years ago, right? Of course, this would up in 2018. I would like to think they would book the card better but... it is WWE after all. However, this is kind of how I expect this year's Wrestlemania to pan out. Some really solid matches, some celebrity fluff, and there's going to be a dud or two here. So it holds up because it's become the norm.

See below for a roundup of those already up: