WWE WrestleMania 34 Review: Lesnar vs. Reigns, Styles vs. Nakamura, Ronda Rousey’s debut
Show: WWE WrestleMania 34
Location: Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
Date: Sunday April 8rd, 2018
Review by: Amin Ajani
WWE WrestleMania 34
Seth Rollins def. The Miz and Finn Balor to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion
- Rating: ***3/4
Balor delivered a flip dive to Miz and Rollins on the floor. Balor delivered a basement dropkick to Miz for a near fall. Rollins delivered a springboard clothing to the Miz. Rollins delivered a double blockbuster to Balor and Miz for a near fall. Miz delivered an axe handle smash to Balor for a near fall. Balor delivered a double stomp to Miz. Rollins delivered a sling blade to Balor. Rollins then delivered back-to-back tope to Balor and Miz. Balor delivered a sling blade to Rollins. Balor charged but Rollins gave him a super kick. Miz delivered a snap DDT to Rollins for a near fall. Miz applied the figure-4-leg lock to Balor but Rollins delivered a frog splash to Miz for a near fall. Rollins teased a buckle bomb but Balor countered and gave him a sling blade. Balor delivered a Woo Dropkick which sent both Miz and Rollins into the barricade. Balor delivered an overhead kick and 1916 to Miz for a near fall. Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Rollins for a near fall. Miz delivered a super Skull Crushing Finale to Rollins from the top rope but Balor broke it up by delivering the Coup de Grace. Balor delivered a sling blade, a woo dropkick and a Coup de Grace to The Miz. Balor went for the cover but Rollins broke it up by delivering The Stomp. Rollins then Stomped the Miz, covered him and won the match.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fun match as everyone worked really hard. A nice way to open the show.)
Charlotte Flair def. Asuka vs. Via Submission to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title
- Rating: ****1/4
Charlotte got a special entrance as they played Ric Flair’s theme as Charlotte came out in a throne. We got a chain wrestling early. Asuka delivered a shining wizard for a near fall. Charlotte delivered big chops to Asuka. Asuka delivered a running hip attack as Charlotte was sent into the barricade. Charlotte delivered a back breaker to Asuka. Asuka applied a body scissors but Charlotte broke free by delivering the stunner. Charlotte went for a moonsault but Asuka caught her and applied a triangle. Charlotte transitioned by applying a Boston crab. Asuka delivered a head kick for a near fall. Asuka suplex Charlotte from the ring apron to the floor. Asuka delivered strikes and flying dropkick from the turnbuckle for a near fall. The match raged on as Charlotte delivered a great looking Spanish Fly from the top rope for a near fall. Charlotte went for the Natural Selection but Asuka countered by applying her version of the Orienteering with Napalm Death. Asuka attempted the Asuka Lock but Charlotte rolled her over for a near fall. Charlotte made a comeback by delivering chops and a big spear for a near fall. Charlotte then applied the Figure-8-Leg Lock but what will happen next? Well…Asuka tapped out as Charlotte retained her title.
- Post Match: Asuka got the mic after the match and said “Charlotte is ready for Asuka” and “Congratulations” as they hugged after.
(Amin’s Analysis: The streak is over. People will question the booking of this but I didn’t mind as Asuka and Charlotte worked really hard and put on a great match.)
Jinder Mahal def. Rusev, Bobby Roode & Randy Orton to become the new WWE United States Champion.
- Rating: **1/4
Aiden English introduced Rusev as the crowd went wild. Highlights included Rusev delivering a running cannonball to Mahal and Orton from the ring apron. Roode delivered a middle rope blockbuster to Rusev for a near fall. Orton delivered a power slam to Roode for a near fall. Orton delivered a superplex to Roode for a near fall. Rusev delivered a spinning back suplex to Mahal for a near fall. Orton back dropped Rusev onto the barricade. Roode delivered a spine buster to Mahal for a near fall. Orton dropped Rusev with a draping DDT. Orton delivered an RKO to English, Rusev and Mahal but Roode broke the count up. Roode dropped Orton with the Glorious DDT. Rusev delivered Machka Kicks to both Roode and Mahal. The crowd was going nuts as Rusev was setting up for the Accolade. Rusev lets go of the hold as Sunil hopped on the ring apron. Off the distraction, Mahal gave Rusev the Khallas, pinned him and won the United States Title.
(Amin’s Analysis: An okay match. Rusev was the most over superstar in the match, yet he took the pin fall loss.)
Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle def. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H via. submission
- Rating: ****3/4
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have a convoy of motorcycles escorting them down the aisle for their entrance. It was great to see Kurt Angle compete at WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey came out in her leather jacket and wearing a kilt in tribute to her namesake, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and got a massive reaction. Highlights included HHH delivering a spine buster to Angle for a near fall. Angle delivered a back suplex and went to tag in Rousey but Stephanie pulled her off the ring apron. Angle whips HHH into the corner and sends him sailing over the top to the floor, as Angle makes the tag. Rousey sprints and bring Stephanie into the ring by the hair and delivers a clothesline. Rousey planted Stephanie by delivering a side suplex into a uranage and delivers strikes in the corner. Rousey then tosses Stephanie across the ring and delivered another suplex. Stephanie begs off but Rousey monkey flips her and grabs the arm as Stephanie wants none of this. Rousey goes for the armbar but Stephanie locks her fingers and holds on. Stephanie yanks Rousey by the eyes to get free. Stephanie makes a comeback as she delivered a running kick and plants Rousey with a DDT for a near fall. Stephanie then applied a standing surfboard but Rousey broke free. Stephanie tried to kick Rousey but Ronda grabbed her, scooped her up and delivered a TKO. (Crowd is going wild for everything Rousey is doing) Rousey went for a cover but HHH pulled the referee out of the ring. Angle and HHH battle on the announcers table as HHH sends Kurt sailing across the table. HHH goes to check on Stephanie but Rousey was back in the ring as the crowd is going nuts and challenges HHH to a fight. The referee says no, but HHH moves him to the corner and faces Rousey in the middle of the ring. Rousey delivered rapid fire strikes to HHH in the corner. HHH went for a boot but Rousey lifted him up in a fireman’s carry position as the crowd was going beyond wild. Stephanie returns and slaps Rousey and then runs after she realized what she did. Stephanie tried to escape through the crowd but Rousey pulled her back and smashed her into the barricade. Rousey lifted Stephanie up, but Stephanie slipped way and send Ronda into the ring post. Angle returned delivered a series of overhead suplex and and three rolling German suplex to HHH. HHH attempted a pedigree but Angle catapults HHH into the corner and delivers an Angle Slam for near fall. Angle pulls the straps down and applied the Ankle lock on HHH but Stephanie retuned and pulled him off. Stephanie tried to kick him but Angle grabbed her foot….milked the reaction (which was awesome as the crowd went nuts) and applied an Ankle lock to Stephanie but HHH returned and delivered a Pedigree. HHH goes for the cover but Rousey made the save as the crowd went wild for that. HHH couldn’t believe it and goes for a Pedigree on Rousey who countered by delivering a Frankensteiner and gets HHH in a triangle armbar. She has him trapped but Stephanie retuned and placed Rousey in the rear naked choke. Rousey broke free by delivering a judo throw and goes for the armbar but Stephanie locked the hands. There was a great spot as Rousey had Stephanie in the armbar and Angle had HHH in the Ankle lock. HHH rolls out and sends Angle crashing into Rousey. HHH and Stephanie send both Angle and Rousey shoulder first into the ring post. HHH and Stephanie go for stereo Pedigree, but Angle backdrops HHH to the floor. Rousey back drops Stephanie and goes for the armbar. Rousey looked at Stephanie and said she asked for this and fully applied the armbar as Stephanie immediately tapped out. (Dana White was shown in the crowd and applauded Rousey as he was wearing her shirt.)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was simply amazing and was the highlight of the show. This match was perfectly laid out as HHH and Stephanie McMahon deserves tons on props as they did everything possible to put Rousey over. Angle was great and looked crisp in the ring. Rousey was the highlight as she looked great in the ring, took bumps and felt like a mega superstar. For Rousey’s debut and an entertainment perspective, this was a perfect match. WWE officials came out after to check on Stephanie as she was selling her arm.)
The Bludgeon Brothers def. The New Day & The Usos to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles
- Rating: **1/4
The New Day had a special entrance as Xavier Woods played his trombone as midgets came out and tossed pancakes around and accompanied them to the ring. Kofi Kingston delivered Trouble in Paradise to one of the Usos but Harper pulled Kofi out of the ring. Harper and Rowan took out everyone on the floor. Harper and Rowan then stocked Woods and power bombed him into the ring post. Rowan splashed Kingston and one of the Usos. Jimmy gave Harper a super kick. Jimmy and Jay delivered a double super kick to Harper in the ring. Jey delivered a big splash from the top turnbuckle but Harper kicked out. The Usos went for a double tope but Rowan caught them on the floor. The Usos delivered a double team suplex to Rowan on the floor. Harper delivered a Black Hole Slam to Kingston which looked sloppy. Harper gave Kingston a power bomb. Harper and Rowan then gave Kingston a super sit-out power bomb from the turnbuckle and won the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
(Amin’s Analysis: Another okay match as the Bludgeon Brother totally dominated The New Day and The Usos thoughout the match.)
