Rasslin Roundtable: WWE Wrestlemania 31 Exceeds Expectations (Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, The Rock)

WWE Wrestlemania 31 surpassed expectations! Here is a special Rasslin Roundtable reviewing the event.

CB

Solid WrestleMania because at the end of the day, ROMAN REIGNS LOST baby! If Reigns won Mania would have been knocked way down for me, and so I have to bump it up for the Rollins cash in.

Also, The Ronda Rousey appearance with The Rock was outstanding, and I hope they do something at SummerSlam since I have tickets.

Penny Sautereau (@PennyOfHedon )

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That ending saved the match! Reigns doesn’t get crowned but Lesnar saves face by not directly jobbing to anyone. Epic.

Bullshit finish with Taker/Wyatt. Wyatt is a full-time guy and a hard worker that’s hella over. Lesnar never needed the rub of ending the Streak. Wyatt however deserved it. It pisses me off that Taker will job to a roided up shaved ape who shows up when he feels like it but not a good dependable young guy who busts his ass every week.

I was shitting on that Tripsy/Rock segment as a glorified Raw Promo until Rousey got involved. The Samoa Joe-esque chants she got were gold.

I still think Sting should have gone over. Period. And nostalgia pops aside, NO ONE ELSE needed to come out during this match. It should have stayed one on one. That Terminator entrance was Tripsy’s cheesiest one yet. The Taiko drummers for Sting were sweet tho.

Let NO ONE ever again say the Bellas can’t work after that beautiful textbook Double Springboard Suplex they pulled. And props to Brie for taking that bump to the steps. Nice to see them let the women show off properly.

That Ladder match seemed way too short. Did Ambrose get legit hurt? It felt like they suddenly rushed the ending a bit after that. Nice to see some Air Brodie to show everyone why Luke Harper belongs there though. The lads crammed a lot of sick spots into that 15 minutes.

There were SO many moments in that battle royal that prove UnCreative doesn’t understand the audience it’s writing for. Mizdow should’ve gotten his miracle spot.

Brittney Soban (@Brittney_Lynn22 )

WWE World Heavyweight Title

Brock Lesnar (c) w/Paul Heyman vs. Roman Reigns -I loved this match. Reigns took a beating, showed his toughness and a never quit attitude which he’ll need to get the fans behind him down the line. Lesnar showed his brute strength. The wildcard of Rollins cashing in, mid-match, to make it a Triple Threat and then curb stomping Reigns for the win was just insane in the best way possible. My only question is, with Lesnar recently resigning, what kind of rivalry will we see in the aftermath?

Sting vs. Triple H – This Wrestlemania a lot of legends were milling around backstage and making cameos but having DX and the nWo come out mid- match was pretty great. It felt like the Monday Night Wars again. I was unhappy with Sting’s loss but the show of respect at the end made the whole thing feel a little less hurtful to see Sting fall to Triple H.

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt -I am so happy that Undertaker won. Let’s face it, if he had loss it would have done two terrible things; 1. discredited Lesnar’s win last year (if Bray could do it who else could besides Lesnar?) and 2. it would have discredited the entire streak. Wyatt put up an awesome fight, these two gave a good show and, even though he lost, this match will do wonders for Bray Wyatt’s career.

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins – This match was great. We saw a bit of high-flying offense from Rollins, we saw some hard hits from Orton, curb stomps and RKOs. We saw J&J security get taken out as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking it but that last RKO, holy hell that was amazing. Orton popping out of the curb stomp, sending Rollins into the air and hitting that RKO was a moment that had better go down on all highlight reels.

US Title

Rusev (c) vs. John Cena – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Cena works hard and, whether you’re tired of his character or not, you have to respect how much of himself he puts into his matches. I was happy to see Rusev’s first loss finally take place, I was surprised at the bump Lana took when Rusev ran into her and I’m glad it has set up a nice rivalry for these men. Rusev will not lose quietly.

AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) – I’m glad AJ Lee & Paige won. I am not okay with how short the match was. They could have given them AT LEAST 10 minutes. Instead, the Divas were given six minutes. Instead of letting all the Divas shine AJ was knocked to the floor a lot, and we saw a lot of showboating from Nikki. The victory I’ll take, the match itself, while not bad, could have been better.

Intercontinental Title

Bad News Barrett (c) vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Stardust -First of all, who else freaked out when Harper threw Amrbose onto that ladder and it very clearly broke in a way no one was ready for? I would like a status update on Ambrose at the moment. As for Daniel Bryan winning, and for the rest of the match, it was overall a great show to watch. However, I knew from the second that Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler were up on the top of the ladder, headbutting each other, that Daniel Bryan would win. A good win, a good consolation prize for anyone who felt Daniel Bryan should have been in the main event but it was still just a good match, not as show stealing as I expected from a ladder match.

