WRESTLEMANIA 35

Ken Hoffman reports from WrestleMania's record-breaking bash

Becky Lynch became the first undisputed Raw and Smackdown women's champ in a controversial finish. Becky Lynch/Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Defending champions were an endangered species on April 7, as only two of 10 title-holders escaped WrestleMania 35 with gold belts still around their waist. When the dust cleared well into Monday, April 8 morning at sold-out MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Kofi Kingston was the new Universal champion, Seth Rollins was WWE champ, the "Demon" Finn Balor was Inter-Continental champ, and Braun Stroman practically launched Saturday Night Live players Colin Jost and Michael Che into orbit to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

A beer-drinking, villain-boo-ing, souvenir-buying crowd of 82,265 fans saw "The Man" Becky Lynch become the first undisputed Raw and Smackdown women's champ in a controversial finish to her match against "Rowdy" Ronda Rouseyand "The Queen" Charlotte Flair. It sure looked like Rousey's shoulders were off the mat when the referee counted 1-2-3. This one could be headed to the Supreme Court — right behind the Democrats' effort to get President Trump's tax records. Good luck on both.

MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, was rockin' and 'cringin' during a brutal "No Holds Barred" match between "King of Kings" Triple H and "The Animal" Batista. Triple H grabbed pliers and ripped a ring from Batista's pierced nose. Yeeoww! Triple H ultimately triumphed when "Nature Boy" Ric Flair tossed a sledgehammer into the ring and Trips used it to dispatch Batista. Pliers, hammers … Chip Gaines on Fixxer Upper doesn't have this many DIY tools.

The "Greatest Stage of All" grossed $16.9 million, a MetLife Stadium record.

The press box was jammed with hard-hitting journalists from 68 countries, who dined on All-American hot dogs, barbecue brisket, Philly cheesesteaks, and chocolate chip cookies. If anybody believes that media is the enemy of the people, let me set you straight. After the matches, the line for the train to Manhattan was backed up to Snooki's place on the Jersey Shore, and there weren't nearly enough Uber drivers to go around. Drenched in a pelting rain, I bummed a ride from a Newsweek writer and got back to my hotel at 2:30 am.I didn't know that Newsweek was still around.

The biggest pop during the "Showcase of the Immortals" celebrated Kofi Kingston's long-time-coming victory over arrogant, pedantic WWE champion "The New" Daniel Bryan. It was Kingston's first singles title in his 11-year career.

Continue reading on CultureMap to find out who won the Women's Battle Royal.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE continues its backslide into mediocrity

Photo via WWE.com

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

In the aftermath of one of the most disastrous WWE events in recent memory, Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia, WWE struggled yet again this week. With an incredibly tepid response to AEW's Double or Nothing, the WWE has fallen well below their own usual standards of quality, the match between Undertaker and Goldberg was easily the worst match in recent history as both wrestlers nearly killed each other doing their finishers with a botched jackhammer and tombstone piledriver, there was literally no way the match could have been worse. Beyond that, there was a 50 man battle royal and the only Saudi on the entire WWE roster won it, a guy who has been on the roster for over a year and has never appeared on either Raw or Smackdown.

Coming into Raw, the bookings made even less sense, with Baron Corbin announcing he has another match against Seth Rollins after losing just three days earlier. So apparently losing a title shot means you get another title shot now? Cool. Kevin Owens came out of nowhere and wanted a match against the champion and got it for no reason either. The Iconics fought a couple of local jobbers for no reason, and then WWE ripped off ESPN and did a split screen interview of Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans, were they scared they might fight?

It's fake. There were other matches, including the Revival getting their titles back, which it never made sense for them to get but at least this time it was a real match. The 24/7 is now officially a joke, it's just a running gag where R Truth just runs around from a bunch of people who also are a joke, this thing is quickly coming off the rails.

Smackdown hasn't gotten much better though, there was another tag match against local jobbers, a meaningless women's match and another awful run between The Miz and Shane and Elias and Drew. The whole best in the World Thing is getting annoying. Big E returns and they book a 3 man tag match against Sami, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler who Kofi will be facing again in Stomping Ground, another loser rematch.


Meanwhile in the Indy scene, Jon Moxley just won a title in New Japan Wrestling in one of his first matches as an Indy wrestler, further hitting home that the WWE is underutilizing it's wrestlers severely. With the WWE going in one direction and the upstart going in the other, it's not inconceivable that change could be on the horizon.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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