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WrestleMania 35 was the 35th annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands. It took place on April 7, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The event included the first-ever women's main event match in WrestleMania history. It was also the first WrestleMania since WrestleMania 2000 to not feature The Undertaker.

WrestleMania 35
WrestleMania 35 Poster 2.jpg
Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
PromotionWWE
Brand(s)Raw
SmackDown
205 Live
DateApril 7, 2019
CityEast Rutherford, New Jersey
VenueMetLife Stadium
Attendance82,265[1] (disputed)[2]
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The card comprised sixteen matches, including four on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, Becky Lynch defeated Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair in a Winner Takes All triple threat match to win both championships. Also on the card, Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan to win his first WWE Championship, and Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar to win his first Universal Championship. The event saw the final matches of two veteran wrestlers: Kurt Angle lost his farewell match against Baron Corbin, and Batista lost a No Holds Barred match against Triple H and retired after the event.

ProductionEdit

BackgroundEdit

 
MetLife Stadium during WrestleMania 35.

WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having first been held in 1985.[3] WrestleMania is ranked the sixth most valuable sports brand in the world by Forbes[4] and has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment.[5] The event was the fourth WrestleMania to be held in the state of New Jersey (after IV, V and 29), and the sixth in the New York metropolitan area (after I, 2, X, XX, and 29).

There were two official theme songs for the event: "Love Runs Out" by OneRepublic, which served as the main theme, and "Work" by Chris Classic, which served as a secondary theme. There was also a theme song for the main event, "White Flag" by Bishop Briggs.[6] On November 5, 2018, traveling packages for the event were sold while tickets went on sale on November 16, 2018.[7][8] On the March 11 episode of Raw, current wrestler Alexa Bliss was revealed as the host of WrestleMania 35.[9][10] On the following episode, Elias announced that he would have a musical performance at the event.[11]

Multiple celebrities took part in the event. On the March 4 episode of Raw, Colin Jost and Michael Che of Saturday Night Live were introduced as special correspondents for the event, and were later entered into the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.[12] Joan Jett performed her song "Bad Reputation" live for Ronda Rousey's ring entrance.[13] Gospel music star and syndicated radio host Yolanda Adams performed "America the Beautiful" to begin the main show.[14]

StorylinesEdit

The event comprised sixteen matches, including four on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, in which wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands,[15][16] with storylines produced on their weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live,[17] and the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live.[18]

Main event matchEdit

 
Becky Lynch won the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble match and chose to face Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 35. She was replaced by Charlotte Flair, but found her way back into the match, which became Winner Takes All after Flair won the SmackDown Women's Championship.

At SummerSlam, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were involved in a triple threat match for the SmackDown Women's Championship, which Flair won. Afterwards, Lynch attacked Flair, ending their friendship,[19] and Lynch defeated Flair for the championship at Hell in a Cell.[20][21] At Survivor Series, Lynch was originally scheduled to face Raw's Ronda Rousey in a non-title match, but was replaced by Flair due to a legit injury;[22] during the match, Flair brutally attacked Rousey with weapons.[23] Rousey then interfered in a tables, ladders, and chairs championship match between Lynch, Flair, and Asuka at the namesake event, costing both Lynch and Flair the match.[24] Lynch failed to regain the title at the Royal Rumble, but won the women's Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Flair, despite injuring her own knee, and chose to face Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania.[25][26]

Lynch was then suspended for refusing a medical examination on her knee.[27] After getting medically cleared, however, Vince McMahon suspended her again and introduced Flair as Rousey's WrestleMania opponent.[28] Over the following weeks, Lynch continued to violate her suspension and attacked both Rousey and Flair until the suspension was lifted.[29] At Fastlane, Lynch defeated Flair by disqualification when Rousey attacked Lynch. Per the stipulation, Lynch was added back into the championship match at WrestleMania to make it a triple threat match.[30] After Flair defeated Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship,[31] the WrestleMania match was made Winner Takes All with both titles on the line.[32] The match was also confirmed as the first-ever women's match to main event WrestleMania.[33]

World Championship matchesEdit

 
Seth Rollins won the 2019 Men's Royal Rumble match and challenged Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35.
 
