Wrestling Review: WWE Wrestlemania 35 (2019)

For the first time ever, three of the WWE’s top female superstars will be in the main event of Wrestlemania, as WWE Raw Women’s Champion, WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Women’s Royal Rumble winner Becky Lynch go head to head to head, with whoever comes out on top taking both the championships home with her. The men’s Royal Rumble winner, Seth Rollins, will be looking to slay the beast known as Brock Lesnar in order to claim the Universal Championship, whilst both sets of Tag Team Championships are also on the line, the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship will also each be defended. Not to be outdone, the Women’s Tag Team Championships will be on the line in a fatal four way tag team contest, and several more huge grudge matches will pad out the WWE’s biggest show of the year.

+ Ronda Rousey (Raw Women’s Champion) vs Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Live Women’s Champion) vs Becky Lynch (Winner Takes All Triple Threat): holy cow, Ronda and Charlotte were not good in this match, which was far too evident when they tried the ‘big stare down’ spots between the two. If it was nerves, they calmed themselves eventually, but otherwise these two are just not good when they face each other. Thankfully, Becky was on fire (hilarious pun intended), and the match was pretty good in the end — at least until the hugely anticlimactic ending
+ Elias’ Musical Performance: this was kind of amusing, and a nice break from the crappy matches all around it, so it gets the nod from me
+ Daniel Bryan (c) (w/ Erik Rowan) vs Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods & Big E) (WWE Championship): this was really good, though it did feel like there was a bit too much going on. I understand Woods/Big E and Rowan would all be there for good reason, but this would have been better if it was just Kofi proving to Bryan he deserves to be champion. Nonetheless, this was a really good match, with my only complaint being that the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. I personally would have preferred more of a build up to really get the most out of this crowd
+ The Miz vs Shane McMahon (Falls Count Anywhere Match): at first, this was horrendous. But once they abandoned all delusions of having a match, this turned into a ridiculous and fun match. It was nothing technical and there were no fancy grapples, but as far as ‘revenge’ stories go, I enjoyed this
+ The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev (w/ Lana) vs Ricochet & Aleister Black (WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships): this was the first really good match on the show. Cesaro once again proved that he is too good for this company, and aside from that new “creaking” noise they added to Black’s entrance, he showed that he could really be something special, if the WWE don’t keep messing him up. Everyone else was good to great, and this match ended up being really good, with everybody looking good in one way or another
+ AJ Styles vs Randy Orton: this was my darkhorse pick for the match of the show, and lord was I off the mark. This was a perfectly acceptable middle of the road match, but neither of these two seemed to be giving it their all. Considering they were second on the show, with no pre-match video and nothing on the line, I can’t really blame them
+ Buddy Murphy (c) vs Tony Nese (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): as far as WWE cruiserweights go, this was good. Nese is a relatively bland choice, and you’d think the WWE would want to throw in up to six or so to make this “special”. Murphy’s NJPW tribute moveset has increased, and he is now using some of Ospreay’s moves, but he doesn’t do them as well or with nearly as much importance. Nonetheless, as a short, pre-show match this was fine

Bobby Lashley (c) (w/ Lio Rush) vs The Demon Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship): I will never understand why the WWE feels the need to tell us outright that the Demon is coming. It wasn’t originally something that Balor could “call on”, it something he had to summon, and not really control until the match ended. This was probably as good as you could expect from a match of this length, and there was at least one or two cool things in the goings on. These two have been too involved lately for this to be anything more than “just another meeting”
Baron Corbin vs Kurt Angle: I don’t really know what the point of this was. Obviously this should have either been Cena versus angle, or even someone like Chad Gable, who had a fantastic match on Raw with Angle. But for some reason, the WWE is high on Baron Corbin, so he got the spot against Kurt. Unfortunately, Kurt looked out of shape, too sore to move like he used to, and even though he did go for a few classic moves, it was a sad shell of a former legend in the ring
Batista vs Triple H (No Holds Barred Match): this was yet another of the Triple H/Shawn Michaels style “epic because it’s long” crap (which, coincidentally, is the reason I wasn’t super high on Gargano/Cole from NXT). Batista was not nearly the Animal the commentators were trying to make him out to be, and Triple H is just not able ot do these matches anymore. This was not as offensively bad as some may have been expecting, but this was just not good
Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns: when this match didn’t happen on Raw a few weeks ago, I hoped that meant there were big plans for when these two actually had a match. That was not the case, and this would not have been out of place in the middle of a Raw, let alone the main event. The result of this was never in question, and the video package and pyro in the pre-match showed the WWE still has big plans for the Big Dog
Samoa Joe (c) vs Rey Mysterio (United States Championship): literally nothing. At least Rey was finally Rey “Mysterio”
The Boss & Hug Connection (Bayley & Sasha Banks) (c) vs Samoan Slaughterhouse (Tamina & Nia Jax) vs The Iiconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) vs The Divas of Doom (Natalya & Beth Phoenix) (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships): The Iiconics are my favourite women in wrestling right now, and perhaps ever. Unfortunately, the Iiconics and the Samoans had barely any action in this match, which goes to show they should have either just done Boss and Hug versus Divas, or added in the NXT SkyPirates. This ended up with a few good moments, but frankly it was not a good match
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Seth Rollins (WWE Universal Championship): this was a real gamble on the WWE’s part, but I think it paid off. The match had all the potential in the world, especially after the Roman Reigns matches, but it didn’t meet that expectation, at all. As far as the result and how it happened, it was fine, but this was not the match I, nor many others, wanted to see
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale: another huge waste. Strowman was in there with former Wyatt Family brother Luke Harper, we finally got Otis Doszevic and Strowman face to face and Andrade put on some of the best work of anybody against Kalisto, and all of that was throw to the side for whoever those Saturday Night Live nobodies were. God this waste of wrestlers just makes me mad more than anything
The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) (c) vs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): considering this match was only made a week ago, there wasn’t much on offer here. Wilder’s deadly right hand was given a quick nod, but aside from one rough brainbuster on the outside, there wasn’t much else to separate it from anything else, and frankly the idea that this match even happened was a bit silly
The 2nd Annual Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royale: the biggest take away from this match was just how horrible WWE’s camerawork is. Almost every major moment was filmed from the worst possible angle. Overall this was not particularly worse than any other “throw everyone in to something” match, but it just felt so inconsequential

> the way that Corey Graves fawns over the females on the roster is getting a bit much for me. The same was that Jerry Lawler went from “amusing creep” to “overbearing horn-dog” is exactly what Graves has done. I don’t believe that the WWE is okay with doing a “Women’s Evolution” at the same time Graves is drooling over them

Should you watch this event: This was a long show, but even despite the ratio of positives to minuses above, this wasn’t actually as bad as it could have been. Most of the matches were not good, but they were not the offensively bad stuff I am used to in these WWE events. Seek out the matches listed as positives in particular, but if you’ve got a spare 7 or 8 hours laying around, there’s no harm in putting this on in the background.

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