We’ll be posting our thoughts as WrestleMania 31 transpires around 5 pm ET. Follow along from the pre-card tag team Four Corners Match, right through to the climatic ending — will it be Brock Lesnar retaining the WWE World title, or will Roman Reigns upset the apple cart and take the belt? When we know, you’ll know!
SLAM! Wrestling veterans Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk will be our primary writers, but expect input from some of the other regulars too.
After the pay-per-view itself, John Powell will have a full report on the show, and on Monday, we’ll have a photo gallery from Mike Mastrandrea at the Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
Nick Tylwalk (5:16 p.m.): The WrestleMania pre-show is underway. Not many people in their seats in Levi’s Stadium yet. Thus, no real reason to pay real close attention, especially since the pre-show matches are in the second hour of this.
Dale Plummer (5:17 p.m.): I only just found out that the first hour won’t have any matches, so we are going to watch The Rock on last night’s Saturday Night Live. But first, why was Booker T reading his own book when the show started?
Nick Tylwalk (5:39 p.m.): Seriously, if you haven’t seen the wrestling-themed skit from SNL last night with The Rock and Bobby Moynihan, do yourself a favor and go seek it out right now. I guarantee you no promos on WrestleMania tonight will be quite like that one.
Greg Oliver (5:40 p.m.): There are reports that Bray Wyatt hurt his ankle this afternoon, and was carted out. I still think he’ll work. You guys?
Dale Plummer (5:42 p.m.): I can’t see Bray not going tonight, but maybe the match time gets cut.
Nick Tylwalk (5:51 p.m.): They were still hyping up the match on the pre-show in the previous segment; you’d think they would downplay that match if Wyatt was so hurt he couldn’t participate, but who knows? This is when it would help if he had two henchmen to do his bidding in case of an emergency …
Matt Bishop via Twitter (5:51 p.m.) : And the @WWENetwork is already a disaster.
Dale Plummer (5:51 p.m.): And over one year later it looks like the WWE Network is still having some growing pains. Also, the pre-show is showing Lesnar making his announcement to return to WWE on ESPN. Did anyone ever think that WWE would get that kind of coverage on ESPN? Yea, I know the hook was about Brock retiring from MMA, but still.
Greg Oliver (5:54 p.m.): Got a report that Jan Murphy, our Sun Media correspondent who has done up so much great coverage the last few days, that he has made it to the press box … and is looking for the food table!
Greg Oliver (5:56 p.m.): For a guy like me who’s been around wrestling, well, forever, it’s amazing how much Mania has grown. The press gets real food now. Think we had popcorn at Mania in Houston in 2001. Nick, any memories of food from previous press boxes?
Nick Tylwalk (6:05 p.m.): Actually the food has been pretty much on point for the last few times I’ve been in the press box in Orlando, Houston and Atlanta. Always a nice variety and plenty of it.
Greg Oliver (6:07 p.m.): Confirmed. Our photographer Mike Mastrandrea is in the pit. He’ll be there five or six hours. Talk about a bladder of steel.
Jan Murphy’s view from the press box.
Jan Murphy, in Levi’s Stadium (6:09 p.m.): Press box hovers high above the ring at Levi’s Stadium, overlooking a sea of fans piling into the stadium. Pre-show kicking, can feel the pumping of the music, can hear the road of the crowd through the glass. Ring ramp sits to our left below us.
Nick Tylwalk (6:11 p.m.): Probably worth mentioning we’re underway with the tag team match. Surprises Los Matadores are still a going concern? I bet they are too.
Greg Oliver (6:11 p.m.): Boys, are you forgetting that in the early days of ESPN, pro wrestling was a virtual staple of its programming? The station is going back to its roots!
Dale Plummer (6:12 p.m.): Greg, some of us aren’t old enough to remember the early days of ESPN.
Matt Bishop via Twitter (6:13 p.m.): So weird watching professional wrestling in the broad daylight. #WrestleMania
Nick Tylwalk (6:16 p.m.): Cesaro and Tyson Kidd retain their titles following a cool spot where there were side-by-side three-man suplexes. Never good when they have to show us a replay so that we can sort out who the legal men were, but hey.
Nick Tylwalk (6:20 p.m.): One thing to watch for the rest of the pre-show: Renee Young’s hair vs. the Santa Clara wind. It’s a pretty even battle right now. Lita helping out in the “Social Media Lounge” right now. Not ours, sadly. That would be cool.
