WrestleMania 33 wasn’t one I was looking forward to with any insane amount of anticipation, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Once Shane versus AJ started to get going, I had a good feeling about the show. Something about WrestleManias at outdoor venues gives them a more grand atmosphere.
AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
I like that they started with striking out of it, but that didn’t last long enough. Outdoor Stadium gave it that BIG FIGHT FEEL that this needed. Shane isn’t shy about overselling for the good of a Stadium crowd. He was keeping toe-to-toe with Styles in every way, and what he lacked in hair, he made up for in sideburns!
Shane kicking out of the “One-Armed Styles Clash”, or as I call it “Styles Clash-ish” worked since they never used that variation before. It was nice that they returned the favor, and let AJ kick out of a trash can coast-to-coast dropkick. Impeccable near-fall timing by AJ Styles, but Shane O’Mac whiffing on all his crazy spots looked brutal. I mean, a Shooting Shane Press? NUTS.
Shane McMahon’s Kryptonite: The Announce Table.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this as much as I did, and perhaps placement on the card made me like it more, but either way it pulled me into MANIA 33!
KO Mania 2: Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (C) for the United States Championship
Corey Graves is a big time part of why this match, and slow paced matches like it, work. Cole says something, and Graves turns it into a part of the story, instead of just saying “MAGGLE” four times for no reason. I also wish I knew the name of the dude refereeing this match, as he was STRAIGHT CASH. His facial expressions are the RUSEV of referees.
This match showed a lot of why I fell into the trap of being a Kevin Steen fan. He is beating on Jericho, but in-between he’s audibly dropping shade that’s funny, truthful, and part of the story. He’s a master of performance, and in-ring storytelling. Jericho being his opponent just let him open up more.
Pop-Up Powerbomb reversed into a Codebreaker is THE SPOT THAT THIS MATCH WAS BOOKED FOR! Absolutely everything that needed to happen in one moment. I was taken a little aback by the finish, but the Powerbomb on the apron looked NASTY. It’s also a big part of Kevin Owens’ legacy, so it works in that way.
Raw Women’s Championship 4-Way Elimination Match (Bayley (C) v Charlotte v Sasha v Nia Jax)
I’m usually a big fan of Bayley’s gear, but her entrance outfit looked like some bird nonsense. She had fireworks, but this ain’t no Money in the Bank Cash-In at WrestleMania 31! Sasha Banks rolling in on some creepy old dude’s mini-car wasn’t any better. Once the fireworks started going off during her entrance she looked as awkward, as Michael Cole sounded introducing her.
Nia Jax took some notes from the Authors of Pain’s match at NXT: Takeover, as she bulldozed all three opponents to start to bout. Sasha Banks being the one that held her down for Charlotte and Bayley was one of the fakest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling, but luckily that wasn’t her ultimate undoing. Her climbing the ropes ALWAYS turns into trouble, so I’m not sure when Nia will learn to NOT do that anymore.
Does anyone consistently step up their game like Charlotte? Oh, you’ve seen her do a Moonsault to the outside? How about a mother f’n Corkscrew Moonsault?!
The Sasha elimination came out of nowhere, which is cool, but seemed like a bit of a waste. She was gaining momentum, and has a lot of room to maneuver with her character, but instead she was just filler.
Bayley winning was fine, and she’s not dropped the title 50 times like Sasha, so it comes off strong. Her Flying Elbow Drop could use a little more MACHISMO on her part, but she’ll be #MachoChilling as the Raw Women’s Champion after overcoming the odds. Charlotte will not be the next WrestleMania Streak holder, which I could have seen working.
Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match – Big Cass & Enzo Amore vs SheaCesaro vs The Club vs The Hardy Boyz
The crowd being so excited for Cass/Enzo is what makes them so great still. They also didn’t over-do their promo. SheaCesaro brought kilts to their WrestleMania Magic Mike entrance, which was funny, but obviously not for me.
New Day swerved the F’N mark out of me. I was like, “Cool! We get New Day in a match”, and then all of a f’n sudden we get invited to DELETE CITY!!!!!!!! I’m still popping on the inside.
Big Cass and Jeff Hardy combined for the nastiest looking BIG BOOT (Jeff off the second rope) since the Monday Night Wars! Nothing but a cracked sternum for our newly returned fellow Jeff. It’s impressive, and a little insane, how in-tune Sheamus and Cesaro are in every aspect of their matches. The entrance was one thing, but they’re at the point where Cesaro keeps Sheamus from getting “YOU LOOK STUPID” chants EVER. That’s not easy to do!
This WM33 crowd was perfect. Chanting “EENNNNN-ENZO AMORE” as he slowly climbed the ladder added a score to the moment, and not even a Saxton/Cole run-in could ruin it. It wouldn’t be a Hardy return without Jeff going through a ladder, but also missing the guy on the second ladder, as Matt took care of the REAL business. DELETE! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!.. I mean, good stuff!
I like how Corey Graves said that “Matt deserved every bit (of the fire works being shot off)”, as he changed pro-wrestling in his time outside of the WWE. I don’t think I can say that about anyone else (MAYBE THE YOUNG BUCKS) in the U.S. during that time.
