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411’s WWE 24: WrestleMania: New Orleans Report

January 28, 2019 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE 24 WM33

411’s WWE 24: WrestleMania: New Orleans Report

-Original air date: 01/28/19

-Rune Time: 51:45

-My plan was to have this done after the Rumble, but I didn’t expect the Rumble to last 5 hours and I wasn’t staying up another hour plus to watch and review this show. As for the Rumble, besides being long it was fine. The Women’s Title Matches were both very good and I enjoyed Lesnar/Balor. The Women’s Rumble started bad and got better while the Men were the opposite. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the men’s Rumble with the NXT guys, Joe, Rollins, Ali, etc having some great interactions and once they were tossed it lost me. The winners were expected and that’s fine as we kind of knew where we were heading with WrestleMania.

-Before Mania New (Jersey) York though, we take a look at last year’s WrestleMania with the newest WWE 24 episode.

-We start with Reigns being attended to after losing once again to Brock Lesnar and as Brock heads through Gorilla he tosses the title at Vince, who yells “hey asshole.” That’s a great start to a show!

-After the title screen we see various Superstars including English and Rusev having fun with the fans on Bourbon Street. We get the TV and radio blitz of stars appearing on ESPN, Fallon, etc to hype the show. Matt Hardy fires up the crowd on Bourbon Street as Elias gets a concert at a bar and gets in a shot at all the Rusev Day chants.

-Axxess highlights and having been to 3 Manias (25-27), I loved Axxess and I assume it’s probably even bigger now.

-Daniel Bryan’s return is going to be heavily featured as it should. He does a Q&A at Axxess and says that the last time he was in this building it was a career accomplishment, but this time it is a personal accomplishment. They do a great flashback to all the moments that lead to this comeback including his retirement, breaking down to Brie when he lets her know, and the famous Miz segment on Talking Smack where he called him a coward. Just some great stuff. Bryan finally gets cleared and he says now he has a second lease on his career as he gets to go out and do what he loves.

-Some shots of the superstars heading to the SuperDome and we ride along with Lana and Rusev. He tells her that he doesn’t get nervous other than Mania 31 because of the tank. He was worried about burning his feet as he didn’t wear boots back then. He and Lana talk about how at Mania XXX in NOLA they were just there to watch and made their debut the next night. Rusev talks about his face run and how weird it is that people ask for his autograph and want pictures with him now.

-The Usos and Bryan check out the stage and soak things in as they test the lighting inside the dome. AJ catches up with The Good Brothers which is always fun to see. Rousey marks out like a fan over the set, which is fantastic to see. She gets a pep talk from a beaming Paul Heyman who tells her not to let anyone follow her tonight. She gets teary eyed as she continues to take everything in and I can relate as the same thing happened to me as I watched the opening package to Mania XXV from inside the stadium. It’s weird to describe and I know performing is different than being a fan, but it makes you feel like a kid again.

-Rousey talks about trying to stay calm, but freaking out on the inside when The Rock had her come into the ring at Mania 31 and she told herself she would be back at Mania one day. We see Vince going over things with her and she says Vince told her to soak it in and that when she smiles the whole world wants to hug her. She sums it up best as she says “WrestleMania is fun.”

-Various stars get a run through of their entrances complete with pyro. Shane laughs at the idea that Vince is going to let Steph ride one of the motorcycles to the ring. He tells Vince he is going to give him everything he has and that he will be alright. Vince: “you better be.” Always a dad!

-Roman talks about this being his 4th big time singles match at Mania and the hardest part is waiting. He tells Shane he wishes they had a fast forward button. He talks about how the fans always remember this day, but don’t remember the shows at the smaller venues, but he does as they all add up to him getting here. He treats every show like WrestleMania as to be on top you have to out grind and out physical everyone else.

-Nia Jax catches up with one of the Usos backstage as she gets ready. She talks about her family and that her Aunt and her cousin, The Rock are the ones that pushed her to get into wrestling. They flashback to her being at Mania in Dallas meeting up with The Rock. Back to the present as she mentions The Rock sent her a text and told her she is going to kill it and that the storyline is perfect. Nia talks about the bullying angle with Alexa and we see her doing Be A Star meetings with children to promote that everyone should realize everyone else is beautiful even if they are different.

-The doors are close to opening and we learn about Mania Crawl which is the official bar crawl of WrestleMania. We meet the guy who founded it and they have been doing it for a few years while helping to raise money for Connor’s Cure. The fans are fired up outside the dome as the doors finally open.

-We get some cool backstage moments between the talent which is always fun to see. Roman driving a cart by as Many oils up Sonya is hilarious as it Titus O’Neil helping Paul Heyman with his tie. These interactions between people you would never think of seeing together is fantastic.

-John Cena, who totally doesn’t have a match and is there as a fan, is already at his seat with a gathering around him. Cena sold this like a pro and it had to be awesome for the fans that got pictures and autographs.

-Rollins talks about his gear as this year it is inspired by The Night King. He talks about the history of great IC Matches at Mania (Steamboat/Savage, Razor/Shawn) and while you want to close Mania, there is something special about opening the show as well.

