Hello there Top Men and Top Women. No lyrics this week cuz it be Wrestlemania time!
Friday night was the Hall of Fame ceremony and it went way longer than it should have. The speeches were alright. I can only imagine how cool Rick Rude’s speech would have been if he was still alive today. Honestly, Kurt Angle was the only person I legitimately cared for, and going on last on a show that went way over time, he was probably the only one who was asked to keep it short.
On Saturday night, I attended the local FCL show and it was another fun time. In one match the wrestlers brawled out into the crowd and did a spot right beside us. Max Testosterone asked my friend to hold the heel wrestler while he gave him a brutal chop. It was so cool. This all happened while NXT Takeover was on, so I had something to watch when I got home. The DIY-Revival-Authors of Pain match was awesome.
Now on to Wrestlemania itself. The Kickoff Show started at 5pm and Wrestlemania ended at just after midnight…that’s over seven hours of wrestling in one sitting. It was a little much. I give the card overall a passing grade, but all the good matches happened up front and then the card went downhill.
Cruiserweight Championship Match 0-1
(C) Neville vs. Austin Aries – This was my match of the night and it was stuck on the kickoff show. If it doesn’t make any of the replays, then it isn’t really a part of Wrestlemania which is a shame. I called for Aries (my second-favorite wrestler right now) to win. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be…for now.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal 0-2
I’m in the minority in that I like the ATGMBR. Battle royals are always fun in my book. I picked Braun Strowman to win this but I was really hoping for a surprise. Mojo Rawley winning it was…okay.
Intercontinenatal Championship Match 0-3
(C) Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin – The match got bumped down to the kickoff show to make room for the Smackdown women’s title match and it may have been the best thing for the match because I’m guessing they got more time than they would have if the match had been on the main card. I feel they played it safe. It was an okay match, but not what I was expecting given the build. I picked Baron to get his first title but nope.
AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon 1-3 – Finally I got one right! I picked AJ Styles to win because there was no way Shane could win after the year Styles had. This was one of the best matches on the card.
US Championship Match 2-3
(C) Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens – This match had the single best build up to any match on the card. Chris and Kevin were MVPs this year on RAW. It was pretty clear Owens winning was the right call and they (and I) got it right.
RAW Women’s Elimination Championship Match 3-3
(C) Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – In all honesty, they should have held off Bayley’s title win for Wrestlemania. It would have made for a much better story. There was no real drama here. The match was mechanically sound and Bayley won, which was the right call, but it was not as good as it should have been.
RAW Tag Team Title Ladder Match 3-4
(C) Gallows and Anderson vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Enzo and Cass – All signs pointed to this being Enzo and Cass’s night. It seemed like the safe pick Then the New Day come out to announce the surprise entrants. That New Day be given a spot on the card would have made sense, but that the Hardy Boyz would be making their return? Wow! I didn’t expect that. They had apparently just had a ladder match the night before for another promotion. Jeff Hardy did an insane dive onto Cesaro and Sheamus from a 25 foot ladder. With the Hardys coming back the way they did, they had to win.
Unsanctioned Match 4-4
Seth Rollins vs. HHH – It’s around this point that the card started going downhill for me. As talented as he is, Seth Rollins does nothing for me. The build-up to the match was near perfect but as I didn’t care about either participant, I didn’t really care so I chose this match as my pee break. I came back in time to see the end.
Mixed Tag Match 5-4
Miz and Maryse vs. John Cena and Nikka Bella – John Cena absolutely buried the Miz in his promo on Smackdown last Tuesday. It was brutal. Miz has been a star this past year. It’s a shame that he had to lose the squash match before the REAL Wrestlemania moment where John finally proposed to Nikki. *rolls eyes*
WWE Title Match 5-5
(C) Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton – The match with the weirdest build-up. Is Randy Orton a face? A heel? His actions are those of a heel, but the way they talk about him, I guess he’s the face. Bray Wyatt needed the win so much more than Orton did and I don’t even like Wyatt all that much. Such a disappointment. And clearly they got their time cut because the show was going too long.
WWE Universal Title Match 6-5
(C) Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – The match I was most dreading. Goldberg gets winded walking to the ring and Lesnar doesn’t really care about putting on a great match. It went about 4 times as long as I thought it would, finishing at a little over four minutes. That they took the title off of Kevin Owens so they could make this match be for the title was just wrong. Goldberg has publicly stated that he’s having a miserable time being back in wrestling and that he was going away after Wrestlemania so it was clear that Lesnar was going to win. Way to give away the ending to a terribly overhyped feud.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match 6-6
(C) Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Mickie James vs. Naomi – They first hyped this match as being Alexa Bliss against every available woman on the Smackdown roster. That seemed ripe for a surprise participant. I both feared and hoped that it would be Eva Marie. She’s terrible, but the heel reaction that would have gotten would have been out of this world! It turns out, they only phrased it they way they did so they could add Naomi if she got medically cleared in time. But instead of keeping it as a surprise for Wrestlemania itself, they spoiled it on Smackdown. The win in her hometown got an underwhelming response from the crowd. That it was so late in the show didn’t help, but they didn’t help the girls any by taking out any suspense the original build for the match had.
Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns 7-6
They rightfully let Undertaker close the show. He more than deserved it after the career he’s had and this is coming from someone who’s never been that big of an Undertaker fan. It’s a shame that a) his final match was to put over Roman Reigns and b) the match was a letdown. I will give props to the Undertaker for giving as physical a performance as he did. The man put off hip surgery so he could even wrestle this match. That shows his dedication. But it just wasn’t a great match. Roman Reigns didn’t really help matters either. That WWE continue to believe this man is the future of the business when he’s so clearly not…it’s maddening.
So that’s it. I finished with a winning prediction percentage but only just barely. As I said, I give the show a passing grade on the strength of the first half. The second half was nothing but WWE dropping the ball again and again. That said, the night after Wrestlemania is usually one of the craziest shows of the year so I expect to see something cool from Raw and Smackdown this week.
That’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday.