The Greatest WWE WrestleMania Ever?

(Photo Credit: WWE)

After two nights of incredible action, 13 matches of epic proportions, winners and losers of all different kinds, and moments that will truly last for a lifetime in all of our memories, Wrestlemania XL has come to an end. The 40th installment of the grandest stage of them all provided some of the most memorable moments and outcomes that will be remembered when you look back in history books. The question now gets posed, where does this one rank amongst the all-time greatest of great Wrestlemania’s? Is it the greatest one ever? It’s a hard shoe to fill, but both nights of this show truly pushed the envelope and gave it a run for its money if there is ever been one! Let’s recap an amazing weekend in this beautiful sport of professional wrestling.

On Wrestlemania Saturday began with an incredible encounter between two of the greatest women to ever compete in a wrestling ring. Becky Lynch, competing with strep throat and 102° fever, faced the Women’s World Champion of over one year now, the Eradicator, Rhea Ripley! Considering the circumstances of Becky’s illness, and Rhea’s pre-match panic attack, they put on a match befitting of opening the grandest stage of them all. In the end, Rhea retained her championship against the Man, forever instilling that is her ring, and it is going to be very difficult for someone to take her down in the midst of her continuous reign atop the women’s division. Next, six tag teams competed in a death-defying ladder match to try and win one or both of the sets of tag team championships hanging above the ring. DIY, The New Day, New Catch Republic, A-Town Down Under, Awesome Truth, and Judgement Day ripped each other apart in this one, with the tag titles finally being split up after a long period of being unified. Theory and Waller retrieved the Smackdown Tag Team Titles first, leading to a chorus of boos. Then, R-Truth would finally get his Wrestlemania moment when he recovered the Raw Tag Team Titles for, him and the Miz, instituting two fresh teams atop the separate tag team scenes.

Rey Mysterio teamed with Andrade to face “Dirty” Dom Mysterio and Santos Escobar in the next match, featuring two teams with deeply personal issues. Santos and Dom have both had their issues with the WWE Hall of Famer, while Andrade stepped up to the plate and fought alongside a living legend to even the odds against his former protégé and his son. In the end, Rey and Andrade picked up a big win, sending the heels packing, with some help from Jason Kelce and others. The brother versus brother match between Jimmy and Jey Uso was truly one of the most personal and heated rivalries to ever culminate at the biggest show of the year. This being only the third time that two biological blood brothers faced one another at Wrestlemania, things were certain to stay intense. Jimmy tried to trick his brother at multiple points, but “Main Event” Jey persevered and came away with the biggest win of his career. This now leads to what looks like a prolonged singles push in the new WWE year to come.

The 6-woman tag between Damage CTRL and the team of Naomi, Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill served as Jade’s debut on the grand stage, as well as a return to it for Naomi, and another win in the now 4-0 Wrestlemania record of the EST. Dakota Kai and the Kabuki Warriors fought valiantly, but they stood no chance in this one, eating a tough loss on the grandest stage of them all. Sami Zayn faced the “Ring General” GUNTHER in a match where the champion’s 666-day championship reign was put to the test. Having not been pinned in over two years, it was very unlikely that Zayn would stand any chance in this one. That was at least until he chopped down the monster and eventually capitalized on a mistake, ending GUNTHER’s undefeated streak, his legendary reign, and instituting a new era in both of their careers, which might lead to much bigger things to come for them both.

Finally, in the main event, we witnessed the biggest tag team match in Wrestlemania, and WWE history, for that matter. Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Cody Rhodes teamed up to face the Rock and Roman Reigns. 44 minutes later, the longest non-Iron Man Match in Wrestlemania history, we had a winner and a stipulation for Sunday’s main event. It was incredible, a match for the ages indeed, and one that had a predictable, but almost necessary winner, with the Rock pinning Cody Rhodes to establish Bloodline Rules for the following night’s main event. That proved to be extremely important when that rolled around. With that, let’s move to Sunday.

