Monday, April 4, 2016

Wrestlemania 32: Thoughts and Reactions

Going over 7 HOURS of Wrestling...


Note below are the notes I was taking during WrestleMania 32 for the video above, nearly covered everything I wrote. or typed down....

Hello and Welcome to the Basement...

Because of the 'heat' I got with my reaction and opinions to NXT Takeover Dallas on Friday night, let me give the disclaimer, that this is just my point of view, I don't share many of the same view points on what makes a good match or show that the majority of of my fellow snarks do.  Because we have six hours of WrestleMania to go through, counting the pre-show, we have a lot to go over, because we there was a two hour pre-show that had a few matches and of course four hours of the pay-per-view itself

And I'm so glad I never have to hear Flo Rida's Welcome to My House,' 'Hello Friday' Good-bye June's 'Oh No' and the other theme for this years WrestleMania ever again!

Liked that panel was Renee Young, Booker T and Lita... though Lita thowing gang signs was a bit awkward... okay I'm kidding, it was for the hashtag deal. Did find it hilarious that Corey Graves drew the short straw to be with the crowd outside the arena. And I'm happy for Afterbuzz's Cathy Kelly joining the WWE... she certainly fits the role rather well... too bad Kevin Dunn screwed with her time cues last night at the Hall of Fame.

At 5:45 PM EST, Kalisto made his way to the ring and we have our first match of the night. Kalisto had some gold and purple dragon attire... you could say he was a LUCHA DRAGON! Ha ha... anyway, he was defending against Ryback. Should be noted that never one was in their seats, which raises the question of why weren't they letting people inside earlier! Anyway, the match was pretty much as expected with Ryback dominating thanks to his size and power with Kalisto getting of hope spots with his speed. The finish was quite surprising, with Kalisto ripping off the middle turnbuckle pad thanks to being pulled by Ryback, who then went first into it, which lead to Kalisto hitting his finisher, the Salida del So for the win. A solid opener, but it was given a big dis-service with the majority of the crowd not even in the building yet!

The pre-show went live on the USA Network, and kicked off the the 10 Diva Tag Match, with Team Total Divas of Brie Bella, Paige, Alicia Fox, Natalya and Eva Marie taking on Bad and Blond, of Tamina, Naomi, Summer Rae, Lana and Emma.  The trouble with 10-Person Tag matches that aren't under Survivor Series rules and done in the style of the classic Survivor Series of the 1980s is that there is too many bodies and normally too little time for a story to be told. Not to mention Eva Marie was received rather poorly and it's clear that Lana has no reason for being in the ring, the era of the models is dead and buried. There was a great tribute to the Hart Foundation's Hart Attack finisher with this match. Paige played the face in peril, with Brie getting the hot tag but things broke down to the rather tired everyone rushes in and hits their big moves sequence, but things calmed down with Brie using the Yes Lock to make Naomi tap. The injured Nikki Bella made a nice appearance. The match result was surprising, as I was expecting Lana to pin Brie outright.

Lita revealed the new Women's Championship, and it's a nice call back to the title from Alundra Blayze's run with the white leather.

At 6:40 PM, we got our third match with the Usos facing The Dudleys... a pretty much standard tag team affair. With nothing on the line other than pride, this match really did not have much fire to it, though Bubba Ray's trash talking is hilarious, though I wouldn't want to re-watch this match with the drinking game of taking a shot every time he mentioned Rikishi (who if you didn't know before tonight, is the Usos daddy). The finish with the Usos winning was pretty damn sudden. But the post match fun with the Dudleys getting the tables was fun, but the Usos got boo'ed the hell out of the building for putting the Dudleys through the tables with top rope splashes.

Kind of annoyed that JBL's entrance in his home state was not shown, as something like that would've been great for prosperity.

Anyway, 7 PM hour, everyone made it to their seats. Nice rendition for America the Beautiful by Fifth Harmony... who I know nothing about other than they look good in red.

