Wrestlemania 31 Recap & Review
I will just come out with it.
WrestleMania 31 surpassed my expectations. The match quality for most of them were dead-on perfect, and the final result was outright spectacular. Every match was awesome. Even the guest spots with The Rock and Rhonda Rousey were well-played.
We kicked off with a fantastic fast-paced Tag Team Championship Fatal-Four Way. The Brass Ring Club successfully retained the titles after a ton of back-and-forth hot tags and blind tags, and tagging out of tags… Great start to the show. Usos were down one after an injury, while lots of diving spots took place.
Winners and still Tag Team Champions: The Brass Ring Club
The second match, during the pre-show was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Lots of fun moments, where everyone dumped AxelMania out of the ring, officially eliminating him first. Bo Dallas returned to action with his celebratory self, only to get owned by Hideo Itami. Big Show eliminated The New Day all by himself, while Ryback was a one-man-wrecking crew. Titus O’Neal had a decent showing until being launched. In a first unexpected turn, The Ascension dumped The World’s Strongest Man over the top. The second unexpected turn, was the match coming down to Big Show and Miz and “Mizdow.” Miz attempted to rally his assistant to take the big man on, but after Miz berated and then physically provoked him, Damien SANDOW finally made the move we all wanted to see, and sent Miz packing. While Sandow put on a very good showing against the Giant, Big Show ultimately overpowered the fan favorite to claim an honor rightfully deserved.
Winner: Big Show
We then begin the official WrestleMania show with the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship. I felt the match could have been longer, however after its conclusion I did feel it was the right length and we got a significant amount of carnage. Yes sir. Wade Barrett blasted everyone with the Bull Hammer, R-Truth got some crazy offense in Barrett suplexed Star Dust off the top of the ladder with a sickening splat. In the epic car-crash moment, Luke Harper powerbombed Dean Ambrose out of the ring and through a ladder, expect it appeared Ambrose actually got folded into thirds. You could see his head, shoulders, and rest of his body just crumple into each other. We cringed while watching. The end came as Bryan and Ziggler headbutted each other over and over, until Ziggler could take no more, crashing to the mat, allowing the belt to be claimed.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Daniel Bryan
Later on in the program, Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart all personally gave their congratulations to Bryan. Suddenly, Ron Simmons showed up… DAMN!
Next up we got an unbelievably solid match between Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. I am not a fan of Orton, but he put on his A-game tonight and I stand by this statement 100%. I bash Orton and make fun of him constantly, and I for sure will not stop. However I will always give credit where it is due, and tonight he earned it. Rollins sold everything thrown at him, making both of them look solid throughout the match. I have to get right to it, the finish might have been the best RKO-finish in recent memory. Seth Rollins went for a second curb-stomp, and as he jumped, Orton stood upright, propelling Rollins straight up, and then dropping him face-first with the RKO. It was incredible.
Winner: Randy Orton
Following that incredible bout, we got the match of a lifetime. Sting vs. Triple H. This moment gave me chills. Sting, at WrestleMania. Sting, at WrestleMania. I never ever ever ever thought this day would arrive. Here it is. Interesting entrance for The Franchise of WCW.
But then things got weird, and I suppose in a way to cross-promote Terminator Genisys, we got this entrance for Triple H:
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 30, 2015
We got a short but good match. All spots we expected were hit… But then things took a crazy turn as Sting was set for a secure victory, DeGeneration X showed up, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X-Pac hit the ring, but were thwarted by Sting. DX was then sidelined by the nWo members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hollywood Hulk Hogan! Suddenly, DX vs. nWo was the #1 Trending topic on Twitter, and that I believe. Funny moment, Nash got knocked down and grabbed his leg, my group watching all thought he torn his quad. It was the shocking interference by Shawn Michaels who superkicked Sting, followed by a missed Stinger Splash into a Sledgehammer to the head which results in The Game picking up the pinfall victory. Yes, very shocking to have Sting lose, but I can accept it. Triple H and Sting shook hands as both factions parted without incident. Winner: Triple H
We got our halftime break with some music artists I have never heard of. I guess I join Lance Storm in that respect.
