WrestleMania Weekend 2015 – Day 4: WrestleMania 31 (Exclusive Photos)

It’s still not real to me, this whole thing. It’s weird to think that I actually went to Axxess, attended the Hall of Fame ceremony, went to WrestleMania and got to see a RAW show live the next day.

This experience has left us exhausted but incredibly happy. I never thought I’d ever get to see a wrestling show, let alone WrestleMania.

In any case, I’m late with the show recap, so this will be a report/recap with photos.

Waking up WrestleMania Sunday doesn’t carry the same post-Saturday feeling one would usually have. As all wrestling fans know, WWE pay-per-views always fall on a Sunday, which sucks because you know that, tomorrow, you have to go back to your 9 to 5, so that’s always in the back of your mind, no matter what you do. For WrestleMania, it’s a bit different. It’s like a holiday. It’s like the Super Bowl. It’s like Opening Day for baseball. It’s you, sitting with your favorite food and drink and watching something you really like so that you have a bit of a nice feeling going into Monday.

That’s about the best way I can describe it.

We had done Axxess and The Hall of Fame, two things that I looked forward to and enjoyed. You’d think that I couldn’t be more excited for an event…but when I woke up the morning of WrestleMania, my brain was practically already getting our stadium bags ready before my body was doing it.

The first thing we did was park. Since I’m an employee of a certain networking company near Levi’s, we were able to park in the lot where I work each day…so, that was nice. The main issue is that it was about 85 degrees outside (the initial weather reports said it would be cool and cloudy) and even the closest work lot is about a mile from Levi’s, so we had a hike ahead of us.

When we got there, it was an absolute party. People outside, listening to music, eating food, buying merch, discussing the matches…really great.

At this point, we were about 2 hours from the pre-show and about 4 hours from the actual show. Our ticket package included a nice pre-game tailgate, so we had to go there first for some food…the problem was that we both mis-read the ticket and thought the party was in a lot next to the stadium.

As it turns out, our party was in “Green Lot 4”, which is located across the street and about another mile north of the stadium. It took talking with six different Levi’s Stadium attendants to find this out. You’d think these guys would know their own stadium. Ugh…so we walked with bags in our hands and found our way to Green Lot, which is located at Mission College near the Mercado entertainment plaza.

It was worth it.

Our party was hosted by former WWE wrestler, Matt Striker and catered by The Bad Boyz of BBQ.

They also had a DJ pumping music while we ate and drank, which was a plus. The whole affair was laid back. Striker was incredibly nice, made the rounds to make sure we were okay, and we had some laughs. I nearly won a signed photo of Hulk Hogan but lost on a technicality because I didn’t say “Pontiac” before “Silverdome” when I answered a WrestleMania III venue question. I was kinda bummed about that.

When I went back to our table to eat, Striker came over and laughed and shook my hand and said, “Man, you almost had it.” Prior to that, I couldn’t name all 9 inductees at the WWE Hall of Fame this year. I got 7 of them but forgot Alundra Blayze and Connor Michalek. I told Striker that I thought I had it twice and that it was like “wrestling the Undertaker because he just keeps kicking out.” Striker laughed and said, “Yes, wrestling The Undertaker might actually be easier.”

In any case, we had a lot of fun.

It was about 3 PM by the time we left. As we were trying to get to the stadium on-time, we elected to take a nearby “Pedi-Cab” which got us there in about a fraction of the time it would normally take by foot and that was a good thing because we heard Cesaro’s music booming from inside the stadium. We hurried to the front gates.

Let me tell you something: that new “NFL Clear Bag Rule” is an absolute joke. The whole point of this new rule was to make lines more efficient because gate attendants can see right through them and determine if a bag check is necessary.

It only makes the entire process slower. I’m not kidding. When Danielle got there before me, they looked at the bag, told her to remove her little WrestleMania rally towel, her water bottle, her sunscreen, her jacket, her camera, her batteries and nearly everything else. It took them 2 minutes to get through her, then another 2 because she kept setting off the metal detector despite the fact that she had no metal on her.

The same thing happened to me.

