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Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

In this, the biggest card of the year, the WWE trotted out a few surprises, some safe decisions, some welcome returns and one solemn goodbye. Wrestlemania 33 is in the books and like any roller coaster, the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” was full of ups and downs. Here’s our review.

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Pre-Show Notes:

  • It feels weird to call a 2-hour pre-show “subdued,” but WWE actually did a good job of keeping the momentum going and not beating viewers over the head with product placement and video packages. I mean there were plenty of those, but there were also 2 pretty long matches (and one Smackdown-caliber dud) and a reasonable amount of panel talk.
  • Our first match is the Cruiserweight Title match between Neville and Austin Aries. It’s a super athletic match with both guys getting in great spots. Neville still has the best snap-german suplex in the business (Sorry Tozawa), and Aries’ Frankensteiner from the top rope was beautiful, it’s really a shame these guys didn’t make it to the main card. The end comes when Aries locks in the Last Chancery, but Neville rakes the eyes and sets him up for the Red Arrow, and the win. Good showing for both men, both of whom are appearing on their first Wrestlemania card. Looking forward to what I assume will be their rematch at Payback.
  • Next up we have the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, AKA the “Sorry your storyline didn’t work out” consolation prize. The favorites coming in this match were Braun Strowman and Big Show, and both men were eliminated nice and early in the match. If there were a third favorite in the match it would be Sami Zayn, but when he got eliminated the baffling booking decision behind this match became clear once the camera found New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski in the front row. Gronk is real life buddies with Smackdown d-lister Mojo Rawley who just happened to be still in the match when all of the big names were already gone. Indeed, the final three included perennial jobber Jinder Mahal, Rawley and NXT Standout Killian Dain – who, despite not being on the main roster, put forth probably the best performance of anyone in the match. At one point Jinder actually gets in Gronk’s face and throws his beer back at him. Anyone with a basic understanding of how wrestling works knew this meant dude was getting involved (fun fact, this didn’t include one overzealous security guard who clearly wasn’t told that this guy would be coming over the barricade and entering the ring). Gronk runs in and floors Jinder with a shoulder tackle, which allows Mojo to hit some of his offense for the win.
  • The result is weird because Mojo is a fairly limited performer and not particularly well liked. His gimmick of douchey party bro (I wonder why he and Gronk are so tight?) has a pretty low ceiling, and the uneventful departures of bigger names like Big Show (who has hinted this is his final Wrestlemania and spent the past several months getting into the best shape of his career for a showcase match with Shaq that never materialized) and Braun Strowman (who went from the main event of the last network special to an also-ran position in a pre-show match designed for also-rans) damages the two of the only stars who actually had a storyline going into the match. Zayn also looks like a chump because a big part of his character, of late, has been getting a big win for his (recently fake fired) hero, Mick Foley. Though I suppose coming up short on the big stage has been a big part of his character since his days on the indies, so fair play I guess.
  • When they throw back to the pre-show panel, Booker T says that Rawley’s injured tag team partner, Zach Ryder, was Mojo’s “baggage.” Ouch, way to kick a man when he’s down, Book.
  • Two NXT performers actually got to have good showings in the match, though. Killian Dain made it to the final 3 and made several big eliminations (including Zayn) throughout the battle royal. Elsewhere the pretty limited-in-the-ring Chinese import Tian Bing got to have his wrestlemania moment, eliminating both Tyler Breeze and Fandango back to back. Good for you, fellas!
  • Our final Pre-show match is the Intercontinental Title bout between Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin which was…fine? I guess? It was a relatively flat match, with Corbin controlling most of the fight and talking trash before Dean Ambrose can reverse the End of Days into a Dirty Deeds for the win. There was nothing really wrong with the match, it just wasn’t really Wrestlemania worthy. It’s the main event of a Smackdown taping, not a showcase spot on the biggest card of the year.

The Main Card

We open with the New Day welcoming the crowd and getting the crowd hyped. It’s a mostly harmless segment, with Big E making a suggestive comment about pulling his own lever, followed by a sly look at Xavier Woods, which earns a laugh and (surprising/thankfully) no chants from the crowd about the Page sex tape leak, in which Woods was a participant. Way to go Orlando wrestling fans, I’m proud of you for not sinking to the lowest common denominator. Much like last year’s Super Saiyan outfits, this year sees the New Day decked out in nerd-friendly wrestling gear – this time promoting the event’s sponsor, Final Fantasy 14. While seeing Big E coming out looking like Auron was pretty neat, having Michael Cole have to say words like “Moogle” and “Chocobo” like he knows what they mean was the most ‘embarrassing dad’ moment on the whole show….well until the Triple H match, at least.

