Views From The Turnbuckle: WrestleMania Review, Star Ratings, Analysis And More

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of WrestlingInc or its staff

After nearly seven hours of live programming and a reportedly record attendance number, WrestleMania 32 was a tremendously massive event that had its high points, and its low points. Let's take a look at it match-by-match.


Roman Reigns vs Triple H-**3/4

The most controversial match heading into WrestleMania certainly ended up being the most predictable. Roman Reigns came in, The Authority tried to cheat, but Reigns overcame the odds and won his third WWE World Heavyweight Championship, giving him more reigns than Bruno Sammartino and Randy Savage. Reigns was also thoroughly booed throughout the match, to the point that WWE ended up noticeably muting the crowd mics, so that at the end of the show the crowd wasn't making any noise period. I honestly don't know how WWE can put Reigns out in front of tomorrow's live crowd on RAW, who are going to tear him to pieces. I imagine that they will not allow him to speak in front of the crowd live, which sounds crazy the night after a babyface won the world championship, but it is the position that WWE has put themselves into.


The match itself was fairly disappointing. I thought this match had the potential to be very good, one of the best on the show for sure, but they never came close to that potential. One of the things that I think was a big problem was the pace of the match. Triple H likes to work really slow in the ring, which can be effective, but tonight wasn't the night for that style of match. After sitting through well over four hours of in-ring action, I just didn't see a match wrestled at a snail's pace. It was just too boring, I think they would have been much better off with a 15 minute brawl where they stand toe-to-toe in the ring and slugged it out. The match had some solid moments, but for a WrestleMania main event with so much on the line, the match dragged way too much during certain portions and was really only exciting during the final two or three minutes.

Triple H goes down cleanly, which was an expected if not wholly original ending. Reigns speared Stephanie which was the only time he really got a big face pop. Triple H was the real babyface of this match, and this won't be the last of him and Stephanie, especially because Shane McMahon lost tonight. The Authority angle will continue as they try to rest the championship away from Reigns, so get ready for some more Authority promos tomorrow on RAW and the week after that and the week after that and the week after that?


Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker-***1/2

Obviously a very difficult match to rate considering the circumstances. It was wrestled very slowly and there were not a ton of big spots. I think they needed to be conservative for most of the match to set up the marquee high-spot. WWE did a good job building the match in a way where Shane only got his offense in through traditional underdog tactics. I thought it was silly during their RAW confrontations that Shane was holding his own with The Undertaker, so it made sense to have The Undertaker dominant Shane with Shane only able to turn the tables by scrapping through offense from The Undertaker.

The high-spot was well done. I was afraid they would do it in an obvious stunt way, similar to some of Jeff Hardy's bumps and Shane's own fall of the Titantron where it was obvious they landed in some form of safety pad. By slyly hiding the compression pad underneath the announce table, they made the jump from the Cell look legitimate while also valuing Shane's safety. Credit to Shane for really busting his ass for the company and putting it all on the line. WWE was in a tight bind for WrestleMania and by willing to risk his neck by jumping off the Cell, Shane helped them out big time.


With Shane losing, Vince (and presumably Triple H and Stephanie) remain in control of the company, so it looks like the stipulation will not come into play. I've been critical of the storyline since it was first initiated and it looks like it's ultimately going to very insignificant in coming months. WWE needed something to get people excited for WrestleMania and this storyline certainly accomplished that, proving to be an effective mean to an end. I think this match probably should have closed WrestleMania, it felt more important and in the future when people remember this show the first thing they are going to think of is Shane jumping off of the Cell. I understand the argument for the championship going on last; but I think the show would have been evaluated better if this match closed the show.

Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose-***

Talk about a forgettable match, especially considering that it involved Brock Lesnar and one of the most popular wrestlers in the company. I think an issue with the match was that they were not allowed to do all that much in the ring. WWE obviously had a lot at stake with the Hell in a Cell match and the main event still to come, so some of the traditional high spots were going to be utilized in those matches instead of the Street Fight. Even though, there was not very much of a Street Fight element in the match, Dean hit Lesnar with a Kendo stick (something that happens on every other RAW) and he didn't even use the barbed-wire bat.


