It’s finally here. WWE has been talking about WrestleMania 32 for a while now, as they’re finally going to beat WrestleMania III’s attendance record. However, will the event be able to live up to the hype? Well, most fans are skeptical.
Regardless of opinions, skepticism, or our general fears, it’s time to finally get down to it.
WWE Network Kickoff Show:
Tag Team Match:
-The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
United States Title Match:
-Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback
Tag Team Match:
-Brie Bella & Natalya & Alicia Fox & Paige & Eva Marie vs. Lana & Team BAD & Emma
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
-Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Big Show, Kane, Tyler Breeze, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Konnor, Viktor, Goldust, R-Truth and 4 others TBA
-Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship:
-Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
-The New Day vs. The League of Nations
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title:
-Kevin Owens (c) vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust
No Holds Barred Street Fight:
-Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
Hell In a Cell Match:
-Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker. If Shane wins he gains control of WWE Raw.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match:
-Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback
Of all the matches on the pre-show, this is the only one that has any actual value with the US Championship being on the line. There wasn’t much of a storyline to finish since WWE decided to turn Ryback heel on a whim and blandly build this match, but the match pitted two wrestlers against each other with the ability to put on a solid match, so we had hope. Also, Mauro Ranallo!
This match started off with plenty of “Goldberg!” chants. Could that be some foreshadowing for later? There are plenty of rumors floating about…
In terms of the match, there were some decent points, but it was strange. There was a commercial mid-match, which took away from it, and there was no real huge spots that would make this match worthy of WrestleMania. Not a noteworthy match at all.
Match Rating: 4/10
Brie Bella & Natalya & Alicia Fox & Paige & Eva Marie vs. Lana & Team BAD & Emma
Who’s excited for this one? No one? No one at all? Yeah, we figured. If you’re looking for bland, look no further. This is an absolutely waste of Emma, Paige and Natalya, but at least they’re on the card.
In terms of the match, there was very little energy from the crowd and some sloppy moves from the less seasoned Divas. On the other hand, there were some great spots from the talented Divas, like a terrific suplex spot between Emma and Paige or a flying crossbody from Paige. Yes, Paige was an obvious bright spot. There was also a solid spot where every Diva took turns giving their finishers one after the other.
The big moment was supposed to be Lana’s in-ring debut and she wasn’t as bad as you’d expect., which is probably the takeaway from this match. We thought it would suck and it turned out to be entertaining. Good for the Divas!
Winner: Brie Bella & Natalya & Alicia Fox & Paige & Eva Marie
Match Rating: 5/10
Lita Unveils A New Title
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2016
This has been a long time coming. If WWE wants fans to respect the women’s wrestling division, they need a belt that will be respected, not a belt designed after a butterfly. While this announcement was expected tomorrow on Raw, Lita brought out the new belt and announced that the winner of the Divas title match later in the night would win the new belt. Good idea WWE.
Even if you’re not a fan of the new belt, you’re likely going to still prefer it over the old one…
The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
Look, The Dudley Boyz have never won at WrestleMania, so they really should be winning this one. No one likes The Usos anyway, so it won’t be a big deal. Also, we’d love to see them get one more run with the belts, so they can hit 10 title reigns, but we might be alone on that one.
In terms of the match, we saw some perfect heel work from Bubba Ray and some classic Dudley’s, while The Usos weren’t half bad themselves. The Usos are generally disliked, but they’re solid enough in the ring and deserve a little more love than they get. A new gimmick would likely help with that.
They weren’t given a lot of time to work a match, so it wasn’t terrific, but it wasn’t a complete travesty either. The Usos won the match with a superkick and were booed heavily. This might be a sign of things to come from Roman Reigns…
Winner: The Usos
Match Rating: 4.5/10
Kevin Owens (c) vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust
An obvious candidate to open WrestleMania, the ladder match at WrestleMania is always a standout and something to look forward to. There’s no need
Quick note: Stardust’s Dusty Rhodes’ polka dots costume and ladder were awesome. Also, Owens’ entrance was awesome.
