Looking Back At Wrestlemania 24: by Eric Stein: So, Wrestlemania 24 is in the books. And I missed it. Im 28 years old and a lifelong wrestling fan for the first time in my entire life, I did not get to watch a Wrestlemania event live. WM is normally a mega event for me an annual rite of passage that comes along with March Madness and the opening of the baseball season to signify that Spring is here. As work got in the way of my own personal WM streak, I cant help but feel a degree of emptiness, a feeling like life & adulthood got in the way. Now, Im sitting on a plane, flying back from said work function and Im watching RAW (gotta love Jetblue). Sure, I taped Mania and Ill watch it eventually but it wont be the same. Well see how my feelings change once I actually view the product, but for now all Ive got is internet recaps and my instincts. With this in mind, here are some WM thoughts from one of the few wrestling fanatics/correspondents who actually missed the show. Well seemingly a lot of things went right. Money in the Bank is hard to assess without actually seeing the spots that make the match, but it reads like another spectacular extravaganza filled with high spots and drama. Randy Orton retained the title wow! Even though we all know, his title reign is not long for this world this was a bit of a swerve and a well conceived one at that. My oh my, JBL just confronted Orton in the opening segment of RAW and, errrr, um, Matt Hardy? What in the world?!? I would have bet my bottom dollar that we would be doing Cena/HHH rematches for months hmmm, well have to see how this plays out over the rest of my flight (which was delayed for a solid 2 hours as an aside). Kane was an obvious winner of the battle royal and the ensuing title shot. I would have bet my foot on that outcome. And he deserves it (not to mention that Chavo was a terrible fit as champion). Now, dont give him squash matches for 8 straight weeks. Dont have him fight Big Daddy V is 17 consecutive gimmick matches. Actually give Kane a legit program. Thorn? Benjamin? Anybody? Why wasnt Colin Delaney in the battle royal? He was the only other viable winner in my honest opinion. Is the writing team drunk after some Mania partying? Cryme Time back out of nowhere after being below the minor leagues? And why does Lance Cade wear this oddly fruity, bedazzled robe? How does that fit the redneck wrecking crew gimmick? Another thing that I will speak highly of is The Undertaker maintaining his WM winning streak. Edge may be the hottest performer of the past few years and he still has many, many bright runs in his future. However, the WWE is a company mans company, and The Undertaker has paid his dues and will be repaid for the remainder of his career. Why make the guy 15-1, when he has earned 16-0? Im sure that the streak inititally was unintentional then one day a writers assistant discovered it and now its WWE history and folklore. Whether its what they bargained for or not, once it was discovered, it was here to stay. Can anybody say Wrestlemania 28, 20-0 Undertaker retirement bout? One thing went terribly wrong. CM Punk should NOT have won of the MitB match. When executed properly (ie Edge, MitB year one), the briefcase/title show can spawn a years worth of character/gimmick/storylines/intrigue. When done wrong (ie RVD), it becomes a complete and utter waste. Not only does Punk not deserve the push, but nobody will care or be invested in his chase for the title. Furthermore, he lacks the natural charisma to make it meaningful a complete and utter waste. I will not be ordering Summerslam, headlined by Randy Orton versus CM Punk trust me. Not sure if it ultimately proved to be entertaining, but I will likely be fast forwarding through Big Show vs Mayweather. Why did they do this? Just plain why? A few of the other matches on the card read like throwaways, but this was the standout moment of craptitude. Lastly, there is one moment that I will withhold extensive comment on until I actually get to watch the match. So all I will say is congratulations to The Nature Boy Ric Flair on one hell of a career. Over the several weeks leading up to WM, I indicated many times that Flair deserved to go out a winner. However, if he had to lose, it sounds like it was handled with class and the correct degree of pomp and circumstance. I hope that the moment views as well as it reads. This match alone will assure that I will take the time to go back and watch this card. Much like many of you, even as I get older and work/life gets in the way, I will always find time to appreciate a true WM moment like this.