WWE Wrestlemania 33 Review 04/02/2017
WWE Wrestlemania 33 Review 04/02/2017
Hello Misfits! It’s the Wrestling Classic here with my Wrestlemania 33 review. I was 9-3-1 with my predictions. I know I’m a couple of days late but I’m here with my thoughts and opinions on this years biggest extravaganza in sports entertainment. It’s the biggest night of the year in the wrestling world, where loyal fans from all around the world try to make it out for what is considered to be the biggest weekend in wrestling. It used to just be the biggest weekend for the WWE but now that all the independent wrestling companies and other wrestling organizations such as WrestleCon have gotten heavily involved in finding ways to benefit from this weekend, its become the hot spot for attraction for wrestling fans every year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to Orlando and attend Wrestlemania live this year and truly, truly regret it. I’ll definitely be in New Orleans next year. It was a spectacle and an even I think people won’t forget for a long, long time. It was dubbed the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” and it was a very long thrilling ride indeed. Did I mention that it was really long? Anyway, lets move on with my review.
WWE Wrestlemania 33
Image via WWE.com
Wrestle mania 33 comes to us from the Camping World Stadium (Citrus Bowl) in Orlando, Flordia.
– The Kickoff Panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Shawn Michaels talked about matches coming up.
– The “Social Media Lounge” segment aired and it was hosted by Charly Caruso and Maria Menounos. Paul Heyman was the guest there to promote the Lesnar/Goldberg match.
Neville (C) def. Austin Aries
in 15:40 by pinfall
This was a great wrestling match. If this match was on the main card, I would have said it was the best straight forward wrestling match on the show. The match still told a story but it was the most technically sound match on the entire card, kick off or actual show. These two brought it against each other and you actually didn’t know which way it was going to go. There were some brutal german suplex’s and stiff looking shots. Neville was in charge for the most part but Aries came close to winning few times. I thought one really cool spot we don’t see heels utilize enough was when Aries hit his forearm finisher, Neville fell to the outside to protect himself from getting pinned. The finish came when Aries had Neville in his submission move and Neville gouged the surgically repaired eye of Aries causing him to release the hold. It was followed by a Red Arrow and three count. Once again, Neville pulls out the Red Arrow as a last resort move to finish the competitive match. I really enjoyed it. Although, I thought Aries was going to be victorious here, I’m happy the “King of the Cruiserweights” held on to the championship. I feel like the Championship has been passed around quite a bit since its inception, so it’ll be nice to have someone hold it for a longer period of time. These two have worked together before so I was very intrigued by this match. This might have been the most invested I’ve been in cruiserweight match since the CWC matches.
Rating – ***3/4
Mojo Rawley wins The Andre the Giant Battle Royal
in 14:07 when he eliminated Jinder Mahal
This was exactly what you expected it to be. A battle royal where everyone just kind of went in there and did whatever. There were some highlights as per usual. Moments such as Braun Strowman eliminating The Big Show, followed by a group of people working together to eliminate Strowman. Killian Dain from NXT eliminated Sami Zayn, which the crowd didn’t like. Jinder Mahal grabbed a cup from Rob Gronkowski, who is a star NFL player that’s a friend of Rawley. Gronkowski went into the ring and nailed Mahal with a running shoulder tackle.Basically, they just did it to get a lot of press from sports outlets like ESPN because of the Gronkowski involvement. Rawley dumped Dain out. Rawley eliminated Mahal and Rawley won the battle royal. I was rooting for Jinder when it came down to the final two because I’m not a huge Mojo Rawley fan. Mojo’s gimmick is cheesy and he just comes off as being a basic jock to me. Not the jock who’s the lead in the movie or show either but the main characters goofy jock friend. I’ve been hoping for Jinder to catch a break for years now. Although, when it comes to Rawley he does seem to be moving more away from that entire “hype” gimmick and becoming more serious which is kind of changing my perspective on him. I feel bad for Sami, he didn’t deserve to be in this match.
Rating – **
Dean Ambrose (C) def. Baron Corbin
in 10:55 by pinfall
I feel bad that this was even on the kick off show. I mean I get that they need people to tune into the kick off and there’s not that much time on the main card but something dumb like Pitbull performing could have been here ya know. Also, this match had a horrible build up and some of the weeks building up to Wrestlemania it wasn’t even featured on Smackdown Live. The match was solid, but nothing special. I’m writing this late so I’ll mention they had a much better match tonight on Smackdown Live. Ambrose was on the offence for majority of the match and Ambrose did very little to come back an get the victory. I wasn’t surprised with the finish as I thought Corbin was still over as a serious heel without the title. I feel like Ambrose would kind of be just floating around doing nothing if he lost the belt. Corbin and Ambrose will continue to feud and I do see Corbin eventually going over on Ambrose but not yet.
Rating – **
WRESTLEMANIA 33 MAIN CARD
– The show opened a video package hyping up tonights show and all of its biggest matches. The pyro and ballyhoo go off.
