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WWE WrestleMania XXXIII Review

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WWE WrestleMania XXXIII

April 2nd, 2017

Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Attendance: 75,245

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Bryon Saxton, Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, and David Otunga.

 

The show opens up with a shot of the crowd and of that awesome looking stage. Honestly that has got to be the best WrestleMania stage I’ve seen in a long, long time. Recording artist Tinashe sang America the Beautiful. We got Fifth Harmony last year.

 

The opening video package showed clips of past WrestleMania moments whiles highlighting on the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” tag of the show. I hate that term. Why not use “Granddaddy of them all”? Oh yeah, that’s right, because Vince believes it makes WrestleMania sound old. Be proud that you’ve had 33 WrestleManias, Vinnie.

 

After that, another shot of the crowd and The New Day welcome us to the show.

 

The New Day are the hosts of WrestleMania because creative have nothing for them. Kofi Kingston drove the ice cream cart while Big E and Xavier Woods walk alongside him. They were all wearing Final Fantasy themed outfits. I haven’t played Final Fantasy since FFVII on the SNES. Yeah, I’m as old as shit.

They hyped up the show talking about how there will be joy, drama, and excitement. Big E said they’re the hosts, so they need to pull their levers…and then said pull the lever. Xavier’s face when he said that, man. They love making dick jokes. They did some dancing as the crowd chanted “New Day Rocks” with them.

 

A video package aired for our opening contest between Shane McMahon and AJ Styles. Actually surprised that this was the opener.

 

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

Crowd chanted for AJ from the get go. After Shane tried to wrestle with him, Styles took him down with a snapmare. Shane came back with a takedown by the waist followed by a pin attempt leading to Styles rolling out to the floor. When they went back in the ring, Styles nailed a punch to the face. Shane came back with some good lucking punches that were better than his usual punches. Shane hit a back elbow. Styles grabbed him by the shirt and dumped him out of the ring. Styles hit a dropkick that sent Shane over the announce table onto the chairs from the announcers. They went back in the ring with Styles still in control with punches and kicks. Styles hit a corner splash for a two count. They exchanged strikes. Styles went for a springboard attack, but Shane tripped him up and Styles crashed to the mat. Shane came back with punches followed by a jumping back elbow. Overhead suplex by Shane followed by an Olympic Slam for a two count. Styles came back with a kick to the back of the leg and the Ushigoroshi (fireman’s carry into a knee strike to the back). Shane drove him back into the corner. Styles rolled him over and applied the Calf Crusher submission in the middle of the ring. Shane broke free and applied a choke hold. Armbar applied by Shane. Styles fought out of that, so Shane applied another submission on the arms. They did a running clothesline collision spot to send them both down to the mat.

Styles used the ropes to knock down Shane. Styles went for a Springboard 450 Splash, but Shane caught him with a choke hold around the head using his legs. It’s like a triangle choke move. Styles fought out of it and hit a Styles Clash, but Shane kicked out at two. I thought that was the end right there. They got back to their feet and exchanged blows. Styles went for a kick, Shane moved and Styles foot hit ref Mike Chioda to knock him down. Styles hit a Pele Kick on Shane. With the ref down, Styles grabbed a trash can from under the ring. Styles put the trash can against Shane’s head. He teased a Coast to Coast that Shane usually does, but Shane hit him in the face with the trash can. Doctors at ringside checked on the ref while all of this was going on. Shane put the trash can against the face of Styles in the corner. Shane went up top and hit the Coast to Coast dropkick on the trash can that was against Styles’ head. The ref woke up, so Shane covered and got a two count. Shane cleared off the Smackdown announce table while the ref was still getting looked at by doctors. Shane put Styles on the announce table. Shane went up top, he jumped off, Styles moved and Shane went crashing through the table. The ref woke up, counted them out and Styles rolled Shane back in the ring. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, Shane avoided it and hit a DDT. Shane went up top, went for a Shooting Star Press and Styles moved. Fans chanting “Holy Shit” for that, Holy Shit indeed. Styles is shocked that Shane tried that. Styles hit his springboard Phenomenal Forearm leading to the victory.

Winner: AJ Styles via pinfall

Rating: *** ½

What a damn good match and the perfect way to kick off the main show. It’s no surprise that this was as good as it was since AJ Styles is involved. I’ve always rated Shane McMahon as a performer. If he really applied himself fully, he could have been an excellent wrestle. I guess he didn’t want people to think he was being pushed just because of his surname. That Shooting Star Press deserved those holy shit chants. As for Styles, he’s such an awesome performer and proved it again with a near four star match. That’s the first WrestleMania win in the career of Styles.

 

Up next is the United States Championship match between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. The former super best friends collide. A video package highlighting the feud plays after Owens enters the ring. Jericho enters wearing a light up scarf. Only Jericho can pull off a look like that. Look, there’s a giant ‘List of Jericho’ on the stage. Last year was a box of Bootyo’s, this year a list, what’s next year?

