WWE Wrestlemania 35 Full Review: Becky Lynch, Kofi Kingston, And Seth Rollins Usher In A New Era
Wrestlemania 35 has come and gone, and overall, it was a well-paced show with some great matches and memorable moments. WWE's PPV closed with the first-ever women's main event, and Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan stole the show.
This year's Wrestlemania took place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and aired live on PPV and the WWE Network. There was plenty to be excited about.
With 16 matches on the card, it had the makings of being the biggest--and longest--Wrestlemania of all time. Who would walk out with the WWE Championship? Will Triple H's career be ended by Batista? Most importantly, who will be victorious in the all-women main event--the first time in company history women have headlined Wrestlemania?
Wrestlemania 35 match card:
- Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese (Cruiserweight Championship) [KICKOFF SHOW]
- Andre The Giant Battle Royal
- Women's Battle Royal
- The Revival vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder (Raw Tag Team Championship)
- Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship)
- Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
- The Usos (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
- AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
- Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (Women's Tag Team Championship)
- Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
- Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio (United States Championship)
- Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
- Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred Match)
- Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)
- Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Winner Takes All)
The Wrestle Buddies of GameSpot have now reviewed the show. Check out Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner's review of the show below. Additionally, TV Guide's Keisha Hatchett will be joining in on the fun for the evening as well. From the Kickoff Show to the main event, we had opinions about everything happening, just like every other wrestling fan on the internet.
Also make sure to check out the rest of our Wrestlemania week coverage, from our predictions and a look at the WWE memorabilia on display at Wrestlemania Axxess to our full review of the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard event.
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
Tony Nese Won
Mat: My favorite part of any Kickoff Show match is when it cuts to a commercial for the PPV. Anyway, this was a nice showcase for the in-ring work of Nese, who many WWE fans may not be as familiar with, as it's mostly Buddy Murphy in these matches. I do want to spend a lot of time talking about Murphy's ring gear because it's weird and I love it. However, I guess I'm here to talk about the match. I always question why these cruiserweight matches aren't on the main card because they are nutso good, and I just don't mean Murphy's trunks. Whoa… I also didn't expect Tony Nese to win this. It came seemingly out of nowhere, but the finish was fine. It was a nice surprise. Nese will be a fantastic, brutal champion.
10/10 for Buddy's trunks
Chris: I kind of feel bad. Kind of. These guys are working hard as the crowd files in, so there's not much reaction, at least early on. Nese and Murphy rule, though, so they were able to get the audience invested with a series of high spots and and a truly vicious German suplex into the turnbuckle--which won Nese the belt. I have to be honest, I did not expect Murphy to lose the title here. But also I don't regularly watch 205 Live anymore, so I might just be misinformed. Whatever the case, I want this division to be given a better spotlight. Or not, I don't know. There's already so many hours of wrestling each week.
Keisha: I started this match feeling bad for Nese and Murphy, who are obviously strong performers. They put up a great effort but because the crowd was just settling in, wasn’t very responsive. As the match progressed, however, the pair slowly won the crowd over and it began to feel like a match worth investing in. Overall, it was a decent outing with some cool spots. That suplex into the ropes was a nice touch. But the highlight for me was Nese who came out swinging with his sweet Power Ranger gear. Dope.
Women's Battle Royal
Mat: Yay! A battle royal. This felt a lot more put together than last year's. The women's roster is a bit more filled out than the previous one. The Naomi and Ember Moon spots were fantastic, so I'm totally on board for them to do a rivalry against each other. Yes, they're on different shows, but let's make it happen, right? There was quite a curveball thrown at the audience, when Sarah Logan eliminated everyone, and we thought she was the winner. Then Carmella popped up and won the match. What a solid move for a battle royal that is ultimately meaningless. This was actually one of the better Wrestlemania battle royal matches. A ton of fun, and a nice showcase for the superstars.
