HITMAN: An evening with Bret Hart – Review

‘My career was everything to me.’

Those were the first words said by Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart on what would become an evening of honesty and even some real emotion as he recalled the run up to his WWE return; that being the Hall of Fame induction in 2006.

And that was the subject of this evening’s show (Bret’s WWE return and beyond) of what has been a several night tour of the UK for Hart, London being the final stop which was all well presented and put together by Inside the Ropes.

Just an hour or so before the audience like myself had the opportunity to meet Bret; although brief I did manage to tell him how much it meant for him to come over to the UK and the fact I don’t think professional wrestling got any better after him. He was softly spoken and truly thankful like he always has been for the fans.

‘That mean’s a lot,’ he said and of course he continued on with signing autographs and meeting the large turn out of fans.

For those not so in the know about the history of professional wrestling; I watched it religiously while growing up and even into my early twenties along with my brother who got us tickets to this event. The performance side of wrestling and the spectacle is what always attracted me to it, this is probably why I eventually joined a drama club and performed in shows. Wrestling is a performance art; it’s story telling and most punters who know me on here will know where I stand when it comes to stories.

Bret Hart is arguably one of the greatest ever, the 90’s was mostly a good decade for the Hitman while he became more and more popular. He won championships and was a staple to the industry and the then WWF. He really was (and still is) a Canadian hero who also inspired the rest of the world. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side you stand Bret’s career hasn’t been without controversy, of course the 1997 Survivor Series ‘screw job’ comes to mind (google it if you haven’t heard of it) – possibly the most fascinating piece of wrestling politics in it’s whole history. His rivalry on and off screen with Shawn Michaels cannot be ignored. Hart has also been through a lot more, he lost his own brother Owen, a fellow wrestler who tragically died during an event in 1998.

At the near end of the decade Bret who then wrestled for rival outfit WCW was forced to retire eventually due to a rather stiff kick to the head by Bill Goldberg; a person he referenced with the upmost contempt and now I have heard the real story, I don’t blame him. Not only did this kick cause a severe concussion; it took him a year to recover but it also led to a life changing stroke some years later. Goldberg apologised via the phone 8 months later.

We can all agree Bret Hart has been through a lot of misfortune; he lost a lot including the majority of a 16 million dollar contract he had with WCW after he got injured. His final payout via Lloyds of London – who he also regards with contempt, 1.6 Million and this included the a stipulation that he could never wrestle again.

His departure from the WWF in 97 wasn’t a good one. He’ll be the first to admit that he was angry and mad for a long time.

‘It doesn’t help to carry around a lot of grief,’ he says when tackling the subject of what he’s been through. 

There were a few moments when Hart had to stop, for a man who has been though so much and probably hardened by it he still manages to get emotional and this is when everything really sunk in to me. A lot of folks over the years have said he’s just a bitter former wrestler, he isn’t and he’s so damn proud of the career he’s had.

Bret even was determined not to be erased from Wrestling history and why should he? His family; the Hart’s are a famous wrestling family from Calgary; they deserve to be recognised. Vince McMahon of WWE, or the enemy back then called Bret whilst he was still in the hospital post stroke. They began to mend fences and Bret knew he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame which is what the subject of the phone call.

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The evening continued with a plethora of eye opening accounts of his return to the WWE and even his long awaited return to their flagship show Raw in 2010. This was indeed another emotional recollection but he had to do it, he had to bury the past and he did. Of course Bret went on to have a ‘match’ at Wrestlemania after seeing Donald Trump throw down with McMahon; of course Lloyds of London began a lawsuit but they did the match anyway even with Bret not able to take bumps.

After all these years Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart is still able to fill an auditorium just by telling his stories and they were worth every word. Even though he’s older he’s prouder than ever of what he has achieved and you can tell that by how emotional he got – something I never thought I would see, he let us in. You can still argue to this day that Bret is the excellence of execution, he admitted he never hurt anyone in the ring, so my belief sways towards him being just that!

This was my first Inside the Ropes show; I’m definitely going to be looking out for future shows especially if they were like this one! 

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WWE Money in the Bank 2017 Results

And so I haven’t blogged in a while and the next WWE pay per view event just happened to be on. So here are my as it happened results from last night…

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First ever women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Charlotte Flair v Becky Lynch v Tamina v Carmella w/J Ellsworth v Natalya

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I get the whole historic thing about this being historic and all especially how women used to be seen in WWE. So after the competitors hit the ring we are shown a promo about the stakes and those who paved the way, nods are made to Moolah, Mae Young, Alundra and even Trish Stratus. All which have contributed to the history of womens wrestling!

