Updated: Apr 12
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
Austin Theory vs. John Cena 6.7/10 D
This match was a complete dud. I was going to pass it with a 7/10 for doing the bare minimum and putting Austin Over, but I can't even give this match credit for that. Austin Theory won the match by cheating which isn't a problem for a heel. The problem is he tapped out while the ref was down, so it's like he didn't really beat Cena. Also, the match itself just wasn't very good. There wasn't a single moment in that match worth pointing out. John hasn't had a match this bad since Corbin at Summerslam.
Braun & Ricochet vs. Alpha Academy vs. Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders 9.1/ 10 A
In this week's rundown, I talked about how this match could steal Wrestlemania but got damn it, even I was surprised they actually did it. This match was the far and away best match on both nights of Wrestlemania. The Streets Profits were the right team to win everyone got a chance to shine, and there were multiple instances that forced fans to jump out of their seats. Gable had my favorite spot of the match when he hit a bridge german suplex on Braun. This match was action-packed. These eight guys were hungry, and they went out there and outperformed everybody. The showcase matches were so random. I wonder if they were supposed to have money in the bank ladder matches, but Vince vetoed Triple H's idea of bringing back Wrestlemania Money in the Bank, so we got this instead.
Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul 8.6/10 B
This match didn't go above and beyond, but it was solid. Seth and Logan gave great nods to Shawn Michaels in this match. Seth came out in the vintage HBK top and chaps, and Logan came down from the sky like Shawn in the 90s. The match was very competitive and full of surprises. KSI was dressed in a mascot uniform to help Logan, which was a great reveal. However, it turned out to be an even bigger moment when Seth threw KSI on the announce table right as Logan was jumping, so he accidentally put KSI in threw the table.
Logan showed some serious resilience by kicking out of a pedigree but in the end, after getting super kicked out of the air and stomped, Logan Paul lost. This finish was the right move for this feud, and Logan knocked Seth out week after week. If Seth had lost, he would have looked incredibly weak.
Damage Control vs. Becky Lita and Trish 8.2/10 B
This was a fun match. This was not the best way to use Trish and Lita. They don't have to be teamed up every time they are in WWE, and they actually made pretty good rivals once. It would have been nice to see Liv paired with Trish and have one other team in a fatal four-way. I didn't like that the Women's Tag Team Championships were basically just props in this match. Why wouldn't the titles be on the line at the show of shows?
The match itself had a lot of cool spots, like Trish hitting her standing head scissors to the outside of the ring, but the match also lacked story and stakes. Also, it was a particularly crushing loss for Damage Control. On Raw, Becky called out Damage Control for doing nothing since Summerslam, which is true. But then Becky just beat Damage Control, even though it was a non-title match. Not to mention Becky did this after taking Damage Controls titles. Yikes.
Rey vs. Dominik 7.8/10 C+
This match was fine. I had main event expectations for this match, but it didn't quite live up. The match had moments involving the family and Dominik playing psychological games with Rey, and Bad Bunny even got involved and stopped Dominik from hitting Rey with a weapon behind the ref's back, but this match never reached the hot tag moment where they were going full speed ahead. Plus, having Rey win was the safe choice. If Dominik won, it would catapult him to an even higher-level heel. Rey winning/losing doesn't change our opinion of Rey at all.
Rhea vs. Charlotte 8.7/10 B
Rhea and Charlotte had that big fight feeling. It might not have been the best match on the card, but it was one of them, and it was the one that felt most like a Wrestlemania match. The match was brutal, and the way Charlotte took some of those German suplexes from Rhea will forever be seared in my mind. This match felt bittersweet. Rhea finally got the Charlotte monkey off her back, and she won the title, but I can't help but feel like WWE could have built it to be a more special climax.
Both women threw out their best shots and failed. Charlotte kicked out of a Riptide, and Rhea kicked or powered out of everything Charlotte did. However, Charlotte kept coming back for more until Rhea caught Charlotte with an avalanche Riptide and finally beat Charlotte.
Miz vs. Pat Macafee 7/10 C-
This match did what it was supposed to do. Pat returned, and Miz got run over so Pat could have a moment. I wasn't very invested in Pat, so the match didn't move me.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn 8.8/10 B+
Sami and Kevin Owens winning the title was fun to watch in a vacuum. Sami and Kevin Owens finally got one over on the Usos and beat them down, and then took their titles. There were plenty of excellent false finishes in the match that made fans believe that the Usos were going to retain before Sami and Kevin fought their way back and won it all.