The New Day welcomes us to WrestleMania
The New Day trio made their entrance as the hosts of the show. The set and staging area looks awesome. One of the best sets they have ever had at a WrestleMania. I think its the benefit of an open roof stadium. Kofi Kingston drove the ice cream cart while Big E and Xavier Woods walked beside him. The Raw trio of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. The Spanish announcers are there. They said: “These assholes better not break our table.” German announcers are out there too.
The New Day trio had some Final Fantasy theme to their outfits. That’s what Cole said and I’ll trust him because I don’t know about Final Fantasy.
Woods: “WrestleMania!” The crowd did the “WHO?” thing right away. They hyped up the show talking about how there will be joy, drama and excitement. Big E said they’re the hosts, so they need to pull their levers…and then said pull the lever. They love making dick jokes. They did some dancing as the crowd chanted “New Day Rocks” with them.
AJ Styles def. Shane McMahon
in 20:35 by pinfall
This felt odd that this was opening the show. Although when I looked at the rest of the card it made a little sense. There was no way we were going to have a bunch of heavy hitting main events in a row. The Smackdown announce team is JBL, Tom Phillips and David Otunga. Still no Mauro Ranallo, who has been out for a few weeks. I miss him. I would have rather had him there than Otunga and his tacky pop culture references.
This match was the best match of the main card. Shane held his own against Styles proving to everyone who hated the idea of this match, that he could go toe to toe with the best in the world today in my mind, AJ Styles. Much of the credit goes to AJ Styles too, because it takes two to tango and AJ Styles doesn’t have a bad match with anybody. Its official, the guy hasn’t had bad match his entire WWE run and thats including his random matches against James Ellsworth.
Of course, even though it was a regular match, they somehow managed to get some of Shane signature high spots in such as the leap of faith elbow to the outside table and his coast to coast jump with the trash can in to Styles face. The thing I found impressive was early on and throughout the match, Shane McMahon mat wrestled and traded submission moves with Styles which showed that Shane could have a legit wrestling match against an opponent rather that the spotfest and “I’m going jump off something really high up” matches that people tie his matches too. Shane also gave us an unexpected shooting star press when everything else wasn’t panning out for him which he missed and would be the final attempt until Styles closed the match with a phenomenal forearm.
This was AJ Styles first ever Wrestlemania victory. Once again, Shane proves he’s capable of good matches. I’m still not a huge fan of Shane’s offensive punches but everything else was good. As for Styles, he’s such an awesome performer and proved it again with a four star match. I watched this match twice already, which tells you it was my favourite match on the card.
Rating – ****
United States Championship
Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho (C)
in 16:20 by pinfall
I’m a HUGE fan of both guys. Chris Jericho is one of my favourites of all-time and Kevin Owens is one of my top five favourites of the modern era. They’re also both Canadian and I strongly support my fellow Canadians. Kevin Owens came out to a massive pop and for some reason they cut away from him twice. Once to show stupid not-so-funny SuperWoman and a replay. I’m curious why they wouldn’t do this before Owen’s entrance. Jericho comes out like the OG that he is with a brand new light up scarf.
This was exactly what you expected, both guys playing of their rivalry and the fact that they know each other so well. They were wrestling as if they have wrestled 100 times but technically this their first match against in each other in this current rivalry. It was a physical match with both guys hitting a lot of counters of their familiar moves further showing how well they know each other. It was still early in the night and the fans were really invested in this match. I would also like to add that the storyline of their friendship and it falling out was done so well that I would seriously judge anyone who didn’t care about this match even a little. I liked that they were countering or kicking out of each others finishers. The best one had to be when Jericho countered the pop-up power bomb with a codebreaker and Owens broke the pinfall by putting his finger on the rope. ONE EFFIN’ FINGER. Saved by a single finger. This had the fans break out in a “this is awesome” chant. I mean it was clearly an awesome save and it shows how clearly a piece of the story can be considered awesome rather than just flippy shit and high spots. This was followed by Owens rolling out to the floor and he kicked the ropes while Jericho was on the apron. Owens then hit a Powerbomb against the side of the ring apron. Owens rolled him back in for the pinfall win.
I think this was an awesome physical match. It made sense for Owens to finish it off with a move that we perceive dangerous since it has been move that he has used to injure his opponents in the past because Y2J kicked out of the first pop-up power bomb. I also understand why Owen’s went over since Jericho will be leaving to go on tour and do work with his band Fozzy. I figure they’ll revisit this rivalry in some form when Jericho returns but this was a solid match.
Rating – ***3/4
Elimination Fatal Four Way
Raw Women’s Championship
Bayley (C) def. Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair &. Sasha Banks
in 12:08 by pinfall
I’ll start off saying I wish this match didn’t have the elimination stipulation because it really took away from the actual match. I think because last years Women’s Championship match was so great, I was expecting this one to be just as good or better. The talent was definitely there. All four of these women are talented and special in their own unique ways. I’ll also say I went into this match with no strong prediction of who exactly was going to win.
