WrestleMania 31 is finally upon us and TheSportster is here to break it down for you. There are lot of big names on the card, though some of them are getting up their in age, and there's a lot to look forward to. Here's a quick breakdown of the card:
- Fatal Four-Way for the Tag Team Titles (Pre-Show)
- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- Intercontinental Ladder Match
- Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
- Sting vs Triple H
- Rusev vs John Cena
- The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
- AJ Lee and Paige vs The Bella Twins
- Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
Many are skeptical about the event, as the build up to the event was poor. We didn't see The Undertaker, we barely saw Brock Lesnar, and a lot of the feuds seem half-baked. However, there's plenty to look forward to, like Sting's first WWE appearance and a match between two solid wrestlers in Seth Rollins and Randy Orton. With that being said, let's break down the action!
10 (Pre-Show) Fatal Four-Way for the Tag Team Titles
It's a shame how far the Tag Team Belts have fallen over the years and the prestigious titles should always be featured on the main card at WrestleMania. The tag tag team division isn't strong at the moment and really only features two (mildly) believable teams. Jay Uso was injuried, but still came out, though he was knocked out of the match extremely quickly. This wasn't a terrible match and it ended with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro retaining their belts. Having so many people involved in a match can make it get a little slow, but these eight men had some decent spots and gave us a decent match.
Winner: Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
Match Rating: 6/10
9 (PreShow) Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
As always with Battle Royal matches, it's not always an easy watch. With dozens of wrestlers clustered together, this match only picked up when the pack thinned out a little bit. It was good to see Bo Dallas and Hideo Itami, while Ryback and Cesaro showed impressive power throughout. The much maligned Big Show was actually a useful part of the Battle Royal, showing impressive athleticism and having an interesting spot with The New Day.
In the end, it was all about The Miz and Mizdow, as we expected, and the conclusion of their long storyline. The two were the last two combatants against Big Show, before Mizdow turned on The Miz and threw him out, leaving him alone with the giant. After an entertaining five minute spot, it looked as though Mizdow would eliminate Big Show before he got overpowered. A decent match with a useless ending that does nothing to further the careers of any wrestlers.
Winner: Big Show
Match Rating: 5/10
8 Intercontinental Title Match
Before this match was actually a pretty cool intro involving LL Cool J (though it would've been cooler if it was someone more relevant). Watch it and picture it being someone more useful.
This is a match that many expected to steal the show and they absolutely did not disappoint. There were too many high spots in this match to mention, but a couple include Bad News Barrett suplexing Stardust off a huge ladder and Dean Ambrose getting powerbombed out of the ring into a pile of ladders by Luke Harper. The crowd was chanting 'This is Awesome!" throughout. After a bunch of close calls, Ziggler and Bryan were are at the top of ladder, headbutting one another violently before Ziggler fell off and Bryan scored the victory. The ending was a little weak, but if you want to increase the prestige of the IC title, Daniel Bryan is the champion to do it.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: 8/10
7 Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
This was a strong match between two supremely talented wrestlers in their primes, which is not something we can say about the other singles matches on the card. Thankfully Randy Orton quickly rid of J&J Security so that we could properly enjoy this match without annoying interruptions (though they sadly came back).
This was a skillfully worked match, as they told an enthralling story throughout. Each move was crisp and well-worked, as these two superstars raised their game on the biggest stage in wrestling. They both kicked out of their opponent finishers before the amazing end came when Rollins attempted a curb stomp and Orton countered it into a RKO. It was truly an amazing end to a terrific match. An instant classic and the other matches on the card will have plenty to live up to.
We then got to see Ronda Rousey after the match, which added to our happiness.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match Rating: 10/10
6 Sting vs Triple H
The promo video to this match was incredible and had me incredibly hyped. Then Sting came out with an elaborate and entertaining entrance that further had me foaming at the mouth for this match (though the daylight kinda ruined it). Sadly, Triple H's entrance was garbage, as it was Terminator themed and featured Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'd describe it further, but that would be a huge waste of my time as a writer and your time as a reader. Absolutely embarrassing.
It started off slow, but Sting quickly eased our fears about his age and the fans were chanting "You Still Got It!" after only a couple of minutes. They couldn't keep the pace that Rollins and Orton did, but they told their story well and they sold each others moves perfectly. Each move seemed monumental and added to the allure of the match.