Match 1: AJ Styles Vs. Shane McMahon

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

At first it seemed like a weird decision to start the show with this match, but when it became clear that Shane wasn’t going to jump off of some ridiculously tall structure, the curtain-jerker spot made a lot more sense. This was a way better match than it had any right being, even if I have conceptual issue with a 47-year-old tech exec having a competitive fight with one of the best performers in the industry. Styles sells Shane’s little rabbit punches, which is also a little silly, but does mostly control the match. Shane actually hits the Styles Clash on Shane for a close 2, which seems like an odd choice. I don’t think that move has actually beat anyone since AJ’s been in the WWE.

That being said, both guys hustled in this match, keeping the fight moving with an urgency and drive that really popped the crowd huge for big spots like the coast-to-coast or Shane’s missed shooting star press.

It is that missed shooting star press that allowed AJ the space to hit his phenomenal forearm for the pin and the win. While I’m one of the many commentators who felt AJ should have had a match with an actual wrestler, he and Shane put on a solid effort to open the show. I assume their storyline is done, as even if the proposed move of AJ from Smackdown to Raw were to happen, having Shane be behind that move would make him seem like a sore loser. Here’s hoping AJs next storyline moves him back to the top of the card where he belongs.

Match 2: Kevin Owens Vs. Chris Jericho for the United States Championship

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

While it’s a shame to see the best-built storyline on the card go second on a program with 10 matches, both KO and Jericho are used to making the most of what they’re given. Unsurprisingly, the match is well put together from both a performance and psychology standpoint. Having the crux of this feud as the decayed friendship between the two meant so many of the moves and barbs felt personal. Owens slapping a prone Jericho and yelling “You were never my friend!” is so simple, but it’s such a scumbag thing to do that it makes all the strikes sting that much more.

Each guy struggles to hit signature spots, with Jericho trying at least three times to land a lionsault, and Owens having similar trouble with the cannonball. At one point, Y2J manages to reverse a pop-up powerbomb into a codebreaker in a fantastic sequence where Owens only manages to avoid being pinned by getting a single finger on the ropes. KO uses the separation here to lure Jericho outside and eventually hit a powerbomb on ring apron to bring this bout to a hard-fought end. Though light on the kinds of crazy spots mostly associated with supercards like this, this was a great match that brought a fitting end to one of the best stories of Chris Jericho’s run with the company.

Interesting that they didn’t somehow tie in Owens’ alliance with Samoa Joe and Triple H, but I’m glad this had a clean ending. It wasn’t the brutal beatdown or humiliating expulsion that usually sends Jericho on the rockstar sabbaticals he takes between runs with the company, though I guess that could still happen on Raw tonight. Still, if this is the last we’ll see of Jericho for a while, he went out looking great and putting over a guy who needed the rub. That Y2J is a class act.

Match 3: Nia Jax Vs. Sasha Banks Vs. Charlotte Vs. Bayley for the Raw Women’s Title

Bayley coming out first for her own title match is a weak move, I’m not sure why Sasha came down in a like Mercedes golf cart and Nia’s entrance was no different than the one she does on every edition of Raw. That being said, Charlotte’s entrance with the peacock robe and the fireworks was fantastic. She should have come out first and it would have built a better anticipation for Bayley, who is ostensibly the star of this match.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

This is an elimination style match, and it’s clear that these ladies watched NXT Takeover: Orlando, because – much like DIY and The Revival did to the much larger Authors of Pain – the three smaller competitors swarmed their more powerful competition. On one hand, from a logistic point of view, it makes a ton of sense to make a temporary alliance to take out the competitor. From a purely aesthetic reading of it, however, it’s hard to not see three small, scantily clad women that conform to more societally celebrated definitions of “beautiful” going after the one modestly dressed woman who could be cruelly labeled “overweight.” I mean maybe I’m reading too much into my fake lady fights, but it’s a troubling image all the same.

