Wrestlemania 32 from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX has come and gone. 101, 763 fans jammed packed into the stadium…Wrestlemania will sell out regardless of the card. This show had plenty of potential when first announced, but a rash of injuries caused major changes. It was a show I was planning on attending since it is only 4 or 5 hours from where I live. But with that being said, I am glad I watched on the WWE Network instead. On paper, it wasn’t a very convincing card, and it certainly lived DOWN to that hype. The WWE booked themselves into a corner in just about every match on the card except for the Women’s match. Expectations were low going in, curious booking choices aside, those low expectations were met. This is not a recap!
FIRST OFF, this show was LONG. I am talking about full Raw plus pre-show tapings and dark matches long. I am talking “Titanic and Gone with the Wind” long. Titanic is kind of a fitting description for this show, it seemed doomed from the start. Kickoff matches started a little after 4:45 central time and the main event ended at 10:50. A 6 hour show…that is crazy! All of the matches received plenty of time, which is always a good thing, so nothing was rushed…AT ALL.
The attendance graphic received 2 mins of screen time, theme music, and pyro. WWE was in no rush at all last night
Booking decisions left people scratching their heads. The pacing of the show felt pretty good and the placement of the matches was spot on. Opening big with the IC title ladder match to get the crowd going early was a smart choice. Placing the Andre the Giant Battle Royal after Hell in a Cell was perfect to give the crowd a chance to breath before the Rock segment and the Main Event match. More on that later. The matches themselves were good, but there were no 5 star matches on the show. However, nothing on the show came in under 3 stars in my opinion. Everything was basically average except for the Women’s triple threat match which was very good.
The endings of a lot of the matches were just off:
- Zack Ryder winning the ladder match and the IC title, a feel good moment for long time fans of Ryder, but a head scratching moment for fans in general. Maybe this is finally the long awaited Ryder push, but it felt like it came out of nowhere. Most thought Kevin Owens would retain or Sami Zayn would finally get that big win.
- Chris Jericho winning was weird. It didn’t hurt AJ Styles, but it is like the never ending feud. Styles won 2 out of 3 between the Royal Rumble and Fast Lane. Why is the feud continuing is unknown. With no added stipulations or titles on the line, they have basically shown us all they can in matches with each other. On a side note…Jericho is a step slower due to age and just doesn’t look to be in the best of shape
- The New Day losing to the League of Nations was weird, when The New Day has beaten them countless times leading up to Mania. Also making it a 6 man tag match and not for the titles was also weird. Also leading up to Mania, I was under the impression it was a 4 on 3 match.
- Charlotte winning the Women’s championship wasn’t that big of a deal. The fact a new belt was introduced and is considered brand new title changed the dynamic of the match. Charlotte went from defending the Divas title, to all 3 women competing for the Women’s Championship for the first time.
- Brock Lesnar winning was the right call. Lesnar hasn’t been pinned since Wrestlemania 29 vs Triple H. He broke the streak at Wrestlemania 30. So when someone does finally pin him, it should be a huge deal. Ambrose wasn’t going to be that guy, especially in a mid card match about nothing. So I guess my issue with the match isn’t the finish, but the match even being made.
- Undertaker vs Shane McMahon was booked into a corner with stipulation after stipulation being added. Shane controlling Raw was cool in theory. He was basically going to be an on-screen commissioner, with no real backstage power. People wanted someone new in charge, but didn’t want the Undertaker to lose , especially to a non-wrestler like Shane. Undertaker was going to look stupid losing to Shane, but the entire feud is made pointless with Shane losing. On a side note, my two friends, casual fans at best, first comment was about how old the Undertaker looks and moves. In my book, the worst match on the card.
- Triple H vs Roman Reigns had to end with Reigns winning. Nobody seems to want Reigns as champion, but honestly nobody wants Triple H as champion either. Matches like this are the reason I can’t label Triple H one of the all time greats. This match had the Triple H vs Jericho feel to it similar to Wrestlemania 18. The Rock segment before it with the Wyatts and John Cena was better of closing the show. This also had the feel of Triple H vs Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 25. All of the hatred before the match, and they wrestled a standard technical match. The no DQ rumor turned out to be false for this match. So the match was tame compared to Hell in the Cell, the ladder match, and the streetfight. Reigns won a simple by the book match.
The show had plenty of fun moments:
The only spot that mattered!
- Shane taking the crazy bump off the cell was guaranteed to happen. The match was a one spot match basically. Getting out of the cage makes no sense whatsoever since the match can’t be won outside of it. Shane basically putting himself through a table from the top of the cell was the spot everyone came for. It’s a nice visual, that doesn’t make the match good by any means.
- Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley answering the call after the League of Nations defeated the New Day was a Wrestlemania moment to remember. Stunners and Sweet Chin Music for everyone. HBK even put on his wrestling gear for the segment.
- The Rock main event segment was entertaining. The Rock had promised two surprises and breaking records for months. Speculation went from the Rock helping Reigns win the title and then being used to turn Reigns heel, to the Rock being the 4th man to help New Day vs the League of Nations. Neither of those options were record breaking or really big surprises. The Rock showed up and announced the attendance record. Ok that’s a record. Midway through this segment I noticed the Rock had on wrestling boots under his windpants. Bray Wyatt and family come out and interrupt the Rock. The Rock is ready for a MATCH…Erick Rowan is fed to the Rock in 6 seconds. Another record! (This is most likely due to the fact the Rock probably can’t take any bumps). Wyatt’s looked poised to get revenge as they surround the ring, OUT COMES JOHN CENA to even the odds. Cena and Rock clean house!
If the Rock and Cena segment with the Wyatts had been extended to an actual tag match, that was a better place to actually end the show than Reigns vs Triple H. The loudest the crowd was all night, and the fans seemed thrilled. The main event lacked that energy.
Which moment would have closed the show better?
The show was what it was. On paper it was average and didn’t make sense, and in execution that is exactly what it was. That problem is more a creative issue than anything else because everyone on the show worked extremely hard in every match. Outside of Reigns and the Women’s match, the rest of the show seem to have been booked for the show itself not with the future in mine. Wrestlemania is supposed to have moments that are exclusively for Wrestlemania. The Austin, HBK, and Foley segment is a prime example of that along with the Rock segment. Fun feel good moment that have no ramifications the next night on Raw. Matches like Ambrose vs Lesnar, Styles vs Jericho, the New Day match and the Undertaker vs Shane aren’t supposed to leave us feeling like “ok, what’s next for these guys?” Is this worst Wrestlemania ever? No! Reigns winning isn’t that bad. The actual wrestling on the show was pretty good. This wasn’t worse than, Wrestlemania 2, 4, 4, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, or, 27 just to name a few. The creative ideas sucked in most cases, but the overall work of the Superstars was pretty good.
It’s my opinion, it’s my take, it’s just me sounding off!
Tags: wrestlemania 32