Dale Plummer (6:26 p.m.) : The Andre the Giant Battle Royal has been bumped to the pre-show. That says something about what the powers that be think of this match.
Nick Tylwalk (6:30 p.m.): Oh wow, Jon Gruden was unintentionally hilarious during his analysis of the competitors in the battle royal. His shtick gets old in football, maybe the WWE should get him on their programming on a regular basis. Also, AxelMania is already over.
Dale Plummer (6:31 p.m.): One of the sub plots of this match that probably no one knows about is the on going Twitter War between Zack Ryder and Adam Rose. And I bet it will not even be addressed during the match.
Nick Tylwalk (6:41 p.m.): “Yes, Hideo Itami, we’re happy to have you come up from NXT for the battle royal. Just wanted to let you know, though, that you’re going to get eliminated by Big Show and have a bunch of other guys thrown out on top of you. Sorry.”
Greg Oliver (6:44 p.m.): We made the reference to the old days of ESPN, it feels like the old days with Big Show in there still. Why is he still a thing?
Dale Plummer (6:45 p.m.): I don’t say this enough, but Micheal Cole is the worst.
Matt Bishop via Twitter (6:46p.m.): The tag teams have to go double duty in the first half hour for the battle royal? Yikes. #WrestleMania
Dale Plummer (6:47 p.m.): So Big Show wins the Battle Royal, because that makes sooooo much sense. What more does Mizdow have to do?
Nick Tylwalk (6:57 p.m.): Almost time for the actual event to start. Renee lost her hair battle by her own admission. Ladder Match is up first, meaning that if fans get upset because Daniel Bryan doesn’t win, they might not boo for the rest of the show. Maybe.
Dale Plummer (6:58 p.m.) : Who is narrating this Intercontinental Title package? If you can figure it out please let us know at @Dplummer627 on Twitter.
Greg Oliver (7:03 p.m.): Why keep the lie going? There WAS no Intercontinental title tournament in Rio! But hey, great to see Pat Patterson.
Nick Tylwalk (7:04 p.m.): National anthem has been sung. Let’s do this!
Greg Oliver (7:04 p.m.): I might be Canadian, but shouldn’t dude have his hat off while singing, even if it’s not the national anthem?
Dale Plummer (7:04 p.m.): If this year is WrestleMania: Play will next year be WrestleMania: Star since it will be in Dallas?
Greg Oliver (7:09 p.m.): Again, showing my age, I don’t recognize any of these celebrities so far … kind of the opposite of when WWE used to bring out oldies like Robert Goulet and Liberace, baffling youngsters.
Nick Tylwalk (7:11 p.m.): Whoa, Dolph Ziggler got a haircut, and Dale just pointed out that Stardust looks like X-Men villain Mr. Sinister.
Greg Oliver (7:13 p.m.): New music for Luke Harper, right? Doesn’t look like he has learned how to bathe though.
Dale Plummer (7:15 p.m.): Looks like we screwed up about Dolph’s new look. He just has it in a really tight braid, it has not be cut, because that is really important.
Nick Tylwalk (7:18 p.m.): Stardust has his own ladder! And it’s bedazzled! Also, Bad News Barrett broke off a step and used it as a weapon, which I don’t think I’ve seen done before.
Dale Plummer (7:20 p.m.) : I apologize from earlier, Micheal Cole isn’t the worst; JBL is.
Dale Plummer (7:22 p.m.) : Can someone please check on Dean Ambrose, he may very well be dead.
Nick Tylwalk (7:27 p.m.): Daniel Bryan wins after a closing sequence that had him and Ziggler at the top of the ladder headbutting each other repeatedly. Concussion protocols, activate!
Greg Oliver (7:30 p.m.): Scanning the web, and seeing people complain about streaming issues, this is the first time I can truly appreciate the (backward) Canadian model, where WWE Network is a bastardized, watered-down version, sent out through regular cable. You can still login for the extra content through your computer, but for the PPVs, no complaints since cable has a pretty good track record by this point.
Nick Tylwalk (7:38 p.m.): Orton vs. Rollins underway. As I’ve seen several people note around the internets, having this match so early in the show means a Money in the Bank cash-in is certainly in play.
