It’s here. WWE’s Super Bowl, Wrestlemania, has arrived in Orlando, FL. This is where legends are made, feuds come to conclusion, and immortals are crowned. Tonight, Seth Rollins looks to slay the king in an unsanctioned match against Triple H. Will he get his revenge? Brock Lesnar looks to claim championship gold from Goldberg on the biggest stage. Does Goldberg still have his number, or will the Beast get the better of him? Bayley and Alexa Bliss both walk in with championship gold in the women’s divisions, but face a number of foes. Will Bayley hold off Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, and Charlotte in an elimination match? Will Bliss survive the Smackdown women’s division as Naomi, Mickie James, Natalya, Carmella, and Becky Lynch are all coming for her. The full card is as follows:
- Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman); WWE Universal Championship
- Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton; WWE Championship
- Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax; Raw Women’s Championship under Elimination Four Way Rules
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, and Mickie James; Smackdown Women’s Championship
- Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens; WWE United States Championship
- Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin; WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Sheamus and Cesaro; Raw Tag Team Championship under Ladder Match Rules
- Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries; WWE Cruiserweight Championship
- Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker
- John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse
- AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
- Triple H vs. Seth Rollins in an unsanctioned match
- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale
Pre-Show, Airing on WWE Network;
Renee Young checked in and welcomed the rest of the panelists. It’s Booker T, Shawn Michaels, and Jerry Lawler for this show. She sent it down to the social media lounge, where Charly Caruso and Maria Menounos checked in. Paul Heyman is slated to join them later. Sam Roberts then checked in from the floor of the stadium.
They went back to the panel momentarily before feeding it to a video package to hype the Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt match. The panelists discussed it, with Shawn focusing on the fact that Orton has always had this darkness but it has just come to the surface. Predictions went Michaels and Booker picking Randy, and King picking Wyatt.
They moved on to preview AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon. King put Styles over as one of the best but said Shane would have to do something unbelievable. Michaels said he saw Styles and he was calm and collected. Predictions went all with AJ Styles.
They thanked Metallica for providing “Am I Savage” as a theme song. Renee fed it into a video package to highlight the Triple H/Seth Rollins feud. Renee said she is concerned for Rollins’ health. Michaels said Rollins either wins this or he’s “done.” He will forever doubt himself from that point forward. Booker emphasized the “non-sanctioned” aspect of the match and how rules could be bent or broken. King said there are people in the locker room ready to do Triple H’s bidding to stay on his good side. All the panelists picked Triple H.
They aired a Final Fantsay 14 video game trailer.
Renee fed it down to Peter Rosenberg, who walked out on the stage to provide a different perspective on the stage and the ramp. He called it the biggest ramp ever at 80 yards.
They moved on to discuss the United States Championship match between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. Booker said it’s always about the championship but noted there is a lot of animosity between the two. Predictions went Booker going for Owens, and King and Michaels taking Jericho.
Renee noted both women’s championship matches, then talked about the sold out stadium and the diversity of the crowd. Lita checked in on the panel, taking the place of King. They talked about the women’s matches together and the fact that many of these women were NXT products from just down the road.
They talked about how the odds are stacked against Alexa Bliss. Michaels put the women over for taking the women’s division to new heights and noted that this is where most of these women started. Michaels picked Nia to win the Raw title because of how different she is. Lita picked Bayley, and Booker took Nia and said it’s her time. Booker took Alexa on the Smackdown side, Lita took Naomi, and Shawn also went with Alexa.
They moved on to preview John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse, then made their predictions. Time for action!
Match #1 – Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries; WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Winner: Neville to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
The Reax: Nothing particular standout or special for the entrances here. Noteworthy that the stadium is fairly full already, unlike last year in Dallas. Big “Austin Aries” chants as the bell rings. There was some early posturing and stalling before they tied up. Aries used a nice arm drag takedown but Neville quickly flipped over into a head scissor.
Aries flipped over onto Neville, who bridged up. Aries looked for Last Chancery but Neville escaped and rolled to ringside. Aries perched on the buckle and waited for him. Moments later, Aries charged and hit a corner uppercut then threw an elbow drop off the ropes. Neville rolled outside and Aries set up a dive. but Neville delivered a boot to stop it. Neville perched on the ropes and delivered a drop kick going to break.
They recapped action during that break, where Neville had taken control of the action. Neville looked for a 450 but Aries rolled out of the way. He fired off with strikes, a gutbuster and a pendulum elbow. Neville tried rolling Aries up but Aries held on, then back dropped Neville to the floor. Aries followed up with a double axe handle and a suicide dive for two.
A bit later, Neville hit a pump kick on Aries in the corner. He perched Aries on the buckle, threw a strike then went to join Aries. He set up a superplex but Aries threw strikes to the midsection. Aries knocked Neville, but he landed on his feet. Aries threw a big missile drop kick for two.
