Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of WrestleMania 35. We are live at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It’s going to be a long show.
Wai Ting and I will have a WrestleMania 35 POST Show late tonight on the site. You can listen to our WrestleMania Road Trip Diary podcasts on the POST Wrestling Café.
The kickoff began at 5 pm Eastern with Jonathan Coachman, Paige, Sam Roberts, and JBL.
*Tony Nese over Buddy Murphy in 10:43 to win the Cruiserweight title
*Carmella wins the Women’s battle royal in 10:31
*Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder over The Revival in 13:15 to win the Raw tag titles
*Braun Strowman won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in 10:21
*Seth Rollins over Brock Lesnar in 2:28 to win the Universal title
*AJ Styles over Randy Orton in 16:12
*The Usos over Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev, The Bar, and Aleister Black & Ricochet in 10:04 to retain the SmackDown tag titles
*Shane McMahon over The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match in 15:26
*The IIconics over Bayley & Sasha Banks, Natalya & Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax & Tamina in 10:46 to win the WWE women’s tag titles
*Kofi Kingston over Daniel Bryan to win the WWE title in 23:43
*Samoa Joe over Rey Mysterio in 1:01 to retain the United States title
*Roman Reigns over Drew McIntyre in 10:09
*Triple H over Batista in a No Holds Barred match in 24:46
*Baron Corbin over Kurt Angle in 5:58
*Finn Balor over Bobby Lashley in 4:01 to win the Intercontinental title
*Becky Lynch over Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in 21:28 to win the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles
BUDDY MURPHY VS TONY NESE THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE
Murphy has his right busted open early in the match. Nese countered Murphy’s Law for a roll up with a two-count and then hit a reverse rana onto Murphy.
Nese hit an Omori Driver as Murphy then rolled to the floor and was hit with a Fosbury Flop and a 450 inside the ring. Murphy came back with a flying knee and Murphy’s Law but Nese got his foot on the rope.
Nese came back with the running Nese and pinned Murphy.
WINNER: Tony Nese at 10:43 to win the Cruiserweight title
They had a really good match, Nese looked great and started off the show well.
WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL
Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer for the match.
Participants: Asuka, Naomi, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross, Zelina Vega, Candice LeRae, Kairi Sane, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Mickie James, Maria Kanellis, Carmella, Dana Brooke
Kanellis was the first elimination. Moon eliminated Naomi for the first major elimination and Moon followed with the Eclipse onto Rose. Lana, dressed as Wonder Woman, eliminated Moon and the audience was stunned. The Riott Squad ganged up and tossed Lana out.
Sane hit the Insane elbow onto Logan. Sane was placed onto the apron and superkicked off it by Riott. The Riott Squad were controlling the match by working together. Brooke fired up and tossed Riott and Morgan out consecutively.
Rose and Deville took over and knocked out Brooke. Rose was placed on the edge of the apron and kicked to the floor by James, who was immediately knocked to the floor by Deville.
Asuka eliminated Deville and Logan tossed out Asuka. Logan thought she had won but Carmella was still alive and emerged from the floor. They fought on the apron and Carmella messed up a kick that sent Logan to the floor.
WINNER: Carmella at 10:31
It was the epitome of average. The closing moment was messed up with Carmella not getting all of the kick in. Carmella hugged her father in the front row.
The USA Network portion of the kickoff show featured Shawn Michaels joining the panel and was dressed terribly, even by his low standards.
THE REVIVAL VS CURT HAWKINS & ZACK RYDER FOR THE RAW TAG TITLES
The Revival cut off the ring and had the heat on Ryder. This lasted a long time with Ryder fighting from underneath and finally tagged Hawkins. Ryder returned with a Ruff Ryder.
On the floor, Dawson hit a brainbuster to Hawkins. They returned to the ring and Hawkins caught Dawson with an inside cradle for the pin.
WINNERS: Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder at 13:15 to win the Raw tag titles
The audience reacted loudly to the finish. They had a good match, Hawkins displayed lots of fire after receiving the hot tag.
Booker T. joined the panel.
ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
Harper returned and had a faceoff with his former Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman.