Nick Tylwalk (7:44 p.m.): Just so everyone knows, J&J Security refused medical attention after taking a double DDT on the floor from Orton. Those guys are gamers. Also, props to the folks on the TV side with a huge Greek flag.
Nick Tylwalk (7:55 p.m.): Well, we survived our first complete internet crash of the show. Missed the finish that saw Orton win, but just saw it, and it was pretty awesome.
Greg Oliver (7:57 p.m.): As hardcore fans, sometimes we forget that these pay-per-views, especially Mania, draw casual fans. Sitting here with a few of them, the promotional videos / previews help bring them up to speed … and saves me having to explain much.
Nick Tylwalk (8:00 p.m.): Sting gets a Japanese twist to his entrance. Friend of SLAM! Wrestling Brian Whorl points out this would probably be a lot more atmospheric if it wasn’t in broad daylight.
Dale Plummer (8:02 p.m.): Triple H’s entrance showed scenes from around San Francisco before he comes out. What did he stop at the farmer’s market for grocery before heading to the stadium?
Dale Plummer (8:03 p.m.): So Hunter’s entrance is Conan the Barbarian meets The Terminator. I’m done.
Dale Plummer (8:06 p.m.): Just shut up, JBL, just shut up
Greg Oliver (8:07 p.m.): I was just asked, “Has anyone else ever made their WWE debut match at WrestleMania?” Where’s that damn SLAM! Wrestling intern to look it up?!
Dale Plummer (8:07 p.m.): Actually, Greg, Fandango made his in ring debut just two years ago at WrestleMania 29.
Dan Murphy, Pro Wrestling Illustrated and occasional SLAM! Wrestling contributor (8:12 p.m.): Terminator HHH? Big deal. Sting knows RoboCop.
Nick Tylwalk (8:13 p.m.): Who’s going to run in to help Sting?
Dale Plummer (8:14 p.m.): Booker T has a long way to run from the top of the stadium.
Dale Plummer (8:24 p.m.): I’m pretty sure that Sting’s bat breaking Triple H’s sledge hammer in two broke the physical laws of the universe.
Nick Tylwalk (8:29 p.m.): I started writing for SLAM! Wrestling in 1998. So for me, that last match was the best kind of nostalgia trip.
Dale Plummer (8:30 p.m.):These new WWE Network shows are just parodies right? They’re not real, are they?
Nick Tylwalk (8:35 p.m.): Let’s take the momentum of the show away with a musical interlude. Done.
Greg Oliver (8:41 p.m.): Just explained to the kids here that the music is meant as a break so you can go to the bathroom and not miss anything. It’s also the moment that Mike Mastrandrea’s photo disk from the photographers’ pit makes its way to the press box.
Dale Plummer (8:44 p.m.): I’ve tried to watch Total Divas the last three season, but I have yet to make it through anyone season. I stopped this year when I could feel my soul trying to claw it’s way out of my body.
Dale Plummer (8:45 p.m.): Hey, remember that time when Brie lost a match to Nikki and had to be her personal assistant for 30 days? Does any one remember how that feud was resolved?
Nick Tylwalk (8:54 p.m.): I feel like we need to make some comments here, but this is something of the filler time of the show. If I was in the press box, I’d be going back for seconds on food right now.
Greg Oliver (8:59 p.m.): Can’t believe they spelled Lanny Poffo’s last name “Pofo” on the screen. Someone should be fired.
Nick Tylwalk (9:01 p.m.): The WWE missed a golden opportunity to go kayfabe right there and not let Kevin Nash come out with the WWE Hall of Fame class since he sided with Sting earlier tonight.
Dale Plummer (9:04 p.m.): Rusev just drove a tank into the stadium. I’m in awe.
Dale Plummer (9:09 p.m.): I just popped for the Miracle on Ice photo during Cena’s intro.
Dale Plummer (9:10 p.m.): Somebody dropped the ball in WWE Marketing; Cena should have been debuting new American flag themed gear.
Greg Oliver (9:12 p.m.): This is a great video for John Cena, but given the WWE’s international reach at this point, doesn’t it seem rather ridiculous? WE are not Americans. We are Canadians here, watching this.
Greg Oliver (9:13 p.m.): Finally got the report from Jan Murphy on what matters — chicken and veggies is what he had to eat in the press box.
Greg Oliver (9:19 p.m.): Why hasn’t Rusev capitalized on a deal with Pepsi? You see him wave that flag and the Pepsi logo in the back at the top of the stadium — same colours!