Still, Nia gets to look dominant en route to being the first woman eliminated from the match. She runs over and ragdolls the smaller women and laughs off most of their offense in the process. Alas, the rest of the field manage to get Nia up for a triple powerbomb and the youngest of the people WWE claims are the Rock’s cousins is out of the match.

Once it becomes the triple threat it had initially been advertised as things fall into pretty familiar territory. The star of the match, as usual, is Charlotte, whose moonsault (or in tonight’s case, corkscrew moonsault) is possibly the most picturesque move in the company. As Charlotte and Sasha battle it out in the ring, the queen takes off the middle turnbuckle pad. Much like Chekov’s gun, it sits there unused and forgotten about until Charlotte powers out of an O’Connor roll and propels Banks face-first into the exposed turnbuckle to knock the Boss out of the match.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Bayley Vs. Charlotte is the same as it always is – good but nothing to write home about. The ending, however, is really weird. In recent months, Bayley has started using a diving elbow as a sort of transitional move. She’s even used it in each of her previous matches with Charlotte. Yet for some reason it’s enough to put down the Queen for the 3 at Wrestlemania? The announce team tries to play it off as somehow reverential of the late Macho Man Randy Savage, whose career-launching Wrestlemania bout against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat happened 30 years ago, but that’s a problem for a few reasons – most notably, Savage lost that match. But I digress.

This match was well-worked and gave the women a good stage to perform on, but questionable booking leading up to it made the whole thing feel kind of flat. Bayley won the Women’s title on Raw two months back and already broke Charlotte’s PPV streak in the interim. How much better would it have been if she did both of those things in Orlando (her home away from home as an NXT Favorite) at the biggest show of the year? Instead they gave away these great moments on free tv and a forgettable network special respectively. It’s just a missed opportunity.

Match 4: Enzo and Big Cass Vs. Cesaro and Sheamus Vs. The Club in a ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Titles

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Enzo (in the best ring gear I’ve ever seen of his) and Cass out first for their long spiel, followed by She-saro in matching kilts and glasses (cute), and the Club doing nothing too new for Wrestlemania and as the three teams mill about in the ring waiting for the bell the New Day’s music hits. They announce that the match will now be a fatal fourway match and before they can even start to tease the obvious, the loud chants of “DELETE” break out throughout the arena. Sure enough out come Matt and Jeff, the Hardy Boys…dressed in their early ‘00s gear. Sure Matt still has the crazy streak in his hair, but it looks like the Hardy’s won’t be using the Broken gimmick in the WWE. What a shame for Matt, who was never more over than when he started talking like some sort of goth Colonel Sanders having methed-out delusions about the spirit of George Washington living in giraffes and whatnot.

Still the Hardys are back, competing in their second ladder match against the Bullet Club in as many nights (they fought against the Young Bucks at Saturday Night’s ROH event), and they look great. They instantly light a fire under the other competitors’ asses and what we get is a proper tag team ladder match, complete with all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from these encounters. Cesaro and Sheamus interject some crazy new co-op spots, the Club actually looks competent in laying waste to the smaller competitors, and Enzo rides Cass up the ladder like Master Blaster. Then there’s the Hardys. If you were at all worried that being 40 would prevent these two from destroying themselves and their coworkers with ladders, then you will be WONDERFULLY surprised.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

The high spot of the match is clearly Jeff diving off the tallest ladder in the known world and driving Cesaro through another ladder in the process. They were clearly trying to hit Sheamus too, but almost all of the weight struck Cesaro with only Jeff’s legs landing on the Celtic Warrior. Still that spot was enough to stun the crowd as Matt climbed the ladder and retrieved the belts to make the Hardys the new Raw Tag Team Champions. The Expedition of Gold continues.

Though the crowd is still clamoring for the whole Broken gimmick to appear in WWE, the fact that the cameras cut away anytime Matt acknowledged the delete chants, and the backstage interviews with the brothers afterward appeared to be out of character, suggests that they’re choosing not to embrace the character til the Hardys’ ongoing legal dispute with TNA about the IP can be settled. Still, their return was the big pop of the night. Glad to see these guys get a (probably) last run in the big leagues.

