By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired live April 7, 2019 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife Stadium
Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced Yolanda Adams, who performed “America the Beautiful” on the stage with a choir backing her. Four helicopters flew over the stadium and then one small pyro blast went off at the top of the stadium…
“The Showcase of the Immortals” was the name of the video package that aired and featured several wrestlers. They said they are storytellers and this is their stage. There were still shots from past WrestleMania moments…
Pyro shot off as Michael Cole checked in and said over 80,000 fans were in attendance and delivered the “This is WrestleMania” line. Cole was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Renee Young…
Alexa Bliss was introduced as the WrestleMania 35 host. She walked onto the stage and welcomed fans to the show. She said you don’t just need a host, you need a goddess. She said she had the show and all the fans in the palm of her hands. She said that if she wants a WrestleMania moment then all she has to do is snap her fingers. “You don’t believe me?” she asked. Bliss snapped her fingers.
Hulk Hogan made his entrance to a huge pop and joined Bliss on the stage. He said it was great to be back at WrestleMania and at the Silverdome. When fans booed, he said it was great to be at “the MetLife Center” (or something to that effect). Hogan asked whatcha gonna do when Hulk Hogan, Alexa Bliss, and WrestleMania run wild on you. Hogan and Bliss posed together on the stage.
Powell’s POV: Kofi Kingston has to win now, right?
Paul Heyman walked between Hogan and Bliss and headed to the ring. Heyman said that if he and his client are not on last then they were getting their business done and getting on a jet for Las Vegas where they are appreciated. Heyman said he wanted to get “this nonsense over with right now.” Heyman delivered the big introduction for Brock Lesnar, who had some pyro during his entrance. The entrance of Seth Rollins followed. He had a special video wall that labeled him “Beast Slayer”…
Lesnar attacked Rollins as he tried to enter the ring. Lesnar gave Rollins and F5 at ringside. Lesnar threw Rollins face first into the side of the ring, then tossed him into the barricade. Lesnar tossed Rollins over the German broadcast table twice. Lesnar rolled Rollins inside the ring. The referee hovered over Rollins while Lesnar barked at him to ring the bell to start the match. Lesnar tossed Rollins to ringside, then tossed him over the German broadcast table again. Lesnar leaned the plastic piece of the broadcast table against the ring and tossed Rollins through it. Lesnar smiled and then rolled Rollins back inside the ring.
1. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship. The bell rang to officially start the match. Lesnar performed a German suplex. “Suplex City, bitches,” Lesnar said before performing another. Rollins had bruising and scrapes on his back from the beating. Lesnar performed another German suplex. Lesnar set up for another move, but Rollins slipped out and shoved him toward the referee, who rolled to the floor. Rollins low blowed Lesnar. Rollins performed a Stomp. Rollins performed a second Stomp and then a third before covering Lesnar and pinning him to win the match…
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar in 2:30 to win the WWE Universal Championship.
Rollins celebrated the win afterward. He held up the title on the stage and pyro shot off. Heyman laid down in the ring where Lesnar was still selling. Rollins swung the belt over his head in celebration. Rollins looked back to the ring and raised the belt over his head…
Powell’s POV: A hot opening to the show even if it was a brief match. The live crowd was thrilled. Heyman had great facials at ringside while the three count was taking place as he sold shock and disbelief. This title change needed to happen. There would not have been as much fan outrage if Rollins had lost compared to if Becky Lynch or Kofi Kingston lose tonight, but Lesnar being a part-time WWE Universal Champion grew tiresome and was something they nudged fans to be bothered by over a year ago. It’s time to come up with something fresh for Lesnar if he’s sticking around.
2. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton. Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. The Spanish and German broadcast teams checked in during the ring entrances. Yes, Orton did apply a chinlock within the first five minutes of the match. Orton went for the hanging DDT at 7:20, but Styles rolled into a Calf Crusher. Orton sold by crying out in agony before reaching the ropes to break it. Styles did a springboard tease for a Phenomenal Forearm. Orton went for an RKO, but Styles remained on the apron, then performed a springboard 450 for a near fall.