Anyway, more on that later but moving forward I expected these girls to have big Wrestlemania entrances so lets talk about what we did get. Bayley was dressed in vintage Randy Savage looking robe but tailored to her character and she got her wacky inflatables super sized by the ring. Nia got evil empress gear and walked to the ring as if she wasn’t like most girls. Banks rode a pimped out golf cart. I found it funny because they made the bigger people walk the long 80 yard ramp, but the smallest girl gets a ride down to the ring. A bit of tribute to her idol Eddie Guerrero I suppose. Charlotte had a new peacock robe, walked with purpose and got the full pyro treatment similar to her fathers entrance in the same stadium for Wrestlemania 24.
These girls got as much in as they could in the time they were given. I think you’ll find a common statement coming from me as we move forward and that is a lot of these matches felt cut short for some reason. I loved how the match started with three of the Four Horsewomen working together to try to get rid of their biggest threat Nia Jax. It was great to see Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley working together. As someone who has followed them since 2012 when they were finding themselves on NXT, its crazy to see how far they’ve come. Nia Jax fought them off for a brief period which also included a banzai drop on Bayley which had me yell out “BANZAI” out loud like the ghost of Yokozuna possessed me. The first elimination came when the girls took a page out of The Shield’s playbook and triple power bombed Nia Jax.
The match came down to the three Four Horsewomen and I loved the interaction between them. Charlotte went in for high fives after eliminating Nia to quickly realizing she was the next target. Charlotte got out of the ring and told them to fight which they did. Only this next sequence of spots felt like the match moved to a higher gear. In this part of the match we saw Sasha do her dangerous looking suicide dive over the top rope and Charlotte executed one of her beautiful corkscrew moonsaults. The fight went back to the ring with Sasha and Charlotte and they went back a fourth. Banks applied the Bank Statement submission, Charlotte rolled out and Charlotte kicked Banks into a turnbuckle that was slightly exposed. Charlotte eliminated Sasha. This was highly underwhelming and thats not just because I’m a Salsa Banks (I had to sneak it in here) mark. I just thought the elimination should have been more dramatic and the turnbuckle pad was barley exposed.
When it came down to Bayley and Charlotte, they went back and fourth briefly before it came to the finish. The finish was when They battled on the top rope with Bayley hitting a back body drop off the top rope. Bayley came back with a “Macho Man” elbow off the top for the win. I thought Charlotte would kick out but she didn’t. Also, the “Macho Man” elbow didn’t even feel like a Macho Man elbow and I wouldn’t have even known that unless the commentators didn’t try drilling that fact into our brains. I know she was selling but I think if she wanted to execute a “Macho Man” elbow she had to sell the moment and move by pointing to the stars like Randy Savage would have done. It felt underwhelming as well. The entire match kind of felt that way after. There were some cool spots and it kicked into higher gear for a few minutes but it never stayed there or went back there. Besides the Nia Jax elimination the other two finishes felt weak and more of “oh wtf” moment than a “holy crap, yeah she’s gone.” I’m not disappointed in Bayley winning. Anyone of these women could have won and I wouldn’t have minded. Good match overall but just didn’t and possibly just couldn’t live up to our expectations due to time and the elimination gimmick.
Rating – **3/4
Hall of Fame highlights, and inductees coming out before the live crowd. Rick Rude’s daughter is attractive and his son looks like he has all the qualities to be a professional wrestler. Of course I popped for Angle’s music hitting and him coming out. It’s so great to see him back home with the WWE. Hopeful that next year at Wrestlemania, he’ll be involved in a match. If you didn’t watch the Hall of Fame, check it out. The speeches were awesome. I especially enjoyed DDP’s, Beth Phoenix’s and Kurt Angle’s speeches. Kurt Angle referring to a lot of his comedic moments and singing “Sexy Kurt” will always be memorable to me.
Pre-match, Enzo and Cass cut one of their usual awesome promos during their entrance. More importantly though, The New Day arrive and announce that the match is a fatal four-way. There were instant DELETE chants. It’s the FUCKIN HARDY BOYS fresh off of a MOTY ladder match with the Bucks of Youth last night in front of the biggest crowd in ROH history. There were rumours but nothing was confirmed. This had the live crowd as well as people at home on social media just bursting with excitement and joy.
Raw Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boyz def. The Club (C), Enzo and Cass & Sheamus and Cesaro
ends in 11:05 when Matt Hardy retrieved the championships
I think whether this match was extremely good or horribly bad, the fact that the Hardy Boyz returned and were involved with it made people love it, including myself. Considering the match the Hardy’s just had the night before against the Young Bucks its crazy that they were back the next night working this match. This is how you do a WrestleMania moment; you deliver something that fans want and don’t shove it down out throats. There was no expectation or hints that this was going to happen. The only way anyone could have predicted The Hardy’s to be there was if they believed the “rumours.” I love how when they came out, Cole dropped a “things are definitely going to get broken” comment, hehe. The action was good, we got big spots, the pacing was good, and the finish was absolutely the right call to pay off the big surprise. It was delightful.
