How did the Grandaddy of them all shape up? We break down Wrestlemania 2018 Weekend in New Orleans
Wrestlemania 2018 was held 8th April in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. To pinpoint the event to one night seems unfair, as there are a plethora of activities that take place in the week leading up to Mania. As well as the Hall of Fame, NXT Takeover (WWE’s developmental brand) and Wrestlemania Fan Fest Axxess, Wrestlemania week brings with it the who’s who of pro wrasslin’ companies, including ROH, Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling and the UK’s very own Progress Wrestling, amongst others.
So we can attempt to fit this all into one blog post, we are going to highlight our favourite moments from the three main WWE Events. With that said, here we go.
2018 Hall of Fame
WWE inducted a stellar class this year. The Dudley Boyz, Ivory, Hillbilly Jim, Kid Rock, Jarrius “J.J.” Robertson, Jeff Jarrett, Mark Henry and Bill Goldberg were all given their chance to shine and cement their legacies.
Notable highlights included The Dudley Boyz slamming a crew member through a table, “Double J” Jeff Jarrett and Road Dogg giving a spirited version of “With My Baby Tonight” and the sheer length of the Hall of Fame ceremony itself. WWE did their very best not to show it, but by the time Mark Henry and Goldberg and taken the stage, the area directly in front of them had emptied, with WWE Superstars and family members opting to leave, perhaps to fulfil early morning obligations.
For any diehard fan, The Hall of Fame is an integral part of Wrestlemania Weekend. Having the chance to listen to legends talking about friends, rivalries and life on the road is golden. This year was no exception.
NXT Takeover: New Orleans
The NXT brand regularly upstages it’s older and more refined Wrestlemania peers and NXT Takeover: New Orleans was no exception. One of the theories as to why this happens on every takeover event is that time is limited, coming in at a manageable 2-3 hours.
The card was stacked and included a 5 man ladder match for the newly formed North American Championship, a stellar NXT Heavyweight championship bout between Aleister Black and Andre Cien Almas and in a throwback to the old AWA days, the culmination of a heated rivalry between “Mr Wrestling” Jonny Gargano and Tommasso Ciampa.
The passion and intensity shared by the NXT performers and fans is something that gave NXT Takeover: New Orleans a very real edge. Even the announcers are in on the action – See the video clip below to see how involved Mauro Ranello got whilst on commentary.
In our eyes there were three or four noteable matches on the 7 hour plus Wrestlemania 2018 Card.
The first and probably our favourite of the night being a physical and highly emotional match between Charlotte Flair and the unbeaten Asuka. Charlotte broke Asuka’s 3 year unbeaten streak with a figure eight in the middle of the ring. Bruised and bloodied, Charlotte had her hand raised and then both opponents embraced.
Ronda Rousey had probably the greatest debut in wrestling history when she partnered with Kurt Angle to take on the boss’s daughter Stephanie Mcmahon and her husband Triple H.
This match was a ton of fun and Ronda Rousey had impeccable timing. The crowd were loud throughout and when Stephanie McMahon submitted to the armbar the Silverdome, as Hulk Hogan would have you believe, went ballistic.
- Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins (looking like a white walker from Game of Thrones) vs The Miz
- AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura (The match itself was short but the turn by Nakamura was great)
- John Cena vs Undertaker (Controversial but Wrestlemania without the Deadman doesn’t feel the same)
- Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns (Sometimes some fans can ruin a match – but these same fans pay their hard earned money)
- Braun Strowman and a kid vs The Bar (This match kinda erased everything good that The Bar had done previously)
Series 8 WWE Funko POP!
WWE Announced a new series of WWE Funko POP at the start of Wrestlemania 2018 Weekend, Pre-Order Here