I don't see why the Usos should have lost here if they were going to interfere in Roman's match anyway, and Cody Rhodes was going to lose. The Usos are the workhorses of the Bloodline, and they should be able to continue their historic run with the Tag Titles. This spot should have been reserved for the Street Profits.
Omos vs. Brock 7.5/10 C
This match was just an okay one-note match. Omos threw Brock, which was impressive, and Brock hit an F5 on Omos, which was impressive. That's pretty much all there was to the match. Ultimately, this match seems destined to be a trivia question since Brock won as most people expected, and Omos is now in the same position he would have been in any way.
Women's Showcase Ronda & Shayna vs. Shotzi & Nattalya vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya vs. Liv & Raquel 7.6/10 C
This match was mediocre. However, it doesn't appear to be the women's fault in this instance. Shayna got hurt at some point, so Ronda and Shayna sat out most of the match, and then after everyone got their stuff in, they came in and picked up the win, which was disappointing even as a Ronda fan.
Gunther vs. Sheamus vs. Drew Intercontinental Championship 8.5/10 B
This match was one of the most physical matches of Wrestlemania, as expected, and the ring work was great. Everyone had moments, but it felt like Sheamus was the main character of this story. A lot of match story was about him almost winning the title.
Honestly, Sheamus should have won and started his first-ever intercontinental Championship reign. Gunther has been a champ for a while and could easily move up to the main title picture, and Gunther winning put a damper on an otherwise strong match.
Bianca vs. Asuka 8.4/10 B
This match had a lot of almost. They almost told a great story about power vs. technical wrestling. Bianca was using power to dominate Asuka in the early part of the match, but Asuka was catching Bianca with some dangerous submission maneuvers. However, that match story didn't really last. Then there was this moment where Asuka and Bianca took the gloves off, and Asuka tried using the spray but missed(lol), and Bianca went for the hair whip but missed. It would have been nice if WWE would have flushed out their friendship more so that story would make more sense.
Bianca winning put a damper on the match. Asuka wasn't really ready to be champ cause she didn't have a character, but that was 100 percent on WWE. They had plenty of time to help Asuka with her character, but instead, Asuka was given nothing in the build, and she is now 0-5 at Wrestlemania.
Edge vs. Finn Balor 8.5/10 B
Solid match, good, not great, The match was stifled by the fact that Finn was busted open the hard way by a ladder Edge threw at him, and so for three minutes, Edge did a great job moving around and getting weapons to draw attention to himself and away from Finn getting medical help. Finn did finish the match, and he had an epic spot where he jumped off the ledge of the cell and went feet-first threw a table after Edge moved. Ultimately, Edge smacked Balor's head between two chairs and got his win back from Extreme Rules. Was it the highest note to end the feud on? No, but it was good enough.
Snoop Dogg/Shane vs. Miz 8.9/10 A
Miz had another mystery opponent at Wrestlemania, and to everyone's surprise, it was Shane. However, Shane tore his quad after one leapfrog a few seconds into the match. As Shane lay there following in the quad steps of his father, Snoop Dog punched Miz and filled in for Shane saving the moment and then making a moment when he beat Miz with a People's Elbow as if all this had gone exactly as planned.
Roman vs. Cody 7.9/10 C+
The match was fine. There were a few nice moments when it felt like Cody or Roman had it won, and the other kicked out. Roman's Superman Punch out of the air was really cool. But this match was dampened by the interference from the Usos and Solo Sikoa and destroyed by the ending.
WWE Caught Lightening in a bottle twice, and twice they threw it away. Sami Zayn was the man after the Bloodline broke up in one of the year's best stories. There was the perfect chance to have Roman lose, but they had Sami lose instead. It was deflating, but it was okay because Cody was going to be the one to do it. Cody came from AEW and quickly became the number-one face in WWE and is currently on an undefeated streak. It was perfect, and instead, WWE had Roman win.
