A look at what happened on the big stage.
Was going to do this last week, but not only did I think last week’s subject was more pressing and important, but also gave me a chance to see some of the fall out from this year’s big event. I originally wasn’t planning on getting this show at all, but with the Network and my wanting to see the Hall of Fame ceremony, I buckled and got the subscription for the month, as did a friend of mine so we could watch things again on a big screen. Glad we did, makes the experience a lot more fun.
So let’s take a look at what we got this year.
Pre-show: WWE Tag Titles: Cesaro/Kidd V/S Usos V/S Los Matadores V/S New Day: Having a 2 hour pre show worked out much better than I thought. If the NFL can blab on about the Superbowl for 4 odd hours, than the WWE can have 2 hours. Anyway this match came off really well. The question about the Usos was answered quickly, but it didn’t slow down things too much. The result was not surprising, but it was a great fast paced match that served to get people fired up. The champions looked great in this contest and hopefully serve better things for them in future programming.
Pre-show: Andre The Giant Battle Royal: I was surprised on how this one turned out, but not disappointed with the result. I honestly didn’t think they would have the Miz/Mizdow story play out at the end of the match like it did. I wasn’t thrilled with JBL saying Big Show never won a battle royal, even mentioning WW3 events…except Big Show DID win one of those. Nice to mention something on the Network proving you wrong. Anyway, I suppose from here on in they will play the clip of Big Show standing next to the trophy, if anything else. The problem is, what will this do for Big Show? Being a lackey for the Authority doesn’t really lead you to capatalize on this trophy, or makes the trophey look like anything really worth while above the “hey, I still got to go to Wrestlemania”.
Intercontinental Title: Bad News Barrett V/S Daniel Bryan V/S Dolph Ziggler V/S R-Truth V/S Luke Harper V/S Stardust V/S Dean Ambrose: Well this match did not disappoint! Cripes, poor Dolph and D. Bryan really put on a show. I personally liked the idea of Wade ripping a rung off a ladder and beating people with it. Sure, it’s a simple spot, but not one you’ve seen very often. I’m glad I was wrong in predicting the winner. As long as he stays healthy Daniel Bryan can have fun with the IC title. Another good match.
Randy Orton V/S Seth Rollins: How about the ending spot in this? Talk about taking the RKO to new heights. This was a good match and shows that given the time these guys can really do some good work. The people were really into this and with the later results of the show you know this will be your main event for the next few months.
Sting V/S HHH: Aaaaand we come to a screeching halt. I was right in that there was more flash than substance, but even the flash wasn’t all that great. I have read some people giving this a huge star rating, but honestly I didn’t like anything from this. They tried with the entrances, but broad day light didn’t help either guy. The failure of this was Triple H trying to make this about WCW V/S WWE but even Sting has said that that war ended 14 years ago. The NWO and DX thing just reeked of Triple H just wanted to give his buddies paychecks and having Trips go over is just his self righteous ego putting himself over WCW since they fired his ass in 1994. Then having them shake hands in the end didn’t mean much either. They wanted to create some moments here, but failed. I didn’t like this match at all. I think this was a disaster of an idea that was more about feeding Trips’ ego than it was about Sting. Everything about this match made little sense to me. Why would the NWO help Sting? Why in the world did you have HULK FRIGGIN HOGAN at Wrestlemania but only as a bit player in the NWO? After all that Sting said leading up to things, why would he bother shaking Trips hand afterwards? It’s not like it was a hard fought even back and forth, Trips couldn’t win the match on his own and needed all his drinking buddies to help him do it, where the hell is the respect in that?!?
Also, What the hell happened to Triple H that gave him those horrible bruises?!? Yikes!
Paige/A.J. V/S Bellas: Well, this match was there. Sad that this is A.J.’s swansong, but what’re you gonna do?
