WrestleMania 33 Review
Whenever you have a tag line for a movie or sporting event or TV show sometimes it doesn’t quite end up being what was advertise. WrestleMania this year with its tagline “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” ended up delivering what would be an ultimate thrill ride. For the majority of this show they had fans on the edge of their seats and had people entertained. Will this show go down as one of the greatest WrestleMania’s of all time? Let’s dig deep into the show.
Austin Aries vs. Neville: A fun match between two of the best wrestlers in the Cruiserweight division and they delivered knowing for both men in their first WrestleMania that this was the chance to impress everybody. A solid back and forth match which saw not only some very good high-flying but some good wrestling action. The ending was very good when Aries locked in the Last Chancery on Neville and while he was trying to get the submission, Neville raked Aries in his bad eye which got him out of the move and delivered the Red Arrow to retain the title. Match Grade: B-
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: How do you review a battle royal? It’s pretty hard but lets focus on some of the shocking moments of this match. Big Show getting eliminated early on was a surprise, however being eliminated by Braun Strowman was not that surprising. Then, only moments later Strowman gets eliminated which was a big surprise considering he was perhaps the favorite to win the match and has been on a roll lately. The moment most people will remember from this match involved Jinder Mahal and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. With Mahal on the outside attacking Mojo Rawley, he sees Gronkowski and takes his drink, proceeds to take a drink and spit in Gronkowski’s face. Gronkowski then goes over the rail but is stopped by security but then is allowed into the ring and hits a three-point tackle on Mahal. At the end, Mojo Rawley eliminates Mahal and wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Match Grade: C+
Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose: Originally scheduled on the main show, the Intercontinental title match got bumped to the kickoff show and this match shows that it deserves to be on the kickoff. It felt very sluggish and it seemed like whatever motivation they had going into the match was taken out because they got put on the kickoff show. The end sees Corbin in control only for Ambrose to reverse into a school boy for the pin and retaining the Intercontinental title. Match Grade: C
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles: The opening match of WrestleMania can sometimes determine how the night will go. This match set the bar real high and was a fantastic bout to kick off WrestleMania. This match had a great mix of street fight and some wrestling including seeing moves never seen before from Shane McMahon. When Shane is in a big match situation he pulls out all the stops to give you the best performance possible, AJ Styles is right now perhaps the best wrestler in the entire world and could have a quality match with just about anybody. While this match could be a one-off, they put it all out on the line as if this was the end of a very long feud. Shane McMahon attempts a shooting star press but misses and Styles would hit a forearm to get the victory in a very good opening match. Match Grade: A
Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho: I was surprised that this match which was promoted so well as one of the big matches of WrestleMania went on second but this was still a very good match. It told a good story of Owens trying to defeat Jericho and put him in a position to never come back. They each attempted finishing moves including a code breaker by Jericho and as he’s about to get the three count, Owens stretches his index finger out to reach the rope to break up the pin. One of the most creative ways to break up a pin I have ever seen. Both men go to the outside and Owens hits a powerbomb on the apron to take Jericho into the ring to get the pin and become the new United States champion. Match Grade: B-
Raw Women’s Championship: Again a little surprised where this match was on the show and this was one of the more anticipated matches of the night. Nia Jax despite being in the match for about five minutes looked really good being this dominating monster that takes more than one person to beat her. Jax was the first woman eliminated after Bayley, Sasha Banks and Charlotte all pin her at the same time which was a good visual. Charlotte and Sasha fight for a while and was an even paced match until Sasha gets knocked out in the corner and is pinned, thus being eliminated. It comes down to Charlotte and Bayley with both women fighting for everything to win. Towards the end both women are on the top rope and Bayley hits an overhead suplex that sends Charlotte to the mat, then gets herself up onto the top rope and hits an elbow drop to get the victory and retain the title. I wish this match had more time because it felt a little rushed but was still a good match. Match Grade: C+
Ladder Match: Originally a triple threat ladder match, hosts the New Day come out and say that the match is now a fatal four way tag team ladder match. At first my thought was they will enter themselves into the match it looked like they would. But then the entire stadium explodes as Matt and Jeff Hardy make the long-awaited return to WWE for easily the biggest pop of the night. Even with the addition of the Hardys in the match we got a good ladder match. The story told was good in that the other three teams were trying to re-focus after seeing a fourth team enter. Everybody came out good in this match, with the highlight being Jeff Hardy doing a swanton bomb off the ladder with Cesaro going through the ladder and Jeff’s feet hitting the face of Cesaro. Matt then climbed the ladder to retrieve the belts and we have new Raw tag team champions. Match Grade: B
Mixed Tag Team Match: While the buildup to this match was good and it was really good, the match ended up being your typical mixed tag team match. Not taking anything away from any of the four people in the match but this was just your normal mixed tag team match. The end of the match sees both John Cena and Nikki Bella hitting the five knuckle shuffle and then each hitting their finishing moves to get the pinfall victory. After the match we got the moment a lot of us knew was coming, John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella. I don’t know if knowing this was going to happen didn’t make the moment that meaningful or if the crowd wasn’t going to buy into it but the crowd wasn’t into this unless you are a fan of both Cena and Bella it just didn’t come off too good on television. But they are now engaged and a wedding will be happening in the near future. Match Grade: C-
