WWE WrestleMania XXVIII Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release
The 28th annual WrestleMania event features a "once-in-a-lifetime" main event between The Rock and John Cena, The Undertaker Vs. Triple H in an "End Of An Era" match, CM Punk Vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE title, an appearance by Snooki from the Jersey Shore, live musical performances, and much, much more.
For more about WWE WrestleMania XXVIII and the WWE WrestleMania XXVIII Blu-ray release, see WWE WrestleMania XXVIII Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on May 10, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
So, is WrestleMania XXVIII really a "once in a lifetime" event? To be sure, and to be fair, that's a label given to the main event matchup
between John Cena and The Rock and not the entirety of the program. Yet it's the headliner that will forever shape the event, which means that this
WrestleMania had better step up its game and give fans one for the ages, particularly in its classic finale but also through the rest of the program, if
audiences are to stay through and remain amped up until he first bell rings for the last event. Consider mission accomplished. Not only does this
WrestleMania pit two
legends one against another in a main event that traverses the rarified air of the sport's absolute best-ever match ups and performances, but the bulk
of the program proves memorable at worst to exhilarating at best. From the record-setting sellout crowd to the decked-out stadium, from athletes
giving performances of a lifetime to the perfect execution of two of the finest wrestling matches ever performed, this WrestleMania has it all, and it
ends with energy to spare and having created a memory for a lifetime. WWE's Blu-ray release of WrestleMania XXVIII captures all the glitz
and glamour and blood and sweat and hard hits and precision moves with so much intimacy and accuracy that it might even be better than being
This is the one, a highlight reel of everything that's good about professional wrestling at its highest
level of excellence, a showcase for one of the sport's showcase events.
Movie stars, wrestling heroes.
This is no April Fool's joke. That the 28th installment of the über-popular WrestleMania series lands on that day of pranks and is but a coincidence.
Miami's Sun Life Stadium hosts the event before a record-setting sellout crowd of 78,363, a gathering larger than any of the five Super Bowls or
handful of World Series games to have taken place in the venue (of course the compact size of the WWE "playing surface" allows more seats to be
added on what would be field-level, but that's still an impressive figure). Additionally, XXVIII is but the third WrestleMania to take place outdoors,
following on the heels of the somewhat forgettable WrestleMania XXIV. But "forgettable" doesn't apply here. "Unforgettable," sure,
and pretty much any other positive, glowing adjective. WWE might not be what it used to be in the "Attitude Era" of the 1990s -- the superstars
aren't quite as larger-than-life and the newer WWE landscape has something of a artificial, glossy sheen to it rather than the gritty, dirty, realistic
of old -- but this event is nothing short of a landmark, even if there's some unimaginative drama playing out before what are two of the finest
displays of pure professional wrestling the sport has ever seen. Indeed, this might not be the peak of professional wrestling, but April 1 or not, this is
serious, all-in wrestling that's the near perfect mix of razzle-dazzle and raw skill.
Indeed, WrestleMania brings out the professionalism and polish beyond even the expert skill wrestling fans will find on the typical Monday and Friday
night. This event proves to be a showcase of raw talent, polished craft, and the ultimate in showmanship. Not only does the open-air venue look
great, combining Florida cool with WWE tough and flash, but the wrestlers -- the entire WWE roster of upper-tier superstars who appear in
WrestleMania XXVIII -- are indisputably in top form, both mentally and physically, prepared to entertain fans in a way worth the price of admission
and beyond what their physical limitations normally allow. And don't let the naysayers ruin the experience. Certainly the victors are predetermined
-- WrestleMania is no exception -- but what viewers will see in this spectacle of professional wrestling is human endurance and agility at their finest.