A bit later, Neville threw a hard snap German suplex but couldn’t capitalize right away. Aries tried to throw a second but Aries landed on his feet. Neville countered a forearm with a kick then hit a bridging German for two. Neville threw a couple stomps in the corner. Neville dragged Aries to the middle of the ring and tried for Rings of Saturn but Aries reversed it to a pin. Moments later, Aries threw a discus five arm that sent Neville to ringside. Aries went out to retrieve him.
Neville threw an enzugiri from the apron then went top rope. Aries met him there for a big huracanrana, then followed with a 450 splash for a good near fall. Aries immediately rolled into the Last Chancery. Neville raked the repaired eye of Aries to break it then hit the Red Arrow to win.
Bill Says: A great opener with strong plays by Aries to win, but I like Neville staying with the belt for now. The 450 splash into the Last Chancery was a good sequence though. There’s a story to be told in the chase as I said on Ring Rap Audio, and I think there’s mileage left in having Aries chase the belt a bit longer. That German suplex bump was ugly.
They sent it back to the panel, who raved about the match. Shawn said he enjoyed the match while eating a big pretzel. Renee hyped a free trial for WWE Network and Booker hyped some of the matches on the card. Commentary team entrances took place in the background. They ran an ad for WWE Network.
Top of the 6PM hour, Renee did a reset of panel welcomes for people joining the show now. Time for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale!
Match #2 – Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale;
Winner: Mojo Rawley
The Reax: Talent in the match made their entrance while Big Show’s music played. Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL were on the call. Braun Strowman got his entrance individually. Immediately one of the Shining stars went packing, then Kalisto and Gotch weren’t too far behind. Heath Slater got tossed out by Braun. Show sent Goldust to the floor, then Konor.
There was a staredown moment between Braun and Big Show. Sami Zayn jumped Strowman and everyone went after the two big men. Strowman sent Big Show out, then Viktor. The rest of the competitors ganged up on Strowman and sent him packing.
They highlighted Killian Dain and Tian Bing being in the match still. Truth took a run at Ziggler but missed, eliminating himself. Simon Gotch got sent out, then Curtis Axel. The Usos, Jason Jordan, and Chad Gable are all out of the match. Breezango got dropped out, and Sin Cara dumped to ringside by Mark Henry.
Tian Bing was eliminated, then Sami Zayn sent the other Shining Star to the floor with a Helluva Kick while he was perched on the ropes. Ziggler keeps hanging on, but Luke Harper is there to try and shove him to the floor. Mojo sent Bo Dallas out. Apollo Crews got sent packing, then Mojo Rawley sent Ziggler to the floor.
Five men left – Dain, Zayn, Jinder, Mojo, and Titus. Sami sent Titus to the floor, then Dain eliminated him. It’s Dain, Jinder, and Rawley. Dain and Rawley went at it one on one, then Jinder duped Rawley out through the ropes and went out to assault him on the floor.
Jinder and Rob Gronkowski from the Patriots faced off. Jinder threw beer in his face and got in the ring. Gronkowski crawled over the barrier and was initially stopped by security but got in the ring. He took Jinder out with a shoulder block. Later, Mojo tossed Dain over the ropes, then battled at the ropes with Jinder. Eventually, Mojo sent Jinder to the floor to win. Gronk got in the ring to celebrate with him.
Bill Says: This was chaotic, so my apologies for the coverage on this. Gronkowski is a star player for the New England Patriots, so, WWE will get some crossover attention for this one. Mojo isn’t a big deal winning this one, but getting Gronkowski to make an in-ring appearance is a big deal. I threw my picks away on this one. Never saw this coming.
The panel hyped the Network again, then hyped Paul Heyman for the social media lounge for later. Back from a short interruption, the panel previewed Goldberg vs. Lesnar for later briefly. They sent it to Sam Roberts for a brief comment, then talked about Rawley winning the Battle Royale.
After some brief hype for Goldberg and Lesnar again, they went to the Social Media Lounge. Maria Menounos tried to introduce Heyman but he cut her off and did his own introduction. Heyman took questions. He said there’s no way tonight that Lesnar will lose to Goldberg and put Lesnar over as the greatest. He gave credit to Goldberg for a great championship comeback but Lesnar will win tonight.
They moved to preview Ambrose vs. Corbin for the Intercontinental Championship. They put it over as a big match for both men. King pointed out the size difference between the two men. Michaels put Corbin over and talked about how he has upside. They talked to Peter Rosenberg momentarily, then sent it to the ring for the IC title match.
Match #3 – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin; WWE Intercontinental Championship
Winner: Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Reax: Again, no special entrances for either man. They recapped the feud while Corbin made his way to the ring. They recapped the finish of the Battle Royale before the bell rang. Corbin went right at Ambrose with clotheslines. Ambrose escaped a charge then hit a dive to the outside. The two battled at ringside momentarily. Ambrose tried a bulldog but Corbin shoved him off. Ambrose slid under the ropes and into the ring post.
