Well, bugger me, it’s WrestleMania! And this year, neither of our recappers is in hospital! Hooray! So, for this, Jess will be taking the SmackDown matches, Steph has the Raw matches, and we’ve tossed a coin for the battle royal, which Jess lost. Hah.
We’re doing minimal recap of the pre-show, because Jerry Lawler is on it, and if we have to recap two hours of Jerry Lawler, someone’s going to die. So we’ll cover the matches, but otherwise, we’ll leave it alone.
Charly Caruso and Maria Menounos are in the social media lounge for this year, which I presume means we’re squeezing Tom Phillips onto a commentary table on the rickety chair in the corner later. The kick-off panel is our inestimable Renee Young, the inimitable Booker T, the instantly-recognizable Shawn Michaels, and the embarrassing Jerry Lawler.
Lita appears briefly to talk about the women, and Lawler disappears, so that suggests at least that someone’s smart enough to ensure that he’s not allowed to talk about women anymore. It’s a shame no one thought to just shoot him humanely behind the stadium before the show.
MATCH: Neville vs. Austin Aries – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Austin Aries down first, and we’ve got Tom Phillips and Corey Graves on commentary. Austin has his furry jacket and silvery trunks, and bloody hell, that ramp is LONG. You can see the ramp cameramen making their way back up it to get to Neville – who is here in GOLD trunks and my GOD I love him and his Geordieness and his ears. Hello gorgeous. Also, THOSE ABS. Bloody hell.
- We don’t start with a handshake, and the crowd already start shouting for Aries. Collar-and-elbow-tie, clothesline from Neville takes down Aries. Back to their feet, circling each other. There’s a man in the crowd taking his shirt off. Please don’t, mate.
- Wristlock from Neville, Aries kips up and out of it, getting Neville into a headlock. Official breaks it, Neville takes it up. Japanese arm drag from Aries, Neville into an arm submission, but reverses it. Aries rolls through, Neville bridges up.
- Neville rolls out of the ring, and Aries props himself up on the corner. Neville back on the apron, flipping over the ropes, sending Aries over, shoulder to the gut from Aries. Dropkick to the face from Aries after some pretty and FAST rolling moves.
- Snapmare takedown from Aries, off the second rope with an elbow drop, pin for two. Aries goes to come over the ropes, Neville catching him with a boot from the outside. Neville back to the apron, sneering at Aries, going to the top rope, missile dropkick from Neville, bridged cover for two.
- We got to commercials, because of course we do, despite this being THE NETWORK, so you don’t HAVE TO. When we come back, Neville has Aries in a side headlock. Apparently we missed some barricade spots.
- Back to their feet, Neville kicks to Aries, getting him back down, and Neville’s trunks appear to be climbing up his arse. Can’t blame them. Chops from Aries to the champ, gutbuster and a pendulum elbow from Aries. Aries lifting Neville, who tries a waistlock.
- Neville is flipped right over the tope rope to the outside, and Aries comes over with an elbow, then a suicide dive into the barricade. Drags Neville back in, pin for two.
- Neville with a huge kick in the corner, Aries flopping forwards. Neville lifts Aries to the top, following him, barking to the ref to shut up. Uppercuts from Aries, Neville being sent backwards, but lands on his feet. Aries comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick, pin for two.
- Neville’s unsteady on his feet, Aries trying to lift him into a suplex, Neville reverses into a waistlock, hits a snap German suplex, but he also stumbles, unsteady still. Neville goes for another one, lifting Aries, but he lands on his feet. Bridging German from Neville (I do love to see a bridge from a man) and a pin for two.
- Neville stands over a gasping Aries, idly kicking him around ring and into the corner. Neville drags him into the centre of the ring, going for Rings of Saturn, but Aries reverses into a cover. Forearm from Aries, step-up enzuigiri from Neville, followed by the Discus Fivearm from Aries that sends Neville to the outside – where Aries can’t win the title.
- Aries drags Neville into the ring by the hair, Neville kicking Aries into the ring, going to the top rope. Aries rallies, climbing to the top rope too – hurricanrana from the top rope! Then he’s up again, with a 450 splash of the OTHER corner! Pin for two.
- Last Chancery from Aries, and Neville rakes at the eyes, getting him away, back elbow into Aries’ previously-broken eyes socket. Neville to the top, Red Arrow, lands squarely – and that’s the with, Neville retaining the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania!
Well, there’s been a lot of Brits at WrestleMania this weekend, and some faces on WWE stages we never thought we’d see, so I think it’s fitting that an Englishman takes the first match of WrestleMania 33.
MATCH: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The Big Show and Braun Strowman actually get music and a proper entrance while everyone else just saunters down. Tyler Breeze is lacking a selfie stick, so I have to assume he’s playing WWE Supercard like I have been during the kickoff show. There’s just far too many people in the ring, they’re packed in like it’s a rock concert or something.
- Someone gets eliminated by Braun Strowman immediately; I don’t even know who it was. Kalisto soon follows, then Simon Gotch.
- Heath Slater kicks Strowman in the face, then gets unceremoniously pitched over the side. An Uso follows, eliminated by Big Show, then Goldust and Konnor.
- Big Show and Strowman stare each other down while Bo, Mark Henry, Rhyno and Mojo look on. Suddenly it’s chaos and everyone is attacking each other, until Show gets eliminated by Braun and everyone gangs up on him. Viktor gets pushed over and then Strowman soon follows.
