WWE WrestleMania 33 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 2, 2017

WWE WrestleMania 33 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The marathon event that was WWE WrestleMania 33 took fans on a ride both thrilling and disappointing.

    Goldberg finally fell to Brock Lesnar, potentially ending his current WWE run with another short, disenchanting effort in the ring. AJ Styles outdid expectations against Shane McMahon by miles. Seth Rollins finally tasted revenge in the night's most dramatic contest.

    And Undertaker said farewell after a legendary career.

    His exit had stirring moments. It was clear, though, The Deadman struggled to tell the physical parts of his story with Roman Reigns.

    That match alone created mixed emotions. And that can be said for Sunday's pay-per-view spectacular overall. Read on for a look at WrestleMania's high points and when it stumbled, from the cruiserweight collision to The Phenom's last ride. 

Neville vs. Austin Aries (Cruiserweight Championship; Pre-Show)

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    Neville and Austin Aries traded control in what began as a mat-based matchup.

    Aries flustered The King of the Cruiserweights, keeping the champ on the defensive. Neville responded by grounding his foe and slowing the pace down.

    Each man fired off their biggest moves, leaving each other drained and dizzied.  

    A cocky Neville enjoyed his handiwork. He was able to fend off Aries' flurries, went after his injured left eye and finished him off with Red Arrow.

    Result

    Neville wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Neville halts a suicide dive attempt with a kick to the head.
    • Aries hits a flying axe handle and a suicide dive in quick succession.
    • Neville yells "Shut up!" to the referee.
    • "These guys don't have chips on their shoulders; they have boulders."—Corey Graves.
    • Neville drops Aries on his head with a snap German suplex.
    • Aries hits a hurricanrana from the top rope.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    What an excellent opener.

    Aries and Neville fused technical wrestling and high-flying action with quality storytelling. Neville deftly played the nasty, unrelenting predator. Aries had some chances to dethrone the king, but his most vulnerable spot cost him the victory.

    The cruiserweights earned a good reaction considering fans were still finding their seats at this point in the show. Aries and Neville did exactly what they needed to do, starting off WrestleMania hot.

    This is going to be a hell of a feud moving forward. The cruiserweight division looks to be in good shape post-WrestleMania season.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Pre-Show)

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    Braun Strowman and Big Show each went on their own dominate run, ousting foe after foe. They stared each other down before The Monster Among Men threw Big Show over the top rope.

    The rest of the field ganged up on Strowman to remove him from the battle.

    Dolph Ziggler staved off elimination several times. He, Mojo Rawley, Sami Zayn and Killian Dain were among the last men standing.

    Dain and Rawley slugged it out once the ring cleared. After going out of the ring under the top rope, Jinder Mahal beat on Rawley. The New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski took offense at Mahal smacking him and attacked the heel.

    Rawley tossed out Dain before blasting Mahal off the ring apron for the win.

    Result

    Rawley wins by last eliminating Mahal.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Strowman eliminates three men in a row to open the match.
    • "This is what you wanted!"—Strowman to Big Show.
    • Zayn sends Epico flying out of the ring with a Helluva Kick.
    • Dain sneaks behind Zayn and flips him out of the ring.
    • Gronk bowls over Mahal.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    The Strowman-Big Show subplot fell flat, as it was hurried along. There were a flurry of eliminations with little drama. 

    Having Mahal be Rawley's final roadblock made the outcome obvious.

    Dain got some good heat for taking out Zayn. That and the Gronk run-in were the best things about a blase contest.

Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin (Intercontinental Championship; Pre-Show)

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    Dean Ambrose found himself in trouble early. Baron Corbin battered him in the corner, slowing the match to a methodical pace.

    The Lone Wolf crashed into the ring post, creating an opening for the champ. 

    Ambrose, though, battled through the match with bad ribs. That's where Corbin aimed his offense.

    After failing to keep Ambrose down, the challenger grew frustrated. His emotions distracted him enough to land Dirty Deeds for the win.

    Result

    Ambrose wins via pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Corbin punches Ambrose out of the air outside the ring.
    • Corbin crashes into the ring steps.
    • "Ambrose doesn't care about Baron Corbin. Ambrose doesn't care about his own body."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
    • "I'm leaving here with that championship. You hear me?"—Corbin.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    A lack of energy and poor crowd reaction led to a flat match. The showdown didn't match the intensity of their feud. It never kicked into a high gear.

