I think WWE and 2015 as a whole are making up for what was a terrible 2014 for not only the WWE, but life in general. Because I think it's been at least since 2008/2009 since a WrestleMania was this good.
Every match, including the Divas tag, delivered.
WWE Undisputed Championship: (c) Brock Lesnar Vs Roman Reigns
I thought this was the weak match of the card as all Lesnar did was supplex city and just kept Roman grounded not allowing the challenger to really showcase his athletic capabilities. The main event should be what the fans are waiting for the most and not reduce it to something as lack-luster as what took place last night. I think Seth Rollins cashing in whilst the match was still going was a surprise because I was not aware that a cash in could be made whilst a match was still going.
either way, that salvaged the match. I like that creative did something different and actually surprised us with that finish.
Now. Whether Roman will look to challenge Seth 'Cartman' Rollins tonight on the post-Mania Raw is another matter. But at least the belt is off a part-timer now and on someone who will defend the belt on more than just every other PPV.
Undertaker Vs Bray Wyatt
The Deadman was in much better shape and appearance this time around as he seemed to have a more mobility compared to how he was this time last year when he lost the streak (again, stupid decision) and he really didn't look to be in the best of health either.
2015's appearance of the Undertaker saw an appearance akin to his return at WrestleMania 20 in 2004, in Madison Square Garden when he returned as a hybrid of the Biker and DeadMan look to take on Kane. He looked healthier and having his hair grown back was a much better look compared to the mow-hawk he had been sporting for the last 3 Manias.
Despite carrying an ankle injury Bray gave a decent performance and made Taker look decent improving on his performance from last year.
WWE United States Championship: (c) Rusev Vs John Cena
Say what you will, but this match was already a foregone conclusion before it started. Cena was going to be made US Champion for the first time in a decade and be the one to deliver Rusev his first decisive loss. It was the rinse-repeat recipe for a Cena match, he took a beating, then pulled out the 5 moves of doom, including a stunner???? WHAT???
And then picked up the win. it was an ok match. Nothing special nor anything familiar than I've seen before from Mr.Cena.
AJ Lee & Paige Vs Bella Twins
The Bellas had the most momentum and dominance in this match despite picking up the loss. I don't know if this was creative's way of trying to get people to take the twins seriously, but for the most part they did seem formidable. I think if they had booked them to win, the fans would have rebelled. I don't think Nikki and Brie will ever be truly accepted by every single fan. For a few reasons:
1: the fans know what they like.
and 2: They don't like people who politic their way behind the scenes. (a certain Hall of Famer in red and yellow knows a thing or 2 about that)
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the match was. AJ & Paige came back all guns blazing after the early dominance from the twins and I was taken aback by how brutal Paige got with Brie by throwing her into the ring-steps. Really good Divas match. did I just say that? I guess Oni thinks TNA's a good show if that kind of logic is coming into play.
Triple H Vs Sting
This was a contender for match of the night. Sting gave a great performance against the 13-time World Champion and it just went back and forth with the fans eating it up with "this is awesome" chants. And they're absolutely right. For the old-school fans who remember being there in the mid 90's when the Monday night wars were in full effect, this was a love letter to them and that Era. With the inclusion of DX and the nWo showing up and adding to the fun at ringside, giving us a taste of what the war could have been like 17 years ago if both companies had allowed the respective factions to war with each other.
Better late than never. Also, Triple H. We need to talk. I appreciate that you have a lot of admiration and respect, but did you really need to pose as the Terminator? Either way, you'll be back.
Randy Orton Vs Seth Rollins
This was almost like a present and past selves of Randy Orton. Both are equally talented technical wrestlers that know how to put on good catchuscatscan wrestling matches.
Considering this is Orton's return PPV match, he needed to get the win badly after what took place before Survivor Series last Fall.
Seth in his singles debut at WrestleMania really impressed me. I may not like the guy's character but I know that he is going to help shape the future of the company for years to come and help the next John Cena & Randy Orton along just as they are doing for him.
