WWE WrestleMania 31 Kickoff Results
Sunday, March 29, 2015
From Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Report by Brooks Oglesby of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
Welcome to the live two-hour WrestleMania 31 Kickoff! The show starts with a dedication graphic for Connor "The Crusher" Michalek and The Ultimate Warrior.
Over 70,000 fans are filing into Levi's stadium as Renee Young welcomes us to the show, along with Booker T, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton. Byron says it's the most wonderful time of the year. Corey says that there's nowhere else on earth he'd rather be than here at Levi's Stadium for WrestleMania. Booker is reading his new book, reflecting on his own WrestleMania memories.
Renee then previews the Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship Match, as well as the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Renee notes that this can be a career-making night for the winner of the battle royal. Booker says it will be history. Everyone will remember the winner, and Booker is picking Big Show to win. Up next, Renee sends it to the Social Media Lounge with Tom Phillips.
Tom says to use #WrestleMania to join the conversation. On the second hour of the Kickoff, Lita will be joining the show, answering questions that use the hashtag #AskLita. Tom then previews the match between Rusev and John Cena for the United States Championship, leading into a promo package. Rusev is shown getting in the zone backstage. Lana speaks to him in Russian. She then says that she will never show compassion again. Rusev says that he will crush John Cena and America will die.
Back at the panel, fans are already making noise. Renee notes that Lana is back, and Booker says that's why he's smiling. Byron says that Rusev is like a hungry lion and he's going to attack Cena whether Lana is there or not. Corey says that Lana is a factor John Cena must worry about. Renee then previews a clip of John Cena on Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week. Byron says that Rusev has written the Idiot's Guide to Ticking Off John Cena, and insulting America is how to get under Cena's skin. This is Cena's chance to show what America is. Corey says that, unfortunately, he doesn't see Cena getting past Rusev tonight. Booker says that, aside from his political views, he can't bet against Rusev either.
Eden is backstage trying to get a word with Triple H ahead of his match with Sting tonight. She knocks on his door but Kane stops her. He says the office is off-limits. She asks to come back later, but Kane says she should leave so Kane can prepare for the battle royal.
Back at the panel, the conversation shifts to Triple H vs. Sting. Booker knows Triple H and Sting better than most, and says that this isn't about WWE vs. WCW. This is going to be two men fighting to see who the better man is. He can't even call it. Byron says that he caught a glimpse of Triple H a few hours ago, and he saw a man with an expression that said he was prepared to do something malicious. He thinks Sting is in trouble tonight. Corey says that if Triple H were to lose in "his house" at WrestleMania, it could be catastrophic. Booker says that Ric Flair said it best: time off is a wrestler's worst enemy. Byron notes that Ric Flair did pick Triple H to win tonight.
J&J Security are walking around backstage. Noble says that Seth Rollins is going to destroy Randy Orton because of the hard work they put in. Noble is trying to find some sugar for his coffee, but can't find any. Jerry Brisco comes up with Pat Patterson, with Brisco holding the sugar. Noble says to keep it, because he and Mercury have planning to do. Pat Patterson exclaims, "what stooges!"
A package for Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins plays. Byron notes that the two have many parallels, with Orton's past in Evolution and Rollin's place in The Authority. Booker says that, in any case, they're both ready for tonight. Booker thinks Orton, the face, is going to defeat Rollins, the future, tonight.
Back at the Social Media Lounge, Tom Phillips reminds viewers to use #AskLita for a chance to get their question answered later tonight. He also urges viewers to sign up for the WWE Network to see the second hour of the Kickoff. Back at the panel, Renee introduces a promo package highlighting WrestleMania weekend and the media rounds that have been done this week. Renee then brings up the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony from last night. Booker says The Bushwackers gave his favorite speech of the night.
Up next for discussion is The Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee & Paige. Renee notes that Paige & AJ should be on the same page, but they might not be able to stay that way tonight. Byron says that Paige & AJ see it about individuality versus conformity. Booker says that the Bellas have earned their spot in WWE, and it's about jealousy. He says that women naturally hate each other.
A package for Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker airs. Renee asks which version of The Undertaker we're going to see tonight. Byron says that this is Bray Wyatt's defining moment, but he's been tapping on Pandora's box, and that box opens in a few hours. He thinks Bray may be in over his head. Booker says Bray talks a big game, but it's WrestleMania now. The Undertaker is a master of mind games as well. Corey says that nobody walks the line between madness and genius like Bray. Bray laughed when the lightning struck his rocking chair. Corey also notes that time is on Bray's side. Corey thinks that Bray's winning tonight.
