Hello everyone and welcome to my Wrestlemania 32 review! This has the potential to be quite good, with matches like Ambrose vs. Lesnar being standouts. However, the booking of matches like Shane vs. ‘Taker and Reigns vs. Triple H could suck something fierce. With all that said, let’s get this underway!
We begin with a very good rendition of America The Beautiful, before a tremendous video package plays. I’m pretty pumped to watch Wrestlemania. Its always a pretty fun time. We begin the show with…
Kevin Owens (c.) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Sami Zayn vs. Stardust vs. Sin Cara vs. Zack Ryder – Ladder Match – WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Matches like these are the hardest for me to review. Honestly, there isn’t much to say other than there was a bunch of cool spots and you should watch this. That’s the problem with spotfests like this I guess. I will say that, while this is great, it is not one of the all time great ladder matches or anything. Again, that does not mean this isn’t tremendous; rather, I want to get across to come in with lessened expectations. The thing I can really dig into, however, is the finish, so spoiler warning. Zack Ryder winning, while cool, might not be as good as everyone thinks it is. While he deserves this no doubt, the realistic side of me says that WWE will either hotshot the title off him or make his reign meaningless. Either Zayn or Owens would be a much better option, as they have a feud that will be displayed on TV. Ryder, I feel, will have his reign start with a roar, but end with a whimper. That’s just me though. Otherwise, this is great, worth watching, and a great way to start the show.
A very nice moment occurs, where Ryder and his father celebrate in the ring. Next, an ad plays and I die a little on the inside. Then the arena is shown, and a video plays us into the next match…
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
This match is frustrating. I cannot say it’s a bad match, but I will say it lacks some spirit or story I needed to get invested. The story of Jericho’s frustration was underplayed to the point of being unnoticeable. He never seemed overly aggressive, which he should have been, and the match had no fire. On top of this, the structure was very basic, with the standard early going offense, heat segment, finishing stretch that, without excellent execution, is frankly bland. This structure was not executed in an interesting fashion, so overall there was a feeling of lifelessness. I never felt desperation, or energy, or life in this match; it was merely two great wrestlers going through the motions. They are lucky enough that their going through the motions is still good, but I still feel disappointed. A big issue with me is the finishing stretch, which lacked any story or fire. With a finishing stretch this kick out heavy, story and fire are needed, but were not present. Therefore, the formula of big move, kick out, sell, repeat got very old very fast. In accordance with this, I believe the match got too kick out heavy, as AJ now has no moves at his disposal that have not been kicked out of. His freaking Styles’ Clash, the one hit kill shot from NJPW, has won exactly zero matches for Christ sake! Then, to build upon this, Jericho WON! WHY? AJ is the new guy who needs to be put over strong, yet he gets a loss in his Wrestlemania debut. Not to mention, THAT MEANS THERE WILL BE A REMATCH. This match was old a month ago, yet there seems to be a rematch on the horizon. Unless, of course, Jericho wins the feud. Yeah, tell me how that works out when AJ is here in three months while Jericho is touring with his band. UGH! I am way angrier than I should be, but the booking was stupid, the quality of action (which was sloppy) didn’t help, and the story was essentially nonexistent. I cannot in good conscious give this match a bad rating, but my god this is a dumb match.
Rating: I DON’T EVEN KNOW. 3* for the match, DUD for booking and effort.
Okay, having an ad for goddamn Total Divas after this match isn’t funny man. I’m in a bad move now. Its cool to see some stars in the crowd too I guess. Backstage, Zack Ryder gets an interview, and cuts a heartfelt promo that touches my heart. I love Ryder, despite my previous comments. Now, we go to our next match…
The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, & Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev, & Alberto Del Rio) (w/ Wade Barrett)
The New Day entrance and promo prematch is great. Watch that.
I guess that’s one way to kill the crowd. I might as well start with the negative, which is the finish. Why The League of Nations won is beyond me, as they are about as over as farting in church. As for objectively right finishes on this show, this is an arguable 1 for 3, with Ryder’s win being based on the follow up booking. However, as for the match itself, it was good. These two teams worked a solid southern style-ish tag match, with a good heat and a hot finish. The League worked over Xavier very well, and put together a compelling string of offense. To his credit, Xavier sold well, adding to the heat. Then, with the finish, everyone went all out and crazy spots started flying. There was a spear through the ropes where Big E almost died, a double stomp to the outside, and more. There is not much to say other than this was a solid match, with solid action, a basic structure, and very good execution.
Post match, Wade Barrett cuts a solid enough promo, but it was far from special. Then, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin enter to beat up the League of Nations. Not going to lie, this is very cool to watch. The New Day even the odds, and the legends clean house. Then, New Day enters to dance, and Xavier receives a Stunner. This segment is just too great.
