Cleat Geeks

Wrestlemania 31 Highlights

Wrestlemania 31 is officially in the books, and there was quite a lot of significant happenings. Of course, we expected a lot to happen in the biggest show of the year.

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro retained the WWE Tag Team Titles

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro retained the WWE Tag Team Titles

Big Show won the 2nd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Big Show won the 2nd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

While my predictions may not have been as correct as I would have liked, the show did not disappoint as we were witness to the return of Degeneration X, The NWO, The Rock and even UFC Bantamweight Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey! As usual, WWE spared no expense in regards to special effects, and entrance themes, with the piece de resistance being Triple H’s tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator. We have a lot to discuss, so let’s begin!

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

In the main event last night we saw “The Beast” Brock Lesnar defend his WWE World Heavyweight Champtionship against upcoming hotshot Roman Reigns.

Reigns awaits the biggest challenge of his career

Reigns awaits the biggest challenge of his career

This match actually managed to showcase the strengths of both men without seeming forced. The underlying theme was the power and physicality of Brock Lesnar attempting to overcome the strength and athleticism of Roman Reigns, and the match managed just that. Lesnar landed his patented German Suplex on Reigns 5 times, along with several F5 finishers, only to have victory snatched from his fingertips each time by the sheer heart and  determination of Reigns who absolutely refused to give up.

Lesnar delivers his patented finisher to Reigns

Lesnar delivers his patented finisher to Reigns

The momentum of the match quickly shifted gears as Reigns summoned all of his resolve and began to utilize his speed to mount an attack on the formidable Lesnar. Reigns finally takes control outside of the ring when he throws Lesnar into the ring post, producing a stready stream of blood down his face. Once back in the ring, Reigns lands 3 consecutive Superman Punches followed by 2 spears but still cannot hold Lesnar’s mighty shoulders down for the mandatory 3 seconds! Unexpectedly, Lesnar is able to get Reigns in yet another F5, and then falls in sheer exhaustion and pain to the mat. Boom! We hear Seth Rollins music hit and he abruptly enters the ring to officially cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase! Rollins delivers a Curb Stomp to the still prone Lesnar.

We have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion

We have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Rollins raises his new title!

Rollins raises his new title!

Rollins attempts a 2nd one, only to be caught in an F5 from the resilient Champion, who is immediately speared by Reigns a third time! Rollins seizes his opportunity and lands a Curb Stomp to the battered Reigns and gets the pinfall! Our new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins!

2. Triple H vs. Sting

In one of the more memorable matches from last evening, Triple H welcomed Sting to a WWE ring on the grandest stage of them all.

Sting enters his inaugural Wrestlemania

Sting enters his inaugural Wrestlemania

Triple H as a futuristic Terminator

Triple H as a futuristic Terminator

"The Game" with a grand entrance

“The Game” with a grand entrance

The entrances for both men was incredible as Sting came out to a live band, with faces painted and all, playing drums along to his theme song. Somehow, however, Triple H managed to top that by entering in a futuristic Terminator costume complete with accompanying robots. The match is full of twists and turns, both inside and outside of the ring. Inside the ring, Sting applies The Scorpion Death Lock to Triple H and we hear the familiar sound of Dx’s theme music! Out comes Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac to help their friend! Sting releases the hold to fight off Dx, culminating in a Stinger splash from the top rope onto all of the members of Dx!

NWO makes a surprise appearance

NWO makes a surprise appearance

A well deserved handshake between two legends

A well deserved handshake between two legends

Two of the greatest factions in wrestling history

Two of the greatest factions in wrestling history

Triple H and Sting share a Wrestlemania moment

Triple H and Sting share a Wrestlemania moment

Once back in the ring, however, Triple H takes advantage of the help his friends have provided and hits Sting with The Pedigree. Sting resiliently kicks out at two, forcing Triple H to go under the ring and produce his sledgehammer. Just as he is about to climb back into the ring, the unmistakable music of The NWO hits, as we witness Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan make their way down to ringside to even the odds (a little confusing since Sting was usually a thorn in the side of The NWO and The Outsiders are best friends with Triple H, but apparently WCW blood is thicker than water)! Sting applies The Scorpion Death Lock once again, but is forced to release the hold after Triple H reaches the ropes (he almost grabbed the sledgehammer, but Hogan swiped it away from him). Back in the center of the ring, Sting again goes for The Scorpion Death Lock only to be surprised by yet another familiar face as “Mr. Wrestlemania” himself, Shawn Michaels suddenly appears and delivers Sweet Chin Music to Sting! After some more back and forth action, Sting swings his newly acquired baseball bat at the  sledgehammer and breaks it into two pieces! Triple H cowers into the corner pleading for mercy. Sting delivers a Stinger Splash! After yelling for Triple H to get up, he goes to the well one time too often and Stinger Splashes right into the sledgehammer! Triple H immediately covers Sting for the victory! Most expected Sting to emerge victorious, myself included, but the match was so entertaining that the didn’t even matter to me. After the match, Triple H and Dx were in one corner and Sting and NWO were in the opposite corner. They came to the center of the ring and Triple H and Sting shared a handshake! A nice ending to quite an eventful match.

