The early hours of WrestleMania were depressing and dull. And I realize it’s unfair, but I’m sorry, okay? I hear WrestleMania and I expect a certain thing. I thought I had lowered my expectations enough to make this show enjoyable, but apparently I didn’t.
(In fact, scratch that. I refuse to apologize for thinking of Elias against Corbin in a singles match in an empty arena without gadgets or curveballs at WRESTLEMANIA is more than a travesty and a colossal waste of time.)
But just when this disappointment and frustration was about to take hold, we had a glimmer of hope from Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins. Their match rocked – more on that in a minute – and the momentum of that match set the stage for the match that earned WrestleMania all this crowd without a crowd.
WE FIGHT IN THE BONEYARD, BABY!
Undertaker vs AJ Styles was the main event of the first night and it was literally the best thing WWE has done in months. It was incredible. I cannot say enough positive things about this. From the first image where the druids opened the back of a hearse only to bring Styles’ arrogant smile out of the coffin, it could be said that WWE had spent so much time and effort on this. For the first time in the night, I really smile.
After Styles had his little introduction, they cut a motorcycle and yelled through the empty streets with Metallica screaming that was yet another reason for me to smile like an idiot. So stupidly, wonderfully above. Taker parked his bike and exchanged a few words with Styles before launching himself into punches.
The camera work and the atmosphere were great. The choreography of the whole fight was impeccable. And if there’s one thing that I think really made it special, it’s the Undertaker’s trashy speech. He got the advantage earlier and just berated styles like hell. It was a special job, man.
When the CO appeared and turned the tide in favor of Styles, we had this sad cello music that looked so much like it had been ripped from Game of Thrones. It was hilarious. Throughout, Taker was prone, wheezing, and Styles threw him into the open grave and prepared to bury him.
Ol ‘Allen took a moment to lean back and smile, and the Undertaker apparently teleported from the grave to stand directly behind him. Styles was absolutely shocked and started begging Taker. He climbed on an old rusty shack and Taker wiped out the CO before Chokeslamming Styles came out of the roof of the building. Taker went downstairs and started asking Styles a few questions: “What is my wife’s name?” Hi AJ, how old am I? ”
You all concluded that with betrayal. Styles begged for mercy and Taker acted as if he would give it to him. He helped Styles get up and told him that he had a great fight before turning around and throwing him into the grave. THEY BURDEN THE STYLES WITH A CRACKING HAND TENDING OUT OF DIRT AND THE CONTRACTOR WIDENS TO FIERY EXPLOSIONS AND ITS LOGO LIGHTING ON THE DINGY SHACK IN THE BACKGROUND!
It was wonderful. It was EASILY worth all that damn mess. In fact, WWE needs to use more matches like this. It’s the creativity I’ve been begging for the past few weeks. It was concise, creative and gave wrestlers a lot more freedom to be characters that we usually see in WWE.
Much more, please. This match was worth it for WrestleMania this year.
Even the Messiah sins
The other game of the evening that seemed to me to really stand out was the Owens vs. Rollins game, and it started from the start as Rollins came out when he entered. He was all white and was really laying on the thick Chosen One gimmick. He was all smiles, all pride, and really alive this declaration “I am a God when the lights are bright” to the fullest.
He and Owens dropped out for a while, and they also got into the game of trash talk. Rollins called Owens “a big piece of shit” at one point, and made fun of Owens for his failures and daring to challenge Messiah at WrestleMania.
But Owens wouldn’t go away. He finally took over and Rollins got out of the ring to save time. Owens continued, and Rollins went the easy way, reaching for the bell and crushing it in the face. He was quickly disqualified, but Rollins didn’t seem to care, he smiled and was too happy to walk away from the fight.
Owens, however, was not satisfied with a DQ victory. He grabbed a microphone and yelled at Rollins to return to the ring and finish the mess. Owens insulted Rollins for calling himself a god and acting like that, saying it was the actions of a “little bitch.” Owens demanded a game without DQ, and Rollins was too happy to force it.
From there, it went really well. Rollins used all the weapons he could and Owens continued to talk about litter. Owens finally got his shot after hitting Rollins on a table and skipped the WrestleMania sign to end this damn thing.
And There you go! Our first real WrestleMania moment of the weekend, baby! This is what we were looking for!
I liked the conclusion here. It was really nice to see Owens finally get Rollins one by one and deliver. I told you your friends were holding you back, Kev.
An undervalued match
The Boneyard game will rightly get all the attention, but I want to congratulate John Morrison, Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso. At the time this happened, this match was the clear game of the night, and they were literally the first thing I would call worthy of WrestleMania.
In short, they had a violently violent ladder match that I did not really expect. There’s no crowd, right? Why go all out with high risk stuff for no crowds?
These three clearly didn’t care about anything and went out of their way to do that, which I greatly appreciate. We had a rope race in a Spanish Morrison fly, Kingston swinging a ladder like a baseball bat…
We also had a little creative finish to that too. The three men were near the team titles and got their hands on the belts when they went down. It meant that the game was not over, so they used strikes to try to let the others let go. And do you remember SmackDown’s Usos / New Day beef? It turns out that their Cooperation was their downfall, not their rivalry. They regrouped on Morrison with headbutts, and Morrison fell back on a bridged ladder – taking the titles with him.
The Miz and Morrison have kept, which may or may not be your cup of tea, but the match and finish were actually pretty cool. I just really want to recognize these guys for being so professional when they could have relaxed.
Braun Strowman beats. Goldberg for the universal championship – Okay, let’s get to the not-so-great stuff. Everyone, this match was lame. We have had spam correspondences from finishers in the past, and they really count on a crowd to work, or at least a lot that doesn’t work.
Instead, everything was in the middle of the ring and was finished in two minutes. It was just dull. The only thing I like is that it creates the potential for a Braun / Fiend feud over the title, but we’ll see after the Firefly Fun House match. Otherwise, I don’t have any real positive thoughts on a Strowman title.
Becky Lynch beats. Shayna Baszler – What I learned from this game is that Baszler is Samoa Joe. She talked about a big game … and lost with a reverse flip on her berth. The game itself was good, but there were no moments that really stood out. He could have been on Raw and felt right at home, which is probably as big of an indictment as I can give when booking.
Sami Zayn beats. Daniel Bryan – I really enjoyed this game, but I don’t know how I felt about the end. Zayn does his best to avoid Bryan? Great, get it totally and love it. Bryan finally got his hands on Zayn and slapped him stupidly? Brilliant! Totally what the goober deserves!
… Bryan loses by simple distraction when he has a guy who literally trains him in his corner? Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? I guess the screening report didn’t cover that Zayn could actually do something on his own.
(I think I’m talking about loving the finish myself.)
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated. Kabuki warriors – It was another game that seemed fair … okay. I think it’s because we’ve seen so many of these two teams in their 40s. It was pretty solid, but nothing you wouldn’t expect to see on Raw or SmackDown a week of the year.
Cesaro beats. Drew Gulak – It was a preview game and Gulak had a very obvious game plan to attack Cesaro. It makes sense for a coach, right? Cesaro, however, managed to overcome the game plan with clever ingenuity and spinning the plane with his bare hands.
Elias def. Baron Corbin – It was the most SmackDown game of all time, with no hype. Elias won with a roll up, cementing the little bit more than I cared.
I note this on a curve because you seen the world recently? Until the last four games of the night, I have been extremely disappointed and I feel like I have lost an entire night.
But then that fucking BONEYARD match happened and I increased the score by two letters.
And in case you forgot … we have a Firefly Fun House game which will probably end the second night. I’m really excited for that.