    The story of Ambrose gutting it out through injured ribs and landing his home run shot was a good direction to take this, but it just never clicked. This was not the career-changing match for Corbin it could have been, either.

    And the IC title's momentum has dwindled following The Miz's reign.

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

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    Before the bout, WrestleMania's hosts The New Day opened the show. The trio hyped up the crowd, joking around each other.

    AJ Styles toyed with Shane McMahon as he outwrestled him.

    The SmackDown commissioner agitated Styles with rapid strikes. The Phenomenal One blasted his opponent in response.

    After suffering a flurry from McMahon, Styles favored his left leg. 

    The two men grappled on the ground, McMahon surprising his foe with his wrestling skill. The referee took a blow to the head during the clash. Styles used that as an opening to bring trash cans into the ring.

    Shane O'Mac ended up using the weapons himself.

    An errant diving elbow drop left McMahon vulnerable, as did a failed Shooting Star Press. Styles pounced with a Phenomenal Forearm for the victory. 

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The New Day dons Final Fantasy-inspired gear.
    • "I'm going to embarrass him."—Styles.
    • Styles mimics McMahon's stutter-step dance.
    • Styles dropkicks McMahon over the announce table.
    • "AJ Styles has woken up in the middle of a fight."—JBL.
    • McMahon counters a 450 splash with a triangle choke.
    • McMahon clocks Styles in midair with a trashcan, following up with Coast to Coast.
    • McMahon misses a Shooting Star Press.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Styles and McMahon delivered a stunt show teeming with fun.

    The official opener had the right amount of car crash-like moments. Shane O'Mac overachieved; Styles was masterful.

    The story worked well, too. McMahon played the scrappy, tough-as-nails dark horse opposite the overconfident Styles. 

    McMahon's toughness was unrealistic at times, but it didn't derail the action too much. Him kicking out of the Styles Clash will have fans bickering in debate.

    And as good as this was, one has to wonder what Styles could have done with a performer on the same tier as him.

Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho

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    Chris Jericho battered Kevin Owens to begin the match, chasing him around the ring with his fists at the ready.

    KO later took control. He mocked his former friend as he beat him down.

    The foes bashed each other in an intense, measured fight. Their familiarity with each other came into play as they each had counters ready for their big moves. 

    After surviving Jericho's best shots, Owens smashed his foe's back against the ring apron to finish him.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jericho sports a light-up scarf.
    • Owens does Jericho's "Ask him!" routine.
    • Jericho blocks a swanton bomb with knees to the back.
    • Owens puts Y2J in the Walls of Jericho.
    • Jericho counters the power-up powerbomb with a Codebreaker.
    • Owens gets one finger on the bottom rope to avoid being pinned.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Slow, simmering intensity built up well but never fully boiled over. Owens and Jericho were a few beats away from composing a true classic.

    Their battle featured a great story of them knowing each other so well that they saw what was coming. KO's finger on the ropes was a beautiful, dramatic addition.

    Owens is going to make one hell of a U.S. champ if WWE puts the proper focus on him. Jericho and Reigns both had underwhelming reigns before him.

Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match (Raw Women's Championship)

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    Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax

    Jax steamrolled the competition early. She flung everyone around the ring and crushed the champ in the corner.

    Banks, Bayley and Flair teamed up to take down Jax.

    The Queen left Banks and Bayley to fight each other afterward. High-risk moves and hard strikes comprised much of the action.

    Flair cracked Banks against an exposed turnbuckle to oust her from the match. That left her and Bayley to scrap on the canvas.

    The rivals battled in the corner before Bayley hit a diving elbow for the three-count.

    Result

     Bayley wins via pinfall to retain the Raw women's title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Banks enters via chauffeured car.
    • Jax throws Flair at Banks and Bayley.
    • Flair hits Jax with a big boot as Bayley and Banks suplex the powerhouse.
    • Jax's foes nail her with a triple powerbomb.
    • Bayley lands a back body drop from the top rope on Flair.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Banks' exit took the crowd out of it what looked to be a show-stealer. There was no real drama between her and Bayley, despite all the foreshadowing of their alliance crumbling leading up to the match. 

    Athletic, fierce action and smart psychology involving Jax bolstered the bout. A disappointing climax and missed opportunities failed to capitalize on it.

Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match (Raw Tag Team Championship)

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    Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus vs. The Hardy Boyz

    The New Day entered last, announcing that there was a late addition to the match—The Hardy Boyz.

    Matt and Jeff Hardy bowled over the competition to start things off. Gallows and Anderson used ladders to beat up the returning stars.

