With WrestleMania weekend now in the books, it’s time to reflect on the record-breaking weekend and pick out the stars that impressed the most.
There was understandably a lot of hype surrounding the events with TakeOver: Dallas seeing two title changes, WrestleMania crowned two new champions and a new contender emerged on Monday Night Raw.
We saw some fantastic matches over three nights of wrestling and a handful of them have left us highly impressed with what they achieved, and what could potentially be on the horizon for them in the coming months.
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Here are the stars I believe impressed the most, and didn’t get enough credit for their efforts.
AJ Styles has had a phenomenal year so far as an individual; he lost out to Shinsuke Nakamura in a fantastic IWGP Intercontinental Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 10. He put on a great showing at the Royal Rumble, defeated Chris Jericho the following night on his Raw debut and then made his WrestleMania debut.
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Styles has continued to show why he’s one of the finest wrestlers on the planet today and it’s great to see the WWE Universe welcome him like they have. The fans were behind him at WrestleMania and his match with Jericho was one of the better ones at the event, but despite losing the match, his name is on everyone’s lips.
The following night on Raw, Styles won the Fatal Four Way match to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It’s a quick rise towards the top and this weekend has shown just how impressive he is and how much of a valuable asset he is to the company.
He had an incredible weekend and it could elevate him into the main event star we know he deserves to be.
Baron Corbin is another star who has enjoyed a great year; he hasn’t had the same success as somebody like AJ Styles but he’s certainly one of the most improved stars over the past year, and now he’s on the main roster.
Corbin’s feud with Austin Aries wasn’t the lengthiest of feuds but he played his heel role in the rivalry to perfection, and his loss at TakeOver did him no harm as he still managed to look the stronger out of the two after the three count.
He surprised the world at WrestleMania when he won the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal and it’s the perfect way to introduce him to the main roster. Although he lost on Friday, his performance on Sunday and on Raw made up for that; he enjoyed a great weekend and hopefully more of that can come for The Lone Wolf.
Although he isn’t performing in the ring, Byron Saxton is somebody who deserves a lot of credit for his work over the past weekend.
He’s often criticised for his work at the commentary table, but fans need to realise the orders are given to him through Vince McMahon; we’ve seen how great of an announcer he is at the Beast in the East event last year when it was just him and Michael Cole calling the action.
He did well as the Hall of Fame host for the hour he was on-screen, but you have to commend him for his work at WrestleMania. He was at the table for around seven hours the following night at WrestleMania; he was there for the pre-show as well as the main card, something I’ve never seen happen before.
To make it more impressive, he was back on duty for Raw the following night; the criticism needs to end after he showed he has what it takes to eventually become the main commentator.
Sami Zayn did enjoy a wonderful weekend but it could have been even better if he competed in the Fatal Four Way match on Monday Night Raw, instead he was replaced by the returning Cesaro but if anybody deserved a night off, it’s him.
The match everyone was looking forward to took place at TakeOver; Zayn was going up against the debuting Shinsuke Nakamura and it’s safe to say it went down as a success. It’s the match everybody enjoyed, the one with the highest ratings and it exceeded the ridiculously high expectations we as fans had set for them.
Again, a loss doesn’t mean the night was a failure, certainly not in Zayn’s case. He left it all on the line in his final match on NXT and then two nights later he put his body on the line again in a ladder match at WrestleMania. The dedication was clear, and his performances showed that the WWE have a star on their hands, what a way to introduce yourself to the main roster.
Along with Zayn, Nakamura had a successful weekend despite only competing in one televised match. There was so much hype surrounding his arrival and everything regarding his debut was booked to perfection.
From his attire, his theme music – which is now the number one soundtrack on iTunes – the reactions from the fans, the handshake to the actual, incredible wrestling match in itself. There’s nothing you can actually fault and Triple H would have been one very happy man following the match.
The handshake after the match along with the reaction from the fans showed just how much the stars are loved by the wrestling fans, but there’s plenty more exciting times ahead for Nakamura.
What can be said about the women that already hasn’t been said? They pretty much stole the show over the weekend and rightfully so, for the first time in a very long time there was a lot of focus on them and all of them stepped up to the mark when it mattered the most.
Asuka and Bayley kicked things off with an incredible NXT Women’s Championship match, and it was one of the best matches that took place on an excellent event so that alone speaks volumes. The fans were into it and the finish to the match was booked to perfection. Bayley refused to give up and it seemed as if the fans were confused – or were in complete shock – that Bayley was put to sleep.
The triple threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship signalled that we’re now heading in the right direction. The women are no longer listed as the Diva’s but are now treated as superstars, and that’s exactly how Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch performed at WrestleMania.
The fans were into the match before it was even announced, this is the match we wanted and they didn’t fail to disappoint. Although you can argue over whether the correct woman won the brand new championship, you have to give it up to the three of them for standing out from a stacked match card.
WWE FANS – WHO IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST OVER WRESTLEMANIA WEEKEND? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.