3. The Rock and Ronda

Stephanie McMahon, accompanied by Triple H, go to the ring and announce that a new attendance record has been established for Levi’s Stadium with an attendance of 76, 976. Triple H then starts talking about how he defeated the great Sting, and how, “The Authority always wins.” The music hits, “If ya smell what the Rock is cookin’!” After taking about 10 minutes to get into the ring, The Rock states that he is, “an East Bay boy,” and that The Authority doesn’t own the fans and they, “damn sure don’t own The Rock!” Triple H says he has nothing to prove, since he always used to beat the Rock before. The Rock says Triple H has no balls, which triggers an irate Triple H to remove his jacket for a fight. However, Stephanie interjects by stating that if it wasn’t for the McMahon’s there would be no Rock, and how her family has helped his family become what it is today.

The Rock invites a friend to help him out

The Rock invites a friend to help him out

Stephanie slaps The Rock, then taunts him by saying, “what are you going to do about it? Hit a woman?” She screams at him to get out of the ring, and he obliges only to stop just outside of the ring. The Rock slowly makes his way around the ring to the section where UFC Bantamweight Women’s Champion Ronda rousey is in attendance! With some encouragement from The Rock, Ronda hops the barricade and makes her way into the ring with The Rock. The Rock states that he, “would never hit a woman. But I have a friend who would.” Stephanie immeidtaely attempts to diffuse the situation by mentioning how she is good friends with Ronda, and that Rousey is, “the most dangerous unarmed woman in the world.”

Rousey Judo tosses Triple H

Rousey Judo tosses Triple H

Bad idea trying to slap the undefeated UFC Bantamweight Champion!

Bad idea trying to slap the undefeated UFC Bantamweight Champion!

Rousey shows Stephanie her UFC skills firsthand

Rousey shows Stephanie her UFC skills firsthand

Then suddenly she screams at Rousey, “get the hell out of my ring!” Ronda smiles confidently and says, “You need to understand something, Steph. Any ring that I step in is MINE! If you want me to leave, how about you make me?” Undeterred, Stephanie once again yells, “Ronda, I said get the hell out of my ring NOW!” Stephanie is warned by The Rock that Ronda has that look in her eyes, so Triple H steps in and gets into a toe to toe slugfest with The Rock. The Rock staggers Triple H in the corner of the ring, and he stumbles over to Rousey who Judo tosses him head over heels!

What's a fist bump between A Listers?

What’s a fist bump between A Listers?

Seeing her husband in peril, Stephanie attempts to slap Ronda, who catches her arm in an standing overhook precariously pinning Stephanie’s right limb behind her. As the announcers scream that Rousey could break Stephanie’s arm, Ronda lets her go and Stephanie abruptly dives out of the ring. Definitely one of the more exciting moments of the evening, to see Ronda Rousey in a WWE ring. This segment made me realize how great The Rock really is on the mic. He truly is electrifying!

Of course there were numerous other highlights throughout the course of the event. Certainly too many to mention here. The Divas once again put on a very entertaining and tactical match. As I’ve stated numerous times, I feel that the Divas division is only scratching the surface of what they can do and that to me is exciting in itself.

Ziggler and Bryan take a nasty fall during the Ladder Match

Ziggler and Bryan take a nasty fall during the Ladder Match

Your new WWE Intercontinental Champion!

Your new WWE Intercontinental Champion!

We saw Daniel Bryan capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a very entertaining ladder match that saw several outrageous bumps. Here’s hoping that Dean Ambrose is alright after taking a powerbomb over the top rope and onto several ladders on the ringside floor! Also, let’s certainly not forget Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker in a match that turned out to be far better than I imagined!

The Undertaker is not impressed by Bray's flexibility

The Undertaker is not impressed by Bray’s flexibility

The Undertaker really benefitted from the long layoff and was better than could be expected! Bray Wyatt also put in a strong performance, highlighted to me by his reaction during his Spider Walk to The Undertaker’s famous “awakening” as he sits up from his back when least expected!

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