The Best and Worst Moment of WWE WrestleMania 33
- From the return of the Hardys to Roman Reigns beating The Undertaker, WrestleMania 33 covered a lot of ground.
WrestleMania 33 was a fun show, with the New Day setting the tone as hosts, a terrific sprint of a smash mouth sprint between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg providing a unique spectacle. It’s hard to call it an all-time great ‘Mania for the absence of truly exceptional matches, but it nonetheless goes down as an iteration of the show with very few dead spots, big disappointments, or truly awful matches. This article takes a look at the best and worst moment the show had to offer.
The Best: The Hardy Boyz return
Leading into WrestleMania 33, there was some buzz that The Hardy Boyz might be inserted into the Raw Tag Team Championship match. As far as anyone knew, they were finishing their run with Ring of Honor the night before WrestleMania.
They were hot in the wrestling world, based on the buzz around their Broken Gimmick and so-called Expedition for Gold, collecting titles around different promotions. On top of all of that, WWE had booked the Raw tag title match as a multi-team ladder match—both the Hardys’ specialty and a match that invited extra participants getting added in.
For all of the ways in which a Hardy return seemed possible and made sense, neither of the brothers had nonetheless worked for WWE for nearly a decade at that point. So, it still felt like a stretch that they’d return in the context of a WrestleMania match, if at all.
Fast forward to the tag title match. The New Day came out to suggest another team would be added to the bout, and stepped toward the ring, seeming to hint that they were interjecting themselves.
From there, the Hardy Boyz music hit and a stadium full of wrestling fans positively lost their minds with chants of “Delete!” offering one of the most fun surprises in recent WrestleMania history. The cherry on top, of course, was the Hardys going on to win their match and the titles.
The Worst: The Tombstone Botch
For as solid as WrestleMania 33 was on the whole, the main event stands out for less than positive reasons. The idea of Roman Reigns and The Undertaker closing the show didn’t immediately make much sense.
Yes, they were two of the biggest stars on the card, but there was no world title at stake in their match, The Undertaker was well past his prime physically, and while Reigns may have been better than haters wanted to give him credit for, he wasn’t equipped to carry someone in a match of this magnitude. (The idea that this was The Phenom’s retirement match made the main event spot make more sense, but all of the dates he worked in 2018 thoroughly undermined that rationale.)
What followed was a bit of a slog as the guys went long without providing any action to write home about. The lackluster main event reached its nadir when Reigns reversed into setting up The Undertaker for a Tombstone.
The spot made poetic sense enough, but no one actually wanted to see Reigns take down The Dead Man like that, and to make matters even worse, the move was totally botched.
Blame it on Reigns’s strength, conditioning, or technique; blame it on The Dead Man’s agility, timing, and fatigue; blame it on happenstance and a confluence of factors—the result was an ugly flub that seemed to represent the match on the whole—a dud that was nowhere near as good as fans would have hoped, and risked tarnishing the event on the whole for the match’s main event positioning.