Despite Vince McMahon repeatedly attempting to prevent it, Kofi Kingston faced Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35, his first one-on-one world title opportunity after 11 years in WWE.

At the Royal Rumble, Raw's Seth Rollins won the men's Royal Rumble match, earning a world championship match of his choice at WrestleMania.[25] The next night on Raw, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman tried to discourage Rollins from challenging Lesnar, leading to a brawl between Rollins and Lesnar. Subsequently, Rollins chose to challenge Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.[26]

On the February 12 episode of SmackDown, Kofi Kingston replaced an injured Mustafa Ali in a gauntlet match to determine who would enter last in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber; during the match, Kingston pinned WWE Champion Daniel Bryan in the first match of the gauntlet.[34] At the event, Bryan retained the title by last eliminating Kingston.[35] On the following SmackDown, Kingston was granted a WWE Championship match at Fastlane after pinning Bryan again in a six-man tag team match,[36] however, Vince McMahon replaced Kingston with the returning Kevin Owens.[37] On the SmackDown following Fastlane, The New Day (Big E, Kingston, and Xavier Woods) confronted Mr. McMahon for tricking Kingston into believing that he was added back into the title match at Fastlane. Mr. McMahon decided that if Kingston won a gauntlet match, he would receive a WWE Championship match against Bryan at WrestleMania.[38] Kingston won, but Mr. McMahon added one more opponent, which was the champion Bryan, who defeated Kingston.[39] On the March 26 episode, The New Day teased leaving WWE and once again confronted Mr. McMahon, who decided that Kingston would in fact receive the championship match if Big E and Woods won a tag team gauntlet match, which they did.[31]

Undercard matchesEdit

On SmackDown 1000 on October 16, 2018, Batista, who had last wrestled in WWE in 2014, took part in an Evolution reunion. He praised fellow Evolution member Triple H for having done everything in the wrestling business except defeat him.[40] Batista then attacked fellow Evolution member Ric Flair before the latter's 70th birthday celebration on the February 25, 2019 episode of Raw, seeking Triple H's attention.[41] Batista demanded a final match against Triple H at WrestleMania; Triple H made it a No Holds Barred match.[9] Batista accused Triple H of always having kept him down,[42] and demanded that Triple H put his career on the line and Triple H agreed.[43]

 
Kurt Angle had his farewell match at WrestleMania 35 against Baron Corbin.

On the March 11 episode of Raw, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle began his farewell tour, culminating with his farewell match at WrestleMania.[9] The following week, Angle chose Baron Corbin as his final opponent as Corbin had caused Angle many problems during the latter's tenure as Raw General Manager (2017–2018) and eventually supplanted him, temporarily becoming Acting Raw General Manager.[42][32]

At Crown Jewel, Shane McMahon won the WWE World Cup, replacing The Miz in the finals, who was unable to compete after a pre-match brawl.[44] Following this, The Miz and Shane formed a tag team. They won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble,[25] but following losses at Elimination Chamber[35] and Fastlane, Shane attacked Miz and Miz's father.[30] On SmackDown, Shane accused Miz of using him and he wanted to beat him up again, scheduling a match for WrestleMania.[38] Miz challenged Shane to make their match falls count anywhere and Shane agreed.[31]

After weeks of disparaging comments about one another, Randy Orton eliminated AJ Styles in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship.[35] At Fastlane, Orton attacked Elias from behind but was himself attacked by Styles.[30] On the following SmackDown, Orton took umbrage with Styles calling SmackDown "the house that AJ Styles built", as Orton began his WWE career on SmackDown in 2002, whereas Styles spent most of that time on the independent circuit until his WWE debut in 2016. Styles responded that Orton had everything handed to him while Styles had to actually work for it. He challenged Orton to a match at WrestleMania and Orton accepted.[38]

 
After his return from battling leukemia, Roman Reigns was constantly taunted by Drew McIntyre, who challenged Reigns to a match at WrestleMania 35; Reigns' first singles match in six months

