So instead of doing my usual “Wrestler of the Week” posts here I decided to talk about the man that made me fall in love to professional wrestling: The Undertaker.
Matt and Jeff Hardy have made their return at Wrestlemania 33 and received not only a returning heroes welcome, but managed to win the Raw Tag Team Championships in their first outing. Announced by the Wrestlemania Hosts the New Day as a surprise entrant in a ladder match also featuring the champions Anderson & Gallows and challengers Cesaro & Sheamus and the team of Enzo Amore & Big Cass. Relive this moment on the WWE Network.
The first piece of merchandise offered with the shocking return of the Hardy Boyz is a retro tee available in men’s, women’s and youth sizes. The classic Hardy Boyz symbol in a purple and green gradient on the front and a full color rendering of the side profiles of Matt and Jeff on the back. This shirt is the only way to truly know this epic return of a legendary tag team is real.
The E! Network has resumed season 6 of Total Divas after being on hiatus for 3 months. The 11th episode of the season aired earlier this week and 4 more episodes will be rolled out on a weekly basis to close out this season. Everything picks up right where it had left off before the hiatus bringing us to The Draft, the title of this episode.
The Draft, also known as the Brand Extension, actually took place in July of 2016 and this is a different look at the events happening around that time. This version sees the draft from the perspective of the women of the WWE and their concerns about what it could mean to their lives and careers.
Trinity, who is known as Naomi in WWE, is concerned that she and her husband John(Jimmy Uso) will be drafter to different brands, as Raw and Smackdown will now have separate rosters. Being drafted to different brands would mean they would be on different television shows and touring groups. The married couple would not be able to travel with each other and would not be seeing much of each other.
Lana has no fear of being separated from husband Rusev, as they would be drafted as a package deal due to Lana being Rusev’s manager as well as his spouse. She is mostly concerned she will be separated from her friends Trinity, Natalya, Maryse and Eva Marie.
Meanwhile Paige is stressing out over the idea of being split up with Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio at the time of filming had just started dating Paige, but Paige admits Alberto is the only man she has had such strong romantic feelings for. She is also on the injury list, but is eligible for the draft due to a promising recovery timetable.
Nikki Bella is also injured, but unlike Paige is not eligible for the draft. Much of this episode for Nikki revolves around her recovery and getting into ring shape. Bella is disturbed over Natalya’s reluctance to spar in the ring with her due to Nikki’s neck injury. This causes Bella is speculate on if the rest of the women would be as uncomfortable wrestling her. Would they all be afraid they would aggravate Bella’s injury?
Eva Marie is very excited about the draft as she had not been on television for awhile and sees the draft as an opportunity to be in the spotlight again.
The night of the draft comes and tensions rise. No one knows who will be drafted to what brand. One by one, Lana watches all her friends be drafted to Smackdown while she and Rusev are drafted to Raw. When The Usos are drafted to Smackdown, Trinity is on the edge of her seat until she is too drafted to the same brand as her husband. This is a huge relief for both Trinity and John.
Paige is sent into a mental breakdown as she watches boyfriend Alberto drafted to Smackdown, while she is sent to Raw. She feels she has lost the only person she ever loved. Eva Marie is finally drafted in the third hour to Smackdown, but for some reason believes she is going to Raw. This embarrasses her and she muses that now it will be “All Blue Everything” with Smackdown being known as the blue brand.
Natalya and Brie Bella meet to discuss Brie’s twin sister Nikki. After a brief chat Natalya comes to the conclusion that if Nikki’s doctors feel she is healthy enough to wrestle and Nikki herself is comfortable with a return, then it is safe to wrestle with her after all.
Because this footage was taped so far in advance, much has happened in the real world relevant to this episode. Alberto Del Rio was granted his release from the WWE, has gotten engaged to Paige and continues to wrestle outside the WWE. Paige has not yet returned to action.
Nikki Bella did in fact return to the ring and won a mixed tag team match at Wrestlemania. After the match, her tag team partner and longtime boyfriend John Cena proposed to her and Nikki said yes! Expect the proposal to be on future episodes of Total Bellas and Total Divas. The wedding planning and wedding itself will also be on these shows.
Eva Marie was not used much on Smackdown after being suspended due to a wellness violation for having adderall in her system. WWE will not renew Eva’s contact and she looks to be gone from the company and working on other projects.
Trinity, as Naomi in the WWE, has become a two time Smackdown Women’s Champion. After having to surrender the championship due to injury, she returned at Wrestlemania to regain the prestigious and well deserved symbol of excellence.
In a hard fought match main eventing Wrestlemania 33, The Undertaker passed the torch to young Roman Reigns and called it a career. The symbolic gesture of leaving his trademark trench coat and hat in the ring means that we have seen the last in ring performance of The Deadman.
We can only begin to appreciate Taker’s contributions to pro wrestling over the years with a body of work as prolific as it is diverse. Captivating WWE audiences since 1991, Taker’s accomplishments are numerous. He is a future first ballot Hall of Famer and is already rumored to go into the HOF as early as next year in New Orleans. He will arguable go down as the greatest of all time.
Now Available at WWE Shop is this shirt to commemorate the legendary career of the Undertaker.
As covered by Betwrestling throughout Wrestlemania weekend, There was a slew of Pro-Wrestling Cards throughout the Orlando/Kissimmee area as fans were treated to see the best performers in the entire world giving their all in hopes to have the right pair of eyes looking at them in the squared circle. We would love to read about your experiences, what matches were your favorite, and what you think about not only about the WWE , but Bet Wrestling as well. Do you like our format ? What would you like more of ? These are questions that we hope will enhance not only our page but your experience.
Raw started out with one of the most impressive promos of all time and I mean that wholeheartedly. The style of this promo by Roman Reigns reaked of Paul Heyman; which is not a bad thing. Mr Heyman has always had his pulse on the trigger of what fans want and I was really impressed that WWE creative had the foresight to guess that the fans would be this rabid in regards to how they treated Roman Reigns. While Chris Jericho did something similar a few years back, this was done better. Roman’s facials told the story, so the 5 words that were said certainly did the job intended. In this day and age Heel turns are done so often that most of them lose their luster. Roman did not turn heel, in fact he’s been heel, but its been done in such a smart way that the fans have no clue and can’t comprehend or wrap their heads around it.
Jim Ross’s new contract has him scheduled to work 30-40 shows this year, it is the first time in the history of the wrestling business that someone has worked for 2 major companies at the same time. The chess match between WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling is heating up folks, and we could see some major moves in the coming months. To me this is 1984 all over again, as WWE is trying to eliminate all competition. The ITV deal in Europe will be a major factor in how WWE conducts their overseas business. ITV reaches many more homes than the WWE Network, so the prospect of international growth for the WWE is at a fever pitch.
WWE Main Event matches:
Akira Tozowa d. Drew Gulak
Titus O’Neil vs Curtis Axl, Titus O’Neil took the win.
RAW opens with Roman Reigns who the crowd is booing… Roman finally gets to cut his promo and every time he lifts the mic a new chant starts… the fans in attendance will not let him speak! Asshole, please retire, go away are just some of the chants in the arena. Roman finally speaks. He says “This is my yard now” and drops the mic. Really that’s all that needed to be said.
The crowd at the Amway Center are hot tonight folks.
Speaking of heat… the first match tonight is Gallows and Anderson vs the Hardy’s (c) in a rematch for the RAW Tag Titles. The Hardy’s retain the championship.
Neville comes out and cuts a promo, says Aries is a better talker than fighter. He also states that tomorrow they will have a party on 205Live. During his promo Mustafa Ali comes out, seems to be a non title, Cruiserweight bout. Neville d. Mustafa Ali. Mustafa Ali is fun to watch. Hell pretty much the whole division is awesome if you don’t already subscribe to WWE Network you should so you can catch all the Cruiserweight action on 205Live!
Vince McMahon cones out and thanks the fans. He announces that next week there will be a shake up, so I am guessing its draft time. He then shows a clip of Stephanie going through the table, crowd goes nuts, he says we are insensitive and cuts a promo on us, then announce a new general manager. Teddy Long’s music hits… he dances out but Vince tell him its not him… holla holla holla. The new gm is…. Kurt Angle!!!! All Kurt has to say is, “It’s great to be back!”
The New Day comes out to rhe ring with some awesome spikey pastel shoulder pads. They cuts a promo about not wrestling last night. Then they issue a open challenge to anyone in the locker room willing to fight them. The Revival answers the challenge, and wins by pinfall.
Enzo and Cass complain to Kurt Angle that they want another shot at the titles. Promo was hilarious.
Next up is Bayley, Dana Brooke, & Sasha Banks vs. Emma, Nia Jaxx, & Charlotte Flair, in a six woman tag match. Sasha got a submission on Charlotte for her team to win.
Sami Zayn tried to butter up Angle to build a relationship with him. Jinder Mahal comes in and insists he should have won the battle royal. Kurt says from here on out we settle our issues in the ring and makes a match between the two.
Up next… Brock Lesner… ugh.
Brock and Heyman come out and call out Roman Reigns… The dog catcher Brock Lesner? ha flks sitting around me are getting silly. Heyman wants a match tonight. Braun Strowmans music hits, he comes to the ring, basically challenging Lesner… Lesner seems up for the challenge. The stare each other down then Strowman makes his way back up the ramp.