Pre-show:

Andre The Giant Battle Royal – Moving this to the pre-show hurt interest in the match. The highlight for me was Damien Mizdow taking out his former employer, the Miz, before nearly defeating The Big Show for the win. If he had beat the Big Show it would have been 10X more interesting and awesome for me, however, it is time for Big Show to have won a battle royal match. The big guys almost never win, the fact that he finally did makes me think his time was due but I definitely would’ve preferred Mizdow, (or can we call him Sandow again?) to win.

WWE Tag Team Title Match

Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day – A pretty good match, one that surprised me as they showed off each of the teams, however briefly. Not the greatest fatal four way but Cesaro and Kidd retaining is a way to show the world they are a team that is there to stay.

Brian Mitarotondo

WrestleMania was about as good as it could have been, considering the questionable booking leading up to the big show. Even the matches on the Kickoff were entertaining.

The tag team title match was a spot fest, as expected, but very entertaining. Glad to see Kidd and Cesaro go over here.

The Battle Royal was a waste of time. Did The Big Slow win just for the photo op with the trophy? The Mizdow turn should have ended the Battle Royal.

The IC Ladder match was a fun train wreck. The bump Dean took on the ladder outside the ring looked nasty. DB winning was predictable. At least BNB didn’t retain. And seeing Ziggler race up the ladder time and time again was much better, and more believable, than watching professional athletes struggle to climb a ladder.

Rollins can have a great match with anyone, but you would think that after all these years in the ring, Randy Orton would learn how to sell a move. Rollins was hitting some pretty impressive moves, and Orton no sold almost every one. It really made Rollins’ offense look weak. Orton’s win seemed to increase the chances of a cash in.

Sting and HHH was a hot mess. If this is Sting’s only WWE match, he shouldn’t have bothered. For me, this hurt his legacy more than it helped. There is no way he should still be in the ring. With that being said, the WWE made a smart decision including DX and the NWO. First of all, any excuse to get Shawn Michaels on WrestleMania is a good escuse. Secondly, having all of those broken down old guys “fighting” outside the ring took the focus off of the broken down old guys “fighting” in the ring. HHH getting the win was inexcusable though. Don’t get me wrong, from a realism standpoint, of course HHH would beat Sting in a fight. But if there ever was a time to suspend disbelief, it was for this match. Sting should have gone over, if for no other reason than to not have to come back again next year just to get a win in WWE. And the handshake was complete bullsh*t.

Not a bad match from the Divas. I was a little surprised to see AJ and Paige get the win, and not turn on each other. And for the record, Brie Bella is horrible.

It was funny to hear the crown flip the alternating cheers/jeers when Cena and Rusev were slugging it out. Cheering for the Russian over the American? That his how much John Cena Sucks. And how is Cena making Rusev crush Lana to get the win supposed to make him look like an American hero?

The Rock’s segment was pure gold. That fallopian tube line was WWEs line of the year. Nice touch bringing in Rousey to get physical with Steph. If the WWE could get her in, even on a part time, Brock schedule, that would be tremendous for the company.

Taker going over against Wyatt was a mistake, in my opinion. Wyatt looked weak and scared throughout the match. This may be the end for his character as a monster heel.

The main event was great. Brock looked as dominant as ever. Reigns didn’t get the upper hand until the ring post busted Brock open(if the blood wasn’t planned, it was certainly a happy accident). Rollins cashing in went perfectly. Great spot to end it with the spear on Brock while he had Rollins up.

For as much (well deserved)bitching as we all did leading up to WrestleMania, I think it ended up being a very good WrestleMania in the end. If nothing else, at least Reigns didn’t leave the building with the title.

Darren Paltrowitz

The main event was excellent. I am hoping the crowd reactions to Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins as fan favorites tell the WWE that some changes need to be made.

The ladder match for the Incontinental Title was also excellent. A lot of dangerous spots in there. Glad to see Daniel Bryan get his time again, as it looks like that belt will mean something again.

John Cena was surprisingly fun to watch, for me at least. I am glad the U.S. Title is also getting elevated again.

Sting and Triple H were entirely saved by the NWO and DX cameos, as the match was otherwise a dud. Considering that Sting and the NWO weren’t ever at peace (as far as I recall), the logic of their participation was not there. Also, X-Pac was in both of those groups.

The official Mizdow face turn was a step in the right direction. It was fun to see Axelmania gets its resolution.

Ronda Rousey was a great surprise, but that segment dragged. I think she is so popular in her own right that she didn’t need The Rock.

Bray Wyatt did the best with what he was given. I really think The Undertaker needs to stop. Sure, he can do his trademark moves and he is in excellent shape, but he isn’t too convincing as a threatening big man in 2015.

The tag team division needs a reset. The Prime Time Players got over in the past. A New Day has a lot of potential as heels. The Lucha Dragons could get over beyond NXT.

