WrestleMania thirty-four was full of highs and lows. While there were plenty of decisions that left fans in shock for both the right and wrong reasons the WWE did a brilliant job in providing a show that got people talking. Many decisions made on the night, of course, did not go down well but let’s take a look at five booking decisions the WWE got perfectly right this past Sunday at Wrestlemania!
NXT! NXT! NXT!
While the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal surprisingly didn’t showcase any current NXT talent, the first Wrestlemania women’s Battle Royal did include not one but six female roster members including Peyton Royce, Kairi Sane, Bianca Belair, Taynara Conti, Dakota Kai, and Kavita Devi. Now, at first, I wasn’t sure about the choices. I would have loved to have seen someone like Nikki Cross in this match and possibly even book her as the winner but actually as the battle Royal progressed my opinions really changed. As the six women started working together, starting an NXT chant and showing dominance they really did send a message and where by far the best part of the entire match. Watching how well they all worked together the idea of the six coming up to the main roster and doing what they did last night on a regular basis is something I can invest in and pushing these girls together may be something the WWE could look at in the future. The overall standout of the match without a shadow of a doubt was hands down Bianca Beliar who I strongly believe is about to have a brilliant few months ahead. What I didn’t like was the fact we had no Billie Kay. Apart from that one issue and the fact none of these girls actually won were the only things I would change otherwise the six women all had something different to bring to the table and they sure did make an impact.
The Squash Match
The matchup between John Cena and the Undertaker was one that really did divide opinion. Some loved the root the WWE went down while others were disappointed that we didn’t get to witness a phenomenal contest between two iconic stars in this industry however, the decision to make this match a squash match was an interesting one I personally believed to be the right mood and the only issue I saw was the fact the WWE decided not to bring back the American Badass and instead keep the dead man gimmick for this match. The build focused on Cena being cocky, calling out Taker, challenging his ego and Taker waited right until the very last minute to show up and take out the sixteen-time world champion in a very short contest. We all know that Taker cannot work those long matches like he used to and how Sunday’s match was best suited to his capabilities right now and the story and I actually really liked the booking decision.
Ronda Rousey Impresses
Surprisingly one of the best matches of the night was the mixed tag team match between Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. I can honestly say that while we did have four big-time names sharing a ring here the build didn’t sell many fans and what we had seen from Rousey in the weeks leading up to the pay per view wasn’t very promising however, she sure did deliver come Sunday night and competed in what was actually one of the best matches of the night. Okay, so we didn’t get a contest full of brilliant smart wrestling however what we did get was a match full of storytelling, character, and moments that made for highlights of not only the night but Wrestlemania weekend. Rousey was under a lot of pressure to step up in this match and prove she could really call the Wrestling ring her new home and that was exactly what she did. She remained focused, in character, and moved around the ring with a lot of ease and skill. Sure there were a few hiccups but for her debut match, this was a strong performance. Squaring off against both Stephanie and Hunter Rousey spent more time in the ring than many expected and what we all realized was that if she was this strong on her first night, a year from now she could easily be main eventing the same pay per view alongside Charlotte in a very very strong contest.
Jinder Mahal Walks out as Champion
The United States Championship match may not have been the best wrestling match of the night but the end result was a personal favourite. Here we had four of the best guys on the Smackdown LIVE roster competing for a mid-card title that has been made to feel important once again. It was key to have Orton in this match and competing for this particular title at this stage and together the four superstars all felt as though they really did want to walk out with that championship. Now, the fan favourite was of course Rusev. The Wrestlemania crowd were up on their feet and loud for him throughout the match and he would have a made for a brilliant pick as the winner, however, I wasn’t surprised nor frustrated when Jinder pinned Rusev to be crowned the new United States Champion. Since his push, Jinder has divided opinion, however, where he is right now, holding the US Championship is exactly where he should be. Its the slot on the roster that fits him best right now and it opens the doors for great feuds including Jinder vs Rusev which looks to be the direction the WWE will be going in in the coming months.
Closing Moments of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is something the WWE really have struggled to pick up some fan interest around. This year’s did feel a lot weaker than past years. I didn’t like the fact we had passed winners in the match because it raises the question of what is actually the point of the Battle Royal in the first place and the lack of star power was so evident this year’s with the WWE really missing out on not including NXT talent. However, what they did do well was the closing moments. As the lights went out Bray Wyatt made an appearance and assisted Matt Hardy in the victory. Now, there were things that could have been done differently. Wyatt showing he has surrendered to Woken Matt would have looked and come across far stronger than the hug we got that showed the two have common ground and are now working together. The embrace didn’t work with their characters and the story but the actual decision to return Wyatt on the night in the way they did was the right move!