If someone were to ask me why professional wrestling is such a huge deal, I’d point them to WrestleMania 32. The Women’s title match alone would be enough for them to understand how incredible, and dangerous, sports entertainment can be. The Intercontinental championship ladder match delivered and ended with an underdog finally getting to shine, Shane McMahon performed an incredible jump that will be talked about for a long time, WWE decided to take their women serious and award the division a championship title fit for the contestants in the triple threat match, and a New Day entrance that was over 9,000 all contributed to one hell of a show. But then there’s the end of the night. And no matter how much WWE wants to ignore it, the main event will be considered one of the weakest segments of a spectacular show. But before we address the elephant in the room, let’s go over the good and the bad of WrestleMania 32.
What I liked
- Zack Ryder wins the IC title
The ultimate underdog finally got his due as he scored a huge win at WrestleMania to become the Intercontinental champion. Thrown in the match for what seemed like very little reason, Ryder’s win came off as a legitimate surprise considering WWE’s predictable nature. So after struggling just to get television time, Zack Ryder is our new Intercontinental champion, and instantly over with the fans.
- The New Day entrance
The New Day has embraced nerd culture in ways no other WWE superstar has done before. Coming out with their Saiyan attire only takes things to the next level. The publicity gained from their outfits has transcended professional wrestling as cosplay and nerd culture related sites are talking about it at the moment. And regardless of if they scored the victory or not, it’s the most memorable moment of the segment.
- Lesnar vs Ambrose
While it could have gone on for a little longer, and Ambrose could have scored a big and believable win given weapons were legal, it still delivered enough action to show that Ambrose can hold his own against The Beast. But there’s no denying that Ambrose is in need of a big win.
- Women’s title
WWE finally realized that their women’s division would never be taken seriously while still being referred to as divas. Sasha vs Becky vs Charlotte is something we’ve seen numerous of times. And despite knowing that they would surely put on a spectacular show at WrestleMania, the fact that it’s nothing new to us made it less interesting to look forward to because we’re well aware that it will deliver like always. But the inclusion of the new title elevated the match to the next level. Because what was sure to be an incredible match by default immediately turned in to an incredible match for a title worthy of the three women in the ring.
The Women’s title is exactly what WWE needs. It is a scaled down replica of the world title, which is WWE’s way of saying that their women are just as important as their male competitors. The WWE logo is proudly displayed on the incredible title, and it instantly gave credibility to Charlotte as the best women’s wrestler in the business once it was on her shoulders similar to what the world title does for male superstars. No divas, no butterflies, just women going for the Wemen’s title here.
- Shane McMahon’s jump off of Hell in a Cell
If Shane McMahon felt that he had something to prove at age 46 by stepping in to the ring for one last time, he certainly proved it at WrestleMania. And while I think his story isn’t over yet, he can proudly walk away from the ring for good knowing that he left everything in it.
- WWE legends in action
What can I say? It was mark out bait. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley had a blast in the ring together. But it was Stone Cold that stole the segment by being just as entertaining as he has always been in the ring. You could tell that the three were having a blast, and the fun was infectious.
What I disliked
- The Rock’s treatment of The Wyatt Family
While it’s always a treat to see The Rock, Bray Wyatt and his family of once intimidating monsters have been reduced to jobbers as of late. An attack on The Rock would have elevated them greatly, especially after Wyatt was able to hold his own on the mic with The Rock and still come of extremely intimidating. A simple beat down on The Rock before Cena ran in to make the save was all it would of took to give The Wyatt Family a boost they deserve. Instead, we were given a six second match and a two on three beat down that did nothing to elevate one of the most unappreciated talents in WWE. The Rock came to WrestleMania, looked good over full-time talent, and wen’t off back to Hollywood. Nothing was gained from this segment.
- The Main Event
While WrestleMania is gaining mostly praise for the majority of performances at the event, the words being thrown around for the main event are “vanilla” and “boring”, which is exactly what WWE needed to avoid ending the show with. After a few good matches with both Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, Triple H inadvertently showed the audience how much Reigns has to be carried through a good match. Aside from a few spots like his spear through a barricade, Roman Reigns’ offense was completely forgettable in a match dominated by Triple H holding him in submissions and working him over well. Eventually, the audience lost interest in booing Reigns and moved on to keeping themselves entertained in between chanting Roman sucks. And after a kick out of the Pedigree, a few repeated superman punches, and hitting the spear for the win, Reigns stood tall as pyro drowned out the massive jeers he received and WrestleMania quickly rushed off air.
Maybe it’s me, but it seemed like the volume of the event suddenly lowered after his win. It was almost as if WWE dropped the audio as much as possible to hide the boos that were filling the arena. It just seemed like the crowd was extremely low as the commentary remained the same. With an arena filled with over 100,000 people, and and a lot of them obviously giving massive thumbs down on camera, you’d think the arena would be louder than the level of silence we heard on television. If you listen closely, you could hear a massive amount of boos, my guess is WWE tried their best to mask the audio as best as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if WrestleMania is edited for their on demand viewing to include canned cheers at the end of the night.
So here’s the question. What’s next for Roman Reigns? His entire gimmick since The Shield separated has been the guy chasing the title. Once he finally got it, it was taken away. Once he got it back, it was taken away again. Now he scored a win at WrestleMania for the title. Will we finally see him do something with it? Or will we be forced to deal with him once again chasing the title? Because as of now, the fans have completely given up on him, permanently killing any chance of him carrying the title as a accepted top babyface. WWE has gone against the crowd for so long in order to finally give him his WrestleMania win, it makes fans wonder what their next step is moving forward.
Can Reigns work with a heel that will help him finally get over? And if so, who would be able to pull off that task? Triple H and Stephanie have insulted the audience and belittled them all the way up to Hunter making it in to the ring at WrestleMania, and he still received cheers over Reigns. It seems like no matter who it is, the audience dislikes Reigns more. The word boring is being thrown around about Reigns, and it’s starting to catch on even with diehard Reigns fans. There’s no questioning that the match was just as uninteresting as it was when it was first announced. There’s nothing WWE could have done to spice up the predictable and obvious ending to the match. All of the fireworks in the world could not have washed the bland taste of the main even out of the fans’ mouths.
So after that, what’s next? Will Reigns just carry on as if he’s not being booed out of the stadium every Monday as champ? Will they finally put him against Cena and possibly get the fans fully behind Cena inadvertently? Because as it stands, WWE has built Reigns up so much as an unstoppable force despite the crowd being fully against him, any heel he’s placed against immediately becomes the underdog. So how will his title run continue after all of the damage WWE has done to his character? How will they continue to get the fans behind him if even Triple H himself couldn’t? Or will WWE finally do the right thing and turn him heel? We’ll just have to keep watching to see how things unfold. But WWE must remember that the WrestleMania season brings in ratings. Once there’s distance away from WrestleMania, it’s up to them to keep their ratings high. And that will be an uphill struggle if the current face of the company is deemed as boring and completely disliked by the audience. At this point, a heel turn is a must.