Now, here’s what I mean by no-frills, just so we are all on the same page. Things were not, at any point, over the top. We didn’t piss away huge chunks of the show on celebrity involvement, or nostalgia acts. Like, we didn’t get the epic, but ultimately pointless, segment from a couple years back with Hogan, Rock, Austin etc. We didn’t get it, and we didn’t need it. And by the time it was all said and done, we shouldn’t have missed it, either.
Look, don’t take this the wrong way, I am a wrestling fan too. I would have marked out if Hogan’s music hit. Or if Rock’s or Austin’s did. That’s just what we do, as fans. The music brings out a deep-rooted emotional response. It happens. But looking at the show, 24 hours later as I write things, you can appreciate the show, the whole card, for what it was-and what it was not. Yes, we had Gronk. Yes, there were a few celebrities pointed out to us. Yes, I’d rather we not get the WWE version of a halftime show, but even I have to admit it was not completely terrible-and, it was short enough. But outside of the Hardys, everything on the show basically went down as expected.
We had no dirty finishes. We had no surprises like in years past-no Rousey coming in to take on Stephanie. No Hogan. No Balor, even (though we know he was saved for RAW). And as much as past WrestleManias have given us some major surprise, this one was relatively devoid of those. Yes, we saw Matt and Jeff Hardy return, but honestly, anyone who follows the brothers on Twitter, or reads this (or any other) wrestling related news and entertainment site, could have predicted that their return was coming. Once the tag title match became a ladder match, it just screamed for Team Extreme. But it was a good surprise, and doesn’t appear to have been a one off or short lived thing (I mean, they won the tag team titles, after all).
So, for me, WrestleMania was kind of no frills. And I am actually very happy about that. Things all worked out well. The only matches I would have really wanted adjusted? The title matches. I don’t know if the Grandest Stage of Them All overshadowed them, or if WWE just did not do a good enough job making these feel huge. They assumed Goldberg/Lesnar was going to be seen as a supermatch, but they forget that we already saw these two a couple times in recent months. While this one was a much different outcome, it was not a thrilling match. Between the two men, I think they had a total of five moves between them. And, Orton and Wyatt just missed a gear or something. Honestly, the tag title match was the shining star of all title matches. Outside of that, I’d say Shane and AJ should be exceptionally proud of the match they worked.
I don’t know that WWE will keep it no-frills. But for one day, it was actually kind of nice to not see how many tricks they could pull out of their bag, in order to make a PPV as big as WrestleMania, work.