The Hardy Boys dominated early on. They did all of their signature tag team spots to clean house. They grabbed ladders to try to get the titles, but Gallows & Anderson stopped them. All of the teams had their moments and The Hardy’s return didn’t take away the speculation that any team could win in my mind. For example, there was a spot where Cesaro did a Swing on Anderson while Sheamus did the forearms to Gallows at the same time. They went longer with these moves than normal as the crowd gave them a big ovation for it. The Hardy’s got some of their big spots in near the finish. Matt Hardy hit Anderson with a twist of fate off the leader and Jeff Hardy did a swanton bomb off a big ladder onto Cesaro & Sheamus crashing Cesaro through the ladder and barley hitting Sheamus. Matt climbed the ladder and grabbed the Raw Tag Team Titles to become 7-time WWE Tag Team Champions. Matt & Jeff posed on the turnbuckles as the pyro went off above the stadium. Cole did a good job of talking about this as a big moment. The crowd really came alive for the Hardys.
This was easily a lot of people’s favourite moment and match on the show. The match was fast paced, hard-hitting, not too long and the fans were into it the entire time because of the surprise appearance from the Hardy Boyz. It was one of those “I need to see it to believe it” kind of moments and the WWE delivered. It accomplished the goal of doing something big at a WrestleMania and giving us a surprise we can talk about for a long time. Matt and Jeff did a great job in Impact Wrestling reinventing their characters with the “Broken” gimmick. Since Matt was encouraging the crowd with the “Delete” chants and using some of the same facial expressions, I assume they’ll keep that gimmick but I’ve heard a lot about the lawsuit with Impact who think they own the creative rights to it. They also talked normally on Raw Talk the next night and Matt referred to Jeff as Jeff rather than “Brother Nero.” Also, that Swanton Bomb by Jeff was pretty crazy. He’s done it before multiple times, but it’s still amazing to see a guy jump off a 20 foot ladder. I’ve never been a fan of The Hardyz as a solo acts in the past, mainly Jeff, but I love them as a team and this was great. It sucks for Enzo & Cass not getting their big title win, but it’s certainly understandable why WWE would put the Hardys over as a surprise team at WrestleMania. It was the right decision.
Rating – ***3/4
John Cena & Nikki Bella def. The Miz & Maryse
in 09:40 by pinfall
Jerry Lawler came out as the special guest commentator for this match. When this match was first rumoured and the seeds were planted for this feud, I was not interested what so ever. However they gained my interest with how great all four have been with the build up, with the blurring of reality and scripted television in their promos and interactions. Al Roker was also the special guest ring announcer and referred to himself as “chocolate thunder,” so take that for whatever its worth when you might be reading this 4-5 years from now if this review is still up and locatable. The Miz and Maryse made their entrance. The international announce teams were shown elsewhere in the arena. Nikki Bella was introduced first for her team. The reaction for John Cena featured some boos as usual, but a lot of cheers. The majority of the crowd sang “John Cena Sucks” of course. Cena ran down the long ramp
The match was whatever. I loved how The Miz was soaking in the fact that this might be the first time ever that the fans were on his side and rooting for him. The fans were chanting for Miz doing a “Miz is Awesome”. I mean he was really loving it and soaking it up considering he’s usually super disliked and never been a babyface in his career. I really enjoyed it as well, since The Miz has been nothing but magnificent in my mind since the brand extension. He’s low-key the MVP on Smackdown Live. This was also the first time we were going to see Maryse wrestle in a long time so it was exciting but she didn’t end doing much. Neither woman did. Actually..nobody did LOL.
After a little back and forth between Cena and Miz the match finished like this. Miz did his Daniel Bryan tribute sequence with the kicks to the chest with the crowd chanting “yes” for it. Miz did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture to Nikki, so she slapped him and Cena gave Miz a back drop over the top to the floor. Nikki got the tag from Cena and Nikki hit a Spear on Maryse. Miz pulled Maryse out of the ring. Nikki hit a suicide dive to take out Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Nikki hit Maryse with a huge forearm to the face. Cena hit the side suplex to Miz. Cena and Nikki hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle together. Both heels to their feet. Cena hit AA and Nikki hit Rack Attack 2.0 as they got the win.
This was a perfectly solid match, with Miz getting a lot in before losing and setting up the post match moment. It was what it needed to be. Following the match, Cena had the microphone. Cena talked about how a year ago Nikki broke her neck and did everything she could to make it back for a WrestleMania moment. Cena said he told her something when she was knocked loopy before her surgery and he promised to tell her when the time was right. Cena said at that moment, he asked if she could hear him and he said that one day he was going to marry her. Cena pulled out a box from his shorts pocket, the women in the crowd screamed and he asked if she would marry him. She said yes, they kissed and hugged in celebration of their moment. Cena’s music played. They hugged their families at ringside. The female fans and some male fans must of loved this. Plus, the press would be all over this. All is right with the world because love wins.