10/10 For a Naomi/Ember Moon feud
Chris: Full disclosure, I was very distracted for most of this match. As it turns out, there's lots of people in the press room, and it's easy to drift away. That said, what brought me back was the reporters around me freaking out about Sarah Logan. While she didn't go on to win the entire thing, I'm glad to see her show some fire. We could make due with seeing a little shakeup in the women's division to get some new faces rising to the top. That all said, I'm glad Carmella won the thing. Since losing the Smackdown Women's Championship, she's been lost in R-Truth land. It's entertaining, but she's too good to be a sidekick. Still, what a bummer to be Asuka right now. And I'm with Mat, an Ember Moon vs. Naomi feud would be amazing. I'm ready for more actual competition-based feuds in the women's division.
Keisha: One of my favorite things about WrestleMania is seeing everybody decked out in special gear so shoutout to Lana for rocking the Wonder Woman garb. I’m always rooting for the women to have a moment to shine since most of them are underutilized on their respective rosters, and this one delivered some sweet moments, like Dana Brooke’s back-to-back eliminations. And like Chris and Mat, I’ve been dying to see Ember Moon and Naomi link up because they’re both super athletic, and their little spot is such an unfair tease. Let’s make this happen! But what a great, surprise ending with Sarah Logan and Carmella. Usually, these things end up being predictable once the competition is narrowed down to the final three, but they made this one feel a bit more fresh and exciting than the others.
The Revival vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
(Raw Tag Team Championship)
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder won
Mat: This is on the Kickoff Show now? Ok! Why is Curt Hawkins in a Spirit Squad outfit? Did he join the team? Will Nicky return? I have so many nonsensical questions. I like Ryder and Hawkins a whole lot. In fact, I enjoy their action figure YouTube page quite a bit. But let's get down to brass tax, I just have lost interest in the Revival and the tag team division on Raw in general. Yay, Hawkins and Ryder won, but I'm just hoping it's not a "Ryder" loses the title the next day situation again. WWE, please rebuild the Raw tag team division.
Chris: The lack of interest in the press room about this match captures my indifference completely. For the most part, reporters are having their own conversations while this match is going on. You can't really blame them, though, because this one came out of nowhere. We all wanted the Revival to get a shot with the tag titles. Now they have and it's been wildly underwhelming. So underwhelming that they reunited the Edgeheads to take them on for some reason.
The match was fine, though there was one nasty spill to the outside that elicited a scary reaction from the press box. I have to say, I'm shocked Ryder and Hawkins won the titles here. I'm fine with it, though. The Revival's reign wasn't impressive and this gives a cool Wrestlemania moment, letting fans finally see Hawkins' losing streak get broken.
Keisha: The tag team division could really use some extra care and this match is proof of that. With no build up, this randomly placed bout between the Ryder and Hawkins and the Revival had no stakes and so I wasn’t invested. A nice surprise with Ryder and Hawkins finally pulling out a win but I don’t have high hopes, mostly because it’s pretty obvious they are not holding onto those titles for long. This was an okay match—with a scary fall—that ended stronger than it started.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
Braun Strowman won
Mat: Why does everyone I love get eliminated so early? Tyler Breeze, gone. Bo Dallas, gone. Shelton Benjamin, gone. At least MUSTAFA Ali wasn't eliminated early. Maybe Andrade and Ali can have the battle for their last names. Hopefully, that will be after Ali's face heals from smashing into the table. Seriously, get well soon.
I hated the Stroman/SNL jazz so much prior to this, but it was actually executed pretty well. I actually had a solid amount of fun watching that, as did all the people around me. I've been writing these pieces for years, alone in my house. Is this feeling of joy what you get when you watch PPVs with other wrestling fans? What is life?
Chris: I want Tyler Breeze to win this match, but of course, he was quickly tossed. We all knew going in this match was about the very important feud of Braun Strowman vs. the cast of Saturday Night Live--I'm not kidding. Each year, though, the Andre battle royal reminds me of just how many fantastic wrestlers WWE has that could soar if given the chance. How there's a tag division without Gallows and Anderson being a force blows my mind. Seriously, this match had the Ascension, the Good Brothers, Heavy Machinery, the Lucha House Party, and the Hardy Boyz. In a bizarro world, this is an amazing tag division.
Back to this match, though. It's not bad, loded with far more shenanigans than the women's match, but the comedy with the SNL guys and Braun at the end was pretty funny. My only critique is Michael Che should have won because why not?