Orton was in prime form and he just gets better with each passing year. And it's true what they say; he just seems to pull that rKo outta nowhere. Case in point; the rKo that won him the match as Seth was jumping for a curb-stomp and Randy just leaped up sent him to the canvas.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: (c) Bad News Barrett Vs Daniel Bryan Vs Dean Ambrose Vs R-Truth Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Stardust Vs Luke Harper
I honestly think that this could have done with being in the middle of the card. That's the only major criticism I have for it. Other than that, I loved this match. It gave me reminders of TLC & Money in the Bank Ladder matches from past Manias and not forgetting the epic encounter between Razor & Michaels from WrestleMania 10.
Everyone played their part and got the crowd into a frenzy and to see Daniel Bryan rewarded for his hard work with rehab and entertaining the audience, he deserved this.
A good opener and set the tone for the night.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
A solid Battle Royal giving some superstars some really much needed TV and Network time which also saw the implosion of Miz and Sandow at last. Per my prediction; Big Show was one of my picks so I'm not disappointed. The guy's going to retire in a few years so it's understandable to let him have this since he has been compared to Andre throughout his whole career.
WWE Tag Team Championship: (c) Cesaro & Tyson Kidd Vs NewDay Vs Usos Vs Los Matadores
This should have been on the actual card and not the pre-show. Pre-show matches are to give some talent some exposure before the main attraction. And example from back in the day when a little thing called Sunday Night Heat was around; would have someone like Matt Hardy Vs Scott Steiner just to get the crowd warmed up.
The calibre of this Tag Title bout was PPV quality and having it relegated to the pre-show not only degrades those Championships that they are trying so hard to bring relevance back to, but the superstars that are competing for them. Talent like Cesaro & Kidd should be on the PPV. Why they were overlooked and kept to the pre-show is anyone's guess. but a fantastic solid match that gave everyone in attendance and at home their money's worth.
My thoughts about this year's WrestleMania in conclusion is I felt like I was actually rewarded for once. After years of below par events since the retirement of Shawn Michaels (let's face it, Manias since then were....meh), the WWE seem to have listened to what the fans have been asking for and gave it to them.
The mid-card belts had importance placed back onto them and had them put back on the card instead of demoting them to the pre-shows like they had done in previous.
Considering that the Intercontinental Championship is meant to be the second most important belt in the company, it comes across as being very contradictive when it's treated like an after-thought when it doesn't get the spotlight time it deserves. Hopefully they will push Bryan heavily for the next big push now that he's won a title that he had never held before.
WrestleMania 31 reminded me of Manias 17 & 18, respectively. The belts meant something this time without making them feel secondary over a real-life feud like the WWE Championship had been used for Mania 29. The focus was more on Cena getting retribution over The Rock when he should have been more concerned with winning the belt back.
Stone Cold Steve Austin said back in the day:
"If you're not in this business to become World Champion, you got no business being here"
And the man is absolutely right.
When the WWE Title's importance was dropped to the second before last match at Mania 28 just to make way for Cena Vs The Rock, which no one asked for nor wanted it absolutely urinates over that belt, CM Punk who held it that year and to everyone else that held it before them. From Hogan, Savage, Undertaker, Rock, Austin to Ric Flair, Triple H and Chris Jericho, the list goes on.
Speaking of Rock and Triple H; while I did enjoy seeing Rock and Ronda Rousey own the Poor man's Corporation, I think that could have been placed on the pre-show and have one of those matches fill that spot on the card.
As pleased as I was to see The Rock return and make the inner-kid fan in me smile to memories of the Attitude Era, I would have preferred it to actually see him face HHH in a match rather than just go another 10 minutes of a verbal slanging match.
Also, I felt like I was watching an extended edition of Monday Night Raw from 2 years ago where HHH was just massaging his ego on a grander scale much to mine and everyone else's chagrin when he could have done this as a condensed video package. But that would be a good idea, right?
Aside from that, this was a much needed return to form for WrestleMania and I would honestly watch this again.
Good night, from the Knight