Between the excitement of returning superstars and the retirement of a legend, WrestleMania 33 was filled with many ups, and definitely a few downs. Here is the best and worst that was WrestleMania 33.
5. Security attacks Rob Gronkowski
Apparently there was one stadium security guard that doesn’t understand what a work is. After Jinder Mahal threw a drink at Gronk, who was there supporting his best friend Mojo Rawley, the plan was to have Gronk get in the ring and get even. Well, after climbing over the barrier, a security guard ran over and proceeded to man handle the giant of a man that is Rob Gornkowski. You could see the confusion and legitimate concern on Gronks face while she was trying to push him back over to his seat. It wasn’t until three WWE referee’s ran over to explain what was going on that she finally let him go.
Even though this took place on the kick off show, it was too funny not to point out, and include in this list.
4. Raw Women’s Championship Match
The Raw women showed why they were booked on the main card from the start. It wasn’t surprising to see Bayley, Sasha, and Charlotte gang up on the much bigger and stronger Nia Jax to start this match. The WWE did a great job protecting Nia here and making her look incredibly strong. It took all three women at once to get on top of Nia for the pin after multiple gang up style maneuvers to even get her on her back.
Once Nia was gone, Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha went to work on some really great spots. Charlotte landed her twisting moonsault from the top rope to the outside. Sasha landed her double knee take down from the top on Charlotte, and Bayley landed a picture perfect Macho Man Elbow drop to get the victory.
All in all, it was a well told story throughout and the crowd was into it from start to finish.
3. Goldberg vs Brock
From bell to bell, it only lasted 4:49 and there were only four moves made through the entire match. Yet, this was the match we had all been waiting for from these two. We saw the spear multiple times, one of which had both men explode through the barricade. We saw the German suplex ten different times, we saw the Jackhammer and of course, we saw the F5.
It was fast, it was exciting, it got straight to the point and the crowd was a buzz. There was not much more you could ask for from these two and it will be interesting to see where this leads, with Brock as your new Universal Champion.
2. The Undertaker’s Send Off
The match itself was not perfect, not even close. It had a few good spots, like a spear from atop one announce table through another. But there were some mistakes too, since the Taker just can’t move like he used to (which is expected for a 52-year old man). The WWE did the right thing, however, having Roman Reigns defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33.
They did do a good job of making it seem like The Undertaker would never be put to rest, but ultimately this is not why The Undertaker is on this list.
After 27 years in the WWE, and a 33-year wrestling career, it seems The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) is hanging up his boots. It was an incredible few minutes as us fans, most of whom grew up watching The Dead Man, witnessed history as The Undertaker took off his gloves, jacket, and his hat, and lay them in the center of the ring. It was one of those moments that you will never forget and it didn’t stop there. As he got about half way up the ramp, with the crowd chanting “thank you Taker” he stopped for one last send off. His clenched fist shot straight in the air, with his back to the camera, the entire stage lit up with flames and lightning. Then we watched as The Undertaker slowly descended underneath the ramp and out of sight, his fist never leaving the air.
1. The Hardy Boyz Return
MOMENT OF THE NIGHT! Many things led to the speculation that The Hardy Boyz may end up returning at WrestleMania 33. It was a rumor, it was a pipe dream, and then, it was a reality.
After all three teams entered the ring for the Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder match, we were interrupted by The New Day’s music. They came out in their ring gear, looking like they were ready to join the match and informed us that the Triple Threat match had now become a Fatal Four Way. Instantly the crowd popped and started chanting “DELETE, DELETE, DELETE” in the hopes that the rumors and speculation were true. For a brief second, the thought of a swerve crept to mind and that maybe The New Day were actually going to be the fourth team.
That’s when the music hit and the crowd went absolutely insane. The Hardy Boyz were back!
