Wrestlemania XXXI: Shock and Awe, Shock and Awe

Wrestlemania XXXI
Date: March 29, 2015
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Attendance: 76,976
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

Tonight is the night. Even though the build hasn’t been the best in recent history, this is still Wrestlemania and the biggest show of the year. The main event is the recently re-signed Brock Lesnar defending his WWE World Heavyweight Title against the winner of the Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns. The card looks good on paper but that has to translate to something more. Let’s get to it.

The stage is HUGE and has a big circle in the middle for a Titantron.

Pre-Show: Tag Team Titles: Los Matadores vs. Usos vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kid vs. New Day

One fall to a finish here. Cesaro and Kidd are defending, Jey Uso has a banged up shoulder and it’s Kofi and Big E for New Day. The Usos are in regular short trunks with tassels and are in San Francisco 49ers colors. The fans are behind Cesaro as he starts with Kingston but Fernando tags Cesaro to come in. Cesaro goes after Jey on the floor and sends him into the barricade, likely to write him out of the match due to his shoulder.

Back in and Kofi takes Fernando down for two as Jimmy checks on his brother. Diego slingshots in with a hilo to Kofi and it’s back to Cesaro for a chinlock. Jey is taken out as Kidd comes in for the Swing into the dropkick for two. Everything breaks down for a bit until it’s only Kofi and Kidd with the latter holding a chinlock. Jimmy comes back in and cleans house with superkicks all around and four straight running Umaga attacks in the corner.

Kofi dives off the top onto Fernando, leaving Jimmy to drop Kidd for a close two. Cesaro drops Jimmy with an uppercut but Big E. tags himself in for a splash on both guys. He throws Kofi at Cesaro for two but everyone goes to the corner for a series of superplexes, a splash and Los Matadores with a powerbomb into a backstabber for two on Kofi. Natalya (and her very low cut outfit) offer a distraction, allowing Torito to hurricanrana Woods into the barricade.

Natalya puts Torito in the Sharpshooter but Naomi dives on a bunch of people, followed by a Rear View to Natalya. Back in and the Midnight Hour gets two on Fernando with Jimmy and Cesaro making a save. The referee actually says Big E. isn’t legal (Lawler: “How would he know?”) with Fernando but Kidd tags himself in anyway, only to have Big E. throw him and Fernando onto his shoulders at the same time.

Kofi kicks Kidd and knees Cesaro in the corner but Los Matadores get in there to knock Cesaro to the floor. The announcers are already calling this a car wreck. A six man Tower of Doom puts everyone not named Uso down, leaving Jimmy to splash Big E. but Cesaro runs in to steal the pin and retain at 10:00.

Rating: C+. This wasn’t as good as last year but it was a completely different kind of match. This was a huge mess with everyone all over the place and no flow to the match after the five minute mark. That being said, at least they went with the right choice for the winners and Natalya got to keep looking awesome. Not a great match or anything but it was fast paced and fun, which is what something like this should be doing.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor, Hideo Itami, Cesaro, Jimmy Uso, Diego, Fernando, Bo Dallas, Kofi Kingston, Big E., Xavier Woods, Tyson Kidd, Alex Riley

There are some unannounced people in there, including everyone in the opener, but I’m not sure I have everyone included. Axel does the Hogan pose and everyone eliminates him at once. It’s a huge mess to start so it’s really hard to see what’s going on. Itami kicks away at Cesaro and gets a great reaction from the fans. Rose and Fandango eliminate each other and Show chops Itami. Miz and Mizdow go after Riley and get him out without too much of a problem.

Bo Dallas breaks up the Broski Boot and dumps Ryder, only to eliminate himself in celebration. He goes back in anyway so Itami kicks him out again. Kidd and Itami kick it out but Big Show punches Hideo out. So much for NXT meaning anything. Kane dumps Los Matadores and Cesaro throws Sin Cara onto the two of them. Henry throws Kidd onto the pile but Ascension gets together to throw him out.

Ascension goes after Big Show as and actually knock him down but JBL points out the obvious problem that creates. Ryback eliminates Viktor and Konnor at the same time, followed by doing the same to Young and Slater. Titus gets eliminated by Ryback as well but it’s Big Show clotheslining Ryback down before knocking out Swagger. New Day triple teams Big Show but he eliminates all of them with ease. We’re down to Jimmy Uso, Rowan, Big Show, Cesaro, Kane, Ryback, Goldust, Miz and Mizdow.

Things finally slow down until Big Show eliminates Rowan (were you expecting anything else?) and Ryback dumps Goldust. Kane breaks up a Shell Shock to Big Show and chokeslams Miz and Mizdow. Cesaro hangs on and slides back in to slam Kane out for a big reaction. Show tosses Jimmy and it’s Cesaro vs. Big Show just like last year. This time though Big Show escapes the slam and throws Cesaro out. Instead it’s Ryback spinebustering Show as we’re down to Ryback, Big Show, Miz and Mizdow.

Show counters the Meat Hook and throws out Ryback, leaving Show to smile at the only two left. The fans cheer for Mizdow, who FINALLY tells Miz no. Miz tries to talk him down and yells at him as Big Show just stands around for two minutes while they argue. Miz goes after Big Show and gets eliminated to a big reaction, only to turn around and see Big Show.

JBL keeps harping on Big Show never winning a battle royal in WWE but Mizdow skins the cat to get back inside. He hammers away but gets taken down by a shoulder. Mizdow avoids a charge to send Show to the apron but Show grabs him by the throat. A guillotine choke looks to do the same ending as the 2004 Royal Rumble but Show shoves him off and wins at 18:11.

Rating: D+. Good grief man really? I mean REALLY? Their big idea is to FINALLY turn Mizdow to a hug…..screw sarcasm. I’m sick of Big Show, I’m sick of him getting pushed, I’m sick of WWE thinking he’s interesting because he’s big, and I’m sick of his old body getting these big moments because he was there in the Attitude Era with his stupid country sounding song. Thanks for all the work Mizdow. Maybe you’ll get a better push if you grow a foot and turn 44.

Aloe Blacc (I haven’t heard of him either) sings America the Beautiful.

The opening video features LL Cool J talking about how universal the world has become with everyone being connected. However, one thing stays the same: us. People come together and feel a connection between themselves. J talks about some great moments in Wrestlemania and says these generations have come together for this night. Kind of a far cry from the huge party down the streets of New Orleans.

Intercontinental Title: Bad News Barrett vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper

Ladder match with Barrett defending. Pat Patterson is here to put the belt up, which makes sense as he’s the first Intercontinental Champion and had his greatest fame in this area. Ziggler seems to have braided his hair, Stardust has a cape and Ambrose gets the loudest pop. Dean hits the ring and the brawl is on in a hurry. Truth flip dives onto Barrett and Ambrose but Stardust dives onto all three.

