Friday, April 14, 2017

The 41 Best Matches of WrestleMania 33 Weekend - 20-11

I am about five months younger than WrestleMania. After 30 years of being a wrestling fan, I made my first trip to WrestleMania out in San Jose/San Francisco for WrestleMania 31. It was pretty damn incredible. I know that makes me a giant nerd, and I am totally cool with that. Wrestling doesn't need to be cool, because it is hilarious and occasionally awesome. Two years later, it came to Orlando, and since that is less than two hours away, I knew that I would be making my second WrestleMania trip. Starting on Thursday, I saw WrestlePro, the WrestleCon Supershow, NXT Takeover, and of course, WrestleMania 33. Although I may be a nerd about wrestling, even I have to tap out after four nights of events, so I chose not to go to Raw or Smackdown. But I still saw a hell of a lot of wrestling, and we have now made it to the top half of the rankings, with 20-11, featuring a whole lot of hot ladies action and a battle royal.

20. NXT - Aleister Black def. Andrade “Cien” Almas
My biggest issue with this match is that I was way too hyped for it. I had heard great things about the man formerly known as Tommy End, and Andrade Almas is my jam. It was still a good match, but since I know these guys can do more, it was still disappointing. But special shoutout to adjusting the chin before the execution kick by Black. That is sweet.

19. Wrestlecon Supershow - Angelico and Jack Evans def Sammy Guevara and Flip Gordon
It was when Angelico came out that I realized that I think I have seen every major male character from Lucha Underground wrestle outside of Mil Muertes and Drago. So that’s nice. Honestly, Flip Gordon was the only guy I hadn’t heard of, and he was super impressive, so good for you, Flip Gordon. The match was a lot of fun, followed the basic tropes of tag team wrestling, and the good guys (although I’m not sure if you can ever call Jack Evans a good guy) prevailed.

18. NXT - Women’s Championship -- Asuka (c) def. Ember Moon
This match was a total come-down match after the amazing tag match at the NXT show, but it still told a solid story, and both wrestlers got their offense in. They had me believing that a new champion would be crowned, only to take that moment away. That’s frustrating in a good way.

17. Wrestlecon Supershow - Bobby Lashley def Jeff Cobb
Hoss fight. I will always support a good hoss fight.

16. Wrestlecon Supershow - Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy def Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr
I honestly don’t think this match was much more than five minutes, but it was nonstop action. They didn’t really take any breaks, and they didn’t waste any time with any tags, as all four guys just kind of battled it out. It wasn’t anything super special, but it was a fast-paced, fun match, and sometimes that’s all you need.

15. WrestleMania - Raw Women's Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match: Bayley (c) def. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
This match probably deserves to be higher, but the endings were incredibly goofy in person. Since they didn’t get the turnbuckle all the way off, it looked like basic moves turning into pins. But outside of that, it was pretty great. Nia Jax got to be a total hoss, and Charlotte showed why she is the most physically gifted woman on the roster. WWE, especially at Mania, understands how to pace an exciting match with lots of people in it, and this was no different, and it could have been ten spots higher if the turnbuckle had come off and I understood what was going on during the match.

14. Wrestlecon Supershow - TLC match: Brian Cage def Johnny Mundo
I will always fully support Johnny Mundo, even if he is repeatedly giving the crowd the finger. I guess I also realized that I will also always support Cage who is a physical freak who seems to always put on good matches. This was a good match that bumped up to very good due to the fact that Brian Cage powerbombed Taya off the top rope through a table, and then Johnny Mundo speared Melissa Santos through a table. Also, there was a damn Steiner Driver, the most brutal/totally awesome move in wrestling.

13. WrestleMania - WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville (c) def. Austin Aries
This was a great way to start off the matches at WrestleMania. Aries has been great since coming back from injury, and good for him for being the first guy ever to benefit from being injured as it gave him an avenue to show his personality before showing off his wrestling skills. That’s super complimentary, but still, Aries can’t hold a candle to Neville who is doing his damnedest to drum up interest in the Cruiserweight division. Still, Neville’s so good that he can transition back out of the Cruiserweight division back into the Heavyweight division with little trouble. I mean, don’t sell him beating Brock Lesnar, but it’s pretty easy imagining Neville beating guys like Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, or Kevin Owens to become a champion.

12. Wrestlecon Supershow - 20 man DDT Ironman Title Battle Royal
This thing was just loaded with a ton of talent, and a ton of hilariousness, and Battle Royals are always awesome, and since this was done as Royal Rumble style with guys entering every minute, it was even better. This one didn’t disappoint. It started off with Joey Ryan taking on Colt Cabana, and that got followed with the slow-motion tactics of Kikutaro, which did not work as well as he would have liked. Matt Striker lasted about 30 seconds, so about twice as long as his wrestling career in WWE. Then you had the legends come out with 2 Cold Scorpio legitimately hurting himself, Billy Gunn taking a ton of steroids, but god bless him, he looks great. Shane Douglas is most definitely not on steroids. Kevin Thorne is still vampirey, but not nearly as awesome at it as Gangrel who just seemed really happy to be there. Hurricane Helms was handing out chokeslams like they were candy until he ran into Abyss. Oh yeah, and Mr. Hughes was there, and he still sucks, but his sunglasses stayed on the entire time. Somehow all of these paled in comparison to #20, one half of The Rockers, Marty Jannetty, who could barely make it to the ring because he was so hammered. The crowd got a “Marty’s Wasted” chant, and Jannetty couldn’t stop giggling. Gangrel had to gently drop him out of the ring just so he wouldn’t hurt himself. It looked like Joey Ryan would find a way to retain after he flipped Moose out of the ring using nothing but the strength of his penis, but he got surprised by Swoggle who threw him out to become the HeavyMetalweight champion.

11. NXT - NXT Championship -- Bobby Roode (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura
So this match wasn’t destined to be some life-altering classic match. Bobby Roode is a good wrestler, but he’s a much better performer than actual wrestler. Shinsuke can tear it up with the right opponent, but he’s another guy that’s more of a performer than a wrestler. Still, this match was as good as it was going to get with these two. They had me legitimately believing the nearfalls and surprised/disappointed (just because I knew that Shisnuke was leaving) at the ending. Shinsuke’s gone, and Roode reigns supreme on NXT.

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