Sunday night’s show was certainly a mixed bag. This year’s edition of the Showcase of the Immortals delivered some truly great matches, and, unfortunately, some definite disappointments. Here are what I consider to be the two best and two worst matches from Wrestlemania 34.
Oh, and before you continue, I suppose I should mention that I’m gonna include some spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happened, you should go ahead and read another fine article here on the site.
THE TWO BEST:
#2: Charlotte vs. Asuka
While this match wasn’t completely perfect, it certainly delivered in a number of ways. First off, Charlotte and Asuka did a terrific job conducting spots around Charlotte’s injured shoulder. Early on in the match, Charlotte took a bump and hurt her left shoulder. Asuka, the opportunist that she is, recognized this, and started to work on Charlotte’s shoulder for a majority of the remainder of the match, and Charlotte did a great job selling this injury. The match also had a great finish, with Charlotte locking in the Figure 8 while bridging on only one arm, continuing to sell her injury even when she was about to win.
However, the match did have a couple of questionable characteristics. First of all, the match only went for just over 13 minutes. I felt as though this match could have gone as long as 17-20 minutes, which would have built more and more tension as the match went on, especially with Charlotte’s injured shoulder and fans worrying about Asuka’s streak being on the line. Speaking of Asuka’s streak, that’s another thing I thought was curious: Charlotte ended up winning the match. While I don’t necessarily dislike Charlotte retaining her belt, I feel like the company could’ve kept Asuka’s streak going a little while longer, potentially leading to a match with Ronda Rousey at some point down the line. With that being said, though, Charlotte has been the dominant competitor in the Women’s division for several years now, so Asuka suffering her first loss to the Queen doesn’t hurt her too much. All in all, this was a great match, even if it could’ve gone a little bit longer.
#1: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
On paper, this match doesn’t sound like much. A former UFC star, in her first ever wrestling match, teaming up with a 49 year old against a 48 year old and his wife. But, they did everything right in this match: Rousey looked dominant against both Steph and HHH, Angle looked fine enough, if not a bit slow, Stephanie was hilariously over-the-top, and HHH was HHH. The crowd was super into the match and Rousey stole the show: her in-ring skills were more than magnificent for her first match, and she locked in several armbars before finally forcing Stephanie to tap out. This match was exciting, fun, and ridiculously entertaining.
THE TWO WORST:
#2: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
This match was a complete shitshow. First of all, Lesnar hit approximately 4827 combined F5s and suplexes, which quickly got old and got no reaction from the crowd. Secondly, Reigns, a full-time performer, took an absolute ass-whipping from Lesnar, a dude who makes a scant number of appearances per year. At one point, Reigns was busted open the hard way and started absolutely gushing blood all over the place. Reigns got hardly any offense in during the match, whereas Lesnar did nothing but repeat the same moves over and over again. But the main problem with this match was the finish: for weeks, Reigns has been calling out Lesnar for being a part-timer who wasn’t committed to the fans. Lesnar responded by beating the shit out of Roman multiple times over the course of several weeks – in addition to Roman being suspended by Vince for calling him out over his bias towards Brock. And where did this story of perseverance and overcoming in the face of adversity lead? To Reigns getting essentially squashed and Lesnar retaining the belt. So I guess Brock isn’t returning to the UFC after all, and I guess Roman is buried beyond belief, further cementing fans’ disdain for him. Same old, same old. A disappointing main event.
#1: Undertaker vs. John Cena
Man, I just wasn’t sure how to order these two matches, but my gut is just telling me that this was not only the worst match on this show, but one of the worst wrestling matches in Wrestlemania history. And between the freaking Undertaker and John Cena of all people, two of the greatest wrestlers ever! In the weeks leading up to the match, Cena cut a plethora of promos calling out Taker – calling him a coward who doesn’t care about the fans. Undertaker’s appearance was teased for weeks, but he just didn’t show up to Raw. So, at Wrestlemania, Cena was situated in the front row as, supposedly, a fan (lol), until after the finish of Charlotte-Asuka, when a ref told him that Taker was here. This led to a hilarious moment in which Cena jumped the barricade and rushed to the locker room to prepare for his match with the Dead Man.
Later on, John Cena entered the ring, and another ref came to tell him that Taker was, in fact, not there. As a disappointed Cena was sulking in the ring, the arena went dark. And then Elias came out, playin’ his guitar and calling out Cena before Cena beat him up. Now, I must admit, everything up to this point I liked. I mean, everyone knew Taker was gonna show up, it was just a matter of when, and the segment with Elias was really entertaining and it got heat from the crowd. Then, Undertaker arrived, after we got some classic terrible lightning effects. Cena, completely shocked, just kinda stood there as Taker approached the ring.
So far so good, right? Well, after Taker finally made it to the ring, a truly terrible match unfolded. Taker couldn’t do much, Cena had next to no offense besides a couple moves, Cena was made to look like a bitch after weeks of calling the Undertaker a coward, and Undertaker won after 2:45. What the hell? That’s what we get after over a month of build? After a month of Cena questioning Taker’s commitment to the fans, Taker just demolished Cena in a nothing-match. It made Cena look completely stupid, and the win does nothing for Undertaker.
I get what they were going for: don’t come at the Dead Man on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Undertaker’s big and scary, and Cena just wasn’t ready for him. But, since Undertaker’s streak has already been broken, and he only appears at Mania anymore anyway, what does Taker winning mean for the company? Nothing at all, and they made their biggest star, John Cena, look completely yellow-bellied on the biggest show of the year. This match meant nothing at all after weeks and weeks of being built up, and the actual match was atrocious, even if the stuff leading up to it was entertaining. I cannot believe that Undertaker and Cena both managed to look this bad. Undertaker is 53 years old now, and I know he’s a Wrestlemania staple, but if he cannot deliver a decent match, he shouldn’t be there. And he certainly shouldn’t be making other top stars look terrible, either.
What did you all think of Wrestlemania? Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below, and make sure you check out the other articles here on the site, as well as our weekly playlist. See you all next week.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention that one half of the new tag team champions was a 10 year old kid.