WrestleMania 28 is in the books, and while for many people, the event is still settling in, I'll go on record and say I think this is one of the better WrestleManias I've ever seen. While I didn't think any of the matches achieved 5-star status, I think fans were treated to three 4-star matches, good storytelling and that the show met my expectations, which were admittedly high. That's tough to do.

Let's start with that main event between John Cena and the Rock, and work our way through the 4-hour show with the WrestleMania format I've used the past three years. I'll offer the same number of points as this year's WrestleMania is named.


1. Despite being a mark for John Cena, I'm happy the Rock won. If you would've told me that a few weeks ago, or even a few days ago, I would've told you otherwise. However, I started thinking about what it would mean for each man to win, and for each man to lose. And as I wrote in my final WrestleMania predictions column, the much better story for John Cena going forward is how he bounces back from the loss, while the Rock's victory means he still has plenty of luster for any future matches.

2. Cena was absolutely fantastic in the match. He broke out some wrestling moves and holds that we haven't seen from him before. While you could tell at times he was calling the match, the announcers covered it as trash talking, he did a great job calling the spots and the pace of the match. Rock, at times, seemed to have trouble keeping up with him. Rock seemed gased near the end of the match, but I think that was equal part not being in ring shape and equal part selling.

3. Ultimately, it was Cena's cockiness that was his downfall. When he attempted to rub it in the Rock's face and give a People's Elbow to him, he got caught with a Rock Bottom for the finish. For the first time in a while, Cena doesn't seem "Invincible" (how ironic, eh, MGK?) and that's the story WWE now gets to tell while the Rock disappears until SummerSlam at least.

4. The handshake I think we were all expecting but never happened leads me to believe there will be a rematch between Cena and the Rock. Will it happen at SummerSlam (the 25th edition of the event, so you know WWE will want to do something big) or will they wait until next year's WrestleMania? I'm hoping the latter, because I plan to go, and I'd love to see that match in person with Cena going over.

5. I'm glad there was no outside interference in this match, or really any of the matches. That's what WrestleMania should be.

6. To the previous point, I told you so on Brock Lesnar and (maybe) Batista. It was reported that Lesnar at least has signed a 1-year deal to return to WWE and that he would likely appear at WrestleMania. He might have been in the building last night, but it wasn't the time for him to re-debut. Save it for tonight on Raw. And maybe save Batista's return (if he is, in fact, returning) for next week in his hometown of Washington, D.C.

7. Lesnar would be best served to return tonight in the final segment as the Undertaker prepares to make a statement. With his record now 20-0 and a very humanizing scene with him, Triple H and Shawn Michaels leaving the arena together, it would make sense if a retirement announcement was in order. As Taker hits the ring to talk, Lesnar should attack him, beat him down with a chair and give him an F-5 through the announce table. Combined with the wounds of war from WrestleMania, it would remove Undertaker from television again, and give him a WrestleMania 29 match with Lesnar next year.

8. Undertaker-Triple H Part 3 (or Part 2, since WWE doesn't want you to remember WrestleMania 17) was the match of the night. With that said, I liked last year's match better and thought both HBK vs. Undertaker matches were better. Still, this was fantastic with great storytelling. The false finishes are what have made this series so special.

9. Shawn Michaels was key in the story, as expected. His facial expressions, cringing every time someone was struck with a chair, made those of us watching it in my basement cringe as well, even if we've all seen far more violent matches.

10. The finish was exactly what it should have been -- Undertaker pinning Triple H clean with a Tombstone, his most legendary move. I wrote last year that the Hell's Gate finish was anticlimatic for me. But when it's combined with this match, I thought it worked much better. Read all the chapters before judging a book. The Hell's Gate spot was repeated in this match, and it was very effective.

11. Hopefully, by End of an Era, they mean the end of the Hell in a Cell match. The cell brought nothing to the match this year, and if anything, kept them from topping some of the big spots from last year's match. Everything that happened last night could've been done under a simple no DQ stipulation, and without the cage. Without Mick Foley to go flying off the top of the cage through an announce table, or go through the cage, as well as WWE's ban on blading and blood (Triple H was cut hardway last night) the cell just detracts from the match because you are waiting for a big spot involving it that almost never happens. Considering the history of these two inside the cell, if they are done, they should take the cell with them.

