Review: WWE WrestleMania 31

Written by: Phillipa Hopwood

It is the biggest event of the wrestling calendar and this year’s WrestleMania hadn’t had a great build-up, which meant a lot of the WWE Universe were apprehensive heading into last night’s show.

They shouldn’t have been. WrestleMania 31 will go down as arguably one of the greatest WrestleManias of the modern era. It broke records, made history and the three singles titles that were all set to be defended, changed hands.

I will start by addressing the biggest news of the night.

We have a new, full-time World Champion – none other than former Mr Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins.

Seth Rollins wins the WWE Heavyweight Championship

The former member of The Shield picked his spot brilliantly and ran out during the Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns match and cashed in, turning the match into a triple threat. The two original men had already endured a significant amount of punishment before Seth ran in and hit a Curb Stomp on Lesnar and then went for a second. Lesnar countered it into an F5 but Reigns ran in and hit the spear which allowed Seth to jump free and hit his former team mate with a thunderous Curb Stomp to win his first ever WWE singles title.

This was the first time the Money in the Bank briefcase has been cashed in on the ‘grandest stage of them all’ and we also saw the first ladder match at WrestleMania since Money in the Bank became its own pay-per-view.

It was a match that was predicted to steal the show given the talent involved, but sadly it didn’t live up to the hype and aside from a cracking spot with Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper, the match wasn’t the greatest spectacle and Daniel Bryan predictably walked out as Intercontinental Champion.

Dean Ambrose elbow at WrestleMania 31

Dean Ambrose drops a Randy Savage-inspired flying elbow

The United States Championship was also on the line as John Cena hoped to end Rusev’s undefeated streak in the best possible way. The match was expected to be a technical, grounded affair and the back and forth kept the crowd involved, but it seemed like it was missing something. The returning Lana caused a distraction as she was knocked off the apron and this allowed Cena to capitalise with an AA to lift the first belt he ever won in WWE.

The other title to be defended was Cesaro and Kidd’s Tag Team Championship, which was part of the kick-off show. A fatal four-way between Cesaro and Kidd, The Usos, The New Day and Los Matadores got completely out of hand, but the no disqualification rules allowed everyone to get involved and saw Cesaro take advantage of Jimmy Uso’s Frog Slash to pin Big E for the win.

The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was the one sour note of the entire event as Curtis Axel was the first to be eliminated and then Mizdow finally turned on Miz and eliminated him, but Big Show was too much for the crowd favourite and he was the last man out of the match. Big Show lifted the trophy to a chorus of boos.

AJ Lee and Paige stayed together long enough to record a win over The Bella Twins as AJ forced the Divas Champion to submit to the Black Widow.

AJ Lee wins at WrestleMania 31

The Rock also made a cameo as he came out to shut up Stephanie and Triple H. Stephanie slapped Dwayne, but ever the gentleman, he refused to hit her back and instead found UFC champion Ronda Rousey in the crowd, who took out both Steph and Triple H to send a massive statement.

Ronda Rousey and The Rock

UFC fighter Ronda Rousey joined The Rock at WrestleMania

The big matches of the night saw Randy Orton looking for revenge on Seth Rollins as they finally went one-on-one.

As predicted this was a fantastic affair with RKO after RKO and Curb Stomp after Curb Stomp. Rollins even went for the Phoenix Splash, but it was his trusty Curb Stomp that would defy him as Orton managed to counter into an incredible RKO to get the win and a huge amount of vengeance.

Triple H took on Sting in a WCW/WWE showdown that saw cameos from the nWo and DX, this match wasn’t the best from Triple H and Sting, but the stars kept the crowd interested and the bat and sledgehammer came into play when Triple H hit Sting in the face with the sledgehammer to deny him his first win in his first WWE match. There was a handshake between the participants after the match but who knows where this could lead…

Read: Brock Lesnar breaking the Streak was the right decision

Who knew Bray Wyatt would regret calling out The Undertaker? The Phenom returned in the best shape of his life and pushed Bray further than he has ever been pushed. Taker managed to hit all of his signature moves and counter Sister Abigail into a Tombstone Piledriver to get back to winning ways at WrestleMania.

There is nothing more WWE could have done to have made WrestleMania complete. It was a WrestleMania for the ages and somehow WWE has to top it for tonight’s now-infamous Raw after WrestleMania.

Author: Phillipa Hopwood

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