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Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
|Tagline(s)||"The Biggest WrestleMania Ever"|
|"Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah feat. Eric Turner|
|Date||April 3, 2011|
WrestleMania XXVII was the twenty-seventh annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), held on April 3, 2011 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The event was the first WrestleMania in the state of Georgia and the second to be held in Southeastern United States, following WrestleMania XXIV. This was the final WrestleMania and the final pay-per-view promoted under the "World Wrestling Entertainment" banner, which was changed to WWE less than four days later.
WrestleMania 27 was a joint-promotion event, featuring performers both from the Raw and SmackDown brands. Eight matches were featured on the event's card, which featured a supercard, a scheduling of more than one main bout. The first of these matches was a singles match match that featured Edge defeating Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. The second was a No Holds Barred match that featured The Undertaker defeating Triple H to extend his undefeated WrestleMania streak to 19-0. The third was a singles match for the WWE Championship featuring the champion, The Miz, defeating John Cena to retain the title. Featured matches on the undercard included Michael Cole versus Jerry Lawler with Steve Austin as the special guest referee, a 6-person mixed tag team match with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison versus Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool), Randy Orton versus CM Punk, Rey Mysterio versus Cody Rhodes, then finally Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston versus The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater).
Tickets for the event commenced sale to the public on November 13, 2010. According to WWE's second-quarter earnings report, WrestleMania XXVII generated 1,059,000 PPV buys, up roughly 30% domestically and 15% internationally from the previous year. The event grossed US$6.6 million in revenue with 71,617 in attendance, making it the third highest grossing event in WWE behind WrestleMania XXV and the next years event WrestleMania XXVIII. It generated $62.1 million in economic impact for Atlanta, a $17 million increase from the previous WrestleMania event, and also generated approximately $7.8 million in local, state and county taxes.
WrestleMania featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers were portrayed as either a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The predominant rivalry for the Raw brand featured Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Cena and the reigning WWE Champion, The Miz. On the February 14 episode of Raw, it was announced that The Rock would serve as guest host for WrestleMania XXVII. The Rock then subsequently made his first appearance in a WWE ring in seven years, publicly mocking both Miz and Cena in his return promo. At the following week's Elimination Chamber event, Cena won the Raw brand's annual Elimination Chamber match to earn himself a WWE Championship opportunity against The Miz. One night later on Raw, both Cena and Miz derided The Rock's previous comments, with Cena producing a rap questioning The Rock's true commitment to WWE over his acting career, as he had done in an interview with UK newspaper The Sun three years previously which sparked the animosity. Via satellite, The Rock responded to Cena's rap on the February 28 edition of Raw, citing that he started a movie career to help open the door for other wrestlers to go to Hollywood. On the March 28 episode of Raw, The Rock and John Cena confronted each other face to face before WrestleMania, until The Miz came out, and he and Alex Riley attacked The Rock, who managed to fight back both men. After the assault, Cena hit Rock with an Attitude Adjustment to end the show.
Since 1993, the winner of the annual Royal Rumble 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 challenged Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. This led to a series of assaults from Del Rio to Edge in the following weeks. However, Edge was joined by the returning Christian, who aided Edge from Del Rio and his bodyguard Brodus Clay, and proceeded to be in Edge´s corner at WrestleMania.
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 confirmed four days later on WWE's official website. This match marks the second time the two would face each other at a WrestleMania, the first being WrestleMania X-Seven ten years earlier.
Before their WrestleMania match, both men had a face to face encounter on the March 28 episode of Raw, only to be interrupted by Shawn Michaels, who critictized Triple H for believing that he could defeat The Undertaker at the event, something that Michaels wasn´t able to do. After The Undertaker claimed that Michaels was history, Michaels attempted to superkick the Dead Man, but he retaliated with a chokeslam that was stopped by the Game. Triple H then asked Michaels why the Game is going to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Michaels, however, left the ring, unable to give Triple H an answer, believing that Triple H couldn't defeat the Dead Man at the event.