Keisha: First off, congrats to Braun Stroman and his new abs for being the real star of this match. Swole Stroman predictably plowed through the competition, but it was nevertheless entertaining. Seeing him send Luke Harper and Mustafa Ali over the ropes mid suplex was especially gnarly and elicited a huge “ouch” from the press box. But the bit with SNL’s Michael Che and Colin Jost was surprisingly funny--it could have easily swerved into cringe territory. Clever way of handling their inexperience with some good old-fashioned hijinks like hiding under the ring and bringing in a therapist to talk it out. This was goofy and so enjoyable. Wrestling is fun, guys!
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins won
Mat: Yes, please put this match on first. I don't want to have to wait around to say goodbye to Bork. That's not a typo. The first five minutes of this was just Bork beating up Rollins before the bell even rang. This was a very short match, and frankly, it wasn't a good match. It was three German suplexes, a low blow, and a few curbstomps--or whatever that move is called now. That's it. Hey, I'm more than happy with how it went because that means we can finally have a champion that shows up again. Please leave and never come back.
Chris: Everything about the opening of this match makes me sad. I'd love for us to get past the place where Brock Lesnar is hailed as a "box office draw" of some sort. He doesn't need to be a dominant beast that cannot be stopped. Evolve, Brock. Try literally anything new. I'm glad Seth won, but I wish he'd gotten a real match out of Brock. Instead it was a glorified assault by Brock before the match started and Rollings getting the better of him with a low blow. Still, that said, this is already going to be a long show. We don't need a half hour wrestling match between these two. Now it just needs to stick long enough to legitimize Seth as champion.
Keisha: Kicking the night off with the Universal Championship match was a strange move, but I’m actually not mad at it. I’ve long felt that Brock Lesnar as a part-time champion really hurt the title so seeing Rollins pull out a win was satisfying, even if the journey to get there wasn’t. I don’t think any of us really wanted to see Lesnar literally tossing Rollins around like a rag doll all night so keeping it short was a smart choice. We were all ready for this to be over before it started and thankfully, Lesnar is no longer champion.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
AJ Styles won
Mat: Why is Jerry Lawler out here doing commentary? I must have missed something while grabbing coffee. Hey, this has been a fun little match, eh? It's pretty much what I expected with some fun spots, but it felt like a nice transition between Bork losing to whatever comes next. Spoiler, it was Lacey Evans walking around, which is still a thing apparently. I have no strong opinions when it comes to this bout. It was fine. It happened. I'm excited for what's next, and no, I don't mean Lacey Evans.
Chris: It should be noted this match also saw the arrival of coffee in the press box, so we were all pretty gleeful. This match wasn't half bad, actually. It's the one I was looking forward to least because it just seems unnecessary--which is a feeling I still have now that it's over. All told, though, they both did fine and AJ Styles got a much-needed win. He went from the face that runs the place to the forgotten son of Smackdown Live too quickly after losing the WWE Championship. Maybe now they can rebuild him. Oh, also, Lacey Evans walked out because that's what she does now.
Keisha: I’ve gotta admit, I was pretty distracted at the beginning of this match by everyone munching on cookies. I, sadly, was cookie-less. But this was a bit of a slow burn that turned out to be a pretty okay outing thanks to some bright spots, like AJ’s jump kick to the back of Randy’s head. Despite those delightful little moments, this was mostly a forgettable affair with a predictable ending. Was it the worst? No. But certainly nothing to brag about.
The Usos (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev
(Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
The Usos won
Mat: I will forever love The Bar after the Cesaro infinite spin that happened during the match while Sheamus pounded on people's chest. To this point, that was the best moment of the night. These matches tend to be exceptionally chaotic, and as I said yesterday during the ROH/NJPW 8-Man tag, I tend to dislike these matches. However, this was a ton of fun, and my boys* The Usos won. It was non-stop action, and while the storytelling element of the match wasn't very strong, it was entertaining, and that's what I want right now.
*The Usos aren't actually related to me nor have we ever met.