Backstage interview with Jericho its gonna be Jericho and Rollins against Owens and Samoa Joe tonight. Jericho wants revenge. He is going after the tip of Owens finger which has now just made the list. Owens attacks Jericho mid promo, along with Samoa Joe, they beat Jericho down an put him through a table.
Angle tells Rollins the match must go on and he will find him a partner.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus to determine the #1 contenders for the Tag Titles. Cesaro and Sheamus get the won and are the new #1 contenders.
Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn wins by pinfall. That was fast.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor!!!!! Aaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Finn Balor and Seth Rollins win via pinfall.
Goldberg comes out and talks from the heart about his return, his family, and the fans. He directly addresses his son, making him tear up… He then called his kid to the ring, he says this isn’t part of the show. He got to take the belt to hi young sons school to show the kids there. He said whether we cheer or boo that mean he’s done something. He then says this may be the last time we may ever see him in the ring. He ends with ‘we never know what or who is next. One more thing… never say never”.
We were running late, searching for food and the escalator to our section was broken.
We arrived in time for one of the matches I was most excited about at least.
Neville (c) vs Ares was amazing, and it was awesome to see them put on suck a show for us. These two can wrestle and IMO deserved to be in the main show.
The Andre The Giant Memorial battlw royal begin…
A bunch of people who dont matter get tossed out immediately. There is no way to review this madness in real time. Rob Gronkowski of the NE Patriots climbed over the barricaide after Jinder Mahal dumped water on him at ringside. Mojo Rawley eliminated Jinder Mahal for the win.
Next is Baron Corbin vs Dean Ambrose (c) for the Intercontinental Championship, Dean Ambrose retained his title.
AJ Styles vs Shane MacMahon, this match was awesome. Shane still has “it” and AJ was awesome as always. AJ by pinfall.
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (c) for the US Title. Winner and new US Champ Kevin Owens.
Bayley (c) vs Nia Jaxx vs Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks for the RAW Womens Title Nia was eliminated first followed by Sasha. Bayley retains her title with the pin on Charlotte.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs Cesaro and Sheamus vs Gallows and Anderson (c) for the Raw Tag Team Titles. The New Day comes out to make an announcement that this is now a fatal 4 way…. And the Hardys have RETURNED to WWE!!! Your new Raw Tag Champs are The Hardy’s!
The Miz and Maryse vs John Cena and Nikki Bella… Cena and Bella win… lots of boo’s. John Cena then asks Nikki to marry him… more boo’s… she didn’t say anything audible whatsoever. Way to have a “moment”.
Seth Rollins vs HHH in a non sanctioned match. Stephanie took a hard bump thrpugh the table, and Rollins picks up the win after a Pedigree on HHH.
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Winner and new champion Randy Orton.
Next Brock Lesner vs Goldberg… please make this end fast. It did. Goldberg won.
Next is all the Smackdown Live women vs Alexa Bliss (c) for the Smackdown Womens Championship. The challengers are: Becky Lynch, Micky James, Nattie Neidhart, Carmela, and Naomi. Naomi wins by submission on Alexa Bliss and is your new Champion!
The New Day comes out… to announce the attendance record. Record breaking crowd 75,245 people at the Citrus Bowl aka Camping World Stadium.
Main event time! Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker!!!! ROMAN REIGNS WON!!! After the match the undertaker left his gear in the ring, ignalling his retirement.
Thank you Taker.
Overall this was in my top 10 Manias.
The following odds are from 5Dimes and represent the American Market. Currently Mastercard, American Express and Bitcoins are being accepted for deposits. Bets can be made for as low as 50 cent although there is never an obligation to place a wager or make a deposit to view and follow the ever changing odds. Visit 5Dimes by clicking here.
Updated betting odds for the early afternoon of Wrestlemania Sunday have set mandates for projected winners of most Wrestlemania matches and a few have become too close to call at this point. With the extent these lines have moved in many cases it has looked like this is what the “smart money odds” would look like if they even come in at all. Last month’s Fastlane had 3 upsets, which is unheard of and many speculated the smart money never came in, while it could be that with more bettors wagering these days the lines can withstand the inside betting and still maintain a “balanced book”.
Braun Strowman has been favored all along to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, but now it looks like Sami Zayn would be the projected winner at -210 to Strowman’s significant drop to -110. To put these odds in perspective, to win $100 would take a $110 bet on Braun or a $210 bet on Sami. Other movers and shakers in contention to win are wither member of American Alpha, each individually with odds +4500. Mojo Rawley has some of the best odds at +3000, due to speculation that his New England Patriot’s friend Rob Gronowski will have a featured appearance.
The returning Naomi is now favored to regain the Smackdown Women’s Championship at -530. The only other woman with respectable odds in this match currently in Carmella at +320, most likely based on the popularity of her act with James Ellsworth.