The conversation moves to the main event: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A recap of Brock's re-signing with WWE airs. Corey says that re-signing with WWE was a statement. By doing that, he put the entire roster on notice. Booker says Brock is going to be fighting in defense mode, which is terrifying. He'll try to finish the match quick, but he wonders what will happen 20 minutes into the match. Renee says that it's one of the most meteoric rises we've seen in WWE, and tonight, he has to go through Brock Lesnar. A promo package for Roman Reigns airs. Booker says that this will be one of the top-ranked matches in WrestleMania history. Byron got to speak with Roman earlier today and ask how he was feeling. Roman said that he had some quiet time with some family earlier today, and he's ready. With that, the first hour of the Kickoff concludes.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL are at ringside. The Usos are the first out for the Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship match. Naomi is accompanying the team to the ring. Out next are Los Matadores & El Torito. Big E is on the mic next. He shouts about how we need to feel the power as The New Day makes their way to the ring. Big E & Kofi will be competing for the team, with Xavier Woods at ringside. The champions are out last, as Cesaro, Tyson Kidd & Natalya make their way to the ring. They get the biggest pop of the four teams.
Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship Match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c) w/ Natalya vs. The Usos w/ Naomi vs. Los Matadores w/ El Torito vs. The New Day
Cesaro and Kofi start in the ring. Cesaro takes control with a European uppercut but Kofi runs the ropes and lands a dropkick. One of Los Matadores gets a blind tag from Cesaro. Cesaro rolls out of the ring and throws one of the Usos into the barricade, leading to Cesaro chants. Fernando takes a leap frog from Kofi, but takes control as officials check on Jey Uso and help him up the ramp. It appears as if he won't be able to continue. Back in the ring, Cesaro tags in Tyson Kidd and swings Kofi into a dropkick from Kidd. He goes for a pin but Los Matadores break it up. Tyson clears the ring and applies a grounded chinlock. Jimmy Uso tags Kofi out and takes control with a big Samoan drop. He dishes out superkicks, filling each corner with a downed opponent. He hits Umaga's signature move on most of them. Kofi launches from the top rope onto an opponent on the outside while Kidd tags in Cesaro. Jimmy didn't see it and went for a splash. Cesaro landed a European uppercut. Kofi tagged in for Jimmy and he and Big E landed a leap frog knee splash onto Cesaro. A tower of doom spot forms in the corne, but it devolves into single suplexes. Los Matadores hit a big back stabber for a close two-count on Kofi. EL Torito gets involved, trying to splash Kofi on the outside. Kofi catches him, but El Torito lands a hurricanrana. Natalya then applies a Sharpshooter to Natalya. Naomi and Jimmy Uso hit dual splashes on opponents outside the ring and Naomi hits the Rear View on Natalya. Back in the ring, The New Day hit their dual Big Ending finisher, but it gets broken up. Diego pins Big E, but Big E isn't the legal man. They fight in the corner, but Big E fights out with a belly-to-belly suplex. Big E gets Diego and Tyson Kidd up for a Big Ending, but gets superkicked out. A sprint of double team moves occurs, ending with a flapjack to European uppercut from Kidd-Cesaro. Los Matadores seize control and attempt to suplex Kofi from the top rope. Tyson and Cesaro stop them, and another tower of doom spot forms, with Big E and Cesaro on the bottom. All six competitors come crashing down and Jimmy Uso climbs to the top rope. He hits Big E with a splash but Cesaro throws him out of the ring. Cesaro pins Big E and gets the win for his team.
Winners: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
Natalya, Tyson, & Cesaro celebrate in the ring as Kofi checks on Big E. The commentators then send it back to the Kickoff panel, who are raving about the action they just saw. They send it to the Social Media Lounge, where Tom Phillips is sitting with Lita.
Lita,who is wearing her Hall of Fame ring from last year, loves coming back into the world of wrestling. Tom's first question is about the love/hate relationship between AJ Lee & Paige, and what effect it will have tonight. Lita says that blood is thicker than water, and that The Bellas have been on the same page lately. She thinks she might be Team Bella. The next question asks what is next for Team Bestie, Lita & Trish Stratus. For years, you had to pick whether you were a Lita person or a Trish person, but now you don't have to choose. She's been in talks with the WWE Network about a potential Team Bestie show. The next question is about advice for a potential Diva. Lita's advice is to camp out at the Performance Center and maybe they'll take pity on you and let you in. The next question asks if Team Besties will ever face The Bellas. Lita wants to get #BestiesVsBellas trending. The next question asks if we'll see Lita in the ring again. She'd love a 2-on-2 match between the Besties and the Bellas, but would also be open to a faction.
Back at the panel, they admire some fan costumes nearby. Booker T plugs his new book, available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Booker notes that even though Kidd-Cesaro won tonight, The New Day's stock rose. Byron noted that next year, we may be talking about The New Day's victory. Renee then sends it to ESPN's John Gruden.
John Gruden is studying the competitors for the upcoming battle royal. He says Titus O'Neil is a real football player. A national champion as a Gator. If you can take down Peyton Manning, you can take down some of these competitors. He names Curtis Axel a dark horse to win. Ryback is pound-for-pound the strongest man in the match, and he's Gruden's pick to win.
