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The 2010's: WrestleMania 34...really?

Posted by G. Badger, in Women's Wrestling, 2010's 09 April 2018 · 8 views

This was my first WrestleMania. No, not first time going...This was the first time I've ever sat down and watched the Show of Shows, Showcase of the Immortals, and whatever else they call it.

To be honest, I never wanted to spend the time or money on it. Back when PPV was the only way to see it live on TV, I never remember thinking, "Wow I've gotta see that show!" It always seemed like a bunch of fireworks, lights, and fanfare. Not my thing...plus its super long. I have school the next day dammit!

Well, I broke MY streak and watched it. I would say bought it but, I got it along with "the Network" free for a month. This was the #1 reason. I'm not going to lie. The #2 reason is that my fiancé is a Ronda Rousey fan and she was genuinely interested in how she would do.

That was the real #1 reason I guess...that and it was free, hahaha! No, we watched the Raw lead-in stuff on Youtube clips and it reminded me of classic Attitude era stuff. I was pretty psyched and more importantly my fiance was psyched. Once, I told her that we could probably watch match for free, she was all in :)

It is crazy to see someone who is not a wrestling fan be excited and emotionally invested in wrestling. It's even better that it's something we can share because outside of the Rousey/Angle vs HHH/Steph, I didn't know or care what was going on in WWE Universe (groan). I will say I was pumped to find out that AJ vs Nakamura was happening though...kinda like icing on the cake.

Overall, it was a good show...a little long but, enjoyable. My significant other checked out after the Rousey match. I can't say that I blame her either. All of the entrances and video packages, it was like 9 o' clock! It was the 4th match! I, being the true blue wrestling idiot, watched the whole thing. She liked the Smackdown Women's title match a lot which was a pleasant surprise to me. I figured she was in it for the one match but, she dug the fight as much as I did. It's nice to see the "Diva" bullshit is gone...Barbie dolls prancing around doing terrible looking moves and getting hurt while they're at it. Uh...no thanks...forever. I'll have to show her the Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss match. Reminded me a little of Aja Kong vs Toyota...eh sorta :P

Ok well I'll get on to the match reviews in case you're interested or haven't seen the matches or maybe want a differnt take on them. They'll be brief:

Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs The Miz: Tyler Black vs Prince Devitt sounds pretty good to me. Why they gotta throw the Miz in there? Hahaha...it's WWE, I guess. It's all good though. This was a really good opener. Just tons of well executed spots and a pretty nice finish. This is one that I want to rewatch.

Asuka vs Charlotte Flair: I was very impressed with this. I've seen just a smidge of WWE Women's stuff and I thought it was better than Diva era crud. It wasn't AJW but, that's understandable. This might come off as dated but, it was comparable wrestling to when Jazz was in ECW or Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, Akayo Hamada and Cheeleader Melissa were in TNA. This was a great match with stakes on the line. The actual wrestling was intense and the in ring story was fantastic as the finish was that climax to that. Top 2 or 3 match of the night.

OK I tuned some shit out because I needed to eat and walk the dog. So if this review section is missing stuff, it's intentional.

Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Triple H & Stephanie McMahon: This was the match of the night. We were emotionally invested. Hell, I haven't been this into a match since I was 16 years old. I don't know if it's just me but it felt like an Attitude era build and payoff. I think everyone was wondering if Rousey was going to be good. Plus I think everyone was worrying that shit was going to get botched or look weak. Well, everything came off perfectly with Rousey performing up to and exceeding expectations. It's fitting that Kurt is her mentor as she is a natural. I wonder if they're going to have her be a Women's division competitor or have her do attraction matches for the PPVs. Technically this isn't as tight as Charlotte/Asuka but, it's checks all the boxes for a 1998-2001 WWF PPV main event. Weird that it was the #4 match. I guess they didn't want Rousey fans tuning out.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax: Totally surprised that another women's match was on the card. I was so thankful because whatever happened after the Rousey match until this was junk to me. It was a reminder of why I don't watch WWE. Let alone the Wrestlemania pageantry I suffered through. This was what I wanted though. I mean I would have been happy with Jax' destruction of Mickie James. That was some straight Jungle Jack vs Bull Nakano violence! Bliss is a little Diva-ish but, that's alright. She makes it work and she can wrestle. I highly recommend this match. Probably my #3 or 4 match.

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura: WWE title on the line. I've been reading stuff that people did't think this was a great match. All I can guess is that their expectations were way too high. The largest chunk of modern NJ is 2015 which was Nakamura and AJ's peak of popularity and performance so, I can say this was pretty damn comparable. This was a NJ title match on WrestleMania. That's crazy! Younger folks probably cannot appreciate that and that's alright but, it's the truth. AJ Styles in WWE seemed possible but, a top Japanese talent like Nakamura is bananas. They did the best NJ style match they could with the story they were given to work with. Yes, this could have gone on for another few minutes and had the "epic" kickouts but, WWE is going for a longer run with them. It was a great match. I will say that Styles' Springboard Elbow as a finisher is stupid...but, then Roman Reigns' big move is a Flying Punch that's what you get.

Why the show kept going is beyond me...The tag match was stupid fun...Good for TV but, was a little tiresome at hour 56 of WM. And the main event...man that could have been something. 7-8 minutes of bombs with blood and tables. Instead, it was crap. It seemed like an intentional swerve to throw off the internet critics. I can't say I'd blame them. It's not like there's only a relatively small group of wrestling nuts like here on PWO. Everyone who's into wrestling has Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and all the other shit to use in order to bitch about wrestling and everything else. If I was part of the WWE higher ups, it would piss me off. I can't think they'd throw a middle finger up to their fans but, gosh, that's what the match felt like.

One match that I didn't review was the Bryan Danielson match. It was OK. It's nice to see he's wrestling again. He kinda retired in my eyes once he went to the WWE though. So, eh...I'd much rather watch him beat the everloving shit out of someone in ROH or Japan than do a watered down version.

Now that I've had a chance, this is how I'll rank the matches:

1) Rousey & Angle vs Triple H & Stephanie
2) AJ Styles vs Nakamura
3) Charlotte vs Asuka
4) Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax
5) Miz vs Balor vs Rollins

Overall, I'm glad I watched it. It certainly was something special. I can't say I'll actively try to follow WWE after this but, I'll use the rest of the free month to checkout Women's matches and perhaps some classics.