WWE WrestleMania 34 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 8, 2018

WWE WrestleMania 34 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE WrestleMania was a more massive event than usual in its 34th edition, a stacked pay-per-view card brimming with potent matches and moments. The marathon night gave fans a little of everything, from blood on the canvas to a kid from the crowd winning a championship.

    Ronda Rousey began her WWE career in earnest with a home run performance in a wild bit of theater.

    Daniel Bryan returned to his dropkicking ways, leaving the crowd abuzz with an in-ring showing for the first time in years. AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship with a victory over Shinsuke Nakamura. Charlotte Flair ended Asuka's historic streak with an emphatic win.

    Read on for a breakdown of the show's ups and downs.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Pre-Show)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Hall of Famers Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler joined the commentary team for the match.

    Chaos reigned early as fists flew amid a crowded ring. Aiden English was the first to get sent packing. Curt Hawkins, Konnor and others soon followed. Dolph Ziggler, meanwhile, evaded elimination a number of times.

    The Revival worked together to take out a handful of Superstars before being thrown over the top rope themselves.

    The field soon thinned until only Matt Hardy, Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley remained. The heels beat up on Hardy, but Bray Wyatt appeared to provide an assist.

    Hardy took out Corbin and embraced The Eater of Worlds as the two former enemies celebrated together.

         

    Result

    Hardy wins by last eliminating Corbin.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Goldust dabs after eliminating R-Truth.
    • Ross refers to Heath Slater as "the man with too many children."
    • Rawley blasts Zack Ryder out of the ring with a blindside attack.
    • Tye Dillinger and Matt Hardy trade taunts.
    • Wyatt appears in the ring after the lights go off and on.

           

    Grade: D

         

    Analysis

    It's a bummer WWE went with all midcarders rather than introduce some surprise entrants as it has done in recent years.

    This was a low-energy Battle Royal with few highlights. Wyatt and Hardy joining forces was one of the few happenings of note.

Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (Cruiserweight Championship; Pre-Show)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    205 Live commissioner Drake Maverick watched on at ringside as Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali clashed.

    The two competitors traded shots in the fast-paced opening moments. Alexander took control by using his power advantage and focusing on Ali's midsection. A face-first crash to the outside worsened things for Ali. 

    A big flurry had Ali near a win, but a missed 054 left him vulnerable. Alexander's Lumbar Check finished things off.

           

    Result

    Alexander wins via pinfall to claim the vacant Cruiserweight Championship.

       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ali dons a Glacier-esque mask for his entrance.
    • "It's WrestleMania, baby! Let's show them."—Alexander.
    • Alexander launches Ali with a high back body drop.
    • Ali hits a Spanish Fly from the top rope.
    • Alexander clutches Ali's head after the bell.

          

    Grade: B

         

    Analysis

    As fun as it was in spots, this was not quite the showcase of the cruiserweight division fans of 205 Live had to be hoping for. Their eventual rematch is likely to be better.

    Alexander and Ali packed a lot into a small space, but it didn't have enough room to fully delve into the story. We saw some flashes of a more aggressive Ali, his desperation growing. At times, though, the theatrics felt a bit overdone.

    The cruiserweight title is in good hands, and 205 Live's hot stretch is poised to continue. 

WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal (Pre-Show)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Beth Phoenix and Paige joined the commentary team for the action.

    Kairi Sane, Bianca Belair and other NXT stars joined the likes of Bayley and Becky Lynch to all attack and eliminate Carmella. The first few eliminations came quickly as brawling broke out in all corners of the ring.

    Peyton Royce led an alliance of NXT roster members as they worked together to take out the folks from the main roster. Sasha Banks and Bayley countered with an alliance of their own.

    Bayley thought she won after tossing out Banks, but Naomi had never been eliminated. Naomi ousted Bayley to take home the trophy.

         

    Result

    Naomi wins by last eliminating Bayley.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Royce leads "NXT!" chants with other wrestlers from the brand.
    • Sane hits her trademark diving elbow.
    • Belair smacks Lynch with her long ponytail.
    • Natalya suplexes both Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan. 

        

    Grade: C

       

    Analysis

    The inaugural Battle Royal featured some solid intensity and an intriguing mix of talent. WWE did well to show some flashes of the NXT women's division.

    It was hard to catch all the eliminations as they moved so quickly, though. 

    There could have been a lot more of the Bayley-Banks story here, too. Their eventual grudge match is going to be magic. Their rivalry added a footnote before Naomi added to her resume.

The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor all traded near-falls as each man went for pins early and often.

    The champ fended off both challengers as he took control. Balor and Rollins went with a high-risk approach. The Miz, meanwhile, picked his spots to pounce on either man.

