'WrestleMania' 35: Becky Lynch Reigns Supreme & More Big Moments
WrestleMania 35 was one for the underdogs highlighted by women headlining WWE’s biggest show of the year for the first time ever.
Event host Alexa Bliss revealed that WrestleMania had broken the indoor attendance record with 82,265 packing MetLife Stadium. It was also the second highest-grossing event in company history at $16.9 million bringing in fans from 50 states and 68 countries.
Here’s a rundown of what went down at the historic extravaganza.
"The Man" Takes All at WrestleMANia
Becky Lynch won the Raw and SmackDown Live women’s titles closing out the night in a match not without controversy. Lynch dethroned Ronda Rousey in the triple threat showdown along with Charlotte Flair. The "Irish Lass Kicker" countered the UFC trailblazer’s “Piper’s Pit” with an unexpected pin. Only one could argue the undefeated Rousey's shoulder was up. This leaves the door open for a one-on-one showdown.
Flair arrived at the stadium via helicopter (a helicopter!) in one of the most awe-inspiring entrances in WrestleMania history. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett played Bad Reputation for Rousey. Each competitor fought hard bringing another level of physicality to women’s wrestling.
New Day for KofiMania
The resurgence of Kofi Kingston over the last few months culminated with the veteran performer winning the WWE championship from Daniel Bryan. Members of the locker room cheered on the SmackDown Live challenger throughout, and Kingston’s children came in the ring to celebrate with their dad. Big E and Xavier Woods presented their fellow New Day member the old pre-Bryan title and a box containing the new Kingston WWE championship T-shirt. Never too early to get merch made.
Paul Heyman surprised fans by calling for the WWE Universal title match to open WrestleMania. Seth Rollins entered with the words “Beast Slayer” showing across giant screen on the entrance way, which foreshadowed what happened next. Lesnar attacked Rollins before he even made it to the ring, and “The Architect” fought back with a trifecta of Curb Stomps on Lesnar to win the gold.
Game Over for Bautista
Triple H busted out several tools of torture to take out Batista, including pulling out the Guardians of the Galaxy star’s nose ring. Batista, who hadn’t been in the ring since 2004, landed on tables and took a powerbomb on steel chairs. The wrestler-turned-actor did not go in half way for his final outing. Ric Flair handed “The Game” his trademark sledgehammer to use on Batista followed by a Pedigree.
John Cena Walks with Elias
Elias gave fans a taste of his musical stylings before John Cena interrupted, walking down the aisle as the “Doctor of Thuganomics,” a throwback look from his early days in the business, including the Yankees jersey. The budding Hollywood heavyweight hadn't lost a step on the mic with a rap, “Attitude Adjustment” and “Five Knuckle Shuffle.”
Hulk Hogan returned to the event he helped put on the map for the first time since his controversial comments forced the company to distance themselves from him. Hogan appeared to honor the late announcer Gene Okerlund. He also inducted his good friend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake into the WWE Hall of Fame.
It was a great night for some New Jersey-New York natives at WrestleMania. The hometown boy Tony Nese took home the cruiserweight championship against Buddy Murphy during the Kick-Off Show. Long Island’s Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins upset The Revival to win the Raw tag team championship. The victory broke a 269 losing streak for Hawkins. Elsewhere, the “Princess of Staten Island” Carmella snuck in the ring from behind to eliminate Sarah Logan and was crowned the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal winner.
Celebrities were out at WrestleMania inside and outside the ring. Colin Jost and Michael Che of SNL entered the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This after weeks of social media interaction with Braun Strowman, who felt Jost disrespected him when guest-hosting Raw. Jost rubbed salt in the wounds of Giants fans by wearing a Cleveland Browns Odell Beckham Jr. jersey. Jost and Che hid under the ring until they tried to take advantage of a potential Strowman elimination.
Jost attempted to ease the tension by bringing in a therapist, which didn’t go well. Strowman took out Che before getting his one-on-one face-off. At one point, Jost almost got the “Monster Among Men” over the top rope, but in the end, Strowman sent Jost outside on to a pile of superstars.
Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista’s co-star in the upcoming movie Stuber, sat ringside for Batista’s match against Triple H. He had the best sign of the night, which read “Batista Is My Emergency Contact.” Impractical Jokers’ Sal Vulcano and Brian Q Quinn and American Ninja Warrior host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila also joined the Kick-Off Show. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams gave one of the best renditions of "America the Beautiful."
Between the Kickoff and the actual show, there night contained more than seven hours of sports entertainment goodness. Kurt Angle called it a career in a loss against Baron Corbin, while Roman Reigns toppled the “Scottish Psychopath” Drew McIntyre in his first big singles match since returning from battling leukemia. Shane McMahon delivered 20 years after his WrestleMania debut in a falls count anywhere match versus The Miz.
Finn Balor also became a two-time Intercontinental Champion over Bobby Lashley, while AJ Styles finished off Randy Orton with a Phenomenal Forearm — which some fans in the stadium had a hard time seeing due to a blinding yellow light. Plus, the Usos successfully defended the SmackDown Live tag titles against recent NXT developmental call-ups Ricochet and Aleister Black, The Bar, and Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev.
The IIconics became women’s tag team champions besting champions Boss n’ Hug Connection, the returning Beth Phoenix and Natalya and Tamina and Nia Jax in a four-way. United States Champion Samoa Joe tapped out Rey Mysterio in dominating fashion. Alexa Bliss served as the guest host of WrestleMania.
And so begins another year in the world of WWE!
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