Ambrose has been on a tough streak of losses lately, falling to Reigns at Fast Lane, Triple H at Road Block and now a clean loss to Lesnar. Ambrose has been able to get over and stay over despite those losses, but he really needs to move forward with a nice victory. I'm not sure what is next for Lesnar, who seems to have run out of viable opponents. I guess he could face Reigns for the title, but if Triple H is getting cheered against Reigns, the fans will probably riot if Reigns beats Lesnar.

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks-***1/2

Another solid match, and probably the best women's match in the history of WrestleMania. It was a little sloppy at times and maybe it wasn't quite as good as some of the clashes NXT has hosted, but it had good action, some nice submission holds and a good finish. I think Sasha is going to be the biggest star out of the bunch, but Charlotte, along with Ric Flair, has been a good heel champion and I don't think it is the right time to take the title off of her; she should get at least another month or two.

Unfortunately I think this is the last we will see of Becky in the title picture for a while. This does not mean that she is inadequate, just that the trend right now is towards Charlotte and Sasha feuding over the championship. Not everyone can be in the title picture all the time and I think the division can be elevated with a well-executed one on one feud as opposed to a triple threat feud.


The New Day vs The League of Nations-**1/4

Not really a tremendous match, it really just got in the way of the beginning of the segment and the end of the segment, but it got these guys on the card which counts for something. The League of Nations winning seems kind of strange considering how over The New Day was, but it does open the door for more matches between the two factions.

Despite the loss, it was all about The New Day in the beginning. There entrance was awesome, my favorite of the night. As soon as I saw the cereal box I was hoping they would burst through. Even better however, was when they poured out of the box and emerged like prizes inside the cereal box. It was nothing short of brilliant and whoever came up with it is the MVP of WrestleMania.

The post-match segment was also really good. Michaels and Foley got nice pops, but Austin was BY FAR the most over guy of the whole night and got what will probably be the biggest pop of the year. Sometimes I forget just how ridiculously popular Austin is/was, tonight was definitely a reminder that he is still the king of getting big pops.

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho-****

Strong singles match between two great wrestlers that understand how to get it done in the ring. Jericho as a heel has been great, and even if I wouldn't have beaten AJ Styles at his first WrestleMania, I can stand to see these two tangle again. I really appreciate WWE giving them enough time to tell a story in the ring and letting them work 17 hard minutes of action at a great pace. There were a couple miscommunications, but nothing too drastic and they did some really nice false finishes before Jericho caught AJ with the Codebreaker for the win.


Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Stardust vs The Miz vs Sin Cara vs Zack Ryder vs Dolph Ziggler-****1/4

Super fun match to start the show with maybe the most surprising winner since Brock vs The Undetaker. Ryder has existed in anonymity for years after WWE destroyed him in a failed attempt to sell a feud between Kane and John Cena, and yet he ends up in the match only because Neville got injured and he shocks the world by winning the Intercontinental Championship. I was huge supporter of Ryder back in the heyday of Z!TLIS, so I'm glad the guy is being rewarded for his hard work. Maybe this is just an one-time deal and Owens wins the title back tomorrow on RAW, but it was a cool moment that surprised the crowd in what was an otherwise predictable show.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal-*3/4

Typical battle royal with some surprise entrants, including Shaquille O'Neal, Diamond Dallas Page and Tatanka. Baron Corbin came up from NXT to win it, but considering Cesaro and The Big Show have done nothing since winning the match the last two years, I wouldn't get too excited if I was a Corbin fan.

There was also the big segment with The Rock, who tackled The Wyatt Family with the help of John Cena, who returned to from shoulder surgery after two months of recovery, even though the surgery normally requires elite athletes to be out at least four to six months (draw your own conclusions there). It wasn't a good night for The Wyatt Family, who were dismantled by The Rock, but it got a big pop from the crowd which is what WrestleMania is all about (expect for the main event apparently).


WrestleMania might not have been an perfect event, but considering they didn't have matches for Cena, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins, WWE managed to produce an entertaining show that had some real highlights. Going forward is everything looking peachy for WWE? Considering the reaction Reigns got and the public slaughtering he is going to get on RAW, I'd say they might be in for a rough couple months, but nonetheless they delivered a solid show.