WWE WrestleMania 33 results, recap, highlights: Undertaker appears to retire
WrestleMania 33 was one to remember, and it may have ended with the retirement of a true legend
ORLANDO, Fla. -- In his 25th appearance at the biggest night in professional wrestling, The Undertaker exited the ring for what appears to be the final time at WrestleMania.
After losing to Roman Reigns in the main event, capping a WrestleMania 33 card that lasted more than seven hours at Camping World Stadium, The Undertaker left his iconic black hat, coat and gloves in the center of the ring. At 52, “The Deadman” waved goodbye to the crowd before disappearing through an opening in the floor of the ramp that descended from the stage.
The 13-match WrestleMania card was an exciting one, featuring five title changes and a violent five-minute match between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg that saw “The Beast” regain the WWE universal championship. In the end, Reigns left on top after wrestling in the final match for the third straight year.
The night’s best match may have come in the main show opener, when AJ Styles defeated SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon, in a match which featured big spots and competitive wrestling. The biggest disappointment came in a 10-minute WWE championship match which saw Randy Orton defeat Bray Wyatt to become a 13-time world champion.
WWE WrestleMania 33 results
Cruiserweight Championship (Kickoff Show) -- Neville (c) def. Austin Aries via pinfall: Being relegated to the kickoff show didn’t stop Neville and Austin Aries from putting on an exciting match. After a scientific start, the big spots that the cruiserweight division is known for quickly arrived. Aries held his own with Neville from an aerial perspective, overcoming being dropped on his head during a snap German suplex to score near falls following a missile suicide dive and a 450 splash (which followed a hurricanrana from the top rope). Late in the match, Neville broke up a submission attempt by poking Aries in the same eye that he recently recovered from a broken socket. He then landed a picture perfect Red Arrow from the top rope to get the pin.
Mojo Rawley wins Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Show): It took an assist from his good friend, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, but Rawley scored the biggest victory of his WWE career. Rawley, himself a former NFL player, got pulled out of the ring and attacked late in the battle royal by Jinder Mahal. Gronkowski, who was sitting in the front row, had his drink taken by Mahal, who then took a taste and threw the cup at the NFL star. Gronkowski jumped the barrier and entered the ring, hitting Mahal with a shoulder tackle as the crowd erupted. Rawley went on to eliminate Mahal. The match began with big men Big Show and Braun Strowman cleaning house. After a staredown between the two, Strowman tossed Big Show before being eliminated himself by a group of wrestlers. Dolph Ziggler and Sami Zayn also had hot runs before being eliminated late.
Intercontinental Championship (Kickoff Show) -- Dean Ambrose (c) def. Baron Corbin via pinfall to retain the title: In a nod to just how far the importance of the Intercontinental title has waned in recent memory, Ambrose defended his championship during the final match on the kickoff show. WWE waited until minutes before the match to announce. Corbin dominated the early stretch with physicality and a methodical beatdown. Ambrose had his moments in rallying back but could never acquire the upper hand. But as Corbin went to attempt his finishing move, the End of Days, Ambrose flipped out of it. He instantly landed his Dirty Deeds finisher to set up the pin. This hasn’t been the greatest build in recent months and the match was played out similarly average.
AJ Styles def. Shane McMahon via pinfall: It has long been said since his WWE debut in in January 2016 that Styles is capable of making a four-star match with just about anybody. At 47, McMahon isn’t just anybody, and his incredible performance in the opening match of the main card (a surprise placement, no less) helped produce a leading candidate for match of the year.
McMahon, the SmackDown Live commissioner, produced his typical array of physicality and stunning high spots, but it was his ability to wrestle with Styles technically on an even playing ground, including multiple submission reversals, that ultimately made the match. The match has too many major moments to list in order, but McMahon had an early one by intercepting a springboard 450 splash attempt by Styles while on his back, catching him in a Hells Gate submission attempt. Styles then stood McMahon up while still in the hold, applying a sloppy Styles Clash that produced a two count.