    Amore and Big Cass used teamwork to topple the competition. Sheamus and Cesaro worked seamlessly together, as well. The Hardys outlasted everyone, however, grabbing the gold from above the ring.

    Result

    The Hardy Boyz win to become the new Raw tag team titles.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Cesaro and Sheamus both wear a suit and kilt combo.
    • Big Cass kicks Jeff Hardy out of the air with a big boot.
    • Cesaro leaps off a ladder to land a diving stomp.
    • Cesaro swings Anderson as Sheamus hits Gallows with Beats of the Bodhran.
    • Sheamus Brogue Kicks Jeff Hardy off the ring apron.
    • Amore tries to retrieve the tag titles while sitting on Big Cass' shoulders.
    • Matt Hardy hits a Twist of Fate from the top of a ladder.
    • Jeff Hardy breaks two ladders by diving onto Cesaro and Sheamus.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    This is a case where the moment outdid the match.

    The return of the Hardys was a great surprise, one that The New Day teased well. It's great to these two back with the company after being such an innovative, exciting part of Impact Wrestling.

    The action wasn't as chaotic and frenetic as previous tag team ladder matches. It was fun but not tremendous. 

    And this another case of WWE valuing the past more than the present. The Hardys didn't need to win to make their mark; Amore and Cass could have used the victory far more.

The Miz and Maryse vs. John Cena and Nikki Bella

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    Al Roker from Today served as the guest ring announcer.

    Maryse avoided fighting Nikki Bella to start things off. The Miz spent his first moments in the match delaying the action to showboat.

    The Miz took control, relishing every kick to his fallen foe. He kept Cena in his and Maryse's corner for a long stretch.

    The babyfaces came back using double-team offense.

    Cena got on his knees and proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes and the two embraced.

    Result

    Cena and Bella win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You can call me 'Chocolate Thunder'"—Roker.
    • Maryse yanks Bella off the ring apron.
    • Bella smacks The Miz after he does Cena's "You can't see me!" gesture.
    • Cena and Bella do Five-Knucke Shuffles in stereo.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    This was a change-of-pace bout to balance all the intense, serious fare on the card. A bit of comedy and romance added levity to the night.

    The match, though, was highly underwhelming after such a great build.

    The proposal was a nice, little touching moment. But it's hard for that to compete with the rest of what WrestleMania had to offer.

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H

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    Stephanie McMahon accompanied Triple H to the ring.

    Seth Rollins tagged The Game with right hands, as the two men fought outside the ring. They brawled in the stands and atop the announce table.

    The Game zeroed in on Rollins' bad knee.

    Rollins writhed in pain as Triple H kicked, wrenched and punished his vulnerable spot. The babyface was able to fight back, but his injury kept slowing his momentum. 

    McMahon pushed The Architect off the top rope, allowing Triple H to strike with a kneebar.

    Triple H retrieved a sledgehammer, but Rollins prevented him from using it. They battled back and forth until Rollins landed the final Pedigree for the win.

    Result

    Rollins wins via pinfall. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • McMahon and Triple H ride in on a motorcycle behind a caravan of police cars.
    • Rollins carries a torch to the ring that keys a light sequence along the entrance ramp.
    • Triple H DDTs Rollins onto the announce table.
    • "Twist his head off!"—McMahon.
    • Rollins uses a back drop to avoid a Pedigree from the top rope, following up with a Phoenix Splash.
    • "Always the ace in Triple H's sleeve tonight."—Graves.
    • Triple H inadvertently knocks McMahon into a table.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    A drama with a grinding pace saw Rollins gut out one of the biggest victories of his career.

    The storytelling here was top-notch. They called back to Rollins hurting his knee on the sunset flip powerbomb. McMahon got her comeuppance after months of berating The Architect. This was a tale of a man desperate for revenge and redemption, willing to tear apart his own body to conquer his enemy.

    Plus, it featured the best entrances of the night.

Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)

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    Randy Orton lunged at Bray Wyatt and went on the attack right away. The Eater of Worlds halted his momentum, seemingly conjuring images onto the mat.

    The champion dominated for a long stretch, leaving Orton reeling. 

    The Viper, though, survived. He took down Wyatt with an RKO to finish things off.

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall to become WWE champion.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Images of maggots appear on the canvas.
    • "I am a god!"—Wyatt.
    • Wyatt slams Orton into the barricade with Sister Abigail.
    • Orton hits an RKO out on the floor.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    The supernatural elements were equal parts campy and innovative.