–In Ring: John Cena came out for him match and got a huge mixed reaction. The light went out….but Elias came out and strummed his guitar to the ring. Elias then sung as song about The Undertaker not being here. Elias then cut a heel promo on Cena and the crowd. Cena had enough of this as he returned to the ring. Cena gave Elias his version of the Blue Thunder Bomb, the Five Knuckle Shuffle and an Attitude Adjustment. The fans chanted for The Undertaker but Cena’s music played as he left the ring. The lights went out as smoke filled the arena and Undertaker’s hat and jacket appeared in the ring. Lighting strikes again, the lights went off again and this time Undertaker’s gear is gone. The bell tolls as Cena looks on in disbelief. Smoke and Fire rise at the entrance ramp as Undertaker appeared and the crowd went nuts.
The Undertaker def. John Cena
- Rating: **2/4
A complete squash match as Undertaker won in less then three minutes after delivering a choke slam and planting Cena with the Tombstone Piledriver.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was an awesome squash match as both Cena and Undertaker were great. The crowd loved every second of this match.)
–WWE Hall of Fame: Jojo was in the ring and introduced the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2018. Jarrius “JJ” Robertson has great charisma and was having a blast. Goldberg came out last and got pyro for his entrance as the crowd chanted his name.
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon def. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens via. Submission
- Rating: ***2/4
Bryan got a special entrance as WWE showed footage from sports teams and people from around the world doing the YES chant. Owens and Zayn jumped Shane from behind. Zayn delivered a Helluva Kick and Owens delivered an apron power bomb to Bryan. Shane delivered a flying back elbow to Zayn and Owens some strikes. Shane delivered a sloppy tornado DDT to Zayn. Owens stomped Shane in the gut. Zayn delivered an Exploder Suplex for a near fall. Owens super kicked Shane from the ring apron and Zayn gave Shane a Blue Thunder Bomb for another near fall. Zayn missed a Helluva kicks and was place in the tree of woe position. Shane (almost slipped on the top rope) but gave Zayn a great looking Coast to Coast dropkick. Shane went for the cover but Owens delivered a back senton. Owens delivered a frog splash but Bryan made the save as the crowd chanted YES. Owens missed a cannonball in the corner. Shane delivered a back suplex to Zayn and tagged in Bryan. Bryan delivered a baseball slide and running knee from the ring apron to Owens. Bryan delivered a top rope missile dropkick to Zayn. Bryan then delivered running dropkicks to both Owens and Zayn in the corner. Bryan delivered a super Frankensteiner to Zayn from the top turnbuckle. Bryan was setting up from the running knee strike but Owens held onto Bryan’s foot from the floor as Zayn delivered a Helluva Kick for a near fall. Owens tagged delivered a pop-up power bomb but Bryan kicked out. Shane delivered a running flying clotheslines from the ring apron to Owens on the floor. Bryan slapped Zayn multiple time, delivered the YES kicks and followed up with a roundhouse kick. Bryan then delivered his running knee and then applied the Yes Lock as Zayn tapped out.
(Amin’s Analysis: A solid tag team match. The first half of match was really dull but the crowd went wild when Bryan got the hot tag. After the match, Bryan hugged and kissed Brie who was sitting in the front row. behind the announcers table.)
Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss to become the new RAW Women’s Champion
- Rating: **1/4
Jax attacked James during the ring introductions and gave her a Samoan drop on the floor. Jax splashed Bliss in the corner and delivered a military press as Bliss fell awkwardly on her ankle. Bliss poked Jax in the eyes. Bliss applied a guliotine but Jax powered out by delivering a vertical suplex. Jax ran shoulder first into the ring post. Bliss delivered a nice looking Twisted Bliss to Jax on the floor. Bliss delivered a snap DDT but Jax kicked out. Bliss slapped Jax. Jax made a comeback as she scooped slammed Bliss and gave her an Alabama slam. Jax planted Bliss with a Samoan Drop. Jax then delivered a super Samoan drop from the middle turnbuckle and got the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: A fine match. The crowd was quiet for most part as the match dragged but did pop for the closing sequence. After the match, Jax hugged Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson mom and daughter at ringside.)
A.J. Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Title.