Corbin controlled the offense with strikes. He threw Ambrose to ringside then threw him into the barrier. Ambrose tried for Dirty Deeds but Corbin cut him off. A bit later, Ambrose avoided a charge then went top rope. Corbin countered the top rope move and covered for two. They set up a superplex but Ambrose fought his way free. With Corbin down, he jumped, but Corbin got out of the way. Ambrose floated over. He teased Dirty Deeds, then ended up ducking a Corbin charge.
At ringside, Corbin missed a charge and ate the steps. Ambrose followed with a flying elbow to the floor. Back inside Ambrose threw strikes then landed a clothesline. Corbin cut off a charge but Ambrose came back with a swinging neckbreaker for two. A bit later, Corbin cut off the wacky line then hit Deep Six for two. Corbin threw punches.
Ambrose slapped Corbin then hit the Wacky Line. Corbin cut off Dirty Deeds with a powerbomb. Corbin got frustrated. Corbin taunted and threw strikes, then tried to hit End of Days. Ambrose countered and hit Dirty Deeds to win.
Bill Says: I think a lot of folks were surprised this match ended up on the pre-show and it seemed the crowd was flat for it. I really thought this would be one of those matches that would stand out on the card but it felt somewhat underwhelming. I really thought they would go with Corbin winning here and create the big moment, but we’ll see if something happens on Tuesday’s show.
The panel discussed the finish of the match, then did some shilling for WWE Network. The panel came back live to discuss the Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker match. They went to Peter Rosenberg among the fans and he said the match is the one the fans have been talking about. They went to Sam Roberts who said Reigns has put the fans out of his mind despite the possibility he might get booed. They then ran a video package that focused on Undertaker, but hyped the feud.
Wrestlemania 33, Live from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL:
Tinashe, a recording artist (sorry, just not familiar), sang America the Beautiful from the ring. We got a flyover from military jets afterward. They moved on into a video package focused on fans coming from all over to see the event, centered around the theme of “the ultimate thrill ride.”
New Day made their way out to a pretty good reaction. They wore their ring gear and rode the ice cream cart to ringside. It’s Cole, Graves, and Saxton on the call at the moment, and Cole introduced various foreign announce teams. New Day’s gear was Final Fantasy themed. “Wrestlemania!” Woods yelled into the mic. He said that the company looked at a lot of people to be the hosts. The fans were ahead of the “who?” bit and Big E asked who were given the call. Kofi said that it was “your boys, New Day!”
Woods hyped the card and said the talent would engage in battle for your enjoyment. Kofi said there would be enjoyment, joy, and so much energy that you might have to blow your nose on your neighbor’s shirt. Big E threw an innuendo joke out there then said it was time to pull the lever for the ultimate thrill ride. They led a “New Day Rocks” chant. Cole hyped that the first match would be from the Smackdown brand.
Match #1 – AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon;
Winner: AJ Styles
The Reax: We got a video package to build to this match. Shane got the first entrance to a good reaction. JBL said Shane would go to any limits to win. Styles got a good reaction to his introduction too. Early taunting from AJ, as he yelled “I’m going to embarrass him.” The two exchanged some holds early.
In a rope running sequence, Shane jumped over AJ which led to some “ooh!’ from the crowd. AJ snapmared him down then taunted. Shane and AJ then engaged in some mat wrestling, with Shane rolling AJ up for a two count before Styles escaped under the ropes. The fans applauded the sequence. Shane took his turn taunting.
Styles got in the ring and asked if they were going to fight or wrestle. AJ threw a right hand, which triggered a flurry of shots from Shane. AJ got in a shot to the throat then dumped Shane to ringside. Styles followed with a sliding drop kick that sent Shane over the announce position.
AJ kept up the offense back inside the ring, working kicks and strikes. AJ played to the fans then hit a splash in the corner for two. The two started firing up and throwing strikes at each other. AJ tried a springboard but Shane tripped him. Shane started working some jabs and punches followed with a flying shoulder tackle and a suplex.
Shane followed with something resembling an Angle Slam (the announce team acknowledged it) for two. Styles came back with a neckbreaker on the knee but couldn’t capitalize. A moment later, AJ rolled Shane over into the Calf Crusher. Shane countered over into a rear naked choke, then into an armbar. He then rolled it into an omoplata. Both to their feet, they hit simultaneous clotheslines and sold.
Moments later, AJ draped Shane over the top rope then set up from the apron for a 450. Shane adjusted position and tried to lock in a triangle. AJ turned it into the Styles Clash for a good near fall. Both men got to their feet and exchanged punches and kicks. Referee bump as Styles accidentally kicked the official. AJ hit the Pele then realized what happened.
Styles rolled to ringside and got trash cans, putting one on Shane in the corner. AJ tried Coast to Coast, but Shane got up and hit Styles mid-air with the can. Shane put Styles in the corner and set his own Coast to Coast up and hit it. Shane disposed of the can and covered as the official came to. Good near fall.