Harper throws Ziggler outside too and hits a big suicide dive. Not to be out done, Dean climbs a ladder for a flying elbow drop to the pile. Truth is up first and goes for the belt but Barrett cleans house with a ladder of his own. Bryan comes in with some running dropkicks to crush Stardust into the ladder into Barrett in the corner but Harper throws the ladder at Daniel’s head. Harper gets tied upside down in the ladder and Bryan fires off some YES Kicks. Apparently being a former World Champion makes you immune to falling ladders.

Ziggler and his hair of doom comes back in with a superkick to Daniel before getting into a climbing contest with Dean. Barrett pulls both guys down before Stardust knocks all three of them down and crushes Ambrose’s legs in the ladder. Stardust goes outside and pulls out the, I quote, Exo-Atmospheric Star Bird. In other words, a ladder with glitter on the sides. That’s fine with Barrett who rips a rung off and beats Stardust with it because I guess he likes black ladders.

We get a stepladder thrown in and Harper sends Dean face first into the ladder in the corner. It’s time for the Terry Funk helicopter spot but Truth drop toeholds him down to break it up. Truth brings in the big ladder but can’t find the middle of the ring, allowing Barrett and Stardust to climb up with Bad News superplexing him down. Dean shoves Bryan and Ziggler’s ladder down before hitting the rebound clothesline to Harper.

That’s fine with Luke as he powerbombs Dean over the top and through a bridged ladder at ringside. Dolph puts Harper in the sleeper but Luke climbs anyway, only to fall backwards to crush Ziggler again. Ziggler is up first though and makes a fast attempt, only to get pulled into a Bull Hammer. Stardust and Truth get one as well but it’s Bryan making the save, only to have Ziggler and Barrett pull down. Back up and the running knee puts Bad News down but Ziggler sprints up the ladder for a slugout. The belt starts swaying but it turns into a headbutt exchange. It’s Ziggler going down though and Bryan wins at 13:55.

Rating: B. Total mess for the most part here but Bryan winning is the smart move. The guy is still one of the most popular guys on the roster and hopefully they’re not going to give him the losing streak. Maybe this makes it the wrestler’s title again, which would be the best thing they could do with the belt. Really good opener here with the right ending to top it off. Harper looked great here too and is a star in the making if they ever figure out how to use him.

We recap Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins with a different twist: both guys have been called the future but now Orton might be surpassed. Then they go with the stupid story of Orton attacking the Authority, then joining the Authority, then attacking them again. It never made sense before and it doesn’t now.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton

Orton has elbow pads again. Some headlocks get us nowhere so Rollins does a standing backflip, only to eat a dropkick. After a quick chase on the floor, Rollins stomps away in the corner but Orton takes his head off with a clothesline. The RKO is broken up by a Stooges distraction, earning them a double elevated DDT onto the floor to get us down to one on one. It takes too much time though and Rollins nails a suicide dive to take Orton out.

We hit the chinlock for a bit before Rollins takes Orton down with a running splash in the corner. An early Curb Stomp attempt is countered into a powerslam followed by a t-bone suplex. Another elevated DDT is countered though and Rollins kicks him to the floor for an Asai Moonsault. Back in and Orton’s superplex is countered but he backdrops Rollins to break up superbomb attempt.

Rollins rolls through a high cross body for two but now the elevated DDT connects. The RKO is countered into the low superkick but Rollins tries a standing Sliced Bread #2, only to walk into the RKO for a very close near fall. That’s not a move you see kicked out of often (outside of a John Cena match of course). The Stooges come in to break up the Punt and take RKOs, setting up a Curb Stomp for another close two. Rollins misses the Phoenix Splash but tries another Curb Stomp, only to be LAUNCHED into the air for the RKO and the pin at 13:35.

Rating: B. Not quite the show stealer it could have been, but man alive that was one heck of an RKO. I was thinking they were going to do the Phoenix Splash into the RKO but that would have been a bit too far. The ending was sweet though and it’s the second really good match in a row to start things off. Orton winning is surprising, but we might not be done with Rollins tonight.

Ronda Rousey is here.

We recap HHH vs. Sting with the on the Authority being corrupt before changing to HHH just wanting to end Sting’s legacy.

Sting vs. HHH

Sting is played out by a Japanese drum group. HHH one ups him with scenes from the new Terminator movie, a shot from the Terminator’s view, and an army of Terminators on stage. HHH is in Terminator attire and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself appears on the screen to say it’s time to play the game. Sting shouldn’t be scared. After all, he knows Robocop. In an added stipulation, you can only win by pinfall or submission. Sting is in his singlet instead of a t-shirt.

After a 45 second staredown, it’s time for the first lockup with Sting shouldering him down. HHH does the same and throws out a crotch chop. Sting is right back up with a dropkick and HHH is stunned. The facebuster is no sold but HHH bails from a Scorpion attempt. Sting follows him out and gets sent hard into the steps to give HHH his first advantage. Back in and HHH starts on the ribs before putting on a chinlock. That goes as far as you would expect before HHH gets two off a spinebuster. We hit the chinlock again but Sting counters into the Deathlock.

Cue the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac (remember no DQ). Sting fights them off with ease and throws HHH to the floor before dives off the top to take DX down! Back in and the Pedigree connects for two with the fans not really buying that as a major threat just yet. It’s sledgehammer time but cue Hall, Nash and Hogan to make it about the Monday Night Wars again. You know, because Sting was SO into the Black and White.

The Death Drop gets two on HHH and we hit a long Deathlock as everyone fights at ringside (with Nash going down and holding his leg, which would be one heck of a rib). Shawn Michaels runs in with Sweet Chin Music to break it up but Sting gets up at two. Gunn hands HHH the sledgehammer but Hall gives Sting the bat. A bat shot to the ribs puts HHH down and another BREAKS THE HAMMER! The Stinger Splash staggers HHH but he comes back with the head of the hammer to knock Sting cold for the pin at 18:35.

Rating: B-. GOOD GRIEF. I was having a great time with the nostalgia until they completely missed the point with the ending. What in the world is the point in bringing Sting in to have him lose? For the sake of doing one more shot at WCW for the Monday Night Wars? That thing that was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO and Vince still isn’t over? The worst part for me was the match was actually rocking before the ending. This was a really fun match until the bad ending, which is way more than I was expecting.


New series coming to WWE Network: Camp WWE (Rated mature), Jerry Springer’s Too Hot For WWE, a Jackass style show and the new Divas Search.

Daniel Bryan is with Maria Menunos (in a Bushwhackers shirt) when Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper (with a kiss to the head), Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair come up to congratulate him. A Woo-off ensues until Bret Hart comes in to shake Bryan’s hand and starts a YES chant. Cue Ron Simmons and you know the rest.

