Powell’s WrestleMania 39 Hit List: Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title, Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus for the Intercontinental Title, Edge vs. Finn Balor in a Hell in a Cell match, Brock Lesnar vs. Omos

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw Hits

Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: A phenomenal main event that capped off a great WrestleMania weekend. This match had all the drama and suspense that you want from of a WrestleMania main event and then some. There were so many great momentum shifts and close near falls. The longer the match went, the more it felt like they were building toward Rhodes winning the championship. As someone who predicted a Cody win and yet never closed the door on Roman retaining the title, it was still a jaw dropper once Reigns actually got the three count. While decision to have Reigns retain is sure to be debated for a long time, they had two great options to choose from and strong cases could be made for either outcome. WrestleMania main events often provide viewers with a sense of storyline closure. In this case, the outcome leaves the Reigns and Rhodes characters in very interesting places that should leave fans anxious to see where they go next.

Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus for the Intercontinental Title: An absolute war. As much as I expected great physicality, they somehow exceeded my high expectations. These three beat the hell out of one another and produced one of the most suspenseful matches of the weekend. Outstanding work by everyone involved.

Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship: A major Hit for the young contortionist who took part in Bianca’s entrance despite the death of her mother earlier in the day. Wow. The actual match was well worked. I wasn’t a fan of having so many anticlimactic near falls during the first ten minutes of the match, but they found their groove once the near falls started to feel like they actually mattered. I was surprised to see Belair go over if only because the company desperately needs to create strong heels in the women’s division. It felt like Asuka winning through nefarious means and putting Belair on a quest to regain her championship was the way to go, but hopefully they have something else in mind to heat up the division. It’s a long shot, but I wonder if they intend to unify the women’s titles at some point.

Edge vs. Finn Balor in a Hell in a Cell match: A soft Hit. They created a big match feel with the elaborate entrances. Edge and Balor seemed hellbent on producing something special. Balor’s injury disrupted the flow of the match and yet it’s remarkable (and questionable) that he continued working after having staples put in his head at ringside. All things considered, Edge and Balor made this work.

Brock Lesnar vs. Omos: A soft Hit. The live crowd bought into the spectacle and had a lot of fun with this. So while this didn’t do much for me and I felt like it was a bit of a waste of Lesnar, the only thing that truly matters is that it worked for the masses.

Overall show: This was a step down from the outstanding night one, but it was still a good show and it was a great WrestleMania weekend overall. The 38 minutes between the Hell in a Cell match and the start of the main event was too much. There was also a lull on night one, but it didn’t feel nearly as dragged out as it did on night two. On a side note, credit to Snoop Dogg, The Miz, and the referee for the way they held things together after Shane McMahon was injured. That segment could have gone completely off the rails and yet they were able to improvise in a way that gave the segment a fun and satisfying payoff.

WWE Raw Misses

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan vs. Natalya and Shotzi vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville in a four-way tag team showcase match: The match felt random and meaningless on paper. Granted, the men’s version felt the same way going in, but at least that match consisted of actual tag teams who produced a really fun match. The women’s match had its moments, but it ultimately felt like something that could have aired on the Smackdown go-home show.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. I am officially sick of Roman Reigns’ title defences now, great as the Bloodline story as a whole has been. He is presented as this unstoppable badass, yet he hasn’t won a big match clean in years. Every match has a ref bump, whether another ref comes down or not changes from match to match according to storytelling convenience.

  2. I’m just watching night 2 now and I just got through the Miz/Shane/Snoop segment. Snoop deserves a huge bonus cheque for stepping up like he did.

  3. The more I think about it, the less surprised I am about Reigns winning. HHH is all about slow builds, he wasn’t going to have the entire bloodline crumble in one weekend. Now the Uso’s lost their titles while Roman retained, that should make for some intriguing TV. I think this will make for the more interesting long term story. Plus it’s good for Cody to finally have a real obstacle to overcome.

  4. Can we just get a normal main event? Spent 10 minutes on the floor and pretended that their actually was a count going. Going through the table isn’t a DQ apparently. Ref dies for 5 minutes until all the bullshit happens and reappears literally as soon as everyone leaves. Why does solo need to get a chair to attack Cody from behind? They could’ve had a great match with Roman getting just a little help but holy hell it screws with the flow.

  5. Snoop/Miz was a hit for sure, goofy wrestling for life!

  6. I’m convinced that VKM was busy signing the deal for night 1, and night 2 booking decisions were once he had creative control back. No way Asuka should’ve lost. No way Cody should’ve lost. Project Roman continues. To me he’s still the avg worker with terrible promos who is shoved down our throats. Just because he can stand and get booed, but intentionally, doesn’t mean he’s got better or the situation isn’t 2016 still.

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