    The fight moved to the outside, where Balor got rolling.

    Counters and near-falls aplenty followed. Neither The Miz's Skull-Crushing Finale nor Balor's finishing move was enough to seal the victory. Rollins' stomp, however, did the trick.

                      

    Result

    Rollins wins via pinfall to claim the Intercontinental Championship. 

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Miz tells The Miztourage to let him fight on his own.
    • Rollins sports ice-blue contact lenses.
    • A group of fans in Balor's T-shirt welcomes him to the stage.
    • Balor bowls over both Rollins and The Miz with a dive over the top rope.
    • Rollins hits a sky-high Frog Splash to break up The Miz's figure-four leglock.
    • Balor hits a Coup de Grace to The Miz's back to interrupt a pin attempt.

                          

    Grade: A

                          

    Analysis

    What an opener. Adrenaline surged through much of the action. The three foes meshed extremely well.

    Rollins' red-hot 2018 continues. He's been an MVP-caliber star this year.

    The Miz was impressive, too, more than hanging with two world-class athletes and putting on one of his best matches.

Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women's Championship)

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    Flair and Asuka fought to a stalemate soon after the opening bell rang.

    The challenger stunned Flair with high-octane offense. She went after The Queen's left shoulder as she slowed the bout.

    They battled back and forth, leaving each other hurting.

    Asuka smashed Flair on the floor outside the ring. Flair flung The Empress of Tomorrow from the top rope. They screamed at each other as they delivered their best shots.

    Flair clamped on her signature submission and forced Asuka to tap out.

                      

    Result

    Flair wins via submission to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.             

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Roman soldiers accompany Flair to the ring.
    • Giant masks hang from the ceiling for Asuka's entrance.
    • Asuka counters Flair's moonsault and transitions into an armbar.
    • Asuka suplexes Flair off the ring apron on to the floor.
    • "I'm The Queen!" —Flair to Asuka.
    • Flair hits a Spanish Fly from the top rope.
    • Flair is unable to use her left arm as she applies the Figure Eight.
    • "Charlotte was ready for Asuka." —Asuka.

                   

    Grade: A

                  

    Analysis

    It's a testament to this card's depth that a potential main event came so early.

    Flair and Asuka delivered a physical battle that lived up the hype. There was a palpable tension between the competitors and a big-fight feel throughout. The entrances alone were stellar.

    Even though WWE has booked Flair strongly over the years, her ending Asuka's streak was a surprise. Asuka felt unbeatable.

    Her time had to come eventually, and now WWE has to invent a new focus for her.

Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev (U.S. Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Aiden English welcomed Rusev via song. The Lion of Bulgaria then began the bout by knocking around his rivals.

    Bobby Roode and Randy Orton took turns blasting Jinder Mahal before fighting each other. Rusev took his own hard shots at his old tag team partner.

    After surviving Orton's wrath, Rusev looked to be closing in on victory. Mahal, though, pounced to take down the powerhouse for a three-count.

                                  

    Result

    Mahal wins via pinfall to claim the United States Championship.

                        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rusev flattens Mahal and Orton with a flip from the ring apron.
    • Orton smashes Roode against a ring post.
    • Orton hits consecutive RKOs on English, Rusev and Mahal.
    • Rusev superkicks Sunil Singh off the ring apron.

                       

    Grade: C-

                              

    Analysis

    The Triple Threat match outdid its meager expectations. The action flowed well, but there wasn't a ton of electricity. 

    In a way, it was a showcase for Rusev, who played up his current popularity.

    WWE again went all-in on Mahal. However, he was an underwhelming WWE titleholder. It's hard to predict anything less for a U.S. Championship reign.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Stephanie McMahon riled up Rousey by taking cheap shots. Kurt Angle dominated Triple H before some heel shenanigans shifted things in Team McMahon's favor.

    Rousey had to stand frustrated in her corner as she watched The Game beat up on Angle.

    When she finally tagged in, she feasted on McMahon. She toyed with the Raw commissioner to the crowd's delight.

    McMahon managed to battle back, but she only angered Rousey, earning a beatdown for her troubles.

    Angle and Triple H brawled outside the ring, a fight the Olympian lost. Rousey thrashed Triple H inside of it. Both teams went on the attack in a chaotic stretch, and Rousey eventually emerged from it all to torture McMahon with a nasty armbar that spelled the action's end.

               

    Result

    Rousey and Angle win via submission.

                          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • A fleet of bikers ride with McMahon and Triple H down the entrance ramp.
    • "The butterflies in Ronda Rousey's stomach must be the size of pterodactyls." —Corey Graves.
    • Triple H nearly inadvertently clocks McMahon with a right hand.
    • Fans chant, "Break her arm!" to Rousey.
    • Triple H yanks Rousey out of the ring.
    • Triple H throws Angle across an announce table. 
    • Rousey pounds on Triple H in the corner.
    • Angle puts McMahon in the ankle lock.