Skyler Gray performs the theme song. I’ll use this break to say this show has rocked so far and is WAY better than I was expecting coming in.

Paige/AJ Lee vs. Bella Twins

No recap video but it’s about the Bellas being celebrities and AJ/Paige being themselves. Paige (with blue highlights) takes Nikki down to start but gets caught in an Alabama Slam for an early two. Off to Brie for a front facelock before knocking AJ off the apron. The BRIE MODE running knee to the face gets two for Brie before Nikki comes in with a spinebuster. Paige fights back but there’s still no AJ to tag. Instead she just dives off the apron with a flip to take out both Bellas and now the hot tag brings in AJ.

A quick tornado guillotine onto the top rope sets up a high cross body but Nikki rolls through for two of her own. Nikki lifts her up for an electric chair but AJ spins out into a DDT which was slightly botched but looked good enough. Brie breaks up the Black Widow but Nikki’s big forearm only gets two. Paige sends Brie into the steps and the Black Widow makes Nikki tap at 6:40.

Rating: C+. Well that happened. It was a step above most Divas matches but this really didn’t do anything special. Like I said coming into this match, if there’s nothing on the line, this doesn’t mean much. I’m pretty sure AJ has made Nikki tap before, so this really doesn’t mean anything. Decent match but it certainly didn’t knock anything out of the park. The time didn’t do it any favors though.

Hall of Fame video.

The Class of 2015 is presented. Butch is on crutches but still does the arm wacking.

We recap John Cena vs. Rusev. Cena passed out in the Accolade last month but he choked Rusev out to get a rematch. This is firmly about the USA vs. Russia and Cena wanting to bring the title back home.

US Title: Rusev vs. John Cena

Lana is back and carrying the title, flanked by Russian soldiers carrying the Russian flag. Rusev RIDES OUT IN A TANK to the Russian national anthem. Cena counters with an American theme with various Presidents talking about American exceptionalism but just walks out with the fans singing “John Cena sucks” in time to his music ala the Raw after Wrestlemania last year. Rusev insists that his big match intro is first and Cena stares a hole through him.

Rusev scores with an early spinwheel kick for two and throws Cena around with a suplex. He stops to get the Russian flag though and Cena gets fired up, meaning it’s time to start his finishing sequence. The AA doesn’t work though and Rusev gets two off a spinning belly to back suplex. Rusev gets the same off a spinning Rock Bottom but his superplex is countered for a top rope Fameasser. The fans start chanting for Lana but get shut down as Cena gets two off a tornado DDT.

Rusev comes back with a knee to the head and an Alabama Slam (Russian for “TELL HER THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE!”) for two. Cena takes him down with the STF but Lana throws her shoes in for some reason (that was a real, ahem, heel move) as Rusev makes the ropes. He slams Cena down again and goes up for a pretty good looking top rope headbutt and two more.

The Accolade doesn’t work so Cena gets up, jumps at the ropes like a Lionsault but catches Rusev in a Stunner of all things for two. Rusev shrugs it off and puts on the Accolade but Cena gets to his feet and rams Rusev into the corner. The STF goes on but Lana offers a distraction, only to have Rusev accidentally knock her down, setting up the AA for the pin at 14:43.

Rating: B-. Good match but a bit below their previous match and not exactly the emotion they were going for. They hit all the big points but Cena winning was kind of just there instead of having a big impact. I’m thinking more about that Stunner than anything else, but it’s nice to see Cena with a midcard title and taking a backseat to the World Title. Not that he doesn’t belong in the title scene, but this is refreshing.

Post match Rusev yells at Lana and leaves.

It’s 9:30 and we have two matches left. Those are going to have to go a long time to make this fit. It’s possible that that’s a stretch.

Wrestlemania XXXII is in Dallas on April 3, 2016.

The pre-show panel talks for a bit and recaps the two matches before the show started.

Here are Stephanie and HHH to announce the new attendance record: 76,976. Stephanie talks about being at Wrestlemania I to watch her friend Andre the Giant (my goodness let it go Steph) slam Big John Studd. She takes credit for the evolution of WWE because this company has grown under her leadership. HHH says he beat Sting tonight but he also beat everyone who bet against them. It’s like he beat everyone here tonight and millions more around the world. He owned Sting and every superstar and Diva back there. They own the people too and you know what that means.

Cue the Rock for a huge ovation. Stephanie: “Ok you’re happy to see him. Can you be quiet now?” Rock says the Authority doesn’t own the people or the Rock because he’s an East Bay boy (meaning from this area of California). HHH’s options are to go dress up like Terminator again or we can have a Wrestlemania moment right here, right now. HHH remembers beating Rock in most of their matches so he has nothing to prove. Rock left his heart in San Francisco but HHH left his balls in Connecticut.

Stephanie gets in his face and says Rock is trying to get the fans to cheer for him because he knows without the McMahons, there is no Rock. She brings up Rock’s father and grandfather but the fans chant for Shane. Rock says Stephanie can run her mouth about the McMahons and the Johnsons, but she wouldn’t be in power without McMahon’s Johnson. Stephanie slaps him in the face and asks if he’s going to hit her.

Rock actually leaves as Stephanie still won’t shut up, so Rock goes over to……Ronda Rousey. Fans: “RONDA’S GONNA KILL YOU!” Rock says he would never hit a woman, but Rousey would be happy to. Stephanie says they’re friends but Ronda just stares at her. See, this is Stephanie’s ring so she’s not scared of Ronda. Ronda says any ring she steps into is hers so make her leave.

Stephanie still won’t shut up so Rock warns her about the look on Rousey’s face. “That look means she’s about to reach down your throat and play jump rope with your Fallopian tubes.” HHH remembers that he’s here and says that’s the last thing Rock is saying about Stephanie.

The fight is on and Rock hammers away before Rousey takes HHH down as well. Stephanie pulls back for the slap but Rousey catches the arm….and lets her go as Stephanie screams in pain. Rock says that’s the Wrestlemania moment of the night. WAY longer than it needed to be and Rousey didn’t get nearly enough heat off Stephanie but she looked at home in the ring.

Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker

No recap but Bray keeps the awesome entrances going with zombie scarecrows that come to life as he passes them. Bray sprained his ankle earlier in the night so he might not be moving like usual. The sun is still partially out so the entrances are nowhere near as ominous as usual. Undertaker has some hair again and looks similar to how he did back in 2002. Bray says all of this is his now and charges into a boot to the face before the bell.

