“The Ultimate Thrill Ride” was more than a promotional slogan. A lot of important things happened at WrestleMania 33. There was a lot of emotion. Maybe, a little bit of crying. Yet if I were to explain to you in a few simple words what this year’s WrestleMania achieved: I AM SHOOK.
Aesthetically, this year’s WrestleMania at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando surpassed all expectations. With a record-breaking attendance, stunning pyrotechnic and graphics, and a grand set design featuring the longest ramp in Mania history, it was a sight to behold.
But above this, the card was undoubtedly spectacular. Admittedly, I kept my outlooks low, the bleak aftertaste of Mania 32 faint on my tongue. However, a seemingly fragmented and misfit card came together, and everything made sense, for the most part. No match seemed to drag on. The order was a pleasant surprise. The usual celebrity shenanigans were kept to a minimum. With 13 matches all together, Mania 33 was about the storytelling in the ring.
Thankfully, the highs outweighed the lows this time round. Bar one. As I attempt to piece together the scattered pieces of my brain, and the emotionally-drained notions in my heart, here is a fragmented round up of those highs and lows from this year’s WrestleMania.
- Cruiserweight Championship: Neville (c) def Austin Aries
- Mojo Rawley wins Andre the Giant Battle Royal
- Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) def Baron Corbin
- AJ Styles def Shane McMahon
- United States Championship: Kevin Owens (new c) def Chris Jericho
- RAW Women’s Championship Elimination Match: Bayley (c) def Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax
- RAW Tag Team Championships Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match: The Hardy Boyz (new c) def Gallows and Anderson, Enzo and Cass, Sheamus and Cesaro
- John Cena and Nikki Bella def The Miz and Maryse
- Unsanctioned Match: Seth Rollins def Triple H
- Randy Orton (new c) def Bray Wyatt
- Brock Lesnar (new c) def Goldberg
- SmackDown Women’s Championship 6-Pack Challenge: Naomi (new c) def Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella
- No DQ Match: Roman Reigns def The Undertaker
*Bonus Low: Pitbull, Florida and LunchMoney Lewis were there.
- It sucks for anyone to be on the pre-show. But it especially sucks that the current state of the Cruiserweight division fits the bill.
- Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
- After everything the Miz did for the Intercontinental Championship, it resided on an average-at-best match on the pre-show.
- AJ Styles wasn’t in the main event.
- The finish to KO vs Jericho was so-so – a power bomb on the apron followed by a pin. Nonetheless, a clean win.
- The RAW Women’s title match was early on, but it made a lot of sense alongside the rest of the card. Hopefully, we can have a high profile non-title women’s match in the near future.
- I have nothing negative to say about the RAW Tag titles match.
- Maryse didn’t get her entrance theme played, and yes, I’m very salty.
- I was secretly hoping for a curb stomp from Rollins to Triple H, but this is a very minor setback to my satisfaction.
- Bray made me care about Orton. Oh, the irony.
- For a second, I cared about Lesnar. Me. This writer. Who hates Brock Lesnar. Here’s to hoping Balor/Shinsuke have something to say on RAW.
- The conclusion of the SmackDown Women’s title match made me realise how short the matches had been all night. Yet, maybe they were more succinct than “short”. This is more of a positive. I know, I’m cheating.
- John Cena didn’t retire the Undertaker. Roman Reigns did. Roman, f***ing, Reigns.
A lot went right this year. At the time of writing this post-viewing, my hands are still quivering with adrenalin. I’m still marvelling at the sun setting above a bronzed bodied light-up scarved Chris Jericho, or the sea of fireflies in the hands of the Eater of Worlds. I think there might have been a pot of glitter backstage that everyone rolled through – either that or I’m starry eyed. The use of projection in Bray vs Orton was unlike anything I can ever recall seeing. I’m still gaping to the absolute spectacle of light shows, costuming, staging, entrances – Not one entrance was unflattering, and the general production value justifies Mania’s reputation as the “Show of Shows”. Visually, it was one of the most enticing WWE events of all time.
The game of hot potato with the RAW Women’s title has, for the time being, come to an end, as Bayley was able to retain. Yet, the placement of the SmackDown Women’s title match second from last, AFTER the men’s title of the same show, speaks volumes.
— Bridget Hustwaite (@BHustwaite) April 3, 2017
Stories were, as I mentioned before, succinct. Only on a couple occasions did matches seem to conclude abruptly. Otherwise, all the outcomes made sense. Unlike last year, which saw swerve after swerve, every match took its natural course (I’ll get to the main event). Predictable? Yes, but in the best possible way.
One story culminated in a proposal. My inner cynic says that those months of prep were all for a self-indulgent Bella moment. But today was a special day, and I’m in a good mood. Today, love reigns supreme.
The athletic contest throughout was overall impressive, but it was second to memorable moments. This, is most definitely, not a bad thing. Shane is confirmed bat-shit crazy, as his missed shooting star press plays over in my head. Charlotte took to the air with an effortless corkscrew moonsault. Seth Rollins and Triple H gave us the story we had hoped for. However, this year’s Mania will be remembered for gifting the wrestling world with a lasting state of ecstasy.
I turned to my friend when the Hardy Boyz made their way down the ramp, for the first time at a WWE event together in seven years. He wiped away his tears as he rejoiced in the presence of his childhood heroes. This is why I love wrestling, what more can I say?
When I recount my defining moments to my grandchildren, I will show them the return of the Hardy Boyz at #WrestleMania
— ez 💫 (@eztweener) April 3, 2017
MY CHILDHOOOOOOD pic.twitter.com/4eU4iAOTPE
— WrestlinGifs (@WrestlinGifs) April 3, 2017
WE ARE ALL MARKS https://t.co/HAa5Uq37T3
— Dr.Knobs (@LuchaMax) April 3, 2017
Dixie Carter's somewhere drinking a lot of vodka. #Wrestlemania
— kate (@makeitloud) April 3, 2017
So many people have believed in my brother & I throughout EVERYTHING.
— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 3, 2017
The Fatal Flaw:
To my delight, and then my horror, The Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg was not the main event. Ending the show with Lesnar would have been catastrophic, but ending the show with Roman Reigns, served as the fatal blow.
Is this what it feels like to have an erection for five hours and not get off? #WrestleMania
— ez 💫 (@eztweener) April 3, 2017
Roman Reigns, is now officially, the most hated man in the IWC. It only makes sense to turn him heel on RAW, yet my gut tells me I’m dreaming. Did we do this? Is it our fault, a curse we have bestowed upon our smarky selves? Come Monday, we should be wiser.
As the Undertaker lay his gloves down in the ring, seemingly for the last time, my sustained euphoria quickly turned to heartbreak. It still hasn’t quite sunk in. Just one more match. Surely this cannot be the last time.
Hmm, I would have thought Reigns would stay in the ring and get his hand raised by Taker, making his annointment even more insufferable
— Scarlett Harris (@ScarlettEHarris) April 3, 2017
— PWM (@ProWrestlingMag) April 3, 2017
Theres a reason why "the boys" call the Dead Man "Boss."
And to the Boss, I say…#ThankYouTaker
— Bubba Ray Dudley (@bullyray5150) April 3, 2017
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) April 3, 2017
The post-Mania depression will hit a little harder this year, but I’ll allow myself one more night to indulge. RAW, show me what you’ve got.