I wasn’t originally sure whether or not to buy Wrestlemania 24. It had a great looking card and several matches I wanted to see, but it’s pricey for a poor, starving artist and I could only watch it online anyway, through their live webcast.

After much debating, I broke down at the last minute and decided to watch it, and was not disappointed at all. Wrestlemania 24 was a great show that was definitely worth the money (and worked well for me watching it through the webcast). The main matches I was looking forward to (Edge vs. Taker, MITB, HBK vs. Flair) all delivered, and all the other matches were either good or at least kept pretty short. Here are my thoughts on each individual match:

JBL defeated Finlay in a Belfast Brawl

The first match of the night was about as good as could be expected, which was pretty good, if not particularly memorable. There were a lot of stiff shots and a lot of weapons used, so it didn’t disappoint on that front, but in terms of ALL the story behind it, going back to McMahon’s illegitimate son, it didn’t really feel like a big payoff.

It’s hard to believe (for me anyway) that the biggest story last summer/ fall (y’know, other than the whole Benoit thing) wound down to a curtain jerk match with JBL winning who was just randomly thrown into the whole thing a month ago. Also, no sight of any of the McMahons was a little strange. Most storylines build up to Wrestlemania, but this seemed to wear down.

CM Punk wins The Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Another great MITB match for Wrestlemania, and better than some of the past ones in my opinion. There were some pretty good spots involved, but I think what added the most to it was I really had no idea who would win, and was really surprised with the outcome. In the past I always had a good idea of two or three people who might win and two or three people who I knew wouldn’t win, but this time around it was all fair game. I’m pretty happy with Punk winning, although he hasn’t seemed to be receiving the biggest push in weeks prior, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens for him next.

And as a final note I REALLY hopes this squashes all the rumors of him being in the doghouse. Wasn’t he supposed to have heat with everyone just a few weeks ago?

Batista defeats Umaga in the Battle of the Brands match

This match was pretty dull, with Umaga dominating the first 90%, then Batista hulking up and hitting him with a powerbomb for the win. I can’t say it was a HUGE disappointment for me because I wasn’t really looking forward to it storyline-wise, match-wise, or anything else, but considering that Batista had a great match with Undertaker at last year’s ‘Mania, it’s hard to believe he then came to this. Both of these guys have done better in the past.

Kane defeats Chavo to become the new ECW champion

Kane defeated Chavo in just seconds by appearing behind him at the start of the match and hitting him with a chokeslam. I was thinking of trying to rate all of the matches until this one came up. Much like the last match, I can’t say I was disappointed with this complete and total squash because I REALLY wasn’t looking forward to seeing Kane fight Chavo for the ECW title, but on the other hand, if the ECW title is worth a match at Wrestlemania at all, it must be worth more than a minute of its time.

HBK defeated Ric Flair in a Retirement Match

This was the main reason I wanted to see Wrestlemania 24, and this did not disappoint at all. I’m not the biggest Flair mark, but I still wanted to see the end to his historic career. Flair’s definitely not the wrestler he once was, but I still think this was a great match and by far one of the most emotional matches I’ve seen. Watching HBK’s reluctance to finish off Flair and Flair demanding Shawn’s best was fantastic and the ending is definitely what I’ll be remembering in the years to come whenever I think of Wrestlemania 24.

Beth Phoenix and Melina defeated Maria and Ashley in the Playboy Bunny match

Ashley called in to replace an injured diva- oh the irony! It was hard for me to focus on this match given the previous match and the lights going out halfway through, but everyone seemed to be working hard the whole time (except for Snoop Dogg, who seemed to be falling asleep), and at least trying to put out more than the average diva’s Wrestlemania match. The interference with Santino was fun, but no where near as involved as he was at last Monday’s RAW, so it didn’t really feel like seeing anything new. The heels winning wasn’t too surprising, and didn’t have a whole lot of weight to it, but a decent diva’s match overall.

Randy Orton defeated John Cena and Triple H to retain his WWE Championship

This was a fun match with a lot of action. I was surprised to see that this wasn’t the last match on the card, and even more surprised to see Orton retaining. I’m not a big fan of Orton’s at all, but I was glad to see him finally get a credible win in his current title reign. After all the months of him winning by announcer interference, his opponent not being able to use their finisher, or disqualification, it’s good to see him look like he deserves that championship. Great match overall though.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather defeats Big Show

This much (overly) hyped match finally comes to a conclusion with Floyd knocking out Show after being dominated the entire match. I was expecting Floyd to win because it was surely in his contract, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much he’d be dominated in the match. Big Show was beating him pretty good, and Floyd was calling out in pain more than once.

This seemed to be the match with the most question marks on it and the most potential to become a train wreck, and I think all things considered, it was not as bad as I expected. But it’s during matches like these that I have to take a deep breath as I watch and remember the “three ring circus” philosophy of the WWE. Yeah, this match wasn’t good, but… SOME people must’ve liked it. The crowd seemed to be into it anyway.

And in the final match of the night, The Undertaker defeated Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship

As you may have gathered from Saturday’s strip, I’m a huge Edgehead and was really pulling for him to end Taker’s streak, BUT if Edge had to lose, this was a phenomenal match for him to lose in. For my money this was by far the best match on the show, and both men came out looking strong. I was worried beforehand that it would be bogged down with Vicky and Edgehead (the tag-team, not the fans) interference, but they were both only out there for a small part. Great, great, great match overall though, and a perfect Wrestlemania main event.

One thing that I’d like to point out though is that at last year’s Mania, when Undertaker beat Batista for the World Heavyweight Title it was firmly planted in the midcard, but this year it’s the main event. That had to chap Batista’s hide, at least enough… for… him… to… blow his match this year! It all makes sense now!

Anyway, I thought the show was great overall, and definitely better than last year’s. There were only a couple of matches that stood out as disappointing, and the good matches definitely made up for them.

If anyone else saw it, agrees with what I have to say, disagrees with what I have to say, or has any thoughts on it at all, feel free to comment and let me know what your take was.

Thanks for reading,