WrestleMania 33, “The Ultimate Thrill Ride,” was totally predictable, with the exception of the return of The Hardy Boys. The seven-hour show saw title changes, pioneering special effects, and perhaps the greatest set in the history of WrestleMania.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
The Undertaker appeared to have wrestled his final match, losing to Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania. The Undertaker left his gloves, jacket and hat in the middle of the ring before walking out, in a dramatic and emotional ending to the show. The match was designed to be a passing of the torch moment, but the crowd hated Reigns and was legitimately sad to see him defeat the Undertaker. The match saw Reigns kick out of the Undertaker’s tombstone and the Undertaker survive several Reigns Superman punches and spears. Reigns botched (twice) two attempts to reverse The Undertaker’s tombstone, before The Undertaker called an audible and Reigns hit him with a Superman punch. The match was lackluster, only memorable because of the Undertaker’s retirement. The crowd cheered “Thank you, Taker,” as he left the ring. This was a sad moment. Sad that Reigns won and sad that Taker had to lose to Reigns in his final match.
Winner: Roman Reigns
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match, Champion Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Mickie James and Carmella
Naomi submitted Alexa Bliss in a short match that was in the death spot, after Lesnar and before The Undertaker. Not a lot happened here, other than each woman getting in their signature moves and Lynch using the Exploder on Carmella’s boyfriend, James Ellsworth.
Winner: Naomi, new champion
Universal Champion Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar delivered 10 German suplexes to put an end to Goldberg’s improbable title reign. It wasn’t a squash. It looked like it would be, but the two enjoyed a great back-and-forth, which built the drama to the short match. Lesnar survived three spears and a jackhammer suplex to win the match with an F-5.
Winner: Brock Lesnar, new WWE Universal Champion
WWE Champion Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
A dud match only saved by the bizarre special effects of Bray Wyatt. Every time Wyatt turned his head upside down (three times) a disgusting image appeared on the mat: worms, cockroaches and snakes. The match consisted of Orton trying to RKO Wyatt at every turn. Eventually he hit the move and Orton won the title.
Winner: Randy Orton, new WWE Champion
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H (Non-Sanctioned Match)
Seth Rollins proved he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, carrying Triple H, who had his typical, overly methodic match. They used lots of weapons, chairs, tables and a sledgehammer. Rollins sold the injured knee most of the match, but the end came when Rollins pushed Triple H into Stephanie, who was standing on the apron, onto and through a table. Hunter was overwhelmed by the fact that he hurt the billion-dollar princess, but when he turned around, Rollins pedigreed him for the victory.
Winner: Seth Rollins
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
To no one’s surprise, John Cena and Nikki Bella pinned The Miz & Maryse, in an awful match that saw Cena laying on the floor for most of the match. Cena and Bella won after a double five-knuckle shuffle. Cena proposed afterward, to massive boos from the crowd.
Winner: Cena and Bella
Raw Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax (Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match)
This is Charlotte’s world, no doubt. Sasha Banks and Nia Jax were eliminated first, turning it into a good one-on-one between Bayley and Charlotte. Bayley nearly killed Charlotte with a clumsy backdrop from the top rope. Bayley then landed an elbow drop off the top rope to retain the title. Even though Charlotte lost, she was the star of the match, performing her signature moves and having a command of the crowd. Bayley will now defend the title in her hometown of San Jose on April 30.
Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus (Triple Threat Ladder Match)
The Hardy Boys won the tag team championship in a historic moment for professional wrestling fans. The New Day came out to announce a fourth tag team in the match, and yes, Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero arrived at WrestleMania. They were in full Hardy Boys character, but the fans treated them like their TNA personas. The pop was massive. Jeff Hardy performed a Swanton bomb off a 20-foot ladder onto Cesaro and Sheamus, allowing Matt Hardy to climb the ladder and grab the belts to win the championship. The Hardy Boys are back and they are the new Raw tag team champions.
Winners: The Hardy Boys
United States Champion Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens
These two were in a tough spot following Styles, but they lived up to the bill. This match probably should have been the main event of the show. Jericho worked a stiff match, even opening a small cut/scrape on Owens’ forehead early in the match. Owens talked throughout the match, screaming “you were never my best friend.” Jericho almost won with a codebreaker, but Owens got one finger on the bottom rope. Owens then won the championship with a power bomb onto the ringside apron. A good match, even though it did not belong as the second match on the show.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
AJ Styles proved he’s the best wrestler in the world, carrying Shane McMahon to a 4-star match. More so than anyone since the great Shawn Michaels, Styles looked like he was born to be a professional wrestler. Styles tried a coast-to-coast on McMahon, but McMahon countered and hit him mid-air with the garbage can. Then McMahon hit the coast-to-coast for the near pin. McMahon put him on the announcer’s table and then jumped — and missed — on Styles. McMahon then stunned the world when he attempted a shooting star press on Styles. He missed it, but his athleticism was unreal for a 47-year-old non-wrestler. Styles then won with a phenomenal forearm. For a moment, everything was right with the world.
Winner: AJ Styles
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin
Dean Ambrose has fallen long and hard since his run as WWE champion last year — working as the third match on the pre-show. Corbin worked a good match, looking serious and intense, almost like he was aware of the fact that his push died before it started. Ambrose got in all of his clown moves and over-theatrical facials, before getting the win with the Dirty Deeds. Ambrose remains champ. He may have a second chance at stardom in 2017. Let’s hope he doesn’t appear on the Stone Cold podcast again.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
2017 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Match)
Braun Strowman eliminated The Big Show early and then everyone teamed up to eliminate Strowman in somewhat of a surprise. Both of those guys were the favorites to win the match. In a stunner, Jinder Mahal jaw-jacked with Rob Gronkowski and Mahal grabbed his drink and then threw it in Gronk’s face. Gronk then stormed the ring and shoulder-tackled Mahal, to a massive crowd pop. Distracted, Mojo Rawley later threw Mahal out to win the Battle Royal. Gronkowski then celebrated in the ring with Rawley.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. Austin Aries (Kickoff Match)
Austin Aries survived a wicked belly to back suplex that looked to knock him silly. These two athletes put on a stellar match of high-flying moves. The crowd started early with an “Austin Aries” chant. Aries hit Neville with a huricanrana then a 450 splash in what looked like the finishing sequence. Neville battled back and won with the Red Arrow tilt-a-whirl splash. Aries was bleeding from the eye at the end of the match. A tough night for Aries.