Sunday, May 26, 2024
EditorialWrestleMania 31 Review And Match Ratings

WrestleMania 31 Review And Match Ratings



Is it safe to post now? I think it’s safe to post now. Believe me, I was trying to upload this piece to the site directly after the main event of WrestleMania and I was frustrated because I wrote the entire thing three times and it still didn’t come through. Then I forgot I could have just copied and pasted the damn thing and save me the trouble of trying to unsuccessfully submit it again. If I had hair like 1999 Chris Jericho, I’d be pulling it all out. Perhaps aliens took this site captive. Or maybe it was Kevin Nash getting back at everyone for all the quad jokes. Whatever it was, this won’t stop me from giving my thoughts on the show, so let’s get into the proceedings shall we? And in the case that my name still shows up under the moniker “Staff” it’s the artist formerly known as Richard A Staple. 

Tyson Kidd (C) and Cesaro (C) def. Los Matadores, The Usos and Kofi Kingston/Big E (A New Day)

I was scared for my life that WWE was going to put the title back on those insufferable Samoans, but needless to say, I was glad they didn’t. To be honest, no other team winning would make any sense. I’ve had all I can take from The Usos (which is ironic because myself and so many others went bonkers when The Usos won them for the first time), Los Matadores would be a disgrace, especially considering their little midget in a bull suit is allowed to interfere in matches without a DQ being called (just because he’s a midget doesn’t mean he gets special privileges WWE!) and A New Day, well, they stink. The match was everything it needed to be, and something to warm the crowd up for the rest of the night. Some good spots, nothing too outlandish, but nothing horrible either. A relatively solid start. ***

The Big Show wins Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Oh, don’t tell me that you guys that you were expecting Mizdow to win. You guys really believe those betting odds? Come on now. The Big Show is young, fresh talent that needs a WWE title push in the summer. Let’s be honest here folks. Are we really disputing that he deserves a push? Okay, he’s a bit on the large side, but aren’t we above discriminating against morbidly obese people? Fine, the jokes will stop there. Folks, I try hard, and I mean REALLY HARD, to keep my sanity when it comes to these things, because yes Mizdow was the predictable choice, but it was the right one nonetheless. The Big Show had nothing to gain. I’ll admit that he looked pretty damn good next to the trophy of Andre, but any seven foot, 500 pound monster would anyways. Not to mention Big Show eliminated Ryback, another favorite in the match and just had to give him revenge and repeat the spot with Cesaro from last year with him winning. Good lord forbid he puts any talent over. As for the royal, this was about as interesting as a bunch of guys with nothing else better to do congested in a ring was going to get. Slow, not really exciting and didn’t pick up steam till the end. Not sure why WWE keeps doing the Chris Benoit/Big Show Royal Rumble spot where the smaller guy has The Big Show in a front facelock and tries eliminating him like that. I wasn’t horrible offended, but I was less than into it. *3/4 

Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett (C), Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Stardust, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper – Intercontinental Championship (7-Way Ladder Match)

I thought this was a damn good start to the show. You really couldn’t have asked for much more based on the time that they were given to them, although a good chunk of the match had spots that you can tell were planned and weren’t as original as I thought, but I didn’t mind, because ladder matches are supposed to be spot-fests. Anyone here the effect of Harper’s power bomb on Ambrose to the outside? Brutal, I tell you. I also liked Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler head-butting each other to the death in a battle of wills before Bryan finally got the upper hand and retribution for his prior losses to Ziggler. Overall, I found myself entertained as each guy got to have some shine and contributed to a very good match to begin the show. ****

Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins

Seth came out there looking like Spiderman and Orton was looking like his 2004 self with the elbow pads. All he needs is to grow back the hair. Like I was trying to tell people, Seth couldn’t go over here, because Seth has already gone over Orton. Orton can’t return and lose to him again in their first match back, especially considering Rollins had unfinished business, but we’ll get to that later. As for the match, I was sort of disappointed in it, in a way. It wasn’t, like, horrible or anything, but I wanted a bit more from it. The issue was that it felt too slow and that all has to do with Orton. He has this tendency to stall during moves and slow the pace of the match, and in doing so, takes the crowd out of it. Maybe it’s the wrist tape he’s been wearing for the past half hour. But the finish was hot and Orton did what had to be the best RKO of his career. Not since his mid-air RKO to Evan Bourne have I marked out hard for that move. Anyways, this was a very solid matchup that could have been great, but I was left with “very solid”. More near-falls may have done the trick. ***1/2

Triple H def. Sting (No Disqualification)

Surely WWE couldn’t have thought that Sting’s entrance would have been good if they did it to end the first hour of the show when the sun was still out. A bad move on their part. It was also very weird to see Triple H wrestling this early into a WrestleMania show. He looks twenty pounds heavier in the sunlight. Whatever. Anyways, I kept my expectations low for this match due to Sting’s advanced age and not sure how he would perform. Before the overbooked finish, I thought this was more or less what I thought it would be. Sting was energetic, Triple H was Triple H and so on. When D-X and the nWo came out for the slowest interference in a match I have ever seen, I could tell that they were doing a mini WWF vs. WCW war again, and was kind of weird seeing Shawn Michaels get involved with D-X considering that this was a thing after the Monday Night wars. As for the match, it went slightly above my expectations, though I fail to understand when WWE made this match a No DQ match. That, of course, begs the question as to why Triple H didn’t just get a chair out from the beginning. Sting would be a pile of burnt ash by the time he’d be done with him. The finish of the match took me out of it a lot though and the interference in the match wasn’t warranted. I am also flabbergasted, FLABBERGASTED that they had Triple H go over. You bring Sting back and hype him up just to lose his first match? Triple H’s ego has officially become bigger than his nose. Now as a match, it was fine. Considering my expectations were very low for this match, I’ll give them an A for effort, but a C- for all of the extra stuff. ***1/4