At 7:08 EST, entrances for the ladder match began, the partipants entered in the order of Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Stardust, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder and the Intercontinental ctitle holder, Kevin Owens... and during a gut to the Spanish commentators, there's a great sign that reads 'R-Truth thinks this is SummerSlam'. Should also note we got English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russia, Protugese, and Japanese broadcast teams, with Funaki being on the later, so there's the best highlight of this match. Stardust donning Polka-Dots in tribute to Dusty Rhodes was a nice touch plus he had a polka-dot painted ladder. If you seen one multi-person ladder match, you've seen them all, it's a big car wreck with huge spots with guys taking really dangerous risk that could easily go wrong, as there were some bad falls that were quite cringe worthy, with a lot of spots that is gonna end up on highlight reels, and surprisingly Sin Cara being brutalize isn't going to be one of them. It did appear this would basically came down to the Quebecers would leave as champion but in a shocking out of now where moment, Zack Ryder is the one leaving with the IC title.

Little after 7:30 EST, we got Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles... and you know how long it's taking to removing the ladders from the ring area thanks to the Kevin Dunn produced video packages.  As we've seen this match 3 times already, it's was more of the same from these two: a very good wrestling match with a pace that allowed them both to sell and get into position for spots logically (unlike the Nakamura vs Zayn match) Also loved Jericho's Greatest of All Time trunks. The false finishes and big moves were well timed, though transition to the Styles Clash at 7:52 PM looked a little funky. The finish of Jericho counting the Phenomenal forearm with a codebreaker was pretty damn sweet as the the match ended at 7:55 PM

Heading into the 8 PM Hour,The New Day make their way to the ring coming out of a giant box of Booty O's dressed as Dragon Ball Z characters... rather surprised that Michael Cole knew what they were. I'm rather surprised that the League of Nations didn't have any special attire, and that this ended up being 3 on 3, as Lilian announced them as being accompanied by Bad News Barrett. Anyway, we got a six man tag that was quite enjoyable, Xavier being the smallest guy the obvious to play the face in peril Highlight was Big E spearing three members of the League off the apron. Much liek the Divas match earlier with got a sequence of guys running in and hitting their big spots, in particuarl Del Rio doing his double foot stop onto Kofi off the edge of the ring to the floor.  Thanks to Barrett hitting an elbow on Woods, which set up a Brogue Kick from, helped lead them to a surprising victory.

Got a post match bragging promo from Barrett saying no three-man team could beat them down, which lead to a surprising appearance from Shawn Michaels in his wrestling gear. Followed by Mick Foley in his Cactus Jack gear... and Austin, in jeans and t-shirt.... The trioof legends then proceed to get into a brawl with the League as the New Day neutralize Barrett who ended up eating the finishers of the Hall of Famers anyway. The New Day enters the ring for a celebration... and we got a surreal moment of Austin dancing and then him dropping Woods with a Stunner. I'm perfectly okay with this, as the League wasn't exactly on fire to star with, and this covers them winning, and the spot with Woods getting stunned was a comedy spot that would end up on highlight reels as a Mania-Moment

So we're now hitting 8:30 PM... and it's time for the street fight Dean Ambrose vs The Vanilla Gorilla Brock Lesnar with the guy who helped ruined wrestling in the 90s, Paul Heyman.  Just once, I'd like to see Brock have actual 'Mania Attire', the MMA look is a lot like Vince Russo... pointless.  Dean sporting a defaced Suplex City t-shirt, and Brock was being rather careless with some of those suplexes... which was basically all he did outside of the punches, shoulder blocks and knees, but at the same time it showed Dean's toughness with the butt kicking he was taking though he was constantly going for the Singapore Cane and Brock cutting him off until a low blow turned the tides. Deam ended up with a Chainsaw... and the intent was there for it to be used , not sure how it would've been used. As I took my notes it basically was Dean using toys and Brock spamming suplexes  There was a logical end match point at 8:42 PM with Dean coming off the top with a chair onto Brock. And unintentional comedy with Brock dropping his own head on a pile of chairs when suplexing Dean. Dean counted a 5F into a DDT onto the pile of chairs for a near fall. And Dean broke out the barbed wire baseball, swing and miss, and another suplex from Brock and a 5-F onto chairs, which lead to Brock winning. Match ended at 8:45 PM This was short, but at same time seemed long, but at the same time, Dean was actually moving around post match, meaning Brock didn't exactly put him down. But this also continues to the trend of Brock just winning matches.