From the get go, these seven men pushed the limits and pulled off some incredible spots, including a flip over the top rope from Sami Zayn, where he flew through a standing ladder. If you haven’t seen it, watch it below and marvel.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2016
Want more great spots? How about Sin Cara spring-boarding off the top rope, while falling off the ladder, and taking out every competitor. Or Kevin Owens delivering a frog splash to Sami Zayn while he was laying on a ladder. Or a huge “El-Bro” from Zack Ryder. Or Sin Cara delivering a splash onto Stardust, breaking a ladder in the process. The fans were chanting “This is Awesome!” after five minutes and we don’t blame them.
The main storyline of the match was Owens vs. Zayn and their lifelong friendship which is no more. It’s entirely likely this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these two fighting. Zayn won the match
However, we got a true WrestleMania shocker when Long Island Iced-Z won the match by throwing The Miz off the ladder and snatching the belt. Well deserved victory for Zack Ryder.
Winner: Zack Ryder
Match Rating: 8/10
Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
We rarely complain about WWE’s camera work, but it made no sense that they didn’t zoom in when AJ Styles came out. Strange choice…
This is one of the few matches on the card that had a lengthy and interesting build-up and it’s hard not to be excited about AJ Styles’ first WrestleMania match.
Well, they did not disappoint. They didn’t have any huge spots like the ladder match, but there was solid storytelling, fun heel work from Y2J, great wrestling and innovative offense. One particular terrific moment was Y2J countering a Pele kick into a Walls of Jericho, that Styles got out of. Or a beautiful counter from Styles that he turned into a Styles Clash, which Y2J kicked out of.
The end came when Jericho hit an aerial Codebreaker on Styles to get the pin. Strange choice for Y2J to go over on Styles, but they owed him for the Fandango job.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 7.5/10
The New Day vs. The League of Nations
The New Day has done a great job making the WWE Tag Titles relevant again, so it’s really a shame that the titles aren’t being defended at WrestleMania. That being said, they had a classic entrance, emerging from a 20 foot box of Booty-O’s.
In terms of the match, it was a 3-on-3 battle with Wade Barrett being the odd man out, in what could be his final WrestleMania moment. The match was decent enough, though it lacked a little bit of energy from the crowd, which is a huge surprise considering how New Day usually interacts with the fans.
The end came when Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Xavier Woods after a Bullhammer from Wade Barrett. A little underwhelming…
Winner: The League of Nations
Match Rating: 4.5/10
Stone Cold, HBK and Mick Foley Come Back
The victory was short lived for The League of Nationas, as they cut a promo saying that no three men in the WWE could defeat them. Cue HBK’s theme music, who was joined by Stone Cold and Mick Foley, to deliver a beat down to The League of Nations. After they delivered all their finisher, The New Day wanted to celebrate with them, but Stone Cold doesn’t dance and stunned Xavier Woods.
An entertaining piece of nostalgia.
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
Another match that had a legitimate build, in an interesting match without a clearcut option for a winner. There’s plenty of merit to having either man with this match, giving it plenty of intrigue.
The match went as we expected, with Ambrose using weapons and Lesnar dishing out suplexes. However, they still did well to tell a somewhat interesting story despite all the weapons and gimmicks, while delivering some interesting ‘wrestling’ spots like a huge suplex from the top rope by Lesnar. At the same time, there were some lackluster moments, like a poorly angled german suplex over a pile of chairs by Lesnar and a sloppy DDT from Ambrose onto the same pile of chairs.
The end came when The Beast F5’d on the chairs. Entertaining bout, but an anti-climactic ending that could’ve made Ambrose look a little better.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Match Rating: 6,5/10
Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Complain about the Divas Revolution all you want, but the state of women’s wrestling in WWE has improved. Last year, we had a bland tag match. This year, one of the most publicized matches on the card is the Divas Championship match. Good for WWE and let’s hope they continue in this vein.
Sadly, they decided to have an incredibly bad musical performance for Sasha Banks’ entrance by Snoop Dogg (who wasn’t bad) and one of the worst singers we’ve ever heard. Really, she should never be allowed to perform live again.
After thirty seconds, we saw better ‘pure’ wrestling than we saw in a lot of the other matches on the card. The rest of the roster should takes notes! Just go watch this match. Then go watch Bayley vs. Asuka at NXT Takerover: Dallas. Then stop complaining about the Divas Revolution. This was the greatest women’s match in WrestleMania history, in this humble writer’s opinion.
