At WrestleMania 28, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus fought for the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan lost in less than ten seconds. What a waste of a wrestling match! The upside was that the lack of a proper match led to the ‘Yes’ chants and Bryan’s escalating popularity. Without that quick loss, the rise of Bryan may never have happened. However, we did get a proper match between these two at the following PPV, Extreme Rules 2012. They certainly proved that we missed out on a classic WrestleMania match. A back and forth battle that is Sheamus’ best match of his career, and one of Bryan’s best as well!
Lock-ups and chain wrestling kicked off the match, but Sheamus soon started and began to win a brawl with Bryan. It’s noticeable that the crowd are all for Bryan; Sheamus barely gets a response! From start to finish, both wrestlers were reversing move after move; neither man could gain the advantage. In a particularly nasty reversal, Bryan tried his running knee off the ring apron only to be caught and smashed into the barricade by Sheamus. It sounded as bad as it looked! Sheamus even managed to avoid Bryan’s suicide dive with a well-placed forearm. However, Bryan soon won the advantage by focussing on Sheamus’ shoulder. His ‘Yes’ kicks to Sheamus’s arm/shoulder led to his disqualification, but his following ‘Yes lock’ evened the score. There was only one fall to go…
That fall is a gripping final five minutes to finish off a brilliant match. Bryan and Sheamus wanted to prove that WWE missed a trick by giving them a criminally short match at WrestleMania 28. Sheamus has never looked better, and Bryan looked even better. The 2/3 Falls stipulation suited the match exquisitely.
VERDICT: 9/10. One of the best 2/3 fall matches in WWE history! And probably Sheamus’ best match of his career.
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Click here for my review of #82 The Midnight Express vs. The Fantastics (NWA United States Tag Team Championship Match, Clash of the Champions I, March 27, 1988)
Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die