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WrestleMania In A Nutshell: History Worth The Wait?

Happy Sunday everyone! Or, by the time you read this, it will be Monday morning (well, that all depends on where in the world you are, but I digress). After many stops, the Road to WrestleMania [1] has finally reached it’s conclusion. The crew and the Superstars are all here-here, of course, being New Jersey [2]. The lights are brighter, the stakes are higher and the stage doesn’t get any bigger than this. The women close the show, so the biggest question of the evening might just be: is this history worth the wait? Every title is on the line in a very, very long show [3]. Make sure you have your snacks and a plan for bio breaks and stretches and whatnot, because a long show will give us a lengthy Nutshell. So, let’s crack this one open!

Best Match of the night:

I left this one till the end, because I was so sure that the main event would be worthy of this honor.

Sadly, it was NOT the best match on the card. Honestly, it probably wasn’t even top three for me. Maybe….

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Hunter and Batista was better than it had any right to be. But nope, that doesn’t get this one either.

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

For me, for my money, the best match, the one that entertained and delivered, was Daniel Bryan versus Kofi Kingston.

Worst match of the night:

I have to make mention of the Andre The Giant battle royal. It’s a farce at this point. I suppose it kind of never meant much…it’s not like the winner is given a title shot down the line (even a US or IC match would add something to it). Having two actors from SNL in as 2 of the last 3 competitors just proves how much of a farce it actually is.

I could also gripe about the Lesnar-Rollins match…on early, over quick, and we went from one guy dominating to the other guy dominating, and it just…it felt like something they just wanted to get out of the way. Happy with the result, but otherwise….meh.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Braun’s gonna kill you

Burn it down

KofiMania

Let’s go Kofi

Becky

Star of the Night

So many nods worth giving, so lets make this like a longer “three stars” list out of a hockey game…

First, how about Hawkins and Ryder? Especially Hawkins, for getting his first win in eons. And what a win, going for the RAW tag titles.

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Second, Seth Rollins for winning the Universal title

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Third, the IIconics for winning the Women’s Tag Championships

Fourth, as if this one wasn’t obvious, Kofi Kingston [4]. We all wanted it, and we got it-Kofi is WWE Champion.

Have to give a nod as well to Becky Lynch, who leaves the show with both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s titles

Spot of the Night:

Plenty to choose from…

That spot that used pretty much all eight men in the SmackDown tag title match? Sure. Not sure what to call it, but amazing.

Miz and Shane had a few, not the least of which was the suplex through the set piece. Also, how about Shane going up and over the guard rail, off the golf cart roof and down to the outside? Not a tame bump.

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com
Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Hunter spearing Batista and sending both through one of the announce tables.

Jobber of the Night:

This one has to be an easy call, right? I mean, it has to be Colin Jost’s therapist right? I am sure we will find out that the guy was a local enhancement talent of some sort, because he took some serious bumps…but he’s my jobber of the evening. I mean, hey, if you have to be the jobber of the night, why not win it for the WrestleMania edition?

That said, Rey Mysterio does want to challenge this ruling…

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Upset of the Night:

Hawkins and Ryder winning tag team gold. Though, you could kind of see this one coming a mile away. My money is now on some silly open challenge from the new champions, where they drop the belts on RAW to a debuting NXT team (say, Undisputed Era?) or someone else coming back. For evidence, check out what happened when the Long Island Iced Z won the Intercontinental Championship a couple years ago.

I also have to call the win for the Iiconics a bit of a surprise.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Anyone paying attention knew it wasn’t a question of if Elias would be interrupted, but by whom would he be interrupted. After an interesting video piece, we found out-John Cena. Not just the typical Cena, but rather the Doctor of Thuganomics, going back 17 odd years. He delivered an edgy promo and dropped Elias with an F-U. Crowd seemed happy, even if it does mean Cena buried Elias. I think Rock would have been more electric, but it wasn’t bad.

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Botch of the night:

Early in the match, Kofi was going for what appeared to be his double stomp, but didn’t manage to pull it off. Ended up more like a double knee or a failed Thesz Press

That was topped by Batista. An odd entrance as he slammed the Escalade door and looked like he had issues getting out…then he tripped on the second rope getting into the ring. Ring rust is one thing, but that was just…bad.

Commentary of the night:

That’s my boss!-Graves, discussing the depravity of Hunter

Also, worth pointing out the show was so long, Cole wound down the show with a fading voice the last couple matches.

LOL Moment of the night:

Hogan, on stage to kick off the heart of the show, poking fun at his blunder from a few years back, asking how things were at the SilverDome.

Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Noteworthy Moment:

The Universal Title match was out of the way early, opening the main show. The WWE title was out of the way early too, relatively speaking-before the 10pm hour, before the Intercontinental Championship match, before Angle and before Hunter. Somewhat surprised, figured at least one of the major men’s titles would go toward the later part of the show.

Maybe it’s something, maybe it’s nothing…but I have to think Elias getting himself into the later part of ‘Mania shows he’s still a big part of future plans, no? I mean, he went on AFTER Rollins…after KofiMania too.

Overall lowlights:

Honestly, wasn’t jazzed about the WrestleMania set. Compared to last year’s, or even the one from the first time in MetLife, this one seemed..sterile and generic. Sure, the big video board was nice…but it just felt lacking.

Bummer to see Angle lose to Corbin. Yes, it makes sense in that Angle may have chosen to put Corbin over on the way out…but Angle deserved to go out a winner, and fans around the globe wanted to see this be a different match to give Angle a different (and deserving) farewell.

I feel as though I might get booed for this…but the main event underwhelmed. I don’t know why, but I expected a cleaner, crisper, longer main event than we got. It was good, but not great.

I wanted more ‘Mania surprises. I did not get them. No Undertaker felt…weird. No Rock, no Austin…not even any Wyatt,

Overall highlights:

Happy to see Seth win

Loved seeing KofiMania actually happen…to actually become the champion.

Nice to see old school Thuganomics

Nice to see Flair get a bit of revenge on Batista. Figured we’d have some interference from someone in that match, though D-X was a more likely bet.

Happy to see Becky win, though the main event was not the best women’s match that ‘Mania has ever had (the one from a couple years back, Becky versus Charlotte versus Sasha, was a lot better.)

After the final bell:

All in all, not a bad show. The first several hours were very good. The last few matches suffered as the crowd seemed to get bored or tired..or perhaps both.

I would have liked to see another surprise or two, but it’s fun to wish, right?

It’s so weird to know we just saw a WrestleMania that didn’t see Cena wrestle an actual match, and did not have any involvement from The Undertaker.

Now all eyes turn to RAW (and, soon after, SmackDown). Will we get the big surprises there, as is tradition?