It is FINALLY here!
WrestleMania. The WWE Universe in the building.
You already know the routine, so say it with me, folks…
LESS DEW EET!!!
(0:01) The show kicks off with Vince McMahon on stage, backed by what appears to be the entire WWE roster. He’s here to thank the fans and welcome them to… WRESTLEMANIA! Nice touch. You could legitimately see the happiness and excitement on everyone’s face to see fans in attendance.
(0:03) Bebe Rexha and her breast implants are here to sing America The Beautiful. She’s in the middle of the ring, and the roster is still standing on the stage. Cameras cut to people like Rhea Ripley and Edge, who are already emotional.
(0:09) A lengthy pirate-themed video package to get things rolling, with more thanks to the fans.
(0:10) As soon as the show is underway, Michael Cole reveals that we’re under another weather delay. There has been a ton of really shitty weather in the Tampa area today, and there was even a time when people wondered if Mania would take place at all today. I’m going to end up typing all this, only to have the show postponed. Fuck.
(0:12) To make the entire thing worse, now we have to sit through a backstage interview with Shane McMahon. WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS?!?
(0:14) Thank you, MVP and Bobby Lashley, for randomly showing up and putting an end to Shane’s interview.
(0:15) Drew McIntyre shows up in the middle of MVP’s trash talk to try and get the match going backstage.
(0:16) Drew gets a bit emotional as he talks about how COVID took the fans away from his big moment at last year’s WrestleMania, and now Mother Nature is trying to mess with this year’s show. So many real feelings from people because of this stuff.
(0:18) We sat through an hour-long pre-show, and now, we’re being forced to sit through even more of it. It’s time for a backstage interview with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. The thing about these promos is that you can tell they’re all last-minute additions because of the delay. There’s a lot of rambling and random talking as everyone just tries to kill time.
(0:20) Honestly, this is Vince McMahon’s fault. He has, time and time again, decided to have WrestleMania in open-air stadiums in cities that aren’t known for great weather this time of year. WWE has been very lucky until this year, avoiding heavy rain in those situations. Why keep tempting things? Just put WrestleMania in cities that don’t have these kinds of issues, or at least have the show in arenas and domed stadiums. It is ridiculous that we’re even having to deal with this. Think of the chaos that is going to happen if this ends up being called off. All the people who flew in to Tampa for this show, who can’t just stick around for extra time.
(0:25) We’re still having random backstage interviews, but we’re supposedly “less than five minutes” away from getting the show started. Michael Cole says that… as he and Samoa Joe are standing there in ponchos with rain clearly falling all around them and not a single person sitting in their seats as fans have been evacuated to take cover.
(0:30) Well… it has been five minutes, and there’s still nothing, so we’ll see.
(0:31) lol @ Peter Rosenberg’s mic still being on during the Lashley/McIntyre video package and everybody getting to hear that he needed to go to the bathroom. Fantastic.
(0:34) The fans are being allowed back to their seats now. Cole, Joe, and Byron Saxton aren’t wearing ponchos. Here we go.
(0:34) Nope… more talking. Time for WrestleMania’s hosts, Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan, to come out on stage and talk. I guess you have to let everyone back in before the matches get underway.
(0:37) Titus got to speak for a couple minutes, but when Hulk started talking, there were some very clear boos to be heard. Wow.
(0:39) 39 minutes in, and it’s time for Drew McIntyre’s ring entrance. It’s happening!!!
(0:45) The match is officially underway.
(0:45) I’m assuming it has to do with weather issues, but the commentary team is all standing up in front of the table instead of being seated at it like normal.
(0:49) So far, the match has been worked at a slower pace than I expected. Not a complaint. I just figured that it would be a wild brawl, and that they’d be going all-out for the first match back in front of fans. They’re still dropping bombs on each other. It’s just happening with more gaps between those bombs.
(0:53) Things are starting to pick up now. Excellent.
(0:55) Have I ever said how much I fucking hate that bucktoothed bitch Kevin Dunn? Yes? Well, it’s worth repeating, so… I fucking hate that bucktoothed bitch Kevin Dunn. Stop with all the camera cuts, you prolapsed anus of a human being.
(0:58) Lashley just kicked out of not one, not two, but three Future Shock DDT’s.
(0:58) McIntyre just pulled off an Undertaker-style dive over the top rope, landing on Lashley and MVP on the outside. The slow-motion replay showed that McIntyre’s meat and two veg brushed the top rope on the way out, so he b-a-r-e-l-y cleared the dive.
(1:03) The WWE Champion retains the title! Lashley forces McIntyre to pass out in the Hurt Lock, and the Referee calls for the bell. That was a fun WWE-style big-man battle. Let’s go with 3.75 stars and wonder just who in the hell is supposed to stop Bobby Lashley now. I’m pretty surprised to see that McIntyre lost. Like many, I figured we would get McIntyre having the “WrestleMania Moment” that he missed out on last year, winning the title in front of fans.
