Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE Wrestlemania 40 Night #1 Review with Match Thoughts and Show Grade

Welcome to my Night #1 review of Wrestlemania 40, which was headlined by Rock/Roman vs. Seth/Cody. Interesting development for this show, as Night 1’s finish could help determine or shape now Night 2’s main event may go. It’s a moving storyline and an interesting twist to this year’s Wrestlemania that WWE just accidentally fell into thanks to fans getting upset with WWE trying to force Rock vs. Roman instead of the planned Cody vs. Roman.

This show seems like a 2 match show, both the main events, but how did the rest of the show go besides the main event? Let’s jump right into it.

Mr. Tito’s PHAT Night #1 Wrestlemania 40 Review

Gotta say up front, CM Punk is a natural fit as a panelist on the pre-game show. Hopefully, we see him for years doing this once he retires.

Second comment, the backstage interviewers and pre-game hosts seem to be much more free in this post-Vince McMahon world. They are likely not getting micro-managed any longer, along with dealing with Kevin Dunn either. Freedom is nice.

Third comment, everybody is complaining about how late the Hall of Fame went on last night… Know what I think is STUPID? Having a NXT PLE on the morning/afternoon of Wrestlemania. THAT is stupid.

Fourth comment, I don’t how how anyone can enjoy Wrestlemania LIVE at a stadium unless they seriously had the first 10 rows by the ring. If you go cheap and get upper deck or inner bowl, you’re not only back far, but those lights are super bright. Plus, the lights around the ring will block your vision. Just not worth attending, in my opinion, at stadium WWE events unless you are willing to pay lots of money for closer floor seats. Hopefully, the new Triple H led regime can figure out better ways to make the stadium experience better for everybody. The lights seem higher and the beams seem to be more transparent (not solid) than before, so hopefully fans have a great experience tonight.

Fifth comment… The new WWE executive producer they obtained from ESPN is awesome and has placed a much needed makeover to WWE’s look. Feels fresh and young, and this showcases all of the newer pushed wrestlers and storylines well to enhance them further.

6th, it’s about 50 degrees to start this show and will get colder as the night wears on. Could be interesting to see how it affects wrestlers whether it keeps them cool or makes it harder to breath with colder air. We shall see.

7th comment, the Prime bottle doesn’t look too offensive inside the ring. Fans should get used to seeing more sponsors on stuff, moving forward. This is only the beginning. As long as wrestlers could get paid more thanks to these sponsorships, I’m OK with it. Would be cool if WWE let wrestlers obtain their own shoe/clothing deals.

Last comment before the matches, nice work Coco Jones on the National Anthem. Looked amazing doing it. Nice job!

“TIME TO PLAY THE GAME” music hits and here comes Triple H, and we have a nice 3 man team on announcing team again with Corey Graves, Michael Cole, and Pat McAfee. Corey, by the way, is doing a great job as a play-by-play guy now, I must add. “Welcome to a new time, welcome to a new era, welcome to Wrestlemania” Triple H proclaimed!

Up first, we could have a hot opener with Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley (c) for the Women’s Title. Loved this match-up, as you have the biggest female star from a few years ago against the biggest star now. Becky is looking like a badass tonight, with a different variation on her make-up with redness on each sides of her eyes. Rhea Ripley must have had the same make-up artists, as has red stuff painted up on the sides of her face near the eyes too. That, or both ladies entered slap contests and are just bruised up that way? Both ladies look amazing, regardless. Crowd is kind of quiet, as I wonder if fans like both wrestlers equally and just have no rooting interests? Match gained some momentum when the fought around the ring post and Rhea reversed a top rope legdrop into her Prism Trap submission hold. ­Nice sequence of reversals that caused Becky to get slammed by the Riptide by Rhea, and then a Superplex into a Disarmer submission. Both of these ladies are so talented and make everything look flawless. Crazy sequence that led to Rhea hitting the Electric Chair slam on the outside. Rhea won via Riptide slam on the turnbuckle, and then another Riptide slam on the mat. Overall, GOOD crisp match between the two that took a moment to connect with fans. Good opener between the ladies, and now, it’s time to wonder if Becky Lynch stays or goes with her WWE contract expiring within 2 months.

