Ah, Wrestlemania 32 is over. The dust has settled and now we can all talk about what just transpired. This was by no means one of the greatest events in wrestling history, but at the end of the day I left pleasantly surprised at a lot of the events that transpired. So to hop on the bandwagon of people talking about the Grandaddy of ‘Em All, I am going to review each match on the Wrestlemania pre-show and regular show to give a good feeling of how the show faired. Keep in mind, the pre-show is going to get very minimal coverage as it doesn’t really count for the show at large, but a few sentences will suffice. With that said, let’s get this show on the road.
Kalisto def Ryback
This was easily the best match on the pre-show. Poor Kalisto and Ryback were unable to generate a lot of interest in the match leading up to Wrestlemania, thus the match was pushed to the pre-show and the Andre the Giant Battle Royal got bumped up. But they made the best of it and it certainly made Kalisto look like a star in the process.
Team Total Divas def. Team BAD & Blonde
I don’t think a lot of people were expecting much out of this match. The ten woman tag match was jumbled together from the start and served to put over Total Divas more than anything. It was also odd booking to put Brie Bella and her Total Diva compatriots over the clearly pushed Lana, revitalized Summer Rae/Emma, and Team BAD. Brie Bella will be checking out of WWE soon and it was an obvious grab for Daniel Bryan sympathy.
The Usos def. The Dudley Boyz
I don’t know how else to put this… Beyond the fact that the two teams put on a “decent” match that culminated in a double table frog splash, there was little reason to give a shit about this thing. The build up going into it was… Confusing and vague to say the very least. I do appreciate the Dudleys putting over young talent. But ultimately the match fell flat as a dud.
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Zack Ryder def. Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Stardust, Sin Cara, & Sami Zayn
Was anyone else surprised by this one? I think I shat a proverbial brick when I saw Zack Ryder pull the Intercontinental Belt down and claim victory at Wrestlemania. Zack Ryder is one of those cases that no matter what WWE did, his love was not going away, and they finally gave into temptation and gave the fans everywhere what they wanted. With Ryder in the ring, holding the belt, and his father crying along side him… It was probably the most powerful “Wrestlemania Moment” of the night.
The match itself was good. It was your standard multi-man ladder match. You had seven guys who would alternate spots in the ring, at least one person went through the prop breakable ladder, there were several near grabs, and ultimately it was Ryder to take the win when he pushed the showboating Miz off the top of the ladder. The match gets points for being a solid, albeit by the books, ladder match with a surprise baby face finish to get the crowd pumped for the show.
Chris Jericho def. AJ Styles
As far as technical skill was concerned, this was easily the best match on the card. Chris Jericho still has it as a wrestler, AJ Styles is one of the best wrestlers in the world, and the two complement each other in the ring. This thing was going to be a wrestling clinic from start to finish and it certainly did not disappoint. I probably enjoyed this match as a wrestling fan more than any of the others on the card.
Tragically though, I just cannot see why they would put Chris Jericho over AJ Styles in this match. The only reason I can see is that WWE wanted to be ‘shocking’ and do the unexpected… Fine, but that still doesn’t account for the fact that you put Chris Jericho, a man who has had multiple Wrestlemania moments, over the surging AJ Styles in his debut at the event. A questionable finale to an otherwise stellar match.
The League of Nations def. The New Day
This thing was a tragic mess. The sad thing about it is the fact that I didn’t want it to be. I love The New Day and I was really looking forward to seeing them. I loved them coming out of a box of Booty O’s wearing Dragonball Z outfits. It was wondrous… Then they got fed to the nostalgia train. The League of Nations beat them in a decent six man tag match, the League then made their challenge to oppose their might, and then Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Mick Foley came out to save the day. Afterwards Steve Austin did what he did best, eliminated the League of Nations and then stunned Xavier Woods to drink more beer.
This whole thing was bungled from start to finish. While the match was okay, the League of Nations should not have won against the insanely popular New Day. New Day was then fed to the nostalgia train for the sake of cheap pops for the Dallas crowd. It was a manufactured Wrestlemania moment at the expense of the best act in WWE.