EC3 was one of the first ones out within the first minute. The eliminations were coming in quick succession. Karl Anderson was gone, Rhyno was sent out by The Hardys, Titus O’Neil was thrown out, and then Matt Hardy threw out Bobby Roode. Andrade leaped onto Kalisto and monkey flipped him from the middle to the floor. Andrade then eliminated Chad Gable.
Otis hit the Caterpillar onto both members of The Ascension and got a big reaction. The Ascension and Heavy Machinery were gone within 60 seconds of each other. Harper attempted a vertical suplex to Ali, Braun nailed them both and sent them to the floor with Harper finishing the suplex.
The Hardys worked together to eliminate Strowman while Jost and Che came from under the ring and tried to eliminate Strowman from behind. Strowman broke free, eliminating the Hardys and stared down Jost and Che.
Jost got the microphone and said this doesn’t have to end in violence and brought his therapist. Strowman killed the therapist. Jost and Che were scared, Strowman prevented Che from leaving and then eliminated him. Strowman missed a running boot into the corner, Jost failed to eliminate him and lifted and tossed Jost to several guys on the floor and won the match.
WINNER: Braun Strowman at 10:21
This match was booked for three people and everyone else was an afterthought, which is fine. This was the match designed to get a clip picked up by media outlets, although I don’t know how much traction this will get. They dedicated a lot to this cross-promotional effort, and it gave Strowman something to do. I wouldn’t feel bad for Kevin Owens being excluded from this match.
This wrapped up the two-hour kickoff portion.
Yolanda Adams started the main show with “America the Beautiful”.
The opening video was a big production with images of past WrestleMania stars and into the modern stars previewing the show. It was a great video.
Alexa Bliss was introduced as the host of WrestleMania. She welcomed everyone to the show and said she can create a WrestleMania moment with the snap of her fingers, did so and Hulk Hogan came out. He said it’s great to be at the Silverdome as a joke but then actually screwed up the name calling it MetLife “Center”. He did a basic promo and posed with Bliss.
Paul Heyman stormed past them and entered the ring. He said if they are not going on last, they aren’t going to wait and added that Brock Lesnar would win and get on a jet to Las Vegas where he is “ultimately appreciated”.
BROCK LESNAR VS SETH ROLLINS FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE
Lesnar attacked him before he could enter the ring and went onto the floor. Lesnar ran him into the side of the ring and over the announcer’s desk several times. Lesnar is dominating Rollins, who is selling on the floor. He was launched onto one of the German announcers.
The bell finally rang to start the match and Lesnar started with Germans. Rollins’ back is a mess. Rollins shoved Lesnar towards the referee and hit a low blow and three stomps and pinned Lesnar.
WINNER: Seth Rollins at 2:28 to win the Universal title
They did a major surprise with match placement and the layout of the match. The story was Lesnar destroyed Rollins, but Rollins wouldn’t stay down and came back from the enormous beating.
Jerry Lawler was introduced as the guest commentator with Tom Phillips and Corey Graves for the next match.
AJ STYLES VS RANDY ORTON
Orton knocked Styles off the apron and attacked his lower back. Orton was in control inside the ring as Styles tried to attack Orton’s left knee. Styles rolled into the calf crusher and Orton reached the rope.
Styles faked out Orton on a Phenomenal Forearm attempt as Orton took a bump expecting to hit the RKO. Styles landed a springboard 450 splash. This played off Styles being caught by the RKO last week on SmackDown.
Orton stopped Styles on the turnbuckle and hit a superplex. He hit a draping DDT and set up for the RKO, catching Styles after absorbing an enzuigiri. Styles kicked out from the RKO. Orton set him for an RKO off the turnbuckle, Styles ducked under and hit another enzuigiri.
Orton went down to the floor and was hit with the Phenomenal Forearm. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm inside the ring, was caught, then he snapped Orton’s neck on the top rope and hit the finisher to win the match.
WINNER: AJ Styles at 16:12
The story around Styles attempting to find a way to hit the Phenomenal Forearm was great with the counters and build towards the finish. I liked the match a lot.
