It’s been a long time, trust me I know. But, in day-after-WrestleMania fashion, I have returned with my series entitled “The Three Count.” This is where I recap the best and worst three things from the previous shows.
In this edition, I’ll focus on WrestleMania 35 (and spoilers ahead if you’re wondering).
Let’s start with the good, shall we?
WWE listened to their fans!
Kofi Kingston, Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch all exited the squared circle as champion. For Kofi, it had been 11 years in the making. Not to say that he hadn’t had any success during his storied WWE career.
Vince McMahon wasn’t lying when he said Kofi would never make the HOF as a singles competitor. But, Kofi has been a bonafide performer in WWE since the day he entered and the title was deserving.
For Rollins, his title reign came at a time when Brock Lesnar’s WWE future is in question. The rumors of him going from the ring to the cage are as loud as ever and for that reason, it’s fitting Rollins earned the belt. The way he did it was very unoriginal with a below the belt uppercut leading to three curb stomps and the belt.
Becky Lynch has been the talk of the town in every town she’s gone since her heel turn. She created such a buzz that she ultimately ended up shifting back to babyface due to her passion and performance.
With just one of the victories being clean (Kingston’s), it leads to WWE being able to throw rematches into the works. But with rumors of not only Lesnar, but Ronda Rousey also taking a break from the company, the door may be all but closed on rematches in those two story lines.
For the bad, let’s talk a little bit about just what I got into in the positives: the endings.
Multiple matches had abrupt endings that didn’t really sit well with fans watching the matches. Most notably, the way the women’s championship match ended with Becky getting a rollup victory over Rousey while her shoulders were up for half of the pin.
It may not take anything away from Lynch’s victory, and fans won’t complain about it for sure, but it did leave me feeling like Becky should have won clean. Lynch has been on top of the women’s division since mid-2018 and she deserved to earn a clean-cut victory at Mania.
Back to the positives: Old timers still got it!
No, I’m not talking about John Cena… I’ll get to that in a minute.
Batista and HHH was probably the best story line of the entire card — sorry Braun and dudes from Saturday Night Live — and even though everyone knew Hunter would go over, the match still allowed Batista to shine.
He took mostly all of the brutal punishment from HHH, whether it be pliers, chains or sledgehammers, it was all fair. Batista’s return was something I didn’t know I needed, but the end result between him and H going at it in a match that wasn’t as high-speed as others was still electric. It was also one of the better storytelling matches of the night.
Back to the frowned upon: Thuganomics
Is it just me or does anyone else feel like Babe Ruth just wasn’t all that good? Nah, I’m kidding. But I could have lived without John Cena coming out at Mania just to bury Elias.
Not only was Elias a prime example of the main roster ruining NXT talent, but Cena returning to do the kill was what fans like me hate. The rumors of Cena being involved in Kurt Angle’s farewell match would have been much better.
Let’s keep it going with the bad to end on a positive note: Roman Reigns going over on Drew McIntyre
Let me be frank… I was a fan of Reigns until WWE began flooding my eyes and ears with The Big Dog. But after battling leukemia and returning to action, I wanted him to win over whoever he fought at Mania… BUT why did it have to be one of the top heels in the game?
McIntyre has been fantastic since the jump from NXT. Whether it be as a singles competitor or as a tag team partner with Dolph Ziggler. He’s even stood out when WWE toyed with the Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, McIntyre faction.
The match itself was pretty bland, filled with some of Reigns’ most familiar spots and the ending was to be expected. Just a little bit lackluster of a match for me and a tough L for a top-tier talent in McIntyre.
The final thumbs up for Mania? The Miz and Shane McMahon
When I talk about lack of story line, this is it. WWE pairing Miz and McMahon was pointless, yet hilarious; undesired, yet satisfying. Then… the turn. Shane betrayed The Miz after the two lost their tag team titles and thus the story line.
But Nick, where’s the positives? I’m getting there.
While I didn’t care who won the match, it was a spectacular event from start to finish. The Miz has also been ragged on for not being a good wrestler, but he proved himself once more as an elite talent.
The ending of the match was one of the highlights of Mania, that’s for sure.
All in all, the show was incredibly long, but one of the better Manias of recent history. Now, they just have to piggyback and have a good couple of shows and all will be right in the world. Until Samoa Joe loses his title to someone like No Way Jose and we all revolt.