Roman Reigns, who had been on hiatus due to leukemia since October 2018,[45] returned on the February 25, 2019 episode of Raw and stated that his leukemia was in remission.[41] After Fastlane, Drew McIntyre attacked Reigns, defeated Dean Ambrose in a Falls Count Anywhere match,[9] defeated Seth Rollins, and then challenged Reigns to a match at WrestleMania.[42] McIntyre claimed that he destroyed The Shield and brought up Reigns' leukemia and family, prompting Reigns to accept the challenge.[43]

After becoming the inaugural WWE Women's Tag Team Champions at Elimination Chamber, The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Bayley and Sasha Banks) stated that they would defend the titles across Raw, SmackDown, and NXT.[46][30] They retained their championships against Raw's Nia Jax and Tamina at Fastlane,[30] and were then called out by SmackDown's The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce).[38] On the March 18 episode of Raw, WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix came out of retirement to reform her tag team with Natalya and challenge for the championship at WrestleMania.[42] The next night on SmackDown, The IIconics defeated The Boss 'n' Hug Connection in a non-title match.[39] The champions were then scheduled to defend the titles against Jax and Tamina, Phoenix and Natalya, and The IIconics in a fatal four-way tag team match at WrestleMania.[43]

At Elimination Chamber, Finn Bálor defeated Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush in a handicap match to win Lashley's Intercontinental Championship.[35] Lashley regained the title on the March 11 episode of Raw thanks to assistance from Rush.[9] On the March 25 episode, Bálor earned another title match at WrestleMania by defeating Lashley and Jinder Mahal in another handicap match,[43] and Bálor warned Lashley that he would be facing "The Demon".[32]

On the April 2 episode of SmackDown, WrestleMania host Alexa Bliss informed The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) that while forfeiting their gauntlet match against The New Day the previous week was honorable, there would be repercussions. She then scheduled them to defend the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania in a fatal four-way tag team match against The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus), Aleister Black and Ricochet, and Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura.[47]

Pre-show matchesEdit

On the February 19 episode of 205 Live, General Manager Drake Maverick scheduled an eight-man tournament with the winner facing Buddy Murphy for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the WrestleMania 35 Kickoff pre-show.[48] Over the next few weeks, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Oney Lorcan, Cedric Alexander, Kalisto, The Brian Kendrick, Humberto Carrillo, and Akira Tozawa competed in the tournament,[49][50][51] which was won by Nese.[52]

On the March 4 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman was confronted backstage by Saturday Night Live's Colin Jost and Michael Che; Jost questioned the legitimacy of professional wrestling, resulting in Strowman choke lifting him.[29] The following week, Che and Jost apologized and gifted a brand new car to Strowman only for Strowman to dismantle the car.[9] On the March 25 episode, Strowman challenged Jost to join him in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Che agreed on Jost's behalf, who in turn agreed that Che would also participate.[42]

EventEdit

Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
Host Alexa Bliss
English commentators Michael Cole (Raw)
Corey Graves (Raw/SmackDown)
Renee Young (Raw/Women's Battle Royal)
Tom Phillips (SmackDown/André Battle Royal)
Byron Saxton (SmackDown/André Battle Royal)
Vic Joseph (205 Live/Women's Battle Royal)
Nigel McGuinness (205 Live)
Aiden English (205 Live/André Battle Royal)
Percy Watson (Women's Battle Royal)
Jerry Lawler (Styles vs. Orton)
Paige (Women's Tag Team Title Match)
Booker T (United States Title Match)
Shawn Michaels (Triple H vs. Batista)
John "Bradshaw" Layfield (Angle vs. Corbin)
Spanish commentators Carlos Cabrera
Marcelo Rodríguez
Jerry Soto
German commentators Carsten Schaefer
Tim Haber
Calvin Knie
Ring announcers Greg Hamilton (SmackDown/205 Live)
Mike Rome (Raw/André Battle Royal)
Lilian Garcia (Women's Battle Royal)
Referees Danilo Anfibio
Jason Ayers
Shawn Bennett
Jessika Carr
Tom Castor
Mike Chioda
Dan Engler
Darrick Moore
Chad Patton
Eddie Orengo
Charles Robinson
Darryl Sharma
Ryan Tran
Drake Wuertz
Rod Zapata
Interviewer Kayla Braxton
Pre-show panel Jonathan Coachman
Sam Roberts
Paige
John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Edge
Christian
Jerry Lawler
Shawn Michaels
Booker T
David Otunga
Pre-show correspondents Charly Caruso
Pat McAfee

