Cheap Pops - Wrestlemania 31 Special Edition

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This week!

  • Wrestlemania 31 Reactions

  • The Night After...

Mike: It’s about twelve hours before we usually post Cheap Pops, I am literally just getting home from vacation, so this week’s column is basically going to be a quick one, just covering our thoughts about Wrestlemania and the Raw after.   

Of the 8 matches we made picks for (we didn’t do picks for the Tag Team Title match), we were pretty abysmal.  

Mike: 3

Chris: 4

Jeff: 3

Wrestlemania 31 Results


  • Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E), Los Matadores and The Usos to retain the Tag Team Championship

  • Big Show won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Main Card

  • Daniel Bryan defeated Bad News Barrett (c), R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler and Stardust in a Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship    

  • Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins

  • Triple H pinned Sting

  • AJ & Paige defeated the Bella Twins

  • John Cena beat Rusev to win the U.S. Championship

  • Undertaker pinned Bray Wyatt

  • Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar

Chris: You know, I feel pretty good about WWE coming out of this year's 'Mania.  On paper, the show promised to have some good matches, but just about everything exceeded my expectations.  Now, hold your horses, I'm not calling it the greatest show the world has ever seen, but it came off pretty well.  There were even a few truly memorable "Wrestlemania Moments."

Sting and Triple H put on the best show of the night.  I thought it was exciting as hell to watch WCW square off with the WWF one last time.  Sure Hogan, Nash, & Hall are all done as in-ring performers, but they still had enough charisma to pull off the big save.  Hell, seeing DX out there to fight the NWO was something I won't forget.  The finish really made sense, as Trips is still an important part of WWE.  I guess Vince wasn't letting WCW get even one more win.  In the end, it's a fake show, so the win really doesn't matter.  This was the spectacle that I hoped for!  What more could you want?

Mike: That punk Triple H couldn’t beat Sting clean. He had to whack him with the head of a sledge hammer.  I thought that was a great way to end the match even though I wanted Sting to win.  Sting never looked weak during the match, and at times, Triple H looked like he was fighting for his very survival, which made for a great match.  It was great to see NWO and DX facing off...even though it doesn’t quite make sense if you watched the Hall of Fame show the night before, but screw it, I’m ignoring that.  It was the fun spectacle I was hoping for.

Honestly, I thought that the show didn’t have much hype going in, but it did exceed all my expectations.  For match of the night, I think I will go with Bray and Taker, but I suspect a lot of that is because I really was expecting nothing from this one, especially when I heard Bray had a bad leg injury that day.  Both men put together a terrific match with some great spots I had to cheer at.  This was probably the best match Taker has had since Mania 28...even better than his match with Punk, which I really enjoyed.

Chris: I thought the match was solid, but Punk/Taker was better, in my mind.  I have to say, Taker looked much better this year than last.  Putting him out there last year against Lesnar was a terrible move.  He looked small and feeble next to the Beast.  Wyatt being chubby and shorter than Undertaker brought some of the Deadman's menace back.

Mike: I think that was it, Taker just looked real good in this match.  When I go back and rewatch Punk and Taker, it feels like Punk was sort of carrying him through the match at times.  That could just be my perception, but I have watched it a few times, and it just hasn’t held up for me.  I thought this was much more give and take with two men working together to put on a great show.

Chris: I see your point, but they didn't really do too much high risk stuff.  It was fantastic to see Undertaker walk the ropes one more time, but both men were being a little gingerly in there.  Granted it was for obvious reasons.  You know what, I'm also a huge Punk fan and we saw the show live.  One day soon I'll have to rewatch and compare.

Mike: I also want to acknowledge the tag team match in the pre-show.  I was expecting the ladder match to be my favorite match...and it was good, but I thought the Tag Team match was just real well put together.  I thought all the men involved came out looking great, and I loved when Natalya slapped the sharpshooter on El Torito.

Chris: I thought the ladder match would steal the show, but Sting/Trips was far more memorable.  

I must say, how bout that main event?  Brock mostly trashed Reigns, but Roman put on a good show.  I loved the blade job by Brock.  It opened the door to competitiveness.  Of course Seth Rollins cashing in really made the match some special, a "Moment," if you will.  I wasn't expecting anything special out of the match, but everyone played their role to perfection.