Rating – **1/2
Seth Rollins def. Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon
in 25:30 by pinfall
The match I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been waiting for these two to fall apart and face off the moment Seth Rollins turned on The Shield to join Triple H. Triple H made his entrance driving a motorcycle of sorts with a police escort. Stephanie McMahon went along for the ride on the back seat. I made a reference to Sons of Anarchy here on social media because being a huge SOA fan, Hunter and Stephanie reminded me of Clay and Gemma from the show with this entrance. It was noted that it was Triple H’s 21st WrestleMania match. The only one he missed since his WWE debut was 2007 at WM23 due to the torn quad injury. Seth Rollins was wearing a gold and black outfit. He held up a torch. When he put it against the ramp, the arena lit up with flame colored light. I think this was symbolic of him being the King Slayer and him burning down the Kingdom. It was some pretty deep stuff there.
These brawled right off the bat and it went all over the ringside area. The started off hot and it ended hot. The match went back and forth with a lot of brutality. I loved when Seth Rollins followed Triple H up top, hit a superplex and rolls through and hits a falcon arrow. I thought this was awesome because Rollins was selling the knee injury the entire time but this seemed like he was really doing whatever it takes to beat Triple H. Hunter used the chair multiple times to take out Rollins knee throughout the match. I also should mention Rollins used the buckle bomb for the first time in a long time which gave me hope that we might see a curb stomp at some point. They went back into the ring and exchanged punches. Rollins with a kick to the jaw, but Hunter nailed a clothesline leading to a flip bump by Rollins. Great sell. Triple H went to attack with the sledgehammer, but Rollins nailed a jumping kick to the head. Rollins had the sledgehammer, but Stephanie grabbed it from him. Hunter hit a Pedigree and Rollins got his shoulder up before the three count. Nice nearfall there. Rollins with a backdrop out of the corner followed by a Phoenix Splash by Rollins for a two count. That’s an awesome looking move. They each went for the Pedigree a couple of times, but it didn’t work and Hunter punched the knee again. Stephanie got on the apron, grabbed Rollins, Hunter went for an attack, Rollins moved, Rollins shoved Hunter and he hit Stephanie leading to her crashing through the table. Rollins hit a Pedigree for the pinfall.
The crowd was into this match in the beginning, pretty quiet during the middle and really back into it at the end. The Stephanie table bump got a huge reaction, which was reminiscent to last year when Roman speared the Billion Dollar Princess. I think after watching this match twice, these two put on a really good match. There were some low points in the middle where the crowd was evidently quiet but I also blame the length of the show and the rollercoaster of emotions the crowd had already been through at this point. I think the crowd may have also been disinterested at times because they were expecting a run in from Samoa Joe or others and it didn’t happen. It was a long match where the young guy got the win as he should have. They did some cool spots using the weapons, but they didn’t use that many of them. I liked the use of the chair to assist in some of the moves. The Phoenix Splash from Rollins was the coolest spot. I thought that a lot of he ideas were really sound, especially from a psychology standpoint, but trimming out some of the middle for some more violent and heated action would have greatly helped this match. It also probably would have kept the crowd more invested. This deep into the show, the crowd didn’t want to see methodical slow Triple H offense for so long, they wanted a fired up Seth Rollins getting revenge, scraping by with the win, while not really selling the danger of the stipulation or working to its full advantages. I really was hoping the match would end with a curb stomp out of nowhere, since the move played a huge part in many of Seth Rollins biggest moments and throughout his relationship with Triple H, but the pedigree was fitting too since its a move that connects the two.
Rating – ***3/4
– There was a Pitbull and Friends concert. Which if you were watching at home was beneficial if you drank too many beers or had to quickly do something. It was even more perfect for the fans who were sitting in the stadium live who really needed a piss break.
Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt (C)
in 10:30 by pinfall
I loved the story leading into this match and how the rivalry has been building to this point since last October. It may be the best Bray Wyatt rivalry yet because the slow build and the illusion that Bray Wyatt finally accomplished something with having Orton join him and finally cementing his name as a WWE Champion. As a fan of both guys, I was hoping this match would deliver but it honestly didn’t if you had high expectations. It wasn’t the worst match, but it was pretty basic and didn’t feel Wrestlemania quality. I know many consider it a below average match especially for a WWE Title match at WrestleMania. It was a quicker match than I thought as well.
Orton attacked at the bell, working ground and pound and then teased the RKO, but Bray bailed and they brawled on the floor. Back in and Bray takes control, and then we got spooky maggots projected onto the mat…this was recurring theme with different insects throughout the match. They both teased hitting their finish, as things slowed. Bray hit a corner charge, and this time we got worms. Wyatt hit the uranage and senton, which got 2. This shit killed the crowd. Orton got a rollup, but Wyatt came back with a clothesline. Wyatt charged at him on the floor and Orton hit a dropkick. Wyatt came back with a Sister Abigail like move into the barricade outside the ring. Wyatt charged at Orton on the floor, Orton moved and Orton hit a RKO on the floor. Nice spot. Back in the ring, Orton got a two count. They each countered moves and Orton hit his modified backbreaker. Orton hit a draping DDT off the ropes. When Orton went for a RKO again, Wyatt avoided it and hit Sister Abigail for the two count. Wyatt did his pose again as the camera was shown from above and there were beetles or something like that. Wyatt punched him, Orton shoved him off and hit a RKO for the win.