Styles set up for a Phenomenal Forearm. Orton ducked out of the way, and Styles rolled onto his feet. Orton performed a sidewinder backbreaker. Orton placed Styles on the top rope and superplexed him. There was a loud cheer from the crowd, presumably because they turned off lights that were annoying the fans. They booed seconds later when the lights came on again. Orton played to the crowd and there was another cheer, presumably for the light being turned off.
Orton struck the Viper’s Pose. Styles avoided an RKO attempt and caught Orton with a jumping kick. Both men got up after a two count and Orton put Styles down with an RKO for a near fall. Orton took Styles back to the ropes and set up for an apparent RKO from the ropes, but Styles slipped under him and kicked him. Orton ended up at ringside. Styles performed a Phenomenal Forearm on Orton at ringside at 15:20. With Orton back in the ring, Styles went for a springboard move. Orton went for an RKO, but Styles stuffed it and clotheslined Orton over the top rope. Styles connected with a Phenomenal Forearm and pinned Orton…
AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton in 16:20.
Powell’s POV: A good match, particularly for this early slot on the card. They had a lot of time to work out the kinks on house shows leading up to WrestleMania and they came through with a good outing, though it wasn’t something that I expect people to be talking much about coming out of the show.
After some advertising, Lacey Evans did her runway walk and headed backstage…
3. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev (w/Lana) in a four-way for the Smackdown Tag Titles. The Smackdown broadcast team of Phillips, Graves, and Byron Saxton called the match. Nakamura caught Jimmy Uso with a nice spinning kick a couple minutes in, which led to Ricochet tagging himself into the match. Cesaro checked in and Ricochet twisted around him a couple of times before taking him down with a head scissors, which got a nice reaction. Cesaro performed a swing on Ricochet that went up for just over 40 seconds while Sheamus.
Nakamura had Black pinned, but Ricochet broke it up with a shooting star press at 5:45. A couple minutes later, there was a tower of doom spot. Ricochet was at the top of it and was able to roll through once he landed on the mat. Black took out multiple opponents and then Ricochet performed his 630 splash and had the pin, but several wrestlers broke up the pin. The wrestlers took turns with big spots. The Usos performed double superkicks on Sheamus to lay him out, then they went to opposite corners and performed a double top rope splash for the win…
The Usos defeated Ricochet and Aleister Black, Sheamus and Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev in a four-way in 10:10 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A fun match with lots of crowd pleasing big spots. Now that Ricochet and Black have come up short in challenging for the Raw, NXT, and Smackdown Tag Titles over the last six days, my hope continues to be that Black will turn on Ricochet so that they both become singles wrestlers. If they want them both to be babyfaces, then here’s hoping they split them up in the Superstar Shakeup. They are good together, but I feel they are better apart and need to have their individual personas established.
A WWE Hall of Fame recap aired. The Class of 2019 was introduced by ring announcer Greg Hamilton. Honky Tonk Man, “Harlem Heat” Booker T and Stevie Ray, Torrie Wilson, Brutus Beefcake, “The Hart Foundation” Bret Hart with Natalya representing her father Jim Neidhart, Warrior Award winner Sue Aitchison and John Cena’s 600th Make A Wish kid Maysun Laporte all appeared on the stage. The DX music played. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn came out in DX shirts and threw glow sticks to the crowd. Hamilton asked for another round of applause for the Hall of Famers. Pyro shot off around the top of the stadium…
A video package aired on the Shane McMahon vs. The Miz feud…
4. Shane McMahon vs. The Miz in a falls count anywhere match. Shane made ring announcer Hamilton introduce him as “the best in the world” twice. Miz’s Dad(!) was in the front row (where’s Marjo?!?). Miz hugged his father prior to the match. Shane threw some light punches to Miz’s back and then rolled to ringside when Miz came after him. Shane grabbed Miz’s Dad by the face. Miz chased him. Shane ran and leapt over the barricade on the other side of the ring. Miz chased after him and tried to leap the barrier, but Shane was waiting and punched him.