 

WWE United States Championship Match

Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho ©

Owens and Jericho trade punches from the get-go, leading to Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho in the early stages. Owens got to the floor and rolled to the floor. Jericho up top with a cross body block on Owens outside the ring. Back in the ring, Jericho with a forearm to the face as the crowd chanted “stupid idiot” for him. Owens came back with a superkick. Owens hit the cannonball in the corner. Owens talked trash as he kicked Jericho in the back and took Jericho to Chinlock City. A kick to the chest followed by a running senton splash by Owens earned a two count. Jericho came back with a dropkick. Owens was on the floor, Jericho went out there and hit a back body drop the floor followed by two shoulder tackles. Back elbow by Jericho off the top rope. They went back into the ring with Owens hitting a package pickup into a slam for two. Jericho came back with a hurricanrana off the top rope for a two count. Jericho with a running bulldog, but the Lionsault didn’t work as Owens moved and Owens hit him with a kick to the face for two. Jericho up top with a Frog Splash, but Jericho got his knees up to counter. Jericho with a Lionsault that Owens countered by getting his knees up. Owens up top for a Swanton Bomb and Jericho got his knees up. Ten minutes into the match as both guys were down.

They got back to their feet, Owens swung him around in his arms and hit a side slam that was like the White Noise that Sheamus uses. That was good for a two count. Jericho avoided the Popup Powerbomb and hit a Lionsault for two because that’s not a move he wins matches with. Chants of ‘Y2J’ echo around the stadium. Owens countered a Jericho attack and applied the Walls of Jericho. Jericho teased tapping, but he got out of it. Owens with a kick to the chest. Owens hit the cannonball in the corner only for Jericho to counter it and he applied the Walls of Jericho. Owens teased tapping out, but he was close to the ropes and grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Owens avoided an attack and hit the Popup Powerbomb for a two count. Jericho trash talked Owens some more followed by slaps to the face. Jericho countered another Popup Powerbomb attempt into a Codebreaker and Owens got one finger on the bottom rope. Sweet! Owens to the floor, he kicked the ropes while Jericho was on the apron and Owens hit a Powerbomb against the side of the ring apron. Owens rolled him back in for the pinfall win.

Winner and NEW WWE United States Champion: Kevin Owens via pinfall

Rating: *** ½

Another excellent match. I liked the physicality these guys showed. I also liked how both guys were able to outsmart the other with counter after counter. It makes sense since they are former best friends (it still pains me to say that). I liked the use of the Apron Powerbomb at the end because it has injured people in storyline and fans know it as a big move. It was the right way to end the match. I’m not surprised that Owens won. Jericho is leaving to tour with Fozzy, so Owens becoming the new champion makes sense.

 

We get a video package hyping up the next pay per view Payback on April 30th. Another video package plays for the upcoming Raw Women’s title match.

 

Bayley enters first with an awesome colourful entrance. Big moment for her living out her childhood dream.

Nia Jax was up next. No special entrance for her. She was wearing a cape. She’s not like most girls, you know.

Sasha Banks was driven to the ring in what can been viewed as a tribute to her idol Eddie Guerrero.

Finally, it was Charlotte Flair. She had a special robe made for the match. It was green and blue like a peacock. She also had some pyro, too.

 

WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Four Way Elimination Match

Bayley © vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair

Jax controlled early on with a Yokozuna like Banzai Drop on Bayley. Is she related to Yoko? I guess she is since she has Samoan heritage and it seems all Samoans are related to each other one way or another. With Banks and Bayley on the floor, Jax threw Charlotte off the apron onto Banks and Bayley to knock them all down. The three women worked together to attack Jax. Double suplex by Bayley and Banks on Jax with Charlotte hitting a boot for an assist. Rough landing for Jax on her head, but still an excellent usage of teamwork. That got a two count for Charlotte. Jax came back with more offense. Charlotte went for a Powerbomb, so Bayley and Banks assisted. It was a triple Powerbomb that led to all three of them pinning Jax and eliminating her.

Nia Jax eliminated by three women

There was a spot where Banks went for an attack outside the ring and she hit Bayley instead of Charlotte. That led to Charlotte going to the top rope and hitting a corkscrew moonsault onto the two women on the floor, which she nailed it flawlessly. Back in the ring, Banks came back with a Bank Statement, but Charlotte got out of it. Charlotte with a backbreaker for two. Banks came back with a flying headscissors and double knees in the corner. Banks up top and she hit a double knee attack on Charlotte for a two count. Banks applied the Bank Statement submission, Charlotte rolled out and Charlotte kicked Banks into a turnbuckle that was slightly exposed which lead to her elimination.

