The WWE hit the big D for the thirty second edition of the wrestling extravaganza which is Wrestlemania. Despite a large amount of injuries throughout the year, the card looked pretty stacked. Expectations were high, could it deliver?
I didn’t watch the pre-show because I honestly didn’t care enough about a multi woman tag match which sole purpose was to promote Total Divas, a Ryback match and a meh tag match. So here’s a picture of Lana to fill some space and for research purposes.
Intercontinental Ladder Match- Kevin Owens v Sami Zayn v Dolph Ziggler v The Miz v Zack Ryder v Sin Cara v Stardust
This match can only be called a mishmash of competitors, with stars like Stardust, Zack Ryder and Sin Cara thrown in to make up the numbers (or so it seemed) due to all the injuries. Regardless of all that it naturally turned into a really well performed and booked match.
All seven of the men got to show something in the match; we got a furthering of the Zayn/Owens feud, Miz was as charismatic as ever, Stardust got some cool Dusty spots, Sin Cara did a bunch of crazy flippy shit spots, Ziggler is made for these types of matches and Zack Ryder stole the show.
Some of the spots were outrageous, like the suplex onto the ladder which seemed to kill Owens, the Sin Cara springboard senton to the outside off the ladder, Ryder’s elbow drop from the top of the ladder and the Dusty ladder. There was never a moment of peace in this match; it was total nonstop, which makes for a great spectacle when you put seven talented guys in the ring together.
The ending was perfect as well, Zayn taking out Owens only to be foiled by the one true heel of wrestling the Miz, who is so cocky and arrogant that he takes his time getting the title because he thinks everyone is down, only for Ryder to push him off and grab the belt. It’s ridiculous to think that until Neville got injured that Ryder wasn’t even meant to be in the match and they then booked him to win it all. It was cool to see his dad come into the ring for the celebration, although I have to wonder where the Big O was…
For me it was the best match of the night, but more than that, it was the best booked match of the night, sadly everything for the rest of the night was a bit downhill from here. Cool moment for Zack Ryder who was super over with the crowd and showed that with a tiny little push he could be a huge star, I’m sure that he’ll be back to catering in a couple of months.
Chris Jericho v AJ Styles
It was a good match (third best of the night) but my god why the fuck is Jericho winning? It just makes no sense, why would you give the guy who doesn’t need the win the win, when the other guy is new into the company and you’re trying to build them up? A good match sort of ruined with bad booking.
I can’t help but think that this is a case of Vince doing the whole you lose before you win thing, just in case they do a CM Punk and leave without any of his WWE guys going over, however when they have paid so much money for Styles, it seems ridiculous that they would then feel the need to make him lose a feud against a part timer.
The League of Nations v The New Day
The first thing that bothered me about this match is how they took Barrett out of it. What was the point? It wouldn’t have changed the ending to the match, and it would have stacked the odds more against the New Day.
The New Day got to come out of a massive pack of Booty O’s which was pretty cool. Odd to think that really only the New Day and Triple H got a big fancy entrance using props. It was also adorable when Rusev came in and started kicking the Booty O’s all over the place, stupid Booty O’s they ain’t no tank!
The match was ok but not that special, again the ending was just odd, the New Day should have got the win as it would help propel them further in their new face turn, instead the LoN got it off the back of some dirty tactics.
Things only got odder when the LoN challenged any three man team to come down and take them on as they were the best ever, only for Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin to show up. I marked out hard for them coming down to the ring and beating up the League, great nostalgia. The problem being that it’s nostalgia, you’ve just buried four of your top guys to make a group of old men look great, it makes the LoN look like chumps and worse than that it also make the New Day look like chumps because they couldn’t beat a group who just got beat up by three retirees. It’s no wonder that the WWE can’t create any new stars when at every time of asking they get jobbed out to a bunch of Attitude Era has beens.
The New Day then got in the ring and encouraged them to shake dat booty, Foley naturally obliged cause he’s funky, Michaels did some weird grinding and Austin did an old man dance before fucking it and stunning Xavier Woods. Then it was beer time! I enjoyed it, it just doesn’t make sense when next week these three guys won’t be anywhere near the ring an you will want the other seven to be major parts of the show.
