Between the excitement of returning superstars and the retirement of a legend, WrestleMania 33 was filled with many ups, and definitely a few downs. Here is the best and worst that was WrestleMania 33.
Tag: Roman Reigns
Traditionally, the main event of a huge wrestling pay-per-view is reserved for a big title match. With seven different individual championships being on the line at Sunday’s WrestleMania 33 (which doesn’t even include the Raw Tag Team titles), you would think that Goldberg vs. Lesnar would end the show, or at least something like Wyatt vs. Orton.
Roman Reigns is a curiosity in today’s WWE. He has constantly (and we do mean constantly) been shoved down fan’s throats as “The Guy.” Actually, he literally tried to use that as his catch phrase for a while, before pivoting over to the “it’s my yard” schitck. Despite various ringside commentators pushing the idea that the fans are behind Reigns, anyone with a pulse and a working set of ears can hear that he is routinely booed at live events and on television.
Records in pro wrestling are an interesting thing. First of all, most of them are exaggerated (or made up completely) in order to build hype and promote individuals. But if the record keepers at WrestlingData.com are correct, The Undertaker could reach another milestone at WrestleMania 33 that would be hard to top.
Every year, Pro Wrestling Illustrated releases a list of the 500 best wrestlers in the world, ranked across a variety of factors. This year’s edition has studied the data, and come to the conclusion that WWE Superstar Roman Reigns has accomplished enough during the previous voting year (which covers July 2015 to June 2016) to secure the top spot on this prestigious and highly-debated list. “The Guy”, as he apparently wishes to be called, took the honor largely on the strength of 3 WWE World Heavyweight Title victories, his (technically) hour-long stint in the Royal Rumble, and his position in the main event of the largest WrestleMania in history.
One of the last shots of Smackdown Live! was #1 Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Title AJ Styles, painfully sitting astride the top rope, after being knocked there by Dean Ambrose. Always a comical spot worthy of mention, but Styles went the extra step further after the show went off the air. According to live reports, Styles stayed in that very uncomfortable position for roughly ten-fifteen minutes, while other wrestlers made their entrances for the post-show dark match, which was scheduled to be Styles teaming with Seth Rollins against John Cena and Roman Reigns. And as each wrestler made their way into the ring, they decided to mess with the Phenomenal One’s predicament. Here’s some fan footage of exactly what happened.
SummerSlam is in the books, which means we’re basically at the halfway point in the wrestling year. That’s right, it’s all downhill to WrestleMania from here. Figuratively, and hopefully not literally, anyway. And even though WWE is in some form of semi-controlled chaos due to the brand extension and being forced to crown two Universal Champions within the first two weeks of the title’s existence, there are still some thing we’ve seen that have led us to make a reasonable assumptions about where things could go if WWE was currently being booked with WrestleMania in mind. And we can’t prove that it’s not, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (this time), and assemble a list of matches that we think could possibly happen at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.
Reports have surfaced which suggest that Roman Reigns’ suspension just before the Brand Extension changed more than a few long-term plans for WWE, so just for fun, we decided to see how many of their current issues they could blame on The Guy. According to the Wrestling Observer, the biggest change caused by Reigns’ suspension was the fact that it ended up sending the WWE World Heavyweight Title to Smackdown, with Dean Ambrose as champion, instead of Raw, which was allegedly the original plan. Reigns and Seth Rollins were expected to feud over that title, while the Universal Championship was supposed to be introduced as a Smackdown-exclusive title, and most importantly, won by AJ Styles, likely in the match against John Cena which happened at SummerSlam anyway. In addition, a planned undercard match for SummerSlam was supposed to see Finn Balor fight Chris Jericho, as the two were expected to have an extended feud for Balor’s initial period following his promotion from NXT. Instead, as Reigns was removed from the Universal title picture, Balor was inserted, and ended up winning the title at SummerSlam…and seriously injuring his shoulder, putting him out for roughly 4-6 months.
We’re not one day out from SummerSlam and there’s already a problem, as new WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor is injured and will have to relinquish the title. How will WWE address the newly-created vacancy for the Raw brand’s main title? We’ve got all the results from the first Raw after SummerSlam right here!
We can say this much for WWE, they know how to put on a spectacle, and their powers were in full force for all of SummerSlam weekend. We saw the first Universal Champion crowned, absolutely glorious debuts, tearful farewells, and an ending that we still can’t quite believe, plus any number of other big moments. We’d love to go over every detail of what has been a very long SummerSlam weekend, but there is not enough time to explain, so we’ll have to sum up instead. Here’s everything that we though was worth talking about from an absolutely packed weekend of wrestling, starting with NXT TakeOver, and going all the way to the bitter end of what felt like a day-long SummerSlam event.