To be sure, most of the punches and kicks don't land -- that's obvious with the naked eye and at full speed -- but move beyond that and see that
the strength, stamina, and dedication to self and sport are unparalleled in the world of professional athletics. Aside from those short-of-the-mark
the action is fierce, hard, complex, and detailed in execution. These men endure legitimate punishment and put out incredible manpower all for the
show, and it's that unique combination of physical dedication, love of sport, and ability to find a role and entertain audiences that elevates wrestlers
to the bright lights of WrestleMania, and the closer the evening goes towards the main event, the easier it is to see that there's a reason why the
most prominent figures of the WWE constantly receive top billing.
The evening begins with a major matchup between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan with the World Heavyweight Championship title on the line. Suffice
it to say it's sure to be one of the
most frequently-discussed matches in WrestleMania history; to write of it further here would spoil the fun and surprise. The evening follows
a "resolution" to the RAW-Smackdown management dispute, settled with a dozen wrestlers and a few mascots in and around the ring. A filler Divas
match offers up some eye candy in a "classic" contest between the girly-girl-next-door pinups Kelly Kelly and Maria versus the overdone and
amazons Beth and Eve. The Big Show sees fit to toss Cody Rhodes about the stadium as if he were a sack of laundry, not a human being, in a fair
and fairly entertaining event. Kane and Randy Orton dazzle in perhaps the evening's most overlooked and underrated confrontation. The
lowlight matchup amongst the headliner events comes in the CM Punk-Chris Jericho battle. The wrestling is fine -- these are certainly two
combatants who could rightly claim title of "best in the world" -- but the drama feels straight out of a soap opera, too manufactured and
disingenuous even for the WWE. The evening is highlighted by the two remaining events. The Triple H-Undertaker Hell in a Cell clash will be
remembered for decades to come as one of the finest moments in wrestling, never mind WrestleMania, history. This is the very definition of the
tough, hard-hitting, all-in, anything goes, no-nonsense, superhuman wrestling event. Blood, sweat, spit, chairs, stairs, sledgehammers, and enough
grit, stamina, will, and testosterone to pack the rest of this Mania and the next are all put on display; audiences are treated to a
matchup that is alone worth the price of admission. It's not topped for brutality by the main event, but the Cena-Rock contest tops it in raw
wrestling skill. This is a ballet, a perfectly-executed demonstration of professional wrestling at its zenith. These are two icons, two men who know
the sport, love it, live it, and execute it with a know-how and finesse that's rare amongst even wrestling's best. This match is truly the pinnacle of
professional wrestling. Anyone who can't see the absolute polished skill and natural gifts on display will never see them and will never appreciate the
artistry of a top-tier WWE matchup.
The following matches comprise WrestleMania XXVIII:
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan.
WrestleMania Singles Match: Kane vs. Randy Orton.
Singles Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show.
WWE Divas Tag Team Match: Beth Phoenix and Eve vs. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos.
Hell in a Cell Match: Triple H vs. Undertaker. With special guest referee Shawn Michaels.
Tag Team Match: The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swgger, Dolph Ziggler, and David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston, The
Great Khali, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, and Santino Marella. At stake is the general manager position for both RAW and Smackdown.
Singles Match for the WWE Championship: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk.
WrestleMania XXVIII features a 1080i transfer typical of the latest WWE Blu-ray releases. It's crisp and colorful, nicely detailed and a pleasure to
watch. Certainly, blocky backgrounds, jagged edges, aliasing, and the like are there and maybe even there in enough force to distract the most
demanding viewer, but considering the source and the original quality of the presentation, this one closely reflects the look of a live WWE broadcast.
