My first trip to Wrestlemania was an unforgettable experience. My son and I were riding waves of emotions with eighty-two thousand of our closest friends. We saw an Icon. We cheered a throwback. We saw a culmination of a lifetime of determination. We saw the exception that may be the norm. For the purposes of this blog, we will cover what I believe are the most important matches. Here's a breakdown of the "Granddaddy of Them All":
Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar (C) to become the new Universal Champion:
Even though we knew that this match wasn't long, and we knew what the outcome would be (already documented that Brock was bound for UFC), the wrestlers still put on a good enough show to get the crowd involved early. We finally have a champion that will actually appear on WWE programming on a consistent basis. Let's hope Seth will have it long enough to give it meaning.
The Usos (C) def. Ricochet and Black, Rusev and Nakamura, and The Bar to retain SmackDown Live Tag Titles:
This match had great energy and all eight men were able to show their stuff. Although by accident Aleister Black and Ricochet are a great team with chemistry that you not expect from from men of their sizes. Rusev and Nakamura grow on you more and more and that is a scary thought. The Bar are veterans that know how to keep a match going as they probably had the best spot of the match as Sheamus beat up everyone not nailed down while the Cesaro swing seemed like it would never end. In the end, it wasn't paranoia, it was the Usos standing tall.
Shane McMahon def The Miz in Falls Count Anywhere Match:
I mention this match because it featured a spot where the Miz suplexes Shane off a scaffold fifteen feet high crashing to earth only for Shane to somehow land on Miz for the win. Not a lot of wrestling in this, those two put their bodies on the line on sport entertainment's grandest stage. Kudos to them.
The IIconics def. Sasha and Bayley (C), Tamina and Nia Jax, and Natalya and Beth Phoenix to win WWE Women Tag Titles:
All 8 women played their roles in telling the story of the quest for the newly formed titles. The Champs fighting against all odds. The powerhouses looking to muscle their way to the top. The Legends looking for one last run to glory. The opportunists biding their time until just the right moment to swoop in steal the prize. As much as I would have liked for Sasha and Bayley to keep the straps a little longer, it's good to see some new blood ride on top. Let's see how long the mean girls can go.
"The Demon" Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley (C) to become new Intercontinental Champion:
Finn Balor's alter ego makes his Wrestlemania appearance just in time to take down "The Almighty". Not much mystery here. Makes you wonder, if the Demon is undefeated, why isn't he fighting all the time? A question for another day.
Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan (C) to become the New WWE Champion:
This is one of the reasons people came from around the world to Met Life Stadium. We liked Kofi, we cheered for him whether he was alone in the midcard, or as the patriarch of The New Day. He has held every title in the WWE, but never had a one on one opportunity to be the top star. We became emotionally invested after his performance at The Elimination Chamber. We rode the emotional roller coaster when he had to jump through hoops only to come up short. We hated Daniel Bryan when he tried to derail him. We rejoiced when he finally triumphed. Daniel played his role well and deserves props for putting him over. My son and I cried when we saw Kofi kid's during the celebration. This victory was a decade overdue.
Becky Lynch def Charlotte Flair (SM Champ), and Ronda Rousey (Raw Camp) to win both titles.
For the first time, the ladies are in the main event of all main events. Generations of women in sports entertainment have fought to get this moment and "The Man", The Queen, and the "Baddest Woman on the Planet" did not disappoint. All the women carried their part and in the end the woman who came in with nothing left with everything. Becky went through being overlooked, injured, suspended, arrested to finally take her rightful place as best in the world today. Kudos to the all the ladies closest out the show in style.