VANDREW’S WRESTLEMANIA 34 MAIN SHOW SHOW REPORT 4/8: Live coverage including Brock vs. Reigns, Rousey’s in-ring debut, Styles vs. Nakamura, Bryan’s return, more


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VANDREW’S WWE WRESTLEMANIA REPORT
APRIL 8, 2018
NEW ORLEANS, LA AT THE SUPERDOME
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK


Check out the WrestleMania 34 Post-Show, the “Wrestling Night in America” Sunday night podcast hosted by Greg Parks with 2.5 hours of analysis with live callers.


MONDAY NIGHT AFTER RAW, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING POST-SHOW! You can search “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or any podcast app you use. Subscribe to both of our red brand (Post-Shows after Raw and Smackdown each week) and our blue brand (Podcast One feature shows later in the week – the Thursday Flagship and Interview Friday).

The show opened with the “America the Beautiful” from “Chloe and Halle”, described by JoJo as stars. Upon hearing JoJo’s description, the crowd chanted “Who?”.

(Jeff’s Analysis: JoJo really set them up for that reaction. Don’t describe someone that way unless you’re sure everyone knows who they are.)

(1) SETH ROLLINS VS. FINN BALOR VS. THE MIZ (INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE)

I know nothing about “Game of Thrones”, but I’m told Seth Rollins’ entrance was meant to invoke a “White Walker”.

(Jeff’s Analysis: I only care about wrestling, bodybuilding, and baseball.)

The Miz had a 3D hologram for his entrance. There were literal floating words on the screen, a la SmackDown promos. Miz sent the Miztourage backstage before the match.

(Jeff’s Analysis: No Miztourage. Was last week’s Raw a face turn?)

Finn Balor entered through a crowd wearing his charity Balor Club shirts.

Rollins hit a Blockbuster to Balor but was taken out by Miz.

Miz dominated the early going. He hit a neckbreaker to Rollins followed by a chinlock to Balor. Balor turned things around with a double foot stomp to Miz. Rollins remained on the outside.

Rollins reentered and hit the sling blade to Balor while Miz was knocked out. Rollins then hit topes to both Balor and Miz. Balor and Miz recovered. Miz got a two count on a DDT to Rollins.

Miz booted Rollins to the outside on a springboard attempt and then hit Balor with a Dragon Screw and Figure Four. Rollins broke it up with a Frog Splash.

Balor hit a sling blade on Rollins outside, followed by a dropkick to Rollins and Miz. Balor and Rollins went inside. After a long series, Balor got a two count on a 1914. Balor went up top for a coup de grace, but Miz met him. Rollins grabbed Miz into a Buckle Bomb and Balor into a superplex and Falcon Arrow combo, countered into a Balor rollup. Miz recovered into the Skull Crushing Finale to Rollins for a two count.

Miz hit a bulldog to Rollins from the top rope. The pin was broken up by a coup de grace from Balor.

Balor hit a sling blade and coup de grace to Miz, but the pin was broken by a Rollins stop. Rollins then hit Miz with the curb stomp for victory.

Winner: Seth Rollins

(Jeff’s Analysis: Nice match. Rollins is now a grand slam winner. Miz didn’t cheat at all, so I think the face turn is real.)

A commercial for the Andre the Giant documentary aired. More shots of Cena in the crowd.

(2) CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. ASUKA (SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE)

Charlotte entered on a throne surrounded by Roman Centurions.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Awesome. Almost Triple-H level entrance.)

Asuka entered to floating holograms of her mask. She wore a bejeweled version of her normal mask.

Back and forth striking ended with Asuka knocking Charlotte outside with a hip attack.

Asuka then slowed down the pace with a variety of holds on the mat. The two exchanged strikes, followed by an attempted Asuka Lock. Charlotte dropped to a seated position to knock off Asuka. She then hit multiple knee strikes to the back of the head, followed by a moonsault with Asuka caught into a triangle. Charlotte powered out into a Boston Crab.