After this, another ad plays as I die even more on the inside. Then, a video plays us into…
Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose – No Holds Barred Match
Oh man, this match was a breath of fresh air on this show. This match was a brawl with a story. Brock Lesnar, like usual, was a destroyer, with suplexes galore and control firmly in his grasp. In order to pry the control away from him, Dean had to use crafty tricks and plunder to his advantage. This allowed the match to be midway between a Lesnar match and an Ambrose match. While this was mostly a Lesnar match, it still felt very intense and was at a very high quality. The intensity here, as hinted at, was off the charts, as Lesnar was his usual great self and Ambrose is so good in brawls. The story and characters shined here, as the match was very much based upon facials and spots rather than wall-to-wall action. With Dean and Brock’s tremendous facials and storytelling ability, they did so much with generally very little, as Ambrose fought through the biggest and baddest with all his toys. While Lesanr was initially dominating, his cockiness showed through, allowing Ambrose to take advantage. From that point forth, it was a total war, and I loved it. While it did go too short for me to call it great, this is the second best match on the card so far and one that is very much worth watching.
Post match, another ad plays. -_- Then, the Hall of Fame Ceremony is recapped, which is cool. Then, the Hall of Famers all enter the arena and get introduced. Then, some of the pre-show is recapped, with a new Women’s championship being unveiled. A video package plays us into the next match…
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks – Match for the Vacant WWE Women’s Championship Match
While, again, this isn’t the finish I would have gone with, this was still a legitimately great match. This match had some great three way sequences, smart strategies, and really fun action. It started with great rollups between all three women, and most of the action was quite crisp. While there was some sloppy action, both in the early goings and throughout the match, overall it was generally well executed and fun. The structure was also superb, as the normal revolving three-way format had a purpose. In order to garner Sasha even more sympathy, she was mostly outside the ring during the body as Becky and Charlotte wrestled in the ring. Sasha made very well timed comebacks, making her a very easy to sympathize with face. During this time, both Charlotte and Becky used focused limb work to set up their finisher. Soon, however, the match was a chaotic spot fest, as the near falls came fast and furious. Again, there were a few sloppy moments, yet the action was fun as hell and very engaging. All three women got over with the action and had a great finishing stretch. They used highflying moves, great submissions, and tremendous high impact offense. While the finish with a tad of interference was a downer, it was overall quite climactic and one of the better finishes on the show. This was definitely one of the better main roster women’s matches ever, and one assuredly worth watching.
There was very little delay, as our next match begins immediately after a video package…
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker – Hell In a Cell Match
This match, for all of its technical faults, is going to be one of the most memorable ones in history. Now, this match is no technical masterpiece, but by god if you find a bigger spot than Shane jumping off a cage, and then have a match surrounding it that is absolutely worth watching. In this match, there is not one move that is really well executed or insane balls to the wall action. What this match has is grit and an atmosphere most wrestlers would kill for. The story of the match was incredibly tight from bell to bell, even though the storyline leading up to it was a mess. Shane was the perfect underdog, trying the rope-a-dope to wind ‘Taker, while ‘Taker just beat the shit out of Shane. This match overall was just two guys beating the hell out of one another, and both worked very stiff. Everything, from Shane’s kicks to the weapon spots were stiff and added to the aura of the brawl. However, as everyone knows, the dive off the cell is the big spot. It is one of the craziest and best visuals in Wrestlemania history, and will be known as one of the most iconic moments in wrestling,
However, the match does not end there. After this, the emotion is off the charts and the drama is as high as I have ever seen. With actions and facials alone, both get their characters and the larger story of the match over while also ending in a supremely climactic way. I love this match. It was truly one of those special moments found very rarely throughout history. This match is more than just a huge bump; it is a story, with action to give the bump a meaning. Any untrained, talentless dweeb can jump off something 20 ft. high. What makes this special is the world class story by both The Undertaker and Shane McMahon. This is by no means a technical masterpiece, but damn it all if I don’t heap praise on a match this special.
Post match, Undertakers look on as EMTs carry Shane away. ANOTHER ad plays and my god. Next is the pre show panel, and its time to skip! Now its time for our next match…
Adam Rose vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bo Dallas vs. Curtis Axel vs. Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Fandango vs. Goldust vs. Heath Slater vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Konnor vs. Mark Henry vs. R-Truth vs. Shaquille O’Neal vs. Tatanka vs. The Big Show vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Viktor – Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Can Battle Royals die already? I mean, my god, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. This had a few good moments, like DDP’s diamond cutter and Shaq vs. Big Show, but this was so generic it hurt. There were punches, and kicks, and stalling in the corner, and more. This was so boring I can’t handle it. Then, Baron Corbin wins! As I’m sure you know, I do not like Baron Corbin. He is boring and a poor wrestler in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me being a dick, but I would rather not watch a match than watch a Baron Corbin match. I’m sick of talentless dudes only getting success because of their height. Hopefully he is ready for a dancing gimmick once Vince forgets he exists. Overall, one match left on the card and over and hour and a half to go. My god, help me.
