09th Apr2018

‘WrestleMania 34′ Results & Review

by Ryan Kershaw

Wrestlemania 34 began, as WWE PPV’s do these days, with the Kick-Off show featuring Rene Young, Booker T, JBL and David Otunga hyping up the upcoming event. We saw the promos for the main matches of the night and I have to be honest, I was getting pretty pumped for WrestleMania 34. John Cena was then shown sitting in the crowd to attend the show of shows as a fan, bless him, he did his best to pull his “Hey! I’m a fan!” face but I, being a cynical fan, didn’t buy a second of it. Carmella came up to the kick-off panel to tell the WWE Universe that she may or may not be cashing in tonight. The focus of this little interaction was on the Charlotte vs Asuka match, was it to draw focus away from her cashing in on Alexa Bliss? I guess we would just have to find out. Then came the first match of the night…

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Andre “The Giant” Memorial Battle Royal

I think 99 out of 100 wrestling fans predicted that this match would kick off the kick-off show. This match has got a lot of stick over the past 2 years and in the build up to this years WrestleMania it was met with nothing but contempt from all WWE fans. It started with the usual mess of bodies trying to throw one-another over the top rope. The first man to get eliminated was Aiden English, I’m thinking this decision was made to get the “Rusev Day” chants out of the way. Cue another shot of John Cena as fan, remember, he is only a fan tonight! The match plodded along with the fans operating at a rate of 3 our of 10. Why was good old JR brought back to call this match? Poor guy! We then had a break to show a promo, yep, WWE care so little about this match that they actually stopped showing it for a couple of minutes. I can’t say I’m too disappointed about this one. When we came back, The Miztourage eliminated The Revival, lol, such promise in NXT to absolutely nothing in WWE. There was an awesome elimination by Baron Corbin to Sin Cara. Got to give credit where credit is due, after that elimination we had a pre-WrestleMania moment with Matt Hardy and Tye Dillinger doing their “10” and “Delete” taunts to get the crowd involved and fired up. Then went my prediction! Dolph Ziggler came flying over the top rope. You’ll never guess what happened next?! Bray Wyatt made a shock return at WrestleMania! And the crowd went mild! Mojo Rawley and Baron Corbin stood shocked in the middle of the ring as Bray helped his ‘Woken’ rival win the Andre “The Giant” Battle Royal. Though this seemed like a giant waste of Bray Wyatt but if WWE aren’t going to do anything with Bray, why not partner him with Matt Hardy and have some fun? I think these two men will make for some entertaining television and it may well be a main event stable when Jeff Hardy comes back, as Brother Nero maybe? Only time will tell!

Match Rating: 2/10

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Final – Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali

Cedric Alexander entered the ring first but who remembers that when Mustafa Ali looked so damn good as he entered. His look was more New Japan than anything else and these two men deserved a Mania match even if it was on the pre-show. The match was predictably fast and high flying but that’s not to say it wasn’t entertaining. The live crowd seemed to be into the contest but for a Championship match they seemed very quiet and seemingly bored in places. After the two played out a nice story after the high flying stunts and Cedric Alexander defeated Mustafa Ali to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

Match Rating: 5/10

Women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal

Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Bayley were the only women to get their own entrances as all 20 female superstars entered the ring for the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal. The match was just as slow, clumsy and boring as the men’s version was. Another shot of John Cena in the crowd again, he’s just a fan remember! At the end, Sasha Banks and Bayley worked together to secure their place as the final two competitors, or so we thought. As Sasha Banks went for a hand shake but Bayley used this to eliminate her former friend. As Bayley celebrated her victory Naomi slides back into the ring to show that she never got eliminated. Naomi throws ‘The Hugger’ over the top rope to win the first ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.