This one ended when Charlotte locked the figure four onto Becky Lynch, while Ric Flair distracted Sasha Banks. We wanted to see Sasha win, but it was still an incredible match.
Match Rating: 9/10
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
No one was expecting this to be a wrestling showcase, but we were looking for a fun encounter with exciting sports and insane entrances.
They delivered with the entrances, with Shane O’Mac coming out with his children as money fell from the sky and The Undertaker coming out to one of the more breathtaking scenes in his career.
As for the match, it was a lot of fun. It had a slow pace, but great spots, like Shane McMahon hitting his classic ‘Coast to Coast’ with a trash can or Taker launching himself through a table with Shane on his back as he was locked in a sleeper hold. However, the biggest spot of all came when Shane O’Mac launched himself off the top of the table for an elbow drop. Taker rolled out of the way and Shane went directly through the table. You can never, ever question Shane’s spirit.
— WWE (@WWE) April 4, 2016
Watch it again. And again. And again. It’ll never stop being shocking. He’s very well off. He doesn’t need to do this. It’s actual insanity. Good for Shane O’Mac.
The Undertaker dragged Shane back to the ring to finish him off with a tombstone. An epic match with absolutely incredible storytelling. All the credit in the world to both of these men, who really don’t NEED to be doing this anymore. Don’t get our match rating twisted here. We know this isn’t a 9.5/10 in terms of wrestling, but in terms of what it set out to do, it did it terrifically.
Winner: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 9.5/10
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
A good cool down after the emotional and epic encounter between The Undertaker and Shane McMahon, we have the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. There were some fun entrants returns here, like DDP and Tatanka (though they didn’t mention him until halfway through the match), while they brought out Shaquille O’Neal to face off against Big Show.
Here’s the sad part. Shaq eliminated Damien Sandow. Remember last year, when we thought he was getting pushed? This is absolutely depressing. After that, the rest of the wrestlers eliminated the two giants, paving the way for a new winner.
In terms of the match, it was mostly sloppy like any other battle royal, but at least we got to see a Diamond Cutter and a hilarious Bo Train sequences. In the end, Baron Corbin won the battle royal by flipping Kane over the top rope. A smart piece of booking and let’s hope they continue that with him on the main roster.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Match Rating: 5/10
The Rock vs. Erick Rowan
The Rock came out with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders for one of the longest entrances of all time, that for some reason involved a flamethrower, to announce that they broke the WrestleMania attendance record with a total of 101,763 fans.
Until… The Wyatt Family came out and Bray cut an awesome promo (as always). Then The Rock cut an incredible promo right back (as always). This broke into an actual match, which was hugely disappointing, as The Rock beat Erick Rowan in six seconds.
Then, as The Wyatt Family surrounded the ring, Super Cena came out before they beatdown on Rowan, Strowman and Wyatt, sacrificing emerging young talents for established stars. Brilliant. Also, Cena is their current breadwinner and he played second fiddle to The Rock, which made no sense at all. If Cena was fit to perform, why not have him compete in a legitimate match? Weird booking choices throughout the card…
Winner: The Rock
Match Rating: 3/10
Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 4, 2016
At least Stephanie McMahon is hot. Apart from that, her monologue was pretty insane. We don’t mean that in a cool way; it was literally insane. The rest of the entrance was good though and it was probably the only thing people were excited about coming into the match.
Then Roman came out and the fans booed relentlessly. It was deafening, even over the fireworks they tried to drown them out with. It didn’t stop there. Every time he had the advantage, they booed. Every time Triple H mounted an attack, they cheered.
Regardless of the fan support, this match had WrestleMsnia XXV main event written all over it (go watch Orton/HHH from that event if you don’t get the reference). After an entertaining show, we got a main event that was slow and lifeless. After 4+hours, the fans were tired and it didn’t help that the match didn’t have many interesting spots. The most noteworthy moment was Reigns spearing Stephanie McMahon, which tells you all you need to know about the match.
Then, Reigns speared Triple H, won the belt and we all let out a huge YAWN. On a night of poor/strange booking decisions, this goes down as the blandest and more boring one.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Match Rating: 3.5/10
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