Preview text by Bryan Rose
The biggest pro wrestling event of the year, WrestleMania 35, is now upon us.
A triple threat match for both the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles will headline this year’s show at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Raw champion Ronda Rousey, SmackDown champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch will battle it out, with the winner taking both belts.
The WWE and Universal titles are also on the line. After a number of twists and turns, Kofi Kingston finally has his opportunity for a singles match against Daniel Bryan for the WWE title. Seth Rollins, the winner of the 2019 Royal Rumble, will face Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
More title matches, as well as grudge matches make up the undercard. The most notable matches include Shane McMahon taking on the Miz in a falls count anywhere match, AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton, Triple H vs. Batista in a match where Triple H will retire if he loses and the final match of Kurt Angle’s career, as he is set to take on Baron Corbin.
Join us for live coverage starting at 5 p.m. EST.
They've announcing Paige will call the women's tag team title match.
BUDDY MURPHY VS. TONY NESE FOR THE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Nese won the title with the running knees to the corner. Good match. It was exactly what you'd expect from these two with a lot of cool moves. The crowd wasn't too hot except for Nese doing a reverse rana and a Fosbury flop. Murphy had a cut over his left eye early but it wasn't too bad. Murphy hit Murphy's law but Nese got his leg on the ropes. Murphy kicked out of a 450. Lots of spots out of modern Japanese wrestling.
MANAMI TOYOTA MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
Carmella won the Battle Royal by superkicking Sarah Logan out. It looked like the last three were Sonya Deville, Asuka and Logan when Carmella had disappeared from the ring. Asuka knocked Deville over the top and then Logan surprisingly eliminated Asuka which fans thought was the finish. Then Carmella jumped in the ring, worked a little with Logan before eliminating her. Battle Royal was fine, maybe better than expected. Lacey Evans wasn't in the match nor was Alicia Fox but every other woman not on the main roster was in, plus Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae from NXT were in. Ember Moon returned from her injury and looked good working with Naomi. They did a story where The Riott Squad worked together to eliminate several people. Later Rose & Deville did the same.
THE REVIVAL VS. ZACK RYDER & CURT HAWKINS FOR RAW TAG TITLES
Ryder & Hawkins won the titles. It got a real good pop. Long match. The Revival carried it well, they were technically so solid. Most of the match was beating down Ryder. Good match overall. They were all outside the ring and Scott Dawson gave Hawkins a brainbuster on the floor. Dawson threw him into the ring and told the ref to stop the match because Hawkins was motionless. Then out of nowhere, Hawkins pinned Dawson with an inside cradle.
ANDRE THE GIANT BATTLE ROYAL
Braun Strowman won when he was left with Michael Che and Colin Jost. Then a guy in a suit called a therapist came in to calm Strowman in. Strowman ended up throwing him around and choke slammed him. He punched Che off the apron to eliminate him. Then they teased Jost throwing Strowman out. Strowman came back and threw Jost over the top. A bunch of wrestlers long since eliminated were hanging around ringside to catch him. Strowman also threw out both Hardys when it appeared they were the last ones left since Che and Jost hid under the ring all of the match. Strowman was put over as the monster and threw a ton of guys out. There was nothing special but Heavy Machinery and Andrade were given shots at shining. Luke Harper returned as well. He's lost a lot of weight. The crowd was really hot when Strowman was left with Che and Jost.
Alexa Bliss is out to open the show. She said if she wants a WrestleMania moment all she has to do is snap her fingers. She snapped her fingers and Hulk Hogan came out. He said it's great to be in the Silverdome on purpose to make fun of himself. He called the place the Met Life Center. He did a catch phrase and Hogan and Bliss posed together. Paul Heyman then stormed to the ring.
Heyman said if Lesnar isn't on last he wants to go right now so his client can go to Las Vegas to go to a place where he's ultimately appreciated.