Match 5: Miz and Maryse Vs. John Cena and Nikki Bella

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

What a journey the road to this match was. When it was first speculated that this match was going to happen it was instantly shat upon by the fandom – and with good reason. Intergender matches are usually total duds, and the Miz and Cena faced off in what is arguably the worst main event of a Wrestlemania ever. Yet the career renaissance of the Miz was in full effect for the build, and he actually managed to talk some people into the building. He and Maryse launched into these little skits wherein they spoofed their opponents’ performances on Total Bellas in skits that I personally didn’t think were that funny, but most other wrestling nerds seemed to like. The whole point he was trying to make was that Nikki and Cena’s relationship was nothing more than a contract romance created for TV, and that it insulted he and his wife who have legit affection for one another, and basically courted one another off camera. It wasn’t the most original idea, but Miz’s mic work has been fantastic for the past several months and he made it work. AND THEN CAME CENA.

Once John Cena (and to a lesser extent Nikki Bella) started to actually interact with the Mizannins, they instantly buried their opposition and refused to take them seriously. Watch Cena’s promo in the last Smackdown before Mania and see him tear down Maryse worse than she’s ever got it. Watch as he dick slaps Miz and implies that he and his wife can’t have kids because he’s got no balls. Watch him literally call Miz a p---y for not wanting to fight him before their Mania match. It’s one of the harshest heel promos you’ve ever seen and yet we’re meant to cheer him for it. It’s so backwards and I’m not the only one who sees that, as Miz and Maryse got huge support from the crowd at the Camping World Stadium.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Throughout the match, the crowd pops for Miz as he does his signature offense – and he essentially dictates the first half of the match. Then Nikki gets the hot tag and it’s all over. The Mizannins get in 0 defense at that point, and both get thoroughly stomped, eat John and Nikki’s finishers and get pinned together. It’s a nothing match that exists to set up the post-match sequence where Cena proposes to Bella in the ring. She says yes, they hug and kiss then celebrate with their family at ringside. Waiting to pop the question in front of a live crowd of roughly 75,000 people and millions more watching at home? Yeah that doesn’t seem like it’s purely for the publicity. You really refuted the Miz’s point here, WWE Creative.

Match 6: Unsanctioned Match Triple H Vs. Seth Rollins

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Even with Seth’s injured leg, it’s not too surprising to see that this was the match of the night. These two guys have built a decent story despite the legit injury Rollins sustained several weeks back and were able to utilize the “street fight” window dressing to its fullest despite the relative lack of Seth’s signature high-flying offense. This also marks the year when Triple H anoints himself the most “dadly” of wrestlers in the WWE – and not just because he chose a new Metallica song as the soundtrack for the fight’s promotional material. For his entrance, H rolls down the excessively long ramp on a motor tryke with his old lady on the back and a police escort in front of him, it’s supposed to make him look like a conquering bad ass, but it just looks a little silly. Points to Steph, though, for looking good and keeping her more obnoxious heel mannerisms in check during the match. This was supportive wife Stephanie, and she came off far less abrasive than she did playing a similar role last year.

Rollins’ entrance was a bit of a misfire for me (pun retroactively intended). Coming out in pants that were more C3P0 than golden god, the Architect emerged from the curtain holding a torch – which he then pressed to the ground to turn all of the floor LEDs into flames that spread down to the ring itself. I know that it’s a play on Seth’s promise to “burn the whole thing down” but the actual aesthetic didn’t carry as well as they wanted it to.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Anyway the match moves quickly and hits a number of high spots for both guys. Rollins getting DDTed on the table was great, and I feel like people don’t pop nearly enough for Seth’s whole Superplex-into-Falcon Arrow combination. I know it’s not his finish, but I think that should end matches from time to time. They cram a lot in, but at 25-minutes in length, the match also has time to breathe. I’m impressed that Seth is able to pull a match of this caliber off given his knee injury. In addition to the whole storyline knee work that Trips does throughout the whole match, a solid 90% of Rollins’ offense involves him falling on his knee. Good on you for lasting it out, Seth.

The ending comes when Trips accidentally sends Steph through a table that had been set up earlier, turns around with a “you dun f----d up” face but eats a pedigree and the loss instead. This was a good Triple H match, I wouldn’t say it was on par with his match against Daniel Bryan three years ago, but it blows his last two Mania matches out of the water. Maybe in his top 5. As for Seth, he’s going to go into Raw with a ton of momentum assuming he is healthy enough to re-enter regular matches.

