WrestleMania 35 represents the culmination of the WWE year, as 75,000-plus people pack out MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey for what has come to be known as the “showcase of the immortals”. There’s an extra sense of history in the air for WWE’s annual supershow, as Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will take part in the first women’s match ever to main event a WrestleMania show.
Starting at 5 p.m. ET Sunday and stretching well into the night, WrestleMania 35 will present 15 matches, including headlining bouts like Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal championship, Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE title and Triple H taking on Batista.
Tim Fiorvanti and Matt Wilansky are live at MetLife Stadium to break down all of the action. This file will be updated throughout the night.
Universal championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Match in progress.
Given the amount of star power, the first reaction we heard was a spirited jeer as Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” walked to the ring wearing an Odell Beckham Jr. Browns jersey. Ouch.
The ring was overcrowded with all shapes and sizes, including the biggest and baddest of them all, Braun Strowman, who was easily the odds-on favorite.
And just like that they fell fast and furious. But not Jost or Michael Che, who ducked under the ropes and under the ring. Shades of Carmella?
As the action got rolling, Strowman was unstoppable, eliminated everyone in sight, including Heavy Machinery, Luke Harper and Ali before the “Saturday Night Live” boys returned. But their in-ring presence would last only so long as they failed to help save the Hardy Boyz from Strowman.
At that point, it was down to just the three of them. But before Strowman could take out the jokesters, Jost called in his therapist to work out another solution.
“Braun, there are other solutions,” Jost said. “Not everything has to end in violence, right? That’s why I have invited my therapist to work through some of this anger.”
Strowman would have none of it. First he took out Che, then tossed Jost like a ragdoll over the rope to lift the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Hardly the showcase Strowman wants, but a nice consolation prize for now.
Raw Tag Team Championship: Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder def. The Revival (c)
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder walked into a hometown WrestleMania and made it three-for-three for locals on the Kickoff Show — defeating The Revival to become Raw tag team champions and end Hawkins’ historic losing streak for good.
The last time Hawkins won a match prior to Sunday night on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show was on Nov. 8, 2016. That losing streak, which WWE set at 269 losses (though there may have been some Goldberg-esque math involved), ended with Hawkins rolling up Scott Dawson. The Revival, who were dogged for much of their reign as Raw tag team champions with losses in a number of non-title contests and “already in the ring” match starts on Raw, walk out of WrestleMania empty-handed.
This tag team title win is the second for Ryder and Hawkins in WWE, whose previous win came in July 2008 at the Great American Bash.
The truth is there was no real payoff for the women’s battle royal winner where, with everything on the line in the main event later Sunday night.
But there was a question of whether Asuka would find some redemption after losing her SmackDown women’s title just a couple of weeks ago. Early on, it seemed promising, as last year’s winner, Naomi, and one of Raw’s finest, Ember Moon, were eliminated.
One by one they went, until there were only three: Sonya Deville, Asuka and Sarah Logan. First went Deville and then, shockingly, Logan mustered the energy to knock out the favorite Asuka, winning the battle royal — or did she? Out of the blue came Carmella, who had spent copious time outside the ring playing hooky until she hopped back in to take care of Logan and win the battle royal.
The surprise ending gave the crowd at MetLife Stadium, which was still filling in, a reason to cheer wildly. Carmella has been out of the championship mix for some time, but this might be the momentum she needs to get her back in hunt.
WWE Cruiserweight championship: Tony Nese def. Buddy Murphy (c)
Tony Nese stole the spotlight in the early stages of the match, with a suplex into the turnbuckle that put Buddy Murphy on his head and a springboard moonsault onto a suspended Murphy hanging in limbo between the ropes. He also landed a reverse trapped-leg moonsault and a running fosberry flop onto Murphy, followed immediately by a 450 splash, which only drew a two-count. In between, Murphy was his typical, devil-may-care self, throwing himself and Nese all over the ring in increasingly impressive fashion throughout. Murphy hit his finisher, Murphy’s Law, only for Nese to get his foot on the ropes, and Nese came through in the final moments with a superkick, a head-first German suplex into the second turnbuckle and a Running Knee-se to earn what has to be called a shock victory to open up the WrestleMania Kickoff Show with an action-packed 13-minute cruiserweight showcase.
Still to come:
Women’s Raw and SmackDown championship: Ronda Rousey (c-Raw) vs. Charlotte Flair (c-SmackDown) vs. Becky Lynch
WWE championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Intercontinental championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Balor
United States championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
SmackDown Tag Team championship: The Usos (c) vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black
Women’s tag team championship: Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax and Tamina
No Holds Barred Match: Triple H vs. Batista
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton