OSR: WWE WrestleMania 31 Review
In the final countdown to WrestleMania, the OSR returns to 2015. Coming from the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The event marked the first in-ring appearance of Sting, whilst Roman Reigns looked to capture his first WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar. With 76,976 in attendance in the basking sunlight, relive the events of 2015 in the WWE WrestleMania 31 Review…
The opening promo looked at the evolution of entertainment, before focusing down on various WrestleMania throughout the ages. It then looked at the matches for this evening, and how they will shape the people. This wasn’t your usual WrestleMania promo, as it was very different to the normal with various superstars talking about their moments.
We then went inside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California with our commentators for the event: JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. After a shot of the IC title belt, we were off to the first match of the evening.
1. WWE Intercontinental Championship: Ladder Match – Wade Barrett (c) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Luke Harper vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose
Each of the competitors made their way to the ring, and it quickly got underway as very much a brawl between all of the participants. This was unfortunately yet another typical example of a ladder match.
This saw a series of one-on-one contests, whilst the competitors took a nap outside of the ring. Nonetheless, it did have a decent pace to it with some notably impressive spots from Stardust. His momentum was halted by Barrett. The match continued as Ambrose took a powerbomb through a ladder.
The energy in the match heightened as Bryan took down various superstars, before getting into a fist exchange with Dolph at the top of the ladder. After a series of headbutts, Dolph fell off the ladder.
Bryan was able to get the belt and become the new Intercontinental Champion in an enjoyable opening match. In all honesty, it would have being preferable to have had something slightly different added to the match to make it stand out more.
Winner: Daniel Bryan, to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
2. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
The history package was shown for the match, which looked at the rise of Randy Orton since he debuted in the company. It then looked at how Seth Rollins had become the future of the company. This lead to their breakdown within The Authority and alienation of Orton.
Their feud was good in that it was given a really good amount of time to establish itself. Both men made their way to the ring, and despite Orton being on the offense in the early moments, Rollins was able to regain the momentum.
The action continued with Seth in control, until an aerial curb stomp attempt was countered into an amazing RKO to pick up the win in a good match. Good, but it was ultimately lacking something to make it stand out.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
3. No Disqualification: Triple H vs. Sting
The history package was shown, which looked at Triple H’s tenure in the WWE over the preceding 20 years. This was followed by the debut of Sting at the end of 2014. It then looked at how their rivalry came together, before it became about WCW rather than something fresh and unique.
Both men made their way to the ring, with unique WrestleMania entrances for both men. The match got underway with Triple H really trying to take it to Sting, but was seemingly on the short end of the straw. Sting then bounced around like it was 1995 seemingly not having lost a step.
Triple H regained control after a missed Stinger Splash. This continued until Sting was able to lock in the Scorpion Death Lock which prompted the appearance of DX. This was soon enough followed by the nWo.
As DX and the nWo brawled, Sting and HHH continued to go at it until HBK interfered and nailed Sting with a Sweet Chin Music. Triple H was still unsuccessful at this point, but the end came when a stinger splash attempt resulted in a sledgehammer to the face for Sting.
This allowed Triple H to pick up the win. After the match, both men shook hands to a standing ovation to end an incredible match. Would have preferred Sting to win though.
Winner: Triple H
Match Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars
4. Paige and AJ Lee vs. Brie and Nikki Bella
The women made their way to the ring first, as the past between AJ and Paige was teased by Michael Cole. The match soon got underway with The Bella’s soon assuming control of the match after AJ was taken out and Paige left by herself.
Paige took a little bit of a pounding, but was soon enough to get AJ back in the ring. This later lead to AJ locking Nikki in the Black Widow to pick up the victory. Sadly, this was a very forgettable match because nothing in it stood out or made you want to watch it.
Winner: Paige and AJ Lee
Match Rating: 1.0 out of 5.0 Stars
5. WWE United States Championship: Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) vs. John Cena
The history package was shown for the match, which highlighted the knockout victory for Rusev at Fastlane. The feud was built very much around patriotism. It was heightened Cena’s desire to have a rematch which was eventually agreed too following a series of brutal attacks from one another.
Rusev made his way to the ring first with a tank in a very patriotic and Russian entrance…Lana, who looked insanely hot here joined him. Cena made his way out to a very patriotic American entrance as Cena received his usual chorus of boos.