Charlotte attempted a suplex of Asuka on the apron, but Asuka escaped and suplexed Charlotte to the floor. Both competitors were knocked out, but both beat the count into the ring.

Asuka hulked up and hit a missile dropkick from the top rope. Charlotte retook control with a Spanish Fly off the top rope.

Asuka countered a Natural Selection into a submission. Charlotte escaped but could not hit the Figure Four. Asuka took the Asuka Lock position. Charlotte escaped and hit a spear.

Charlotte hit the Figure 8 on one arm. [Asuka had injured the other arm earlier with submissions.] Asuka tapped out.

Winner: Charlotte Flair

(Jeff’s Analysis: Wow! WWE proved that we shouldn’t take any outcome for granted. Not only is the streak over, but Asuka tapped out. Total surprise. The counters in this match were great, especially the moonsault into the triangle, which I had never seen. I also had never seen a Spanish Fly from Charlotte.)

After the match, Asuka took the mic, announcing “Charlotte was ready for Asuka!” They embraced.

A referee informed John Cena that the Undertaker had arrived, and Cena ran backstage.

(3) BOBBY ROODE VS. RUSEV VS. RANDY ORTON VS. JINDER MAHAL (US TITLE)

Rusev threw everyone outside and attempted a tope, but was stopped by Jinder. He then attempted again and was successful.

Rusev remained in control most of the early going. Orton finally was able to drop him onto the barricade to slow his momentum. Orton was quickly taken out by a Roode spinebuster. Orton recovered and cleared the ring.

Rusev reentered the ring and had an exchange with Orton, punctuated by Rusev missing a heel kick and getting hit with a draping DDT. Englsih entered the ring, and got an RKO, followed by RKOs to the other competitors. A pin was broken up by Roode, who hit a DDT , with the pin broken by Jinder.

Eventually Rusev was left along with Jinder. Rusev attempted the accolade to huge cheers, however Sunil Singh interefered. Jinder took advantage, hitting the khalas.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Not bad, not fantastic. I’m surprised by the Mahal win. Hopefully this serves to show WWE the popularity of Rusev as a face.)

(4) KURT ANGLE & RONDA ROUSEY VS. STEPHANIE MCMAHON & TRIPLE-H

Triple-H came out on matching choppers with Stephanie. They were the tail bikes in a motorcade of choppers.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Great Triple-H entrance as usual.)

Rousey entered in a Roddy Piper style kilt.

The match started with a Rousey-Steph pull-apart. The bell then rang, and the match began with Triple-H and Angle. Triplle-H threw Angle to the ropes, who was low bridged by Stephanie and then slammed into the steps. Triple-H then distracted the referee, leading to Stephanie slamming Angle into the steps again.

Stephanie later choked Angle in the ropes after another Triple-H referee distraction. Triple H hit a spinebuster into a two count.

Stephanie restrained Kurt. Triple-H attempted to punch Kurt, who ducked, almost landing the punch to Stephanie, recalling last year’s WrestleMania.

Kurt crawled to tag Ronda, but Ronda was pulled from the apron by Stephanie. Angle then threw Triple-H outside and Ronda recovered for a tag from Kurt. Ronda pulled Steph into the ring and hit clothesline and yurinagi. Ronda then hit a flurry of punches. Ronda then attempted an exploder that looked ugly due to Stephanie.

Ronda delayed in applying the armbar, allowing Stephanie to counter, eventually with an eye poke. Triple-H was not on the apron for a tag, so Stephanie hit a DDT, taking control.

Ronda then recovered with a choke into a Samoan Drop. The referee was pulled by Triple H before making the count. Ronda trash talked Triple H, who then dragged Ronda out of the ring. Angle then attacked Triple H.

Later Triple-H was left alone in the ring with Ronda. The referee attempted to prevent them from clashing, but Triple-H set him aside. Rousey hit Triple-H with a flurry of punches and almost hit a Samoan Drop, but Stephanie broke it up.

