HomeTelevisionReview: WWE WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans

Review: WWE WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans

The WrestleMania Pre-show featued some interesting choices for Battle Royal winners, and finally, a Cruiserweight Champion crowned after months of vacancy. Also, we must see John Cena’s reaction during and after each match. Yep, Cena, is attending WrestleMania as a fan. Thankfully, not in the front row, but close enough where someone could reach him. Ten bucks a brawl goes right past him. As the night progressed, some matches seemed rushed, some sleptwalked through, the booking for others were quite strange.

Matt Hardy wins The Andre Memorial

I fully anticipate the Soul of the Giant Andre, World Wonder Number Eight, being incorporated into future promos. Matt, surrounded by prior winners Mojo Rawley and Baron Corbin. Suddenly, Bray Wyatt shows up and assists Woken Matt in winning. New stable in the works? Interesting decision.

Cedric Alexander wins the Cruiserweight Championship

Decent match with Alexander and Mustafa Ali. They treated it like a long time coming, match had a lot of pinfall teases. Kudos to both men for making it to Mania.

Naomi wins the Women’s Battle Royal

A lot of NXT and Mae Young Memorial Tournament participants. Riott Squad lasted long as a unit. In the end, we are left with Bayley and Sasha Banks. Bayley quickly eliminates Banks, sending the crowd into a standing rejoice, until Naomi shows up from nowhere. She eliminates Bayley with ease, and there is a noticeable mix of boos from the live crowd.

Onto the main show, where we got a lot of action and a lot setting us up for the next few months, likely towards SummerSlam.

Seth Rollins defeats Finn Balor and The Miz to win the Intercontinental Championship

Miz gets a CGI-assisted entrance. Very interesting. Good grief what a match. Everyone gets MVP for this one. Rollins takes the win after Balor hits the Coup de Grace on Miz, and then immediately eats the canvas with a Curb Stomp. Miz struggles to get up, and Rollins delivers a second one to win the match. Lots of big spots and fast paced action. Great match.

Charlotte Flair defeats Asuka to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

Charlotte’s entrance was epic. Just awesome. Shame Asuka didn’t get a flashy entrance, but she got one of the many CGI-effects which only the fans at home could see. What a great match. What a match. The finish took us all by surprise. This was Undertaker-streak level shocking. After three years of being undefeated, Asuka is locked in the Figure-Eight, and taps out to the submission hold. Wow. I am shocked this is over. No more streak. Asuka, is human. WWE gave the internet their shock moment tonight.

After the match is over, Asuka gets on the mic, and proclaims “Charlotte was ready for Asuka… Congratulations!” They hug it out. But as Charlotte leaves, Asuka stands in the middle of the ring…

… When suddenly, a ref goes running to John Cena, prompting the ticket-purchasing fan to jump over the crowd barrier and dashes to the back. Way to ruin a moment WWE.

Jinder Mahal defeats Rusev, Bobby Roode, and Randy Orton to win the United States Championship in the Fatal Four Way

Nothing works better than a foreign heel as U.S. Titleholder. Decent match, sadly nothing spectacular following Aiden English. We had the vibe Orton was losing as it appeared he wasn’t putting his all into it. Roode looked convincing enough though.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey defeated Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

Not good, but not horrible either. Triple-and-Wife-H played uber-heel with tactics like pulling off the apron and constant ref distractions. A few crossed paths where Rousey faced off with The Game and Angle had a short ankle-lock on Steph. It was hard to get into it, if Rousey faced an actual wrestler, I cold believe moments where she gets knocked down. But against Stephanie? Really? She takes a hit from Steph, and down like a heap of bricks! She is supposed to be a wrecking machine. We got some suplexes from Angle, bust out some great moves. Rousey forced Stephanie to tap out. Not horrible, but felt a awkward at times.

The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos and The New Day win the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships

Another decent bout, nothing special and it wasn’t like the series between The New Day and The Usos. Good match, but this was to showcase Harper and Rowan and brutes. Decent showing.

John Cena…

…Hits the ring, but then a ref says something which makes him mad. The lights go out, and Elias comes to the ring to taunt us all. Cena goes back into the crowd, but then immediately comes back into the ring and beats up Elias. Awkward segment to be honest. Cena’s music hits, he goes up the ramp when the music stops… pause… lights go out. Timing a bit off, but finally

… The Undertaker arrives.

It finally happens, and the entrance takes close to six minutes. I’m not even kidding. The match is finally underway.

And in less time than the entrance, The Undertaker SQUASHES John Cena in a matter of minutes. I’m not kidding. This was quite the statement. Call out Undertaker, and get murdered in minutes.

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon defeat Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Bryan gets the win, forcing Zayn to submit. A lot of submission victories tonight. Good match, lots of harsh bumps. Shane hit a hernia-busting coast-to-coast. What? Too soon? Bryan rallied in the end and mauled down Sami Zayn. No heel turn tonight, just Byran getting his WrestleMania moment.

Nia Jax defeats Alexa Bliss to become the RAW Women’s Champion

The most shocking part of the match is Nia’s ring gear. She’s always worn solid ring gear, but tonight, it’s 90% see-through. Mickie James gets mauled and taken out early. Jax brutalizes Bliss, who does come back with some offense with some underhanded methods, but in the end, a second-rope Samoan Drop does Bliss in and Nia Jax finally wins the Women’s Championship. Finally, WWE makes the right decision, pulling the trigger and giving Jax the title she’s deserved for a long time.

AJ Styles defeat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship

This must have been the part where someone in the back said “Okay guys, you gotta keep this slow so the final match can have a chance of being mildly acceptable.” Yeah, I’m the guy to say that. There was no excuse for this slow, plodding match. AXS TV, just yesterday aired an old match between Styles and Nakamura which is no comparison to this. Fine, the post-match had Nakamura punch Styles in the nuts and kick him senseless. Yay. Feud continues. Otherwise… sorry, disappointed.

Braun Strowman and “Nicholas” defeat The Bar to become RAW Tag Team Champions

In my predictions, I came up with the ridiculous notion that Strowman will take a small child, plop him in the corner and then win the match. Well, it happened. My insane prediction happened. I don’t care how many I got right or wrong this year, all I care about is that one of my insane, unfathomable predictions actually came true. The child did get tagged, but thankfully tagged right back out, allowing Strowman to powerslam Cesaro to become champions. Unbelievable. I laughed, cried. Not sure how I feel about what will be Strowman’s future.

Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns to retain the Universal Championship

I tried to care. I did. But I couldn’t. Is it the influence of the internet? Is it because I’m tired of seeing the same thing and being fed the same thing over and over? The live New Orleans crowd must have agreed, as CM Punk chants hit. Lots of booing. At one point something went wrong with Michael Cole’s audio, and it sounded like he was on the PA system. Various crowd chants made it clear they were losing patience. There seemed to be a lot of distractions in the crowd. Not even the multiple suplexes kept attentiveness. This novelty, has clearly worn off. I’ll be honest, after Roman kicked out of three F5s, I thought maybe Brock would go for a Shooting Star press circa WrestleMania 19. Nope. At this point, it’s just F5, kick out. F5, kick out. F5 kick out. The live crowd isn’t enjoying this anymore. “This is awful” chants radiate. Brock busts Roman open. Lots of blood. Reigns hits two spear. No pin. Brock hits another F5, and it’s finally over. The crowd jumps for joy. No, not because he won, but because it’s finally over.

Really didn’t understand some of the booking decisions tonight. Not just the match results, but how they got there. RAW and SmackDown shows after ‘Mania usually contains lots of surprises, hopefully tomorrow night we get some clarity on recent events.

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