Sting locked in the Scorpion Death Lock before D-X's music hit. I held my breathe hoping for Shawn Michaels, but we got The New Age Outlawz and X-Pac instead, who Sting quickly beatdown before getting hit with a Pedigree that he kicked out of. Then we got the nWo, with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan coming to the ring and beating up D-X (which made no sense, because nWo were part of the promos as "The Authority" that Sting tried to purge from WCW). Sting got Triple H back in the Scorpion Death Lock before we finally got Shawn Michaels in the ring who hit Sting with Sweet Chin Music. Both factions then handed their superstar their weapon of choice. Triple H got the last shot with a sledgehammer with an assist from HBK, for a weak end to an emotional match.
Winner: Triple H
Match Rating: 7.5/10
5 Paige and AJ Lee vs The Bella Twins
Before this match, we saw Daniel Bryan backstage being congratulated by legends like Bret Hart, Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Then we got a musical performance that no one cared about so we won't discuss it.
We then got a solid Divas tag match, that wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but that was still a good bout. There was only one glaring botch in the match and a bunch of incredibly solid spots. The end came when Paige threw Brie into the steel steps and AJ Lee locked Nikki into The Black Widow for the win.
After this match, we were presented the Hall of Fame 2015 inductees.
Winner: Paige and AJ Lee
Match Rating: 6.5/10
4 Rusev vs John Cena
This match was one of the surprisingly solid matches from Fastlane and one of the few feuds that was properly built up, so we had high hopes for this one. The fans were really into this one, either raucously cheering Cena on or booing him relentlessly. Rusev showed his impressive athleticism throughout and the two had another solid match. It wasn't a particularly quick match, but similar to the Triple H/Sting match, they both sold each other's moves well and each move seemed like it might end the match. Cena even hit a springboard/Stone Cold Stunner than that was incredibly impressive.
This one ended when Lana tried to interrupt, Rusev knocked her off the mat and then was hit with an AA. Cena won clean and no one was surprised. A bland ending to an otherwise solid match.
Winner: John Cena
Match Rating: 7.5/10
3 Triple H Promo
After the Cena/Rusev match, Triple H came out and cut an awesome promo before being interrupted by The People's Champ (with what we believe was a Terminator Bull as an icon on the screen...). He then made fun of Triple H's Terminator entrance which was awesome, before challenging Triple H to a fight. Triple H decided he had nothing to prove, Stephanie started mocking him, leading The Rock to make a touchy joke and get smacked by Steph. He couldn't hit a girl, so he decided to get Ronda Rousey involved (she was in the front row). They had an entertaining promo between the four of them, before The Rock attacked Triple H and Ronda Rousey flipped him. Steph tried to attack Rousey and was ragdolled a little before being thrown out of the ring. An entertaining promo and a fun part of the night.
2 The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
This was supposed to be the match of incredible entrances, as most were more curious about the entrances than the match itself. Wyatt's entrance was underwhelming, as he came out with weird scarecrow zombies. With daylight filling the stadium, a cool Wyatt entrance was likely never in the cards. The Undertaker's entrance wasn't extravagant either, with the bell tolling and smoke filling the arena. It was understated, but still powerful because of the events from the year before.
As seems to be the theme on this list, the match was slow and calculated, but that doesn't mean it was poor. Within a couple of minutes, after performing his Old School move, the crowd was chanting "You've Still Got It!" for Taker. We thought the end came when The Undertaker tombstoned Wyatt, but he kicked out at two. Then Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail, but The Phenom kicked out of that. The coolest part was Wyatt doing his creepy Exorcist walk while The Undertaker did has patented "Sit Up," which really got the crowd into it. The Undertaker hit a second Tombstone, which put the match to rest. It wasn't the most exciting of finishes, but it was still an entertaining match.
Winner: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 7/10
1 Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
The much maligned main event was finally upon. As hard as Paul Heyman tried, he still couldn't get people completely into this match. However, that didn't mean there was no hope. Both men are power wrestlers who can perform impressive moves in the ring.
Enough of how this match could suck or be great, how did the match stack up?
It was damn good. It was slow (like every non-Divas match after Orton/Rollins), but Lesnar toying with Reigns for the first half of the match was entertaining to watch. The fans were chanting "This is Awesome!" while watching Lesnar pick apart Reigns. Lesnar was quickly bleeding from two different parts of his face as both men were hitting each other with everything they had. Each move looked violent and it added to the allure of the match.
After Three F-5s, Reigns hit Lesnar with a few Superman Punches that couldn't knock Lesnar down, before a third finally had him on his back. He then hit with him with a couple of spears, but Lesnar still kicked out. That's when something awesome happened. Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank suitcase and Curb Stomped Lesnar twice! Reigns then hit Lesnar with a spear before Rollins hit Reigns with a Curb Stomp. Rollins then pinned Reigns to win the WWE Championship. It was an ending we never expected that kept the mystique around Lesnar and had our hearts pounding. Well done WWE!
Winner: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 9.5/10