The driving shoulders put Bray down again and Old School connects, only to have Bray nail him with a clothesline. Another clothesline puts Undertaker over the top but he pulls Bray outside. The apron legdrop has Bray in even more trouble as it’s almost all Undertaker early. Back in and Snake Eyes looks to set up the running boot but Bray takes him down with the running cross body. The running splash in the corner gets two and we hit the chinlock.

Undertaker is dragged over to the corner as Bray goes outside for a big running charge into the steps, possibly sending Undertaker’s head into the post. Back in and Bray goes to pick him up but gets caught in Hell’s Gate. Undertaker can’t quite get it locked in though and some right hands get Bray out. A release Rock Bottom and the backsplash get two and Undertaker is rocked.

Sister Abigail is countered into a chokeslam and the Tombstone gets two. Another Tombstone is countered into Sister Abigail for two. Bray Spiders up but Undertaker sits up and just stares at him, making Bray fall back to the mat in an unintentionally funny moment. The look basically said “Boy, what in God’s name do you think you’re doing?” Bray wins a slugout but takes too long mocking Undertaker, allowing Sister Abigail to be countered into another Tombstone for the pin at 15:06.

Rating: B. That sitout to break the spider walk was great but the match worked really well too. This really makes me think that last year was mostly due to the concussion, as this was much closer to the (still overrated) Punk match two years ago. Bray isn’t going to die because of this, but he needs a major win or a big feud soon. Undertaker winning was pretty much the only option, especially since he can still go this well. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was more than acceptable.

We recap Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. To keep it short, Brock is a monster that can’t be beaten but Reigns says he can do it. There isn’t much more to it than that.

WWE World Title: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock is defending of course and Reigns doesn’t get the best reaction in the world. Reigns goes right for him but gets driven into the corner and thrown down with a German. The F5 from a bloody Lesnar connects in 31 seconds but he doesn’t cover. Brock throws him down again and Reigns looks stunned. He elbows out of another German and the fans are all over him. Brock no sells some clotheslines and throws Reigns with another German.

Reigns smiles up at him and shoves Brock’s face. Brock: “SUPLEX CITY!” Another comeback is countered with the fifth German of the match but Roman keeps smiling at him. Number six has Reigns in even more trouble and Brock drapes him across the top rope. The fans say this is awesome and Brock drives Reigns off the apron and into the barricade. As they come back in, Reigns scores with a knee to the face and fires some kicks to the chest to nothing but boos.

Brock catches a kick though and just BLASTS Reigns with a clothesline to send him back outside. Back in and another suplex sends Reigns flying as Brock seems to like the blood on his face. Now Reigns looks to have some blood in his mouth too. Brock belly to bellies him over the ropes and back inside, followed by the second F5 for two. There go Brock’s gloves and he slaps Reigns in the face a few times. Reigns starts laughing again so Brock throws him down with two more Germans. A third F5 only gets two and Brock is a combination of livid and shocked.

They head outside again and Brock goes hard into the post to really bust him open. He beats the count back in at nine and Reigns is smiling again. Now the Superman Punch connects but he doesn’t go down. A second puts him down in the corner on one knee but the third misses, only to have Reigns counter the German. Reigns headbutts him (hooray for racial stereotypes!) and nails the third Superman Punch followed by the spear but Lesnar stumbles to the corner. A second spear gets two and Reigns is stunned. I totally bought that as the finish.

Brock catches a third spear in the fourth F5 AND HERE COMES ROLLINS! He cashes in right now and I think we have a triple threat! Rollins kicks Reigns to the floor and connects with the Curb Stomp but loads up a second, allowing Lesnar to counter into the F5. Reigns spears Lesnar down but Rollins Curb Stomps Reigns to win the title at 16:43!

Rating: B+. YES! I’ve wanted Rollins to win the title for the better part of a year now and this is the PERFECT way to pay it off. They keep Lesnar looking like a killer, Reigns looks strong and above all else, ROLLINS IS THE WORLD CHAMPION! They were running into a problem with Lesnar as champion: you can only see him squash people for so long before it stops being entertaining. Let him go back to the big featured match and keep him away from the title (or turn him face) and let Rollins be the top star as he should be. I’m thrilled with this and couldn’t be happier. Great choice for an ending to a great show.

Overall Rating: A. We’ll file this under WHERE THE HECK DID THIS COME FROM??? I had a blast with this show and couldn’t be happier if I tried. Above all else, there were no bad matches on the whole card. Not a single one. The worst thing all night was a too long Rock vs. HHH segment to set up a huge match next year and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m still on a high from that ending and might be overrating the show, but this was a great night all around.

I need to give credit to the entrances too. These were on fire all night and the best thing about them was how much more of a spectacle they made the show. Yeah it’s cool to see them walk down a ramp, but having a tank, robots or a Japanese band (what was up with that?) makes it feel like you’re seeing something special.

I can’t believe how much I liked this show after dreading what I felt was coming. The best part about it though is the renewed faith in the company. Yeah, the build sucked, but they NAILED the show (save for one or two questionable booking moves) and the whole thing was just a blast all around. I had a great time with this and didn’t get bored once, save for a lame concert but we’ll ignore that for now. Really good show and a high quality all night, with the worst match being a totally watchable Divas tag. Loved it and I can’t believe how good of a time I had watching, especially the ending.


Daniel Bryan b. Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Stardust, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose and Bad News Barrett – Bryan pulled down the title

Randy Orton b. Seth Rollins – RKO

HHH b. Sting – Sledgehammer to the face

AJ Lee/Paige b. Bella Twins – Black Widow to Nikki

John Cena b. Rusev – Attitude Adjustment

Undertaker b. Bray Wyatt – Tombstone

Seth Rollins b. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar – Curb Stomp to Reigns

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  1. Dan says:

    Oh man, how AWESOME was that?

    Also: Suplex City, bitch!

  2. Heyo says:

    Best. Finish. Ever.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve been wanting to see that for months. I love it.

  3. Nate says:

    Totally agree. Super fun show.

    Did the forums crash?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep. Calling card of Wrestlemania.

  4. Your Eternal Reward says:

    I wouldn’t give it an A as the Sting/HHH match and the long ass promo drained my life force (must be a HHH thing).

    Other then that this was much better then expected. Vastly superior compared to 25 where the main event killed it (though it has aged well), 27 where that announcers fight stupidity killed it and 29 where we knew all the winners a year earlier.

  5. Jacob Jones says:

    I swear to god if Jamie Gracie comes here and says “Oh man, how BAD was that?” i’m going to spread some whoopass in this comment section.

    But seriously, That was a freakin’ awesome WrestleMania! Every match delivered on this night, and to think we all thought it was going to suck!

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I have a feeling this show isn’t going to hold up great as the low expectations almost everyone had REALLY helped it. On its own and without the bad build it’s probably a B+ show, which still is far from bad.