Chris: For my money, the highlight of this match was watching Ricochet walk out on that stage with his name on the video wall. I used to watch this guy wrestle in the indies and...it wasn't that long ago. It blows my mind that he's now in a featured match at Wrestlemania. As for the match, it wasn't hard to track the action for the most part, which is surprising. And there was plenty to love. The press box was howling with laughter while Sheamus beat everyone's chest as Cesaro landed the longest swing ever on Ricochet.
As with every match like this, it eventually became a greatest hits highlight reel for each of the talents in the ring and the Usos came away from the victory--earning a round of applause from the reporters in the room. This was a super fun match and a good showcase of the talent in Smackdown's tag division.
Keisha: Why were there so many people in this match? How do you even keep track of who’s legal? My eyeballs had no idea where to focus, and it was great. So many talented guys just having a ball in the ring which, in turn, made this match super fun. Also, I’m pretty sure Ricochet was bitten by a radioactive spider because this guy moves like gravity doesn’t exist. Shoutout to that six-man suplex from the top of the rope which garnered the biggest reaction of the night so far. And big ups to the Bar for delivering the laughs with Cesaro’s super long swing alongside Shaemus’ brutal slaps. Overfall, this was a super enjoyable outing topped by a double Uso splash to retain their titles. Can’t be mad at that.
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Shane McMahon won
Mat: Remember when Brock was here then wasn't anymore? I want that to happen to Miz's dad. It's such a lame story. His involvement was the worst part of the match. Watching this match, we're all just waiting for the ridiculous Shane high spot, and by golly, we got it. The finish was kinda silly, and the match was a series of moments of the two romping around the ring, but I had a good time. It had an exceptionally memorable moment, and that's what the show is all about.
Chris: This match was pretty much what was expected. Lots of fighting through the crowd, which was cool. Shane taking a big bump--and taking Miz with him--which was scary. And, of course, Miz's dad Mullet Miz getting involved. That part I could have done without because it's awkward watching Shane beat up on an older man.
Regardless, this match was fun to watch once it spilled into the crowd, and it had the press box on the edge of its seat each time it looked like they were about to fall off of something. Hopefully, this is the end of this feud, though. Just let Shane be mean to everyone instead of Miz alone.
Keisha: So it’s WrestleMania and MetLife stadium is packed with thousands who paid to see….the Miz’s dad? Seriously, the end to this ridiculous feud cannot come sooner. But thankfully, Miz’s dad only played a small--albeit awful--role. This match didn’t have many highlights; it was literally just Shane and the Miz brutalizing each other with whatever object they could find. The highlight, for sure, was the suplex off a very high platform. While expected, it was a moment that we’re all probably going to rewatch at some point. Now can we move on from this feud? Pretty please?
Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina
(Women's Tag Team Championship)
The IIconics won
Mat: Hey. We didn't need two 8-people tag matches on this card. This is a lot. I don't want to sit here and compare the two, but I'm going to anyway. This was a slower-paced event, but it had the one thing that the men's match didn't: The IIconics winning. I am so happy with this outcome as this is the one true women's tag team in WWE. Also, everyone in the press box lost their minds when the two won, which made me so happy. This was a decent match with an amazing ending. Also, I want more Beth Phoenix. She was fantastic.
Chris: IIIIIIIIIIIICONIC. Listen, this match was whatever. Beth showed she's still great in the ring, the match as a whole was kind of a mess--unlike the earlier four corners tag match--and it was hard to keep track of what was going on. But who cares? The IIconics freaking won, and that makes it the best match of all time. I love this duo. They've been one of the best things going in WWE for a while and I'm super happy to see them with the belts, even though it means the reign of
the Boss N Hug Connection Sasha Banks & Bayley is over.
6/10 for the match
11 million/10 for the IIconics reigning supreme
Editor's note: Mat still has final edit.