The bell rings with a 5 way stand off. Everyone bolts out of the ring for ladders leaving Tamina. As everyone returns she defends her position and eventually holds the ring whilst showing some impressive dominance. Early on we see the usual ladder spots these matches are known for. Natalya takes a slingshot into a corner stuffed ladder. Becky Lynch eats ladder in another corner. Tamina eventually runs out of steam and is downed as both the Lass Kicker and Natalya wrestle either end of a ladder.

Lynch eventually receives a scoop slam onto the ladder for her efforts leaving Nattie to set up the first ladder under the brief case.

Audience half heartedly boo as she climbs and grips the case. Flair intervenes and eventually battes her way into an electric chair drop to Natalya. Woo’s all around as Flair positions the ladder. It’s Carmella’s turn and she pulls Charlotte down with one of her legs painfully going between a rung. They both exchange blows at the top of the ladder. Charlotte comes within moments of winning until Tamina hits the ring and pushes the ladder. Both Carmella and Flair go down.

‘This is awesome’ the audience chant as they come alive to see Natalya put in the sharpshooter to Becky Lynch. Carmella soon breaks them up along with Flair. Natalya proceeds to dominate and is whipped into a ladder by Lynch.

This match is a back and fourth between everyone #obvioustatement.

Carmella is looking impressive as she flips Lynch from a corner ladder and heads up the rungs towards being the first Miss Money in the Bank. Charlotte intervenes and cleans house as Tamina works on the outside.

Flair is up high with Tamina on the same side of the ladder. They both fall.

Action heads out of the ring with Charlotte half heartedly spearing Tamina into steel steps. She climbs up onto the apron and top rope to execute a high risk twisting flip into both Tamina and Natalya, #impressed .

Carmella is all alone as she climbs but Lynch puts in the save and converts Carmella’s position into a power bomb. The crowd chant Becky’s name as she reaches up but Ellsworth is there! He tip the ladder for her to fall in this no DQ match. He begins to clumb himself and grabs the brief case. Dropping it to Carmella the bell rings as we cut away to 3 referees arguing. ‘He’s not in the match’ one of them says repeatedly.

Ellsworth announces it on the microphone and her music plays. Is that it? Really? Where’s the damn GM? (apparently on paternity leave #fatherhood)

Result: Carmella is the first ever Miss Money in the Bank

Verdict: A decent standard ladder match with everyone going high risk. Long are the days gone of what the standard of women’s matches used to be and its for the better. Action packed and well paced. Shame about the ending, but it’s sports entertainment I guess…

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Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match

The New Day v The Uso’s (c)

Proceedings begin with of course a new day promo for the St Louis crowd. The match begins with Kofi Kingston partnered with Big E. For the first portion Kofi is essentially squashed by the champs. A few brutal moves including Kofi being thrown out of the ring and then going into the ring post. The Uso’s follow the typical heel regular tag work whilst keeping Kofi down but he eventually battles to a Big E tag.

Big E delivers a few big time belly to belly suplexes and turns the tide. Kofi recovers and tags in for Big E to pull off a middle rope dive.

Back in the ring Kofi is on his own and near to tapping. Jey Uso superkicks Big E as he hits the ring. Kofi modifies and reverses a kick into a reverse choke hold. Kofi hits the SOS only for Jey to kick out at two and a half.

Blind tag by Big E as Kofi receives a superkick but Big E is legal and puts in the big ending which gets broken up at two and three quarters.

Xavier makes the trumpet distraction as the Usos move to the apron. They block a Big E mid rope dive and he tags Kofi. Over the other side Kofi dives out of the ring into the Uso’s and the new day hit the midnight hour only for another kick out. They aren’t going to win this if the Uso’s are going to kick out of everything!

Both Uso’s are out of the ring as the referee begins to count. They are walking away towards the belts and ring bell area. The ref counts to 10 and the bell rings. Poor ending.

Result: Uso’s retain after being disqualified for a 10 count

Verdict: High octane and action packed from both equally matched teams. The Uso’s just kept kicking out and made the theme of this PPV probably an all heel affair.

Smackdown Women’s championship match

Naomi (c) v Lana

So we have the neon queen vs the russian prom queen? Lana seems to represent the traditional diva type WWE are known for recruiting in the past. I’m interested to see how she will wrestle in her second career ever match.

The ravishing Russian brutally dominates to begin with but Naomi is there to put in the reality check. There comes some annoying screaming from Lana as she evades a cross body and goes for a two count pin attempt.

They head outside which seems to be the formula for every WWE match everywhere! Lana continues to excert her dominance by moving the pair both into the ring for a lock hold. She takes down the champion with a spiteful slam and follows up with two suplex’s. Lana is targeting Naomi’s legs here with a knee bending hold over the bottom rope. Again the annoying screams are protruding from Lana’s mouth as she goes for the left leg once more.

Naomi reverses into an arm breaker and subsequent kick to Lana’s head as the tide begins to turn.  Naomi hits a series of high kicks to the blonde head of Lana whose just about hanging in there as she evades to the outside only to return quickly to get the upper hand again.

Commentary team are surprised at her resilience as she goes for a sit down spine breaker. Naomi kicks out at two as Carmella’s entrance music hits! She’s bringing the MITB briefcase with her and is about to present it but stops.

The match continues with Lana dominating again now with the obvious distraction outside.

Naomi hits the same submission she used to win the belt at Wrestlemania, the commentary team failed to name this move as Carmella is contemplating a cash in but eventually heads to the back.

Result: Naomi wins via submission.

Verdict: Impressive dominance and arrival from Lana. I expect her to eventually win some matches and even a belt.

Next up a surprise return of Maria Kanellis and some guy called Mike. Good to see her back! She cuts a promo about being the ‘first lady’ being back in WWE. They’ve got some kind of love angle which is immediately cheesy, but again this ‘sports entertainment’.

Next the boring trio commentary team discuss what’s happened already in the event. We then move into the heavily Indian fan catered for promo of Jinder Mahal’s first championship defence. They even used English subtitles. I guess the Indian fan base is a big money draw for WWE hence why this guy is champion whilst we still wait for several other countries with a more established following for their world champion.

After the promo we see a line-up of local legends sat in the front row including: Greg Gagne, Larry ‘the axe’ Hennig, Baron Von Rashcke, Sgt. Slaughter, Cowboy Bob Orton Jnr and of course the nature boy Ric Flair wooooooo!

Jinder Mahal’s sidekicks appear and introduce the angry champion to almost zero crowd reaction here at Heelmania… I mean money in the bank but there seems to just be a hige heel emphasis in WWE right now and even with the brand extension and amount of talent each roster has it’s not working. Bring back joint PPVS.

Orton appears to a big hometown pop.

WWE Championship Match

Jinder Mahal (c) V Randy Orton

Orton starts off strong and threaten with an early RKO only to evade and head outside within a minute. He heads back in only for the challenger to take him down and then suplex the champ onto the top rope. Game on Randy as he stomps on Mahal a few times and dominates. Even when the champion tries to come back he is shut down and sent out again, this time with Orton following. He delivers a clothesline and keeps Jinder’s sidekicks at bay who stay back.

They head back into the ring with no breathing room for Mahal. Orton goes for the middle rope DDT only for the sidekicks to get up on the apron and distract thus getting Orton thrown out. Mahal capitalizes outside the ring now as they go at it.

Orton is sent shoulder first into steel steps and they replay Orton being thrown out and somewhat damaging his leg/knee of course Mahal begins to work the injury. Didn’t we see this in the last match?

Mahal is thrown over the barrier and into the local legends. Ric Flair just smiles as the action moves to the announce table. Jinder sends Orton knee first on top of the table and gets tangled in wires before they both head back into the ring for perhaps some actual wrestling.

Orton finds his way back to domination and again they head outside.

Upon getting back in the ring theres another RKO attempt which Mahal converts into a deadly superkick. He has Orton down in the middle of the ring as he places a hold on the knee. Slowly the chapion is working his way back and just to insult the audience Mahal puts in the figure 4 leglock to Orton. The challenger flips the hold and reverses the effect but Mahal soon breaks the rope.

Again Mahal find his way to domination. They head up in the corner and set up a superplex which Orton prevents and then attempts himself and pulls it off. Mahal comfortably kicks out at 2 as they now begin to exchange big right hands. The crowd vocal in their exchanges of ‘boo’ and ‘yeah’. Orton gains momentum into a powerslam. This time he pulls off the mid rope DDT to Mahal and finds some rest as he taunts his hometown and looks to setting up for an RKO.

He hits the RKO on Mahal. One, Two…. The ‘singh’ brothers pull Mahal’s foot onto the bottom rope but the referee see’s it. He sends them out and on their way they parade past the legends but stop there. Words are exchanged and Cowboy Bob Orton is grabbed by the scruff for Randy to make the save. He throws them both individually into the announcers table in a brutal beatdown which is an an obvious distraction…

Orton heads back into the ring but is immediately targets by Mahal as he hits his signature move.

Result: Jinder Mahal retains WWE championship

Verdict: A predictable turn of events with Orton obviously going to be hustled in some way. He was. End of.

 

A promo plays of the next Raw PPV, are they actually calling in great balls of fire?

 

Undercard tag team match featuring Tyler Breeze and Fandango v the Ascension.

Why is this match going up after the title match? Strange booking which is probably a crowd cool down so they can go to the souvenir stands and get some beers in. That’s what I would have done.