Brock Lesnar v Dean Ambrose
Talk about a damp squib… Really disappointed with this matchup, thought it could steal the show but it ended up doing the opposite and was basically a glorified squash match. They’ve built Brock up so much that he’s essentially undefeatable, but that is ok because they can use these matches to build others up in a glorious defeat…except they did the total opposite here.
Ambrose hasn’t been elevated from this match at all, Brock didn’t even bother using weapons throughout, which means that even with weapons Ambrose wasn’t anywhere near Brock. Just a really disappointing match, the ending was fine because an F5 onto a pile of chairs shouldn’t be kicked out of, but Ambrose should have put up more of a fight beforehand.
Women’s Title- Charlotte v Becky Lynch v Sasha Banks
The second best match of the night contained three women, who weren’t even on the main roster this time last year, what does that tell you? All three women did a great job in what was a really rough looking match, it wasn’t quite as smooth as you’d have hoped but I’m being picky. The moonsault to the outside was awesome, as was Ric being taken out by Becky.
Another good match which was sort of spoiled with some bad booking, I can’t help but think that either Becky or Sasha should really have won the match as it would have propelled them to the next level, but the person who needed the win the least got it… Bit of a pattern emerging.
I didn’t like the ending at all, Charlotte took a Becks Plex off the top rope, a super finisher, yet was back in the ring fresh as a daisy to split up the Banks Statement about ten seconds later… The Ric Flair pulling Sasha back out the ring so she couldn’t break up the submission was fine, but I can’t help but think the match would have been better with a clean finish.
The Undertaker v Shane O’Mac
Holy fuck that was an awesome spot from Shane to finish the match, to jump off the Cell to an announce table was fucking crazy. This spot alone made the match special; it is one of those which you will see again and again. You really have to give it to Shane; he really leaves it all out there, especially when you consider how long ago it is since he was in the ring.
The match itself was ok but not great; it seemed to have no fluidity to it at all and was a spot fest, which is fine when some of the spots were great. The biggest issue with the match was what was its point? The whole reason for the match was that Shane was coming back to take control, yet by losing this match this will no longer be the case…so…what now? If this was all just filler because of injuries then there is a serious problem with the booking again, four out of six of the biggest advertised matches contained part timers. How do they expect to get anyone to the next level when the younger guys don’t get a chance of being in the top spots? If it all ended in the Shane character being reintroduced, and then it would all be worth it because it would extend a storyline, instead it’s filler for people trying to relive their past glories.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Terrible match which inexplicably ended in Baron Corbin winning. In a night of terrible booking, this is the one which made the least sense. Good for Corbin for getting a big win, but he’s not ready for the main roster and if he goes up now it will hurt him hard in the long run.
This is the match which was hurt the most with the injury crisis; they had to invite DDP, Tatanka and for some god knows reason Shaq to fill up the spots. What makes it worse is the two guys who got the biggest pops were probably Fandango and definitely Damien Sandow who got jobbed out by being eliminated first.
They should have either given the win to Heath Slater or Bo Dallas for being guys who are really good at their jobs and have it or Mark Henry because it’s his last Mania and it is in his home state. It seems crazy that in a night of not putting young talent over at all they then decide to put a guy over who isn’t even on the main roster yet.
The Rock Stuff
The Rock comes out with a flamethrower for some reason and announces the made up attendance record, then the Wyatt’s come out (lights looked amazing) to remind me they haven’t actually been on the card (I had forgotten). It was such a weird segment as both men cut really good promos and Rock and the crowd put Bray over huge, only for Rocky to challenge someone to a match.
In what world does it make sense that Erick Rowan would be the one to step up to the challenge? Why wouldn’t Bray want the big match at Mania against the Rock? It doesn’t make any sense at all, until you realise that the Rock is going to beat him in six seconds…
How will Bray ever become anything when they consistently make him look like a total joke? Once again a young talent is buried by a part timer and a guy who is barely recovered from an injury. I enjoyed the segment because I like the Rock and I’m sure the crowd enjoyed it too, but why is the WWE sacrificing long term booking for short term pops? It is senseless booking and once again a massive head scratcher, and if you’re counting that’s the ninth odd piece of booking of the night.
