First off, I didn't realize that the tag match was also moved to the Kick-Off show (or pre-show). And since it was the first match, let's start with it.
I predicted that Cesaro and Kidd would retain their titles. And guess what? They did! So I was 1 for 1 right off the bat. And it really was a good match overall, save for one of the Usos getting hurt at the onset.
Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way Match
Prediction: Cesaro & Kidd retain.
Result: Cesaro & Kidd retain.
Next up was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and I had predicted a couple of things. One, I predicted that Ryback would win, which he didn't. But he was in the final four. I also predicted Miz and Mizdow would go at it and one would eliminate the other, which did happen. But that's where it ended. The final four were Ryback, Big Show, The Miz and Damian Mizdow. I had also predicted that Curtis Axel would be the first to be thrown out, and he was. So really, I get extra points for that one!
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Predictions: Axel first out, Ryback wins.
Results: Axel first out, Big Show wins.
Kicking off the actual show was the ladder match for the IC title. My prediction was Ambrose, but if you recall, for me it came down to Ambrose and Bryan. It really could have been either one, but I have to stick with my choice.
This was a fantastic match with lots of great spots, including a power bomb through a ladder that I thought broke Ambrose' neck for a minute, and a Zig-Zag from the top of the ladder. Ultimately, Bryan won.
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title
Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.
Result: Daniel Bryan wins.
Orton and Rollins then put on a fine match, I thought, with lots of great false finishes. Plus both min kicked out of each others' finishers to sell how good they are. They played up how similar the two are, Orton coming from Evolution and Rollins from the Shield. It was a good match, and the finish some are saying was the best RKO ever.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins with J&J Security
Prediction: Randy Orton wins.
Result: Randy Orton wins.
Next up was the Sting vs. HHH match, and I was surprised at how early on the card this came. And I'll have to admit, this is the match I'm most disappointed in on the entire card. Plus, HHH's Terminator entrance was cool at first, but quickly became lame.
Most of the match was awesome. The two squared off toe to toe, traded blows and showed their stuff. Sting was no selling and chest pounding like he always did, and HHH was knee dropping and face pounding like he's good at.Sting wouldn't go down, but neither would HHH. But then it happens. DX comes running to the ring. Billy Gunn, Road Dog and X-Pac. Sting takes them all three out, but then turns around and gets a Pedigree. And kicks out! Ok, that was fine. But then the NWO come down. Hall, Nash and Hogan. A brawl ensues between the NWO and DX. Sting gets HHH in the Scorpion Death Lock, then out of nowhere comes HBK with Sweet Chin Music to take Sting down. But he still kicks out. Sledgehammer vs. Bat, Sting breaks the hammer in half with the bat. After some back and forth, though, Sting goes for a second Stinger Splash in the corner, but HHH grabbed half the sledgehammer with the head still on and knocks Sting out for the 1-2-3. After the match, the two shake hands, but then HHH pats Sting on the face as if to say "Good job, kid." which felt so patronizing.
Here's my problem: Sting said this had nothing to do with WCW vs. WWE, that would be stupid. He went into this to take HHH down because of his abuse of power all these years. It wasn't about him representing WCW. So what happens? It becomes about WCW vs. WWE, and of course they couldn't let WCW win on "the grandest stage of them all." So like Sting feared all these years about coming to WWE, they jobbed him out and punked yet another WCW star out just to feed their own egos. That was complete and utter crap.
Sting vs. HHH - No DQ
Prediction: Sting wins.
Result: HHH wins.
I may get the order of these next two wrong. But I think next was the Divas tag match. I should mention at some point, though, that there was a backstage segment with Daniel Bryan where a bunch of former IC champs came in and congratulated him. Like Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, and Ricky Steamboat, who misquoted Macho Man. It ended with a Ron Simmons catch phrase.
There was also a musical performance which was pretty decent, but I'll admit, I took a break at that point.
So Paige and AJ went up against the Bellas. And it was a very solid match with a lot of time for the Divas. A lot of back and forth, a lot of saves, and Paige getting beat up by both Bellas for a while. The end was AJ's Black Widow submission on Nikki for the win, and Paige and AJ celebrated.
