Records were meant to be broken, and WWE sought out to create history at Jerry's World for Wrestlemania 32. More than 101,000 fans, ushers, and ticket attendants were in attendance in the Lone Star State. Yes, WWE later admitted they fudged the numbers slightly, including more than fans.
The first ever Wrestlemania to take place in the Dallas area, and the third to take place in the Lone Star State, this is by far the worst. I don't even care what the other two are, because this Wrestlemania was questionable at best. And it was incredibly long, and drawn out, and poorly booked. What hurts the most is that I was at Fastlane in Cleveland before this Wrestlemania with my friends Tyler and Alison. We stayed at an AirBNB and were convinced we would see some cool stuff leading up to Mania. We did. AJ Styles. Chris Jericho. Reigns/Ambrose/Lesnar. Nothing overly special though. Leaving Cleveland, I think the consensus was: At least Mania will be amazing right? Le Sigh.
Favorite Match: Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship
I waffled between this and the Triple Threat match for the WWE Women's Championship. However, what ultimately led me to select the ladder match is simply the outcome. Nobody saw Zack Ryder winning that match. If you say otherwise, you're lying. Kevin Owens. Sami Zayn. Miz. Ziggler. Stardust. Any of them could have won that match and I would've believed it whole-heartedly. Sin Cara and Ryder were fillers! The spots for this match were superb. Owens and Zayn had their moment. Miz and Ryder went after it. Spots were brutal. Ryder hugging his father after the fact really created a moment for the fans and those rooting for the underdog. Now, did Ryder lose that same championship exactly 24 hours later? Yes. Was that poor booking? Yes...? It was the beginning of Miz's rise to the top. So this ladder match had quite the effect on the intercontinental championship picture for the two years to come.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles was great
The booking was a little weird, considering this was AJ's first Wrestlemania, but at the same time, he did become the #1 contender the next night. The beginning of strange WWE booking for this Wrestlemania. However, the action itself was solid.
Foley, HBK, and Austin coming out was amazing
One of the biggest pops of the night, because once again, not many people saw it happening (at least not here). Made the New Day look like fodder, which kind of sucked considering these guys are so good. You can't beat those 3 legends clearing the ring.
Charlotte, Sasha, and Becky proved they belong
This was an incredible way to debut the Women's championship. These 3 really set the bar high for women's championship matches from here on out, and Wrestlemania 33 did not live up to 32. We shall see if 34 can take the ball and score.
Shane McMahon had the spot of the night
Jumping off that cell is nothing to take lightly, even for daredevil Shane O'Mac. The match with Undertaker was average at best, but that dive was incredible.
Baron Corbin shocked the WWE Universe
Most people likely didn't even see Corbin walk to the ring, let alone take him seriously. Heck, even Shaq came out and I could have seen him winning! And yet there Corbin is, winning the whole Battle Royal. It placed him in a new stratosphere for NXT talent making the jump.
The Rock and Cena taking the Wyatt family to task
Just a cool moment to see the Rock win a match as quickly as he did, despite it making the entire Wyatt family looking like a joke. Cena returning briefly was incredibly unexpected as well. Huge pop for Big Match John.
Worst Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
I'm also tempted to put the League of Nations vs. New Day match, but my expectations for Ambrose/Lesnar was so high, and I was so disappointed. I expected chaos! I expected carnage! I expected so much more violence and I got minimal "extreme" moments. It's called a Street Fight! The German Suplex on the pile of chairs was really all there was. It just didn't work for what many fans expected. Edge and Foley absolutely blew away the word extreme in their match at Mania 22. Ambrose and Lesnar farted on it. Dreadful.
League of Nations vs. New Day
The only thing that saved this match was the fact that 3 legends came out after the fact to get the crowd hyped. And why in the blue hell did the League of Nations win? And why was it non-title in the first place?!
Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon dragged on
This match was simply too stinkin' long. Legitimately, it could have been 10 minutes less and just as impactful. I realize both wrestlers aren't as fast as they used to be, but get to the action quicker and end all this walking around bologna.
The Rock Wins in 6 seconds
Okay. I get it. Set records, set records, set records. Why are you making the Wyatt Family look so useless? Sure, they eventually won their WWE Tag Team Titles, and Wyatt won the WWE Championship, but this proves that the company didn't know what they had in this faction.
Roman Reigns vs. Triple H as the main-event sucked
Nobody and The Rock means nobody cared. We all knew Roman was winning, and it didn't matter how close the count appeared. Do you want to swerve the entire WWE Universe? You have Triple H win. You obviously can't do that, just like Lesnar can't win at 34 and we're all going to hate that main-event again. 4 straight main-events for Roman Reigns. Wow.
Final Thoughts: Notice how all of the "Favorite Moments" have a caveat explaining that they weren't all that great? It's a tough Wrestlemania to appreciate. There were a number of incredibly depressing injuries leading up to this. Rollins. Cesaro. Cena (yes he made an appearance but that was nothing). And that definitely impacted the overall spectrum of what this Wrestlemania could have been. I don't imagine Triple H was supposed to be in the main-event. But they called an audible and did what they could. I don't imagine Dean Ambrose was supposed to face Brock, but they called an audible. They simply did what they could with what they had. Fair enough. I get it. That being said, this Wrestlemania had a lot of entertainment, but not a lot of good, smart wrestling.
Would it Hold Up in 2018?
Definitely. I mean, this was similar to Wrestlemania 33 in the fact they had big names and high-profile build-up, but it could be argued it simply didn't hold up as well as it should. But, there wasn't any glaring terrible moments we saw as recently as WM 30 with the Vickie Guerrero Invitational. Wyatt Family aside, everyone had time to shine, and they did it in the right way. I think this may be the similar format as to what we see in WM 34. Sorry. It's not paranoia. It's the USOS (at least their match should be good right?).