The reaction to WrestleMania 33 seems to be pretty mixed at the moment. People either thought it was amazing or terrible, with few in the middle. The reason for this is that it was a show which had plenty of highs and plenty of lows. There was no shortage of pure WrestleMania moments which will be shown on highlight reels for years to come at future WrestleManias. There were also plenty of moments which will live in infamy in the pro wrestling "Hall of Shame" however. These are the kinds of moments which WWE will scrub from the Network, in the hopes we will forget the blunder in the future.
Now of course many entries in this article are subjective. There were aspects to WrestleMania 33 which some people might find good and others would not. With that being said however, there were definitely some moments at WrestleMania this year which were either objectively good or bad. Some of the items listed in this article were so exciting, and so entertaining that it is impossible to assume any true wrestling fan couldn't appreciate it. Unfortunately the opposite is true as well, with a few moments at WrestleMania 33 being universally cringe-worthy.
Was WrestleMania 33 a good or bad show? It's tough to say, as there is plenty of evidence for each opinion.
Here are 10 things WWE got WRONG at WrestleMania 33, and 10 things they got right.
20 Got Wrong: Forgetting to Let Security Know About Rob Gronkowski
If you didn't watch the Andre the Giant Memorial battle royal you may have missed this one. During the later stages of the match, Jinder Mahal and Mojo Rawley spilt to the outside. They happened to land in front of New England Patriots star, and friend of Mojo's, Rob Gronkowski.
In what was obviously a planned part of the show, Jinder threw a drink on "Gronk". This led to Gronkowski jumping the rail to go after Jinder. The problem is that WWE evidently forgot to inform a security guard who was positioned ringside, as she treated Gronkowski like he was someone not part of the show.
A slew of referees jumped in pretty quick, and the security guard let go of Gronk. If they hadn't of gotten that security guard off of him however, Jinder Mahal might have won the battle royal this year.
19 Got Right: Spectacle
Vince McMahon knows how to create a spectacle, and WrestleMania 33 created some truly spectacular images. Go back and watch Charlotte's entrance. Watch Ric Flair's daughter wear a peacock inspired robe and look up at the ring while a majestic fireworks display is shown overhead. That image does more to create the impression of Charlotte as a star than winning a championship ever could.
The giant wrestling ring on top of the normal sized wrestling ring was a not-so-subtle analogy that everything at WrestleMania is bigger; larger-than-life. Most wrestlers were wearing special gear for Mania as well, which furthers the spectacle. Seth Rollins was in Game of Thrones inspired "King Slayer" garb. Becky Lynch morphed into an Irish warrior. Even Byron Saxton had a flashy suit on.
WrestleMania isn't just another show, it's a spectacle. WWE always does a good job presenting it as such.
18 Got Wrong: Bray Wyatt's Useless Magical Powers
Over the years we have learned Bray Wyatt has some supernatural powers. They just don't happen to be particularly useful powers.
We saw this again at WrestleMania 33. Three times during his match with Randy Orton the lights in the building dimmed as images of worms or bugs were show in crystal clear definition on the ring mat. The images were eery, unlike anything seen in a wrestling match before. For many fans it created the feeling as though something was going to happen. The problem is, nothing ever happened.
Fans kept waiting for the next image to appear, assuming the purpose of the images would be revealed to us before the end of the match. But then Orton hit an RKO and won. The mysteries were never revealed.
Whatever Wyatt's plan was didn't even come close to working. Did he expect Orton to be so grossed out at the pictures of worms and bugs that he would simply quit the match?
It must be bitter-sweet for Wyatt to have magical powers, but not be able to use them in ways which help him win matches.
17 Got Right: AJ Styles Beating Shane McMahon
Corey Graves didn't shy away from his disinterest in this match. In a previous episode of "Bring it to the Table" on the WWE Network, Graves said that the Shane vs. AJ match "did nothing for him". His point was that AJ is a pro wrestling artist, and Shane is more of a big spot daredevil guy.
