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WrestleMania breaks Superdome attendance, gate records

Posted: 11:59 PM, Apr 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-09 00:59:13-04

WWE says it has broken yet another record at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The company says it broke the record for the highest-grossing entertainment event at the Superdome, raking in $14.1 million dollars with a sold-out crowd of 78,133 in attendance.  WrestleMania XXX held the previous record, grossing $10.9 million with more than 75,000 in attendance.

This year’s event attracted fans from all 50 states and 67 countries.  Many of those fans sported their championship belts, wore their favorite wrestler’s shirt, or costumed as a wrestler.

Among those fans are Gil and Andi.  Gil was decked out in an NWO Wolfpac jacket and a WWE “Big Eagle” championship belt, while Andi wore a Classic WWE jacket.  They drove from Chicago to New Orleans to continue their WrestleMania tradition.

“We drove 14 hours to get here,” Gil said.  “The first one was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it’s tough not to go every year now.  We were going to cut it off at (WrestleMania 32), but we felt we had to come to New Orleans for this year’s event.  And with the announcement that New York/New Jersey will host WrestleMania next year, we’re going to go because we’ve never been there.’

For Gil and Andy, wrestling is more than just entertainment.  It’s an integral part of their love story.

“Our story as a couple sort of began with us expressing our passion for wrestling.  That’s how we got really close.  I used to wish and hope for a world title, and she got me this belt.”

Wrestling events continue in New Orleans for the next two nights.  WWE will host its post-WrestleMania editions of Monday Night Raw and Smackdown from the Smoothie King Center tomorrow and Tuesday, respectively.

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WrestleMania Results and Commentary

These matches are rated on the Cornette/Dooley star system.  Five stars is the highest possible rating.

Seth Rollins defeats Finn Bálor and the Miz (c) for WWE Intercontinental Championship

This match was a great show opener.  The three superstars kept the pace of the match quick, and they kept crowd on the edge of its collective seat by working in all of their finishing holds, which led to a number of near falls.  Very little ring psychology or technical work, but, then again, that’s par for the course for a triple threat match.

2.5 stars

Charlotte Flair (c) defeats Asuka to retain WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

This match was the complete opposite of the previous match.  The Flair/Asuka match featured great psychology and a good mix of technical mat work and high-risk maneuvers.  The 13-minute bout perfectly told the story of their brief feud.  Asuka using her full arsenal of kicks and submission holds–and a suplex off the ring apron–in an attempt to wrest away the champion and to keep her unbeaten streak alive, while Flair worked to stay one step ahead of her wily challenger.  In the end, Flair retained her championship and handed Asuka her first loss in two years by forcing her to submit with a figure-eight bridging leg lock.

4.5 stars

Jinder Mahal defeats Rusev, Bobby Roode, and Randy Orton (c) to win WWE United States Championship

Much like the opening match, this contest featured little in the way of storytelling or ring work. Despite this, the crowd was into the eight-minute match until the very end.  The crowed popped for Orton when he hit three RKOs out of nowhere and when Rusev seemed to be on the verge of winning late in the bout.  Mahal killed that excitement when he hit the Khallas and pinned Rusev to win the title.  Rusev, who right now is as hot as any WWE Superstar, deserved a better finish.  Roode and Orton deserved to be in a match better than this one.

0.5 stars

Rhonda Rousey & Kurt Angle beat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

“That was fun!” Several people on press row uttered that line during this match.  And they’re right.

This match capped off an angle that had been running since WrestleMania XXXI.  At that event, Rousey got into a fight with Triple H and McMahon after coming to the Rock’s defense.  Tonight’s bout wasn’t the prettiest match, as it featured a bunch of rest holds and some spots that were botched.  However, that’s excusable.  Rousey was making her in-ring debut, while the other three participants were coming off of layovers of six months or longer.  The outstanding storytelling by all four participants, some good old-school rule-breaking on the parts of Triple H and McMahon, and Rousey dominating her opponents in the final few minutes of the contest made it one of the highlights of the night.

As one fan told us, “Great match! It went way above my expectations.”