- Curt Hawkins is eliminated next up, Dolph, Fandango and Tyler are all nearly eliminated but manage to hang in there. Tyler and Harper team up to try to eliminate Ziggler, but he still hangs on.
- R-Truth is eliminated by Ziggler, who is still hanging on the apron. Rhyno follows, also by Ziggler.
- Aiden English thrown over, followed by Curtis Axel and Jimmy Uso. Jason Jordan eliminated by Breezango, then Gable after him.
- Commentary mentions Breezango are still intact in the match, so of course they are immediately eliminated, and Sin Cara is thrown after them, flooring the fashion police.
- Mark Henry thrown out after, and we’re down a more manageable ten people in the ring. Tian Bing and Epico soon follow.
- Harper tries to eliminate Ziggler, but Titus O’Neil kicks Harper and Ziggler manages to scramble back in.
- Bo Dallas thrown out by Mojo; Ziggler quickly follows. Harper thrown over the rope but lands on the apron, before getting kicked off by Titus.
- Titus clotheslined out by Sami Zayn, then Killian Dain tips him out after.
- Stinger Splash from Mojo onto Dain, then they trade strikes back and forth while Jinder Mahal cowers in the corner.
- Mojo and Mahal spill out onto the outside and Mojo is thrown into the barricade, and Mahal faces off with a football player in the crowd. Mahal takes his drink and throws it at him, so he tries to climb in after him as Mahal gets back in the ring and tries to eliminate Dain.
- Football player, who I believe plays for the Patriots, climbs into the ring and attacks Mahal. Mojo and football player talk for a bit, then Mojo shoos him out of the ring. Killian Dain is awkwardly eliminated by Mojo Rawley, then Mahal is thrown over the rope but lands on the apron.
- Mahal tries to suplex Mojo, but Mojo is able to fight him off and eliminates Mahal. Mojo Rawley wins!
Football player comes back in to celebrate with Rawley, and they embrace and bump heads like happy dinosaurs then start playfully slapping each other because that’s how hype bros celebrate, I suppose.
Paul Heyman in the social media lounge to follow up; he pitches that Brock Lesnar is going to take Goldberg to suplex city, then says he wants to advocate for Charly and Maria in the future. The final #AskHeyman question is what it will mean if Lesnar loses again to Goldberg tonight. He says what that means is that someone will need to rouse Lesnar from his nap because that means it’s a nightmare, not reality. Sorry, I still don’t care about this match.
MATCH: Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin – Intercontinental Championship Match
I did not know that this match was going to be on the kickoff show! I admit, I have never been won over to Baron Corbin, and I have my reservations about how the Intercontinental Championship has been treated on the show lately, but I am always excited to see Dean so I can’t complain too much about this. His entrance is cut short by a recap of the battle royal I just watched.
- Collar and elbow tie-up to start off, then Corbin clothesline Dean to the mat. Dean thrown into the corner, but dodges Corbin’s offense, sending the lone wolf to the outside.
- Corbin bounced off the barricade, then both men back in the ring. Dean attempts a running bulldog on Corbin, but Corbin fights off and kicks Dean in the corner until the referee creates separation.
- Dean struggles to his feet, and Corbin sets him up in the corner again. Shoulder to the midsection, but Dean tries to fight him off with elbows, then crumples in the middle of the ring.
- Strikes back and forth as Dean struggles to his feet, then Corbin grabs Dean by the throat and throws him down for a quick cover.
- Dean back on the outside and Corbin saunters after him, throwing him into the barricade before sending him back into the ring.
- Attempted suplex from Corbin, but Dean attempts to reverse into Dirty Deeds. Corbin counters.
- Half-nelson from Corbin, but Dean powers to his feet and fights him off. Back elbow from Dean, then dodges a shoulder to send Corbin into the ringpost.
- Dean up on the turnbuckle, for a elbow drop, but Corbin kicks out.
- Both men on the turnbuckle with Corbin trying for the superplex, but Dean fights him off with headbutts. Dean jumps over Corbin, then tries for Dirty Deeds again, but Corbin counters. Dean sends him to the outside.
- Dean dodges more offense from Corbin, sending Corbin into the steel stairs. Dean slowly climbs up to the turnbuckle again, taking Corbin down with an elbow drop to the outside.
- Dean gets to his feet first, dragging Corbin back into the ring. Strikes from Dean, then a lariat that knocks Corbin off his feet.
- Running bulldog from Dean. Attempted Deep Six from Corbin but Dean dodges; Dean goes for the pendulum lariat but Corbin catches him with a big boot, then successfully hits the Deep Six.
- Corbin with elbows to Dean, then stares down at him intensely as Dean gets to his feet. Dean beckons for more, taking another strike before knocking Corbin off his feet with a clothesline.
- Dirty Deeds countered again, and Corbin slams Dean for a two-count.
- Corbin screams “I’m leaving here with this championship, do you understand me? Say goodbye!” but Dean flips out of the End of Days and successfully hits Dirty Deeds for a victory! Dean retains!
Our rather damp Intercontinental Champion celebrates on the turnbuckle before we cut back to the kickoff panel and my care factor plummets again.
When we open the show proper, our WrestleMania hosts welcome us. Big E has a katana and Xavier’s hair is huge. They have a chocobo and a moogle. Xavier plays the Final Fantasy victory theme on Francesca II Turbo. Like, you could’ve just had a big sign saying ‘we’re fucking nerds’, guys. Honestly, I was at a convention this weekend, and there were a lot of cosplayers less convincing than this.