It might seem like a low-bar to be giving credit to WWE for not having Shane beat AJ, but considering Vince is believed to have wanted Shane to beat Undertaker last year, things could have gone badly here. A loss to Shane McMahon at WrestleMania wouldn't have ruined AJ Styles, but it sure would have been tough to stomach.
The concerns which Corey Graves brought to the table regarding this match are legitimate however. Had AJ Styles been paired up with a more seasoned pro wrestler, such as say Shinsuke Nakamura, we possibly could have seen a classic WrestleMania bout.
16 Got Wrong: Al Roker's "Chocolate Thunder" Line
Who told him that was a funny line? How did they let him go along with that? Al Roker served as the guest ring announcer for the Miz/Maryse vs. Cena/Nikki Bella tag match last night. He was invited into that role during an appearance by John Cena on the Today show recently.
Celebrities once played a prominent role at WrestleMania. The first WrestleMania in particular was stacked with as many A-listers as Vince could get to appear. In recent years however, celebrities have played less of a role. The fans who travel from all over the world to go to the "ultimate thrill-ride" want to see wrestlers not celebrities. This is why nobody in the audience reacted positively to Al Roker serving as guest ring announcer.
Not helping matters however, was Roker awkwardly delivering the line "You can call me Chocolate Thunder". No sir, we will not call you that.
15 Got Right: Bayley's Macho Man Tribute
This WrestleMania was the 30 year anniversary of "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III. Many call their classic match for the intercontinental championship one of the greatest in the history of WrestleMania.
Bayley was a big Macho Man fan. This has been evident in her ring gear and move-set ever since she debuted in NXT. It was evident in her ring gear at her first WrestleMania this year as well. Bayley wore a type of robe made to stick out at the sides, just as Macho Man did for a period in the 1980s. In his DVD on the WWE Network, Lanny Poffo revealed that Macho Man loved those robes because they made him seem bigger than he really was.
To finish off Charlotte and retain her Raw Women's Championship, Bayley also used Macho Man's signature flying elbow drop. Ooooh Yeaaaahhh!
14 Got Wrong: Anti-Climactic Owens vs. Jericho Match
This is not to say that Owens vs Jericho wasn't a good match, because it was perfectly fine. It's just to say that this match wasn't given the emphasis which it perhaps deserved on the show. The match had to follow Shane vs AJ, who broke announce tables, used weapons, did coast to coasts etc., which can be a challenge as well.
After the Festival of Friendship, months and months of building, and with many feeling more invested in this match than any other, Owens and Jericho had a fairly basic wrestling match. Jericho kicked out of the pop-up power bomb, Owens got his finger on the rope after a codebreaker, then Owens power bombed Jericho on the apron, rolled him back in the ring and pinned him.
This match was made to feel less important than others on the show, such as Hunter versus Seth. With Owens and Jericho having been the main storyline on Raw for so long, it felt odd that this match wasn't treated as special.
13 Got Right: Seth Rollins Beating Triple H
As with the Shane McMahon match, it is perhaps setting the bar a little low to give praise for not having Triple H beat Seth Rollins. It could have happened though. Even though Seth Rollins is a current and future star, it doesn't mean they wouldn't have had Triple H beat him.
This is the same Triple H who beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29, and Sting at WrestleMania 31 remember, they'll book him to beat anyone, no matter how valuable they are to the company.
A loss to Triple H at WrestleMania would have hurt Rollins' character, and wouldn't have benefitted Triple H at all considering the injury angle with Rollins' leg. Alas no member of the McMahon family, via blood or marriage, won their matches at this year's WrestleMania.
12 Got Wrong: Randy Orton Rides A Sperm To Ring
What the WWE was going for and the final result were very different here. The idea must have been to make it seems as though "The Viper" Randy Orton was riding a top a snake to the ring. The problem was that the size of the snake's head in comparison to the size of the snake's body made it look more like an earth-toned sperm than it did a snake.
As Randy and the sperm travelled down the long ramp to the ring it was not clear if Randy was on his way to have a match, or if the sperm was going to impregnate an egg. The tension was palpable!
This was only the first odd visual the WWE championship match at WrestleMania 33 created, as Bray Wyatt would randomly make bugs and worms appear on the match just moments later.