Shane went on the offensive and hit Miz with a television monitor from one of the broadcast tables. With Miz lying on the broadcast table, Shane went up top. Miz’s Dad ran over and stood in front of his son and took his jacket off. Shane dropped down from the top rope. Miz’s Dad (George Mizanin) entered the ring and struck a bad fighter’s pose. Shane moved his hands into better position. Miz told the ref to get Miz’s Dad out of the ring, then took a cheap shot at him and kicked him. Miz returned to the ring and attacked Shane.
Miz went over and checked on his father, who was still lying in the ring. Miz had trainers tend to his father, then ran and leapt the barrier onto Shane. They fought onto a platform where an LED tower for one of the WrestleMania signs was located. Shane came back and threw kidney punches at Miz, then dropped him with a DDT and covered him for two at 7:20. Miz kicked Shane’s left knee twice and then kicked him off the small platform. Miz stomped the bad knee and then hit it with a chair. They fought into the international broadcast team row with Miz remaining on the offensive at 9:40.
Miz tossed Shane through a table. When Shane got back to his feet, Miz swung and hit him with a computer monitor. Shane took a big bump onto a golf cart and slid off to the floor below where Miz covered him for a two count. Miz continued to dominate as they climbed onto a platform where a couple of cameras were located. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale and referee Charles Robinson counted to two before Shane kicked out. Shane hit Miz with a camera case. Shane climbed up the scaffolding of the camera platform and sold his knee injury.
Miz followed him to the top of the platform. Shane begged off and apologized while dropping to one knee. Miz punched him repeatedly and asked if he was sorry. Miz superplexed Shane from the camera tower and through a landing area below. Shane landed on top of Miz, and Robinson made the three count and awarded the match to Shane. Graves called it a WrestleMania Miracle…
Shane McMahon defeated The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match 15:30.
Powell’s POV: A fun brawl with the annual Shane stunt. It looked safe and the fans popped for it. Shane winning by a fluke means we haven’t seen the last of this feud.
An ad aired for Money in the Bank on May 19 and then additional advertising aired…
5. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. Paige joined Cole and Young on commentary for the match. Yes, Corey Graves actually gets a break. Natalya and Phoenix had matching gear. Bret Hart walked onto the stage and wished them well prior to the match and then they walked to the ring hand in hand while he went backstage.
Banks caught Phoenix in a Bank Statement at 5:35. Phoenix rolled out of it and set up for her own finisher, but Banks avoided it. Moments later, Natalya applied a double Sharpshooter on Banks and Bayley for a minor pop. Bayley prevented Banks from tapping out. Tamina broke it up with a boot to Natalya’s face. A short time later, Jax and Tamina set up for top rope splashes while Banks and Bayley were down, but they were cut off.
Banks performed a top rope splash onto Phoenix for a two count at 9:10. A short time later, Phoenix performed a Glam Slam on Bayley for the second rope. Royce ran in and dragged Phoenix to the floor, and then Kay stole the pin on Bayley for the title change…
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay defeated Sasha Banks and Bayley, Beth Phoenix and Natalya, and Nia Jax and Tamina in a four-way in 10:45 to win the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A lot of fans seemed to take the match off. They were very quiet through the bulk of it and you could see a lot of people walking around. They did respond to the finish and the fans on the floor seemed pleased to see The Iiconics win the tag titles. Everyone worked hard, but I really hope they settle into traditional tag team matches as they attempt to make the belts feel meaningful.
The crew that flew the helicopters over the stadium earlier were shown in the front row… A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
New Day made their entrance. Kofi was super over. Big E put a gift box at ringside and said it was for Kofi. Daniel Bryan made his entrance with Rowan…
Detective David Mills’s POV: What’s in the box?!? What’s in the box?!? What’s in the box?!? The real or a new WWE Championship belt? Oh, never mind.
6. Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan) vs. Kofi Kingston (Big E, Xavier Woods). Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Kofi hit a Boom Drop just before 6:00. Bryan rolled to ringside. Kingston did a slide kick through the ropes. Kingston performed a springboard dive and Bryan stepped aside and shoved him chest-first into a broadcast table. “KofiMania just got cancelled,” Graves said. Bryan took Kingston back inside the ring and worked him over.
Bryan controlled the next five minutes of offense. Kingston went for a running double stomp, but Bryan saw it coming and rolled him into a Boston crab. Kingston reached the ropes to break the hold. Kingston came back with a series of elbows that knocked Bryan from the ropes at 13:00, which led to a near fall. They showed a group of wrestlers rooting for Kingston while watching the match on a backstage monitor.
At 14:45, Kingston performed a top rope cross body block. Bryan rolled through for a two count. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock, but Kingston caught him with a kick to the head. Kingston charged Bryan in the corner and ate both boots. Bryan taunted the crowd by motioning for Yes! chants, which led to No! responses. Kingston avoided the burning hammer and hit an SOS for a two count, only to have Bryan roll into the LeBell Lock. Kingston reached the ropes with his foot to break the hold.
Bryan threw a series of kicks at Kingston as they reached 18:00. Kingston limped and called for more, which fired up an already red hot crowd. Bryan threw a kick and Kingston fired back with his own. Bryan won the kick battle by knocking Kingston down. When Bryan went for a knockout kick, Kingston avoided it and picked up another near fall. Bryan rolled to the floor. Rowan blocked Kingston’s path. Woods ran and leapt off the ring steps and was given the Iron Claw. Rowan also took out Big E for a moment. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise. Big E and Woods teamed up for the Midnight Hour on Rowan at ringside.
Kingston caught Bryan with a shot as Bryan charged near the ropes. Bryan ducked Trouble in Paradise, then hit a running knee and covered Kingston for a great near fall. Bryan showed disbelief. Bryan grabbed Kingston’s arms and stomped his face several times. Bryan applied the LeBell Lock again. The referee checked Kofi’s arm, and he held it up to keep the match going. Kingston escaped the hold and punched Bryan, who tried to reapply, but Kingston broke free and punched him repeatedly.
Bryan still held Kingston’s arm. Kingston grabbed Bryan’s other arm and then stomped his face several times. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise and scored the 1-2-3. “Kofi did it! Kofi did it! Kofi did it! Kofi did it! Kofi is champion!” Phillips exclaimed.
Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan in 23:45 to win the WWE Championship.
Big E and Xavier Woods rushed into the ring and celebrated with Kingston. They showed the babyfaces backstage celebrating. Big E and Woods rushed to ringside. Big E ditched Bryan’s title belt and unveiled the traditional WWE Championship belt. Big E and Woods hoisted Kingston onto his shoulders. Kingston’s sons joined him in the ring. The gift box was actually filled with new t-shirts for Kingston’s championship win…
Powell’s POV: A terrific match and one of the great feel good moments in WrestleMania history. It’s crazy how this all came together because of Ali’s injury. By the way, those t-shirts were apparently online before the match was finished, as there’s a bunch of grumbling on social media about the finish being spoiled. For those hoping for a clean sweep in the Big Three WrestleMania matches for the babyfaces, the layout of the card should provide some hope given the way they’ve put so much distance between the WWE Universal, WWE Championship, and main event matches.
The broadcast team recapped the Andre the Giant battle royal. Backstage, Alexa Bliss apologized to Colin Jost and Michael Che, who were bickering with one another in a trainer’s office. She told them not to worry because they are in excellent hands. Bliss left the room and then Scott Hall and Kevin Nash walked in dressed like doctors…
7. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio for the U.S. Championship. Booker T sat in on commentary with Philips and Saxton. He put over the Kingston win and bumped fists with Saxton, who said boom. The international broadcast teams checked in. The bell rang and Joe raced over and kicked Mysterio. Joe threw three headbutts. Mysterio came back with a DDT and a springboard huracanrana, then performed a 619. Mysterio went up top and jumped at Joe, who caught him and applied the Coquina Clutch. The ref checked Mysterio’s arm, which fell limp to the mat…
Samoa Joe defeated Rey Mysterio in 1:00 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Powell’s POV: Wait, so nobody is going to beat up Dominic Mysterio?!? I’m devastated.
