WrestleMania 31 Review

WM31_LEVILast nights WrestleMania is in the history books, and the WWE delivered a great show with some shocking moments- so let’s take a look at who walked out WWE World Heavyweight champion and if Bray Wyatt could really defeat the dead man.

I stayed up until 4am here in the UK to watch this show, accompanied by my rabid wrestling fan of a wife and I’m glad I did as the show had some great moments and has sewn the seeds of potential change. So let’s get to the reviews.

Tag Team Championships
This match was on the Kickoff show and I’m not sure why, the match didn’t have a bad list of competitors and delivered some good action- however if time was a concern I guess it made sense. The crowd were clearly behind Cesaro and Kidd the moment they made their entrance, and this is a good sign as they are an exciting tag team right now. As the match got under-way we saw Cesaro take out Jey Uso ( who was injured coming in) with a nasty throw into the barricades leaving only one Uso at ringside to compete. The Matadores got a lot more offence than I expected, and even got to hit some new and exciting looking double team moves during the course of the match, its just a shame there not thought of as a credible team anymore thanks to WWE’s booking of them over the last couple years. We got a cool moment were everyone threw themselves over the top,and Natalya locked El Torito in the sharpshooter but ultimately this was a one team match as New Day are hated (the fans have found a way to chant New Days Sucks to their clap chant; genius), Los Matadores have been a joke for years and one Uso may need surgery. This meant the only real option was to go with the most exciting new team in the WWE right now. This match was a decent match for what it was, but the WWE really needs to consider improving its tag team division if it plans to continue to showcase this type of wrestling- and it should.

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Andre the Giant Battle Royal
This was an odd match, as it was a complete mess for the first 10minutes however multi man matches were everyone starts in the ring tend to be. However the mess in the middle was sandwiched between a comically brilliant opening where Curtis Axel moved everyone away and told them this was his match before ripping off his Axelmania shirt in the good old Hogan fashion before everyone lifted him up and threw him over the top. Then when we got to the last 10men the match picked up again, before this however we did get to see Hideo Itami have a big moment taking out several guys and battling Big Show before getting eliminated. In the final 10men Ryback had a big run eliminating a host of people before getting eliminated himself leaving Miz, Mizdow and Big Show where everything picked up. We got to see the moment everyone has wanted for so long as Mizdow refused to do what Miz told him and demanded he did leading to him blind throwing Miz over the top rope for the elimination; this was the real moment of this match as Mizdow should now be able to breakout again. However Big Show proved to be too much for Mizdow and eventually won, this was the right call as it makes sense that the big man should win and we still got to see Mizdow get that moment he and the fans needed.

Intercontinental Ladder Match

The pace in this match was manic from the beginning as it took only 3minutes for everyone to have thrown themselves over or through the tip rope to land on someone on the outside and then Ambrose dived off a ladder with an elbow drop onto the other 6men, and this is how the match continued at a fast pace and with some big spots. This wasn’t the best ladder match we have seen over the last 18months but it did a solid job of making everyone involved look like they genuinely want the gold, helping to add some prestige to the tarnished title. However at the same time there was only ever two people who looked like actually winning and this was Bryan and Ziggler who regularly recovered in time to save the gold from anyone else clutches and each other on multiple occasions. As the match came to a close we saw Luke Harper take a zigzag off the top of the ladder and saw Ambrose power bombed from inside the ring through a ladder on the outside that looked downright brutal. The ending saw both Bryan and Ziggler at the top of the ladder trading headbutts until Ziggler fell and Bryan claimed the championship; this is the right call as having Bryan as the champion should help add some credibility to the title and at the same time should provide us with an amazing feud between Bryan and Ziggler moving forward. This match was more about giving the fans the ‘Yes Movement’ at the start of the show but it really worked out well.

AJ Lee & Paige VS The Bellas
This was never going to be the best match on the card, but I was expecting more than we got in the 7minutes that the divas were given. This is no knock on the divas involved, but 7mins is shocking for the supposed pay off to a feud. What we saw was a basic handicap match as AJ was taken out continually by The Bella’s leaving Paige to try and fight her way to a victory and at times she looked good for a brief moment before being beaten down again. Eventually Paige caused enough distance with a cannonball off the apron to get AJ in the match and mere moments later Nikki was locked in the black widow and tapping out. This match was nothing more than filer and that’s a real shame as it truly had the possibility to be much more with women involved in the match. This wasn’t so much #givedivasachance as #wehavetimetofill and it really showed.

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Randy Orton VS Seth Rollins
These two had the potential to deliver a wonderfully strong match and that’s exactly what we got, we got a match that was back and forth and full of near falls that really kept you engaged for the entire duration, and then we got the best looking finish of the night for sure. The match wasn’t as brutal as I expected, I was half expecting it to spill outside into a brawl but instead we got some solid ring action full of reversals and signature moves that didn’t finish the match. Both men looked strong as the match went on, as they both took the best the other had to offer and continued to come back onto the offensive. The end to this match was a clear spot, but it was so unusual to see and so amazing that it stole the finish not the night for sure; seeing Rollins go for a curbstomp only to be thrown into the air off of Orton’s back only to receive an RKO on the way down is a visual I’m never going to forget. It appears as if Orton got his revenge, and both men will be moving on (Rollins will be happy- see later) but what’s next for Orton I have no idea.