MATCH: AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
I did not expect to see this match open the show! AJ was sore about not being on the WrestleMania card so he attacked Shane, so Shane… gave him exactly what he wanted, I guess. This ramp is so long that I assume half the show will be just people walking. Or running, if you’re Shane.
- Shane and AJ jog in circles, brief collar and elbow tie-up, then AJ pushes Shane away. AJ announces he’s going to embarrass Shane, and yes, that’s more or less what I expect.
- Sequence of holds, including AJ grabbing Shane by the back of the shirt and locking in a side headlock. Shane leapfrogs AJ, but AJ takes him down with a snapmare then does some Shane O’Mac footwork of his own.
- Shane with several holds into a waistlock takedown and then a rollup; AJ kicks out and rolls out of the ring. AJ hangs around outside the ring a little longer than necessary before climbing back in, knocking Shane down with a strike straight to the face.
- Shane backs AJ into the corner with strikes; AJ get in a kick of his own but is overpowered until the referee steps in. A back elbow from Shane sends AJ sprawling.
- AJ dumps Shane outside the ring. My WrestleMania viewing companion tells me that AJ looks like the cover of a romance novel, and I see it. Blue eyes, hair streaming in the breeze, tights that show off a little too much, I get it.
- Shane sent across the announce table with a dropkick from AJ. Both men back in the ring, and AJ flooring Shane with more strikes.
- Shane is backed into the corner and AJ struts around a little, showing off before turning around and crashing into Shane with a forearm. Two count cover.
- Strikes back and forth, AJ seeming to get the upper hand, but Shane with a kick to the midsection. AJ tries to springboard, but Shane knocks him down.
- More jabs from Shane, running around backwards as he does, then a back elbow and a northern lights release suplex from Shane.
- Angle slam from Shane McMahon. AJ back on his feet counters a suplex into an ushigoroshi, then stretches out his knee.
- AJ sets up for the Styles Clash, but Shane counters. AJ rolls through and locks in the Calf Crusher. Shane counters with a choke, then rolls into a cross arm breaker.
- Uma-plata from Shane now, who is just showing off now frankly. AJ breaks out, and both men drop from dueling clotheslines.
- AJ bounces Shane off the rope and while I’m being critical he really needs to start wearing underwear under his tights. Shane counters AJ’s springboard 450 splash, and locks in a triangle chokehold. AJ struggles to his feet and reverses into a Styles Clash. Shane kicks out.
- Strikes back and forth, until Shane kicks AJ into the corner. AJ tries to kick Shane, but Shane ducks and AJ hits the ref instead.
- Pele kick floors Shane, but AJ is looking at the referee concerned. Not too concerned, though – AJ goes fishing for a couple of trashcans, and sets one up on Shane in the corner. He kicks the referee out of the way as he prepares to go coast to coast.
- Shane gets to his feet and knocks AJ out of the air with the trashcan. WWE need more durable referees, and frankly, more durable trashcans. That thing is so dented. Good thing AJ got two!
- AJ now set up in the corner with the second trashcan, and Shane goes coast to coast! Referee is back up for the count, but AJ kicks out at two!
- Shane clears the announce table, and drags AJ to set him up on top of it. AJ rolls out of the way of the elbow drop, and Shane goes through the table!
- AJ limps over to Shane to drag him back into the ring, then adjusts his elbow pad in preparation for the Phenomenal Forearm. Shane counters into a DDT, then climbs up onto the turnbuckle.
- Shooting star press from Shane misses AJ as he rolls out of the way; AJ looks frankly proud of Shane. The elbow pad goes flying, and AJ knocks Shane down with another Phenomenal Forearm. AJ wins!
Shane McMahon is a brave, bold man and I don’t even know how to feel. I’m breathless already and that was match number one on the card.
MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship Match
KO out first, as is tradition, in his KO Mania shirt, and he walks down the ramp backwards for a bit, just ambling along, taking his time. That’s what I like to see. We get a recap on the Festival of Friendship, and I take a long, long drink of wine. Jericho arrives with a flashing entrance that makes me look away, because seizures. There’s a big List of Jericho that makes me want cake, for some reason.
- We start, the two men stalking each other as the crowd seems to chant for Y2J. Furious blows to start from each other, Kevin off the ropes and Jericho going for early Walls, but Kevin gets to the ropes. He rolls almost out, but Jericho catches him with a dropkick to take Kevin out of the ring.
- Jericho comes off the top rope onto Kevin, then bounces him off the steps, blows as he goes along the apron. Jericho off the top rope again, as the crowd roars ‘stupid idiot’. Jericho gets
- Kevin in the corner, but Kevin comes back with a huge kick.
- Stomps from Kevin, then punches as he straddles Chris, then he tells the audience this is his show. Cannonball from Kevin, Chris on the apron, and Kevin with a cannonball on the apron! Jericho’s back looks red and sore. Punches from Kevin on the outside, rolling Jericho back in, cover for one.
- Kicks from KO, as he asks where Jericho’s friends are, putting him into a side headlock as the wind seems to get up, ruffling their hair. Kevin lets go and comes back with a massive kick to the chest, running senton, and a pin for two.
- Big forearm from KO, continued blows as he taunts Jericho about not having any friends. Owens comes off the ropes into a dropkick from Chris. Kevin’s outside the ring, and he slides out, Kevin driving him onto the apron. He goes for the pop-up powerbomb, but Jericho counters with a back body drop.