Match Rating: 2/10

Intercontinental Championship Match – The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor

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What a way to start the show! After the lights, the fireworks, the cheers and America the Beautiful welcomed the show of the year, “Burn It Down” blared through the speakers and Seth Rollins opened WrestleMania 34. With a Game of Thrones inspired attire. He looked great! The champion came out next, flagged by The Miztourage. The Miz surprisingly sent both Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel to the make as he wanted to do it alone. Was this a face turn? Then finally Finn Balor made his entrance and the opening match of WrestleMania was on! Each man started the contest getting their offence in, we even got ANOTHER shot of John Cena watching the match, as a fan remember! The Miz almost played the part of a vulture during the match. Getting out wrestled by Rollins and Balor and only getting success for himself from behind or against a vulnerable opponent. But ‘The A Lister’ did have a couple of near fall moments the most memorable being after Seth Rollins had floored Finn Balor but got hit with a Skull Crushing Finale, but ‘The Architect’ kicked out. Balor and Rollins had a much more high flying performance on the night. They broke up pin-falls from the top rope and even revisited their SummerSlam match with Rollins going to buckle bomb Finn Balor on the outside but luckily the Irishman reversed it. The ending saw Finn Balor hitting The Miz with a Coup De Grace and going for the pin. Whilst covering The Miz, Finn Balor was hit with a Curb Stomp courtesy of Seth Rollins. ‘The Architect’ then pumped up the crowd, stomping the mat like a Shawn Michaels set up, Rollins hit The Miz with his finishing move and pinned the title holder to become the new Intercontinental Champion. This match was a solid way to start the biggest show of the year and was, in my mind, the second best match of the night.

Match Rating: 7/10

WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship Match – Charlotte vs Asuka

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First of all, AMAZING entrance from the Champion. Charlotte played her Father, Ric Flair’s music and sat upon a throne as the Queen of women;s wrestling. The last time Charlotte was in this building was at WrestleMania 30 as a slave girl for Triple H as he sat upon his throne. Even Charlotte’s entrance told a good story. Then came the challenger, Asuka made her way onto the showcase of the immortals and I only have one question, WHY DO WE KEEP HAVING THESE CHEAP GRAPHICS! They suck WWE! They suck big time! The match had a fast start, with Charlotte showing her known incredible wrestling talent and Asuka showing her dominant stiff shots. Both women put on a good display here especially with moments like the back-flip reversal and the suplex from the apron to outside the ring, but a special mention has to be made about Charlotte’s performance. Every time Charlotte is put in a bigger match, on a grander stage she steps up and shows why, in my opinion anyway, she is the greatest female performer on the planet today! Now with the positives that this match had I have to get negative about this ending, and it won’t be the first time a Mania match has a questionable ending this year. Charlotte got Asuka in the Figure 8 and the undefeated challenger tapped out. The Goldberg like streak is over with her first high profile match on the main roster! That is awful! When Asuka’s streak broke it should have been at WrestleMania, no complaints there but why not make her a unstoppable champion for a year and then have her defeated?! It was a complete waste of the streak! I don’t know what was a bigger crime, the waste of the streak or those cheap graphics Asuka had for her entrance! What do you think? I did feel very sorry for both Women after the match as I felt there was a huge showing of disrespect. As Asuka took to the microphone to say “Congratulations” to the retaining champion a referee ran down to ringside and whispered something to John Cena. We has two shots of Mr. Cena just being a fan during this match so I was pretty pleased that at least we wouldn’t have to deal with those anymore. But with Asuka still standing in the middle of the ring all of the cameras and fans attention was on John Cena who hopped the barricade and ran up the ramp to make his way to the back.

Match Rating: 6/10

United States Championship Match – Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal vs Bobby Roode vs Rusev

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An American, Canadian, Indian and Bulgarian walked into a ring, what happened next? Not much to be honest. Other than a champion that would really rather be anywhere else. Yes, Randy Orton really looked like he didn’t want to be there! The United States Champion looked inconvenienced as he made his way down the ramp. Bobby Roode had an okay reception when he made his entrance and Jinder Mahal’s head gear fell off, so he put it in his mouth, yep, his mouth. But the only man with a positive note on his entrance was Rusev. Now we all know that this match was taking place on Rusev Day but the fans made a huge pop as Rusev made his way down to the ring. The ‘Bulgarian Brute’ stood tall at the start of the contest and showed real dominance to the live crowds appreciation. All 4 men then had their moment in the spotlight to get their dominance in. A funny moment as Jinder Mahal tried to ally himself with Rusev but the creator of Rusev Day kicked ‘The Modern Day Maharaja’s’ butt! Rusev, Mahal and even Aiden English then got hit with an RKO but was then stopped by a glorious DDT by Bobby Roode. Everyone in the match then got a Machka Kick to the face before a distraction by Sunil Singh gave Jinder Mahal the opportunity ti sneak up behind Rusev and plant him hard to the mat giving him the victory and crowning Mahal the new United States Champion. I FINALLY GOT A PREDICTION RIGHT! The real question heading out of this match was, who looked more bothered after the match? Randy Orton or the empty seat that Cena was sitting in? Orton didn’t care is my point! In all seriousness though I think that Jinder Mahal will do a good job as U.S Champion in the weeks and months to come.