Oh, then our tickets wouldn’t scan. The Levi’s attendant looked at us like we were up to no good and handed us off to their manager. The manager said, “Usually, counterfeit tickets are the main issue and give us these kind of scanner errors…” We were horrified and couldn’t tell if the attendant said we were faking the tickets or if somebody else did. In any case, it so happened that the Levi’s scanners were the issue. They hadn’t been coded to accept “certain tickets”, as it was later explained to us.

Because of the bag check thing and the ticket issue, we missed both of the pre-show matches and got into the stadium as Aloe Blacc sang America, the Beautiful.

I might add that Levi’s comped us new seats…right next to the entrance ramp and only a few rows from the ring!

Oh…I forgot the recap portion…let’s get going on that!

Aloe Blacc sang a nice rendition of “America, the Beautiful”, followed by fireworks.

We get a WrestleMania lead-in, narrated by LL Cool J which, for a change, isn’t awful or pretentious and talks about how we all watch WrestleMania together since we’re all connected via the Internet.

We are LIVE(!!!) from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California for WrestleMania 31!!!

JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry “The King” Lawler are your hosts…

(By the way…here were our seats…Danielle and I are circled and dotted:

We are off and running as ladders surround the ring…

MATCH #1: Daniel Bryan (challenger) vs. Bad News Barrett (champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Stardust (challenger) vs. Luke Harper (challenger) vs. R-Truth (challenger) vs. Dean Ambrose (challenger) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Cole states that Truth has a “fear of heights”, alienating any fans Truth may have had left. Immediate brawling to begin and Harper and Bryan end up outside. Ambrose hits the Flying Psycho on Harper. Ziggler gets tossed out as well. Barrett, too. Truth flies at everyone outside. Stardust hits the Falling Star. Ziggler tries to dive at Harper, in ring, but Harper tosses him at everyone. Harper dives at everyone as well. Ambrose escapes the pile of bodies, climbs a ladder outside and dives at everyone, too. So, now that’s done, Truth is the only one free and in the ring. He sets up a ladder and climbs. Bryan gets in with Barrett and clocks him with a ladder. Then he tosses a ladder at him in the corner and adds Stardust to that pile. He dropkicks the hell out of everything he piled up. Harper gets in, nails Bryan, then sets up a ladder. Bryan pulls him down and hits YES Kicks. He climbs but Ziggler pulls him off.

Ziggler and Ambrose fight over the climb. Barrett interferes but he gets dumped. Truth and Stardust enter and Stardust knocks everyone off the ladder. The fans chant for “Cody” and this pisses Star off. He goes under the mat and pulls out his own ladder which is all friggin’ bedazzled. Barrett stops him and clocks him with a piece of broken ladder or something. Ambrose attacks Barrett and gets back in the ring. Ziggler and Harper stop him and Harper uses a ladder to beat up Ziggler. He sets a ladder up on the turnbuckle. Ambrose comes into the ring only to get tossed into it. Harper puts the ladder around his own neck and uses it to nail every single guy that comes into the ring. Truth finally stops him and hits his Truth finisher.

Barrett comes into the ring and attacks him. Star enters as well and sets up a ladder, climbing it. Barrett climbs the ladder and suplexes him from the top of the ladder. Ziggler and Bryan enter the ring and climb. They fight at the top. In comes Ambrose. He fights with both Bryan and Ziggler. Ziggler kicks him off and Ambrose does an incredibly lame “rebound” spot where he ends up pushing them off the ladder when the ropes kick him back. He climbs the ladder but Harper grabs him and POWERBOMBS HIM INTO A LADDER OUTSIDE THE ROPES…holy shit. Ziggler puts a Sleeper on Harper — but Harper climbs the ladder with Ziggler on him. Harper drops down and Ziggler is thrown off. Ziggler climbs but Barrett nails Ziggler with a Bullhammer. Stardust comes in and gets the same. Truth climbs the ladder but Barrett hits the Bullhammer as well. He climbs the ladder and gets to the belt — but here comes Bryan, climbing like a squirrel on speed and stops Barrett, knocking him off. Bryan nears the belt but Ziggler pulls him off. Barrett pushes the ladder away — but Bryan hits a Flying Knee out of nowhere. He sets up the ladder and climbs! Ziggler gets in and he climbs! The two trade shots back and forth on top of the ladder! They resort to headbutts and trade those over and over. Finally, Bryan knocks Ziggler off the ladder and pulls the belt off to win it!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Daniel Bryan at 13:49
RATING: ***. Not a bad start. COULD have been a bit longer with more danger spots, but what the hell, I’ll take it.

