By Nick Schifani
What's up guys!? Last night was the 33rd annual mega wrestling event of the year…WRESTLEMANIA! Fans from all over the world switch over to the WWE Network to watch hours upon hours of this extravaganza. This show had a bit of everything a wrestling fan could want from a 4 to 6 hour show. Fans saw surprises, title changes, and a "yard" being fought over (more on that in a bit). So, let's (Swanton) dive into the show and see how things turned out.
**Caution Spoilers Ahead. If you haven't watched DO NOT read on**
First up we had the 2 hour long pre-show. There were 3 matches on that card. These matches were fun, and serviced as a warm up before the main show. Though, really any match could have been on the main card. Matter of fact the Intercontinental Championship match was on the main card. It got bumped to pre-show in favor of another match. Here are the results.
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION NEVILLE vs AUSTIN ARIES
It was nice to see a good amount of butts in the seat for this match. Many thought this match would have been fantastic on the main card. Both Neville and Aries proved that to be true. These two men put on a fun, and fast paced match. This type of match is what we were all looking for when WWE decided to bring a cruiserweight division to Raw. It took some time for it to get off the ground, but I think it's finally in the right place. We got to see suicide dives, high risk splashes, and even a killer German Suplex from Neville. Aries went for his signature submission move, but Neville went after Aries' injured eye that allowed Neville to hit his finisher, the Red Arrow.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: NEVILLE
2017 ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
I think there was only one person that possibly saw the outcome of this one. Kevin Cerrito called it on the show we did last week with @2Player_CoOp. He told us and we didn’t believe him. Now, let the record show that wasn't his official pick, but he did tell us to take notice. And take notice we did. Mojo Rawley turned out to be the victor for this one. He had a little help from real life friend, Rob Gronkowski. Gronk got involved (to a local security guard's surprise) because Jinder Mahal stole his beer. Come on Jinder, you should know better than to take a bro's beer! Anyways, Big Show and Braun Strowman were eliminated early on in the match. Which lead to me thinking that surely Sami Zayn or Luke Harper had to be the favorites. Alas, that was not the case. It came down to Jinder, Rawley, and NXT(er) Killian Dain. After a monstrous shoulder tackle from Gronk, Rawly was able to lift the trophy in the end.
WINNER: MOJO RAWLEY
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DEAN AMBROSE VS BARON CORBIN
This slot was originally meant for the SmackDown Women's title match. Imagine everyone's surprise when the video promo ran for this match. We knew that the SD women's title was going to be added to the main card, but what we didn't know was this match had been demoted to the Kickoff show. The arena was mostly full at this point, so least they had that going for them. Plus, the match was good. I mean not great, but good enough. I'm glad there wasn't a title change though. A title change during the pre-show is normally not good for the title, so Dean getting the win was nice. These two are clearly going to battle it out some more, which will probably lead to a title change. But for now keeping it on Dean made sense. Ambrose retained in a pretty cool fashion too. Corbin had him set up for his finisher, End of Days, but Dean was able flip out to connect with Dirty Deeds.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION DEAN AMBORSE
SHANE McMAHON VS AJ STYLES
If you happened to watch the video about our predictions, you can see we aren't 100% sold on this match. Well, least I wasn't. I felt like this could be wasting AJ, and not to mention the way the billed this match. The fact of AJ having to get past Shane to ascend to the next lever was laughable. Turns out this match was tons of fun. Hell, even with AJ have to carry the "wrestling" portion of this match it was an awesome way to kickoff the main show!
We wondered with this match being a clean match how was Shane going to land one of his big spots. It didn't take long for it to happen. The ref went down and Styles brought in a trash can. Once the trash can was introduced we all knew what was coming up. It's still breath-taking to see Shane fly through the air like he never aged. Speaking of flying of course he went for the elbow drop onto the announce table missing it, and then missing a Shooting Star Press in the ring. Leaving him open for the Phenomenal Forearm which put an end to Shane's night. Overall, this match had the crowd on their feet and started things off with a fun match. Now maybe AJ can turn his attention back to the WWE SD title.
