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

AEW shines as WWE has a draft

WWE PROMO IMAGES

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. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

All Elite Wrestling followed up their premiere episode with another great week of matches. They have established a good rhythm early of mixing in veterans and names you know with young guys and the audience has seemed to be incredibly involved and enjoying the matches. The energy from these matches literally screams through the television screen and you can actually feel it. Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks are doing a great job working with lesser guys and losing matches, it's impressive how ego has taken a back seat to booking so far. We'll see if this momentum can continue, but for now they are crushing NXT.

Finn Balor coming to NXT was announced at the finale of last week's show and should lend some momentum to the show coming in this week, but the odds of watching this show live versus watching AEW live decreases each week. Leading off this week with Lio Rush isn't as groundbreaking as Finn Balor last week, maybe they could have swapped those. I'm trying to figure out how Beth Phoenix is the last girl standing as far as on-air talent goes, was Renee Young that bad? I didn't think so but I really can't get into Beth, she just isn't as good. Also, Ripley may be the baddest woman in wrestling right now. As successful as NXT was on the WWE app, I'm not sure that the characters and matches stand up to the show AEW is putting on at the same time. I think this show will be the first to undergo changes of some kind.

Smackdown kicks off the WWE brand draft last Friday and honestly I don't think the song fits for the intro to the show. There had to be better AC/DC songs they could have used. It's weird hearing the announcers actually talk about the networks wanting their own brands, it isn't often that the real world peeks in to the world of wrestling. Roman Reigns and The Fiend are the top picks for Smackdown, so that tells me big plans are coming for them both. The Bayley heel turn is a great finish to the first episode of the new post draft Smackdown.

Raw kicks off with the overall number one pick, Becky Lynch. By the way, congrats to her, this is a huge statement about her importance to WWE and it's awesomely impressive. For the second match in a row, Charlotte Flair lost a title match to a quick roll into a pin and I'm starting to wonder about the booking for her. Seth Rollins being named to RAW means they just killed the rivalry with The Fiend which might be for the best considering how poorly Hell in a Cell ended. Raw taking Aleister Black so early has to mean they plan on actually using him for something, but we'll have to wait and see I guess. It was inevitable that the Viking Raiders would win the tag team titles but honestly, I don't care. I really think these guys are boring. Raw is continuing its awful run of embarrassing storylines with their female talent, now doing a Bobby Lashley, Lana, Rusev triangle where implied nudity has been part of each bit. What is the point of that? Tyson Fury coming on to Raw and signing for a match against Braun Strowman is typical WWE pop culture and star chasing, which they have done many times before. Did WWE actually say the name Liv Morgan? That's exciting.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office email me for details or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome