The recent WWE WrestleMania 33 pay-per-view had one match that rated higher than the rest. With an event that lasted about seven hours from pre-show through the main card, fans had plenty of matches to choose from as their own favorite. A total of 13 matches took place with just about every champions defended from Raw and SmackDown Live as well as a few grudge matches and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. When it came down to it several matchups ranked higher than the rest and for good reason.
Some of the more high-profile matches on the WrestleMania 33 card included Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg for the Universal Championship. There was also the main event which featured Roman Reigns battling The Undertaker to show whose yard it is. In that match, Reigns got the win, and there were some visible rough spots between the two competitors. However, this was not the highest-rated match on the card. Neither were the two championship bouts mentioned.
On Thursday, WWE Leaks reported that editor Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter released his ratings for the matches at WrestleMania on a one to five stars basis, with one star given to a bad match and five stars being considered a spectacular bout. First, a look at the worst-rated matches. Five matches were rated below three stars which put them at the absolute bottom of the bunch for the latest WWE pay-per-view.
The John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. Miz and Maryse match earned a 2.25 stars rating even though it provided a huge WrestleMania moment with the face team winning and Cena proposing to Nikki. Two matches received two stars and both came from the pre-show. They were the Andre the Giant Battle Royal and the WWE Intercontinental title match featuring Dean Ambrose defending his title against Baron Corbin. Even worse than these matches were the SmackDown Women’s title match and the WWE World Heavyweight title match featuring Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Each match earned just one-and-a-half stars. Ouch!
While there were some really bad matches, there were some really good ones too. No match received an absolute perfect five stars, but three were up there. Two matches were rated at 3.75 stars and one match was listed at four stars as the best. The WWE Raw Tag Team title match and the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match each received 3.75 stars. The Cruiserweight matchup was on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show and featured Neville successfully defending his title under the sun against Austin Aries. Despite having to work with the sun in their eyes, the two performers had some impressive back and forth action.
The tag match was originally a Triple Threat ladder match featuring Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defending the titles against Sheamus and Cesaro as well as Enzo Amore and Big Cass. However, the big surprise return of The Hardy Boyz came at this point and they competed in and won an exciting match. The finale of the contest saw Jeff Hardy land a Swanton Bomb off a very tall ladder to crash down on Sheamus and Cesaro, both of whom were laying on ladders extending from the ring to the crowd barrier.
Surprisingly, neither of these were the top overall match, according to Meltzer. Instead, that distinction went to good old “Shane-O-Mac” and AJ Styles. These two stars actually opened WrestleMania 33 with a singles match. At first, it was a regular match with regular rules until the referee was knocked out for a bit. From there, spots involving different items such as tables and trash cans came about. At one point, Shane had his jump from one ring corner to the other with a trash can placed against Styles.
The two traded big moves throughout the contest and near falls or submission attempts. In this close of this match, Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm but Shane hit a DDT for another near fall. Shane tried a Shooting Star Press off the corner, but Styles was able to move out of harm’s way. According to the WWE website, it was after this missed move by Shane that Styles finally grabbed the win after a Phenomenal Forearm off the side ropes.
As PWTorch reported, the match lasted a total of 20 minutes in the overall WrestleMania results and had the benefit of being on the card as early as it was. The reason this helped was that it may have been tougher for the crowd to accept the “novelty match” later in the show if anything got messed up during it. However, Styles once again showed why he is a top notch wrestler, and helped make Shane, who can hold his own in matches, look even better as a competitor. This match helped set the tone for the rest of the show and got the crowd pumped up, which a good opening match will usually do. It certainly delivered.
So congratulations are certainly in order to these two performers, as well as to all of the performers. As ProWrestling recently reported, this was a highly successful edition of WrestleMania for WWE. It was the second-highest grossing WrestleMania in terms of merchandise revenue, bringing in $3.7 million total, which was behind only WrestleMania 32 in Dallas for that honor.
There was also a nice jump in WWE Network subscribers and it was said that a record 1.95 million global households watched WrestleMania 33 on the network this year. That made it the “most-watched WrestleMania in history” and with Shane vs. Styles opening the show, it not only jumpstarted the pay-per-view but gave the rest of the performers a tough act to follow.
[Featured Image by WWE]