A video package on Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre aired…
8. Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre. A lot of pyro shot off as part of Roman’s entrance once he stood on the second rope and raised his arms. McIntyre had a prolonged stretch of offense and boasted that he broke The Shield. Reigns ate a punch and flashed a mean face. Reigns went on the offensive and performed a Drive By at ringside. Later, Reigns connected with a Superman Punch and received some boos. Reigns let out a war cry and then speared and pinned McIntyre.
Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre in 9:00.
Powell’s POV: A disappointing match. While I think the right move would have been to put over McIntyre since Reigns had every storyline excuse to lose and then Reigns would have had a mountain to climb, it’s not the outcome that bothers me. It’s that Reigns won in such basic fashion. They built up McIntyre nicely. A hard fought loss in a big battle would have been fine, but this wasn’t that. By the way, Dot Net Member Don Murphy is at the show and estimated that 70 percent of the fans booed Reigns while only 30 percent cheered for him before the match. Wow. I thought the Mania crowd would be kind to Reigns this year given everything he’s been through. Instead, many fans seemed disinterested in the match and a wave even broke out.
Elias was introduced by Mike Rome. A video played with Elias playing multiple instruments. At the end of the song, Elias was in the ring with his guitar and told the Elias’s on the screen to take a bow, which they did. Elias said his performance will be the greatest in rock-n-roll history. Elias told the fans to silence their cellphones, hold their applause, and shut their mouths.
Before Elias could play his song, a video appeared on the big screen of New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth calling his shot. Thuganomics appeared on the big screen. John Cena made his entrance to his old theme song and sporting his old look, including a Ruth jersey. Cena said the Doctor of Thuganomics is back. He said Elias got a bad deal because John Cena is about to turn heel. He said he’s like a bad dog that bit you, and Elias isn’t even half a dog, he’s just a little piece of shih tzu. An Elias as. shih tzu graphic appeared on the screen. Cena said Elias’s face looks like his nuts (he pulled out a bag of nuts, then said Elias has a harrier bush. Cena said Elias was about to get the FU. Cena punched him and ended up performing the Attitude Adjustment…
Powell’s POV: It was fun to see Cena’s stroll down memory lane. The segment didn’t overstay its welcome and the live crowd had a lot of fun with it. Most importantly, Cena never took his hat off. Let’s face it, you can’t be the Doctor of Thuganomics with that haircut. Good dumb fun.
A video package set up the Batista and Triple H match…
Shawn Michaels was introduced as a guest commentator for the match. Batista’s entrance saw two black SUV’s drive onto the stage and then a bunch of men in black security guys line up on the entrance ramp. Batista exited the second SUV in his wrestling gear (he was Red-tista on this night). Batista nearly tripped on the ring steps, then he did trip as he entered through the ropes. Cole said Batista was all fired up.
Batista went to ringside and glared at Michaels, who told him that he knows it has nothing to do with the two of them. Actor Kumail Nanjiani was behind the broadcast team and identified by Cole as Batista’s co-star in a forthcoming movie. Batista also glared at Triple H’s mom and dad at ringside before getting back inside the ring. Hunter’s dad pointed at him, and Batista returned the point, then did the throat slashing gesture.
Triple H made his entrance on the back of a tricked out car that looked like something out of a Mad Max film. “How cool is that?” Cole asked. “Hunter had a skull mask on and removed it. Cole said Batista has beaten Triple H in their three pay-per-view matches. Cole also said Batista has been training for his match for months, while Hunter was battling back from an injury…
9. Batista vs. Triple H in a No Holds Barred match with Triple H’s career on the line. Cole, Graves, and HBK were on commentary. Batista gave Hunter a shoulder block. Hunter knocked Batista to ringside and followed him. Batista knocked Hunter over the broadcast table. Hunter came right back and attacked Batista, who then dumped him into the timekeeper’s area. Hunter hit him with a toolbox. Hunter dumped out the contents of the toolbox and picked up a chain and whipped Hunter with it, then wrapped the chain around his face. Hunter ran Batista into the ring steps.
