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)
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
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.
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…
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!