Roman has main-evented Wrestlemania 7 times, and 4 of them have been bad. This reminds me of Wrestlemania 34 when WWE was trying to give Roman the win over Brock that they didn't give him at Wrestlemania 31, but they chickened out again, and they never really got that chance again. Since then, Roman has beaten Brock, but it's never been the same as when they first had the chance to have Roman shock the world and beat Lesnar, and WWE has been chasing that moment ever since.
WWE missed the boat with Sami Zayn in Montreal, but they were lucky to have Cody, and they messed that up too. There is nobody left to stop Roman, and that's super boring. Everyone knows now that he will lose after 1,000 days, and that's predictable. WWE won't get another chance like this. They will chase this moment like they chased Lesnar vs. Reigns. I'm not even mad anymore; I'm just disappointed.
WrestleMania Night 1 Review
Austin Theory vs. John Cena (United States Championship)
With the grandeur of WrestleMania fresh in our minds, Austin Theory and John Cena kicked off the show. This match was slower than I expected, and I think it was intentional to work around Cena who hasn’t wrestled much in the last couple years. Theory looked good not great in pulling off this win, and naturally, tapped out very quickly when the referee wasn’t looking. Overall, this match was nothing special, which is an upsetting result for one of the more over feuds going into Mania. Now, it is time to see if Cena’s prophecy is true: can Theory stand up to the Raw after WrestleMania crowd? Did he win the battle against Cena without winning the war to prove himself to the fans?
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Men’s WrestleMania Showcase Match
With little to no build and one thrown together team, these eight guys put on a near-perfect match that had the crowd white hot after a slow match to start. This is the kind of multiman match you love to see, and the guys showed why they were rewarded with this match. Every team left looking better than they did going in, every team had a moment to shine, and they put on a highlight reel of WrestleMania moments without overstaying its welcome. The Street Profits were the right choice to win, although I think I would have been hype to see any of these teams win by the end. The Street Profits are a generationally good tag team- right up there with the New Day and the Usos, and they can go on to challenge for the tag team championships again.
Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing
Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins
After the last match, Logan Paul had a challenge to try to make a new highlight of the night. I think he came up just short, but the effort was still something to be proud of. Paul and Seth Rollins both had extravagant entrances and ring gear that added to the special feel of this match. Rollins got some reward for his great year: the stadium reaction to Rollins was cool to see, and the conductor style entrance tied everything together. This match will likely be one of the most talked about, even if it wasn’t the greatest. Paul is maybe the most natural we’ve ever seen anyone take to the ring, and he understands exactly what makes big WWE matches great. KSI in the Prime Bottle was a funny twist, and two “non-wrestlers” executed the table spot perfectly. In the end, Rollins won, and even though, it was good momentum for one of the underrecognized stars of the roster, I kind of want to see Paul win one of these big matches sometime soon.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Damage CTRL vs. Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus
Lita and Trish Stratus’s involvement lent credibility to this match that made it feel like it belonged on the card. You know it was a dream for the active women in this match to be in the ring with them. They put together a lot of creative spots, but ultimately, I feel like this just met expectations of a multi-person WrestleMania match. In the end, Damage CTRL lost again, and something would have to change dramatically to take the heel faction as a threat again. It’s a shame because Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai are so talented.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio
We got more WrestleMania entrances out of the Mysterios. Dominik’s entrance was hilarious if only to imagine that he went back to prison, and they let him out just for this match. Rey’s entrance used Snoop Dogg and paid homage to Eddie Guerrero coming out in a lowrider. The Mysterios naturally had good chemistry and put together a solid match made more fun with the involvement of their family, Judgment Day, Legado del Fantasma, and Bad Bunny. In the end, I’m not sure if it was right to give Rey the win, but it certainly gave the crowd what they wanted out of this WrestleMania match.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
This match started slow and built to a crescendo that made a case this could have been the main event of Night 1 if WWE had managed the story better. Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley traded off submissions and brought in creative offense throughout the whole match. Flair took a few bumps throughout the match that were legitimately scary. In the end, it was the big win that was the only thing Ripley’s career was missing to be considered one of THE stars of the main roster women’s division. In Flair’s case, it only took this many years, but it feels like the first time that she gave a big win to her opponent, and you could see her smiling on the floor while Ripley celebrated. Fans can only hope this is the start of a new trend in Flair’s career where she helps build future stars. For Ripley, this feels like just the beginning for someone who is ready to tear through the division and keep putting on banger matches. This could have been match of the night if WWE could have fully embraced the story of underdog Ripley trying to overcome final boss heel Flair.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
The Miz vs. Pat McAfee
