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The Robbie Fox WrestleMania Recap - WrestleMania Was, In Fact, The Ultimate Thrill Ride

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I finally got back to my hotel room after WrestleMania at about 2AM thanks to the horrendous Uber situation in Orlando, and after that long seven hour show, you’d think I would want to catch some Z’s. Not true, that’s fake news. The first thing I did was boot up the WWE Network, and rewatch a bunch of moments/full matches from the show to see how the production was on television. That’s a wrestling guy move. Now, it’s 5AM, and I’m writing this blog before my flight to Augusta in 3 hours. Making towns, blogging blogs. It’s the life I chose, really. Let’s talk about The Ultimate Thrill Ride!

(Please excuse any typos, like I said, not much sleep going on here in Orlando. I’m Stone Cold sober but very delirious.)

So before I get into the matches, I just want to say overall, I thought WrestleMania 33 was a really good show. I knew for a fact it’d exceed expectations based on everyone looking so down on the card, but as far as the live experience goes, it was one of the most fun shows I have ever been to. Shoutout to Nate for picking up the slack and having 147 blogs about WrestleMania while I was at the stadium by the way. He’s a trooper for that.

I know I usually do star ratings for matches, but I can’t objectively give them for this show just yet, so they’ll be left out. When I rewatch the show later this week, I will post them on Twitter (@RobbieBarstool). Shoutout to the Stoolies that got me a massive seat upgrade from the upper level to the floor, by the way. Awesome dudes.

The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns in a No Holds Barred Match

This is the one that has everyone talking. The main event of WrestleMania 33, and The Undertaker’s final match. I can’t sit here and tell you it was good, because it wasn’t, but that’s a small part of the story here. I don’t want to dread on that too much, but I’ll say this: Roman Reigns worked his ass off in that match to try salvaging Taker’s out of shape performance. It was absolutely time for Taker to hang up the boots, and in reality, it was time three years ago in New Orleans. I received word that Jim Ross had agreed to commentate the Deadman’s final match before his wife Jan tragically passed away, and never thought twice about making it. He’s super loyal to The Undertaker and this was a big moment for him. He’s also in negotiations for a new full time deal with the WWE, which is GREAT news. I think at this point in his life, he probably needs a distraction, and it should be what he loves: telling stories.

As for the people upset that Roman Reigns was the one to retire Undertaker, I get your point, but personally see no issue with it. I’ve thought for years that Cena should be the one to do it, and still feel it would have made for a better moment, feud, and match, but Reigns is the next face of the company, whether we like it or not, and I’d say there’s a good chance Taker hand-picked him. His facials after winning the match and realizing he had retired The Undertaker were amazing and really gave the “I wish I didn’t have to do that” vibe.

Hats off to The Undertaker for a legendary career. Thank you for everything.

Alexa Bliss (c) vs Naomi vs Carmella vs Natalya vs Mickie James vs Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship

The SmackDown Women’s title match was fine for what it was, although sloppy at times. I was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t get cut from the show at 11:15pm, and clocking in at just over five minutes, this match was exciting and over with fast, not offending anyone. Naomi got the win, with a weird submission, and the crowd loved her.

Goldberg (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship

Goldberg and Brock Lesnar put on a fucking awesome match last night. It was a confirmed shoot, and the best sub-5 minute match of all time. Exactly what I said it needed to be, and it way over-delivered. Let’s count all of the moves used:

1. German Suplex

2. Spear

3. Jackhammer

4. F-5

4! 4 moves were used in this whole match, each man getting 2, and this woke the crowd up from a long slumber. A great example of simplicity sometimes being key.

Bray Wyatt (c) vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship

This sure was spooky, huh?!

While the in-ring projections were silly and served absolutely no purpose, I was cool with them. This feud has been so ridiculous that a standard pro wrestling grapplefest wouldn’t make sense. We needed the in-ring cockroach projection for continuity. Randy winning with a regular RKO, outta somewhere if you will, was a bit of a let down, but if this means AJ will be feuding with him for the strap, I’ll excuse Wyatt’s reverse-Undertaker streak.

Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon vs Seth Rollins in an Unsanctioned Match

Don’t like being the “CALLED IT!” guy, but CALLED IT! This match sucked the life out of the building, mostly due to Seth Rollins’ poor portrayal as a babyface in peril. If you’re playing the injured knee role, you need to not be an idiot. Seth Rollins wrestled like an idiot. Why would I feel bad for him and his knee when he’s only pursuing moves that target his own knee? He never made an effort to keep that knee out of trouble once, even going for the powerbomb that injured him in the first place. Sad!

