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WrestleMania XXVII

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WrestleMania XXVII was the twenty-seventh annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took take place on April 3, 2011 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

Background

WrestleMania featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that will be played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers will portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.

Since 1993, the winner of the annual Royal Rumble match (an over-the-top-rope elimination style match) at the January event of the same name has won the opportunity to fight for a world championship at WrestleMania. Alberto Del Rio won the match in 2011 and will wrestle Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. At the following month's Elimination Chamber event, John Cena won the Raw brand's annual Elimination Chamber match to earn himself a WWE Championship shot against the reigning champion, The Miz.

Starting from the January 31 episode of Raw, ominous vignettes featuring a mysterious figure began airing on WWE programming promoting an upcoming event on "2 21 11". On the February 21 edition of Raw, The Undertaker was revealed as the mysterious figure, who made his return after a four-month absence. However, Undertaker's return was interrupted by a returning Triple H. The two men stared each other down and both peered at the WrestleMania marquee, teasing a possible challenge at WrestleMania XXVII. The match was later confirmed four days later on WWE's official website. This match marks the second time the two will face each other at a WrestleMania, the first being WrestleMania X-Seven ten years earlier.

Since December 2010, Raw color commentator Jerry Lawler began a feud with fellow announcer Michael Cole when the anonymous Raw General Manager gave Lawler a WWE Championship match in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match against The Miz. As Lawler started to climb the ladder to retrieve the belt, Cole interfered and prevented Lawler from winning the match. On the February 21 edition of Raw, Cole mocked Lawler for losing his rematch against The Miz at Elimination Chamber as well as his dreams of having a WrestleMania match, going as far as even mentioning Lawler's mother who died weeks earlier. Lawler responded by challenging Cole to a match at WrestleMania, which Cole denied before running through the crowd. A week later, Cole accepted Lawler's challenge under two conditions - that his trainer Jack Swagger would be in his corner, and that he could choose a special guest referee - which Lawler accepted.

Another plot building up towards WrestleMania involves CM Punk and Randy Orton. Beginning the year, CM Punk became the leader of the Nexus, rebranding it as the "New Nexus". In the following weeks, Punk attacked Orton, telling him that it was his revenge for Orton punting him at Unforgiven in 2008 while Punk was the World Heavyweight Champion, thus not allowing him to defend his title, which had to be vacated. On February 28, the anonymous Raw General Manager announced a match between Punk and Orton. In addition, the General Manager stipulated that Orton will face one of the members of the New Nexus each week. If Orton lost, his opponent would be allowed to be in Punk's corner at WrestleMania; if he won, his opponent would be banned from attending the event.

Another feud heading into WrestleMania is between Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes. On the January 21 edition of SmackDown, Mysterio and Rhodes had a match in which Mysterio broke the nose of Cody Rhodes with his finishing maneuver, the 619. Rhodes, who underwent facial reconstruction surgey, later accused Mysterio of forcing him to miss the Royal Rumble match and the Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship. On the March 4 edition of SmackDown, Cody's father, Dusty Rhodes, came out to talk to Mysterio and asked Cody to apologize for his accusation, but it turned out to be a setup to allow Cody to attack and unmask Mysterio. The next week Rhodes challenged Rey to a match at Wrestlemania, which was accepted the following week.

On the March 14 edition of Raw, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi appeared as a guest star and exchanged insults with Vickie Guerrero backstage. Later that night, Vickie defeated Trish Stratus with the help of Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool and Layla). After the match, Snooki, who observed the match at ringside, took down Lay-Cool after being provoked by McCool. A brawl ensued between Snooki & Stratus and Lay-Cool until Lay-Cool retreated from the ring. Vickie then proposed a six-person mixed tag team match at WrestleMania between Lay-Cool & her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, and Snooki, Stratus, & John Morrison which Snooki accepted.

In an eight-man tag team match, The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater) will wrestle Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. The Corre had been going after Big Show on Smackdown, but Big Show and Kane joined forces to destroy the Corre on Raw two weeks before WrestleMania. Later, Kane and Big Show helped Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella fend off an attack by the Corre. On April 2, after a WrestleMania Axxess match between Kozlov and Tyler Reks, The Corre attacked Kozlov, leaving his shoulder injured. Kofi Kingston who recently lost the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Barrett was chosen as Kozlov's replacement.

Event

Production

In September 2009, it was reported that the city of Atlanta was seeking to host WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome. A press conference was held on February 1, 2010 at the Georgia Dome to formally announce the event for Atlanta. According to WWE's senior vice president of special events, John Saboor, Atlanta was ultimately chosen for, among other reasons, "their track record of success with large events, rich in its tradition with the WWE, great infrastructure." The event will mark the first time WrestleMania has been held in the state of Georgia.