Match Rating: 6/10

It’s About To Get Rowdy! – Triple H & Stephanie McMahon vs Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey

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Motorbikes again? Yep, Triple H once again came to the ring on a motorbike looking like the coolest Dad ever! I suppose this year was different as Stephanie had her own, HHH must have been giving her lessons over the past year. The entrance was so slow and careful it looked more like Wild Hogs than Sons of Anarchy! Triple H did however look in incredible shape, the best he’s looked in years. Then came out Kurt Angle in his classic singlet and soaking in ever “You Suck” chant from the WrestleMania crowd. It was great to see the Olympic Champion on the stage that he belongs. Finally, out came the debuting Ronda Rousey. Paying tribute to Roddy Piper in a short kilt and those classic Scottish patterns. There was a shock as Rousey took the kilt off though, did anyone else think that Ronda was wearing granny pants? Granny pants aside, the crowd reacted incredibly well to Ronda Rousey’s arrival. Stephanie McMahon pie-faced Rousey and then attacked her from behind. Triple H and Kurt Angle wrestled the entire start of the match, with great mat work and high intense offence as Triple H always does. One thing I will say is that Mr. Helmsley sure did call the action at a very high volume early one. I think that those even in the cheap seats could hear what he was calling in the ring with Angle. We almost had a flashback to Wrestlemania the past couple of years with Triple H almost hitting his wife but this time he stopped himself. Stephanie performed a sneak attack to Ronda Rousey on the apron and the fans were chomping at the bit at the prospect of Rousey getting her hands on McMahon and then that’s exactly what happened. In. Came. Ronda! Rousey looked quick, slick and ready for the WWE. She demolished Stephanie but the ‘Billion Dollar Princess’ was able to stop the arm-bar being locked in. Stephanie thumbed Ronda’s eye but that only gave her a small amount of time. Rousey once again had McMahon beat but Triple H roughly pulled Rousey to the outside and onto the mat. Angle, taking exception to this, took the fight to Triple H only to get thrown across the announce tables and over the barricade. This lead to Triple H and Ronda Rousey squaring off in the middle of the ring with Rousey hitting the COO with quick and stiff rights and lefts. Triple H needed his wife to save him as he was put into the arm-bar. With all four competitors in the ring Mr & Mrs Helmsley go for a double Pedigree, Kurt Angle lifted HHH to the outside of the ring and Ronda Rousey reversed to get Stephanie McMahon into an arm-bar. The sight of Stephanie McMahon tapping out was great for the WWE Universe to witness and finished a surprising good match very well. This was by far the match of the night and I think we can all look forward to Ronda Rousey in the WWE.

Match Rating: 8/10

WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match – The Uso’s vs The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers

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The New Day entered the ring first, flagged by an army on dancing midgets in pancake costumes. One of them really injured his ankle when doing the worm, If someone I told you that the only injury coming out of WrestleMania was a pancake costume wearing midget would you have believed me? The match started with The Bludgeon Brothers cleaning house before The Uso’s and Kofi Kingston got their high flying offence in. It was quick exciting action with Big E showing amazing strength to make it a crowd popping short match. It was a quick match and a squash in some places but I think they will carry these storylines out for weeks after tonight. The Bludgeon Brothers picked up a dominant victory and became the new WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions.

I thought he was just a fan?! – John Cena vs ???