Referee Mike Chioda was then accidentally kicked in the head by Styles, which opened up room for weapons to play a role. Styles brought two trash cans into the ring and set McMahon up in the corner to land a Van Terminator. But McMahon stood up in time to catch him with the illegal object before landing a Van Terminator of his own. McMahon went on to miss an elbow from the top rope as Styles escaped with Shane-O-Mac crashing through the announce table. But as Styles looked to capitalize in the ring with a Phenomenal Forearm, McMahon caught him in mid-air and applied a devastating DDT for two, just as the referee came to. McMahon then missed a moonsault from the top rope, allowing Styles to land his forearm finisher to get the pin.
United States Championship -- Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho (c) via pinfall to win the title: While it took a while for the crowd to recover from the Styles-McMahon classic, Owens and Jericho produced a strong match worthy of the reaction it received. After a great buildup in recent months which focus on the deterioration of their friendship, Owens used a power bomb on the ring apron to finish off Jericho. The match was physical throughout featuring a steady stream of creative counter moves. Late in the match, Jericho kicked out of a Pop-Up Powerbomb finisher and countered a second one with a Codebreaker. But as he went for the pin, Owens was able to extend one finger to the ropes to break it in, which set up the finish.
Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match -- Bayley (c) def. Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax to retain the title: A match that not only featured a number of creative, multi-person high spots also saw a relatively surprise ending as Bayley retained her Raw title. Jax showcased her unique physicality early on and proved able to hang with the other three women before being eliminated by a triple power bomb, followed by a pin in which all three stacked on top of each other.
The biggest spot of the match came from Flair, who landed a beautiful corkscrew moonsault from the top rope, onto both Banks and Bayley on the floor. Charlotte went on to score the second elimination by kicking out of a roll-up pin attempt from Banks and sending her face first into an exposed turnbuckle, leading to a pin.
The finish, however, was relatively tame as Bayley landed a back body drop on Charlotte off the top rope and connected with a flying elbow to finish the match. The one thing the match did not do was further the storyline between Bayley and Banks, which has included heel-turn teases from Banks. Order of elimination: Jax, Banks, Flair.
Raw Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way Ladder Match -- The Hardy Boyz def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c), Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Sheamus & Cesaro and The Hardy Boyz to win the titles: The 12th ladder match in WrestleMania history received an incredible upgrade with the surprise announcement from The New Day that a fourth team was being added. Matt and Jeff Hardy received a huge pop from the crowd in their first appearance with WWE since 2009 and went on to score a shocking victory, which set off fireworks in the stadium.
All eight members of the match combined for a number of memorable spots but the finish was the most spectacular. Matt Hardy connected with a stunning Twist of Fate from the top of the main ladder on Anderson. Jeff Hardy immediately following with his trademark Swanton Bomb from the tallest ladder outside, crashing onto Sheamus, who was laying prone on a ladder balancing on the ring apron. Matt Hardy immediately ran back up the main ladder to pull down the title belts.
John Cena & Nikki Bella def. The Miz & Maryse via pinfall: Real-life couple Cena and Bella teamed up for the first time in a mixed tag team match any a PPV. Afterwards, they teamed up for life when Cena proposed in the center of the ring. Bella received her WrestleMania moment and shed real tears after Cena put the ring on her finger. The moment capped a relatively tame match that was largely carried by The Miz’s strong heel work and ability to play to the crowd. Maryse, who was making her first in-ring appearance since 2011, did nothing more than slap Cena and eat a flurry of punches from Bella after a long-awaited hot tag. Bella also landed a suicide dive onto The Miz outside the ring in the match’s biggest spot. The finish came as Cena and Bella teamed up for a double five-knuckle shuffle and a double AA, before simultaneously pinning The Miz and Maryse.