Stephanie ran, but eventually shoved Rousey into the post. Inside the ring, Angle and Triple-H clashed. Triple-H kicked out out of an Olympic Slam. Stephanie verbally berated Angle, who caught an attempted kick of hers. He put her into the Ankle Lock, but she was saved by a Triple-H pedigree. Ronda broke up the following pin.

Ronda then countered a powerbomb into Frankensteiner and got Triple-H into the armbar. He was saved by Stephanie, who applied a rear naked choke. Ronda escaped into an armbar onto Stephanie. Kurt Angle also applied the Ankle Lock to Triple-H. Triple-H rolled Angle into Ronda, breaking up both submissions.

Stereo pedigrees where then escaped, and Ronda again got an armbar on Stephanie, who tapped.

Winner: Kurt & Ronda

(Jeff’s Analysis: The hardcore fans watching in the room with me were pleasantly surprised by this match. All four competitors looked better than we thought they would going in. The casual fans with us, however, found the match laughable, alternatively cracking up and being uncomfortable at the intergender spots. I agreed with the hardcore fans here and liked the match, but perhaps casual fans in general saw it differently. Nothing was comical to me.)

(5) NEW DAY VS. USOS VS. BLUDGEON BROTHERS (SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES)

The New Day entered with a pancake theme entrance. Little people accompanied them to the ring dressed as short stacks.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Terrible.)

Bludgeon Brothers took control early, beating up the other teams on the outside. Woods took a buckle bomb to the outside of the ringpost.

The Usos then slowed down Harper (the legal man) and scored a near fall with splashes. Rowan caught a stereo tope from the Usos, however they countered into a double suplex.

Inside, Harper took control of Kingston, who was saved by Big E. Eventually BB retook control, with Rowan handing Kingston to Harper on the top rope for a power bomb.

Winner: Bludgeon Brothers

(Jeff’s Analysis: This match is what it should be: a short match to make the Bludgeon Brothers look strong. The matches that this sets up going forward can be more competitive, but tonight set the stage for the Bludgeon reign.)

John Cena then came to the ring for his match with the Undertaker. He was informed, however, that the Undertaker was not there. The lights then went dark, but instead of Undertaker appearing, Elias came to the ring instead. A frustrated Cena returned to his seat in the crowd as Elias sang a song about Cena sucking. Cena returned to the ring and ran wild on Elias.

The lights went out again. The Undertaker’s hat and coat appeared in the ring. Lightning then struck the gear, and it was gone. The gong went off, and the Undertaker’s music hit. The Undertaker rose through smoke from the ramp.

(6) UNDERTAKER VS. JOHN CENA

The match started with quick strikes by Undertaker. Undertaker completely missed a big boot.

Cena had to pull up when a prone Undertaker sat up. The match ended with a chokeslam and tombstone. Michael Cole said the Undertaker was back and better than ever.

Winner: Undertaker

(Jeff’s Analysis: I didn’t want to see this match, as the Undertaker has had far too may “final” matches. At least this was short. I hope this is finally the end.)

The Hall of Fame class then took the stage.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Bubba Dudley still appeared, despite using his HOF ring as a heel prop at SuperCard of Honor last night.)

(7) DANIEL BRYAN & SHANE MCMAHON VS. KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN

Shane had his normal entrance.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Shane had a shirt that fit him well, an improvement over the norm for him.)

Bryan entered to a video showing sports teams and people around the world doing his “Yes” chant. It ended confirming the return of the Yes Movement. Bryan entered to deafening “Yes” chants.

Zayn and Owens did not come up the ramp, instead executing a sneak attack. Bryan got a Helluva Kick into a power bomb on the apron, recalling two weeks ago. Bryan was incapacitated and referees ran down to check on him.

Shane argued with Owens and Zayn, then called for the bell. Shane hit rapid fire punches to Owens, followed by a back elbow. He then attacked Zayn.

Owens took control, stomping Shane’s injured midsection.

Shane later recovered, using every ounce of his strength to clear the ring and get Zayn into the Tree of Woe, leading to the Coast to Coast on Zayn. Owens broke up the pin, and hit a frog splash on Shane. The following pin was broken up by a recovered Daniel Bryan. Owens tagged in Zayn, who cut off Shane from tagging Bryan.

