Sorry, it’s just that the nerves on my left arm has been firing on all cylinders recently. While I really planned to put up this review up on the usual date when I’ll Review Anything is posted, I couldn’t write up my Wrestlemania review because of the extreme pain I would experience after typing for a long time. And since this year’s Wrestlemania is extremely long, clocking in at around 5-1/2 hours, there’s a whole lot of things I’d have to type up and my poor arm couldn’t hack it.
The show must go on as they say. I promised I’d have my Wrestlemania review up and I’m doing that now. But I had to make some compromises because I can’t type for too long. I’ll probably have to take some breaks once in a while to make sure I don’t aggravate a somewhat serious injury. So I won’t be reviewing each and every match in detail. Instead, I’m going to be just writing up some of the highlights and lowlights and everything in between. “Yeah, that shouldn’t take too long,” she said optimistically.
Let’s go talk about the matches that I think were top-notch and why they were good. The first match that springs to mind was the main event, the Winner Take All match for the RAW and Smackdown Women’s Championships. It just so happens to be the first time the Women of the WWE headlined Wrestlemania and they had to be on the top of their game. Then again, the match had Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and “The Man” Becky Lynch. The the caliber of the women involved, it was 99% guaranteed to be good… but there’s always that pesky 1%. Thankfully, the odds played in their favor and this was a solid match, through and through.
I do have to comment on the finish. Like practically everyone, it took me by surprise at how fast The Man pinned Ronda Rousey with a crucifix counter to Piper’s Pit. I expected the two of them to go at it for a more substantial time after they took out Charlotte. Sadly, they didn’t break the table which did lessen the impact of the spot. But the thing that irked me was Ronda Rousey wriggling around and having her shoulders off the mat for a moment during the pin. It’s like they did this to protect The Baddest Woman on the Planet when she didn’t need it during this particular match since she did face off against two women at the same time.
The next match that stood out for me was the Interncontinental match with Finn Balor going against the defending “Almighty” Bobby Lashley. I’m a sucker for those David vs. Goliath matches and this fit the bill perfectly. I also enjoyed that Balor busted out The Demon for this. I get why he sporadically uses The Demon as, if he uses it too much, it takes away from the mystique. But I loved how it played into the match as he used that side of his personality to actually powerbomb the much larger Bobby Lashey! That was surprising and a great spot!
But the best match for this year’s Wrestlemania is, hands down, the one for the Smackdown World Heavyweight Championship with the “B+ player,” Kofi Kingston going against the “former B+ player” Daniel Bryan. This was a fantastically paced match, filled with great action and drama. I’m usually not a huge fan of too many near falls but this one felt like it needed to have a lot to ratchet up the drama.
I also really liked how the rest of the New Day and Rowan got involved. It would’ve seemed like a waste if they didn’t and, for the most part, they stayed in the sidelines. The timing of their participation was excellent as it was near the end of the match but I really liked it as we still got a clean finish. Speaking of the finish, I fully expected “The New” Daniel Bryan to retain just to piss off the Wrestlemania crowd in attendance. So imagine my surprise to see the WWE pull the trigger and actually give Kofi Kingston the belt. I like surprises like this.
Moving on to the matches I didn’t like. Let’s start with the Triple H vs. Batista one. This match was terrible! It was gimmicky as all hell and I felt there wasn’t much actual wrestling! It also suffers from being “spotty.” What I mean by this is the Superstars would do a spot, walk around a bit and hope the live audience reacts to it, and then do another spot. Rinse and repeat. The problem is the action never flows in a decent pace as they have to wait for the audience to react. Also, I hate to say this, I really didn’t care for Shawn Michaels on commentary. He hardly called the action in the ring! Instead, he would constantly reminds us how Batista was a part of Evolution and Triple H was a tough guy! Call the match, Shawn!
I’m going to lump in the next two matches in because I hate them for the same reason. This would be the Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio for the Smackdown United States championship and Kurt Angle vs Baron Corbin matches. There’s hardly anything to review here as they were quick bouts with barely a sliver of real drama. I get that sometimes it can work but it just didn’t in these cases. Among the two, the worst offender is the Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin. Why? Because Kurt Angle still celebrated since it was his farewell match! He didn’t even act like he was the slightest bit woozy after getting hit with Baron Corbin’s End of Days! I understand they have to end it on a high note but you would think the dozens of writers over in the WWE Creative offices could’ve figured something better!
I also didn’t care for the Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre match. The action wasn’t bad and there were some good spots, like the one where McIntyre slammed Reigns while in the Tree of Woe. The problems is that the stakes weren’t… were there any stakes even? This match felt like something I would see in a house show for the most part. While the action was okay, it just felt unspectacular since I didn’t feel any real heat from both Reigns and McIntyre.
Probably the match I liked the least was the Fatal Four Way for the Women’s Tag Team Champions but not because Sasha Banks and Bayley lost the belts. I honestly wanted the IIconics to win this one and they did. So why did I kind of hate this match? It’s mostly out of disappointment. The pacing was really inconsistent and the action was rather ho-hum in general. It just lacked the energy of the frentic match it should’ve been. Nia Jax and Tamina came off as underutilized and it’s distractingly dumb for Beth Phoenix, one of the toughest women who ever graced a WWE ring, to be so easily shoved out of the ring by waif-ish by comparison, Peyton Royce. Not a bad match but gets a ton of minus points for being a huge disappointment.
The rest of the matches were generally okay. They started out strong with Seth Rollins taking the RAW WWE Universal belt off Brock Lesnar but I didn’t like how quick it was. Still, I liked that Seth Rollins had to go for a low blow to take down the monstrous Beast. The AJ Styles vs Randy Orton was fine but it never felt like the two of them were giving it their all. I wished the pulled out the stops, especially since this is Wrestlemania. The Fatal Four Way for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships felt like it was going somewhere but chickened out before it did. This match needed a few more minutes to really get out of the block and get things going. The Falls Count Anywhere match between The Miz and Shane McMahon was good but, ultimately, overdrawn and dumb. It’s a good type of dumb that harkens back to the days when Hardcore matches were the norm. There were stunts galore and I do like the callback involving Miz’s dad. Even so, it just felt stupid.
All-in-all, however, this was an above average Wrestlemania thanks to the amazing Winner Take All match which Becky Lynch won and the WWE pulling the trigger and putting the Smackdown World Heavyweight Championship on Kofi Kingston. These two matches elevated the entire show and made the dumb ones, like the Triple H vs. Batista match, easier to digest.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to rest up my arm as I can feel that painful pinch like Ronda Rousey putting me in an armbar! Ow!
What did you think of this year’s Wrestlemania? Did the WWE do a good job this year? Let me know in the comments section below!