Lacey Evans did her regular routine walking down the ramp and to the back.
THE USOS VS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & RUSEV VS THE BAR VS ALEISTER BLACK & RICOCHET FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
Ricochet did some spectacular offense on Cesaro that the audience got into. Cesaro came back with the Cesaro swing onto Ricochet while Sheamus pounded Black’s chest repeatedly and this simultaneous sequence lasted 45 seconds.
Black came back with a big striking sequence involving Rusev. Ricochet entered and saved Black with a standing shooting star press to break up a cover by Rusev.
They did an enormous Tower of Doom spot with all right and Ricochet trying to land on his feet falling from the highest point. Sheamus was laid onto the canvas and Ricochet hit the 630 splash and everyone broke it up.
Jey came off the top and was hit with an uppercut from Cesaro. Everyone hit their big moves, including Sheamus nailing Ricochet with a Brogue kick. The Usos attacked Sheamus with superkicks. Each climbed in opposite corners and hit the Double Uce and pinned Sheamus.
WINNERS: The Usos at 10:04 to retain the SmackDown tag titles
They had enough time for everyone to get their shine, except Nakamura, who didn’t stand out.
There was another time for this to be a good match and better than you would expect for a television match. The result means Ricochet and Black went 0-3 for their tag title matches on Raw, NXT: TakeOver, and WrestleMania.
The Hall of Fame class was brought out on the stage and introduced, ending with DX coming out to their music.
THE MIZ VS SHANE McMAHON IN A FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH
The Miz’s father, George, is in the front row.
They went to the floor and Shane nailed Miz with a monitor. Miz was placed on the announcer’s desk as Shane climbed up and Miz’s father stood in the way. Shane stepped down.
George stepped into the ring and Shane nailed him with a knee to the body and dropped him in the corner as Miz charged back and attacked Shane. George appeared to be sleeping to sell the effects of the shot.
They fought onto the production area in the audience. Then, they fought to the area where the international commentary teams were and destroyed their section. Miz hit Shane with a monitor and he flew over the balcony and into a dark abyss on the floor. They climbed a camera area and Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on it for a two-count.
Shane climbed to a higher area with Miz following and ended with Miz delivering a vertical suplex that sent both off and onto a crash pad. Shane landed on top and the referee counted three, so Miz looked like he totally screwed up with the risky spot.
WINNER: Shane McMahon at 15:26
It was all about building to the big visual stunt, which was much safer than past Shane stunts, and that’s a good thing. The usage of George Mizanin was very campy. This was the match you would envision this would look like and be structured if you plotted it out.
There was an ad from DAZN featuring Tracy Morgan and trumpeting the demise of pay-per-view.
Paige came out and joined Michael Cole and Renee Young on commentary for the next match.
SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY VS BETH PHOENIX & NATALYA VS THE IICONICS VS NIA JAX & TAMINA FOR THE WWE TAG TITLES
Bret Hart came out with Natalya and Beth Phoenix to wish them luck and was wearing his classic leather jacket.
Phoenix held up Kay and Natalya entered to hit the Hart Attack.
Bayley and Banks were in, Bayley sent Banks into a head scissors onto Phoenix and into the Bank Statement. Phoenix rolled out and went for the Glam Slam, which was countered. Natalya dropped Banks onto Bayley and applied a double sharpshooter onto both. Tamina hit Natalya with a superkick to break the submissions.
Tamina and Jax hit Samoan drops to the IIconics and teased double splashes but were stopped.
Phoenix was hit a Bayley elbow drop and Banks followed with the frog splash and Phoenix kicked out.
Natalya took out Banks with a spinning powerbomb and Phoenix hit a Glam Slam to Bayley off the second turnbuckle. The IIconics returned with Royce sending Phoenix to the floor and Kay stole the pin on Bayley.
WINNERS: The IIconics at 10:46 to win the WWE tag titles
The IIconics had to the last team anyone was picking to win the match and it’s a departure from Banks and Bayley as champions. They celebrated and were emotional in the ring after holding the titles.
The Empire State building is lit up with Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston’s image on the side of it.
