WrestleMania 33 featured a stacked card – 13 matches in total! Yahoo Sports was there with you, breaking down all of the action as it happened, offering results, brief recaps and a grade for each match of the night.
Cruiserweight Championship match – Austin Aries vs. Neville (c.) – The first match of the night featured a ton of huge spots that fully showcased the ability of two of the best Crusierweights in the world. Neville retained his belt thanks to some classic shady heel tactics. Luckily, we’ll likely see him and Aries feud for a little while longer. Grade: B+
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal – No surprise entrants this year, but we did get to see the Big Show make the walk down the – epically long – ramp by himself before Braun Strowman. That was a nice touch for one of the longest-tenures stars on the roster. Strowman and Show both got bounced pretty early and with little flair, meaning the highlight of the match came when Rob Gronkowski came into the ring to help Mojo Rawley capture the victory. Grade: B
Intercontinental Championship match – Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose (c.) – This was a match that seemed as if it could have been the main event of Smackdown this week instead of at WrestleMania. We got a little bit of action outside of the ring – where I think Ambrose is his best. This match felt like it needed something extra to push it over the edge, especially given how extreme the buildup had been. Title stays in the asylum. Grade: C+
Shane McMahon vs. A.J. Styles – Wow. What a way to kick off the show. Shane looked about 100x better in this match than he did at last year’s WrestleMania. Styles is one of the best in the world and got the win, but McMahon stole the show. A shooting-star press, going Coast to Coast and crashing through the announce table from the top turnbuckle. Amazing. Grade: A
United States Championship match – Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho (c.) – The culmination of the best storyline in the WWE in recent memory didn’t disappoint. Owens and Jericho put on a solid match that just featured pure wrestling. No stipulations, no outside interference, no foreign objects. Owens walks out as U.S. Champion, getting revenge on his former best friend. Grade: B
Raw Women’s Championship match – Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Nia Jax vs. Bayley (c.) – Solid match, probably deserved some more time than it got, but it was a huge card. Awesome moment with Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha teaming up to take out Nia Jax with a suplex and a powerbomb. Would have liked for her to kick out of the triple cover. While Bayley retained, Charlotte again shined brightest, showing off her immense athletic ability. My only other gripe with this match was that it did little to advance the division on Raw: Grade: B-
Raw Tag Team Championship ladder match – Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Enzo and Big Cass vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Anderson and Gallows (c.) – This entry has been DELETED.
The return of the Hardy Boyz was somewhat expected, but it didn’t make it any less great. The crowd LOVED this, chanting “Delete” and “Brother Nero” for much of the match. Every team got their chance to shine and the Hardys showed why they were part of the greatest tag team era in WWE history. The Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb off the ladders were vintage Hardy. This match was what WrestleMania is all about. Grade: A+
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse – The buildup for this match was so good. The Miz, Maryse, Cena and Bella all did some of their best work selling a match that most were skeptical about at the start of WrestleMania season. Cena and Miz work well together, but this match was hampered by the fact that it didn’t last very long and there was no real way it could have lived up to the hype. Al Roker calling himself “Chocolate Thunder” was entertaining and the double Five-Knuckle Shuffle/finishers were great. Cena gave Bella her WrestleMania moment afterward. Grade: C-
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins – This was a good match, mixing the perfect amount of violence outside of the ring with actual wrestling in it. Rollins looked as good as he ever has and Triple H showed he can still be a menacing figure when he trades in the tailored suit for his wrestling trunks. Rollins picked up the win after tons of reversals, near-falls, big spots, and excitement. None of that matters as the moment of the match (and maybe the night) came when Stephanie McMahon was accidentally pushed off the ring apron and through a table by Triple H. Grade: A-
WWE Championship match – Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (c.) – Bizarre doesn’t even begin to sum up this match. Sure, the build was long and weird at times, but it was still something we hadn’t seen in WWE in a while. There was nothing remarkable about the wrestling that took place in this match and we didn’t even see the Viper uncoil or hear the announcers scream “Vintage Orton.” Wyatt made things a little unique with his usual act and at three points in the match the stadium went dark and the ring canvas had maggots, worms and roaches projected onto it. Orton hit his RKO outta nowhere and left with the championship. Grade: D
WWE Universal Championship match – Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg (c.) – By my unofficial count this match lasted 4:46:84, which is a little more than three times what any other Goldberg-Lesnar encounter had lasted to this point in the feud. We saw four moves in total (Spear, Jackhammer, Suplex, F5) and they were repeated over and over. Another dud of a title match. The two violently going through a barricade and Lesnar jumping over a charging Goldberg were two cool moments. Lesnar takes the title to Suplex City again. Grade: D
Smackdown Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss (c.) – I’m sure the idea was to have this match later in the night so Naomi gets her WrestleMania moment near the end, but it backfired bigtime. The match didn’t start until after 11 p.m. ET, the intros were rushed and the match was over pretty quickly. There were some good moments for each female Superstar involved and they did the most with the time they had. Natalya’s double Sharpshooter was cool, Becky Lynch hitting an Exploder Suplex on James Ellsworth was funny and Naomi going over the top rope to take out all five of her competitors was a fun spot. Unfortunately, the crowd just didn’t seem into the match. Grade: C+
Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker – A tiny bit of a surprise that this was the last match of the night. The fact that it was where it was in the card was a sign that it would probably end the way it did, with Roman Reigns beating the Deadman in what is likely the latter’s swan song. Say what you will about Reigns and the push he is getting, but he always brings it for the big events. Undertaker is the arguably the greatest star professional wrestling has ever seen and – like the great wrestlers always do – put the future ahead of his legacy and put Reigns “over.” There were plenty of memorable moments in a very violent match, lots of near-falls. It won’t rank among Undertaker’s greatest, but still a good show. Undertaker getting the chance to walk out after putting his gear in the middle of the ring while his iconic music played and the crowd chanted “Thank you Taker,” was fitting. Grade: B+
Overall grade: B+ – Plenty of memorable moments (Hardy Boyz return, HHH/Rollins, Shane/Styles, Stephanie McMahon going through a table), but also a few duds (Orton/Wyatt, Lesnar/Goldberg). Overall a good show, clocking in at a manageable seven hours including Kickoff Show.