Shane rolled outside and dismantled an announce table. He dragged AJ out and put him on it then went top rope. Shane leaped, and AJ moved. Crash and burn for Shane into the table. Medical staff ran over to check on him but Shane wasn’t interested. AJ pushed him into the ring and AJ tried for the Phenomenal Forearm. Shane countered it to a DDT then went top rope.
Shane tried a shooting star press, but Styles wasn’t home. Styles slipped to the apron and hit the Phenomenal Forearm to get the victory.
Bill Says: These two went all out and delivered a solid opening match for the show. I was afraid of what this match would look like, but Shane was his risk-taking self and AJ sold his offense to make it believable. The crowd got into it, they bought into the near falls, and even really didn’t flinch when Shane went for the MMA holds that really weren’t as good as they could have been.
Match #2 – Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens; WWE United States Championship
Winner: Kevin Owens to win the WWE United States Championship
The Reax: As Owens made his way to the ring they recapped the Festival of Friendship as the breaking point of the Jericho and Owens feud. Jericho made his way to the ring after the video package with a creative use of the roller coaster stage to set off some pyro for him.
After a staredown, the strikes start before Jericho goes for an early Walls attempt. Owens tried to escape to ringside but Jericho kept up the pressure by hitting a sliding kick then a dive of the ropes. The two battled at ringside for a bit before working back in. Jericho threw a punch coming off the top rope.
Owens turned the offense by hitting a superkick, then he mounted and threw punches. He followed with a cannonball on the apron with Jericho perched against the ring post. Owens got two, then continued the offense with kicks to the back. After some taunting, Owens settled into a chinlock.
Owens hit a running kick then a back senton for two. Owens threw some slaps and told Jericho he didn’t have any friends. Jericho met him with a drop kick then dumped him to ringside. Jericho went out after him and Owens teased a powerbomb. Jericho countered with a back body drop.
Jericho came off the buckle with a flying elbow strike for two. Jericho taunted and threw chops in the corner. Jericho teased the codebreaker but Owens countered to a sit-out slam for two. Owens went top rope but Jericho crotched him and threw strikes, then hit a frankensteiner off the top.
Jericho hit a running bulldog then tried for a Lionsault. Owens rolled out of the way and Jericho landed on his feet. Owens hit a superkick for two then went top rope. Owens threw a frog splash but Jericho got the knees up. Jericho went for a Lionsault but Owens got his knees up. Owens then tried a swanton but Jericho got his knees up.
A bit later, Jericho tried a huracanrana but Owens cut it off by using the Walls of Jericho on him. The commentary team asked how bad it would be if Jericho tapped to his own hold. Jericho rolled out of it, then Owens slingshot him to the corner. Jericho landed on the buckle then tried to spring off but took a kick. Owens set up a cannonball but Jericho caught him and locked in the Walls. Owens broke it in the ropes.
Moments later Owens hit the pop up powerbomb for a good near fall. Owens didn’t believe it. Owens taunted and threw slaps then tried the pop up powerbomb again but this time hit the Codebreaker. A good near fall with Owens getting a finger on the rope to interrupt the count.
Owens rolled out to the floor and Jericho gave chase. Owens caught Jericho in the ropes and kicked his leg, then powerbombed him into the apron. Owens rolled Jericho in and pinned Jericho clean.
Bill Says: A solid, safe brawl between the two men. The talk is that Jericho is soon due to head to tour with Fozzy, so it makes sense for him to drop the title here.
Cole hyped the next match as being “the next step in the women’s evolution.” They fed it to a video package to hype the Raw Women’s Championship match.
Match #3 – Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax; Raw Women’s Championship in a four-way elimination match;
The Winner: Bayley to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
The Reax: Bayley got the first entrance, then Nia Jax. Sasha got the car treatment as she was driven to the ring by a go-cart styled like a roadster of some sort. Charlotte was the last one out, and her entrance was reminiscent of Ric Flair’s entrance from Wrestlemania 24 when he was retired by Shawn Michaels.
The early effort focused on the three smaller women trying to take out Nia. The three tried to gang up on her but she took them out with one swat. She hit Bayley with a Vader Bomb, then Charlotte started throwing chops. She tossed Charlotte at the other two at ringside, and they sold at ringside.
The three got back in and took it to Nia. Sasha and Bayley teamed up for a suplex aided by Charlotte with a big boot for only two. Nia continued to dominate the other three women, and set Charlotte up for another splash. The three caught her and hit a triple powerbomb then all three covered her to eliminate Nia.
Nia Jax eliminated
Charlotte rolled out and let Bayley and Sasha go at it. They locked up but Charlotte pulled Bayley to ringside. Sasha hit a flip over the rope, but Charlotte moved so Bayley took the move. Charlotte hit them with a corkscrew moonsault.
Back in the ring, Sasha tried for the Bank Statement, but ended up hitting double knees instead. Sasha rolled over and locked Charlotte into the Bank Statement. Charlotte got to her feet, but Banks rolled her up. Charlotte powered out driving Sasha into the exposed buckle. Sasha is done.
