So not Hogan....not Drew.....VINCE gets the first pop back. What a rib! Vince gives a big speech welcoming the audience back to WRESTLEMANIAAAAA! That Vince McMahon WrestleMania introduction will be heard for decades and decades to come. It'll become an iconic one. Man it is so great to hear people again. Bebe Rhexa does America The Beautiful. They play off of last year's cold open, as well. WrestleMania has to pause for a weather delay. New Day are so incredible, and do an interview. I think what we learned in the first 40 minutes of WrestleMania is that these really talented performers can cut promos on their own. Well I think we knew that, but hopefully some other people did too
Bobby Lashley (c) (w/ MVP) defeated Drew McIntyre
They argue backstage, and Drew McIntyre says that they can do the match backstage. Oh no. That would be bad. Should probably have them improvise more. That felt way more real than a lot of stuff we usually see. Drew's reaction got hot once he hit the ramp. Mixed reaction for Bobby Lashley. I am so happy to hear Lashley and Drew McIntyre getting this reaction during the match after the work they put in with no fans.
Already hitting Sirloin Beef Sunsabitches territory!! They're clubbing each other, throwing each other around. Drew McIntyre doesn't use a Northern Lights Suplex much, but we see one here. Drew McIntyre hitting the BAMMASLAMMA on Lashley is a Sirloin Beef Sunsabitches move, too. He's got some great suplexes through here. Drew kips up after a big spinebuster, and the crowd pops big for Lashley's kickout of the Future Shock. They loved the tope con giro from Drew, too. That's a big match move. Great nod to Drew McIntyre and Lashley's IMPACT Title match with the double wristlock. MVP causes a distraction and a miss on the Claymore, and the Hurt Lock is applied. That was a much more believable, reasonable distraction by MVP than we usually see in wrestling. Drew McIntyre passes out. This was incredible.
Top Contender Match
Tag Team Turmoil
Natalya & Tamina win
Carmella's gear rules, and Billie Kay is emulating everything Carmella does. I absolutely love Naomi's Disaster Kick. Finisher quality. Billie Kay rolls up Naomi and Carmella helps her get the pin.
Billie Kay getting her WrestleMania moment with Riott Squad! The work here is not very smooth, and Carmella gets caught cheating. Riott Squad do a Codebreaker and senton to get the win. Carmella superkicks Liv before she leaves.
OH NO! Mandy Rose busted her ass and slipped on the ramp! Shades of Ultimo Dragon!! Ruby had to wait quite a while on a Blockbuster from Dana. WWE really should keep the camera tight to the person climbing the ropes so you don't see the person standing, waiting below. Reminder that the Riott Squad rule and we should see more of them. Mandy does a particularly good inside-out gutwrench suplex. Liv reverses a cradle after a swanton and pins Dana.
Riott Squad have some great hope spots against Tamina and Natalya, but the writing is on the wall. Natalya and Tamina hit the Hart Attack and Natalya teases the Sharpshooter, but tags Tamina for the Superfly Splash. That's a wrap.
Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins
Great new gear from both fellas, and simple but effective work during the match. Cesaro Swings Rollins but the arm gives out. The arm work from Rollins is really good, but unconventional early, relying on Cesaro doing it to himself. Rollins does a 360 Frog Splash!! A tilt-a-whirl into a Neutralizer lands for Cesaro, and a Pedigree for Rollins, both nearfalls. Rollins and Cesaro throwin it all out there. Rollins has some great strikes tonight. CESARO DID THE UFO!!!!!!! 23 Swings and a Neutralizer. That RULED!!!! This was great move and great spot and callback after another.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
AJ Styles & Omos defeated New Day (c) to win the titles
I love Big E bringing out New Day. HAVE TO! I don't know that there's a wrestler I think it a better fit for American televised pro wrestling and adapting from company to company than AJ Styles. Omos doesn't work at all through the first portion of the match. New Day are beating AJ's ass. Finally, Omos gets tagged in as Xavier flies across the ring. There's a HUGE pop for Omos. Xavier just bounces off of him. WWE camera work is doing really well with Omos. Not crazy camera cuts, smart ones. Styles does a Phenomenal Forearm off the shoulders of Omos. Omos pins Kofi Kingston with one foot after a huge slam.
Steel Cage Match
Braun Strowman defeated Shane McMahon (w/ Jaxson Ryker & Elias)
Jaxson Ryker on WrestleMania. Steve Cutler released. Wesley Blake nowhere to be found. He and Elias attack Braun before he gets in the cage. Shane also pulls a piece of metal off the top of the cage and uses it. Braun's leg gives out, but he knocks the cronies off the cage. There are bags of weapons attached to each corner of the cage, and Shane hits Braun with a toolbox. Braun reaches through the cage and grabs Shane's hand, then PEELS THE CAGE WALL to get him back in. Braun throws Shane off the top of the cage to the mat. I dunno that such a clean, flat bump has been done in a WWE cage. Braun wins with a powerslam. This was a blast. Terrible build, fun match.
DING DONG! HELLO!
Bayley is backstage with the nWo and Titus. NWO left her hanging. WHAT THE HECK. Sean Waltman says "ahhh actually I'm a big fan" and too sweeted Bayley when no one else would. IT'S TIME!!! NOT! Oof. I really thought and hoped they'd be setting up a Ding Dong Hello spot after the Hall of Fame inductions.
Bad Bunny & Damian Priest defeated Miz & Morrison
A bunch of rabbit mascots come out and Miz & Morrison perform their song. Bad Bunny comes out on a semi-truck in a really cool entrance. The size difference here is wild. Bunny does a wild flying head scissors. I lost it a little when he floored Morrison with a headbutt. Bunny sells like crazy and hits a Tornado DDT that relies heavily on Miz. Bunny has been really good in his first match, and Morrison/Miz have done awesome. The crowd loved Damian Priest. Double Falcon Arrow!??! INDUCT BAD BUNNY NOW! Bad Bunny working the crowd, even. He does a dive, and saves Priest from a pinfall after a Skull Crushing Finale. BAD BUNNY DID A CANADIAN DESTROYER!!!! Bad Bunny hitting the pin might be pop of the night. They won with a Doomsday body press.
WWE Smackdown Women's Championship
Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks (c) to win the title
It's time! Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks main events WrestleMania. Even the opening lock-up was great. It's hard to believe Sasha would outpower Bianca, so she out-positioned her and out-techniqued her. Belair rolls right through a suicide dive, and presses Sasha back into the ring. What a reaction for this!! There are so many incredible spots. The hair pull kicks, the hair yank into the post, Sasha missing a Meteora into the barricade. Sasha and Bianca using the constant hair pull to make the much smaller opponent play the heel role perfectly.
Bianca does a standing star press. A 450 gets HARD knees. Bianca Belair does two powerbombs before Sasha goes full Billy Kidman on her. Sasha Banks uses Bianca Belair's own braid to go into the Banks Statement. Sasha Banks made sense of the Del Rio Stomp. Of course she did. She's great. She missed it, and a meteora, too.
Sasha holds Bianca's hair on a KOD, but gets WHIPPED with the hair. That was loud as hell. Some transitions and reversals, and the KOD hits. Cole sadly blew the call, but this match was just perfect.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!