Post-match, Bryan celebrates.


The stadium popped BIG-TIME for Bryan here. Both before and after the match. Ziggler and Ambrose got similar pops. Great stuff.

We get an ad for TAPOUT gear, starring WWE superstars.

MATCH #2: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. Randy Orton
There’s some quick initial running back and forth and Orton dropkicks the hell out of Rollins, who leaves the ring. Orton chases him back in and Rollins kicks and stomps at him. Orton comes back by tossing Rollins to the mat and chopping at him in the corner. He punches at Rollins’ head but Rollins counters with a Buckle Bomb. Orton counters that by running out of the corner and hitting a clothesline. He goes for an RKO but J&J involve themselves. Orton knocks them down, then walks outside and hits the Elevated DDT on both guys. Rollins flies at Orton from inside the ring, knocking him into the announce table. He pushes Orton back in and gets a two count. Rollins hits a quick suplex and gets two, then puts on a headlock. Orton escapes, but gets put in a corner. Rollins hits a running forearm, then tries again but Orton tosses him over the top rope. Rollins lands on his feet, then tries to Springboard at Orton. He misses. Orton hits clotheslines and tries a powerslam, hitting it on the second try. He tries the Elevated DDT, but Rollins counters and hits and Enzuguri. Orton falls out of the ring. Rollins hits a Springboard Moonsault on Orton, then tosses him back into the ring. Rollins goes top rope but Orton knocks him off and goes for a Superplex. Rollins blocks it, so Orton hits a big backdrop. Orton hits a Flying Crossbody but Rollins reverses the pinfall, getting two. Rollins runs at Orton but Orton grabs him and hits the Elevated DDT. He goes for an RKO but Rollins counters. A series of counters later and Orton hits an RKOOUTOFNOWHERE, but only gets two. Orton sets up for The Punt but Noble runs in to save Rollins — then eats an RKO. Mercury gets one, too, after he leaps off the ropes. Rollins kicks Orton and hits a Curb Stomp and NEARLY gets a fall. Rollins goes to rope and tries a Flipping Splash. Orton moves. Rollins lands on his feet, then kicks Orton in the stomach to set up for another Curb Stomp. He does it, but Orton’s head won’t hit the pavement…instead, Rollins flies high into the air AND ORTON CATCHES HIM WITH AN RKO ON THE WAY DOWN! Orton wins!
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO at 13:15
RATING: ****. Fantastic match between two of WWE’s most reliable performers and a great ending. This match had Levi’s on the edge of their seats. It was, at this point, where Danielle said to me, “See? Now he’s gonna cash in later. They had him lose here so he’ll win during the main event.”


UFC’s Ronda Rousey is at ringside tonight. She was diagonally to our right.

We get the build-up for Sting and Triple H.

Sting gets a weird Japanese Kabuki Samurai drum entrance whereas Triple H gets Arnold Schwarzenegger narrating his entrance and, oh look: Triple H is a Terminator who kills other Terminators. And the crowd pops for Triple H. Oh boy. (At this point, I didn’t have a good feeling about this. Especially since Bryan and Orton had already won their matches…)

MATCH #3: Sting vs. Triple H
Cole: “And WrestleMania is brought to you by Terminator: Genesys!” NO SHIT, COLE. Oh, and the match is “No-DQ” all of the sudden. Triple H and Sting circle each other to start. Triple H gets shoulder tackled by Sting, then he pounds his chest and yells “WOO!” at the crowd. HHH comes back with a snap mare and side headlock, then hits a shouldertackle and does the Crotch Chop. Sting immediately hits high dropkicks and Triple H takes a seat in the corner, then bails from the ring. Another lock-up and Triple H hits punches. He tries an Irish Whip but Sting reverses and tosses Triple H out of the ring. Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock but Triple H kicks out and goes outside. Sting chases and tries a Stinger Splash but Triple H moves out of the way. Back in the ring, Triple H hits a delayed vertical suplex, followed by a knee drop for two. Triple H tosses Sting into the corner hard and Sting goes down. Triple H does another Crotch Taunt and drops another knee for two. Triple H puts on a head lock. Sting breaks but flies into a Spinebuster for two. Sting comes back with some corner punches and tosses Triple H into the corner. He goes for a splash but Triple H kicks him. Triple H tries to go for a kick off the ropes but Sting catches his legs and puts on the Scorpion Deathlock…