US Title: Rusev V/S John Cena: Rusev und Panzers! The match was exactly what you expected it to be. It was surprising when Cena cracked out a new move, but a majority of this was just Cena getting his butt kicked by a monster and then beating him. He wasn’t exactly breaking new ground here. Cena was going to win and everyone knew it. I’m not sure there really was any point where people believed Cena was in trouble. Now with this result, what happens to Rusev?
Triple H/Rock/Steph/Ronda Rousey Interview: Eeeeeeego stroke. This went on way to long, it had its moments sure, but it just kinda dragged after a while and I was just waiting for Ronda to kill Steph dead and move on. This has people clamoring for a match next year with Rousey and Steph, but let’s face it, anything beyond Steph getting killed in one punch will be beyond believable.
Bray Wyatt V/S Undertaker: Yeah, another match that broad daylight didn’t do either of these guys any favors. Taker looked better than he did last year physically, but underwhelmed in his look. This was like Wrestlemania 20 when everyone was jazzed for the return of the deadman and they just got Bad Ass Taker with slightly longer hair. I wasn’t Taker’s best for sure, but it was enough for where he is. I don’t think it really put over Bray very much, and like the Cena match, There weren’t many who seriously thought Taker would lose. It was good for what these men could bring but as far as Taker matches at mania, this will probably be totally forgotten in the long run.
WWE Title: Brock Lesnar V/S Roman Reigns: Yup. I was surprised! Sure, having Seth come out and cash in wasn’t beyond doubt, but I don’t think anyone predicted him coming out DURING the match itself. Everything up to that point was the expected slugfest that it was sold on, but really did show how limited Reigns is. He only perpetuated 4 actual moves, and I think one of them was an accident. Having him smile from the beating was kind of cool, but at the same time never went anywhere with the cash in anyway. The ending was the best they could have done in the situation, but basically rendered the match up until that point useless. I wonder what people will think about this match looking back. It almost seems like an example of the WWE pushing things too far and then covering their ass when they know it’s not going to work. Thankfully the contract issue with Brock added more intrigue and mystery to the bout, so that helped it quite a lot. Helped save the match in my eyes.
Over all this mania wasn’t as offensively bad as say Wrestlemania 27 or 9, but I’m not putting it in my top 10 either. I enjoyed the first half, but the top half of the show just didn’t do it for me. While the crowd was huge, have most of the show in bright day late was a detriment to this mania. The upper card focused way to much on part timers that low and behold, were gone by the end of Monday night. It was a fair show, but not one I’d have paid $65 for (thankfully I didn’t) or will probably rewatch a million times. The booking seemed muddled and disconnected and while the undercard was good, the main event matches were very underwhelming.
Now for the follow up in the week after. Seamus returning was good for the company, especially in a heel role. His look is certainly new, that’s for sure. Callisto and Neville being brought up is a good sign of things to come. I like Neville. Think he does have an upside. Callisto and Sin Cara might just be a shot in the arm for the tag division as well. Of course, having A.J. retire from wrestling has got to be a big hit, but at the same time I can’t blame her. She’s done everything a current Diva can do. She got her Wrestlemania match and that was it. Between Punk’s lawsuit and all that, and the fact she did seem frustrated with the role of the Divas, there probably wasn’t much left to keep her going. She was a great character and one of the few to keep the Divas interesting to a lot of male viewers who do not give a damn about that fake reality show that the WWE tries to shove down our throats. Thankfully they have a nice crop of women ready to be called up, but will the Divas outlook change? I don’t know.
So yeah, it probably won’t be the fondest remembered Wrestlemania of all time. If anything it might be looked at as the growing pains of a changing philosophy. With Triple H getting more power behind the scenes, he’s going to have some missteps along the way and I think this was one of them. They really need to work if they are going to sell out a 100,000 seat arena next year if they don’t want another Wrestlemania 7 debacle, so I hope next year’s upper card has a lot more going for it than this one did.
And with that another Wrestlemania season is over. Hopefully I’ll try to do something non wrestling related for next week’s article. See ya then!
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