WWE WRESTLEMANIA 34 [Review]: Rousey and Lousy.

WWE WRESTLEMANIA 34 [Review]: Rousey and Lousy.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Matt Hardy – 2.75/5 (A guy people love won; an unexpected surprise at the end; and it was better — albeit slightly — than Joey Janella’s Clusterfuck! Mission accomplished.)

Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals)

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali – 3.25/5 (Good match, nothing to complain about… Crowd wasn’t as hot for this as recent 205 Live CW tournament matches and the heat was gone from recent exciting contests featuring these 2, Roddy Strong, Buddy Murphy, etc. Solid but still a letdown.)

The first-ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Match

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal: Naomi2.5/5 (They told a story. The usual hesitation whenever these large multi-women matches took place, divying the ladies up into factions and clicks. Sasha and Bayley had their moment. Wondering if this win will actually do anything for Naomi, who is terrific but has been quiet of late..)

The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor (Intercontinental Championship)

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor – 3.75/5 (Fuckin’ great start to Mania, as even the Miz was on-point AF! A Super Skull-Crushing Finale! Seth & Finn have great chemistry and could make for a great IC rivalry. I see Joe challenging Seth tomorrow to start something fresh.)

Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte vs. Asuka – 4.25/5 (Has there been a better woman’s match in the WWE this year? This one even topped the excellent Asuka/Banks match from February. Charlotte even hit a fucking top rope Spanish Fly. This was as grueling as the excellent Moon/Baszler contest from last night, with just as much submission intensity and selling, and an even better finish. I had my Asuka shirt on, and I know folks won’t be too happy with the streak ending, but I’m just proud they poured on a great match.)

WWE United States Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Rusev – 2.75/5 (Vince just wanted to fuck with people… and have Jinder as a champ heading into that Saudi Arabian RR thing — yes, I know he’s Indian — I guess Rusev Day is canceled.)

Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon

Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon – 4.5/5 (That isn’t a typo. This was a WrestleMania classic. The heat, energy, booking, etc. were all fuckin’ tremendous. You never saw this coming. I never saw this coming. Ronda lived up to the fucking hype. She was smooth, crisp, a warping ball of energy and her transitions were very fluid. She beat up Hunter and gave him a rana into an armbar. WTF! I know some people are gonna complain about Steph’s “tenacity” defending against Ronda, but she co-runs the damn company, so of course she’s gonna look strong.. but, seriously, everything just hit all on cylinders. It was magic. It was the reason why people love “WrestleMania” in the first place.)

The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Triple Threat Match – SmackDown Tag Team Champions)

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Bludgeon Brothers vs. New Day vs. The Usos – 2.5/5 (And this is why you don’t overbook the card. I get that The Usos had never had a Mania match before, so why not have them in a classic final match against New Day? No one cares about the Game of Bros, especially now that the War Raiders are in NXT with the same damn gimmick. They looked strong, sure, but they coulda just did this on Tuesday and added 5 more minutes instead.)

???John Cena vs. The Undertaker???

Undertaker vs. John Cena – 2.5/5 (Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll… it’s kinda what we wanted, right?)

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens – 3/5 (Not the best way to get DB back, but at least he looked great, took a million bumps and won. Shame we didn’t get much of a match, and Shane selling for most of it was bad, but… hey… Daniel Bryan is BACK. That has to count for somethin’, right?)

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

RAW Women’s Championship: Nia Jax vs. Champion Alexa Bliss – 2.5/5 (The right girl won. I really liked the finish, but the match went on too long. Still better than that Women of Honor thing from last night tho.)

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)

WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – 3.75/5 (Not as disappointing as Cody/Kenny because the shenanigans didn’t happen until after the match. I thought the crowd was more polite and fatigued than dead, and popped when it counted, and these guys are obviously 2 of the best around and worked a really really nice match. While AJ is my fav in the E, I wasn’t thrilled with both Japanese superstars taking the fall tonight.. which seems like Vince’s final say and possibly keeps AJ away from RAW. But at least the finish was dope and Shinsuke’s turn can make this the heated championship rivalry the SD brand needs.)

Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Braun Strowman & ??? (RAW Tag Team Championship)

RAW Tag Team Championship: Braun Strowman & Nicolas the Kid Fan vs. Champions The Bar – 0.5/5 (This was worse than the Cheeseburger/Bully bullshit from last night, which I was SURE was gonna win the Mania Wknd Razzy. God this killed a pretty damn good Mania for me. WTFHell!!!)

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)

Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns – 3.25/5 (At least Roman got his ass kicked and lost? Yeah, I’m just as stunned as you are. This was a way better match than you or I or any of the New Orleans “faithful” would ever care about, with some crazy bumps outside, intense selling, and surprising booking… but it is what it is…..)

Overall = 3/5 Bibles

“Monsignor” Travis Moody

A tale of 2 Mania‘s! Despite all the squashes and nonsensical shit, I was really big on this WrestleMania up until the mystery tag spot. I thought having Bobby Lashley, or someone akin would give the crowd the final boost of adrenaline it needed heading into such a controversial/disgruntled main event. Nicolas? Uh-huh. Worst moment of a Mania Weekend full of questionable moments. Good job, guys. Otherwise, the first half of the 7-hour show was a blast and seemingly on its way of becoming one of the best Mania’s in years. Looking back, alcohol half out of my system, this might actually have been one of the worst — minus the INSANE professional wrestling debut of Ronda Rousey and a few other matches of quality (Asuka v Charlotte stood out the most to me). The rest of the card was full of filler that would’ve felt more right at home on RAW and SmackDown. Even the Cruiserwieght title match, after weeks and weeks of blazing matches on 205 Live via the CW Tournament, was just there. Even AJ & Shinsuke, who had a very good pro wrestling match for those who like PRO WRESTLING (50% of the Mania audience?), didn’t blow the doors down. As excited as I am for Ronda getting over and the women’s division looking as promising on all fronts as ever, I can’t help but feel utter disappoinment all the way around. I wish there was a way to trim Mania down and give the bigger names more time — ala NXT TakeOver — but that is never gonna happen. But, hey.. at least this was still (kinda) better than Supercard of Honor.

-Travis Moody