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YMMV / WrestleMania

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Ronda Rousey's first match at WrestleMania 34 was predicted to be a botch fest from a number of people who didn't think she could translate her skill set to professional wrestling. The match ended up being a contender for match of the night, and many of those detractors enjoyed the match and weren't afraid to admit they were wrong about her. While by no means perfect, it proved Ronda has genuine wrestling talent.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The news that the SmackDown Women's Championship match at 33 was going to be put on the kick-off show got a huge amount of backlash. The news even prompted Diva Dirt to write an editorial about WWE's perceived bias against the SmackDown women's division. WWE quickly moved the match to the main show.
    • The Cena vs. Taker match at WrestleMania 34 can be seen as this to the incredibly negative reception to Taker's match against Roman Reigns last year and his initial retirement after losing. Normally it wouldn't be this as people had been clamoring for the Cena/Taker dream match for years, and having it as a Squash Match is the exact opposite of what they would've wanted; but after Taker's match at 33, they were just happy Taker had a chance to redeem himself from that disastrous bout. That, and Cena got squashed, pleasing the many who dislike him almost as much as Reigns.
  • Broken Base:
    • WrestleMania 29 got this hard. It was either a fun event with enough action to keep you entertained, or an incredibly disappointing mess laden with predictable outcomes, video packages and generally mediocre main events. Most of the matches in the event itself were this, too. In fact, the only match that was near-universally praised was CM Punk vs. The Undertaker.
    • Post-WrestleMania XXX, fans are heavily fractured over the streak ending. Adding onto that, Brock Lesnar being the one to do it broke the base even further. It didn't help that the match itself wasn't the best, especially when Undertaker faced CM Punk the previous year in a match that, while a lot of fans of both wrestlers agree wasn't the best of either men's careers, was absolutely amazing by comparison.
    • WrestleMania 33: Triple H vs. Seth Rollins. Was it an awesome display of heart and talent by Seth Rollins, finally averting Stephanie McMahon's Karma Houdini status and featuring two of the best talents in the business? Or was it a dull, boring slog that proved both Triple H and the main event style he used should have retired a long time ago, and was far from Rollins' best performance?
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    • WrestleMania 34: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns. A finally welcome subversion of the Creator's Pet saga, or dragging out a controversial title reign even longer? Even further exacerbated by a match that elicited chants of "this is awful" at the main event of WrestleMania.
  • Critic-Proof: WWE as a whole is not, as television ratings, attendance numbers and buy rates noticeably rise and drop with fan reception to the product, which reviews increasingly act as a microcosm of as fans themselves get on media platforms as critics. WrestleMania, on the other hand is, as no matter how bad WWE does anywhere else, WrestleMania numbers tend to stagnate at worst, though they've usually increased over the years (even during years when ticket sales for everything not WrestleMania dropped off).
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • WrestleMania 32 started with Zack Ryder (who was respected by the fans, but wasn't remotely in the title hunt) winning the Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder Match, giving him the WrestleMania Moment he always wanted.note  This was followed by heel after heel winning, often cleanly.
      • Then-WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day were beaten by The League of Nations (in a non-title match). When Wade Barrett praised his other three teammates (Alberto Del Rio, Rusev and Sheamus) as the best "three Superstars" in the company, cue "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley coming to the ring and beat them up. They then helped the New Day to their feet... and then Austin beat one of the New Day up (Xavier Woods). While it was nice to see Austin, Michaels and Foley again, this stunt harmed the credibility of both teams, as they were beaten by aging (albeit still respected) has-beens.
      • Hot new acquisition AJ Styles fought Chris Jericho. Styles was recently hired and paid main event-level money for his contract, and Jericho was for quite some time best used shaping new talent. Jericho won cleanly.
      • Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar in a "No Holds Barred Street Fight". In the days proceeding the event, both Mick Foley AND Terry Funk gave Ambrose their signature weapons (A barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat and a chainsaw, respectively). Not only did Lesnar No-Sell all Ambrose's attacks, but the only time the match was even remotely going in Ambrose's favor was when he hit Lesnar with a nut shot... from behind. And said momentum lasted less than two minutes before Lesnar flattened Ambrose, cleanly. It's considered one of the worst matches of Ambrose's career, although almost everyone puts the blame on Lesnar, who simply didn't give a shit about the match and wasn't willing to work with Ambrose at all to try and make anything of it, a sentiment Ambrose stated to also have felt months after the match.
      • They made a big deal that an "all-new" Women's Championshipnote  was being introduced to replace the Divas Championship.note  Charlotte won a triple threat to win the renamed Women's Championship by having her father Ric Flair cheat to help her, just like pretty much every other title defense she'd had since winning the Divas Championship.
      • The Undertaker fought Shane McMahon in a match that came with a very confusing storyline beforehand: Shane had returned to WWE for the first time since 2009 to confront his father Vince and sister Stephanie in regards to how they run the company, which alone was seen as a Crowning Moment of Awesome. Vince then made a deal with Shane that he would gain control of Raw from the much-maligned The Authority if he could win a match of his choosing at WrestleMania. After Shane accepted, Vince named The Undertaker as his opponent. Fans' reaction to Vince's choosing was basically a Flat "What", given the lack of an alliance between Vince and Undertaker, and the storyline never explained why 'Taker would wrestle a match as the de facto Heel to help Vince against Shane; despite 'Taker's claims that he worked for no one, he went along with it, while Shane seemed to lampshade it by asking why 'Taker would be one of his father's "puppets." Eventually, Vince added another stipulation; that if 'Taker did not win, it would be "his last WrestleMania," implying that he'd have to retire, which at least raised some stakes. Then, at WrestleMania, The Undertaker defeated Shane. So Shane didn't gain control of Raw, right? Wrong. The following night on Raw, Vince, claiming that Shane was supposedly upstaging him with his strong fan support (which, admitedly, Shane has), allowed Shane to run Raw that night anyway, and Shane was then allowed to continue controlling Raw for another three weeks after that, basically rendering the whole thing pointless.
      • The André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was won by Baron Corbin, a midcarder Heel from NXT, WWE's developmental system. Cleanly. Granted, the fans were more forgiving in this instance, as Corbin was at least a fresh prospect; one may have noticed that most of the heels winning so far are not only heels but also older talent (or involved older talent in the women's title case).
      • The Rock came out to announce the legitimately record-setting (but still exaggerated) attendance. Then The Wyatt Family comes out to essentially heckle him, only for him to beat Erick Rowan in literally 8 seconds. When the somehow still supposed-to-be intimidating Wyatts surround Rocky, John Cena came out to "rescue" him. Because the last time they threw the Rock and Cena in WrestleMania for no good reason turned out amazing. Just ask CM Punk!note 
      • Finally, the main event that no one (other than Vince McMahon) wanted: Triple H vs Creator's Pet Roman Reigns. First, they give Triple H an incredible Evil Is Cool intro, followed by Reigns... coming down the ramp, followed by a special effect to the ring that was supposed to look like it "shattered", but they botched the timing. The match itself, while not terrible by any means, just fell flat, as the outcome couldn't be more obvious if it appeared with flashing captions on the screen, with Reigns winning cleanly. Even if fans had wanted Reigns to be WWE Champion (which was the one thing they really, really didn't want), they'd be disgusted from the rest of the show. While declaring it the worst 'Mania ever is clearly hyperbole, it could easily rank in the bottom 20% or so.
    • The main event of 33 between the Undertaker, one of the biggest legends in the industry's history and Roman Reigns, maybe the biggest Creator's Pet in the company's history. Most people knew or at least suspected this would be the Undertaker's final match, and very few people wanted Reigns to be the one to retire him, so when the match ended up having a lot of rough and sloppy points and Taker seemed too old and broken down to keep fighting and was struggling to even get to his feet, the match more than anything would have ended up being a depressing end to a storied least until Undertaker came out of retirement the following year at Wrestlemania 34 and squashed John Cena.
  • Discredited Trope: WrestleMania XXVI featured Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred Match. In the late 1990s, this might have actually been an interesting confrontation; in 2010, with Vince in his 60s and Bret in no shape to actually wrestle (thanks to the combined effects of his career-ending concussion and a stroke he suffered a few years later), what we got was Bret and the Hart family giving Vince an over-ten-minute beatdown. Bret delivered 12 chairshots to a downed Vince (one for every year he was out of WWE following the Montreal Screwjob) before finally putting Vince in the Sharpshooter like everyone wanted. The match was widely panned by wrestling critics, especially for its length, depriving other matches of ring time. Another handicap was the new PG rating. Just about all of Vince's best-received matches were entertaining because he's willing to let the other guy do anything to him. Without the option to all but murder Vince, it's infinitely harder for him to pull off an entertaining fight.
  • Ending Fatigue:
    • 32 managed to find time for a completely pointless Rock segment that managed to push the show into overrunning the 6 hour timeslot on its own, and then Triple H and Roman Reigns both got elaborate entrances, by which point the show was 10 minutes over and the main event hadn't even started yet, and would go on for 27 minutes. The crowd was already irate after half of them missed the first 4 matches due to issues getting into the building, but the obnoxiously stretched out ending pushed them into outright revolt.
    • 34 was the longest Mania ever, even more so because they actually got all the fans into building for the pre-show this time. And almost everyone is united in believing it was just too damn long. Several superstars actually complained about it, with the crowd during the highly anticipated Shinsuke vs AJ match near dead, and in open revolt by the time of Roman vs Brock.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: As far as many fans are concerned, WrestleMania 32 never happened. Considering how the event is effectively meaningless in the long run and reviled by a large amount of fans, to the point that even the company seems to be ignoring it, helps matters.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto:
    • WrestleMania is often a bad time for women's wrestling fans. As the "Diva Era" took off, WWE began favouring Fanservice matches or else quantity over quality. Multi-Diva tag matches or Lumberjill matches became the norm - with predictably very little time given. The Divas Championship was introduced in 2008 and not defended at a WrestleMania until six years later, because of WWE's fondness for clusterfuck matches. 29 was especially terrible, where the only match featuring women was a mixed tag match that got cut from the broadcast at the last minute. Things do seem to be changing as of 31 but time will tell.
    • Heavily averted by XIX, 22, 32, 34 and (to some) X8 - as they featured some of the more beloved women's matches in the event's history (quite a lot of people think Charlotte vs Asuka was the best match of the night at 34). XX zig-zags this—while the women's match was viewed as a disappointment, the resulting moment of Molly Holly having her head shaved was viewed as a highlight of a disappointing event.
  • Growing the Beard: After two somewhat underwhelming installments, it was WrestleMania III that put 'Mania on the map to become the spectacle it is today.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many, many wrestling fans have gotten to the point where they only watch WrestleMania for the Undertaker's Streak match - and it doesn't help that every WrestleMania since WrestleMania XXV (the first Undertaker / Shawn Michaels match for WM) have had his match considered the best match of the night (and at times the only match worth watching). If the reception for his match with Bray Wyatt was any indication, it seems that The Streak being broken hadn't slowed it down, either.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero came out on top at WrestleMania XX as World Heavyweight and WWE Champions. After nearly twenty years of trying to reach the pinnacle of his profession, Benoit made Triple H tap to the Crippler Crossface in a Triple Threat with Shawn Michaels. Benoit's post-match celebration with Guerrero - then the WWE Champion - was a sight many smarks cried tears of happiness over. Then Real Life stepped in: the next three years ruined the image forever. It was harkened back upon positively after Guerrero's death in 2005. But after Benoit's double murder-suicide in 2007, WWE has attempted to pretend Chris Benoit never existed.