Triple H pulled out channellock pliers and put Batista’s fingers inside of it. The broadcast team assumed that he broke his fingers. Back inside the ring, Hunter placed a chair over Batista and sat on it, then used another tool to pry his off his nose ring. Hunter showed off the nose ring. Batista rolled to ringside. Hunter wrapped a chain around his fist and leapt at him, but Batista avoided him and then dumped him onto a broadcast table. Batista slammed Hunter onto another broadcast table twice and it didn’t break. Batista slammed a chair over the back of Triple H at 9:10.
Back inside the ring, Triple H went for a Pedigree, but Batista powered him up and fell backwards onto him for a two count. They went back to ringside and Batista hit Hunter with a piece of the ring steps. Batista set the ring steps on the Spanish broadcast table and then cleared the English broadcast table before pointing at Michaels. Batista stood on the ring steps and motioned for his finisher, but Hunter gave him a back body drop onto the English broadcast table. The f’n table didn’t break. Finally, Hunter put Batista through the German broadcast table at 15:35.
At 17:20, Triple H pulled a sledgehammer out from underneath the ring and brought into the ring. Batista speared Triple H for a near fall. Batista tried to use the sledgehammer, but Hunter knocked it away. Hunter tried to use it and Batista ended up giving him a spinebuster. Batista stomped his feet and set up for his Batista Bomb finisher. Hunter held onto the sledgehammer, but did not use it, and Batista got a good near fall.
At 21:35, Hunter powerbombed Batista onto a portion of the ring steps in the ring and covered him for a near fall. Hunter picked up the sledgehammer and ran at Batista, who hit him and then DDT’d him onto the ring steps. Ric Flair came to ringside and jawed at Batista, who had a sledgehammer. Triple H had his own and ended up running up the steps, leaping off, and hitting Batista with the sledgehammer. Triple H hit the Pedigree and pinned Batista…
Triple H defeated Batista in a No Holds Barred match in 24:45.
Powell’s POV: I once again give another Triple H vs. legend match an A for effort, but this was once again overly long. I’m sure Batista wanted it to be epic for what is likely his final match and he really did give it his all, but it was just too long at this point in their careers, especially this late on what is already a ridiculously long show.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss was with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who were wearing Daniel Bryan “still the planet’s champion” t-shirts. She directed people to the WWE website for details. Dallas and Axel danced. Ron Simmons showed up and gave them a DAMN!…
10. Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin in Angle’s farewell match. The bell rang to start the match and disappointed anyone still clinging to hope that someone other than Corbin would face Angle. Corbin hit the Deep Six for a near fall at 3:05. Angle came back with an Angle Slam for a good near fall. Angle lowered the straps of his singlet and applied the ankle lock. Corbin reached for the ropes, but Angle pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Corbin rolled out and Angle went face first into the middle turnbuckle.
Corbin flashed the “you can’t see me” hand gesture and then told Angle that he can’t see him. The broadcast team said he was mocking WWE fans who wanted to see Cena face Angle in his final match. Angle punched Corbin and then performed three German suplexes. The fans applauded and Angle waved. Angle went for a moonsault and Corbin rolled out of the way. Corbin performed the End of Days finisher and scored the clean pin.
Baron Corbin defeated Kurt Angle 6:05.
Corbin left and then Angle took the mic. Angle said he’s had the time of his life for the last 20 years. He thanked the fans and told them that he wants to hear those two words that epitomize his career. Angle’s music played and he led the crowd in chanting “you suck”. Angle went to ringside and had a moment with his family before going backstage…
Powell’s POV: This was better than some of the matches we saw on Angle’s retirement tour. Angle did the honors on his way out the door. Let’s hope Corbin can make the bragging rights count for something. Congratulations to Kurt Angle for a fantastic career.
11. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. “The Demon” Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship. Balor stood on top of a structure during his entrance and then rolled ff and made his walk and crawl to the ring. Pyro shot off. Lashley showed off neon green contacts. The bell rang and Balor dropkicked Lashley. Balor also performed an early flip dive onto Lashley at ringside. Back in the ring, Lashley slammed Balor to the mat. Lashley followed up with a pair of suplexes.
At 2:30, Rush distracted Balor as he was on the apron, and Lashley speared Balor through the ropes and to the floor. Back inside the ring, Lashley speared Balor again and covered him for a two count. Balor came back with a powerbomb and a Coup de Grace for the clean win…
“The Demon” Finn Balor pinned Bobby Lashley in 4:05 to win the Intercontinental Championship.
Powell’s POV: The match was fine while it lasted, but Balor winning would have meant so much more if Lashley hadn’t already won the title during this feud and lost it again. The belt is damaged by bad booking.The broadcast team tried to make a huge fuss over Balor powerbombing Lashley, as they were chalking that up to his Demon strength.
Alexa Bliss came out and announced a MetLife stadium record of 82,265 in attendance. Pyro shot off around the stadium. Bliss said she thinks it’s time for a break. Fans booed. She repeated herself two more times while emphasizing break. R-Truth and Carmella came out. Carmella encouraged everyone to stand up for the world’s largest seven-second dance break. The cameras found some people dancing and this went on longer than seven seconds…
Powell’s POV: This might have been cute four hours ago. And it’s hard to be excited about WrestleMania attendance records when there’s so much embellishing taking place. They’re certainly not the only ones in entertainment to do this, but they did reveal at one point that they count every person in the stadium, including stadium workers in their attendance number.
After some ads, a WrestleMania 36 video aired with a pirate ship theme for April 5 in Tampa… A video package set up the main event…
A helicopter was shown flying over the stadium and we saw Charlotte Flair seated inside wearing her gear and holding her title belt. The chopper landed outside the stadium. Two men showed up and rolled out a red carpet for Flair, and another man opened the door for her. Flair removed her ring jacket and handed it to the man, then held her arms out while two men put her robe on…
Greg Hamilton started to introduce the match and his mic cut out. Fans booed. The mic worked again and Hamilton introduced Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, who performed “Bad Reputation” as Ronda Rousey made her entrance. Rousey smiled at Jett, then made her mean face and headed to the ring.
Flair made her entrance to her usual theme. Graves said Ric Flair said Charlotte is no longer Ric Flair’s daughter, but rather Ric is Charlotte Flair’s dad because she has made her mark.
Lynch entered to her theme song while “THE MAN” was displayed on the big screen in giant letters behind her. Fans held up “The Man” signs (they had signs for other wrestlers throughout the night) and Cole said this has become a movement.
12. Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for both titles. Hamilton delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. Rousey was dominant early on and roughed up both women. She flung Lynch into the barricade, then performed a Piper’s Pit on Flair onto the floor. Rousey went for the same move on Lynch, who slipped out and shoved Rousey into the ring post. Flair performed a fallaway slam into the barricade.
Flair and Lynch fought inside the ring briefly. Rousey caught Lynch in an armbar over the ropes. Lynch dropkicked Rousey through the legs of Flair, causing Rousey to fall awkwardly to the floor. Flair and Lynch went back to fighting while Rousey was down. Flair went for a moonsault at 5:10, and Lynch caught her in the Disarmer on the way down. Rousey returned to break it up and then worked the arm of Lynch until Flair booted her in the face at 5:35.
Flair lit up Rousey with chops at 6:40. Rousey jawed at her. Flair slapped her. Rousey threw a leaping kick at Flair. Rousey went for an armbar. Flair countered into a Boston crab, then Lynch returned and bulldogged Flair’s face into the match at 7:20. Lynch performed a reverse DDT on Rousey while performing a regular DDT on Flair simultaneously. Lynch covered both women separately for two counts. Lynch worked over Flair with punches heading past the 8:00 mark.
