Wrestlemania 33 as it happened review

WWE presents what the ultimate thrill ride! Or what seems like endless hours of wrestling fun (I hope) as I went the duration to stay up until past 4am to watch Wrestlemania 33. Here’s my as it happened blog of the biggest wrestling event of the year… 

(this may contain typos and of course spoilers, duh)

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Kick off pre-Show (10pm UK time)

Things begin with Renee Young amongst three WWE hall of famers which include Shawn Michaels, Booker T and the King himself Jerry Lawler. There’s talking and a live Q&A session planned with Paul Heyman. Next comes a few promo vignettes featuring the Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton match/ Seth Rollins and Triple H fight/match. Looks like a long night of build up ahead.

First Match for the Cruiserweight Championship

Austin Aries vs Neville (C) 

The purple ropes are set up for our first bout of the night. Audience are still arriving but that aint stopping the show from going on. They chant for Aries as the two competitors lock up. We get a little stand off between them which is of course an attempt to warm the crowd. Early on there’s a lot of mat based moves which is quick fire, back and forth they go with Aries coming out on top with an impressive range of aerial attacks. Neville scraps back and then comes a commercial break… We come back to see Neville with Aries in a lock hold which breaks up the pace. They go high risk with a series of impressive assaults outside the ring. Near fall as Neville kicks out. Aries continues his assualt with an impressive missile drop kick from the top rope. Neville finds his way back into the match with a snap German suplex. Another near fall comes by way of another snap suplex from Neville. Aries come out on top with a crashing right hand to Neville who slips out of the ring and from danger of being pinned. He recovers and goes for the red arrow but Aries jumps up onto the top rope and delivers a crashing hurricarana type move which he then follows through with a 450 splash. Neville rakes the eyes of Aries and hits the red arrow. 1, 2, 3.

Result: Neville Retains

The second hour of the kick off begins with the same hall of famer panel and Renee Young…

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The two headline competitors Big Show and Braun Strowman get entrances, the rest just trail down the longest ramp used in Wrestlemania history. Braun gets started straight away by eliminating several competitors. The Big show replies with the treatment to several superstars. They face off and then separately become mobbed. Braun breaks away and eliminates Big Show. The mob then move to Strowman and eliminate him! Its gang warfare folks! The competitors slowly trickle out over the top rope with Dolph Ziggler doing that same hanging on for dear life rope spot at least three times.

Down to the last few and there’s an altercation outside the ring between Jinder Mahal and audience member/NFL football player Rob Gronkowski. Gronk comes up into the ring and tackles Mahal. He gets eliminated by Mojo Rawley and we have our winner! Not a bad start and of course the celebrity contribution means this is Wrestlemania.

Winner: Mojo Rawley

Paul Heyman Q&A Session which is mainly a set up for the Goldberg Brock match later. I’m sure we’ve seen this before last year…

Final kick off match 

Intercontinental Championship match 

Dean Ambrose (C) v Baron Corbin 

A quick and physical start to the match which quickly spills out of the ring . Ambrose takes the lead as he takes a dive out into Corbin. They get back into the ring with Corbin quickly capitalizing. They head out of the ring again utilizing the barriers around the ring making this a brutal theme for the match so far. Corbin continues with the offensive with Abrose sporadically fighting back and going for the dirty deeds. Abrose commits to another dive out of the ring and seems to be desperate in stopping corbin.  He builds some in ring momentum but every time Corbin blocks him. Somehow Ambrose finds the momentum and hits the dirty deeds which is enough to grant the win!

Result: Dean Ambrose Retains the IC championship

Wrestlemania 33

Midnight has quickly rolled around and here we go. Its a jam packed match card for this years showcase of the immortals. America the beautiful is sung by Tinashe ( I don’t know who she is either) and we see a fly by of some jets!

Wrestlemania hosts the New Day appear and hit the ring. They make a penis reference and talk about starting the show.

Shane McMahon V AJ Styles

Interesting choice to start with this match. Things begin with the traditional lock hold style which goes back and forth. Styles seems to be outsmarting Shane with every move so far. But saying that Shane shows off some impressive moves in his arsenal with a pair of arm drags forcing Styles to retreat out of the ring. They brawl back in the ring with Shane being the more brutal of the fighters. He’s botched out of the ring and AJ delivers a powerful sliding kick forcing Shane back and over the German announcers table.

A slugfest ensues back in the ring with AJ dominating but Shane isn’t out of this yet. Again Styles is being cocky by taunting the crowd and goes for a two count pin. He seems to be on top with Shane battling back to be shut down every time. McMahon counters and blocks AJ’s spring board attempt.  Some boxing style jabs come from Shane as he appears to fight back. This match is enjoyable so far with both Shane and Styles being impressive.

AJ tries to make Shane tap but he maneuvers out of it for a rear naked choke which he then converts into an arm bar. Double clothesline as they both get up and charge to each other. The audience applaud in approval for their joint efforts. Styles goes for a springboard 450 dive onto the downed Shane who catches him and turns it into a triangle choke. AJ tries to break free and converts into a modified styles clash! Shane kicks out. Eventually they get onto their feet and exchange blows, AJ accidentally hits the referee and he goes down. Styles brings a bin into the ring and sets it up for a coast to coast by wedging it between Shane and the bottom rope. Shane jumps up and hits AJ with the bin to counter. He sets AJ up into the corner and uses another bin to set up coast to coast. He hits it with perfection, that’s got to be it. And the referee is up in true cliche style but its only a 2 count. The crowd are loving this as Shane dismantles the German announcer table and lays AJ on it. He climbs the top rope. Shane jumps for AJ to move at the last minute. This match could go anyway.

Both back in the ring as Shane converts another springboard attack by Styles. He impressively goes for a shooting star press! But AJ moves out of the way! Where is this match going, who cares but its great. Styles eventually hits a springboard right hand and goes for the cover to win

Result: AJ styles wins via pin fall but both of them deserve the credit of a win. Highlight was definitely the fact they matched each other in every aspect including Shane’s shooting star press attempt! Potential match of the night!!!

United States Championship

Kevin Owens V Chris Jericho (C) 

The match quickly spills out of the ring with Jericho on top to begin with. Getting back into the ring Y2J continues with his onslaught until Owens hits a kick to regroup and floor Jericho. It’s Owens turn to ensue with a beat down which slowly wears his opponent down. They go back and forth with a slow pace until Owens hits a package style sit down style power bomb, Owens forehead is bleeding slightly as he goes up to the top rope but Jericho is there to block and force an impressive hurricanrana which is followed by a near fall.

The match continues to build slowly with Jericho hitting a bulldog and then an unsuccessful lionsault. He attempts it again after thwarting an Owens frog splash which Jericho counters. Owens then goes for a swanton bomb only for it to be blocked. Y2J attempts the walls for Owens to counter into a two count fall. This is a reversal fest so far. Jericho finally connects with a lionsault which is answered by a two count pin fall attempt. The crowd are with Jericho here all the way.

Owens modifies his way into the walls of Jericho on his opponent in the middle of the ring. He springs out of it and into the corner which Owens then goes for the cannonball but Jericho converts into the walls eventually. He’s going to tap at any moment but gets to the rope!

Pop up power bomb by Owens but Jericho kicks out at two. 70,000 strong are mostly behind Jericho here. Then comes the code breaker by Y2J and he crawls to the cover but Owens’ finger hits the rope. They head out and Owens powerbombs Jericho into the apron. He bumbles Jericho into the ring to pick up the three count.

Winner: Kevin Owens new US champ. Good match full of reversals/ back and forth action. Both competitors used each others signature moves.

Raw Women’s Championship 

Bayley (C) V Charlotte Flair V Nia Jaxx V Sasha Banks (Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match) 

Nia Jaxx is targeted straight away but powerfully fights off the much smaller competition. She eventually clears the ring and shows her dominance. Its looking like a 3 on 1 handicap match now as the other three circle her upon entering the ring. They impressively triple team her down and she kicks out at a two count. Again they triple team her off the top rope into a power bomb and all three of them cover her for three and the first elimination.

Its now a triple threat match but Charlotte steps out and urges Bayley and Sasha to fight. Bayley heads out and then Sasha somersaults out of the ring into her. Next comes Charlotte’s high risk as she corkscrew dives into the other two. Action moves quickly into the ring as Banks goes for the bank statement on Charlotte, she breaks out. Sasha goes for a roll up for Charlotte to kick out at two. It’s just them in the ring.

Sasha Banks is thrown into a partially exposed turnbuckle which Charlotte was responsible for, she is out and gets pinned by Charlotte.

Down to two, Charlotte and Bayley. Figure 4 then figure 8 by Charlotte who is determined to win but Bayley reaches the rope. Charlotte continues to target her opponents knee as she is hung in the tree of woe. They fight up on the top turnbuckle which results in a sloppy botch style slam to Charlotte with Bayley staying up on the rope. She turns and lays in an elbow to Charlotte to get the three count.

Winner: Bayley (Retains Raw Women’s championship). Good quickfire match, a good wrestling match doesn’t have to be long to be effective and good.

Hall of fame inductees were then introduced. A good class this year with a real mix of old and recent. Of course Kurt Angle made the headline entrance. You suck!

Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C)

As the match is about to start the New Day’s entrance theme hits and they announce the match to be a fatal 4 way and its the return of the Hardy Boys!!!!