WINNER: AJ STYLES
UNTIED STATES CHAMPION CHRIS JERICHO VS KEVIN OWENS
Keeping momentum going is always the best pace for big shows like this. Next up we were treated with the battle between former best friends. Chris Jericho took on Kevin Owens for the US title. This was a great match, which at times didn't feel like the most important thing was the title. A match that was built on hate, revenge, and light up scarf! Yeah, you read that right. Jericho came out in a light up scarf. Only Jericho could pull something like that off, and he sure as hell did. As far as the match itself, it was filled with fun reversals and hard-hitting moves. KO went for a corner cannonball that Jericho turned into a Walls of Jericho hold. Jericho turned a Pop-Up Powerbomb into a Codebreaker.
Owens of course taunted Chris the entire match. KO is great at trolling his opponents like that. He didn't stop the trolling there. He was able to save himself from a pinfall by placing a single finger on the bottom rope. It was KO in his finest form. The battle rolled to the floor where Jericho took a Powerbomb to the apron and KO rolled him into the ring for the 1-2-3.
WINNER AND NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION: KEVIN OWENS
RAW WOMEN'S CHAMPION BAYLEY VS CHARLOTTE VS SASHA BANKS VS NIA JAX
I kind of thought this match would go on closer to the end. It had more build than the SD Women's title. Plus, you know Raw favoritism and all that jazz. Either way the match was stellar! It was fun watching Jax fight off her smaller opponents. Though, it wasn't quite her time yet. It will be one day, but not last night. The other three women hit her with a bad ass powerbomb and piled on to eliminate Nia from the match. From there, the match picked up a bit. We got somersault panchas over the top rope, Charlotte defining physics with a corkscrew moonsault from the top rope to the outside, and Sasha's flying knee press! Eventually, Sasha was eliminated (booooo) and it was down to Charlotte and Bayley.
After some quick back and forth Bayley pulled off a rad looking Macho Man Elbow Drop for a clean win over Charlotte. I really enjoyed this for two reasons. One, I freaking adore Bayley. I think she is fantastic even if her title reign came a little earlier than expected. Two, this win gives her reign a sense of legitimacy. Proving that she can be top women in this division. I'll be keeping a close eye out for Sasha moving forward. I have to think a heel turn is coming for her soon.
WINNER AND STILL RAW WOMEN'S CHAMPION: BAYLEY
RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON VS ENZO & BIG CASS VS CESARO & SHEAMUS
Turns out sometimes rumors can come true! After years away from the WWE the Hardys made their return. What a returned too. What looked to be the addition of the New Day, out came the Hardys instead, and damn did they ever get an ovation! Their music hit and everyone in that crowd lost their minds! Hell, we did at home watching it. The question moving forward is will WWE let them keep the "broken" gimmick. I don’t see it happening, but we shall see. Now the Hardys have a shot at the title at 'Mania, and joining the Raw roster. So far this show has been firing on all cylinders!
It felt obvious the Hardys were winning once they showed up. And won they did! That didn't come easy though. Well, least not for Jeff Hardy. Of course his first night back WWE asks him to climb a ladder and fall onto two other humans to go through a ladder! Jeff Hardy must be made out of something normal humans aren’t; how/why does he keep doing this to himself!? After that Matt Hardy was able to climb the ladder and claim the titles. Welcome back Hardys!!
WINNER AND NEW RAW TAG CHAMPIONS: THE HARDYS
JOHN CENA & NIKKI BELLA VS THE MIZ & MARYSE
I said earlier the show was firing on all cylinders, and I really meant it. We were being treated with awesome matches topped with jaw-dropping surprises. At this point in the night I started to try and think of the matches coming up. I knew Seth Rollins vs Triple H was still left, yet I had no clue when it was going to go on. I knew the two WWE titles matches and of course the main event weren't far either. It was the next match that I had completely forgotten about this evening. I, like most people, probably wasn't too excited about the Cena/Bella vs Miz/Maryse match. By now we had heard enough about engagement rings and Cena house rules enough to puke. The kicker about this match is it slowed down all the momentum the show was having. Poor Miz he tried so hard to keep the crowd into it, and for a moment he was doing a decent job. The crowd was behind him in all his wonderful hype and bouncing around. Eventually we knew what had to come.
