WrestleMania 33: Reactions and Takeaways
After losing just his second career match to Roman Reigns in 27 appearances at WrestleMania, the Deadman had his final moment in front of a record crowd of 75,245 praising WWE fans.
He removed his gloves, looking down at his ravaged, 52-year-old hands that helped him put to waste hundreds of superstars, then slowly removing his jacket, shielding all of the battle scars he had suffered over the years, but lastly, his hat, that hid the face of the man that was going to wreak havoc in the ring—now over as he exited the ring and raised his right arm up in the air one last time.
Thank you . WWE Universe for the love & respect, you have given me . With you my legacy lives on , never forget what I have done.
— The Undertaker (@WWEMarkWCalaway) April 3, 2017
A prolific career concludes for a man who will undoubtedly be inducted into the WWE Hall-of-Fame sooner rather than later. He will always be known as the man who owned WrestleMania, but what does it mean for Roman Reigns, the man who believes the ring is now “his yard?”
Well, get ready WWE Universe. We’re about to see a full heel move on Reigns, as his character can finally fully develop into one after months of it going back and forth with his feuds with Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman.
The Reigns-Taker match wasn’t the only match with major implications, so here’s my breakdown of each match from WrestleMania 33:
Neville defeats Austin Aries to retain Cruiserweight Championship:
The King of the Cruiserweights continued to showcase why he’s the atop the division.
After Austin Aries played mind games with Neville for the past couple of weeks, you thought that Aries would have the upper hand, but that was not the case.
Aries and Neville went at it, back and forth with their unique offensive tactics, but it was Neville who landed the Red Arrow to secure the pin and remain champion.
It will be interesting to see who will challenge Neville next to try and pry away the Cruiserweight championship from him.
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale:
The second annual battle royale was not that thrilling until an NFL tight end crashed Orlando and made a splash in the ring. Guess who?
GRONK! Rob Gronkowski did more than his usual “Gronk-spike.” He invaded the ring after Jinder Mahal had thrown his drink in his face, making things personal at ringside.
Gronk didn’t take that too kindly as he stepped into the ring, delivering a vicious shoulder blow to Mahal, helping out former NFL player and friend Mojo Rawley, who was the last man standing in the ring to claim the victory.
Look for Rawley’s character to make a push with Ryder still sidelined.
Dean Ambrose defeats Baron Corbin to retain Intercontinental Championship:
This feud fell completely flat on its face.
This rivalry had the chance to be really special, but Smackdown Live didn’t push it on-air enough for it to have the intensity it needed, resulting in it being on the kick-off show.
The match basically represented how it was built up: Average.
Corbin used his length to minimize Ambrose’s ability to get anything going and it looked as if there was going to be a new Intercontinental Champion.
Ambrose had other thoughts as he capitalized on the mistake of Corbin when he went for End of Day’s and countered with Dirty Deeds, allowing Ambrose to retain as champion.
I believe that this won’t be the last time we see this two wrestle and I fully expect them to develop this rivalry.
A.J. Styles defeats Shane McMahon:
The Phenomenal One proved to his commissioner Shane McMahon why he should’ve been in the main event of WrestleMania.
McMahon to his credit, made Styles pull out all the stops in this one to pick up the victory.
This matched took an intriguing turn when Styles accidently hit the official in the head and knocked him out, allowing banned objects to come into play.
McMahon was the one who was able to capitalize on that, pushing Styles to his limits.
Styles would respond with setting McMahon up by allowing him to jump into the announcer’s table, but when the time was right, he slithered out of the way, allowing McMahon to come crashing down on the table.
From there, it was all Styles as he landed the Phenomenal Forearm on McMahon, giving Styles his first career WrestleMania victory.
Look for Styles to get back into the WWE Championship hunt with a potential feud with Randy Orton coming.
Kevin Owens defeats Chris Jericho for the United States Championship:
The two former best friends finally went at it, and while it took time to develop, it was quite an entertaining finish.
For a moment, it looked like my pick to win it, Chris Jericho, was going to rally and win the match after kicking out of the Pop-Up Power Bomb, but Kevin Owens wouldn’t have any of that.
Owens was able to get a finger on the ropes after Jericho had delivered a Cone Breaker, allowing the match to continue on and Owens finished Jericho off for his first career United States Championship.
