WrestleMania 33 was a historic show for several reasons, but the ending will leave people talking for years. It is something that wrestling fans won’t soon forget, and provided many fantastic moments if you are a fan of wrestling. The biggest show of the year, without question, was huge. With that being said, here is my (Josiah’s) recap of the show, with my ratings for the matches. I will also be looking at who won our prediction game, which is always fun.
WrestleMania 33 Preshow
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
This was a pretty good match, but something seemed off. I’m not sure if it was the sun shining in their eyes, or something like that, but this was not nearly as good as I expected it to be. While the match was certainly entertaining, it disappointed me in the end. With that being said, it was still solid, and the crowd was rather hot because it was the start of the show.
Josiah’s prediction: Austin Aries (0-1)
Jessie’s prediction: Neville (1-0)
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I expected Braun Strowman to win this match. I thought it was time to have him win it and prepare him for a match with Brock Lesnar. He still might get that match, but I think it would have meant more if Braun had won this Battle Royal. I was not a fan of Mojo winning, and if you happen to listen to our podcast, that should come as no surprise.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
Josiah’s prediction: Braun Strowman (0-2)
Jessie’s prediction: Braun Strowman (1-1)
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin – WWE Intercontinental Championship
Another match that went in a direction I didn’t predict. I thought, based on his push, that it was time to put the IC title on Baron Corbin, however, WWE thought differently. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it was just a match. Both guys put some decent effort in, but it’s clear Corbin is still green, and Ambrose wasn’t the right guy to carry him. Nothing was horrible in the match, but nothing was outstanding.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Josiah’s prediction: Baron Corbin (0-3)
Jessie’s prediction: Baron Corbin (1-2)
WrestleMania 33 Main Show
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
It was quite the surprise to see Shane/AJ opening the show, and started the show off hot. While Shane did some stunts in this match, it was largely carried by AJ Styles. While Shane’s punches look horrible (as always), the rest of the match was quite good. I was legitimately concerned for Shane part way through the match because he looked utterly exhausted. After missing a spectacular shooting star press, AJ ended up hitting a Flying Forearm for the win.
Josiah’s prediction: AJ Styles (1-3)
Jessie’s prediction: AJ Styles (2-2)
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens – WWE United States Championship
I was also surprised that they placed this match here, as I expected it to be quite heated and one of the main matches on the show. Regardless of match placement, this was a very good match, and got great help from the crowd who was very excited to see it. The ending came a bit abruptly, which surprised me, but Kevin Owens won, which was likely the right call.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Josiah’s prediction: Kevin Owens (2-3)
Jessie’s prediction: Kevin Owens (3-2)
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax – Elimination Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Before I get to the bad stuff, I will simply say this: This was a good match. Once I get through the bad, I will be praising quite a bit, so don’t be discouraged by my initial comments. Nia Jax was totally out of place in this match. It was clear that she wasn’t ready to be in this position yet, and truthfully, could have probably done with more time in developmental. Bayley, Charlotte, and Sasha are worlds above her, and Nia being in the match unfortunately made it worse.
Charlotte also messed the removal of the turnbuckle pad, but this didn’t hurt the match too much.
Also, this would have been far better if Bayley won the title from Charlotte here, ending Charlotte’s PPV streak.
With all of that being said, the match was very good. They worked around Nia’s weakness well, and still made her look like a monster in how they eliminated her, by it taking all 3 women to pin her after a powerbomb.
Sasha was eliminated next, to a course of boos. The match went from there with Charlottle working over Bayley’s knee after she smashed her knee into the exposed turnbuckle. Bayley made her comeback, and hit a flying elbow in honour of Randy Savage and got the pinfall.
Josiah’s prediction: Bayley (3-3)
Jessie’s prediction: Charlotte Flair (3-3)
Gallows & Anderson (c) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Enzo & Cass vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWE Raw Tag Team Title Ladder Match
This match opened with what was the best segment of the show for me, and provided the end of a wild story that started in TNA, went quite literally all over the world, made it’s way to ROH, and finally ended in WWE in perfect fashion.
The New Day came out and announced that the match was a Fatal Four Way now, and the crowd immediately started chanting and roaring “Delete!” When the Hardy’s music hit, after making it look like it would be the New Day, the crowd exploded with noise. I was jumping up and down and cheering wildly, so happy to see The Hardys back in WWE. Matt was in his element, screaming “Wonderful!” and encouraging the “Delete!” chants. There was even a “Brother Nero” chant, which was awesome.
The match itself was short, but spectacular. The Hardys, because they’re insane, did their second ladder match in less than 24 hours, having defended and lost the ROH World Tag Team Titles the night before in an absolutely insane ladder match. This one was tamer, but still great.
