Worst: Triple H/Reigns
Well, where do I start? Six hours is definitely way too long for a WWE show - even if some of the questionable, odds-defying booking choices were ignored. Zack Ryder new IC champ after years of being forgotten? Charlotte retaining when they're rebranding the Womens' division? Building up a historic angle for WrestleMania, to end with... Undertaker winning and not even a hint of "what happens next"?
The main event was interminable - this show did not need to be five hours long (well, seven if you count the pre-show). So many questionable booking decisions, and countless examples of the company damn near killing their full time guys at the expense of a pop for the returning stars. As good as Austin, Foley, Rock and Michaels are, they're not going to be full-time again, and WWE badly hurt a good chunk of their roster to get "WrestleMania Moments".
Thank God this show was only $9.99 on the Network - if I'd paid anything close to standard PPV prices, I'd be angry and tired, as opposed to just tired right now.
How can this be the same company that produced a blow-away show like NXT on Friday night? It's almost like the people in charge of the main show are stuck in a timewarp, and are hell bent on alienating their hardcore fan base. 101,763 of them (by their count) are very likely to be counting themselves amongst the newly-alienated, going by the reactions to that main event.
I'm not going to go overboard and say "Cancel WWE Network" or anything like that, but for a company that was able to give themselves a shot in the arm tonight, they've just ensured that their course remains set for the toilet.
Best match: Charlotte/Sasha/Becky
Worst match: Battle Royal
Random comments: It amazes me that even with the non-existent hype and occasionally insultingly stupid storylines that WWE can almost always pull it together at WrestleMania time and put together a great show. I watched the entire 6+ hours and never got bored... I could see a case being made for match of the night for the Woman's Title match, IC ladder match, Ambrose/Lesnar and even the Hell in a Cell match... Only big criticism: HHH/Reigns shouldn't have gone on last. It was a flat end to an otherwise very entertaining show.
Best Match: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
Worst Match: Diva's 10 Woman Tag
An okay wrestling show marred by horrible booking decisions up and down the card. The show started off great, with an excellent ladder match, a callback to Steen vs. Generico that we all wanted to see, and a legitimate feel good moment in Ryder winning, then it fell off a cliff like no show ever has before. We've all been saying for years how they need to start pushing new people and freshening up the product as a whole, and there was a real opportunity to do just that tonight, and it was squandered at an almost embarrassing level.
A.J. Styles was not helped, The New Day and Wyatt Family were arguably buried, and what should have been a star making performance for Dean Ambrose was a complete dud. Not letting Sasha Banks run with the ball when it is clear how incredibly over she was is also nothing short of baffling.
By far the most disappointing thing on the entire show was the Ambrose vs. Brock match. Not only did Dean not win, but the match was a completely bland, and came off to me as nothing but a glorified squash. Considering who was in this match and the stage that it was contested on, I was expecting much more. More big spots, a more competitive battle, and more violence. What a waste of both guys.
And the Reigns winning clean need not be commented on. Everything that can and should be said has already been. I also have to say, the six and a half hour runtime for this show was absolutely brutal. It was an experiment that shouldn't be tried again.
So basically what the show boils down to is that nobody got over and nothing changes. At least we'll always have the Shane McMahon dive.
Thumbs way down
Best Match: Women's Three Way
Worst Match: Reigns vs HHH
A terrible show that went on forever. Andre Battle Royal was boring. Shane vs Taker was bad and boring with one spot of note that went for thirty minutes. Ambrose vs Lesnar was a huge disappointment.
Zack Ryder winning was the emotional high point, I guess? The Rock vs Erick Rowan might have been the fourth best match on the show.
-the women's title match: they feel like the only thing from this show besides Baron Corbin, Zack Ryder, and Sami Zayn that were elevated in a positive way, Match of the Night definitely
-the ladder match: spotfests for the sake of spotfests are not my thing, but they did it well; Zayn and Owens both felt like the 2 biggest stars in the match, Ryder winning the match is a shock in a nice way but feels 4 years too late. Does WWE feel so bad about him tag teaming with Mojo Rawley in NXT they gave him this?
-Styles-Jericho: the match just wasn't that awesome thing. I don't get Jericho winning if he's leaving in a couple months like he always does unless he's going to be in a title match with Reigns pre-Summerslam . The finish from the camera angle just looked botched like Jericho never even touched Styles as he came off the top rope.
-New Day-League of Nations: dead crowd, was hard to care
-Battle Royal: not really bad, just it's a battle royal, it's late in the show, and 2 of your last 4 guys are Darren Young and Bo Dallas it's hard to feel excited; Shaq was a neat surprise; I guess Fandango and Damien Sandow are getting future endeavored soon, nice to see the match buildup a new guy at least in Corbin
-Lesnar-Ambrose: one wrestler in this match used only his hands, power, and technique to wrestle, refusing to ever use any of the weapons laying around. The other wrestler could only do offense with the aid of weapons and cheap tricks, including trying a chainsaw to attempt dismemberment I guess. So, which one was the babyface? This match was so psychologically screwed up. Lesnar was the babyface from how they booked it. Ambrose is down in the midcard now, or maybe a Jericho feud.
-Undertaker-Shane: the Undertaker match at Mania has become a cliche, and this match reviled in them. Shane's "come at me" hands is a ripoff of Michaels' throatslash on his knees. The match itself was bad pre-Huge Spot. Shane's decent for what he is but he shouldn't be in one of the top 2 matches at Wrestlemania. But his offense his bad, him putting Undertaker in trouble or kickout of major spots was laughable considering Undertaker's past matches and the opponents he fought. The Huge Spot was just scary. Didn't Vince tell Mick Foley once he never wanted to see that again?
-Reigns-Hunter: first, was this match no DQ or not? Roman is kind of mechanically clumsy as John Cena is, but he doesn't have close to Cena's charisma to compensate; match was just plodding although not near as bad as Undertaker and Shane, but just felt draining the longer they went after 11pm, highlight of the match was Stephanie getting speared; hey, WWE has their champ, good luck with him on top...
Best match: Triple threat for the women's title
Worst match: Shane McMahon v. The Undertaker
About three or four pretty good wrestling matches in a four plus hour event isn't quite enough. I don't think there is a single classic match or promo on this show. The table stunt in the Hell in a Cell match will be remembered for a long time, but I don't think that I will forget the 29 minutes of awful wrestling that surrounded it. This would have been a very good B-ppv or network event, but only the nostalgia appearances made it feel like Wrestlemania.
Best Match - None
Worst Match - Reigns vs. HHH
There was a time when I would get angry with a show like this, but I'm so used to the WWE way of booking now that I laugh. AJ Styles losing makes no sense. Zach Ryder winning the IC title came out of nowhere, yet again makes no sense. The old guys destroying League of Nations makes your current guys look terrible, and the cheap nostalgia pop isn't needed on this show. And Shane didn't need to take that bump off the cage for any reason whatsoever, it will be forgotten about no matter how cool it looked.
The main event? Well, the match itself was OK. We all knew who was going to win, regardless of the early shocking outcomes tonight. The muting of the boos and piping in of cheers comes across so poorly, and it was really obvious. I'm sure more people will go more in depth, but I'm tired after this marathon show! Let's see what Raw brings tomorrow, but it looks to be more of the same old, same old.
White Sulphur Springs, NY
Best Match: Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Worst Match: Andre The Giant Battle Royal
This was going to be a thumbs in the middle until the main event. WrestleMania used to feel the place where huge storylines ended and we got satisfying payoffs. Not this year. Apart from the women's title match and possibly the IC title match, no match tonight felt like it was special, like it was a career highlight to them. Most of the feuds tonight either had a middle chapter that will continue it for weeks or months to come, or an unsatisfying finish. All the legends and celebrities appearances were perfunctory and served no real purpose. You could argue that the two people who left this PPV with the most momentum were Shane McMahon and Zack Ryder. Think about that.
- The ladder match was pretty darn good, Zayn and Owens were the highlights. Ryder winning was a nice moment that came years too late.
- AJ vs. Jericho was good, but I don't even know if it was "very good". Jericho and AJ just do not click together. Jericho has lost a half a step in terms of pace, but he continues to work like he hasn't. There was some sloppiness and a stunning lack of reaction at times. Jericho is leeching the heat AJ brought with him to WWE, and the fact that their WrestleMania match ended with them just trading back a win for the fourth time is infuriating. End this feud.
- New Day vs. The League of Nations was fine. The entrance was good. The legends post match was the most pointless waste of legends I've seen in quite awhile. If this was supposed to be a "big" segment, I no longer want to see big segments.
- Lesnar vs. Ambrose was fine, but ended just when it felt like it was getting interesting. Brock doing almost nothing but german suplexes was once fantastically entertaining, but the more often he does it, the less novel it gets. Ambrose comes off like a complete chump, who even when he is allowed to use all the weapons he wants, as was his plan, is still beaten relatively easy.
- Women's three way was easily the best match of the night. A little sloppy and obviously heavily scripted, it was still the one match that felt like it was special to the wrestlers, Sasha in particular was bumping crazily and working 100 miles an hour. WWE did a good job of making it feel like a big deal with the new title, the entrances and the fireworks. The biggest disappointment was Sasha losing, as you could hear the crowd's disappointment. Tonight was meant to be her night.
- Undertaker vs. Shane was every gimmick match ever. Not very good but then Shane does an insane bump and everyone leaves not remembering anything else. This needed way more smoke and mirrors and way less trading of submissions and horrible Shane punches.
- Battle Royal went way too long for a show that went this long. If this leads to a Corbin/Kane feud, help me God.
- Rock/Cena segment was just there, we've seen Rock do his thing a hundred times. It serves no real point, and like Lesnar, the novelty is wearing off.
- Main event was horrible. The fact that HHH worked a near 30 minute match after six hours of wrestling, after Shane's bump, the Rock and the return of Cena, and against an opponent he had to know was going to get booed out of the building, shows his hubris. There might have been a good 15 minute match in here, I don't want to try and find it.
This was the weirdest WrestleMania of all time. Only IX comes close.
Best Match: Women's Title Match
Worst Match: Andre the Giant Battle Royal
This show reminded me a lot of the late 90s WCW shows. Good undercard, but main events that failed to deliver. When you include the pre-show matches it was a nearly 6 hour show and it became tedious to watch at the end. It also felt like the wrong person won almost every match. There were a few bright spots, but in the end there weren't many feel good moments.
Thumbs way down for Wrestlemania. Can't remember a show this out of touch in awhile.
Opener was Kalisto v. Ryback. Nothing RAW match. *
Naomi & Lana & Tamina & Summer Rae & Emma v. Paige & Natalya & Brie Bella & Eva Marie & Alicia Fox. A lot less missed spots than the women's title match, although they only had four minutes. Emma looked really nervous, Lana's outfit was the only highlight. 1/2* The entire build was centered around Lana and Brie but they ignored it because they forgot I guess or they just wanted to bury someone they don't like? I don't know which is worse.
Usos v. Dudleys. Not sure which act is staler. The constant praise of Mark LoMonaco has got to end. He's a midcard heel who can't work. Match was worse than. a RAW match. 1/2*
Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn v. Dolph Ziggler v. Stardust v. Miz v. Sin Cara. A few decent spots, the best of which was a half-nelson suplex on a ladder. Match was disjointed and we've seen it all before and it was nothing more than a car wreck then. Nothing special and the finish was three years late. ** Burying Zayn with two losses makes him the new Tyler Breeze I guess.
A.J. Styles v. Chris Jericho. Match was actively bad like all their other matches. Jericho was never smooth in the ring but he's a shell of himself and Styles seemed content to let him call the match. I hope Styles' salary is worth this. A ton of missed spots and confusion, nothing looked sharp at all. Jericho looks like a retired rock star, which I guess he is minus the star. Dan Henderson has more life left in him than Jericho's act. *3/4 They had something with the team of these two, and that RAW match with the New Day was the best thing in the storyline by far. Maybe they'll go back to Y2AJ so Jericho can stand on the apron, something he can feasibly do at this point in his career.
Kofi Kingston & Big E & Xavier Woods v. Sheamus & Rusev & Alberto Del Rio. Match had Woods going the whole way and he's helpless in the ring. It was all just build up for the spot with Foley, Austin and Michaels which made absolutely no sense and wouldn't Austin have been better in the Wyatt segment? This was proof there's still heat between Austin and the people in charge. * We're hours into the show and it's all been awful to this point.
Brock Lesnar v. Dean Ambrose. This was bad for a brawl and there was no wrestling at all to speak of. Lesnar did less than Scott Steiner during his WWE run. I actually was wishing Lesnar had gotten Wyatt instead. Ambrose should just move on with his life and frankly his goofy facials and average physique aren't star material anyway. He's a second rate Brian Pillman, and how many world titles did that guy win? DUD If they aren't going to do anything with Lesnar, would he consider fighting Conor McGregor?
Charlotte v. Sasha Banks v. Becky Lynch. I mean, it's nice that some people are pretending this wasn't a trainwreck with a million blown moves, but the worst part of this was the psychology. Two babyfaces lost to one heel, and by the way every single heel went over on the main card of this show except for Zack Ryder and who cares about him? Sasha botched tons of stuff and almost killed herself doing a space flying tiger drop. Becky's work is so sloppy, and the personalities of these three don't mesh at all. ** Go back to Natalya as challenger.