Sasha Banks eliminated by Charlotte

Charlotte went up top with a moonsault in the ring, but Bayley moved and Bayley covered for a two count. Charlotte applied the Figure Four Leglock on Bayley. Charlotte couldn’t lock in the Figure Eight because Bayley got to the bottom rope. Charlotte drove her knee into the leg of Bayley to continue the attack. They battled on the top rope with Bayley hitting a back body drop off the top rope. Bayley came back with a Macho Man elbow off the top to retain the title. An emotional looking Bayley celebrated with the title.

Winner and STILL WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley via pinfall

Rating: ***

I thought this was enjoyable. Wasn’t as good as the triple threat from last year but still a serviceable match. They just didn’t kick it up a gear. I guess this match felt victim to time cuts. Charlotte’s Corkscrew Moonsault was the highlight. I liked the way Charlotte, Bayley, and Sasha had to work together to eliminate Nia. The booking of this title has been hit & miss for a few months because Bayley should have won the Women’s Title at this show instead of on the Raw in February. It would have meant a lot more if her title win was at WrestleMania instead of on Raw. I expected Bayley to get the win to legitimize her title reign.

 

The 2017 Hall of Fame class are introduced to the crowd. Amazing to hear Kurt Angle’s entrance theme being played at WrestleMania for the first time since 2006. Just noticed that Howard Finkel isn’t here to make the introductions. He appeared at all WrestleMania prior to this one.

 

The Raw Tag Team titles are hanging above the ring signalling that the Ladder match is up next.

 

Enzo & Cass, Sheamus & Cesaro, and The Club enter the arena. Before the match begins, The New Day come out. Big E said that this match will now be a fatal four way match, and the forth team is………THE HARDY BOYZ. What an ovation. Matt and Jeff haven’t been on WWE programming since 2010 and 2009 respectively. One of the biggest pops of the night. Imagine how louder that reaction would have been if New Day didn’t announce them. It worth noting that neither one of the Hardys are portraying their ‘Broken’ gimmick.

 

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Ladder Match

Enzo & Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Gallows & Anderson © vs. The Hardy Boyz

The Hardy Boys rolled back the years and performed all of their signature tag team spots to clean house. They grabbed ladders to try to get the titles, but Gallows & Anderson stopped them. Gallows & Anderson knocked them down with ladders. I missed a few minutes because I was busy writing and tweeting about this Hardys return. Enzo and Cass were able to get control a bit with the ladders. A bridge was set up using ladders from the side of the ring to the barricade. Cass tossed Enzo onto Gallows on the floor. Cesaro with an uppercut on Enzo on the floor. Cesaro did a Swing on Anderson while Sheamus did the forearms to Gallows at the same time. They went longer than normal as the crowd gave them a big ovation. Sheamus with a Powerslam on Anderson and Cesaro hit a 619 on Gallows. There was a big spot where Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Jeff that led to Jeff landing on all the guys on the floor. Sheamus went for a climb, but that was unsuccessful. Enzo climbed a ladder while Graves said this could be the best day of his career and the worst. Cass helped Enzo go up, but Gallows and Sheamus sent Cass back first into a ladder. Cass was knocked out of the ring while Gallows sent Sheamus out of the ring. Anderson went up the ladders to fight Enzo. Cesaro nailed Enzo with an uppercut to knock him down. Gallows saved Anderson and kicked Sheamus in the head. Magic Killer by G&A to Sheamus. Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Gallows. Anderson dumped Matt out of the ring, but Matt fought him on the ladders. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Anderson. Jeff Hardy climbed a huge ladder and jumped off with a Swanton Bomb onto Cesaro to drive him through the ladders. Matt climbed the ladder and grabbed the Raw Tag Team Titles to become 7-time WWE Tag Team Champions.

Winners and NEW WWE Raw Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz

Rating: *** ½

What a moment! It was expected that the Hardy Boyz would one day return to WWE but I wasn’t expecting it to be at ‘Mania. Not a huge fan of the Hardy Boyz but I’m glad they are back. They’ve always been WWE guys to me. It accomplished the goal of doing something big at a WrestleMania and giving us a surprise we can talk about for a long time. They weren’t portraying the ‘Broken’ gimmick, although Matt was encouraging people to chant ‘Delete’. I guess that’s because of the on-going legal trouble between Matt and TNA. Once that’s all done and dusted I expect him to resume that gimmick. It sucks for Enzo & Cass not getting their big title win, perhaps they could turn heel on Raw, claiming that the Hardys stole their WrestleMania moment, but it’s certainly understandable why WWE would put the Hardys over as a surprise team at WrestleMania. It was the right decision.

 

The video package aired for John Cena/Nikki Bella vs. The Miz/Maryse. Great promos in this feud made people care about this a lot more than most of us thought.

Jerry Lawler was introduced as a guest commentator for this match, and Al Roker (no idea who he is) is the guest ring announcer.

Miz and Maryse enter first. Nikki Bella is introduced first for her team. Cena enters to the usual reaction of boos and ‘John Cena sucks’ chants.

