Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Wrestlemania 34

I didn’t realize I wanted this until it happened.
Fourteen matches. Six plus hours. It’s a test of faith and endurance, but maybe less so this year than most, with a card made up of matches that should, for the most part, deliver on paper.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal: (Ziggler, Dillinger, and Henry)

Now, see, part of me wondered if they’d give it to Matt Hardy, but I honestly didn’t think they would. The good news is, Bray Wyatt is back and partnered with Matt Hardy, the bad news is, he’s still swamp dude Bray Wyatt and so his change may well be temporary, plus we’re still stuck with Bray Wyatt. (0/1)

Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali, Cruiserweight Championship: This is Cedric’s.

Yep. They tore the house down, as expected. The filing in crowd cared, but it still sounded dead, as expected. Two Spanish Fly’s in one match?! A cornucopia of cruiserweight cartwheels. (1/2)

Women’s Battle Royal (Lynch, Riott, Moon)

Moon wasn’t in it, of course. I did say that it was down to Naomi or Becky as my likely winner pick, and they went with Naomi, who eliminated Bayley after doing the “ha ha I was never actually eliminated” spot to Bayley. The whole thing was OK but a Naomi win is about the least interesting possible outcome. (1/3)

The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship): Rollins.

Yep. This was a solid opener. Excellent match, undercut some by me not really being invested in the Intercontinental Championship build or Rollins as a character these days. He and Balor are putting on clinics in the ring, which is always fun to watch. (2/4)

Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship): I want to see Asuka win the title.

I knew this was a tough call. Charlotte beat Asuka with the Figure Eight to retain the title and end the streak after a hellacious, awesome match that exceeded hopes for what these two could do together. I don’t know what’s next for Asuka, though. Maybe challenging Nia Jax (spoiler!) for the Raw Women’s title? (2/5)

United States Championship: Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton vs. Rusev: RUUUUUUUUUUUUSEV DAAAAAAAAAAY! 

Booooo. Not only did Rusev lose, he got pinned. Not only did he get pinned, he got pinned by Jinder Fucking Mahal. Yawn. (2/6)

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. HHH and Stephanie McMahon: Oh, you know Rousey’s making Steph tap out for the win. Second most foregone conclusion on the card.

Turns out it was the MOST foregone conclusion on the card, but we’ll get to that. Anyway, Rousey acquitted herself nicely, and certainly this was booked and executed into a much more entertaining match than I was expecting. (3/7)

Uso’s vs. New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers (SD Tag Championships): BB’s take it.

This was short, it was ugly, it did a pretty significant disservice to both Usos and New Day, neither of whom really have a proper Wrestlemania in-ring moment despite doing some of the best work in the entire company, but hey, at least I got the call right. (4/8)

John Cena vs. The Undertaker: I’m going to give this to Undertaker.

This match made me very happy. It was blissfully short (if you ignore the walking to and from the ring), the Undertaker looked good, Cena sold like a champ, and most importantly, if Undertaker is going to retire, he can go out with this as people’s last memory of him, not that awful Reigns match from last year or the awful Shane match from the year before. (5/9)

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn: Bryan and Shane win.

Indeed, WWE was not going to waste the opportunity to give Daniel Bryan a Wrestlemania triumph, because one bad fall and he’s gone again. The match was fine. It was mostly a long boring Beat Up Shane segment while Bryan sold an injury until Bryan came back, did a Daniel Bryan’s Greatest Hits segment, and got the win. (6/10)

Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship): This has to be Jax.

And it was, with a Samoan drop off the second rope. Solid match, did what it needed to do. (7/11)

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship): Styles will win this one.

I saw this coming. What I didn’t see coming was Nakamura’s brutal heel turn post match, low-blowing Styles, stomping his head, and delivering a Kinshasa outside the ring. All of a sudden, Dangerous Nakamura was back. The Nakamura who, while a face and a champion in NXT, was still unpredictably violent and scary. That’s been missing from his main roster work for a year, and I guess they didn’t want him to be that way as a face, so he turned heel. And it was awesome. (8/12)

Braun Strwoman and ? vs. Cesaro and Sheamus: You don’t put Strowman in this position and have him lose.

Indeed. But it was the choice of partner that surprised and delighted me. Nicholas, a ten year old fan (referee’s son) from the crowd, who stood on the apron while Strowman demolished The Bar, except for one genius spot where he tagged in for like 30 seconds of him and Cesaro staring at each other. (9/13)

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship): Roman. 

This needs its own post, but Lesnar won, the match was weird and offputting and ultimately bad, and the crwod reaction was insane. (9/14)

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