Sasha Banks eliminated.
It was down to Charlotte vs. Bayley in a one-on-one situation. Charlotte tried a moonsault but Bayley avoided it and got a two count out of it. Bayley went top rope, and jumped at Charlotte. Charlotte caught her and locked in the Figure Four, but couldn’t quite lock in the Figure Eight. Bayley struggled to the ropes to break it.
Charlotte tied her up in a tree of woe then stomped on her leg from the buckle. Both women up top, they fought on the buckle then Bayley back body dropped her to the mat. Charlotte charged but took the same exposed buckle. Bayley hit the Macho Elbow off the ropes for the three count to retain the title.
Bayley played to the fans as the commentary team noted that the controversy could now be removed from Bayley’s title run.
Bill Says: I think I expected more than what we got. I figured Nia was the first woman to get eliminated here, and that went as planned. I did expect a heel turn that we didn’t get. That said, it was fine for the time allotted for it. Not last year’s classic, and certainly not offensive.
Cole thanked the city of Orlando for being a great host for Wrestlemania. Cole fed it to a recap of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. We then got the welcome of the Hall of Famers in front of the Wrestlemania crowd. Kurt Angle got a huge reception and “you suck” chants in time with his music.
Match #4 – Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass; Raw Tag Team Championship in a Ladder Match;
The Winner: The Hardys to win the Raw Tag Team Championship
The Reax: Enzo and Cass did their normal mic bit on the way to the ring, saying they would climb every rung to win the titles. Cesaro and Sheamus were the next ones out, then the champions. Before the match could get started, New Day’s music hits and they come to the stage. Big E says that as the hosts they have just received word that the ladder match is now a fatal four way. “Who might this team be?”
Holy shit. It’s the Hardys, as Team Extreme! The place goes absolutely apeshit with cheers and delete chants. The action gets fast and furious early, with the Hardys hitting Poetry in Motion on Gallows and Anderson then teaming up to take other opponents out.
Later, Sheamus and Gallows made a play for the belts and fought at the top of the ladder. Enzo tipped it over then made a play. Cass helped him out, but Gallows and Sheamus cut them off. Cass fought off Gallows and Sheamus in the ring, but took a Brogue Kick. Enzo was still on the ladder, so he made a play. Anderson climbed the ladder to fight him. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Enzo on his way down.
A bit later, Sheamus and Cesaro set up for a double crucifix, but Gallows cut him off. They hit a magic killer on Cesaro. Late, Matt hit a Twist of Fate off of the ladder on Anderson, then Jeff followed with a Swanton bomb off of a tall ladder on Sheamus and Cesaro. Matt climbed the ladder and claimed the titles.
The Hardys celebrated with the belts as fans did “Delete” chants. The commentary team sold the moment and put it over in a big way. Fireworks shot off while the Hardys celebrated.
Bill Says: Well, no one saw that coming. There was a chance that the Hardys could show up for this one, but I certainly didn’t think it would happen. This made the match a lot of fun for sure and the surprise of the Hardys really propped the energy up in a big way. I don’t see signs of the Broken gimmick going anywhere, but we’ll see what happens. There were some signs that it’s still alive and well.
They showed talk show host Jimmy Fallon in the crowd, then fed it to a video package for the Cena/Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse.
Match #5 – The Miz and Maryse vs. John Cena and Nikki Bella;
The Winner: John Cena and Nikki Bella
The Reax: Al Roker was the ring announcer, and not well received. Miz and Maryse got their entrance first, then Nikki and John. John got serenaded with “John Cena Sucks” chants as he made his way down. The women were up first as the bell rang. They stared each other down, then Maryse immediately tagged out to Miz.
Miz played to the crowd early as Cena got in the ring. He ducked out, then Cena gave chase. Miz took advantage and stomped away on Cena coming in then posed. Maryse got a cheap shot in on Cena, then Miz taunted Nikki. Cena continued to sell for Miz. Miz played to the crowd and hit his corner clothesline spot.
King had all kinds of relationship jokes as Miz continued to control the offense. Cena broke the momentum and looked for a tag, but Maryse ran around the ring and pulled Nikki down. Miz hit a neckbreaker for two. Cena scooped Miz up but Miz countered with a DDT for two.
Miz stared at Nikki then taunted Daniel Bryan and threw his Yes Kicks. Cena cut Miz off and dumped him to ringside. Cena crawled into the tag and it’s Nikki on Maryse. They brawl and Maryse rolls to ringside. Nikki hits a dive on Miz. Back in the ring, Nikki clubs Maryse with a forearm shot.
Cena re-entered the ring and took out Miz with a side slam. He and Nikki both hit five-knuckle shuffles, then loaded up their finish moves – Cena with the AA and Nikki with the Rack Attack 2.0. Double count, and that’s it. Cena and Nikki celebrate in the ring.
