Okay, the big day is here! I'm Stuart Carapola, and I'm going to be covering this show until after midnight! Wish I picked up some Starbucks on the way home.
Anyway, our panel is Renee Young, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Booker T, and Shawn Michaels. They say how lucky they are having air conditioning, and wonder if the heat will affect the wrestlers tonight. Charly Caruso and Maria Menounos are backstage and they'll be talking to the online folks tonight. Paul Heyman will be here in a little while to answer our questions, and they say to ask him anything and DON'T HOLD BACK!
Sam Roberts is outside with the WWE Universe on the floor of the Citrus Bowl, all of whom are chanting YES YES YES!
Video package hyping Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton tonight. The panel discusses the match and Shawn says he's known Randy for a long time and there's always been a legitimate darkness to Randy, and he's surprised that it took this long for it to come out.
We move on to talking about Shane McMahon taking on AJ Styles tonight, and they discuss what they think it'll take for Shane to win tonight. They also have a conversation about how long Shane will be able to last with someone of AJ's caliber. The panel unanimously predicts AJ as the winner.
Video package hyping Triple H vs Seth Rollins, and then the panel talks about how Seth Rollins has to win here or he's done. He might stick around and have a great career, but he will never be all he could be if he had beaten Triple H at Wrestlemania. Another unanimous call by the panel: Triple H wins here tonight.
Pete Rosenberg is on the entry ramp, the longest in Wrestlemania history, then he tosses it back to the panel They turn their attention to Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho, and whether the US Title is more important to these men, or embarrassing each other is. This is the first match the panel is split on in predicting a winner.
Lawler tags out and Lita tags in so we can talk about the Women's Title matches, and how she got to introduce the new Women's Title belt last year. They discuss who could come out on top of the Raw Women's Title match and another split call, then they move on to John Cena & Nikki Bella vs the Miz & Maryse, but they only get a moment to touch on that before we go to our opening contest...
Cruiserweight Title Match: Neville vs Austin Aries
The crowd is 100% behind Austin Aries here as they circle each other, then a feeling out process to start. Aries takes Neville to the mat with an armdrag, and he quickly goes for the Last Chancery, but Neville slips out and rolls to the floor to catch a break. Aries rings Neville's bell with a head clap, Neville takes Aries down with a headscissors, but Aries slips out and hits the low dropkick. Aries off the second rope with an elbowdrop for 2. Neville turns around and takes control as we go to...a commercial?
We're back, and we see that Neville tossed Aries into the barricade on the floor during the break. We're back inside and Neville goes for a second rope Phoenix splash, but takes too long and Aries moves. Aries with an STO and pendulum elbow, then backdrops Neville to the floor. Aries to the top, and he comes to the outside with a double axhandle, followed by the heat seeking missile. Aries dumps Neville back inside and covers for 2. Neville hits a bicycle kick to the face and sits Aries on the top rope. Neville goes up for a superplex, Aries fights him off and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Aries goes for the brainbuster, Neville slips out the back and hits the snap German suplex. Neville deadlifts Aries into a German suplex, Aries goes for a roaring elbow, but Neville avoids that and hits another deadlift German for 2. Neville puts the boots to Aries in the corner, then he puts Aries in the Rings of Saturn, Aries rolls Neville to his back for 2, and then they're up and trading strikes. Aries wins after hitting a roaring elbow, but he drives Neville to the floor. The ref count, Aries goes out after Neville and tosses him back inside, Neville hits a leaping enziguiri, and he goes to the top for the Red Arrow, but Aries climbs up with him and hits a super Frankensteiner. Aries with a charging elbow in the corner, he goes to the top, he hits the 450 splash, but Neville is out at 2. Wow! Aries gets the Last Chancery, he has Neville right in the middle of the ring, but Neville goes to the eyes. Neville drills Aries in the skull right where he had the injury, then he goes to the top, and the Red Arrow...connects. Three seconds later, it's over.
Kind of a surprising finish, but great match! Hot opener for what's going to be a long Wrestlemania evening.
The second hour of the Kickoff show begins NOW! We've got our panel here, and it's time for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal!
