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Hawke’s WrestleMania 2016 Review

April 4, 2016 | Posted by TJ Hawke
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Hawke’s WrestleMania 2016 Review  

Apologies, dear readers! I was scheduled to have this review up shortly after the show ended, but a lot of things were supposed to happen that did not come to pass.

After making glorious sacrifice on the Fury Road during the main event last night, I have ascended to a higher astral plane and left behind you cynics on your mortal coil. What you are about to read are the words of a fool who naively thought that he alone knew better. He thought he alone saw all the ends. This fool had a glorious moment of clarity though where it all became so incredibly transparent. The false dichotomy of Paul vs. Vince was one that I had convince myself of like so many others.

There is no Vince. There is only Paul. All others must bow down and recognize the majesty that is our lord and savior. He is the One. He is our Buddha. He is The Prophet and our one true God. He is our everything. I now stand before you, one of the glorious enlightened, looking down below at all of you from the heavens. I can only pray that you do not judge me for the words that are about to follow.

Forgive me My Trespasses, as I Forgive those who Trespass against me.

You will not hear from me ever again. I only took a brief return to show you the darker path that I was on and plead with you all to see the light. It is never too late to recognize that the night is dark and full of terrors. Run to that bright light, my brothers and sisters. Then never look back.


Dallas, Texas
April 3, 2016

Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, JBL, Mauro Ranallo, & Byron Saxton

Kalisto(c) vs. Ryback [United States Championship]

The Big Guy truly gets it and has become a very solid worker. He used his size/strength advantage to dominate Kalisto physically and his banter to destroy him emotionally and psychologically. Kalisto cheated by undoing a turnbuckle pad and sending Ryback into an exposed turnbuckle. Inspiring stuff. These guys deserved to be on the main card, but this was a very effective pre-show match that I thoroughly enjoyed. (***)


Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Eva Marie, Natalya & Paige vs. Emma, Lana, Naomi, Summer Rae & Tamina

They tried. This felt like a match that would normally be the token match for the women on the main show in past Wrestlemanias. Progress? Brie Bella got to win with the Yes! Lock on Naomi. Nikki Bella-Misawa came out afterwards to celebrate with Brie and the team. Retire in peace, Brie. (**)


The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray Dudley & D’Von Dudley)

I ate sushi (***1/2) and read Old Man Logan (**1/4) instead of pretending to watch this match. I have not watched the Dudleys since they returned, and I have no plans of stopping now. They are trash.


Kevin Owens(c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Zack Ryder vs. Stardust vs. Sin Cara [Ladder Match/Intercontinental Championship]

This was a very fun group ladder match. It was paced very well so that it did not feel rushed, but the action never let up. You also had the bonus of the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn issue adding a bit of emotion to the situation.

The match was wisely built around Kevin Owens who was clearly the biggest and most over star in the match. It seemed like everything started with or came back to Owens. Then Zack Ryder, the person who came out to no reaction, randomly won the match.

Beyond the whiny “Why didn’t Owens or Zayn win!?!?!?” reaction, this match did not even tell a good story to make Ryder’s win make sense.  Not to mention, Zack Ryder is an incredibly limited performer whose moment was in 2012. Whatever. Fun match. (***1/2)


AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

It is time to take Jericho out back and put him (and us) out of his (and our) misery. He is old. He is no longer interesting. He is probably overpaid (if he’s paid at all, he’s overpaid). He is beating AJ Styles cleanly at Wrestlemania in 2016. Everything is awful.

They tried very hard to their credit, but these two have such a low ceiling in the ring. Kicking out of finishers and going longer than usual are not the ways to fix chemistry issues.

I did not care for this, but it was not objectively terrible. Others will like this more than me, and it certainly checked many boxes of a Wrestlemania effort.  The finish reeks of the old guard being used to put an outsider in their place for having the gall to get over on their own. All Hail. (**1/4)


The Rock & The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (Alberto del Rio, Sheamus, Rusev, & King Barrett)

Beyond The New Day coming out of a giant cereal box, this was super dull. I honestly stopped focusing on the match much, and my attention went elsewhere. I was awoken out of my stupor by The Lads winning cleanly. I could not believe it.

To compound the issue, Steve AustinShawn Michaels, and Mick Foley came out to beat up the Lads afterwards. (Shawn was in Wrestlemania shape by the way and was clearly physically capable of working a match.) This was a giant middle finger to logic and sense. I hated that The New Day lost to The New Corre, and I hated that the geriatric crew came out to beat up The New Corre afterwards. Remember, this was the big angle to get The New Day over. No one new is allowed to get over though. All Hail. (Fuck you, that’s why.)


Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose [No Holds Barred]

The story of this match was expected but nonetheless odd. Brock was much stronger and better than Dean-O. Dean-O then needed to use a bunch of toys to give himself a fighting chance. Dean-O then completely failed, and Brock won cleanly.

