We had ourselves a helluva Wrestlemania! Titles changed hands, heroes were booed, villains were cheered, blood was spilled, and tanks were ridden into battle! I’ve had a chance to rewatch the event in its entirety in the week that’s passed, so I’m ready to put some thoughts out there. I’m not going to go through every single beat of every single match. There’s plenty of websites for that note-by-note stuff. I’m only one man dammit! Instead, I’m gonna run through my thoughts and comments on what ended up being a spectacular event.
-Still mad about BOTH the Tag Team Title and the Battle Royal matches being pushed to the pre-show. Way to make it a five hour event, WWE. I swear I had better things to do.
-Speaking of time, those entrances took forever. Sting had an Asian coalition of drummers. HHH was a freaking Terminator. Rusev arrived IN A GODDAMN TANK. I’m not saying I hated those entrances, but they took up some time. But I don’t think John Cena needed some “AMERICA’S FUCKING AWESOME” video package. Especially one with G Dubya in it.
-Our IC ladder match didn’t take as long as I’d expected/hoped, but it was the best way to open the show. Daniel Bryan comes out first and then WINS, with he and Ziggler wrapping the match on top of the ladder. Everyone’s happy from the get-go. Well, everyone besides Dean Ambrose, who took a vicious bump through a ladder.
-Let’s talk about that Stinger – Trips match, shall we? As much as 12 year old me loved all those old dudes wrasslin’ in this throwback match (and that’s exactly what it was), the ending sucked. HHH uses the sledge and gets the pin on Sting in what could be his only WWE match ever? Look Vince, we ALL KNOW you beat WCW when you bought them out. Letting them win ONE match at Wrestlemania isn’t the end of the world or your ego. Dick. Of course Vince wouldn’t let the face of WCW win over his son-in-law. Sting BETTER be fighting Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 or I have NO idea why they brought him in.
-Speaking of the Stinger, I now know why his hair is styled the way it is these days. He’s not full-on Costanza, but dude’s going bald. At 56, there’s no shame in that.
-I don’t like Kevin Nash getting top HoF billing over the Macho Man.
-Orton’s RKO on Rollins was a perfect example of two great workers pulling off something spectacular together.
-Lana threw a shoe. And it was adorable. She literally “threw her shoe into the ring.” And then stood there like nothing happened while on her bare feet. Alas, the internet has failed me, because there is no GIF. (If you find one, send it my way.) Instead, let’s look at this Cena Stunner off the ropes.
-The Divas match was pretty solid, I must say. It told a fun story and had the crowd going at times. However, with the news that AJ Lee has retired, it makes me wish that it had been a fatal-four-way even more.
-Stephanie McMahon is the best heel in wrestling today. Of this I have no doubt.
-When The Rock comes out, you rest assured that his segment will take at least 20 minutes with several long-winded pauses. It’s great, but he definitely takes a note from the Shatner school of acting.
-Ronda. Rousey. Judo. Toss. On. Triple. H.
Seriously. Look how hard HHH sells that throw. It literally looks like he gets kicked by a ghost after he takes the bump. It’s the only way to explain the motion he makes.
-The Rock and Rousey Rebellion (early idea) isn’t done though. Rumors of a tag team match versus HHH and Steph for Wrestlemania 32 are already running rampant. Maybe that gets moved to Summerslam and is paid off a little sooner. (But the latest talk is Ronda vs Stephanie in a SINGLES match. Oh boy.)
-The Undertaker was in great shape. Way better than last year’s gaunt shell of a man. He actually looks like he’ll live until next year in Dallas.
-Wyatt vs Taker was worth it for this exchange alone.
-The final match was perfect. Like, mind-blowingly so. Reigns and Lesnar came out and beat the living crap out of each other, like the way boxing heavyweights are supposed to but always fall short of expectations. This? Met ALL expectations. And it gave way to the best thing to come out of Brock Lesnar’s mouth in uh… ever.
Reigns took his ass-kicking and wanted more, giving him a little credibility in a loss. Then he gave back to Lesnar, busting him open. Bleeding all over the place, Lesnar was “wounded” but still a beast. Blah blah blah. And that led to several near finishes before…
And let me tell you something else that’ll blow your mind:
THE WWE HAD THIS ENDING PLANNED ALL ALONG.
Seriously, what would have changed in the months since Roman Reigns was mercilessly booed at the Royal Rumble? Nothing. WWE was going to have Seth Rollins cash in all along, even if they didn’t tell him until mid-Mania. It’s been obvious for months. Brock Lesnar’s contract almost had no impact on this ending. Seth still comes in and after failing to pin Lesnar, gets the win over Reigns. With Lesnar still in the fold post-Mania (after a suspension gives a reason for his absence), that just gives them a slew of possibilities.
I went into this year’s Wrestlemania thinking it could be decent, but that it couldn’t possibly achieve greatness. Looking back on the event a week later, I can honestly say I was wrong. Wrestlemania 31 was one of the best Mania’s in recent memory, and has a solid shot at cracking the top five to seven of all time. If you haven’t made the time, go watch it again. You’ll be utterly entertained.