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My review of Wrestlemania

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My review of Wrestlemania

Postby The Legend » Apr 04, '20, 9:15 pm

So I figured I'd talk about WrestleMania on here in case anyone is looking around and wondering about this year's show. First off, this is definitely an odd and unique experience, some of which was good/great and a lot of it was weird and disappointing. The biggest takeaway is that two-night WrestleMania's are genius and getting out of the show in three hours was a breath of fresh air. Quick overview is Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins stole the show on night one and Undertaker had the best match of his career in probably a decade, thanks to some crafty camera work and a totally different setting. Meanwhile, Bill Goldberg's reign of terror is over and Braun Strowman finally wins the big one. While there were definitely parts of the show that dragged on a bit -- especially early in the show.

Night starts off with a women's tag team championship match between champion Kabuki Warriors and challengers Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross. Kabuki Warriors are among the most annoying acts in WWE with their incessant yelling, chanting and grunting and this only gets worse when there's no crowd noise to drown them out. Thankfully, Bliss and Cross take the belts and should get a good run with them as an act that can talk and should enhance the profile of the championships.

Up next Elias beats King Corbin in the most non-descript of Wrestlemania undercard fodder types of matches. WWE and the circumstances gave us no reason to care about this match and while I like Elias' character, neither of these is good enough in the ring to just show up and captivate the audience with no backstory. Again at least Elias got a victory.

We finally get to an interesting match with a decent backstory in Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler, but the first two matches were boring enough to distract me and make me tune out of the early portions of this pretty physical and unique women's matches. It was a letdown though that Lynch retained the belt and won at WrestleMania with another questionable rollup instead of a decisive victory.

Things finally start to heat up with Sami Zayn retaining the IC championship vs Daniel Bryan in a really fun and fast paced match that had lots going on with outside interference from Shinsuke and Cesaro along with Drew Gulak. This match probably won't end up on either Sami or Bryan's career highlight reel, but it was still a strong showing that amped up the feeling for the best portions of Mania.

John Morrison, Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston then battle for the SD tag championships in a singles triple threat match since Miz was sick for the Mania tapings and had to miss the show. Not surprising considering who was involved, but this match was filled with lots of great action. Also, not surprising the match ends with all three grabbing the belts in order to set up a re-match after Miz gets healthy.

Match of the night goes to Owens and Rollins, who managed to use the empty arena and no fans to their advantage with an intense personal back and forth and great storytelling. Also, Owens jumping off the WrestleMania sign is surely a Mania moment that will be remembered for all the right reasons. This one managed to enhance both characters even Rollins in defeat.

Strowman beat Goldberg and that is the only thing that needs to or can be said about this one.

They close the show with Styles vs Undertaker in what basically amounted to a Buried Alive match in a dressed up cemetary setting and had interference from Gallows, Anderson and some druid characters. This match wasn't a masterpiece, it was basically an omage to an 80's biker bar movie like Roadhouse and saw Taker return more to his ABA Taker character than the Deadman until they went supernatural at the end. It looked like Styles was going to win with Taker in the grave, but he magically appeared behind Styles and eventually won in what was a good match.

Hopefully, AJ can get some sort of repackaging (a face turn) and this is the end of the terrible OC run. Also, I would have preferred this match be in the middle of the card to break up all the empty arena matches that the card had.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby Messiah » Apr 05, '20, 6:02 am

The Boneyard match was AWESOME.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby KaiserGlider » Apr 05, '20, 2:28 pm

The Boneyard Match between Undertaker and AJ Styles was actually really well done. By far Undertaker's best work in years and years. Who knew that going back to Biker Taker and showing more personality was what he needed to be entertaining again? Well, all of us knew and were saying that a decade ago, but it's nice to know he finally came to that conclusion himself. Still, credit where credit is due to The Undertaker for going outside his comfort zone and delivering a performance like that at this point in his career. The "match", or segment, or scene or whatever you want to call it, deserves all the praise it's getting.

And credit is also due to Broken Matt Hardy, because he started this type of match and popularized it back in TNA. It's crazy to think about how much influence on the business that gimmick actually had, now that we're seeing a "Final Deletion" type segment in the main event of Wrestlemania.

The rest of the Night 1 show was a dud for me. Not having a crowd made it really hard to be excited about what was happening. And that's not the fault of the performers at all, because they busted their asses and there was a lot of great action going around. But the matches just kinda felt pointless without having people react to the highspots. Braun Strowman finally won a world title, in the most anticlimactic way imaginable. I know WWE intentionally did not mention the words "coronavirus" and "Covid 19" to try to distract people at home from thinking about that during the show, but for me it had the opposite effect. I found myself feeling depressed that all these matches were being wasted on an empty arena. And did we really need to see Elias vs Corbin for 10 minutes with no crowd?

