From Orlando – First Thoughts on WrestleMania XXIV

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Hi again everyone….back here at the hotel in Orlando, where we returned about an hour ago from Mania, which was chaos to say the least. Needless to say, the crowd was huge, and next to the massive crowd in Detroit last year, tonight was right there size wise as well as being into the show. We were on the floor, back on the ramp, and got a good feel of the crowd all night long. It was a very diverse audience, as we had people from other countries around us, as well people you could tell were die hards, and then some rather casual fans. Below are my first thoughts on the night…don’t forget John Sefcik and I will have a full podcast recap later Monday night, so don’t miss that!

World Heavyweight Title: Undertaker vs Edge
– No shock in the ending here, and I thought both men worked hard in this match, but the crowd seemed kind of spent and were a little dead till the end, which was well done. Let’s hope that this Taker title reign was better than the last, and basically that means we hope that he stays healthy and sees it through this time. It was nice to finally see Edge get a main event on the biggest stage.

The Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather
– While I was hoping they would allow Show to win here, his loss does not shock me at all, and for the most part, this match was a bit of a yawner till again, the end. I like how they allowed Mayweather’s posse, which did have a developmental wrestler in it, take bumps, and it looked real the beating that Floyd got. The end was for the most part effective, but the crowd didn’t seem to know how to react to Mayweather, which is not surprising for the way this thing played out. Overall I thought Show looked strong here.

WWE Title: Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena
– I along with 95% of the world were wrong here, but it seems like the company shifted their focus from just allowing Triple H to win to simply staying with what they think is the right direction, and that being allowing Randy to keep the belt. The reaction Cena got was no shock, and I think the crowd was a little stunned when Orton pinned Cena to retain. Look for a HHH-Orton singles feud and a match possilby at Backlash. Interesting move to say the least to keep the belt on Orton.

Money in the Bank – Loved it, and thought it was the best match of the 4 MITB matches so far. Each year these guys really try and out-do each other, and this year was no exception. Love the work that all the guys did, and having Matt Hardy do the run-in on MVP was good as well. C.M. Punk getting the win to me was a bit odd, since we’ve heard he’s back in the WWE doghouse, but after tonight that is not the case from the looks of it. I expect him to take his shot at the World Heavyweight Title on SmackDown late in 2008.

Batista vs Umaga – Didn’t really like this match, and I did have high hopes for it. Batista seemed a bit out of sorts, and Umaga didn’t do much to carry him. Almost seemed like both guys knew they were the odd men out this year on Mania, and while this is supposed to continue, this was not the strongest way to start a program.

Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels – It’s finally over for the Nature Boy, and what a way to go out. A very good match with Shawn Michaels where both men pulled out the stops. For sure will go down as one of the most emotional matches in the entire history of the company, much less Mania. I like the ending, and the crying Flair and his family did at the end got the match way over. Shawn did what he had to, and he and Ric had a very solid match.

– All I can say here is someone must have been trying to pull the plug on the match, when instead they pulled the plug on the lights in the ring. Things went dark for a few minutes, including the end of this match, which was a snooze fest despite the girls working hard. Don’t quite know what the heels winning does for them, but whatever, it was a chance to get Maria in a match for the sake of Playboy, and a shot to get Snoop Dogg out there as well.

Finaly vs JBL
– This to me was not the best of ways to start the show, as I thought we’d get a stiff, vicious match, and instead there were just a few weapons used, no blood, and a yawner finish. I guess JBL did enough in his return to earn a win, but what I don’t know. Look for this to continue, ugh.

24 Man Battle Royal with the Winner facing the ECW Champ – The decision to allow Kane to win and then bury Chavo Guerrero in 9 seconds was a bit odd, but I think it was kind of like giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Remember how long he’s been around, and he’s done jobs to anyone that needs to get over. I have no problem with him winning, and it should bring some new blood to the ECW title, which had been lacking it for sometime.



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