What a great WrestleMania! I always try to go into every show with an upbeat outlook, but at times that can be hard. When I was watching Impact Wrestling on a weekly basis, I had a horrible time staying upbeat, but I don’t know anyone who can watch that show regularly and be happy about it. Anyway, I was so giddy going into this WrestleMania, and it paid off.
Cruiserweight Championship Match – SAM
I will always say that it is a shame that the Cruiserweights are relegated to the kickoff show because they deserve a main card spot for pay-per-views. Buddy Murphy found new life in 205 Live, and Tony Nese has struggled to find his place for most of his tenure. We all knew this would be an amazing opening match to the Wrestlemania kickoff and it did not disappoint. They were in high gear from the opening bell, and there was nonstop action throughout. They were so quick in the ring that it was hard to keep up with some of it. At some point, Murphy suffered a cut around his eye, but it wasn’t too bad of a cut. Murphy sold like a star for all of Nese’s offense and vice versa. It looked like Murphy would continue his reign after hitting Murphy’s Law, but Nese was able to get his foot on the rope. Nese was then able to hit the Running Kneese, and we have a new Cruiserweight Champion.
Women’s Battle Royal
I will fully admit that I was shocked when it appeared that Sarah Logan won the match. It felt really wrong to me that Logan was winning this, but better her than Maria! Not one of the WR writers picked the winner of this match, but that is not unusual in this type of match. Personally, I think Carmella winning makes sense. She’s fallen to the background with everything else going on in the Women’s Division, and they really need to start rebuilding the rest of the roster so that Becky has someone to work with other than Charlotte and Ronda. Carmella has come so far, and as long as they don’t go back to the crap booking they thought she needed as champion, then it should be a decent direction for her.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
I thought this was a great thing for the Edgeheads. They have been jobbers for so long that I’m still kind of shocked they are still with the company. I will give the WWE for building such a solid streak for Hawkins and ending it in such a lovely way, even if Hawkins looked like a total tool in that green outfit. Actually, he looked like part of the Spirit Squad, thought the color was a bit off. Anyway, I hope that this isn’t just a short stop-gap championship run for these two after how long his losing streak was. Also, if you’ve not seen Ryder’s proposal video, go find it, it’s so endearing.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
I was really annoyed with the SNL guys, but they were not as horrible as I thought they might be. Hiding under the ring for the majority of the match helped immensely. I have to worry that this won’t help Strowman in any way as it’s not helped anyone so far, but it’s better than Che or Jost winning. It looks as though Ali’s eye is okay as he was backstage watching the WWE Championship Match with the rest of the superstars cheering on Kofi. Ali’s eye, other than the SNL goobers, was the only major issue with the match. Fingers crossed that Strowman actually gets a push out of this, but I don’t think any of us really expect that to happen!
Universal Championship Match – SAM
Like everybody else, I was completely shocked that this was the opening match to the main card. I thought that if this would be in the opening hour, it would come at the end of the hour and not the start. I honestly had no idea what to expect from Lesnar in this match because he has become so complacent with his moves that all his matches look the same. To my surprise, Lesnar was the one to attack Rollins before the bell and really took it to him. He threw him around like a rag doll and some of the bumps looked brutal. Rollins hit the steel frame underneath the ring, and that had to hurt. Rollins had marks on his back as Lesnar was relentless in his attack. Eventually, the match found its way into the ring, and it was more of the same with a typical Lesnar match. We then got a referee bump, and that was all Rollins needed to be able to gain the advantage. He hit Lesnar with a low blow and then connected on three Stomps, and we have ourselves a new Universal champion. Rollins was showered with cheers from the fans, and he had quite the celebration as well. It is so nice that we are going to see the Universal Championship on a weekly basis on Raw.
AJ vs. Orton – Dre
I was expecting a lot more from this match than what we got based on the exceptional build for this going in. When this match was first announced, I immediately thought of the Shawn Michaels/Kurt Angle feud from over a decade ago. Just like Michaels and Angle, AJ and Orton came into this match as highly decorated wrestlers with mountains and mountains of accomplishments under their belts. Interesting enough, neither guy had really crossed paths much prior to this.