Criticisms of this match are natural, but it was exactly what it was supposed to be. Fans needed a break from back-to-back-to-back high stakes matches, and a segment with the hosts is the perfect way to do this. I like Pat McAfee, but I agree with those who say this wasn’t the wrestling pedigree or star power they were expecting from a surprise Mania spot, even with George Kittle interference. The Miz has to be the only full-time wrestler where people are still happy to see him lose in this spot. Credit where it’s due, but only so much credit.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Undisputed Tag Team Championships)
I was glad this match became the main event because I think the story necessitated it, and tag team wrestling is undervalued in the WWE. The match was heavily based around the story. The Usos worked well together to often isolate and dominate one of Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn. A lot of the spots with Zayn were built around callbacks and the Usos telling him he was never good enough to be in the Bloodline. Owens brought his typical passion that got some of the most reaction from the crowd all night. The finishing sequence with Zayn was perfect, as he stared down Jey Uso, the one guy in the Bloodline who always doubted him and he never fully won over. Zayn hit three helluva kicks on Jey, and Owens took out Jimmy with the Stunner. When they won the championships, the place exploded, and there was genuine emotion in and out of the ring. That’s a special WrestleMania moment. I wouldn’t be able to give the match itself this grade, as I think the work rate was compromised in place of story, but if I’m grading the segment as a whole, I can give it this.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Rob's Night One Final Thoughts
It’s tough to grade Night One overall- a show that had every grade between 4-9 out of 10 at one point on my scale. The expectations for a WrestleMania, especially well-built, are through the roof. In their defense, it felt like the grades gradually went up throughout the night, and there were three matches that will land on my shortlist for end-of-year awards. To me, that’s the sign of a good, not great WrestleMania.
Overall Grade: 7/10 Good
Rob's WrestleMania Night 2 Review
Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
I liked this match to kick off night two. I had little to no expectations for it, but I think the match with Omos worked great because Brock Lesnar matches are always built to be a spectacle not built on workrate. We got some definite moments out of this match, and it didn’t overstay its welcome. Lesnar getting the win was unsurprising, but I have no clue what plans for Omos are going forward.
Overall Grade: 5/10 Average
Women’s WrestleMania Showcase Match
In the same spot as the men, I was curious to see if the women’s WrestleMania showcase match could attempt to steal the show on night two. Instead, we got a few good moments, but none of the women really put it all on the line. In the end, I think it came down to the fact that most of these women were not from pre-established teams, and WWE still refuses to put that intention into the women’s tag division. Because of that, Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler were really the only choice to win, and what looked like an injury for Baszler led to a bad finish.
Overall Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Gunther vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre (Intercontinental Championship)
These guys combined I think have had more matches with each other in the last year than anyone else on the roster. So, there were no surprises here, but I think we all knew it was going to be a slobberknocker. The brawler style has never been my favorite style of wrestling, but I still have to respect what went into this match. The fans were the loudest they had been all night, and the commentary team gave them a standing ovation. I’m glad that Sheamus can retire with everyone knowing what he was fully capable of, and this match felt like a good use of McIntyre too. Even though I wanted Gunther to continue his reign, I think the finish put a damper on things because it was so abrupt. With the heel retaining, I suppose that’s how we’re supposed to feel.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Bianca Belair vs. Asuka (Raw Women’s Championship)
This was another match that suffered from being underbuilt despite two phenomenal contenders. Bianca Belair had a special entrance with a children’s dance group that just contributed to her pre-existing aura as a feel-good babyface. Asuka’s technician skills were a little bit of a clash with Belair’s powerful style. Even though this was the weakest of her trio of WrestleMania matches, Belair still put in a performance to be proud of. It was clear a lot of fans wanted Asuka, but it simply didn’t make sense in story, and Belair is now a one-year champion.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (Snoop Dogg)
In a mirrored segment from the prior night, Snoop Dogg brought out a new surprise opponent for The Miz, Shane McMahon. Again, fans were expecting a surprise appearance from a wrestling legend, but I kind of liked Shane in this spot. Apparently, Shane’s body did not either because near-immediately into the match, he tore his quad doing a leapfrog in an injury that is only topped comedically by his father in Royal Rumble 2005. Apparently, WWE official Jessika Carr was a key part in calling an audible that got Snoop Dogg back in the ring, on the mic, and hitting the Miz with a people’s elbow for a win. From a kayfabe standpoint, they saved the segment. From an entertainment standpoint, while generally, I would discourage us from laughing at a serious injury, Shane is the son of a billionaire who did not need to come back to wrestling and doesn’t rely on his physical health for his income. Have your fun Twitter! Sometimes, something can be so bad that it becomes good again. And for the second consecutive year, a McMahon is on the receiving end of one of my only three ever perfect grades.