Weird segment with Pretty Deadly hyping the tag match… Yeah, maybe strike that earlier praise of the new WWE executive producer.

6-Pack Ladder Tag Match and both sets of tag titles are up for grabs and must each be retrieved. Looks like DIY are leaning into the DX stuff, but why not just become DX? I have nothing but love for R-Truth, one of my personal favorites. Interesting to see Vodka sponsoring a match, as I can’t recall alcohol directly sponsoring on a WWE show before (besides TV commercials). New Day comes out, and Woods comes out with an Apollo Creed like outfit. Very nice. By the way, wrestlers without knee pads look weird in wrestling. Maybe that was why Cody didn’t pushed during the early 2010s? Double Moonsault by the New Catch Republic off the ladders was a thing of beauty. R-Truth on the outside and looks for the hot tag and of course it got a huge reaction. Miz went for it and got the big tag to get R-Truth in there and he hits the 5-Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment, goes for the pin. LOL! Awesome Truth nad DIY appear to be colluding and agree to split up the titles, but that fails with both teams foolishly climb the ladders, as Waller and Theory push both teams off the ladders and obtain the Smackdown tag titles. Waller took a sick Powerbomb over the ropes and literally through a ladder that broke on impact. Ouch! Philly chanted “we want tables”, and they shall receive. Crazy spot with Kofi Kingston doing a Trust Fall off the ladder and onto many on the outside. CRAZY Tornado DDT by Gargano over the top rope and through the table, just sick! Then, Ciampa delivered a sick dropping move from the top of the ladder. OH MY GOD! JD McDonagh interferes for Judgment Day and now New Day has a chair to swing. JD gets tossed from the ladder and onto the tables on the outside. Priest on the attack next, Razon’s Edge for Kofi onto the chair. SCARY moment when Miz starts climbing the ladder and the legs start breaking. Phew, nothing happened. R-Truth fends off Priest and now he’s gonna climb the ladder and the Awesome Truth wins the RAW Tag Titles. Crowd seems so happy for that ending. I enjoyed that match… Lived up to being a ladder match and had plenty of chaos, with a few sick spots I haven’t seen before. GOOD match once again, as Wrestlemania is off to a great start!

The tag match of Rey Mysterio/Andrade vs. Dominik Mysterio/Santos Escobar. Wait, what happened to Dragon Lee? I thought he was in this match? Well, it pays to watch Smackdown last night (I was watching NCAA Women’s Final Four). I’m so proud of how hated Dominik is by fans… Love it! Crazy move with Andrade and Rey Mysterio doing a double stack cross body (Rey on his shoulders, jump off the ropes and onto Dominik/Santos on the outside). I kind of laugh how both sides have their own entourages of like 2-3 guys and then a female each. Everybody gets a Wrestlemania payday, I suppose. Love seeing Andrade hit the Dragon Screw Legwhips, miss seeing that move (favorite repeat move of N64’s Wrestlemania 2000). Several missed moves here that, but the new production stuff were quick to hide with camera tricks. The ladies start fighting, and then we see the LWO slingshot move where is launched like 20 yards to the entrance way. A pair of guys in Philadelphia Eagles masks arrive and interfere, one of which is Jason Kelce and the other is Lane Johnson to help Mysterio/Andrade win the match. Rey Mysterio was decked out in a Philadelphia Eagles themed tights… Match was FUN and had a tough chore following the chaos of the Ladder Match before it. That said, lots of blown spots and just too many bodies flying around instead of focusing just on the wrestlers in the tag match. Nothing offensive here and just good ol’ Wrestlemania fun. Should be cool to hear Jason Kelce talk about his experience on the New Heights podcast.