The match got underway with Rusev very much in control, using a variety of power moves over Cena. Cena tried to come back, but was continually overcome by Rusev. Cena was eventually able to mount a comeback with some rollup attempts.
It was when Rusev went crashing into Lana, when Cena was able to nail an FU to Rusev to pick up the win. Now, that was a good match but considering the monster that Rusev had being built up to be, the finish was really weak.
Winner: John Cena, to capture WWE United States Championship
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H address the crowd
After a highlights package was shown for the pre-show, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H announced the attendance record for this evenings event but also some corporate bashing about the prominence of WrestleMania. She then went onto some self-promoting for herself and Triple H. They talked about always winning before they are soon enough interrupted by The Rock.
The past rivalry between Triple H and The Rock was alluded to, before their individual legacies were looked at which lead to a massive Shane McMahon chant. The intensity between The Rock and Stephanie continued to build which culminated in her slapping him incredibly hard and ordering him to leave. He loitered around outside the ring, before finding Rhonda Rousey. She received an insane reaction as she joined him in entering the ring.
At this point, Steph looked terrified as she tried to worm her way out of it. The Rock talked about never hitting a woman, but has someone who is more than happy to. Steph then tried to push Rhonda around, telling her to get the hell out of the ring but Rhonda simply says make me. If looks could kill, Steph would have been gon.
The Rock continued to talk trash. He then took it to Triple H who was then ejected from the ring by Rhonda. Rhonda then locked Steph in an arm lock, before throwing her out of the ring in an incredible segment.
6. Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
The history package for the match was shown, which mentioned Taker’s legacy and the events of WrestleMania XXX. It later lead to Bray challenging Taker to a match at Mania, in a feud which he pretty much kept going single handily.
Bray made his way to the ring first, and his entrance was very weird in daylight as was Taker’s to be honest. Taker made his way out to an incredible reaction, before the match got underway with Taker initially in control of the action.
It didn’t last long as Bray was able to gain the momentum whilst showing great characterization in a very slow and methodical match. It should also be noted that Bray showed a great ring presence throughout, utilizing the ring as a weapon to control Taker.
There were several near finishes from both men, but some great spots where they portrayed signature poses key to their characters. Eventually, after several failed finishing attempts from Bray, Taker was able to pick up the win following a Tombstone in an average match.
An average match, but with great characterization. They could have done a lot more with this feud though, definitely had great potential and could have taken Bray really far.
Winner: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
7. WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns
The rise of Roman Reigns was shown, and how he had a legacy to fulfill but needed to go through the heartless Brock Lesnar. Brock looked like an absolute unstoppable monster throughout this, but he wouldn’t have gotten this far without the continual efforts of Paul Heyman.
We returned to Levi’s Stadium as Roman Reigns made his way to the ring, receiving an absolutely horrendous reaction. Brock then made his way out with Heyman, receiving a really good ovation whilst maintaining an aurora about him and domineering appearance.
The match got underway, with Reigns being destroyed by Brock in the early moments after he is nailed with multiple German suplexes and an F5 within the opening minute. Brock continued the dominance with a basic arsenal of German suplexes.
Reigns was able to gain some momentum when he sent Brock into the turnbuckle busting him open. The fans were really into this when Reigns was taking a beating, but didn’t like it when Brock was taking various Superman punches. After near finishes for both, Seth Rollins sprinted to the ring.
Seth Rollins was cashing in his Money in the Bank contract; making it a triple threat match much to the dismay of Heyman. He wasn’t able to pick up the win over Lesnar, who whilst attempting an F5 on Rollins was speared by Reigns.
Rollins then nailed Reigns with a curb stomp to pick up the win and capture the title in an incredible ending to a great match. The reception Rollins receives was incredible, as he celebrated whilst WrestleMania 31 drew to a close.
Winner: Seth Rollins, to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE WrestleMania 31 Conclusions
Looking back, it seems very difficult to sum up what to make of WrestleMania 31. Whilst there were some great moments and matches, it was fully of some rubbish as well. The show will fundamentally be remembered for the appearance of Rhonda Rousey, Sting’s WWE in-ring debut and Seth Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank. It was enjoyable, but from a wrestling fan perspective, some more credibility with the in-ring competition would have being appreciated. It is definitely worth a watch though. Definitely watch it and tell us what you think.