WrestleMania 32 was an odd one. WWE had booked its biggest stadium to date in Dallas, and all indications were that the company hoped to book a spectacle of an event on a comparable scale to WrestleMania 3, which had set the previous WrestleMania attendance record.
Unfortunately, the locker room was in for a string of bad luck. Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and John Cena suffered injuries that kept each of these top tier stars from being booked for the biggest show of the year.
Daniel Bryan had just retired. The Rock couldn’t get pinned down for a full-fledged match booking. Brock Lesnar came across as operating at his least motivated. To make matters worse, despite all of the talent unavailable, or not at their best, the show nonetheless reached marathon levels, going on and on and on with few high spots to perk up the crowd.
Nonetheless, it was nice to see the women’s division get a proper spotlight as Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair quite arguably stole the show with the best match of the night, and the opening Intercontinental Championship was a fun enough outing.
These bits of good news weren’t enough to overcome a lackluster, predictable main event and otherwise pretty middling show by ‘Mania standards. Nonetheless, this article takes a look at the single best and single worst moment WrestleMania 32 had to offer.
Best Moment: Zack Ryder wins
Zack Ryder is a perennial favorite among a segment of the WWE audience that appreciates his hard work, commitment, and particularly the way in which he used his own resources to get himself as over as he could in 2011 via social media and his YouTube show.
WWE booking largely squandered him at that point, and by 2016, he was scarcely used on TV and there was no indication that WWE meant to feature him in any meaningful way.
Out of nowhere, Ryder found himself booked for the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match, and made a big deal out of the fact that it was the first time in his career he got to hear his theme music play at a ‘Mania stadium.
To make matters even better, Ryder actually won the match, capturing a typically strong Ladder Match brawl by upsetting an overly cocky Miz to steal the title.
Worst Moment: The Rock is in a no-win situation
A surprise WrestleMania appearance from The Rock feels as though it ought to be a good thing, and it certainly had worked to WWE‘s advantage in the preceding two years. Moreover, having him face off with Bray Wyatt and his cronies seemed like a reasonable enough use of him, so we could get a war of words between skilled mic men, and a younger act could get the rub.
Despite everything that seemed like it should have worked in theory, Rock’s appearance at WrestleMania 32 was mostly a disaster. To start with, the show was already running long, and so when Rock came out with a flamethrower, it felt less like an electric moment than another segment to slog through.
The promo opposite Wyatt was fine, but not as dramatic or interesting as a fan would have hoped for. From there, we got an impromptu few-second squash match between Rock and Erick Rowan that made the segment feel incoherent and rushed, besides making the Wyatts come across as goofs.
It's telling that the most genuinely exciting part of this segment was John Cena’s surprise appearance, which generally wouldn’t have been as exciting as The Rock showing up. Seeing the two megastars clear the ring on the same side redeemed the situation to a small degree.Published 04 Mar 2019, 20:38 IST