 

The Miz & Maryse vs. John Cena & Nikki Bella

If memory serves me right, this is the first time Maryse has gotten physical since her return last year. Maryse tagged out instead of facing Nikki. Miz stalled by going on the floor, so Cena chased him. Miz was in control with a corner clothesline followed by a double axehandle off the top for two. The fans were chanting for Miz doing a “Miz is Awesome” chant as Miz hit a running kick to the head of Cena two times. Miz missed a corner clothesline after Cena moved. When Cena went for a tag, Maryse grabbed Maryse by the foot and pulled her off the apron. Good heel move. Miz hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for a two count. Cena wanted the AA, but Miz slipped out and hit a DDT for a two count. Miz did his Daniel Bryan tribute sequence with the kicks to the chest with the crowd chanting “yes” for it. Miz did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture to Nikki, so she slapped him and Cena gave Miz a back drop over the top to the floor.

Nikki got the tag from Cena and Nikki hit a Spear on Maryse. Miz pulled Maryse out of the ring. Nikki hit a suicide dive to take out Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Nikki hit Maryse with a huge forearm to the face. Cena hit the side suplex to Miz. Cena and Nikki hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle together. Both heels to their feet. Cena hit AA and Nikki hit Rack Attack 2.0 as they got the win.

Winners: John Cena & Nikki Bella via pinfall

Rating: **

Short match which accomplished the goal of putting the babyfaces over.

 

Post-match, Cena had the microphone. Cena talked about how a year ago she broke her neck and did everything she could to make it back for a WrestleMania moment. Cena said he told her something when she was knocked loopy before her surgery and he promised to tell her when the time was right. Cena said at that moment, he asked if she could hear him and he said that one day he was going to marry her. Cena pulled out a box from his shorts pocket, the women in the crowd screamed and he asked if she would marry him. She said yes, they kissed and hugged in celebration of their moment. Cena’s music played. They hugged their families at ringside. Not exactly Randy Savage/ Elizabeth from WM7, but since a special, emotional, romantic moment in WWE history. Will they have their wedding at SummerSlam, just like Savage & Liz? Still, congratulations all round. Especially to you Nikki. Always marry rich – just ask Triple H.

 

The video package aired for Seth Rollins vs. Triple H

 

Triple H had a fancy pants entrance where he was a biker with a police escort. His missus Steph was riding along in the back seat. Who said romance was dead? Pretty silly entrance if you ask me. I suppose it’s better than him cosplaying as Conan the Barbarian at WM22.

Fun Fact: This is Triple H’s 21st WrestleMania match. His first was in 1996 against The Ultimate Warrior. The only one he missed since his WWE debut was WM23 in 2007.

 

Seth Rollins is dressed up as the Gold Power Ranger. He held up a torch. When he put it against the ramp, the arena lit up with flames.

 

Unsanctioned Match

Triple H /w/ Stephanie McMahon vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins has a brace on his right knee. Rollins nailed Hunter with  a fury of punches followed by a dropkick. Hunter pulled him to the floor and Rollins kicked him into the ring post. They battled on the floor with Hunter doing a leg whip and Rollins came back with a clothesline over the barricade. They brawled into the crowd for a bit. Back to the ring, Rollins hit an enziguri kick. Rollins hit a suicide dive onto Hunter on the floor. Rollins did it for a second time. Rollins sent Hunter’s head into the German announce table and cleared off the table. Rollins teased a Pedigree on the table. Hunter punched the knee and hit a DDT on the announce table, which didn’t break. Hunter hit Rollins in the injured knee with a steel chair. Hunter hit him with the chair again. Great selling by Rollins. Hunter jumped onto the back of the injured right knee of Rollins. They went back in the ring with Hunter working on the ring more. Hunter kicked at the knee of Rollins while it was up against the ropes. Rollins sent Hunter face first into the middle turnbuckle to create some space. They battled on the turnbuckle with Rollins going for a sunset flip out of the corner, but he collapsed. Graves noted that is the move where Rollins originally hurt the move in Europe. Rollins tried picking him up again and he collapsed. Rollins escaped a Pedigree attempt, went for one of his own and Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb. Rollins hasn’t used that move in a long time. Last time I recall him using it was against Sting at Night of Champions.

Rollins threw Hunter into the corner leading to Hunter doing his usual corner bump over the top rope to the floor. Rollins went up top and hit a cross body block off the top rope. Rollins sent Hunter into the ring post two times in a row. Rollins brought two chairs into the ring and he set up a table on the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins hit a Frog Splash to the back of Triple H for a two count. The crowd isn’t into the match that much. Hunter was able to regain control and trapped the leg of Rollins between a chair. Hunter attacked using the chair as a weapon while Stephanie encouraged him to do it again. Hunter went to the top rope, he teased a jump off there and Rollins whipped the chair at him. Rollins with a superplex followed by the Falcon Arrow suplex into a slam for two. When Rollins went to the top rope, Stephanie tripped him up and Rollins bad right leg hit the top rope on the way down. Hunter applied a submission hold on the leg. The crowd wasn’t into it that much as Rollins was trying to fight. When Rollins broke free, Hunter stomped away. Hunter hit Rollins in the right knee with a chair again. Another leg lock submission by Hunter on the floor. Rollins grabbed weapons on the floor including a sledgehammer. Hunter grabbed the sledgehammer, which drew a reaction from the crowd because Hunter has used it many times in the past.

They went back into the ring and exchanged punches. Rollins with a kick to the jaw, but Hunter nailed a clothesline leading to a flip bump by Rollins. Great sell. Triple H went to attack with the sledgehammer, but Rollins nailed a jumping kick to the head. Rollins had the sledgehammer, but Stephanie grabbed it from him. Hunter hit a Pedigree and Rollins got his shoulder up before the three count. Nice nearfall there. Rollins with a backdrop out of the corner followed by a Phoenix Splash by Rollins for a two count. That’s an awesome looking move. They each went for the Pedigree a couple of times, but it didn’t work and Hunter punched the knee again. Stephanie got on the apron, grabbed Rollins, Hunter went for an attack, Rollins moved, Rollins shoved Hunter and he hit Stephanie leading to her crashing through the table. That was an awesome spot. Rollins hit a Pedigree for the victory.

Winner: Seth Rollins via pinfall

Rating: ****

Minus the quiet crowd, I enjoyed this one. The crowd did react for the Stephanie table spot. I actually forgot about the table being there, so it was a surprise reaction on my behalf. Kind of reminds me of last year when Reigns speared Steph. She knows that her involvement in matches will lead to a reaction from the crowd because we not used to seeing Stephanie getting physical nowadays. It was a long match, and I mean that in a positive way, which rightfully saw the younger guy pick up the win.

 

The Intercontinental title match was relegated to the pre-show so we can have sing-a-long time with Pitbull, Flo-Rida and all their friends. I honestly know nothing about their music. I’m aware of Flo-Rida’s involvement with WWE (plus I’ve got ‘My House’ on my I-Pod, just because it was the theme for WrestleMania 32 and I was there for it), but Pitbull could be Joe Bloggs for all I know. Didn’t stop around to hear them sing their songs. I was dying for a poo. Been touching cloth since the US title match. Nearly messed me kecks when the Hardys came out.

 

Up next, it’s the WWE Championship match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. It’s a cool sight to see the “fireflies” light up the arena during Bray’s entrance.

 

WWE Championship

Bray Wyatt © vs. Randy Orton

Fast pace early on in this one as Orton hit a slam and wanted a RKO, but Wyatt left the ring. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a running headbutt. They did a spot where Wyatt did his upside down pose and the camera above the ring showed a graphic of tapeworms or something that were pictured in the ring. That was…weird. Wyatt with a clothesline. Wyatt hit a DDT on the side of the ring apron. Wyatt did his upside down pose in the corner again and it went to the camera from above again showing graphics of worms. Wyatt with a senton. Orton got a rollup, but Wyatt came back with a clothesline. Wyatt charged at him on the floor and Orton hit a dropkick. Wyatt came back with a Sister Abigail like move into the barricade outside the ring. Wyatt charged at Orton on the floor, Orton moved and Orton hit a RKO on the floor. Nice spot. Back in the ring, Orton got a two count. They each countered moves and Orton hit his modified backbreaker. Orton hit a draping DDT off the ropes. When Orton went for a RKO again, Wyatt avoided it and hit Sister Abigail for a count of two. Wyatt did his pose again as the camera was shown from above and there were beetles or something like that. Wyatt punched him, Orton shoved him off and hit a RKO for the win.

Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton via pinfall

Rating: * ½

Underwhelming and disappointing. I expect more from these guys. I didn’t expect a title change either since Wyatt won the title at Elimination Chamber in early February, defended it once on Smackdown and lost this match easily. I don’t really understand the logic behind it. Does Orton need the title? Not really, no. As for the time in the match where they showed bugs and insects on the mat, I didn’t mind it. I was half hoping for a zombie Sister Abigail to appear. The loss sucks for Bray, I just wished he had a more meaningful run as champion.

 

The battle of the young guns is up-next as Bill Goldberg defends his Universal title against Brock Lesnar. A video package aired showing clips of Goldberg’s dominance in WCW, as well as Brock rise through the ranks of the WWE in 2002.

