The biggest event of the WWE calendar year, Wrestlemania is the culmination of 365 days of feuds, story lines, Championship reigns and anything else that the largest wrestling company can throw our way. Sometimes a disappointment, Wrestlemania is watched annually, by a worldwide audience that most probably rivals nothing else, well except the Superbowl maybe! This year’s event was for me a huge success, especially inside the ring. Of course each Wrestlemania brings its successes as well as its failures! The following is my look at the Winners and Losers of Wrestlemania 33.
MOJO RAWLEY: Made his debut alongside Zack Ryder as the Hype Bros when the draft split occurred, however an injury to Ryder saw Rawley going it alone, and to be fair he has received quit the push. Mojo in my opinion is preliminary guy to lower mid card at best as a single’s competitor. His gimmick as the over hyped ex-NFL guy does not work and as not done him any favors. However, the WWE seem to see something in him as he won a battle royal for a Royal Rumble spot and was victorious in the Wrestlemania free for all that is the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Maybe it is irrelevant that this was the worse Battle Royal since its inception in 2014 at Wrestlemania XXX. Rawley winning the match with assistance from his former NFL counterpart Ron Gronkowski will obviously set him up for some kind of small push, or a future rivalry with Jinder Mahal if the there is a brand rearrangement! However, Rawley will always be known as a winner of the coveted Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
CHRIS JERICHO: In what was my favourite match of the night Jericho once again, and at the age of 46 proved the wrestling world that he still as what it takes to continue to be on top. Jericho may have slowed down a little, however he makes up for that in other ways, especially in his character and the amount of times he has reinvented himself over the years so he can stay relevant in the current wrestling world. This match was not about the US title. A feud that had escalated between two best friends, with Owens turning on Jericho made this match relevant and a match that your average fan cared about. Owens won the match and the belt, however, Jericho put his opponent over big time, although Owens is just as over as Jericho! Nevertheless, Chris Jericho once again showed why he can still be a big time player in the WWE.
THE HARY BOYZ: Even though it was common knowledge that Jeff and Matt may return at this year’s event. Goose pimples still stood alongside my arms when their return became official. Just what Wrestlemania needed was a big time return and this was it in bundles. After winning and losing the ROH tag titles in just a matter of days, the Hardy Boys raised the roof, well figuratively speaking anyway, as they entered the ladder match for the Raw tag team titles, and left with those belts. Hints of their former counterpart TNA character shone through their promo’s, however a legal dispute puts a hold on the Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero persona’s, for now. Winners in achieving a big time return to where it all began for the newly crowned champions.
NIKKI BELLA: No secret about the events that would unfold at the end of this match! Nikki Bella must be pinching herself as she becomes the future Mrs Cena as John proposed in the middle of the ring as the whole of Orlando and the world saw Miss Bella get the question she has been waiting for. Maybe all girls want the dream proposal, although maybe I am not the one to answer that being a male! However, Nikki gets the big proposal, and a husband who is by far the biggest name in wrestling, worth a bit money, and when he hangs up his tights will no doubt forge an acting career following the path maybe of The Rock. Taking nothing away from Nikki Bella, she has built herself a great career herself and this is the icing on top of the wedding cake. Cena and Daniel Bryan related!! Well!
BROCK LESNAR & GOLDBERG: Always a winner for me, Lesnar beating Goldberg was the right way to go, Lesnar once again holds the top title, well Raw anyway, and was able to suplex Goldberg all over the ring and once again returning to the force he should always be portrayed as. Goldberg may have lost the match, and his title but the former WCW Champion as been allowed to dominate the Beast incarnated for several months, hold a record breaking victory against Brock. Win a title, and have another Wrestlemania match, all this so he could show his young son what his father is all about. Both these guys are class and this match was a show of that.
ROMAN REIGNS: The most booed fan favourite in the history of wrestling, Roman once again gets the main event match. What he must have done in a previous life is beyond me, however he is the ‘one’ and that is how it is. Being fair to Roman, he worked his ass off in this match to keep the Undertaker in the match as he really struggled to keep up with Reigns. The former Shield member gets victory number two over the dead man as the Undertaker’s record of 23-2 ends not only the Wrestlemania career for The Undertaker, but his wrestling career in general. Roman Reigns gets the Wrestlemania main event victory, potentially has retired the Undertaker, and will no doubt go on to face Brock at some time in the future. Talk about protected! A true winner at this event.
