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Wrestlemania XXXI – One fan’s perspective

Wrestlemania. The showcase of the immortals.

This past Sunday, wrestling fans were witnesses to the biggest wrestling event of the year, straight from sunny San Francisco. Here, I’m going to look at this event, more or less match by match and promo by promo; but the one piece I’ll start with: it’s worth your time to watch.

Pre Show Matches

I’m trying to stick to the main show, so I’ll keep this brief. The tag match is worth seeking out, all the teams put in some great work, and it finished right. The Battle Royale? Totally forgetful.

Match 1: IC Title Ladder Match. Wade Barrett (Champion) v. Daniel Bryan v. Dolph Ziggler v. Dean Ambrose v. Luke Harper v. Stardust v. R Truth

Before the show I predicted that this match would steal the show, and by a strictly match standpoint, in my opinion, it certainly did. I noticed with the entrances, that 1. Daniel Bryan is still completely over, 2. Dean Ambrose is somehow EVEN MORE over, and 3. Stardust’s cape made him look like Mister Sinister, and I loved it. Right from go, these guys went all out, each having their high spot moment, each time bringing the crowd to their feet. Harper is an incredibly stiff monster, and the superplex off the at least 18 ft. ladder from Barrett to Stardust had me marking out. The moment of the match though, Ambrose getting powerbombed THROUGH a ladder, splitting it in half… I screamed. Culminating with D Bry and Ziggler duking it out on the top of the ladder, the final moment of storytelling was on point, and D Bry winning shows that WWE is ready to give this title the push it deserves.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Match 2: Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins

Really looked forward to this one, as Orton is having a resurgence in his in ring quality. His entrance pumps up the crowd like no one elses today and this was no different. The match was very solid, both guys getting their moments, and Rollins being an incredible in-ring heel. The reversals into RKO’s were on point like always. J&J Security did their job perfectly, allowing Orton to get in offense with Rollins still looking strong. The final moment, a Curb Stomp reversed into an RKO, was one of the best I’ve seen, right up there with Shooting Star Press into RKO. Great performance

Winner: Randy Orton

Match 3: Triple H v. Sting

Alright, this match sold the show for me. For anyone who watched wrestling during the Monday Night Wars, this is a dream match. The entrances for both guys were… yeah. But Triple H’s might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. He came out with a Terminator headdress, looking insanely goofy, making it a must watch moment. Anyway, the match itself was slow, as you’d expect with these guys getting up there in age. When DX came out to save Triple H, I leapt from my seat in excitement, and when the NWO came to make the save for Sting, I got chills. This was the moment we all played out with action figures back in the day, a moment no one could have ever seen coming. From that moment on, the match had me at the edge of my seat, and Sting breaking the sledgehammer in half with his Bat was so cool. Triple H stealing the win with the head of the hammer had my jaw dropped; I wanted Sting to have this moment so badly. Even with that, it was one of the best mania moments ever, seeing all those guys together again.

Winner: Triple H

Intercontinental Title Promo

This promo was ON POINT! Getting some of the biggest names ever to congratulate D By on his win, and build up that belt, was a perfect move by WWE. Very fun to see the likes of Pat Patterson,  Rick Flair, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Match 4: AJ Lee and Paige v. The Bella Twins

I don’t have much to say on this one, it was fairly short and not too eventful. Both teams looking pretty good, but it’s clear here, and has been clear that AJ and Paige are in another league. I really wish the NXT women were also competing with them, as I can only imagine how Charlotte would work with those two.

Winner: AJ Lee and Paige

Match 5: US Title Match, Rusev (Champion) v. John Cena

Another weird entrance, as Rusev came in on a tank, lookin’ like a classic Bond villain. John Cena came out to no fanfare and all he had to show for it was a towel. This match worked like the IC match, building the US title up to great heights, as it should. Both put in good work, Rusev showing he’s got big stage in ring chops, and Cena showing his experience. I usually try to look past this, but the booing of Cena REALLY annoyed me here. He hasn’t done much of anything to bring such heat, other than exist, and you don’t have to like him, but don’t highjack that show. In terms of this match, it was America vs. Russia (Rocky 4!), and if you were booing Cena, God Job, you were booing America.

Winner: John Cena

Authority Promo

God Damn Stephanie is an incredible heel character! She’s so good!! AH! Love to hate her. As her and HHH went on and on, I was waiting for an interruption, but was very surprised by the Rock coming out, and I loved it. The three had a back and forth, displaying on why they’re some of the best Superstars in the history of WWE. When the Rock got Ronda Rousey, UFC Bantamweight champion and all around Badass, and brought her into the ring, I was actively yelling at my TV. I am a HUGE Rousey fan, and getting to see her take down Triple H with NO EFFORT was one of the highlights of the night. “Any ring I step into is mine” -Ronda YES!!!!!!!!!

Match 6: Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker

After the streak being broken last year, I had no idea what to expect here. When Taker came out, I let out a sigh of relief, he looks much better than last year. Even though this match was slow, and Taker was clearly gassed pretty quickly, it’s worth it to see him make an appearance. The ring psychology and beats of this match were still incredibly strong, and seeing Taker sit up and stare down Bray in his spider position was chilling, he will never lose that natural showmanship. Taker earned redemption for last year here as well. I truly believe that next year will be Taker’s final mania appearance, and I can’t wait for that moment.

Winner: The Undertaker

Main Event for the WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (Champion) v. Roman Reigns

I pretty much nailed this in my prediction piece, and this match was booked perfectly. Lesnar came out, and methodically DESTROYED Roman Reigns for about 15 minutes (“Suplex City Bitch!” -Brock). Roman had his moments, but they were fairly fleeting, and it really felt like a matter of time for Lesnar to win, as it just didn’t make sense at a certain point for Roman to come back. When Roman cut Brock open, and both were down, Rollins came out, and cashed in his Money in the Bank, making it a triple threat. Somehow, it looked like Brock was gonna come back and beat them both, but right as he was about to give Rollins an F5 to end it, Reigns came in with  the spear to save, and Rollins took advantage and nailed Reigns with the curb stomp. 1..2..3!! New Champ! Rollins goes away as an Edge like heel, top of his game, and Brock loses nothing, as he wasn’t pinned. Perfect ending for the show.

Overall, this was an EXCELLENT mania. I’ve seen some people saying it wasn’t great, and yes it’s not Wrestlemania 17 or 19, but this, top to bottom was solid. No stupid gimmick matches, and some unforgettable moments.

About Armand (1271 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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