…and here comes Degeneration X in the form of Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac. Sting fights them all off, then turns to Triple H. Sting dumps Triple H on top of all of them, then goes off the top rope and splashes all four guys. Crowd chants, “THIS IS AWESOME”. Sting gets back up and into the ring. Gunn attacks him and Sting knocks him off. Triple H hits the Pedigree and NEARLY gets a pin. Frustrated, Triple H goes under the ring to get the sledge…and the nWo shows up in the form of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall and they take, like, eight days to get there. D-X runs at them to attack but the nWo knocks them all down. Sting grabs Triple H and hits the pin for…TWO?! Are you fucking kidding me? Wow. (DANIELLE: This match should be over.) Sting hits the Scorpion Deathlock but can’t even sit down on it. Triple H crawls and reaches for the sledge…but Hogan grabs it and pulls it away. X-Pac attacks Hogan. Nash attacks X-Pac. Gunn takes out Nash. Hall goes for the Outsider Edge on Road Dogg but Dogg counters it and tosses Hall to the ground. Meanwhile, Triple H gets to the ropes as the crowd chants “TAP” over and over. Sting goes for the Deathlock again. Shawn Michaels appears out of nowhere and hits Sweet Chin Music on Sting. Ugh. Triple H covers…and gets two. Michaels is pissed. D-X hands Triple H the sledge. He backs Sting into a corner…but Hall gets Sting’s baseball bat and hands it to Sting. The two men brandish their weapons and circle each other. Triple H attacks but Sting hits him in the stomach, then uses the bat to chop the sledge handle in half…just…wow. Sting drops the bat and punches Triple H in the corner, then hits the Stinger Splash. He tries again — but, Triple H picks up part of the sledge and nails Sting with it — and then pins Sting to win it. Jesus fucking christ…
WINNER: Triple H at 18:34
RATING: ***1/2…if you’re going for spectacle, but the booking was absolute bullshit. Sting should have gone over. I give it *3/4. I’m sorry. D-X and nWo? I’m not impressed. I’ve seen the nWo AND D-X (the Outlaws) on RAW. And wasn’t X-Pac part of the nWo back in January? Wasn’t Hogan predominantly red and yellow for the better part of the last few years? And wasn’t the nWo (black and white, not Wolfpac) enemies with Sting? This whole thing was just a giant Triple H stroke-fest. And, if it’s no-DQ, why can’t the nWo run in to save their “best buddy”, Sting, from getting pinned? Just complete hot bullshit.

Post-match, D-X pulls Triple H off of Triple H and the nWo helps Sting up. Triple H approaches Sting…and offers his hand. They shake? Oh, PUH-LEEZE. Wow. None of this makes any sense.


Maria Menounos is backstage with the new IC Champ, Daniel Bryan. He says it’s incredible to be champ. Pat Patterson shows up and congratulates him. Then Rowdy Roddy Piper. He looks menacing, then kisses Bryan on the head and congratulates him. Steamboat shows up and actually says, “That match ranks right up with the one Randy Savage and I had!” No, Steamboat…it wasn’t. Steamboat says, if Savage were here, “he’d say…WHOA YEAH!” No…no, Steamboat…he wouldn’t say “‘Whoa’, yeah.” Then, Ric Flair shows up because, apparently, Daniel Bryan needs help from a bunch of ancient superstars to get over. Flair shows up and does the “WOOOO” thing. He chops Steamboat lightly, then yells “WOO” at Maria. Oh, look. Bret Hart’s here, too, because WWE has to overbook everything right now. Everyone starts yelling “YES”…and, of course, we get a WrestleMania “DAMN” from Ron Simmons. Everyone continues yelling “YES” and, mercifully, we walk away from whatever the hell that was.