Undertaker v. Shane McMahon. Laughable and dull most of the way. Crowd barely got into the stunt show. It could have been worse, I suppose, but this deserved a lot more smoke and mirrors. Something so sad and depressing about this. -** Hopefully this is the swan song for everyone involved in this turgid angle.
Battle Royal was terrible, too bad they couldn't get Shaq to train as a wrestler.
Rock segment was a mess. The material was so dated. He seemed like a sad old cursed albino man until it picked up with the Bray impression. Way too self-indulgent and it set up nothing for the future.
HHH v. Roman Reigns. It was the best match of the night, although that's not saying much. Don't understand not doing an angle here of any kind. Just felt really flat, although the humorous Steph intro was probably the highlight of this awful show. *** I don't know what you do with Reigns except months of Brock Lesnar matches, and that already feels like a dead pairing given it was a Mania main event not too long ago.
They made a million different signings of talent recently and not one was on this show. They made no new stars at all here, and the show itself was wretched. Worst Wrestlemania since XI.
Best match: Women's title.
Worst match: HHH vs. Roman Reigns.
This show merely showed that no matter how much good stuff is on a PPV, it can be destroyed by excess.
There was no reason for the main show to go nearly five hours. No reason for the main event to go 27 minutes. No reason for Shane McMahon to risk himself with that jump from the top of the cage. And, as much as it pains me to say it, no reason for Rock to do a segment that really helped no one.
Much of the show was good. The IC match was a fun spot fest. The women's match was strong. A.J.-Jericho was good, if the booking was dumbfounding.
Brock Lesnar and Ambrose had a good match, but Ambrose was treated like a joke the whole feud, only to lose, clean, to Brock. I don't see how he can be a top guy after losing so much.
The UT-Shane cage match was an exercise in removal of disbelief, including, but not limited to, Shane's jump. The spot, the whole match, and the feud, seemed unnecessary. Especially for a 46-year old man who's not even a part timer.
And the HHH-Reigns was just too long. It wasn't horrible, but it dragged, with a result few wanted. This is the third time I remember HHH closing the show at WM and just hoping his match would end.
Again, if the show was 3 1/2 hours, it'd be solid. But at 5 hours it was just too much.
Keep up the great work.
Best Match: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Worst Match: Andre Battle Royale
One of the worst Wrestlemanias of all time. This was like a mid 90s WCW PPV with great undercard matches killed by terrible finishes, old part timers making the young full time guys look like geeks and a guy who everyone hates going over in the main event. The only thing that had a Wrestlemania type feel was the women's triple threat and that got ruined by the wrong person winning. Nothing came close to even the 4th best match on the Takeover show. And no show should ever go almost 7 hours long.
Thumbs in the middle
Best: Women's championship match
Worst: Battle Royal
Much like many Cowboys games in AT&T Stadium, Wrestlemania faltered in the fourth quarter and turned a great show into an average one.
I don't understand how they have 30 writers on staff, and they come up with straightforward matches for Hell in the Cell (that was ripe for run-ins like the Sting match last year) and the main event (which sorely needed some juice).
This show was cooking along nicely through the women's match (albeit some questionable results -- Ryder, Charlotte...JERICHO??), but the plodding pace of the Cell match hurt things, along with an anticlimactic finish. WWE spent the last month saying their product sucked and Shane would make it better. Instead, it will continue to suck.
We need something more in Rock appearances too besides "promo, heel interrupts, Rock mocks them and beats them up." The Cena part was new, but figured he had to show up at some point.
I don't know what the battle royal was supposed to be. Good for Corbin to win it, but that should've been done last year with Itami when they actually had a good story to tell in his winning.
What can you say about the main event, except Vince does what he wants and HHH now has 3 flat Mania main events on his resume.
This show was just way too long for what was presented. I put this on par with Mania 29, where it seems like they were more interested in putting on a "show" instead of a memorable wrestling card. Hopefully things get back on track for Orlando next year.
- Chris Hughes
My Mania review. Really did not enjoy the show after last years awesome Mania exceeded all expectations. Was tediously long and had a weird pace and pretty bad uneventful booking overall that set up no new storylines. The commentary - even though I should be used to it by now - was so terrible amd added nothing to any of the matches and often took them down a notch.
MOTN: Ladder Match
Worst: Usos vs Dudleys
- US Title is a joke now. Poor Cena, he built it up so well.
