WrestleMania XXXII

WrestleMania XXXII

Observations & Reactions

wm

Random Thoughts and Observations

The pre-show was fun and built anticipation for the event. Renee Young is an absolute talent. She has “IT” factor in spades. She is articulate, attractive, and a natural presenter.

Ryback was incredibly flippant with Kalisto. There were a couple spots in which he held no regard for Kalisto’s safety whatsoever.

I think the Usos need to be freshened up. I wouldn’t be opposed to a heel turn that allowed them to exhibit some personality.

Eva Marie is a natural heat magnet. Her wrestling has improved. She just needs to continue to get better.

As a “feel good” story, I’m happy for Zack Ryder capturing the Intercontinental Championship. From a storyline POV, I’m confused.

ryder

Chris Jericho and A.J. Styles had a great match. (It wasn’t as good as Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn two nights prior, but it was still good.)

Once again, I found the booking confusing. Jericho is in the sunset of his career while Styles is set for some (potentially) big years ahead. The only way I will be ok with Styles’ loss is if it is the impetus for the arrival of the Bullet Club and the start of a serious run in the company. And even then, he should have been protected as a valuable asset. There is absolutely no reason why he should have multiple losses already.

Just because I don’t LIKE the New Day, it doesn’t mean that it made any sense for them to do the honors for the League of Nations. I just wish the New Day would stop trying to pop the boys in the back and concentrate on becoming a true money act.

While I dig most members of the League individually, as a whole the chemistry isn’t there.

The appearance of Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley gave me chills. I haven’t re-watched the show, but Austin had to have gotten the single biggest pop of the evening.

The Attitude Era was an amazing time to be a wrestling fan. It really was. However, I hope that McMahon and company concentrate on making new stars and new memories. It’s time to leave the past in the past.

I enjoyed Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar. Going in, it was the match that I anticipated the most. On the whole, I feel it delivered. Ambrose is so plucky and ballsy. It was great to see his brashness get under Lesnar’s skin. Ambrose should be the man who gets a world title push this summer. He is a complete performer.

There were a couple mistakes made with the Diva’s title match. First, I wouldn’t have announced the change of the name of the title before the match. I’d have had the winner make a stand, toss the belt down, and announce that she is a “woman” not a “diva.” I’d have debuted the new belt tonight on Raw.

sasha

Secondly, the build for a Sasha Banks win was perfect. Her cousin, Snoop Dogg, not only put her over at the Hall of Fame, he sang her live out to the ring. She felt important and special. She felt like a star…and, frankly, she is.

The announcers made reference to her ring attire paying homage to Eddie Guerrero‘s the evening he first won the WWE Title. She even worked in numerous Guerrero spots throughout the match. The “Frog Splash” was so awesome.

Plus, the story of the match was one of change. The woman had finally arrived at the big stage. Charlotte is a great wrestler, but this called for fresh blood to take over. The WWE missed the opportunity that Sasha Banks represented.

Undertaker v. Shane McMahon.

Holy shit. This was stiff.

I was expecting this match to be composed of mostly bells and whistles to flesh it out. However, instead of interference and foreign objects, the two just slugged it out.

McMahon’s dive off the top of the cage was both captivating and sickening. I have yet to hear an update about his health, but that is not a spot that a 46-year old businessman should be performing. Hell, a 20-year old wrestler shouldn’t be doing it either. I enjoyed the match.

I respect both combatants, but, honestly, it was a bit much.

corbin

I’m glad Baron Corbin won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale. He is a good kid and a hard worker. I’m confident that, with nurturing and forethought by the main roster creative staff, he will be a contributor.

When I woke up yesterday did I think that I would see The Rock wielding a flame thrower? No. But that’s WrestleMania for ya.

I thoroughly enjoyed his mic duel with Bray Wyatt. Wyatt had the funniest look on the face when Rock complimented his many attributes. He had an “I can’t believe this is happening” expression. It was very genuine.

For the briefest of moments, I thought John Cena was going to turn on Rock after he ran out for the save. But I’m glad it was decided not to do that. When Cena finally turns, it should be the biggest moment of the night. WrestleMania XXXII wasn’t the time or place for it. But soon…

reigns

Can’t lie, I was fatigued to the point of being sleepy by the time the main event began.

Content-wise, the match was about what I expected.

Triple H looked amazing. He put serious work into his physique for this match.

The finish was a foregone conclusion months ago. Roman Reigns is the Chosen One. Now, Reigns must be allowed to have a decent, thoughtful, lengthy run with the belt so he can establish himself. The powers that be chose him, now they must be patient enough to let him develop.

Overall

Despite coming on the heels of a critically heralded NXT TakeOver event on Friday, and the ponderously tedious Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, the WWE still opted to produce over 6.5 hours of content (between the pre-show and main card) on Sunday. Even for the most ardent wrestling fan, this was A LOT. So much that it ruined the experience, no. But next year’s event must be trimmed down.

That being said, I enjoyed WrestleMania. In the face of countless injuries, lukewarm storylines, and notoriously unhappy live crowds, the WWE found a way to do what they do best. They produced a large, raucous spectacle that looked and felt IMPORTANT. There were numerous “Wrestlemania Moments,” crowd-popping surprises, and some pretty damn good wrestling.

More Wrestling

North East Wrestling: Wrestling Under the Stars

NXT Cleveland (3/4/16): The Clash at the Classic

Extreme Wrestling Organization 3/26/16

WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony 2016

-Zep the Bear

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