The effects were cool but every time it felt like things slowed down and it kind of broke the flow of the match. This is quite frankly the worst match on the card and it kills me to say that considering I’m huge fan of both of these guys and their current storyline. I don’t know if they were cut for time but it just seemed the match never went to that next level and that really portrayed the fuel behind the rivalry. The finish was more than just disappointing it was just the cherry on top to make some fans just hate this match. I personally think from a story-telling standpoint, it worked because I went in thinking this rivalry was bound to continue after Wrestlemania and this wasnt the final blow-off of this feud. However, from a match quality standpoint, boy this was a let down.
Rating – **2/3
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman def. Bill Goldberg (C)
in 04:45 by pinfall
If we wanted more than their last two encounters, we got that in both time and excitement level. Both of their entrances were great and no matter how old I get, I’ll always get nostalgic for the Goldberg entrance. Anyone who is anyone knew that Lesnar was walking out as the Champion here because Goldberg’s contract was ending. Also, I think he tweeted or said in an interview somewhere that he was leaving or taking time off after Wrestlemania and his post show speech after Raw last night confirmed that. The biggest attraction to this match was that we really didn’t know what to expect. Would it be a short and quick match again? Would it be longer and more surprising with more moves? Well we got something longer but it was still a match that consisted of four moves. LOL
Lesnar hits suplexes, three Germans but Goldberg fights back and hits the spear, with Lesnar rolling to the floor. Goldberg then spears Lesnar through the barricade. Back in the ring, Lesnar looks for the F5 but eats a spear. Goldberg hits the jackhammer, but Lesnar kicks out. Goldberg looks for another spear, but Lesnar leapfrogs him and Goldberg hits the buckles hard and eats suplexes, something like 10 in total. Lesnar is fired up, hits the F5 and wins the title.
This match was what it had to be. Oddly enough even though it was just five minutes with four moves and bunch of big spots in that time span, it was better than their Wrestlemania 20 match where they had a lot more time and it was not so great. It was quick, an explosive sprint, and entertaining. Also playing off Goldberg’s previous domination and Brock getting his revenge. The show needed this shot in the arm, it felt different and it was fun. It was like two titans just going at each other in a battle with no technical stuff. It took ten German Suplexes to weaken him, but the crowd liked it and was firmly behind Lesnar. I liked the way things changed in the match with Lesnar doing that leapfrog to counter the Spear and from there he took over the match. I’m also glad that Goldberg didn’t kick out of the F5 at the end. It was the right way and the right time to end it. I hope that Lesnar’s matches in the future involve more than just those suplexes, but for this match it was fine because it was his power beating Goldberg’s power. They needed to get the belt off Goldberg and onto Lesnar and they got the job done. I assume that’s the end of Goldberg in WWE as a wrestler, but could be wrong on that. I think he should retired for good. There’s not much more he needs to do and is obviously limited at 50 years old. I’m still super cool with him making appearances and spearing motherfuckers like how Michaels would randomly appear and sweet chin music people but no more programs and big matches please. Thank you for your time Goldberg.
Rating – **1/2
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Naomi def. Alexa Bliss (C), Natalya, Mickie James, Becky Lynch, Carmella w/ James Ellsworth
in 05:35 by pinfall
This match could have been so much more but wasn’t due to time constraints since it was extremely important for Pitbull to have a performance on a stacked wrestling show. This was also supposed to be on the kickoff but due to fans voicing their opinion on the interweb and on social media it was pushed to the main card. Unlike the Raw Women’s Title match, this isn’t an elimination match. All the women wore special gear for Wrestlemania and some, such as Becky Lynch and Mickie James went above and beyond with accessories and face paint. James Ellsworth even wore some special Carmellamania swag. Alexa Bliss and Naomi were the only two who got full entrances.
Everyone got their stuff in and near falls. Natalya even got her double sharpshooter spot in. Becky Lynch hit a XPLODER on James Ellsworth. It breaks down a bit, Bliss bails and Naomi makes her return to take out Natalya and Becky. Naomi in, hits the rear view and then a plancha onto the pile on the floor. Bliss cuts her off with a forearm smash, Naomi locks in a submission and Bliss taps.
It was a little bit of a cluster, but that was because it was just squeezed in there and needed to highlight all the women. It was placed perfectly after two championship matches and before the main event. They worked at a fast pace and got a lot done in six minutes. Plenty of close calls and near falls for each woman. It was my prediction and quite obvious that Naomi was the clear choice to win this in her hometown to redeem her title having to relinquish it weeks ago due to unexpected injury. They had some fun spots in the match like when Mickie came close to winning a few times and Natalya’s double Sharpshooter. They weren’t given enough time to really do something memorable but they did great with the time they had.