Fine detail is
often striking. Close-ups reveal amazingly intricate skin textures and facial hair stubbles. Blood, sweat, and spit pour from faces and bodies with
amazing clarity. The details around the stadium are excellent, right down to the plastic palm trees, the seams in the mat, Kane's mask, and the texture
of the steel stairs that are prevalent in the Triple H-Undertaker event. Clarity and sharpness allow crowd details to remain clear, and attendees will likely
find themselves on the disc, even those sitting some distance away from the action. Event graphics are sharp and focused. Colors are spectacular, very
well balanced and vibrant. Flashy wrestler garb; the red, white, and blue of the American flag; and all of the many shades that grace the electronic
signage all pop with amazing brilliance. Blacks are deep but not too deep, though they do often devolve into blocky chunks. The image does tend to look
a little too glossy and flat, but that's par for the course for these WWE HD presentations. All in all, a good WWE Blu-ray that's exactly what fans would
WWE continues forward with Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, and WrestleMania XXVIII's sounds just fine. The presentation is satisfying and often
immersive. The opening rendition of "America the Beautiful" plays with good clarity, a positive low end, and great spacing; the song carries with a
natural flow and is effortlessly released into the listening area, with a prominent but not overdone surround element that easily transports listeners into
the stadium. Indeed, such may be said of all of the music, whether wrestler introduction songs or the musical interludes. Even as it's all pumped
through the stadium speakers, clarity remains noticeably strong and the result is a positive listening experience. Things can get a little heavy, and the
roar of the crowd intermixed with music and pyrotechnics can drown out ringside dialogue at a few junctures, but for the most part the commentary
comes though cleanly and efficiently, balanced around the center channel. Wrestling sound effects -- stomping on the mat, smacking opponents with
chairs -- never want for greater presence or sonic accuracy. Crowd ambience, generally applause, carries nicely around the listening area and often
home listeners will feel as if part of the event crowd. As with the video, this soundtrack is representative of the typical WWE home video Blu-ray quality,
and it's a solid all-around performer.
WrestleMania XXVIII contains bonus highlights and matches on disc one, while disc two contains RAW lead-ups to the event. Also included is
the full-length Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship (9:20): Primo & Epico vs. Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Justin Gabriel &
Kidd. WrestleMania XXVIII -- April 1, 2012. Part of the WrestleMania XXVIII "pre game show."
Press Conference (15:47): WrestleMania XXVIII. Miami, Florida -- March 28, 2012. Includes Michael Cole introducing CM Punk, John
and The Rock.
Triple H vs. Undertaker History (4:27): A look back at the rivalry that comes to a head in WrestleMania XXVIII.
WWE Hall-of-Fame Induction Ceremony (2:56:11): Class of 2012 inductees include Ron Simmons, Mil Máscaras, Yokozuna, Mike Tyson,
Horsemen, and Edge.
RAW Moment (19:43): Undertaker Seeks Revenge on Triple H. Monday Night RAW -- February 20, 2012.
RAW Moment (12:08): Best in the World. Monday Night RAW -- February 27, 2012.
RAW Moment (24:22): The Rock Comes Back to Portland. Monday Night RAW -- February 27, 2012.
RAW Moment (4:33): John Cena Returns Home. Monday Night RAW -- March 5, 2012.
RAW Moment (16:05): John Cena & The Rock Have Their Final Confrontation. Monday Night RAW -- March 26, 2012.
WrestleMania XXVIII will be remembered as one of the best WWE events of the decade, if not through its entire history. Classic match ups,
incredible skill, and a picture-perfect night make this an unforgettable event. As with anything of this scope, there's a little too much filler and it's not for
all tastes, but the wrestling action cannot be beat, and the long-awaited matchup between John Cena and The Rock lives up to expectations and then
some, if only for the absolute raw wrestling skill on display. The Triple H-Undertaker matchup showcases pro wrestling at its most stunningly brutal;
Mick Foley would be proud of the effort. The remaining matches are well-executed and superstars abound, but the show is shaped by the two giant
match ups. For wrestling fans, this is one not to miss and one worth watching more than once. Fore newcomers or casual audiences, it's a must-own, a
great first glimpse into the world of the WWE and a highlight reel of the sport's finest athletes in action and performing at their very best. WWE's
of WrestleMania XXVIII features strong video and audio, but the supplements are a bit few in number, even considering the inclusion of the
Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony. Nevertheless, this release comes very highly recommended.
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