WrestleMania 33 and the Aftermath

WrestleMania 33, subtitled “the Ultimate Thrillride” for some reason, has come and gone. Was it one of the better ones, worse ones, or somewhere in the middle?

PRE-SHOW:

==Cruiserweight Title Match==
Neville (c) def. Austin Aries – These guys deserved to be on the main card. This would be remembered as one of the better matches of the night if more people had seen it. Since it was on the pre-show, there was a commercial for the WWE Network in the middle of it, which feels so disrespectful. Neville retained but it doesn’t feel like this rivalry is over.

==4th Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal==
Mojo Rawley def. Jinder Mahal, Killian Dain, Sami Zayn, Titus O’Neil, Dolph Ziggler, Bo Dallas, Mark Henry, Braun Strowman, Big Show, Curtis Axel, Tian Bing, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Luke Harper, Apollo Crews, Goldust, R-Truth, Curt Hawkins, Konnor, Viktor, Aiden English, Simon Gotch, Epico, Primo, Kalisto, Sin Cara – All told, there were 33 participants. Once they showed Rob Gronkowski at ringside, I figured he would somehow get involved and Mojo would win. WWE would love to sign this guy once he retires from the NFL. Once it was down to three guys (Mojo, Jinder Mahal, and NXT’s Killian Dain), Jinder decided to throw Gronk’s drink at him, so Gronk follows him into the ring and hits him with a shoulder tackle. Without Gronk, though, no way Mojo wins this.

==InterContinental Title Match==
Dean Ambrose (c) def. Baron Corbin – Of all the titles matches, this seemed to have the least amount of hype, so it was no wonder it was bumped to the pre-show. It was okay, but it was probably the least memorable match of the night.

MAIN CARD:

==Grudge Match==
AJ Styles def. Shane McMahon – This match had me thinking, “More than anyone else, Styles deserves to headline WrestleMania next year.” Shane-O-Mac may be limited, but he’s no slouch, and we saw him break out a shooting star press at one point. I don’t think WWE can keep AJ a heel much longer. (Update: he turned face two days later.)

==US Title Match==
Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho (c) – A story well told, but this match was actually shorter than I thought it would be. Nice for Y2J to do the job for KO before he takes time off again.

==Fatal 4-Way Elimination RAW Women’s Title Match==
Bayley (c) def. Charlotte & Sasha Banks & Nia Jax – They made Nia Jax look strong. It took all three other ladies ganging up on her to eliminate her.

==RAW Tag-Team Title Ladder Match==
Jeff & Matt Hardy def. Gallows & Anderson and Enzo & Big Cass and Cesaro & Sheamus – There were rumors that the Hardy Boys were going to return to the WWE, but I don’t think anyone expected them to join this match and win the titles. My only complaint about the match would be that I wanted to keep going.

==Mixed Tag Team Match==
John Cena & Nikki Bella def. The Miz & Maryse – This had the hottest angle going in. Since Nikki Bella and Maryse hate each other in real life, there was real animosity between them going in. They played it right too, with Maryse doing her best to stay away from Nikki.

==Non-Sanctioned Match==
Seth Rollins v. Triple H – Seth did a good job selling the injured knee, but this match was mostly about the ending, where HHH accidentally sent his own wife through a table, allowing Seth to hit Hunter with a pedigree for the 1-2-3.

==WWE Title Match==
Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt (c) – Let’s forget the Nintendo snake that followed Randy. Let’s ignore the maggots that were reflected on the ring. I was really enjoying the psychology of this match, the mindgames that Bray was playing, but suddenly Randy hit an RKO out of nowhere and it was all over. Felt very anticlimactic. Bray is now 0-3 at WrestleMania. Worst booking decision of the night. Bray needed the win and the title much more than Randy.

==WWE Universal Title Match==
Brock Lesnar def. Goldberg (c) – About as good a match as one could hope for. Brock gets in the first offense, but Goldberg hops up and returns fire. Goldberg even spears Brock on the outside. Brock is able to kick out the jackhammer, and hit Goldberg with a series of German suplexes before hitting an F5 for the win.

==SmackDown Women’s Title Six-Pack Match==
Naomi def. Alexa Bliss (c) & Natalya & Becky Lynch & Mickie James & Carmella – This cluster was an excuse to get all of the SmackDown women on the card, and they deserve it, but after some botches, I was glad it didn’t last too long. Naomi winning her title back, though, was an excellent feel-good moment.

==No Holds Barred Main Event==
Roman Reigns def. Undertaker – Other than one obvious botch, this was a pretty good match. This was the final match of the dead man’s career. Reigns took a lot of bumps early, then became vicious once he had the upper hand. Took a few spears before Roman was able to get the win. Reigns had his moment, then the crowd thanked Taker as he took his final walk.

Undertakerwm33

Overall, this WrestleMania was good. If I ranked all of them, this one makes the top third. There wasn’t that one classic match, however. There were some big moments (Taker retires, Cena proposes, Hardys return), and some good matches, but not an actual instant-classic match. The best match of the weekend was the triple-threat tag match the night before at NXT: Takeover between the Revival, DIY, and the Authors of Pain.

The show is too long. There’s ten minutes of promo packages and intros between every match. I started it an hour later, which allowed me to skip through those things to get to the next match. I can’t imagine how exhausting it was to attend that event in person.

RAW After Mania

The night after WrestleMania tends to be full of rowdiness, and this was no different. Roman Reigns opened the show and he was booed mercilessly for about ten minutes before he said “This is my yard now” and dropped the mic. More boos and mean chants as he left.

We got new #1 contenders for the Raw tag-team titles, and strangely enough, Enzo & Big Cass were booed out of the building. The crowd greeted Brock Lesnar like a conquering hero when he came out, but once Paul Heyman started teasing a Roman Reigns feud, the audience instantly let them know that was not what they wanted. Suddenly, just like that, Brock seemed boring. Really don’t want to see a Brock-Roman feud.

The Revival showed up to liven up the tag scene, and I love that the New Day will be their first feud.

The headline of this show is that Finn Balor returned. I guess he’s forgiven Seth Rollins for injuring him, as they teamed up in the main event to beat Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens.

SmackDown Live After Mania

SmackDown used to be taped on Tuesdays and would air later in the week, but now they’re live, and so they had an equally rowdy crowd. They were rewarded with an AJ Styles face turn, and the debuts of Shinsuke Nakamura and Tye Dillinger.

They also booed Randy Orton and seemed to be on Bray Wyatt’s side, but when the main event ended with Orton and Luke Harper get a win over Wyatt and a returning Erick Rowan, well, that says to me they should send Bray to Raw. The bookers keep ruining his character.

We also had a street fight between Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin, and that match was much better than their WrestleMania match. We also had a really good match between Naomi and Alexa Bliss.

Now to keep the excitement rolling, Vince McMahon announced that next week, there would be a brand roster shake-up. Shortly after WrestleMania is a good time for that. freshens up the storylines for the rest of the year.

About the author

John English

John studied journalism at UVU and put that to good use by writing for free for blogs on a part-time basis. Money well spent. He became an avid Jazz fan since moving to Utah in 1989. Also a fan of the NFL and BYU football.