- 10 Women Tag was a nice surprise. WWE is always good at doing 10 person matches as everyone comes in quick to their trademark spots.
- Dudley's vs. Uso's was terrible, but only because they were only given such a short amount of time. Why were Dudley's faces today though?
- IC Ladder Match was the best match, but had a ridiculous winner who's been on TV twice in last year. Vince will be bored of Ryder in 2 weeks and he'll be losing to L.O.N. in non-title matches.
- AJ vs. Jericho was underwhelming. They seemed out of sync and never got a consistent flow. I knew Vince wasn't putting over a TNA guy at Mania if he wouldn't even put over Sting.
- L.O.N. vs. New Day was a glorified Smackdown match, and after getting the win and JBL rambling about the 4 Horsemen comparison, they immediately get beat up by retired Attitude Era stars. Austin is my favorite wrestler of all-time, but all I could think was thank God the Brock match never happened.
- Brock vs. Dean also underperformed. It wasn't bad, but felt like an afterthought and could have been much more than it was.
- The Women's match was OK. People are giving it more credit than it deserves because it wasn't a "Divas" match, but it was still pretty sloppy and telegraphed after watching Asuka on Friday.
- HIAC was terrible. Shane's offense was so horrendous (as expected). 5 minutes in all I could think was "thank God this isn't on last." The whole match was just filling time to get to the one pointless huge bump for the PG-era fans who have never had their own "Foley bump" moment. I was glad Taker won though, it would have been a joke him losing to Shane and I'm a proponent of not further devaluing The Streak. I think retiring with one loss is perfect, but I don't want his Mania legacy turning into an Anderson Silva one.
- Battle Royal was terrible as usual. I did like having Shaq though. Reminded me of Mania 2 Battle Royal with the football players. Good spot to mix some celebrities like that.
- Thought The Rock segment was awful. Blah blah blah... fake attendance. Then he "breaks" Bundy's record over SD Jones? Umm... OK? Are we supposed to care? Then once again have The Wyatt's get beat up after they don't even have a match.
- Main Event... I was so tired and uninvested by this point. Decent match in other circumstances, but crowd didn't care, everyone was too tired, heel/face roles were reversed, and just did not have a "biggest" Mania main event feel. Vince sacrificed his daughter and have male on female violence to try and get Roman over, but guess what? He's still getting boo'd tomorrow and has NO heels to work with going forward.
- Tim Dudley
Overall: Thumbs in the middle. This was mixed bag of an event in the purest sense. The first 2 plus hours were very good. The Taker/Shane match was beyond a mess. It seems the live crowd was more forgiving than the captive audience at home. From my perspective it came across really poor. Both of the legend segments were the far and away highlights of the show. Triple H and Roman Reigns wrestled the wrong type of match for the temperature of their feud and the scenario at hand. Hard to argue; this show was way too long.
Best Match; Out of everything, I enjoyed the opening ladder match the most.
Worst Match; Shane and Taker was painful to watch.
A. US Title Match: Kalisto vs. Ryback. Poor guys. With the troubles at the entrance gates, these guys wrestled in a 100,000 man stadium with less than 20,000 people in the building. As expected, they told the time tested David vs. Goliath story. The action was good and the story was told sufficiently. Decent opener. **
B. Team BAD and Blond vs. The Total Divas. Longer than expected and certainly not offensive by any means. Enjoyable match with a solid finish. **
C. The Dudley Boys vs. The Usos. The match did not have much to it. Felt like a third hour RAW match. Even the post match table spot got a lukewarm reaction. *1/2
Opening video package was epic. Ties the past to the present like only WWE can.
1. IC Title Ladder Match: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Zack Ryder vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara. Perhaps the best stunt show ladder match I have seen in some time. Innovative spots, a prevailing story thread, and a surprising victor. Awesome start to WM 32 and an incredible moment for Zack Ryder. ***1/2
2. Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles. A few timing issues and a subdued crowd aside, they won the crowd over with a number of awesome sequences leading toward another surprising finish. Not a great, but a very good match. Disappointing that AJ did not get a better response. ***
3. The New Day vs. The League of Nations. Action was more hit than miss, but the match was not as interactive and "fun" as I expected. **
and then... perhaps I was dreaming, or the access Pizza carbs sent me into a yeast induced state of euphoria. Did I really see this. HBK! Mick Foley! and by god, Stone Cold Steve Austin !! Un-be-lievable!!!!