    They suited Wyatt's unique character and fit into the framework of this rivalry. It took the action in an odd, unexpected direction, but it makes little sense to have Wyatt pull out those mental weapons only to have him lose.

    Wyatt dropped an underwhelming match, one that left the crowd dead and undercut Wyatt's momentum. Why is WWE so insistent on removing this monster's fangs as soon as they grow long again?

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship)

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    Paul Heyman took over ring announcing duties before the bout.

    Brock Lesnar then sent Goldberg to Suplex City several times. The champ responded with a pair of spears.

    The Beast Incarnate took Goldberg's best shots before firing back with an array of suplexes. He finished Goldberg off with an F-5.

    Result

    Lesnar wins via pinfall to become the new universal champ.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Goldberg spears Lesnar through the security barricade.
    • Lesnar kicks out of the Jackhammer.
    • Lesnar leaps over a running Goldberg. 
    • "The sword of Damocles is at the back of the neck of Goldberg."—Graves.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    WWE deftly teased another blink-of-an-eye ending before stretching things out a bit.

    There was a good amount of drama packed into this short contest. Even so, this was like seeing only the highlights of a movie, with little in between to build to the big moments.

    The end result was fine, but Goldberg's run has been an odd experience, one that saw the company work around his limitations to the point of watering down the action.

Six-Pack Challenge (SmackDown Women's Championship

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya

    James Ellsworth helped Carmella gain an advantage by interfering. 

    Bliss barked at her opponents as she smacked them around. Lynch went on a tear. Naomi ran over several challengers.

    Once she had Bliss in the ring alone, Naomi clamped on a submission hold to force her rival to tap.

    Result

    Naomi wins via submission to take home the SmackDown women's title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You're pathetic, Carmella. Now get out of my ring."—Bliss.
    • Lynch hits Ellsworth with a Bexploder Suplex.
    • Natalya puts both Naomi and Carmella into the Sharpshooter at the same time.
    • Naomi dives out of the ring onto a swarm of opponents.

    Grade

    D-

    Analysis

    The women fell victim to the schedule. Running late, WWE clearly decided to sprint through this match.

    This felt like a Divas era bout for that reason.

    There were too few big moments, too little drama. Naomi's title win felt hollow, a result of the bout going through the motions. 

    SmackDown has some major work ahead of it concerning its women's division.

Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns (No Holds Barred)

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    Jim Ross provided guest commentary for the match.

    Undertaker flung Roman Reigns out of the ring to start things off. He followed up by slugging it out with The Big Dog. Reigns fired back with a smashmouth offense.

    The titans traded big shots. The Deadman managed to stagger his younger foe. 

    The fight moved to the outside where the rivals used the announce tables as weapons.

    An angry Reigns struggled to keep Undertaker down. He found himself taking chair shots to the spine and tasting The Phenom's signature moves.

    Reigns later grabbed the chair and whipped Undertaker with it again and again.

    Spears weren't enough to keep the legend down. The Deadman continued to rise no matter what came at him. Reigns seemed hesitant as he continued his onslaught until a final spear put down his foe.

    Undertaker sat up after the defeat. He left his gloves and coat in the ring before taking his leave.

    Result

    Reigns wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Undertaker emerges from a trapdoor in the entrance ramp.
    • "Still my yard!"—Undertaker.
    • Undertaker punches an in-flight Reigns.
    • Undertaker chokeslams Reigns onto the announce table.
    • Reigns spears Undertaker through an announce table.
    • Undertaker struggled to execute the Last Ride.
    • Undertaker chokeslams Reigns onto a steel chair.
    • "The collateral damage is permeating the bodies of these two men."—Undertaker.
    • Fans chant "Thank you, Taker!"

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    A big match worthy of the WrestleMania stage, Reigns vs. Undertaker was both a stirring story and a melancholic statement about the state of Undertaker's body.

    The battle saw many an awkward moment, as Reigns and Undertaker were unable to lift each other at key points. The Deadman was like an actor in a Shakespearean play who can no longer handle the lead role.

    Reigns didn't undergo the heel turn this tale needed, but seeds of self-doubt did creep into his expression at the end. He seemed to undergo an internal change over the course of the fight. Who knows if WWE will move forward with that, though.

    The gunslinger walking off into the sunset was a powerful image. Unfortunately, it followed a match built on a wafer-thin "whose yard is it" narrative.