Mt. Killamanjaro: WrestleMania XXIX Review

Mike Killam

2) Mark Henry vs. Ryback

After only a few short weeks of build and physicality, these two beasts collide to find out what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Henry dominated much of the contest, with Ryback failing to match the power and strength of the World's Strongest Man. The finish comes as Ryback attempts to hit Shellshock on the big man, but Henry came down with all his weight right on his chest for the pinfall. 

Results: Mark Henry def. Ryback via pinfall; splash

After the match, Ryback got his "WrestleMania moment", picking up Henry and delivering the 400-pound Shellshock. 

As Henry was making his way to the ring, I commented to a friend of mine that this match had "Goldberg/Lesnar potential". I was speaking of course to the infamous collision between Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar from WrestleMania XX, during which two big brutes put on likely the worst match in the event's 20-year history. While Mark Henry and Ryback didn't come anywhere near being that bad, it absolutely merited the "boring" chants it received from the live crowd. 

Let's face reality, the bear hug isn't a viable submission move in 2013. There's not a possible way to execute it without the fans immediate losing interest. No disrespect to the great Bruno Sammartino, but the second I see the bear hug locked in – especially from Mark Henry, who doesn't even look remotely excited – I tune out. It's the most basic and boring rest hold, and while it may have worked three, four or five decades ago, I just see no proof that it's still a viable maneuver. 

I also don't understand the logic in having Ryback lose clean. I don't care how many "moments" you give this guy after matches are over, the simple fact remains that the guy being billed as the "next, next big thing" is 0-6 in pay-per-view matches. 

Grade: D-

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