Skylar Grey, Travis Barker and Kid Ink perform that one song we’ve been hearing for two months during every single WrestleMania commercial. (And half our crowd section hit the bathrooms/concession stands.)

MATCH #4: Paige & AJ Lee vs. The Bella Twins (WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella)
Nikki and Paige start off with Paige immediately tackling Nikki and punching her. Nikki reverses it and punches. Nikki headbutts AJ, then hits an Alabama Slam on Paige, getting two. She slams Paige’s head against the mat, then puts Paige in the corner, tagging Brie who hits a beautiful missile dropkick for two. Brie pounds on the back of Paige’s head, then puts her into a Chinlock/Surfboard combo. Brie goes for the running knee. AJ gets up on the mat — so, naturally, Brie knocks her off the ring mat again. She hits the knee on Paige and tags Nikki. They hit a double suplex. Nikki tosses Paige into the ropes but Paige reverses — and knocks AJ off the damn mat for the third time. Nikki hits the Rack Attack, but only gets two. Nikki puts Nikki in the corner again — and Paige elbows Brie off the mat on the way there. Paige elbows Nikki and Nikki runs at Paige. Paige dumps Nikki out of the ring and then dives at both women. Paige gets back into the ring and, FINALLY, AJ is up on the mat. Paige makes the hot tag. AJ hits a press on Nikki and punches at her, then hits a clothesline. Nikki puts AJ in the corner and lunges but AJ kicks her and goes for a Tornado DDT. Nikki counters it. AJ gets back on the top buckle and hits a Crossbody. Nikki catches her. Paige dropkicks AJ on top of Nikki. Brie saves the pin and both Paige and Brie roll out of the ring. AJ locks in the Black Widow but Brie kicks AJ. Paige hits a nice high kick on Brie. AJ goes for a roundhouse but Brie grabs AJ’s leg and Nikki just hits a vicious forearm. AJ kicks out of the pin as Brie and Paige fight outside. Paige tosses Brie into the steel steps and AJ hits the Black Widow on Nikki to get the win.
WINNERS: Paige and AJ at 6:36.
RATING: **3/4. Not terrible but fairly pedestrian — and what was with AJ taking a nap for over half the match?


We get an ad for WWE “heroes”.

We get a “Tale of the Tape” for Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Cole pretends Google and the Internet don’t exist and tells us that they got this information when they “put stats into a computer” and says “the computer gave us this”.

Cole gives us a look back on this year’s Hall of Famers.

Then we get introduced to them.


We get the build-up between Rusev and Cena…

Rusev enters with a full Russian colorguard and rides on top of a tank. Your argument is invalid. Cena’s answer is a video package with a bunch of shit America’s done. Each time a President pops up, they got either a huge pop (Reagan, for some reason) or big time heat (Obama, for some reason). Bush got nothing (for some reason).

MATCH #5: Rusev (champion) (w/ Lana) vs. John Cena (challenger) for the WWE United States Championship
They cheer “U.S.A.”, but they boo Rusev. They boo the whole Russian gimmick, but cheer for Rusev. I just don’t know anymore. Cena knocks Rusev down with a clothesline. Rusev comes back with a high spinning kick and gets two. Rusev hits a headbutt and an Arm Hook Suplex for two. Cena tries a back drop but Rusev kicks him, then tosses him into a corner and splashes him. He hits a nice Rolling Kick and gets two. Rusev picks up the Russian flag and celebrates for absolutely no reason whatsoever as Cena just lays there. Rusev does the “U CAN’T SEE ME” taunt to Cena so Cena kicks him and hits Moves 1 through 3. He goes for the 5KS and hits that. He goes for the AA but Rusev falls off Cena and lands on his feet, then counters with a side suplex. Rusev goes for a high kick but Cena ducks and goes for the STF. Rusev kicks out. Cena flies at Rusev who catches him and hits a Spinebuster. Two count. He puts Cena on the turnbuckle and goes for a Superplex. Cena blocks it and headbutts Rusev, knocking him to the mat. Cena hits a Flying Legdrop and gets a close fall.

