World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 31 has come and gone and it was a thrilling spectacle of sports entertainment. After a seemingly lackluster build-up, the annual “Showcase of the Immortals” lived up to the hype, and then some. WWE can be proud of one of the best commercial and critical WrestleMania performances in the promotion’s history.
The ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship was a show stealer of an opening. It was a demolition derby of bodies from bell to bell. WWE made the right call when the match ended with Daniel Bryan atop the ladder. This will only help further elevate the prestige of the IC Title, which now rests on the most popular superstar in the company.
Randy Orton’s RKO is one of the most exciting and athletic finishing moves in WWE. Orton can seemingly execute an RKO on an opponent from out of nowhere. For further proof, look for the series of RKO Vine videos that went viral last year. “The Apex Predator” did not disappoint in his match with Seth Rollins with an RKO delivered with Viper-like precision, worthy of repeat slow-mo viewing.
Just one year removed from The Undertaker’s most publicized loss of his WrestleMania undefeated streak to Brock Lesnar, The Deadman returned from professional wrestling purgatory with a mission of vengeance. The Phenom bounced back to defeat “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt with a Tombstone. The trademark Undertaker sit-up and Bray Wyatt’s spider-walk was the highlight of the match, a fantastic nuance that added to their eerie encounter.
The Rock made a surprise appearance to confront the real-life WWE power couple Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. Stephanie tries to emasculate The Rock and slaps him. Unable to retaliate, The People’s Champion seeks the help of the baddest female on the planet, UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, who proceeds to send The Authority packing. Seeing the MMA star in the squared circle, the crowd, appropriately, lost their minds!
The iconic WCW star Sting making his in-ring WWE debut match at WrestleMania is enough to give any diehard wrestling fan chills. Sting battled Triple H in a match that played off the WWE-WCW rivalry, which was an awesome bit of sports entertainment from two old war horses of the wrestling art form.
Every 90’s professional wrestling fans’ dream came true when the most popular factions from two warring promotions during the Monday Night Wars were in the same ring for the first time. It may have been 15 years too late, but the New World Order taking on D-Generation X was the kind of fan-driven nostalgia that makes WWE so special.
The defending World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar was an unstoppable beast, dominating his main event match with a flurry of German suplexes on challenger Roma Reigns. It’s always an awesome visual every time Lesnar tosses his opponents with reckless abandon repeatedly. “Eat. Sleep. Suplex. Repeat.” It never gets old.
After Roman Reigns mounted a comeback against Brock Lesnar mid-match, the self-proclaimed “Future of the WWE” Seth Rollins sprinted to the ring and cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract to insert himself in the championship main event. Rollins took advantage of his exhausted opponents and delivered a Curb Stomp on Reigns to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The surprise, chaotic finish will surely be debated, but it made for a satisfying an unforgettable WrestleMania moment! The future is now.