Atlanta's main rival bid came from the city of Miami, Florida who proposed to host the event at Sun Life Stadium along with WrestleMania Axxess at the Miami Beach Convention Center and the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at the American Airlines Arena. Miami would eventually become the host for WrestleMania XXVIII.

Tickets for the event commenced sale to the public on November 13, 2010. Along with WrestleMania XXVII, a series of events grouped as "WrestleMania Week" will be held in the week preceding the event including WrestleMania's annual WrestleMania Axxess fan convention, the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, the fourth annual WrestleMania Art exhibition and auction, and a Celebrity Pro-Am Golf tournament. WrestleMania Axxess will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, while the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place at the Philips Arena.

"Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah is the theme song for the event. R&B singer Keri Hilson will be performing "America the Beautiful" at the start of the show.

According to WWE, the attendance at WrestleMania XXVII was 71,617 fans. The event grossed $6.6 million for WWE.

WrestleMania XXVII will be the first pay-per-view event under WWE's promotional rights deal with Kmart. Under the deal, Kmart will be the official sponsor for all of WWE's live events in the United States for the rest of 2011. As another part of the promotion for the event, WWE Magazine released a "Guide to WrestleMania XXVII" app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, featuring information about the upcoming event as well as trivia from past events.

Pre-show

Before Wrestlemania went on air, there were two dark matches. The first match was for the WWE United States Championship held by The Celtic Warrior Sheamus. He was defending his title against Daniel Bryan in a lumberjack match. The match ended in a no contest because the lumberjacks got involved and this created chaos. Teddy Long came out and declared a battle royal to settle everything. The Great Khali went on to win the battle royal after last eliminating Sheamus.

When Wrestlemania went on air, The Rock came out and he cut a promo on John Cena and Wrestlemania.

Preliminary matches

The first televised match was for the World Heavyweight Championship. This match saw Edge (the champion) defending his title against 2011 Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio. Edge has Christian in his corner, and Alberto Del Rio has Brodus Clay & Ricardo Rodriguez in his. In the early part of the match, Del Rio focused on Edge’s injured arm. Edge answered back with good offense. Christian warded off Clay and Ricardo at some points. The ending came when Edge and Del Rio locked in their signature maneuvers. Edge locked in the Sharpshooter while Del Rio locked in the armbar. When both men got up, Edge hit the spear for the win. After the match, Edge and Christian destroyed Del Rio’s car.

The next match was featuring “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio. Rhodes wore his facial mask, while Rey wore a knee brace. These two had a very good brawl. Rhodes mainly dominated this match. He reversed the headscissors by Rey into an Alabama Slam. Rhodes also hit a Rey with a superplex from the top rope. The ending came when Rey got Rhodes’ facial mask off and hit Cody with some headbutts. Rhodes was able to capture Mysterio’s knee brace. When Rey went for a dive, Rhodes knocked out Mysterio with the knee brace. This allowed Rhodes to hit the Cross Rhodes for the win.

Coming up next was the Eight Man Tag Team match. One team consisted of Kane, The Big Show, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston. Kofi Kingston was placed in the match instead of Vladimir Kozlov due to his injury. The other team consisted of The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, and Justin Gabriel). This match was two short minutes. The ending came when Slater got hit with the Cobra and KO Punch from Big Show. Big Show pinned Slater for the win.

The next match featured “The Viper” Randy Orton facing off against CM Punk. CM Punk had the upper hand most of this match when he was focusing on Orton’s injured knee. CM Punk hit the Anaconda Vise, a Figure Four-Leg Lock on the ring post, and some other good submissions. The ending came when Randy Orton went for the punt to the skull, but his injured knee stopped him. Cm Punk signaled the GTS, but Orton went for a RKO. Punk dodged and went to the top rope. He went for a crossbody, but Orton hit the RKO out of nowhere for the win.

Main event matches

Following Orton vs. Punk was the first main event between two commentators. Jim Ross is on commentary from now on. This match featured Michael Cole against Jerry “The King” Lawler. The special referee for this match was none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. This match started off with Lawler trying to get Cole out of his cube, but he couldn’t. Eventually, Lawler got Cole out of his cube and started pounding on him. One highlight was when Cole locked in the An-Cole Lock. The ending came when Lawler forced Cole to tap out to the ankle lock. After Lawler won, the RAW GM reversed the decision because Stone Cold played games with Cole. He reversed the decision that way Cole wins is DQ. After the match, Stone Cold stunned Booker T and Josh Matthews due to his anger.

