WWE Wrestlemania 34 Thoughts & Results
Wow….last night’s shows had some major ups and downs. Some of the matches just didn’t have that Wrestlemania feel. Actually, most of the night didn’t, for some reason. I found there to be some confusing booking and not as many surprises as I was hoping for (or perhaps not the ones I wanted). Then again, they don’t write just for me! I only got 8 of my predictions correct and I’m fine with that. Here are my thoughts on the show.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Considering who was crammed into this thing, it’s not surprising this match started the kick-off show. I miss JR and The King as commentators but it seemed like they couldn’t keep up with the action or people’s names. They were really taking shots at Dolph Ziggler throughout it until he finally got eliminated. I wonder if that was Vince feeding them the lines.
The ending came when it was Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley, two past winners, in the ring with “Woken” Matt Hardy. The odds seemed stacked until the lights went out and Bray Wyatt appeared and became a distraction that aided Hardy to get the win. At the end, they hugged and posed together. I’m curious as to where this goes next and I wouldn’t mind if these two ended up as a tag-team.
Winner: “Woken” Matt Hardy
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals
This is a match that, if the crowd was invested in the wrestlers or 205 Live more, should have been on the main show. I thought it was really good. Both wrestlers were great and gained more of my interest and respect from this match. I definitely watch these two go at it again! The respect showed from Cedric Alexander after he got the 1-2-3 was a feel-good moment. I’ll be actually watching 205 Live this week to see how the reset button works and if anyone is getting called onto the show.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
The First-Ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Match
It was nice to see many NXT faces in this battle royal but I’m surprised that there were not returning stars like at the Royal Rumble. The booking at first to take Carmella out was interesting and then they did the same to Dana Brooke. With that mentality, wouldn’t it make sense they kept doing that? What’s the logic behind doing it for two wrestlers and then deciding to go every woman for herself?
I found the announcers to be a little bit confused with this match as well seeing how they weren’t on top of who got eliminated and by whom and there was some messing up of the names as well. It seemed like they weren’t prepared.
There was the segment were Becky Lynch got eliminated and the camera showed her on the mat outside the ring with Naomi beside her. No one, from what I remember, mentioned who eliminated Lynch so I figured Naomi got eliminated by someone else just beforehand and the announcers didn’t make mention of it or it was a double elimination.
That brings me to the end of the match where Bayley and Sasha Banks were the final two in the ring. Bayley got cheered for baiting Sasha into a handshake and then eliminating her. Bayley celebrated and the crowed seemed happy with the ending, until it was revealed that Naomi was technically still part of the match, unbeknown to me and many watching. In the end, Naomi eliminated Bayley to win the inaugural WM women’s battle royal. I think her win is tarnished because she did the heel tactic of purposely staying out of the ring until there was only one person left. I didn’t like it. Who wants to cheer for a face when they do something like that?
The Miz (Champ) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor –
Intercontinental Championship Match
I’m glad this match started off the show. WWE needed to get things going into high gear and this match delivered. All three men could have walked out as the champ and I would have been satisfied. That shows the quality all three men bring the ring.
I’m shocked that Balor just came out as himself and not The Demon. I mean, he takes on that persona when he wants to unleash the rage. If you’re in a title match at the biggest show of the year, don’t you want to be that persona? It makes no sense to me.
In the end, the double curb stomping from Rollins on his opponents looked realistic enough to lay them out and pick up the win. It may seem like The Miz will be taking some time off starting today (or maybe after Raw) to be with his wife and baby girl so it may be Balor and Rollins squaring off again soon or maybe we’ll see both men moving onto new feuds.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Charlotte Flair (Champ) vs. Asuka –
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
A match needed to be red hot after the triple threat and I thought this match delivered as well. I know many people will remember the controversial ending more than the match itself, and I can see why. Although Charlotte and Asuka put on a great show (and Charlotte pulling out more stops than I’ve ever seen), I’m not sure ending Asuka’s streak this soon was a wise choice. Immediately I think of Vince once again going against what worked as was successful in NXT and pissing all over it.
The counterpoints could be that the casual fans haven’t been behind Asuka as much as hoped. Who knows?