Of course no wrestling show would be completed without a segment having Triple H and Stephanie speak for over twenty minutes, but here to salvage the impending boredom was The Rock, who graces us with his electricity. Or those thunder thingies he has in his titantron. He can’t slap a girl and The Rock and Triple H teases a feud, but before The Great one leaves, but before they do, lo and behold, Ronda Rousey was here. I’m inclined to believe The Rock when he said Ronda could do jump rope with her fallopian tubes. HA! Oh, and I must give props for the Dragon Ball Z tanktop with Vegeta “ITS OVER 9000!!” catchphrase on it. Aren’t they having a new movie with Frieza returning this year? Anyways, an entertaining segment and a good break from the action on the show.

AJ Lee and Paige def. The Bella Twins

A series of title matches built up for a throwaway tag match at WrestleMania? What is this?  Oh yea, the match was really your typical RAW stuff. Nothing special. Paige is hot. Moving on. *3/4

John Cena def. Rusev (C) – United States Championship

I can’t tell whether or not this match was better than their previous matchup at Fast Lane, but I think it was more or less the same with Cena being a poor man’s Stone Cold with that “stunner”, and Rusev somehow forgetting to kick out of one AA. I mean, what was that? I was assuming the video package which I knew would somehow have that picture with those construction workers sitting on top of a structure was supposed to make me feel good, but clearly California wasn’t in the American spirit with the JOHN CENA SUCCCCKKKKKKSSSS chants. I wasn’t offended by the match and it was passable, but it was far from anything memorable. I’m curious to know where Rusev goes from here, because he’s been one of the better booked guys from WWE in the past year, and it seems that after you feud with Cena, you hit a proverbial dead end when it comes to your career. Hopefully WWE still has plans for the Bulgarian Brute. However, I must say, that dress on Lana? Someone hold me. ***

The Undertaker def. Bray Wyatt

Just like Triple H/Sting, I kept my expectations comfortably low, and that was further reinforced by Bray Wyatt apparently badly spraining his ankle when rehearsing the match with The Undertaker prior. Credit for Bray to going through with the match. No way was he going to miss out on that WrestleMania moment. This was everything I thought it would be. Mostly slow, kicking out of their finishers, and the right man winning. The upside down crab walk and Undertaker sit up spot was very epic, I must say though. Anyone want to mention that The Undertaker looked like his 2004-2005 self with that belt and the style of his hair? In this match, Undertaker looked like he was much healthier and energized than he did the past couple of years. I was never a fan of the mohawk he had going on. Last year, he looked battered and broken before the match started. Here, he looked like he had a new gear. Bray wasn’t really the right opponent for him to get a great match out of, but since I wasn’t expecting much and they did, well, SOMETHING, I can give them credit in that regard. Bray’s career isn’t going to slide like some people having saying though. Association with The Undertaker with a singles match at WrestleMania is more than enough to give Bray an important moment in his career. **1/2

Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar (C) – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Well this was quite the main event wasn’t it? Brock Lesnar has to be some sort of alien to be able to have that great of a main event with Roman Reigns. It was physical, it was brutal and there was heart-stopping false finishes. I must mention that the way Roman was greeted with a plethora of middle fingers and boos reminded me of ECW One Night Stand to all of the WWE guys. Poor dude was sent into the lion’s den. And the botched pyro? Not cool. Get it together guys! Seeing the beatdown was a thing of beauty, though when Roman was laughing I had nightmares that they were going to have Lesnar pull an Extreme Rules 2012 on us and lose after dominating basically the entire match. Just when both men can’t take anymore and are laid out, I MARK THE HELL OUT BECAUSE IT IS MONEY IN THE BANK TIME! I HAD AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE BAH GAWD! Seth rushes down to the ring, there’s enough curb stomps for everyone and Rollins finally gets the title and becomes the first member of The Shield to win the WWE Title and the first person to cash in at WrestleMania. Give props to WWE, not only did the mass amount of fans think this main event was going to stink up the joint, they responded by not only giving us a great main event, but by also doing the best booking situation possible. Lesnar doesn’t beat Reigns, and Reigns doesn’t beat Lesnar. So both men remain strong, while Rollins cashes in, Lesnar had the strength to F-5 Rollins before Roman speared him and Rollins gets the sneaky win. Everybody was a winner in this case. Oh, and we had blood too! Can’t beat that these days. An entertaining main event that the crowd was into and if you were watching this on the WWE Network, you got your money’s worth with this one. ****1/2

Final Thoughts

Last year was WrestleMania 30 ft. Daniel Bryan and The Authority. The year before that it was a one match show between CM Punk and The Undertaker. This year’s WrestleMania was much more well-rounded with solid matches, great action and containing the improbable. This is a highly recommended show if you ask me and WWE put people like me who doubted the worthiness of the main event to shame. Kudos, WWE. Kudos.

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