taker-wm29-entranceSorry guys for this week’s article being a day late, but I was busy watching my Wolverines. They did lose but…oh hey look! Wrasslin’! Now with the ‘biggest spectacle in sports and entertainment’ over, people are left wondering where WWE will go from here. Will Cena’s usual rah-rah speech be any different now that he is The Champ once again? Will we get Thrice In A Lifetime at Extreme Rules? It was Lesnar last year, but who will be the shocking return this time around? How will The Ryback respond after getting fed some Henry and it not agreeing with him? Will Fandango have a celebratory dance segment? When will Orton turn heel? Which injustice does The Shield right next? More importantly, why didn’t Ziggler cash in his MITB briefcase last night?

Best
Predictability: Whereas the outcome of the WWE title match showed the pitfalls of predictable booking, the Taker-Punk bout showed it isn’t all that bad. The number of people who truly believed Punk could beat The Streak was very, very small, so the outcome was already ‘done’ before the match started. The most predictable turned out to be the best of the night. This is because both men delivered an amazing match and in this case, the outcome didn’t really matter. There were moments where those who ‘knew’ that Taker would win started to doubt that. Being able to accomplish that in fans’ minds despite a generally considered predictable outcome takes some skill in the booking and execution of the match. Besides, how cool was Living Colour playing Punk to the ring and Taker emerging through a sea of ‘zombie hands’? Plus so many other great spots to Punk doing Old School and the throat slash gesture to Taker doing his signature abrupt sit up while locked in the Anaconda Vice.

Unresolved: So Del Rio is taking on both Real Americans because of ‘unresolved issues’? Ok, but the real story of the match was the crowd chanting for Ziggler right after the bell started the match and continuing throughout. Del Rio finally won, but then Ziggler’s music hit and the crowd went nuts. It takes a few minutes including escaping the CAB by tweaking ADR’s injured ankle, but Dolph finally get the pin and is THE NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION as the crowd goes even more nuts. Talk about an unresolved issue as this was the longest wait for a cash in since Edge waited nine months after winning the first MITB. This should be only the beginning of a lengthy WHC reign for Dolph and his permanent placement in the main event.

The Crowd: Ziggler successfully cashing in might have been the highlight of the night, but the real star was the crowd in East Rutherford, NJ as they were active all night. Heavily booing Cena, starting a ‘Sexual Chocolate’ chant for Mark Henry, chanting ‘Bulls—‘ when Booker announced Rock would not be there tonight, chanting ‘USA’ when Swagger was in control of Del Rio, as well as ‘Ole!’, ‘boring’, ‘RVD’‘JBL’, ‘Jerry’, ‘ECW’ and even ‘Michael Cole’ during Orton-Sheamus. During Fandango’s match they even started humming his theme music! They definitely made the show more enjoyable to watch.

Worse
Status Quo: Well the WWE is right back to where it’s always been with Cena as WWE Champion. We all knew he was going to beat Rock at Mania, despite some smarks predicting he would lose and turn heel. On one hand as the face of the WWE it could be argued that since he hasn’t held the title since his forgettable 2 week reign way back in 2011, he was due for it. However, on the other hand, this is just a return to the status quo that Vince loves. Although during his show opening promo, Cena did troll the crowd, especially with a ‘heel turn’.

Too Soon?: Miz won the IC title during the Mania pre-show and Barrett gets his rematch tonight, which is pretty standard booking when Creative is looking to move on to someone different for the new champ. However, it wasn’t standard for Barrett to regain the title and end Miz’s 2nd reign at one day. It certainly is an interesting twist, but where exactly do they go from here? Does Miz beat Barrett in his rematch on Smackdown? Do they continue trading short reigns like it’s the 90s? Does Barrett collect enough reigns that he draws the attention of his former NXT mentor, Chris Jericho?

Team Friendship: Well after Big Show decimated Sheamus and Orton post-match at Mania you figure both of them would want revenge on the giant. However, the way they executed it was just bizarre. Starting with Orton polling the crowd after arguing with Sheamus, then Cole saying a RAWActive poll would determine the winner only led to Vickie and Booker coming out to totally disregard that by saying they would face each other to determine who gets Big Show. The match ended predictably when Show interfered. The raucous crowd even chanted ‘Thank You Big Show’ as he stalked Orton, so that should give you an idea as to how this whole segment was received.