Some out there who will remain nameless to save their credibility went into the night of WrestleMania 31 expecting that show to be nothing short of awful. The booking that preceded the show had underwhelmed a majority of fans who post on social media websites and on wrestling forums, and the event largely lacked the juice that usually surrounds a WrestleMania card every spring. World Wrestling Entertainment did begin to pick up steam when Brock Lesnar announced on ESPN television program SportsCenter that he was staying with WWE rather than rejoining the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Lesnar followed that up with a spectacular performance at WrestleMania, one that did not result in him retaining his title.
Even the most diehard professional wrestling fans out there who listen to podcasts and who subscribe to websites that offer news updates on the industry were left a bit surprised by the events that took place at WrestleMania 31. For starters, a UFC title holder who also happens to be the baddest woman on the planet took part in a segment that occurred inside of a WWE ring, teasing what could be a program down the road assuming that she will one day want to change gigs and have what would, for her, be an easier life as a pro wrestler.
Then there were the final scenes from WrestleMania 31 that included a championship change that featured a man who was not even in the main event of the show. Seth Rollins made history by becoming the first character to steal a WrestleMania main event and win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a victory that did not include the previously mentioned Lesnar doing the job. WWE could now go in one of several directions with Rollins, who is no longer the future of the company. To steal a phrase that has been associated with a different wrestler for over a decade: Rollins’ time is now.
10. The Andre the Giant Battle Royal is Meaningless
It was only a year ago when Cesaro won the first ever WrestleMania Andre the Giant Battle Royal, a victory that was supposed to be the beginning of a massive push for the international Superstar. That push did not happen, however, and the battle royal was made even more meaningless when The Big Show and not somebody who could have used the rub was booked to win the match this time around. It is good that those involved with the match get to have an opportunity to perform on the biggest WWE stage of them all, but make no mistake about the fact that the battle royal is now an afterthought.
9. Divas Didn’t Get a Chance
WWE fans who peg themselves as being part of the #GiveDivasAChance movement had to feel disappointment in the Divas tag team encounter that took place at WrestleMania. That match did not even make it to the ten-minute mark, and it was largely lackluster and rather forgettable. There is always the chance that the Divas division will be reshaped following WrestleMania when several talented performers are supposed to be called up to the main roster. If that does not occur, however, then it appears as if the Divas are going to be held in the same state that the company has held them in for years.
8. WWE Network is Still Flawed
The hope for those who subscribe to the WWE Network streaming service was that any and all bugs that affected that option for watching WrestleMania a year ago had been worked out. That did not prove to be the case. Users on social networking websites such as Twitter posted about outages in their areas, and there were also numerous instances when those attempting to access WrestleMania video experienced pauses in that stream. I was lucky enough to watch the event via a friend who pays $9.99 a month for WWE Network, but I would be wanting at least a 10-dollar refund if I paid for that service and experienced that difficulties that we witnessed.
7. Rusev’s Push is Over
WWE could have gone one of two ways with Rusev at WrestleMania 31, and the company chose to follow basic pro wrestling storytelling and have the “evil Russian” go down to the American hero, John Cena in this case. Rusev was going to lose eventually, but doing the job to Super Cena all-but ends the push of the character. It is unlikely that Rusev is going to either reclaim his United States Championship from Cena anytime soon, and he certainly is not feuding with Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. There really is not anywhere positive for that character to go following WrestleMania.
6. Daniel Bryan is Now a Midcard Character
Fans who were hoping that Bryan would find himself back in the main event picture following WrestleMania can put those dreams to bed for the time being. Bryan won the Intercontinental Championship ladder match at WrestleMania 31, and he will now be tasked with elevating the importance of a championship that has lost just about all credibility thanks to some shoddy WWE storytelling. Bryan has the talent on the mic and in the ring to make any championship worthwhile. Here is hoping that WWE writers allow him to do just that, because Bryan being buried in awful championship programs would be a real shame.
5. Undertaker Isn’t Done
His best days as an active in-ring performer may be in the past, but anybody believing that the Undertaker is even considering calling time on his career following WrestleMania 31 would do well to change that mode of thinking. ‘Taker looked much better at this year’s edition of the event than he did at WrestleMania 30, and he performed well in his encounter with Bray Wyatt. WrestleMania 32 is going to take place at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys and the “backyard” of The Phenom. Undertaker has at least one more match left in him, and he proved that at WrestleMania 31.
4. Brock Lesnar is the Best
Lesnar is the most “over” person in all of North American professional wrestling, and he was once again the best act on a WWE card at WrestleMania 31. The former UFC champion put a beating on Roman Reigns, including some stiff shots that did not at all look like they were fun to take. Lesnar is a performer unlike any other that the WWE currently has, one who is a legitimate athlete and one who causes fans to pay attention whenever his theme is heard inside of arenas. The WWE made the right move in paying Lesnar, as he is worth every cent of his new contract.
3. Triple H will be Triple H
The nightmare of every so-called “smart fan” became reality on WrestleMania Sunday when Triple H went over Sting in the debut match of the World Championship Wrestling icon. That program had been booked oddly leading up to the match, but the heel being the person to get the pinfall makes little sense to those of us who are outside of the company. That becomes even more of a fact upon learning that Sting has reportedly claimed that he will never again enter the ring as an active wrestler. It would have done Triple H and The Authority zero harm for Sting to get his hand raised at WrestleMania.
2. Roman Reigns Isn’t Over
What was an issue leading up to WrestleMania Sunday held true up through the final minutes of the actual event. Roman Reigns, booked to be the heroic babyface taking on the monster heel that is Brock Lesnar, is not over with fans, and the company seemingly understood this to be true in having Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and winning the title. Reigns will now likely be put into a program with Rollins, one that should logically see Reigns once again lose out in the end due to Rollins just winning his first ever major WWE championship. The push of Reigns has taken a detour.
1. Ronda Rousey Will Work a WWE Program
It has been no secret for years that UFC Women’s World Champion and all-around badass Ronda Rousey is a massive WWE fan, and she was involved in one of the most discussed moments of the show that featured the rowdy one taking it to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon of “The Authority.” While there is speculation that the deal was a one-off, others are suggesting that it is a matter of when and not if Rousey does perform under the WWE umbrella. Rousey would have great fun in being involved with the company, and working for WWE would be less wear and tear on her body than is training for and competing in UFC battles.
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