Shane eventually got the tag to Bryan. Bryan ran wild like a man possessed. He cleared the ring of Owens and hit Zayn with a Frankensteiner from the top rope.

Owens recovered to isolate Bryan, and Zayn then hit the Helluva Kick for a two count. Shane recovered but was knocked out by Owens. Owens caught Bryan in a Pop Up Power Bomb.

Bryan recovered, ending up in the ring with Zayn for the Yes Kicks, followed by a running knee and Yes Lock. Sami Zayn tapped out.

Winner: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon

(Jeff’s Analysis: On one hand, at least Shane got knocked out and missed a large part of the match, which was good considering his condition. On the other hand, he still did the Coast to Coast, which made me uncomfortable. All in all, a satisfying win for Daniel Bryan. The callback to the power bomb on the apron from two weeks ago was a nice touch.)

(8) ALEXA BLISS VS. NIA JAX (RAW WOMEN’S TITLE)

The match began with announcing Nia Jax’s weight, which is not done for other female competitors.

(Jeff’s Analysis: Strange choice considering the prickly storyline.)

Before the bell, Nia repeatedly smashed Mickie James into the barricade, followed by a Samoan Drop, taking her out of the equation before the first lockup between competitors.

The match began with Nia tossing Alexa all over the ring. Alexa grabbed her title and attempted to leave, but was caught by Nia and tossed back inside. Bliss gained control by tying up Nia’s leg in the ropes, and stomping the back of the knee.

Alexa continued to work the leg of Nia. Jax escaped with a club across the chest. Alexa attempted a guillotine, but Nia reversed into a suplex. Nia missed a spear and hit the post outside.

Alexa hit the Twisted Bliss to Nia on the outside.

Back inside, Alexa sarcastically feigned being sorry before hitting a DDT for a two count. Alexa screamed that she “made” Nia, but Nia recovered and nailed her with a bodyslam.

Alexa attempted a triangle, but Nia countered, Alexa countered Nia’s counter into a Sunset Flip, but Nia caught it and whipped her into the post. After two eye rakes by Alexa, Nia recovered and hit an Alabama Slam into a Samoan Drop from the top rope for the pin.

Winner: Nia Jax

(Jeff’s Analysis: Considering the storyline, Nia had to win. Alexa’s constant cheating, combined with Nia clearly overpowering her, were the right tone for the match. It was a good match where both competitors played to their strengths.)

(9) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. AJ STYLES (WWE CHAMPIONSHIP)

Shinsuke entered to an electric guitarist (Nita Strauss of Alice Cooper fame), drummers, and violinists playing his theme live.

The match started fairly slowly, with the two trading various blows.

Nakamura took control by goading AJ into frustration and hitting a flurry of strikes, including a strike to the midsection while AJ was  up on the ropes. Styles finally gained some recovery time with a face first slam into the mat.

Shinsuke took AJ off the top rope during a Phenomenal Forearm attempt and countered into a Landslide. He then put AJ onto the top rope, but AJ escaped, unsuccessfully attempting a power bomb to Shinsuke. He did manage to hit Shinsuke in the knee.

Shinsuke failed to hoist AJ due to the bad knee, allowing AJ to slip him into the Calf Crusher. Shinsuke eventually was able to reverse into the Triangle, but his weakened legs allowed AJ to power out into a brainbuster. AJ was unable to capitalize due to an injured back.

Nakamura missed a flying knee, smashing into the turnbuckle. AJ then hit the Phenomenal Forearm for a two count.

Shinsuke got his knees up on AJ’s springboard 450 and attempted a pin for a count of two.

The match ended when AJ countered a Kinshasa attempt into a Styles Clash.

Winner: AJ Styles

After the match, Nakamura kneeled and presented the title to AJ. He then shocked the crowd with a low blow to AJ. Nakamura then stomped AJ for a while, and hit a Kinshasa on the outside.