We got a Snickers commercial with Charlotte turning into Zack Ryder when she's hungry.... yeah... then that's followed by highlights of last nights Hall of Fame... and the always awesome 'final bow' of the Hall of Fame class on the stage. Again this was a near perfect induction class, particularly if you count the additional legacy inductions last night.

The 9 PM hour kicks off with the triple threat to crown a New Women's Champion, with Charlotte (the final Divas Champion facing Sasha Bank and Becky Lynch. As I said with my predictions last week, there  is no wrong winner here. Becky comes out with some much steam it's shooting out of the stage! Lita is at ringside and looks like she'll be presenting the title to the winner. Sasha's entrance is performed by Snoop Dogg and Raven Felix, with Snoop leading Sasha to the ring.  Charlotte of course has her daddy Ric Flair in her corner, and she wore a robe that was made of the one he wore at Mania 24.  This match is fairly quick pace from the jump with a lot of near falls early with Sasha doing some Eddie Guerrero spots... yeah she was paying tribute to him tonight with her attire. I don't know why, but Charlotte reminds of a more athletic and healthy Michelle McCool... anyway, all three women were on fire in this match, the urgency and desire to win was clearly shown. A Big near fall cam with Sasha did a frog splash onto Charlotte while she was applying a figure 4 to Becky. And a huge highlight was Becky wiping out RIc Flair with a dive, followed Charlotte moonsaulting from the top rope to the floor onto her Becky and Sasha. We also got a double Natural selection from Charlotte onto The Boss and Lass Kicker. There was A great sequence of submission hold trades off. Hell I'll say this is the best damn triple-threat match in WWE History. This match came to an disappointing end, with Ric Flair being a factor in holding Sasha Banks, preventing her from interfering in Charlotte's Figure-8 Leg-lock on Becky. As I said, there is no wrong winner here, but I hate the finish.

So... a bit before 9:30 PM... the Hell in a Cell Started to be lowered, so that means next was Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker. Shane entrance features $100 Shane O'Dollars... rather have the $100 Bradshaws... and SHane had his boys with him.  Linda McMahon and Marissa was also at ring side. As the norm, the first bong of Undertaker's music signal all the pot smokers to grab their bongs, cause apparently it enhances the presentation of his entrance from what I'm told. Really not a lot to say about this bout, cause these Hell in a Cell matches can have a tone that is very good or very bad... and the tone of this match was... sorta in the middle. What I mean by that is we had Undertaker foaming at the mouth when Shane had him in a triangle hold... but there wasn't a lot of things that would make you say 'wow' ... unless you count Shane slipping out of the Hells Gate  and turning it into a Sharpshooter. Seriously, I wasn't feeling this match and following the Divas match, it was very underwhelming . We got the expected stuff like the Last Ride, Chokelam, The Coast To Coast... and then out of no where Shane got a bolt cutter to cut a way out of the Cell that lead to Undertaker gently carrying him through it. The more I think about it, this felt like a 'Greatest Hits' match that was bulding otwards Shane climbing on top of the cell, diving off and missing the Undertaker who rolled off an announce table. This match did go into the 10 PM hour as well with Taker winning with a tombstone pile driver at 10:09 PM... and this wasn't that good... hell it couldn't follow the Women's Triple Threat... but we got a Shane pulling a Super Dave Osbourne but giving a thumbs up as he was carted off