I suppose the positive thing coming out of this match was the sportsmanship (womanship?) shown at the end of the match and that Charlotte has no been elevated higher than ever thought possible. I think ending Asuka’s reign even a few months later when Asuka has gone through more of the main roster would have had even more impact instead of just a surprise “Wrestlemania moment.” Then again, isn’t that what us fans crave?
Side note: with all the wasted time on the show, couldn’t WWE just let Charlotte bask more in the win before focusing on John Cena being beckoned to the back? Yeesh.
Randy Orton (Champ) vs. Bobby Roode vs Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev –
Fatal 4-Way Match for the United States Championship
This match didn’t seem like it got out of first gear. The crowd was so behind Rusev, it was nuts and you could feel the audience craving Rusev to win. What happens? Jinder Mahal wins while Orton is resting on the outside along with Roode, so they didn’t have to take the pin.
Was this just Vince giving the finger to the fans? Can you imagine how that place would have erupted if Rusev actually won? Instead Mahal is getting another push. I guess if Mahal was “good enough” to hold the WWE Championship, he should be able to win the secondary title, right? Maybe putting the belt on Mahal will give Rusev the feud he needs to turn him full-fledged face.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
I liked the direction this match took at the beginning. It began with HHH starting so Kurt had to wrestle and keep his wife away from Rousey. Steph played a great heel, doing anything to keep Angle from getting the tag.
Things, for me, fell apart when Rousey got her hands on Stephanie. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rousey looked great for her first match ever. I think she got many haters to shut up, even if there were a few spots that weren’t the best. Hell, the best performers even have off moments in matches. My issue is how strong WWE had Steph look. When Rousey beat the crap out of her, she should have destroyed her. The story should have been backing the “baddest woman on the planet” moniker and not even Steph could look good against her.
The match, that supposedly had rules, then had none and it was a free-for-all for the second half of it. The people I was watching it said, “aren’t there rules to this match?” I guess WWE forgot, too. Nonetheless, I think it was entertaining for the most part if you embrace the disbelief that Stephanie could remotely put up a fight against Rousey.
Winners: Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey
The Usos (Champs) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers –
Triple Threat Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos, who have been one of the best teams in WWE in the last couple of years finally get a Wrestlemania match. What happens? They get this pathetic five minute “match” where the belts are taken off of them. Kofi Kingston was the one that took the pin so it sets up a rematch without The Usos looking week, but the match did that for all involved. Save this crap for TV, not the biggest show of the year.
Sidenote: You can still tell Vince is at the helm when little people are used for comic relief. That was just cringe worthy.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
John Cena vs. The Undertaker
John Cena asked for it and he got it. While it took a long time and the before and after match segments were way longer than the match itself, this match was what it should have been. A pissed off Undertaker needed to come in, kick ass and leave. That’s what he did. It set the stage that he can come back again at another time and the match fuels John Cena’s losing streak story line, if that’s where they’re going.
Winner: The Undertaker
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Man, oh, man! Did that place erupt for Daniel Bryan. It was such an awesome feel –good moment. Shane, whether faking or feeling the pain of his diverticulitis, made me believe he was feeling the pain. Letting him get his offense (as sloppy as those punches were) in at the beginning then getting the crap beat out of him, all the while people wondered if Daniel Bryan would be able to actually get into the match, was a good choice for the match to keep people on the edge of their seats.
Daniel Bryan looked great in the ring and almost looks like he didn’t miss a beat with being sidelined for the last few years. I was expecting some kind of swerve or heel turn here but nothing happened. Daniel Bryan got the win for his team and the heels got what they deserved. I’m curious to see if they’ll show up on Raw somehow, take on their Ring of Honor personas, or stay off TV until (or should I say if) Daniel Bryan gets moved over to Raw.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs. Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Championship Match
Here’s another match where I think it should have ended sooner than later. Jax should have plowed through Bliss and annihilated her. I guess the moral of this story is don’t bully because you’ll get yours. It was what it was. I don’t think Jax is ready to be champ, especially with Bliss so awesome as a heel. But, what do I know? Let’s see how the crowd responds over the next couple of weeks.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship Match
I think people’s expectations for this match were too high – even my own. I think a classic was expected but we got a great match instead. If this was any other PPV with two other wrestlers, I think it may have been over more than it was. The pacing at the beginning was slow but when it started to pick up about half way through, the crowd seemed to get invested more. Nakamura went to finish Styles off with the running knee but Styles moved and countered into the Styles clash for a quick win. I popped happy that my guy won, of course.