3.5 stars

The Bludgeon Brothers defeat The Usos (c) and the New Day to win the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

If you blinked, you missed this match.  Since being repackaged as the Bludgeon Brothers, Luke Harper and Eric Rowan have been on a tear in the Smackdown tag team division.  Tonight, they asserted their dominance, but they did it in an underwhelming squash match.  Here’s hoping that the Bludgeon Brothers’ run with the tag team championship goes better than this match did.  1 star

The Undertaker defeats John Cena

John Cena issued a challenge to the Undertaker several weeks ago, but that challenge went unaccepted until literally moments before the match. Elias Sampson teased the crowed by coming out to a darkened Superdome, only to get booed by the crowd and beaten by Cena.  As Cena walked up the ramp, the lights went out again, and the Undertaker’s music played.  The crowed popped as the Undertaker made his way to the ring.  The match lasted only two minutes.  Cena got in no offense while the Undertaker played his greatest hits–doing the Don Jardine top rope walk and hitting a tombstone piledriver on Cena.  The Superdome crowd, which witnessed the Undertaker’s only WrestleMania loss four years ago, gave the “Dead Man” a long standing ovation as he walked out of the area.

The match itself gets 2 stars, but the entire segment gets 5 stars. 

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon defeat Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

This match seemed to have been ripped from an old episode of Bill Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling.  A sneak attack before a match?  Check.  An incapacitated opponent?  Check.  Incapacitated opponent recovering and getting the win?  Check

Owens and Zayn sneak-attacked Bryan before the opening bell, with Owens powerbombing Bryan on the ring apron.  That attack was revenge for Bryan, the general manager of Smackdown, firing them two weeks ago.  Bryan, who retired two years ago after suffering at least 10 concussions during his career, remained on the floor for the bulk of the match, leaving McMahon to fight most of the bout by himself.  Bryan eventually recovered, got the hot tag from McMahon, and applied the “Yes!” Lock on Zayn to secure the victory.

The only bad part about the match:  Shane McMahon still doesn’t know how to throw a good working punch.

3 stars.

Nia Jax defeats Alexa Bliss (c) for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.

After two years on the main WWE roster, Nia Jax finally got her big push.  Jax beat her former friend and recent bully Alexa Bliss with a middle-rope fallaway slam to claim her first championship.  Both women showed good psychology, with Bliss showing frustration throughout the match for not being able to put Jax away, while Jax sold a hurt knee that Bliss worked on throughout the match.

3 stars

AJ Styles (c) defeats Shinsuke Nakamura to retain WWE World Heavyweight Championship

This match was expected to be the match of the night, and it didn’t disappoint.  Styles and Nakamura put on clinic, showing off their aerial, mat, and reversal skills while displaying excellent psychology throughout the bout.  Nakamura’s postmatch heel turn was the icing on the cake.

The match clocked in at the 20-minute mark, but it still was too short.  One writer from Seattle on press row said, “The match needed at least another 20 minutes to breathe.”

3.5 stars

Braun Strowman & Nicholas defeat Sheamus & Cesaro for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Braun Strowman didn’t have a tag team partner entering tonight.  The rumor mill guessed that it might be former world champion Rey Mysterio, Jr., who had been seen hanging around the WWE hotel this weekend.  It wasn’t.  Instead, Strowman picked an 11-year-old kid named Nicholas out of the crowd and took him as his tag team partner.

Sheamus and Cesaro dominated early in the match before Strowman took command.  Nicholas received the biggest pop of the night when he tagged in.  He spent only five seconds in the ring before tagging out and allowing Strowman to finish the match with a powerslam and a pin.

Some people might think it’s cute, and Vince McMahon certainly thinks it’s what WWE fans want, but there’s no place in professional wrestling/sports entertainment for a child to be involved in a match or to win a championship.  Not only does a stunt like that devalue the championship involved, it also devalues the work everyone else on this card has performed.

0.5 stars

Brock Lesnar (c) defeats Roman Reigns to retain the WWE Universal Championship

The crowd revolted during this match.  First, some people in Section 118 started passing around a beach ball.  Then, they attempted to start a wave.  Finally, the entire crowd began a “This is awful!” chant.

And they were right.

We knew this was going to be a brawl and/or a spotfest based on the feud Lesnar and Reigns had coming into this match.  We didn’t expect both wrestlers to kick out of each other’s finishing moves multiple times.  We also didn’t expect the crowd to call out WWE for its poor producing of this match.

0 stars

Despite finishing the night with two duds, WrestleMania XXXIV was still stronger than the previous two WrestleMania cards.  Overall, this show gets 3 stars.