Cena goes for another AA but Rusev kicks out and hits the Flying Superkick. Rusev misses the Accolade set-up, but manages to hit a low kick to Cena’s head, getting two. He tosses Cena into the corner and misses a kick. Cena hits a Tornado DDT. Cena gets to his feet and so does Rusev. The two exchange blows with the crowd clearly behind Rusev. Rusev yells “YOU CAN’T BEAT ME, JOHN CENA!” into Cena’s face, then hits an Alabama Slam following a Tiger Knee to Cena’s head. Two count. He sets up for the Accolade but Cena counters and locks in the STF. Lana takes off one of her heels and throws it at Cena (The crowd laughed at this) so the ref warns Lana to knock it off. Rusev breaks and hits a Fallaway Slam. Rusev goes to the top rope and hits a Flying Headbutt!

Two count and Rusev cannot believe that. Rusev sets up the Accolade…but Cena struggles and counters it, kicking out. Cena runs to the ropes and hits a Springboard Stunner! Holy shit. Two count. Cena gets up and goes for an AA. Rusev breaks it and catches Cena. He tries a Spinebuster but Cena counters and rolls Rusev up for two. Rusev gets up and slams Cena to the mat and finally locks in the Accolade and Cole says, “Nobody’s ever broke The Accolade!” You know, except for Cena and Swagger who both broke it. Cena gets to his feet and backs Rusev into the corner, then locks in the STF. Rusev gets to the ropes but Cena gets up and drags Rusev to the center of the ring. Lana gets up on the mat so Cena walks over to her. Rusev runs at Cena but Lana takes the bump and eats an AA. Cena win the U.S. Title as Rusev fails America and her fans.
WINNER: John Cena via AA at 14:31
RATING: ***. Nice match but, honestly, I don’t know why Cena had to win here.


WrestleMania 32 is coming to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas next year!

Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton are at the talking desk. We recap the Fatal Four-Way Tag Match where Cesaro and Tyson retained the titles. They also recap that Big Show won the Battle Royal.

Steph and Triple H are in the ring. She tells us that Levi’s has 76,000-plus people. She tells us that, back in the day, WrestleMania was on closed-circuit TV and she got to watch Andre slam Big John Studd. (DANIELLE: And she used Cole’s IBM tape computer to spit out stats.) She says that the success of WrestleMania is all because of HER. Triple H says the truth hurts. He brags about beating Sting (which draws massive heat) and says that he pretty much beat everyone against him, including the 76,000 people in Levi’s and the millions on WWE Network. Then he says he owns Sting as well as all the talent backstage. So much for that handshake, huh? He says The Authority always wins…

The Rock’s music hits. This got the biggest pop of the night. He takes forever to talk because the fans are not going quiet. Steph: “Okay! We get it! You’re happy to see him! Can you be quiet now?” The Rock says that The Authority doesn’t own the fans…or The Rock. He says The Authority likes to run their mouths. But what they don’t get is that The Rock is an East Bay Area Boy. So, The Rock says Triple H has two choices: 1) Triple H goes backstage and dresses up as The Terminator again…or 2) They can have a “WrestleMania Moment” right here, right now. The Rock and Triple H go nose to nose.

Triple H says that him and The Rock have a great rivalry that goes back years — and Triple H kicked his ass for most of it. He says he has nothing more to prove. The Rock says, just like he left his heart in San Francisco, that Triple H left his balls in Stamford, Connecticut. Triple H isn’t happy and takes off his coat. Steph steps between them and says The Rock just likes to rile him and the fans up. He says that there would be no Rock without the fans. She says that even his relatives wouldn’t be anything without the McMahons. The Rock says that Steph likes to talk about the Johnsons and McMahons…but that she wouldn’t be here without Vince’s “johnson”. She slaps his face all the way into next week and asks what he’s gonna do about that. She says that these are her fans, her ring, and her stadium and orders him to leave.

