ARLINGTON, Texas — 101,763 rabid WWE fans packed AT&T Stadium to witness WrestleMania 32 on Sunday night. The nearly seven-hour event featured 12 bouts, three title matches, an abundance of returns and surprises and plenty of twists.
As with every wrestling event, WrestleMania 32 had its ups and downs, but overall it definitely delivered. Here's everything that happened on Sunday night and what it all means for WWE and its fans going forward.
United States Championship Match: Kalisto (c) def. Ryback
The first match on the two-hour Kickoff Show was unfortunately only seen by a half-full house, as people were still filtering in after gates opened. This was a classic big man vs. little man match, as Kalisto tried to use his speed and agility to overwhelm Ryback, while the Big Guy preferred tossing the champ around like a rag doll.
The middle turnbuckle inadvertently came loose during the match and Ryback went into it hard. Kalisto took advantage, hitting a quick Salida Del Sol for the pin.
What we learned: These two had a great match that sadly few fans saw in the arena. The less-than-clean finish of the match would seem to indicate the feud may continue. We'll have to tune into RAW to see where both men go from here. But Kalisto had his first WrestleMania moment. Hopefully there will be many more to follow.
Total Divas (Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Paige, Natalya & Eva Marie) def. B.A.D. & Blonde (Lana, Summer Rae, Naomi, Tamina & Emma)
There were some tensions on the Total Divas squad, but both teams ultimately worked together well. B.A.D. and Blonde came out looking like an absolute army, all black leather and attitude. All 10 women got opportunities to shine in this match. This was a lot of fun, particularly the finishing stretch and how much glee the fans took in hating Eva Marie.
Brie eventually got the win for her team — in what may be her last match in the WWE — by making Naomi tap out to the Yes Lock. The Total Divas were joined by Nikki Bella (in a neck brace) for a celebration in the ring.
What we learned: Brie may be retiring and Nikki may be back soon, but is still a long way from action, if the neck brace is any indication. The women got a showcase to shine and Paige, Naomi and Emma in particular all looked terrific. This feud may continue, but I welcome it.
Following this match, Lita revealed the new championship belt for the rechristened Women's division, to the delight of fans (and women) everywhere. Now all 10 of these women have a new prize to shoot for.
The Usos def. The Dudley Boyz
Bubba Ray Dudley spent a solid chunk of the match beating on Jimmy Uso and insulting his father, Rikishi — to the ire and delight of the fans. Eventually, D-Von Dudley ran into a superkick and got pinned.
After the match, the Dudleys beat down the Usos and then brought their signature tables into the ring. They tried to powerbomb the Usos through them, but the Usos turned the tables (literally!) and hit stereo splashes off the top to send the Dudleys through their own lumber.
What we learned: It seems like this will be the end of the Dudleys/Usos feud. The crowd got their WrestleMania tables spot and now all parties can move onward and upward.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Zack Ryder def. Kevin Owens (c), Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Sin Cara and The Miz
This match absolutely ruled. Dives, carnage, a polka dot ladder and just about everything you can think of. The match was built around the bitter rivalry between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who kept facing off and going at one another with hatred.
Zayn hit Owens with a half and half suplex onto a ladder and was inches from the title, but The Miz arrived to push over the ladder and screw Zayn over. While Miz climbed the ladder and paused to gloat, Ryder appeared behind him, shoved him off the ladder and took the title.
What we learned: You can really go anywhere from here with any of these men. Ryder as champ is a fresh look and he has been reinvigorated since his time in NXT as part of the Hype Bros. Ziggler and Miz once again proved they're great in big matches. Sin Cara really rebooted himself in the fans' eyes during this match.
Stardust teased that he would go back to being Cody Rhodes if he didn't win this match. Maybe that change will take place as soon as on RAW Monday night.
And as for Zayn and Owens, their rivalry can move up to the main roster in a singles feud, without five other men involved.
Chris Jericho def. AJ Styles
Even though we've already seen these two men go toe to toe several times this year, they pulled out all the stops to make this worthy of WrestleMania. Jericho kicked out of the Styles Clash, then countered the Phenomenal Forearm with a Codebreaker out of nowhere for the win.
What we learned: Jericho proved that WrestleMania experience trumps ability. Once again, it wouldn't be surprising if this feud continued, but this would be a real high note for it to end on.
The League of Nations (Rusev, Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio) def. The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E)
This had been billed as a 4-on-3 handicap match, but King Barrett ended up not being an official participant in this match, but he did get involved in the finish.
When the New Day appeared on the verge of victory, Barrett hit Xavier Woods with a Bullhammer Elbow, then Sheamus connected with a Brogue Kick and pinned Woods for the win.
After the match, Barrett got on the microphone and started bragging about THE LADS, but he was interrupted by Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn Michaels ... and then by Mick Foley, both dressed for combat. Then the unmistakable sound of breaking glass heralded the arrival of the one and only "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
The three Hall of Famers hit the ring and cleaned house on the League of Nations with the help of the New Day, then all six men celebrated in front of the crowd to the delight of 100,000 fans. The New Day got Shawn and Mick to gyrate, but Xavier Woods' attempts to get Steve Austin to two-step resulted in a big stunner.