Owens does have his Universal Championship rematch, so a potential Owens-Lesnar-Goldberg match could happen.
I expect Jericho to get his rematch ASAP with Owens, which we could see on RAW.
RAW Women’s Fatal 4-Way: Bailey retains
Bailey wiped away any of the doubters in this one, pinning Charlotte Flair in the middle of the ring to retain the RAW Women’s Championship.
This match was very predictable early on as Nia Jax dominated throughout, destroying all three superstars.
However, the numbers game would take over as the combination of Bailey, Charlotte and Sasha Banks would be too much, as they all piled on her for a three-woman pin.
Banks’ run in the match would be cut short as well when Charlotte took advantage of the exposed turnbuckle, knocking her out and pinning her.
I think the RAW Women’s Division is about to take a major turn. Watch for Sasha Banks to turn on her best friend Bailey as she goes after the title.
Raw Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way Ladder Match: The Hardy Boys Return
As the three tag teams were all in the ring, the hosts of WrestleMania, The New Day, walked out with breaking news: A fourth team had been added to the match.
Many of the WWE fans thought it would be The New Day, but you could delete that because…
It was the return of The Hardy Boys.
Only fitting that their return would be in a tables match and boy, did they ever make a big splash in this one.
They used the ladders to their full advantage as Jeff Hardy came crashing down with his signature Swanton Bomb, allowing his brother Matt to climb up the ladder and retrieve the titles.
What a twist this is the RAW Tag Team Division and I expect an immediate feud with the Hardy Boys and Gallows and Anderson.
John Cena and Nikki Bella v. Miz and Maryse: A Proposal?
The aftermath of this match was far more awesome than the match itself and you want to know why?
John Cena proposed to Nikki Bella on the biggest stage of them all in front of thousands of screaming WWE fans.
How can you not love that?
Cena and Bella did first though take care of business and defeated the supposed “It” couple in WWE.
What’s next for these superstars beats me. I’m sure Cena will be in-and-out and Miz will ramble on about how he’s the greatest WWE Superstar to ever live.
Rollins slays the King:
Seth Rollins beat the odds and defeated the man who has caused him so much pain over the past couple of months, taking down his former mentor Triple H in what was a fantastic match.
But before I go any further, I applaud how great Triple H’s entrance was and was only fitting for a King.
This match took dips and turns, with Stephanie McMahon keeping her husband in this match by distracting Rollins outside the ring.
Stephanie’s involvement in this match would be the ultimate downfall in this match. Rollins knocked Triple H into Stephanie, causing her to come crashing through a table.
Rollins would then hit The Pedigree, the move Triple H taught him to gain the pinfall.
It will be fun to see what RAW does with Rollins and I fully expect him to go back at Samoa Joe, the man who initially injured him.
Orton defeats Wyatt for WWE Championship:
The climax of this match had finally reached its peak, but when the match came, it completely fell flat on its face.
This match had the chance to be great and I think with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt both having methodical wrestling styles, this match was never going to live up to the hype.
Wyatt tried playing his classic mind games by putting nasty images on the ring, a unique twist in the match.
Orton being the Viper, never allowed Wyatt’s tricks to get the best of him, hitting an RKO out of nowhere to become the new WWE Champion.
This feud is not even close to being over and I expect Wyatt to come back hungry to regain his title.
Lesnar defeats Goldberg to claim Universal Championship:
Spear. Jackhammer. One-Two-Shock.
Brock Lesnar kicked out of Goldberg’s finisher that haunted Lesnar ever since Survivor Series.
Even Paul Heyman himself couldn’t believe that his client kicked out. But he did.
After that, it was all Lesnar.
He delivered German Suplex after German Suplex, wearing down Goldberg before finally landing an F5 that sealed his fate, with Lesnar standing tall as the new Universal Champion.
The big question after this match will be if Goldberg decides to use his rematch clause on Lesnar. I have no idea if this title run will be it for Goldberg, but it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.
Naomi has her WrestleMania moment:
A feel good story for the Orlando native Naomi, who was forced to vacate the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship after suffering an injury about a month ago.
It’s interesting to note that they decided to have this match so late in the night, with many people wondering if they match had been removed from the card.
For the match itself, it was pretty predictable, with Naomi submitting Alexa Bliss to reclaim her title.
Expect a Naomi-Bliss feud in the Smackdown Women’s division.