Now don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a bad match by any means, but it never seemed to get past 2nd gear. This was one of those legend vs. legend matches that definitely should have stolen the show considering that both guys are still pretty much at top form. They did a really good job here of working this match around AJ trying to avoid an epic RKO via an attempted phenomenal forearm which he was able to do; however, he ended up eating an RKO minutes later but was able to kick out. AJ was able to pick up the win here with a chin breaker off the top rope and his perfect forearm finisher.
If I had to grade this match, I’d place it in the B-/C+ range. Again, solid match but it definitely didn’t live up too it’s potential. I get the feeling this feud is only getting started, so I expect both to kick it up a notch going forward because we haven’t seen their best match yet.
SD Tag Team Championship Match
I really thought that Black and Ricochet were going to win this one after they didn’t win and had their grand sendoff Friday night at NXT TakeOver: New York, but I guess McMahon didn’t think they were yet ready. This really was a solid match and gave us so much. I’m always saying that I’m not a big fan of Fatal Four Way matches, but these four teams really worked it out there, gave us a great match, and stepped up to the grandest stage of them all. The bad part about this match is that I had to go back to the results to remind myself who the fourth was – Nakamura and Rusev. That doesn’t bode well for them as a team, but neither have gotten very over on their own. I blame McMahon and the booking, but I’m sure he’d never see it that way. I have to wonder, with the roster as deep as it is, that it might be time to cut bait on Nakamura. He’s not young and not over the way he was everywhere else he’s been. Then there’s Rusev who has been on more of a roller coaster than most and again struggling due to crap booking. I have to admit that I’m shocked Black and Ricochet have been pushed as solidly as they have on the main roster, though I have to think it would be hard for either of them to fail the way too many NXT superstars have recently. I’m hoping that Black and Ricochet get into a solid feud with the Usos because it could be great for both teams moving forward.
Shane vs. Miz
This is almost exactly what I expected from this match, other than the ending. Of course, they were all over the place and sold every bit all over that arena. They didn’t hit the concession stand, but they took out a lot of announce tables! That the Spanish announce table lived through the night is truly shocking to me, and possibly shocking to the German announcer who took a flying Rollins to his torso. I thought it was a guarantee that Shane was going to jump from or get pushed off something really high, I didn’t expect Mr. Miz to get involved the way he did. Mr. Miz is seven years older than Bret Hart and took the first bumps of his life like an announcer who never wanted to take bumps but did so for the betterment of the product and his son who loves wrestling more than everything but his family. When we saw the scaffolding, we all knew Shane was going off the end, but we didn’t know that Miz would be going too. Honestly, I thought the end of the match, Shane getting the win because of the way they landed, was downright fantastic. I’m sure all three men are very sore today, but also proud of the work they did for us. Obviously with Shane winning this feud isn’t over, and as long as they don’t hurt each other, I’m excited to see what else they might do.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match – Mitch
This match was wonderful…up until the ending!
Tag Team Wrestling is a real lost art in WWE, but these ladies (most of them) helped bring it back a little in this match. From the flawless double team moves to little things like Bayley grabbing Sasha’s hand so neither one could tap out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter, this one was a true classic. It reminded more of a match from Stardom than a match from WWE.
Beth Phoenix deserves a ton of kudos for her albeit random return to the ring as she has not lost a single step in there. She’s as good now as she was in 2008. Plus, watching her and Natalya paying tribute to Nattie Father Jim Neidhart with the Hart Attack was beautiful.
But why on earth did the two worst Women on WWE’s roster have to go over here?
People think because I’m Australian I would naturally be happy the IIconics went over. The reality is I’m horrified. The Australian indie scene is growing every day, and there are some amazing talents out there. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are not among that ilk. They are both truly awful in the ring (like Eva Marie level awful) and their horrible screams and screeches they do while in the ring and on the mic is the epitome of “Diva” era female talent. Both of whom spent about a minute in the ring while the other three teams rocked the house.
It pains me to see these two stink out WrestleMania while Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm are putting on instant classics in half-empty theatre halls in the U.K.