Up next is Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso. I would have gone with this as a hot opener, but I have a feeling that Seth vs. Drew will carry that honor on Day #2. So here we are… Let’s hope that it’s not as awkward as Matt vs. Jeff Hardy that looked too choreographed. After initial back and forth, we get into the choreographed stuff of each guy superkicking each other. *face palm* Why in the hell would you let someone kick you right underneath the chin? So stupid… I liked that flying Superkick by Jey and should consider that as a finisher. Now, it gets suddenly good when Jimmy Uso begs Jey off from another Superkick, apologizing. Jey falls for it, and then gets superkicked and splashed. Did you see that? The second they did the “sports entertainment”, the match suddenly had emotion rather than choreographed superkicks back and forth. Take note, Young Bucks. You lack emotion and psychology in your awful matches. Jey hits a spear and then a rotating splash for the win. Match was GOOD overall, but was verging on bad with the choreographed stuff until Jimmy begged for mercy. Then, it quickly improved and became great.

6 women match between Damage CTRL vs. Bianca Belair/Jade Cargill/Naomi, as we get a cool entrance for Bianca/Jade/Naomi coming out together and then doing their entrances separate. Gotta say, the fashion is top notch for all 6 ladies in this match. Looking fantastic! Suddenly, there are computer generated sponsorship graphics on the WWE ring for Wing Stop… Ehhhhh, it will take some time to get used to it. Distracting right now. I haven’t noticed this before, but does Asuka often keep her tongue out when she performs? Now, a Wing Stop graphic appears on the upper righthand corner of my screen. Never ate there before, but these ads are pissing me off enough to not ever eat there if given the option. Take that, Corporate America! Vry clear here that Bianca is the most talented person in this match. Bianca went for the big tag for Jade, but it appears she shifts into the “face in peril” role to get the big hot tag. Jade is looking good, obviously with more training. Bianca whipped Asuka with her ponytail and then hit the KOD, while Jade hit the Glam Slam on Dakota. Match was FINE for what it was, and that was to give the fans a taste of Jade Cargill while also keeping Bianca strong. Going to be interesting when WWE pulls the trigger on Jade vs. Bianca.

Sami Zayn vs. Gunther(c) for the Intercontinental Title was up next. Remember when people hated on Vince McMahon for renaming him as “Gunther” and requesting him to lose some weight. About that… Gunther looks pretty damn good as IC Champ here and the “history of the IC title” hype promo was great with him. Gunther looks like a top star and hopefully, he’s the guy who takes the title off of Cody (assuming Cody wins on Night #2). Classic underdog babyface versus a bullying heel here, with both guys perfectly opposite of each other. That said, I still would have settled for Brock Lesnar vs. Gunther. Love the psychology here of Sami fighting for his family, but then the heel Gunther trying to show up Sami’s wife. Roles are played perfectly, as I said… Thanks to this psychology, the fans are coming alive tonight and for this match. Gunther hitting the Powerbombs and Clotheslines perfectly, but of course, Sami is selling those perfectly as well. Gunther gets to a point where he’s just taunting Sami, hitting powerbombs and bodysplashes without bothering to pin him. Gunther is SMILING as he’s dealing that destruction. LOVE IT. Sami feels the crowd and has a second life and catches Gunther with a Brainbuster on the ropes and then nails the kick on Gunther in the corner. Then, as Cole yells “do you believe in miracles” like the Miracle on Ice, Sami hits a second kick and WINS the freakin’ IC Title by pinning Gunther cleanly. HOLY COW, and that was a GREAT MATCH and the best of the night thus far. EXCELLENT match that had lots of emotion and psychology built in, with a MAJOR win for Sami. Sami goes over to his wife to celebrate and she’s legitimately crying. The loss keeps Gunther strong because he got cocky as a heel and opted not to go for the easy pins. Excellent match and storytelling within.

Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis, the General Managers, are in the ring next and announce the attendance as 72,543 for Night #1. Celebrities are shown, and we get the Slammy Awards tomorrow morning and a press conference afterward. Then, we hype Night #2, as we’re killing time for any last minute bathroom breaks, beer runs, or last minute merchandise purchases.

FINALLY, THE MAIN EVENT HAS ARRIVED… Rock/Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins is here and we’ll see if it’s epic. What was up with Seth’s robe? That big blue thing on his right arm? Of course, the Rock’s entrance was absurd and he was holding the People’s Championship title presented to him by Lonnie Ali last night at the Hall of Fame ceremony. I figured he’d carry that title to the ring tonight, seemed quite proud of it. Listening to the crowd, it seems to be a pro-Rock crowd, though Seth Rollins’s theme music is getting repeated often for him. Kinda quiet for Cody… The physique differences between the two teams is quite noticeable… They did a standard tag match, but then it became bedlam and Rock threatened that if the referee counted, he’d be fired. Rock/Seth and then Roman/Cody are brawling throughout the arena. Roman clipped Rollins’s knee on the outside, and now Seth Rollins is getting his leg worked by Rock and Roman with Seth as “face in peril”. Seth better sell that leg injury, tomorrow. In case you didn’t notice, this match was sponsored by American Home Shield… Good psychology with the Rock constantly threatening the referee. Rock and Roman are working as a well oiled tag team, as if a WWE Hall of Famer (Heyman) has helped instruct them. Seth has been getting worked for a while and unable to make the tag, but Curb Stomps Rock to finally make the big tag to Cody. Cody gets offense mainly on Roman, but eventually it becomes an even fight. Roman with a bloody nose… Rollins and Cody trade-off on offense on Roman and just as Cody almost pinned Roman with the CrossRhodes, Rock pulls the referee out of the ring. Roman takes advantage of Cody and gets a spear, but only a 2 count. Roman had the Guillotine on Cody and the Rock was holding his legs down on the outside, and just as the referee almost called it, Seth hits a stomp on Roman. Rock tries to use the belt to attack Cody, but Cody fights back and hits some Dusty punches and the bionic elbow. Rock fights back and now it’s the People’s Elbow, but Cody reverses it into the Cody Cutter (but boos are audible when he does it…). Cody tries a CrossRhodes on Rock, but Roman hits the Superman Punch. Roman tries to hit Cody with the Spear, but BOOM, he accidentally hits the Rock. Cody and Seth hit double Pedigrees on both guys, but 2 count only. Seth takes on Roman, while Cody goes for the Rock. Rock fights him off and tries to hit a Rock Bottom, but Seth interferes and Cody hits one on Rock through the Table. Then, Roman spears Seth through a barricade! Holy cow! Cody tries to put the Rock back into the ring, but eats a Drive-by from Roman. Cody starts hitting CrossRhodes, but then the Rock nails him with the belt and Roman hits the Spear. Instead of pinning him, Roman tags in the Rock and Rock signals the Rock Bottom is up next and Rock nails it. People’s Elbow and Rock gets the pin. Thus, the BLOODLINE RULES will occur for Night #2 between Cody vs. Roman. WHAT A GREAT DAMN MATCH!!! They nailed it, and The Rock looked 1,000 times better as a performer than he did during 2012-2013.


LAST WORD: Wow, what a Night #1 that was mostly solid but really NAILED the last 2 matches with Sami Zayn vs. Gunther and then Cody/Seth vs. Roman/Rock. I wonder if the cold weather or just so much wrestling to consume this weekend wore out the fans, as they were mostly quiet during many of the matches but did come alive for various parts, especially the last 2 matches. Overall, this show was fun and really CRUSHED IT on the last 2 matches. We’ll get into “All Time Great Wrestlemania” territory if Night #2 sticks its landing and especially if some of the midcard matches exceed their expectations. [ A ] grade overall for the show.

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