Brock retains, the Deadman returns, & Rousey delivers in an epic Wrestlemania
Robert O’Neill: WELP. It’s 4 PM. That means it’s time for Wrestlemania 34!
Chris Novak: [Extremely Scott Hanson voice] Seven hours of sports entertainment starts… RIGHT NOW!
Robert O’Neill: John Cena is in the crowd, because he’s attending Wrestlemania as a fan. I love it.
Chris Novak: Okay! So. The Andre started things off here. And Matt Hardy won thanks to Bray Wyatt. Looks like they’re going to go with these two as a pairing, which is fine with me. Either it means that Bray will be with BOTH Matt and Jeff Hardy. OR it means that Jeff is gonna get a singles run. EITHER WAY, this works well for me. Bray needs a refresh, and working as a babyface may very well help his cause out.
Robert O’Neill: Happy for the Laughing Man!
Chris Novak: Oh, cool. Here come the cruiserweights. They get to work in front of a damn-near full crowd, because they did the smart thing and let the crowd in super early. This is fantastic, to be honest. Ali looks like Sub-Zero, which is a heck of a look. Cedric gets the dub! I thought Mustafa was gonna win, but Ceddy is far from undeserving. Crazy to think what’s happened in the last two years for him ever since that match against Ibushi at the CWC. Good for him.
Robert O’Neill: Awesome stuff. If you don’t watch 205 Live, do you.
Chris Novak: WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Time!
Robert O’Neill: Well, that was fun. I have various nitpitcks about it, but all in all it was a cool way to get everyone involved. The Bayley/Sasha stuff continued and Naomi had a surprise victory, which was cool.
Chris Novak: Made… not a lot
Robert O’Neill: BURN IT DOOOOOWWWWWNNNNNNNN. IC TITLE TIME. Here we go.
Chris Novak: Seth is a freaking White Walker. All hail.
Robert O’Neill: Why would Miz send the Miztourage to the back in a triple threat match? It’s a No-DQ match! Don’t be noble, be smart!
Chris Novak: Dad Miz is gonna do it all by himself. Okay, Finn, your entrance was awesome. Super-duper awesome.
Robert O’Neill: Really cool and important stuff by Balor. I like it. This match has also been predictably awesome so far. I don’t think any other match could have better opened the show. Rollins won after a pretty insane stretch with callbacks to a lot of other moves they’ve done in the past few weeks, and all three Shield members are grand slam champions now, so that’s neat.
Chris Novak: That was a fantastic opener. I’ll have to hum over the others, but that’s easily a Top 10 opener of all time at Mania.
Robert O’Neill: Time for ASUKA and Charlotte!
Chris Novak: Charlotte comes out on a throne to “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (her father’s theme!) and then her music plays. That entrance was so damn good. Here comes Asuka, who has 3D graphics in her entrance! They’ve got the presentation down pat so far.
Robert O’Neill: Every entrance has kicked ass so far tonight. Charlotte and Asuka are going pretty nuts. I liked Asuka countering the moonsault into a triangle choke and Charlotte doing a SPANISH FLY. Holy crap, Asuka tapped out. I’m stunned.
Chris Novak: That one will be controversial… An unbelievably good match, though. The streak’s payoff would’ve been hairy either way. They broke it the best way they could’ve here.
Robert O’Neill: A ref came down and said something to John Cena, and Cena went in a dead ass sprint to the back.
Chris Novak: I guess ‘Taker is coming!
Robert O’Neill: Jinder won the fatal four-way to become the US Champion. That was out of nowhere. Quick match. It is what it is.
Chris Novak: Alright, that’s the biggest dud so far on the card. Expectedly so. Don’t get not putting Rusev over. Anyways, Steph/HHH vs. Ronda/Angle is next.
Robert O’Neill: Triple H and Stephanie had a cool entrance. Angle’s entrance was Angle’s entrance, and Ronda looked like she was gonna kick someone’s ass.
Chris Novak: Holy shit, that pop when Ronda came into the match! What a professional wrestling match!! That was everything that pro wrestling should aspire to be. Ronda looked AWESOME in this match. The spot with her punching Triple H repeatedly was great. And then the armbar on him too! Eventually, Steph and HHH go for double Pedigrees, but Kurt sends HHH flying, and Ronda puts her in the armbar! She tapped! WHAT. A. MATCH.