 

WWE Universal Championship

Brock Lesnar /w/ Paul Heyman vs. Goldberg ©

Lesnar avoided a Goldberg charge and hit two German Suplexes in a row. There’s a third German Suplex. Lesnar yelled, but Goldberg was back to his feet with a Spear. Goldberg hit another Spear. Lesnar went to the floor, so Goldberg charged in with a Spear through the barricade. They went back into the ring. Goldberg teased a Jackhammer, but Lesnar picked him up for a F5. Goldberg shoved him off and hit another Spear. Goldberg went for a Jackhammer and he hit it. Lesnar kicked out at two by getting his shoulder up. Goldberg setup for another Spear and Lesnar jumped over him. That was awesome. Goldberg went crashing into the turnbuckle. Lesnar hit two German Suplexes. There’s another two more for Lesnar – that’s seven German Suplexes. Lesnar hit two more for nine total German Suplexes. Fans chanted “ten” repeatedly and Lesnar hit his tenth German Suplex. Lesnar picked him up and hit the F5. Lesnar covered and got the pinfall win in five minutes.

Winner and NEW WWE Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar via pinfall

Rating: **

Goldberg did the clean job and put Brock over as expected. This match was actually better then when I anticipated it to be. I liked the way things changed in the match with Lesnar doing that leapfrog to counter the Spear and from there he took over the match. I just wish the title was on a full-timer and not a part-timer. I’m assuming that this is the end of Goldberg’s run in WWE. I respectfully suggest that he should retire. There’s not much more for him to do and he is unable to compete at the same level as he could do before.

 

The Women of Smackdown are up next. Alexa Bliss was wearing some Riddler inspired gear. Mickie James was wearing a Native American headdress because that’s her heritage. Naomi, the hometown girl, was up last with that awesome glow entrance of hers.

 

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

Alexa Bliss © vs. Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella /w/ James Ellsworth vs. Natalya vs. Naomi

They did some spots early in the ring where women were sent outside. Double suplex by Naomi and Bliss on Natalya on the floor. Ellsworth, who was wearing some hilarious looking 90’s Jimmy Hart inspired airbrushed clothing, tried to cheat for Carmella, the ref saw it and just yelled at Ellsworth. Bliss hit a DDT on Natalya for a two count as James made the save. Lynch cleared house with clotheslines, a leg lariat, forearm on Natalya in the corner, Bexploder to Natalya and Carmella. Ellsworth went into the ring, Lynch caught his leg and hit a Bexploder on Ellsworth. James with a seated senton off the top on Lynch as Bliss made the save. Naomi did a sunset flip on Natalya with Natalya doing a German Suplex on Lynch at the same time. Carmella in the ring, so Natalya put Carmella on Naomi and Natalya did a Sharpshooter on both of them at the same time. James with a spin kick on Natalya. Lynch broke that up with a leg drop off the top. James with a great Mickie-DT on Lynch for a two count. Carmella with a kick. Naomi cleaned house with a kick. Naomi hit a dive over the top to take out the other five women on the floor. Back in the ring, Naomi hooked the arms back of Bliss by using her legs to trap the arms as well and Bliss tapped out allowing Naomi to win her second Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Winner and NEW WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion: Naomi via submission

Rating: ** ½

They did a lot in the six minutes they were allotted. All the women were given their fair share of the time and pinfall/ submission attempts. I predicted Naomi to win because she had to forfeit the title through injury, came back and had the full support of her hometown crowd. They weren’t given enough time to do something memorable, but they did make the most of the time they were given.

 

Our hosts, The New Day come to the stage and announce the attendance record of 75,245. Last time WrestleMania was held here in 2008, they had an attendance of 74,635. Is that figure legit? Most likely it’s not. WWE tend to stretch the truth when it comes to things like that.

 

It’s main event time and we get a video package for Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker.

 

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross made his entrance to call the match with Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield.

 

Roman enters first to the usual reception of boos.

The Undertaker is up next. When I first saw how long the entrance ramp was, my initial reaction was ‘fuck me, Undertaker is going to take ages to walk down there’. Luckily for us he appeared via an elevated platform half way down the ramp. He should have borrowed Triple H’s bike or asked Kurt Angle if he still had that Moped.

 

No Holds Barred Match

Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker

Undertaker dumped him out of the ring and reminded him that it’s his yard. Reigns fought his way back into the ring. Reigns hit a clothesline that sent Undertaker over the top to the floor. Undertaker sent Reigns into the steel steps as the crowd chanted “Roman Sucks.” Back in the ring, Reigns hit a Samoan Drop to take control. They brawled outside the ring with Reigns shoving Undertaker into the ring post followed by a Drive By dropkick by Reigns. They had a slugfest that Undertaker won, so Undertaker did his snake eyes dropping Reigns face first on the turnbuckle, big boot and leg drop combo for a two count. They went outside the ring with Undertaker punching Reigns on the apron. Reigns came back with a dropkick like move on the floor. Undertaker caught Reigns outside the ring and hit a Chokeslam on the German announce table. The table didn’t break. Undertaker cleared off the Spanish announce table. Undertaker teased a move on an announce table, so Reigns got back to his feet and hit a Spear that sent Undertaker through the Spanish announce table.