Match 7: Randy Orton Vs. Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

There’s a Pitbull and Flo Rida performance before this to give everyone in attendance time to go to the bathroom or buy a hotdog or something. The only thing I wrote about it in my notes is “what is up with Lunch Money Lewis’ weird shirt with the arm coming out of it?” So you know, riveting television.

So Bray out first, which – again – needs to stop. Send the champion out second unless there’s some logistical need. Anyway Bray….man I love his entrance. It’s so undeniably great, it in and of itself is a Wrestlemania moment to see the whole arena go dark and give him the firefly treatment. Short of being scared about falling off the ramp in the dark, I have to imagine the experience for the performer is unreal. The combination of the ethereal music from Mark Crozier and the slow solemn walk, it’s great theatricality. Contrast that, then, with Randy Orton who comes out to buttrock from 2007 and has a s----y looking snake .gif that follows him as he walks down the long ass ramp. It just looks silly.

So since Randy turned on Bray a few weeks ago by burning down his house and ghostly spiritual guide Sister Abigail, Bray has been claiming that the action gave him new abilities; that he has been remade as some sort of demonic monster imbued with the powers of the devil. In this match that translates to exactly one thing – a deal with the guys in the production truck to project stock footage of bugs or worms on the ring mat when he cues them. It’s actually kind of neat the first time they do it and actually gets some applause from the crowd and a faint “that was creepy” chant from the crowd. The thing is – he uses this same move two more times in the match and Randy no sells all of it. So like this otherworldly ability to summon the B-roll from a Tool video is presumably meant to disorient Bray’s opponent or creep them out or something, but Orton doesn’t react to it at all. Worse, Bray makes no effort to capitalize on whatever distraction or disorientating affect the trick may yield so like…what are we doing here? It’s like Kurt Angle’s moonsault — it sounds like an awesome idea and looks kinda cool but it never accomplishes anything.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

Perhaps more baffling is the continued dismantling of Bray Wyatt’s credibility. Not only does Randy kick out of the Sister Abigail – a move that felled both AJ Styles and John Cena – he actually downs Bray with an RKO off his own stupid distraction technique for the win and the title. He does so cleanly. Bray Wyatt has been on the main roster for the past 4 years and is still winless at Wrestlemania. Additionally, he has never won a feud with a major star. Arguably he beat Dean Ambrose when he left the Shield, but that was hardly a main event feud. So here we are, after 4 hard years of start-stop pushes and embarrassing defeats and Bray has managed to earn himself – without cheating mind you – a WWE Championship reign. One month in he fights Randy Orton, an old hand who doesn’t need the rub and has put over many monsters in his time. Surely the main heal on one of your brands should be protected so early in his championship run, right? LOLZ No, have him lose to the now 13-time champion and debut a new superpower that does nothing. Great job team.

Match 8: Brock Lesnar Vs. Goldberg for the Universal Title

Going into this match the big question is how do you handle this? All of Goldberg’s matches since his return have been super quick squashes – and even at the end of those he looks gassed. Shoot, the man rains buckets of sweat when he’s just doing a promo. After the garbage fire that was the first Wrestlemania match between these two, you’ll really have to pull out all the stops on this one – but does the 50 year old super dad have the stamina to put on a quality match? The answer, it turns out, is “Kinda, yeah.”

This match was everything it needed to be, brief but not laughable and a convincing win for Brock. It’s a fun back-and-forth too. Brock starts out hot, hitting several German Suplexes in a row only for Goldberg to like teleport into Lesnar’s chest with a serious spear. They roll outside and Goldberg spears him again – this time right through the timekeeper’s area. Eventually Goldberg actually manages to land his spear-jackhammer combination and Brock actually kicks out. I may be wrong about this, but I believe that’s the first time that anyone has ever kicked out of the Jackhammer from Goldberg.

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

An incredulous Billy G perches himself in the corner to prepare and spear Lesnar again, but Brock leapfrogs it and Goldberg hits the turnbuckle. This allows Brock to take control and Suplex City the s--t out of Dadberg. With 10 suplexes under his belt, he pulls out the F5 for the 1-2-3. The match managed to be both a tight competition and a dominant win for Brock. How about that?

Goldberg will almost assuredly return to being a retired wrestler and may not be seen again until he enters the hall of fame. As for Brock, this was the match he needed to save face. He’ll never be square with his rival, but this win lets him walk away with his head (and a title) held high. I know his contract stipulates more appearances for the company in the coming year, but Brock is very much a part-timer, so I wouldn’t expect him at Payback later this month.

Match 9: Naomi Vs. Mickie James Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Natalya Vs. Carmella Vs. Alexa Bliss for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

There was actually considerable concern that this match may be bumped from the card entirely, as Wrestlemania went about a half hour longer than advertised. Instead they just shoved all these ladies out there to say that they did. This is the cooler spot meant to help people catch their breaths between the highs of Lesnar-Goldberg and the Main Event. These factors combined to make this little more than a quick schmoz, giving them just enough time to get their signature offense in before they get the “take it home” signal from the ref. As such, it should come as no surprise that match is largely forgettable.

Truth be told, their outfits and entrances left a more lasting impact on the audience – and not always in a good way. Of course Naomi’s entrance killed it, but Mickie James dressed in culturally appropriated Native American garb is not ideal. Ditto whatever Becky was going for. Those Orange braids were a poor choice.

Anyway, Naomi wins by submission in about 5 minutes. It’s the right decision and the only story that made any sense to tell if they weren’t going to bring any surprise talents into the match.

Match 10: The Undertaker Vs. Roman Reigns

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions

For the main event they brought out legendary play-by-play commentator Jim Ross, and it’s perfect. JR is a legend in the wrestling world and it’s a well deserved reputation. Considering the rough patch of road he’s been going through lately (his wife just passed from injuries sustained in a car accident last week), it’s amazing that he was able to keep a clear head and perform at this level. That dude is a pro, through and through.

So for the match they (thankfully) had the Undertaker start his march to the ring from the middle of the ramp, meaning his normally 10-minute entrance was a lean 5:50. Don’t worry, fans of tall tattooed Texans dramatically walking to funeral dirges, he’ll more than make up for it after the match. As you’ve probably heard if you’re reading this, the Undertaker lost this match and signaled that he’s ready to retire upon its completion. It’s the culmination of a career that stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries in match quality and cultural impact. Yes the injuries he’s accumulated over the years have really limited what he’s been capable over the past few Manias, and yeah a lot of those bouts in the ‘90s were more about his presence than in-ring excellence, but still. As a final match to go out on this….this was fine.

It was competitive at points, but Reigns never really looked in trouble – even after eating a Tombstone, we knew he would be getting back up. One talking point of the actual match portion of this bout is the sometimes heelish demeanor of Roman Reigns, who wailed on Taker with vicious chair shots for nearly a whole minute, and seemed more annoyed than daunted by the resilience of the Phenom. When the Dead Man gives Reigns the “Finish Me” speach under his breath they cut to Roman’s face and it’s less “what do I have to do to stop this guy?” and more “Ugh, fine I’ll hit you again.” He didn’t technically turn full heel here, mind you, but it’s yet another example of what might have been if the WWE would actually listen to its fans.

The finish comes after Reigns does his like fourth spear (this time he got two extra bounces off the ropes!) and the old man just caves. After Roman leaves the ring to an OBSCENE amount of fireworks, Taker eventually sits up, gets dressed in his entrance attire, goes to leave then pauses to think about it. He strolls back into the middle of the ring and proceeds to take off his gloves, his jacket and the hat. Once he removes his costume he lets out this pronounced sigh and it’s a great moment for wrestling fans. The old man said goodbye to the character that made him an icon and walked up the ramp to 75,000 fans screaming “Thank you Taker!” Not a bad was to retire.


WHEW. Man that was a long show. It had its ups and downs, but overall, I have to say, this was a bit of a middling Wrestlemania. It’s an event that will be remembered for its big moments (The Hardys’ return/ Taker’s retirement) but is otherwise a little light on memorable moments. Trips and Seth put on the best Mania match of Seth’s career, but like fourth best of Trips. It was good to see AJ get a win, ditto Naomi, but most of the rest was either too brief (Lesnar/Goldberg), too flat (The Raw Women’s match), or just really not that good (Bray and Randy). It certainly beat last year’s efforts though, so that’s something right?

Moments Vs. Matches: Wrestlemania 33 is a rollercoaster of emotions
WrestleMania 33

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