It was closer to a Brock Network Special squash than the matches with Roman, Cena, or Taker (in 2016). This is all a part of the political hit designed by Triple H to take out Reigns and Vince in one fell swoop. All Hail. (***)


Charlotte(c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch [WWE Divas Championship]

Hey, you! Yes, you. Make sure you read my buddy’s very well-done article on the Divas Revolution thing.

Despite missing a few minutes early in the match due internet issues, I got very invested in this match, and that is because of the hard work done by all three wrestlers. This was the first women’s match since the “Divas Revolution” began that felt close to the level of work being done by the women on the NXT Specials. The pacing was great. All three were presented like stars. The action flowed logically and mostly in a smooth manner. They avoided most of the pitfalls of triple threat matches as well. I might go higher on the rating after a proper re-watch, but we’ll call it…(***1/4) for now.

The finish was Ric Flair holding Sasha Banks down while Charlotte made Becky tap out to the figure eight. There are just no words that do this justice. This has been a remarkable performance by Triple H. He will burn this place down and declare himself king of the ashes. All Hail.


The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon [Hell in a Cell]

Shane McMahon is fighting to bring back patriarchal values, and The Undertaker is fighting to double his seven-figure downside for 2016. There is a ton at stake.

“Shane, don’t just rely on gimmicks and stunts. Go out there and prove you can actually wrestle.” – Paul, at some point. All Hail.

This was the weirdest booked match yet on a show full of stupidly booked matches. They spent the first half of this match working HOLDS and SUBMISSION and with Shane doing an exceptionally embarrassing job of playing Shawn Michaels. That’s bad enough in a Hell in a Cell with two guys in their primes who are actual wrestlers. It makes zero sense with an immobile Taker and a non-wrestler.

They progressively introduced more and more plunder, but the dye had already been cast and tone had already been set. Yea, it was cool to see Shane jump off something very high one final time. In the end though, this was yet another McMahon wank-fest where a bayface was fighting to make sure only men run the company or something. This has been a very weird show. I did not find this to be enjoyable. The babyface lost again. All Hail. (*1/2)


Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Baron Corbin vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Tatanka vs. Adam Rose vs. Bo Dallas vs. Curtis Axel vs. Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young vs. Fandango vs. Goldust vs. Heath Slater vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Konnor vs. Mark Henry vs. R-Truth vs. The Big Show vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Viktor

This was the greatest moment in Wrestlemania history. I knew Triple H could not be perfect. This was his Zapruder film leaking moment. The Big Breakfast won and gave the fans the moment we had been desperately craving for hours! Go back to USWA, Unabomb! Big Banter is here to claim his spot at the top of WWE! (FIVE STARS!)


The Rock came out with a flamethrower and surrounded by Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders because he has an incredibly small penis. To make matters worse, Bray Wyatt fucking came out. It’s almost 11pm on a Sunday. I hate everything.


The Rock vs. Erick Rowan

Rock won with a Rock Bottom immediately.


The Rock & John Cena vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, & Brown Strawman)

Rock and Cena won via No Contest. I have no idea. End the show now. Roman is dead. This may not have even been a match. I have no idea what is going on. I’m in a delirious mental state and only being held together by string, Scotch tape, and the knowledge that our lord and savior, Paul, will right things in the end. ALL HAIL.


Triple H(c) vs. Roman Reigns [No Disqualification/WWE World Heavyweight Championship]

This was living proof that Paul is our lord and savior and rightful heir to the throne of our hearts, minds, and souls. He did everything in his power to make sure Roman was over this night. He made sure every crowd favorite (except The Big Breakfast & The Rock) went down first to ensure that the fans would be dying to see Roman vanquish the evil Authority once and for all. He had his lovely wife come out and berate us for being the sheep that we are. He put Roman over cleanly in the main event on the biggest pro wrestling show of all time. He did everything he could, and Roman was still not over. Vince’s golden boy was a failure, and we have no choice but to finally accept the brains behind NXT as the future of all that lays before us. Bow down to the king. (ALL HAIL)



I don’t have time to review full wrestling shows or DVDs as much as I used to. If you miss me, check out what I am doing here. If you don’t miss me, click anyway to feed my ego.

Watch some wrestling for free!

AJ Styles vs. CM Punk

Shane McMahon vs. Mankind [Ridiculous Attitude Era Hardcore Match]

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper

The Big Show vs. Hulk Hogan in a MONSTER TRUCK SUMO MATCH

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Young Bucks

The Undertaker & Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan & Sid

The Shield vs. Rey Mysterio & The Usos

Brock Lesnar vs. RVD

Triple H vs. Bret Hart

Sasha Banks’s last indie match. [Trigger Warning: Indie sleaze/awfulness/misogyny)

The final score: review Bad
The 411
I shan't return again except to spread the Gospel of Paul and all of his glorious teachings. Farewell, my brothers and sisters.