Lynch performed an exploder suplex on Flair from the ropes. Rousey performed a cross body block from the ropes onto both women. Rousey applied a double armbar on both opponents, who picked her up and performed a double powerbomb, then powered her up again and slammed her down a second time. They repeated the move a third time and finally freed themselves. Flair tossed Lynch to ringside and covered Rousey for a near fall. Lynch returned to the ring and performed a suplex on Flair and covered her for a near fall at 11:30.
Rousey and Lynch squared off. Rousey kicked her, then Lynch rolled her into the Disarmer. Rousey reached the ropes to break the hold. Lynch applied an armbar with Rousey’s arm through the ropes. Flair returned and kicked Lynch to break the hold. Flair performed a top rope Spanish Fly for a near fall. Rousey returned and Flair suplexed her. Lynch got up and pulled Flair away from Rousey and went for her finisher, but Flair shoved Lynch face first into a middle turnbuckle. Flair booted the leg of Rousey, which had some nasty bruising. Flair wrapped her leg around the post and applied a figure four at 14:45. Lynch broke it up seconds later.
Flair threw Lynch into the barricade at ringside and returned to the ring and went for her finisher, but Rousey rolled her into an inside cradle for a two count. Flair applied a figure four and bridged into a figure eight. Lynch flew into the picture from the top rope and landed on Flair with a legdrop to break the hold. Flair bled from an elbow. Lynch went to ringside and pulled a table out from underneath the ring and then set it up inside the ring. Rousey laid on the mat and held her bruised leg. Flair returned and hit Lynch from behind and placed her on top of the table. Flair went up top and Lynch followed. Rousey ran over and shoved Flair to the floor.
Rousey knocked the table over and jawed at the booing fans that she doesn’t need a table. Rousey and Lynch fought for their finishers, but Flair returned and speared Lynch, then made separate covers on both women for two counts just before 19:00. Flair set up the table in one of the corners and slammed Rousey’s face into it. Flair speared Lynch and covered her for a two count. Flair showed frustration as the match passed 20:00.
Flair charged both opponents and they did a double armdrag onto the table, which did not break. Rousey and Lynch squared off and traded blows. Rousey performed a running kick or leg lariat (or something) on Lynch. Rousey set up for the Piper’s Pit on Lynch, who countered into a crucifix pin for the three count.
Becky Lynch defeated Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat in 21:30.
Rousey immediate protested because her shoulders weren’t down. Lynch celebrated with both title belts. Rousey stormed out of the ring, and Flair cried on the floor against the barrier. They replayed the footage. The first shot showed that Rousey’s shoulders were up when the referee made his first count, and the second clip only showed the referee’s second and third count. Cole said the bottom line is that Becky Lynch is the champion. Graves said he would love to have a more conclusive end to WrestleMania. Fireworks shot off. Cole actually said it will be known as WrestleMANia. Lynch celebrated and the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: I can see going with a controversial finish if this were somewhere else on the card or even the main event of another show, but I’m not a fan of the WrestleMania main event ending with a bad pinfall. I assume they are doing this to set up a rematch or even a Lynch vs. Rousey singles match either soon or somewhere down the road if Rousey takes time away. Perhaps that finish will get them the mainstream attention they love. Or perhaps it was a simple mistake at the worst time possible, but I don’t think so. The match was entertaining, but a lot of the near falls didn’t seem to register either because the fans were tired or because they just weren’t buying into the near falls until very late in the match.
Overall, WWE actually went three for three when it came to delivering babyface title wins in the top three matches. It was a very babyface friendly show overall. It was satisfying in that regard. It was also overly long and bloated again this year. A small minority of fans will disagree because they can’t get enough, but 7.5 hours including the Kickoff Show is just too much. I will have a lot more to say about this show when I get together with Jake Barnett shortly for the Dot Net Members exclusive audio review. Join us on the ad-free version of the website via PWMembership.net. Thanks for making us your home for WrestleMania 35 weekend coverage or just for stopping by.
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