WWE WrestleMania 32 Results: Analyzing How Every Match from ESPN Re-Air Holds Up
While it would be nice to see some of the classic pay-per-views on television, it's not surprising to see WWE using more recent 'Manias since they will have Superstars today's casual fans will recognize.
This week featured a replay of WrestleMania 32 from 2016. This event featured some big moments and what might end up being The Rock's official last match in WWE. Here is a rundown of the card from that night:
- Roman Reigns vs. Triple H
- The Rock vs. Erick Rowan
- Kane vs. Baron Corbin
- The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon
- Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
- Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
- The League of Nations vs. The New Day
- Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
- Zack Ryder vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Sami Zayn vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust
This event is only four years old, but a lot has changed in that time. Let's look at each match and see how it holds up in 2020.
IC Title Ladder Match
The show began with an in-studio segment featuring Corey Graves and Tom Phillips talking about WrestleMania 32 while plugging WrestleMania 36 next weekend.
They skipped everything from the pre-show and got right to the ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. This is the night when Ryder got his big 'Mania moment by pushing The Miz off the ladder to claim victory.
The bout also included Zayn, Ziggler, Stardust, Sin Cara and Owens. KO went into this match with the title, but the Broski left with it.
The bout was filled with the kinds of high spots this kind of match is famous for. Even guys like The Miz who aren't known for being risk-takers participated in some dangerous moments.
It's fun to see how different some people looked just four years ago and how little others have changed. Cody Rhodes is now leading All Elite Wrestling instead of dressing like a knockoff version of his brother, while The Miz, Ziggler and Ryder look almost exactly the same these days.
This was a good match to get the crowd hot for the rest of the show. Every competitor had moments to shine. It looked like anyone could have won at different points, which made the ending less predictable.
The commercial break during the replay hurt the flow a little, but that is to be expected when a PPV is replayed on cable television. The match itself still holds up as one of the bright spots from WrestleMania 32.
The New Day vs. League of Nations
The replay skipped the match between Jericho and Styles so we could see The New Day battle Sheamus, Rusev, Alberto Del Rio and King Barrett.
The four-on-three handicap match ended with the heels picking up the win, which led to Mick Foley, Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels coming out to make the save.
It was the obligatory WrestleMania moment involving legends. Every 'Mania has one these days, and this was it in 2016. Luckily, WWE picked three guys who are still over with the younger fans.
Oddly, ESPN cut to commercial right after the pin instead of letting the moment with the legends play out. It was shown after the break, so at least we got to see it during the replay.
Del Rio and Barrett are no longer with WWE and Rusev could soon follow, so Sheamus may be the last man standing from The League of Nations soon.
The match between the two groups was fine. It was the post-match fight that brought the most entertainment. Don't question why Michaels was already in his gear. Just go with it.
This was not even close to being the most memorable bout of the night, but it did what it needed to do and kept the momentum going.
Seeing how The New Day has grown while keeping its entertaining personalities has been a fun ride.
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon
This match had two stipulations. If Shane McMahon won, he would get control of WWE and The Undertaker would never have another match at WrestleMania, and it all happened inside Hell in a Cell.
Those rules told us who would win this match even if the result would have been obvious without those caveats, but that did not take away from how entertaining it was.
At this point, Taker was beginning to show his age, but he was still capable of having a decent match. The Hell in a Cell format allowed him to mask his limitations as much as possible.
The Deadman claimed victory and Vince McMahon got to keep control of his company, so it's hard to tell if the good guy won or not.
The moment Shane jumped off the top of the cell is what will forever define this match. This bout was half an hour, and a few seconds are all anyone remembers about it.
When looking back on this contest four years later, it serves as a stark reminder of how quickly a performer like Taker can go from being capable of having a 30-minute match to barely being able to hit his finisher. Decades of working in the ring will take its toll on anyone.
This might go down as his final good performance in WWE because everything he has done since has fallen short of expectations, especially when it comes to the shows in Saudi Arabia. This is one of his few matches that is not as good with repeat viewings.
Given his physical limitations at the time, this was better than expected.
Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
The match with Lynch, Banks and Charlotte Flair took place before Shane vs. Taker on the original airing, but the replay moved it to after for some reason.
Snoop Dogg accompanying his cousin to the ring and the Women's Championship replacing the Divas title that night made this feel like a big deal.
This was not the first women's match at WrestleMania, but it felt like the most important up to this point because of the way things had changed in the year leading to the PPV.
The Boss, The Man and The Queen did not disappoint. They worked hard to make sure all three Superstars looked good before Charlotte got the submission victory.
The best part about rewatching this match is seeing how much The Man has changed in four years. She used to be a bubbly babyface before she became a badass.
Banks and Flair have the same gimmicks for the most part, which is not a knock against them. They have been solid characters since their days in NXT, so there is no need for a change.
These three women have been in some classic encounters over the years. Even though some of those matches might be better than this one from a technical standpoint, the importance of this bout helped elevate it to one of their most memorable performances.
This is one of those matches we will be rewatching for years to come.
The Rock vs. Erick Rowan
After an introductory dance number from the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders, The Rock came out with a flamethrower for an impromptu match against The Wyatt Family's Erick Rowan.
Rocky was there to hype up the crowd and announce the attendance record when The Redwood and his partners came out to spoil everyone's fun.
Of course, The Rock won in less time than it takes to say any of his signature catchphrases. This was a segment designed to make The Rock look good, and it did just that.
The Rock has had some classic matches in his WWE career, so it's a little weird to think that his final performance might end up being his squash match against Erick Rowan.
Between the dance number and his antics with a flamethrower, The Rock may have had one of the longest entrances in 'Mania history aside from The Undertaker.
This was not intended to be a good match. This was solely intended to be a fun moment. The Great One is always on, and he gave the live crowd something to remember, even if it was a lackluster win over a guy who is still having trouble finding a gimmick that works.
It was also interesting to be reminded of how Braun Strowman came into the company as a member of The Wyatt Family. It's easy to forget about that because it was such a short part of his career.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
In another change to the original order of the show, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal aired after The Rock's segment instead of before.
The opening minutes were all about Shaq and Big Show throwing people out while they kept staring at each other and talking trash.
Tatanka and Diamond Dallas Page were the required legends in this Battle Royal, but it was Baron Corbin who emerged as the victor. This was the King's main roster debut, and he made sure everyone knew who he was by the time it was over.
Battle Royals are hit-and-miss. They usually have a few fun moments, but they are often judged by the winner. In this case, it was Corbin when he was a newcomer to the main roster.
This was an average Battle Royal. The conclusion was somewhat surprising, and it included some entertaining moments for diehard and casual fans.
It's interesting to note how almost half of the competitors in this bout are either no longer with WWE or retired from in-ring competition.
Goldust, Adam Rose, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Jack Swagger, Konnor, Viktor, Kane and Mark Henry are all either with AEW, other promotions or doing other things like hosting a radio show or running a town.
Triple H vs. Roman Reigns
The final match on the ESPN replay was also the final match at WrestleMania 32. Before the break, Triple H's entire entrance was shown, complete with Stephanie McMahon's introduction.
They gave this bout the last 40 minutes of the show so they didn't have to cut out too much to fit it into the remaining time. The match was about 27 minutes, so it worked out well with commercials.
For a match between two powerhouses, they worked a surprisingly quick pace, especially during the first half. It wasn't the best main event we have ever seen, but it was far from being the worst.
Despite Stephanie's best efforts, Reigns overcame The Game and left with the WWE Championship around his waist.
At the time this match happened, Reigns was one of the most hated men in the company for no good reason, so The Game was the default fan favorite despite The Big Dog being the good guy in their storyline.
It's wild to see how much has changed in just four years. Reigns is loved again, and Triple H spends most of his time behind the curtain instead of in the ring.
Both of these guys are what you would call big-match performers. They are not the most technical on the mat, but they are great at creating standout moments to make their performances memorable.
A lot of people were probably surprised at how much more they liked this match now than when it happened.