DANIEL BRYAN VS KOFI KINGSTON FOR THE WWE TITLE
Rowan was in Bryan’s corner and New Day in Kingston’s.
Bryan went to the floor and was hit with a flying trust dive. The locker was shown watching the match backstage.
Kingston went for a springboard to the floor, missed Bryan and dropped onto the desk. Bryan took over and attacked Kingston’s back. Bryan shut down Kingston inside the ring, grabbing a waist lock and working him over. Kingston looked for a jumping foot stomp, which was countered into a Boston crab onto Kingston’s injured back with Kingston getting to the rope.
Each got cradles on the other for two-counts, Bryan went for the LeBell Lock and Kingston blocked it.
Bryan attempted the Busaiku knee, Kingston countered and went for the S.O.S and Bryan turned it into the LeBell Lock. Kingston fought it as Bryan hit elbows to his ribs and Kingston got his foot onto the rope.
Kingston wouldn’t go down from the body kicks and tried to fight back and hit a reverse vertical suplex for a two-count.
Rowan attacked Xavier Woods and Big E. on the floor, but they came back hit Up Up Down Down to Rowan on the floor.
Kingston nailed Bryan from the floor, Bryan ducked Trouble in Paradise, hit the Busaiku knee and Kingston kicked out. Bryan stomped down Kingston, applied the LeBell Lock for the third time and Kingston fought his way out with strikes on top.
Kingston got to his feet and hit Trouble in Paradise for the win.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston at 23:43 to win the WWE title
This was great, the clear-cut best match of the show, so far.
New Day unveiled the old WWE championship to present to Kingston. Kingston’s kids joined him for the celebration.
This was so great. The match was great and the post-match was done so well.
Booker T. was on commentary next with Phillips and Graves.
SAMOA JOE VS REY MYSTERIO FOR THE UNITED STATES TITLE
Mysterio spiked him with a DDT and hit a 619. Mysterio was caught off the top and submitted to the Coquina clutch.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 1:01 to retain the United States title
No way to dress that one up other than disappointing given the participants. There was also no involvement of Dominic after that was a focal point of the lead-up.
ROMAN REIGNS VS DREW McINTYRE
McIntyre had a big entrance with bagpipers playing him to the ring. It looked awesome.
It was all McIntyre from the start, beating down Reigns and sitting up from the tree of woe to suplex him off the turnbuckle. Reigns landed a running boot and send McIntyre to the floor and followed with the Drive-By. Inside the ring, he hit the superman punch and the spear to win.
WINNER: Roman Reigns in 10:09
It was a very basic match with Reigns selling and selling until it was time for the big comeback. It wasn’t the wrong call as I wouldn’t beat Reigns now. McIntyre had the win over Rollins on television and his follow up will be interesting coming off this loss.
Elias came out for his performance. He threw to a video with Elias playing multiple instruments. They had a cool set up with “Elias” lit up in the crowd. He told everyone to shut their mouths as he went to perform a song.
He was interrupted by a video of Babe Ruth calling his shot and hitting a home run.
John Cena came out in his rap character to Basic Thuganomics. He rapped about turning heel, Elias sucks, he is the golden shovel and going to bury him, and then hit Elias with the microphone and was going to give him the FU, instead of the AA. He hit the five-knuckle shuffle and the FU. Elias was left laying in the ring embarrassed.
TRIPLE H VS BATISTA IN A NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH
Shawn Michaels joined the commentary team for this match with Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Batista came out of the back of a truck with security detail. He nearly tripped entering the ring. Kumail Nanjiani was shown in the front row with two big Batista heads. Paul Levesque’s father was also in the front row.
Triple H was driven out with his skull mask on this enormous vehicle.
They went to the floor and Hunter attacked Batista with a toolbox and whipped him with a chain. The audience was quiet at the beginning. Hunter got pliers and tried to CUT OFF HIS FINGERS.
Then, Hunter used pliers to PULL OUT BATISTA’S NOSE RING.
Batista came back to life, placed steps onto the announcer’s desk and teased the Batista Bomb on top. Hunter back body dropped Batista onto the next desk. Hunter brought the crowd up with a tackle to Batista off one desk and through another.