Keisha: I think we can all agree that the ending of this match really saved it. I’ve never been happier to type these next few words: The IIconics did it! They’re the tag team champions! Seriously, this brings me so much joy. They’ve been great for a looong time, and I was pulling for them at Survivor Series so this was a lovely surprise. The match as a whole wasn’t anything to brag about. Aside from Beth Phoenix’s Glam Slam from the top rope, there weren’t any memorable spots. And with the IIconics now champions, I’m hoping they get to hold onto those titles for a while. They definitely deserve it.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston won
Mat: I really wish the WWE Shop didn't post the Kofi Kingston Championship shirt before the match concluded--the one that was in the box at the end of the match. That kind of ruined it for me. Hey, I also didn't need to see the other superstars rallying behind him backstage. Listen, I've had a lot of coffee now. I'm very jittery.
This match was probably everything I could have wanted and more. It was filled with emotion and some amazing in-ring action. There were actually a few moments where I thought Bryan might walk away with the win. However, we got what we've all been waiting for throughout the whole storyline, Kofi winning the WWE Championship. This was awesome.
Side note: Kofi's child holding up the belt was the cutest thing ever.
Chris: It's not that the end of this match was ever in doubt. The audience rallied behind Kofi Kingston and the WWE listened. This was a great match with plenty of back-and-forth action between the two and so many instances where it looked like Bryan might win. But he didn't. This is Kofi's time, and I'm glad to see it live. His win got cheers and applause in the press box, as did him handing his son the WWE Championship. It's honestly just a lovely kind of wish-fulfillment for fans. We've loved Kofi a long time, and now he's the WWE Champion. However, I hope this isn't the last we see of Daniel Bryan's Earth-conscious hippie belt.
Bonus points go out to Erick Rowan and the New Day too. They managed to add a lot to the match without getting involved with Kofi and Daniel. Excellent work all around.
Keisha: KOFIIIIIII!!!!!! I’m not crying, you’re crying. This is the Wrestlemania moment I’ve been waiting for. They really did that. An excellent match between two great in-ring performers, culminating in a well-deserved victory for Kofi. There were some great spots--Bryan stomping all over Kofi’s face and Kofi returning the favor comes to mind--but the most compelling part was the storytelling behind it. We didn’t just watch it, we felt it. Every bump, every near fall mattered. The only weak points were the intermittent cuts to the locker room which felt jarring and out of place. It really was unnecessarily since the build up to this match made it clear who we were all rooting for. Nonetheless, a big moment for Kofi and for sure a Wrestlemania highlight.
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
(United States Championship)
Samoa Joe won
Mat: That was quick. The replay of the win was pretty much the whole match. But hey, we're still riding high after the Kofi Kingston win, so I completely understand why this was so short. This was kind of perfect for the audience. The match was meh, but it needed to be quick and dirty to keep things moving.
Chris: That was a match, I think. It ended super quick but was also a super dominant victory for Samoa Joe--which is a great thing. He is a monster and should be established that way, so I'm into it. Plus on a very long show, a quick and decisive victory is something I'm into.
6/10 for what it was, a showcase of Samoa Joe.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Roman Reigns won
Mat: I don't care about this match. I thought I was going to, but I just wasn't feeling it. It didn't hold my attention, and I'm still high on Kofimania. I don't even think I can rate this one. It was nice to see Roman win, but I'm still very focussed on Kofi becoming WWE Champion.
Chris: This match was quick and knew exactly what it was. The feud between these two was great, and the whole thing was meant to build up Roman after his return. Thankfully, Drew doesn't actually lose anything from this match because he's still just as vicious of a heel. It was just a good, serviceable match for everyone involved.
Keisha: After everything he’s been through, seeing Roman Reigns in action at Wrestlemania brings me joy. But I gotta admit, this match was pretty dull. The crowd was barely into it, and I struggled to keep focus. It’s disappointing since both Drew and Roman are great performers and were building up to something. However, this match really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and will be quickly forgotten. At Wrestlemania, you expect high stakes and dramatic storytelling, and this had none of that.
Everyone on Earth won
Mat: There were three Eliases. Guys. I applauded for the first time of the evening during this. Give this man a title. I was very excited about his song before he was rudely interrupted by a video package about baseball. Then he was even more rudely interrupted by John Cena from like 15 years ago. Cena can time travel now. And he likes to battle rap people's faces.
I'm glad Thuganomics Cena came out because he was wearing a hat, and I got to ignore his haircut. This was the best. I still wish he was going to fight R-Truth, but I'll take this.