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C) V The Hardy Boys!!!

The match begins with a mass brawl. The Hardy’s start impressively with a series of well known double team moves. They clear the ring but Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson stop them them from getting the belts. Cesaro attempts to climb but Big Cass shuts hit down. He big boots a flying Jeff Hardy. It’s chaos early on.

Enzo and Big Cass send more ladders into the ring as there are more set up outside. Two ladders are laid out along the ring apron and security wall. Inside the ring Sheamus and Gallows battle. Cesaro puts in the save as they work as a team on the tag champs. Jeff goes for a spring board to the outside but receives a kick from the celtic warrior. He and Gallows climb and battle each other with Enzo pushing over the ladder.

Enzo is up and begins to climb slowly. Big Cass comes in to help him up higher but Gallows and Sheamus work to put Cass into a ladder. Anderson and Enzo battle up high with the belts between them, they hit each other right and left. Matt Hardy is back in and goes up the ladder with Anderson as Enzo is down and out. Twist of fate from the top of the ladder meanwhile Jeff climbs up high and swantons though Cesar and Shemus who were laying upon ladders outside.

Matt climbs and reaches for the belts. He pulls them free.

Result: The Hardy Boys are new tag team champions. Great to see them back and what a shocking return, well done wrestlemania. Moment of the night so far.

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John Cena & Nikki Bella V The Miz & Maryse 

Okay I’ll admit if I didnt actually watch this story line unfold but basically two couples have beef which ties in with the Total Divas TV show so I guess this match gives other WWE shows validation.

The match starts with some cat and mouse from the Miz and Cena, The crowd seem to respond to the Miz well as he taunts them trying to be a heel. Eventually the Miz gets on top and dominates oddly. Cena manages to dodge a corner turnbuckle assault and tries to sway momentum his way.

Maryse pulls Nikki from the apron and runs for it as the Miz dominates again. Cena kicks out at two after a thunderous DDT from the Miz. We have a Bella hot tag brewing. The Miz begins to mock Daniel Bryan with a series of Yes kicks. Full credit to Jerry the King Lawler and his awesome commentary.

Nikki is tagged in and begins the attack on Maryse. Both her and the Miz are down and here comes a double five knuckle shuffle. This is followed by a double finisher for Cena and Nikki to get the win.

Result: John Cena & Nikki Bella. After the match Cena grabs the microphone and talks about some stuff. He proposes to her and pulls out a ring. Nikki says yes.

Seth Rollins V Triple H (Unsanctioned Match, if that makes sense for a wrestling match)

Of course we see an elaborate entrance from Triple H involving police bikes. The game himself is riding a motor tricycle with Stephanie on the back. Blazing sirens welcome him down the ramp.

The bell rings and immediately the bout spills outside and over the security barrier. Rollins has the upper hand early on and he springboards off the barrier onto Triple H. They brawl in and out of the ring with Seth taking an announcers table apart. The table doesn’t break as Triple H DDT’S him into it. The game is targeting the story line knee injury of Seth Rollins with a steel chair.

Triple H continues to work the knee with a range of lock holds and kicks as Rollins is wedged into the corner. He fights back and they climb up with Triple H trying to go for a superplex but Rollins diverts it and tries a sunset flip; he cant pull it through due to his knee much to the Games advantage as he smiles. Triple H looks over his downed opponent and they move into pedigree attempts equally are both thwarted. Rollins buckle bombs triple H.

More action out of the ring as Rollins dives off the top rope onto the Game who is outside. Seth begins to turn his fate on his opponent by throwing him into the ring post. Seth goes under the ring and pulls out two chairs and a table which he sets up outside the ring.

Rollins attempts a chair shot but again his knee is targeted. Spine buster by the game and he sets the chair up with Rollin’s knee inside it. He stamps on it hard and then heads to the top rope.  Seth is up and throws the chair into HHH who stays up on the corner. Superplx by Rollins and there’s a near three count.

Stephanie McMahon gets involved in the match and trips Rollins who is up top. Triple H puts in a leg lock onto the knee. Rollins gets out and moves into a lock hold of his own but has to break away due to his knee. More back and forth as the sledgehammer makes an appearance.

Rollins grabs the weapon but Stephanie jumps up onto the apron and snatches it away. Its enough to distract Rollins and Triple H pedigrees him. He kicks out at two and a half. Things go the other way as they climb up onto the ropes and Rollins goes for a phoenix splash but it only results in a two count.

Triple H goes for another pedigree but Rollins reverses and then Triple H reverses, they exchange reversals until they break away. Stephanie goes up onto the apron and is in the line of fire as triple H unintentionally hits her off and she goes through the table. He turns and Rollins hits the pedigree. One, two, three.