(1:08) Time for Tag Team Turmoil to see who gets a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles tomorrow night.
(1:11) The match is getting started with Carmella and Billie Kay taking on Naomi and Lana. Not exactly the same level of crowd noise for this match.
(1:13) Lana and Naomi have already been eliminated. Thanks for playing. Another surprise. They were the favorites going on. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan are the next team to enter the match.
(1:16) Carmella and Billie Kay have been eliminated. This is going to be a quick match, apparently. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are out next… aaaaand Mandy proceeds to slip on the ramp during her entrance, busting her ass in front of the world. Yikes.
(1:19) There was more crowd noise when the fans were evacuated than we’re getting for this match so far. Nobody seems to care about anything that’s going on.
(1:20) Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke have been eliminated, even though it was announced that The Riott Squad were eliminated. We’re all over the map here.
(1:21) Natalya and Tamina are now on their way to the ring as the final entrants in the match.
(1:25) Natalya and Tamina win the match. It was sloppy from almost beginning to end, so I’m not going to pile on by rating it. I will say that there was a nice moment at the end, though. Natalya was going to lock Ruby Riott in the Sharpshooter, but then broke the hold and pointed at Tamina to go up top and finish the match. Tamina looked legitimately surprised. It appeared that Natalya was giving her partner her own “moment” on the big stage. That was great.
(1:28) Time for Cesaro vs Seth Rollins. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this match might end up being better than the last one was. Just a hunch.
(1:31) It’s still crazy that this is Cesaro’s first singles match at WrestleMania. He signed his WWE contract nine-and-a-half years ago.
(1:34) It might be a bad sign that the crowd is pretty quiet for the start of this match, too.
(1:37) The crowd has come alive to count the rotations on this Cesaro Swing! Nine rotations, ah ah ah!
(1:39) A 360-degree corkscrew frog splash from the top turnbuckle by Seth Rollins! Wow. That looked great.
(1:41) Some very believable near falls have really pulled the crowd into this one. Good. These two are too talented. They weren’t going to keep the crowd quiet.
(1:43) Another Cesaro Swing! 23 swings! A new record! Then, a Neutralizer picks up the win for Cesaro. The winner is showing some rare emotion after picking up the biggest win of his WWE career. That was fun stuff. Cesaro thanks the fans and tells them that he loves them. That was an easy 4 stars, maybe even higher, and to tell you how amazing those two are as in-ring performers, I don’t think they even got a chance to reach full gear.
(1:49) Big E is out to do the New Day introduction! Time for the Raw Tag Team Title match, as Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defend against AJ Styles and Omos. Perhaps the most intriguing match on the entire card, all eyes are on the in-ring debut of Omos.
(1:52) lol @ Omos wearing the same stuff he wears on Raw every week. I don’t know what I was expecting his ring gear to be, but slacks, a dress shirt, and a coat weren’t on my list.
(1:53) Now that Omos has taken his coat off, his shirt is the same material as the workout shirts that companies like Nike and Under Armour make, so I guess it’s not as crazy. Black clothing makes people look slimmer. Omos wearing all-black clothing makes him look even taller. My goodness.
(1:56) Kofi and Woods are almost working heel-like, taunting Omos with every chance they get while he stands on the ring apron, waiting to be tagged in.
(1:59) Further confusing the face/heel lines is the fact that the entire match is building to a hot tag from AJ to Omos.
(2:00) Omos has been tagged in, and the crowd popped huge for it.
(2:01) Woods lays into Omos with kicks, and Omos sells them by doing nothing and calling Xavier a little bitch.
(2:03) As Omos stands next to the ropes, Styles jumps onto his shoulders and then takes Woods out with a Phenomenal Forearm.
(2:04) Holy shit… Omos hits Kofi with a two-handed chokeslam and pinned him with one foot on his chest. We have new Raw Tag Team Champions. That was as fucking dominant as you’re ever going to see. The match itself was more about Omos than anything else. Let’s just say 2.5 stars. Again, not because the match itself was meh, but just because it was more a story than a match for the most part. AJ Styles is now an official Grand Slam Champion after winning his first Tag Team title with WWE.
(2:06) Rey Mysterio is shown in the world premiere of a WWE 2K22 video game commercial.
(2:07) Time for the Steel Cage Match between Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon. It is the end (hopefully) result of one of the worst match builds of all-time. If this were taking place on a random episode of Raw, it would still be a terrible build. The fact that it’s happening at WrestleMania makes it infinitely worse.
(2:12) Kudos to Shane McMahon for making it to the ring without passing out or having a stroke. He is incredibly sweaty, though, so there’s still time.