The end of the match came after Matt hit a Twist of Fate off the ladder on Anderson, and Jeff hit a huge Swanton Bomb off a huge ladder onto Cesaro & Sheamus, but Jeff didn’t quite hit Sheamus, Matt climbed the ladder and the Hardy Brothers completed their Expedition of Gold by winning the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles
Winners: Matt & Jeff Hardy
Josiah’s prediction: Enzo & Cass (3-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Gallows & Anderson (3-4)
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
This match itself was nothing special. It was basically a quick squash that ended with Cena hitting the AA on Miz, and Nikki hitting the TKO on Maryse for the win.
The story, however, was not the match itself, but what happened afterwards. John Cena told a very nice story about talking to Nikki just before her surgery, knowing that she wouldn’t remember, where he told her he was going to marry her. John Cena then proposed to Nikki in the middle of the ring, and unfortunately, some of the crowd booed. Poor Cena. Can’t catch a break.
Winner: John Cena & Nikki Bella
Josiah’s prediction: John Cena & Nikki Bella (4-4)
Jessie’s prediction: John Cena & Nikki Bella (4-4)
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H – Non-Sanctioned Match
While this was a perfect match in terms of psychology, it wasn’t quite the fast paced, brutal match that everyone expected. It went quite long, and would probably have been better if it had 5 minutes cut off.
With all that being said, the ending sequence was fantastic, and we saw a measure of revenge against Stephanie with her being accidentally knocked through a table when Seth sent Triple H into her and she was knocked of the apron.
Seth ended up getting the win after a pedigree, in a match I quite enjoyed, but was a bit slow.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Josiah’s prediction: Seth Rollins (5-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Seth Rollins (5-4)
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship
This one was weird. It should have been far better than it was, but it was quite slow, and had a bunch of wacky wizard stuff that didn’t really appeal to me. I understand the story that Bray has powers, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. The match ended after Randy hit a RKO out of nowhere.
Winner: Randy Orton
Josiah prediciton: Randy Orton (6-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Bray Wyatt (5-5)
Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar – WWE Universal Championship
What can I say about this match? This might have been the best 5 minute match I’ve ever seen. Goldberg and Lesnar absolutely smashed each other for 5 minutes, and delivered big in this mean guy match. The match ended after Lesnar hit his 10th German Suplex on Goldberg, followed by a F5 that got Lesnar the win. He is now the WWE Universal Champion. This run is going to be quite the ride.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Josiah’s prediction: Brock Lesnar (7-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Brock Lesnar (6-5)
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella – Six Pack Challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
I feel bad for the women in this match, as they did not get the time or reaction they deserved. This is why I was hesitant to see them moved from the preshow, because I was sure they’d be stuck between the 3rd to last and final match. Of course, the crowd was largely dead for this, and the women clearly had their time cut. Naomi won with a submission after a few minutes.
Josiah’s prediction: Naomi (8-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Naomi (7-5)
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
This is one that I am sad to be wrong on, but the story told in this match was incredible. I’ll talk more about why I thought so in an upcoming podcast, but it’s fair to say that this was likely Undertaker’s last match.
The match itself was not that good, as The Undertaker was clearly hurting, especially after that ridiculous table bump he took from Roman. There were some clear botches as Taker was hurting (the Tombstone botch, for example). Roman seemed to miss some too, but I’m not sure if that was really his fault, as Taker got in the way sometimes.
Roman hit the ropes a few times and hit his third spear, which caused Undertaker to finally go down. Just like the valiant hero in a bittersweet movie or novel, The Undertaker went down fighting. A sad, but fitting ending was given to Taker as he sat up, placed his gloves, jacket, and hat in the middle of the ring before leaving the arena, for quite possibly the last time as an active wrestler.
Winner: Roman Reigns
RATING: **3/4 – While the match itself wasn’t great, the story told was amazing.
Josiah’s prediction: Roman Reigns (9-4)
Jessie’s prediction: Roman Reigns (8-5)
This WrestleMania saw one of the moment that I will never forget. Undertaker has been one of my heroes for most of my life, as I started watching wrestling in 1994, sometime after WrestleMania X. Taker was instantly one of the characters I gravitated towards because he was so different from anything else happening at the time.
This WrestleMania was historic, but it’s likely the thing that people will remember most is the closing moments as Undertaker left his gear in the ring.
OVERALL RATING: *** – A solid show, but nothing was truly outstanding. My favourite moment was the return of the Hardys, but the most memorable, and sad moment was what was likely the end of Undertaker’s last match.