Tonight was Wrestlemania 31. The showpiece event of WWE and the wrestling industry.
And for once, WWE hasn’t messed up the promotion.
For the first time in a long time, the fans – at least this fan – were actually eager to watch the damn thing. The bookings have been near perfect, the storylines all fleshed out. There was something for everybody…..and for once the focus was not on John Cena.
Instead the focus was on multiple characters and rivalries – something which was missing from the last few Wrestlemanias.
Don’t believe me?
Well look at the last few Wrestlemanias.
Wrestlemania 30 or Yestlemania as is it is popularly know is famous for just 2 things – The Rise of the Beard and the one in 21 and one.
For almost 6 months preceding the event the central storyline was basically a man’s love for his beard. It strode the whole event and the time leading to the event like a colossus. The only other thing you remember – Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker’s streak.
Do you remember anything else that happened?
Look at Wrestlemania 29. Remember anything at all? Or 28?
Its because WWE focused on John Cena for these shows…….and frankly people are sick and tired of John Cena.
This year was different.
It started with a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. Daniel Bryan won but the Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose stole the show by going through a goddamn ladder and breaking it into two.
That’s his immortal spot taken care of.
Next up it was Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton. I have never seen either man ever deliver a bad match and tonight was no different. The ending was spectacular – one of the best, if not the greatest, RKOs of all time.
And then it was one of the biggest matches of all time.
HHH vs Sting.
Think of that for a moment people
HHH vs Sting
For those of us who lived through the Monday Night Wars, this was a once in a lifetime thing, something we never thought we would see.
Sting was the icon of WCW while HHH is WWE.
Sting went down with the WCW, he never left the sinking ship.
HHH and DX was one of the principal reasons why WWE won the Monday Night Wars (along with the Undertaker, Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin). But they all went away – HHH stayed.
They both got special entrances – HHH’s being a terminator Judgment Day themed one, with an appearance by the Governator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And considering the fact that it was a match between a man in his 40s and a man in his 50s, it was marvelous. The 70 thousand crows kept on chanting “this is awesome” and “you still got it”
But the goosebump moment was yet to come.
It came soon, it became D-X vs NWO.
HHH, X Pac, The New Age Outlaws Billy Gunn and Road Dogg and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels on one side with Scott Razor Ramon Hall, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Diesel Nash and Sting on the other side.
For wrestling fans, this is it – The ultimate matchup!
This is the pinnacle, the dream. You can’t beat this.
The result wasn’t important here. It was all about the symbolism, the myth, the legend.
Then came the time for the ladies’ match. Vince McMahon took my advice and actually gave the ladies a chance.
And they delivered. It was a very good technical wrestling match, proving once again that given a chance and a decent story, the women can perform as well as men.
We had the obligatory Cena match and win; but Rusev impressed the crap out of everybody with his moves and agility, definitely a superstar of the future
Then the Deadman returned (the Bray Wyatt intro was awesome); possibly for the last time…but he walks off on his own feet like a winner. Nuff said
The final match pitted Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. 70000 people booing poor Reigns was a testament to how much people hate the concept of a John Cena version 2. It was a fun hard hitting match and at the end Seth Rollins cashed in his MITB and won the championship.
WWE focused on the World title match, the return of the Undertaker, HHH Sting, Cena Rusev (with added jingoism in the mix), the women’s match as well as the revenge of Orton.
And as a result, we had a spectacular show.
All it needed was a bit more Mizdow and an appearance from Mick Foley and it would have been the best Wrestlemania of them all.
Hell they even managed to get an awesome theme.