To put this into the Australian vernacular…the two most annoying Moles in WWE just won the bloody Sheela tag straps!
WWE Championship Match
How do you write about a match as magical as this? The backstory, the injury that led to Kofi being inserted into the storyline, and all he overcame to get the match. Such a great build, especially with Bryan being on the other side of the B+ player feud, and Kofi finally getting to the place that we all thought had been pulled away from him by Orton. There has been so much injustice for Kofi and every other African and African American wrestler who has been good enough to hold the WWE Championship but never did because of the color of their skin. Kofi was such an underdog for so many years, and here he is at the top of the food chain and cannot stop glowing, as he should be. This is perfect and just writing about it warms me from the inside out.
US Championship Match – Mitch
Some people were upset that this match so quickly and that Rey seemed to have been buried. While I don’t blame those, who feel this way you have to remember three things.
1. With all the talents WWE has under contract (or soon will have under contract purely because they don’t want other promotions to have them and grow) means that some matches on lots of shows are going to have to be cut short due to time constraints.
2. Rey Mysterio legitimately hurt his ankle on Raw last week and even though he was cleared to compete, he was nowhere near 100%, and he needed an easy match.
3. Samoa Joe is currently being re-built as a legitimate threat on the roster after his entire main roster run thus far has seen him either injured or putting people over. Simply put…Joe needed a big win.
Reigns vs. McIntyre
I have to admit that while I loved that glowing look on Reigns’ face after he won, McIntyre needed this win much more than Reigns did. Yes, Reigns won over the Scottish Psychopath while being down about thirty pounds of muscle mass, but I still think McIntyre needed to win at WrestleMania, which means he shouldn’t have been facing Reigns. I hope they figure out what to do with McIntyre sooner than later as they have trashed the momentum he had coming off his ‘relationship’ with Ziggler. McIntyre is too good for this treatment.
What an epic moment. Elias was great on drums, piano, and guitar. He sold every little bit of who he is and was in one the best non-wrestling segment of WrestleMania 35. Elias killed it, and Cena won over my heart. That, to me, was Cena’s best WrestleMania moment since he was with Big Show smuggling plumbs at WrestleMania 20. Such a great throwback moment.
Trip vs. Batista
I actually really liked this match. With it being No Holds Barred we didn’t have to watch Batista blow up in the ring two minutes in. Their work was strong and showed why they deserved to be on WM. The only thing that bothers me is that it should have been wrestling career vs. wrestling career as Batista has announced his wrestling retirement. That being said, after all the times he walked out on the WWE, he could be back in six months for another silly reason.
Angle vs. Corbin
I still don’t get it. I know Angle wanted Corbin, but it didn’t work and was not the right direction. The idea wasn’t good, the match wasn’t good, and Angle’s retirement from the ring feels tainted for it.
IC Championship Match – Mitch
Let’s be honest here, the only reason people wanted to watch this one was for Finn to do his “Demon” entrance at WrestleMania. But even with lack of interest and Bobby Lashley still having no idea how to take a sling blade (seriously, he’s botched it like five times now) this match wasn’t actually half bad. I popped for the powerbomb spot before Finn’s double stomp along with fans in attendance. So, all in all…I enjoyed this one. It wasn’t an all-time classic, but it was far from terrible!
Women’s Championship Match
Um, wow. This was a great match. These three killed it in there. I had been so against Charlotte being in this match because Ronda and Becky didn’t need her, but in watching the match, it felt natural to have her in there. All three of these women worked it to the best of their abilities, which was so amazing. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the ref who screwed up the end of the match! That’s the least of my worries after such a magical event.
I honestly didn’t think the WWE would give us both Kofi and Becky winning, and yet they did. It seems as though the WWE is taking things seriously and giving the fans what we want in the best possible way. I’m willing to forgive the IIconics for Becky and Kofi. Honestly, this was one of the best WrestleManias we’ve had in years, and I’m so happy the WWE is actually listening to what the fans want after so long. Fingers crossed that this will persist.
Queen KB, Mitch, SAM & Dre