Wrestlemania XXXI happened, and it is now over. And I can't help but wonder why the WWE waits until now to really bring a truly entertaining feel to it's product. Well, duh! It's Wrestlemania - the biggest show of the year! I know, I know. It's almost like the "It's Wrestlemania" is an overall answer to any of wrestling's questions of curiosity.
Nonetheless, it's no secret that I haven't been thoroughly into the WWE product for sometime now. But Wrestlemania XXXI pulled me back in with a fantastic show. Despite the frustration of the company shifting gears in urgency in entertaining it's fans (at least in my opinion), I'm on board again. After all, it's Wrestlemania season, time to deliver. And they did. They so did.
Here are some other thoughts from the biggest wrestling show of the year:
- The one thing I'm sure the WWE must love about having its own network is the ability to lengthen Wrestlemania out into feeling like an all day affair. Almost on-par with the Super Bowl, the event now has pre-game, video packages, and a slow build to the opening bell. After the show, I noticed I just gave Vince McMahon five hours of my life. Well played, sir...well played.
- First thing's, first - the set! Ahh the Wrestlemania set! It was nice and tremendously big as always. Not the best set (last year's was amazing!), but when it comes to production, WWE is king.
Also, I know some may disagree, but outdoor stadiums and wrestling is really cool.
- The Tag Team Title match was a nice start to the day on the pre-show. However, the fact I don't care for any of the teams involved says much about the WWE product connecting me prior to tonight's show. Especially, New Day...talk about an awful gimmick! Regardless, this was a fun little opener. I still don't understand the connection between Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, though - whatever.
I hate when WWE makes Big Show seem threatening once in a while, then for several weeks he's crying on my television on Raw.
— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) March 29, 2015
- Next up was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This is actually a really good concept to have on the pre-show. The match was OK, especially since one really believed only a few would really win. I didn't really care much for the whole Miz/Sandow split since I miss Sandow in his heel persona as the new-age Genius. But that's just me. Overall, nice visual with Big Show, this generation's giant, picking up the win and the HUGE trophy.
- The opener for the Intercontinental title (Gosh, I severely miss Howard Finkel announcing that) was an absolute car wreck! You knew this going in, and it's amazing how these matches still can surprise.
I'm a fan of Daniel Bryan ever since his days in ROH (after all, he's the 2008 DP Wrestler of the year), but I have to be honest, is he himself over, or do fans cheer for him because they like chanting "YES! YES!" and throwing their arms in the air, and thus simply connect the saying to him? Also, it's hard for me to digest the thought of the guy who ended last year's Mania on top of the world, being the same guy opening it by winning the secondary championship.
Speaking of ladders, kudos to Dean Ambrose! That was a sick spot.
Nonetheless, it's looks like WWE is going to put some stock into the midcard titles. I'm excited for that. Having some of the former title holders with Daniel Bryan later on was a nice touch in doing so. And just so Mr. Steamboat knows, it's "OoooooOOOoooh Yeaaaaaaah!", not "WHOOAA Yeah!" Come on man.
- I was a fan of the Rollins/Orton match. I'm also a big fan of Orton as a babyface. I know, I'm in the minority. But truly, I can use words to describe this match or I can do so with the follow gif:
Yes. Holy smokes.
- Ah yes, Sting vs. Triple H. Or, as Vince McMahon would probably like me to say, Triple H vs. Sting. You know, WWE comes first an all. I'll be honest, this whole thing never clicked with me from the beginning. The whole thing just felt like a forced story to get Sting and Triple H at Wrestlemania.
Why did Sting really come to WWE? Why is this WCW's revenge per say? When will the Monday Night Wars end?
And sure it was cool to see the NWO vs. DX, but why is the NWO coming to Sting's defense? And maybe I was the only one, but X-Pac's face when the NWO theme hit looked more like confusion than surprise. It was rather hilarious. These are my boys! Those are my boys! Ahh!
X-Pac is confused. lol #WrestleMania
— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) March 30, 2015
As for the entrances, Sting's entrance was weird. But it still seems WWE is trying to put their stamp on Sting, a persona well built without their touch. The Asian band and music didn't fit. Just my opinion. As for Triple H's terminator entrance, it was cool and super corny at the same time. Not sure how else to describe it. For me, the "special" entrances just didn't fit here in this feud.
Ehhh....I get it's entertainment. But sometimes less is more. Two dudes who want to kick each other's asses don't put together videos.
— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) March 30, 2015
The bottom line, it was entertaining. The Sting and Triple H handshake was a nice touch but was also very confusing. Why would Sting shake the hand of man who just belted him in the face with a sledgehammer? Sure, why not? OK, so is the war NOW over?
- I'll take the heat on this one, but I enjoy the musical performances at Wrestlemania. Especially, when it's the official song of the event and not something random. Plus, Skylar Grey is pretty cool.
- Rusev's entrance at Wrestlemania was absolute boss! The tanks. The anthem. The whole Rocky IV vibe was really, really, cool. It's just a shame we knew he was going to lose. After all, who didn't see that coming?
Regardless, this was a really good contest with Cena busting out a spring board stunner mid-way through the match. I'm guessing that Cena saved that one in the chamber for this Wrestlemania. I'm looking forward to seeing what he shows us in Texas for Wrestlemania 32!
- Cruising along in this show and it came to slow and screeching halt with the whole Rock and Ronda Rousey segment. Boy was this long. I have to say though, kudos to Stephanie McMahon who has been absolutely terrific as of late in her role. Just tremendous.
While I think we're getting to the point where The Rock is now becoming less special as of late because he only endorses others as some sort of political wrestling figure head, it was still nice to The People's Champ. For me, having Rousey hip toss Triple H, who sold that like a champ, was the highlight of this segment. But the mere arm hook on Steph before letting her go was a bit anti-climatic.
- Undertaker rocking the American Bad Ass look was really cool. It actually got me thinking how awesome it would have been if he did resurrect the character for this match, especially following last year's record-breaking loss. Riding in on the motorcycle for Mania would be awesome. Keep rollin', rollin', rollin! Heck, I'm sure Limp Bizkit can use the pay day as well with a live performance.
|Courtesy: WWE Network|
Regardless, this was a very good match. I think many in attendance and at home had the same feeling of concern for Taker's health throughout the match rather than simply letting go and enjoying it. In any form of entertainment, watching a legend in his latter years is always tough. In the end, Taker picks up the win and puts last year's memory behind us all. Should be interesting to see where Bray moves on from here.
- For the record, can everyone stop saying and pushing "Wrestlemania Moment". When it happens you will just know. No need to claim it.
- And of course, it was the main event. And all I can say is, "Suplex City, Bitch!" is the best thing probably ever said in the history of wrestling! OK, maybe a bit overboard on the hyperbole, but this was too damn funny. Brock Lesnar has been absolute gold since returning the WWE.
This was a great story told with lots of physicality, and got even better when Seth Rollins decided to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase. First ever at Wrestlemania. First ever to do so to turn a 1-on-1 contest into a triple threat match.
This was just the absolute right move, and really leaves plenty of options moving forward that are very intriguing. Rollins relationship and history with Reigns. PO'ed Brock Lesnar wanting his championship back and never being pinned. Reigns having his moment cut right out from him. And somehow, I'm sure John Cena fits into this, because, he always does.
So yes, I'm back, and invested in the WWE product. Because of Wrestlemania? Sure. Absolutely! Because it's Wrestlemania! That's all that matters. The WWE definitely delivered, and it should be very interesting to see where they head going forwards.