BROCK LESNAR VS. SETH ROLLINS FOR UNIVERSAL TITLE
Rollins won the title. Lesnar destroyed him before the match started including an F-5 on the floor and throwing him over the German announcers table several times including nailing one of the announcers. When the bell rang, Lesnar gave him three German suplexes and went for the F-5. Rollins escaped and threw Lesnar into the ref. Rollins gave Lesnar a low blow and then a superkick and three curb stomps and got the pin in about 2:30. This tore down the house with the quick all big moves match like a Lesanr-Goldberrg style.
Three title changes in three title matches.
Jerry Lawler is out to announce this match.
A.J. STYLES VS. RANDY ORTON
Styles won clean with the phenomenal forearm. Slow deliberate match. Solid work to be sure. Some well thought up spots but it never reached a fever pitch. Styles kicked out of the RKO and escaped a few more attempts at it. Other highlights were Styles doing a 450 for a near fall and Orton doing a superplex. Not as good as you'd expect from these two.
Lacey Evans showed up. Then she left.
USOS VS. RUSEV & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. RICOCHET & ALEISTER BLACK VS. SHEAMUS & CESARO FOR SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
Usos retained with a double splash off the top rope on Sheamus after a double superkick ahd I think Jimmy got the pin. Thst was really good. There was a crazy tower of doom spot where Ricochet took a double backwards superplex and nearly landed on his feet. Cesaro gave Ricochet a WWE record for the giant swing. I don't know the number but it never ended. Everyone did their big moves before the ending. Probably could have been a classic if given more time.
They are doing the Hall of Fame thing now. They saved DX for last of course. Bret was out there with Nattie . When it was over everyone was supposed to show their new rings. This was good.
THE MIZ VS. SHANE MCMAHON FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE
Shane pinned him when Miz superplexed Shane off a camera platform and they both crashed into a crash pad. Shane fell on top and the ref counted three. This was a brawl all over the building. The brawling was for the most part really bad and thi match dragged. Se finishing stunt bump got over huge. Shane teased his elbow off the top rope to the table on the floor but George Mizanin, Miz's father jumped and blocked him. This led to Shane in the ring with George and Shane attacked George, which brought Miz back from the dead. They tore up the foreign announcers platform with brawling. Shane's punches were so awful in this match and early on he potatoed Miz with some blows. Later Miz hit him with some good ground and pound.
BAYLEY & SASHA BANKS VS. NIA JAX & TAMINA VS. NATALYA & BETH PHOENIX VS. BILLIE KAY &* PEYTON ROYCE FOR THE WOMEN'S TAG TEAM TITLES
The Iiconics won the titles when Phoenix used the glam slam on Bayley off the middle rope and Peyton Royce saved and Billie Kay jumped on top for the pin. Michael Cole immediately pushed it was celebration time down under. This match was bad. Much of it was like watching local indie guys as it just never clicked well together. Natalya & Phoenix dressed up like the old Hart Foundation and came out with Bret Hart. They did the Hart attack and Banks used a frog splash like Eddy Guerrero. At one point Jax was on the top rope like she was going to do a splash but Phoenix shoved her off the top and she took a big bump.
DANIEL BRYAN VS. KOFI KINGSTON FOR WWE TITLE
Kingston won the title with a ton of ground and pound after escaping the LeBell lock, a ton of stomps and finally hitting the trouble in paradise. It ended with them ditching the hemp belt and Kingston was given a regular WWE title belt. This was a great match that the crowd loved. Bryan controlled most of the match with matwork. They brought Kingston's two young sons into the ring with him to celebrate. Loud "You deserve it" chants. They opened up presents with the new T-shrits with the belt on them. Those shirts were available on the site before this match started which gave away the finish. Bryan was all bruised up during the match. Kingston had kicked out of the running knee. When Kingston went for the kick before, Bryan caught the foot and turned it into a lion tamer like move. This blew away everything so far on this show.
Michael Che and Colin Jost and Alexa Bliss are backstage. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were backstage as doctors. Nash wanted to give them a prostate exam.
Booker T is on commentary for this next match.
SAMOA JOE VS. REY MYSTERIO FOR U.S. TITLE
I guess Mysterio must have been unable to actually do a match. Mysterio hit the 619 right away and then Joe put him in the choke and the ref stopped the match with Mysterio out in 59 seconds.