HHH VS Sting
This is the match I was expecting the least from as having seen Sting at the end of his run in TNA I was fully aware that he is massively limited in what he can do within ring, but had some faith that HHH would get him through something. The entrances for both men were lavish, not sure HHH was all that good but the entrances set the tone for the rest of the match as it too would be excessive and full of other people. The pace started slow and never really picked up however what we did get was an entertaining sports entertainment process that his the flaws of Sting in the ring well. Seeing HHH crotch chop Sting looked weird however when the DX music hit and the New Age Outlaws appeared it was a brilliant moment, only to have the NWO arrive to even the numbers and help Sting regain some control and lock in a scorpion deathlok. Ohh it wasn’t over there in the best moment of this match HBK super kicked Sting from nowhere and gave us the charisma we all loved him for. After this it only went another a few minutes before HHH was able to catch Sting with the sledgehammer and get the cover for the win. This outcome was odd to me as if Sting is only in for one match why not give him the win? HHH would lose nothing by this and Sting gets his moment, but now I wonder if Sting is around for one more and if so what he comes with it? Either way this match played brilliantly on the mid 90’s Monday Night War and the WWE Vs WCW storyline and was entertaining if not a wrestling showcase.

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John Cena VS Rusev (US Championship)
This match had the big entrances that were patriotic too each nation, not sure war machines is all that patriotic to Russia but it looked cool and at the same time the whole USA video came across somewhat cheesy to me; maybe as I’m not American. But these entrances definitely gave off the vibe of importance for the match and the outcome, and once the bell rang both guys gave everything they had in a very well fought contest that made both men look good. The intensity was high all the way through and both men hit all of their big moves and their signature submissions with both looking like they were going to win non numerous occasions, however Cena was able to power out of the Accolade and turn the tides allowing him the opportunity to score a pinfall off Rusevs slight bump from Lana who was on that apron. This match was going along brilliantly and telling a great tale, but the end seems rushed and came very quickly; plus I’m not sure what a win here really does for Cena? I mean why has Rusevs first loss not helped elevate someone else instead of just being another Cena accomplishment? And where does Rusev go from here, I’m going too guess the end allows Lana more time away as he is mad with her. The match itself was great but the ending and the result I’m still trying to see the benefit too.

Bray Wyatt VS Undertaker
The return of the Undertaker was a great spectacle as the moment the bells tolled I got goosebumps in anticipation of seeing him, and he looked a lot more ready for a return to the ring than I was expecting. The initial stare down between the two was great, as it really sold the story of Bray wanting to conquer the Undertaker who was looking to prove he is still the big man in the company. Once the action began it was clear to see this was hoping to be a slow paced affair that focused more on whether the Undertaker could overcome than flashy fast paced action but in this instance it really worked. We saw Bray Wyatt dominate the Undertaker for large chunks and hit everything he has but to no avail as the dead man kept kicking out, and this sentiment was returned as Wyatt kicked out of a tombstone piledriver and the match was going along amazingly well. Wyatt continued the offense and was able to power Undertaker down again and then we saw the backwards crab walk, this led to the Undertaker sitting up and star in at Bray in a great moment of television. However what came next defies any logic as the Undertaker was able to counter a sister Abigail into a tombstone for the win- rendering the push I expected and everyone wants for Wyatt null and void. This result makes no sense at all, Wyatt is a huge star who just needs one big moment and this could have been it, instead the Undertaker wins the only match he’ll appear in this year and were left wondering why he’s been kept strong and Wyatt has been left floundering when he’s around every week. This was the most shocking and I’ll informed end to any match on the card and really tarnishes great match. Wyatt needed the win here, and I don’t buy simply being in the ring weigh Undertaker raises his stock- a clean win would have done that.

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Brock Lesnar VS Roman Reigns (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
This was the match I was most intrigued by; would it be good, would Roman win and the fans revolt or would Lesnar decimate and walk out with the gold. Well what we got s mix of everything, as the fans booed Reigns hugely on his entrance and Lesnar got the face reaction not too mention the huge pop Heyman when he introduced his client. Then we got Lesnar decimating Reigns despite him hitting him with his best shots for a good 10minutes and it looked like the WWE had heard and listened to the fans as we were going to see a rerun of Summer Slam only with a different opponent. Then Reigns was able to turn the table slightly by cutting Lesnars head against the post and hitting 3superman punches and 2spears. However at this point it looked like Reigns could win, after asking the Beast for more all match and taking everything he delivered too, but Lesnar took it all and still looked like he could go possible go more. With both men down Rollins music hit and he ran like the wind to the ring to cash in his money in the bank and hit a curb stomp on Lesnar, remove Reigns from the ring and look set to pin the Beast. However as he went to hit another curb stomp on the stirring beast he got caught and was looking set to receive an F5 before Lesnar eat another spear and Rollins was able to curb stomp Reigns and walk out with the championship. This match was brutal at times and did wonders for reigns stock without alienating him from all the fans and still made Lesnar look almost unbeatable as Reigns took the pinfall. Seeing Rollins leave with the championship was a great closing visual and he really deserves this chance, even if it leads to s feud with Reigns who may get close to winning again at least he has proven he can belong now.

Overall this was a good show, and easily the best PPV the company has produced in the last 12months- even the talking segment with Rousey and the Rock was decent despite taking time away from matches that could have done with it (Divas anyone?). This show has crowned new champions for all the major titles and their big names, so hopefully going forward we can see a positive change to the landscape And finally get some of the stars we want and that deserve it in the top level positions. If your wondering whether or not you should!d check out the show, you really should.032915_seth-rollins_600

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