One night after NXT brought out all the stops in giving the WWE Universe it’s strongest and most thrilling NXT TakeOver in recent memory, it was time for WrestleMania 34 to deliver.
And it crushed.
New Orleans hosted WrestleMania for the second time in four years, and it delivered! The night was filled with unforgettable matches from the thrilling opening matches to the WWE Universe being sent to Suplex City in the main event stunner.
Sunday night’s spectacle could be an all-time WrestleMania when it’s all set and done. The night inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome had a little bit of something for about every pro-wrestling fan.
The Kickoff Show
The kickoff show featured 3 matches: the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, the Cruiserweight Championship match, and the first-ever Women’s Battle Royal. Matt Hardy won the Andre the Giant Memorial, with help from his former foe, Bray Wyatt. The vacant Cruiserweight Championship found an owner and it is Cedric Alexander, in which he defeated Mustafa Ali in a wild match. Last, but not least, Naomi won the inaugural Women’s Battle Royal after eliminating Bayley.
The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor – Intercontinental Championship
The sold-out crowd of 78,133 fans was given an absolute treat to open the main card as Seth Rollins’ music blasted throughout the Superdome. Everyone on their feet in elation as Rollins is the first to kick off the triple-threat match for the Intercontinental title.
Rollins was cheered in his best rendition of the Night King from, the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones sporting ice-blue contact lenses. Rollins is pumped and so are the WWE Universe as they welcome him to “burn it down.”
Next, followed the champion, The Miz being echoed “awesome” by the fans as waited for the “A-lister” to make his way out. The Miz was then followed by Finn Balor as the LGBTQ community from New Orleans were on stage welcoming him out for his WrestleMania debut.
The match was electrifying with an off-the-chart pace, as was the near falls and key saves, throughout. The crowd showed their appreciation of the high-flying acts and high offense by giving the trio the first “This is awesome” chant.
Ultimately, after a series of close calls and counters, Balor looked to have the match won until Rollins swooped in with a curb stomp to him then to The Miz. Rollins captured his first Intercontinental title. By capturing the title, Rollins has completed a grand slam, in which he has attained every title in his career.
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka – Smackdown’s Women Championship
Not to be outdone by RAW, next was the much-anticipated match between undefeated challenger, Asuka and Smackdown’s women’s champion, Charlotte Flair. The entrances alone were a sight to witness as the two most dominant women will go head-to-head.
If this match were on any other night, it would be the match of the night. These women put their bodies on the line and displayed why they are the two top female performers.
This match was back-and-forth and had the WWE Universe in awe as each countered the other. Flair went for a moonsault on Asuka, only to have it countered into a triangle choke, which then was reversed into a Boston crab. Insane!
Charlotte dug deep into her bag of tricks to try to defeat the undefeated challenger. She landed a rare, breathtaking (and dangerous) Spanish Fly off the top rope the sent Asuka on her back.
In the end, Charlotte applied her finisher, the Figure 8 leg lock forcing Asuka to tap, in which ended her nearly 3-year unbeaten streak. The WWE Universe was stunned to see Asuka’s streak end, but not as shocked as The Undertaker’s streak ended in the same building at WrestleMania 30.
Asuka and Charlotte stood across from each other after the match embracing one another. Asuka then grabbed a mic to congratulate her and acknowledge that “Charlotte was ready for Asuka” before they hugged. There is a ton of respect for the two competitors and a loud pop from the sold-out crowd.
Randy Orton (c) vs. Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode – U.S. Championship
Not all the matches were exciting and the third match that followed was one of them, unfortunately. The Fatal-Four Way United States Championship had spurts of pops, but mainly a buffer. Ultimately, Jinder Mahal defeated Rusev via pinfall to capture the United States Championship.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon vs. Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey
The Ronda Rousey show was next as Triple H and his wife, Stephanie McMahon made their way to the ring on motorcycles led by a group of female motorists proceeded by standing side-by-side on the apron for the water-spout-in-the-air intro that Triple H is known for. It was quite a sight to see them in sync during their intro.
Kurt Angle followed with getting the “You suck” chants rained on him and he played conductor as the WWE Universe continued the chant as he entered the ring. And then Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” came on and the fans erupted in anticipation for Ronda Rousey’s in-ring debut.
Ronda paid homage to Roddy Piper in her walkout attire. Red plaid mini kilt, signature ‘Rowdy’ white t-shirt with Roddy’s leather draped over her as she made her way inside the ring. As her music cut, chants of “Ronda Rousey” overcame the Superdome in the excitement of what would Rousey look like after months of training.
The men started the match with Stephanie playing mind games with Ronda by interfering causing the referee to restrain Rousey as a double team would ensue on Angle. But then the tables turned, Angle sent Triple H to the corner, which resulted in him laid outside the ring and Angle inching closely to Rousey’s extended hand to officially be involved in the match.
This realization was clear on Stephanie’s face as she cried for her husband to get up. Once Angle tagged in Rousey, the crowd went crazy as she entered making a beeline for Stephanie flipping her the ropes by her hair.
Rousey’s confidence, demeanor, facial expression, in-ring awareness, and timing were hitting on all cylinders as her confidence grew. Rousey showed us that her training had paid off and she won the crowd over instantly.
Rousey and Angle were on the verge of getting pedigreed by their opponents until Angle countered Triple H sending him over the top rope, leaving Stephanie and Rousey alone. Rousey countered Stephanie and transitioned into an armbar. After an initial attempt to escape, Rousey continued to break Stephanie’s grip. As soon as she got her arm loose, it was academic at that point.
