WrestleMania 35 was not about the matches, but “the moments” within them
From the opening bell to the main event, WrestleMania 35 delivered when it needed to the most.
WWE’s busiest weekend of the year has come and gone. WrestleMania 35 was a smashing success, with over 80,000 people filling up MetLife Stadium to witness history. In normal years, the actual wrestling has been a major part of any WrestleMania. While there was some very good grappling going on, there was something else that took precedence over the action. That, my friends, were the moments within each match.
From the very beginning of WrestleMania, from the pre-show to the main event, fans were able to witness moments that will last a lifetime. The night started off well, with Long Island’s Tony Nese, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder walking out of New Jersey as champions. Being inside MetLife, this writer felt the vibe that was going on in the stadium, one that kept on building with positivity as each segment passed. That was especially true with the three main event matches that took place.
Slaying the Beast
— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) April 8, 2019
One of those three main events opened up the show, with Seth Rollins challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Title. Lesnar, who hasn’t been around that much while being champion, is gearing up for a UFC return. If there was ever any match that had fans conflicted about the ending, this would be it. As a smart businessman, Lesnar managing to win made the most sense. Rollins, however, had other plans. He was the aggressor before the bell rang, attacking Lesnar with a flurry of shots. Lesnar managed to beat him up on the outside before manhandling Rollins inside the ring. Rollins, however, resorted to nefarious methods, low blowing Lesnar before hitting three Curb Stomps on “The Beast” to win the title. It was a wild start to the main show PPV.
The crowd inside MetLife were shocked but relieved to see a fan favorite winning a title that was losing value with Lesnar as champion. Nobody had a hotter 2018 compared to Seth Rollins. As 2019 rolls on, “The Architect”, now the “Beast Slayer”, will look to continue his momentum.
The (Wo)Man Came Around in the Main Event
We just went from the beginning of the show all the way to the end (this was strategic). The story leading up to WrestleMania was the first women’s main event. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey were out there to prove whey they are the very best. With the rise of women in pro wrestling, especially in WWE, the old ways officially died. With a very long show (8+ hours), many were wondering if the women could keep the attention of the fans. Many fans were also wondering if WWE would actually pull the trigger and give Becky Lynch, the most popular star heading into WrestleMania, her moment to shine. It turns out, both were able to happen.
Becky Lynch beat both Flair and Rousey to become the Raw and SmackDown Live Women’s Champion. WWE’s version of the champ-champ worked harder than she ever did to please the fans. Both Becky and Charlotte are known for triple threat WrestleMania matches; the two tore the house down with Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 32. The match itself was good, and it was starting to reach its fullest potential in the last 10 minutes of it. All of a sudden, a potentially botched finished by the ref ended the match abruptly. According to multiple people, including Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, there was a mistake made, even though Becky was going to win anyway. Confusing finish aside, fans were ecstatic to see Becky come out on top. Becky’s story of overcoming all odds was a major factor in making this a success.
The middle match of the three was where WrestleMania 35 peaked, and for good reason. In the companies history, WWE has never had an African-born WWE Champion. There have been African American champions around wrestling, most notably Ron Simmons in WCW. For WWE, this was a moment that was a long time coming, especially when the star involved has been a true workhorse for them since the beginning of his run.
#KofiMania is important. Think about how many people just watched what he did. Think about how many felt connected to him because they too have been struggling for so long. Think about how many people he inspired. Think about how important #KofiMania is.
— ALI / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) April 8, 2019
Normally home to football games, MetLife Stadium has never shaken as much as it did during this match. Kofi Kingston had the place in the palm of his hands. It was a struggle to get to this match due to some booking, but boy, WWE ended up obliterating expectations when it finally happened. Daniel Bryan is one of the best workers in pro wrestling today, and Kofi is no slouch either. A masterpiece was produced the moment the bell rang.
There were many close calls throughout the bout. When Bryan hit his flying knee finisher, every fan groaned as they thought it was over. When Kofi kicked out, there was not a person sitting. Kofi later hit the Trouble in Paradise for the win. If there was a roof attached to MetLife, the overall roar from the crowd would have lifted it off into space. Kofi brought his kids into the ring, with one of them holding the title up defiantly and with pride. There are videos of fans and wrestlers crying, knowing history was made.
The match itself was a classic, but the moment surrounding it all really made the entire journey worth it. Something once thought impossible became a reality. The wrestling community joined together in this one moment, showing what the win meant on all levels.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all.
Without your love & support, especially over the past couple months, none of this happens. You helped me achieve my childhood dream & I’m eternally grateful for each & every one of you.
Your WWE World Heavyweight Champion
— KOFI (@TrueKofi) April 8, 2019
Along with these three incredible, game-changing moments, WrestleMania 35 was the ultimate fan-pleasing show. The IIocnics, who are as passionate as anyone when it comes to pro wrestling, became Women’s Tag Team Champions. You also had Kurt Angle’s emotional farewell address, all of the favorites winning, Roman Reigns’ first WrestleMania match after beating leukemia and even “The Doctor of Thuganomics” John Cena came out.
Sometimes, you must take in everything around you. The moments of WrestleMania 35 rightly overshadowed the actual matches. When both can intertwine to create something beautiful, you know you did and witnessed something truly special.
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