Powell’s WrestleMania XL Night One Hit List: The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes, Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch for the Women’s World Championship


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

WrestleMania XL Night One Hits

The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes: Lost in all the drama over Rock coming back and temporarily being scheduled to take Cody’s spot in the main event is just how damn special it is to have one of the biggest stars on the planet return to his roots for a WrestleMania match at age 51. There wasn’t the same pressure to deliver in the tag team match as there would have been had Rock faced Reigns in a main event singles match, but Rock still went out there and overdelivered by working a nearly 45-minute match. I would have assumed that it was going to be a big mistake had someone told me in advance that they intended to go for nearly 45 minutes. But I never found myself looking at the time or thinking they lost the crowd. All four wrestlers did a great job with the lengthy brawl that set the table perfectly for night two. Rollins is weary after the heels targeted his knee, which leaves him prone for Drew McIntyre. Meanwhile, the odds are completely stacked against Cody due to the Bloodline Rules stipulation of the main event. But just when it seems like all hope is lost, I assume Cody will get some help from some legendary friends so that he can finally have a fair fight with Reigns.

Gunther vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Title: Zayn’s wife Khadijah gets a major Hit for her role in this match. She did an amazing job of showing concern for her husband while also reacting to Gunther’s taunts in a believable manner. My only criticism for the actual match is that they could have trimmed five minutes away from the main event and given it to Gunther and Zayn. Although this match felt a little short in terms of length, it still lived up to my sky high expectations. I also loved the pre-match shot of Zayn spending a moment with his family and then being followed as he went through the backstage area and interacted with Chad Gable and Kevin Owens. Gunther’s secondary title reign was epic and I can’t wait to see what comes next for him.

Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch for the Women’s World Championship: They opened the show with two of the best entrances of the night and then produced a good match. Ripley going over clean felt like the right move given that she is the star of the women’s division. The loss also puts the Lynch character in an interesting position and I’m curious to see what comes next. Ripley and Lynch didn’t tear the house down like Ripley and Charlotte Flair did a year earlier, but they still put together a quality WrestleMania style match complete with both wrestlers kicking out of the other’s finisher. We see too much of that in ordinary matches these days, but I have no issue with that approach being taken on the biggest show of the year.

Damian Priest and Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. The Miz and R-Truth vs. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate in a 6-Pack Ladder Match for the Undisputed Tag Team Titles: An enjoyable spot fest that concluded with the expected approach splitting the Raw and Smackdown tag team titles. Theory and Waller winning the Smackdown tag titles was a solid choice. Truth winning his first WrestleMania match after all these years was fun in the moment. I can’t say that Truth and Miz defending the tag titles going forward excites me, but it’s also possible that this was more about giving Truth a well deserved gold watch moment and their title reign won’t last long. From a creative standpoint, did they have Priest and Balor drop the tag team titles to free up Priest for a Money in the Bank cash-in?

Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill, and Naomi vs. Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Dakota Kai: A soft Hit. It was cool to see this babyface trio team together. The match was highly predictable and wasn’t all that memorable, but Belair, Cargill, and Naomi have good chemistry together, which they also displayed during post show press conference. The match was laid out nicely in terms of building to Cargill tagging in and looking dominant. Cargill’s appearance in the match was brief and impactful.

WrestleMania XL Night One Misses

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso: The biggest disappointment of night one. The brothers spoke about this match being a dream for them and yet it was just plain underwhelming. Jey is really over with the fans, while Jimmy feels like a disposable henchman in the current version Bloodline. I thought we might see Solo Sikoa get involved to help Jimmy to extend the sibling rivalry, but I now find myself perfectly content if they don’t revisit this feud. By the way, the Yeet thing is fun in small doses, but it feels like Jey is going overboard with it.

Rey Mysterio and Andrade vs. Dominik Mysterio and Santos Escobar: A soft Miss. I was happy to see Rey and Dom resume their feud, but they waited too long to heat things up and that caused the match build to feel rushed. While I understand that Rey was sidelined by an injury, they could have gone back to the home video approach by having Dom torment his parents again to get things started sooner. The match was solid, yet also forgettable. I was surprised to see the heels lose, as I thought we might see Dom get a measure of revenge for last year by stealing a win from his father.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. Jason you nailed this. A+

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