Result: Seth Rollins wins via pinfall after a pedigree and Triple H actually puts someone over, the first time since well Wrestlemania 23…

Music break featuring Pitbull Featuring and Flo Rida… Enough said…

WWE Championship Match 

Bray Wyatt (C) V Randy Orton 

Quick offensive starts the match in Orton’s favor and he goes for an early RKO but to no avail. Bray soon dominates and everything goes dark, maggots seem to be projected onto the mat. The referee bolts…

Lights resume and both competitors exchange finisher attempts. Now the ring goes dark again and we see worms projected onto the mat. I haven’t seen anything like this before.

Again the lights resume and action continues. Wyatt attempts his finisher sister Abigail again but Orton battles out. They go outside the ring and this time Wyatt hits sister Abigail on the floor. They both go back in with Orton exiting from the opposite side. Now Orton hits the RKO on the outside.

They eventually get back in the ring with an Orton punt kick attempt which Wyatt converts into a failed attempt of his finisher. Orton comes out on top with a back breaker. Again Wyatt comes back and hits sister Abigail but Orton kicks out at 2.

It goes dark for the third time and more bugs are projected. Randy battles his demons and the lights resume for him to hit the RKO. The referee counts to 3.

Result: Randy Orton is a new WWE Champion. Strange match but still entertaining, felt rushed considering how late in the night it is and how many matches are left…

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WWE Universal Championship 

Goldberg V Brock Lesnar 

I’m expecting the entrances to be longer than the duration of this match and at this point 03:52 am there is twitter talk of the smackdown women’s title match being shelved.

The bell rings and Lesnar hits a series of German suplex’s followed by Goldberg laying in two spears! Brock rolls out and Goldberg stalks his opponent into another spear through part of the security barrier. They head back into the ring and Lesnar converts a jackhammer attempt into an F5, Goldberg converts into another spear. He then hits a jackhammer which Lesnar kicks out of. Its balls to wall here!

Goldberg readies for a spear, Brock leapfrogs and german’s him. Suplex city with Goldberg in trouble. Ten german suplex’s completed. Brock is sweaty and red/purple. He hits the F5 and gets the win.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins and is new WWE universal Champion.

Smack Down Womens Championship 6 pack Challenge (1 pinfall for 1 win) 

Alexa Bliss (C) V Becky Lynch V Mickey James V Carmella V Natalya V Naomi 

The cool down match for what is preparing for the main event which is the Undertaker Vs Roman Reigns…

The entrances were rushed but things kicked off with the running theme of this mania, chaos. Some gimmicked up guy called Ellsworth interferes which has been the only real highlight so far. Becky Lynch has been the standout competitor with Naomi looking promising. Natalya goes for a double sharp shooter on both Naomi and Carmella but is broken up by Mickey James.

Naomi makes Alexa tap.

Result: Naomi wins and is the new champ. Quite a sloppy match and these women have a long way to go if they want to be seen as equal to the men. Either way it was good and all of them were impressive.

The New Day announce a new attendance record for the citrus bowl. Not sure the actual number, google it because I write this at 04:20am…

The Undertaker V Roman Reigns – Main Event of Wrestlemania 33

It’s the big dog V the Deadman. The video package plays out and then the good ol JR comes out to be a guest announcer of the match. This feels like the Undertaker’s send off and Jim Ross returning is indeed another great moment.

The bell rings and the Undertaker immediately sends Roman out and claims it to be ‘his yard’. Roman gets back in and delivers a series of right hands before pushing Taker out. The Deadman pulls him out and sends him into the steel steps.

They spend the next moments in and out of the ring much like many of the matches tonight. The typical Undertaker spots go through the motions with him finding some dominance. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop. They go back outside and make use of an announcers table. Taker chokeslams Reigns onto it but it doesn’t break.

They both climb up onto another table with Reigns delivering a thunderous spear to Taker and the table gives. Eventually the Deadman rises to his feet and gets back in the ring with Reigns continuing his attack of kicks. The audience boo but its clearly muted.

Next comes in a steel chair which Taker uses on Reigns. Its a pleasure to hear JR on commentary again, old skool feels. They both head out and back in with Reigns hittig a series of superman punches until Taker grasps his neck and chokelsams him onto a chair. Two count.

Undertaker gives the sign that the end is near and goes for the tombstone. He hits it and goes for the pin but Reigns surprisingly kicks out! He goes for another and Reigns botches a reversal and then hits the superman punch again. Reigns sets up for a spear and it hits, he goes for the pin but Taker puts in hells gate! Reigns gets to the rope and its broken up.

Both competitors are down and slowly try to get up. Roman is first and stops Taker from grabbing a chair. He lays into the already downed Taker with several hits! Reigns hits another speak and the Deadman breaks out at two and a half. Roman is unable to pin the Phenom this time.