Paige & AJ vs. The Bella Twins
Prediction: Paige & AJ win.
Result: Paige and AJ win.
The best entrance of the night goes to Rusev, who came to the ring... in a freakin' tank! I was on a Facebook group chatting and joked that Cena should repel from a Blackhawk, but Cena just had his normal entrance after a video package showing various American Presidents speak about what makes America so great. The match was as you would expect, very back and forth, and lots of false finishes. Cena tried to step up his game by doing a springboard stunner! It was slightly botched, but A for effort there. Rusev got visibly frustrated that he couldn't put Cena away. Lana, who during the Kick-Off apologized to Rusev and asked if she could join him, for some reason threw her shoe in the ring, which served absolutely no purpose. Later on, she got on the apron and Rusev accidentally knocked her off leading to him getting the Attitude Adjustment and losing to Cena.
United States Title Match
Prediction: John Cena wins the belt.
Result: John Cena wins the belt.
To stretch for time trying to wait for it to get dark, HHH and Steph entered the ring to announce the record-breaking attendance, and to say they owned everyone in the company and in the building. The Rock made a surprise appearance, trash talked, but then got slapped hard by Steph, who then taunted him about hitting a woman. He went outside and got UFC fighter Ronda Rousey to join him in the ring, teasing a confrontation between her and Steph. More trash talking, and then the Rock attacked HHH and beat him out of the ring. Ronda did a throw on HHH at some point, but just grabbed Steph's arm and held her then shoved her down. It was anti-climactic but okay.
Only two matches left, so obviously it's time for Taker vs. Wyatt. Before the event, it was reported that Wyatt suffered some kind of injury to his ankle or some part of his leg in a warm-up match. He pulled through and pulled off a solid match, but you could tell he was in pain. Taker, while looking better than he did last year by a fair margin, was still winded and you could see age taking its toll. He didn't do any huge spots this time, but all his signature stuff was there. Wyatt gave him a run for his money, though, and solidified how good he was. Then the perfect spot I was waiting for came. Wyatt Sister Abigailed Taker, both men were down, Bray gets up on his hands upside down all The Grudge like style. And Taker sits straight up and looks at him. Not too long after that, a second tombstone sealed Wyatt's fate.
Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
Prediction: Undertaker wins.
Result: Undertaker wins.
The main event was next, and it was what everyone expected. Reigns was put through the paces, taking suplex after suplex and getting beat down. He had a few flurries here and there, even stunned Lesnar with some knees and kicks to the face. The fans booed Reigns every time, and that made me sick. I like Reigns and think he deserves his spot, but the fans just won't give him a shot. But anyway, Lesnar did the F5 early and Reigns kicked out. After beating him down quite a bit, he delivered another one, and Reigns kicked out. Later, Reigns came back. Lesnar was slapping him and Reigns asked for more and then started laughing. Lesnar started suplexing, but Reigns came back with three Superman punches and two spears, but couldn't put the big man down. Lesnar with a third F5, but both men are down. And then the music hits. Rollins is cashing in! The match becomes a triple threat. Rollins tosses Reigns out and delivers two curb stomps to Lesnar, but it's not over. Reigns back in, curb stomp to him for the win, Rollins over Reigns. So I got this one partly right.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Prediction: Reigns over Lesnar, Rollins cashes in and wins.
Result: Rollins cashes in pinning Reigns, Brock never beaten.
Thinking about it, that finish made more sense and should have been obvious to me. Lesnar loses without being beaten. It's cheap, and I was hoping for more, but there you have it, Rollins is your champ, and I'm counting that one as a win.
All in all, I think my predictions were pretty good, and the event - aside from the Sting/HHH finish - was a far better 'Mania than last year's anniversary one. I really enjoyed this one and found myself on my feet during the last match.
I can't wait to see what's in store for us on Raw. And I really hope this wasn't all Sting came for, to job to HHH at 'Mania. That would suck.
If I were to give the event a rating, I'd honestly give it a 4.5 out of 5.