WWE WrestleMania 32 wrestled its way into popular culture on Sunday night. There were a lot of possibilities and potentially interesting new stories that most hoped to see come out of Sunday’s big event. Unfortunately what fans received was a sold event with no real surprise twists to the big matches and some highly predictable results to boot.
Injuries contributed to a card that looked weaker on paper than the loaded lineups we have been accustomed to seeing in April. Shane McMahon and Dean Ambrose stepped into unlikely spots as WrestleMania headliners. Yet it was a strong undercard and a little Mania drama that came together and delivered an event that satisfied even the most cynical WWE fan.
From top to bottom you won’t find many WrestleMania cards as solid as 32. Even without a couple of heavy hitters, the roster came together to present an event bigger than just one name. If there is one thing I learned by watching WrestleMania 32 it is to have faith in the WWE because regardless of circumstances, they are always going to deliver.
Roman Reigns defeated Triple H to regain the WWE world championship. Reigns was booed out of the building from start to finish. The only time he was cheered was when he accidentally speared Stephanie McMahon. The match was long, real long and was not necessarily one of the better main-events in recent WrestleMania history. That could also be in part because the show didn’t end until almost midnight, going almost a full hour past the usual 11 PM ending. The finish came when Trips got the sledgehammer and Reigns beat him with a series of Superman punches and a spear.
It was certainly a weird way to end the show. Between the Shane-Taker and HHH-Reigns match, there was nothing of any real consequence that came out of either match. Maybe the expectations were too high coming off of Seth Rollins’ surprise cash-in and title win at last year’s event? Regardless, the finish to the show felt very anti-climactic which is a shame because overall it was a pretty good event.
There were also a few unannounced surprises like Shaq entering the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but the biggest would have to be the Rock…wrestling. Rock came out to announce an attendance record and was interrupted by the Wyatt Family. Rock eventually challenged them to a match and he wound up pinning Erick Rowan with a Rock Bottom in six-seconds. Rock actually wrestled, ripping off of his stuff to reveal wrestling gear. The Wyatts then closed in on Rock before John Cena hit the ring to make the save and help clean house. I would guess that this was supposed to make up for the lack of big shocks in the top matches.
The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell Match. Shane brought his kids out and danced to the ring with them before sitting them ringside. Unfortunately for them they watched their father get dominated by the Undertaker. Taker dominated about 90% of the match as expected. The story here was that Shane kept coming back and wouldn’t quit. The match and show will be remembered for a spot which saw Shane come off of the top of the cage, about 20 feet in the air to drop an elbow on the Undertaker on a table. Taker rolled off of the table. It was quite a spectacle to see and well worth the replay if you haven’t already seen the event. Nothing from Vince at all during or after the match. When all was said and done it seemed like it was all for nothing with no big storyline coming out of the match. Maybe more comes out of it on RAW, or at least I’d hope so.
The undercard was one of the most exciting in recent Mania memories. The show opened up with one of the best openers in Mania history. Zack Ryder shocked the world and won the intercontinental title in the multi-person ladder match. The story here was the rivalry of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, which received huge reactions any time the two squared off. At one point it looked like Zayn was going to win and the place went nuts. He probably should have in my opinion but Ryder certainly got a big boost from the match. Regardless of the loss, I think Zayn’s stock probably rose more than anyone’s here and arguably on the whole show.
The League of Nations defeated New Day with Sheamus pinning Xavier Woods. The big story here was the aftermath, which Dave Meltzer has been teasing for about two weeks. Wade Barrett got on the mic and said no lineup could beat them. Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin proceeded to hit the ring and clean house. New Day tried to get the three legends to dance but it ended with Austin nailing Xavier with a stunner.
Brock Lesnar defeated Dean Ambrose in a NHB match. This wasn’t as good as I hoped and seemed to drag at times. Lesnar was on offense for most of the match. Ambrose would gain control any time he would use a weapon on Lesnar. Ambrose tossed a bunch of chairs in the ring ala Terry Funk at one point. The finish came when Lesnar foiled Ambrose’s plans to use a barbed wire bat and hit an F5 on Ambrose on the chairs. Nice match but at the end of the day it seemed like a bit of a waste of Lesnar.
Full WWE WrestleMania 32 results and winners…
Roman Reigns defeated Triple H to regain the World Heavyweight Championship
The Rock defeated Erick Rowan
The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon in a Hell In a Cell (If McMahon wins, he will control Monday Night Raw and Taker will not fight at WrestleMania again)
Brock Lesnar defeated Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight
Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to win the WWE Womens Championship (Divas title was retired earlier) in a Triple Threat Match
Chris Jericho defeated A.J. Styles
Zack Ryder defeated Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, The Miz, Stardust, and Sin Cara to win the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Kalisto defeated Ryback to retain the United States Championship
League of Nations defeated New Day Handicap Match (4 vs. 3)
The Usos defeated the Dudley Boyz
Braon Corbin won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Natalya, Paige, Brie, Alicia, Eva defeated Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Summer, Emma