Reigns sets up again for the spear, Taker is on the ropes. The spear hits and again Taker kicks out. Where is this going? Now comes the superman punch from Reigns with the Undertaker flat on his back until he half sits up and then flops over.

They both get up with Taker dwindling. Reigns goes rope to rope and hits a thunderous final  spear. One, two, three.

Result: Roman Reigns wins.

Final Wrestlemania Verdict: Very good show although long like last year. My only complaint was the result of the last match, everything else was actually good for a Wrestlemania. The Hardy’s returning was a personal favorite moment for me and of course hearing Jim Ross on commentary, he’s still as good as before! 

 

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Wrestlemania 32 Results: A stange long night

It’s that time of year again. The showcase of the immortals is here with WWE Wrestlemania 32! Right here is where you can find all the results from the pre-show and actual show.

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Kick off show (Duration 2 hours, actual wrestling time, at least 45 mins, so not bad)

In the age of social media WWE like to think they can give away as much as possible for free. So here we were watching mainly talking, to big up the already pretty lame built up matches. A short interview with Kevin Owens basically saying he didn’t ask for a ladder match at wrestlemania but hey ho, isn’t that the vow you take when stepping between the ropes?

Paul Heyman joins some guy and a woman showing off way too much leg in an interview Q and A session from twitter. These questions are clearly scripted in the social media lounge.

1st WM Kickoff Match – Kalisto (ch) v Ryback : United States Championship

So for the six audience members arrived in the AT and T arena we were treated to the first match of the night. A true underdog seen it before story. This match as predicted started off rather one sided with Ryback dominating easily and taking advantage of his size. Saying that Kalisto showed promise with his impressive lucha style and highflying ability. They seemed to always use Rybacks dominance as a reference point. Then oddly we were shown a VT promo during the match, presumably for the actual network tv adverts.

Result: Kalisto retains and makes use of an exposed turnbuckle to impressively claim the win.

 

2nd WM kick off Match – Team Total Divas vs Bad and Blonde (10 diva tag match)

After the hour turned it was time for the next match. That being 10 divas in one ring. Slowly the divas division is slowly becoming fight relevant. The breast implants have slowly gone along with the very suggestive outfits and you can see the WWE trying to class them up quite a bit and deep down I think it’s working. Again we were faced with a oddly placed ad break. We come back to a now filling AT and T stadium booing a red haired Eva Marie. The UK’s very own Paige impressed with a shining wizard kick and Emma ensured some dominance until Lana was tagged and made her official in ring debut. Paige makes a daring cross body from the top rope and out of the ring, knocking down most of her opponents. An impressive and somewhat violent exchange from both sides.

Result: Brie Bella puts in the yes lock giving Team total divas the win.

WWE hall of famer Lita unveils a new Divas championship belt. A positive step towards bridging the gender gap.

3rd WM kick of Match – The Usos v The Dudley Boyz

The tag team division has had a somewhat rebirth with the introduction of traditional style teams and of course the return of the Dudley’s. Match begins aggressively with the record 9 time WWE tag team champions the Dudley’s taking charge. The Uso’s slowly come back but are snubbed everytime by the veterans. High octane tag team action early on and throughout the match with back and forth stuff.

Result: Uso’s clinch the win even thought they were under attack most of the time. Dudley’s remain stood up after and get the tables. But the USOs turn it around and top rope attack both of D-von and Bubba putting them through a table each.

 

Kick off Verdict: Of course this was a VT haven, building up the lesser matches and bigger ones. But the matches, all three of them were wrestlemania worthy!

 

Wrestlemania 32

 

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship : Kevin Owens (CH) V Stardust V Zack Ryder V Sami Zayn V The Miz V Sin Cara V Dolph Ziggler

 

Chaotic beginning of the match with the ladder used as a weapon. Zack Ryder gets the nearest first and receives a barrage of boos for his efforts. Zayn goes high risk early by jumping through mid rope and taking out a handful of opponents followed by a DDT to the outside to Owens. He is so over with the crowd its unbelievable.

Sin Cara pushed off the ladder and out of the ring onto four superstars. The crowd chant ‘holy shit’ but money in the bank ladder matches have been more hardcore. Ziggler and Owens take each other out with simultaneous super kicks and Stardust gets out his own custom ladder. A huge frog splash from Owens onto Zayn who is laid out on a ladder. An impressive elbow drop from Ryder off of the ladder. He then proceeds to climb but Ziggler jumps up and they both hit the mat.

Sin Cara from Scooby doo wrestlemania fame goes througha ladder and Stardust, leaving Zayn and Owens to battle it out. Zayn capitalises and he climbs. The Miz ruins his efforts and climbs. Takes his time and Ryder pushes him away.

