The 36th annual WrestleMania marked the first time the “Super Bowl of sports entertainment” was broadcast over two nights. Due to the MADNESS it was filmed at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL SANS live audience.
I knew going in that this year’s WrestleMania wasn’t going to be an over-top spectacle like it normally is, but it still seemed strangely FLAT. Simply put, it lacked ENERGY. The wrestlers most certainly “brought it”, but there was very little color commentary (Where the FUCK was Gronk?) and no cheering/heckling from the sidelines (Where the fuck WAS Gronk!?!). I reiterate: Where the FUCK was Gronk during the matches? If he was ringside the whole time why weren’t we hearing from him? What a waste of his talent and personality. It would’ve been great having him join Michael Cole as a Commentator. I blame WWE for this mis-step.
As far as the matches themselves go the women of WWE provided the most entertaining, energetic, and loudest matches of the two-night event (Winners in BOLD):
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: The Kabuki Warriors (C) vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (Cross has enough wild energy to power the states of California and New York – combined!)
- RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (C) vs Shayna Baszler
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5-Way: Bayley (C) vs Sasha Banks vs Naomi vs Lacey Evans vs Tamina
- NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (C) vs Charlotte Flair
My next favorite match was the Triple Threat Ladder match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship, with reigning champion (along with The Miz) John Morrison defeating Jimmy Uso (of USOS) and Kofi Kingston (of New Day) , thus retaining the belts for himself and The Miz.
Saturday night ended with the Boneyard Match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles – with ‘taker putting Styles 6 feet under!
The other five matches were anticlimactic for me – especially the WWE Universal Championship title match between Braun Strowman (last-minute substitution for Roman Reigns) and Goldberg (C). That one was way too short.
I was upbeat about Sunday’s matches, but only two stood-out:
- Otis vs Dolph Ziggler – with Otis winning the match AND the girl (Mandy Rose).
- Last Man Standing which pitted Edge (winner) against Randy Orton. This was a grueling fight that took us backstage, around to the main stage, then behind-the-scenes once more for the grand finale.
I was very disappointed in the Firefly Fun House match. I expected “The Fiend”/Bray Wyatt (with the help of his creepy little “friends”) to subject John Cena to something more twisted and perverted than what transpired. Yawn. (Although I LOVED the Vince McMahon puppet, complete with horns.)
I opted-out of the main event [Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar (C) for the WWE Championship belt] in order to watch this week’s episode of Westworld.
(There’s always next year – where WrestleMania 37 will take place in Hollywood!)