By the tired, but nostalgic @CamJohnst0n and @Natz_AO of GRM Daily
So, after a fairly entertaining pre-show featuring wins for the Usos, the Total Divas and Kalisto, Wrestlemania finally got underway early on Monday morning. Watching it on the WWE Network, I went head to head with Natz from GRM for the #GRMMania Championship, with each of us sending in predictions to the GRM Offices to see which of us would prove to have the mind of the ‘Mania bookers.
Before the show started, I found myself 3-1 down in the predictions after Natz predicted all the wins on the pre-show, but I was sure my luck would change when it came to the main card.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH (by @CamJohnst0n)
Kevin Owens (/c) vs Sami Zayn vs Dolph Ziggler vs Zak Ryder vs The Miz vs Sin Cara vs Stardust
This match proved to be an exciting start to the night as Kevin Owens rightfully asserted himself as Champion from the off with a series of KO Mania shouts and taunts. The match didn’t disappoint as Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Zak Ryder and Sami Zayn each made their claim for a Wrestlemania moment. Ziggler’s series of Super Kicks, including a Sweet Chin Music homage to Shawn Michaels, floored all the competitors, whilst Owens’ Frog Splash from the top rope onto a helpless Sami Zayn, pressed against a ladder, was a real jaw-dropper as Owens is no small dude. Sin Cara’s giant press from the top of a ladder onto Stardust smashed a ladder in half, but did not compare to Sami Zayn’s impressive signature Suplex that folded Owens in two over a ladder on the floor.
I had my money, quite literally, on Sami Zayn, who ended my hopes of a large return on a Wrestlemania accumulator, but it was nice to see Zak Ryder pick up the title in his first Wrestlemania appearance.
Despite his 3-1 win from the pre-show, Natz didn’t pick up points here as he predicted Kevin Owens to retain the IC title. Both of us were still in it at this point.
Natz’s Prediction: Kevin Owens
Cam’s Prediction: Sami Zayn
WINNER: ZAK RYDER
DREAM MATCH (by @CamJohnst0n)
Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
This was it for me. This was, for sure, a dream match, just as the WWE dubbed it. The contest started off ropey, with a series of grapples and counters. The match soon picked up speed, though, with Jericho hitting the Walls of Jericho early on to no avail. A Calf Crusher submission from AJ followed, with Jericho reversing to gain back momentum. There weren’t as many highlights in this match as I had hoped for, though I doubt this rivalry is over. Jericho tried to hit the Styles clash, before AJ reversed and hit one of his own, forcing a great kick out from Jericho. Despite an awesome springboard 450 Splash moments earlier, a lame leaping forearm from The Phenomenal One saw Jericho hit a pretty impressive mid-air Codebreaker to secure the win.
Seeing as both me and Natz both predicted Styles to kickstart his WWE career with a win at ‘Mania, neither of us got this one right. Since the pre-show, neither of us had scored any points towards our #GRMMania Championship challenge. It stood 0-0 as The New Day got ready for their match against The League of Nations.
Natz’s Prediction: AJ Styles
Cam’s Prediction: AJ Styles
WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO
HANDICAP MATCH (by @CamJohnst0n)
The New Day vs The League of Nations
This match was underwhelming compared to The New Day’s Dragonball Z inspired entrance that really got me cheering for them. Despite a decent effort from Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston, The League of Nations picked up a win after King Barrett pulled out the Bull Hammer, allowing Sheamus to snatch the win with an emphatic Brogue Kick. The “Lads” weren’t allowed to celebrate for too long before Hall of Famers “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Mick Foley and none other than the Heartbreak Kid, Mr Wrestlemania himself, Shawn Michaels stormed the ring to a rapturous applause. One Mandible Claw and one Sweet Chin Music later, “Stone Cold” laid out Rusev with a wicked Stunner. This was a nostalgic moment ending with Stone Cold laying out Woods with another signature Stunner and handing out cold brews to Michaels and Foley.
An average match eclipsed by a generation-lifting moment.