I’ve never heard of either of these two either. I may not be very hip #WrestleMania
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) March 30, 2015
Following the show, we get our Divas Tag Team Contest. Once again, I was very surprised as to the quality of this one. I admit, I was wrong to initially pan this and not give it a chance. Everyone involved gave a solid performance. My crowd made remarks how this should really be a standard and not a novelty. If the Divas are talented, then let them be talented on television. One friend suggests a “scorched earth” of the Divas division, just cleaning house, bring the new girls up from NXT and show their beloved WWE Universe how women can really wrestle. In any case, solid outing by the ladies.
Winners: AJ Lee and Paige
We were not sure, but there might have been a smoochie smoochie and an ass-grabbing moment with Paige and AJ… Need to watch the replay a few more times…
Following the introduction of the 2015 Hall of Fame entrants, we have Rusev coming to the ring in a Russian tank. Fantastic. Nice intro. John Cena gets a montage of America, which has nothing to do with John Cena. As I said earlier, this match came off as expected, and the sad thing is, we thought since the matches thus far had exceeded expectations, we hoped Cena/Rusev would have been something special as well, but part-way through we lost interest. A bumped spot came where Rusev hit Lana, allowing Cena to toss the now fomer-champ with the AA. Didn’t come off right and no one cared.
Winner and new United States Champion: John Cena
I will say, the sudden sight of watching springboard off the middle ropes, appearing to hit a mid-air Stunner on Rusev was quite the shocker. Good boy Cena.
Triple H and Stephanie make their way out to enjoy the festivities, but quickly reverted to hell mode. The brings out The Rock who is immediately confronted by an irate Stephanie, slapping him when he refuses to obey her. Rock opts not to fight back, because he would never hit a woman, but brings in someone else who would, Rhonda Rousey. She takes Triple H for a ride, and then nearly snaps off Stephanie’s arm. Setting up for WrestleMania 32 already?
Up next was a match we all worried about, Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker. Thankfully I can say the deadman seemed to still have a few gallons left in the tank, he looked better than last year and seemed to be able to keep up with the much younger Wyatt. Taker took some big bumps and sold them very well. Wyatt kicking out of the first Tombstone was shocking, and for a moment we thought this would be 21-2. However, in the creepiest moment ever, Wyatt and the Deadman did their signature “sit-ups” which ultimately resulted in Taker countering a Sister Abigail into the Tombstone for the victory.
Winner: The Undertaker
Finally, it was main event time. Brock Lesnar OWNED Roman Reigns and in typical Goldberg fashion, reigns no-sold it all. He kept smiling, laughing, I guess doing the whole “that all you got” shtick. But it was bad. However, we were very much entertained as Brock wound up suplexing him about a dozen times all over the ring. Even more peculiar, is how easily Brock started bleeding, and then following hitting the ring post, started gushing blood like a broken pipe. Pretty sick. We all cowered in fear when Reigns finally hulked up, hitting multiple Superman Punches and then his Spear, however Lesnar would not go down.
Suddenly, with both men down, SETH ROLLINS stormed the ring, and cashed in the briefcase, turning the match into a Triple Threat. Well, this portion did not last much longer as it turned into a party hosted by Rollins, with everyone receiving Curb Stomps as welcoming gifts. At one point Brock countered a Stomp, setting up for the F5, however Reigns speared Lesnar. This allowed Rollins to hit yet another Curb Stomp on Reigns, pinning him and walking away as WWE Champion, sending the live arena crowd home very happy.
Winner because I called it, and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins
Keep in mind, this is the first time someone has cashed in at WrestleMania, and the first time someone has cashed in, during the middle of a match.
My crowd JUMPED off the couch when Rollins hit the ring and then again scoring the pinfall. Yes, scripted, but we were damn entertained and liked what we saw. It was one of those perfect moments, where reality and fantasy just go out the goddamn window and you can have fun with it. Yes, sometimes, it’s still real to us dammit!
Tomorrow night is RAW coverage and during the week I will have more to say about what might be the best event WWE has put on this year.