Result : Ryder makes a shock win and grabs the belt. Not a bad opener.

Chris Jericho V AJ Styles

Yes AJ Styles makes his mania debut against one of the most decorated WWE stars ever. If you told me a year ago we would see this match I would take it any damn day. Starting off we saw a back and forth with Styles putting in some quick action packed moves, making Jericho the perfect advocate for this match and feud. Quickly the heel Jericho gets on top and works the crowd with a series of sleepers and lock holds. Styles eventually powers out and impressively kicks up to his feet. More to and fro action as Jericho locks in the walls of Jericho.

Rope break by Styles followed by some more impressive aerial action via way of a springboard back flip. They go high risk together on the top rope with Jericho landing face first and AJ going down also. Quickly they are both back up for Styles to kick which is then impressively converted into the walls again. It’s all Jericho now as Styles goes for another aerial offensive which is converted into a code breaker.  Styles barely kicks out and Jericho tries to go for a Styles clash to no avail.

AJ hits the clash with Y2J kicking out. The crowd are now awake. Lionsault comes out of Jericho’s arsenal there isn’t much left for either competitor now. The next finisher will claim victory.

Result: Jericho pulls off a botched codebreaker and claims the win. Unimpressive win and its questionable whether or not that was the right thing for AJ’s progression with in WWE.

The New Day Vs The League of Nations – Six man Tag Team Match

Quick in and out action from the new day as they plough into Sheamus in their corner. It doesn’t take long for the league to get the upper hand as Alberto Del Rio punishes Xavier Woods. Sheamus is tagged in and continues the assault followed by Rusev. The hot tag builds with Woods as he tries to claw his way to a tag but the Celtic Warrior makes sure there is no tag.

Finally the tag is made and Kofi makes an impressive high flying display. He makes his mark and then Sheamus capitalises with an assist from Rusev. Woods breaks up the pin but is still recovering. Big E enters the ring and dives between the ropes taking out 3 members of the league.

Result: Brogue kick to Xavier by Sheamus gets the win here. Not a great match, maybe it would have been better to be in the kick off show.

King Barret after the match got on the microphone and then we are treated to he return of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold. Michaels and Foley both look match ready and better than they ever have.

In the ring they go and the brawl begins, Mr Socko appears followed by a sweet chin music and off course the stunner. A decent end to a shitty match.

The new day return to the ring and begin a dance off. Stunner to Xavier woods, oh helllllll yeah.

oh hell yesh

Brock Lesnar V Dean Ambrose

One of the main events of the night for me. Interesting choice to put it this early on the match card. Brock comes out first to a big pop from the crowd. I’m not sure who’s supposed to be the heel here but its mixed from the audience as Brock arrives with Heyman. We are treated to him on the mic introducing himself as usual and Brock. Dean Ambrose comes out and things are about to start.

Suplex city begins and within seconds Ambrose is suplexed twice. Out of the ring he rolls to regroup whilst Brock stands tall. The weaponry use begins with a Lesnar taking a kendo stick, but Brock over powers for German number five.

Brock snaps tow kendo sticks in half and pulls off suplex number six, Dean shows no signs of giving up with a thumbs up to the referee. After a considerable beat down Ambrose hits a low blow and gets on top. He strikes with the kendo stick and forces the beast out of the ring. Ambrose takes a dive through the ropes and makes contact.

Ambrose reaches under the ring to pull out a fricking chainsaw. Brock recovers whilst he’s trying to start it and delivers a belly to belly outside. They go back in and Ambrose climbs to the top rope, Lesnar intercepts and jumps up. He throws Ambrose over himself with deadly effect.

More weapons come out here as Ambrose sprays the beast with a fire extinguisher followed by several chair shots. This culminates to a drop kick onto a placed chair. Ambrose is doing all he can to get the advantage and make Brock pay. He gathers more chairs (more than 5) from under the ring and piles them up. Lesnar breaks into a suplex but as he lands, he goes onto the chairs.  An F5 attempt reversed by Ambrose into a DDT onto chair. Near fall.

We see the emergence of the barbed wire baseball bat but Lesnar intercepts and delivers a powerful F5 onto chairs.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins via F5 . A short but brutal match especially for the PG era standards.

WWE Women’s Championship Match – Charlotte V Becky Lynch V Sasha Banks

So a new belt introduced by Lita, new direction for the Divas. One of classiness and so HHH’s three daughters haven’t got to get boob jobs if they decide to enter the business.

Quick three way action to begin with resulting in Charlotte and Sasha being one on one. Becky reappears and Charlotte disappears this time. The others head outside as Ric Flair stands there looking awkward.