This is another match, though, where people are going to remember the heel turn from Nakamura more than the match. I think this is a great move because it will give Nakamaura the edge he needs. I’m gonna guarantee (not a guarantee) that the next match between these two will be better than this now that Nakamura wants revenge for losing on the grand stage and Styles wants revenge for getting low-blowed in front of a mass audience and then beaten until he couldn’t stand. This was all delivered well.
Winner: AJ Styles
Sheamus & Cesaro (Champs) vs. Braun Strowman and ?? – Raw Tag Team Championship
I’m not going to waste time on this match. It was an insult. People expected something good and got this garbage. The Bar were buried and the fans were cheated out of an awesome surprise. It’ll be interesting to see if Strowman is stripped of the titles tonight or if he has to pick a legitimate partner by the end of the show. Can you imagine being a wrestler on the roster who wasn’t on the show or told you would be delegated to the battle royal and then see a random kid take a spot just so Vince and Co. would either have a laugh? I’m sure that’s why they did it. I don’t understand how anyone could think this was a good idea.
Winner: Braun Strowman and Nicholas
Side note: Am I the only one that couldn’t believe that Cory Graves said something along the lines of “If this is what it’s going to be like in New Orleans, get me a hurricane now” when The Bar came out? Unbelievable!
Brock Lesnar (Champ) vs. Roman Reigns – Universal Championship Match
Where to begin with this one? It was clear that many just weren’t wanting to see this match or Roman Reigns headline his fourth Wrestlemania. I don’t hate Roman Reigns – I hate how he’s booked. Getting beat up almost all match yet constantly kicking out of everything left a sour taste in my mouth and obviously the majority of the crowd. Kicking out of five F5’s? Now that is absolute stupid booking. Kicking out of one? I can get that. Two? Maybe? Three? F THAT! Add two more and this is just stupidity on WWE Creative’s part.
As for Brock Lesnar, I can’t stand that lazy part-time ass and I hate that Vince lets him get away with it. Imagine my surprise when Lesnar actually won this thing meaning that perhaps sticking around even longer. Maybe it’s a short term extension. I don’t know. I just hope he’s gone sooner than later.
I agree with the fans chanting “this is awful” and other things to show their discontent with what the main event was. I agree with them. What I still don’t agree with is the beach ball thing. I’m sure Vince was furious with it. Hopefully this was a huge wake-up call, but I’m not holding my breath.
Roman Reigns bled like a stuck pig when Brock opened him up and I’m sure the state sports commission is going to fine WWE heavily as they made it clear that blood was banned.
The pop at the end of the match I think was more towards Reigns not winning the title and nothing more than that.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
BREAKING: It was just announced that Lesnar and Reigns will face off again at the Greatest Royal Rumble PPV in Saudi Arabia on April 27th in a steel cage match. Are you f’n kidding me? Ugh…. I’m sure Vince knew if Reigns won, he’d be booed heavily and he couldn’t end his greatest creation with his hand picked man being booed, right? I’m guessing Lesnar will lose to Reigns in front of a crowd that may be more receptive and cheer him more in Saudi Arabia. Who knows how they’ll act? I guess it sucks we’ll have another few weeks of a part time champ feuding with Reigns.
In closing, I’m sorry but NXT Takeover once again kicked Wrestlemania’s ass. That shouldn’t happen and I’m sure HHH is secretly laughing inside. I am anxious to see what happens tonight on Raw and Smackdown and I may see if I can sneak in a little feature on Wednesday about the two shows.
I also want to mention I totally appreciate the work from all involved getting such an event off the ground and running as smoothly as possible. I really appreciate the athletes putting their bodies on the line and performing. It all comes down to WWE Creative screwing the pooch with their stories and booking decisions.