Pre-showEdit

Four matches were contested on the two-hour WrestleMania 35 Kickoff pre-show. In the first match, Buddy Murphy defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Tony Nese. In the end, Nese performed a "Running Kneese" on Murphy, who was seated in the corner, to win the title.[53]

The WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal took place next. In the end, Sarah Logan seemingly last eliminated Asuka, but Carmella, who had not actually been eliminated, re-entered the ring and eliminated Logan with a superkick to win the match and the trophy.[53]

After that, The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. In the end, Dawson performed a brainbuster on Hawkins outside the ring, then rolled him back into the ring. Hawkins feigned unconsciousness and then rolled up Dawson to win the titles for him and Ryder and end his 269-match losing streak.[53]

The last pre-show match was the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. During the majority of the match, WrestleMania correspondents Colin Jost and Michael Che hid under the ring. In the end, as The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) were trying to eliminate Braun Strowman, Che and Jost entered the ring in an attempt to help, however, Strowman overpowered the four and eliminated The Hardys. Jost attempted to work things out with Strowman by inviting his therapist in the ring, however, Strowman attacked the therapist and then eliminated Che. Strowman then picked Jost up and threw him outside of the ring on top of other wrestlers to win the match and the trophy.[53]

Preliminary matchesEdit

The actual pay-per-view opened with WrestleMania host Alexa Bliss welcoming the crowd. She then brought out Hulk Hogan to hype the crowd for the event. Paul Heyman interrupted the two and marched to the ring. He declared that if Brock Lesnar was not fighting in the main event, he would not wait the entire show for his Universal Championship defense and proceeded to introduce his client.[1] As Rollins approached the ring, he was immediately attacked by Lesnar. After the match officially started, Lesnar delivered several German suplexes to Rollins. Rollins countered an "F-5" attempt and shoved Lesnar into the referee. While the referee was incapacitated, Rollins hit Lesnar with a low blow followed by a superkick and three "Curb Stomps" to win his first Universal Championship.[1]

Next, AJ Styles faced Randy Orton. During the match, Orton attempted an "RKO", only for Styles to avoid the move several times. Orton eventually performed an "RKO" for a near-fall. In the end, Styles performed a "Phenomenal Forearm" on Orton outside the ring and again in the ring to win the match.[1]

After that, The Usos defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus), Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, and Aleister Black and Ricochet in a fatal four-way tag team match. During the match, Cesaro performed the "Cesaro Swing" on Ricochet for a full minute while Sheamus hit four opponents with "Beats of the Bodhrán". A superplex attempt by The Bar developed into a top-rope manoeuvre involving seven wrestlers. In the end, The Usos delivered a double "Superfly Splash" on Sheamus to retain the title.[1]

In the following match, The Miz faced Shane McMahon in a falls count anywhere match. Early on, Shane dominated Miz which prompted Miz's dad, who was sitting in the front row, to come into the ring and attempt to fight Shane, however, Shane attacked him. Miz and Shane then fought out into the crowd. In the end, Miz performed a Skull Crushing-Finale on Shane for a near-fall, then Miz performed a superplex on Shane off of a 15-foot camera stage to a lower platform just above the floor. As Shane landed on top of Miz, the referee counted a pinfall, giving the win to Shane.[1]

Next, The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Bayley and Sasha Banks) defended the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against Nia Jax and Tamina, The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce), and Beth Phoenix and Natalya in a fatal four-way tag team match. In the end, Phoenix performed a "Glam Slam" on Bayley off the top rope. Royce threw Phoenix out of the ring, while Kay, who had tagged Phoenix, covered Bayley for the pinfall, giving The IIconics the championship.[1]