Hunter found two sledgehammers under the ring. Batista speared him for a two-count. He hit the Batista Bomb and Hunter kicked out.
Hunter lifted Batista and powerbombed him onto the steps and hit the pedigree for a near fall.
Ric Flair appeared and handed Hunter the sledgehammer, Hunter leaped off the steps and nailed Batista with it and followed with the pedigree to win.
WINNER: Triple H at 24:46
I didn’t think this was a good match at all. The audience was dead, and it just seemed disjointed throughout. The audience got into the finish with Ric Flair’s involvement.
Alexa Bliss had the B Team model new Daniel Bryan shirts proclaiming he is “still the planet’s champion”. Ron Simmons walked in and said, “Damn”.
BARON CORBIN VS KURT ANGLE
JBL is on commentary with Cole and Graves.
Angle hit a belly-to-belly suplex and Corbin poked him in the eye to take over. Corbin had the heat until Angle rolled through and applied the ankle lock, but Corbin kicked out and hit the Deep Six for a two-count.
Corbin missed in the corner and kicked out of Angle Slam. Angle applied the ankle lock and Corbin sent Angle into the corner and broke free. Corbin did the “you can’t see me” sign and Angle hit the rolling German suplexes.
The audience stood up and cheered as Angle climbed to the top and missed a moonsault. Corbin hit End of Days and won.
WINNER: Baron Corbin at 5:58
Angle said he had the time of his life over the past 20 years and asked for the fans to chant “you suck” on his way out. His family was in the front row and he went up to them before leaving.
BOBBY LASHLEY VS FINN BALOR FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
Lashley was wearing green contact lenses while Balor came out as The Demon.
Balor hit a tope con giro onto Lashley, but he returned with a series of vertical suplexes inside the ring. Balor caught him with a sling blade and running dropkick on the floor.
Lio Rush distracted Balor and Lashley speared Balor off the apron to the floor. Lashley speared him in the ring and Balor kicked out. They are working hard, but the crowd is tired.
Balor countered Lashley and hit a powerbomb. Balor went to the top and hit the coup de grace and pinned Lashley.
WINNER: Finn Balor in 4:01 to win the Intercontinental title
The audience woke up for the finishing sequence, they did their best in a tough spot on the show.
Alexa Bliss brought out R-Truth and Carmella for a dance break.
They announced the attendance at 82,265 and the real number will be significantly lower.
There was an ad for WrestleMania in Tampa on April 5, 2020.
RONDA ROUSEY VS CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS BECKY LYNCH FOR THE RAW & SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLES
Charlotte Flair arrived in a helicopter. This was a tribute to Ric’s entrance at the Great American Bash in 1985.
Joan Jett performed “Bad Reputation” for Ronda Rousey’s entrance.
Becky Lynch came out to her music without any bells or whistles.
Rousey applied the Suzuki armbar in the ropes onto Flair, Lynch dropkicked Rousey upside down and she crashed hard onto the floor.
Flair went for a moonsault off the top and Lynch avoided and went for the Disarmer, which was stopped by a returning Rousey.
Rousey went for a double armbar to both women at the same time, they lifted Rousey and dropped her with a powerbomb, and Rousey kept the submissions applied. Eventually, they broke free.
Lynch rolled into the Disarmer on Rousey, but Rousey made it to the rope. She applied it on the turnbuckle, was broken by Flair and she proceeded to hit Lynch with a Spanish Fly.
Rousey’s leg looked terrible with bruises and marks. Flair applied the Figure 8 onto Rousey and Lynch came off the top with a guillotine leg drop to Flair.
Lynch brought a table into the ring. Rousey tipped over the table and said she didn’t need it as the audience booed. She added, “tables are for bitches”. Later, Flair was sent through the table in the corner.
Rousey and Lynch fought, Rousey lifted her for Piper’s Pit and Lynch countered it with a crucifix and pinned Rousey out of nowhere.
WINNER: Becky Lynch at 21:28 to win the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles
Rousey argued that her shoulders were not down.
We will have a full review of the show on our WrestleMania 35 POST Show later tonight.