Written By: Traves Bezenar
United States Championship:
Kalisto (w) vs Ryback
WrestleMania 32 got off to a decent start with its first kickoff show match. Kalisto vs Ryback was no technical clinic but it was a great match to get people into the wrestling mood. Many (including myself) though Ryback was the shoe-in to win this match given how he had been booked leading up to the event. However it looked like WWE had other plans giving the win after Ryback took a nasty face plant to an exposed turnbuckle followed by a “Salida Del Sol”
5 on 5 Diva Tag-Team Match:
Team Total Divas (w) vs Team Bad and Blonde
A lot of people disagreed with me last night during the live show when I said this was one of the best matches of the night. Maybe I was a little generous in my assessment but I stand by what I said. It’s safe to say that few were looking forward to this match beforehand but thanks to a stellar performance by Emma many minds were changed. Meanwhile Eva Marie who is hated by the IWC hit the best “Sliced Red Number 2” of her career. Lana made a lackluster debut in the ring hitting only a few moves before tapping out. But, the highlight of the match was Brie Bella getting her own WrestleMania moment when she made Naomi tap out with a perfectly executed “Yes Lock”. We’re still not certain if this is Brie’s last match but if it is there’s no better way to send her off.
The Usos (w) vs The Dudley Boyz
This was the first match on the card that I didn’t care much for. Unlike most of the IWC I’m a fan of The Usos. That said this match just felt boring. It was a flurry of Superkicks and spots that we see every week. The best part of the match was the end when The Uso’s finally got revenge on Bubba and D’Von by putting them through tables via a double “Samoan Splash”
Zack Ryder (w) vs Kevin Owens vs The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn vs Zack Ryder vs Sin Cara vs Stardust
This was the highlight of my night. I’ve been an advocate of Zack Ryder since I saw him at my first WWE Live event three years ago. He is a phenomenal performer in person and even retweeted me after the show. I promised him I’d be a broski for life and I plan to keep that promise. The match itself was great and a fantastic choice to start the show. The interactions between Owens and Zayn was a real treat for ROH fans or anyone that followed them on the indies. Meanwhile Stardust payed a heartwarming tribute to his father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes with his black and yellow polka-dot outfit and took an amazing spot through a ladder. However the best part of the match IMO was watching Ryder celebrate in ring with his dad having finally gotten his WrestleMania moment.
Chris Jericho (w) vs AJ Styles
This match marked the end of WrestleMania 32 and the beginning of HeelMania. I hoped AJ would win and move on to feud with someone else for the next few months but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now. To be honest I think I was a bit burnt out from the previous match to get too invested in this one. It just fell flat for me. The ending sequence however was great. Hell, it might have been the best “Code Breaker” of Jericho’s career.
The League of Nations (w) vs The New Day
I was not happy with the way this match ended. The New Day should have won and I stand by that statement but I understand why they didn’t. Two weeks ago Woods, Big E, and Kofi were the top heels in the company and now they’re the top faces with no one to match them. The only way to get enough heat on The League of Nations to make this feud matter was to have them win at WrestleMania. Plus it set up the greatest run in of all time with HBK, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin making the save for The New Day.
Brock Lesnar (w) vs Dean Ambrose
Like most I expected a lot more out of this match. It was far too short, didn’t live up to its hype, and the wrong man won. This should have been Dean Ambrose’s solidification as a top baby-face in WWE. Brock Lesnar is already the biggest star in WWE by far and he should be using that star power to help build the future like so many did for him when he began so many years ago. The only saving grace in this match was Ambrose making Lesnar cower in the corner after pummeling him with a kendostick.
WWE Women’s Championship:
Charlotte (w) beat Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks
That’s right WWE finally re-branded the Diva’s Championship back to the WWE Women’s Championship and have since even removed the Diva’s section from their website choosing to instead put the female members of the roster among the male Superstars. This match was a spectacle from beginning to the final bell. Both Charlotte and Sasha Banks paid tribute to their idols (Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero) with special ring gear. As for the match, that was equally as fantastic. Sure I might think Sasha should have won but that doesn’t take away from the amazing story these three told in the ring. The Diva’s revolution is dead it’s time for the reign of women to hit WWE.
Hell in a Cell:
The Undertaker (w) vs Shane O’Mac
Since I first started watching wrestling on my own I’ve been in love with Shane O’Mac. He has put his body in dangerous situations that he never had to for our entertainment. This match was no different with Shane flying off the top of the cell and crashing through a vacant table. I was on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, and genuinely fixated during this whole match. Despite that I can admit it had faults.For one The Undertaker looked old in this match. He was clearly gassed early on and never really recovered his wind. Then again, maybe that was Taker’s way of showing that he’s human and can be tested. Either way I hope UT will take the rest of the year off to train, come back next year to face Cena, and then ride off into the darkness.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
Baron Corbin (w)
This match was a mess even for a battle royal. I guess it was a nice way for the crowd to cool down after the huge spots in the previous match but it could have been better. I was happy to see Shaq, Tatanka, and DDP make surprise appearances in the match and having Corbin win was a great way to introduce him to the main roster if WWE has high hopes for him. Still think it would have been nice for them to give Mark Henry the rub since it’s suppose to be his last WrestleMania
WWE World Heavyweight championship:
Roman Reigns (w) vs Triple H
This match started so late that I thought WWE was going to save it for RAW. I think the crowd’s reaction had a lot to do with the fact that they had been there for nearly seven hours by the time the finish to this match came. They were tired, I was tired, we were all tired. That said, Reigns did get a big pop during his entrance, when hit speared Stephanie, and when he won. Sadly, Roman’s cheers quickly faded into a sea of unintelligible rumbling and boos. I liked the match and I like Roman but not many share that opinion. Hopefully WWE has something in mind for Monday to take the sting out of the lackluster ending to WrestleMania 32.