Wrestlemania 31 Recap

20141022_WM31_EVENT_LOGO_2Wrestlemania 31 is officially in the books and in a way delivered way beyond what anyone expected. Considering this year’s buildup to the show of shows was “meh” for a variety of reasons, WWE managed to pull off a show that in some’s eyes could be in the top 5-10 Wrestlemanias of all time. Held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, WWE broke the attendance record there with 76,976 rasslin’ fans from all over the globe. (The fact that they mention it constantly is hilarious considering the stadium opened just this past year). The sun was out for the majority of the show and while many would rather have it differently, Wrestlemania 31 was great throughout the entire show. This one will be remembered for ages. Here is a look back on the action, and I will go on record and say that I did not do so stellar on my picks, going 3/9 on the night.

Kickoff:

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro def. Los Matadores, The New Day and The Usos to retain the Tag Team Titles

Wrestlemania 31 started with the Kickoff Show which was not only available on the WWE Network, but places like YouTube or WWE.com. The first match featured Tyson Kidd and Cesaro defending their Tag Team Championships against three teams. The match itself was great and everyone got involved, but why call it a “Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Match” when only two competitors are allowed in the ring at the same time? The rules would be less confusing and it would be easier to keep up with. It is the same way with a Triple Threat Tag as well. That is my only beef. Other than that, the match was really good and Kidd & Cesaro retained the titles.

Rating: 7/10

Big Show wins the 2nd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Considering the entire battle royal is named after a giant, I find it appropriate that Big Show won. Another highlight of this match was Damien Mizdow turning on the Miz and eliminating him. That left Mizdow and Big Show as the last two competitors remaining, and after about two minutes of going back and forth Big Show finally eliminated Mizdow.

Rating: 6/10

Wrestlemania goes on the air, Aloe Blacc sings “America the Beautiful”

Intercontinental championship Ladder Match: Daniel Bryan def Wade Barrett, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper and Stardust

WM31_Photo_105-332484382WM31_Photo_120-1368250643 All photo credits to WWE.com

Wade Barrett finally lost his championship that had been stolen from him on a number of occasions in previous weeks. Aside from fan-favorite Daniel Bryan winning the match, one highlight of this match was the nasty bump Dean Ambrose took when Luke Harper power bombed him out of the ring and through a ladder. A video of that bump is available here.

With Daniel Bryan winning the match, some prestige is brought back to the Intercontinental title. It is good to have a guy like Bryan hold that championship to make the audience care about it once again. Bryan also defended the title Monday night on RAW against Dolph Ziggler in a very entertaining match and Barrett attacked him afterwards. Hopefully this leads to a triple threat IC title match at Extreme Rules. That could be one of the top matches on Extreme Rules card.

Rating: 8/10

Randy Orton def Seth Rollins

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Randy Orton got his revenge on Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania when he beat him in a solid 15 minute match that featured one of the most unique RKO’s of recent memory. Rollins had Orton down on his knees and was looking to hit his signature “curb stomp” finishing maneuver, but as Rollins jumped off of Orton to finish the move, Orton got up and RKO’d Rollins before Rollins came back to the ground. Orton then pinned Rollins and won the match. You can watch the amazing RKO here.

Rating: 7/10

Triple H def Sting

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Can I just say that the entrances for this match were fantastic? I loved Sting’s entrance and I also loved Triple H’s “Terminator” themed entrance. Wrestlemania entrances never disappoint. As for the match, it was slow-paced and they made Hunter carry it to protect the 56-year-old Sting, but still it was great to finally see Sting competing in a WWE ring at Wrestlemania. The two grappled and battled for about ten minutes, until some familiar faces showed up to help Triple H:

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That’s Right, DX showed up and Sting had to battle through the distractions, although a few minutes later he would get some help of his own:

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Fans who watched the WWF vs WCW Monday Night Wars went nuts when the NWO showed up to assist Sting. These three went at it with DX and it looked like Sting was on his way to victory with Triple H in the Scorpion Death Lock, until HBK himself showed up and Superkicked the Stinger:

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Triple H then capitalized on all of the distractions and pinned Sting for the win. The match may not have been the greatest in terms of quality wrestling, but for nostalgia’s sake it was incredible. I did not live through the WWF vs WCW era but I am sure it was amazing for anyone who watched during that time. I am a little surprised, however, that they had Triple H win. Why make Sting lose his first ever WWE match? The only reasonable argument I can make is that it is goes along with WWF winning the Monday Night War. There were rumors that Sting would be done after this, but I highly doubt that now that he still has yet to win one match in WWE. He will be back. On Raw when asked what was next for him, Sting replied “I don’t know,” and the crowd started chanting “Undertaker.” Whether or not WWE pulls the trigger on that is yet to be seen.

Rating: 8/10

AJ Lee and Paige def The Bella Twins

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Even though the match was only a little over five minutes, the Divas delivered and had a quality tag team match that saw AJ Lee pick up the victory by making the Diva’s Champion Nikki Bella submit. This was also Paige’s first Wrestlemania and the look on her face after picking up the victory was touching. You could tell that it meant the world to her. Hopefully some sort of Diva’s championship match is set for Extreme Rules and the Divas are given a chance to tear the house down.