WWE: This was one of the best Wrestlemania’s for some time, an action packed event with hardly any interruptions and was allowed to flow. Let us hope this is the way to go forward for this company.
CRUISERWEIGHTS: Once again the 205 Live roster are relegated to the Kick Off show, so a potential match of the night was kept off the main show. Let’s face it; the cruiserweights are never going to get the respect they deserve. The 205 Live show gets better week by week, and with stars such as Neville and Austin Aries feuding for the Championship and making that title relevant, they should have been given an early slot on the main show itself. Once again Neville and Aries shone through their match, however, how many people really watch the Kick Off show?
ANDRE THE GIANT BATTLE ROYAL: The fourth of its kind and a real disappointment. Strowman should have been allowed to dominate here and win this event single handed. However after a promising start that saw Strowman emptying the ring eliminating the wrestlers one after another, Strowman was ejected by the rest as they ganged together to see him eliminated from the competition. This match ended there for me. What we got was Mojo Rawley and his old NFL mate seeing off Jinder Mahal to win this abomination, Time for this gimmick to end.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSIP: Once the secondary title of the WWE the IC title has long lost its way into obscurity! The title formerly known as the ‘worker’ championship graced many a legend and was seen as the step up title to becoming World Champion. Notable IC matches at Wrestlemania include Savage/Steamboat, Bret/Piper and Ramon/Michaels to name a few. Now this championship does not even make the main show and is relegated to the Pre-show. Says a lot for a title that as such a rich history! I am not saying retire the belt, not at all, but this title should have been kept on the Miz and made relevant!
STYLES CLASH: Maybe one of the most feared finishing moves in wrestling, the Styles clash, notably the finishing move of AJ Styles as now become a parody of itself. Before the phenomenal one entered the WWE rarely did anybody kick out of a finishing move that endures the word finishing as the move itself, took badly could finish a wrestlers career. Only main eventers, most notably somebody such as Kazuchika Okada would ever kick out of such a finisher that was well protected during AJ Styles New Japan run. Since signing for WWE over fifteen months ago, it seems anyone can kick out of the Styles Clash, and with Shane McMahon, a part time ‘showman’ wrestler kicking out of the move at Wrestlemania just goes to conclude that the Styles Clash is dead!
SASHA BANKS: being eliminated second saw Banks taking a back seat yet again. Ok, the feud is between Charlotte and Raw Women’s champ Bayley. However, Sasha being hailed as one of the best female wrestlers of her generation as not took her on the ride that maybe we were all expecting. Yes she is a three time champ, albeit all her victories happening on Raw. However, Sasha it seems was just in the match to get her on the card. Even the Sasha chants could not get her to be a main focus. Unless WWE have bigger plans down the line for Sasha Banks, I cannot help that she is falling being somewhat.
THE MIZ: Being in a mix tag match match where the real story was the proposal of John Cena and Nikki Bella was just utter waste for the Miz. An amazing 2016 for the must see superstar the Miz should have been placed in a much bigger place than this charade that had the crowd cheering for the Miz throughout, although he tried to play them down. The Miz lost out here to a bigger story and could have easily been thrown into a WWE championship match instead of being a pawn for John Cena.
WOMEN’S SIX PACK CHALLENGE (SMACKDOWN TITLE) So there is a case to say that these ladies were winners for elevating the match to the main show from the Kick Off show. For me this would have gotten more time and a better response on the Kick Off show instead of being sandwiched between the Lesnar/Goldberg – Reigns/Undertaker match. The hype from the previous match along with the anticipation of the upcoming main event took anything from this match making it almost impossible to get any crowd reaction with the only win being for Naomi who got a hometown win.
So my winners and losers as far as this year’s Wrestlemania goes. Remember, these are only my opinions and somebody else may have a different opinion. Wrestling is the best for that, opinions, because everybody may feel differently about a match. I did consider putting the Undertaker amongst the loser’s section then rapidly change my mind. How could I? Well, the dead man finished his career, most probably not how he envisioned it. He did not perform well and was outdone by not only Reigns, but father time itself. The Undertaker for me epitomises what Wrestlemania is all about. He had the streak for so long and made Wrestlemania synonymous with that run of victories. The Undertaker is a winner and let us hope that the WWE continue to use the Undertaker in another form at future Wrestlemania events.