This match was not hard-hitting or chaos as the others. It was a bit unfortunate this match was placed after all the crazy ones before it. It really did cool down the crowd, and after the double finishers from Cena and Bella came what we all knew was going to happen. Cena said some stuff about when Nikki was drugged up from her neck surgery making me think maybe she had been engaged this entire time and she couldn't remember. Man, what a dark twist that would have been. Either way Cena went down on one knee and Nikki said yes! Good for her, good for them. I hope they have a wonderful and happy life. I think the real winner here is the crowd. If they wanted to they could have turned it into a total shit show. But they didn't! Good for them….see WWE the crowds aren't always savages. I mean it's not like they are going to boo the main event right…
WINNER AND NEWLY ENGAGED COUPLE: JOHN CENA AND NIKKI BELLA
SETH ROLLINS VS TRIPLE H (NON-SACTIONED MATCH)
Hey! Here's another reference to the video we did last week about WrestleMania (seriously, you should go back and watch it!). I said this match was the most intriguing one of the night to me. Mainly, because of all the ways this match could go. Was Samoa Joe going to interfere, who would help Rollins if that happened, and more importantly how healthy was Seth? Starting from the entrances this match seemed ready to rock our socks off. H came down on a motorcycle with Steph riding on the back and they had a huge police escort. It was an awesome entrance! Then Seth Rollins came out. Decked in a gold suit with what appeared to be dragon scales on the side of his legs, and torch in hand. Rollins puts the torch down to the ground and lights up the run way with fire. Well, video board fire, but hey fire nonetheless. Rollins was there to burn down The Authority!
Things seemed to go a little slow in the beginning of this match. The story line played that Seth's knee was still jacked up. Hunter would keep going after Rollins knee, and right when Seth got away he would pull off a move that would "hurt" his knee more. So, things got a little wonky with the story telling for a bit. That didn't take away how great it was to see Seth move like that again. God, I've missed him. The crowd seemed to think the same. They seemed to enjoy the match, but you could tell they were starting to show some signs of fatigue. It took Steph falling through a table to liven them back up a bit. Rollins hits The Pedigree for the win.
While I was happy with the outcome I was a tad upset we didn't get any Joe in this match, and we never do for the whole show. I wasn't disappointed in this match. I think it went well. But, after it was over I started to feel off. It's like someone had let the air out of my balloon. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time. Maybe it was the unnecessary amount of wings I had just consumed. Maybe it was the beer sloshing around with those wings. Or maybe it was the "big" matches looming over my head.
WINNER: SETH FREAKING ROLLINS
WWE CHAMPION BRAY WYATT VS RANDY ORTON
Look, I was semi-looking forward to this match. Yes, the build for it was all over the damn place. Hell, it was a freaking mess. We didn’t know who the face or heel was, or who to pull for. It felt like it was suppose to be Randy, but how can I get behind someone that said "no thanks" to his Royal Rumble win only to take it back. Then, there's the whole arson thing with burning down Bray's house. I mean seriously he did that on video! How is he not in jail!? Plus, what happened to that cameraman filming Orton perform this crime. Did Randy burn him too? Ahh, I guess we'll never know. Anyways, back to the match at hand.
We got a lot of cool video board tricks here. Randy walking down the 80 yard ramp with a viper underneath him was wicked. Bray had some wacky, dark magic going with the ring. Every time he popped into his backwards spider, crab walk a video would appear on the ring mat. Mostly worms, maggots, and such. Of course none of that could ward off the RKO out of nowhere! Randy wins.
I guess I'm okay with this decision here. I would have loved, loved for Bray to retain. I don’t understand why they aren't building him properly. Did Randy Orton really NEED another title win at 'Mania? I really do think Bray can carry that title. I guess WWE doesn't think the same. I'm sure we will see a rematch between these two soon. I have to wonder if Bray gets the title back. I'm starting to think that will be a no. Now I'm sad.