10/10 (This is the first 10 I've ever given)
Chris: Elias forever. Him playing with the Elias band was amazing. Battle rap Cena returning was amazing. I loved everything happening here, even if the baseball video went on way too long. Who cares? This is just pure joy and it's fun to see Cena channeling his former self. Word life.
Keisha: What’s better than one Elias? Three! Elias playing with two other versions of himself brought me back from the dead, cleared my debts, bought me groceries for a month and healed my soul. I didn’t think it could get any better until John Cena revived his old Thuganomics gimmick to drag Elias to the end of the world and back. This was the perfect pickmeup.
Triple H vs. Batista
Triple H won
Mat: I was so excited to hear Batista's music. I yell "YEAAAAAHHHH" way too much now--and that's thanks to Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze on YouTube. This match is all about the entrances. Who will have the more ridiculous entrance? Which one will I giggle at more? The answer is: I loved them both. I don't care about anything else that happens after these two got to the ring.
This was just another hardcore match with a couple weird spots I wasn't into like Triple H using pliers to pull Batista's nose ring out. This match felt a whole lot longer than it actually was. I looked down at the time to see 16 minutes had past when I thought it had been about twice as long. Shawn Michaels' commentary, guys… It's so awful.
Ok, weirdness aside, I actually ended up really liking this. It was a bit slow, but it was brutal, and fit the storyline behind it exceptionally well. The Ric Flair showing up spot wasn't my cup of tea but it made sense. Anyway, I've written way too much about this, so here's a rating.
Chris: Battle of the elaborate entrances 2019 is my favorite. I'm also glad Triple H finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road. Looking at the match, this one lived up to whatever hype there was. When the No Holds Barred stipulation was announced, it was clear this was going to be filled with weapons, tables, and the like. Once it was announced, Triple H's career on the line, and any possibility of him losing went out the window.
And yet, even with Shawn Michaels' bad commentary, this match was a blast. They beat the heck out of each other, had massively ridiculous entrances, and even got Ric Flair involved. This was a Wrestlemania match, through and through.
Keisha: Those excessive entrances were fun and all, but I was more excited about Kumail Nanjiani showing up in a black t-shirt with Batista’s face on it. What a pure moment ahead of an agonizingly brutal match. This was literally two burly men beating the bejesus out of each other in the most horrifying ways. I didn’t need to see Triple H use pliers to rip out Batista’s nose ring but Corey Graves’ hilarious commentary made it all the more palpable. “He’s not gonna be in any more Guardians of the Galaxy films after this,” and “this guy’s my boss” are my new ringtones. I literally cringed all the way through because everything just looked so painful. Also, Ric Flair?! Popping up to hand Triple H a sledgehammer? What a random ending to an okay match that turned out exactly how you’d expect. There was no way Triple H was losing this one.
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin won
Mat: Listen, this isn't the match you wanted, but this is the match you're getting. And you're gonna like it, ya hear me? At about the three minute mark, I was wondering why this wasn't over and why someone else hadn't come down to challenge Angle. Everything about this match is weird. The booking doesn't work for me, and the finish didn't work for me. I was hoping to see more of a passing the torch moment with Angle. I'm not mad at this match or anything. I'm just very confused.
Chris: I understand why this was the finish of Kurt Angle's final match. It's old school. You do the honors on your way our, leaving those that will continue on in a better position. That said, it made me sad. This didn't feel like the way to end Kurt's career. He's one of the greatest of all time and retired with a feud that just never worked. At least we got to see Kurt throw a guy around a bunch more times before he was done. Thank you Kurt.
Keisha: I’m really confused about this match as a whole. Why wouldn’t you want a Hall of Famer like Kurt to go out on top? And why was Baron Corbin the one to send him off? Their feud never really popped off, so this match didn’t have the gravitas that it needed for someone like Kurt. What a lackluster ending to an incredible in-ring career.
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Balor
Finn Balor won
Mat: Bobby Lashley has contacts! That's his secret power to fight off the Demon. I was expecting a squash match, and we didn't get that exactly but pretty close to it. This match was short and sweet. By the time it wrapped up, it was passed 11:30. And while I've been very mean to Lashley in the past, I actually really liked how this played out. Yay, Finn is the IC champ… again. Let's move him onto something new now.
Chris: Another match that was EXACTLY what it needed to be. The Balor/Lasley feud hasn't been great and throwing the Demon into the mix was a nice touch to help it rebound. It also gave Finn the chance to be aggressive, which was a welcome twist. And given that we are going into the main event, it was smart to keep this short and sweet, so we have plenty of time for an amazing finale.
Keisha: We all knew Finn Balor was bringing out the demon for this match, but it’s nice to see him incorporate some different moves for the occasion. Plus, this feud has been pretty lackluster and the build-up wasn’t particularly interesting so keeping it tight was the right call. They didn’t overstay their welcome and Finn secured the gold, making this one actually bearable. Kudos.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (c)
(Winner Takes All)
Becky Lynch won
Mat: I love the idea of Charlotte coming to the building by way of helicopter, but I do not have the suspension of disbelief to think that this is happening in real time. Watching the Joan Jett performance from the press box was rough as the audio from the TVs was competing with the actual audio from outside. It was disorienting. I'm sure it was great, and I'll probably watch it when I get home. Yes, I'm spending so much time talking about entrances, but I'm tired, and this show was very long. Becky Lynch's entrance was "no thrills," and I'm all about that.
This match had some spectacular spots, many of which looked exceptionally painful, like Lynch's baseball slide to Rousey, knocking her onto the outside. Because Rousey is green compared to her two opponents, there were a couple of sloppy spots, but Rousey still puts on a very entertaining show, and she gets breathing room so Charlotte and Lynch can take over.
Rousey flipping over the table and yelling "tables are for b*****es" was unintentionally hilarious. This was a very solid match, even though it had a bit of a rough start. The finish was really weird, but this is exactly what I wanted from the championship match. I just wish it wasn't 12:30 at night.
Chris: I love how the entrances were extravagant except for Becky's. That's not her character, so it makes sense to keep hers simple. Onto the match, though. Holy cow, Ronda came out like a spitfire. But once everyone got aggressive, things got insane. The crowd was clearly pro-Becky--as was the press box--but all three of these women were incredible.
There were also some very scary-looking spots, including the baseball slide Mat mentioned. In other spots though, it looked like things didn't quite go as planned, leading to some "Ooos" and "Ahhhs" in the press box out of sheer terror. In all, though, it looked like these three executed the exact match they wanted and I loved it.
Once the table got involved, things got even crazier--even if Ronda thinks they're for "bIIIIes." These women went all out and I, personally, think the ending was perfect. Ronda wanted to brutalize Becky, but The Man was fighting smart. She saw the opportunity for a roll-up and took it. Why wouldn't she? It was winner take all and Becky Lynch took all. What a way to end a pretty rad Wrestlemania. I feel good about everything happening here. Good for you, Becky. Can't wait to see what you do with those belts.
Keisha: This is it! This is the thing we’ve been waiting all day for! Charlotte arriving via helicopter and walking her own red carpet only to be dressed by men in suits in an obviously pre-recorded segment is a true flex, embodying the gravitas of this historic moment. Ronda Rousey enlisting Joan Jet and the Blackhearts to perform “Bed Reputation” was also pretty cool. But my favorite had to be Becky Lynch, who power-walked down the ramp in a simple but effective entrance. It’s emblematic of everything we love about her: no bells, no whistles, just a ton of aggression.
All three women attacked this match with the fierceness we’d come to expect and delivered some truly memorable spots. Expect to see GIFs of Ronda’s double armbar as well as Charlotte’s moonsault all over your Twitter timelines in the days to come. They kept the momentum going throughout, dropping insane moves while also telling a compelling and emotional story that kept the crowd invested. Admittedly, there were some shakey spots--mostly due to Ronda’s greeness--but that didn’t take away from this stellar performance. And things only got better once the tables came out. These ladies brought the fire and did something truly special out there. Plus, I couldn’t think of a better way to cap off the night than with Becky bringing it all home. She did the damn thing. They all did.