Sunday night April 2nd, 2017 will go down as one of the most memorable events in the history of professional wrestling and its fans.
Wrestlemania 33 has come and gone and now all we, as fans, have our reflections and opinions. We witnessed the return of one of the greatest tag-teams in pro wrestling history, Hardy Boyz, as they returned to capture the WWE Raw Tag-Team Championships in a ladder match.
We saw Seth Rollins put on a near 5-star performance with the Triple H just weeks after suffering a torn MCL.
Lastly, and most indelible, in what seems to have been the final match we will witness from The Undertaker. If you had a dry eye you’re a bigger man than me. I will spare the cliff notes version because we will see everything again on Monday Night Raw and the internet.
Here are my match-by-match opinions based on a 5-star rating.
AJ Styles def. Shane McMahon- 3***
- Match length: 20:09- This match kicked of Wrestlemania 33 and it was simply OKAY. Shane McMahon looked highly unprepared for this contest in comparison to his match last year against The Undertaker. I thought McMahon blew up (gassed) within the first 8-10 minutes. It doesn’t help the fact that WWE creative booked him against a world class wrestler in AJ Styles. The match lacked the prototypical ‘big bump’ from Shane and was overall a regular wrestling match. Not horrible but far from great. Three stars for me as this would’ve been more suited for Summerslam not the biggest thrill ride ever. Styles was a great opponent for Shane but not vice versa. Wish Styles was the one facing Wyatt for the World title instead of Orton.
Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho for the United States Championship- 4****
- Match length: 16:20- For some reason WWE gave Shane and Styles more time than this match. I don’t get it. Other then HHH/Rollins this match was really the only other match that actually had a solid storyline built into it. To be honest, both Owens and Jericho have arguably had the best year together and individually in 2016-early 2017. Good wrestling match but didn’t have a chance to completely tell the story they could’ve if they would’ve been given an extra 5-10 minutes. Jericho is a living legend right now and is the last breed of the Attitude Era still around since The Undertaker is riding of into the sunset. Luckily for us, Jericho seems to be far from done as he continues to get better and better. As for Owens, he’s the new United States Champion and is one of the top heels and hands in the entire company. Sky continues to be the limit for Owens.
Bayley(c) def. Charlotte, Nia Jax, and Sasha Banks for the RAW Women’s Championship- 3***
- Match length- 12:09- Twelve minutes?! Really, twelve minutes? These women have been one of the biggest draws in the company since the beginning of 2016 and they earn only twelve minutes at Wrestlemania 33. I thought it was rushed and poorly booked. Nia Jax had no business being in this match. Her character just isn’t there yet and her in-ring work is shotty at best. Needed a much longer stint in NXT, in my opinion. Not a Jax fan whatsoever. It’s evident when she is eliminated 2-3 minutes into the match. Charlotte is incredible. She really is. She will hopefully main event a Wrestlemania one day in the future because she’s phenomenal. A freak athlete with legendary bloodlines she continues to shine in every which way, except her overacting promo work. Bayley had her deserved Wrestlemania moment but don’t let that overtake the prowess of Charlotte Flair.
The Hardy Boyz def. Enzo & Cass, Gallows & Anderson (c), and Cesaro & Sheamus- 4.5****
- Match length: 11:05- It’s crazy to go back and watch this match over again and realize it was barely over 11 minutes long. For a tag-team ladder match at Wrestlemania one would think it be a little longer but thanks in large part to the return of The Hardy Boyz the match felt just right. The Hardy’s hit their pop spots and looked good doing it. They captured their seventh WWE tag title reign. I feel bad for the other three teams in this match because they’ve had a rather long buildup throughout the last few months only to be bounced out of the picture by the returning Hardy’s. It’ll be interesting where the Hardy’s go from here as I assume a program with the Club is inevitable.
John Cena and Nikki Bella def. The Miz and Maryse- 1*
- Match length: 9:40- Honestly, this was the most irrelevant match on the Wrestlemania card to begin with. It’s a shame this is what it’s come to for Cena. He’s an attention whore. And it’s sad. He’s pure gimmick. Sad. He proposed after their win and Bella said yes. Yay.
Seth Rollins def. Triple H- 5*****
- Match length: 25:30- For starters, this match had one of the best video packages I’ve seen the WWE produce in years. Maybe since HBK vs. Undertaker WM25. Without a doubt the best match of the night and had the best story and promo leading up to it. I’m not being biased because it would make me look stupid but other than AJ Styles I truly believe Seth Rollins is the best performer in the world. I do. Six weeks ago Rollins had invasive knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the already surgically repaired knee. That’s insane. He went out in front of 75,000+ people and went to battle with one of the greats of all time in Triple H and wrestled a 25-minute match. Incredible. The match itself had everything a main event should have. It told a story. It was a pro wrestling match. It it weren’t for Reigns-Undertaker this match could’ve ended the biggest thrill ride in Orlando.
Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship- 3***
- Match length: 10:30- I think this match was a victim of timing. The event was running long by this point and the crowd was dead. It’s a shame nobody cares about Randy Orton in 2017 because of how great he is. Bray Wyatt is a stud who’s been underutilized since day one of his character. I personally believe this whole program fell short for me and that’s on Orton. He’s a robot character and belongs in mid-card stories at this point. Once PG programming took over Orton’s ‘Viper’ character died. There were some cool visual effects in the ring throughout but overall it was a bad matchup and Wyatt dropping the title to Orton made zero sense to all of us watching. Great Wyatt entrance, bad match, and bad timing earns three stars for this.
Brock Lesnar def. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship- 4***
- Match length: 4:45- This war ended giving us exactly what we wanted, at least four minutes. It was the immovable force vs. the immovable force and it was a mack truck crash. There was no selling just straight power and carnage. Goldberg speared Lesnar through the outside barricade near the announce tables, Lesnar sent Goldberg to suplex city over 10 times. It was a stopwatch match and was more then we hoped. It wasn’t the ‘bloodbath’ Goldberg promised but it was fun. Lesnar defeated Goldberg with an F5 to procure the WWE Universal Title.
Roman Reigns def. The Undertaker- 5*****
- Match length: 23:05- I won’t elaborate on this too much because by this point we all what occurred and the magnitude of it. Reigns defeated The Undertaker in what is most likely the last time we will ever see Taker inside a WWE ring competing. It was truly the end of a era. The end of a generation. The Undertaker did what he had to do for the business when on the way out and that’s lose to the next torch carrier. That’s Reigns in the eyes of the WWE. Undertaker hand picked Reigns, that’s probably the truth of it all. WWE has always stood by the fact that they will let Taker decide who, what, and when would be his last rodeo. It was Wrestlemania 33 against Roman Reigns. We all have to accept and respect that decision. Not happy of course, but respect. The Undertaker is the greatest character in the history of sports entertainment and that will never change. Twenty-seven years with one company and basically one character. That’s unheardof. It’s honestly difficult to put into words what The Undertaker what has meant not only to the WWE but to myself and the fans of pro wrestling. He was the constant. That’s the best word to describe him. The leader, the judge, and the Phenom. One day soon I’ll do a post for The Undertaker but not here. For now, the last gunslinger in the WWE is riding off into the sunset. #ThankYouTaker