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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Rewind: WWE WrestleMania 35

04/04/2020 06:46:36 PM

Photo from Twitter, obtained via

In a shocking turn of events, the coronavirus has paralyzed the events business across the globe. Several leagues in the sporting world went into hiatus. Most entertainment productions suspended their filming operations until further notice.  At some point, this gravely affects the world of sports entertainment as World Wrestling Entertainment's annual grand event called WrestleMania still took place this year – despite without having the grandeur presence of the live audience.

Initially planned to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, Vince McMahon's promotion still pushed through WrestleMania by taping it in WWE Performance Center in Orlando a few weeks ago. Driving away from its distinction of being "the greatest event in live entertainment," WrestleMania 36 will be airing as a two-night special on WWE Network, pay-per-view, and Fox Sports app.  

Yes, it still went on despite all the calls for its postponement like "are you kidding me?". But anyway, I digress. 

I was supposed to write my take on WWE's version of Superbowl last year, but I stopped following professional wrestling shortly after the Summer of last year due to personal issues. However, I still watched WrestleMania 35 LIVE during that time at a viewing party in Quezon City. That Monday in April was probably the longest one I had in recent memory, considering this: the two-hour kickoff program started at 5:00 AM, and the main program ran for nearly 5 ½ hours – or from 7:00 AM til 12:30 PM.

Since following the sport in 2012, I must say the past year's edition of WrestleMania was the second to my all-time best – just next to WrestleMania 30 (but that's a topic for another day).

The opening video package was made in the grandeur of dramatics, while some of the matches were stellar in writing and a-okay in execution.

The stage design was nothing spectacular on the first look, with just a giant rectangular screen. But it created larger-than-life wonders by displaying immersive images.

As always, WrestleMania 35 made a lot of big-time moments that made them live to their battle cry of "we are all storytellers." The opening match got everyone pumped up as Seth Rollins stooped (and stamped) down to the level of the beast and slain him to grab the WWE Universal Championship – a bold move considering the winner-take-all main event for the Raw and SmackDown women's championships. It was a match of the year candidate.

KofiMania was also considered a standout despite looking familiar to the Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority story at WrestleMania XXX. Kingston deserved to win the big one after being in the company for 11 years. It sucks that this main-event calibrated match was in the middle of the show.

Miz vs. Shane was somehow decent for a Last Man Standing match. The surprise finish was well crafted. On the other hand, AJ Styles and Randy Orton could've been better if not for the lights. Too bad the match wasn't able to keep up after a roaring and raging start. Meanwhile, the women's tag team turned out to be the boring one; and the fatal-four way for SmackDown Tag Team golds was somehow decent, probably next to this contest (well, below).

Meanwhile, some matches turned out to be a couple of bathroom breakers. The US Championship turned out to be a fast-paced slobber knocker, while the almighty wasn't mighty enough after getting stunned by the demon king (finally!) in almost no time.

Batista vs. Triple H was another solid match. It seems to me that evolution has finally reached its culmination. Hunter lives on, got the big W, and the Animal has taken his final bow after all the extremities and poetic justice.   

Braun Strowman's win at the Andre the Giant battle royale was somehow predictable, and so was the feud between him and that two Saturday Night Live hosts. Meanwhile, Carmella was given the hometown treatment after winning the women's battle royale. The cruiserweight championship was underrated.

The main event lived on its hype for almost the entire time. The match itself displayed all the viciousness. But I guess time constraints made the abrupt and anticlimactic finish.

The 2019 edition of WrestleMania had 15 matches in total – a too stacked card for a king-sized wrestling show. I guess WWE gave fans what they wanted with new champions, surprises, and all the action in between. I'm just surprised it didn't felt dragging, unlike the three previous WrestleManias. 

The Verdict: 8/10

Author: slickmaster | © 2020 The SlickMaster's Files

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