WrestleMania 27 has come and gone; a new "season" of the WWE begins, and so does our journey for the next year to get right back to where we are today.
It had its ups and it had its downs, and opinions are flying all over the place today. So being the actual fan that I am, I'm throwing my opinion in there as well.
April 3rd, my house was filled with a dozen people and enough food and drinks to feed another three dozen; we went all out—Del Rio Taco Dip, Rated-R Raviolis, Triple H Sliders and, of course, a batch of meatballs in honor of Snooki.
We went out and bought the WWE All-Stars video game, and my kids and I played it all day before the event.
Everyone was wearing their respective WWE gear: CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and Cena shirts, Diva hoodies and Edge baseball caps.
Every PPV, we keep a score card where everyone picks who they either think will win or want to win and at the end of the night, we see who got the most wins.
I tell you all this because I want you all to know—if you haven't figured it out based on my numerous articles, other websites or my profile—I am a WWE fan.
My house is filled with WWE fans; we are a WWE family. Everyone from my wife to my eight-year-old daughter watches and has those they cheer for and those they boo. We don't all agree, but we all respect everyone's choice.
I have been watching the WWE for probably close to 30 years. I worked in the cable industry and was responsible for getting the PPVs on or assisting customers with problems during the show for 10 years, so when it comes to WrestleMania, I've seen them all and I think I know what I'm talking about.
Now let's bring on the BOOM.
Today, this site is filled with article after article of why WM27 was a flop or failure, and people saying that "It's the worst one ever."
To this, I say WWE is like politics: There are those who will hate it no matter what it does.
There are those that constantly sing, "They don't know what they're doing," "Creative sucks," and "Booking is horrible." And to that I say: Change your song.
If booking is bad and they don't know what they're doing, then how did they sell over 71,000 seats?
That being said, on to the breakdown.
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio
We open the PPV with the heavyweight championship. Some question why, but like a blockbuster movie, you kick it off with a bang and a grabber.
You want people to be hooked the moment they turn it on; you don't start with a blow-off match on this big of a PPV so that no one cares from the start.
A solid back-and-forth between the two kept the match going, but the large crowd was still getting in their seats. With a crowd that size, it's hard to hear the chants, so it appeared the match was found boring by the live crowd.
I really thought Del Rio was walking away with the gold on this one, but with a spear and Christian eliminating the Brodus Clay factor, Edge pulled it off and retained.
The first match was meant to set the tone and start big, but sadly, I think the live crowd hurt it a bit. At home, we liked the match and thoroughly enjoyed the beatdown on the car.
As far as the IWC crabbing that Christian didn't turn heel, well, that is just a rumor and hopeful wishing on your part, so why get upset about something that was something you made up?
Cody vs. Rey
Another great technical match between a seasoned vet and a bit of a rookie.
Rhodes has been around a while, but not that long. Let's not forget that not that long ago, he was the quiet one in Randy Orton's rat pack.
If you take a step back and look at this entire WrestleMania card, you'll see 50 percent of the matches are newer guys versus seasoned vets.
Rey's outfit as Captain America—or Captain Mysterio, I guess—was fantastic! Obviously, with the new movie coming out, this is going to be a hot action figure for both wrestling and comic book fans.
Cody beating the multi-heavyweight champion is a great push for Rhodes, really moving his character along. But am I the only one who is noticing the homage to a certain character of Mick Foley?
His backstage interviews, the hiding behind his hands and hood, the mannerisms when walking to the ring—he's totally doing a Mankind impersonation.
Also, dear Cody Rhodes: If you are reading this, I am enjoying your tip of the hat to Foley, and I must have that jacket you wore to the ring!
The Eight-Man Tag Match
I stepped out of the room to get some food and I actually missed the match, so for the rest of the night, anything that happened someone would say, "This is longer than the eight-man tag match."
So a cobra followed by a knockout punch beat the Corre, and everyone's angry for "hurting" the climb of these guys.