-To the production truck as they cue the start of the show and a ton of pyro kicks off Mania 34. We get highlights of the IC Title opener. Cole tells us that Mania is a long night (hopefully this year doesn’t try to outdo last night’s Rumble in length) and you need an action packed night to kick things off and he felt this was the best choice. The opener with Rollins, Miz, and Balor was fantastic that did everything you want from an opener. Rollins wins the IC Title and becomes a career Grand Slam Champion. Rollins is proud of the match and says that not many people have gotten to close and open a WrestleMania. Well, let me think about that: Bret, Shawn, Daniel Bryan, Rollins, Edge, Yokozuna, Jericho, HHH, Cena, The Big Show, Orton, The Miz, and Reigns. I think that is everyone and some interesting names on that list mixed it with obvious ones. Rollins is proud of the match and dares anyone to find a better Mania opener than that one (Bret/Owen and HHH/Bryan would be the only ones I can think of off the top of my head).

-Lana is running around backstage looking for a spot to watch Rusev’s match. I like the fact the Rusev is being featured on this show. He calls this Mania his moment as people thought Rusev Day was a joke, but the fans chanting it made sure it wasn’t seen as a joke. After the match he talks about how he and Lana started here and all they thought about was working this show and tonight they both get to do it. They are tremendous together and Rusev kills it as he says “let’s go find pizza” before they leave.

-Big Show is at Gorilla and he tells Ronda to make sure she breaths. She talks about the nervous energy and lets us know this is what happens to her body before it does great things. She is just beaming as she makes her entrance and I know some say that goes against her character, but screw that. Enjoy every second out there and it is refreshing to see. Highlights of the mixed tag are show and it was a great match that over delivered considering the participants, but at the same time, you had to know they were going to do all they could to tear the house down considering the participants. Just a fun match with crazy crowd heat. Ronda says the smile she had after the match was the biggest she’s had since her wedding day. Nattie and The Bella twins celebrate with her backstage as they tell her she killed it. Shawn Michaels has a moment with her and tells her not to worry right now about anything she thinks she may have done wrong and just enjoy it.

-Cena interrupts Elias as he is angry about the lack of Taker but The Dead Man answers the call and Cena is toast. Another great moment and really what the story called for as Cena came off as a douche as he kept poking the bear for no reason and he got run over for it.

-Highlights of the two tag matches are shown and the crowd reaction for Nicholas is still pretty awesome.

-Nakamura’s entrance is still bad ass and while it didn’t live up to the crazy, high expectations, I still enjoyed the match with AJ. Charlotte and Asuka have a hell of a match that ends Asuka’s undefeated streak.

-Nia talks backstage with Goldberg and says she hates the waiting. Bill says he never found a way to deal with it other than showing up late. Ha! Nia says they had all the talent show up at 10 AM. Bill says he was told to come at 2 PM and opted to get there at 6 PM. Fantastic! Don’t ever change Bill!

-Bliss/Jax next and they pay off that storyline as expected with the bully getting her comeuppance and the victim winning in the end. The match was probably a little long and should have been more of a squash as Alexa will always be over with the crowd, but a minor detail. Nia talks about how emotional it was and the other women are waiting backstage to congratulate her as she comes through the captain. A nice cameo from Cesaro who congratulates her and Braun gives her a big hug and teller her that he is proud of her. Again, I love these interactions.

-Daniel has a moment with Brie before his match. She says he has been waiting for this moment for so long that the excitement outweighs the nerves. Bryan says he promised himself he wouldn’t get caught up in the stress and he was going to enjoy it. Brie talks about how dark things got, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

-For as long of a show as this way, the crowd was pretty solid up until the Main Event. Bryan gets a crazy, insane reaction from the fans. Man, we needed this crowd at the Rumble last night. I do get that a Mania crowd is much different than any other crowd though. Anyway, we get highlights of the Tag Match and Sami taps out to Bryan. The match wasn’t all that, but it really didn’t need to be. The story was getting Bryan back in a ring and making sure he got through everything fine. Brie shows Bryan a picture of Birdie watching from home and that is what drove Daniel. He wanted his daughter to get a chance to see him wrestle. Nice moment!

-We flashback to Mania 31 as Rollins steals the spotlight from Reigns in his match with Lesnar.  For Roman tonight is about unfinished business. Highlights are shown and without the crowd dumping all over the match it looks like a fine battle of the bulls. The crowd reactions they do show fit the narrative of the story they want to tell, and I won’t blame them for that. The crowd does pop for Lesnar retaining as everyone thought it was a lock that Reigns was winning.

-We catch back up to the start of this show as Lesnar tosses the title at Vince, who calls him an asshole. Sadly, they don’t follow up on that and instead focus on Reigns. He talks about how he doesn’t know how many beatings he can take. He had to get some staples and stitches to close the wound on his head. He reflects and says that he is proud of what he’s done. They show hi with his daughter at various points and he gets emotional as he talks about what it takes to get to the top and stay there. “As long as I can keep doing it, I’ll do it.” Oh man, that’s heartbreaking to hear in retrospect after knowing all we do now.

-We close with a video package covering everything from the show set to a Panic at the Disco song.

-I love these shows and look forward to each one about Mania every year. As was mentioned, Mania is supposed to be fun and seeing how all the superstars from the top of the card to the bottom react to being there is great. It is also great to see the bonds these guys and girls all have with each other on display in moments you rarely get to see. This was just great stuff and it’s fun to see them feature not only the main event stars, but also give some time to people in the midcard as their Mania story is just important as the headliners.

-Thanks for reading!

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WWE 24, Robert Leighty Jr.