Back at the ring, the competitors are already in the ring. Lawler considers Mark Henry his favorite to win.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
A brawl breaks out among all 20 competitors. Curtis Axel stops it and rips his Axelmania shirt to a big pop. He turns around and almost everyone lifts him up. They all toss him out, and Axel is the first person eliminated. The brawl resumes. Big Show slaps Titus's chest in the corner. Ryback is working over Hideo Itami, who is getting some chants from the crowd. Fandango and Adam Rose fight on the apron. They both land big boots, eliminating each other. Titus attempts to eliminate Goldust, but he hangs on. Big Show now puts Hideo in the corner and slaps his chest repeatedly. Miz is coaching Mizdow as they work together to attempt to eliminate Alex Riley. Riley fights out and tosses Miz to the apron. Miz pulls down the top rope and Mizdow tosses Riley over, eliminating him. Zack Ryder attempts a Broski Boot on Heath Slater, but Bo Dallas tosses him over. Bo takes a victory lap on the outside, but as soon as he goes back into the ring, Hideo boots him over the top rope. Hideo attacks Kidd with some kicks, but Big Show grabs him and sends him to the apron. Big Show lands a WMD, eliminating Itami. Kane eliminates both Los Matadores. Cesaro dumps Sin Cara over the top rope onto Los Matadores. Mark Henry gorilla presses Tyson Kidd and eliminates him. Several Superstars are working to eliminate Ryback, but he hangs on. Konnor and Viktor work together and successfully eliminate Mark Henry. They then turn to Big Show. Konnor clotheslines Big Show. They then turn to Ryback, but Ryback lifts both and eliminates them. Ryback hits a clothesline on Darren Young, eliminating him. Heath Shater sets his sights on Ryback, and Ryback eliminates him easily. Titus levels Ryback with a clothesline. Ryback gets back to his feet and German suplexes Titus over the top rope. He then hits Shellshocked on Jack Swagger. Big Show takes control, eliminating Swagger. The New Day works together on Big Show, and Big E sends him over the top rope, but Big Show hangs on. Big Show throws Big E over as well as Xavier Woods. Kofi attacks Big Show, but Big Show sends him over as well. Erick Rowan then works on Big Show. Miz and Mizdow are still scheming as they work on Jimmy Uso. Mizdow hits one of Miz's signatures on Jimmy Uso as Big Show eliminates Erick Rowan. Ryback eliminates Goldust and shouts, "Finish it!" He goes for Shellshocked on Big Show but Kane stops it. Kane chokeslams both Miz and Mizdow. He throws Cesaro over the rope, but Cesaro hangs on. Cesaro scoop slams Kane over the top rope, eliminating him. Big Show sends Jimmy Uso over the top, and we're down to five. Cesaro and Big Show square off again. Cesaro tries clotheslines, like last year, but Big Show grabs his throat. Cesaro goes for another scoop slam on Big Show, but Big Show counters and eliminates Cesaro. Ryback gets fired up while Big Show's back is turned. Ryback levels Big Show and signals for the Meathook as the crowd chants "Feed Me More." He runs at Big Show but Big Show sends him over the top rope. It's Miz, Mizdow and Big Show as the final three. Big Mizdow chants as they square off. Miz coaches Mizdow and then steps up to Big Show. Mizdow doesn't follow him, which gets a big pop. Miz shouts that "it's always been us," and Mizdow is clearly conflicted. Miz steps forward again but Mizdow shakes his head. Miz is furious, shouting in Mizdow's face and pushing his chest. Miz turns his back and Mizdow dumps Miz over the top rope. Miz gets up to the apron and Mizdow lands a punch. Referees urge Miz up the ramp as Mizdow looks on. Big Show waits in the corner as Mizdow looks at him from across the ring. Big Show laughs and points at him while Mizdow looks determined. Mizdow tries a clothesline, but Big Show sends him over. Mizdow skins the cat and gets back into the ring. Big Show is reeling on the ropes and Mizdow goes for a clothesline, but Big Show lands a big shoulder block as boos rain down. Big Show charges and Mizdow pulls down the top rope. Big Show goes over, but lands on the apron. Mizdow can't get him to the floor. He runs at Big Show, but Big Show grabs his throat. Big Show steps back into the ring, but Mizdow applies a guillotine choke. Mizdow goes to the apron and attempts to suplex Big Show over the top rope. Big Show lifts Mizdow up and tosses him from the apron to the floor.
Winner: Big Show
Big Show celebrates and poses next to the Andre the Giant trophy as Mizdow looks dejected on the outside.
Back at the panel, Booker says that he told everyone. Byron say that, for a moment, he thought Mizdow would win. Booker congratulates Big Show, calling it a defining moment for his career. Booker then says to follow him on Twitter if you want his WrestleMania predictions.
Meanwhile, ladders are being set up at ringside as the Intercontinental Championship match will open the show. Pat Patterson is in the ring as the Intercontinental Championship is hung above the ring. Patterson kisses the belt and steps out of the ring as WrestleMania begins.