                               

    Grade: A-

                   

    Analysis

    The match's layout was largely excellent. It built anticipation for Rousey's arrival, allowed her to play up her badass side and look like a strong opponent against Triple H. The final armbar was a violent exclamation point to a bout that had the crowd rocking.

    Rousey came off looking like a huge star in what was more fun theater than a work-rate match. 

    It went a bit long in the third act, however. Had the in-ring story been tighter, this would have been even better.

The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (SmackDown Tag Team Titles)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Bludgeon Brothers steamrolled everybody to kick things off.

    The Usos' teamwork allowed them to slow Harper and Rowan, stunning the big men. It wasn't enough.

    The Bludgeon Brothers dominated, laying out their rivals before putting Kofi Kingston away.

                

    Result

    The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall to seize the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

                   

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Little people in pancake costumes accompany The New Day.
    • "The soldiers of Armageddon are at work, and it is not pretty." —Byron Saxton.
    • Harper and Rowan smash Xavier Woods into the ring post.
    • The Usos suplex Rowan on to the floor.
    • Harper powerbombs Kingston from the top rope.

             

    Grade: B-

                                        

    Analysis

    This was nothing like The Usos vs. The New Day barnburners from last year. Instead, WWE gave WrestleMania some variety with a glorified squash match.

    That's disappointing for those hoping to see The Usos shine again, but a flex of the muscles from The Bludgeon Brothers was an intriguing development. 

    WWE has gotten fully behind this team since its gimmick switch. It now oozes momentum. And the chase to take the titles back promises to be mighty good.

John Cena vs. Undertaker

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A referee whispered something to Cena that caused him to run backstage. He later came out ready to fight, but Elias, not The Undertaker, emerged to face him.

    Elias trashed the fans and the powerhouse with a song, leading Cena to take out his frustrations on The Drifter. Cena halfheartedly celebrated afterward.

    Undertaker eventually emerged.

    The Deadman battered Cena. He made short work of his foe, hitting a Tombstone Piledriver for a three-count.

                  

    Result

    Undertaker wins via pinfall.

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "You suck!" at Elias.
    • Undertaker's hat and coat appear in the ring and soon disappears. 
    • Undertaker sits up and spooks Cena.

                

    Grade: C

                            

    Analysis

    WWE took such an odd, frustrating route to get to a dream match. It teased that Undertaker wouldn't answer the challenge until the last possible moment, hurting the buildup. 

    The company did get some major heat for Elias, however.

    The match was short and uneventful—an extended moment rather than a fleshed-out story.

    It's great to see Undertaker at WrestleMania, as he's such a big part of the event. He's a legend. This, though, was far from his best contribution to the PPV's history.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interrupted Bryan's feel-good return by blasting him and Shane McMahon before the bell. They left Bryan on the ground, leaving McMahon to fight on his own.

    As the doctors looked over Bryan, the heels punished McMahon in their corner. 

    Shane-O-Mac hurt himself as he battled back. Owens and Zayn took advantage, zeroing in on McMahon's abdomen.

    Bryan eventually charged in to save the day. He withstood Zayn's best shots and delivered some of his own. Zayn couldn't escape from The Yes! Lock. 

                   

    Result

    Bryan and McMahon win via submission.

                 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Owens powerbombs Bryan on the ring apron.
    • "He made us do that!" —Owens regarding his attack on Bryan.
    • McMahon hits a Coast to Coast on Zayn.
    • "How could you? How could you do this?" —Zayn to Bryan.

               

    Grade: B+

                  

    Analysis

    It's so great to have Bryan back in the ring that he could have just hit one move and this match would have been a success.

    The villains' viciousness, the emotional power of Bryan's return and McMahon's usual daredevil style made for an entertaining opening to the next chapter of the bearded warrior's career. 

    This could have gone on longer and milked its drama more. And some of WrestleMania's other showings outdid it. Although the bout didn't reach instant-classic status, this was still a rousing display.

Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women's Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Mickie James accompanied Alexa Bliss to the ring.

    Nia Jax went straight for James, flinging her about and leaving her motionless on the floor. The powerhouse then focused her rage on Bliss. 

    Bliss went after Jax's legs, slowing her. She kept Jax off her feet and smacked her around.

    An angry Jax fought off Bliss' cheap tactics and finished off her former friend with a series of power moves.

                     

    Result

    Jax wins via pinfall to claim the Raw Women's Championship.

