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WWE WrestleMania 32 Recap and Thoughts

It was April 3rd and one of the biggest events of the year had arrived!  Not only that, it was the same day as Wrestlemania 32!  The other I’m mentioning is a friend’s surprise 60th birthday party.  After stuffing myself with calamari, chicken parmigiana with a side of pasta, and birthday cake, it was time for me to head over to the always fun gathering of friends to watch Wrestlemania 32.  I arrived late missing the first of three kickoff matches.  Why three?  I don’t know.  You’d think five hours would be plenty of time to get all eleven matches in but what do I know?  I don’t run these shows.  I just enjoy watching them.

Despite the lack of big name superstars on the card it turned out to be one of the best Wrestlemanias I’ve seen.  I’d rank it in my top five all time Manias.  There were surprise wins that had our heads scratching.  The WWE superstars did their respective parts giving it their all for the fans.  It was a hot crowd at AT&T Stadium and at my friend’s basement.

Pre-Match #1: Kalisto vs. Ryback – I missed the match in its entirety as I was coming from the surprise party.  Based on my friends’ feedbacks it was a good match.  Good moves from both parties involved that included Ryback carrying Kalisto up the steps and into the ring.  Kalisto won to retain the United States Champion.  I like Kalisto with his high risk high flying moves.  I’ll watch this match when I get a chance.  If I need to add anything else I’ll do so in the future.

I grabbed my first beverage of the evening while making my picks for our pool.  For the record I gave my opening match by phone as I got off Route 422.  Our host’s son offer us Lay’s biscuits and gravy potato chips.  I liked it but if I wanted the full effect of biscuits and gravy I would go for the real thing that has loads of sodium, fat, and cholesterol.  The crowd continues to arrive as the second pre-match begins.

Pre-Match #2: Natalya, Paige, Brie, Alicia, Eva vs. Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Emma, Summer – Eva got hard heat from the crowd while cheering the heels.  Emma’s 180 degree makeover was much needed and hot!  At first I didn’t recognize Lana with the long flowing hair but her one piece purple outfit was sweet!  Watching Summer’s backside on the right side of the TV for most of the match was a nice distraction.  The actual wrestling was entertaining with all the participants showing off their hair flying moves.  Natalya’s group wins the match.  This match is a symbolic bridge from the end of the Divas Era to the Women’s Era now that there’s a new women’s title belt.  The change is needed with the influx of female talent in from NXT.

I grabbed a slice of tomato pie while sampling a beer from growler that one of the guests brought over and recommended to us.  I was full from lunch but not stuffed knowing I had to make room for more food.  Beer was good by the way.

Pre-Match #3: The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz – Don’t know why I picked the Dudleys to win this match.  Maybe it’s stuck in my head that the Usos have recently been underwhelming to me with their yelling and super kicks.  They did have some neat high flying moves.  It was a so-so match with The Usos winning the match.  If I had to choose one kickoff match it would be this one.  After the match, the Dudleys unearthed a pair of tables that’s taking longer each time I see them.  Unfortunately it backfired for the Dudleys as they were thrown on the tables and got pummeled through the tables.  Thanks to Bubba Ray for sliding himself into position on the table.

We’re now at full house in the basement to start the actual Wrestlemania 32 pay per view!  It’s a hot crowd with the usual crew except our one buddy who had to work.  And we thought everything in life stops for Wrestlemania Sunday.  Neighbors came by along with a few kids to enjoy the pay per view.  Our hostess presents us with a tray full of sodium and preservatives that included Lunchables lunch meats, cheeses, and pretzel crisps.  Their house dogs Donald & Minnie was hoping to have some but had to be reassigned to another room.  Us adults did a social shot of Jameson toasting to another Wrestlemania together.

Intercontinental Ladder Match: Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, The Miz, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder.  If anyone actually, seriously thought Zack Ryder would win the Intercontinental Title, I would have laughed at you and would have continued to laugh into the next week.  I feel the WWE bookers wanted to mess with the WWE Universe.  Our bets were on Owens or Zayn to win this match.

Great match!  All of the participants were showing off their signature moves.  Kudos to Sami Zayn taking two major bumps in his first Wrestlemania as a form of initiation to the big leagues.  I loved Owens yelling at Zayn to go back to NXT.  Great tribute when Stardust pulled out the black and yellow polka dot ladder in honor of his father Dusty Rhodes.  Speaking of Stardust, he looked like he literally got bent in half outside the ring from a Sin Cara splash from jumping off the ropes and onto the ladder.  As annoyed as I was getting my pick wrong, I was happy for Zack Ryder.  He’s a mid-card wrestler at best who will never forget this moment.  How long he holds onto the title is the question.  My gut feeling is not long at all but savor it for now.  Great way to open Wrestlemania!  All seven of them definitely earned their pay.

