With the biggest event of the year done and dusted, we now nitpick and analyze what transpired 24 hours ago in NOLA. WrestleMania 34 certainly delivered moments – both good and underwhelming, but the consensus is that it is going to go down as one of the most memorable editions of WrestleMania in history.
There were many firsts – Ronda’s first official WWE match, Strowman winning a title in the WWE for the first time, and a 10 year old being crowned a champion in the WWE – a record that would never likely be replicated in the company.
Saying that, we take a look at the five things we learnt from WrestleMania 34.
#5 Shinsuke Nakamura’s heel turn coming at the right time
The WWE Championship match between Nakamura and AJ was one of the highly anticipated bouts of the night. Putting the championship hanging in balance aside, both the Superstars have put on excellent matches before, and were the talk of the town when they crossed paths in Japan.
So naturally, the fans were prepared to see both the stars turn back the clocks at WrestleMania 34. Unfortunately, while they still delivered the goods, their match wasn’t nearly as good as people expected. For months, Nakamura’s stock in WWE has been plummeting. This could be because of WWE’s decision to take Shinsuke off WWE TV, or could be because of WWE’s booking. But one thing was for certain, something had to change, and change it did at Mania.
Nakamura turned heel after losing to Styles, and while we’ve seen a heel AJ before, a conniving, unforgiving Nakamura, unleashing the strong style on WWE Superstars would truly be a sight to behold. For this purpose, the turn came at the right time.
#4 Ronda Rousey silences her doubters at WrestleMania 34
Ronda Rousey hasn’t exactly been the easiest of stars to deal with over the years. After her two losses in the UFC, she decided to step away from the spotlight, and dealt with public scrutiny the worst possible way. While the Hollywood celebrities are actually trained in dealing with criticisms and controversies, Ronda’s case once again brought up the topic of athletes needing a similar kind of intervention.
With so much negativity on her shoulders, Ronda had to prove a point at WrestleMania, and she did exactly that. While the three other participants were nowhere near the class needed to be in a marquee match at WrestleMania, Ronda arguably stole the show. Afterwards, she gave an interview to ESPN, detailing about how she thought she wouldn’t be welcomed by the WrestleMania crowd, and for the first time in 3 years, opened up about her losses.
It almost seemed like Rousey had turned a corner at WrestleMania, and has finally put her demons to bed. Hopefully, we will see a more vibrant Ronda Rousey, who doesn’t feel the need to validate herself in front of the fans.
#3 Asuka’s undefeated streak shouldn’t have ended
Three years ago, NOLA witnessed the true end of an era. When Lesnar ended The Undertaker’s undefeated streak, the world almost came to a standstill. At WrestleMania 34, while the magnitude of the outcome for the SmackDown Women’s Championship wasn’t at the same level, it still felt that WWE’s decision to hand Asuka her first defeat in the company was a mistake.
Asuka’s character needs a change, and if the loss meant that the often chirpy, smiling and sometimes, even clumsy Asuka would become a ruthless savage, it would’ve been well worth the effort. However, her post – match promo, while handing Charlotte the title proves that nothing has changed with her character, and the entire ordeal felt a little underwhelming, considering what was at stake.
#2 The Undertaker still not done with WWE
For all the repetitive, and often meandering promos of John Cena leading up to WrestleMania, there was one underlying concept that came forth this past Sunday. The Undertaker, when called upon, is still someone that shows up to fight.
Many feared that WrestleMania 33 would be Taker’s final match. A man that has dedicated his life to the fans, putting his body through the wood chipper for our entertainment, had finally decided to ride into the sunset. Only this time, the old gunslinger still had a few bullets left in his pistol.
The Undertaker looked in great shape, and while time takes its toll on every man, confined to this mortal realm, even the dead aren’t exempted from its consequences. However, The Undertaker proved that, if need be, he still has one or two matches left in him before calling it a career.
#1 WWE once again pulls the plug on Reigns’ coronation
It is said that every move made without purpose is a waste of time. Over the past year, WWE has built Roman Reigns as the undisputed number one Superstar – except for the Universal Champion. From beating The Undertaker, to overcoming overwhelming odds, the stage was set for Reigns to finally vanquish his last – standing foe, someone he hasn’t been able to dethrone in the past.
With Lesnar’s future looking bleak at best, the fans could almost envision the sight of Reigns hoisting up the title in sheer defiance, and for some, in exuberance. However, WWE once again decided to pull the plug with Reigns, and after a year – long build up with the intention of putting Roman over at WrestleMania, the promotion once again got cold feet.
While many say it might lead to the fans sympathizing with Reigns, how it can do him any good is a question best answered by the WWE creative team.