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    Yeah. A B+ is hardly anything to sneeze at.

  6. james gracie says:

    Say it with me….Oh man how bad was Wrestlemania? I don’t even know where to fucking begin! Wyatt loses, Rusev loses, Rollins loses(and gets a fluke title win, big fucking deal), Sandow loses to Big Show earlier…..what a great night for the future of this company LOL.

    But points to Stephanie as she was able to talk down to the Rock and Ronda FUCKING Rousey and only get a little shove as comeuppance. SHE FUCKING SUCKS!

    And was the show entertaining, sure at some points but who cares. The current product gained nothing! The nWo vs DX was cool, but it means nothing in the long run. Undertaker winning means nothing as we wont see him for another year and Wyatt looks like a chump. Cena winning….again? Who the fuck cares. And Rollins cashing in after he loses? Yeah okay, and they’ll wonder why he tanks as champion in a few weeks. They couldn’t even give Sting the feel good win? The only thing they got right was Daniel Bryan but now that he is IC champ that means he’ll lose every week.

    And where were all these so called great entrances you all promised? Only Triple H got a cool entrance….yeah shocker I know.

    Awful Wrestlemania and this company is circling the drain at this point. We all knew this show would be bad and it was. Once you all get over seeing the Rock and DX and nWO, you’ll come back down to earth and see how bad and damaging this show was in the long run. FUCK THIS CRAP! #VinceIsSoftAndDumb #FireStephanie #YouAreScrewedDanielBryan

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    *facepalm* Well then. I guess you’ve left me no choice.

    You can’t just do an undefeated Russian stereotype forever, there’s very little ceiling for it. Look at Vladimir Kozlov, he couldn’t wrestle and wasn’t actually over with the crowd but by making him an undefeatable ass-kicking machine, so much so that he defeated The Undertaker. That’s something not many people have to honor to say.

    Now granted Kozlov became a jobber afterwords, but that was because he didn’t have the skills to back it up, Rusev however DOES the skills to back it up as shown in his match against Henry, Show, Sheamus and Cena. Plus the fact that he came very close to submitting Cena twice clearly shows that he’s going to be dominate for a long time to come.

    Yes Wyatt lost, but let’s think about the bigger picture. This may be more than just a 5 minute pit-stop for the feud, perhaps another match will be in order? And plus, Wyatt was booked strong in this match. It took him a Hell’s Gate and 2 Tombstone to be stopped. Maybe 3.

    Rollins cashed in the middle of the main event of WrestleMania. What more do you need to say?

    Sting and a japanese band, Rusev in a tank, Wyatt and those damn scarecrows and Cena with the presidents of America.

    So Mizdow lost to The Big Show eh? Again, looking at the biggest picture, Mizdow FINALLY turned his back on The Miz after all the abuse he had been put through. He actually almost got Show out TWICE. That just shows his heart and determination.

    Sting lost to HHH, once again. The bigger picture, I suspect there will be one more match between the two of them. Seeing as it is Extreme Rules, maybe a 2 out of 3 falls match?

    Actually, YKW; I hate to get the soap-box one, but what do I have to give?: WWE is a SPORTS-ENTERTAINMENT company. Not an shrine from the IWC to gush over. Does the thought of Daniel Bryan getting put back into the midcard upset you? Well there’s a reason why, he got injured last year and his plans for the future were destroyed. When he got back, his spot was taken. Why waste their energy on doing a storyline they did LAST YEAR?

    Cena hogging all the attention? There’s an explanation or that too. Cena is loved by the kids and his determination and his humility has shown that he will be a top dog for a long time to come.

    It’s actually funny seeing people think that Vince is out of touch when he pushed CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to great lengths, and he admitted in his podcast with Steve Austin that he will not give up on Cesaro. It seems to be paying off as he’s won the Tag Team titles and for the most part has had a smooth reign with Tyson so far.

    Don’t you see? This is what WWE is! Sports-Entertainment. It’s a soap opera for men and a paradise for kids. Sometimes when the WWE it really gets bad, but when the WWE is good; it’s really great.

    Infact, I don’t even know why I made this long comment to you. I tried to reason with you Jamie but you have officially woken up a sleeping giant. If you really did like WWE or TNA, you would accept this opinion and learn to show at the very least some respect. And if you’re going to keep complaining even if it’s good……

    Then leave. Do what you say you were going to do in January 5th of this year and completely stop watching WWE. Because until you decide to man up, I refuse to give you any ounce of my respect.

    *drops the microphone and walks off into the sunset*


    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Why am I not surprised?

    Wrestlemania 31 was an awesome Show from start to the amazing finish. Not a bad Match the entire night and perfectly booked way for Seth Rollins to leave WWE Champion.

    Cannot wait for RAW tomorrow night.

    Gunther_224 Reply:

    I actually liked Orton going over Rollins. It automatically set up another built-in challenger for Rollins down the line.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    James Gracie, you are a Grade A moron. I was actually AT the show and it….was….AWESOME!!!!


  7. Killjoy says:

    KB how did you not mention Rousey’s shirt? This was the night that made every Dragonball Z fan smile.

    Very happy with the show aside from Sting basically being fooder for The Rock vs Triple H. We can only hope Raw improves now.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Because I might have seen eight minutes of Dragon Ball Z since I was…..11? I cared more about the fact that the back was cut like an old Hogan shirt.

    Ty Burna Reply:

    This came right on the heels of my DBZ fandom coming back strong, so yes I loved the hell out of her shirt.

  8. chad says:

    I have to admit, that was a GREAT Wrestlemania, like you say all the matches were pretty good and the only huge issue I have is that Sting should have won over HHH, WWEs revisionist history gets on my nerves

  9. larisano says:

    Have to say, I enjoyed the show immensely! Even the Divas match wasn’t that bad.

    As I suspected, that match card looked great on paper, and I have to say, the WWE delivered big time.

    I for one, am looking forward to RAW tomorrow night. (Brock Smash, What will Roman do?, Sting/Taker coming up?, What next for Bray Wyatt?, Will Orton be inserted into the title hunt? and, most of all, how much longer do we have to tolerate the Authority for?)

    Reid Reply:

    Find out on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z!

  10. Reid says:

    I haven’t watched Raw since Fast Lane but I read your reviews and expected another show like 27. Man, did they knock it out of the park. Every match was good even with the crappy finished and the Rollins cash-in saved (can’t think of another word because Reigns/Lesnar was really good) what could have been a disaster. Even Skyler Gray was alright and got the fans to catch their breath. The Rock/HHH segment dragged but hopefully it’ll help build up to next year.

    This is the first time in MONTHS that I’m excited for Raw and I’m glad to type that. Really fun show and the six hours flew by.

