Wrestlemania 32 Review
I’ve taken this last week to marinate in my thoughts and feelings about the dumpster fire that was Wrestlemania 32. Let’s just call it what it is.
Finish after finish I was in disbelief, I thought wrestling fans were being ramrodded out of great and memorable finishes.
I’ve kept up with the product the most this year than I ever have before. Going into Mania, there was potential that despite the card, the show would have opportunities to shine.
Wrestlemania 32 all in all was a“tease” show. We all knew we would have to suffer through the Roman Reigns main event, but that match was the biggest afterthought and nobody cared going into it. Roman wins, gets booed, we all move on.
That’s because there were two high profile matches that had rooting interests and storylines fans could get passionate about. The Women’s belt, and the Shane vs. Undertaker bout.
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
Shane vs. Undertaker was the match of Mania 32.
Shane going off the cage will forever live on in Wrestlemania promos for years to come.
Call the match a spotfest. It was. Chokeslam on the steps, a Last Ride, a Coast to Coast with the trash can, announce table spot. But with Undertaker and Shaun it makes sense. These guys aren’t going for a technical match, this is all about the spectacle. The only thing missing was JR calling Shane going off the top of the cage.
In an ideal world and out of a sign of respect I would’ve rather seen Undertaker let Shaun pin him for what would’ve been a symbolic story finish to the match, but Undertaker’s win doesn’t take away how memorable the match will be.
An alternate finish would be a Stone Cold surprise stunning Taker and putting Shane on top for the win. More on Stone Cold later…
Match Rating: 4 Stars
A Stone Cold spot would’ve been worth 5 stars, but there was obviously no chance in hell for that. 4 stars for the storytelling, and for Jeff Hardy transposing his body inside Shane McMahon.
Triple Threat for the Women’s Championship
This match was revered and set up to be the match of the night. With a bountiful amount of women’s talent in the pipeline and the Bella’s mostly out of the way (Total Diva’s was bad for the women’s division), Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks have all the pressure and lights on them. It was a bit unfair to be honest.
These ladies wrestled classic matches on the NXT show, but never really got time to wrestle paced matches on the main card PPV’s. It’s like going from shooting free throws in a high school tournament, to the NBA finals. The difference is that there are millions more people expecting you to deliver the goods. It’s the pressure of the moment paired with the expectation of the crowd.
The match wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the billing of a defining women’s wrestling match was too much too fast. The bar and expectation was set above the Jerryworld roof. The ladies put in their high spots. A frogsplash, a nasty moonsault, a suicide dive that turned into a senton which looked like an accidental adjustment, and Becky Lynch doing her best Brock and Angle impressions.
The match itself had a number of noticeable cringe worthy botches that doesn’t accurately portray how great these three wrestlers are. That’s why I make the argument that they should’ve gotten longer and better pay per view matches leading up to this point.
Case in point: The Styles vs. Jericho match had already seen pay per view action.
This match like the Styles and Jericho match fell flat due to the finish. This is LeBron James missing a wide open dunk. The WWE aligned the stars for Sasha Banks and didn’t give her or the fans what would’ve been the first big moment of the night.
Match Rating: 2.5 Stars
Call it unfair, but I’m not apologist, plus the awful booking is not their fault. Ask yourself, would you show casual fans this Women’s match, or would you find a different one to say, this is what great women’s wrestling looks like?
6-Man Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Highlights: I mistook Sin Cara for Kalisto for the first 5 minutes. The Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn rivalry tease is going to be the best thing WWE does this year. Zack Ryder had a nasty elbow drop among a dozen other spots in the match. Any spot Owens or Zayn did in the match was awesome.
Any 6-man ladder match is expected to be a spotfest, and as usual that promise was delivered. It’s a good way to start the show. Ryder winning was a cool moment that didn’t bother me.
Match Rating: 2 Stars
WWE Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Triple H
Garbage. And boring.
Match Rating: 1/2 Star
We got Stephanie McMahon taking a spear, that alone is worth half a star.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
This match will get lost in the shuffle though both guys are great competitors and put on a solid match.
Jericho is fairly limited when the matches go on for long stretches which doesn’t bode too particularly well when AJ Styles can move at such a swift pace.
Another disappointing result with Jericho getting the W, spitting in the face of fans who still remember that Jericho lost to WWE afterthought and Dancing with the Stars wannabe, Fandango.
The crowd was also MIA for much of the match. Not until the later portions when the signature submissions, big moves, and false finishes were pulled was the crowd’s interest piqued. It was really a testament to their performance that they raised the crowd’s interest just by putting on a good wrestling match.
Match Rating: 3.5 Stars
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels appear at Mania
Easily the greatest waste of talent for a “Wrestlemania moment”. The League of Nations are a failure of a tag team, The New Day is an abomination of children’s entertainment, and three marquis talents come out to wipe them out. It was a complete waste of time when other matches on the card needed this moment.
I mentioned earlier if Stone Cold would’ve come out during the Shane-Taker match, there would’ve been an earthquake and/or eruption in the stadium that would’ve caused Dwayne’s San Andreas movie to come true. There would’ve been an opportunity to get Vince involved in the match in some nefarious way to stack the odds against Shane. Cue the broken glass, two Stone Cold Stunners, and that’s a moment no WWE fan forgets.
In the Ambrose-Lesnar bout, Mick Foley as Cactus Jack coming out to give Ambrose a significant advantage in a match that’s all about weapons, yet another plausible idea.
Shawn Michaels could’ve added an extra spectacle to the match no one cared about by taking Reigns’ head off with a swift super kick after a ref bump.
Just one of those moments would’ve added a little flair to Wrestlemania 32 that was desperately needed.
Also, I had no singular care in the world given towards the tag match that meant absolutely nothing.
The Rock confronts Bray Wyatt leading to John Cena ruining the moment
A good portion of the crowd cheered as Cena returned to assist the Rock in burying the Wyatt family (again, Cena has a habit of burying Bray at Mania). Yet no matter I could immediately make out John Cena sucks chants.
The Rock took his sweet time before we really got to the good stuff, which was a mic duel with Bray Wyatt.
The Rock ended up in a one on one match with Duck Dynasty reject Erick Rowan in what was a very contrived 6-second match. I have no issues with a 6-second match, except for when the announcer has to make a point about it the fact it was only done to break the Mania record, making the match only serve that purpose.
Then there was the Cena garbage and wow…
Wrestlemania 32 was just not that good.