1) THREE OUT OF FOUR OF THESE GUYS WERE NXT ROOKIES! Did we really think that the four of them would beat a group of seasoned guys with half being Big Show and Kane? Marella and Kofi are only a tad bit older than the four of them in the business, but they've been here some time at least.
2) Saying that a squash match at WrestleMania hurt them is ridiculous. The fact that they were even on the show puts their name out there and boosts them up, and losing to giants, monsters and the company's funniest guy should not be an issue. In fact, they are earning their spot.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Another great technical match and the first on the card that didn't have a newbie participating.
While these two are both great technicians, the best part about a Punk-Orton feud is that they're both incredibly cerebral.
This was as much a psychological war as it was a physical one: Orton decimating the New Nexus; Punk approaching Randy's tour bus and wife; Who was the heel? Who was the face? Their really wasn't one or the other.
This wasn't good guy vs. bad guy; this was antihero vs. antihero.
Randy finishing this with a well-timed RKO as he punch-jumped off the top rope was beautiful. Complain all you want that it can come out of nowhere, but those are the best finishing maneuvers.
The Rock Bottom, The Stunner and Sweet Chin Music all have that quick-snap knockout-hit action.
I'll miss Punk calling him Randall most of all. If this is the end of their feud, it will be sad; their spots week after week were highlights to the Monday night show.
Punk is great on the mic, whether it's in a match or behind the desk; we definitely need more CM Punk.
It was a decisive win, and maybe, just maybe, we could see them team up.
Edge and Orton did it and went on to be great; just imagine CMKO! Or maybe RK Punk! Team Tattoo?
Lawler vs. Cole
Or what it should have been called...America: If you haven't met him, this is Stone Cold Steve Austin, the new host of Tough Enough.
The very seasoned Jerry Lawler had his day at Mania against his co-announcer Michael Cole.
After taking care of Jack Swagger and attempting to pull Cole through one of the holes in his Cole Mine, Jerry Lawler delivered his second-rope fist, slapped on the ankle lock and got Cole to tap out.
While it was a bit odd that the match went as long as it did, when it comes to Michael Cole, most things are too long and drawn out.
Stone Cold and Lawler made the match worth watching, and Cole's gear was a nod to both Andy Kaufman and Kurt Angle.
If you don't know who Andy Kaufman is, google Lawler vs. Kaufman. Watch the slap that took place on David Letterman and see how modern day storytelling and characters of wrestling were born.
If not for Lawler and Kaufman, wrestling would not be what it is today. Also, was anyone else shocked about Michael Cole's tattoos? A dream catcher on your shoulder Cole? Really? Really?
Undertaker vs. Triple H
Right from the beginning, this match started out special. Triple H's entrance was great: the For Whom The Bell Tolls, the demonic King gear surrounded by the warrior's phalanx—great stuff.
Undertaker's entrance was a bit lackluster. Where were the druids? Or maybe have him come out on a horse—something! He just walked out, big deal.
The first time the match spilled onto the floor and H drove Taker through Cole's little box there, I thought, okay, this is a spot match. But when he got off him and went in the ring to wait for him, you knew this was going to be epic.
The role reversal of H telling Taker to stay down this year as opposed to last year when Taker was saying it to Shawn told the story nicely.
It made Triple H look powerful, but Taker was more crafty. Sinking in Hell's Gate and locking it in didn't make it look like none of H's chair shots or Pedigrees had no effect on the Deadman. He was just able to pull off a move that required little movement and one he could lock in.
The streak goes on, but will it make it to 20? Or will Undertaker ever see "he who can't be seen" at WrestleMania?
I have heard some people say this match was bad. I saw it rated 2/5 by a couple of writers and they complained there was no storytelling and it wasn't worth the hype.
To those people I say: What were you watching?!?
I watched the third match in a series of Undertaker matches that not only outshine all of his other matches, but most other great WrestleMania matches ever. You can keep your Razor Ramon ladder match; this one takes the cake.
