Worst WrestleMania Weekend Moments
NXT call-ups leave out as losers
This is an unavoidable, but problematic issue every time there’s a champion long overdue to be called up to the main roster. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Ember Moon had the look of serious short-timers from the minute they stepped out. No doubt they’ll be showing up on Raw or SmackDown very soon, but it always hurts some of their momentum when the last time we saw them they were losing.
Supercard of Honor match order
ROH fans tend to burn themselves out too quickly. With the talent intent on stealing the show, management needs to start laying their cards out differently. Have the ladder match open the show to allow the fans to recover and make Dalton Castle/Marty Scurll the first main event. Putting the world title match last is admirable, but the fans were spent after Omega/Cody.
The Bullet Club Civil War match had a little bit of everything including a subtle cliffhanger about what happens next with Kenny and The Bucks, Flip’s role with Brandi, the identity of Bernard the Bear and Cody’s leadership stake in Bullet Club. That image of The Bucks in shock in the middle of the ring, Omega bring escorted out and Cody gloating was the way to close the show. Poor Dalton and Marty didn’t have a chance and the ROH World Title came off like an afterthought.
It was nice to see the occasional splurge for pyros with Kurt Angle and Charlotte, but the silly Snapchat/Instagram filter approach for some superstars’ entrances look like someone’s teenager took control of the production booth. There’s a way to be contemporary, but this made it feel like WWE was really chasing after the current fads instead of setting them. As WWE reminds he constantly, back in the WWE Attitude Era they established trends like Austin 3:16, Know Your Role, Suck It, etc.
But more significant than that was the issues with the women’s battle royal. Naomi won as she allegedly was never eliminated. But for all the dozens of cameras at ringside, not one managed to pick up that she wasn’t thrown over the top and we had to trust the commentators? It came off even worse as the fans seemed to really relish the idea of Bayley getting a big win from being selfish over Sasha Banks for a change. This was one of those instances Vince probably should have called the audible and gave Bayley the win. It’s not like anyone noticed Naomi was screwed.
Stephanie McMahon’s ego
Sure she eventually tapped out, but Stephanie did a tremendous job of killing Ronda Rousey’s ‘finisher’ in one match. Stephanie acted like was every bit Rousey’s equal. While I had some issues right away with that even in the build at least Stephanie had more actual wrestling matches than Rhonda.
It was absurd that Stephanie, a character who’s never been portrayed as a submission escape artist or counter savant, would suddenly be able to withstand any of Ronda’s submission moves. Stephanie and Triple H stay ridiculous in how they make the current stars look silly, but I didn’t imagine that would extend to one of their pet projects as well.
Stepping all over Charlotte’s Moment
Ending Asuka’s streak was a big deal. This was a competitor who’d dominated NXT and RAW for years without taking a loss of any kind. Charlotte vanquished the unbeatable and her moment was used as the backdrop for Cena learning Undertaker was in the building.
I always use the ‘Would Triple H let this happen to him?’ approach in questioning WWE decisions. When he was becoming a legend in that sweet spot post splitting from DX and WrestleMania 2000, Triple H was bulletproof and it was that key period that made him legit in the eyes of the fans. Is there any chance Triple H would let anyone take the attention from him if he ended someone’s undefeated streak? Not likely.
This was Charlotte’s big moment and it was spoiled to rush in to Cena/Undertaker. I really don’t understand the WWE’s choices sometimes and this one was one of many baffling decisions at WrestleMania.
I’m starting off with a minor one. Nia Jax should have obliterated Alexa Bliss in 30 seconds. The WWE treated Bliss better than it did John Cena.
After months of Cena begging The Undertaker to return, we got a match that no one expected. I didn’t expect Cena to win. That would have been stupid, but to have the payoff to this angle be an Undertaker squash? I was hoping for some repeat of the Hulk Hogan/The Rock match where two Hall of Famers turn the clock back and have a special moment. Instead, it looks like Vince McMahon wanted to give Cena the proverbial spanking for daring to go and become a movie star like The Rock. Blocker indeed.
For weeks Braun Strowman promised a partner to help him beat The Bar and he just picked a random kid out of the audience. Judy Bagwell officially gets taken off the list of things WWE announcers can mock now. At least Judy was involved in the storyline.