Wrestlemania 35 Review

Man lighting a worker’s cigarette while the Chrysler Building was being worked on. Saved from the Wall Street Journal. WSJ.com

Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship – This match up certainly had an interesting style to it. First Paul Heyman came out to say since Lesnar wasn’t the main event, he was ready to get on a jet and head to Las Vegas where he’s “ultimately” appreciated. Seth Rollins comes out and gets attacked before he even gets in the ring. Lesnar conotrolled the bulk of the match. The referee ducked out of the ring for a moment. Rollins capitalized with another groin shot. One stomp. two stomp. Three Stomp. Rollins is your new Universal Champion.

AJ Styles vs Randy Orton – It was a solid match. It wasn’t given quite as much time as I may have expected. It was definitely a slow, Randy Orton style match. I was disappointed but unsurprised that the announcers failed to note the finisher properly. AJ has been caught with an RKO off a spring board twice in recent memory. AJ counters that, then gets off his Flying Forearm for the win. Is it too much to ask for announcers to note important stuff like that?

The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs The Usos for the Smackdown Live Tag Tag Championships – It was a fun match but nothing stood out. Everyone got a spot. Ricochet came the closest to winning it with a 630 before everyone else broke up the pin. The Usos ended up winning with a double splash on Sheamus.

The Hall of Fame Inductees come out along with the usual video package from the previous night’s festivities.

Shane McMahon vs The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere Match – That match played out really well. George Mizanin getting involved was a nice touch. The Miz delivering the move that lost the match is a perfect way to have Shane go over but give Miz the visual of a win. I was really hoping for Miz to just kick him off the platform 300 style. He would have won that way.

The IIConics vs Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs Nia Jax & Tamina vs Sasha Banks & Bayley for the Women’s Tag Team Titles – Another well paced, get everyone involved match. Beth Phoenix got to kick out of the Top Rope Elbow/Frog Splash combo from Bayley & Banks. Phoenix later gave Bayley a Super Glam Slam from the top. Before she could make the pin, Billie Kay tossed her out of the ring and made the pin for the win. The WWE has been nailing the endings of these matches.

Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship – All of the shenanigans the WWE played with this story line paid off. People were into this match as soon as the bell rang and barely ebbed. What an electric atmosphere. The match had some sloppy spots but was built very smartly with Kofi selling a midsection injury after a high risk chance went wrong. Kofi had a great come back that was capped with a Trouble In Paradise for the win. That one just felt great to see happen. Xavier Woods & Big E mobbed him in the ring. They also presented him with the “proper” WWE Championship. Kofi’s children then came in the ring and celebrated with him. If that didn’t hit you in the feels, you don’t have a heart. Story so well told.

Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe for the US Championship – We need a cool off match. Hey Rey, pass out in five minutes to the Kokina Clutch. You got it boss. That’s a great pay rate. – Rey & Joe both.

Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre – This match was another palate cleanser. McIntyre got to show off some offense but ultimately fell on Reigns first come back. Superman Punch/Spear does the trick.

Elias has his segment. It gets cheesy in a hurry. Elias starts playing with multiples of himself on different instruments. Thuganomics style John Cena ends up interrupting him. He gives us an old school rap. Cena finishes it with a Five Knuckle Shuffle and an “FU” since the whole segment was a throw back. That was something else.

HHH vs Batista in a Street Fight Retirement Match – The performers are delivering tonight. HHH & Batista sold a slugfest. Plenty of exhausting high impact offense. Ric Flair comes out to help HHH win.

Kurt Angle vs Baron CorbinThey put over Baron Corbin. I know that’s tradition but I’m still not sold on Baron Corbin. The match was not good but we all knew that was coming. Angle just doesn’t have anything left.

The Demon Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley for the Intercontinental Championship – Lashley got to put up a fight but mostly got his ass kicked. It was thankfully short considering the length of the this show. Finn Balor is yet again IC Champ.

Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte vs Becky Lynch for the Raw & Smackdown’s Women’s Championships – That was a hard hitting match. Those ladies really kept up the intensity they showed on Monday with a logical slobber knocker of a match. One participant or the other kept on getting dumped to allow the others to go at it one on one. Much to my surprise, Becky Lynch turned a Piper’s Pit into a Crucifix Bomb for the win. It looked like a clear pin to me but Corey Graves really played up Ronda’s shoulder being up which it didn’t appear to be. That is not a good way to end Mania even with the result I most preferred to see.

Kevin DiFrango

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