Mike: ROLLINS!  ROLLINS! ROLLINS! Not bad when you get two huge Wrestlemania moments in the same night.  That missed Curb Stomp into an RKO was about the most insane thing I have ever seen.  I have always said that Rollins seems to give it his all every match, and this match...especially the height on that Curb Stomp was no exception.

But, it wasn’t just about Seth being on the receiving end of a Wrestlemania moment.  He got the opportunity to totally redeem himself by becoming the first man to cash in the Money in the Bank Briefcase at Wrestlemania.  Which is pretty much all I wanted from the show, so I was happy.

I actually hate the way the crowds are crapping all over Reigns.  I still think he’s way out of his league at the moment, but he puts on solid matches all in all.  I would have no problem with a Rollins Vs Reigns main event for next year’s Wrestlemania.  I didn’t expect much from Brock vs Reigns, but it was actually a very good match where I wasn’t quite sure who was going to win while watching it.

Chris: Reigns keeps improving and that's all I can ask as a fan.  He did good work in the main event two PPVs in a row.  I'm not sold on him being THE top guy, but I'm more than cool with him as A top guy.

Mike: My only real complaint with Mania:  Why did they have Cena beat Rusev??  What was gained by that?  I was so annoyed by this.   Like Bray Wyatt last year, they take someone on a great run and have them get derailed by the Cena Express.  I don’t hate Cena like a lot of fans do, but when you see booking like this, I totally get why people hate him.  It just seems so shortsighted to me.

Chris: Both Cena and Undertaker going over are giant mistakes.  How does Wyatt ever become the Face of Fear or whatever he was claiming to be?  Your thoughts on Cena are on the money.  Why stop a streak that's a year long for a guy that always wins?

Mike: That actually is a big part of what annoys me about the fans crapping on Reigns.  Reigns is home grown talent, he’s getting some shots in the main event, it is sure better than the same ol’, same ol’ over and over again.  A nice mix of Reigns, Ambrose, DB, Ziggler, Rollins, and some of the guys coming up from NXT would give me a bigger thrill than part time wrestlers, Cena, Kane, and Big Show.

Chris: Same thing with the Battle Royal!  Why Big Show?  There's nothing left to do with the guy.  Unless it's his parting gift for a mediocre career, it just makes no sense.  Has he ever drawn any money for the company?  Why keep giving him spotlight moments?

Mike: He did draw some money when he was feuding with Mayweather...BUT...Mayweather could draw money if he was feuding with me or you….

Chris: Fair enough.  

Mike: But I totally agree with you that it made no sense to have Big Show win that Battle Royal.  I was really hoping for a Mizdow win, especially since the announcers kept saying over and over again that Big Show had this one won.  But, in typical WWE fashion, they once again drained away any shock value.

Chris: Onto your point about call ups.  So, the night after Mania started off red hot with a well executed angle with Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins.  More importantly, how awesome did the Lucha Dragons and Adrian Neville look in the ring!  Kalisto was out of this world connecting on every crazy flip he attempted.  

Mike: I was surprised how well they looked with the change of venue.  I had been a little down on the Lucha Dragons lately in NXT, but they were a breath of fresh air on the main roster.   Neville is gold in the ring no matter where you put him.  I do worry that he will get lost in the main roster since he’s not much of a talker.

Chris: The Dragons definitely looked better than they have recently on NXT.  In fact, the whole match was a lot of fun.  Even the Ascension looked pretty good.  It was like a rebooted tag division blossoming before our eyes.

Neville looked great in the ring, which isn't a statement that needs to be made.  I mean, duh, of course he did.  Still, I needed to say it, because that cape was dreadful!  Not to mention WWE dropping his first name.  Neville isn't a name that works on its own.  At least Cesaro and Rusev are oddball names that work okay independently.  Neville sounds like the kid sitting next to Matilda in a very British maths class or makes me think of the awful leader that appeased the Nazis before WWII broke out.  Why can't certain guys have a first name?  Now his last name just sounds like a dorky first name.  

Mike: Yeah, that is a weird one for me too.  I am waiting for Seth or Dean to get the one name treatment.  ::cringe::