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John Cena came to the ring in his fighting attire, he looked excited and we all thought the fight was on! An official came to the ring to say the fight was now off, this was the fastest 50/50 booking I’ve ever seen. The lights went out, a guitar cord played and Elias made his entrance. “Where you expecting somebody else?” Elias got some genuine heel heat here as he mocked The Undertaker and praised himself. But when Elias mocked the city of New Orleans that’s when Cena had enough. He stormed back into the ring a took Elias to school. He hit Elias with a flurry of offence before sealing it with an AA. With Cena standing tall in the middle of the ring the fans screamed “Undertaker” in the hopes that ‘The Dead Man’ was about to make his appearance. As Cena made his way back up the ramp thinking that the night was over the lights once again went out. This time instead of a guitar cord it was the legendary “Gong” of The Undertaker’s entrance. One spotlight came on and it highlighted The Undertakers folded jacket and hat that was left in the middle of the ring to end the show last year. The Undertaker had arrived! It wasn’t biker taker, it was ‘The Dead Man’ and he had come to fight. The match kicked off to a flying start. Taker hit John Cena with those classic MMA punches, a flying clothesline and old school. Cena got 10 seconds of offence in but when he went for a 5 knuckle shuffle, the leader of the Cenation was stopped in his tracks by The Undertaker sitting up and starring into the eyes of John Cena. Undertaker planted Cena with a Chokeslam and then a Tombstone Piledriver to gain a huge victory in what only can be described as a squash match over the 16-time World Champion. A massive comeback for ‘The Dead Man’ and a wonderful WrestleMania moment. The match only lasted 3 minutes and can be described as a shock but I think it was a perfect way to break the show up a bit.

YES! YES! YES! or YEP! YEP! YEP! – Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan

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An awesome “YES Movement” promo package for the returning Daniel Bryan as he joined his partner Shane McMahon in the ring. The WrestleMania crowd inside the Super-dome went wild to welcome back the ‘American Dragon’. As the Smackdown Live Commissioner and General Manager were standing in the ring, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacked them from behind. They through Shane over the barricade towards his family at ringside and gave Daniel Bryan a Helluva Kick and a Power-Bomb to the ring apron to effectively end Bryan’s return before the opening bell had even rang. Showing the typical “McMahon Grapefruit’s”, Shane started the match by himself, hitting Zayn off the apron and beating Owens into the corner of the ring. With the numbers game proving too much following a botched kick from Shane, Owens & Zayn gained control of the contest. They started to lay a beating on Shane but as we already know, you can’t count a McMahon out. Shane fought back and even delivered a Coast to Coast on Sami Zayn. With this still not being enough Shane once again found himself on the receiving end of a beating from KO and Zayn. Daniel Bryan saves the contest and makes his way back into the match to the pure pleasure of the WrestleMania crowd. Bryan controlled the match and gave all the Yes Kicks and Running Drop-Kicks that we know and love. As Sami Zayn fought back he screamed “How could you?!” to Daniel Bryan as Bryan almost did a Hulk Hogan impression as no no sold the attack and fired back at Zayn himself. Bryan kicked out of a Helluva Kick and a Pop-Up Power-Bomb before hitting Sami Zayn with a Running Knee/Cross-Face combo to make Zayn tap out.

I’m interested to see where WWE go with this one and will Daniel Bryan simply be one of the boys after tonight?

Match Rating: 6/10

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match – Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax

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Bliss came out first. Lifted 20 feet in the air, on a pedestal, very fitting. Then waved out her friend, or should I say security, no, I should say sacrifice, Mickie James. Then the challenger, Nia Jax, no long extravagant ring walk. Jax came to the ring with a purpose and a point to prove and told all of this with just the look in her eyes. Nia took out James on the outside throwing her around like a rag doll then delivering a Samoan Drop to the floor. So with the outside help out of the equation the match could finally begin. Bliss tried a sneak attack but to no avail. Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss had a comical moment as they stood face to face in the middle of the ring and Bliss let out an almighty scream and ran away from the much bigger challenger. Jax got her hands on her former best friend and the one sided contest got very physical very fast. Bliss had to use her brain and did. She targeted Nia’s leg to get the ‘Irresistible Force’ off of her feet. Bliss then showed a clinical display in keeping her challenger on the mat. Using her speed, Bliss moved away from every attack that Nia attempted and delivered a Twisted Bliss from the top rope to the outside of the ring. When the match got back into the ring, Nia eventually gained control and was simply far too powerful for the champion. She gave Bliss Power-Slam after Power-Slam before hitting Alexa with a Samoan Drop off the second rope to secure the win and become the new WWE Raw Women’s Champion. This match told a good story and although it was a little slow in places it was a feel good moment and a feel good ending to their story.

