Ronda Rousey and The Rock steal the show at WrestleMania as Seth Rollins wins WWE title

Graham Caygill was at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara for WrestleMania 31 on Sunday and he reflects on the main talking points of the night.
Seth Rollins with his Money in the Bank suitcase during WWE Live Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Seth Rollins with his Money in the Bank suitcase during WWE Live Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Graham Caygill was at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for WrestleMania 31 on Sunday and he reflects on the main talking points of the night

Ronda Rousey steals the show

The UFC women’s bantamweight champion made an unexpected appearance as she and The Rock confronted Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring over the latter pair’s taunting of the crowd. Rousey threw Triple H across the ring in their physical confrontation, and had McMahon in an arm hold before relinquishing it as she and The Rock stood tall. Rousey looked very comfortable on the microphone and a cross-promotion outing in the ring away from the Octagon against McMahon in the future could be a huge attraction.

RELATED:

— Bad News Barrett: Wayne Rooney’s gone quiet since getting KO’d by Phil Bardsley!

— Hulk Hogan on WM31, John Cena and inducting Randy Savage into WWE Hall of Fame

— Graham Caygill’s WrestleMania 31 predictions

Seth Rollins wins the WWE World Heavyweight championship

It was quite the turnaround for Rollins, who lost to Randy Orton in the second match on the card, but then became the first person to ever cash in his Money in the Bank contract during WrestleMania as he waited until champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Roman Reigns had battled for almost 20 minutes before interjecting himself into proceedings and made it a triple threat. Rollins has been superb since breaking away from the Shield last June and he fully deserves the title reign he earned by pinning Reigns with a curb stomp, with a bleeding Lesnar out of the ring. The WWE badly needs the WWE title defended regularly, something that was not happening with Lesnar, who had defended it only once between August and Sunday, and Rollins is the breath of fresh air the championship needed.

The mid-card titles are in big hands

Daniel Bryan won the Intercontinental title in a seven-man ladder match and John Cena won the United States title for the first time in 10 years as he gave Rusev his first ever WWE defeat. The WWE’s handling of their mid-card championships has been poor in the past, particularly the Intercontinental title, but both Bryan and Cena, with their established names, are primed to add to some real gravitas to the belts for the next few months. Bryan’s popularity with the crowd should guarantee more emotional investment in the intercontinental title.

Nostalgia galore

Triple H defeating Sting in the latter’s first ever WWE match was the most surprising result of the scheduled matches, but it was the plethora of old faces who made runs in that added to it. DeGeneration-X reunited as X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn ran out to help Triple H in the match, with Shawn Michaels going further by super-kicking Sting. But Sting had his own back-up as the New World Order, who had dominated WCW in the late 1990s came out, with Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash getting a huge response from the crowd of 76,000. Post-match, after Triple H had won by striking Sting in the face with the top of his sledgehammer, the two factions faced off that no-one ever expected to ever see. It was strange to see Sting lose on his WWE debut, but defeat does open up lots of story opportunities for the future.

The Undertaker’s days are running out

Twelve months after he lost for the first time at WrestleMania to Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker made his first appearance as he made it 22 wins and one loss at Mania by beating Bray Wyatt. But it was the weakest match of the night, a slow plodding affair as the Undertaker, who turned 50 last week, looked his age as he moved very slowly around the ring throughout. If retirement is not already on the horizon for him, then he really should think about wrapping things up at WrestleMania 32 in his home state of Texas next April. Wyatt did what he could, but one has to feel sorry for him, having carried this feud on his own, he took the loss and where he goes next is not obvious.

Full results from WrestleMania 31

Daniel Bryan defeated Bad News Barrett, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler and Stardust to win the Intercontinental title in a ladder match.

Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins

Triple H defeated Sting

Paige & AJ Lee defeated The Bella Twins in a tag team match

John Cena defeated Rusev to win the United States title

Undertaker defeated Bray Wyatt

Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Published: March 30, 2015 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one