- Shoulder tackles from Jericho, before he rolls Kevin back into the ring. Chris off the top rope with the elbow, pins Kevin for two. Jericho calls Kevin a ‘son of a bitch’, to the delight of the crowd, before chops from Jericho. Jericho tries for a Codebreaker, but Kevin resists, sit-out slam from KO to take Chris down, pin for two.
- Kevin’s bleeding above the eye, as he goes up, but Jericho shoves the ropes, and follows him up. Punches to Kevin’s head, then a frankensteiner from the top rope! Pin for two from Jericho.
- Blows from KO, running bulldog by Jericho, goes for the lionsault but lands on his feet with a miss. Kevin catches him with a blow, takes him down – two and a half!
- Kevin goes high, frogsplash, but Jericho gets the knees up. Jericho hits the lionsault, but KO gets his knees up! Kevin back up high, swanton bomb!! But Jericho blocks it again. Fuck, watching that from KO is INCREDIBLE. Jericho goes for the Walls, but Kevin rolls out, catches Jericho and gets him down into a pin for two.
- Kevin goes for the pop-up powerbomb, back elbow from Jericho, followed by a lionsault, but once more, it’s only a pin for two. The crowd chants for Y2J.
- Jericho gets Kevin to his feet, uppercut in the corner. Kevin catches Jericho in mid-air – and locks in Walls of Jericho! Jericho rolls out, monkey flip from KO, Jericho catching himself on the ropes, but a kick from Kevin.
- Cannonball from KO, but Jericho uses it to put him into the Walls, though Kevin resists for a while. He gets to the ropes to force the break. Kevin clings to the bottom rope desperately. Jericho runs in for a forearm, but Kevin catches him in the pop-up powerbomb for the pin – and it’s two again!
- Kevin pulls up the stunned Jericho, yelling that Jericho was never his best friend, then he goes for another pop-up powerbomb, but Jericho turns it into a Codebreaker! Kevin manages to get one finger on the rope to break it up!
- Kevin clings to the ropes again, rolling out of the ring. Chris goes to follow him, Kevin gets him tangled in the ropes, then lifts him into a powerbomb on the apron! Rolling into the cover – and that’s the win for Kevin!
Yes! I do love my Murderbear when he’s got a title to protect and kiss and love over. Some will say a heel is best when they strive for a title, but those like Miz and KO are best when they can brag about what they’re doing and what they have, I feel. Kevin kisses his title as he goes up the ramp.
MATCH: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Match
Bayley comes out with extra tube men and a weird poncho cape thing. Nia’s got a train that looks AMAZING and I’m super happy she’s in this match. Bayley looks a little nervous and shaken in the ring, like she might be a bit overwhelmed. Sasha has made the correct choice and gets chauffeured down the ramp rather than walking, and her gear is super sparkly and amazing. She also gets FIREWORKS. We see Jojo in the background, who also looks incredible. God, I love WWE’s women. And here she is, the Queen herself – Charlotte in a new green outfit and matching robe, all done peacock colours and style, which is gorgeous. Her hair is all teased out and fluffy, and she gets fireworks. Apparently the peacock is symbolic of the Flair family, but I think she’s just borrowed some gear off Dalton Castle.
- We start with Charlotte going straight for Nia, and Sasha and Bayley follow suit. Slam from Nia, then triple clothesline, taking down everyone else. She throws Sasha into Bayley, then slams into them, and throws Sasha like a rag doll. Nia comes off the top rope onto Bayley, but Charlotte attacks her.
- Nia turns into Flair chops, whipping Charlotte into the corner, where she comes over the rope rope and is thrown into Sasha and Bayley on the outside. Bayley is first to her feet and Sasha and Charlotte join her on the apron – three of our Four Horsewomen. They all lunge for Nia, but she easily fends them off for a moment, before Charlotte kicks Nia over, and Bayley and Sasha suplex her off the momentum. Pin on Nia for two.
- Sasha and Bayley swatted away, Nia shoves Charlotte into the corner, and she just drops like a ragdoll. But Nia isn’t done, goes for a vertical splash, but Bayley distracted her, and the three of them hit a triple powerbomb, a la Shield! Nia Jax is eliminated via all three women pinning her!
- In echoes of Seth Rollins going for a fistbump, Charlotte asked for a high five, but when she doesn’t get it, she rolls out of the ring and says Sasha and Bayley can go at it. But the queen can’t stay out for long, grabbing Bayley’s ankle, Sasha coming over the top rope and into Bayley.
- Charlotte to the top rope, gorgeous corkscrew moonsault into Sasha and Bayley, prompting a ‘holy shit’ chant. Charlotte back in, Natural Selection on Sasha, but Sasha turns it into the Banks Statement. Charlotte fights out, goes for Figure Eight, Sasha gets out, pin for two.
- Charlotte rips the cover off a turnbuckle, Bayley and Sasha pulling her away, Sasha rolling her up for two. Sasha flings Charlotte into the corner, running knees, Charlotte lifting Sasha onto the apron. Sasha goes high, double knees, and pins Charlotte for two.
- Banks Statement from Sasha on Charlotte, but she manages to stand, throwing Sasha over her shoulder. Sasha with a waistlock, rolling Charlotte up, but Charlotte kicks her away into the exposed turnbuckle, knocking Sasha down. Sasha Banks is eliminated.
- Bayley back into the ring, looking nervous. Charlotte uses the turnbuckle again, throwing Bayley into it knee-first to soften her for Figure Eight. Charlotte hits a moonsault, misses Bayley, landing flat, and Bayley hooks the leg, pinning her for two.
