I should have written this at least a week ago. I get lazy. Anyway, now that I have had almost 2 weeks to recover from the 20 hours of wrestling that week, now I can attempt to see things from a refreshed perspective. I don’t have to provide a knee-jerk reaction, despite that’s what everybody seems to want nowadays. Screw that. Instant gratification is only good at a pizza joint or a strip club. That is it. Normally I would be doing this review with Russ, but this is time-consuming stuff, so it didn’t happen. Anyway, my name is Kent, and this is my review of WrestleMania 34. Over on our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained we discussed this and other topics that may or may not be relevant. Please enjoy.
- Matt Hardy won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This was what you would expect for a battle royal with usual suspects eliminated early, while Dolph was being misused as is tradition. It came down to Russ and my picks of Matt and Baron. Matt got the win and I think he can do more with it than Baron could at this juncture. I just wish that this would be treated more importantly and turned into a push. Who has gotten a push because they won this match? Exactly. Still, I had fun and the crowd loved Bray’s return. I am a sucker for these types of matches.
Rating: 4.2 for guilty pleasure
2. Cedric Alexander defeated Mustafa Ali to become the new 205 Champion
This was a very good match. It’s worth rewatching and was one of the better matches on the card. Both guys did their job well and I would like to see another match between them. I wish there was more bitterness between them though. Friendly matches rarely are as good as they could be if there was some animosity. I also still don’t like Ali. Still, he put on a good performance. Thankfully WWE finally rewarded Cedric. I miss his feud with Noam Dar and Alicia Fawwwwx.
3. Naomi won The Not So Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal
I didn’t care for how this was booked. Too many unknowns in the ring that I gave zero F’s about. Most of the NXT girls were fodder but not before women who were more refined and better got tossed. It’s different when you have one or two new faces and you want to get them over. Trying to get like 6 new faces over didn’t work. Then the ending seemed lazy. I didn’t like the Naomi return. I like Naomi, but I hated how she was quintessentially forgotten and I felt the announcers could have told a better story during this. Also, what the hell was Mickie wearing? We didn’t even recognize her until the announcers said her name.
Rating: 3.0 I didn’t like this and I wanted to.
4. Seth Rollins defeated The Miz and Finn Balor to win the Intercontinental Championship
For a lot of people, this was the best match of the night, and technically, I would agree that it was. It wasn’t my favorite though. This match didn’t wow me as much as I had hoped. My expectations were too high and that is partially my fault, but we knew going into this what these guys were capable of. I think I was also disappointed in Seth winning. I like Seth when he isn’t rocking the flaming tights. I felt that this should have been Finn’s night, especially with him getting the biggest entrance of the three. This match was fine, but it shouldn’t be on any match of the year lists. It was fun, but we all know that if given more time, this could have gotten another point or point and a half.
Rating: 7.0 I cannot go any higher, and I really wanted to give this an 8.
5. Charlotte defeated Asuka to retain the SD Women’s Championship
I told you in the preview to be worried about this shit happening. They have a person who is talented in the ring, adequate on the mic, has a great look, and a lot of fan support. Then you have Charlotte who happens to be the daughter of Ric Flair. This is the single most frustrating part of being a fan the past 2-3 years. Charlotte gets handed everything just because of who her dad is. It’s sure as shit not because of her mic work. It surely isn’t because she is on some other level as an in-ring performer. She is capable, but there are quite a few better in ring. I would say Becky, Naomi, Sasha, Mickie, Asuka, Nikki Cross, and possibly Natalya. Charlotte is about as good as Alexa is, but Alexa makes up for it by being a great character and kiling it on the mic and carrying a feud. This match was a damn travesty and yet when it happened, I didn’t feel anything because this sort of nonsense is becoming the norm. Asuka deserved better. I’d rather have had Asuka vs Alexa and Charlotte vs Nia or Natalya or Naomi, or Nikki, or anybody else whose name begins with an N. Charlotte is the worst thing every week on my TV screen when Carl Grimes isn’t dying. I wish she would get released in the worst way and just be an indie queen. WWE fans deserve better…..well maybe we don’t. SIgh.
Rating: 2.0 and that is being generous. New Orleans hates streaks.
6. Jinder Mahal def Rusev, Randy, and Bobby to become the NEW US Champ
This match could have been good, but sometimes certain styles don’t mix. Bobby and Randy remind me too much of the old boring HHH vs Randy matches. I think everybody tried hard here, but I didn’t really care unless Rusev won. When it was obvious that he wasn’t winning, I felt pity on Rusev and Bobby. I will say that they did a poor job in the build-up to this match. This was practically a main event level match given the talent and how Randy and Jinder were booked in 2017. By the time the match started, there wasn’t much excitement or energy, and that is a damn shame. These guys all deserved better. I barely remember much of this match aside from Aiden shaving his head and Rusev getting the crowd pumped toward the end of the match. I am fine with Jinder winning. He carried this feud in my opinion.
Rating: 2.5 this was a dud, unfortunately.
7. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle defeated HHH and Stephanie McMahon
Here we go! I had such low expectations heading into this match. I should have been smarter. Yes, we all knew that this match had been rehearsed ad nauseum. I think that there was a group of fans that felt that 2 part-timers at best and 2 ladies who are very inexperienced could put on a good match, nonetheless steal the show. That is exactly what happened. I acknowledge that the IC title match was technically better, this was my match of the night. I was more entertained by this match than anything else on the card, and it wasn’t even close. Stephanie was the MVP for me. I am not a fan of Stephanie usually. I am always bitching that she never gets got for her character’s mean ways. Stephanie did every heel thing that she could pull off and made herself and Ronda look great. I know there has been lots of discussion about Ronda smiling. I get the logic. I also didn’t notice it and therefore it didn’t affect me in the least. This is a lifetime dream come true and she’s not going to stay around too long, as she has gone on record saying that she wants to start a family soon with her husband. So no, I will not bitch about a girl living out a dream and being happy in the process. What the hell is wrong with wrestling fans? You are the most jaded group of asshole fans out there I think. So uptight worrying about the most inane things possible. Fans buy into this mentality and they suck all of the fun out of it. Remember why you became a fan in the first place, and rest assured, it wasn’t because all you saw were 5-star classics because that has never once been the case. You sit through a lot of nonsense, but when you are new, you enjoy the ride and the stories and occasionally get treated to a great match. Stop ruining it for others!! This match was amazing and deserves credit. Honestly, if Kurt had looked remotely competent out there, I would have this higher than the IC match, but he didn’t look right. Not sure if he was sick or disoriented, but he didn’t look good out there.
Rating: 6.9 because I was truly Kentertained!!! Short kilt was also fine.
8. The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos and New Day to become the NEW SD tag team champions.
New Day’s entrance was fantastic and I love midgets. I will NOT be calling them little people because that is demeaning as hell, in my opinion. I had hoped for a better entrance for The Uso’s after the amazing year that they had. This match was short but incredibly satisfying if you like The Bludgeon Brothers. By keeping The Uso’s and New Day on SD, we can have longer, better matches. This was just the appetizer, and the stage is set so that when someone does take out the BB, it will mean something, unless it’s a BS fluke. Yes, this could have been longer and better, but I thoroughly enjoyed this match for what it was.
Rating: 5.3 I would rewatch this without a problem.
9. The Undertaker defeated John Cena
First of all, kudos to how they did this. We have to stop thinking that this is 10 years ago. Taker may look to be in good shape, but his body simply can’t go like that anymore, or anywhere close. Yes, this would have been a great way to send the crowd home, but WWE decided that a real match was more important, and they are probably right. Kudos to the way they got heat on Elias and how well he did with his spot. Kudos to Cena for being willing to job in under 3 minutes. I rarely give Cena props, so you may want to frame this. Taker really did look good. I know that this whole angle/match took a lot of time away from younger guys that worked year round, and if that is your argument, you aren’t wrong. This was special to old timers like me who have been down since Day One is H with the Undertaker. So on a 5 hour show, if Taker, Elias, and Cena take up 20 minutes, I will drink it in man. If you had a problem with this, you are not a wrestling fan. Go buy a Bullet Club shirt and show the world your lack of taste in wrestling.
Rating: 6.0 because it was super fun and entertaining. The match wasn’t great, but it was always about an angle and not the match itself. Wait, look at this picture and soak up the greatness. Yup, I am still annoyed with last year’s Mania BS so this is for wasting my F’N time last year.
10. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon defeated Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
This wasn’t bad. Shane did the bulk of the work here and I really didn’t get that. I understand what they were going for….I think. They wanted the hot tag big pop, but they could have arranged this so much better. Just have Sami and KO take out Daniel in the first minute with a big spot and have medics come out. The next 10 minutes, destroy Shane and give 2-3 moments where there is hope for Shane to make the tag once Daniel is back on the apron. Have Sami and KO really taunt Daniel, hit him off the apron, and really brutalize Shane with hard hitting double team moves. Then you hit the hot tag. It was so easy to book, but we didn’t get that. We got something, I just don’t know what it was and I cannot recall anything aside from Shane’s Van Terminator. I was very disappointed in this match and my expectations were pretty low to begin with.
Rating: 3.5 because I know it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t memorable at all.
11. Nia Jax defeated Alexa Bliss to become the NEW RAW women’s champion.
Let me start off by saying that I am a fat man. I don’t believe in body shaming, unless it’s Konnor. With that being said, Nia’s outfit was such a horrible choice given her size. I cannot imagine what the male equivalent would be, but rest assured, I wouldn’t wear it. That has nothing to do with my own self-image. It has everything to do with the fact that there are some things that the general public shouldn’t have to see. Go to any water park in America and you will see what I am referring to. Horrible outfit. Nia’s a bad ass, not a sex symbol right now, so make her look like a bad ass. She was a model and she is pretty, but this felt so inappropriate for this match given the story. The match, well it happened and it was what you would expect. I don’t remember much aside from Nia being a bully towards Mickie. I hated this match, as anticipated.
Rating: 2.1 Just slightly more watchable than the other women’s championship match. The women’s matches were terrible except the one with the 2 inexperienced girls. What does that say to you?
12. AJ Styles defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship
Man, all those indie fans were crying at the end of this one, and that brings me great pleasure. Sure, this could have been the match of the night, if not match of the year, but it wasn’t booked that way, and I am thinking that both guys weren’t happy with it because this wasn’t that great. Not great doesn’t mean that it was bad, but for the amount of time given, you expected more. I would have loved for this to be the match that we envisioned, but this was another example of why it is bad to get your expectations too high for WrestleMania matches. The best part was the heel turn and heel Shinsuke is amazing as we have seen. Had we had this dichotomy throughout the build up of this match of cocky Shinsuke showing heel tendancies, this would have been better, in my opinion. I still rather liked the match, but a 6.7 is too low for a big match like this and I feel this is pretty spot on considering everything.
Rating: 6.7 because it should have been better.
13. Braun Strowman and Nicholas defeated The Bar to become the NEW RAW tag team champions.
Oh man, where the hell do I begin with this tranwreck? Was this memorable? Sure it was. Was it any good? I say no. The Bar have been amazing for over a year now and deserved to have a good display at Mania. Their entrance was face-like. Why? That made no damn sense! I would have brought Joe back, win the titles, the next night Joe turn on Braun and have Joe get traded to SD and therefore forfeiting the belts as we had happen anyway. The tag team tournament….I mean eliminator, how stupid is that by the way, could have happened one week later, but with enough time still. Plus with The Bar traded to SD, we know who is winning that upcoming match. Poor decisions!!! I had fun during this match, but only because my friends and I were making it fun for us with jokes. This was bad.
Rating: 2.5 not much better than the women’s matches. Shame!!!
14. Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns to retain the Red Belt
This is the perfect example of why this match should never have been made. No outcome was going to be satisfactory unless Baron cashed in his Money in the Bank and pretend that August never happened. I liked this match. I really did. If you cut out all of your personal feelings about not wanting these guys in this match and just enjoy the match, it was quite good. My biggest issue was the amount of F-5’s that Roman kicked out of. 3 is the number that ended the streak. Roman is not twice the man Taker is, so this was incredibly disrespectful in my opinion. 3 should be the magic number to hit. I loved the blood spot. We needed that! Overall, this match told a good story I think. The outcome was the best case scenario. Nobody really wanted Roman as champ. I know that you wanted it off of Brock, but you know damn well that you would have preferred at least 10 other guys instead of Roman because we are sick of Roman’s build as a character.
Rating: 6.2 I enjoyed it and don’t feel bad for saying it.
Overall, the Kickoff Show averaged a respectable 4.23. The main card averaged 4.7. The whole show averaged a 4.6. This is a fun number. Let’s remove the 3 all women’s matches and we get an average of 5.21. This is why I laugh at the Women’s Revolution. They have the talent but are still booked terribly. All the more reason why the Greatest Royal Rumble Ever may be the best main roster PPV of the year due to no women’s matches. Sure the outcomes for several matches are pretty well determined after the Superstar Shakeup, but that doesn’t mean that the matches can’t kick ass. I really enjoyed the Wrestlemania. The bad existed, but rarely killed the show. The 7 hours of it, that killed the show. Seriously, have less matches! Have some matches on Saturday during the day. Then those people can be in the Battle Royals to still get the Mania pay. Have tournaments on Saturday to determine things. I know some tournaments happened, but they felt meaningless. There are ways to get Mania down to a 5 hour show, so let’s do that. Even the most ardent wrestling fans are exhausted by the end. Hell, that’s one of the main reasons I won’t go to Mania 35, despite it being just a few hours away. That and rumors of Charlotte vs Ronda main eventing. Seriously, if they do that, I am so going to give that show the most scathing review I have ever given. One final thought. If you go to WWE.com and click on shows and scroll down to WrestleMania, you will see their big picture featuring Charlotte, Ronda, Brock, and AJ. It was there in our faces all along. They spoiled it and we never even knew it. They told us of the upsets in that logo, but we were too dumb to notice it.
I am about to show a lot of pictures that I got right from wwe.com. I want to say that I fear many of you wouldn’t check these out, so I want to post them. Please, go to http://www.wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania and check out all of the various galleries. I love this stuff! They did a really great job. Some are Instagram pictures, some are black and white, some from the Hall of Fame. Obviously, I do not own the rights to any of these pictures, and I strongly encourage visiting the WWE website for more and of course to subscribe to the WWE Network.
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