Rating: 6/10

The 2015 Hall of Fame class came out and waved to the crowd. I love what they are doing with the Warrior Award. I was in tears watching Connor “The Crusher’s” dad speak on Saturday night when his son was inducted. For those of you who don’t know look it up.

John Cena def Rusev, wins United States Championship 

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Rusev rode out on a tank and John Cena paid tribute to the United States, and then these two locked horns. The undefeated Rusev gave Cena the beating of his life, but Mr. Cena was able to push through it and defeat the unstoppable Rusev. The finish came when Lana got up on the ringposts. Rusev was pushed into Lana and this distraction allowed Cena to lift Rusev onto his shoulders and deliver an Attitude Adjustment. Cena pinned Rusev and won the United States title, and now fans can appreciate the U.S. title even more. I like what WWE is doing by making the Intercontinental and United States titles relevant again. What better way to do that by having guys like Daniel Bryan and John Cena carry those titles.

Rating: 7/10

The Authority, The Rock and Ronda Rousey Segment 

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 Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out to basically brag about the attendance record and tell the fans about how “they own them.” This carried on until a familiar face showed up:

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That’s right, The Rock returned to Wrestlemania yet again and told Stephanie that she does not own the fans. Stephanie and Hunter taunted The Rock and Stephanie proceeded to slap The Rock across the face.

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Stephanie then taunted The Rock some more, asking him if he would really hit a girl. The Rock then turned his attention elsewhere to UFC Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey.

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With Rousey at his side, The Rock took out Triple H as Rousey attacked Stephanie and even got her hands on Triple H. Who knows where this is going, but look for a Triple H vs The Rock match down the road, possibly at next year’s Wrestlemania.

The Undertaker def Bray Wyatt

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The Undertaker came back from his first ever Wrestlemania loss last year as he defeated Bray Wyatt and is now 22-1 at Wrestlemania. The match was slow-paced and was not great by any means, but seeing the Undertaker was special as usual and he looked to be in better shape than he was last year. According to reports, Bray Wyatt suffered a sprained ankle during the Sunday rehearsal for this match and toughed it out, so props to him for fighting through it. I am sure that was very painful to work through especially when you have to carry a match against a 50-year-old man. Honestly, I am surprised Undertaker won. Bray Wyatt, one of the top young heels in the WWE, has now made two Wrestlemania appearances and has lost both matches he has competed in at the show of shows. Why have Wyatt carry the entire feud, calling himself “the new face of fear” and lose the match to a 50-year-old man with nothing left to prove? You’re only hurting Wyatt. He will be off TV for a while to nurse his ankle, but upon his return WWE should have Wyatt cause all sorts of destruction to make the audience believe in him again.

Rating: 6/10

Seth Rollins def Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, wins WWE World Heavyweight Championship 

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The main event of Wrestlemania 31 was originally a one on one match between the Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, but that would all change. The early portion of the match saw Lesnar dominate Reigns, hitting him with suplex after suplex and multiple F5’s. Lesnar had a pretty bad cut on his head that saw him bleeding for a long time. A little over ten minutes into the match, we heard Seth Rollins’s music, and Mr. Money in the Bank cashed in.

WM31_Photo_413-3848411521WM31_Photo_427-3374485083 With the match now a triple threat, Lesnar had Rollins on his shoulders when Reigns speared him, and Lesnar rolled out of the ring. Rollins then hit the curb stomp on Reigns and covered him for the victory.

 I loved this finish. I know Lesnar just signed a new contract, but you cannot have a part-time champion on the sidelines for the next few pay-per-views when those shows need the championship to sell it. Rollins is the perfect man to carry the title. He is the new top heel in the company and was much more ready than Reigns to carry the belt. With Lesnar not being pinned, he will get his rematch eventually. But in the meantime, expect some great championship matches with Rollins defending against the likes of Reigns and Randy Orton.

Rating: 9/10

OVERALL WRESTLEMANIA RATING: 9/10

This was a great Wrestlemania. As I said earlier, the buildup was pretty poor, but WWE made up for it with a fantastic Wrestlemania. Things are looking good right now and hopefully WWE can capitalize on the momentum.  Wrestlemania 32 will be held on April 3, 2016 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and I am going to try to go if I can get a good price. Not only do I want to go to Wrestlemania again (I went to WM29 in 2013 in NJ) I also want to see that beautiful stadium. I will do what I can to go and will keep you posted.

What did you think of Wrestlemania? Did you have technical difficulties using the WWE network? My stream was decent although it did freeze up a few times. I heard others had problems the entire show, which is unfortunate.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments or Tweet at us: @WBUQWMCD …I would love to hear what you had to say. Share this with your friends too, if you can. I need all the publicity I can get a this point. I would truly appreciate it.

Thanks for reading,

Jake

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