Natz’s Prediction: The New Day
Cam’s Prediction: The New Day
WINNER: THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
NO HOLDS BARRED STREET FIGHT (by @Natz_AO)
Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose
This match was put on rather early in the night, coming before both the Divas title match and the Battle Royale. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as both of those matches needed the hype, but it already felt that we wouldn’t see the all-out-brawl we had expected. The match started as many thought it would with Lesnar nailing 4 suplexes in succession and showing his reluctance to use weapons. Dean pulled out his “gifts” from Foley and Funk, the chainsaw and the barbed wire bat but neither were used. The emphasis was on Dean’s unwillingness to give up and was able to keep the Beast down, albeit not for very long. The inevitable came with a crashing F5 on top on 6 or so chairs and the three count was made. The win made Lesnar look as strong as ever but built Ambrose up as a “never say die” competitor.
This was the first result to be clocked onto the board in the main show with me calling Lesnar for the win so things just got interesting with me going ahead at 1-0.
Natz’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Cam’s Prediction: Dean Ambrose
WINNER: BROCK LESNAR
SCORE: Natz 1 – 0 Cam
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH (by @Natz_AO)
Charlotte (/c) vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch
First of all, a historic announcement was made on the Wrestlemania pre-show as WWE Hall of Famer Lita announced that the Divas Title would be retired at the event and the winner of the Triple Threat match would be the first WWE Women’s Champion. With the stakes ever high, the tension was felt as the competitors entered the ring. The bout started with 6 or 7 quick pin falls and it was nice to see a fast pace from the outset. Sasha Banks’ ring gear was inspired by the late, great, Eddie Guerrero and she had one of the moments of the early stages of the match when she nailed a perfect frog splash onto Charlotte. Ric Flair, who has only served as a nuisance in Divas matches for the past 6 months was finally taken down by a Becky Lynch suicide dive, which was also very entertaining. Submissions featured heavily with all three locking in their signature moves and Charlotte eventually stealing the win with her figure 8 Leg Lock on Becky Lynch. The unjustness to Sasha, who was held back by Daddy Ric, will hopefully push the two into a feud that will last the summer.
With Cam calling the rightful winner in Charlotte, the scores are tied at 1-1.
Natz’s Prediction: Sasha Banks
Cam’s Prediction: Charlotte
SCORE: Natz 1 – 1 Cam
HELL IN A CELL MATCH (by @CamJohnst0n)
Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker
In what is sure to be the match of the night, The Undertaker and Shane O’Mac left nothing in the ring except a battered pair of steel steps. So much happened in this should-be-main-event, so I’ll try and sum it up nicely:
The contest started slow with both competitors trading quick strikes before Shane got Chokeslammed onto some steel steps that ‘Taker had brought into the ring. Moments later, Shane hit the Coast to Coast – his iconic turnbuckle-to-turnbuckle dropkick into a trash can pressed against his unlucky opponent’s head. After recovering, Undertaker knocked Shane through the cell wall that the McMahon had loosened up with some pliers he found under the ring, with both of them crashing onto the arena floor. They then began to trade lifeless blows with TV monitors, before Taker put Shane through a table in an attempt at countering Shane’s impressive Sleeper Hold. After having a short rest, Shane then started to ascend the cell wall as The Undertaker lay lifeless, sprawled across a second announcer’s table, with McMahon saying his last prayers at the summit of the structure before trying an elbow drop from 20ft, missing horribly and plummeting through the announcer’s table after the Deadman had neatly rolled out of the way. ‘Taker then proceeded to haul Shane back into the ring before Tombstoning him into an early grave. As The Undertaker slowly walked away from the cell, Shane O’ was lifted onto a stretcher by a team of medics, giving a thumbs up sign only to ensure the appreciative WWE Universe of his consciousness.
A contender for Match of the year? Maybe. I wouldn’t be able to justifiably sum this match up without writing an A-Level’s worth of text, so I’ll just leave you to find the match online or on the WWE Network to watch for yourselves. Trust me, it’s worth it.
For reasons unbeknown to me, Natz and I both called Shane to win. So we both missed out on this prediction.
Natz’ Prediction: Shane McMahon
Cam’s Prediction: Shane McMahon
WINNER: THE UNDERTAKER
SCORE: Natz 1 – 1 Cam
ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYALE (by @Natz_AO)
The build up to this match hasn’t been the best and as such, both me and Cam found it hard to pick a winner and with surprise entries in the form of Tatanka, DDP and Baron Corbin, our choices got ever slimmer. The biggest surprise of the night saw the final entrant revealed to be none other than Shaquille O’Neal! The NBA legend entered the ring and made a B-line for The Big Show who battled back and forth, taking out Fandango and Damien Sandow before everyone else eliminated the two giants. The match featured little spots, apart from The Social Outcasts working together before being taken apart by Kane and Baron Corbin. The finish saw Baron Corbin eliminate Kane and win the Battle Royale. It was certainly a shocking result for the NXT star but hopefully this will be a result that elevates him along the NXT card, or maybe even into the main roster?