Result: Breezango

Verdict: None

 

The money in the Bank ladder Match (men if you can call them that)

Kevin Owens v AJ Styles v Dolph Ziggler v Sammy Zayn v Baron Corbin v Shinsuke Nakamura

mitb3Proceedings begin early as Nakamura makes his entrance Baron Corbin attacks him from behind thus taking him out of the match. Perhaps a perfect opportunity for someone to return…

Referees are discussing stuff and the bell rings as five men begin to brawl.

Action spreads wide as Ziggler, Owens and Zayn head out. Corbin begins his assault of Styles and then goes for the others. It looks like Nakamura wont be involved as he is assisted to the back. Our first dive comes from Sammy Zayn into Kevin Owens and reignites their famous rivalry. Both Ziggler and Corbin look to team up which is quickly dashed by the nature of a ladder match.

The Zayn Owens face off continues as AJ makes his presence known in the ring. He pulls a ladder in for Ziggler to pull it away and is pushed back for his efforts.

Sammy Zayn hits another high risk manouver with a springboard flip into Corbin.

Owens hits a the 200th superkick of the night to AJ styles. He goes to swing the first ladder in the ring to the slowly recovering Styles but receives a drop toe hold for his efforts. They exchange shots. Styles clash attempted but he’s sent over the top by Owens who is now alone in the ring with a ladder. He begins to set up and leaves the ladder open but not up. Zayn enters the ring only to be shot back whilst Owens heads up to the top rope with a view of the others outside but in the last minite Zayn grabs hold of Owens and sends him into the open ladder!

Zayn discards the obviously twisted ladder and grabs another. He begins to set it for Ziggler to knock him and the ladder down and sets it up in the corner. He then throws Zayn into the ladder and goes to set it up. Dolph Ziggler climbs looking to be a two time MITB winner but Sammy Zayn stops that. They brawl momentarily before Zayn hits the thunder bomb on Ziggler. Zayn climbs for Baron Corbin to halt his efforts and sends the ladder down. AJ styles is in now and dominates Corbin with a view to grab a ladder.

Style and Corbin are at the top with the usual cliché of exchanging blows. Ziggler joins them before going above them he grabs the briefcase but his efforts are thwarted. He hits the zigzag from the ladder to Corbin.

Ziggler and AJ Styles climb with Zayn on the other side. All of them grasp high with Styles being knocked down. Sammy Zayn comes out on top and executes a flip powerbomb disposing of himself and Doplh Ziggler.

The audience think it’s awesome…

No clear winner is obvious right now as Sammy Zayn and Kevin Owens brawl on the apron. Zayn manages somehow to flip Owens back on the apron. An impressive feat for a small guy on the wider guy. Zayn heads into the ring and begins to climb but AJ Styles hits the phenomenal forearm from the top rope. Text book AJ.

Baron Corbin and AJ are now out of the ring brawling, everyone else appears to be down. Corbin catches the highflyer that is Styles and chokeslams him into a ladder, this crowd reaction is priceless!

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Best reaction Ever! 

Corbin heads in for Zayn to hit a kick and set up the ladder. He climbs up towards the brief case. Ziggler appears only to be kicked off by Zayn. Owens appears and hits a low blow to Zayn. Owens climbs for AJ Styles to appear. They go back and forth and move to the apron. Owens sets up for a powerbomb but AJ reverses and lifts him onto both shoulders. He then throws Owens through the set up ladder outside.

It’s AJ styles eyeing up the briefcase as he climbs. Dolph Ziggler pulls the ladder away but Styles is holding on up high. He’s swinging in the air but eventually falls to a hard bump.

Corbin throws Ziggler out and Shinsuke Nakamura is back and angrier than ever. He hits the ring as audience sing his song. He dominates Corbin impressively and knocks Corbin out of the ring. Here comes Ziggler but Nakamura has the momentum to not only take down Dolph but Sammy Zayn also.

Nakamura heads out and grabs a ladder which Kevin Owens is attached to. They wrestle for it a Nakamura hits a deadly kick and goes back to proceedings.

AJ faces of with Nakamura as they stand each side of the ladder. They put it aside and look to lock up.  There can only be one winner. Rights and lefts exchanged between them with Nakamura getting hold of Styles from behind. He hits a suplex and moves to the corner. AJ counters with a deadly diving right hand.

Both competitors are down. Eventually they come to and climb the ladder simultaneously. Both of them are weary and also high up, probably the best view in the house. Corbin returns to push the ladder down. He climbs and grabs the brief case. The bell rings for the end of Heel Mania!

 

Result: Baron Corbin wins MITB

Verdict: Really an all heel winning PPV. Good match but really?  

 

PPV Verdict: I would be pissed if had stayed up to watch this event. It’s flawed in so many ways and just felt like a middle film or book to a series with everything held back! Most of it was predictable and somewhat half cooked, especially as all of the heels won.  Speaking of books, you should buy mine here on amazon….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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