It seemed to be a given the Enzo Amore and Big Cass would finally have their big title win in Orlando where they became popular it being the home base of NXT. Enzo and Cass are still favored at -175 but this is actually a huge downgrade for their chances. The majority of these matches have moved in a direction of lopsided and the RAW tag titles are an exception. At +168, Cesaro and Sheamus seem to have a fighting chance.
All of these odds fall under “End of Broadcast Grading” or “End of Preshow Grading” which would be the final announced result to account for a “Dusty Finish”. Often times “Initial Ruling Grading” is offered closer to show as well.
WWE Universal Championship
Goldberg (c) +1350 vs Brock Lesnar -3250
Bray Wyatt (c) +450 vs Randy Orton -750
RAW Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) -1500 vs Sasha Banks +1400 vs Charlotte Flair +1200 vs Nia Jaxx +5500
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss (c) +9500 vs Naomi -530 vs Carmella +320 vs Becky Lynch +9500 vs Mickie James +9500 vs Natalya +13500
United States Championship
Chris Jericho (c) +850 vs Kevin Owens -1750
Dean Ambrose +850 vs Baron Corbin -1750
RAW Tag Team Championship
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson +168 vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass -175 vs Sheamus and Cesaro +1100
Roman Reigns -900 vs Undertaker +500
Mixed Tag Team Match
John Cena and Nikki Bella -1975 vs The Miz and Maryse +975
Seth Rollins -1750 vs Triple H +850
AJ Styles -1625 vs Shane McMahon +775
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (c) -1750 vs Austin Aries +850
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Braun Strowman -110 vs Sami Zayn -210 vs Big Show +1200 vs Mojo Rawley +3000 vs Jason Jordan +4500 vs Chad Gable +4500 vs Mark Henry +4500 (Various Other Odds Exist for All Other Entrants on the Sports Book)
As this is my first Wrestlemania trip, we are hitting up some of the events that WWE is doing leading up to the big event.
Yesterday we attended our first ever WWE Axxess event. What Axxess is, is basically a wrestling convention but done WWE style. There were autograph signings, live wrestling, interviews, and all kinds of interactive exhibits.
Some of the exhibits included: A Foam Pit Ring, The Elimination Chamber, A promo video booth, an superstar entrance way, The Undertaker entrance set, with druids, caskets, and all the creepy stuff to go along with it. Also there was the cage from WWE Fastlane, that Jericho was suspended in above the ring, so I locked my boss in it for good measure.
We only got opportunity to see a little bit of the wrestling, as there was a lot to look at, but we did catch Gallagher vs Davari, and it was a nice little match. I am really starting to dig Gallagher, he gets better and better with every match.
Also we got to see an interview with WWE Hall of Fame Alumni Alundra Blayze (Aka Madusa) about the current women’s division. Her insights were right on, and extremely inspiring.
We also got to see the unveiling of the Ric Flair bronze statue which was made by artist Karen Atta, who has also made statues of other WWEHOF members.
There is also a museum space set up with gear from Hall of Fame inductees past and present… here are a few of the displays that caught my eye.
Teddy Long’s Suit and Ref Gear
Rock N Roll Express Gear
“Ravishing” Rick Rudes Gear
Gorgeous George’s Gear
Harley Race and Ric Flair Ring Jackets
We also explored the massive WWE Pop Up Shop at the convention center… I really want some of those lunch boxes, they were probably my favorite thing there.
Again WWE has missed the mark on some of the womens shirts they have available, many of which have this weird beach tourist stand vibe, and at $30+ were ridiculously expensive for mid quality shirts. WWE could make more money from merch if it was more affordable to the masses. Just my opinion here as I know the costs involved in making merch, and at the level they make it, the cost vs what they make off the merch is an extremely large gap, and by lowering prices, they would probably sell double the amount of stuff. Not to mention there are great deals if you buy online this week from WWE Shop!
Also, it would have been nice for the ring to be more centered, so you could see the matches from the lines you were waiting in, and maybe slap hands with the wrestlers entering the ring. To me that would be the centerpiece of the event.
And lastly, getting people to pay for autographs of current talent seems to be a bit much, its understandable to pay for an 8 x 10, but you shouldn’t have to pay twice just to meet someone, especially current talent.
Overall it was fun, and definitely would have been more exciting if I was a casual fan, and not someone who works in the industry. They need to add contests, and I would have loved to see a set up to play WWE2k17 as well as a booth to make your character and upload it to play with.
I am glad I got to experience this first hand, and see the displays in person, because it’s just something you have to do at least once.
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And don’t forget, you can get WWE Hall Of Fame 2017, and Wrestlemania for FREE as part of your first month of WWE Network!