In 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. The following week, Cole announced that John "Bradshaw" Layfield would be the special guest referee. However, Steve Austin, who made his return that night, interfered in the contract signing by delivering a Stone Cold Stunner to JBL and signing the contract himself, officially becoming the special guest referee in the match. Cole continued to insult Lawler on the following weeks, even bringing Lawler's son Brian Christopher, who insulted Lawler, and calling him a bad father, before slapping him in the face and leaving. After that, Jim Ross, Lawler's best friend, confronted Michael Cole, and called him a "rat bastard", for what Jack Swagger attacked Ross, and later Lawler, who attempted to save Ross.
Another plot building up towards WrestleMania involved CM Punk and Randy Orton. Beginning the year, CM Punk became the leader of the The New Nexus. At the Royal Rumble (2011) Punk cost Orton the WWE Championship telling him that it was his revenge for Orton by punting him at Unforgiven in 2008 Punk is the World Heavyweight Champion and he is unable to defend his World Heavyweight Championship in a championship scramble which he had to forfeit. On February 28 the anonymous Raw General Manager announced a match between Punk and Orton. In addition, the General Manager said that Orton will face one of the members of the New Nexus each week. If Orton lost, his opponents would be allowed to be in Punk's corner at WrestleMania; if he won, his opponent are banned from attending the event. Orton won all of his matches so Michael McGillicutty David Otunga and Mason Ryan are banned from ringside. Before WrestleMania, Punk hit Orton's right leg with a wrench after Punk used Orton's wife as bait to lure Orton to the parking lot.
Another feud heading into WrestleMania was 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 the 619. Rhodes, who underwent facial reconstruction surgery, later accused Mysterio of forcing him to miss the Royal Rumble match and the Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, as well as ruining his 'dashing' gimmick. 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 by Mysterio. The following week, Rhodes attacked Rey again, during Mysterio's match against Drew McIntyre. However, Mysterio retailed the following week, attacking Rhodes, until Rhodes escaped the ring.
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 LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla). After the match, Snooki, who observed the match at ringside, took down LayCool after being provoked by McCool. A brawl ensued between Snooki & Stratus and LayCool until LayCool retreated from the ring. Vickie then proposed a six-person mixed tag team match at WrestleMania between LayCool & her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, and Snooki, Stratus, and John Morrison which Snooki accepted. In the buildup to the match, a vignette aired, showing Snooki and Stratus in a bar, where Stratus claimed that they were training for their WrestleMania match. On the vignette, Snooki fought a man, and later Snooki and Stratus fought LayCool on the bar, after LayCool started mocking Snooki and Stratus.
In an eight-man tag team match, The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater) was scripted to wrestle Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston. 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 Intercontinental Championship to Barrett, was chosen as Kozlov's replacement.
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 marked 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.
Along with WrestleMania XXVII, a series of events grouped as "WrestleMania Week" was 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 was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, while the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony took place at the Philips Arena. It was 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.
"Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah was the theme song for the event. "Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)" by Shinedown served as the secondary theme song, while R&B singer Keri Hilson performed "America the Beautiful" at the start of the show. Celebrities and former wrestlers that appeared in WrestleMania XXVII segments include Snoop Dogg, Pee Wee Herman, Gene Okerlund, Mae Young and Roddy Piper.
Before the event aired, two dark matches took place. In the first match pitted King Sheamus against Daniel Bryan in a lumberjack match for the United States Championship. During the match, a brawl broke out between the lumberjacks outside the ring, resulting in the match ending in a no contest. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long then called for a battle royal to take place. The Great Khali won the match after last eliminating Sheamus.
As the show went live on pay-per-view, R&B singer Keri Hilson performed "America the Beautiful". Soon after, The Rock, the guest host, walked to the ring and cut a promo, mocking John Cena as well as firing up the crowd for WrestleMania.
The first televised event was the Main Event Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. This match saw Edge defending his title against 2011 Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio. Christian came out to watch the match ringside in Edge's corner, while Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez would do likewise for Del Rio. In the early part of the match, Del Rio focused on Edge’s injured arm and Christian warded off Clay and Ricardo. After some back and forth action, the ending came when Edge and Del Rio locked in their signature maneuvers. Edge locked in the Edgeucator while Del Rio locked in the Cross Armbreaker. When both men got up, Edge hit the Spear for the win. After the match, Edge and Christian destroyed Del Rio’s car. This would end up being Edge's last televised match, as he announced his retirement a week later on Raw due to a legitimate neck injury.
