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Breaking Down Wrestlemania 31

I don't know about you but I am still buzzing from last night’s Wrestlemania. For the first time, in a long time I found myself saying out loud last night "that was actually a really awesome Wrestlemania". Yes there were some questionable choices on WWE's part with some of the booking, but if I sit back with my fan hat on as opposed to my writer hat, then that show could easily be in the top 5 Wrestlemania's of all time. What we saw was the hard work of the men and women of the WWE pay off and set up for some tasty storylines over the next few months. Questions were answered last night, while some still remain unanswered, but I feel positive about the future of the product after last night as it was nice to sit back as a fan and watch the magic unfold.

Wrestlemania 31

Yes, there were some downsides to last night’s show. The Andre the Giant battle royal, for me was poorly booked and could have been executed so much better. While it finally gives Big Show, a legitimate giant, the battle royal win he has never had before, what does winning the battle royal really do for Big Show? As we saw with Cesaro it didn't really do much for him and I fail to see what Big Show can do with the win going forward. The moment he eliminated Sandow I felt let down, and maybe that’s because I wanted Sandow to win, but in that instance there was a ready-made story with Miz there. With Big Show there is nothing. The fatal four way tag team match in the preshow was a much better affair, although it was a shame only Jimmy Uso was able to compete, but I thought WWE did a good job of writing Jey straight out having Cesaro throw him over the announce table. The match itself was a good watch other than that little omission, and I was glad to see Kidd and Cesaro retain their titles.

I also want to touch on the injury to Dean Ambrose. We all knew the risks headed into that ladder match were risky and that there would be some spots to make us cringe, but none more so than when Luke Harper power bombed Ambrose through a ladder to the outside of the ring. As soon as Ambrose hit I knew something was wrong. While we are still awaiting an update on Ambrose's condition, this serves again as a reminder of the risks these men take getting into the ring each time. There were a number of risky spots throughout the match, but this one really hammered home how dangerous a spot involving a ladder can be. Aside from the injury and the cringe worthy spots the match itself was a great opening contest, and I am so glad to see WWE doing right by Daniel Bryan and giving him a run as Intercontinental Champion. I hope they treat his run better than they have previous Intercontinental Champions, as Bryan can help bring back some prestige and value to a title that over the last few years has fallen in value.

Terminator Triple H

Then we come onto the Triple H and Sting match. In terms of content, I was marking out like a teenager again seeing the original NWO and DX face off at ringside. While many criticised the over booking of interference in this one I thought it was well played out. You knew something was going to happen with the match being made a no disqualification affair, that was undoubtedly going to happen. What maybe took away from it a little was the fact we all know Hall and Nash are friends with Hunter and X-Pac, but back when NWO and DX would have gone head to head that wouldn’t have mattered. I expected to see HBK appear, and I found it a shock when he gave Sting some Sweet Chin Music. While I saw it coming it was just one of those oh my god moments that left you wondering what would happen next. Without doubt, Sting proved to the world there is still plenty of fight left in his tank, and something tells me that was far from his final match in WWE. The only real disappointment of this match for me was the outcome. While there are unanswered questions now surrounding the future of Sting, I don’t really see what benefit there was in Triple H winning, other than there being potential for a match of some kind at Survivor Series maybe pitting team Sting against The Authority or something along those lines. For any fan though, this match was full of nostalgia and a treat to watch despite the wrong man winning.

Rusev and John Cena had a match to be proud of, and while many fans will moan once again that Cena has come out as a champion I thought Rusev came out the match still looking like a monster. If I could have changed one thing I probably would have had Rusev kick out of two AA's, but that's only something small and it didn't really take away from the match any. Seeing Cena win a mid-card title isn't a bad thing, and if anything it shows Cena isn't afraid to take a step down the card and I fully feel Cena can make the U.S. Title mean something again by restoring some prestige to a once iconic championship.

Bray Wyatt and Undertaker had a solid match, and it was a match where the deadman needed to prove himself after his loss to Brock Lesnar last year and almost seemed like he had wrestled his last match. Without a doubt I feel Undertaker answered his critics emphatically and showed that he still has more matches in the tank. Taker looked better than last year and looked like he had not missed a beat. The false finishes from both men made the outcome of this match questionable, but I think it's fair to say that Undertaker needed to win this match to re-establish himself for a potential dream match next year against Sting. The match almost felt like a re-birth of the Undertaker, and I was really impressed with how both men came out of this one looking as good as when they went in. Where Bray Wyatt goes from here I'm not sure, but I think Bray needs to pick up some big wins over the remainder of the year to remain relevant, otherwise I fear his character could sink without a trace.

Seth Rollins

The main event itself was what can only be described as a classic. The match had a very intense, very real feel to it the whole way through and started out as it needed to go on, as an all out brawl. Reigns took some serious heat from the crowd all night, finding himself being booed frequently despite him putting in a solid performance deserving of more respect than he received. We saw plenty of blood too, something that really added to the big fight feel. When Lesnar hit his head on the ring post it looked like he was busted open hard way, and he did look briefly out of his head, but again this just made the brawl seem all the more believable. The swerve at the end of the match was amazing, and the fans popped big time for Seth. It was a perfectly executed ending that saw both Brock and Reigns come out still looking strong, as Lesnar was never pinned and Reigns now has the perfect reason to now head into a feud over the title with Seth.

Rollins had an excellent match earlier in the night that saw him lose to Randy Orton off the back of an RKO out of a reversed Curb Stomp, but he came out looking strong from that one and there was always that feeling in the air that Seth would cash in. I'm real pleased for Rollins winning the championship, and I just hope he is given the chance to have a decent run as champion over the next few months. It's clear Rollins and Reigns will have a feud over the next few months, while Brock will also be due a rematch for the title he never lost. Where Brock comes back into the story remains to be seen but it will be interesting to see where WWE go next with Brock.

This years Wrestlemania ranks up high against past shows and could prove to be difficult for company to top next year, but if next years show is anything as good as this years has been then we are in for a real treat. If you really look past the little niggling issues throughout the card I believe this years show was one of the strongest since Wrestlemania 17, and is going to be difficult to follow. I have full faith in WWE going forward, and for the first time in a long time last night I felt like WWE took a huge step forward in securing itself a strong future. Last night I was proud to be a wrestling fan again, and I really am looking forward to seeing what WWE has in store over the coming twelve months.

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