All three back in the ring exchanging various moves. Good action at the beginning. Continual exchanges and impressive moves as Sasha dives out onto Charlotte. Ric Flair begins to woo and is then taken out Lynch. This is followed by a high risk moonsault by Charlotte onto the other two divas. Awesome action here so far.

All three divas are going high octane and risk from the top rope. Becky tries to make Charlotte tap but Sasha locks in the bank statement.

Charlotte then gets Sasha in the figure 4 leg lock which is then reversed. Becky looks on from outside and breaks the hold. Saving it.  The match gets to the point where any move from anyone will be enough.

Charlotte makes Becky tap whilst Ric Flair holds Sasha bank out of the ring.

Result : Charlotte wins

 

Shane McMahon V The Undertaker – Hell in a Cell

I’m not sure what the WWE are going for here. In a sense they have cornered themselves. If Shane wins we lose taker at mania and if he loses the Authority continue to reign ( no pun intended).

Shane comes out and brings his three kids with him. A bold move and a statement nodding to the future of WWE. I’m expecting some level of interference in this match to say the least. Then of course the bell tolls, the lights kill and the Deadman arrives, maybe for the last ever time!

A boxing style start, with Taker and Shane quick on their feet and standing off each other. Taker finally grabs hold of McMahon and the onslaught begins. A last ride early on but Shane kicks out. He’s circling the drain early but manages a triangle choke. The steel steps are in the ring and Shane is choke slammed onto them. He kicks out at 2.

McMahon bates out taker and goes for a DDT onto the steel steps. Taker kicks out. Things are slow for now. Hells gate comes and Shane survives and converts into a sharpshooter. This all seems to be about survival for Shane, the longer he lasts the more chance he has got.

He goes under the ring to fetch a foil trash can and sets it up for coast to coast which is successful. A big impact on what has been quite an extreme night so far. Taker kicks out at 2. A weird atmosphere coming from the audience. Is someone coming out? Will this just be it?

Shane goes outside and from under the ring he gets a set of bolt cutters. He proceeds to cut away at one of the cage fence panels as the undertaker comes out. They slowly exchange blows and lifts him into the cage wall and out they both go and into the German announce table. The fight spills out to the announcer’s tables and both of them go through a table. Shane seems to be better for it and grabs a tool chest. He drives it over takers head and lays him out on the table. Shane is heading up. He climbs the side of the cell and goes to the top.

Crowd chanting ‘please don’t die’. He stands and is ready to jump on a laid out taker. As he lands Taker rolls out of the way. Shane is down, taker is somewhat out of it also. What a moment.

Shane begs for more, seriously? They get back into the ring as Taker toys with him and hits the tombstone.

Result: Taker Wins

shane

Shane takes a dive!

 

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

 Diamond Dallas Page returns to the ring and is about the only good thing so far about the placement so late on in the night of this battle Royale which is just jobber city. Big Show comes out followed by Shaq O Neil? WTF.

Shaq and Show face off. It doesn’t last. DDP impresses, the outcasts get outcast and Kane gets screwed.

Winner Baron Corbin from NXT

The Rock’s entrance music hits and out he comes to be a part of what has been a rather weird night. Seeing how late it is in the night I’m not sure what this is all about. Having rather just see the main event we are watching the Rock use a flame thrower to ignite a sign of his name instead.

thr rock

So he jees up the crowd a little by throwing out a few catchphrases. Then he announces the attendance numbers and that’s it. I could have done that via skype.

Then the arena goes dark and out comes Bray Wyatt with two other mask wearing folk. Bray threatens to ruin the Rock’s moment. The Rock talks well and this then turns into an actual match!

The Rock V Eric Rowan

Rock Bottom, 1 ,2 ,3. He wins in 6 seconds!

Good times. Now the Wyatts circle the ring.

John Cena’s music hits. He’s back. Fruity pebbles. Together Cena and the Rock put the beat down on the Wyatt’s and we see an Attitude Adjustment and Peoples elbow. From what started out weird actually was pretty good.

HHH V Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Championship- Main Event

So we made it. Just after 4am UK time the promo hit for the main event. Late nights aren’t a problem for me considering I work nights a lot. But saying that I did want to see the final pyro hit for this thing to end.

Okay so for HHH’s entrance we see Stephanie McMahon without trousers on, being a supreme being or something like that. A typical master race entrance for the game.

Roman enters from the stage to a mass of boos, there was even a moment you could tell it had been muted.

More boos throughout the arena for Roman. Maybe they should have booked the main event differently because the audience prefer to see HHH a known and loved wrestler as champion. What are they thinking?

Back and forth action from the two, in and out of the ring. Soon enough things get slow as they exchange rights and lefts. HHH low blows Roman whilst Stephanie is distracting the referee.

