Thank you, Taker – Wrestlemania 33 Recap and Reactions

The Dark Match went to Orlando, and thank the seven deities that we did, because that was a damn good show.  Let’s do this.

A Fitting End

So Roman Reigns went over The Undertaker, relatively clean.  There were chairs and stairs and commentary tables from the opening to the closing bell, but it was a clean pin on what I can only call a 3 bounce spear.  It shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone that he got the win here or that it was clean.  WWE and Vince McMahon are whole heartedly committed to using this guy as the face of the company going forward.  If we get out of PG-era and back into some more attitude from Roman, I think it could work.  I’ve seen glimpses, and the guy isn’t a bad wrestler, they just overemphasize the Superman Punch.

The story here isn’t about Roman Reigns, he didn’t exist in this night other than a symbolic passing of the torch.  The story is about The Undertaker, the veteran of 30 years, who simply looked winded throughout this match and ate a loss at Wrestlemania for only the second time in his career.  As Roman got to the backstage area and out of camera shot, a single light eased up on The Undertaker standing in entrance attire in the middle of the ring.  He removed his TapOut gloves and set them in the ring, followed by his coat which he slowly folded and set down.  For maybe the last time, Undertaker removed the bowler cap with his eyes rolled back in his head, placing it atop the rest of his stuff before leaving the ring and slowly making his way back to the trap door in the middle of the 9 mile ramp.  As the song played through, he walked to the roaring “Thank you Taker” chant, which I’ve been blessed enough to be a part of on three different occasions over the last two years, and then as he was lowered the lights dropped and the gong rang out.  Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Dead Man, that career will stand unrivaled for as long as wrestling exists.

JR was also on commentary for this match.

The Wrestlemania Kickoff Show

  • Dean Ambrose pinned Baron Corbin to retain the Intercontinental Championship.  Was a decent match, I think these guys could have put on a clinic if they were given no-holds barred or some sort of hardcore gimmick.  Would have given Ambrose a chance at redemption since Brock shit on all his ideas for last year’s hardcore match.
  • Mojo Rawley eliminates Jinder Mahal to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.  He got an assist from Ultimate Bro, Rob Gronkowski, who laid Jinder out with an insane shoulder block, but Mojo is getting more and more push, which is great to see.  I really like the guy.  Remember, I drove all the way to Cocoa Beach to see his farewell show at NXT following the draft.
  • Neville pinned Austin Aries following the Red Arrow, retaining the Cruiserweight Championship.  Aries left with what is hopefully a kayfabe injury.

Wrestlemania 33 – The Ultimate Thrill Ride

  • AJ Styles pinned Shane McMahon.  The story of this match going into Mania was that AJ was going to carry this match.  That may have held true, but Shane did a damn good job on his own.  He pulled out a lot more technical savvy than he’s shown in the past, turned a Phenomenal Forearm into a massive spike DDT, hit the Coast to Coast.  It was a good match, and a great kickoff to the main card.
  • Kevin Owens pinned Chris Jericho to win the United States Championship.  It was fairly well known that Chris Jericho was going to be going on hiatus as he’s got to go on tour with Fozzy, but these guys are both great wrestlers and they know each other so well.  This was a damn good match.
  • Bayley pinned Charlotte to win the fatal four way match, retaining the Raw Women’s Championship.  This match was fun to watch.  All three of the “smaller” competitors teamed up to get Nia out as early as possible, which was what had to happen as she was tearing through them like the Lady-Strowman.  Was a little shocked with how quickly/easily Charlotte would later get a pinfall on Sasha, but in all honesty, Bayley had to pin Charlotte clean if she was to retain in order to legitimize her title reign and tie a bow on that story.  I won’t lie, everyone was expecting a Sasha heel turn, and by the end of this match, I expected Charlotte to get a face turn and raise Bayley’s hand at the end.  The women’s revolution is still alive, and the crowd in Orlando clearly belonged to Bayley.
  • The Hardy Boyz win a fatal four way ladder match to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions.  Yes, you read that right.  I lost it.  Even with all the rumors, I was trying to keep myself from getting my hopes up just in case.  This was a pretty good match, and Jeff Hardy hasn’t slowed down a bit.  After Matt Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Karl Anderson off the top of the ladder, a Swanton Bomb from the big ladder drove Cesaro and Sheamus through a “ladder table” that was perched between the apron and security railing.  That place was electric when the Hardy music hit.  Just unreal.
  • John Cena and Nikki Bella win mixed tag, get engaged in front of 75,000 people.  Because moments like this shouldn’t be intimate, John and Nikki got the win on Miz and Maryse in a pretty quick match, considering.  Miz was on top for quite a while, but once the tide turned, Team Cena hit everything in stereo to get the dual pinfall.
  • Seth Rollins pinned Triple H.  I wouldn’t necessarily consider it slaying the king, but Rollins did get the win.  Triple H is so good at what he does, targeting the injured knee throughout.  This was a good match, I just hope Rollins is ready for the Right Hand of Destruction tonight on Raw.
  • Randy Orton RKO’d Bray Wyatt Outta Nowhere.  This match was pretty good, but I’m sort of confused by the outcome considering all the things during the match.  Bray took to the corner for his weird beard flip back bend, each time a different disgusting picture would cover the ring canvas so Randy would come to swimming in worms or surrounded by roaches.  What the hell was the point of all of this and building even more of Bray’s supernatural prowess if he’s just going to eat an RKO and lose his belt?  Where was the flock?
  • Brock Lesnar pinned Goldberg to claim the WWE Universal Championship.  Yes, because its 2017 with a roster flush with talent, so why would these two not trade the belt so that it can only show up every 6-8 weeks?  This match was boring.  I almost wish it had just been another minute and a half affair to get it over with.  These guys have two moves.  Goldberg with the Spear and Jackhammer, Lesnar with the German Suplex and the F-5.  That’s it, and you got to see entirely too many of all four moves.
  • Naomi won the six pack challenge to reclaim her WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship.  While this is the outcome I expected, I think the show ran way long (it didn’t end until midnight), and I think this match got shorted some time.  Becky Lynch did land the Bex-Plex on Ellsworth, which was great to watch.  Congrats, Naomi.  You should have walked into Mania with the belt so this felt fitting, especially with no surprises in the match.

That was our show.  I thought it was great, even with Roman getting over on Taker.  What did you think?

Only 371 days to Wrestlemania 34!!!!