  11. that terminator based entrance was the best entrance I’ve ever seen

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve never been a fan of the series so that probably had something to do with it.

  12. nodog says:

    I liked the ending to the sting/hhh match, I’m not sure why though, maybe because it was surprising and unexpected.
    The Big Show winning was fine if you look at it as the WWE throwing a company man a bone. He’s getting old, and has had a history of losing the big matches he’s been in. So they let him win the battle royal and have his Wrestlemania moment. It was in some ways kind of touching, IMO because it wasn’t yet another person overcoming the Big Show, the big show got to stand tall for once.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He’s been in the main event scene for months now despite no reason to be there. He’s had enough bones.

    nodog Reply:

    he’s been in the main event scene playing the role as the big bad everyone overcomes(a role which he has played for years) and hasn’t won anything. Besides he won the jobber battle royal on the pre-show, it’s not like he cashed in MITB and walked out champion or something.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He was World Champion in 2013. Sheamus could have been in the same role and not been as dull.

  13. M.R. says:

    Enjoyed the show, but Wyatt could’ve used this win. The streak’s over, why give the win to the guy who wrestles once a year?

    Also, are you really surprised that Triple H went over in a match that let off a single scent that it had anything at all to do with WWE vs WCW? Vince is ridiculous.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Agree on both counts but much more the latter. That just did not need to happen, but it’s HHH’s old booking theory in practice: you can’t have him lose match A because he needs to be strong for match B.

    This of course makes NO SENSE ANYMORE because he’s HHH and the Rock match is a year away, but whatever.

    FauladKaAulad Reply:

    does the potential of Rock vs HHH next year means, authority lives on for another year?

    klunderbunker Reply:


  14. Awesome_Miz says:

    I don’t hate the Sting/HHH ending as much as people maybe it’s cause I saw the betting odds being in HHH hands and it all made sense. They were pretty much going to make fun of WCW all over again. Also let’s talk the Main Event. This was so perfectly done and executed. Lesnar could only go so far as the top heel and WWE saw that since people have started cheering for him. Then you have Reigns who just needs to work a bit more until his big Mania moment. So, what did they thing of doing instead? Having literally you’re newest top heel take that place and runs with it while holding onto the top WWE title. So, the question now comes into question. What is to be expected in the Mania fallout show; Raw? I mean we usually have something close the show which ends up changing the WWE. So, will we see a full Lesnar face turn or what? Cause I’m all for it.

  15. Opti says:

    Gotta say I loved this Mania and the ending was amazing! Was totally expecting the cash-in to result in Reigns winning over Rollins but I’ve never been so glad to be so wrong.

    The only parts I struggled with were Sting-NWO alliance that completely took me out of the spectacle and the long-ass Rock and Steph promo.

    I just don’t like Steph as an on-screen character as I feel like she’s trying to be evil without any real comeuppance coming her way besides a Vicky Guerrero mud push. Plus, Rock just bores me to tears on the mic.

    Wyatt losing to Taker was the only finish on the main card *cough* Big Show *cough* that I didn’t agree with. Wyatt winning was better for me but I can live with result as long as Wyatt gets something soon.

    But yeah, that ending will go down in history and I was on my knees in disbelief.

  16. Aeon Mathix says:

    think sting and undertaker will set up their Mania 32 match tomorrow night?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I hope not but it’s a possibility.

    Steve Reply:

    I was hoping for Bray to win, celebrate, leave, have Taker laying there similar to last year, then hear the Crow.

  17. Vega says:

    Our match grades are pretty close, but my overall is much lower. While yes, there wasn’t a truly bad match, there isn’t anything great either. I wouldn’t really want to watch this show again, which is something I’d expect if I went for the high grades. The Rollins cash-in is the image of the night and might be historic, above all else it’s very clever booking. Some things were downright infuriating, like
    – Big Show eliminating half the field and winning to top it off and ruin Mizdow’s hypothetical crowning moment.
    – signing Sting for no other purpose than to defeat WCW again and throwing all common sense and logic over board in the match.
    – not even Rock getting the best of Stephanie and her leaving almost unscathed again while wasting a lot of time and dragging horribly.
    – finisher kickout galore again, but I guess I have to grow up, accept that and move on. Not gonna change.
    That’s far from an A in my eyes.

    Tag Title – C: Spotty, but fine.
    ARMBAR – C: I’ve ranted on this already, but there was good drama sprinkled in between.
    Daniel Bryan b. Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Stardust, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose and Bad News Barrett – C-: Every ladder match ever, nothing really outstanding. The concept is burnt out.
    Randy Orton b. Seth Rollins – B-: Nice back and forth, good finish.
    HHH b. Sting – C+: Trainwreck entertainment.
    AJ Lee/Paige b. Bella Twins – C-: Acceptable.
    John Cena b. Rusev – B: Good match, but nothing out of the ordinary.
    (Rock Segment – D-)
    Undertaker b. Bray Wyatt – B+: Got better the longer it went. Awesome selling and symbolism, got me into the drama.
    Seth Rollins b. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar – B: Ridiculous selling with Roman coming off as outmatched and goofy. The comeback felt forced, but Rollins shaking up the scene made up for it.

    Overall: B-

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I didn’t mind the Rock segment but yeah I wanted Rousey to do WAY more to hurt Stephanie to finally shut her up (for a week at least). It went on long, but they were probably hoping to get rid of some sun.

  18. Brian says:

    Really, jobbing Rollins before having him cash in was kinda stupid. Still enjoyed the show as a whole, though.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That’s standard fare. Edge lost when he cashed in the first time.

  19. Steve says:

    Well, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. Pretty good WM with the perfect ending. I bet when the dust settles and KB hit the redo next year it’ll be a solid B to B+ show but this show WWWAAAAAYYYY overachieved. The entire main event gives me hope the the WWE can do amazing things.

    Just a couple other thoughts

    KB, i feel like Vince is reading your reviews and just pushing Big Show to spite you. (Didn’t watch the pre show but I laughed when I saw who won the battle royal)

    Did Orton really need to win? The RKO spot made it forgivable but come on, especially if your going to Rollins leave with the title. But I can see a Bret Owen type feud coming from this.

    The Sting HHH match was one of the strangest matches I’ve ever seen, From the cheesy Terminator entrance to The DX NWO showdown. I mean Cmon, Nash and Hall are going to side with Sting over their best buddy in the world?? It made no sense but I was loving it. The ending almost killed it for me with HHH going over, but at the end of the day it was strangely satisfying.

    Taker looked good, but I still think Bray should have went over. If he’s only going to be around for one day a year, why not. I would have hated to see it but it would have been the right call.

    Where was Sheamus at?????

    Did the daytime lighting for the majority of the event make it feel a bit awkward for anyone else?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve been convinced that’s happened before.