Non-Sanctioned Match -- Seth Rollins def. Triple H via pinfall: Rollins overcame an injured right knee and steady interference from Stephanie McMahon to gain revenge on Triple H in their non-sanctioned match. After a series of counter attempts by both to avoid each other’s Pedigree finishing move late in the match, Triple H was sent to the ropes where he narrowly avoided striking McMahon, who was standing on the ring apron. He turned back around to eat a super kick with the momentum sending him back into McMahon, who crashed through a table on the floor. Rollins then hit a Pedigree to get the pin in an electric finish. The 25-minute match featured plenty of high spots and selling from Rollins after Triple H used chairs and submission attempts to target his knee. The momentum of the match grew with each spot, slowly waking up the crowd.
The entrances were also strong as Triple H and McMahon drove a motorcycle behind a police motorcade down the ramp. Rollins, meanwhile, brought out a torch and lit the floor, igniting a flame across the video screen on the ramp all the way to the ring. In the end, Samoa Joe never appeared despite playing a big role in the build to the match.
WWE Championship -- Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt (c) via pinfall to win the title: Despite a seven-month build to get to WrestleMania, featuring a dark storyline and strong attention to detail, Wyatt’s star-making title reign came to a disappointing and abrupt end. In a head-scratching finish, Randy Orton connected on an RKO to pin Wyatt clean, handing him yet another loss on a major pay-per-view. The match will be best remembered for its unique special effects, which happened each time Wyatt bent over backwards in the corner to channel the evil spirit Sister Abigail. The house lights would dim, revealing a projection screen on the ring which showed videos of maggots, worms and cockroaches. The in-ring action was solid but far from unspectacular. Both wrestlers landed their respective finishing moves outside the ring. Wyatt later hit his Sister Abigail in the center of the ring but Orton kicked out. The victory made Orton a 13-time WWE world champion.
Universal Championship -- Brock Lesnar (c) def. Goldberg via pinfall to win the title: After combining for just over five minutes of in-ring action against each other during the five-month build, Lesnar and Goldberg combined for four minutes and 47 seconds at WrestleMania. And it was a spectacular car-wreck.
In a perfectly booked conclusion to a storyline which saw Lesnar routinely get surprised by the 50-year-old Goldberg, “The Beast” earned revenge when it mattered most to regain the title. Lesnar survived a pair of early spears, including one through a barricade wall outside the ring and later kicked out of a Jackhammer. Along the way, he handed out 10 different German suplexes -- seven in a row at one point -- to the delight of the crowd and finally finished Goldberg with an F5. Lesnar, who leaped over a spear attempt from Goldberg in the match’s best spot, wears a world title for the first time since walking into WrestleMania 31 in 2015 with the WWE championship.
SmackDown Women’s Championship -- Naomi def. Alexa Bliss (c), Carmella, Becky Lynch, Mickie James, Natalya, Naomi via submission to win the title: In a chaotic six-woman setup that served as a popcorn match before the main event, Naomi regained the SmackDown title in front of her hometown fans. The brief match featured a trio of fun spots. Lynch intercepted an interfering James Ellsworth to block his No Chin Music and put him into a suplex. Natalya then put both Naomi and Carmella into a creative double sharpshooter while they were stacked up. Naomi also landed a splash over the top rope onto all five opponents on the floor. In the end, Naomi forced reigning champion Bliss to tap out via submission in the center of the ring to capture the title she relinquished in recent months due to injury.
No Holds Barred Match -- Roman Reigns def. The Undertaker via pinfall: Whatever The Undertaker had left in his body at the age of 52 entering his 25th WrestleMania match, Reigns squeezed him dry. In a plodding main event that lacked the buzz and intensity of the early matches on the card, Reigns needed five spears (including one through the Spanish announce table, another with extra momentum from the ring ropes) and even more Superman punches to finally prevent The Deadman from kicking out. With Hall of Famer Jim Ross on the call for the main event, Reigns finished out the last match at WrestleMania for the third straight year, telling at The Undertaker throughout that, “This is my yard.” After the grueling 25-minute match, Taker put back on his black hat and coat to soak up the final cheers before taking them off (along with his gloves) and leaving them in the center of the ring, signaling what will likely be his last match. His WrestleMania record fell to 23-2.
WWE WrestleMania 33 highlights
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