They went back into the ring with Reigns hitting clotheslines in the corner. Reigns did the punches while standing in the corner leading straight to Undertaker doing the predictable Powerbomb out of the corner. It didn’t look like a good Powerbomb, but it was good enough for a two count. Undertaker grabbed a chair from outside the ring. Undertaker went back in the ring with a boot to the head. Undertaker hit Reigns in the back with a couple of chair shots to the back. Reigns left the ring, Undertaker did, Reigns went back in, Taker did and Reigns hit the Superman Punch two times in a row. Undertaker came back with a Chokeslam onto the chair in the ring. Undertaker set up for a Tombstone and he hit it. Undertaker covered, but Reigns got his shoulder up. The crowd wasn’t happy about that. They did a spot where Reigns was supposed to counter a move into a Tombstone-like move, but he couldn’t get him up twice. They messed that up, so Reigns just hit a Superman Punch. Reigns set up in the corner and hit a Spear. He went for the cover, but Undertaker trapped him in the Hell’s Gate submission as the crowd cheered. It didn’t look good, though. Reigns was able to get out of it by getting to the ropes or they just let go. When Undertaker tried to get a chair, Reigns grabbed the chair. Reigns hit Undertaker in the back three times and jabbed him in the ribs with it. Reigns with more chair shots to the back. When Undertaker got back to his feet, Reigns hit a Spear and Undertaker got his shoulder up.

Reigns looked ready in the corner again. Undertaker got back to his feet. Reigns hit another Spear and that was only good for a two count. The fans chanted “yes” after Undertaker kicked out. When Undertaker got back up, Reigns hit another Superman Punch. Undertaker slowly sat back up, but then he fell over. Reigns hit Undertaker with a couple of uppercut punches. Reigns ran the ropes a few more times and hit a Spear for the win.

Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall

Rating: **

They tried their damndest but it was a struggle at times. Especially when Reigns tried to reverse the Tombstone into a Tombstone. They told the story that Reigns had to dig deeper to get the win because Undertaker kept kicking out. There were a few moments where Undertaker got some believable offense in and nearly got the win. It just wasn’t something that the fans bought into. They knew it was going to be a Reigns win and they hated it. I didn’t expect Undertaker to win. I wanted Reigns to go heel, but they didn’t go in that direction at all. Reigns was aggressive as he beat him up. There was no sign of a heel turn. Maybe something might happen on Raw. Honestly, I think he’s likely going to stay in the same role he’s in now, whether you like it or not.

 

Reigns slowly walked up the ramp after the match as the announcers gave him credit for the victory. Reigns held up his arms as fireworks went off. Reigns walked away.

 

The camera focused on Undertaker in the ring.  The crowd chanted “Thank You Taker” because they know this might be The Undertaker’s last match ever. Undertaker sat up. Replays aired of the key spots of the match.

The Undertaker put on his jacket and his hat. He staggered around the ring a bit as his music played. Undertaker looked around the arena as the crowd gave him a standing ovation that he deserves. It was a long look around the arena by Undertaker. You could tell by the look on his face that he knew that this was his last match. In all my years of watching Undertaker wrestle I’ve never seen him look so sad. The guy looks gutted. He really does.

The Undertaker took off his gloves and left them in the ring. The fans were still standing and clapping for him. Undertaker took on his black jacket and put it over his gloves in the middle of the ring. Undertaker took off his black hat. He put it in the ring as well. Deep sigh from Taker. Undertaker put the hat onto the jacket and gloves in the ring. Undertaker walked over to his wife Michelle (McCool) and kissed her.

Undertaker walked up the ramp for what could be the final time. He stood at the top of the ramp as the stadium was full of purple light and smoke. He stood there with his right arm raised in the air like he has done so many times. Some pyro went off on the stage as the crowd continued to cheer. Undertaker went down under the part of the stage where he was raised earlier in the night.

 

The Undertaker’s gong music hit one more time, the lights went out and WrestleMania 33 drew to a close.

 

**Random Thoughts**

 

I thought it was a really well done and fitting tribute to The Undertaker after just his second loss at WrestleMania. I think the win for Reigns would obviously meant a whole lot more had the streak still been intact. It was touch to watch because I’ve watched Undertaker wrestle since his debut at Survivor Series 1990. I do feel that a huge part of my childhood/ teenage years has been laid to rest. I do plan on writing a tribute blog to Undertaker in the future, so keep your eyes open for that. We all knew this day would come one day, but I don’t think anyone prepared themselves for it. With injuries piling up, him being 52-years-old, and in serious need of a hip replacement, this was the right time to call it a day. He will be missed, but I think we can all respect his decision to retire.

