WWE star Braun Strowman lifts Colin Jost at Wrestlemania 35 in 2019 at MetLife Stadium.

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The Best and Worst Moments and Matches of WrestleMania 35

April 08, 2019 - 10:38 am
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WrestleMania 35 was a crowd-pleaser.

WWE's marquee show of the year made history with its women's main event, and made the 80,000-odd wrestling fans who packed MetLife Stadium -- plus countless more streaming at home -- happy with its outcomes. Last but not least: Becky Lynch ending the epic, five-plus-hour show with two belts across her shoulders.

There were feel-good title changes and sentimental moments throughout the card. And Shane McMahon fell off something high.

Here is a look at the best and worst moments of WrestleMania 35:

Best: The people's champs

Becky Lynch def. Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair for the Raw and Smackdown women's titles. A spectacular occasion, from Flair's helicopter entrance on through, with great storytelling, even if the match itself wasn't the greatest. And it ended the right way, paying off months of Lynch's unlikely rise to superstardom as she went over the unstoppable champ Rousey and the division standard-bearer Flair.

Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. Match of the night, by a mile. The two veterans took some serious licks and built to a series of dramatic, believable near-falls. They masterfully brought the crowd to a boil, and the place exploded when Kingston won a top singles belt for the first time in his career. Seeing Kingston celebrate in the ring with his children and the other members of the New Day tag team was full of emotion. A new black champion gets a new black belt.  

Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Really smart and exciting decision to put this match on first, following a fiery Paul Heyman promo that not too subtly hinted at Lesnar rejoining UFC. Here was the match in brief: Lesnar throws Rollins around and into things for a few minutes, bell rings, a bunch of German suplexes, Rollins hits a low blow while the ref is dazed, Rollins hits three Stomps. It gets the belt off the seemingly disinterested Lesnar and onto Rollins, a weekly TV regular who is in his prime.

A good night for the babyfaces.

Worst: The very end of the main event

First was an unconvincing table spot to "eliminate" Flair where the table didn't break. Then there was Lynch's pin of Rousey, and the muddled notion that Rousey's shoulders weren't down for all three seconds. Not having a "clean" finish protects Rousey, but it diminishes Lynch. Is it fodder for the Lynch-Rousey program to continue, or will Rousey take a rumored sabbatical?  

Best: An insane Shane bump that made sense

Shane McMahon def. The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Typically McMahon, the middle-aged son of CEO Vince McMahon, marks his pay-per-view appearances with big, dangerous leaps that are great viral material but seem pointlessly self-destructive. Here it really worked. McMahon, in a heel role, picked on The Miz's father and goaded The Miz into a reckless decision: suplexing McMahon off a camera tower (onto ... something, with padding) and taking the pinfall loss when McMahon landed on top.   

Worst: Slow old guys

Triple H def. Batista in a nearly half-hour slog of a No Holds Barred match. There was a spot with pliers and a nose ring that was somehow both gross and unconvincing. WrestleMania always has made room for big names, but here we got a 49-year-old executive and a 50-year-old movie star moving in slow motion. Could it end any other way than with interference from 70-year-old Ric Flair?

Baron Corbin def. Kurt Angle in Angle's farewell match. An extreme random-Monday-in-December vibe. It was getting late. At least the crowd popped for Angle as he walked into retirement. 

Worst: Sketch comedy

Your mileage may vary here. Maybe you loved a very long segment with John Cena showing up as the "Doctor of Thuganomics" to interrupt an Elias "concert" and stage a rap battle against himself.

Or perhaps you thought it was hilarious when "Saturday Night Live" cast members Michael Che and Colin Jost stuck around until the end of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, only to get tossed by inevitable winner Braun Strowman.

Best: Surprise title changes

The IIconics def. Sasha Banks and Bayley, Beth Phoenix and Natalya, Nia Jax and Tamina for the women's tag team title. The IIconics vultured the win after Phoenix hit a middle-rope Glam Slam on Bayley. They're a true tag team, and by getting their WrestleMania moment and taking the belts, open up more interesting possibilities for this division. 

Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder def. The Revival for the Raw tag team titles. Hawkins, a New York area native, snaps a so-called 269-match losing streak with the win. Rumors have The Revival leaving WWE, so perhaps this was a necessary change. Hawkins and Ryder won't be champs for long.

Tony Nese def. Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight championship. Another local wrestler gets a moment in his backyard. New champs are fun.

Best: Roman Reigns is back

Roman Reigns def. Drew McIntyre: Not the most imaginative booking perhaps -- McIntyre needed the win to look powerful more than Reigns did -- but it's a happy moment to see Reigns looking spry in his first singles match since returning from cancer treatment with his leukemia in remission.

Worst: Hulk Hogan is back

The WrestleMania III (or VI!) main event, this was not. Hogan, slowly emerging from PR detention following the publication of his racist sex tape, showed up at the start of the show to cut an awkward promo with his old catch phrases for the "MetLife Center" crowd. Whoops.

More results

Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley for the Intercontinental title. In "Demon" attire.

Samoa Joe def. Rey Mysterio Jr. to retain the United States Championship. A 90-second match that kept Mysterio, who was nursing an ankle injury, from having to do too much.

The Usos def. The Bar, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet and Aleister Black to retain the Smackdown tag titles. Richochet and Black are stars in the making.

AJ Styles def. Randy Orton. This was a match that happened. Styles kicked out of an RKO.

Carmella wins the Women's Battle Royal. The way more entertaining battle royal of the two.