12. I don't think either man is done wrestling unless they want to be. Both showed Sunday night that they are as good as anyone in the business. Triple H reportedly just signed a new deal with WWE as a performer (for what that is worth, since he's got a front office job already) so I would expect him to be a guy they can keep behind glass until an emergency. As for Undertaker, the Streak is still such a draw for WrestleMania, that as long as he's willing to perform, I don't think WWE should tell him no.

13. Guess I should mention Undertaker's hair. It was a tightly shaved mohawk. It wasn't what I was expecting, that's for sure. It gave him a very different look from previous incarnations of his character. I think he looks more "real" with short hair than when he has the long stringy hair to fit his character.

14. While I didn't get to hear all the commentary because the group in my basement was pretty loud, it was great to see and hear Jim Ross, even if it was for that one match only. I mentioned that I thought he would do some of the big matches and replace Michael Cole after Team Johnny lost. For some reason, because of last year, I felt they needed to do an angle to get Ross on TV. I liked this better. You don't always need an angle for everything. Too bad JR didn't stick around for all the matches.


15. Michael Cole, by the way, was actually very good last night. He scaled back his heel commentary in a big way from the best I could tell, and actually called matches. He shook JR's hand when he came out before Taker-Trips, and I hope that was a symbolic burying of the hatchet between those two and perhaps a burying of Cole's heel character. He's not JR, but he can be a good play by play guy when he wants to be.

16. While the crowd was amazing for Cena-Rock and Taker-Trips, the WWE Championship match seemed flat at times because of the dead crowd. That's not their fault, the Hell in a Cell match was emotionally draining. They got the crowd going in the final few minutes, however, so it all worked out.


17. Obviously, I'm not a CM Punk mark, but I'm glad he went over here. John Laurinaitis threw a monkey wrench into the match when he told Punk right before it started that he wanted a wrestling match and not a brawl, so if Punk lost by DQ, he'd lose the title. I thought that was perfect and added another layer to the contest. Everything was against Punk, and he still prevailed. If he's going to be a top babyface, that's how you need to be booked, especially at WrestleMania.

18. Now, the question is, do they have a rematch? Jericho posted on Twitter that the better man won, but he could just be trolling fans again. If Jericho continues to rip Punk's family, it could be a case of the champion offering another title match in order to get his opponent back in the ring to beat him up. Considering it would likely be contested under Extreme Rules, the name of the next PPV, and in Punk's hometown of Chicago, where he could decimate Jericho in front of Punk's family, that would make a lot of sense.

19. Many fans were expecting Punk-Jericho to steal the show and put on a "minimum" 5-star match. That didn't happen, and some of those fans might be upset. Those expectations were unrealistic. The two put on a counter-wrestling clinic, however. It was a very strong wrestling match, which is exactly what it needed to be. It also got the right spot on the card -- as far as importance -- as the second-to-last match of the night.

20. In the other world title match, which opened the show, Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. After giving AJ the obligatory pre-match kiss, Sheamus kicked his face off and pinned him. This made a lot of fans, especially those of Bryan, really upset. Bryan has won me over during his championship reign, and I didn't want to see it come to an end, but if it had to, this was the right way to do it to continue telling a good story. Bryan will undoubtedly blame AJ for the loss to keep his heat. Had Bryan and Sheamus gone 12 minutes and Bryan jobbed clean, his fans would be really angry that he lost. This gets the title on Sheamus and Bryan doesn't lose face because it comes across as a flukish loss.

21. According to a couple of sources, this was the plan all along for Bryan. In fact, they were hoping to beat the record time set by Kane beating Chavo Guerrero for the ECW title four years ago. Keep that in mind when complaining the match could've gotten more time if the lame comedy segments -- such as Santino Marella and Mick Foley shilling "Deadliest Catch" (where Santino will be a guest star this week), Heath Slater getting TV time and shoved by Flo Rida, or Brodus Clay and his "Mommas" dancing -- were left off the show. This wasn't done for time, it was done for the storyline. It certainly didn't hurt in getting other matches on the card or a few extra minutes.