    • The sight of Roman Reigns getting bloodied by Brock Lesnar during the main event of WrestleMania 34 becomes this after Reigns revealed many months later that his leukemianote  resurfaced (he beat the disease eleven years prior).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Due to taking place in Los Angeles, WrestleMania 21 had a heavy Hollywood gimmick around it. The event is best known for, among other things, cementing Batista as a main eventer, who would later go on to have a successful film career in the style of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This is made even more hilarious when once considers the commercials for the event, which featured wrestlers doing parodies of famous films; Batista, alongside other wrestlers, took part in a Taxi Driver parody by doing impressions of the film's "You Talkin' to Me?" line, and Batista was ultimately the only one to nail it (albeit not before some confusion resulted in a Who's on First? routine). Eventually, he even worked alongside Taxi Driver star Robert De Niro in Heist.
    • Any time Beth Phoenix has competed at the event, she has been the higher ranking star in her match and come out to someone else's music. At 24, she was Women's Champion and came out to Melina's. At 26 she was the top face but came out to Eve Torres's. And at 28 she was the Divas' Champion and once again came out to Eve's.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Of course, the end of The Undertaker's then-undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX.
    • Between Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, and Sting wrestling his first WWE match, the last thing on people's minds at WrestleMania 31 was Seth Rollins cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
    • Most people were aware that Ronda Rousey was going to be attending WrestleMania 31. Nobody knew she was going to be involved in an angle.
    • Shane McMahon going up to the top of the Hell in a Cell against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32. Several minutes of "What is he doing?" reactions from the fans watching him ascend the cage was one thing, but seeing Shane make the Sign of the Cross on himself before trying to an elbow drop on a downed Undertaker, who got out of the way stunned everybody.
  • Memetic Badass: Nicholas, the ten year old kid that won the RAW Tag Team titles with Braun Strowman.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The shocked fan wearing a Daniel Bryan "Just Say Yes" shirtnote  who witnessed Undertaker's defeat at WrestleMania XXX. Ironically, he was rooting for Lesnar to win, meaning he was shocked for a totally different reason.
    • Everything having to do with the RAW Tag Team Title match at 34.
  • Misaimed Fandom: WrestleMania X8's "dream match" between Hulk Hogan (in his "Hollywood" persona) and The Rock. Despite being a heel, Hogan got more cheers from the crowd than The Rock. Rock turned this to his advantage, as he decided not to fight it, and basically turned heel in mid-match, and then turned back once the match was over.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: A very common trope for any WrestleMania, but the return of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania 32 deserves extra mention.
  • Newer Than They Think: The Hall of Fame was originally held before the King of the Ring event in its first two years, and Survivor Series in its third. It wasn't turned into a WrestleMania tradition until 2004 (the twentieth show).
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Triple H has gotten this twice while main eventing this event as a heel. The first time was against John Cena at WrestleMania 22, when Cena was at his most hated. The second time was ten years later at WrestleMania 32 against Cena's company-chosen successor, Roman Reigns, who somehow managed to become more hated than Cena ever was. Unfortunately for the fans, he lost both times.
    • Several fans had this reaction for 31's Divas tag team match featuring the face team of AJ Lee and Paige against the heel Bella Twins. If it happened a year or so before, the former team would have been clearly the heroines, being fan favorites, while the latter at that time were seen as everything that was wrong with the Divas division. However, by the time of 31 the former team came across as Designated Heroes in their promos, claiming they were automatically better than the twins because they weren't girly, while the Bellas had massively improved. It was also very hard to sympathise with AJ, who had taken many months off, stopped working house shows and not done any of the additional PR work that talent usually did (that the Bellas and Paige had done). One promo from Nikki was even rumored to be a Worked Shoot calling AJ out for her lack of interest in the division. This was underlined in Cewsh Reviews:
      Cewsh: Two of the people here have been carrying this division on their backs for over a year now, and have grown so much in that time that they have to be among the premier female talents on the main roster right now. Their matches have been consistently high quality, their feuds have generated more than cursory interest from a fanbase who usually doesn't give Divas the time of day, and they have really shown that they may be the cream of the crop for this generation of Divas. The other two are AJ and Paige."
