It’s been a few days since this spectacle and I’m still in awe. I don’t know how they did it, but I have to tip my cap here to Vince McMahon and the creative team.
Against all odds, they put on a very entertaining 36th Wrestlemania. For those who don’t know, this event was supposed to take place at Raymond James Stadium home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Obviously, due to the current COVID-19 situation, those plans changed. Instead of being in Tampa Bay, they hosted Wrestlemania at their performance center. They pieced it together over span of a couple weeks to ensure full safety of their superstars. Those superstars then got to enjoy the two-day event from home just like us fans.
For me, it was going to be a question as to how WWE was going to create an experience that is half predicated on the crowd. After watching on Saturday and Sunday night, I can no longer doubt the Chairman and CEO on decisions with his back against the wall.
Despite all the praise…I still have to say there were some dislikes. None of them include the Boneyard Match between Undertaker and Aj Styles as well as the Firefly Funhouse match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena. Those were absolute masterpieces! I won’t be overly critical because who knows what will happen post-Mania, I guess we will have to see.
Things I loved
- Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre winning the Universal/WWE Championships
This has to go right to the top. One of my biggest gripes with their decision making is having part timers holding major titles. Brock Lesnar has been doing that for years. I understand he’s box office but he can have an impact without holding the title. Goldberg gets the same treatment but to a lesser extent. He works legit 2 matches a year. There was no chance he wasn’t losing the title at Wrestlemania. Bottom line is the way McIntyre and Strowman won. They dominated Lesnar and Goldberg! McIntyre kicked out at one after the first F5. That was something! Braun ate 3 spears before he just power-slammed the hell out of Goldberg. I ate allllll of that up!
2. Edge’s win in his first match back
This story was the best build-up leading to Wrestlemania. This tugged at the heart strings the second Edge’s music hit during the Royal Rumble. Him and Randy Orton showed their instant chemistry and it showed from the first conchairto starting the feud, to the end of the last man standing match giving Edge his first victory in nine years. The raw emotion from Edge at the end during the final conchairto on top of the production truck was incredible. Edge didn’t want to do it but you could see that he had no choice. It was the perfect way to rebuild Edge after being away from wrestling for nine years. Kudos to him as well for not looking like he missed a beat either! That’s grit.
3. Kevin Owens defeating Seth Rollins
Admittedly this was my personal favorite feud because Kevin Owens is my favorite wrestler in WWE today. The feud between him and Seth Rollins was a long, drawn out rivalry stemming at the conclusion of Survivor Series. It got somewhat personal there towards the end where Rollins called KO a failure on the biggest stages. Ultimately, KO got the victory and had the best spot of the entire show jumping off of the Wrestlemania sign crashing into the announcer’s table where Rollins was laying knocked out by the ring bell.
Things I Disliked
- Charlotte winning the NXT Championship
I’m probably in the minority here when I say I didn’t like this outcome. I don’t understand taking Charlotte away from Raw due to her status on the card. It’s the 3rd show so sending her “down” to NXT to build future women’s wrestlers doesn’t seem feasible to me. I see a John Cena case where I believe she buries a ton of talent. Hopefully I’m wrong.
2. Becky Lynch retaining the Title vs Shayna Baszler
Trust me when I say I love Becky Lynch. She’s been nothing short of amazing since her coming out party during the Survivor Series build up in 2018. I didn’t like the outcome because now she’s legitimately beaten everyone on the card now defeating Baszler. Selling the next feud for me is tough because in my mind, Baszler is at the back of the line. They spent the time from the Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania building up Baszler only to have her lose? It just didn’t sit right with me.
3. No fans
This might seem like a cop out, but I can’t help but think that the fan reaction would have had a significant impact on how these matches played out outside of the Boneyard Match and Firefly Funhouse match. It’s super unfortunate but all of us were robbed of watching some great spots and potential great fan reaction memes.
Again, WWE and the superstars were excellent as I cannot stress that enough. However, I can’t get the sour taste out of my mouth not watching 60,000 or so react to taking in Wrestlemania. I also think of the Roman Reigns/Goldberg match where Reigns backed out due to health concerns. Granted Strowman won which I wanted, but he was going to win regardless vs Goldberg. We were also robbed from a potentially great Smackdown Tag Team Titles match due to it becoming a triple threat match.