WrestleMania 32 (and Raw) thoughts
I should have gotten to this a lot sooner, but some times things come up. Anyway, I’m going to go over my hits and misses of both WrestleMania 32 and the Raw that happened the night after in Dallas. First, I’ll quickly discuss WrestleMania.
United States Title Match: Kalisto (WINNER) vs. Ryback
No real storyline and no investment from me for either of these two made this another pass for me. I hope they take the belt off Kalisto soon or at least build up the belt again. Not a big Cena fan at all, but at least he did something with it. MISS!
Total Divas Match: Brie Bella & Natalya & Alicia Fox & Paige (WINNERS) vs. Lana & Team BAD & TBA
This was what it was – just a gimmick match to get the ladies on the show. The appearance of Nikki at the end was nice for the crowd and some of the ladies worked well, but this was a MISS for me.
Tag Team Match: The Usos (WINNERS) vs. The Dudley Boyz
Another match that really wasn’t built up well, with the Dudleys being booked as heels for no reason. If they were the top heels, they should have been battling for the belts, but the idiots at WWE didn’t even put those on the line at ‘Mania. MISS!
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title: Kevin Owens (Champ going in) vs. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Sin Cara, Stardust, and (WINNER) Zack Ryder
I thought this ladder match was pretty good with great performances by most of the players involved. You came out of it really wanting to see Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens battle it out more. A surprise and big pop came when Zack Ryder climbed the ladder to win the match. Too bad Raw’s aftermath ruined it all. For the night, though, this match was a WIN.
Regular Match: Chris Jericho (WINNER) vs AJ Styles
While I wasn’t too excited for this, because they already gave us matches between these two on TV, I knew they would try and steal the show. It was a very good match and they worked well once again with each other, so that’s a WIN for me, BUT Jericho kicking out of the Styles Clash and actually winning is a HUGE MISS. This guy did the J.O.B. to Fandango last year. To me, the booking of the winner of the match is a MISS.
Handicap Match Tag Match: The New Day vs. The League of Nations (WINNERS)
I didn’t care about this match at all. So much that I didn’t even pay too much attention to it. The New Day are funny, yes, but there’s only so much of them I can take. There was no real established story line going into this and the build was horrible. With the belts not even on the line and The League winning, what’s to care about?!? MISS.
After the match, we were graced with the presense of three of the biggest WWE Legends ever: HBK, Mick Foley and STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD! They went in and pleased the fans by kicking ass and drinking beers. It was a great feelgood moment, but it makes you reflect again on the current product where the people trying to carry it are just handed to Legends that appear once or twice a year (that don’t wrestle) to have their asses handed to them. So the after match mayhem was a HIT but then a depressing afterthought.
No Holds Barred Street Fight: Brock Lesnar (WINNER) vs. Dean Ambrose
I had bigger expectations for this match than what was delivered. I think the match lasted around 12 minutes and didn’t have the impact many expected. The weapon level was tame and I think many, including me, were hoping for an upset that would help propel Dean Ambrose even higher. I mean, what more does Lesnar really have to do in WWE? I felt let down by the match and the booking, so, although Dean did take like 10 suplexes or more, overall the match was a MISS.
Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship: Charlotte (WINNER) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Match of the night right here. The ladies put on an amazing show and although I wanted Becky to win, and the crowd LOVES Sasha Banks, I think keeping the belt on Charlotte is totally fine. Bonus points are for the winner of this match coming out as the new WOMEN’S champion. Goodbye “Diva” moniker.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This was the “go for a pee” match. No one really interested me leading up this and the involvement of Shaq did nothing for me. Glad they let Baron Corbin win it as that was refreshing. Mind you, those who don’t or rarely watch NXT would be left totally scratching their heads. I like the winner, but the match was a MISS.
Hell In a Cell Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker (WINNER)
Sure, we got a few good bumps and Shane’s “Look at me! I’m Mankind (Mick Foley)” big bump of the night, but besides that, I found the match kind of dragged. The whole story line was still something that made no sense, even with WWE’s production crew pasting the before match vignette together. I don’t think Shane’s huge risk was worth the match, nor the storytelling (OR even what happened the next night on Raw that made even less sense). MISS
The Rock’s Appearance
You know, I’m someone that actually doesn’t like The Rock. Never did. Have I had a chuckle here and there with one of his promos? Yep! I’ll admit that. But wrestling and his tired and boring shtick? No thanks. And what does WWE do with him? He feeds the Wyatt Family to them by having The Rock lash out verbally at them and having a quick impromptu match he wins. Another stupid decision: burying newer talent to get over a once in a year WWE Legend. This shit makes me so angry. MISS X100
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns (WINNER)
The only thing that made this match was watching and listening to the fans react to it. They didn’t want to see either of them in the main event. Some of the crowd was behind HHH and Reigns did have a few backers himself, but the booing. Oh my, the booing. WWE’s team tried their damnedest to make it seem not as bad as it was, but I know someone that went to the event and said the boos were deafening. MISS X1000.
Overall, this will be a WrestleMania that will go down with some of the poorest booking and worst build-ups in my mind. I’d really like to hear your views in the comment section, although we’re a week away from it. Some think it was all too long. I didn’t. I just feel they didn’t utilize the talent like they should have due to poor decision making and a shitty lead up to the show. It really took me this long to see if I was just that let down by it immediately or really think it out. Well, I watched this event three times to double check all the thoughts above were really valid before writing this.
QUICK THOUGHTS ON RAW
The following night, WWE was still in Dallas and broadcasted Raw from there. Usually this Raw is one of the hottest of the year and sets forth some direction (with surprises) for the company for the following year.
So what did we get? Vince giving Shane control of Raw for no reason for the night? WHAT? So that match meant nothing the night before and the confusing stupid storyline was made even illogical? Who in the hell writes this shit!?!? Not only did he get control of Raw, he only made one match (all the other ones were already advertised) and made absolutely no contribution to the show, outcomes, decisions, etc. So why would we now care Shane lost if he has one night to make a difference on Raw and did practically nothing.
HHH, Stephanie, Ambrose, Lesnar, The Undertaker, Kalisto, Ryback, John Cena, Randy Orton, and others were not even on the program! Due to injuries or creative not having anything to do with them! What a crock. Even if someone is on the injured list, they could plant a seed for a feud.
At least we got to see the return of Cesaro, who unfortunately lost the 4 way dance. At least AJ Styles got some redeption for now being the next in line for the WWE title. It’ll be nice to see, but if WWE didn’t let him get over Jericho at WrestleMania, why would we believe he’ll do anything against Reigns. I’m sure this is Vince just feeding his ego man-crush for Reigns.
On the plus side, the crowd got to see some debuts from NXT talent. Baron Corbin cut a promo which would have been more useful before WrestleMania. We saw Enzo and Cass berate the Dudleys. Apollo Crews made a surprising debut only to squash another former NXT talent, Tyler Breeze – a man they should make money with, but have done nothing for. Vince just doesn’t understand how to utilize his roster and it really showed with this lackluster Raw after WrestleMania.
Next week, for some f’n reason, Dr. Phil (one of the people I hate the most on TV) is a guest star? Please, for the love of god, tell me why? Not only that, Dr. Phil’s son’s band is to perform? No wonder people are tuning out. Thank goodness for my PVR because that’s the only way I watch Raw anymore.