The match was fantastic. Some insane spots throughout the match were capped off by Jeff Hardy doing what he does best and leaping off a 14-foot tall Ladder. While that took place, Matt Hardy climbed atop a much smaller ladder and grabbed the belts. The Hardy Boyz became your new Raw Tag Team Champions.
Needless to say, we cannot wait for Monday Night Raw and see what the Hardy Boyz have in store for us.
5. Seven Hour Show
As amazing as it is to be there and witness the spectacle that is WrestleMania, it is insane that this show needs to be nearly seven hours long. It is already enough that the show starts at 7:00 p.m. instead of the standard 8:00 p.m. But to also have the kick-off show start at 5:00 p.m., and have the whole thing run until shortly after midnight is asking a lot of the WWE faithful. It is no wonder that the crowd just loses its luster as the night goes on.
While we can understand wanting to get as many Superstars involved as possible, you can do this by having much better story telling, and getting the show under five hours, at the very least.
4. Neville vs Aries on the Kick-Off Show
As predicted, this was arguably the best wrestling match of the entire event and yet it happened six and a half hours before WrestleMania 33 finally went off the air. It had the story telling and the huge spots you would expect out of these two guys.
Not only was it terrible that this was on the kick-off show, but it was the first match on said show. We know the cruiserweight division is not as popular as the WWE would hope, but when you have the talent like Neville and Austin Aries in the ring with each other, it doesn’t matter what division they are in, they are main card guys. Considering some of the main card matches that took place, it made the WWE look even worse that these guys completed their match over an hour before the main show even started.
3. Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
What happened here? From the start, this had a confusing story leading up to WrestleMania (something about Sister Abigail’s ashes) and we still don’t really know who the bad guy was supposed to be? There must have been some last minute changes to how this match was booked. It was either that they had some of their time cut, or the end was changed. This match was a bit of a mess from start to finish. There was no story at all to this match. The weird blackouts and projections on the ring, while a cool visual, seemed really out of place and did nothing to help this match at all.
The only good part about this match was Bray Wyatt’s entrance but overall it failed on so many levels. Lets hope they make up for it on Tuesday and we get some explanation as to what is going on.
2. Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin Relegated
Dean Ambrose, for three years, has been the hardest working superstar in the WWE. He has wrestled the most matches and hasn’t taken any extended time off from the company during that time. His reward? A non stipulation match on the kick-off show defending the Intercontinental Championship.
Why does the WWE hate the Intercontinental Title?
This story actually had one of the longest and most violent build ups of any feud for WrestleMania 33 and yet, because of some Twitter backlash about the SmackDown Women’s Championship match, Ambrose and Corbin were relegated.
If you factor in the time that Pitbull and Flo Rida got boring the crowd to death by lip syncing to the WrestleMania theme song, it casts an even darker shadow on the straight slap in the face this was to the fans and the WWE superstars involved.
1. SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
This is proof that you shouldn’t always let Twitter make decisions for you.
I don’t want to slight the women in this match at all. It is not their fault they were put in the position they were in. The few bright spots were Becky looking like an awesome video game character, Mickie James paying tribute to her Native background, and James Ellsworth getting tossed around.
That being said, WWE really blew this. Not only was it a mistake to put this match on the main card, but it was a HUGE mistake putting it right before the main event.
There was very little, if any, story to this match leading up to WrestleMania. There really wasn’t even a feud within this match to give it any sort excitement. Mix that with not having enough time to do anything other than get a brief spot from each superstar, and then to botch some of those spots, it was setup to fail.
The crowd had finally got back into it with the Goldberg vs. Brock match, and the excitement for the Reigns/Taker match was building, but unfortunately WWE decided to kill the momentum with what was unfortunately a terrible match.
It’s great that Naomi was able to return in front of her friends and family and get a big win in her home town. It’s great that she got to start her championship program over again by winning the belt back, but this all would have been more exciting during the kick-off show, or even within the first few matches of the main show.
To think, Neville vs. Aries or Ambrose vs. Corbin could have had that spot.