Rock leaves with Steph riding his ass on the mic as he does. The Rock stops just outside the ring…then walks to his left…and visits with Ronda Rousey. He invites her to jump the barrier and get into the ring with him. She obliges. The Rock tells Steph that he’d never hit a woman…but he has a good friend who’d be happy to. Steph shrugs it off and says that her and Steph are friends. She begs Ronda to tell Rock that they’re friends. Ronda doesn’t respond. Steph says that Ronda’s probably the most dangerous unarmed woman on the planet. She says that Ronda doesn’t realize that this is her ring and that she needs to enjoy WrestleMania like a good little fan. Ronda says that Steph doesn’t get it: any ring she steps into is hers. She says if Steph wants her to leave, Steph should make her leave. Steph growls for her to get out of the ring. Rock looks at Rousey and tells Steph that the look on Rousey’s face means that she’s about to reach down Steph’s throat, pull out her uterus and play jump rope with her fallopian tubes.

Triple H says he’s tired of all this shit and wants Rock to stop talking. Rock agrees to do so and says this is the last thing they’ll hear from him. He attacks Triple H and beats on him in the corner. Triple H lunges at Rousey but Rousey hits a hip toss and out of the ring goes Triple H. Steph attacks her but Rousey locks Steph’s arm. Finally, she lets Steph go and this comes to an end. Rock tells the McMahons that they’re “owned”.


We go to Undertaker and Bray Wyatt…Undertaker has his usual entrance, but Bray’s entrance is a mix of theatrical and goofy. He has a “valley” of scarecrows on the entrance ramp that he “brings to life” and they follow him down the ramp. The electric signage around the stadium, during The Undertaker’s entrance read, “NEVER SUMMON THE DEAD”, which I thought was pretty sweet. The Undertaker also grew his hair back. It’s still short but it’s not a mohawk anymore. The entire entrance is gold for so many reasons. JBL, Cole and King wonder if The Undertaker is the same guy we used to see — yet, he still looks that way. Bray just stares the entire time, in awe.

Bray says this is “his yard”, then runs at ‘Taker, who boots him right in the face.

MATCH #6: Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
The bell rings and ‘Taker is all over Bray in the corner. He beats on him, knocks him to the mat, then does Old School. ‘Taker goes off the ropes but Bray knocks him down with a clothesline. Bray clotheslines him out of the ring — but The Undertaker lands on his feet and glares at Bray. Crowd loves it. Bray grabs him by the legs and drags him outside. He sets Bray up on the mat and drops the leg across Bray’s throat. Bray rolls into the ring and ‘Taker clotheslines him, then hits Snake Eyes. ‘Taker goes for a big boot but Bray knocks ‘Taker down with a drive-by lariat. Wyatt beats on ‘Taker in the corner and then puts him into the adjacent corner. Bray hits a running corner clothesline and can’t get two. He puts a clutch on ‘Taker but ‘Taker fights out. Bray drops punches on ‘Taker. Bray stares at him as he struggles to get up. He crawls to Bray. Bray leaves the ring, then smashes ‘Taker’s head into the ringpost. Wyatt gets into the ring and boots ‘Taker in the face. He goes to pick up ‘Taker but ‘Taker locks in Hell’s Gate. Wyatt quickly realizes he’s in trouble and punches ‘Taker in the head until he lets go. ‘Taker gets to his feet and lunges at Bray only to find himself in a Spinebuster, followed by the Reverse Senton. Bray does the Hanging Spider, then goes for Sister Abigail. Bray does the “thumb across the throat”, but ‘Taker grabs him by the throat and hits the Chokeslam. ‘Taker calls for The Tombstone and hits it…but only gets two as the announce team pretends like nobody’s ever kicked out of it. ‘Taker calls for another Tombstone but Bray counters and hits Sister Abigail! Bray covers — and gets two. Bray gets up, doing the Spider Walk, walking over to ‘Taker, who is still on his back. When he gets close, The Undertaker sits up and glares at Bray in one of the coolest moments of the night. Bray just melts out of the Spider Walk. The both get up and start trading shots. Bray gets the best of it and knocks ‘Taker all the way down. Bray goes for Sister Abigail again — but ‘Taker breaks it and shoves Bray. Bray runs at ‘Taker and ‘Taker picks him and Tombstones the hell out of him for the win.
WINNER: The Undertaker via Tombstone at 15:13
RATING: **3/4. This had some great moments…I really don’t know, however, how long ‘Taker can continue to do this.

