Here. We. Go.
Let’s not waste any more time. It’s WrestleMania time!
Austin Theory vs John Cena (WWE United States Title Match): First things first, the WrestleMania set is INCREDIBLE. It is one of the best looking sets that I’ve ever seen in all my years of being a wrestling fan. Kudos to the crew WWE put together to create it and set it up.
John Cena’s entrance including numerous kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation was one of the best he’s ever had. That type of stuff was always cool, but now that I’m a father, that stuff really makes me emotional.
This was a great choice for a show opener. With John Cena involved, you’re going to have the crowd amped up, no matter how good the match was. It doesn’t need to be a Match Of The Year classic or anything, which is good, because I feel we’re beyond that point in Cena’s career. He was still able to hit all of his greatest hits, get crazy crowd pops for each one, and we still got to see Theory continue to be one of the best heels in the business. Completely inoffensive match to get things started. 3 Stars
The Street Profits vs The Viking Raiders vs The Alpha Academy vs Braun Strowman & Ricochet (Men’s WrestleMania Showcase): Say what you will about this match being involved in the show, but it really delivered. All eight men involved looked like they were set to show the world that they belonged on the WrestleMania card. This was so much fun. Chad Gable shined. Ricochet shined. Montez Ford shined. Ivar shined. Angelo Dawkins shined. Braun Strowman shined. Hell, they all shined.
Again, say what you want about this match being included, and the story about why it was included, but this was a great, crowd-pleasing contest. It was damn near a sprint, with non-stop action from bell-to-bell. They had a limited amount of time to work with, and they made sure to cram as much as they could in. I’m not sure if you truly can rate a match that went 8:30 this high, but hey, it’s my column, and I’ll rate what I want to. Rate what I want to. Rate what I want to. You would rate, too, if this happened to you. 4 Stars
Seth Rollins vs Logan Paul: The match placement has been pretty good so far tonight. Cena got the crowd started off hot, then a really exciting tag match got them even more excited, and now, what should be a tremendous display of athleticism with two men who are super over with live crowds. I’ve said it before, but it’s great that WWE has finally decided to lean in when it comes to Paul being a heel. They tried to make him a face, but crowds weren’t buying that. He’s a natural asshole that people love to hate and want to see get beaten up. This isn’t rocket science.
This was a WrestleMania-worthy spectacle. The match itself was great, but it was the sports entertainment part of things that pushed it over the top. Even the silly stuff like YouTube name KSI getting involved as a mascot wearing a giant bottle of Paul’s Prime drink was fun, and the crowd exploded when Paul accidentally splashed KSI through the announce table at ringside. Logan continues to show the world that he has a BRIGHT future in the business if he decides this is what he wants to do. Imagine what he could accomplish if he dedicated himself to wrestling on a full-time basis with the extra training and experience that comes with that. I set the bar high for my expectations here, but it ended up being even better than I thought it would be. 4.5 Stars
Becky Lynch, Trish Stratus & Lita vs Damage CTRL: Hey, the match placement continues to be good. This one is like the opener, where it doesn’t even have to be a good match to get a big crowd reaction, simply based on who is involved in it.
I respect Lita for what she was able to accomplish in her career, especially when it comes to connecting with live crowds and helping to motivate an entire generation of girls who didn’t look like Barbie dolls. That’s cool and all. With that said, though, Lita wasn’t exactly a world class in-ring performer when she was in her prime. Now that she’s pushing 48 years old, her in-ring work has aged like milk. To say she worked this match in slow motion would be an insult to slow motion. She looked awful. Trish Stratus, who is the same age as Lita, by the way, looked like she has barely lost a step through the years.
Five women worked hard to give us something entertaining, but Lita was involved too much for this to be rated anything high. Strangely enough, this match seems to have social media split down the middle. The other three matches have been viewed pretty much the same by everyone, but this one seems to have people thinking it was awesome or that it was bad, with not much in between. 2.5 Stars
Rey Mysterio vs Dominik Mysterio: Dom’s entrance was incredible. We get a cinematic vignette of Dom in jail and being transported to SoFi Stadium, and he arrives in the arena inside of a prison transport van, wearing a Rey Mysterio mask. Then, Rey’s entrance happens, and he is riding shotgun in a lowrider driven by Snoop Dogg as “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop is heard. The music then switches to Eddie Guerrero’s entrance theme, and I lose my mind. Very cool. It’s worth pointing out that Eddie Guerrero’s last WrestleMania was 21, which was held in… Los Angeles. Great tribute.
God, this was so much fun. Another WrestleMania-worthy spectacle. Rey bumped his motherfucking ass off for his son, making Dom look as good as he ever has in the ring. Angie Mysterio, Aalyah Mysterio, Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde, and Bad Bunny (who was on commentary with the Spanish announce team for the match) all got involved in the match in various spots. Dom continues to be a heat magnet, disrespecting his family at every turn, and also doing tributes to Eddie Guerrero to showers of boos from the crowd. I enjoyed every second of this one. 4 Stars
Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley (WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match): During Charlotte’s entrance, my Peacock feed buffered for a split second before returning in standard definition, and it looked like Jane Lynch was walking down the ramp with the Smackdown Women’s Title around her waist. Yikes.
What a battle. My goodness. These two beat the shit out of each other in a match that was as stiff and brutal as you’re ever going to see from a women’s match in WWE. Charlotte and Rhea were told that they weren’t getting the main event spot tonight, and they both took it VERY personally. Charlotte’s face says it all, as she has a nasty brush burn on the bridge of her nose after landing SMOOTH on her fucking face after over rotating during a German Suplex. It might be blood from Charlotte’s nose, but Rhea also appears to have blood on her face. This was fantastic work from both women and absolutely, positively worth going out of your way to check out. 4.5 Stars
Pat McAfee vs The Miz: Surprise! During an in-ring segment involving the hosts of WrestleMania, The Miz and Snoop Dogg, Miz announces that he issued an open challenge for a match that wasn’t answered. This brings Pat McAfee out to talk about Mr. Mizanin’s testicles, and we have ourselves an unannounced bonus match! Hooray?
As expected, though, it was less of a match and more of a feel-good house show segment. Miz sees San Francisco 49ers Tight End George Kittle in the front row and shoves Kittle down. Kittle then hops over the barricade, showing that the security situation in SoFi Stadium is awful, and he helps McAfee pick up the win. Okay then. I won’t grade that because, as I said, it wasn’t much of a match. The crowd enjoyed it, though, so that’s what matters, I guess.
The Usos vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Tag Team Title Match): I’m currently 358 miles away from SoFi Stadium, but I can still feel the electricity in the air. There’s such a big fight feel for this match. The multi-year Bloodline story has everything looking and feeling like a really big deal. Yes, Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley had themselves an amazing match, but let’s be honest with ourselves here… this was the only choice to main event tonight’s show, and it would’ve been bordering on criminal activity if it didn’t get the last spot.
Every fucking bit the “WWE style” main event of the modern era. SO MUCH EMOTION. Near falls. Kicking out of pin attempts at the 2.999999999999999 mark. Back-and-forth momentum changes. This was one of the best main events in WrestleMania history. The fucking roller coaster ride that we were just taken on… that I was just taken on… is something I’m going to remember for a long, long time. That was everything I could’ve wanted, or needed, it to be. What a close to an incredible night of in-ring action. 5 Stars
Like I said, what an incredible night. I called the main event one of the best in WrestleMania history, but I think this ends up being one of the best overall nights in WrestleMania history. My match ratings tell the story. Wow. Good luck to those competing tomorrow night, because you have your work cut out for you.