Cena gets a mic and tells her that this is what she wanted. He tells Nikki how proud of her he is for coming back from neck surgery and recounts a story about being able to ask anything and she would answer honestly. She nodded, and he talked about asking her if she knew he would marry her some day. Cena knelt down and asked her to marry him, and she said yes. They kissed and hugged, then went to ringside and celebrated with family before leaving.
Bill Says: This was what I expected it to be. They kept Maryse out of the ring as much as possible to not expose her for not wrestling actively for several years while she was away from WWE. Miz made it interesting with how he played to the fans. I’m not bent about the proposal, it was fine.
Cole moved on to talk about the unsanctioned match between Triple H and Seth Rollins. They fed it to a video package to recap the story. Triple H got his entrance first, complete with a police escort of motorcycles while he rode a trike to the ring with Steph on the back of it.
Match #6 – Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Seth Rollins; Non-Sanctioned Match;
Winner: Seth Rollins
The Reax; Rollins’ music played and he made his way out dressed in gold and carrying a torch. When he held it down, it triggered flame graphics to run down the ramp and to the ring and up the LED boards to the sides of the ring. Neat visual.
No waiting here as the two went right for strikes and punches. He ran the ropes and hit a drop kick that sent Hunter to ringside. Out there he ran Hunter to the post then roughed him up all around the ring. Hunter reversed a whip then hit a dragon screw leg whip. Rollins came back by clotheslining Hunter over the apron. They battled in the crowd momentarily, then backdropped Hunter back inside the ring area. He followed with a clothesline by leaping off the barrier. They noted Rollins was fighting the flu and had a temperature earlier this weekend.
Back in the ring. Hunter picked the ankle as Rollins jumped off the ropes, but Rollins hit an enzugiri. He followed with a pair of suicide dives. The action settled down, and Hunter went for the bad leg. He hit it with a chair, then put Rollins’ leg on the announce table and jumped from a chair onto it. Hunter soaked in the boos, then back in the ring he clipped Rollins’ leg.
Later, Rollins went top rope and Hunter went up with him. Rollins tried to do the flip bomb but played his knee hurting. Hunter laughed then threw punches. Rollins tried for the buckle bomb but collapsed mid ring. Mid ring, Hunter tried the Pedigree, but Rollins countered and looked for one of his own. Instead, he hit a buckle bomb.
A bit later, Hunter wrapped Rollins’ leg in a chair and stomped on it a couple times. He went up top, but Rollins got free and threw the chair into Hunter’s face. Rollins struggled up the ropes and set up. He hit a superplex and Falcon’s Arrow for a two count. Rollins climbs up again, but Stephanie breaks things up. Rollins falls down, and Hunter locks on the Indian Death Lock. Rollins teases tapping but is able to roll over and throw some strikes to break the hold.
Rollins looked for a crossface but Hunter stomped the knee to get free. Rollins fell outside the ring and Hunter went out to hit him with a chair. He locked in the death lock again, and Rollins tried to break it. He uncovered a sledgehammer, which Triple H claimed.
Back in the ring. the two exchanged strikes. Rollins hit a low superkick and Hunter came back with a clothesline that turned Rollins inside out. Hunter picked up the sledge but Rollins threw a kick. Rollins got the sledge but Steph took it from him. Hunter hit a Pedigree for a good near fall.
Hunter looked for a top rope pedigree, but Rollins backdropped out. Rollins followed with the Phoenix Splash for a good near fall. The commentary team noted the knee problems again. Rollins tried for the Pedigree, but Hunter countered. The two exchanged several counters of the move
Steph got on the apron and grabbed Rollins. Hunter charged, but Rollins slipped away. Hunter stopped short, then turned into a superkick. The momentum sent Hunter into Stephanie, who went crashing through the table set up at ringside earlier. Hunter sold shock, then turned right into a Pedigree from Rollins, who scored the win. Medical staff tended to Stephanie as Rollins celebrated.
Bill Says: They did a really effective job of telling the story of Rollins working on a bad knee, with Hunter focusing his offense on the injury. That said, I think this might have gone on a bit too long. Well done match though. The crowd popped hard for Steph going through the table. Surprising that we got no interjection by Samoa Joe or others.
They came back to do the musical performances with PitBull, Flo Rida, and all of those folks. Honestly, didn’t pay much mind to them as I tried to tidy up our live coverage a bit. After all, wrestling is what you came for, right? They came back to the Smackdown announce crew to set up Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt.
Match #7 – Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton; WWE Championship
Winner: Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship
The Reax: Wyatt came out first to an absolute sea of cellphone lights. Creates one hell of a unique visual in the stadium for sure. Orton got his entrance, complete with a snake following Orton down the ramp. Again, neat visual. Greg Hamilton handled the in-ring intros.