Morrison, Trish and Snooki vs. Ziggler and Lay-Cool
The gimmick/pop culture match of the night went off with out too many botches. In fact, admit it—you were all as surprised as I was when Snooki pulled off the Chyna flip to the corner move.
Sure, Ziggler and Morrison didn't get to interact enough. Yes, McCool hit Layla and that didn't seem to go anywhere. Okay, we had to hear Vickie Guerrero scream and introduce her team and we could have done without that.
But for what it was, it wasn't bad. I called Snooki getting the pin, but I sure didn't expect it coming after the "Snooki Splash" (coining that here first).
Of course, the IWC is crying that Daniel Bryan didn't get his match on TV while Snooki did—but how many people in America know who Snooki is, and how many know who Daniel Bryan is?
Every Mania has a fun gimmick match. We had Mr. T fight Rowdy Piper in a boxing match once; does anyone remember that? Did it hurt Piper's reputation that he lost?
No. Be a fan, know the show and shut your mouth.
The Miz vs. John Cena
Best parts of this match were the openers. Miz watched all of his footage and even watched the footage of those he mimicked or looked up to.
The Rock. Flair! They put Flair in the piece! It was perfect, his line of "I'd rather you all hate me for what I really am, than love me for what I'm not."
That was awesome.
The big cartoon AWESOME up on the stage? Not so much. Cena coming out to a choir and wearing a new patriotic red, white and blue shirt may have been a bit over the top, but when in Atlanta, a baptist gospel choir singing your entrance isn't a bad thing.
A steady back-and-forth, Miz dominating for a bit and then Cena "Hulking Up" and coming back with the flying shoulders had the crowd turn on him.
Even the Hulkster had the transition of the shaking and sweating and pointing to bring him back to life. Cena needs something like that to bridge that gap of "injured" to "now I'm winning."
He sells the hits just fine and then boom, he's okay; minus five points to Cena for that one. Otherwise, good match. Ending in a draw and double count-out? Bad.
The Rock and the Raw GM back-and-forth—dumb. Rock should have just come out and restarted the match unless you're going to have the Raw GM revealed and tell the Rock he has to come back now for a match.
Miz winning with the assist of The Rock is pure heel. All these people complaining that "Miz will never get his strong push" are fools. He's been on talk shows, commercials—he's everywhere. He's on the cover of the latest game. How much more can you push this guy?
If Rock was going to get involved, he should have been out there from the beginning. The worst part of WM27 in my opinion was "The Great One." His long, dramatic pauses and staring off into the distance were just too much. Okay we get it: you're here, you're happy you're here, great, good, moving on.
Where will this take us? I don't know, and I'm glad, because now a new season of Raw starts tonight.
We get the Hall of Fame at 8:00pm, Raw at 9:00pm and Tough Enough at 11:00pm—and of course, I'll be voting for Chris Jericho over on Dancing With the Stars. And I'll do all this because I'm a fan.
I enjoy the show, I enjoy what it is, the fantasy and fiction of it all. There's a reason you see so many guys in the crowd in Superman, Flash and Batman t-shirts. It's because us comic book geeks love our fiction, the escape from reality and the ongoing storytelling of our "sport."
For those of you who want to come on here and bash and rate it, or blame booking or McMahon, well, I say there are more of us than there are of you. It's just that out of the 70,000-plus at the event last night, they're mostly just fans—not bloggers or writers or bleachers or whatever.
We are fans of the sport. I am not a part of the IWC; in fact, I look upon it as an evil faction of the industry.
I am a loyalist, not some fly-by-night fan or bandwagoner—and I enjoyed myself, as did the people who came to watch Mania with me. And while not all of them are diehard fans like myself and my family, they too had a good time.
So if you spent today trying to come up with some way to make the product you spend so much time watching sound bad, find a new show.
If you're that guy who registered and has made two comments or written three articles and they're all bashing, find a new hobby.
I guess I'm a part of the L.A.W.—the Loyal Army of WWE and happy to be a part of it for all these years and for years to come.
Thank you, WWE, for another great WrestleMania and a night that is filled with good memories for me, my kids and my extended family.