So I gave you my predictions for Mania, therefore it’s only fair I give you my thoughts after the event, now I’ve finally had a chance to watch it. If you don’t like wrestling I’d stay far away from this one because it’s pretty damn long. Enjoy.
The start to this event was perfect, Austin, Rock and Hogan came out and paid respect to each other, but didn’t try to steal the show away from the guys that are actually going out there to wrestle. A very classy and well done segment.
HHH vs Daniel Bryan
What a match, once again Triple H proves that when he is the ring with the right guy he can just downright go. I should say that I actually read the spoilers before seeing the event, I couldn’t deal with having to try and avoid them for the whole of Monday and most of Tuesday so just decided to spare myself the pain, but even knowing exactly what was going to happen I popped when Bryan hit the running knee. The story told here was masterful and both Bryan and Hunter deserve huge credit for the match. However, I don’t think you can downplay what Stephanie brought to the table. Her taunting of Bryan and her facial expressions just added that extra bit of spice to an already brilliant match.
The Shield vs Old Age Outlaws and Kane
At first I was disappointed by how quickly this match was other, I genuinely thought these guys could have had a good match given the time, but hindsight has changed my mind. The WWE has obviously had a change in heart and decided to keep the Shield together for a while as babyfaces and this was essentially their chance to introduce themselves as thus. It was a chance they grabbed with both hands. Kane and the Outlaws have no right standing toe to toe with those guys and the WWE decided to prove that was exactly the case so I’m down with that.
30 Man Battle Royal
Let’s be honest, minus a couple of moments this was dull. Kofi’s spot was cool, but would have been even better if he’d landed on his feet, while Cesaro dumping Show over the top route was very impressive. Apart from that this could have been any other Battle Royal. On the other hand I’m delighted Cesaro won, I genuinely believe he is the future of the WWE because he just has it all and this is a good way of starting him down that path
6/10 mainly for who won
Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
While the rest of the world mourns the next match on this list, this is the one that’s actually pissed me off the most. Once again the WWE has felt the need to protect a man who doesn’t need protected. They also decided to completely change the story for the match itself, did they get their Kane and Wyatt stories mixed up? Because this was a flashback to the whole embrace the hate thing. Saying that Wyatt once again impressed, for a big guy he can go hard and long (hehe sexual innuendo) and he proved it here. His spider walk out of that daft 5 Knuckle Shuffle was inspired and if WWE actually give him the wins he needs, they will have a ready made replacement for the Undertaker. His entrance was also very well done, having a live band perform it might have seemed a bit strange but it was suitably deranged and out there that it worked. Finally, Cena once again put on a great match on PPV. I’m not the world’s biggest Cena sympathiser by a long way, but credit where it’s due.
8/10 for the match, 0/10 for the result
Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker
Wow, just wow. When I read the result of this match I assumed someone was joking around, but no. It is genuinely over. 21 and 1. What does that mean? At the end of the day very little. The Undertaker is the best professional wrestling character of all time, this doesn’t change that. I now assume we won’t see the Dead Man again and that’s sad, genuinely sad. Other wrestlers have come in and out but Undertaker has always been a constant. I am sad the streak is over, but as long as the man himself was happy to give it up it is something I can accept. I just hope WWE actually have big plans for Lesnar in the future.
Onto the match itself. It really wasn’t great, these two just didn’t click and it felt like they were plodding through. That more than anything suggests it might be time for Taker to retire. The Last Ride out of the corner was particularly ugly. Although it has to be said with the news coming out about Undertaker suffering a concussion that may well have played a part in this. Either way, the slow pace silenced the crowd and it didn’t have that magic that has been hand in hand with The Streak in recent years. The fact that the build up to this match never suggested that Taker was in any real trouble, also meant that no one really believed that Lesnar would win. They didn’t buy in to the near falls as they just assumed Undertaker would kick out because he always has. All of this came together to create a match that was strangely flat.
Oh and Heyman was fantastic, but then that hardly needs said.
No rating, I’m copping out, the match wasn’t great but the outcome was historic
Divas chaos match
These girls had an impossible task on their hand. Not only were they part of a ridiculous cluster fuck of a match, but they had to follow the end of the Streak. They did alright. There were some nice outfits… I don’t really know what to say. This was the ultimate spotfest with every big moment feeling like it was set up before hand. Although saying that the Bellas have obviously been taking suicide dive lessons from Bryan. AJ winning hopefully means that they have plans coming out of Mania for the belt, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
The person who decided to put Piper on TV with Mr. T was taking a big risk. I liked this segment because Piper was in it and that’s all I really need.
Bryan vs Batista vs Orton
Every year at Wrestlemania the WWE attempts to construct historic moments, yet 99% of them fail because they just don’t connect with the crowd the way they are supposed to. This moment did. Daniel Bryan has clawed his way to the top with pure talent and not since he who must be named has anyone felt as deserving (at the time of him winning it, I wouldn’t say the same now) of closing a Wrestlemania as WWE champion than Bryan.
Once again the live entrance music was very well done, you can easily imagine the egotistical Orton hiring the band. The WWE’s production values are easy to take for granted but spend a lot of time watching TNA and you are reminded just how impressive they are. The story told in the match, right from Bryan avoiding punching the air with his left arm on the way down the ramp, was perfect. The underdog fighting against every thing you could imagine and still coming out on top, it’s a story as old as time but it’s a story that works. I even didn’t have an issue with Steph and HHH getting involved as it just worked with the story.
Despite all the hate they’ve received Orton and Batista deserve a lot of credit, they did most of the heavy lifting in this match and they proved that in different circumstances they could have put on a respectable ‘Mania main event. The announce table spot was vicious and Orton deserves a medal for going on in the way he did after landing on that monitor, I was watching at home two days after the event and I still felt sorry for him. I’m surprised they chose Batista to tap out at the end, as it kind of ruins any potential feud between the two, but I wasn’t that upset by it. While the celebration afterwards was once again perfect.
This was a good if not a great Mania. The layout of the card meant that the pointless get everyone on the show matches were far enough apart that they didn’t effect the overall quality. It’s also a Mania that will fill highlight packages for years to come. Be it Bryan fighting off the stretched and celebrating in the ring, the opening segment with Hogan, Austin and Rock or Brock Lesnar ending the Streak these were truly Wrestlemania moments. WWE now have a big task on their hands to keep fans onside in the months ahead and I for one truly hope they do (mainly because I’m going to the UK taping next month!)