                 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jax repeatedly slams James into the security barricade.
    • "Someone get a shovel and get Mickie James out of here." —Jax.
    • Bliss hits Twisted Bliss out on the floor.
    • "You're pathetic. I made you!" —Bliss.
    • Jax powerbombs Bliss into the turnbuckles.
    • Jax hits a Samoan drop from the second rope.

                

    Grade: B

                

    Analysis

    A well-told story climaxed with comeuppance for Bliss and victory for the hero. Powerful moments played up their old alliance and current bad blood. 

    Bliss came off as a crafty predator. Jax gained sympathy and overcame her bad wheel in a gutsy showing.

    This was the right ending and right winner, and now the new champ has a solid supply of momentum.

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Styles and Nakamura approached each other cautiously to start.

    The champ took control first, hitting Nakamura with a variety of strikes. The King of Strong Style stunned his opponent with high-impact offense in response. 

    Seconds after Nakamura began favoring his knee, Styles went after the weak point. 

    The injury worsened as the battle wore on. The Phenomenal One, meanwhile, fought through a bad back. Even so, Styles outlasted his foe. The Styles Clash allowed him to keep his title.

    Nakamura looked like he was congratulating Styles but nailed him with a low blow and kicked him senseless.

                        

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.

               

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Guitarist Nita Strauss leads the way as a violin-heavy band plays Nakamura's entrance music. 
    • Nakamura sweeps Styles' legs and causes him to crash into the ring apron.
    • Nakamura reverses the Calf Crusher into a triangle choke.
    • "We're back at zero. We're still going, folks." —Graves.
    • Styles evades the Kinshasa and rolls into the Styles Clash.

                   

    Grade: A-

                      

    Analysis

    This physical match, which included great counters, deftly built toward its apex. This didn't quite live up to its lofty expectations, but there were a number of beautiful moments.

    Nakamura's attack threw in a curveball that will be among the most talked-about things from the event.

    We still haven't seen the best of Nakamura since his 2017 WWE arrival, but his apparent heel turn here may be the key to changing that. Expect a killer to emerge.

The Bar vs. Braun Strowman and His Mystery Partner (Raw Tag Team Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Braun Strowman announced he would partner with a fan. He walked through the stands as he made his selection. The Monster Among Men chose a young boy named Nicholas.

    Cesaro and Sheamus were baffled.

    Strowman fought The Bar as the kid stood on the ring apron. The champs eventually had the big man reeling. 

    Nicholas tagged in for a second, but his assistance wasn't needed. Strowman powerslammed his way to victory by his lonesome.

                 

    Result

    Strowman and Nicholas win via pinfall to capture the Raw Tag Team Championship.

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Cesaro and Sheamus enter on a Mardi Gras float.
    • Strowman shoves the float off the stage.
    • Strowman deadlifts Cesaro off the mat for a chokeslam.
    • The Bar hits a double suplex on Strowman.
    • "Nicolas is legal! Nicolas is legal!" —Michael Cole.

                  

    Grade: B

                       

    Analysis

    WWE continues to deliver the unexpected with Strowman. WrestleMania offered another creative moment to add to the big man's unique resume. 

    This wasn't a good match in the traditional sense. Instead, it was a weird, fresh bit of silliness that worked.

    Where WWE goes with this is one of the more intriguing questions to answer post-WrestleMania.

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Paul Heyman introduced Brock Lesnar in his trademark, over-the-top style.

    The champ then went to work, mauling Roman Reigns. Lesnar wore out his foe with German suplexes.

    Outside the ring, the match grew more physical, each man slamming the other into their surroundings. Lesnar couldn't put away The Big Dog with his finishing move, time after time.

    He bloodied Reigns, pounded him into the mat and eventually pinned him.

             

    Result

    Lesnar wins via pinfall to retain the Universal Championship.

                  

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Neither man is leaving this without a few new scars." —Graves.
    • Lesnar catches a diving Reigns and suplexes him on the outside.
    • Reigns kicks out of five F-5s.
    • "Put him down!" —Heyman to Lesnar.
    • Blood pours down Reigns' face.
    • Fans chant "This is awful!"

               

    Grade: C+

                             

    Analysis

    The smashmouth main event underwhelmed despite its brutality and the history the enemies shared. 

    The Beast Incarnate thrived during his beatdown of Reigns, harkening back to his one-sided win over Cena in 2014. But Lesnar vs. Reigns had the disadvantage of taking place in front of a drained, hostile crowd. It didn't win them over. 

    Both Reigns' superhuman resilience and the result reminded us there remains a disconnect between WWE and many of its fans. The company spent weeks trying to make The Big Dog the sympathetic figure no matter how much the audience wanted to boo him.

    That Lesnar's reign continued is a shocker, as the past year seemed to be leading to another Reigns coronation.