WWE Title- Triple H v Roman Reigns
I decided to sleep on it rather than write this review after having watched this match, but my opinion hasn’t changed whatsoever.
Triple H’s entrance was cool but why is he coming out first when he is the champion? Made all the worse when you consider that the champions came out second in the other two championship matches. When Reigns did come out to a chorus of boos (somehow more unpopular than last year), it was further proof that the WWE can’t book a show for shit, this shouldn’t have main evented (Shane Taker should have).
I like the idea that because Mania is on the network that there isn’t a time constraint to it, however by the time that this match was ready to start it was something stupid like four hours and fifteen minutes into the show. Which if you were at the event meant that you had probably been in the stadium for over six hours…six hours of wrestling and disappointing booking… It’s almost as if they booked the show so poorly in the hope that they would deenergise the crowd into not booing Reigns, it didn’t work, so they went to plan b and just muted the microphones instead.
It says so much about the way they’ve booked themselves into a corner with a performer who is so disliked that they have to mute the microphones during his big match over the group of people that pretty much everyone dislikes. It’s pathetic.
The match was shit (Reigns has no ring psychology and his moves look like shit [could someone please teach him how to hit a fucking clothesline?]), Triple H worked Reigns the entire time only for Reigns to come back and get the win anyway. There was the big spot through the barricade and Reigns spearing Stephanie (they’ve officially done everything to try and get him over) and yet the boos still rained down.
Another thing which really bothered me was the actual ending, which made no sense at all. Reigns does his stupid I’m going to spear you noise and then just starts running the ropes, only for Triple H (the apparent cerebral assassin) to run at him with a sledgehammer straight into a spear like a fucking idiot, it was like something you would do in a computer game with the AI obliging to take your finisher, just really fucking stupid.
I don’t think you should give the audience everything that they want because it can become boring, however to give people something which you know they desperately don’t want and then to proceed and shove it down their throats again and again, is just infuriating. Things like this make me want to not watch anymore, and I can’t help but think that I will take a break because I’m just fed up. It probably won’t happen but they really aren’t making me want to tune in and watch their product.
About five minutes into the match it was obvious what was going to happen, it was 4.30 am where I live and I thought to myself ‘I’m not in bed to watch this, and I just don’t really care anymore.’ It’s sad that I wasn’t into the main event of the apparent biggest Wrestlemania ever, and it’s even worse when you consider what fantastic finishes Wrestlemania 30 and 31 had, this was the total opposite.
I’ve never really liked Triple H but my dislike for Reigns, the booking and generally where the show is heading is so much that I was openly supporting him. Yes ridiculously enough the best result for the WWE here was for the Attitude era part timer to go over the young up and comer in the final match, says everything about Reigns, who shows that as long as you have a pretty face and know the right people you can really get anywhere in life. If they don’t turn him heel soon, it will go down as one of the worst pieces of booking in wrestling history.
Bad match, terrible booking.
Wrestlemania 32 can be summed up perfectly with good matches but terrible booking. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that none of the matches were booked well, and worse than that they managed to put over either the wrong person or a bunch of part timers at every turn possible. Either the audience is totally wrong or the people writing the show are, one of these two is totally deluded.
The show was way too long and it hurt the product in the end, the way the crowd had the life dragged out of it by the length of the show was odd, only surpassed by the even odder practice of muting the crowd because they aren’t doing what you want them to do, which is sad because the crowd can make an event even more special but not when you’ve disgruntled them all night and for months prior.
The stadium was brilliant and the stage was very minimalistic, which is a nice change from the monstrosities which they usually put out there. It really could have been one of the best Wrestlemanias ever, the wrestling was certainly there but when you book the show so poorly and the main event is that damn terrible it is hard to not come away from the event feeling deflated.
Much like the event it’s been a long review, and much like the event it ended on a down note of negativity. So why not take some time and share your thoughts on what you thought of Wrestlemania 32. Will Reigns get a good reaction from the Raw after Mania crowd? How long will Ryder’s intercontinental championship reign be? Is the women’s title really just a cheap looking rip off of the men’s title? Are you too threatening to stop watching only to inevitably continue on unhappily watching? Leave a comment and share those angry feelings.