WINNER AND NEW WWE CHAMPION: RANDY ORTON
UNIVERSAL CHAMPION GOLDBER VS BROCK LESNAR
Here is the part people will probably stone me to death for not liking. Let me start with I'm very happy this match didn't go on last. Also, I was happy with its quickness. I think for the most part we all saw how this one was going to end. At least Lesnar was able to get a few German Suplex's in at first. Plus, he did kick out of the Jackhammer which seemed to explode the internet. Twitter was having a fit over Lesnar kicking out of Goldberg's finisher. I guess I wasn't as impressed. Brock hit an F-5 for the win in a five minute or so match. An outcome I'm neither happy nor sad about. I can't seem to find it inside me to care. I've been pretty open about my disdain for Lesnar. So, I won't go too much into it here, but I will say this.
I can't stand a title being on Lesnar, and I know, I know it’s supposed to be more than just titles. Except, WWE shoves that damn title down our throats so much it's hard to think it's more about titles. It's called the Universal Championship for a reason. Now it's on the waist of a guy who barely comes around. Now, that could change in the upcoming months. Maybe we will get more Lesnar, but I highly doubt it. Again, this is my lonely opinion about Brock Lesnar and I know I'm in the high minority. The guy doesn't excite me. Where's the charm, where's the charisma, where's the mystic? He's a monster….yay. I'm starting to get sick and tired of monsters and their fight for yards and such.
WINNER AND NEW UNIVERSAL CHAMPION: BRRROOOOCCCCKKKK LEEEESSNAAAARRRR
SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPION ALEXIA BLISS VS EERRRBODY
Wow, this match went on super late, but I'm super happy this match didn't get cut. As time was passing I started to get a bit worried. It would have been downright awful for this match to get moved to the main card only to be cut because of monsters and men. This match was quick, yet fun. Everyone got to hit their marks and signature move set. Even James Ellsworth got involved as he tuned up the band for a little No Chin Music, only to be caught by Becky for a wicked T-Bone Suplex. Eventually, Naomi fresh off an injury was able to make Alexia tap out to a submission move. Hey! Home town girl gets the win! YAY! The feels!!
WINNER AND NEW SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPION: NAOMI
THE UNDERTAKER VS ROMAN REGINS
I am kind of glad this one went on last. Especially, if this was going to be Takers last match. I wasn't too happy Roman was getting to headline WrestleMania for the third in a row. I could have done without that. I shouldn't be too surprised by it. It's clear Vince McMahon is ready to die on the Roman Reigns hill. Probably not a hill most of us would die on, but I guess you've got to respect that at some level….right? The battle for the yard was marred with boos. It was hard to think how the crowd was going to take this one. It was almost midnight in Orlando by the time they got to this match. The crowd stuck with it as much as they could, and they were fully behind Taker. You could almost hear them collectively praying for Undertaker to walk out with the win. Alas, it was Roman who prevailed. Yes, the human boo factory found a way to best the Deadman.
There were a few cool spots during this match. Taker got to chokeslam Reigns onto an announce table, and Roman speared Taker through one. I do wish this would have been a better outing for Taker if it's truly his last one. Some moves were really awkward. Roman tried to reverse a Tombstone piledriver and it didn’t go well…at all. In the end it took several Superman punches and a spear (a double-rebound off the ropes spear) to put down Taker. It truly showed how hard it is to beat him. After it was all said and done Taker placed his gloves, hat, and duster in the center of the ring. Signaling it may truly be the end of Undertaker's control of his yard. So long old friend. Thank you for all the wonderful years you've given us. Rest well Taker. Rest well.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS
Overall, it was a decent show. Certainly not the best WrestleMania's we've ever seen, but it could've been a lot worse. I hate that all the good matches were in the earlier half of the show. I'm sure if I was in the crowd I wouldn't have liked that either. It was hard to build some of these matches. Now, that it’s over and the dust has settled I'll be interested to see where it all goes now. The Raw after Mania is exciting. You got to think we are going to get an awesome Raw and SmackDown since the brands are split. I sure hope we get Finn Balor back in our lives sooner rather than later. We will see tonight. I hope everyone enjoyed WrestleMania one way or another. Despite winners and losers I always want people to enjoy it. So, share your thoughts. Either leave me a comment or hit over on Twitter. You can reach out to me at either @Nerd_901 or @WebHeadNick86. Let's talk some wrestling. Speaking of talking wresting I think I'm going to have a very special, fun interview with someone this week. A local wrestler star as a matter of fact. I won't say who at this moment, in case something falls through. So, be on the look out of that later this week. All the best!!