Finished my first beer.  The hostess made a wonderful, refreshing cocktail of Vodka, ice tea, mint, and lemons.  Forgot what she called it but I loved it!

Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles – If you read my article a few weeks ago you know I was looking forward to this match.  Did this match clinch a record for the most two counts in one match?  The longer the match went the more uncertain I was on who’d win.  Jericho and Styles could’ve gone for another half hour of two counts and would still be glued to the TV.  Didn’t have the energy as I hoped it would but a very solid match overall.  Jericho carried most of the match but Styles came on later.  A well-deserved win for Jericho.  In hindsight I guess this makes sense because I’m expecting the WWE has big things planned for Styles this year.  The loss here is a blip and seasoning before the bigger stage.  I wish Styles carried the match a little more but I’ll let it slide since he made a big debut at the Rumble.  All of us had Styles as a gimmie to win this match.  Wrong again!

Had my first serving of roast beef sandwich with a slice of provolone cheese and a dash of horseradish with a side of macaroni salad.  Yum!  A bowl of Booty-O’s would’ve been apropos with the next match but I’m fine with the stream of sodium and cholesterol.

The New Day vs. The League of Nations – Felt a little off from picking the prior two matches wrong.  I’m usually good at this and Wrestlemania is usually a face heavy win pay per view.  Loved Xavier Woods’ hair and another good performance with Francesca, the trombone.  Good match but surprised at the ending of the League winning it.  I told the gang that the WWE bookers are messing with us.  We eventually know why that happened when the League called on any three wrestlers who could beat them.  Cue the legends; HBK, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin.  Big pops for HBK and Foley and a ballistic pop for Austin.  Cool to see all three of them on one stage again.  They did their ring cleaning and celebrated with Stevewisers; I think they were IPA’s.  Foley looked like he was already drunk.  Is this the closest we’ll ever see Austin inside the ring at Wrestlemania?

Street Fight: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose – Finally got this one right as Lesnar defeated Ambrose.  Lesnar makes it look so easy suplexing Ambrose 13 times.  Great groin shot by Ambrose who has become the WWE’s version of Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman.  It’s anyone’s guess who Lesnar will deal with next due to his part time schedule.  As for Ambrose, he did great keeping up with Lesnar with the assistance of Chainsaw Charlie, bat wrapped in barbed wire, fire hydrant, and kendo stick.  The crowd loves Ambrose; he took big bumps in this match.  Speaking of Chainsaw Charlie, what would he actually do with a buzzing chainsaw in a match?  The debate will continue as to where Ambrose will go next and who will he feud with this coming summer.  He’s proven himself time and again he’s a main eventer.  Memo to WWE – Your fans love Ambrose!

Unbeknownst to me, my friend’s daughter started a bad language count of his father that started at the Ambrose/Lesnar match.  We had to avoid the obscenities as four young kids hung with us sporadically.  Overall, we did pretty well except for a few accidental blurting outs but when I was their age I had already accumulated multiple obscenities.  A lot of you readers can attest to that.

Women’s Title Triple Threat Match: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks – I mentioned in my article about a week ago that I thought Banks would win the title.  I should’ve gone with my gut instinct and pick Charlotte to win this match.  Snoop Dogg walking out with Banks, her cousin, seemed to be a lock she would win.  I knew Charlotte would win this match when she came out sporting a blue and white Ric Flair like robe we’d see back in the NWA days.  They’re booking Charlotte wonderfully!  I’m feeling Charlotte will carry the belt for a long time as she leads the women’s division with a new belt.  Really good match between the three competitors as it looked like all three of them could’ve won it.  In fact, my friend and I noticed the ref may have done a three count by accident when Lynch pinned Charlotte but no bell was rung.  Ric Flair interfered at a key moment holding Sasha Banks’ leg as Becky lynch tapped out to Charlotte’s figure eight.

Kids have either gone to bed or went home.  Timing worked out as the conversations ventured in different directions from kick boxing, correct push up methods, and a story from our hostess about his husband wanting his toes clipped before sex.  But I digress.