Rating – **
No Holds Barred
Roman Reigns def. The Undertaker
in 23:05 via pinfall
This match. I think considering the circumstances it made 100% sense that this was the main event and quite frankly this was one of those matches that even before knowing it was going to be The Undertaker’s last, I didn’t mind being the main event. Undertaker is a big enough name to be the main event every year and I don’t hate Roman Reigns like most of the interweb and my fellow loyal, hardcore fans. I dislike the way he’s booked and how his character has grown the least from The Shield days but I don’t think he’s a bad wrestler or even a bad promo when he doesn’t have to say a lot. I also do believe he does have the look but would have a whole different reaction from the crowd after a solid heel run…this entire feud is evidence of that in my humble opinion.
JoJo announces that this a no holds bared match, pin or submission only to win. Roman makes his entrance first, filled with pyro and ballyhoo. There were a chorus of boos for Roman Reigns as expected from this crowd tonight, Taker’s entrance was 4:12 from dong to getting into the ring, thanks to him being risen up in the middle of the ramp. It should be noted that Undertaker’s wife Michelle McCool and his kids are sitting ringside. The match kicks off with Undertaker dumping Roman out of the ring and saying “this is my yard”. Thus the YARD MATCH has begun. The match was really back and forth with me being super stressed with every bump Taker took. After seeing the face Undertaker made after chokeslamming Strowman a few weeks back on Raw and hearing he needed hip surgery made me really concerned about one of my childhood heroes. It kind of made it hard for me to enjoy the story the match was telling because I was more concerned about the superstar who is one of the main reasons I watched wrestling in the first place and for as long as I have. For example, Undertaker teased a move on an announce table, but Reigns got back to his feet and hit a Spear that sent Undertaker through the Spanish announce table. The spot went over my head and I just wanted to see Undertaker get back up.
The end stretch of the match went as such, Reigns did the punches while standing in the corner leading straight to Undertaker doing the predictable Powerbomb out of the corner. It didn’t look like a good Powerbomb, but it was good enough for a two count. Undertaker grabbed a chair from outside the ring. Undertaker went back in the ring with a boot to the head. Undertaker hit Reigns in the back with a couple of chair shots to the back. Reigns left the ring, Undertaker did, Reigns went back in, Taker did and Reigns hit the Superman Punch two times in a row. Undertaker came back with a Chokeslam onto the chair in the ring. Undertaker set up for a Tombstone and he hit it. Undertaker covered, but Reigns got his shoulder up. The crowd wasn’t happy about that. Taker pulls Reigns to his feet, but Reigns goes to counter the tombstone but that fails as Taker falls down underneath him and Reigns couldn’t power him back up, that looked bad on both of them but we ignore it because we love our Undertaker. Reigns just comes back with a Superman Punch. Reigns sets up for a spear and hits it only for Taker to lock in the hell’s gate when he went for the pin .They did a rope break in a no DQ match, but who cares. When Undertaker tried to get a chair, Reigns grabbed the chair. Reigns hit Undertaker in the back three times and jabbed him in the ribs with it. Reigns with more chair shots to the back. When Undertaker got back to his feet, Reigns hit a Spear and Undertaker got his shoulder up. Reigns looked ready in the corner again. Undertaker got back to his feet. Reigns hit another Spear and that was only good for a two count. The fans chanted “yes” after Undertaker kicked out. When Undertaker got back up, Reigns hit another Superman Punch. Undertaker slowly sat back up, but then he fell over. Reigns hit Undertaker with a couple of uppercut punches. Reigns ran the ropes a few more times and hit a Spear for the win.
Boy, was this hard to watch for so many different reasons. I understood the story and the right guy went over. I said it in all my prediction written or audio, that Taker had to pass the torch for the next “big dog” to hold down the yard for the sake of the future. Regardless, those of us who hold Taker so closely to our heart because he is symbolic of our childhood hate thinking our Undertaker’s career was coming near the end and possibly ended with Roman Reigns, it had to happen. With all due respect to The Undertaker, it was completely asinine to book a 52-year old man with severe hip issues in a 23-minite match like this; this needed to be half as long at most. There were several spots in the match where it didn’t look good such as the Powerbomb not looking good, the Hell’s Gate wasn’t applied the right way and that reverse Tombstone spot looked bad. They told the story that Reigns had to dig deeper to get the win because Undertaker kept kicking out. There were a few moments where Undertaker got some believable offense in and nearly got the win. It just wasn’t something that the fans bought into. They knew it was going to be a Reigns win and they hated it. I didn’t expect Undertaker to win.
I wanted Reigns to go heel, but they didn’t go in that direction at all. Reigns was aggressive as he beat him up. There was no sign of a heel turn. He’s likely going to stay in the same role he’s in now since he sells merchandise to women, kids and handful of men still and it honestly sucks because he’d make a tremendous heel. They just need to figure out how to book him properly, because the poor booking is what has consistently killed him. In my opinion, this was a sad performance for Taker to end his career on, and painful to watch him struggle so much. I’ll always hold this match close to my heart because it was his last but it wasn’t his proudest bout, and I’m saying as someone who absolutely loves The Undertaker. However, in a way it worked in a story-telling aspect. It was like when Logan/Wolverine started losing his powerful regenerative ability aka his instant healing power. Wolverine was the man and we’ll remember him for his more glorious days just like we will The Undertaker. The match had it flaws but it was beautiful in its own way as well.
