The Best and Worst Moment of WrestleMania 31
There were real questions about whether Sting vs.Triple H could deliver given each man’s limitations, or what Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker might look like.
The show on the whole over-performed with most outings exceeding expectations, including a fun turf war between the New World Order and DX, an all-time great RKO from Randy Orton to Seth Rollins, and a surprise moment from The Rock and Ronda Rousey. This article takes a look at best and worst moment from WrestleMania 31.
Best Moment: Seth Rollins Cashes In
By WrestleMania 31, Money in the Bank had been on the WWE landscape for a full decade. In that time, fans had concocted a lot of schemes for how the title opportunity might be used, and reaching as far back as WrestleMania 22, there had been theories that WWE might subvert an unsavory win by John Cena or Triple H with a winner like Rob Van Dam or Ric Flair cashing in.
In the end, though, WWE always seemed to treat WrestleMania, and particularly its main event, as sacred. There would be no cash-in shenanigans that might confuse casual fans or read as silly to traditional fans.
Fast forward to the closing minutes of WrestleMania 31. Roman Reigns had done the unlikely in delivering far and away his best singles performance up to that point. While coming into his own might soften the blow to his naysayers, of Reigns being the one to slay Brock Lesnar, it nonetheless felt like a no-win situation. Reigns didn’t feel ready to be on top. Lesnar winning would feel like a downer.
Option C came into play in electric fashion here with Seth Rollins cashing in in the final minutes of the match and stealing the title. The finish protected Lesnar and Reigns, while the electricity of the most shocking cash in till date sent fans home happy, even with a heel going over to close the show.
Worst Moment: Triple H pins Sting
WWE has its reasons for unpopular booking decisions, and several times history plays out to crystalize those choices that didn’t seem to make sense as they were happening. However, in matches between part-time legends, particularly in the context of a show like WrestleMania, it’s hard to defend the face not going over.
More to the point, when Sting finally arrived in WWE and faced off with Triple H, both men were bulletproof and it was hard to imagine Sting and his fans not getting their moment.
This match itself was nothing to write home about, with Sting, in particular, showing his age. Nonetheless, the nWo-DX subplot to the match was fun to take advantage of the WCW vs. WWE undertones of the match. There was a feel-good moment waiting to be had in Sting making The Game tap to the Scorpion Deathlock or else pinning him after a Scorpion Death Drop.
Instead, Triple H used the head of his busted sledgehammer to knockout The Icon and pin him.
This story did support the idea of WWE winning the Monday Night War, and Triple H would be reigning as WWE Champion in a year’s time. However, it felt like a needless downer, particularly when Sting would be challenging for the world title against Seth Rollins in his next program that summer, and this would turn out to be his only WrestleMania match.