(2:14) Before Braun enters the cage, he is attacked by Elias and Jaxson Ryker, who wear him out with steel chairs. Braun rolls into the ring to get the match started, but now Shane is hitting him with a chair.
(2:17) No disqualifications in a Steel Cage Match. So, why did Elias and Ryker just leave after attacking Braun? This is fucking dumb. There’s no fucking reason that they wouldn’t get in the ring and just keep attacking Braun while Shane escapes and wins the match in seconds. I hate everything about this.
(2:21) Oh, NOW Elias and Ryker show up, but instead of just helping Shane WALK OUT OF THE FUCKING CAGE, they climb the outside as Shane climbs the inside, allowing Braun to charge the wall and knock them all off.
(2:23) I. Fucking. Hate. This. Shane is ready to escape the cage, and is halfway down on the outside, but spends time waving goodbye to Braun, WHO IS UP AND GRABS HIS ARM. JUST END THIS SHIT.
(2:25) As both men are standing at the top of the cage, Braun throws Shane down onto the mat. Braun escaped and won, right? No. No, he did not. HE CLIMBED BACK INTO THE FUCKING RING. WHERE THE FUCK ARE ELIAS AND RYKER? DID THEY DIE FROM THE ONE BUMP THEY TOOK?!?
(2:26) Braun pins Shane and the match is finally over. I’m not rating that trash.
(2:30) As Michael Cole is set to set up the celebration for the new members of the WWE Hall Of Fame, he is interrupted by Bayley. It’s a crying shame that she isn’t on the Mania card. She was one of WWE’s best performers in the COVID era, and they just couldn’t find anything for her.
(2:34) After a video package highlighting the Hall Of Fame ceremony, we really are getting the annual celebration for the inductees.
(2:36) Everybody gets varying levels of applause, but once again, very audible boos for Hulk Hogan.
(2:37) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin narrates a promo package for WrestleMania 38, coming to us from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. AT&T Stadium, of course, was the home of WrestleMania 32, where 101,763 fans were in the building. No date is listed outside of a generic “April 2022” label.
(2:40) A bunch of people in bunny costumes hopped their way to the ring, all so that The Miz and John Morrison could grace us with their music. Fuck my life.
(2:47) Bad Bunny gets a cinematic-style entrance, riding atop an 18-wheeler into the stadium. He gets a big fireworks display for his entrance, too.
(2:51) Looks like Bad Bunny and The Miz are going to start this match off. Right away, Miz is nailed with a solid punch to the mush.
(2:53) He doesn’t look like a 15-year veteran or anything, but BB has looked impressive so far here. He’s had a few nice-looking counters and moments to show off some of the training he’s been doing at the Performance Center.
(2:55) The crowd is loving this stuff. I’m stunned that WWE is letting BB handle this much work, though.
(3:01) Damian Priest still hasn’t entered the match yet. They’re really letting Bad Bunny work this large a portion of the match. Wow.
(3:01) On cue, Priest gets the hot tag.
(3:03) Bad Bunny from the top rope!
(3:05) A Puerto Rican Destroyer from Bad Bunny! Holy shit.
(3:05) BB and Priest win. All the respect in the world to Bad Bunny, who has very clearly been taking this seriously from the beginning. That was another match that was more about the story being told than the quality, but that still gets 3 stars from me. BB got the crowd going nuts with that performance.
(3:10) Main event time. History is being made. Sasha Banks. Bianca Belair. Smackdown Women’s Title on the line. Here. We. Go.
(3:16) Don’t ever let anyone tell you that representation doesn’t matter. This is such a big fucking deal.
(3:18) The crowd is amped up for this.
(3:19) Both women are in tears before the match even gets started. They’re just standing there and soaking in the standing ovation from the fans.
(3:23) Sasha performs a suicide dive to the outside, but Bianca catches her, rolls through, and presses Sasha into the air as she walks back into the ring. Just an insane level of strength from The EST.
(3:27) There have already been a half-dozen or so feats of strength from Belair that have impressed the hell out of me here. She’s holding up her end of the bargain here.
(3:31) Good story being told so far. Bianca gets to show off her power, speed, and athleticism for a bit, but Sasha will put an end to it with veteran savvy. Every time Bianca gets some momentum, it comes to a screeching halt.
(3:35) A 2.99999 count off of a 450 splash by Belair. Very good near fall.
(3:36) NEW CHAMPION! NEW CHAMPION! Bianca Belair gets the pin and is the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. That was one of the best main roster women’s matches in WWE history. Great stuff by both women. 4.5 stars, and my choice for Match Of The Night. Like at the Royal Rumble, Bianca was very emotional after the match. You know who was even more emotional? Bianca’s father, who nearly fell over the guardrail after he jumped up and down in celebration. Beautiful moment. We go off the air with Bianca celebrating as a huge pyro show takes place in and around the stadium.