Hell In A Cell: Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker – This was a two plate entrance for both combatants.  First plate when Shane and his kids came out I had roast beef and cheese with no bread.  Plate number two was during Undertaker’s entrance when I had a Kaiser roll dipped in au jus.  Any who…the match…

Overall a simmering but good match in terms of pace and action but it’s understandable considering their age and limited in ring action.  Shane fared very well with the Van Daminator across the ring and jumping off the top of the cage and crashing onto the announcer’s table when Taker moved out of the way.  Amazing he was able to walk away from that.  Taker wins and Vinny Mac retains control of Raw as I expected.  I couldn’t see Taker lose two Wrestlemanias in three years.  Plus, there’s the mystery of a Lockbox Shane McMahon brought up in the early stages of the feud.  I have a feeling that will come into play.  Congrats to Shane for another match of crazy moves and sacrificing his body for the good of the company.

Bad language count after HIAC match is at 48.  I must’ve missed the Hall of Fame roll call when I when up to the kitchen for more food.

Andre The Giant Battle Royal – Baron Corbin won the Battle Royal in his Wrestlemania debut.  Looking forward to his run in the WWE.  Hopefully he’ll be a real heel.  I didn’t see Corbin’s name on the list when I typed up the pool twenty four hours earlier and I was busy socializing earlier in the day at the surprise party that I never checked the internet for updates and rumors.  I picked Mark Henry to win this match since the event is in his home state of Texas.  Just when we thought Tatanka was the surprise of the match, Shaquille O’Neal shows up to confront The Big Show only for the both of them to be dumped out by the other 18 contestants.  It was convenient for Shaq since he was in nearby Houston for the Final Four.  Had to be a last minute change since this match was supposed to be part of the kickoff.  Mark Henry was mysteriously missing for a little while only to reappear and get thrown out shortly after that.

It’s close to 11:00 pm and I’m stuffed.  The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders come out for a dance when finally, The Rock arrives!  He epitomizes the “It” factor whether he’s in the ring.  Wondering what he was going to do with the flamethrower.  He lit up his name in big steel like blocks.  Arguably one of the all-time in ring personalities on the mike.  The “And millions” chants from the crowd was deafening.  The Rock announced a Wrestlemania attendance record of 101,763.

Bray Wyatt interrupts Rock’s moment walking out to the beauty of darkness and thousands of lit cellphones.  Rock’s message to Wyatt could’ve had the makings of a face turn for Wyatt but instantly trashed that idea resulting in an impromptu match between The Rock and Erik Rowan that lasted a whopping six seconds.  John Cena then shows up to a big pop.  He looked a little reserved.  Could it be he’s not fully recovered from his injury?  Or do I sense a heel vibe?

As we’re awaiting the main event match, all of us were doing our own version of pushups.  I believe my version won; as it should have.  My face was beet red when I stood up looking like I hadn’t worked out in months but what would you expect after a day of eating, drinking, and not doing pushups in weeks?  Because of this, I’ve gone back to doing pushups.

WWE Heavyweight Championship Match: HHH vs. Roman Reigns – We finally made it to the main event!  Corny opening as the top WWE couple continue to make it about themselves.  Didn’t hear much of Stephanie McMahon rambling but it didn’t matter to us as we were wrapping up our push up seminar/contest.  That was more important.  Stephanie had a bad hairdo and I was not a fan of the outfit but her her legs looked nice.

Now commonplace, Roman Reigns arrives to a chorus of boos while HHH arrives to a pop.  I don’t get the hate for Reigns but if he has to turn heel just do it!  I’m annoyed Reigns gets pops as a heel and then booed as a face.  Typical HHH match where he gets his spots of fist punches to Reigns’ head.  Is it the first time there’s a German announcers table at Wrestlemania?  Expected a ref bump but got cheers when Reigns speared Stephanie McMahon by accident.  Reigns wins and becomes new champion.  Interesting to see where this goes next.

It’s 11:50 pm and Wrestlemania is now in the history books!  Final bad language count was 82.  Our hostess packed a couple of roast beef sandwiches and a few slices of tomato pie to take home along with a PowerAde for the drive home.  Walked into my house by 12:45 a.m.  A great doubleheader Sunday of gatherings!  Now it’s back to reality of work and the all-important day after Wrestlemania Raw that will develop into the next phase of feuds for the Spring and Summer.

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Paul Laska

Paul Laska is a Self-Published Author, Sports Writer, & Travel Writer who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently working on articles on Sevilla, Lisbon, and Oregon while writing a new novel for a 2015 release. Check out my Facebook page, Laska Travels. I’m also a freelance writer. Contact me for potential projects.

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