Post match, ANOTHER ad plays and I’m done with this shit. I paid, so don’t make me watch ads. Then, the arena for next year is presented, which is in Orlando, Florida. Then, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders enter and do the cheering thing. After this, The Rock enters with a fucking flamethrower. Cool, buy WHY DOES ROCK HAVE A FLAMETHROWER?! Rock just set his name on fire and I’m very confused. He then cuts a solid, if generic, promo putting over the crowd and such. He then announces the attendance and how it breaks records, even though the advertised number is greatly exaggerated. Then, the Wyatts theme hits and the lights go out. If you couldn’t guess, Bray and the Wyatts (that should be a band name) come out. Bray then cuts a solid promo about hell knows what. I like it, but it pretty much means nothing. Then, the Rock mocks Wyatt in Cena-esque fashion. I am so fucking bored its not even funny. The Rock’s jokes get better, but even his charisma cant help this. Then, Rock challenges one of the Wyatts and we get.
The Rock vs. Erik Rowen
Erik Rowen is the Wyatt Family jobber. This match is exactly what you think, yet shorter than you thought it would go. Why does this segment exist?
Post “match”, the Wyatts go up onto the apron, but John Cena’s music hits. Cena enter to help Rock, and the Wyatts get destroyed like the jobbers they are. I hate this, I hate everyone, life doesn’t matter, and there is an hour of the show left. Kill me. Then, ANOTHER ad plays and fuck this filler bullshit. With just under ONE HOUR remaining, a video plays us into the MAIN EVENT!
Triple H (c.) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
I just watched a mass of Rey Mysterios with metal plates over their mouths stand up, Stephanie cuts a Bray Wyatt promo, and Triple H H flanked by a ton of Skeletors with WWE Titles. What is my life? To make matters more awkward, Roman Reigns gets ripped a new asshole by the crowd, and then there’s silence. I can tell you before I even watch this that this is going to suck ass.
Do I have to write about this? Like, the worst part for me is that this isn’t technically bad so I can’t rip it to shreds. It was just so boring. The structure of Triple H getting the lion’s share of the offense while Roman sold could work in a different atmosphere, but when the only crowd response came when Triple H hit a big move, the match then felt plodding and slow. There was just no energy here t speak of from the wrestlers or the crowd. On top of that, multiple long, boring submissions hurt the crowd further, ads they didn’t even chant. There were small sects of the crowd chanting, but the crowd never even cared enough for one chant. That is bad. Now, this doesn’t sound totally awful until you realize this match took 27 minutes. 27 MINUTES! That is way to long for such a slow match. I was bored shitless watching this and I’m sure you were too. Now, to give the devil his due, Triple H’s work of the nose was logical and Roman sold the arm well, but other than that there’s nothing positive. This match is not worthy of a main event of Raw, much less WWE’s biggest show ever. A testament to how boring this was before we end. I started this match at 9:05 PM. I finished watching the match at 10:15 PM. It took me over an hour to watch a 27-minute match. If that doesn’t sum up the quality here, nothing will.
Reigns celebrates with the belt and stuff with the crowd making very little noise for 100,000 people. Fireworks go off, and the crowd makes the sound of apathy. We go off the air with one of the most depressing closing moments ever. A well-edited highlight video of the show plays us out. Close curtain.
This show was pretty rough. I know what you’re thinking, “Terrance, you rated 4 matches nearly 4*. How is this bad?” Now, while there are worthwhile matches that you should watch, the flow of the show, the amount of booking errors, and the terrible filler cripples the card. Not one finish is without issues, and some were disastrous. Also, there was about an hour period where the only match was Erik Rowen vs. The Rock. I did the math out, and less than half of the time on this show was wrestling. Literally the majority of the show was pointless filler, ads, music, or other assorted shit. Then, on top of that, not all the wrestling was good! Overall, while there is good stuff, the over show is long, plodding and not good at all. Watch the great matches and avoid the rest. Even if you have 5 hours to kill, do something productive. Read a book, watch a movie, do a puzzle, sell some drugs, ANYTHING other than this.
So that was the Wrestlemania 32 Review! If you enjoyed, like, comment, and maybe even follow my blog. If you want to keep up with this site, my contacts and social media are here or in the sidebar to the left. Also, check out my work at Free Pro Wrestling, which is a great site where I and people more talented than I write about great, legal, free matches. There is a lot for me to work on, so I have a busy time. There is the AJPW 1990s review series, the Starrcade review series, plus RMR and other random reviews. This should be a fun time to follow this blog. Other than that, thank you for reading and see you next time.