The next main event was a No Holds Barred match between two icons in the WWE. These icons are known as The Undertaker and Triple H. These two put on a great match from start to finish. The beginning of this match started off with Taker and HHH going at it on the outside. They destroyed Michael Cole’s cube in the process. Triple H had the advantage in the match after giving a spinebuster to Undertaker through the Spanish announce table. This match went back and forth. Undertaker couldn’t keep HHH down after a Chokeslam, Last Ride, and even a Tombstone Piledriver. After that, HHH answered back with three pedigrees and even Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver. That was not enough to hold down The Phenom. The ending came when Triple H grabbed a steel chair and hit Taker a couple of times. HHH then grabbed a sledgehammer, but Undertaker locked Hell’s Gate on HHH. He tried to fight out of it, but HHH tapped out. The Undertaker’s streak has continued to 19-0.

The next match was a six-person mixed tag team match. One side featured John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki competing against Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Michelle McCool & Layla). One highlight happened in this match. That was when Morrison hit Starship Pain on Ziggler who was on the outside of the ring. The ending came when Snooki hit a cartwheel splash on McCool to get the win for her team.

The last match of the night was for the WWE Championship. It featured John Cena facing off against current champion, The Miz. Alex Riley accompanied The Miz to his match. The match started off with Miz getting the upper hand, but Cena fought back. Very slow match, until Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on The Miz. Of course, this happened after his shoulder blocks. Cena went for the AA, but Miz countered into a DDT. There was a lot of back and forth action until The Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. That couldn’t keep Cena down because Cena then answered back with the AA. That didn’t keep Miz down either. The ending came when both men were counted out. That means The Miz is still the WWE Champion. After that The Rock came out, but the GM hit. The Rocks says it doesn’t matter what the GM says. The Rock basically makes this a No DQ match. The match restarts and The Rock hits Rock Bottom on Cena. The Miz covers him for the win. The Miz is still the WWE Champion. After that match, The Rock lays Miz out with The People’s Elbow. Wrestlemania 27 goes off air with The Rock posing for the fans.

Aftermath

The following night on Raw, John Cena called out The Rock. The Rock makes it clear why he doesn't like him and issues a challenge to Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII. A few moments later they were ambushed by The Corre and then started a battle of who would have the last laugh per say.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian on the April 8th edition of Smackdown to earn another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules. Three days later on Raw, Edge announced that he had to retire due to issues with his neck and he later vacated the World Heavyweight Championship days later on SmackDown. Christian would go on to win a battle royal for the right to face Del Rio for the title, and at Extreme Rules, Christian defeated Del Rio in a ladder match to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.

After their loss at WrestleMania XXVII, LayCool split up when Michelle McCool attacked Layla in a backstage segment. On the April 29 edition of SmackDown, McCool challenged Layla to a Loser Leaves WWE match at Extreme Rules. Layla defeated McCool at the event, ending McCool's WWE career.

Reception

The event has received mixed reviews from critics. The Sun in a mixed review said The Rock as host "never quite clicked" and that the opening segment involving The Rock was "excessive and generic". However, they called the World Heavyweight Championship match "solid", the Orton-Punk match "a little gem" with "clinical timing and execution", and the WWE Championship match "odd" and that the match itself "never got going". They praised the Undertaker-Triple H match, calling it "match of the night" and saying "the emotion and drama in the match was incredible". Overall, they award the event a 5.5 out of 10. Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section gave the entire event 6.5 out of 10, the same as the previous year's rating. The World Heavyweight Championship match received an 8 out of 10, the Undertaker-Triple H match received an 8.5 out of 10, and the WWE Championship match received a 5 out of 10.

Match Preview

Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio Preview
The Miz vs. John Cena Preview
The Undertaker vs. Triple H Preview
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk Preview
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole Preview
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes Preview
Trish Stratus, John Morrison & Nicole Polizzi v Dolph Ziggler & Team Lay-Cool Preview
Sheamus v Daniel Bryan Preview
Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov, Big Show & Kane Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Note

Battle Royal featuring Superstars

Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Curt Hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Hart Smith, Drew McIntyre, Evan Bourne, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Johnny Curtis, JTG, Mark Henry, Primo, R-Truth, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, The Great Khali, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, and Zack Ryder.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

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History of WrestleMania
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I (1985)II (1986)III (1987)IV (1988)V (1989)VI (1990)VII (1991)VIII (1992)IX (1993)X (1994)XI (1995)XII (1996)XIII (1997)XIV (1998)XV (1999)XVI (2000)XVII (2001)XVIII (2002)XIX (2003)XX (2004)XXI (2005)XXII (2006)XXIII (2007)XXIV (2008)XXV (2009)XXVI (2010)XXVII (2011)XXVIII (2012)XXIX (2013)XXX (2014)XXXI (2015)XXXII (2016)XXXIII (2017)
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WrestleMania
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