Hahahaahahaha and now we get New Day-Usos-Bludgeon Brothers. What a hoot this show is.
Robert O’Neill: Yeah, I can’t believe how good that Ronda match was. That was Wrestlemania in a nutshell right there. It was a spectacle and it damn well delivered. I’m interested in seeing where Ronda goes from here.
Can we talk about the New Day’s entrance?
Chris Novak: Died laughing watching the little people in pancake suits. Okay, so… that match was abbreviated. The right call was made to have The Bludgeon Brothers win, though.
Robert O’Neill: Absolutely. Really don’t gain anything from having the New Day and Usos feud again, no matter how good it was.
Chris Novak: And… here comes The Undertaker… NOPE THAT’S ELIAS
Robert O’Neill: I WANT TO WALK WITH ELIAS
Chris Novak: Oh… welp. Uh… here comes that man.
Robert O’Neill: The pop when the gong hit is why Undertaker still comes back. Also holy shit this is happening.
Robert O’Neill: They did exactly what they needed to do. John Cena talked shit all month and Mean Mark showed up with receipts.
Chris Novak: Oh man. That Bryan entrance was special. Oh and here comes Owens and Zayn from behind! That was some fun. And surprisingly, a Bryan win! Thought that Shane would cost him the match. But! They didn’t overthink it, I guess. Alright, we’re doing Nia-Alexa next.
Robert O’Neill: Bryan got the victory but that match didn’t seem as good as it could have been. It’s not his fault though. The moments made were amazing.
Chris Novak: Hopefully this ends well...
Robert O’Neill: I liked Nia/Alexa. People complained about it but it was fine. Nia won and Alexa took a bunch of crazy bumps.
Chris Novak: Okay, sure. I guess that worked in the end. Intrigued to see Nia’s title reign from here on out. Think she can very easily be built up into a babyface monster.
ANYWAYS NOW IT’S TIME FOR NAKAMURA-STYLES!
Robert O’Neill: THEY HAVE A FULL BAND FOR HIM!
Chris Novak: Awesome entrance, with Nita Strauss of Alice Cooper performing “The Rising Sun.” Let’s sit back and watch this.
Robert O’Neill: That was fine. It was never going to live up to the expectation people had. I liked AJ winning with one Styles Clash, because he rarely does it, so it SHOULD be important and lethal. AND SHINSUKE TURNED HEEL AFTER THE MATCH
Chris Novak: THAT… that was surprising. Apparently heel Nakamura is superior. So, this should be fun to watch going forward! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. The Bar’s entrance is tremendous.
Robert O’Neill: So Braun Strowman teamed with… a child! And won the tag titles. All hail Nicholas!
Robert O’Neill: Well, here we go. Roman vs. Brock.
Chris Novak: Yeesh...
Robert O’Neill: Boy, oh boy. I have some thoughts on that main event. First of all, the crowd with their stupid ass chants got incredibly annoying in a hurry. Like, get over yourselves. Lesnar winning was a genuine shock and taking six F5’s to do it makes Reigns look strong. But you know what else makes him look strong? Winning. And capping off the story you started three years ago instead of chickening out. Is Lesnar not going to UFC now? I guess we’ll see.
Chris Novak: Got a lot of thoughts to air out here. I don’t know if all of them are safe to right now. I’ll let this simmer, and come back to it later.
Robert O’Neill: All month long it seemed like this would be an all-time great Wrestlemania. Was it? I mean, it depends on your definition. It wasn’t in the top 3, but I think you can make an argument for it being in the top 5, despite a couple bumps in the road. The first two hours were excellent, and Ronda Rousey had the match of the night despite everyone saying she wasn’t gonna be good at this. The two title matches were confusing, but I’m very excited for Styles vs. heel Nakamura. I have no clue what happens with Lesnar and Reigns now, but I’m glad that some new mid-card feuds were ignited as well. Overall, I think I would give Wrestlemania 34 a solid B.
Chris Novak: It’s a Top 10 WrestleMania for me, although the last hour really aided it in not being a Top 5 WrestleMania for me. Everything else pretty much knocked it out of the park, with only *some* questionable decisions along the way. B+ show for me.