Neither of us saw the shocking win for Corbin, so we are stuck at 1-1 with the main event left and it all to play for.
Natz’s Prediction: Mark Henry
Cam’s Prediction: Bo Dallas
WINNER: BARON CORBIN
SCORE: Natz 1 – 1 Cam
SURPRISE MATCH (by @CamJohnst0n)
The Rock vs Erick Rowan
After a lengthy promo-cut announcing the record-breaking attendance at this year’s Wrestlemania, The Rock was interrupted by Bray Wyatt and his creepy stable, The Wyatt Family. After roasting them about their questionably inbred backgrounds, The Rock ordered a referee down to the ring and proceeded to dispatch of Erick Rowan in less than 5 seconds with an electrifying Rock Bottom.
It’s worth mentioning that this saw the return of (BA-BA-DA-BAAAAAA) John Cena who joined Rocky in the ring and laid down a Five-Knuckle-Shuffle into a floored Erick Rowan, as well as delivering an Attitude Adjustment seconds later, which sent the crowd into rapturous applause. Before exiting the ring, Hollywood Superstar The Rock gave the WWE Universe exactly what they wanted to see – The People’s Elbow. The two walked back down the ramp together in what will prove to be a great Wrestlemania moment.
WINNER: THE ROCK
MAIN EVENT: WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Triple H (/c) vs Roman Reigns
Following a typically theatrical Wrestlemania entrance from Triple H, accompanied by wife Stephanie McMahon, Roman Reigns walked down the ramp to an uncomfortably mixed reaction from the 100,000 strong crowd.
Now, before I get into the match, let me just say that I thought Triple H needed to win. Reigns just isn’t working as a babyface. When the crowd are cheering for Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, two people that have been insulting the WWE Universe for months now, you know that the babyface isn’t doing his job properly. If Cena wasn’t injured, and Daniel Bryan hadn’t have retired, I’m sure we would’ve seen a very different main event.
The match was quick to start once both competitors were in the ring, with Hunter throwing Reigns out of the ring within a matter of seconds, sending the crowd into a euphonious cheer. After a fairly even contest, Roman began to build momentum as the match went on, delivering some impressive athletic clotheslines and Spearing Triple H through the arena barricade. Once Triple H had recovered, he began working on Roman’s arm, locking in some painful submissions, before attempting the first Pedigree of the match, which was then reversed and led to Roman spearing Triple H, seeing Stephanie interfere and distract the ref from completing his 3-count.
One of the greatest moments of this match was Stephanie being on the receiving end of a hellacious spear from Roman, a move that angered Hunter and allowed him to pull of a much-anticipated Pedigree.
It was at this point that the match got interesting.
After kicking out of the Pedigree pin, Roman hit Triple H with a Superman Punch and got himself set up for another Spear, only to run into a high knee from Triple H. Stephanie handed a lifeless Triple H his favoured Sledgehammer before Hunter was hit with two Superman punches and a Spear to see Roman pick up the win, to a surprising cheer from the WWE Universe.
Natz’s Prediction: Roman Reigns
Cam’s Prediction: Triple H (/c)
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS
Therefore, amidst some shoddy predictions from both myself and Natz, he has emerged as the victor in our #GRMMania Championship bout after predicting wins for Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, with myself only being able to predict Charlotte’s title retention.
Despite a card previously thought-of to be quite lifeless and boring, Wrestlemania 32 proved to be quite an exciting one, producing many iconic Wrestlemania moments which will live long in the memory.
I’d like to thank the whole GRM Team for giving me and Natz the chance to cover this incredible spectacle, something I’ve certainly wanted to report on since I was but a cruiserweight, whilst also giving props to Natz for some fiery tweets and decent gif-lead banter during the matches.
If you’ve read this far into the report, I thank you for taking the time to catch up on all things WWE through our tiring-but-fun collaborative effort.
GRM Mania is runnin’ wild.