After that, Daniel Bryan (accompanied by Rowan) defended the WWE Championship against Kofi Kingston (accompanied by Big E and Xavier Woods). During the match, Rowan prevented Kingston from attacking Bryan outside the ring which prompted Big E and Woods to incapacitate Rowan. This allowed Kingston to get Bryan back in the ring. Bryan performed the running knee for a near-fall. Bryan applied the "LeBell Lock", however, Kingston escaped. In the climax, Kingston performed a "Trouble in Paradise" on Bryan to win his first WWE Championship, also becoming WWE's 30th Triple Crown Champion, 20th Grand Slam Champion, and the first African-born WWE Champion. Kingston celebrated with his sons while Big E and Woods discarded Bryan's custom eco-friendly championship belt and presented Kingston with the standard leather and gold-plated WWE Championship belt.[1]

Next, Samoa Joe defended the United States Championship against Rey Mysterio. Mysterio started with a "619" on Joe. As Mysterio went to capitalize, he was caught by Joe in the "Coquina Clutch" and passed out. Joe retained the title in a one-minute match.[1]

In the following match, Drew McIntyre faced Roman Reigns. McIntyre dominated Reigns most of the match. In the end, as McIntyre attacked Reigns with a "Glasgow Kiss", Reigns bounced off the ropes and performed a superman punch and a spear on McIntyre to win the match.[1]

After that, Elias started his WrestleMania concert. He performed on the guitar while an edited video showing him performing on piano and drum set played simultaneously. He was then interrupted by a Babe Ruth video, followed by John Cena, who came out in his Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick (circa 2002–2004) and sporting a New York Yankees jersey. Cena insulted Elias and then attacked him with an "F-U" (the original name for Cena's "Attitude Adjustment" during his Thuganomics gimmick).[1]

 
After fighting Triple H in a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania 35, Batista retired from professional wrestling.

Next, Triple H put his career on the line in a No Holds Barred match against Batista. Early in the match, Triple H pulled out Batista's nose ring with pliers. Later, Batista attempted a "Batista Bomb" on Triple H on a broadcast table, only for Triple H to counter and execute a spear on Batista. Back in the ring, Batista performed a spear and a "Batista Bomb" on Triple H, both resulting in near-falls. Triple H executed a powerbomb on Batista on the ring stairs and a "Pedigree" for another near-fall. The end came when Ric Flair appeared and handed Triple H his signature sledgehammer. Triple H struck Batista with the hammer and followed it up with a second "Pedigree" to win the match. Triple H kept his in-ring career intact[1] while Batista announced his retirement from professional wrestling shortly after the event.[54][55]

After that, Baron Corbin faced Kurt Angle in Angle's farewell match. In the end, Corbin performed the "End of Days" on Angle to win the match. Following the match, Angle gave a short retirement speech, thanking the fans.[1]

In the penultimate match, Bobby Lashley (accompanied by Lio Rush) defended the Intercontinental Championship against Finn Bálor in his "Demon" persona. Lashley performed a spear on Bálor through the ropes and then again in the ring for a near-fall. In the climax, Bálor performed the "Coup de Grâce" on Lashley to regain the title for a second time.[1]

Main eventEdit

The main event was the first women's main event match in WrestleMania history; Becky Lynch faced Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair in a Winner Takes All triple threat match for both titles. In the end, Flair locked in the "Figure-Eight Leglock" on Rousey. Lynch broke up the hold and, together with Rousey, put Flair through a table. Rousey performed the "Piper's Pit" on Lynch, who countered into a crucifix – Rousey's first pinfall loss – to win both the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships — her first Raw Women's Championship and record-tying third SmackDown Women's Championship. The match ended after midnight Eastern time, thus Lynch won the match on April 8.[1]

ReceptionEdit

The event received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. Much criticism, however, was drawn towards the overall runtime of the event. Including the pre-show, the event clocked in at 7.5 hours, making it the longest pay-per-view the company has ever produced.[56] The Becky Lynch–Charlotte Flair storyline was also criticized for being too similar to Daniel Bryan's storyline for WrestleMania XXX against The Authority, although Lynch's rise was seen as a positive and largely supported by the fanbase.[57][58]