- Bayley up to the top rope, caught by Charlotte, slammed into the mat. Figure Four from Charlotte as she tries to drive it into Figure Eight. Bayley struggles to the ropes to force the break, Charlotte refusing to let go.
- More knee working from Charlotte, hanging Bayley up in the corner and going high, standing on Bayley’s knee where it sits on the ropes. Bayley rallies, but Charlotte’s hitting her hard. Bayley manages a back body drop from the top rope, but she’s still hung up on the rpes.
- Charlotte charges Bayley, Charlotte hitting the exposed turnbuckle as Bayley gets up to the top, and comes off with the Macho Man elbow – and that’s the win!
Bayley cuddles her title, kissing it, as the crowd of fans rejoices for a girl just like them, a fan, who made her dream come true. She stands on one wobbly knee and holds the title aloft. Bayley’s crying in the ring, and Charlotte’s on the outside, crouched and solemn. Her PPV streak is well and truly broken.
MATCH: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass – Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
Oh christ. Enzo and Cass are out first and I mute them, because I’m not listening to this bullshit, the ramp is too long. Also, the way the graphic moves on the ramp makes me want to be sick. Oh! It’s Cesaro and Sheamus! And my GOD Cesaro is in a kilt and I just want to live under it for the rest of my life. And Sheamus has one too! You can see the scar from Raw last week, and now we see their shiny shiny trunks. Aaand now it’s The Club and I don’t care anymore. Look, I’m sorry, Raw, but your tag teams are dull now The New Day aren’t part of it.
Aaaand just as we’re about to start, out come The New Day. They’re dancing on the ramp, and they’re in… sort of wrestling gear, I guess. AND IT’S THE FUCKING HARDY BOYS? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? Oh my GOD.
- Brawl, brawl, brawl. Jeff with a Poetry in Motion to Gallows AND to Anderson. Double team on Enzo, double suplex to Cass. Cesaro and Sheamus come in, Jeff off the top rope with Whisper in the Wind.
- Matt knocks everyone around with ladder as the crowd says ‘welcome back’. Jeff sets up the ladder, and nearly makes it up, Gallows knocking down the Hardys. Gallows and Anderson take down Jeff with a ladder again, setting one up to get to their titles.
- Cesaro and Sheamus us now, taking Anderson and Gallows off the ladder, Cesaro leaping off Gallows’ shoulders to double stomp Anderson. Cesaro touches the titles, and Cass kicks the ladder over, Cesaro’s leg getting caught.
- Cass and Enzo kick Jeff and Matt out of the ring, the crowd chanting for the Hardys. Matt and Jeff take the ladders out, bridging them, and Gallows and ANderson catch them between the ladders. Enzo thrown over the ladder, Cesaro taking him down on the other side. Gallows and Sheamus grapple on the apron.
- Cesaro wants to swing Anderson, and goes for it while Sheamus beats Gallows’ chest. That’s pretty neat, the pacing perfect. Anderson monkey flipped into Sheamus, and a Swiss-1-9 taking out Anderson.
- Cesaro with the ladder now, Big Cass slamming into him, and air Enzo takes out Matt and Cesaro. Jeff comes in, but a Brogue Kick takes him out and onto everyone else.
- Sheamus sets the ladder up, a short one, climbs up, is touching the titles, and Enzo kicks them off it. Sheamus comes off the ladder onto the ropes and back into the ladder. Enzo sets the ladder up, climbing it, and Big Cass puts Enzo on his shoulders – but Sheamus heard our prayer and takes out Big Cass with Gallows. They take each other over the ropes, and Anderson comes in to get rid of Enzo.
- Cesaro slides back in, taking out Enzo and pulling Anderson down the ladder, double crucifix, but Gallows comes in with the save. Magic Killer to Cesaro, Sheamus balanced on the ropes. Matt Hardy with a Twist of Fate, Anderson going high, Matt climbing the other side of the ladder.
- Twist of Fate from Matt off the top of the ladder! Jeff climbs a ladder, and hits a Swanton Bomb from the ladder onto Cesaro and SHeamus, as Matt climbs the ladder – and the Hardy Boyz get their SEVENTH tag team titles win!
The crowd goes absolutely wild for this win, and I’m massively marking out at home too! Holy SHIT that was good.
MATCH: John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
I want to care about this match but I’m mildly soured by a lot of the peripheral promos and whatnot, plus I’m not sure I can care about anyone not named Jeff or Matt right now. Suddenly I care even less because Lawler is here for some reason. Then again, Maryse appears and I suddenly remember why I want this match so bad. Maryse is back in ring! God, so many mixed feelings.
- Maryse and Nikki start in the ring together, but Maryse tags in Miz before Nikki can actually touch her, smirking at her smugly.
- Miz and Cena climb in the ring, and Miz climbs on the turnbuckle and gestures to the crowd. The crowd is going wild for him, and I gotta say, I love it. Before Cena can touch him, he rolls out of the ring for a quick smooch to his wife.
- Miz back in the ring, stomping Cena when he follows him in. Maryse lays a ringing slap on Cena, and Miz throws Cena into the corner.
- Strikes in the corner from Miz, then more working the crowd. Corner clothesline from Miz, then double axe handles from the top rope. Nikki is reaching for the tag and Miz taunts her.
- Miz has the smuggest, most punchable face in the world as the crowd chants “Miz is awesome”. Kicks to Cena, and Cena is backed into the corner; Cena out of the way and Miz hits the turnbuckle, but Maryse pulls Nikki off the apron before Cena can make the tag.
- Nearfall for Miz, and Nikki is back on the apron still reaching for the tag. Cena back on his feet with Miz in the fireman’s carry, but Miz slips out and hits a DDT for another two-count.
- Miz really slowly calls for a yes chant, and the crowd is so pumped. Yes kicks to Cena, then Miz goes to the corner to mock Nikki and gets slapped in the face.
- Cena crawls for the hot tag, and Nikki spears Maryse and starts striking. Miz drags Maryse out of the ring, cradling her to make sure she’s okay. Nikki flies out after them, and takes Miz down.
- Nikki throws Maryse back into the ring, and Maryse gets her footing on the ropes, and Nikki takes her out. Five knuckle shuffles in stereo from Nikki and Cena, followed by an AA and a Rack Attack 2.0. Cena and Nikki win!
Nikki and Cena pose on the ropes, then Cena picks up the mic. Are we doing it? Cena reminds Nikki about her neck surgery and all, then says that when she was being wheeled into surgery he asked her if she knew one day he was going to marry her and she said yes, and now he needs her to say yes one more time. Of course, she nods, and they smooch in the ring and he puts the ring on her finger. It’s huge and sparkly and they’re both crying as they embrace and kiss some more.
MATCH: Triple H vs. Seth Rollins – Unsanctioned Match
Triple H has a trike, and he’s led down to the ring with a fucking police escort, because….he’s in favour of the police? That’s an unpopular stance. Stephanie sneers at everyone from the back of the trike, and I’ve never wanted a woman to step on me so much in all my life. Seth is in gold and basically sets fire to everything. He looks like when Prometheus stole the secret of fire from the gods.
- Blows first, Seth getting Trips down against the ropes, beautiful dropkick from Seth. He kicks Trips into the ring post, and bounces him off the barricades. Trips comes back, catches Seth’s knee, and they go over the barricades and into the crowd.
- Seth flings Trips over the barricades in the other direction, cross-body off the barricades. Trips in the ring, Seth off the top rope, enzuigiri to get Trips’ hand off his knee. Suicide dive from Seth, Trips hitting the barricades, and then again as Stephanie yells for Hunter.
- Seth bounces Trips off the German announce table, and then starts to take it apart, bouncing him off that. Seth goes for the Pedigree on the table, but Trips makes it a DDT instead. Steph applauds her husband.
- Trips with a steel chair to the bad knee, and Seth rolls on the floor, Chair again to the bad knee, ruining Seth and leaving him howling on the floor. Triple H keeps going after the knee, finally rolling Seth into the ring, dropping on the bad knee with elbow after elbow.
- Trips with kicks to the knee, getting Seth’s knee wrapped around the ropes. Seth fights back with blows, getting Trips face first off the turnbuckle as Seth pants on the apron. Seth tries for a sunset flip, and the knee buckles. He lifts Trips up, and falls flat, the knee giving out as he just lies in the ring.
- Trips goes for the Pedigree, Seth fights out, kick to the middle, and goes for the turnbuckle powerbomb. Steph directs the ref to check on her husband, not on Seth. Seth’s trying to rally himself, and he manages to throw Trips out of the ring and onto the floor on the outside.
- Seth goes to the top rope, slow and steady, holding his knee. He comes off with a cross-body, landing hard, but returns to smashing Trips into the ring posts. Seth digs under the ring for chairs, the weapon that destroyed the Shield at Triple H’s request. Then he finds a table. Alright, that’s less symbolic.
- Frogsplash from Rollins, pin for two and a half, Steph on the outside, stalking the ring. Seth winces at the landing on his knee. He grabs a chair, Triple H pleading, but he kicks Seth in the bad knee, hits a brainbuster and a cover for two.
- Triple H sets up the chair around Seth’s knee, then leaps on it, smashing Seth’s bad knee, and then a second time. He goes to the top rope, with the chair wrapped around Seth’s leg, but he gets up and throws it into Triple H’s face.
- Seth follows Trips up to the top rope, a massive superplex, rolls through and hits a falcon’s arrow, and pins Trips – for two!
- Back up to the top rope, Steph jostles Seth, making his bad knee hit the rope as he falls. Trips locks in a submission, Seth screaming with pain as the knee is bent backwards. He tries to fight out of it, blows getting stronger, and he gets out, with a headlock – it’s a bit difficult because Trips is frankly MASSIVE. He kicks at Seth’s bad knee to make him let go.
- Triple H continues with the chair, submission outside the ring, but Seth gets a chair, throws it at Trips, and digs under the ring, slapping away the sledgehammer. He hefts it, and Seth crawls into the ring, trying to survive, trying to get away from Trips with the sledgehammer.
- Blows to Trips, who has to drop the sledgehammer, as they trade punches. Knee from Triple H, two kicks from Seth, and a clothesline from Triple H takes both men down.
- Triple H comes in with the sledgehammer, and Seth manages to hit an enzuigiri, beautifully, and he shuffles away. The sledgehammer is in the ring with him, and this is where the king is slain. Seth stumbles back, and Steph grabs the sledgehammer. Pedigree from Triple H – out at two and a half!
- Trips dragging Seth to the top rope, going for a Pedigree up there, Seth hits a back drop instead Seth goes higher – phoenix splash! He lands squarely on Triple H, and hits a pin – but for two!
- Seth drags Trips back up, trying for the Pedigree again, kicks to the midsection, and tries for one of his own. Trips flips Seth, he lands on his feet, hurting his knee. Seth manages to flip FULLY, and out of the Pedigree.
- Trips lunges for Seth, who dodges, so he’s inches from Steph. As he pauses, he turns around into a kick, which sends him into Stephanie, who goes through the table as she lands! Triple H turns – into a Pedigree! Seth holds the pin – one, two, THREE!
Seth slowly and painfully gets to his feet, and holds his hands up. He’s done it. He’s here. He clearly says thank you, and there’s a little reality there, how happy and grateful he is to be there, when he missed last year. It’s clearly an emotional moment for him. Stephanie lies still amid the wreckage of the table, with medical staff checking her.
MATCH: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship Match
In a match of spooky cult leader vs. grave-defiling arsonist, I’m not sure who is supposed to be the face or the heel. Then again, the arena is full of approximately 70,000 fireflies so that tells us something. Randy’s entrance features a giant snake that is kind of glitchy so the effect isn’t quite what I guess they expected. Then again, that’s how I generally feel about Randy Orton.
- Randy right on the offensive with a takedown to Bray, then a powerslam. Randy goes for an early RKO, but Bray blocks and slides out of the ring.
- Both men fighting on the outside, then Randy throws Bray back into the ring. Shoulder block from Bray knocks Randy off his feet, then hangs backwards from the rope as a graphic of wriggling worms appears to light up the mat. Randy rolls out of the ring, and Bray kneels down in front of him.
- Bray sets up for Sister Abigail, but Randy blocks. Another shoulder block from Bray sends Randy down.
- Randy tossed through the ropes and lands on the apron, then Bray drags him to his feet and bounces him off the apron. Both men back in the ring.
- Splash in the corner from Bray, then hanging back on the ropes again, yelling at Randy to get up as dirty worms appear. This time Randy tries to crawl away, and Bray stomps his leg.
- Randy back to his feet and goes for the RKO, but Bray hits an uranagi and a senton for a two-count.
- Bray pushes Randy around with his foot, then drags him upright and back into Sister Abigail position. Randy reverses into a rollup, but Bray kicks out and knocks him down with a clothesline.
- Randy rolls out of the ring and collapses against the barricade, but knocks Bray down with a dropkick when Bray jumps off the apron.
- Randy drags Bray to his feet, but Bray backs him into the apron, then into the barricade. Randy rolled back into the ring, then rolls back out the other side. Randy ducks a clothesline, then hits an RKO on the floor outside the ring.
- Randy rolls Bray back into the ring at the count of six, but Bray kicks out at two. Randy misses with a punt kick, but blocks Sister Abigail and hits a draping DDT.
- Pounding the mat and signalling for another RKO, but Bray is up with Sister Abigail for a two-count.
- Bray up in the crabwalk, and cockroaches appear on the mat. Randy with another RKO as Bray tries to pull him to his feet, and gets a 3-count. Randy Orton is our new WWE Champion.
To say that I’m disappointed by that ending is kind of an understatement. I don’t care about Randy Orton. I don’t want him to be champion. I like Bray, not grave-defiling arsonists. We all know where my loyalties lie.
MATCH: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – Universal Championship Match
I don’t care. Old man against steroid gorilla face. I don’t care. None of us really care. I hate that Goldberg has the title. Even Paul Heyman has stopped being able to sell Brock Lesnar to me.
- Lesnar with three suplexes, a spear from Goldberg. Another spear from Goldberg. Lesnar rolls out of the ring. Spear into the barricades from Goldberg, which collapses the barricades. Brock is bleeding from his elbow.
- Goldberg goes for a jackhammer, Lesnar goes for an F5, but Goldberg manages another spear. Goldberg with a jackhammer, pin for two.
- Goldberg goes for a spear. Lesnar leapfrogs, Goldberg hits the turnbuckle. Suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar, suplex from Lesnar. That makes ten. Yawn.
- F5 from Lesnar, and the pin for three.
Great, Lesnar with a fucking title. Just what we fucking want. Still, I guess if Finn can come back and beat the shit out of him, that’d be nice.
MATCH: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth) vs. Natalya vs. Naomi – SmackDown Women’s Championship
I had just started to question Becky’s dreadlocks…. But hey, Naomi is here and she’s rad! I’ve missed you, Naomi.
- Brawl amongst the six woman, and Becky hits a Bex-ploder. Jumping side kick sends Mickie to the ground, and a hurricanrana from Carmella sends Becky flying into the middle of the ring. Carmella goes for a cover, but Alexa breaks it up.
- Alexa and Carmella face off, and Alexa throws her down, turning around into Natalya. Natalya thrown off into a lariat from Becky, then Alexa takes another lariat. Forearm in the corner from Becky, then a pair of Bex-ploders on Natalya and Carmella.
- Ellsworth in the ring with an attempted No Chin Music on Becky, then a Bex-ploder to him as well. Mickie comes flying in to take out Becky, then Natalya grabs Becky in a waistlock and Naomi with a strike on Becky.
- Natalya trying to lock in the sharpshooter on Naomi, then Carmella tries to interfere; Natalya piles the women up and locks in the sharpshooter on both. Mickie interrupts with the Mick Kick and Becky comes in with a leg drop.
- DDT from Mickie James on Becky, then Carmella comes in with a kick, and Alexa with double knees on Carmella.
- Naomi in afterwards, throwing everyone outside the ring then diving over the top rope and landing on all the other women. Naomi throws Alexa back in and springboards off the ropes after her, but takes a strike that knocks her down.
- Alexa taps to Slay-o-mission, and Naomi is our new champion! That was… quick.
I can’t be upset when Naomi is dancing and hoisting her championship for her hometown crowd, though.
MATCH: The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns – No Holds Barred Match
We’ve got Jim Ross on commentary for this match, so that’s a start. I either forgot or didn’t know that it was a No Holds Barred match, so suddenly I’m much less sure of how this match is going to go. The Undertaker’s entrance is menacing and beautiful and my heart is warring with my head.
- Right hands from the Undertaker send Roman back into the corner, then Roman thrown over the top rope to the outside and they have a long distance staredown.
- Roman back in the ring and fists fly, then Undertaker throws him to the outside again. Undertaker reminds him that it’s his yard, and for a moment Roman looks distressed like he’s afraid it’s true.
- Roman bouncing Undertaker off the ropes, then back in the ring, clotheslining him to the outside. Undertaker drags him back out by the foot for a headbutt, then throws him into the steel steps.
- Both men back in the ring, and another right hand from Undertaker, then Roman reverses a whip and hits Undertaker with a Samoan Drop.
- Headbutt from Roman keeps Undertaker down, and Undertaker rolls out of the ring. Right hand from Undertaker straight in Roman’s mouth, then another headbutt.
- Undertaker thrown into the ringpost by Reigns, then a Drive By from Reigns bounces Undertaker’s head off the post again.
- Both men back in the ring again, and Roman with the upper hand with strikes and kicks in the corner.
- Strikes back and forth now in the middle of the ring, then a kick to Undertaker’s jaw. Undertaker throws him headfirst into the turnbuckle in retaliation.
- Roman thrown into the opposite turnbuckle, then a big boot from Undertaker floors him gets a two-count for Undertaker.
- Roman out of the ring, goes for another Drive By, but Undertaker just slaps him out of the air. Undertaker begins to clear the announce table.
- Dropkick from Reigns knocks Undertaker down, but a second attempts gets a chokeslam, and Reigns goes spine first into the announce table. Undertaker starts to clear a second announce table.
- Undertaker stands on the table and motions to Roman, but Roman catches him with a spear that sends them both through the Spanish announce table.
- Undertaker is still laying flat as Roman manages to get to his feet, and Roman rolls back into the ring. He stands tall as the crowd erupts in what I believe we call a ‘mixed reaction’, when the Undertaker sits up and stares him down.
- Stomps from Reigns as Undertaker gets back into the ring, then a series of corner clotheslines. Roman up on the second rope raining down strikes on Undertaker, but he’s picked up and powerbombed for a two-count.
- Undertaker picks up a steel chair with a faint hint of disappointment in the air. Roman makes a grab for it, but Undertaker keeps him down with a boot.
- Chairshot to the spine, then another, and another. Roman is struggling on the mat, as Undertaker drops the chair and prepares for a chokeslam, but Roman rolls out of the ring instead.
- Superman punch to Undertaker next to the ropes, then another. The third meets a choke, and Roman is slammed onto the chair for a two-count.
- Tombstone from Undertaker gets a two-count. Undertaker’s pants are all wet from Roman’s hair. Undertaker sets up for another Tombstone, but Roman able to counter and hit a Superman punch.
- Roman signals for the spear, flooring the Undertaker, but Undertaker able to lock in Hell’s Gate when Roman goes for the cover. Roman claws at Undertaker’s face but is unsuccessful, eventually making a rope break in this no DQ match. That makes sense.
- Undertaker reaches for the chair, but Roman steps on it, then picks it up and strikes Undertaker with it repeatedly in the stomach and back.
- Roman retreats to the corner as Undertaker struggles to his feet near the ropes. Roman with a second spear, but Undertaker kicks out. Roman is mouthing something, but I’m not sure what.
- Roman signals for the spear again, as Undertaker gets to his feet again – Undertaker kicks out of the spear in the nick of time. Huge “yes!” chant breaks out.
- Roman cocks his fist for the Superman punch, knocking Undertaker back onto his back. Roman slowly shakes his head, looking down at him, but when Undertaker sits up, he sort of topples over rather than sitting upright. Roman adjusts his vest and looks out into the crowd, then back down at the Undertaker. So many emotions here. It’s possible that there’s someone in the room with me who is crying.
- Undertaker on his hands and knees, tells Roman he hasn’t got the balls to do it. Roman smacks him in the face, then another Spear. Roman gets the three count. Roman wins.
Roman collapses onto his back, as the camera zooms in on Undertaker swallowing slowly. Roman looks as distressed by what he just did as I felt watching it. Roman walks up the ramp slowly, as Undertaker still lies still, just where Roman left him. Roman raises his hands in celebration on the ramp, but slowly, like he kind of doesn’t want to, as fireworks fire off around the stadium.
“Thank you Taker!” chants as the camera goes back to where Undertaker is still laying in the ring. Slowly, he sits up. He looks broken. After the match replay, Undertaker is back on his feet, with his hat and coat. Undertaker moves as though he is going to get out of the ring, then stops, stands in the middle of the ring and slowly removes his gloves, his coat, and his hat placing them carefully in the centre of the ring, before slowly and stiffly walking up the ramp. He stops and looks back, before bowing his head and raising one hand, before descending back through the floor. The arena goes dark, the gong sounds – and a legend is finished.