Orton went for a Thesz Press and punches, then a powerslam. He teased the RKO but Wyatt bailed. Wyatt hit a punch, then did his crash spot. There was a moment where Orton was left lying in the ring, and the camera went overhead to show maggots on the mat. A weird visual that fans called stupid.. When the lights came up, Wyatt tried for Sister Abigail, but Orton countered and tried for the RKO. Wyatt stood in the corner and the visual happened again. “There’s 70,000 people here who have no idea what to make of this,” said Otunga.
The fight spilled outside. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail into the barrier, then threw Orton back in the ring. Orton rolled through and to the other side. Wyatt went back outside and tried to hit a clothesline, but Orton hit the RKO on the floor. He rolled Wyatt in and covered for two.
JBL sold that Orton was gathering his thoughts and wasn’t sure what to do. Orton backed to a corner and teased hitting the punt, but Wyatt avoided it. Wyatt tried for Sister Abigail, but Orton countered to his backbreaker, followed with an elevated DDT off the rope.
Orton coiled and teased the RKO but Wyatt hit Sister Abigail for two. Wyatt played to the fans then did his spider walk pose. Bugs showed up on the mat again. Wyatt approached Orton and set up for something, but Orton hit the RKO and scored the win.
Bill Says: I have to say, this was not a good match. I think the guys tried hard, but it just didn’t come off very well. The hocus-pocus tricks with the mat imagery didn’t work with me either. There’s options with an Orton title run, but I’m not sure how to look forward to this.
They recapped the flyover from the show open, then showed the pilots in the front row. They then set up Goldberg vs. Lesnar with a video package. Lesnar got his entrance first, then Goldberg.
Match #8 – Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman); WWE Universal Championship;
Winner: Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship
The Reax: Heyman handled the introduction of Brock Lesnar. Goldberg did not get a strong positive reaction to his introduction. Both men already sweaty. Lesnar hits three fast German suplexes with Goldberg coming back with a takedown and a spear. At ringside, Goldberg hits a second through the barricade.
Back in the ring, Goldberg called for the Jackhammer but Lesnar countered for the F5 setup. Goldberg got him down again with another spear and hit the Jackhammer, but Lesnar kicked out. Good near fall. The crowd is into it.
Goldberg sets up the spear again, but Lesnar leapforgged him. Lesnar hits three more German suplexes. Hell, let’s go for 5 more in a row. We’re up to nine total German suplexes. The live crowd likes it and when he hits ten that draws a “ten” chant. Lesnar loads the F5 and hits it to get the win. They recap the match.
Bill Says: This was what it was. It was a spectacle. Goldberg got his moment to shine, and Lesnar delivered the crowd pleasing suplexes. That moment of doubt that Goldberg had was where it came undone, and that was the story of the match. It was fine. The commentary team also put over Goldberg for his comeback as well. It surpassed my expectations.
Match #9 – Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya; WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship in Six-Pack Challenge Rules
The Winner: Naomi to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship
The Reax: Bliss was out first, then Becky, Mickie, Carmella, Natalya, then Naomi last. She got a nice hometown pop. They pair off and brawl in the early going. Naomi hits an early huracanrana on Natalya. Natalya and Alexa hit her with a suplex out on the floor.
Becky Lynch hits a couple of thrust kicks, then sets up for a corner move on Carmella but James Ellsworth interferes. That lets Carmella set up a frankensteiner. Alexa and Carmella square off mid-ring and jaw at each other. Bliss takes her down. Becky went on a Bexploder suplex sequence, hitting James Ellsworth with one for good measure.
Later, Naomi flips over the rope and grabs Natalya for a sunset flip, but it turns into Natalya suplexing Becky Lynch. A bit of a clunky spot. A short time later, Mickie hit a DDT on Lynch and covered, but Carmella broke the cover. Naomi hit Bliss with the Rear View, then hit a dive on all opponents on the floor.
Late, Naomi hits a springboard but Bliss meets her with a punch. After some jockeying, Naomi locks Bliss in a submission hold and gets her to tap out to claim the victory. Naomi celebrates with the championship.
Bill Says: This was fine. I would have preferred a different match, and I think they had time cut from them or something (it’s already past 11:15 PM EST) to really make it special, but I was glad to see them on the main card. Naomi winning in her hometown had to be special.
New Day came out and announced the attendance for the show, which was 75,245. They thanked the fans and said it wouldn’t be possible without them. Fireworks went off as the commentary team billed it as a Citrus Bowl record. They set up the main event match which is Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker by running a video package.
Jim Ross got his introduction to the arena as the guest commentator for the match. Cole welcomed him and asked him to “take us home.” JR said it was time to have fun and raise some hell. Roman Reigns got his entrance to a chorus of boos, then Undertaker. Taker was elevated up through the ramp about halfway down the aisle.
Match #10 – Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker, No holds Barred;
The Winner: Roman Reigns
The Reax: Taker started off with punches early, then dumped Roman over the top rope and yelled “it’s my yard” at him. Taker continued to dominate early, roughing Reigns into the buckle and sending him back to the floor again. Reigns came back with some strikes of his own then clotheslined him over the ropes. Outside, Taker threw Reigns hard into the steps.
