So I got my WrestleMania 25 DVD a few days ago, so I guess I'll do my part in the possible conspiracy to drum up positive hype for the real release date tomorrow.
In a word, I still don't know why people were so down on this card. Okay, not a "word." But still a very good WrestleMania, with the only real downside a possible side-effect of the decision to delete Kid Rock from the event, which neutered the divas match. Most of the deivas, because of how poorly the match was caught on camera (which is atypical for WWE), went by pretty anonymously, which seemed to work against bringing back familiar faces from the past. I just assume with the ring entrances, it would have helped, whether or not Kid Rock was at his best (I personally like him).
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match was exceptional this year mostly to the efforts of Kofi Kingston, who blunted Shelton Benjamin's usual heroics for shear exuberance. Because of how I currently experience WWE product, I'd heard that Kingston is typically like that, but haven't seen it myself. I hope CM Punk can work this win better than the last one.
Ricky Steamboat definitely deserved the hype, too, in his action against Chris Jericho. Makes me want to get Backlash, too.
Rey Mysterio's match against JBL (the Joker was awesome! nice nod to the Daredevil and Flash of past Manias) worked, too, nothing for people to complain over JBL about (he did only his power moves), and all the highlights for Rey-Rey, an actual dominant Mania win for a change, plus JBL banter, which deserves a Mania engraving.
Matt and Jeff put on a good one, too, which was a nice change for Matt, because since my live show last year I'd become convinced that he's not up to par for impact match (read: non-television-based action, which allows him to hide his general immobility) action.
HBK-Undertaker was HBK-Undertaker. What else needs to be said?
The transition to Cena-Big Show-Edge worked, too, because it was a completely different kind of energy, a different match. By the time Cena picked up both opponents for an Attitude Adjustment, it really shouldn't have mattered what match took place before this one. Good to see Show back in a title match at Mania, and I was more engaged in Edge's here than with his main event last year with Undertaker. His chemistry with John Cena just works better.
Then I watched the Morrison/Miz-Carlito/Primo match, and was surprised to see Primo steal the show out from Carlito.
Finally, the much-debated (or, generally disliked) Orton-Triple H. As with the World Title Match, this one had yet another energy to it, a more gritty, "real" intensity to it, a WWE response to an increasingly MMA world, where personal stakes really matter, but are cleverly "constrained" by rules that prevent the match from degenerating into the same bloodbath we've seen a million times before. Triple H was actually going to have to outwrestle Randy Orton. Imagine that!
So as I said, WrestleMania 25 was a winner for me, a tremendous card that carried through, arguably the strongest one-two punch we've seen from the World and WWE title matches (most distinctive, anyway), another strong match beyond that (HBK-Undertaker), a thrilling MitB Ladder Match (adding power figures really worked this time, too, and WWE had to notice the cheers that emerged every time Christian appeared - hey, Vince, I'm not sold on the guy, either, but the fans really like him, and he's easier to root for than RVD, who after all had no mic skills), a celebrity moment that worked (the whole Mickey Rourke saga seemed to finally work itself out) and a bunch of supporting matches with milestone touches.
It ranks as one of the best all-around Manias, unarguably.