 

Another guy who is likely to call it a day is Goldberg. He’s even admitted himself that he’s unable to perform the way he once did. Never been a fan of Goldberg, but I respect his contributions to the sport and I’ll be the first to admit that he is a future member of the Hall of Fame.

 

The Hardy Boys turning up was a bolt out of the blue. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I guess WWE added the Ladder stipulation after they got the green light of the Hardys signing.

 

I get that WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year and it needs to feel unique from others events such as Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, but this show went on for an absolute age. The crowd weren’t as vocal as they were in the first half of the show. That tends to happen when a show goes on as long as this. Keep in mind that those fans turned up to the stadium at 4pm (local time) and it ended just after 12am. That’s eight hours in the same spot. It’s hard to show enthusiasm when your arse has gone numb.

 

Best match: Triple H vs. Seth Rollins – Kept my interest up throughout. I imagine this will lead to a Rollins/ Joe feud

Worst match: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt – I expected more.

WrestleMania Moment: Undertaker leaves the ring for the final time, John Cena and Nikki Bella getting engaged, and the return of The Hardy Boys. I can’t pick just one. I’m picking all three.

 

Top Five Superstars

  1. Undertaker – Likely his final match. I put him here out of respect
  2. The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) – A surprising return. Simply DELIGHTFUL.
  3. Seth Rollins – Wasn’t at 100% and I’m glad he got through it
  4. AJ Styles – Great as always.
  5. Brock Lesnar – Excellent performance. I really want this guy to sign a full-time contract. Make it happen, Vinnie.

 

Updated rankings chart:

Shawn Michaels – 50pts

Undertaker – 40pts

Hulk Hogan– 30pts

Macho Man Randy Savage – 29pts

Bret Hart/ Stone Cold/The Rock – 25pts

Triple H – 22pts

Edge – 18pts

Kurt Angle/ Jeff Hardy– 14pts

Brock Lesnar – 13pts

Ricky Steamboat – 11pts

Mick Foley/CM Punk– 10pts

Owen Hart/ Ric Flair/ John Cena/ Daniel Bryan/ Seth Rollins– 8pts

Ultimate Warrior/ Roddy Piper– 7pts

Chris Benoit– 6pts

Dynamite Kid/Rick Rude/ Ted Dibiase/Sasha Banks– 5pts

Terry Funk/ Bam Bam Bigelow/ Diesel/ Eddie Guerrero/ Batista/ Bray Wyatt/ Charlotte/ Matt Hardy- 4pts

Tito Santana/Andre the Giant/ Mr Perfect/ Lawrence Taylor/ X-Pac/ Becky Lynch- 3pts

Greg Valentine/ Scott Steiner/ Razor Ramon/Shane McMahon/ Christian/Shelton Benjamin/ Chris Jericho/ Cesaro/ Roman Reigns/ Sami Zayn/ AJ Styles-2pts

Sgt Slaughter/ Gorilla Monsoon/ Bobby Heenan/ Jim Ross/ Bubba Ray Dudley/ Shane McMahon– 1pt

 

Overall Show Rating (Out of 10): 7

I enjoyed this show a lot. Much improved from last years. What I like most is that a lot of the part times like Triple H, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Shane McMahon put over the younger talent and that’s the way it should be. Some of them wrestled better than I thought (Shane McMahon) whiles others like Goldberg and Undertaker have most likely wrestled their final ever matches because they knew it was the right time to move on.

As for Undertaker, I’m glad he went on last and had the opportunity to say goodbye in his own unique way. I doubt he’ll appear on Raw to give a retirement speech or anything like that. It was the perfect send off for one of the biggest names in the industry.

Thank You Undertaker.

 

WrestleMania Rankings so far:

WrestleMania 17 – 10

WrestleMania 19 – 9.5

WrestleMania 31 – 9.5

WrestleMania 30 – 9.5

WrestleMania 21 – 9

WrestleMania 14 – 8.5

WrestleMania 20 – 8.5

WrestleMania 24 – 8

WrestleMania 10 – 8

WrestleMania 23 – 8

WrestleMania 22 – 8

WrestleMania 26 – 7.5

WrestleMania 28 – 7.5

WrestleMania 25 – 7

WrestleMania 8 – 7

WrestleMania 3 – 7

WrestleMania 33 – 7

WrestleMania 18 – 6.5

WrestleMania 7 – 6.5

WrestleMania 32 – 6.5

WrestleMania 29 – 6

WrestleMania 6 – 6

WrestleMania16 – 5.5

WrestleMania 12 – 5.5

WrestleMania 15 – 5

WrestleMania 27 – 5

WrestleMania 1 – 4.5

WrestleMania 13 – 4

WrestleMania 5 – 4

WrestleMania 11 – 4

WrestleMania 4 – 3.5

WrestleMania 2 – 3

 

2017 PPV Ranking so far:

Royal Rumble – 8.5

Elimination Chamber – 8

WrestleMania 33 – 7

FastLane – 4.5

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