Another marathon length Wrestlemania weekend is in the books! The Nerd Super Bowl had its ups and downs but for the first time in literally a decade the positivity (and not just because of the New Day’s surprisingly understated hosting job) outweighed the negativity. Here’s our break down:
The Hardys return! Holy hell it was the pop of the night and well deserved, followed by a super solid ladder match where the #Broken One and Brother Nero stood tall with the Raw tag team straps, Attitude Era theme music and all. Delightful!
Speaking of standing tall, busted knee be damned, Seth Rollins overcame Triple H in a brutal war that lived up to any expectation I had for it, both due to great in-ring storytelling and smart booking. The epic Pedigree trading spot at the climax was seriously heart stopping.
Bayley got the chance to retain clean against Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax in the Raw Women’s Fatal 4 Way Championship Match, and gloriously dickish heel Kevin Owens defeated over as hell Chris Jericho for the US Title. AJ Styles also took out Shane McMahon in an early bout which was better than it had any right to be, seeing the polarizing Shane actually working a decent match: no spot monkeying, no baby punches, and he even flawlessly executed a textbook moonsault, that AJ thankfully avoided towards the matches’ end. Good on ya.
Mullet Club 4 life. The hair that runs the lair.
The glowing purple, lightning adorned elephant in the room, yes, hated 4 move wonder and charisma black hole Roman Reigns retired the fucking Undertaker for Christ’s sake, but this show kind of went off the rails well before that, two matches before to be exact, when Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt for the WWE (SmackDown) Title. Say what you want about Undi and Mr. Sufferin’ Succotash, and we’ll get to Old Bill and Bork, but in my opinion, stealing Wyatt’s thunder like this was the biggest mistake of the night, especially after his ridiculously awesome (Awesomely ridiculous?) insect summoning ultra combos.
The early going wasn’t innocent either. Austin Aries and Neville’s opening encounter was decent, and I was even pleasantly surprised that ol’ Adrian went over, but that couldn’t atone for the rest of the kickoff show’s myriad of sins.
Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin’s Intercontinental Title match being bumped to the pre-show was bad enough, but putting Dean over after how thoroughly unremarkable his run has been and how consistent Corbin’s ring and mic work is lately is just bullshit. I’m sure the feud will continue, but still. Also bullshit? The Andre Battle Royal. After the huge build of Big Show, Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn going into this thing on Raw they give the W to… Mojo Rawley, because he’s friends with some football douchebag… or something. Great seeing NXT’s Killian Dain get such a big role but again, bullshit.
Don’t think I forgot about the Bill and Brock connection’s 4 minute suplex and spear-a-thon. Unless he loses it tonight to either Rollins or a certain bodypainted Irishman, putting the Twizzler Trophy on Lesnar was a gigantic mistake. Raw’s not all gloom and doom though, The Hardys are there, and hopefully they’ll be given at least SOME freedom when it comes to promos and vignettes. Outstanding!
For SmackDown, the Bray loss hurts, but let’s not forget that Shinsuke Nakamura is heavily rumored to be headed there. A collision course with NJPW nemesis AJ Styles? That’s enough to give any show a much needed boost.
And as for The Undertaker, well, I don’t think any of us would’ve chosen that exact scenario for Mean Mark’s curtain call, but Jim Ross back on the mic (who has reportedly signed a new 2 year deal with WWE) almost dulled the pain. Can a heel-ish Roman use this (yet another) push to get himself over the way his famous cousin did? No. But maybe he could at least start trying.
In closing, I’ll mirror the rest of the millions saying “Thank You, Taker” for his decades of athletic dominance and innovative, multiple era defining character work. Due to a multitude of shitty, modern, real world factors, there really never will be another one like him. Rest In Peace.