WWE WrestleMania 34 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
Without a doubt, WrestleMania is WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year where the company invests the most amount of resources—star power, production value and even pure energy—on making sure the audience steps away feeling wowed.
Sometimes, that works out just as intended, with the audience rejuvenated and feeling more excited for the next wrestling season than ever imagined.
Once in a while, though, there are some hiccups, and what should be the best event of the year ends up being more of a letdown.
WrestleMania 34 had an impressive card, boasting absolutely amazing potential for quality entertainment from start to finish.
Every championship was on the line, Ronda Rousey was set to make her debut, both commissioners and general managers of Raw and SmackDown were in action, Daniel Bryan's return to the ring was in place, nearly all the top stars would be competing and more.
It was a recipe for success, but even the best chefs can screw up the most basic meal from time to time.
With WrestleMania in the books, we can now look back on what transpired and sort out the positives and the negatives to figure out an overall scope of how the show panned out.
Was it a success, a failure or somewhere in between?
Presented in order of appearance, here are the standout segments of WrestleMania 34, for better or worse, as we break down the highlights and the low points of Sunday night in New Orleans.
Kickoff Pre-Show Breakdown
The kickoff for WrestleMania is two solid hours long, meaning there are plenty of ups and downs over the course of the pre-show content and even during the matches themselves.
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of those segments that aired before the main card started.
- While it wasn't too important in the grand scheme of things, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal had some fun moments, including Bray Wyatt's return.
- Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali tore the house down, as expected.
- Watching the fans in the background of the pre-show making fools of themselves was hilarious.
- Showing John Cena in the crowd from the very start was a good way to keep up continuity.
- Going with Naomi to win the Women's Battle Royal instead of the more obvious Bayley or Sasha Banks options was a nice change of pace.
- If you've seen the build to WrestleMania, watching these video packages again can be quite tiresome.
- Having only a few people get entrances in the Women's Battle Royal came off a bit awkward.
- The lack of Billie Kay to support Peyton Royce was disappointing.
All in all, this wasn't the most prestigious pre-show that has ever happened, but it wasn't anything offensive or horrible by any means.
While a lot of people will forget what happened by the end of the night, the main purpose of this was to get the ball rolling, and it accomplished that task.
Highlight: Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Starting off the biggest show of the year is a hard task, but Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and The Miz were more than up to the challenge.
Going into this event, it was easy to assume this would be a solid match, given the competitors, so it was nice to see they didn't disappoint.
It certainly wasn't the most important part of the evening, but it's noteworthy to mention that Rollins taking the title here means he's now in the Grand Slam Champion club.
A few points are docked for this not featuring The Demon King version of Balor's character, although there are certainly going to be many people who preferred the message of unity and representation that they went with instead.
Highlight: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship
Agree or disagree with the decision to have Asuka's undefeated streak end, there's no arguing that the act of that happening is certainly going down as one of the most surprising things to happen on this card.
Charlotte Flair and Asuka had great exchanges all throughout, which allowed them to truly look like equals fighting it out to determine who would have the slight advantage on this particular night.
With Flair's victory, she's now cemented herself as a true legend in the women's division even more so than before, as if her amazing entrance didn't already illustrate that point.
Where they go from here will be very interesting to see both for The Empress of Tomorrow and The Queen.
Low Point: Jinder Mahal Wins United States Championship
The last time Randy Orton dropped a title to Jinder Mahal, it resulted in one of the most bland and bothersome WWE Championship runs in a long time.
While this was a match where Orton and Bobby Roode couldn't even match the pops Rusev was getting, it was The Modern Day Maharaja who walked out with the belt.
This is a questionable decision that might end up with yet another boring, unimaginative reign with just a swap of titles.
It's hard not to assume Mahal will do nothing but cut the same promo he did before for the next few months, which is certainly not something to look forward to.
As far as this match itself, it felt like a bathroom break as well, so there wasn't all that much positive to talk about for this entire segment.
Highlight: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
Based on the way things had been going with Ronda Rousey's in-ring action and promos so far, along with Stephanie McMahon not being a regular performer and Kurt Angle being past his prime, this could have very easily been absolute trash.
Even at the beginning of this, with an uninspired repeat of Triple H's entrance from last year, there could have been bad things to come.
However, this was significantly better than those expectations!
Rousey proved she has a bright future in sports entertainment with her performance here, where nearly everything came off smooth and believable.
This went as long as a legitimate match instead of just a few spots for media coverage, which was the perfect way to dispel any criticism of holding back Rousey to hide any flaws.
WWE was already going to tout this as an amazing success no matter what, but thankfully, there is actual truth to the matter, and this was as good as it was promised to be.
Low Point: SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
The Usos and The New Day have a track record of putting on some quality performances together, but that didn't continue on this show.