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins: This match from the reactions I saw on social media was very interesting. Some people pin point this moment as where the show goes downhill and some people thought it was a good match. I enjoyed this match as it told a much different story then I thought it would tell. I was expecting a lot of interference but we ended up getting a straight fight between Hunter and Seth and yes Stephanie did interfere in the match but she wasn’t constantly interfering in the match which was good. Weapons were used, the story was told very well, Seth selling the leg injury was great and the psychology was very good. The end of the match saw Stephanie grabbing Seth as Hunter was about to hit Seth but he moved and almost hit Stephanie but stops himself. He goes back to Seth who then kicks Hunter and he accidentally head butts Stephanie and she goes through the table knocking her out. Hunter then has this look of what have I done as he turns around and Seth hits him with his own finishing move the Pedigree to get the victory. I enjoyed the match a lot and was better than I thought it would be. Match Grade: B
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton: One of the more interesting championship matches in WrestleMania history, Wyatt was using every psychological advantage he could and was freaking everybody out. During the match as Orton was down on the mat we would see a video of bugs which scared the referee out of the ring multiple times. The match would go onto the outside and each man would hit their signature moves and both would barely get back into the ring. Towards the end Wyatt attempted to hit Sister Abigail but Randy Orton reverses and hits an RKO to get the victory and become the new WWE Champion. Again this match felt rushed because of time and it could’ve been better, but with the visuals involved the match ended up being at best an okay match. Match Grade: C
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg: The WrestleMania rematch thirteen years in the making, people had questions going into this match. Can they have a better match then they did in 2004, can they have a lengthy match, can they keep the audience into the match? For the short amount of time they got it ended up being very good for the short length they had. Lesnar got hit multiple times with the spear inside and outside the ring and then Goldberg hit the Jackhammer in the middle of the ring and only got a two count. The moment where the match turned was when Goldberg went for another spear but Lesnar leapfrogged over him and Goldberg hits the middle turnbuckle. Lesnar then hits consecutive German suplexes on Goldberg then hit the F5 to get the victory and become the new Universal Champion. Again, for the short amount of time this match had it was good and many times better than the match in 2004. Match Grade: B-
Smackdown Women’s Title Match: I was honestly scared that this match would be cut off the show after everything this match went through. Originally it was going to be on the kickoff show, but people were outraged that it was on the kickoff so it got bumped up to the main show. With the show going so long and the last two matches going somewhat short I was afraid this match would get cut but thankfully it wasn’t. We had a good match and had some good spots in the match, the end came down towards Alexa Bliss and Naomi and we see Naomi with a submission on Bliss and she taps out and Naomi becomes once again the Smackdown Women’s champion. Maybe we get this match down the line soon and perhaps they get a longer match but this was okay given the time it got. Match Grade: C
Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: Jim Ross makes his return to the WWE and his first televised appearance since the death of his wife to commentate the main event match of WrestleMania. During Reigns’ introduction we are told this match is no disqualification, no countout, it is a no holds barred match. Wonder who came up with this stipulation? The match starts off good with Undertaker taking control early and Reigns would roll to the outside of the ring on multiple occasions to get himself together. Then the match was outside and we got your usual spots. The chair shots, going through the Spanish announce table, wondering if either man can get back up and fight. Towards the end Undertaker hits a Tombstone piledriver but could only get two. Reigns then fought back and would hit three spears in a roll and would hit a Superman punch before hitting one more spear on Undertaker to get the victory. The fans were upset with the result which I understand and people were saying the wrong guy went over but Reigns is popular with the people who matter the most which happens to be the people in the suits. As Reigns was standing on the ramp and the fireworks going off behind him, he has this look on his face not of victory but of confusion and perhaps sadness. After Reigns left the entrance way, Undertaker slowly rose up and received a standing ovation. While the replay was being shown, we return and see Undertaker in his entrance gear. He starts taking off the gloves, then the jacket and then the hat put it in the middle of the ring. He goes over to kiss his wife who was in the stands and walked up the ramp as people were cheering him, some people crying and Undertaker put his fist in the air and went down and the lights went out and that ends WrestleMania. Match Grade: C+
This year’s show had a lot of memorable moments that could be remembered for a long time. From the return of the Hardys to the non-sanctioned match to the farewell of Undertaker, this WrestleMania was all around a fun show to watch. There weren’t any real bad matches, nothing was boring and the show moved very smoothly despite it being a five-hour pay per view, six if you include the kickoff matches. Some people have called it one of the best WrestleMania’s of all time, some have called it the greatest WrestleMania of all time, only time will tell how this show is judged. Only time will tell where this falls in the rankings of the greatest WrestleMania’s of all time. But no matter where this show ended up being ranked on your list, this was a very fun and very good WrestleMania.