    Not really on Orton but it’s standard fare to have the MITB guy lose his match earlier in the night.

    The WCW stuff…..yeah I’ve got nothing on that.

    Sheamus is being saved for Raw, as he should be.

    Awkward yes, but it wasn’t bad.

  20. deanerandterry says:

    Although Sting vs. HHH had a brutal ending it was ultimately a match that doesn’t shape anything going forward. Rollins winning? That was a big shape shifter going forward and it was great. For a PPV I had zero interest in I was pleasantly surprised.

  21. M.R. says:

    Also, someone tell Rollins not to do that stupid spinning title shit he used to always do in NXT.

  22. F5 says:

    Honestly, I don’t know what show you and some others were watching. This was one of the weakest Wrestlemanias that I can remember. All of the matches were either awful, or underwhelming, with the Ladder Match being weak, Orton vs Rollins having a single cool spot, the HHH/Sting match being horrible with the wrong person winning, the Divas match being(predictably) bad, with anything the Bellas are in being cancer for that division, Cena vs Rusev being typical Cena fair with the WRONG PERSON WINNING(Cena needs to GO AWAY for a while), Taker vs Bray just slightly better than Taker vs Kane(your choice), and the Main Event being the only good match, because Lesnar destroyed Reigns throughout… then the show ended in a fucking angle.

    A C- is the most generous I can possibly be with this show. A D-D+ is far more likely. I’ve seen worse, but good God in heaven people must’ve been wasted when they watch this because in no universe was this anything but crap.

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    It’s called an opinion pal. Learn to respect other opinions. Unless if it’s not a very good opinion, then you can call out it flaws.

    F5 Reply:

    Where does this opinion come from? Were people’s expectations so low that even the lowest mediocrity was an improvement? This felt far more like a B PPV than it did a Wrestlemania to me, and if that’s what people think is acceptable now then this product might as well just up and die already.

    Jacob Jones Reply:

    Admittedly we didn’t expect very much coming into WrestleMania….so when we saw the show, we were blown away to what we saw.

  23. M.R. says:

    While no great matches, there wasn’t a bad match on the card. Even the talentless divas put out a decent showing.

  24. desi ishtud says:

    I just hope they don’t do a Wrestlemania in an open stadium ever again. It has never looked that good except Mania 24 and maybe 26. Even if you’re doing it, do it when the freaking sun is set so that the atmosphere seems better for a big wrestling show.

  25. dudeddude says:

    You’re pretty much spot on with most of this except for the HHH/Sting match KB, I gave that a solid C. This match didn’t need the interference, nor did it need HHH winning. It may have been better if they went at it just one and one and after a solid bout HHH wins, I could probably live with that. But I feel like the interference clouded up what should’ve just been Sting (and HHH’s to an extent) spotlight.

    Is it just my dislike for HHH seeping though my comment or am I actually making sense.

  26. M.R. says:

    They just showed highlights of Rousey/Steph and the main event on Sportscenter…has that happened before?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Not since Mayweather.

    M.R. Reply:

    But even then they didn’t show highlights of Edge/Taker.

  27. Gunther_224 says:

    I liked it overall although I thought HHH vs Sting was an overbooked mess. One of the most disappointing Mania matches of all time. The ending was fantastic. I think the only way to make it better would’ve been instead of cutting with Rollins celebrating with the title to cut with Reigns and Lesnar looking pissed and then having Orton come out and look on ala Owen Hart at Mania 10

  28. chad says:

    that usually happens when a wrestler has two matches on the same card; look at Brets matches at WM 10

  29. ted says:

    It was a surprisingly good show. Bonehead decision of triple h winning aside. Fun times all around

    My small gripe is the attendance, I knew they would make shit up they do every year. Why? It’s 2015 it’s not hard at all to be proven wrong. I know it’s a petty grip it’s just a pet peeve of mine.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The attendance thing never bothers me. For one thing, I don’t get why people insist it’s made up. You can fit more people in a football stadium for a wrestling show than for a football game for obvious reasons. Also, I’m assuming WWE does it like major sports do: announce the paid attendance rather than the amount of people in the stadium.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    That number isn’t too much over what Levi’s capacity is for events like this, so I don’t have a hard time buying this.

    ted Reply:

    I think it’s made up because I refuse to believe they knew exactly how many people were there 2 hours into the show. Where people charged with counting? Also the company has been called on making up numbers in the past so it’s not without history.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I can’t imagine there isn’t a counting mechanism in the turnstiles.

    I’ve heard of them being called out before but I’ve never heard it as anything other than Meltzer doesn’t think the numbers are legit because of one guy who worked at the Silver Dome saying “yeah that wasn’t real.”

  30. i thought that was cool

  31. The REAL Jack Victory says:

    Scott Keith stole the Shock and Awe from you for his Sporting News story about Mania.

    You should sue him.

    Right now.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He already owes me some of his books. Granted I’vebeen waiting five years on those.

  32. Dr.King says:

    What did you think about Reigns last night, KB? I thought he really brought it, and he certainly changed my opinion. I went from being not interested in the guy, to believing that if the work goes in as it should, he can be what they were wanting and the future face.

    Somebody said this earlier, but my only gripe is the stadium atmosphere. Or not so much that, but the fact that it was still light out; it affected Wyatt, Sting, and Taker, three guys who require a particular atmosphere to give the appropriate affect.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Reigns was good, but I’m not sure what he can do on his own. I don’t want him headlining shows yet. He still needs a lot of seasoning.

    I didn’t mind the atmosphere.

  33. M.R. says:

    I thought the daylight looked badass. Memories of Mania 9.

  34. #MrScissorsKick says:

    Why did the nWo come out to help sting? He was anti-nWo right? made no sense.

  35. comadre says:

    Surprised that everybody freaks out about that show. I think the great Main Event (a surprise in itself!) and the perfect ending saved the show.

    What really SUCKS is that… i mean… they have fucking 4 hours and the longest match is Sting/HHH clocking in at 18:36?! A match where the whole DX/NWO-thing killed lot of time? I mean, seriously?! 7 matches on a 4-hour-show and not one gets 20 or 25 minutes?

    Rollins/Orton and Cena/Rusev were totally killed by that time factor, they could’ve been much better with 10 to 12 more minutes.

    I mean, it’s WM. the show and all the stars and stuff is a nice little touch… but that shouldn’t infect the matches… please, give them more time! NXT can do it in a 1-hour-show!

  36. Rocko says:

    No idea how to crowd sounded on TV but we were white hot the entire night (well except for the Divas match). Place wasn’t completely filled but it was close. There were no big empty spots as far as I could tell.