No Holds Barred Street Fight
Brock Lesnar def. Dean Ambrose
This match went as expected and it had a very “Rocky Balboa” feel to it where Dean Ambrose didn’t necessarily have to win to look like a champ… As long as he stood toe to toe with the giant… Which he most certainly accomplished, then he would look strong. I’ll be honest, it would have been a far better ending if Brock Lesnar would have shaked Ambrose’s hand in a showing of respect for taking him to the limit… But ultimately it is a minor nitpick to an otherwise stellar affair.
The match itself was good. Lesnar had the majority of the offense while Ambrose used a lot of weapons to counter the beast incarnate’s barrage of suplexes. There was great ring psychology to the match and as such earns a spot as one of the best matches of the night.
WWE Women’s Championship
Charlotte def. Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks
This was easily the best match on the card due to the dubious Chris Jericho/AJ Styles finish. Not only did we see the slightly demeaning Divas Championship off the show for good and replaced with the more respectable Women’s Championship, it was capped off by a wrestling clinic put on by Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. Now the match was not without a few minor faults here and there, but ultimately it came down to an amazing affair from bell to bell.
Charlotte winning may not be the popular opinion over Sasha Banks or Becky Lynch… But in truth it really did work and the prestige of the Flair name can carry the new Women’s Championship into the future. Banks & Lynch will get their time soon, but for now I am fine with Flair walking away with the red and white strap.
Hell in a Cell Match
The Undertaker def. Shane McMahon
Sigh… I’m going to get heat for this one… But I was not a huge fan of this match. Do not get me wrong, I thought the match itself was good. But it certainly wasn’t the Wrestlemania spectacle that everyone, including the fans, made it out to be. Poor Undertaker and Shane McMahon clearly showed their age in this match. There were spurts of offense followed by long and drawn out rests for both of the aging wrestlers.
Yes, I will say right now, Shane McMahon doing the dive off the cage was cool. Even if you take away the fact that there was an obvious inflatable crash mat underneath the table. But ultimately the match was slow and showed the advanced age of the two men who totaled 97 years in collective age.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Baron Corbin wins
This thing was as best as it was going to be. Battle Royals tend to be a very confusing affair. You have twenty men in the ring throwing themselves at each other, a bunch of people go over the top rope… And then enough people get tossed out that the real story that the match is trying to tell can get underway. It was a genuine surprise to see Shaquille O’Neil, of all people, show up and it was interesting to see The Big Show and Kane physically look up to someone.
The match itself was fine. The Social Outcasts were fun to watch until their inevitable elimination, poor Mark Henry made it through the match in one piece, Big Show and O’Neil squared off, and ultimately the night was won by surprise NXT entrant Baron Corbin who made the debut that Hideo Itami should have made at 31. I won’t take anything away from Corbin it was a good introduction to the main roster. It was the best bathroom break filler match we could hope for.
The Rock def. Erick Rowan
I am going to give this “match” the lowest I can give it without being absolute shit tier. Because in truth, it can’t be shit tier, it wasn’t long enough to be shit tier. The “Match” was only 6 seconds. While I do understand the need for filler and giving the Rock and the returning John Cena their moment on the show, it was a hard pill to swallow seeing Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman being fed to the nostalgia train… Not to the extent of the New Day, but it was up there.
Ultimately The Rock and John Cena made fools of The Wyatt Family, sending the villains fleeing for the hills. I can appreciate them not having Bray Wyatt eat a Rock Bottom 6 second loss. But seeing Rowan take that really does suck for the up and coming wrestler.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Roman Reigns def. Triple H
Once again, probably going to draw some heat for this… But I enjoyed the finale to Wrestlemania. Am I going to say that it was the best match on the card or the most compelling? Oh hell no! There was much better matches and stories from the night. So when it rolled around to Roman Reigns vs. Triple H, I was pretty much checking out after the five hour event. But the match itself was good and told a good story of the toppling of a regime… For a day I’m sure… But still.
I was not a fan of the increased amount of boos that Reigns got over the night. I can understand the anger that fans feel towards him, but Reigns did give it his all in this match and showed some great talent while standing toe to toe with Triple H. It was the predictable finish… But it wasn’t a terrible way to send people home.
Thank you for reading and as always please like and subscribe for more from me!