Becky Lynch, Kofi Kingston & Seth Rollins claimed the biggest titles of the company on its biggest night of the year
Wrestlemania (which is popularly known as “The Showcase of Immortals” or “The Grandest Stage of Them All” or “The Show of Shows” or “ The Super Bowl of Sports Entertainment”) just concluded its 35th edition on April 7th at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey.
The 35th annual wrestling extravaganza was one of the best Wrestlemania’s in recent years, definitely much better than the last 3 editions. Although the road to this year’s Wrestlemania would not have suggested that. As for the first time in I don’t know how many years, decades or ages there was no Undertaker in a Wrestlemania.
Yes you read that right! No Undertaker!
I know some of you must be thinking why is it such a big deal. Well those who have grown around the same time like I did in the early 90’s would know how important the Undertaker and the rest of the wrestling superstars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Mankind, Kane were to make Wrestlemania and more importantly WWE the spectacle that it is today. And Undertaker and his famous “Streak” symbolized Wrestlemania for more than two decades.
And also there was no John Cena! The man who was the face of this company for almost two decades was not there in a wrestling capacity as well. So, with two of its biggest active superstars in the company not booked for a match on it’s biggest night was kind of a let down especially for casual fans around the globe who especially tune in to watch the event for nostalgia, pomp and grandeur and of course the high adrenaline action.
So what exactly makes this Wrestlemania great then?
Well here are the highlights of the show –
First Ever Women’s Main Event – Ronda Rousey © vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair ©
It seems that WWE would want to make every Wrestlemania bigger than its predecessor and want each of its editions to be historic. And nothing could get more historic than a first ever women’s main event match closing out the show.
As if the match wasn’t historic and big enough that they decided to add the stipulation of “ Winner Takes All” which means both the RAW & Smackdown Live Women’s Championships were on the line.
And in the end, it was “The Man” Becky Lynch who took both the titles after controversially pinning Ronda Rousey’s shoulder to the mat for the 3 count.
Winner – “The Man” Becky Lynch
Match Rating – B
Triple H vs Batista – No Holds Barred Match
Triple H is now a business executive with WWE and also the founder of NXT and Batista is now a part of the greatest Movie franchise in the 21st century, Marvel’s “Avengers” as Drax the Destroyer. So now knowing that Batista would be returning to his last ever WWE match made this all the more special, especially when he taunted Triple H that he has never “beaten” him . And on top of that Triple H added another stipulation that if he loses then he retires as an in ring perfomer. Well a certain “Ric Flair” prevented that from happening and clearly Triple H is so much in shape that he can go on for another 10 Wrestlemanias. But the sad part was that Batista lost and was finally defeated by his mentor and long -term rival in his last match ever.
Winner – Triple H
Match Rating – B+
AJ Styles vs Randy Orton
This match had no stipulation, no title on the line. But a simple backstory that Randy Orton does not like wrestlers from the “Independent (Indy) Circuit”.
Randy Orton is a classic WWE bred superstar with the looks, physique, talent and charisma of a main event caliber wrestler. AJ Styles on the other hand is a classic example of hardwork, dedication, perseverance, and of course talent who honed his craft by years and years of perfecting those attributes. So when such polarizing and contrasting styles clash it is bound to make things interesting. It was perhaps the only match on the card which was not only unique and fresh but lived upto the moniker “Showcase of the Immortals”.
Also, AJ Styles never has a bad match! Modern Day HBK? I think so.
Winner – AJ Styles
Match Rating – A-
Brock Lesnar opens the Show
In a rather surprising and refreshing change in years, WWE opened its show with its most must see Champion Brock Lesnar defending the title in the very 1st match of the main show. Although before the bell even rang there was already 6-7 minutes of action outside the ring as Brock gave Seth an F-5 outside the ring and absolutely annihilated Seth Rollins, so much so that it felt like a formality to give him an F-5 and successfully defend his title, but with the referee being down , Seth gave him a low blow and three Curb Stomps later we had a new Universal Champion!
Winner – Seth Rollins
Match Rating – B-
Kofimania Runs Wild – Daniel Bryan Vs Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship Match)
The match of the night! Period.
As both Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan put on an absolute clinic in New Jersey, not much more can be said about the WWE Championship match.
It might have been a slow start, but the action picked up dramatically and every WWE fan was on the edge of their seat by the end of it.
Kofi Mania is running wild Brother!
Winner – Kofi Kingston
Match Rating – A
The Miz vs Shane McMahon – Another Match of The Year Candidate
When it comes to Wrestlemania Shane McMahon matches have become must see and are given their own prime time slots in Wrestlemania Match Cards and now its hard to argue why!
So a match against the self proclaimed “Must See Champion” The Miz was indeed must see and befitting to happen on a stage as grand as Wrestlemania.
Although he took most of the beating during their Falls Count Anywhere match, he ended up winning anyway thanks to falling on top of his opponent after a huge suplex.
The Miz was aggressive from the get go, and some of the spots that came out of the match were huge – mainly because Shane-O is clearly not concerned about his own body and well – being (well who can forget his fall from the top of Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania 32).
Winner – Shane O Mac
Match Rating – A-
Fatal four-way tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
It should come as no surprise that there were some highlight reel spots with some very impressive individual talents on display in the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship match.
Ricochet was at his usual athletic best, Cesaro produced incredible strengths, and the Usos proved once again that they were the best tag team in the business.
The fast paced match along with some fantastic spots made for a good viewing.
Winner – The Usos
Match Rating – B+
Dr.of Thuganomics returns to Wrestlemania And Interrupts Elias
Nowadays, Elias segments are nothing but mere anticipation of the fact that which WWE superstar or WWE legend is going to Interrupt his live performance. Many speculated the Rock. Or maybe the Undertaker (Which he did a night later) or maybe John Cena.
Well to be honest none of them interrupted him that night.
It was a certain “Doctor of Thuganomics” who not only interrupted him but destroyed or rather in wrestling terms buried him. And he has done that twice to Elias that too consecutively, last year physically, this time verbally and both physically.
To interrupt Elias ‘ performance, Cena recycled his old gimmick, even testing the PG waters with some of his innuendos and verbiage.
For the first time in a long, long time the WWE Universe unanimously cheered John Cena as he returned at WrestleMania 35 and its no wonder that it was this gimmick, which helped in getting him over as the next face of WWE .
Young fans now you know why!
Now the things that spoiled this edition from making it into the Top 5 or maybe Top 10 Wrestlemanias of All time!
The event’s overall runtime, including the pre- show, clocked in at 7.5 hours, making it the company’s longest pay – per – view ever produced. Please make it back to 4 hours of main show and maximum of 1 hour of pre- show. Had the duration of this Wrestlemania been a lot shorter than some of the marquee matches that came later on in the show would have felt more special as the fans would be more invested and interested in it like Batista’s final ever WWE match and The Women’s Main Event.
Kurt Angle’s Final Ever WWE Match or Maybe Any Match
Stone Cold in his final match faced The Rock.
Shawn Michaels in his final match faced The Undertaker.
Ric Flair in his final (WWE) match faced Shawn Michaels.
And Kurt Angle in his final match faced Baron Corbin.
If this doesn’t tell you the current state of affairs of WWE and why it is so boring nowadays, then I don’t know what will. They could have easily booked him in his final appearance with John Cena who not only inducted him in the WWE Hall of Fame, but also was John Cena’s first ever opponent in Cena’s WWE debut. So it was a fitting end to one of the greatest wrestlers and entertainer of all time in Kurt Angle to have a perfect sendoff. Hell it would have been better if he would have faced the slow & broken down body of the Undertaker than a nobody like Baron Corbin. Both Undertaker and John Cena were eventually wasted in their segments with Elias at Raw after Mania & Wrestlemania respectively.
And yeah Kurt Angle lost in his final match.
To Baron Corbin.
Let that sink in!
Match Rating – Disgusting
Rest of The Card
It says a lot when I am not even bothered to talk about the remaining matches on the card as I am not only exhausted typing all this and cover 16 matches (Including the 4 in pre- shows) but also nothing memorable happened in any of those matches, downright boring and exhausting to watch. But still the ratings are here-
“Demon” Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley © (with Lio Rush) – WWE Intercontinental Championship
Winner– “Demon” Finn Balor
Match Rating – D-
Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre
Winner – Roman Reigns
Match Rating – D
Samoa Joe © vs Rey Mysterio – WWE United States Championship
Winner– Samoa Joe in Only Minute (Maybe Because Rey Was Injured on Raw Last Week)
Match Rating – (Unfair but) E
Fatal four-way tag team match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Winner – The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
Match Rating – C-
The Pre- Show
30-man André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy
Winner – Braun Strowman (Who Else?)
Match Rating – Do I have to?
Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Winner – Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder (Curt Hawkins finally breaks his losing streak)
Match Rating– C
17-Woman WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal for the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Trophy
Winner – Carmella (Sorry Asuka)
Match Rating – C-
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Winner – Tony Nese
Match Rating – C+
Sorry if you got tired reading all this (Blame WWE),
But if you have made it this far into the review and ratings of this show then maybe I kept it engaging for you. Are you listening WWE Creative?