Miz & Maryse vs Nikki Bella & John Cena w/Al Roker as Guest Ring Announced & Jerry Lawler on Commentary.
The crowd was visually, and audibly, in Miz’s corner. This led to Miz going to the corner for crowd reactions more often than usual, and I don’t blame him. That’s kind of the most interesting thing this match had going for it, especially following that Hardyz return.
It’s truly impressive how far all four of these wrestlers have come since I scoffed at WrestleMania 27 (which I could have attended). They’ve all found where/how they fit into the WWE/wrestling matches, and it’s impressive. Miz and Cena didn’t have that far to come in-ring, but their personalities have become more endearing. Nikki has become one of the better in-ring performers in the WWE Women’s Division while it was still called “Divas”, and Maryse is the most consistent Heel Manager in WWE (sorry, Paul).
I think 90% of people watching WrestleMania seen the proposal coming, and we all hoped for a some kind of rejection, but it was more serious than a usual wrestling wedding-related promo. Cheers if it’s not a work, and happy times ahead if it is.
Triple H w/Stephanie on a Motorcycle vs Seth Rollins w/a torch
This match had the knee injury storyline built into the match. This came as a huge advantage to the in-ring story.
Seth’s portion of the match reminded me of Kurt Angle’s Hall of Fame Speech, as every single bulletpoint was a highlight in the video package. His knee failing on the Sunset Powerbomb, giving out on the Running Powerbomb, etc. Could have used some f’n SAMOE JOE at some point.
Stephanie going through the table was clearly the highlight of the match, as the most annoying character on television finally got some on-air comeuppence. Seth Rollins’ Macho Man @ WrestleMania VIII inspired gear was the second highlight of the match.
Dueling Pedigrees for the finish was a little something different. Can’t think of too many people that had a Pedigree for a finisher besides Triple H, until Seth borrowed it.
Pitbull + FloRida is WretleMania 33’s answer to the bathroom break.
WWE Championship Match Bray Wyatt (C) vs Randy Orton
Randy’s viper following him during his entrance had NOTHING on the entire state of Florida bringing out their phones to be Bray’s fireflies. His Viper also looked like the b-movie version of whatever the hell all the nasty bugs they kept plastering on the ring. I love me some mind games, especially ones that scare the referee out of the ring, but they went nowhere in the end.
RKO out of the most obvious place ever. Possibly the worst match of the evening.
WWE Universal Championship Match – Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs Goldberg (C)
Paul Heyman’s introduction was impossible for JoJo to follow.
I can enjoy Goldberg doing two moves more than most people, but it’s because of how rarely he is showcased (especially since the early 2000’s). He could have done 50 Spears, and I’d be down, sort of like Brock and the GERMAN SUPLEX!
I hope they have some kind of video package to play on Raw of Brock Lesnar training to get his vertical leap up for the last two months, so he could reverse the Spear FINALLY!
This was my favorite Brock versus Goldberg Match of them all. It was the right amount of everything, and Goldberg can go back to chilling, if that’s what he wants.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Carmella vs Mickie James vs Naomi vs Alexa Bliss (C)
This match had six (seven if you count Ellsworth) people involved, and it didn’t have a whole lot of time to get going. The best part was Becky Lynch, who was wearing the strangest ring gear of the evening, knocking Ellsworth out.
Naomi reclaiming her championship at home wasn’t too big of a surprise, but I guess they gave that away during Smackdown last week.
No Holds Barred Match: The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns
They must have wasted the entrance budget on Triple H’s Motorcycle because these two dudes had the slowest, most boring, walks to the ring. Maybe more druids, and less hair weave, for the Emo Cowboy next time (if there’s a next time)?
The Undertaker looks like Mike from “Breaking Bad”/”Better Call Saul”, but older and in worse shape. That is, until he started moving and grooving, as Clyde would say. If his hips are shooting pain into his nerves every time he moves, then Undertaker no-sells SHOOT PAIN! Avalanches in the corner, running big boots, and taking a DIVING SPEAR THROUGH A TABLE. This Deadman still has IT.
I honestly began to feel bad when Undertaker kept falling to the ground before Roman could get him into Tombstone position. Took a lot of the fun out of the match. The rope break that followed, in a NO DQ/NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH, was atrocious.
The best part of this match was Undertaker trying to sit-up, but just flopping over. Pretty sure that’s the first time it has ever happened, and it said A LOT. I was hoping Roman would come up with a new finisher to end the bout, but I guess running the ropes pre-Spear will have to do.
The 3 Stars of WrestleMania 33
* The Raw Tag Title Ladder Match
** AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
*** Triple H vs Seth Rollins
The Undertaker: Went out of his way to make Roman Reigns look like a Superhero. Not sure if it’s his last match, but I’d be okay with it either way.
Brock Lesnar: FINALLY overcomes Goldberg.
Kevin Owens: Was the star of KO-MANIA 2, and is now holding his first United States Championship.
Charlotte Flair: That Corkscrew Moonsault was probably the SPOT OF THE NIGHT!
Roman Reigns: Topped his Mania Main Event from last year by FAR.