WrestleMania 31: Was It Best For Business?
A true WrestleMania moment. Photo- The Sun

WrestleMania 31: Was It Best For Business?

With WrestleMania 32 just around the corner, take a look back with the use of hindsight to see if last years booking decisions were really the correct choices.

Matthew95
Matthew Wilkinson

Every year fans analyze WrestleMania and the potential outcomes before the event has already happened, people are doing it about this years event already. But a year on it is easier to look back and judge whether the decisions made were 'best for business,' so lets look into last years 'Grandest Stage Of Them All.'

Tag Team Championships: Kidd & Cesaro def. The Usos, The New Day and Los Matadores 

Verdict: Best for business.

Last years WrestleMania kicked off with a fatal four way tag team match for the championships and whilst it was a real shame to not see the belts be defended on the main card, this pre-show match was a fun way to kick off the show. 

Both men are seriously missed right now. Photo- Bleacher Report
Both men are seriously missed right now. Photo- Bleacher Report

The match finished up with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro retaining their titles which this author believes was the correct decision. Even though the popular team would eventually be forced to split due to a possibly career ending injury to Kidd they were by far the most popular tag team at that time and were restoring some respect to the belts. 

Added to that the fact that Jey Uso suffered an injury during the match meaning the Uso's couldn't have become champions, Los Matadores were only in the match to make up the numbers and the New Day were yet to become the team we know and love to this day, the decision made was the right one. 

Andre The Giant Battle Royal: Big Show def. 29 Others

Verdict: Not best for business.

WrestleMania 31 saw the second annual battle royal in honor of the great Andre the Giant, and just like the year before winning this match sadly meant nothing. Following the match very little was done to further the Big Show's position, nor was his victory even mentioned until this past week on RAW to set up this years battle.

The reasoning behind Show winning made sense as a way to pay homage to his hero and give the veteran a well deserved WrestleMania moment. However did someone in Show's position really need the victory? It seemed like there was only one man who should've won this match, someone who was over with the crowd and could have used the victory to push him up the card, and that man was Damien Mizdow. 

Looking at the fact he now doesn't even appear on television it is clear that WWE made the wrong call in this match.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Daniel Bryan def. Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, Stardust, Wade Barrett and R-Truth

Verdict: Not best for business. 

This may come as a surprise to most, saying that Daniel Bryan who was (and still is) one of the most popular superstars in the company winning a championship to kick off the main show was not the correct decision, but with hindsight it wasn't. 

Bryan kicked off the main show in style. Photo-www.chinlock.com
Bryan kicked off the main show in style. Photo-www.chinlock.com

WWE's intentions were good here, they wanted to elevate the Intercontinental Championship by having one of their biggest stars win the belt to make the fans take it seriously, that makes sense. However, knowing what took place regarding Bryan's health and the fact he was forced to vacate the championship and ultimately retire, his time away not wrestling did more harm than good to the belt. 

Had the company known Bryan's health was going to cause him even more problems post 'Mania, there is no chance (in hell) that he would have walked away with the strap. Instead, Dean Ambrose would have made a perfectly suitable champion as a popular baby-face who the company could push and the fans would get behind could have won the belt instead. 

Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins 

Verdict: Best for business. 

This was a tough one to decide given the events that would transpire later on in the evening. On one hand having Seth Rollins win the match would certainly have made him look a bigger threat and a more dominant,strong champion from the get go, but ultimately the decision they made was the right one. 

Having Rollins lose to Randy Orton not only kept the Viper strong post-'Mania, but it also allowed the element of surprise when Rollins did cash in his Money in the Bank later on. Fans had no idea that he was set to leave that night as the WWE Heavyweight Champion and losing this match allowed that and didn't do him any harm in the long run, as the WWE Universe doesn't remember his defeat earlier in the night when talking about WrestleMania 31.

Triple H def. Sting 

Verdict: Not best for business. 

Despite what the Game or Vince McMahon might tell you, this was the worst decision of the entire night. Having one of the wrestling worlds greatest ever icons finally step foot in a WWE ring for a match, his first (and likely only) WrestleMania moment should have been a time for fans to think fondly on.

The storyline all the way from Stings debut to this point had been that the former WCW man wanted to rid the company of The Authority as he believed that Triple H was abusing his powers. Yet on the night it turned into a totally different beast, one that fans didn't want to see. 

Both men ended the match showing respect. Photo-www.digitalspy.com
Both men ended the match showing respect. Photo-www.digitalspy.com

For some reason the WWE decided to make it a story of WWE - WCW, just incase anyone hadn't already seen that. From the overly biased commentary to the interference from DX and the NWO (who always fought against Sting, so that made no sense) everything was angled towards the battle of the former companies. 

Of course, once that storyline was played out there was only ever going to be one winner, due to ego's. But the crowd were fully behind the Stinger to get his victory and the whole thing felt off when he lost, plus given the ending with both men shaking hands, would it really have harmed HHH to lose this one? 

Paige & AJ Lee def. The Bella Twins 

Verdict: Best for business. 

Coming into WrestleMania 31 the WWE made the decision to not have the Divas Championship be defended on the biggest night of the year, which meant the outcome of this match was pretty obvious, as it didn't hurt Nikki Bella to lose.

Having Paige pick up a win on her 'Mania debut and AJ Lee getting a victory in what turned out to be her final WrestleMania was the correct decision, with Nikki going on to have the longest Divas title run in history, this defeat did her no harm and having the baby faces win was good for the fans. 

United States Championship: John Cena def. Rusev w.Lana 

Verdict: Best for business. 

John Cena's run as United States Champion was one of the best things about the WWE on a weekly basis following WrestleMania 31. His open challenges not only elevated other talent but also the championship belt, which was the WWE's ultimate goal. 

Whilst Rusev has never really recovered from his first ever defeat in the WWE he had a lengthy run with the belt and it was the right time for a change and the WWE made the right call here. 

The Undertaker def. Bray Wyatt 

Verdict: Best for business. 

This was a tough one to decide, because on one side you have a young talent who could have been pushed with a victory over The Undertaker, and on the other you have a legend who needed to re-establish himself following the ending of the streak. 

Two faces of fear. Photo: www.independent.co.uk
Two faces of fear. Photo: www.independent.co.uk

Ultimately it was the correct call as the deadman would go on to compete several time in main event matches against the likes of Brock Lesnar and the Wyatt Family (again). Now Undertaker is set to compete in the main event of this years WrestleMania, and had he lost to Bray Wyatt the significance would have shrunk.

Even though the WWE chose not to give Wyatt a major push here by defeating the phenom, simply being involved in such a match did wonders for him, and due to his ability and microphone skills he quickly recovered. 

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns 

Verdict: Best for business. 

Going into WrestleMania 31 it seemed like WWE had booked themselves into a corner. Lesnar needed to drop the belt as the WWE really needed someone who wasn't a part time worker to be champion, yet Roman Reigns wasn't quite ready for the responsibility. 

Both men put on a tremendous match with the WWE Universe fully involved and then came Seth Rollins. In what will go down as one of the biggest surprises in WrestleMania history and perhaps the greatest cash in of all time, Rollins stole the show and became the WWE Champion. 

The reaction he received told the story and it was the perfect way to end what was a very impressive WrestleMania. Will this years show be able to live up to it? We will find out soon enough, and a year from now with hindsight we will be able to look back at WrestleMania 32's decisions, which hopefully will be best for business. 

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