Seth Rollins didn’t have much time to recover, as he hobbled his way back to the ring for his big match with Drew McIntyre, which also had CM Punk on commentary. It was a moment that McIntyre had waited his entire career for, a chance to finally win a world championship in front of a live crowd; something that was robbed of him in both of his first two championship reigns in 2020. He had that moment here tonight and took advantage of the beatdown Seth endured 24 hours prior. He nailed one final Claymore Kick to win his third world championship and get his crowning moment in front of everyone for the wrestling world to see. Unfortunately for him, he let his propensity to let CM Punk get under his skin cost him everything. After provoking Punk at ringside, eventually, the Second-City Saint took him down and attacked him when he wasn’t looking. This was all that was needed for Damian Priest to finally get his moment, racing down to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and win his first World Heavyweight Championship. Drew had it all and lost it all, all within 5 minutes. After this, Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits finally got their revenge on the Final Testament in a Philadelphia Street Fight, with a little help from Bubba Ray Dudley in the process.

LA Knight made his Wrestlemania debut against WWE legend AJ Styles in a fantastic matchup. It was a perfect opportunity for LA to pick up a big win in his Wrestlemania debut, and AJ made him look like a star in the process. With a Wrestlemania victory now under his belt, 2024 truly could be the year where LA Knight finally gets his hands on championship gold on the main roster in WWE! Logan Paul had his work cut out for him in his match with Kevin Owens and Randy Orton, who both wanted to be the one to end Paul’s run as United States Champion. This is a wild one, with bodies everywhere and big moves galore. iShowSpeed even made an appearance, eating an RKO on the announce table. In the end, Logan Paul did what he does best, sneaking in the back door and stealing a victory from out of nowhere to retain his championship and maintain his dominance in WWE. Love him or hate him, he has proven that this business is for him and he has taken to it with absolute ease and elegance. Bayley finally got her chance at revenge on Iyo Sky, the woman whom she brought to the main roster of WWE and led to singles and tag team gold. It was a fantastic match, Bayley’s first one-on-one match of her career at Wrestlemania. The legend did what she does best, defeating her former protégé and winning her fourth world championship, gaining the revenge she desired, and securing herself another run at the top on Friday Night Smackdown!

In the end, it all came down to the main event. The biggest Wrestlemania ever culminated in one of the show’s biggest main events ever, with everything and a proverbial bag of chips on the line. Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in a Bloodline Rules Match. Interestingly enough, the match was pretty straightforward for the most part in the beginning, with only a few weapon spots and some brawling in the crowd, but it stayed between Cody and Roman for nearly half an hour. Then, the match devolved into the best form of chaos wrestling fans could hope for, sheer pandemonium! The Uso’s got involved, with Jimmy costing Cody a pinfall attempt before Jey made his way down and Speared his brother off the stage and through tables. This essentially isolated one of the Bloodline members who could cost Cody his second straight match with the Tribal Chief. Next, Solo Sikoa reared his head in almost identical fashion to last year, stopping Cody from nailing the 3rd Crossroads and hitting a Samoan Spike, followed by a Spike/Spear combination, but Cody wouldn’t stay down. This is when things turned up to 100. John Cena returned to Wrestlemania and immediately took out Sikoa, who decimated Cena in their match last Fall, gaining some revenge. As soon as Solo went through the table, the “Final Boss” arrived. In a moment that transported fans back nearly 12 years, John Cena and the Rock came face-to-face inside a WWE ring once again, with Cena eating the Rock Bottom in the process. Rock then turned his attention to Cody, ready to whip him with the weight belt, but the Shield’s music played, and Philly nearly lost its mind. Roman Reigns quickly isolated Seth Rollins, who ate the bullet for Cody once again, but Rock was still focused on Cody…and then the gong sounded.

The Undertaker made his shocking return to Wrestlemania, and in another moment that teleported fans to a moment we saw decades ago, the Deadman choke slammed Rock, clearing a path for Reigns and Rhodes to be the final 2 men left to hash it out. Reigns grabbed a chair, and with Cody in his sights, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to swing at the man who caused him the ultimate downfall nearly a decade ago. He used the chair on Seth Rollins, and it cost him everything. Reigns losing focus and swinging at Seth Rollins was all it took for Cody Rhodes to gain the upper hand, as he finally nailed the third Crossroads, and finally finished his story! From undesirable to un-freaking-deniable, Cody Rhodes at long last is the WWE Champion! He quite literally had to assemble WWE’s version of the Avengers, but in the end, the American Nightmare, at long last, brings the most prestigious is in the industry home to the Rhodes family.

It was beautiful, it was absolutely perfect, and it reminded the entire wrestling world of exactly what Michael Cole said on commentary, dammit I love pro wrestling! And while it might be impossible to say if it’s the greatest Wrestlemania of all time or not, one thing is for certain, in the words of Corey Graves as the show went off the air: pro wrestling is indeed back!