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Case Number 19073: Small Claims Court

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WWE: WrestleMania XXVI

WWE // 2010 // 360 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // June 12th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring has been wrestling to get rid of his occasional manic grin. No luck so far.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of WWE: The True Story of WrestleMania (published March 21st, 2011) and WWE: WrestleMania 25th Anniversary (published June 11th, 2009) are also available.

The Charge

It's the most impressive WrestleMania line-up in history.

The Case

It's that time of the year again, and WWE's most popular wrestlers go head-to-head in the biggest wrestling night of the year. This time around, WrestleMania has come to Phoenix, AZ, and here's what this gigantic event has to offer:

• R-Truth & John Morrison vs. The Miz & Big Show in a Unified Tag Team Championship Match
For a WrestleMania opener, this tag team match delivers the goods, even though it only lasts three minutes. Morrison and R-Truth make an effort to show off their flexibility by scoring some high-risk moves, and the Big Show successfully uses his power to impress the crowds looking for big punches and throws. Too bad this battle is too short, but at least it doesn't disappoint while it lasts.

• Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton in a Triple Threat Match
Even though this one starts off as one-sided and rather predictable, it picks up energy and variety halfway through. DiBiase and Rhodes obviously start ganging up on Orton, but the latter does take over eventually and deliver a bunch of moves that really look fancy. The coordination between the three athletes works quite well, and that's a big plus. All in all, this is a fun match to watch. So far, so good.

• Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne vs. Shelton Benjamin in a Money in the Bank Match
The famous suitcase is hanging high above the ring, and the wrestlers must use ladders to snatch it. Only one can win this thing, and that means we're in for a bunch of chaos inside the ring. Clocking in at 14 minutes, this is quite an entertaining battle, with each of the competitors using the ladders to put on an impressive show. Some of the stunts and dives the WWE athletes deliver are really amusing, which helps cut down on repetition. I wouldn't call this one the best Money in the Bank battle in recent years, but it's definitely another decent matchup.

• Sheamus vs. Triple H
Sheamus still desperately needs a tan, but he does help turn this battle into an interesting match. He also proves he's ready to play with WWE's big guys, and both he and HHH engage in a variety of powerful moves to give the audience its money worth. The battle lasts for an entertaining 12 minutes, and both wrestlers are focused enough to deliver a pretty much flawless show. Let's hope this event has more of this in store for us.

• CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
At six minutes, this fight between CM Punk and Rey Mysterio is just about long enough for both WWE stars to keep fans entertained without necessarily delivering a memorable PPV matchup. It's all in all a clean battle, but I was looking for a tad more variety in this one. That said, the high-risk maneuvers the two pull off certainly boost the battle's pace. Good enough, so let's move on.

• Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match
This is the first disappointment of this WrestleMania event. I had a feeling this one would bomb, and to be honest, what can you expect from a match between Vince and Bret? Sure, it's cool to see Bret back in action inside the ring, but this brawl is incredibly monotonous and predictable. It's a bore, really, and I wish it would've lasted five instead of 12 minutes.

• Chris Jericho vs. Edge in a World Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho and Edge go head-to-head for the gold, and their battle runs for a good 16 minutes. Both athletes generate a classic wrestling match, complete with the usual kicks, punches, powerful moves and signature submission maneuvers. There is not much else to say about it except that it's a clean, well-coordinated title match that goes well with the rest of this pay-per-view's solid battles.

• 10-Diva Tag Team Match
As expected, this is yet another disappointment. Aside from one or two solid moves, this battle doesn't offer anything but a hell lot of screaming and kicking. This is one to forget. Enough said.

• Batista vs. John Cena in a WWE Championship Match
Much like the match between Edge and Jericho, the title match between Cena and Batista is another clean battle that boasts a bunch of variety in terms of wrestling techniques. These are two experienced, powerful athletes who understand the structure of an entertaining PPV matchup, and they do an excellent job at utilizing their stamina to give fans a classic pre-main event fight for the gold.

• Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in a Streak vs. Career Match
The final matchup this time is not a title match, but that doesn't mean it's a disappointing competition. On the contrary, this 24-minute battle between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels is the perfect way to end a surprisingly strong WWE pay-per-view. The two superstars know the pressure is on them the moment they step into the ring, but they both make sure to deliver impressively fast-paced wrestling action culminating in a predictable but powerful finale that certainly satisfies most of the 70,000 folks in attendance. It's a long fight, yes, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch.

As usual, picture quality and sound work just fine. In terms of special features, the second disc of this set includes a bonus 26-man Battle Royal tapped before the PPV went live. It's a decent match, but nothing extraordinary. Also included is part of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony that aired on USA Network the night before the pay-per-view.

WrestleMania XXVI is a surprisingly solid PPV, topping its recent predecessors, and proving that WWE writers can do good if they put a little effort into the matches. Without doubt, this is a WrestleMania to remember.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 360 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Match
• Featurette

Accomplices

• Official Website








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