I’d say this way probably the worst match of the night, and the crowd didn’t care from the start which hindered it right away. But hey, Steph looked great.

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John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse

I defended the mixed tag team match at WrestleMania to the death when it was called a “waste of John Cena” by everyone in the wrestling community, and I’m not sure I should have done that. I mean, all of my points still stand: this was the biggest mainstream match WrestleMania had, the feud leading up to the show was fantastic, and it was all about one moment, but there’s never been a more cookie cutter match in history. Miz and Maryse put the heat on Cena and Nikki, they powered up, five moves of doom, let’s get married. I thought the proposal was very romantic and well delivered, and I’d like to be the first to wish Fearless Nicole and John a happy engagement. I’d kill for an invite to that wedding.

The Club (c) vs Enzo and Cass vs Cesaro and Sheamus vs The Hardy Boyz for the RAW Tag Team Championship

This. Match. Fucking. Ruled. Obviously the story coming out of it is that The Hardy Boyz are back with the WWE after many years away, and they’re the RAW Tag Team Champions! When this was made into a ladder match, and I had confirmed with multiple sources that the Hardys had passed WWE medicals, it was a no brainer that they’d be in it! Then, on Saturday, some goof reporter ran an exclusive scoop that Matt and Jeff decided to stay with Ring Of Honor through the Summer, and my hope was lost.

I’m glad it was lost, because I wasn’t expecting them at all, and when that music hit, I popped so hard I think I blew out my own eardrums.

It’ll be very interesting to see how much of the BROKEN aspect of their characters will be worked in, because while this interview makes it seem like they’re back to being themselves:

Matt still used some mannerisms and catchphrases from the BROKEN character, and is still tweeting the same way he was before.

They can do whatever they want with Jeff, but with Matt…I need Broken Matt in my life. Please break him, Vince. Please.

P.S. How about lunatic Jeff?

Bayley (c) vs Charlotte Flair vs Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks for the RAW Women’s Championship

This was great. There were some abrupt finishes I didn’t love, the Sasha and Charlotte ones to be specific, but the match around those was very enjoyable. Everything involving the teamwork of Charlotte, Bayley, and Sasha Banks was executed well, and made Nia come off like a beast. I’m surprised we didn’t see the Sasha heel turn, but if the route was for Bayley to retain, I’m fine with it. Still not sure why Charlotte’s pay per view streak was broken in February.

Chris Jericho (c) vs Kevin Owens for the United States Championship

Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho perfected the “these two guys know each other so well” style match last night. Every spot was so carefully thought out, and the sequences of traded “knees up” reversals had the crowd going bananas. Jericho’s Codebreaker out of the Pop-Up Powerbomb was wild, and Owens’ finger on the rope kick out was laugh out loud funny.

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The finish, being Owens powerbombing Chris into the side of the apron, was great because it’s the same thing he did to Sami Zayn. The corner of that ring is just becoming Kev’s friend killer, and I love it.

AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon

Opener perfection. I’d go as far as saying Shane and AJ put on one of the best opening matches in WrestleMania history. When they were making their entrances, I thought, “This is a little weird!”

Such a high profile match with two big stars opening the show isn’t unheard of, but it just seemed out of place immediately, until the match got underway. When it did, it was obvious that the structure of the match was designed perfectly to open WrestleMania. Shane got to show off some wrestling skills he never has before, and prove himself against Styles, who made everything look like a million bucks. Then, after a ref bump…

SHANE O MAC FLIPPED THE SWITCH! He stopped that World of Sport shit and started doing Shane O Mac shit. Homeboy did a shooting star press! He’s 47!

Kickoff Show Quick Hits: Neville/Aries was fantastic, the Battle Royal was horrible but Gronk showed up which was cool, and Ambrose/Corbin was very forgettable.

As you can see from my half awake blog at now 6AM, I had a fucking blast at WrestleMania and thought it was a really fun show. If you’re a wrestling fan and have never made it out to one, throw it on the bucket list and start saving up for New Orleans next year. The whole weekend is amazing with wrestling fans taking over the city for a few days, then culminating with the largest professional wrestling show of the year. And wrestling fans, for as much flack as they get, and for as many pairs of cargo shorts they wear, may be the nicest group of people there is. Everyone this weekend, and every other WrestleMania weekend I’ve been apart of, is just so happy to be around the spectacle of it all and friendly with one another. I’m already itching for next year’s Mania Weekend to start!