Our man James Klonowski gives you his review on WrestleMania 33.
The Undertaker finally took his last ride as a WWE superstar in a losing effort to Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross was brought back to call the action to make the match and moment all that more special. There had been rumours running rampant for weeks that this would indeed be Undertaker’s last match, and so it proved. After suffering three consecutive Spears from a determined Roman Reigns, Undertaker fell to his second WrestleMania defeat. After the smoke had cleared, Undertaker donned his black hat and coat before symbolically leaving them and his gloves in the ring and walking away from the squared circle for the final time at the age of 52 and after nearly three decades of dominance in WWE.
The match itself was decent enough. Undertaker looked in pretty bad shape, but he did the best he could with a game Roman Reigns. They used a lot of smoke and mirrors to hide Taker’s weaknesses to great effect. I enjoyed the bout for what it was. Both men delivered the best they could and at this stage in his career it was a fitting end to the legend of The Undertaker.
Elsewhere, Brock Lesnar gained retribution on Goldberg in a dominating victory. It lasted longer than their Survivor Series encounter, but not that much longer. Goldberg delivered umpteen Spears and a Jackhammer, but it wasn’t enough to keep The Beast down. Goldberg then paid a visit to Suplex City, suffering an incredible 10 Germans before receiving the match-ending F-5 to crown Lesnar the new WWE Universal champion. Doubt we will ever see Goldberg in the ring again, but his comeback will go down as a success for sure. Brock will likely enter into a program with Roman Reigns over the summer, where The Beast will be expected to put The Big Dog over.
In the sleeper match of the night, Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt to become a 13-time WWE Champion. Only Ric Flair and John Cena now have more world championships than The Viper. The bout was filled with many weird mind games played by The Eater of Worlds, but in the end it was all for moot as Orton nailed an RKO outta nowhere. The match was fought at too slow a pace for the fans to invest in. These two just can’t put on a decent encounter. Maybe they need a gimmick or something to help them.
Naomi received her crowning WrestleMania moment by returning from injury to win the six-pack challenge and become the new SmackDown Women’s champion. The match was lively, but short as the show was running long. All women involved had their time to shine however, which is more than can be said for the Raw brand. Their four way elimination match was the biggest disappointment of the entire night. All four women failed to deliver when the lights were on brightest. The match was too quick, the eliminations were nonsensical and the entire bout lacked drama. Bayley should never have won the title on an episode of Raw. That should’ve been kept for WrestleMania, as should’ve Charlotte losing her PPV undefeated streak. Sasha Banks will likely turn heel on Raw tonight, but we could’ve done with that at WrestleMania.
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens failed to live up to expectations in their United States Championship match. The bout was filled with counters and slick moves, but nothing really clicked with the watching audience. Jericho’s counter of the Pop-Up Powerbomb into the Codebreaker got a loud ovation though. The match ended with Owens delivering a vicious Powerbomb onto the ring apron to capture the US title for the first time in his career.
Triple H and Seth Rollins had an overly long Non-Sanctioned match. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the bout, it was just too long. And the narrative of Rollins injured knee did no one any favours. Stephanie McMahon’s table bump at the end was well done, but I was surprised to see Triple H lose cleanly to his own finishing move no less. Not sure where The Game goes from here. He couldn’t even beat a one-legged Seth Rollins, imagine what a fully fit Architect would’ve done to him. Perhaps this was a subtle hint at Triple H looking to hang up his boots as well.
John Cena proposed to Nikki Bella after their win over The Miz and Maryse as expected. The match itself was a complete mess, but the aftermath is all anyone will care about. Congratulations to the happy couple.
The Hardy Boys made their shocking return to WWE to not only enter the ladder match but win the Raw Tag Team Championship. It was a surprise to say the least. I’ve always preferred Jeff Hardy on his own, but no one can deny the impact Matt has had on the business in recent years. They deserved this moment. The ladder match was nowhere near as spectacular as the battles contested between The Dudleys, The Hardys and E&C, but it was still fun and featured plenty of insane bumps.
The opening match was arguably the best of the lot. AJ Styles and Shane McMahon tore the house down from bell to bell. With it being a regular match, many doubted whether Shane could deliver. However, a referee bump allowed Shane to do all of his usual array of death-defying moves including the Coast to Coast and Elbow Drop off the top rope through the announce table. Shane capped things off by going for a truly amazing Shooting Star Press, which he pulled off with some aplomb, but Styles avoided impact and then delivered the Phenomenal Forearm for the win. Without question the best wrestling match of Shane’s career.
The New Day kicked off the show with their hosting gig, and cut close to the knife with several of their jokes. Most of which will have thankfully gone over the children’s heads. They didn’t really do much all night, which was a waste of their talents. I was expecting an appearance from The Rock, but that never materialized.
This year’s WrestleMania will go down as one of the most memorable of all time. It was definitely filled with a lot of awesome and incredible moments. The in-ring quality was somewhat lacking however. Not one match could be described as a classic. It was still an amazingly enjoyable night which easily blew last year’s efforts out of the water. WrestleMania 33 will forever be remembered as the night The Undertaker’s legendary career was laid to rest…. in peace.