Rating – **3/4
The announcers put over the victory as the biggest win of Reigns’ career and JBL said it will be the biggest win Reigns will ever have. Reigns slowly walked up the ramp after the match as the announcers gave him credit for the victory. Reigns held up his arms as pyro and ballyhoo went off. Reigns walked away giving Undertaker the ring.
The camera focused on Undertaker in the ring. The crowd chanted “Thank You Taker” because they know this might be The Undertaker’s last match ever. Undertaker sat up. Replays aired of the key spots of the match. During this replay period, The Undertaker put on his jacket and his hat again. He staggered around the ring a bit as his music played. Undertaker looked around the arena as the crowd gave him a standing ovation that he deserves. It was a long look around the arena by Undertaker. The Undertaker took off his gloves and left them in the ring. The fans were still standing and clapping for him. Undertaker took on his black jacket and put it over his gloves in the center of the ring. Undertaker took off his black hat. He put it in the ring as well. There was a deep sigh from Taker. Undertaker put the hat onto the jacket and gloves in the ring. Undertaker walked over to his wife Michelle McCool and kissed her. Undertaker walked up the ramp for what could be the final time. He stood at the middle of the ramp where he rose up from in his entrance as the stadium was full of purple light and smoke. He stood there with his right arm raised in the air like he has done so many times before. Some pyro went off on the stage as the crowd continued to cheer. Undertaker went down under the part of the stage where he was raised earlier in the night.
The Undertaker’s gong music hit one more time, the lights went out..that was it for the Lord of Darkness and that’s it for WrestleMania
I thought it was really well done and a fitting tribute to The Undertaker after just his second loss at a WrestleMania. This couldnt have happened anywhere else but Wrestlemania. That was tough to write about and not feel sad because I’ve watched him wrestle in WWE as long as I’ve been a wrestling fan. With injuries mounting and him being 52 years old, this is definitely the right time for him to call it a career. I know we’ve all speculated it was coming soon since the streak ended in 2014. He will be missed, that’s for sure, but I think we can all respect him wanting to move on as well. Undertaker’s career as the Undertaker character is as old as I am. He wasn’t just apart of my childhood, he was my childhood, he kept me interested during my teenage years and nostalgia of simpler times in my adult years. The Undertaker was one of those characters that caught my attention and made me a wrestling fan. I’ve been a loyal and obsessed Undertaker fan for as far back as I can remember. Exactly like Randy Savage, The Phenom blew my imagination and was larger than life to me. In the long run, he’s a big part of keeping my imagination alive. A part of my childhood retired. I’ll always love The Undertaker. He’ll always be symbolic of simpler times for me. I talk about wrestling opening that pathway to my pure imagination. That attribute most people lose in adulthood. Undertaker made me believe. The Undertaker character allowed you to escape reality. He’s got the Andre the Giant status in this business, which is a small club. I could write an entire blog of what, why and how much The Undertaker mean to me. However, I’ll just say I’ll always be a creature of the night. He will always be the Lord of Darkness, The American Badass, Big Evil, The Personification of Evil, The Deadman, The Phenom and one of the most respected people in the business…The Undertaker. #ThankYouTaker
This Wrestlemania didn’t have any 5 star matches and won’t be remembered for its matches but it will be remembered for the moments and stories told. I think some people will definitely consider this one of the greatest ever due to these moments such Shane/Styles spots, Hardyz returning, the proposal, the end of the Goldberg/Lesnar and Rollins/Triple H feuds. Of course it will be remembered by everyone as Undertaker’s last one as an in ring performer and his farewell. The show started off great from the opening match up until the Cena proposal, which was really well done by the way. I think the crowd started getting restless at that point and it kind of hurt the Rollins/Triple H match. I felt like the show was too damn long. The crowd wasn’t as vocal in the second half. That tends to happen when a show is this long. Keep in mind that a lot of those fans got into the building at around 4pm and it ended at nearly 12am. That’s eight hours in the same spot. It’s hard to have enthusiasm for that long. Both women’s matches were average with the Raw women not doing nearly as well as the ladies last year. Last year the Women’s match was almost the standout match for me, this year they were nearly forgettable unless you’re big fan of the current division like I am. t was a very predictable event where the part time older wrestlers in their late 40s and up such as Triple H, Shane McMahon, Goldberg and Undertaker all put over younger guys. Some of them did better than a thought (like Shane) while others such as Goldberg and Undertaker probably wrestled their last matches because they know it’s the right time to walk away. Overall I would recommend this show to everyone, but make sure you have a open and free Sunday evening to do so. It was one of the better Wrestlemania’s and certainly was the Ultimate Thrill Ride because I went through a wave of emotions from highs when The Hardyz returned to lows when we watched The Undertakers farewell. Dig It?!
Final Rating – 7.5/10
What were your final thoughts on Wrestlemania? What final grade would you give the event? Where would you rate it on a scale of ten? Do you agree with my review? Leave your comments, opinions and thoughts below in the comments section.
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