Final Grade: 10/10 Perfect
Finn Balor vs. Edge (Hell in a Cell)
Going into this match, I thought this feud had overstayed its welcome, but I was ready to be wrong after their “I Quit” match became our match of the year last year. The entrances were part of the spectacle, and I only regret that the Los Angeles arena was still light for it. Edge had a sick mask in his entrance, and Finn Balor had maybe his best demon makeup yet. This match had a ton of fun extreme spots that became all too real when Balor was hit with a flying ladder that sent blood pouring out of his head. The officials did the right thing and put a stop to the match while medical stopped the bleeding and Edge set up more weapons to distract the live crowd. They still managed to finish the match somewhat regularly, including a crazy missed coupe de grace off the cell through a table. Edge finished it with a con-chair-to, and even though it was another feel good win, it didn’t make sense in the story. Balor has just got the Judgment Day to its hottest point, and this undoes everything from their “I Quit” match. It’s unclear what is next for Edge, but it will have to be something big to make the victory worth it, in my opinion.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns (Undisputed WWE Championship)
I’m not sure what to say about this match that hasn’t been said online already. It’s tough to review and grade a match that was amazing from an in-ring standpoint but missed entirely creatively. Roman Reigns is still the master of working the WWE main event style. If there was any doubt Cody Rhodes belongs here, he removed them quickly with his entrance, connection with the crowd, and in-ring work. Rhodes was fighting the whole match like it was his moment. Reigns needed interference from the entire Bloodline to even stay in it, which led to a great moment with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interfering to get rid of the Usos and give Reigns a taste of his own medicine. Even the story of the match was leading up to a big Rhodes win, until it just didn’t happen. Solo Sikoa interfered again after being kicked out of the match earlier, and Reigns hit a spear to pin Rhodes 1-2-3. The crowd was disappointed in a way that doesn’t even promote hatred toward the heel. They were clearly mad at the result and mad at the show. After a stellar nearly 1000-day reign, Reigns is the enemy of the crowd again for the same reason he was years ago, for being shoved down our throats. Now, WWE has passed up on big babyface wins for Drew McIntyre, Zayn, and Rhodes. That feels like a third strike for WWE from hardcore fans. The added layer of it all is that there are arguably no future credible opponents for Reigns. If Rhodes wins the title at a future PPV, it simply won’t be the same. I can’t see another credible opponent being built until Summerslam at the earliest but more likely next year’s WrestleMania. Creative simply cannot complain about not having enough good babyfaces when they passed up on three of them. WWE will have to do something crazy at the Raw after WrestleMania to regain fan’s interest. So how do you grade an amazing match and horrible result? Right in the middle. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense to call this average from a company that we should have been burned by time and time again, and we should have expected this from.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Rob's Final Thoughts
Likewise, it’s tough to grade night two overall in a show that had great matches, WrestleMania moments, and just didn’t send the fans home happy. I think I have to echo the point from earlier. Even though there were good matches and moments, those are the expectations for WrestleMania. In other ways, WWE underdelivered a lot for Night 2 of WrestleMania. They put legends Rey Mysterio, Brock Lesnar, and Edge over their younger opponents, and they didn’t pull the trigger on establishing the next big babyface over continuing Roman’s Reign. It’s more of the same.
Overall Grade: 5/10 Average
Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.1 B
WWE definitely got under the limelight of Hollywood and shrunk. There were a lot of matches that meant nothing and feuds with terrible builds, and then a bunch of matches that had the wrong winner. You have done something wrong when a showcase match is the best match of both nights.