Entrants for the Andre The Giant Battle Royal made their way to the ring at 10:18 PM, Baron Corbin from NXT is involved this year. Mark Henry made it despite rumors of him being removed from this match. Diamond Dallas Page was a surprise entrant as was Shaquille O'Neill !With Big SHow and Shaq double choke slamming Kane. Fandango was the first man out, eliminated by Big Show, followed by Sandow eliminated by Shaq. Also noticed Tatanka With Big Show and Shaq choking each other down all the other Superstars eliminated the two of them. DDP got a diamond cutter in, eliminating Viktor, but was eliminated by Konnor who was eliminated by R-Truth and Goldust. Tatanka was eliminated by Baron Corbin. Swagger eliminated by Kane. R-Truth was bounced out by Slater and Bo.  Bo and Axel eliminated someone, I missed it, and the Social Outcasts dominated pretty well  until Kane eliminated Axel, Corbin took care of Rose. Slater was tossed by Mark Henry. Breeze tossed by Henry. Kane and Darren Young eliminated Kane, the home town favorite. Kane eliminated Young and Bo... and NXT's Baron Corbin eliminated Kane for the win! This makes up for how cheaply he lost at Takeover Dallas on Friday.  Match ended at 10:33 PM

Next Year's WrestleMania is headed back to the Orlando... too bad the Citrus Bowl doesn't look good at all.

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders did what they do best to AC/DC's Thunderstruck while filling time to protect Roman Reigns from the crowd. And they are followed by The Rock with a pyro-flame thrower. It's 10:42 with The Rock in the ring and with a mic. Standard Rock promo with the Millions and Millions deal, and we got a new WrestleMania Attendance record with `101,763. Now at about 10:49 PM, the Wyatt Family head to the ring to confront The ROCK.... and I have to give a shout out to Brandon (@Tokenbrotha) who earlier tonight predicted this happening. Erick Roan has gone from lamb to ram. Bray does his deal, saying he's going to make an example out of The Rock, when he responds, it's already 10:53 PM And we got a match added with The Rock ripping off his clothes revealing his trunks and elbow pads, and he's facing Erick Roan, and he beat him in six seconds with a Rock Bottom. Post Match, the Wyatt go to attack The Rock, but out comes JOHN CENA for the save. The two of them make short work of the Wyatts. At this point we went past the 11 PM mark

So at 11:08 PM we get the entrances... and some weird as hockey puck entrance for Triple H with a bunch of guys in suits and steele plates over their mouths. Stephanie dressed as a warrior queen sitting on Triple H's throne cutting a promo that belongs in Conan The Destroyer... and this was just... weird... a lot of drugs had to be taken to come up with that.... cause it was just weird as all hell. At exactly 11:14 PM.. Roman Reign's music hit and... promptly he's boo'ed out of the state of Texas. The crowd very much is against Reigns and indifferent to Triple H... I could swear the lights were turned down a bit to hide the crowd, in case of people choosed to walk out. Did hear some chants for Roman at 11:25 PM. On top of that the match really wasn't all that interesting, as it was a standard Triple H match, perfectly adequate... but it's not exactly thrilling to watch unless he has someone who can sell for him. The spear through the barricade from Roman to Triple H was met with pretty much apathy. There was speculation that Roman hurt himself with how he was holding an arm. at 11:36 PM, but could've just been part of the match with how Triple H put it an an arm lock and focusing a lot of submission holds on it... in fact it reminded me a lot of the match with Booker T and Triple H from Mania 19. Following a countering of the Pedigree by Roman, the crowd stopped giving two cents about this match. Stephanie stopped the ref from counting to 3 following a spear, and Steph actually got in the ring, and ended up getting speared by Roman, Triple H hit a pedigree on Roman, got a near count.  There were chant  for Bayley... and more boos whenever Roman hits one of his superman punches Triple H counted a spear with a running high knee  At 11:44 PM, Steph handed a sledge hammer to Triple H. The Game missed with a Sledgehammer shot, got speared and pinned at 11:45 PM EST  Roman is booed heavily as he stands victorious... and the lights are turned back up.

All in all, I'll rate this WrestleMania 4 out of 5... swaping Jericho/Styles with Taker/Shane in match order, and also putting Ambrose vs Triple H in the Main Event (considering their match at Roadblock) and having Brock vs Roman part II one on one, would've helped make this the greatest Mania of all time.  In my opinion

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