(Jeff’s Analysis: This match was good, but not as good as expected. The crowd was pretty dead, which makes sense considering this show is simply too long. The heel turn after the finish is what everyone will remember from this match. The “classic” in this series will likely come later.)

(10) THE BAR VS. BRUAN STROWMAN & NICHOLAS (RAW TAG TEAM TITLES)

The Bar entered on a Mardi Gras float.

(Jeff’s Analysis: The lighthearted entrance didn’t fit the tough heel tag team.)

The Mardi Gras characters comically fled as Braun entered. Braun then tossed the float off of the stage.

Braun asked for a fan volunteer from the crowd to act as his tag partner. He ended up choosing a child named Nicholas.

Strowman lifted Cesaro from the mat by the throat, hitting a chokeslam for a two count. He then went after Sheamus, but a recovered Cesaro hit a dropkick to the knee. Sheamus tagged in and the two hit a double suplex to Strowman.

The Bar were firmly in control of Strowman until Strowman caught their stereo superkicks. Bruan then tossed Sheamus from the ring, and Nicholas asked for a tag to a crowd pop. Braun tagged him in, but he quickly tagged Braun back in. Strowman then hit the powerslam to Cesaro for the win.

Winner: Braun Strowman & Nicholas

(Jeff’s Analysis: Is this cute? Yes. Does it demean the tag division that Strowman beat the top tag team with a child? Yes. This is a total burial of an entire division.)

(11) BROCK LESNAR VS. ROMAN REIGNS (WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP)

Reigns entered to a below average fan reaction, even by Reigns standards.

Lesnar entered to boos as well.

The match started hot, with faced paced blows followed by three German Suplexes from Brock and three Superman Punches from Roman.

A belly to belly suplex from Brock to Roman looked ugly, as Roman seemed to land on his head outside. He then threw Reigns face first onto the announce table, which also looked ugly.

Lesnar was firmly in control at this point, hitting additional suplexes in the ring as the pace slowed.

The action moved outside, where Reigns regained control by spearing Lesnar through the announce table. The action then moved back inside, where Reigns hit two more spears for a two count. Lesnar then turned the tables with a V-trigger to Reigns as he attempted a spear.

This led to Reigns kicking out of the F5, a spot we all expected to put Reigns over. As Graves said “when was the last time anyone survived an F5?”

Reigns kicked out of two more consecutive F5s to Lesnar’s disbelief. At this point boring chants began. The fourth consecutive F5 was through the announce table.

Back in the ring, Lesnar hit a German suplex followed by a fifth F5, and another kick out. “This is awful” chants began. Reigns was busted open with a punch.

Reigns recovered to hit two straight spears for a two count. His third attempt was countered into an F5 for the pin.

(Jeff’s Analysis: ?!?!?! No one expected this! At least it wasn’t predictable. On the other hand, the crowd didn’t care about any of this at all. It may be the most dead WrestleMania main event I can remember despite the shock finish. In fairness, I don’t know that anyone could get a reaction from a crowd exhausted by a 7 hour show. The length needs to be cut next year.)


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Check out the WrestleMania 34 Post-Show, the “Wrestling Night in America” Sunday night podcast hosted by Greg Parks with 2.5 hours of analysis with live callers.


MONDAY NIGHT AFTER RAW, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING POST-SHOW! You can search “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or any podcast app you use. Subscribe to both of our red brand (Post-Shows after Raw and Smackdown each week) and our blue brand (Podcast One feature shows later in the week – the Thursday Flagship and Interview Friday).

2 Comments on VANDREW’S WRESTLEMANIA 34 MAIN SHOW SHOW REPORT 4/8: Live coverage including Brock vs. Reigns, Rousey’s in-ring debut, Styles vs. Nakamura, Bryan’s return, more

  1. Agree about the Raw tag team mess. I love Strowman but have to question if they’re making him too strong to the point where he’s unbeatable. Maybe they’re setting him up to take the belt off the seemingly unstoppable Lesnar ?

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