Post-match, ‘Taker does the “tribute” spot with the purple lighting and fireworks.


We get the build-up to Reigns/Lesnar…

MATCH #7: Roman Reigns (challenger) vs. Brock Lesnar (champion) (w/ Paul Heyman) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The bell rings and it’s a goddamn brawl to start. Both men all over each other. Lesnar hits a German Suplex and an F5…but doesn’t cover Reigns. Lesnar is cut open. He walks over to Reigns and his some shots to the gut with his knee. Lesnar hits a Fallway Fisherman’s Suplex. Lesnar goes for another German. Reigns fights back and tries clotheslines but can’t knock Reigns down. Lesnar counters with German #2. Reigns gets to his knees…and smiles. Lesnar hits a Side Suplex, then yells, “SUPLEX CITY, BITCH!” Reigns comes back with punches but Lesnar hits German #3. Reigns gets up, grinning. Lesnar kicks him in the ribs, then hits German #4. Reigns tries to get up but Lesnar just knees him in the stomach. Brock drops Roman on the top rope and knees Reigns in the face repeatedly. Lesnar hits a running forearm on a run and knocks Reigns out of the ring.

Lesnar beckons Reigns to get back in the ring and Reigns does. Lesnar runs at him and Reigns knees Lesnar in the face. He hits kicks to the face. But Lesnar just grabs his leg after a few of them and clotheslines Reigns from the ring. Lesnar goes outside and beats on Reigns. He rolls Reigns back in and then hits a suplex throw. Reigns is tossed from the ring and crawls back in again. Lesnar hits a belly to belly suplex, the 8th one overall. Lesnar hits F5 #2. Reigns kicks out. Lesnar smacks the shit out of Reigns but Reigns doesn’t care. He just laughs. Lesnar hits German #4 and #5. He hits F5 #3…but only gets two again. Lesnar tosses Reigns out of the ring. He goes outside and picks up Reigns and tries to toss Reigns into the ringpost but Reigns reverses the attempt and Lesnar eats the post instead.

Lesnar is bleeding as Reigns gets back into the ring. Reigns looks determined and gets to his feet. He hits a Superman Punch but Lesnar hangs onto the ropes. Reigns hits another and Lesnar is rocking on the ropes. Reigns goes for another. Lesnar catches him for a German but Reigns elbows out. Reigns hits Superman Punch #3 and knocks him down. He hits a Spear! Lesnar gets up and rocks towards the ropes. Reigns hits another and NEARLY gets the fall. Reigns goes for another — but Lesnar catches him and hits F5 #4! Lesnar can’t cover…both men are down. Seth Rollins’ music hits. (DANIELLE: Told ya’!) He cashes in the MITB contract. This is now a Triple Threat Match. O…K.

MATCH #7: Roman Reigns (challenger) vs. Brock Lesnar (champion) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Seth Rollins (challenger) in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Rollins boots Reigns from the ring and hits a quick Curb Stomp on Lesnar. He checks on Reigns to make sure he can’t interfere…and goes for another Curb Stomp…but Lesnar catches him for an F5! But here comes Reigns who Spears Lesnar! Reigns tries to get up but Rollins hits a Curb Stomp and wins the title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Seth Rollins via Curb Stomp at 16:44
RATING: ***1/2. Not a bad finish to the thing. I’d hesitate to call it “ingenious” since they all but telegraphed the cash-in. Nobody liked Reigns and nobody wanted to see Lesnar go home with the title. The only reason WrestleMania ended on a “high note” was because Rollins was the lesser of three evils. Yay?

Rollins celebrates as Levi’s Stadium shoots its fireworks load and we go off the air.


OVERALL: ***1/2. Better than I expected but nowhere near as good as last year’s ‘Mania. I don’t understand the high praise this show is getting. For the live experience? Add another two stars. There’s nothing like being there.

Er…that’s it.

Matt Perri
Matt Perrihttp://mattperri.wordpress.com
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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