4. Street Fight: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose. A new level of physical and intense. Essentially, this was the Punk/Lesnar story told at Summerslam three years back. Ambrose's craziness added a unique element, but I do not know if it reached the level of Punk/Lesnar. Still a match that bordered on greatness. Props to Ambrose and Lesnar for not succumbing to the trend of multiple finisher/kickouts. People expect it too much at WM ***1/2
5. WWE Women's Title Match: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte. With the new belt, the position on the card, and the time allocation, they really did give a platform for the women to shine. They wrestled a very ambitious match. In many spots it felt too rushed, too choreographed, and very rickety. The ladies looked nervous. The effort shined through in the end, but I think the performance fell short of what they wanted it to be***
6. Hell in a Cell: Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker. Way too slow and way too deliberate, and that is excusing an array of mistimed spots, terrible strikes, and senseless finisher kickouts. I wish they would have just rushed into the massive high spot and got it over with. With the exception of 2 or 3 highlights, this was a complete mess. With a payoff of this caliber, this has too be one of the worst WWE WM storyline and culminations in my memory. The live crowd was way more forgiving then me. *
7. Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The obligatory battle royal buffer between main events. It was a little but of fun and a whole lot of lame. Corbin winning was a pleasant surprise. *
The Rock/ Wyatt family segment. What started as a hype segment, evolved to a verbal joust, became a quick singles match and transformed into a babyface celebration and crowd pleasing jubilee. People will question the segment, but the show needed a shot in the arm. This was a shot of cocaine laced epinephrine.
8. WWE World Title Match: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns. Methodical match that tried to mimic the title matches of yesteryear and fell well short. Unlike Taker/Shane, the work was believable, but after 7 hours of wrestling, a match that never sped past second gear did not come across well to the live crowd. Roman is not the babyface he needs to be. The crowd appeared apathetic for the majority of the match, but they did come alive for the finish. This was the wrong main event for a show of this length. ***
Overall: BIG THUMBS DOWN
Best match: Charlotte vs. Banks vs. Bayley for Women's title
Worst match: Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon
Not since Mania 16 has a Wrestlemania done so little to blow off any feuds or give the fans any sense of joy. Not since Mania 11 has there been such a terrible show overall. I guess the women's match might have been 4 stars (the fuck finish was very lackluster), but other than that every match would have been lucky to crack 3 stars. The idea that the Reigns vs. The Authority angle must continue when the fan reaction and ratings make it INCREDIBLY clear that no one cares or enjoys it is just sad. I know the old stereotype of "he's going to watch it no matter how much he complains" but I truly watch less WWE than I have in years. When I actually do watch Raw I skim through it in a bout 5-10 minutes. Vince McMahon is the George Lucas of wrestling and it's long past time for him to pass the torch to someone else. Anyone else.
-Matthew Burrill @mattb425
THUMBS UP for execution, though not planning.
I mean, it is a $10 show, and a good one, but a failure in this respect: I do not want to tune in Monday to see what is going to happen now (assuming I was a casual fan). WM should be a hook to draw lost fans back in, and the show seems to be a failure in that respect.
It was, in many ways, a non-sequitur-Mania, with various entertaining nostalgia spots (Rocky promo, seeing Stone Cold deliver a stunner in some kind of sweat pants, an ill-advised re-dux of the off-the-top-of-the-HIC spot, a great entrance by Sasha Banks, Stephanie taking a spear like a champ!) but no angles were paid off, and no new ones were started (I mean, how far can Sasha's beef with Ric Flair go?). Shaq's appearance was a surprise, and interesting, but it just has nowhere to go.
I liked Baron Corbin's win, and Zach Ryder's win (which were nods to NXT on the big show); Brock Lesnar's match felt pointless, which is not a good use of a talent like him.
BEST MATCH: For me it was Jericho-Styles. It reminded me of Steamboat-Savage, in that two excellent technicians were putting on a show down on the card, that managed to have some emotional resonance.
WORST MATCH: Taker-Shane. In one way, I think Shane is a believable opponent for Taker, in that a win was not unexpected. But the match was not credible, and I would have preferred that Foley was the only person ever to come off the top of the Cell. Another streak was broken in this match, and this one to me even more regrettable.
A WORD ON THE TITLE MATCH: Looking at the nostalgia acts we saw tonight, all had 1 thing in common: they could TALK, which Roman cannot. Circumstances being what they are, he can still get over as a heel, but they won't let him.
And why did fireworks go off after Roman won? Shouldn't the authority be mad?
This was a decent match, but like a lot of the booking on this show, it left A LOT to be desired. A very flat finish, and the Referee basically ignoring the sledge hammer was also ridiculous.