As I start writing, we’re about twelve hours removed from the showcase of the immortals, i’m still extremely tired after a lack of sleep but that was all worth it for what, overall, was a GOOD WrestleMania. I’ll hold my hands up and say that after the first couple of hours of the main card, I thought we were in for, potentially, the greatest WrestleMania so far. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but it was still a great show nonetheless.
Starting with the pre-show, I feel like I enjoyed the ARMBAR a lot more than I expected, although on reflection that likely stems from the fact Matt Hardy won thanks to some Bray Wyatt shenanigans. I think Hardy and Wyatt could be a really good tag team, especially on Raw where the division is lacking right now. Following that, the crusierweights put on a good show by continuing in the same vein that the whole championship tournament had. It was great to see Cedric Alexander finally get his crowning moment. The women’s battle royal, however, made me feel indifferent. I like that the Sasha and Bayley story developed and we’re likely to see that go further on Raw tonight, but after Bayley thought she had won, only to be surprised by Naomi, she looked terrified and barely put up a fight – I feel like that could have played out a lot better.
The main card started with the triple threat for the Intercontinental Championship with Miz, Balor and Rollins putting on a solid spectacle to open the card. A really enjoyable match ending with Rollins taking the gold, which was great to see. Succeeding that match was the streak vs title match with Charlotte and Asuka. For me, this match should have been the main event, WWE like to pat themselves on the back for the “women’s evolution” but this match has arguably the two greatest female wrestlers of all time and they could have made a massive statement by having it go on last. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed this match, and while not everyone is pleased to see the streak die, I think it will make Asuka more interesting going forward. I assume she’ll stay on Raw now and maybe feud with Nia Jax after she beat Alexa Bliss for the title and speaking of a women’s main event I get the feeling that will be taken by Charlotte and Ronda Rousey at next year’s ‘Mania.
I would also like to make it known, that I am disgusted that Rusev did not win the US Title on Rusev Day, of all days, but I feel like I appreciate Jinder more than most, in the sense that now, you a detested heel with the belt and any babyface victory down the line will get a massive pop. The match itself was sort of underwhelming, it was okay, but not great.
Subsequently, we had what turned out to be, in my eyes, the match of the night. Angle & Rousey versus Triple H & Steph. I said to one of my friends prior to this match that it was either going to be great or awful, nothing in between. Thankfully, it was the former, with Steph’s heel tactics, Ronda not missing a beat and a surprising amount of inter-gender wrestling, this match stole the show. Ronda had a lot of sceptics going into this match, but she looked right at home – and that arm-bar is incredible.
The Smackdown tag match was good, but too short, for me. I’m glad the Bludgeon Brothers won and i’m praying that they go in to a feud with a newly called up Sanity or Authors of Pain in the coming weeks, but we had 3 great tag teams here that didn’t have the time to put on the match that they could have. I genuinely feel like if these teams had a twenty minute slot, they could have stole the show, unfortunately they didn’t have that, but i’m excited to see where this goes on Smackdown.
Now, the will they, wont they match. Cena versus Undertaker. Did it happen? Yes it did! We were thrown a curve ball with Elias emerging prior to Taker, only to get destroyed by Cena. With Undertaker ultimately emerging, the stage was finally set. Cena was spooked and Undertaker dominated from the starting bell with big match John taking the loss in only a few minutes. I hope Cena keeps the desperation aspect of his character going forward, as it could provide a great element to him seeking that record breaking title reign.
Daniel Bryan and Shane won – as expected, with Sami Zayn tapping out to Bryan’s signature yes lock. Bryan had the crowd in the palm of his hands and I don’t there will ever be someone so over again. It was great to see him back in the ring after his struggles and it is going be superb to see him wrestle the likes of AJ Styles, Nakamura and Bobby Roode going forward. I expect that we’ll see Zayn and Owens on Raw tonight, given that they are now officially fired from Smackdown.
In our “dream match”, Styles versus Nakamura, expectations were outrageously high and while the match was good, those expectations were nowhere close to being met. It was a good match, but it was just lacking something. The post match heel turn from Shinsuke, however, would suggest that we’re going to see a longer feud, which has the potential to be phenomenal (no pun intended) and perhaps the decision was made to save some spots for later down the feud.
Raw’s tag match was, interesting, to say the least. Braun’s mystery partner turned out not to be Brain Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio or whoever else was rumoured, but a ten year old boy named Nicholas. They of course won the titles, because it’s Braun, but I have no idea what will happen next. Will Nicholas be on Raw tonight? Will Braun just pick a random person out every week and call it under the Freebird rule? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Ultimately, we arrive at our main event. Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. I think it’s fair to say that this wasn’t very well received, with crown chats of “this is awful” and “boring” while beach balls were making the rounds, the crowd certainly didn’t respond well. There was no reactions to any of the near falls following F5 after F5 and it quickly became difficult to watch. I’m a fan of Roman, but after the likes of Braun and Samoa Joe losing to one F5, Reigns kicking out of several was poor. I actually think people want to like Roman, but after several years of booking like this, I think it’s become very clear that something needs to change. Finally, Brock did get the win, so now the question remains, who is going to be able to conquer the beast and win the Universal Championship?