  • Shocking Swerve:
  • Signature Scene: Every WrestleMania has had one, or rather a Signature Match:
  • Signature Song: There are some common ones for any event. For rock songs, it's likely either "My Way" (X-Seven) or "Ladies and Gentlemen" (23). For rap songs, it's "Wild Ones" and "Good Feeling" (28). "Celebrate" became this for both (XXX and 34, coincidentally both were in Louisiana).
  • So Bad, It's Good:
    • The Undertaker's match with Giant Gonzalez at 9. Sure, Gonzalez was quite the Fashion-Victim Villain and basically an Up to Eleven predecessor to The Great Khali... But the idea itself (a 7-foot monster vs. an 8-foot monster) was still epic, and we did get quite the memorable Narm/Narm Charm from it.
    • Braun Strowman's tag team title match with Sheamus and Cesaro at 34, in which he chose a ten-year old fan from the stands named Nicholas as his partner and subsequently won the titles with him. Normally this would have smarks decrying the devaluing of the RAW Tag Team Titles (and make no mistake, there were still a few who reacted like this, most notably "Stone Cold" Steve Austin), but the majority, including the live crowd, actually found the situation hilarious, mainly due to how seriously the wrestlers took the match (at one point Cesaro even started trash talking Nicholas); for those watching at home, the hilarity was doubled thanks to the commentary, in which Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman, and especially Corey Graves lampshaded the absurdity of the entire situation. Nicholas eventually would gain Memetic Badass status from this alone.
  • Special Effects Failure: At WrestleMania XIV, Kane's iconic tombstone of Pete Rose actually very clearly just has Kane falling to his knees with Rose's head never touching the apron. While that was understandable note , the camera angle could have done a better job of covering that up.
  • Sophomore Slump: WrestleMania 2 was just as experimental as its predecessor, being simulcast in three cities: Los Angeles, CA; Uniondale, NY; and Rosemont, IL. Weak matches with sub-par workers (a few which lasted less than fifteen moves) and cheap finishes, combined with an overreliance on celebrity power and many viewers who didn't fully understand the product, led to an overall bland show. And Susan St. James saying "Uh-oh..." to the point where it became a Verbal Tic for her.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
  • Unexpected Character: While John Cena himself at WrestleMania 35 wasn't that unexpected, the fact that he brought back the Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick was a pleasant surprise to everyone to the point where there was a very noticeable pop when his "Basic Thuganomics" music started playing.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: 34 has gone on record to be one of, if not the, weirdest WMs of all time. The event had a mixture of genuine surprises (the end of Asuka's undefeated streak, Shinsuke Nakamura's heel turn, Roman Reigns losing his title match against Brock Lesnar) and just plain strange occurrences, including John Cena getting squashed by The Undertaker in under three minutes, The New Day's entrance, which involved midgets dressed up as pancakes doing the worm outside the ring, and Braun Strowman winning the RAW Tag Team Titles with a ten year old child.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: As this tends to be the event where stars go all out with their ring gear, there has been many a fashion faux pas:
    • Tori's infamous bodysuit from XV. She had intended to make it look like Painted-On Pants, and knew she had bombed when she saw The Rock gawking at her from backstage.
    • Rey Mysterio usually busted out some fun cosplay type gear. At 26 he went for a Na'vi from Avatar, which looked incredibly awkward to say the least.
    • Triple H has been routinely mocked for both his Conan the Barbarian-inspired costume for his entrance at 22 and his hideous Terminator getup at 31.
    • Giant Gonzalez donned a ghastly singlet with sprayed on muscles and abs for IX.
    • Goldust at XIV came out wearing ill-fitting silver pleather, red face paint and a woman's negligee on. This was during his "Artist Formerly Known As Goldust" phase, where he was a Fashion-Victim Villain.
    • For 28, Beth Phoenix came down with a bizarre hawk-like headdress on.


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