- Rating: ***3/4
Shinsuke Nakamura came out to most incredible entrance as he got a live band (featuring Alice Cooper’s guitarist) and a cavalcade of violinists playing “The King of Strong Style” to the ring. Nakamura felt like the biggest star. There was a feeling out process. Nakamura delivered a flying kick to Styles for near fall. Styles delivered a knee to Nakamura’s gut. Styles delivered a snap suplex for a near fall. Nakamura delivered strikes but Styles countered with a face buster. Styles delivered a great looking dropkick. Nakamura delivered a middle rope flying kick to Styles. Nakamura delivered more strike and a running knee in the corner for a near fall. Styles delivered a sliding forearm for a near fall. Styles delivered a pump handle gut buster for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a Tiger Driver for a near fall. Nakamura delivered strikes but Styles countered a kick to the knee. Styles countered a Tiger Driver and applied a Calf Crusher. Nakamura countered the hold by applying a triangle. Styles powered out of the hold and dropped Nakamura on his head. Styles delivered a great looking Phenomenal Forearm for a near fall. Styles went for the Springboard 450 but Nakamura got his knee up and rolled Styles up for a near fall. Nakamura and Styles had a great back-and-forth strike exchange. Styles delivered a Pele Kick but Nakamura delivered a knee to the back of Styles for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a reverse exploder and was setting up for the Kinshasa. Nakamura charged but Styles countered the Kinshasa and delivered the Styles Clash and got the win.
- Post Match: After the match, Nakamura and Styles hugged. (Awwww) Nakamura got the WWE Championship, went on his knees and handed it to Styles. Nakamura then gave Styles a low blow as the crowd was in shock (so was I) Nakamura then kept kicking Styles in the face as the crowd booed. Nakamura kept kicking at Styles and then laid him out with the Kinshasa.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a great match but it didn’t reach that next level. Nakamura and Styles both worked hard and I expected more. Was a bit disappointed in the finish, as I wanted to see Nakamura win. Was surprised to see Nakamura turn heel. I’m interested to see how this play out. I also liked that this feud is continuing on and we will get some great matches.)
Braun Strowman & Nicholas def. Cesaro & Sheamus to win the RAW Tag Team Titles
- Rating: *
The Bar came out in a Mardi Grass float with whacky characters on them. Braun Strowman then came out and chased the wacky characters away and push the float off the ramp. Strowman grabbed the mic and said his partner isn’t someone in the back but is someone in the WWE Universe. Strowman then entered through the crowd and found some fan name Nicholas and brought him into the ring as the match began. Strowman clotheslined Sheamus and delivered a one hand chokeslam to Cesaro. Cesaro and Sheamus delivered a double team suplex to Strowman. Sheamus with a flying kneee and Cesaro with a flip senton off Sheamus shoulder for a near fall. Strowman delivered a cross body to Cesaro and Sheamus. Strowman tagged in Nicholus as the crowd popped. Nicholas then tagged Strowman back in. Cesaro attempted a springboard elbow but Strowman caught him and delivered a running power slam for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: Uhhhh yeah…..This was uhhh okay…let’s move on shall we.)
Brock Lesnar def. Roman Reigns to retain the WWE Universal Title
- Rating: ***1/4
Lesnar delivered shoulder tackles in the corner and followed up by delivering three straight German suplex. Reigns made a comeback by delivering back-to-back Superman punches. Reigns went for another Superman Punch but Lesnar caught him and delivered two overhead suplex. Lesnar delivered two release German and two overhead suplex. Reigns countered an F5 attempt and tossed Lesnar into the ring post. Reigns tackled Lesnar onto the announcers table. Reigns delivered another Superman Punch and followed up by delivering back-to-back Spears but Lesnar kicked out. Reigns went for another Spear but Lesnar countered by delivering a jumping knee for a near fall. Lesnar then delivered an F5 but Reigns kicked out (which got zero reaction) Lesnar delivered another F5 but Reigns kicked out again (which also got no reaction) Lesnar delivered another F5 but Reigns kicked out again (light boring chants) Lesnar cussed (which got bleeped out) Lesnar delivered another F5 to Reigns through an announcers table. Lesnar litterly dragged Reigns back into the ring, delivered a German and followed up with fifth F5 but Reigns kicked out again (which got a mild reaction at best) Lesnar is now pissed and had enough of this. Lesnar took off his gloves, mounted Reigns, and pummelled him with three straight bare knuckles (elbow shots) to the head. Reigns was busted open as blood just started to pour out. Lesnar attempted an F5 but Reigns slipped away and delivered back-to-back Spears but Lesnar kicked out. In a great visual Reigns screams at Lesnar as blood poured down his face. Reigns then went for another Spear but Lesnar caught him and delivered the sixth F5 of the match and got win.
- Post match: WWE aired a video package highlighting the whole show. After the match, Reigns was getting his faced washed as he walked up the ramp, looked around and then headed to the back as the show came to the close.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was just nuts as the fans revolted on the match as it started. That was unfortunate as Lesnar and Reigns had a hard hitting match. It’s interesting to see what’s happens next and where does WWE go with Lesnar and Reigns from here.)
-Overall: WWE WrestleMania 34 was a good but a very long show. I was entertained throughout the show, there were some great matches and had some great angles. Let’s see what’s happen on RAW and SmackDown post-WrestleMania.
Follow Me on Twitter: @AminAjani
Image Credit – WWE