Taker continued the striking back in the ring. Reigns hit a Samoan drop, followed with a boot to the head. The fight spilled back to ringside, where Taker landed a hard right then a headbutt. Taker picked him up, but Reigns escaped and drove Taker to the post followed with a Drive By kick.
Reigns pushed the advantage with strikes in the corner, then the two started exchanging strikes in the ring. Taker whipped Reigns into the ropes and set up a body drop but Reigns kicked him. The two stared at each other. Taker fired up, hitting Snake Eyes then a big boot and a leg drop. He got a near fall.
Reigns rolled outside, then tried another drive by. Taker pegged him with a right hand then cleared off the announce table. Reigns tried another Drive By at the announce position but got caught and chokeslammed on the German announce table. Taker cleared off the Spanish announce table then called for the end. Reigns got up and speared Taker through the table.
Reigns got in the ring to a chorus of boos while the official checked on Undertaker. Reigns yelled “who’s yard is it now Taker?” and Taker sat straight up. He got in the ring and Reigns went on the offense right away, hitting his ten clotheslines in the corner. He climbed the buckle and threw punches. He yelled about it being his yard and Taker hit him with the Last Ride for a near fall.
Taker went out for a chair. Reigns tried to grab the chair but Taker booted him down and picked it up. He went to work on Reigns’ midsection with the chair. Taker called for the chokeslam but Reigns rolled away. Reigns got back in and hit the Superman punch, then a second. On the third try, Taker caught him and chokeslammed him on the chair.
Taker hits the Tombstone and covers for a near fall. Taker gets to his feet, picks Roman up and tries for a second. Reigns tried countering with something but hit a fourth Superman punch. Reigns waited in the corner for the spear and hit it. When Reigns rolled over for the cover, Taker locked in Hell’s Gate. Reigns eventually got into the ropes and the hold was broken.
Taker went for the chair, but Reigns stepped on it. Reigns took the chair and slammed Taker with it and jammed it into his midsection. He threw some wicked slams of the chair on his back. Taker pulled himself up in the ropes, then took a second spear from Reigns. Taker kicked out in a good near fall.
Reigns backed into a corner and shook his head in disbelief that Taker was getting up again. Reigns called for a and hit a third spear that Undertaker kicked out of again. Reigns backed to a corner as the fans cheered for Undertaker again. Reigns hit Superman Punch #5 then backed to a corner. JR said he should cover but JBL said there wouldn’t be a point.
Taker sat up, but rolled to his side. Reigns simply looked on as Taker struggled up to his feet. Reigns threw some right hands, then ran the ropes and hit a big spear to defeat Undertaker. JR put it over as a physical win for Reigns. Reigns didn’t celebrate much, looking conflicted as he left the ring. Taker laid in the ring as Reigns walked away to a very mixed reaction.
Reigns stopped on the ramp as pyro went off. JR said “the deed to the yard has apparently changed hands” as fireworks went off. JBL said Reigns earned it. They went back to Undertaker in the ring, who sat up slowly. The commentary team narrated highlights of the match.
Taker stood in the ring, in his coat and hat, as his music played. He looked around as the crowd cheered him. Taker took off his gloves and left them, then took off the long coat and the hat, laying them all down together. He slowly left the ring, leaving those items behind. In a rare moment of humanity for Taker’s character, he walked to ringside and kissed his wife, Michelle McCool, then exited up the ramp.
Taker stopped partway up the ramp and looked back, then raised his fist. The elevator that took him up to the ramp took him back down, the lights went out and the gong sounded. That’s how the show ended.
Bill Says: They told a really good story here. Taker fought on as hard as he could, but the younger fighter was the man who ultimately came out on top. Something about this wanted me to see Reigns turn, but I guess they are all hoping that Reigns would just somehow become likeable and respected. Maybe Reigns ends up with a mouthpiece of some sort to help him make the full turn. Seeing is believing.
I am looking down the road right now and can easily see them going to Reigns vs. Lesnar, hyping it as the two men who have beaten Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Let’s talk the post match angle though: Was this the end for Undertaker? This really seemed like it, more strongly than it ever has. If this is his choosing then good for him. I know WWE would loved to have had the chance to make some money with a Last Ride tour and it would sell out a Wrestlemania, but I like that a guy gets to go out on his terms.
Overall, this was another long night but we knew we were in for one. It was a good show, and I think for the most part the matches delivered in the ring, even if the storytelling wasn’t there. I saw some people on Twitter complaining and calling it a bottom-five show. I don’t think it was that bad. There have definitely been better Wrestelmania events, but this was far from a worst one. I’d probably end up calling it an average show.
I will be back for Raw tomorrow night, and Drew and I will get back together for audio on Wednesday to talk about all of this weekend’s events. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been visiting and supporting our content this past week. We have broken hit records all over the place, and you guys are why. Thank you, and see you tomorrow for Raw.