Brian Campbell of CBS Sports directed praise towards the WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston, saying "After 11 long years, there is no trouble at all for Kingston, only paradise. The WWE veteran and one-third of The New Day pulled off an inspiring victory for the ages to cap off an amazing bit of storytelling following an unlikely and organic bid. Crowning Kingston as just the second male African-American WWE champion in the promotion's history certainly wasn't on the books as recently as two months ago but the combination of Kingston's in-ring performances and the undying support of the crowd made it the right thing to do." He also directed praise towards the Falls Count Anywhere match between Shane McMahon and The Miz, saying "As far as car wrecks go, this one was an artistic masterpiece. Not only did The Miz bring enough hatred and aggression to match the angle of protecting his father from McMahon, the creative use of the stadium for the match stipulation turned out to be brilliant."[56]

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer stated that the main event was "good", but the controversial way the match ended lead him to believe "that Rousey will be back for at least another show because Corey Graves was pointing out how this wasn't the way he'd want WrestleMania to end." He noted that the Styles-Orton match wasn't "as good as you'd expect from these two", calling it a "slow deliberate match" that "never reached a fever pitch." However, Melter loved the Kingston-Bryan, calling it a great match stating, "this blew away everything" at that point. He also liked the Rollins-Lesnar match stating that, despite its short length, "this tore down the house with the quick all big moves match like a Lesnar-Goldberg style." Meltzer felt the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match "could have been a classic if given more time", praising the Cesaro Swing to Ricochet, the tower of doom superplex spot and the Double Superfly splash in the end. Meltzer also felt the Reigns-McIntyre match "wasn't much" and that it was McIntyre doing most of the heavy work. He also stated that "Reigns looked tons better at Fastlane."[59]

Joshua Needelman of The Washington Post said the fans "got the result they wanted" for the main event match, but stated that the ending "felt anticlimactic. It was Rousey’s first time being pinned in WWE, yes, but it was hardly a definitive pin." Needleman noted in the Kingston-Bryan match that the crowd "exploded, bouncing up and down in their seats, as Big E and Xavier Woods...stormed the ring to celebrate." He also felt that Ric Flair's interference in the Triple H-Batista match felt "poetic, given the beef started when Batista beat up Flair on the legend’s 70th birthday." Needelman praised the superplex spot at the end of the Miz-McMahon match stating it "was a shocking moment, one made for highlight reels." He gave special praise to Ricochet in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match stating that "Ricochet provided an array of jaw-dropping moves in the short match. He stated that the Styles-Orton match was "a true clash of wrestling personalities" and that both men "delivered an entertaining match that was slow early but picked up as the action wore on."[60]

Wade Keller of Pro Wrestling Torch called the main event "a hell of a match" claiming it had "great pacing throughout" and was "non-stop drama." He stated the Universal Championship match was "not much of a match at all, which is always disappointing." He also stated that the crowd cheered, not really for the match, but rather for the "end of the Universal Title being around the waist of someone who they have been swayed to believe doesn’t want to be there." Keller felt that the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match had "lots of action", but concluded that with that many wrestlers, "it’s more about the spots than telling a usual story." Keller also loved the Kingston-Bryan match calling it "straight forward, with the heel getting a sustained beatdown and eventually the babyface scoring a clean win with a finishing move." Keller noted that there was a lot of indifference from the crowd during Reigns-McIntyre match and that is was "paced in a way that reenforced that indifference". He concluded that the match "did nothing to get fans who weren’t really excited about Roman any more excited that this is some new chapter for him."[61]

The Main Event match Between Charlotte, Lynch and Rousey got nomination for MTV Movie Award for Best Fight at 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards.[62][63]

AftermathEdit

The following night on Raw, new Raw and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch thanked the fans for their support and warned Ronda Rousey that she would be waiting for a rematch when Rousey returned from her post-WrestleMania hiatus. Lynch was subsequently attacked by Lacey Evans,[64][65] who was drafted to Raw during the Superstar Shake-up and defeated Natalya to become the number one contender for the Raw Women's Championship at Money in the Bank.[66] Charlotte Flair also earned a rematch for the SmackDown Women's Championship at the same event by defeating new SmackDown draftee Bayley.[67]