    I didn’t mind the NWO helping Sting. I viewed it more as WCW helping Sting. I’m sure after 15 years they might have forgiven each other by now. That and seeing DX and NWO in the same ring was awesome. Surprised Sting lost, that caught us off-guard.

    Reigns was booed very heavily when he was first shown in the Tapout commercial and when he initially came out. Eventually I would say we went 50-50 on him. However once Lesnar came out, Reigns only got boos.

    A fight brokeout during the Cena/Rusev match. May have distracted a lot of people from the match.

    Rousey needed to punch Stephanie. I know her thing is that armbar, but it came off flat to us.

    Two people were wheeled out on stretchers right after the show ended. No idea why.

    They really have to stop this. Whenever a guy is going to run out, you can tell cause a camera guy will be standing on the ramp facing the stage. We knew someone was gonna come out during that Stephanie/HHH thing cause of that.

    That RKO….damn.

  37. Heyo says:

    Minor note, but what you thought of the WM31 set?

    From the pictures I’ve seen, it looked like a Terminator-influenced version of 28’s set.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Cool, mainly due to how huge the stage was.

  38. Acuzzam says:

    I didn’t like this show as much as you did KB, but still, it was entertaining. I loved the IC Title match and the ending was great. Triple H entrance was awesome. But Sting losing put me in a really bad mood. Then the looooong talking segment of Rock vs. HHH made me lose my patience. I really like Ronda Rousey but it just went for too long. And I also really didn’t like The Undertaker winning.
    But I had a lot of fun with Orton vs Rollins. I didn’t mind Cena winning, probably because I really like the guy. Daniel Bryan winning the IC Title was awesome and, as I said, I loved the ending, and finally seeing Seth Rollins as the champion. Also this was my first Wrestlemania, I started watching WWE during Extreme Rules last year so, it was great to watch Wrestlemania for the first time. This show even made the news here in Brazil, and trust me, that never happens.
    Great review as always.

  39. rampah says:

    I’ve got kind of a mixed feeling after I watched this.

    The buildup was pretty bad and the reason I read reviews about it before I saw it. I didn’t have the same low expectations when I watched it, because the few reviews I read sounded surprisingly good.

    You gave this show an A, which is fine because it is your opinion. Comparing it with your other ratings for the Wrestlemanias, this is the third best with only III and X-Seven topping it. Well, my low expectations where certainly blown away.

    Now first of all, I did enjoy watching it and going with your rating system it would range somewhere between a B and a C for me. There wasn’t a single match that was really bad. But there are a few reasons why I am a little disappointed.

    – The tag match was fun.

    – The Battle Royal. Now I really like those kind of matches and I thought the match itself was fine. I can also live with Big Show winning it. But why on earth did they have to do Sandows turn without him winiing it? The momentum just vanished, which is a shame, because it was one of the (if not the) best storyline they had coming into that night. The Axel moment was kind of wasted too, but that could be expected.

    – The ladder match was the MOTN for me. A bit messy, yes, but it was fun watching and it looks like that the IC belt is finally getting elevated. I’m not a big fan of Daniel Bryan, but the guy is insanely over and I can’t believe that he goes on a loosing streak while holding the title like Barret or Ziggler.

    – Orton Rollins was good too. A liitle bit more time would have helped, but it was fun anyway. It also delivered the best moment of the night in my opinion.

    – Sting HHH was a disappointment. I got two problems with it:
    I) the booking made no sense: I can understand to base the match on nostalgia, even more considering the age of the two. But the nWo helping Sting against HHH? Ignoring the fact that Hall and Nash were best buddies with HHH on WWE TV the last time they appeared: Why in the world would the nWo help te man who was by far their biggest enemy back then? And why did this have to be all about WWE vs WCW again, despite Sting claiming otherwise in one of his last promos? If they want to do it that way, have DDP, Booker T, Vader or Flair for Stings help as those were there and at least sound somewhere reasonably invested for WCW. (ok, Flair might also be biased kayfabe wise as a HHH buddy) Or pay Goldberg what he wants to appear for a few minutes, I can’t really believe that he wouldn’t have been avaiable for that moment. In the end the run ins were just there, without explanation, just for the sake to have the DX vs nWo showdown. And in my opinion it felt forced.
    II) the end of the match: I could understand if HHH’s win leads to a rematch. But why the handshake then? A rematch makes no sense after that. And when their plan is to keep Sting in the WWE for a short time left, why have him loose in his first match, despite people helping him? They did a great job in introducing him to the WWE universe, but he failed at his mission and considering his little time left he has lost a lot of his mystique now. If their plan really is for the big dream match next year in front of a record crowd, then the hype now went down quite a bit. And if they go the HHH vs Rock route, the HHH win wasn’t really necessary. HHH himself stated in the promo later, that he beat Rock more often and that alone overshadows any losses in other matches.
    The match itself was fine considering the circumstances, but the booking destroyed more than the match delivered.

    – The Divas match was fine. I don’t like seeing the Bellas in nearly every “big” match somehow involved, but it’s better than the useless filler at former manias.

    – The US title match was ok. But after all those Hogan vs “insert random monster” and Cena vs “insert random monster” matches over the years, I eventually got tired of them. It doesn’t help that I’m not american either, so this was just there for me. Cena overcame the odds, Rusev now is officially defeated, the belt has come home. Yay, i guess?

    – Wyatt Taker was fine, especially considering Wyatt’s injury. Good to see that Taker is still doing good and this loss won’t hurt Wyatt that much. I would compare it somewhere between Taker/Orton and Taker/Henry. Fun to watch.

    – The main event was a bit of a mess booking wise for me. They booked themselves in a corner with Reigns as he was booed heavily by the audience and his win would have bombed badly. I can understand the Rollins cash in booking wise, but it took the good match away from me. I never liked those “interfering moments” in mania main event. It wasn’t as awful like VIII, IX and XXVII but come on. This the biggest show of the year, this is Wrestlemania! You can’t have a clean ending to a main event at the biggest stage of them all? It really depends on the point of view, but this is just a little bit to much for me.

    rampah Reply:

    Almost forgot:
    The Rock/HHH/McMahon/Rousey promo was awful and the biggest disappointment of the night.

    I Don’t get it. What is the point in Stephanie getinng that much heat, if there never is a payoff? The guys won’t touch her, when a Diva wrestles her Stephanie wins and even Ronda Rousey didn’t get her to shut up. It has reached a point where it doesn’t lead to anything but let the participants look bad.

    If their plan really is HHH/Rock than I hope it is for Summerslam or at least Survivor Series. The authority angle has no gas left, it cripples the show and it was a copy of an better angle in the beginning.

    If they wait again one year to finish this off in HHH/Rock they are also loosing out their biggest money match they have left in Lesnar/Rock in front of a possible record crowd.