Hardcore wrestling fans like to treat WrestleMania as a Super Bowl of sorts, and that includes ranking the shows by their greatness and going back to watch certain matches or moments as football fans relive highlights like John Elway’s helicopter spin or Santonio Holmes miraculous 4th Quarter grab. So where does this past WrestleMania, the 34th installment, fit in historically and what moments stick out?
Personally, I cannot see this as a top tier Mania such as 3, 17, 19, or 7, but I do not see it as a lower tier Mania like 11, 27, 32, or 4.
This show started off HOT, with a fantastic IC Title match, a pitch perfect Smackdown Women’s Title Match, a perfectly booked mixed tag, and a fascinating Undertaker/John Cena segment featuring Elias. The first half of this show was thrilling, featuring only two filler matches in the US Title debacle and the deflating Smackdown Tag Titles match. However, at this point the show became a slog and lost its pacing, featuring only one good match/story (Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax) and one memorable moment (Braun Strowman/Nicholas). The rest was made up of a poor match (Roman and Brock), a large disappointment (AJ Styles/Nakamura), a deflating tag match that gave everybody 10 minutes of Shane McMahon selling when all they really wanted was to see Daniel Bryan, and WWE Network commercials on a WWE Network broadcast.
When I put this card into perspective, there is one other Mania that sticks out as a perfect comparison: WrestleMania 21.
WrestleMania 21 started off much the same way: the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, a fun Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio match, Undertaker/Orton, the last great Hulk Hogan appearance before he became a noted caricature, and a Kurt Angle/Shawn Michaels 4.5 star classic. However, this PPV nosedives with the Big Show sumo match, a bland as dishwater WWE Title match between JBL and John Cena, and a vintage HHH Mania main event against Batista that maybe, generously, could be said to be fine. Also included is the garbage match of Trish Stratus and Christy Hemme.
Both shows feature wonderful undercards with underperforming and underwhelming efforts from the main event and featured players, which is essentially the opposite of what it should be, and places them each squarely in the middle of the pack of WrestleMania shows that I have enjoyed. How about you, readers? Do you think I’m wrong in my assessment?