They head out and go after the only remaining announcer table. Things continue slowly as HHH performs a neck breaker to Reigns who is laying on the table. They hit the floor and then soon after head back into the ring. HHH remains in the driving seat.

Its been six hours or so since the kick off started and this match is extremely low energy along with the sleepy audience. Both competitors aren’t exactly big show calibre so why so slow.

Finally a big impact move as Reigns spears HHH through the audience dividing wall.

Other than that this main event has been terrible so far. People are all over it on twitter.

Stephanie comes into the ring to order the Referee about. She is speared by Reigns, things have taken off. Pedigree by HHH and Roman kicks out at 2 and a half.

A superman punch to HHH but her kicks out. Stephanie hands HHH a sledgehammer but Reigns continues to barrage him with superman punches. A final spear ends the match.

Although the ending was ok, the premise and final product was terrible.

Result : Roman Reigns is the new champ! But not a person in the arena cheered him.

roman

So that’s it. Strange night, but there were some gems there. Especially from the arsenal of legends on good terms with the company they can use and roll out. Not the worst wrestlemania but saying that it was weird.

 

 

 

 

 

The Problem with Wrestling : The Wrestling edition

This week were pulling on the Lycra and stepping into the ring.

“The following contest is a wrestling themed blog…….”

flying

Chris Benoit performing his famous diving headbutt

As a prolific wrestling fan during the last decade I remember exactly where I was when the shocking news became apparent of a high profile death with in the business.

I am talking about an accomplished Canadian wrestler who in 2007 was found dead in his Atlanta home along with his young son and wife. (later to be a confirmed as a murder suicide)

It was a Tuesday evening when I put in my VHS that recorded Monday night raw and was met by the chairman of the world wrestling entertainment standing. There he stood in the ring. But the surrounding arena empty. Something was wrong, very very wrong. (to me at this point was my world)

As a trembling Vince McMahon announced that Chris Benoit was dead I immediately said out loud “No”

Here was a wrestler that I had come to like and seen him achieve the greatest of feats within his organisation. Entertain and captivate so many, but then he was gone, and would never be seen again.

The wrestling industry has always interested me on many levels. Whether that be the whole pageantry of the show or the politics behind the scenes. As well as being pure theatre there was something I always admired about it and there were many instances I considered pursuing a career that way. But the most intriguing thing is also a deterrent. That is the amount of wrestlers that have died.

You don’t have to look that far under the surface of this industry to see that so many of these people that have died were under the age of 50.

A worrying statistic is that the Ultimate Warrior who passed earlier this year (heart related) is the 12th wrestler who competed at WWE’s annual show Wrestlemania VI (1990) to have died.

To compare, the Superbowl held that year between the 49ers and Broncos, only one of those players is dead (reference here).

I did speak about this in a podcast earlier this year (off the radar).

ultimate

The Ultimate Warrior earlier this year before his passing

So why is the death rate alarmingly high?

Is it the combination of drugs/rock and roll life style plus a gruelling schedule? Even more worrying so that the WWE is now in a ‘PG’ era. Meaning more and more kids are looking up to these superstars. I do remember a year or so ago I caught an interview (youtube) with Rowdy Roddy Piper who said back in the 80’s everyone was on drugs, whether that be to pick you up before a show and take you back down afterwards.

My favourite wrestler when I used to watch religiously was Jeff Hardy. Even he and his brother have had drug problems in the past, and resulted in his sacking. But they are both still around and working.

More to the point many of wrestler deaths occurred after their tenure in WWE. Of course there are exceptions such as the late Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. So does that leave Vince McMahon with or without blood on his hands. Even after the investigation of Chris Benoit, the findings stated that at the time of his suicide and murder of wife and child he had the brain of an 85 year old alzheimer’s patient. The common factor with both of these deaths was indeed steroids.

McMahon publicly said he didn’t support these findings but to me there is a large amount of blood on his hands.

jeff

Jeff Hardy atop of a ladder in one of his last WWE appearances

Since some of these higher profile deaths a wellness drug policy has phased into WWE but it still isn’t enough. Yeah sure you can pay for someone’s Rehab but once an addict always an addict right? So they acknowledge there’s a problem but it seems the policy is there to protect the game and not the player.

Until Vince McMahon and the WWE start introducing a retirement health plan, wrestlers will keep on dying young.  I hold a great amount of respect for people who step into the squared circle but they do so at a risk. Not so much of injury but of being consumed by the lifestyle it provides.

A good documentary about this can be found on youtube and it centers around Chris Benoit’s story

For all of Chris’ achievements which are many there is never a mention of his name once in WWE programming since his untimely death. I would like to see if that would be the case if someone like Triple H met the same fate.

What do you think? Wrestling fan or not, there is definitely some level of problem.

 

 

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have signed up to follow my Hall of information.