I'm glad they had Taker vs Styles go on last, because nothing else could follow that - at least none of the Night 1 matches. The same could be said for Night 2 tonight. I'm looking forward to what Cena and Wyatt will do in the Firefly Funhouse Match. I have no idea what to expect there. Brock vs McIntyre should be good, and Edge vs Orton too. Though I dislike Last Man Standing matches, I trust Edge and Orton to pull out all the stops and deliver something special. If Wrestlemania had taken place in a stadium, I would've expected that to be match of the night.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby Everlong » Apr 05, '20, 6:05 pm

I'm really curious about Edge. How did he get physically cleared? I thought he retired because one wrong bump could get him paralyzed? Wasn't there a severe issue with his neck?

I've heard a ton of good stuff about the boneyard match, so if I look for anything from this show it'll be that.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby The Legend » Apr 05, '20, 8:59 pm

Night 2 didn't really live up to the precedent set by Night 1 in my opinion. The wrestlers tried hard and the booking itself was pretty solid too, but there was just less draw for the second night to me and things fell more flat.

The night started with Charlotte winning the NXT Women's championship off of Rhea Ripley, which I think is a decision that can benefit all three women's divisions by putting Charlotte on NXT and giving her lots of new challengers which means she won't be taking up all the oxygen on RAW or SD any more. The match was one of the best of the night, was a much better way to kick off the show and told a good enough story, but things went down hill from there.

Aleister Black crushed Bobby Lashley and that was the right call, but there was no reason for this match to even happen, except to get Black on the card. That's fine, but he deserved better than that.

The Otis vs Dolph story is just weird and feels like WWE (Vince) is setting everyone up for a bad payoff, but for the night it was nice to see Mandy pick Otis and see both get revenge on Sonya and Dolph. How Ali will eventually fit into this will be an odd way to see things.

Edge vs Orton was the match I was most looking forward to over the whole weekend and it turned out to be a mixed bag. Things started off too slowly with just a lot of bad punch throwing making up most of the action. By the end they told a good story and had plenty of emotion to draw off of, which was fantastic. In the end there was enough action to keep things interesting, but they could have tightened things up and told this story in half the time.

No way the thrown together tag team of Garza and Theory were going to win the RAW tag team titles at Mania in their first night as a team, which made this match completely pointless, and even the Garza/Andrade team had little reason to fight the Street Profits (AOP would have been better). They had solid action, but nothing drawing into this match to make it engaging.

The SD women's division stinks (and with Alexa Bliss now holding a tag title is even worse) and that was on full display in this match with five women in the ring and only the champion was ever walking out with the belt. Worse yet the only viable feud out of Mania is Bayley vs Sasha, which feels like it's been going on the entire tenure of both on the main roster. The match was fine, but not good.

Whatever the writer, booker, or wrestler that came up with the Firefly Funhouse Match was high on when he wrote that shit needs to share. That was some serious psychedelic stuff and made no sense whatsoever. Everything the Boneyard Match delivered one (I actually like that match even more a day later than I thought I did last night), the Funhouse missed by a country mile. It was campy without being fun, it was corny without having direction and it was cheesy without having any intensity to fall back on. I didn't enjoy a single moment of that thing and the Fiend has officially jumped the shark.

The biggest shame of WrestleMania weekend was the fact that the WWE had two world champions, both well past their prime, both part timers and both completely incapable of delivering even a decent match, let alone a great one. McIntyre won exactly the same way Strowman did 24 hours earlier and it didn't work any better the second time around than the first. The two worst matches of the weekend (Funhouse wasn't even a match) were world championship matches and that should never be the case.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby Messiah » Apr 05, '20, 9:49 pm

I'd easily take this WrestleMania over the 35, 34, 33, and 32.
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby Messiah » Apr 05, '20, 9:52 pm

The World Title matches sucking isn't a surprise. When is the last time WrestleMania had a strong World Championship match, much less 2?

EDIT - Well Kofi/Bryan last year
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Re: My review of Wrestlemania

Postby The Legend » Apr 06, '20, 9:17 am

Messiah wrote:I'd easily take this WrestleMania over the 35, 34, 33, and 32.


I'd agree about 34, 33 and 32, but WM 35 was lowkey much better than most people give it credit for. I'm not saying I totally hated 36, I found it more entertaining than a wrestling show without fans probably should be on its face value. However, I think the biggest problem was that it left a bad taste in my mouth because the first 12 matches exceeded expectations, but the second half of night 2 could have all gone away and been a better show.

Messiah wrote:The World Title matches sucking isn't a surprise. When is the last time WrestleMania had a strong World Championship match, much less 2?

EDIT - Well Kofi/Bryan last year


Obviously you mentioned Kofi/Bryan last year. I would argue that 33 was the only WrestleMania in recent memory that didn't offer at least one good match. 34 had Roman and Brock, which was much better than 36 and far from the worst match on that card, even if people didn't like either guy, what they presented was much better. Reigns vs HHH at 32 was also a good offering for a world title. Rollins/Reigns/Lesnar at 31 was worthy, Bryan vs Batista and Orton at 30 was obviously great.

Roman and Brock had a much better match than what Brock did at 36 (it wasn't great and I realize most people hated both guys in the match, but it's still inarguable that this was a better match than what was offered at 36 and was far from the worst match on that card). 33's title matches both sucked. Reigns vs HHH at 32 was still a decent match
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