New Universal Champion Seth Rollins proclaimed that, unlike Brock Lesnar, he would be a fighting champion. He was then interrupted by The New Day; new WWE Champion Kofi Kingston challenged Rollins to a "Winner Takes All" match that Rollins accepted, but the match ended in disqualification when The Bar attacked Kingston. New Raw draftee AJ Styles then earned a Universal Championship match against Rollins at Money in the Bank,[68] while Kevin Owens began a feud with Kingston, leading to a WWE Championship match at the same event.[67][69] Before Money in the Bank, former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan received a rematch for the title on the May 6 episode of Raw, but was unsuccessful in regaining the title–although the two were SmackDown wrestlers, Vince McMahon introduced a "wild card rule" allowing up to four wrestlers to appear on the opposing brand's show by invitation going forward.[70][71]

Baron Corbin boasted about defeating Kurt Angle, who interrupted him. Angle feigned to wish Corbin luck and then performed the Angle Slam and an Ankle Lock on Corbin. NXT's Lars Sullivan then made his main roster debut and attacked Angle.[64] Corbin was later entered into the Money in the Bank ladder match to represent Raw, along with Drew McIntyre, Braun Strowman, and new draftee Ricochet, though Sami Zayn replaced Strowman after defeating the latter.[72] SmackDown's Ali (formerly Mustafa Ali), Andrade, Randy Orton, and new draftee Finn Bálor were also entered into the ladder match.[69]

Elias tried to continue his concert on Raw. He insulted John Cena and warned that the next to interrupt him would be "a dead man". The Undertaker then appeared and delivered a Tombstone Piledriver to Elias.[64] Notably, WrestleMania 35 was the first WrestleMania in 19 years without The Undertaker's involvement.[73] Elias was then transferred to SmackDown in the Superstar Shake-up, along with Roman Reigns, and the two began a feud leading to a match at Money in the Bank.[74][67] Before Money in the Bank, Reigns appeared on the May 6 episode of Raw where he had a WrestleMania rematch with Drew McIntyre, who again lost to Reigns, this time by disqualification.[70]

In the tag team division, The Revival lost their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championship against Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins.[64] On SmackDown, The Usos lost their SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Hardy Boyz.[65] The Usos were then drafted to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up and began a feud with The Revival,[66] but also tried to regain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship after The Hardys relinquished them due to Jeff's injury, but lost to Daniel Bryan and Rowan.[75]

WrestleMania 35 host Alexa Bliss taunted The Boss 'n' Hug Connection for losing their WWE Women's Tag Team Championship and claimed she could defeat either of them and proceeded to defeat Bayley on Raw.[64] The next night on SmackDown, new champions The IIconics vowed to be fighting champions and then retained in a match against local competitors, The Brooklyn Belles. Paige was watching backstage and revealed that she would be bringing a new tag team to SmackDown to manage and go after the titles;[65] revealed to be Asuka and NXT call-up Kairi Sane called The Kabuki Warriors.[76] On Raw during the Superstar Shake-up, as Sasha Banks was absent, Bayley teamed with new Raw draftee Naomi and defeated the champions in a non-title match.[66] Bliss, Naomi, Natalya, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Mandy Rose, new SmackDown draftee Ember Moon, and Carmella were later confirmed for the women's Money in the Bank ladder match; due to medical reasons, Bliss was replaced by new draftee Nikki Cross.[72][69]

On SmackDown, Carmella celebrated her winning the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal with R-Truth only for United States Champion Samoa Joe to interrupt and attack Truth. Joe then boasted that he could beat any challenger quicker than he defeated Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania and then got into a brawl with André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner Braun Strowman.[65] Joe and Mysterio were then moved to Raw during the Superstar Shake-up and continued their feud, leading to a title rematch at Money in the Bank.[72]

Following his drafting to the Raw brand in the Superstar Shake-up the following week, The Miz attacked Shane McMahon, seeking retribution.[66] Shane then attacked Miz during a match with Bobby Lashley on the April 29 episode of Raw and Miz later challenged Shane to a steel cage match at Money in the Bank that Shane accepted.[72]

On 205 Live, Tony Nese defeated Buddy Murphy in a rematch to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.[77] Murphy was then transferred to SmackDown during the Superstar Shake-up.[74]

