A wrestling card should generally follow the rules of a good playlist: start hot, have ups and downs, close strong. Is that what happened?
The night started with the IC Title triple threat. The Miz, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor put on a fast paced, high energy match full of questions and false finishes until Seth is the stomp and because a Grand Slam winner with his first Intercontinental Championship. This match delivered in every way you could want. Great open to the playlist.
You have to step it up next and that’s that happen. Charlotte vs Asuka takes match of the night with a bullet here. Maybe even the second best match of the entire weekend only to Gargano vs Ciampa. This match was incredible. I can’t even put it into words. Just watch it. Keep in the back of your mind that after hours of camera cuts to Cena in the front row, he hops the barricade and runs up the ramp as Charlotte is making her exit.
Having to follow that, unfortunately for the guys involved, was the fatal four way for the US Championship. This fit perfectly in playlist format: a step down from what came before but not all the way down. This match was good. No one seemed to suffer except for Rusev who is never put into the position to win these matches even though the only person more over than him right now is Daniel Bryan.
Next was the debut of Ronda Rousey in the tag match with Kurt Angle vs HHH and Stephanie McMahon. Man did this match over deliver. HHH and Stephanie played the heel tag team role to perfect. Angle and HHH performed exactly as you would expect veterans of their caliber to perform. The real shock here was Ronda who put in some serious work both character wise and physically. She was clean. She sold well. Everything she did looked completely vicious. This is my good surprise of the night. The gem you weren’t expecting the playlist that is really good where it is.
Next, you want something to hold you over. We have a few things for that here. The Smackdown Tag Title match is next. New Day vs Usos vs Bludgeon brothers. It was basically an extended version of what’s been happening on Smackdown Live. The extension being that the New Day and the Usos got some offense in before getting squashed by the Bludgeon Brothers. It was short and crazy, perfectly serviceable for this point in the night.
Abadoo, here comes Cena. No mic. Jojo announces a match. Lights go down. Elias comes out, gets beat by John, then some nifty cinematic stuff followed by the Undertaker. Cena gets exactly one move in as Undertaker gets in all of his moves and wins the match very quickly. This is the old reliable song you know will get a good reaction no matter where you put it.
Just over halfway through, you need to pick things back up a little bit. So here we go, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Everything you think would happen here did. Everything was crisp and clean (except for Shane’s punches) and emotional. You could see the tears of joy in Daniel Bryan’s eyes. The last two times Daniel won at Wrestlemania, he had to drop the title he won the next night. No title this time but I think we all hope he’s ok after as well.
A few spots left, you have some options here. You can play almost anything in the next spot to either build towards your finish or bring it down if you want to bring a bigger pop. Pretty much anything will be a down from Daniel Bryan’s in ring return so we have Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax. This was sort of the tale of two matches. For the first half, it was pretty incredible. Nia looked properly like a monster and Alexa looked like the one who wanted nothing to do with the monster.
Something seemed to flip about halfway through though. The bumps got messier. The throws, less vicious. I’m not sure what happened but by the end, it felt like a very different match. Still good but could have been better.
Three spots left. Time to start building towards the finish. Next up is, Shinsuke vs AJ? Maybe they just didn’t want to do the world titles back to back. If the Rousey match over delivered, this match under delivered. For all of their booking of it being a dream match, it was ok. These two are capable of much more and, by the way that ending happened, we will get it see it.
Second to last, you need something that really builds up. You want to bring the listener in to prepare for your big closer. Here lies the Raw tag team match. While WWE now has a new superstar in Nicholas, this was not any sort of build. It was beautifully silly and I appreciate that but it was not deserving to be second to last on the card.
Finally, the big finish. Your closer has to be a big hit that really means something. It has to leave the person experiencing your list with whatever the emotions you’ve been trying to convey the whole time. That’s the mark of a great playlist.
Well, if that feeling was “bored”, we hit that. Roman vs Brock was nothing special. German Suplexes, Belly to Belly Suplexes, F5’s, Superman Punches, and Spears. These are the new five moves of doom. It was just the same thing over and over again. Then for no obvious reason, we close the show with Roman walking up the ramp to his music, looking around at the crowd looking sad and a little confused.
Maybe that’s the emotion they wanted us to feel because I think that’s how we all felt after the end of this match. It’s a really bad end to a playlist and it was a bad end to WrestleMania.
It all started so well too. By no means is it the worst WrestleMania but it just couldn’t carry the momentum all the way through. The playlist is over and you’ll go through the first half again but then just move on.
It’s over now. The true test will be RAW and Smackdown. Then this weekend’s playlist will truly be over.
image credit – WWE.com
Extreme Rules 2018 updated match card
AXS TV purchases WOW ‘Women of Wrestling’ series
SD Live Highlights (6.19.18): Gauntlet match determines #1 contender for WWE Championship
NJPW ‘Kizuna Road 2018 – Super Strong Machine Retirement Ceremony’ 6.19.18 Results & Review
WWE releases Big Cass
How Mike Bennett/Kanellis won Father’s Day 2018
CM Punk forced to divulge what ‘CM’ stands for under oath
John Cena and Nikki Bella: ‘Total Red Flags’
NJPW ‘Dominion 2018’ Preview & Predictions
Io Shirai to leave Stardom for WWE
AJ Styles revealed as WWE 2K19 cover athlete
Money in the Bank 2018 kickoff live stream
WWE unveils bracket for UK Championship Tournament
Evolve 105 ‘The Final War’ recap and highlights
Chris Jericho: I’m Not Tranquilo, I’m F**king Crazy
WWE2 days ago
How Mike Bennett/Kanellis won Father’s Day 2018
Gaming5 days ago
Kenny Omega Triumphs at E3
WWE6 days ago
Men’s ‘Money in the Bank’ 2018 Ladder Match Preview
WWE18 hours ago
Charlotte Flair to grace the pages of this year’s ‘Body10’ issue
NXT5 days ago
WWE NXT #453 (6.13.18) Play-by-Play and Review
NJPW7 days ago
NJPW ‘Lion’s Gate Project 13’ 6.13.18 Results & Review
NJPW2 days ago
NJPW ‘Kizuna Road 2018’ 6.17.18 Results & Review
WWE1 day ago
Ronda Rousey suspended after RAW destruction