What we learned: The New Day may have lost the match, but their entrance was definitely a winner. The League of Nations may now have a legitimate claim as No. 1 contenders to the tag titles, but this match and the aftermath served their purpose: 100 percent sheer delight for the fans. It was perfect.
Brock Lesnar def. Dean Ambrose
They promised craziness in this match and they certainly delivered. And yes, Dean Ambrose DID attempt to use an actual chainsaw on Brock Lesnar ... but it failed to start. Ambrose also tried to use Mick Foley's barbed wire bat, but ultimately 13 suplexes from Lesnar and an F-5 onto a pile of chairs was too much for Dean to overcome.
What we learned: Dean Ambrose put up a hell of a fight, but Lesnar is a force of nature. The finish probably wasn't what most people were expecting. Also surprising was that the Wyatt Family did not play a part in the finish ... or appear at all. They may renew their rivalry with Lesnar on RAW, or the Beast Incarnate might be making his way back into the world title picture.
WWE Women's Championship Match: Charlotte (c) def. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch
The expectations were high for this match and these three women blew them all away. Easily the best WWE women's match in history, to say nothing of the best women's WrestleMania match. Charlotte finally won the match by getting Becky Lynch to tap out to the Figure Eight ... while Ric Flair held Sasha Banks and prevented her from getting in the ring to break it up.
What we learned: Everyone in the entire world wanted Sasha to win this match, but once you get past the raw emotion of that disappointment, this was the perfect next step for the women. All three were made to look like genuine stars and badasses and Charlotte is forever legitimized as the first women's champ and a genuine heel that you are DYING to see lose the title.
Now Sasha has a for-real beef with Charlotte and can move into a one-on-one feud with her for that wonderful new championship.
Hell in a Cell Match: The Undertaker def. Shane McMahon
This match was all about a slow methodical build to a one-of-a-kind stunt: Shane McMahon making good on a running joke and jumping off the top of Hell in a Cell. He missed an elbow drop and went through a table, then Undertaker carried him into the ring, hit a Tombstone and pinned Shane-O-Mac.
Shane was stretchered off after the match, but gave the live crowd a thumbs up as he was wheeled out.
What we learned: The Authority and Vince McMahon will retain control of RAW, Shane will have to surrender his lockbox of family secrets and the Undertaker will live to fight at more WrestleManias, should he choose to.
It seems Shane may have earned Undertaker's trust, but who knows what will happen when Vince McMahon shows up on RAW to banish his son on Monday night?
Baron Corbin wins the 3rd annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This was another fun match and a buffer between the two main events. Unexpected participants in the battle royal included NXT's Baron Corbin, making his main roster debut, WWE Legend Tatanka ... and the one and only Diamond Dallas Page ... and ... Shaq. Yes, Shaquille O'Neal. He made his WrestleMania in-ring debut and went face-to-face and toe-to-toe with the Big Show. While they were facing off, the remaining members of the battle royal showed up to toss them both out.
It all came down to Corbin, Kane, Bo Dallas and Darren Young. After Kane pushed Dallas and Young out, Corbin snuck up behind Kane and eliminated him to take home the trophy.
What we learned: This was a huge moment for NXT, which capped off a massive weekend for them after TakeOver: Dallas on Friday night. Corbin winning this battle royal, at WrestleMania, on the night of his debut, gives him a massive jumpstart for his main roster career. Big things could be ahead for him.
The Rock def. Erick Rowan
The Rock came out to announce WrestleMania 32 had set an attendance record. While he was talking, the Wyatt Family came out to say that his time was over and now it's Bray Wyatt's moment. The Rock insulted the Wyatt Family, then challenged any of them to a match, tearing off his pants to reveal his wrestling gear.
Wyatt chose to send in Rowan, whom the Rock defeated in six seconds to set a new WrestleMania record. The Wyatts surrounded the Rock, but then John Cena's music hit. Cena made his official return from injury, coming down to help the Rock clear the ring and send the Wyatts packing.
What we learned: John Cena, like we suspected all along, is back. The Wyatt Family once again looked weak, although only Rowan (who has no reputation at all) was officially injured. More famous and accomplished people than the Wyatts have caught signature moves from Cena and the Rock before. It was an interesting way to get the Wyatt Family on the show, but it basically all built to Cena's return.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Roman Reigns def. Triple H (c)
The crowd, as predicted, hated Roman Reigns. The match itself was slow-paced but quite good and got extremely hot at the end, as Stephanie cheated with abandon and caught an inadvertent spear that took her out of action. She still managed to slip Triple H his trusty sledgehammer, but Reigns hit two Superman Punches and a Spear to win his third world title.
What we learned: The WWE is nothing if not persistent. Although the boos were deafening, Reigns won the main event of the biggest WrestleMania in history by defeating the Authority ... and didn't turn heel in the process.
The company is backing their man, come hell or high water. We'll see who steps up to challenge Reigns for his title on Monday night and what will become of the Authority after retaining control of RAW but losing the company's top prize.