11 Got Right: Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, A 5-Minute Slug Fest
The Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar match from WrestleMania only went 4 minutes and 45 seconds. It was exactly as it should have been.
After what happened at Survivor Series this year, with Goldberg pinning Lesnar in 1 minutes and 26 seconds, fans realized that every single move in this match mattered. As a result it felt much like a mixed martial arts bout does. Fans knew the fight could end at any second, and that many of the normal unwritten rules of pro wrestling matches don't necessarily apply here.
Had it gone on any longer they might have both gotten too tired to do anything entertaining. At under 5 minutes however, it was impactful, efficient and awesome. Lesnar comes out the new champion, and Goldberg looked strong enough that he could be brought back and still get over strong.
10 Got Wrong: Length of Show
From the start of the Kickoff Show, which included 3 matches, to the end of the main card, WrestleMania clocked in at well over 6 hours this year. For many, that is a little too long.
Perhaps if they had scrapped the Ambrose vs. Corbin match, or instructed Tinashe to not draw out so many of the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" the event wouldn't have felt so long.
Over six hours is just too long of a time to be emotionally invested in anything. Plus the show had a lot of exciting moments, which can exhaust a live audience. Watching WrestleMania from kickoff to final curtain is like watching an entire UFC show from the first prelim fight all the way to the main event; you can do it, but it feels like overkill by the time you're finished.
9 Got Right: Removing Inflammatory Sign Quickly
Many watching WrestleMania 33's main event may have notice a brief, but impactful, appearance by one person's homemade sign. Yes, in a sea of the WWE universe one sign just popped it's head up to say "Roman is a Holocaust Denier".
The camera switched pretty quick and the next time it came back to that angle the sign was gone.
Close your eyes and imagine what it takes to bring such a sign to WrestleMania. First of all, you have to love wrestling so much that you're going to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get the seats which this person had. Then you wait until the final match of a six hour show to unveil a sign you must know is going to get you kicked out of the building.
Lots of fans don't like Roman Reigns, but that fan REALLY doesn't like Roman Reigns.
8 Got Wrong: No Legends Segment
In recent years WWE has always given us one throwback segment featuring legends from the past. Not the introduction of the year's class of Hall of Fame inductees, but a segment featuring retired-but-not-elderly stars of yesteryear. Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, DX and the nWo have all been involved in some type of segment which pays homage to the stars of the attitude era, but nothing like that occurred this year.
Even last year we at least go the Rock beating Eric Rowan.
While the Rock and Stone Cold perhaps had scheduling conflicts or other commitments, there were plenty of legends on-hand who were not given the spotlight even once on this year's show. Daniel Bryan was literally not shown on camera once, while "Mr. WrestleMania" Shawn Michaels was limited to the pre-show panel.
7 Got Right: Return of Matt and Jeff Hardy
When New Day came onto the WrestleMania stage and announced the Raw tag team championship ladder match was now a 4-way, it was goosebumps inducing. Almost immediately the live audience could be heard chanting "Delete! Delete!".
It didn't matter that it was the old Hardy theme music, or that the #BROKEN elements of Matt's character were not taking centre stage. What mattered was the Hardy brothers winning the tag team championships in front of tens of thousands of fans, many of whom were losing their minds at the time.
Think of all that Matt and Jeff have been through recently. The explosion of their popularity, the legal issues with TNA's new owners, and somehow it all led to this moment at WrestleMania.
At 42 and 39 years old respectively, WrestleMania 33 just may have been the biggest career highlight for both Matt and Jeff Hardy.
6 Got Wrong: Cena and Nikki Bella Engagement
Having John Cena propose to his girlfriend in front of a live audience which loves to boo and tell him he sucks is an odd choice. This was no Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth, believe you me.
First of all, when Cena proposed he pulled the ring out from a pocket of his cargo shorts. Meaning he was wrestling the entire match with a huge diamond ring in his pocket. I feel like perhaps he should have given that to someone at ringside to hold.
Secondly, doesn't John proposing to Nikki at WrestleMania prove Miz's point that they are a manufactured couple? That their entire relationship is created for the public eye?