The next match featured Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio, who came out dressed as Captain America. Rhodes dominated most of the match, however, Mysterio managed to retail later on. Towards the end of the match, Rey managed to get Rhodes’ facial mask off and hit Cody with some headbutts. Rhodes countered by removing 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.
Next was the Eight Man Tag Team match between a team consisting of Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston and another team consisting of The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel). In a match that lasted two minutes, the end came when Slater got hit with the Cobra by Santino and a right hook from Big Show. Big Show then pinned Slater for the win.
The next match featured Randy Orton facing off against CM Punk. Punk spent most of the match focusing on Orton’s injured knee, until Orton made a comeback later on the match. Orton then went for the punt to the skull, but his injured knee stopped him. Punk signaled for the GTS, but Orton went for a RKO. Punk dodged and went to the top rope. He went for a Springboard Clothesline, but Orton hit the RKO for the win.
Following Orton vs. Punk was the first co-main event between two commentators. Booker T and Jim Ross came out to call this match, which featured Michael Cole accompanied by Jack Swagger against Jerry Lawler, with the special guest referee being Steve Austin. This match started off with Lawler trying to get Cole out of his Cole Mine, and after some time, he did so and started pounding on him. Cole managed to counter and had the upper hand on Lawler for most of the match. Swagger tried to help Cole by throwing in the towel when Lawler began to take control but was denied and then got a Stone Cold Stunner. Lawler then forced Cole to tap out with the ankle lock while Stone Cold mocked him. After the match, Stone Cold shared a beer with Lawler and stunned Booker T, who came out to celebrate with Lawler. After Lawler had seemingly won, the anonymous Raw GM reversed the decision in an email read by Josh Mathews because Stone Cold was a biased referee, making Cole the winner by disqualification. Stone Cold then proceeded to stun Mathews as well in retribution. Lawler then replaced Mathews and Booker T as the color commentator for the rest of the night, with Jim Ross doing the play-by-play.
The next match was a No Holds Barred match between two icons in the WWE: The Undertaker and Triple H. Triple H first came out to For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica wearing a mask and suit, then removed it for his normal entrance theme. The beginning of this match started off with Taker and Triple H going at it outside of the ring, destroying Michael Cole’s "Cole Mine" in the process. Triple H first gave a spinebuster to Undertaker through the Spanish announce table. This match went back and forth, with Undertaker hitting Triple H with a Chokeslam, Last Ride, but still Triple H kicked out of both. After that, Triple H answered back with a Pedigree, but Undertaker kicked out. Undertaker then hit the Tombstone Piledriver, but Triple H kicked out. The Game then nailed Undertaker with a chair shot to the head and a DDT on the chair, but after some more back and forth action Triple H was able to execute a second Pedigree, but Taker kicked out. Triple H immediately nailed him with a devastating third Pedigree, but The Undertaker still kicked out. After numerous steel chair shots, and telling Taker to stay down, Triple H seemingly had the match won when he executed Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver, but Undertaker once again kicked out. Triple H then grabbed a sledgehammer, but Undertaker locked the Hell’s Gate on Triple H. He tried to fight out of it, but Triple H tapped out. The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak thus continued to 19-0. After the match, the Undertaker had to be helped to the locker room by WWE staff after he collapsed outside the ring and could not walk under his own power.
The next match was a six person mixed tag team match. One team featured John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi competing against a team consisting of Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Michelle McCool & Layla). This match also lasted a few minutes, with the ending coming when Morrison hit Ziggler with a Starship Pain on the outside of the ring, while Snooki hit a cartwheel splash on McCool to get the win for her team.