Transit delaysEdit

After the event, many fans who had taken NJ Transit's to Meadowlands Rail Line and planned to return that way had to wait in the rain for hours. The transit agency had expected that WWE would end the event at 10:30 p.m., as it had told them they expected it to, and planned its staffing needs around that. When the event ran two hours longer, most of those staff had exceeded the limits of their daily work hours as permitted by Federal Railroad Administration regulations, and had gone home, leaving train crews shorthanded. At some points fans threatened to riot if trains did not come; their attempts to get alternative transportation through Uber were also mostly unsuccessful.[78] NJ Transit had expected from 8,000 to 13,000 riders; instead 33,000 headed for the trains after the event.[79]

NJ Transit officials blamed WWE for not telling them until the event had run later than scheduled that it would end after 10:30; some fans agreed with the railroad, recalling that WrestleMania 29 (the last WrestleMania held at MetLife Stadium) had ended around 10 p.m. and there were no problems with the trains. WWE officials responded that they do not plan specific ending times.[78] The failure drew comparisons to similar rail delays that accompanied Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in 2014, which had attracted almost the same amount of fans to the Meadowlands.[79]

New Jersey elected officials dismissed the transit agency's response. Upon hearing that NJ Transit had not adequately explained the reason for the delays to the waiting fans, Governor Phil Murphy, who has made a priority of reforming the agency, called that "completely, utterly, dog-ate-my-homework unacceptable."[78] State senator Paul Sarlo of nearby Wood-Ridge, who chairs that body's Budget and Appropriations committee, said the delays hurt the state's reputation. "It sends a bad message that imperils our ability to attract and retain the sports and entertainment events that deliver economic benefits." He suggested that the state could alleviate these problems in the future by completing the loop intended to take event attendees from Secaucus Junction to the Meadowlands; currently trains that take the spur from the Pascack Valley Line to the Meadowlands station must back out of it since the line ends there, causing delays when passenger volume is high.[79]

ResultsEdit

No. Results Stipulations Times[53][1]
1P Tony Nese defeated Buddy Murphy (c) Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship[80] 10:40
2P Carmella won by last eliminating Sarah Logan[Note 1] 17-woman WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal[81] 10:30
3P Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) (c) Tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship[82] 13:20
4P Braun Strowman won by last eliminating Colin Jost[Note 2] 30-man André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal[83] 10:20
5 Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship[84] 2:30
6 AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton Singles match[85] 16:20
7 The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) defeated Aleister Black and Ricochet, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura (with Lana), and The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) Fatal four-way tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship[86] 10:10
8 Shane McMahon defeated The Miz Falls Count Anywhere match[87] 15:30
9 The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) defeated The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (Bayley and Sasha Banks) (c), Nia Jax and Tamina, and The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya) Fatal four-way tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship[88] 10:45
10 Kofi Kingston (with Big E and Xavier Woods) defeated Daniel Bryan (c) (with Rowan) Singles match for the WWE Championship[89] 23:45
11 Samoa Joe (c) defeated Rey Mysterio Singles match for the WWE United States Championship[90] 1:00
12 Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre Singles match[91] 10:10
13 Triple H defeated Batista No Holds Barred match[92]
Had Triple H lost, he would have been forced to retire from in-ring competition
24:45
14 Baron Corbin defeated Kurt Angle Singles match (Kurt Angle's farewell match)[93] 6:05
15 "The Demon" Finn Bálor defeated Bobby Lashley (c) (with Lio Rush) Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship[94] 4:05
16 Becky Lynch defeated Ronda Rousey (Raw Women's Champion) and Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Champion) Winner Takes All triple threat match for both the WWE Raw Women's Championship and WWE SmackDown Women's Championship[95] 21:30
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show

WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender TournamentEdit

First round
205 Live
(2/26,[49] 3/5[50])
Semifinals
205 Live
(3/12[51])
Final
205 Live
(3/19)
         
Tony Nese Pin
Kalisto
Tony Nese Pin
Drew Gulak
The Brian Kendrick
Drew Gulak Sub
Tony Nese Pin
Cedric Alexander
Humberto Carrillo
Oney Lorcan Pin
Oney Lorcan
Cedric Alexander Pin
Cedric Alexander Pin
Akira Tozawa

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External linksEdit