ROMAN REIGNS VS. DREW MCINTYRE
This wasn't much. Reigns looked tons better at Fastlane. It was McIntyre controlling the match and Reigns came back with a Samoan drop on the floor, then in the ring hit a Superman punch and spear for the pin. The crowd was quiet most of the way. They were still suffering from the Kingston title win being so over. The upper deck did a wave during the match which took attention from the match. Reigns was very emotional when it was over hiding his face as it appeared he was crying in the corner.
Time for the Elias segment. They played a film of Babe Ruth and then John Cena came out with the Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick. The idea is that Cena is now supposed to be the Babe Ruth of wrestling. He was wearing a No. 3 Yankees jersey, which was Babe Ruth's number. Cena got a big response doing his gimmick from 2003. Cena said he felt like he was watching his movies because this whole thing sucks. He called Elias a wasted wrestling experiment. He then said he's not half a dog but a little piece of shitsu. This all got over big. He said your face looks like my nuts but you've got a hairier bush. Said no AA, but you're going to get the FU. Cena hit him with the mic, he did the five knuckle shuffle and hit the AA and that was the segment.
HHH VS. BATISTA NO HOLDS BARRED WITH HHH'S CAREER AT STAKE
HHH got the pin with his second pedigree after Ric Flair handed HHH a second sledge hammer and he jumped off the steps that Batista put in the ring with the sledge hammer shot. Batista had HHH's sledge hammer. This had a lot of stunts including backdrops on announcers table, HHH using pliers to rip out Batista's nose ring which left Batista bloody, pliers to crush Batista's hand and more. I think if this match was earlier in the show people would probably have really liked it. But going 25 minutes this late for a match with almost no reaction except when tables broke or when they kicked out of finishers made it drag badly. HHH kicked out both the spear, spinebuster and Batista bomb while Batista kicked out of the first pedigree. There should be a rule about shows not going longer than five hours and 30 minutes (we're at six plus) let alone going this long when you've got three bouts left.
KURT ANGLE VS. BARON CORBIN
Corbin pinned him with the End of Days after Angle missed a moonsault. Corbin kicked out of the Angle slam and survived the ankle lock. Angle did deliver two sets of three German suplexes. Overall this match wasn't much, but Angle did look better than he looked in his last few weeks. He really could have won but the usual protocol is you go out on your back.
Angle said for the past 20 years I've had the time of my life, in addition to tonight. He wanted to thank everyone. He asked fans to chant you suck at him for the last time. They did loudly.
BOBBY LASHLEY VS. DEMON FINN BALOR FOR IC TITLE
Balor survived a spear to the floor and a second spear, and came back to win in 4:00 with a power bomb and coup de gras. It was for the best they got this over quickly because the crowd is completely shot after 6 hours and 30 minutes.
They announced 82,265. They had to announce a bigger number than last time. Of course that's nowhere close to the real number. Bliss said it was time for a break so R-Truth and Carmella came out to dance. .
RONDA ROUSEY VS. CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. BECKY LYNCH FOR THE RAW AND SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S TITLES
Lynch won of course when Rousey went for Piper's Pit and Lynch gave her a backslide for the pin. The finish wasn't built up well but since everyone was waiting for the Lynch win. The way the finish was done made it appear that Rousey will be back for at least another show because Corey Graves was pointing out how this wasn't the wy he'd want WrestleMania to end. They cut away really quickly after the pin. The match was good. The crowd very tired but they weren't dead like they were for most of the last 90 minutes of the show. There were actually no super spectacular spots other than Charlotte doing a top rope Spanish fly on Lynch. Flair was bleeding from the right arm after Lynch legdropped her off the top rope as she had the figure eight on Rousey. They worked a very fast pace. There were a lot of pins and submissions broken up several days. At one point Charlotte yelled at Rousey for calling wrestling fake and slammed her head into a table set up in the corner a few times. Rousey and Lynch hip tossed Flair into a table in the corner to take her out. Rousey and Lynch started swinging wildly and Rousey went for Piper's Pit, to lead to the backslide. There was controversy over whether Rousey got her shoulder up before the three which is why it looks like they're building to another match.