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Why WrestleMania 34 Wasn’t That Bad

Why WrestleMania 34 Wasn't That BadMY LATEST VIDEOS

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world that can see the good in professional wrestling. No matter what WWE churns out, there always seems to be some sort of issue fans decide to take umbridge with. WrestleMania is a difficult show to nail every year, with an ever-changing card that only has to cater to more and more star power with each passing episode. This year had probably the most stacked card in recent memory, headlined by two titanic championship matches that promised a lot, but to many, failed to deliver.

Join me in donning the rose-tinted spectacles as I run down what puts this WrestleMania towards the top of my favourites.

First and foremost, as fans, we don’t know jack about the decision making behind WWE’s biggest matches. We like to think we do, and it’s a lot of fun producing content such as this that justifies our warped logic behind what makes sense and what doesn’t. Most of the time, we can predict what’s going to go down to a tee, but occasionally, WWE like to throw a few curveballs our way to keep us in check. I love wrestling, and I love it when I’m taken by surprise, that’s what makes it so much fun to watch. WrestleMania 34 had an abundance of moments that I personally didn’t see coming. I think I can speak on behalf of most of us here on the site, who all had our predictions totally screwed up by the results.

Since last year, everyone had Roman Reigns pegged to be the one to dethrone Brock Lesnar at this year’s WrestleMania. Logic would dictate that seeing as Roman is the only other person to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, then he is on par with Brock and thus can indeed beat him for the Universal Championship. The build followed through as predicted, yet here we are living in a world where Brock Lesnar cleanly retained his title.

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brock romanSource: WWE

Fans were prepared to sabotage and tarnish this match as best they could, which was somewhat warranted when neither were doing a great deal to keep them invested. The closing moments saw Brock pummel Reigns’ head and bust him open hard, similar to what happened with Orton at SummerSlam 2016. This made for some great visuals and suddenly the drama amped up to 100. Roman’s intense comeback was thwarted by a fifth F-5, and the crowd were lit up by the sight of Roman taking the three count.

Nevertheless, Mania was the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever.

This is a really intriguing and risky play by WWE. It was the ultimate curveball, ‘babyface’ is prone to usurp the monster heel champion in heroic fashion on the grandest stage of them all. Maybe if it was another two superstars then my opinion of it would be slightly different, but considering that the fans in attendance would probably reject whatever outcome they were given, I appreciate them taking the risk and keeping us all on our toes.

You’d think the result of AJ/Nakamura would placate everyone’s need for logic and order, but instead fans have come to resent the match that we’ve been demanding for quite some time.

Let’s preface this by accepting that the WWE version of Styles/Nak would never meet the standard set by their first encounter at Wrestle Kingdom 10. They’re limited by the flexibility WWE has and the crowd’s expectations. Nevertheless, they gave it a bloody good go and put on a stellar match in spite of this. It’s hard to fault their performance, perhaps it could have been given an extra 5 minutes but this seemed to be a running theme throughout most of the championship matches. AJ and Nakamura lived up to the moniker of being one of the most athletically pure matches on the card, it was well balanced and offered a chance for them to take it further if needed, after all, there were no knees to AJ’s face.

What took most of us off guard was the sudden heel turn from Nakamura after the match had concluded. Certainly something that I didn’t have on the cards for a while, Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the most vibrant characters on SmackDown Live that only begs for a tremendous babyface reaction. Yes, he’ll probably be a fantastic heel in this feud with Styles, but the quick-fix solution of ‘turn them heel’ may be a little premature in this case.

nakamuraSource: WWE

But that decision doesn’t ruin WrestleMania 34, in fact it only adds to the intrigue it creates going forward. What sort of feud is this now going to become? Will the sequel be even more hotly contested? WrestleMania serves as a season finale but also as a cliffhanger for the upcoming year, this match personifies that perfectly. It delivered on expectations while leaving audiences wanting more, whether that be because you know they’ve got more to offer or because you want to see what Shinsuke is willing to do as a villainous character.

Nevertheless, Mania was the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever.

Meanwhile, the two semi-main events were quite the spectacle. The Ronda Rousey debut didn’t do much for me leading into WrestleMania. I wasn’t expecting much from her and certainly didn’t anticipate her match to be as fantastic as it turned out to be. Everyone in that match played their role to perfection and each competitor attributed to getting Rousey over with the die hards. She’s evidently been putting in some serious work to impress the WrestleMania crowd, which to me is a bigger statement than any. Its a feel-good story in and of itself, to see someone who genuinely cares about doing a good job for a company she wants to work for, getting to do that on such a big stage. She looked like a star and she’s come out of WrestleMania with a ton of momentum.

WrestleMania should be about making stars and moments, 34 achieved that with Rousey and they also nailed it with Daniel Bryan. Unfortunately the match featuring the returning D-Bry, Shane McMahon and the tandem of Owens and Zayn didn’t quite have the gravitas that they hoped for. It was halted by an unwise choice to run an injury angle with Bryan in the opening moments. But after waving through the chaff of Shane McMahon, it’s worth it for seeing Bryan fly about the ring in trunks again. The Yes! Movement is as strong as ever, seeing it culminate at WrestleMania was one of those magical moments where you feel like everything in life is going to work out. That, once again, is WrestleMania. It’s what makes wrestling so much fun when you’re so emotionally invested in one single character.

With those four matches alone, WrestleMania had everything. Shock and awe. But one last thing that captures the heart of professional wrestling is fun. Mania had it all, and most of all, it was fun!

Then there was The Undertaker, the man that embodies WrestleMania. His and Cena’s involvement in the night was one of the most erratic concepts, with Big Match John sitting out in the crowd for the first few matches and knocking back a few cold ones with the lads. This of course led to Cena eventually taking to the ring to call out Taker one last time, only to be answered by Elias who was seemingly absent from the evening’s card. It was great seeing him get himself some nuclear heat whilst sharing a ring with such a huge name. Of course, Taker then hits the ring in spectacular fashion, giving all of our nostalgic selves a fix for Manias of old. Undertaker destroyed John Cena, again taking our expectations and screwing them up into a little ball and throwing them away.

undertakerSource: WWE

Speaking of which, who predicted the son of John Cone would be walking out of WrestleMania a tag champion? In what seemed like a skit ripped straight from a house show, Braun Strowman took to the crowd to find himself a credible tag partner. Walking past the entire NXT locker room in the process, he eventually sought out Nicholas, a living meme in the audience. I can only imagine the fantastic future that Nicholas is going to have as part of wrestling banter. It was different, strange and seems oddly appropriate for WWE.

Nevertheless, Mania was the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever.

I implore that everyone gives WrestleMania another chance, try not to take it too seriously and enjoy the glitz and glam of it all. WrestleMania is about grandeur and the culmination of what WWE considers itself to be. It’s certainly not the place to go to witness countless 5 star classics, but for what it’s worth, we had a fantastic showcase of everything else.

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