Perhaps it was because The Bludgeon Brothers were involved, or maybe it was an issue of timing. Either way, this didn't come off like something to write home about.
It was fast and had basically no meat on its bones, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a much better rematch take place in the future at Backlash or even on SmackDown itself.
This left much to the imagination, and it could have been something really good if it had been given more room to breathe.
Highlight: The Undertaker vs. John Cena
The prospect of a match between John Cena and The Undertaker was toyed with, and if anything but a legitimate match would have happened, it would have been a letdown.
Thankfully, after the teases with the lighting and Elias, The Phenom came out to do what we all wanted him to do.
Admittedly, this could have been better if the match had been competitive, but given the circumstances, it's always awesome to see The Deadman, and you can't look a gift horse in the mouth.
This wasn't a fitting end if he were never to wrestle again, but since he looked so good in the ring, it leaves open the possibility that this isn't the last we'll see of him.
Highlight: Daniel Bryan's Return to the Ring
Seeing an entire arena celebrating the in-ring return of Daniel Bryan was one of those feel-good moments you hope for but don't necessarily think that you'll be able to get.
The match itself between Bryan, Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn wasn't stellar—particularly since McMahon wrestled the majority of it—but it didn't need to be some candidate for the best match of the year in order to be a WrestleMania moment.
Another positive for this is that it opens up some interesting options of what to do with Owens and Zayn now that they are supposed to be fired from SmackDown Live.
Will they show up on Monday Night Raw, or will something else happen to give them their jobs back?
The future of those two, Bryan's future opponents after this and the general manager situation are all going to be fun stories to track after this, yet for now, the true highlight is seeing Bryan doing what he loves to do.
Low Point: Alexa Bliss Puts Up a Fight Against Nia Jax
The bottom line of the Raw Women's Championship match was that Nia Jax needed to walk out of New Orleans as the new champion, which is what happened, but if we're nitpicking, it should have been an even more decisive win.
Considering the size difference between the two and the intense emotions behind the feud, it doesn't make much sense at all for Alexa Bliss to be able to put up that much of a fight.
This should have been as much or even more of a squash match than The Undertaker vs. John Cena, but it ended up being booked as if the two were on par with each other and competitive.
It's not something that will hurt Jax's future to any measurable level, but it certainly doesn't help for her to have struggled here.
Again, this is more of a nitpick than it is some horrible travesty, yet it's something that could be mentioned for the discussion of the lesser moments of the night.
Highlight: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
This may not have lived up to expectations if you were hoping for the best match of the year, or if you were really looking forward to Shinsuke Nakamura becoming the new champion, but it was still a solid match, and it had a surprising end to it.
The shock of AJ Styles retaining the championship was one thing, but on top of it, Nakamura's heel turn was the icing on the cake to get people talking.
Proceeding forward with a heel version of Nakamura is questionable but interesting since it will be the first time he isn't a fan favorite in WWE.
Also, it's arguable that Styles is more popular, and keeping him the champion isn't necessarily a bad decision.
Mixed Bag: Raw Tag Team Championship Match Results
Braun Strowman's tag team partner wasn't Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Batista, Dean Ambrose or anybody we could have possibly imagined—it was a little boy in the crowd named Nicholas.
Is this a low point or a highlight? For that matter, what in the world is this?
This is perhaps the most confusing possible outcome that ever could have happened, and it's entirely way too hard to process just what is going on.
If you were hoping for something more standard, you're probably disappointed, but if you were hoping for a WrestleMania moment, you certainly got it!
At the very least, this is going to be an incredibly interesting story to follow come Monday Night Raw and onward, but congrats to the youngest champion in WWE history by a wide, wide margin.
Low Point: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship
This entire year, anybody and everybody could have said and did say that it wasn't going to be a good idea to have Roman Reigns face Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania unless the goal was to end the night on a sour note.
Obviously, the standard operating procedure followed through, with Reigns being booed per normal—clearly not the reaction the company was hoping for.
Monday night on Raw, that is going to continue just as much, instead of people suddenly having a newfound respect for him, even in a loss.
If anything, this is going to make things harder for him to get over with the crowd in the right way, but it was a no-win situation, as a win wouldn't have done that, either.
This wasn't a horrendous match, but as the main event, it should have been the best thing of the night, and it's doubtful even half of the viewing audience would put it in the top five.
There were chants of "boring" and "this is awful" to prove that point, and that is nowhere near what the goal was even close to being.
The near-falls weren't met with enthusiasm, as everybody could see them coming from a mile away, but even the surprise Lesnar win wasn't something that will make people look back on this with fond memories.
The WWE officials who thought this would be a good idea one year ago likely still won't learn any lessons from it, though, which is sad and disheartening.
This was predominantly an amazing pay-per-view, and it just so happened that the thing the crowd had the most problem with was what capped it all off.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.