After so many hours, WWE WrestleMania 35 is done. The Granddaddy of Them All is supposed to be the best show of the year, but how did things actually turn out?
Now that I’ve had some time to think on it a bit more, it’s time for me to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives, crap on the negatives, and talk about my reactions of what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Tony Nese defeated Buddy Murphy (c)
Nobody seemed into this, and I don’t blame them. Tony Nese never should have been in this position as a babyface, as it’s just not his forte. Being the opener killed it. Being on 205 Live meant there wasn’t much support or interest as it was. I feel like this was a bust in all ways and I’m counting the days until someone like Drew Gulak can take the title.
Carmella won the 2nd Annual WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
No surprise entrants other than a returning Ember Moon, Candice LeRae and Kairi Sane? Lacey Evans wasn’t even in here? No legends? The Sarah Logan tease got me nervous. Carmella winning is okay but it doesn’t mean anything and I doubt they’ll make it a priority to make it mean more with Carmella. This could have been so much better.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder defeated The Revival (c)
As much as I hate that The Revival had such a horrible title reign, I’m very, very glad Hawkins and Ryder won the titles here. Not only is it neat that they won in this area (even though it wasn’t actually New York), it’s nice that they went with the right decision of Hawkins getting the pin to end his losing streak. How much do you want to bet they drop those titles to The Undisputed ERA or someone very soon?
Braun Strowman won the 6th Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Again, no surprises other than Luke Harper? This also could have been so much better and it just wasn’t. At least Strowman looked strong. That’s a positive.
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar (c)
I don’t recall a single thing about this match other than Rollins hitting a low-blow and 3 stomps and winning. Honestly, I don’t care about anything, even the match itself, other than the idea that Lesnar isn’t champion anymore. They could have given the belt to practically anybody and I would have been happy with the result.
It’s absolutely not the finality that I was hoping they would ever do with Lesnar beating The Undertaker and holding the title for 2 years, but I’ve been so beyond over it that I don’t care about capitalizing on that by making a star. I just needed it to be over before it even began. Here’s hoping they don’t just have him win the title again soon.
AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton
Good match that could have been great on a different night.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: The Usos (c) defeated Aleister Black and Ricochet, The Bar and Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura
Kind of a mess, and I think it’s because it was a Fatal 4-Way. Had it just been Black and Ricochet against The Usos, I feel it would have been better.
It’s a little weird Black and Ricochet lost three tag title matches in the span of the same week, isn’t it? But hey, they didn’t need to win them, and I think they’ll do even better in singles competition.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon defeated The Miz
I was super underwhelmed by this and I feel like they spent all from November until now building up this match knowing that it was all going to boil down to Shane’s bump, and the match itself had nothing of great value leading up to that, and then the bump itself was so lackluster.
A thin layer of some kind of particle board or whatever on top of the crash pad would have made all the difference in making it seem like it hurt, rather than like a fun thing to do with your friends at a trampoline park.
I did like that Shane won by being lucky enough to be on top of The Miz, but a somewhat clever ending doesn’t make up for months of build to something so blah.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: The IIconics defeated The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection (c), Beth Phoenix and Natalya, and Nia Jax and Tamina
Really shocked about this one. I figured this was one of the easiest matches on the card to predict. Clearly, I was dead wrong.
I’m curious if this was a random call just to have a shock, or if this was the plan all along, cause it sure as hell didn’t seem like they were building to this with The IIconics being such afterthoughts.
The match would have been a lot better if Sky Pirates were in this in place of Jax and Tamina.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan (c)
So, so, so, so, so happy that they didn’t do something stupid here and have Daniel Bryan retain in the interest of preserving heat or some ridiculous excuse.
The right call was made. This was the best match of the night in my mind, as well as the best WrestleMania moment of the night, the thing that felt the most special and the thing that made me the happiest.
United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) defeated Rey Mysterio
What was the point? Why build up the Dominic thing if he didn’t do a single thing? By bother with this match if Mysterio couldn’t compete? Why bother putting this on the card if it was going to last 60 seconds?
And Kevin Owens wasn’t on this card, when he could have easily been a replacement challenger. Yes, it would have pushed the show even past 12:30, but maybe some time could have been shaved off not needing some other things, like the Elias segment, or a dance break.
Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre
Mediocre as hell and a waste of two people who should have came out of WrestleMania feeling like much bigger deals, as they’re going to be at the forefront of the next year and this did nothing to give them momentum to carry them forward. If anything, this was a setback.
No Holds Barred Match: Triple H defeated Batista
There were a few moments I enjoyed, but this was largely about as good as I was thinking it would be, which isn’t a compliment.