Match Rating: 5/10

WWE Championship Match – AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

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In my opinion this was by far the best promo package to come from this years WrestleMania. It got me pumped up and ready for such a dream match even at 03:30AM. There was no Heel/Face dynamic heading into this one. It was simply two amazing wrestlers, two fan favourites and two men that truly deserved this WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. Shinsuke Nakamura entered the ring first with not just one live violin player but twenty. There was even Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) on guitar to give ‘The Rockstar’ a fitting entrance. If you didn’t tune into the event let me tell you something, 78,000 people singing along with Nakamura’s theme was something a little bit special. Then out came the champion, AJ Styles had no fancy entrance, no band, no singer, no actors or dances, not even any fireworks. He did however have the only thing you ever need to be special in a WrestleMania entrance, the WWE Championship. Judging by the crowds reaction to the opening to this match I would say that Nakamura had a slight edge with the live New Orleans crowd, that came to a shock for me but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for the Japanese star myself. It had nothing to do with the fact that I only had three correct predictions heading into this one, I promise! Shut up! Nakamura got the better of Styles in the early stages of this bout but Styles gained control of the match after reversing a Good Vibrations from his opponent. This match seemed to be heading towards a WWE style of match-up rather than the NJPW style some of us were expecting with these two. It was much slower and mat based early than predicted with Styles keeping control of the pace. As the pace did quicken the two men had a great back and forth. With AJ’s effortless move-set and reversals and Nakamura’s strike game they built such a compelling chemistry in the ring as we knew they would. A big surprise in this match, or at least I thought so, was the fact that there wasn’t any moment that I thought that either guy was about to win. Near falls in a Championship match is a WrestleMania trait and this match didn’t have it. The finish of the match was another reversal from Styles that led to a Styles-Clash for the WWE Champion to retain his Title. The big story to take away from this match came after the contest. Nakamura got to his knees, presenting AJ Styles with the WWE Championship as a sign of respect. If this wasn’t your first time tuning into WrestleMania then you would have seen this sort of thing before a whole bunch of times. But then shock! Shinsuke Nakamura hit Styles with a low-blow and proceeded to kick Styles in and outside the ring to complete a shocking and unpredictable heel turn. This wasn’t the five star match that we all expected but it was a solid and enjoyable encounter that, due to it’s ending, has a wonderful story-line and feud to continue with long after this event.

Match Rating: 7/10

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match – Sheamus & Cesaro vs Braun Strowman & ???

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Was it The Big Show? Was it Bray Wyatt? Was it Samoa Jo? Or could it even be Rey Mysterio? Nope! It was a 11 year old fan called Nicolas. Yep! I don’t have much to say about this one. It made a mockery of the tag team division and a great tag team in The Bar for that matter. I’m sure many enjoyed this and found it funny but I thought that it was yet another booking mistake from a very strange WrestleMania. Strowman defeated the Tag Team Champions single handed to win the Titles for himself and the 11 year old Nicolas. Oh dear!

Match Rating: 2/10

WWE Universal Championship Match – Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

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No big flashy entrances for either man, these two titans just came for a fight. The match started fast with both Lesnar and Reigns getting in their share of offence. Lesnar then took control of the contest, he slowed the pace down and picked his challenger apart like Lesnar does best. This much was found wanting especially as the main event. Nothing special happened as the so called big moments where telegraphed months ago. Yes, Roman Reigns kicked out of the F5, not just one but 5 or 6 of the damn things, the fans hated it! As Lesnar got more and more annoyed with his stubborn opponent he took off his gloves and proceeded to lay a beat down on ‘The Big Dog’. Lesnar then repeated what he did to Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2016 and busted open Roman Reigns the hard way with some stiff elbows to the top of Reigns’ head. Roman, seeing his own blood, had a late rally and hit The Universal with a spear. Lesnar kicked out. Reigns then tried to put Lesnar away the same way he did to The Undertaker last year but ‘The Beast’ had it scouted and hit Roman with yet another F5 to get the 1,2,3! Brock Lesnar retained and WrestleMania ended very flat, just like WrestleMania 32 it turned a strange and average WrestleMania into a disappointing one. I can not express to you how disappointing the final two matches of WrestleMania were and the biggest show of the year even ended with the live crowd chanting “This is Awful!” What have you done WWE? This genuinely could have been one of the greatest WrestleMania’s of all time if you booked this correctly. Consider me disappointed!

Match Rating – 5/10
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Wrestlemania 34 Rating: 5/10

It would have been a 6, or even a 7, if a few little things had changed and the last 30-45 minutes played out much, much better than it did!
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So what did you think of this years Wrestlemania? What were your highlights and what did you dislike? Let us know in the comments below…

(Photos courtesy of WWE.com)
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