Nick Tylwalk (9:21 p.m.): With no one they want to root for in this match, some fans have started a very clear, “Let’s go Lana” chant.
Dale Plummer (9:30 p.m.): I’m so glad this up and comer, John Cena, could get some rub by beating the undefeated Rusev to win the US title.
Dale Plummer (9:31 p.m.): In all seriousness, it is looking better and better that Brock retains tonight. Cena has the US title to anchor RAW, while Daniel Bryan will be the face of Smackdown! with the IC title.
Nick Tylwalk (9:40 p.m.): This bit of stalling by Steph and Hunter is making me more nervous for the Undertaker-Wyatt match …
Nick Tylwalk (9:42 p.m.): How long can the WWE keep using appearances by The Rock to pump up WrestleMania. Well, he did fill us in on how he’s “franchise Viagra,” so maybe that applies to wrestling as well as movies.
Greg Oliver (9:42 p.m.): Once that Authority heel promo started, the 8-year-old in the room said, “The Rock’s coming out.”
Dale Plummer (9:44 p.m.): With this little time left for 2 more match I’m legitimately worried that Bray is seriously injured. Maybe he will raise Undertaker from the dead and then just go have a beer with him.
Nick Tylwalk (9:54 p.m.): Ronda Rousey joins The Rock in the ring and we’ve got a mixed tag match for the ages! Just kidding. A confrontation, though, for sure.
Nick Tylwalk (10:03 p.m.): I was just about to say Bray Wyatt’s entrance wouldn’t be as cool in the daylight, but then he had those … things with him.
Nick Tylwalk (10:09 p.m.): Besides Sting, this is my mark out moment of the night. Undertaker at WrestleMania is almost always something special. And 23 appearances is really crazy.
Dale Plummer (10:12 p.m.): I figured it out. The Main Event is going to be shortened because Roman Reigns can’t go for more than 15 minutes.
Dale Plummer (10:18 p.m.): We are over 5 hours in and my snark levels are dangerously low. I need to save myself to dump all over Roman Reigns.
Nick Tylwalk (10:27 p.m.): That wasn’t a bad match at all, but the bar for Undertaker matches at WrestleMania has been set so high. Also, I miss the astonished reactions of the fans when The Streak ended last year. Last but not least, I’m JBLed out. Seriously, I can’t take much more of him for the night.
Greg Oliver (10:31 p.m.): Agreed, that was a good match, dramatic, but maybe not one for the ages. Where does Bray Wyatt go from here? Will we ever see Undertaker again on TV? Wish I had a job where I only have to work one day a year!
Dale Plummer (10:33 p.m.): Roman Reigns, “I can and I will … ’cause it says so right here on my shirt!”
Nick Tylwalk (10:40 p.m.): Best sign of the night: “If Roman wins, we remain apathetic.” Well done, sir or madam.
Nick Tylwalk (10:48 p.m.): The fans started a “This is awesome” chant during a one-sided rout. Reigns is so unpopular, I think they would love to see an hour of Lesnar beating him up.
Nick Tylwalk (10:54 p.m.): I can, I will. Kick out, apparently.
Dale Plummer (10:54 p.m.): The crowd senses a Reigns comeback. And the boos are starting to shower the ring.
Dale Plummer (10:55 p.m.): What are the chance Vince runs WrestleMania past 11 o’clock to screw the PPV buyers?
Greg Oliver (11:03 p.m.): My UFC buddy thinks the finish was ridiculous. I understand why they did it, Lesnar doesn’t get pinned, and Reigns looks strong — really strong. The kids are a bit mystified by it all. Again, the announcers didn’t explain what Triple Threat rules meant to the non-the-usual fans tuning in.
Nick Tylwalk (11:04 p.m.): I think that was the best possible ending, really. I’ve seen some people disagree on social media, but it seemed like a lot of the fans at Levi’s Stadium were happy with it.
Dale Plummer (11:12 p.m.) : I saw on Twitter someone calling this the best WrestleMania ever. Did he not watch last year? This show was probably the best of what they had to work with, but in know way was it the best ever. Last year was so much better. In recent memory, it was better then WrestleMania 27, but in no way was it even close to being the best ever. Hopefully next year I will be live tweeting from AT&T Stadium for WrestleMania 32 or WrestleMania Star or whatever they are going to call it.