“No, no, no,” cried Stephanie as she pleads Ronda to have mercy. “Sorry! Sorry!”
“Too late!” Responded Rousey as she pulled back on the arm causing Stephanie to tap instantly.
And with that, Ronda Rousey successfully made her in-ring debut on the grandest stage of them all, got over on the WWE Universe in the Superdome, and shined bright. The future is bright for Rousey as she transitions into her new career in the WWE.
The Usos (c) vs. The New Days vs. The Bludgeon Brothers – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The triple-team match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship followed. This was a fairly quick and one-sided affair as the Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) dismantled The New Day and The Usos to become tag-team champions.
The Undertaker vs. John Cena
Now, if you thought John Cena wouldn’t compete at WrestleMania, then rejoice because The Undertaker answered his call. The WWE Universe cheered in absolute excitement as the lights went black and the signature sound of The Undertaker’s entrance rang.
‘Taker’s vintage walk down to the ring brought nostalgia to WWE fans and hope for writing the wrong of back-to-back WrestleMania losses. The Undertaker looked healthy, in shape and ready for battle as he took Cena to task and finished him within 3 minutes ending it with the tombstone finisher.
“Rest in peace, John Cena,” said play-by-play commentator, Michael Cole.
The Undertaker routed John Cena in the Superdome at WrestleMania. The same event and location when his illustrious streak ended at 21-0. The Undertaker winning at WrestleMania never gets old.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn*
The WWE Universe is riding high with momentum and next is the return of the leader of the Yes Movement, Daniel Bryan. Yes!
*The stipulations for this match is if the team of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn win, they are rehired, but if Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan win, Owns and Zayn remain unemployed.
Shane McMahon opened as the first to walk out with usual his strut to the ring. And then, Daniel Bryan’s music sounds off and the cheers are it’s highest awaiting the arrival and return of Bryan. The moment Bryan stepped onto the stage, he was welcomed with smiles and an alive-and-well “Yes” chant from the WWE Universe.
After a series of close calls, in the end, Owens and Zayn remain unemployed as Bryan submitted Zayn. The Yes Movement is alive and well as “Yes” chants echoed the Superdome.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax – RAW Women’s Championship
The RAW women’s title changed over as Alexa Bliss was dominated by Nia Jax to secure her first title. Jax was overcome with emotions as soon as the bell sounded and then proudly lifted the belt over her head met with joy from those in attendance.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship
Hardcore fans rejoiced as the dream matchup between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura finally was to take place.
The matchup was a classic back-and-forth that culminated with each having huge moments. In the end, Styles’ determination kept him in the match as he countered Nakamura into landing his Styles Clash finisher for the win.
The stunner occurred after both men embraced each other in the ring afterwards when Nakamura hit a low-blow to Styles sending him to the canvas. The crowd was a mixture of “yes” chants and boos as Nakamura officially turned heel (bad guy) in this rivalry.
Seamus and Cesaro, “The Bar” (c) vs. Braun Strowman and Mystery Partner – RAW Tag Team Championship
Braun Strowman’s mystery tag partner was an unlikely guess. Much speculation to who might be fit to partner up with “The Monster Among Men” to do battle with the RAW tag-team champions, Cesaro and Seamus, The Bar.
Well, Strowman’s partner wasn’t a superstar after all. He announced that someone in the WWE Universe is his partner. He scanned the crowd before settling a boy named Nicholas. Yes, a boy will partner up with the 385 pound, over 6-foot Strowman.
Nicholas was over the moment he said his name before he stood “frozen” on the apron as his partner worked. Nicholas received chants of “We want Nicholas” from the WWE Universe.
Eventually, Strowman crawled over to Nicholas’ extended hand and the crowd erupted. Nicholas entered, but quickly turned around and tagged Strowman as the giant landed his powerslam finisher on Cesaro for the win.
Yes, Strowman and Nicholas walked away as RAW’s new tag-team champions. Who knows what’s next for the duo. Monday Night RAW will be electrifying as it always is the night after WrestleMania.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Championship
And now, the main event is set to take center stage, but unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t pleased with the match as a series of “This is awful” and “Boring” chants with “Boos” rained consistently throughout the rematch between WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, and opponent, Roman Reigns.
Beach balls were more entertaining for the crowd as a series of cheers and boos occurred, but having nothing to do with the match itself.
It was a hard-fought match where both men landed heavy blows, but in the end, Lesnar’s power was too much to handle. Near the end of the bout, Lesnar landed several hard elbows to the head of Reigns, causing him to leak a pool of blood in the middle of the ring. Oddly enough, the blood ended the negative chants and the crowd was intrigued.
The PG Era of the WWE is certainly not in play during this match. Reigns’ face was painted with his own blood. There was still some fight left in Reigns as he tried to take out Lesnar with a couple of giant spears. Ultimately, Lesnar landed his 6th and final F5 finisher to defeat Reigns and retain his WWE Universal Championship. The crowd rejoiced as Lesnar rolls out of the ring after pinning Reigns.
All in all, WrestleMania 34 was full of amazing WrestleMania moments, upsets, stunners, and surprises. New Orleans didn’t disappoint as a host and outdid it’s last WrestleMania. Next year’s WrestleMania is now set for April 7, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The road to WrestleMania 35 begins now.