The Grandest Stage of Them All, presented by WWE, brought the biggest action of the year and mainstream celebrities all in one place as it usually does. I, along with two friends, were super excited to buy our tickets and head to MetLife stadium and witness the big show. We saw the return of the Immortal Hulk Hogan, John Cena roast Elias with his throwback 'Doctor of Thuganomics' gimmick, Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che get brutalized on the pre-show, and some of the best matches put on by people we would never expect to have that kind of performances in such a crammed show. That's right: WrestleMania had sixteen matches throughout the event, so you'd think everything would be quick and not spot-on. However, the company's top stars delivered in the best possible way on the main show, which is what I'll be focusing on (not taking away any of the credits to those who performed on the pre-show). This is all personal opinion, so take this with a grain of salt.
1. Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) for the WWE Universal Championship
Possibly the best way to start a show 'hot', as wrestling terms go. The "REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED, HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD" Brock Lesnar defended his title against the 'Beastslayer' after months of holding onto the Universal championship without showing up to Raw every night. It was a short match, but it made sense: Lesnar brutalized Rollins before the bell and continued to do so until Rollins found a way to subdue the Beast Incarnate and curb stomp him three times and win his first Universal championship. A great match!
2. AJ Styles vs Randy Orton
Two industry vets who know their way around the ring on the grandest stage of them all. Classic match with plenty of hard-hitting action, high-flying moves, and two personalities clashing in a WrestleMania-worthy performance. Styles got the win here, but Orton showed the world that he was still capable of being a main event guy and not a wasted veteran.
3. The Usos vs Ricochet/Aleister Black vs Rusev/Shinsuke Nakamura vs The Bar for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships
Although not as prolific as previous tag team matches at 'Mania, these eight superstars dished out a ton of offense on each other in their own style that had the audience cheering throughout it. Cesaro and Sheamus proved that they're still a dominant force in the tag team division, while new sensations Aleister Black and Ricochet showcased their abilities as a team here. Another good match where The Usos retained.
4. Shane McMahon vs The Miz (Falls Count Anywhere)
Miz and Shane have been embroiled in a heated rivalry stemming from Shane's ignorance and mistreatment of Miz's dad. We saw them go at it all over the arena that included some extreme moments reminiscent of Shane's Attitude Era spots, who pinned Miz after Miz superplexed Shane off a platform and on a table. A great match that even saw Miz's dad get into the ring and try to box the 'Best in the World' Shane McMahon.
5. The IIconics vs Sasha Banks/Bayley vs Tamina/Nia Jax vs Beth Phoenix/Natalya for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships
Though most of the women's division focal point was the triple threat main event that night, these eight women went all out to show that their division is red hot and ready to show the world that women tag teams are the next big thing. A good match with plenty of action that had us cheering, but The IIconics' winning had me upset since I'm a huge Sasha/Bayley fan.
6. Kofi Kingston (w/ The New Day) vs Daniel Bryan (w/ Rowan) for the WWE Championship
Personally, I was stoked for this match. I've always been a Kofi fan since his days as the Jamaican Sensation from ECW, so to see him get his actual first title shot opportunity after all the ups and downs he's been through was amazing. The crowd was supercharged for the New Day's high-flier, who went toe-to-toe with a rounded ring general such as Daniel Bryan. We were standing throughout (at least that's what I think) to see Kofi win his first world championship in an arena lobbying for the first African-American WWE Champion ever.
7. Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio for the United States Championship
Talk about quick. Mysterio's ankle injury seemed to be the case of speeding up this match, as Joe defeated Rey in less than a minute. My friend Ethan wore his Mysterio mask for that match...easy to say he was disappointed when it was all said and done in a minute.
8. Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre
Reigns, who was returning from leukemia remission, wrestled his first 'Mania outside the main event in four years (having gone 2-2 in the previous Manias). Both fought tooth and nail in a classic 'big man' match, but it wasn't prolific or anything. In fact, much of the crowd was doing the wave during it, a sign that we still don't accept Reigns as 'the guy' after constantly having him shoved down our throats. Reigns picked up the win but it was forgettable, to be honest.
9. Triple H vs Batista (No Holds Barred)
Two former Evolution members went 'hard' in this match to show who was the better man. Batista, returning to the ring after five years, was trying to show that he could beat Triple H one more time and go 4-0 against The Game...by attacking 'a seventy year old' Ric Flair during his birthday. Both men had their times to shine and bring some nostalgia back, but the video above was grueling to watch (even though the nose ring was obviously planted there and not actually ripped).
10. Baron Corbin vs Kurt Angle (Angle's Farewell Match)
We were all hoping Corbin would be replaced and sent back to Applebee's since that what he's dressed like before this match. Angle, a well-rounded veteran, was having his final match on the big stage and lost to...Baron Corbin. A bad taste was left in all our mouths even after Angle got on the mic and thanked us for the years of support.
11. "Demon" Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) for the Intercontinental Championship
The penultimate match saw 'Demon' Finn Balor capture his second Intercontinental title from Bobby Lashley in a so-so match. Balor's entrance was more entertaining then the action in the ring, but to see him win the title at 'Mania was great to see. That powerbomb surprised a good amount of us, too.
12. Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey (Winner Take All Triple Threat Match for the Raw and Smackdown Women's Championships)
The main event saw "THE MAN" Becky Lynch do the impossible and face two of the biggest names in the company with untarnished legacies and win both titles. It was a great back and forth match of unpredictability since there were three of them in there, and the controversial ending still leaves me wondering what happened. Either way, the crowd was ecstatic to see their favorite 'Lass Kicker' win both titles and prove that hard work pays off no matter where you come from or whose daughter you are.
The entire show had it's ups and downs, but I can say there were more ups than downs. It was possibly one of the best all around WrestleManias in a few years. 8/10 final rating from me.
Credit: Hunter M.