The Divas also need a reset, since there is so much talent waiting in NXT, yet a Bella still has the belt. But AJ Lee and Paige absolutely did their best to put on a watchable match.

Four hours is a lot to watch, when considering the pre-show, but I enjoyed this year’s Wrestlemania a lot more than the past few.

Philip DiGiulio

Hello John, these are my Mania thought for the roundtable,

What was said by many to be a Wrestlemania that lacked interest due to poor build turned out to exceed these low expectations profoundly. The outdoor atmosphese gave the event a unique aesthetic. The main event absolutely made Roman Reigns as he literally took everything Lesnar could dish out with a smile on top of busting open Lesnar and delivering forceful strikes and kicks. Seth Rollins cashing in the briefcase ought to have been seen coming from miles away after his loss to Randy Orton but was a a genuine surprise. Ronda Rousey being the Rock’s backup will likely make headlines and was done perfectly. The Undertaker looked tremendous in being able to pull off all of his signature moves and his match with Bray Wyatt exceeded expectations. The Bella Twins vs Paige and AJ Lee wasn’t much, but the double blockbuster to the outside delivered by Paige to both Bellas would be the highlight.

John Cena busting out a flying springboard stunner was unexpected and he had a perfectly fine United States title victory against Rusev. Triple H vs Sting featured the long awaited Dx vs nWo encounter many have been wishing for since WCW was purchased by WWE, which made the match epic. Randy Orton beating Seth Rollins in a match that pulled out all the stops leaves Orton in the title picture with Seth as champion now. The Intercontinental Title ladder match was an exciting opener with the unbelievable powerbomb Luke Harper performed to Dean Ambrose through a ladder on the outside, Bad News Barrett bullhammering half of his opponents, the exoatmospheric-starbird ladder Stardust had and the headbutt war between Bryan and Ziggler being the highlights. Hopefully Brryan will be given the chance to restore the IC title to it’s former glory.

On the the preshow, The Andre the Giant Memeorial Battle Royal packing in the entertainment with Bo Dallas’ victory lap and a renewed rivalry between The Miz and Alex Riley. Speaking of The Miz, the breakup between himself and Mizdow had the correct timing and Damien Sandow was elevated in the final exchange with the eventual winner The Big Show. Impressive Tag Team title match with a smart finish as Cesaro steals a win from Jimmy Uso, retaining the titles for himself and Kidd. Thanks for the Wrestlemania WWE, you have our attention, please don’t mess this up!

Steve Berkman (@Sbfantom)

WWE continues to dangle carrots in my face to keep trotting along like the mule that I am.

I went into this ‘Mania without any hype because of how poor the build was. Most of the matches delivered in spades, but that still doesn’t absolve them from the atrocious television builds they gave us.

Poor Hideo Itami. It’s great that they give an NXT talent time on ‘Mania but when you take a step back and see how it was done, what’s the point? He’s no more over than he was before and half the live crowd doesn’t know who he is.

The IC ladder match was of course a fun clustermess. Dean Ambrose might be dead and he’s probably ok with that. Bryan picks up his first IC title and if they can’t re-legitimize it with him, the belt is officially dead.

The evil BulgaRussian Rusev has finally been felled at the blade of John Cena…after he made him run into a 100lb woman. Face tactics from your hero, as usual. It’s full circle with Cena and the US title but the question becomes how does Cena lose the title to someone in the midcard?

The divas match had no turns or swerves which surprised me. Wonder where that division goes from here?

HHH and Sting was the bad kind of clustermess. Just schmoz on top of schmoz for 100 years of wrestler to get their jollies. Then you involve the entire NWO and DX groups and have Sting split the sledgehammer with his bat. Is his bat made of sword? Couldn’t manage a single splinter on the fake breakaway sledgehammer, guys? Also shout outs to HHH spending plenty of money on his own terrible entrance. Seriously, terrible.

Wyatt/Taker confuses me. Wyatt beckoned the dead man back then cowered when he appeared. He cowered again when Taker sat up while Wyatt crab walked at him. Then he lost. So much for the new face of fear? Two losses in a row for a young talent at Wrestlemania.

Roman was made to look resilient, but not very strong. When Rollins made it a triple threat I was convinced Roman would pin him instead of Lesnar or something but instead we have a new WWE champion, who will be around more than once a month. Plenty of story built into this situation. Months and months of it. There’s a good chance wwe blows it in the span of two weeks. Roman looked confused at times in the ring, like he didn’t really know where to be. Mostly because he doesn’t know where to be.

All in all a fun show and enough to keep me around for a while. I’ve watched Tyler Black evolve into WWE champion Seth Rollins and I want to see where he goes from there.

Matthew Gerber

Great swerve in the main event. Much better than I thought it would be. Overall a great ‘Mania!

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