22. I'm going to have to watch the 12-man match again. I feel like I missed a lot of it as we were still talking about Taker-Trips when it came on. Seemed like a lot of punches and kicks before some rapid spots at the end of the match. One of my scenarios for the finish had Eve costing Team Teddy the match. It didn't go down exactly as I thought, but that's more or less what happened. She got in the ring as Ryder readied to give The Miz the Broski Boot, causing a distraction and allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and pin Ryder. In the post match, Eve kicked Ryder below the belt and left the ring, while Team Teddy stood around in shock.

23. John Laurinaitis is now in charge of both brands and I can't wait to see how having the same general manager for both shows impacts the landscape of WWE. For example, will there be a draft now? Seems silly to have a draft when the same guy is running both shows and wrestlers are already crossing over. And what becomes a Teddy Long? However, I'm hoping Laurinaitis' first decree on Smackdown is to fire Team Teddy member Booker T and replace him with Matt Striker at the announce table.

24. Miz, by the way, is now 3-0 at WrestleMania. It was his first victory of 2012. And because I'm a mark for him, I'll note that Jack Swagger is 2-0 as a competitor at WrestleMania and 1-0 as a trainer for Michael Cole last year. They're coming for you Undertaker (sarcasm).

25. Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to win the Intercontinental Championship, making him the third man to hold all of the WWE's active male championships. More importantly, it gave Big Show his WrestleMania moment, winning a singles match at the biggest show for the first time in his career. Show dominated the match, although Rhodes got in plenty of offense, including a few Disaster kicks at the end before Show speared him and knocked him out with the WMD for the win. Rhodes title reign ended at 230 days, the longest IC title reign in 7 1/2 years. Expect him to regain the title no later than at Extreme Rules at the end of the month.

26. Perhaps the biggest shocker of the night, as far as winners and losers, was Kane defeating Randy Orton clean with a chokeslam from the second rope. Looking at the entire card, he was the only heel other than Team Johnny to win at WrestleMania. I'm surprised it was a clean finish, however. I liked what I saw of the match, but most of us were still talking about how quickly Daniel Bryan was jobbed so I missed parts of it. The crowd wasn't into it, chanting for Bryan instead. I wonder if that will play into anything. Could Kane get Orton to turn heel again, saying he's gone soft? I'd love to see that. In the meantime, I wouldn't mind seeing Kane being named the No. 1 contender to Sheamus' World Championshp at Extreme Rules, with Bryan saying he'll take his rematch under his terms. With John Laurinaitis likely on his side, that could be whenever he wants ... such as right after a grueling title defense for Sheamus, a la Money in the Bank.

27. Even haters have to give it up for the Divas match. Maria Menounos was solid despite having injured ribs and not being a trained wrestler, and Kelly Kelly pulled out some impressive offense, including a Molly Go Round from the top rope for a near fall. Menounos pinned Beth Phoenix again, meaning those two aren't through just yet, although who knows when Maria will be back. My one complaint about this match? Eve. As much as I love her current character, she played a bigger role and got her WrestleMania moment in Team Johnny's win, so why did they need to put her in this match? It would've made more sense for Natalya to remain as Beth's partner here, and the two could turn on each other afterward. As it were, Natalya tweeted she was "confused" Beth didn't chose her to be her partner, which could lead to an angle.

28. The rest of my complaints about the show are minimal. In fact, they largely have to do with the bad backstage comedy segments and the horrible musical interludes from MGK and Flo Rida before the main event. MGK must've been that Waffle House cook Kevin Nash was referring to over the summer when feuding with CM Punk. Eat a burger and stop wearing girl jeans, dude. Flo Rida was fine, I guess, but just went too long. I know it's WrestleMania and this is what we get, but I don't think anyone is buying the show to see a rap concert. Just sayin'.