WWE WrestleMania 40 Saturday – Live Perspective Review – TJR Wrestling

The first night of WWE WrestleMania 40 is over and I was there to provide a live perspective of what happened.

I am writing this on Sunday afternoon after a long night at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday. We got to the stadium by around 4 p.m. and they were supposed to let us in by 4:30 p.m. but it was about 15 minutes after that, so it was cold 45 minutes waiting out there.

This was my fifth WrestleMania, but the first time where I got to sit in a suite. It was pretty easy getting up there. My good friend Pete and I were in a Wrestletours suite with a lot of great wrestling fans from the UK. The guys from Progress Wrestling run Wrestletours and I really recommend it for anybody making the WrestleMania trip from overseas. It wasn’t free. I’m not going to say how much I paid, but I think it was worth it. There were about 20-25 people in the suite, including some wrestlers who I won’t name, and it was cool meeting so many of them. Some of them knew about TJRWrestling while others did not, which is fine because they know now.

As part of the deal sitting in a suite, we got food and beverages. I certainly had a few drinks, which made it an interesting night. The way I see it is this is also a vacation and I wanted to have fun, which I did.

I’m not here to write a play-by-play review of the show. I just don’t have four-plus hours of free time to do it, nor do I want to do it yet. It will probably be later in the week, so be on the lookout for that.

I’ve seen some people complaining about the crowd being quiet for some of the show. It certainly felt that way for some of it, but I think fans watching at home need to remember that sitting out in a crowd where it’s about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (I’m a Celsius guy) isn’t the most comfortable thing. It’s also difficult to make a sustained loud noise for four hours sometimes. I think for the bigger matches, the crowd was into most of it.

What I’m writing here are my thoughts on the matches from a live perspective. When I do the official live review, it will be after watching the TV broadcast.

Rhea Ripley defeated Becky Lynch to retain WWE Women’s World Title

This was an excellent choice for an opener as expected. Even though Ripley is a heel Each woman hit finishing moves that were kicked out of and their submission moves weren’t enough to get the win. The finish was booked well with Ripley hitting a Riptide onto the turnbuckle before hitting another Riptide for the win. The result didn’t surprise me because I picked Ripley to retain as her year-long reign as champion continues. Lynch was a tough challenger of course, but it just didn’t feel like the right time for a title change. It went 17:05. Rating: ****

Six-Pack Ladder Match: A-Town Down Under (Austin Theory and Grayson Waller) became Smackdown Tag Team Champions and The Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) because Raw Tag Team Champions in a match also with The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) (c), #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa), The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods), and New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate)

I thought it was a fun match that the crowd was into especially towards the finish. I got my predictions wrong because I picked #DIY and New Catch Republic to win the titles, but I don’t mind the teams that actually won and I do like the idea of splitting up the Tag Team Titles again. I think the tag team division can be deep enough on both brands, so having exclusive titles for Raw & Smackdown is the way to go. There were some good bumps throughout the match although there weren’t any that seemed that crazy or unsafe. I know a few guys went through ladders and tables, which certainly pops the crowd every time. Theory & Waller as Smackdown Tag Team Champions was met with boos, but I think they’ll be entertaining cheap heel champions. After that, the fans were totally behind R-Truth (and Miz as his partner), who as so funny doing his John Cena offense and then going for a pinfall in a Ladder Match. Truth knows how to put on an entertaining show as well as anybody. When Truth retrieved the Raw Tag Team Titles the pop was huge. R-Truth finished his story! Sort of. Anyway, it was an entertaining match. The match went 17:25. Rating: ***1/2

Rey Mysterio and Andrade (with Carlito, Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde, and Zelina Vega) defeated Santos Escobar and “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio (with Angel, Berto, and Elektra Lopez)

I like how the allies of both stables were at ringside for the match because it puts over the LWO and Legado Del Fantasma as cohesive units that stick together. Plus, they did spots involving all the guys on the floor, which is cool for them to be a part of a WrestleMania match. I thought the highlight of the whole match was Wilde’s leaping attack from the middle rope onto the guys on the floor. We saw him do that in NXT before, but seeing it at WrestleMania is pretty special. The finish saw Philadelphia Eagles legends Jason Kelce (now retired) and Lane Johnson show up in lucha masks to attack Dominik at ringside while the referee was distracted. Rey hit a top rope splash on Escobar for the pinfall win. The fans popped big for the Kelce/Johnson reveal of course. The match went 11:05. Rating: ***

Jey Uso defeated Jimmy Uso

This one was disappointing. The fans were into it because they love Jey and his entrance is so fun to watch with the arm swinging. They had that spot where Jimmy pleaded with his brother to reunite, Jey wanted to do it and then Jimmy did a cheap attack for a nearfall. That was the only part of the match where it looked like Jey might not win, but I think most of us assumed Jey would win and he did. I think they should have Solo Sikoa with Jimmy to cause a believable nearfall or two because they just didn’t do much to make us think Jimmy had a shot to win. It went 11:05. Rating: **1/2

Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill, and Naomi defeated Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, and Kairi Sane)

The most obvious result of the show. Cargill’s entrance was spectacular and she was treated like a big deal by the fans. I figured Cargill would be kept out of the ring until the hot tag leading to the finish and that’s what happened. She did about five or six months to pick up the clean win for her team. The Damage CTRL ladies are so talented, but they had no shot here. Belair and Naomi were fine in their roles, but this was all about putting Cargill over. The fans have certainly bought into Jade being a big deal. It went 8:05. Rating: **1/4

Sami Zayn defeated GUNTHER to win the Intercontinental Championship

This was the match of the night. Gunther did an amazing job as the heel champion who was a jerk throughout the match while also taunting Sami Zayn’s wife during the match. I think the key story is that Gunther lost his focus because he kept wanting to taunt Sami’s wife and that took his mind off the match, which led to Zayn making the comeback to win. I loved the brainbuster that Zayn did to send Gunther’s head into the top rope before finishing him with a Helluva Kick for the win. Excellent match that I look forward to watching again. The win marks the end of Gunther’s record-long IC Title reign at 666 days, which is certainly a memorable number. I’m not going five stars for it, but maybe if I watch the TV broadcast I might feel that way. Having a four-and-a-half star match at a WrestleMania is still pretty damn great. It went 15:31. Rating: ****1/2

The Rock & Roman Reigns defeated Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

It was a very long match at 45 minutes. The entrances were cool for everybody, especially The Rock. That was so fun to witness live. I think the first half was a lot of time-wasting and building up to the more explosive second half. They did a lot of basic pro wrestling in that first half before the finish that featured a lot of brawling outside the ring since The Rock threatened to fire the referee if he tried to count them out. There were a few moments where it looked like Cody & Seth might win, but in the end, it was the Tribal Chief & Final Boss finding a way to win. Rock beat Cody with a Rock Bottom & People’s Elbow to win. I expected the heel team of Rock & Reigns to get the win just because of the stipulation involved. Since Rock pinned Cody clean, that’s obviously going to set them up for a singles match down the road. Whether that’s at SummerSlam or somewhere else down the line, I don’t know, but Rock pinning Cody sets that up. It went 44:35. Rating: ***3/4

The result means that Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania is Bloodline Rules, which is what I expected. I think Cody will get some help and find a way to overcome against The Tribal Chief as Cody becomes the WWE Champion for the first time.

Final Thoughts on WWE WrestleMania 40 Saturday

I’d call it a 7.75 or maybe 8 out of 10. Being there live certainly helps. Bring on night two.

I don’t think I’ll have a live perspective post about night two. I’ll probably just do the full review in a few days.

Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter/X: @johnreport

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