Wrestlemania 35 Reaction
By: Justin Hopkins
We got a lot to get into so I will make the intro quick, and a little bit of a heads up. Due to just how much there actually was to at Wrestlemania last night, I am not going to go into every match, but my top three, with a handful of Honorable mention moments. If I tried to rundown every match, this wouldn’t be a blog, but a short story. So, just a little heads up on the change.
I am not going to lie, kind of eating my words this morning. Didn’t have the highest of hopes going into this event. After some serious bad story-telling decisions or overall lack of stories for some of these matches. Had to really hope for some great matches, and they gave just that and a hell of a lot more. Turning what I thought would be a lackluster Mania, into one of the best. Lets jump right into things with the pre-show.
I almost thought the worst right from the start when the lead off with the Women’s Battle Royal started off on the wrong foot. There was several stand out moments from Zelina Vega, Dana Brook, and a returning Ember Moon hitting the eclipse from every possible vantage point. They gave us such a twist, by having the favorite, Asuka, being lasted eliminated by Sarah Logan. Appearing to be start the night off with an unexpected victor for someone who deserves the push, only to pull the rug out from under us, by having Carmella enter behind her, having hide out by ringside the entire match, and win the match. Taking away from an actual pop from the fans and a way to say that anything can truly happening. Doubling down by using the exact same tactic in the Andre the giant battle royal, by having the SNL guys do the exact same thing to end up against Braun Strowman who decimated them to end the comedic segment between the three. Match was at least entertaining watching Strowman plow his way around the ring, and am glad to see Luke Harper back in action, and hope he gets a decent push of some kind, or team him back with Braun. Both of which are more than capable of putting on excellent matched. The real star of the Pre show was easily the Raw tag team title match, between Cut Hawkins and Zac Ryder vs The Revival. A match that wasn’t even on the card until Wednesday and thought it was a joke, but once it got going, was far from it. Often forgetting how talented Ryder is and the longer the match went, the more Curt took center stage. The prospect of him finally winning after a defeated 269 losing match streak began to build and the fans got behind him and was a great moment to see him pick up the win for the team. Didn’t feel like the Revival getting buried, but giving a workhorse, who has done everything that has been asked of him, a Wrestlemania moment.
Before I delve into my top three matches, going to give out a few honorable moments, because there was so many moments that were great and it was generally difficult to just select 3. Starting off, with The Miz vs Shane. This was storytelling to a T. Miz being driven by pure emotion the entire time, and Shane just goading him along. The Miz Dad getting involved and Shane tormenting him by setting up his fighting stance was gold, and the superplex off the scaffling was something to behold. Shane getting the win only because of the way they landed was a great way to carry the feud forward. Definitely looking forward to the re-match. Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins was a great way to kick-start the event. Fast and to the point, but set the bar for the rest of the way. The return of the Doctor of Thuganomic was always a welcome sight and great callback, and finally, The Kurt Angle Farewell. I was legitimately surprised to see not only was it actually, Corbin, but Corbin getting the win, but I understand why. Kurt’s way of passing the torch to the next generation, by putting over a younger star. Especially, a heel, which is where Kurt shined the brightest in his career. It has been a privilege to watch him throughout his career, and am hope he finds happiness in retirement.
My number three for match of the night, was the fatal four way for the Women’s Tag team championship, between Sasha Banks and Bayley defending against The IIconics vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs Nia Jaxs and Tamina
I really was nervous about this one going in. From Nia and Tamina botching constantly, to Beth being rusty, and these types of matches being difficult to pull off in general, but these ladies brought their A-game to the match. High spots and double team moves pulled off to perfection. Moments throughout that really had me second guessing who was going to win, and the Glam Slam looked so incredible off the top that I didn’t even see the tag from Billy, and was so lost when the switch came and utterly elated to see the IIconics win the straps, from just being better on the Mic and the fresh matched that will come from this, especially if you pit them against the Riott Squad.
Second match of the night, The Main Event Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch
Sticking to what I said leading in, this story didn’t need Charlotte to get to the main event and dampened the emotions going in by having her apart of it, but the match itself was simply spectacular. These three women went at each other with all the hate in the world. At times, it was just two of them slugging the hell out of one another, and the baseball slide from Becky to an upside down Ronda was a hell of a sight, but that was far from the highlight. Becksploder off the top rope, and a spanish fly from the top that I was sure would be it. Trading submissions right and left and a quote of Ronda shouting Tables are for bitches had me howling. The only thing that stopped this from being match of the night, was the ending. No reason to end with controversy. Ronda needed to lose clean and show Becky as the definitive Champion. Other than that, this historic match blew away all expectations and set the bar for matches to come.
Number one, and should be no surprise, WWE Championship Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston
This is how a match should be told. You had a top-notch Villain and an underdog tale of the ages. Kofi coming in with an explosion of fast high octane moves and Daniel came back and slowed it right down. The crowd hanging on to every shift in emotion and not enough credit can go to The New Day outside of the ring. Their emotions and reaction to what was happening in the ring and cheering on their team member along. Willing him to get back up and fight added so much more. Despite me predicting Kofi, never in a million years did I think he would actually pull it off and when the three count came and his arm was raised. You felt the emotion shared by all members of the New Day, happiness and excitement that has been sorely lacking, and am thrilled that Kofi Kingston has his time to shine with the WWE Championship, and can’t wait to see what happens on this Smackdown.
Now my negatives, and one is more nitpicky than the other. The first being the Triple H vs Batista match. Honestly, this would have been a perfect match for Triple H to retire one. Wrestling a friend, while his best friend watched from ringside. His parents were there and made a point to show them taunting Batista. The Batista Bomb with Triple H holding on to the sledge all the way would have been an iconic moment. Match at times tried to be more brutal when it had to be with the toolbox, but would have been better had Triple called it a career on. Felt more like a moment lost than anything else.
Next, this event ran way to long. From Pre-show to Becky winning the belt, was seven and a half hours. It was so long and had so many emotionally charged moments that you become exhausted and it was too long. The matches between Kofi holding up the belt to the main event were just blah, because you were exhausted. How do they solve this problem, I have no idea. Would say nix a battle royal but then you have a ton of talent doing nothing, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed eventually.
This was definitely a top-notch event that was wildly more exciting than the story lines going in and it’s all thanks to the amazingly talented roster they have. I can not wait to see where things go from here and am genuinely thrilled with the new Champions being The IIconics, Kofi Kingston, and Becky two belts. Final verdict, 4.5 stars out of 5.
Thank you for reading