The main event match was for the WWE Championship. It featured John Cena facing off against current champion The Miz (accompanied by Alex Riley). The first highlight of the match occurred when Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on The Miz. Cena then went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Miz countered with a DDT. There was a lot of back and forth action until The Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. That didn’t keep Cena down as he managed to hit the Attitude Adjustment; however, that didn’t keep Miz down either. Both men fought outside of the ring, but knocked each other out in the process. The match ended in a double countout, meaning The Miz would retain his title. The Rock came out to intervene, but the Raw GM made an announcement. The Rock went to read it, but then disregarded it. He called for a restart to the match with a no disqualification, no countout, no time limit stipulation. The match restarted and, with Cena dragging Miz back inside the ring and attempting to execute an Attitude Adjustment, wasn't successful. In retaliation for the Attitude Adjustment that Cena gave him on the Raw episode prior to WrestleMania, The Rock stalked Cena from behind and hit a Rock Bottom on him. Taking advantage, The Miz then covered a fallen Cena for the win. After the match, The Rock had a staredown with Miz until Rock commenced an attack on him, ending the ambush with his signature spinebuster and his finisher, The People’s Elbow. WrestleMania XXVII went off air with The Rock posing on top of the turnbuckles for the fans.
The following night on Raw, John Cena and The Rock agreed to face each other in a match at WrestleMania XXVIII, marking the first time a match had been announced almost a year in advance for any WrestleMania. Later on Cena won the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat Steel Cage match against The Miz and John Morrison at Extreme Rules. The Raw after Extreme Rules, Cena defended the WWE Championship against The Miz in a singles match after being restarted due to the referee noticing interference from Alex Riley after Miz winning, and again later on in an "I Quit" match at Over the Limit against Miz. Later in a backstage segment Cena "congratulated" The Rock on his birthday, telling him to bring it on for WrestleMania while showing off the WWE Championship, implying that their match at WrestleMania XXVIII will be for the WWE Championship, continuing on with their feud. However, Cena would go on to lose the WWE title three times that year, twice to CM Punk, and once to Alberto Del Rio. John Cena and The Rock finally faced off at WrestleMania XXVIII, with The Rock winning after a Rock Bottom, and The Rock went on to face John Cena in a rematch at WrestleMania 29 with The Rock's WWE Championship on the line, which John Cena won after an AA.
On the April 11 Raw, Edge announced his legitimate retirement from the WWE, due to neck injury and orders by his doctor, making his last match for the company against Del Rio at WrestleMania. Edge vacated the World Heavyweight Championship on the April 15 edition of SmackDown, therefore retiring as world champion. Christian would win the title at Extreme Rules in a ladder match against Del Rio, only to lose it at the hands of Randy Orton, on the May 6 episode of SmackDown.
Following their loss at WrestleMania (not to mention failing to regain the Divas Championship), tension rose in LayCool. After two weeks of couples therapy, a bitter Michelle McCool turned on Layla, dissolving their team. Layla and McCool would face off in a match at Extreme Rules pay-per-view with no count-outs, no disqualifications, and the loser has to leave WWE. Layla went on to win the match, resulting in McCool's subsequent - and legitimate - departure from WWE.
As a consequence of using a chair shot to the head, Triple H and The Undertaker were legitimately fined by the WWE for violating the company's "Concussion policy" at the event.
As a consequence of The Miz hitting his head on concrete when he and Cena were originally counted out, he suffered a legitimate concussion and to the present day The Miz himself has said that he can't remember anything about the match or the aftermath.
WrestleMania XXVII was also the first and only WrestleMania where no championship belts changed hands.
WrestleMania XXVII, despite being a tremendous financial success, 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 "pretty good", the Orton-Punk match "a little gem" with "clinical timing and execution", and the WWE Championship match "odd" and that the match itself "never really 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 an 8.5 out of 10. Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section gave the entire event 8 out of 10. The World Heavyweight Championship match received an 7 out of 10, the Undertaker-Triple H match received a 9.5 out of 10, the WWE Championship match received a 5 out of 10 and the CM Punk-Randy Orton match received a 7 out of 10. TheWrestleReview gave the event a 7.2 out of 10, with Undertaker vs Triple H receiving a 9.2 score and Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes also receiving a good review. However, the WWE Championship match between The Miz vs John Cena received negative reviews, receiving only a 6.0 out of 10, with TheWrestleReview stating that the match was less of a contest, and more of a promotional tool for WrestleMania 28.
- The other participants were: 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, Ted DiBiase, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks, Tyson Kidd, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, and Zack Ryder.
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