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WWE Wrestlemania 32: A Package Deal

WWE Wrestlemania 32 has passed us by. It truly is the showcase of the immortals. Wrestlemania truly does sell itself. I realize this year’s addition to Wrestlemania wasn’t exactly the best. Compare Wrestlemania 32 to Wrestlemania 31 and 30, it loses by a huge margin. However, in some respects maybe we should not compare them. Maybe the days of evaluating Wrestlemania alone should be over. Hear me out here.

There were two major events a couple days before the Grand Daddy of them all last Sunday. Those events were NXT Dallas and the hall of fame ceremony. For those that watched NXT Dallas you know how great of a performance everyone on the card put together. American Alpha has been built up as a legitimate WRESTLING tag team. Both Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have compelling back stories and a solid amateur background that helps their overall presentation. The energy and power comes from Jordan and the expert mat skills and charisma from Gable. It is the perfect storm. It was nice to see two hard working guys finally get to the top of their division. One can only hope that sooner or later Kurt Angle has one last run in the WWE. Then Kurt and American Alpha can reform the “world’s greatest tag team.”

Austin Aries made his debut against Baron Corbin. The match was solid. It ended in a way that still protected Corbin. Aries is perfect for the NXT environment. He fits that Indy mold and caters to the hardcore audience. Baron Corbin is an old school heel. He does not try to get pops. Everything he does comes off bad. That is missing in today’s era. You are a heel. Your job is to get heat. Baron Corbin gets this to the fullest. Glad to see that he is on the main roster now.

It was a surprise that Bayley dropped the championship. Askua beat her via submission. Askua is so unique and a loss would probably slightly hurt her aura a bit. I don’t think Bayley is leaving NXT just yet though. She still has juice in her for the NXT brand.

The match of the night was Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn. This was physical, dramatic, and awe inspiring. Never has a match drawn out so much emotion from me from start to finish. The crowd did abuse the chants a little. However, the crowd added to the classic. It was the perfect debut for Nakamura and sendoff for Zayn.

Finn Balor and Samoa Joe can fight 40 times and their matches will never get old. People complain about the ref intervening due to blood. That does nothing but add to the realness of the match for me. It shows that the wrestler is actually cut open and needs assistance because of pain. If Joe is staying in NXT, who is his next feud going to be with?

The next day was the annual hall of fame ceremony. It is to honor the work of wrestlers of the past. The reason why this night is enjoyable is because we get to see the performers be themselves. There is no act to uphold. The audience gets to see sides that they don’t usually get to see. The Fabulous Freebirds were entertaining and long overdue. Sting is always a class act. The retirement does not shock me. It seems like he wants one more match but the WWE won’t budge. Think of a lesser Daniel Bryan scenario.

Where am I going with all this? Before we got the actually Wrestlemania show we got other events that planted seeds for all the to the raw after Wrestlemania. It was okay for Corbin to lose because he ended up winning the Andre battle royal. It was okay for AJ Styles to lose to Jericho at Wrestlemania. He is now the number 1 contender for the WWE heavyweight championship. Whether he beats reigns or not is irrelevant.

Wrestling fans need to learn to let a story play out sometimes. I’m guilty of this too. Hell, if I had it my way Dean Ambrose, Shane, and Sasha Banks would go over. Wrestlemania on Sunday wasn’t the greatest. Monday Night Raw the next night more than made up for it. NXT Dallas added to it. All star weekend is judged by everything in that weekend. There is the celebrity game, the skills challenge, the rookies vs. sophomore, the 3 point contest, dunk contest, and the All Star game. From now on maybe we should not just evaluate Wrestlemania in a similar light. Maybe we should evaluate Wrestlemania in its entirety. Let’s judge Wrestlemania weekend.

WWE: The US Championship: A Legacy of Greatness Season 1

WWE: NXT’s Greatest Matches Vol. 1

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David Joseph

David Joseph is a co-host of the No Holds Barred podcast. No Holds Barred is an entertaining and informative talk show on all things professional wrestling.

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