This could have gone so much worse than it did however. Luckily for WWE, this year's event wasn't held in a city such as Philadelphia. If they had done this show in Philadelphia, Nikki and John would have been pelted with boos. The WrestleMania 33 crowd just sort of respectfully went silent and waited for it to be over.
5 Got Right: Jeff Hardy's Ladder Dive
Jeff Hardy is out of his mind! Watching Jeff Hardy at WrestleMania 33 seemed to make so much more sense than watching him on Impact. Jeff Hardy is meant to create WrestleMania moments like the one he did this year.
If the Hardys had just returned and won the titles without Jeff having dove off a ladder it would have been fine. His fans would have cracked it up to him being almost 40, and WWE being different now than it had been 7 years ago. When he scaled the ladder and stood atop it in front of a packed stadium it reminded everyone of what he can do. Instantly we realized that Jeff Hardy in WWE can do things he didn't have the opportunity to do in other promotions. Sure he could jump off a ladder on Impact and it would look cool, but it would never be iconic like it is when he does it at WrestleMania.
Moments later his brother Matt would collect the tag belts and bring to an end one of the most exciting returns in WrestleMania history.
4 Got Wrong: Setting the Stage on Fire
At least this happened at the end of the show and not the beginning, or things could have worked out very differently for WrestleMania 33.
Many fans noted that after the show went off the air, the WrestleMania stage caught fire. It is believed that pyro used during Undertaker's exit was the culprit. Judging by some of the videos and pictures, the fire would have caused a significant delay to the show.
Had this happened in one of the night's earlier matches there is no telling how the rest of the show might have been impacted. They might have even had to bump a match entirely, depriving someone of their WrestleMania moment.
Instead that the stage caught fire will just be a funny footnote people sometimes mention when talking of The Undertaker's retirement.
3 Got Right: The Undertaker's Retirement
While many were upset that Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns went on last, it's now clear that it needed to. It is believed at this point that WrestleMania 33 was Undertaker's last match, and if that is the case there simply could not have been any other matches on afterwards.
After losing "his yard" to Roman Reigns, there was nothing left for Undertaker. He took off his gloves and placed them in the ring, much like MMA fighters will do when they are retiring. He took off his hat and coat, which he had just put back on, and left them folded in the ring as well. Members of the media would tweet out photos from 30 minutes after the show ended which showed the hat, gloves and coat all still in the ring.
Without saying a word Undertaker clearly communicated to the crowd that this had been his last match.
2 Got Wrong: Lost Opportunity; Roman Didn't Turn Heel
They could have done it. They could have turned Roman Reigns heel at WrestleMania. The stage was all set for them if they wanted to do it, but clearly they do not.
They had Reigns going up against one of the most beloved figures in wrestling history at the biggest event of the year. All Reigns would have had to do was cheat a little to get the win, beat Taker after the bell, or do something otherwise unscrupulous, and it arguably would have been one of the most iconic moments in WrestleMania history. WrestleMania 33: the night Roman finally turned.
Roman could have come out the next night and claimed that he'd finally had enough of the booing, that if the fans were going to boo him after the biggest win of his life he could no longer respect them. Or he could have claimed he saw that one signed which claimed he was a holocaust denier and finally just decided he hates all WWE fans.
1 Got Right: Jim Ross Calls the Main Event
Jim Ross recently lost his wife. Jan Ross was killed after being hit by a car while riding her Vespa home from the gym. You'd be hard pressed to find a wrestling fan who doesn't love Jim Ross. Wrestlers love him, fans love him, Vince likes to make fun of him, but for the most part everyone loves Jim Ross. Which is why it was so sad to learn of his wife's tragedy.
Sitting in the big chair at WrestleMania is where Jim Ross belongs, and it was where they finally put him last night. Even though his return to WWE isn't going to bring his wife back, it at least gives JR part of his old family back. While that may be small consolation to having his wife, it's the best the pro-wrestling community is able to offer him.
To have Jim Ross back to call The Undertaker's final match was a great call. One that surely both Jim and Taker appreciate.
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