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Everyone surrounds Braun to start, but he starts tossing people right out of the gate and that ends pretty quick. People are going quick: Kalisto, Simon Gotch, Heath Slater, on of the Usos, Goldust, lots of people going quick. It's pretty much Big Show and Strowman dominating here. Konnor goes out, and now Show and Strowman turn their attention to each other and everyone else stops to watch. Well, they do until Zayn nails Strowman and everyone else gangs up to try and toss them both. Strowman breaks free and tosses Show, then he tosses Victor and everyone else gangs up to toss Strowman! Wow, that was not expected. The battle royal continues, and now it's anyone's game. Curt Hawkins goes out, Ginger Mahal tries to toss Killian Dane without success, and Dolph gets tossed but hangs on and rolls back in to avoid elimination. Ziggler ducks a charge and R-Truth goes out. Ziggler tosses Rhyno, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable both go out, Tyler Breeze and Fandango in rapid succession, and some guy in a blue suit and mask I don't recognize go. Mark Henry goes, and this is speeding along like the Gimmick Battle Royal at this rate. Okay, I'm calling either Titus O'Neill or Luke Harper wins at this point. We'll see how I do. Ziggler superkicks Bing to the floor, Sami Zayn uses a Heluva Kick to eliminate Epico, and we're down to about ten guys left. Ziggler again gets tossed and hangs on, Harper goes to the eyes and tries to boot him out, but Ziggler is hanging on. Mojo Rawley tosses...some guy I didn't recognize and even the announcers didn't seem to know. Mojo nails Ziggler with a shoulderblock and eliminates Ziggler as Apolo Crews is tossed. Harper goes to the apron and tries to hang on, but Titus boots him to the floor. We're down to Zayn, Titus, Dane, Rawley, and Mahal...and Titus gets eliminated by Zayn, then Dane tosses Zayn So much for my predictions. Mahal and Rawley go at it, Rawley takes his head off with a clothesline, then Rawley and Dane go face to face and trade right hands. Rawley with a Pounce, then he goes after Mahal, and gets dumped through the ropes (not eliminated), then Mahal goes out and rams Rawley into the apron, then the barricade, then puts the boots to him. Mahal gets in the face of Ron Gronkowski, who's close friends with Mojo Rawley. Gronk comes over the barricade, and security quickly steps in to move him back. The referees run out to tell security that he's supposed to do a run in, so they let him come in the ring and shoulder tackle Mahal into next week. Rawley high fives Gronk and tells him to get outta here, then Rawley unloads on Dane and eliminates him. Mahal tries a charge, Rawley dumps him to the apron, Mahal tries to suplex Rawley to the floor, but Rawley blocks and knocks Mahal to the floor to get the win.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
Another unexpected finish! Great win by Rawley, who celebrates with the Gronk.
The panel talks about Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, and how Lesnar has to win tonight. We go to Sam Roberts, who talks about how wild the crowd is.
We go to the social media lounge with Charly and Maria, who have Paul Heyman with them. He talks about what Brock Lesnar is going to do to Goldberg tonight, then gets asked if he has any potential clients for the future, and he says yes, it'll be Charly and Maria. Finally, he is asked about what happens if Brock loses tonight, and he says he'll slap Lesnar and wake him up from a bad dream because there is no way Lesnar's losing tonight. The panel is split on who is winning this match.
The panel discusses the Intercontinental Title match, which begins now!
Intercontinental Title Match: Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
Corbin takes Dean's head off with a lariat right off the bell, but Ambrose fights back and takes the brawl to Corbin on the floor. They go back in and Corbin whips Ambrose ribs-first into the ribs, then follows in with a pair of baseball slides. Corbin continues working the ribs over in the corner with shoulderblocks, then gets Ambrose in the COPS lock. Ambrose fights his way free and comes off the top with a clothesline for 2. Ambrose knocks Corbin to the floor and goes to the top, coming off with a flying elbow to the floor. Back in the ring where Ambrose hits a rolling neckbreaker for 2. Corbin goes for Deep Six, Ambrose slips out, Corbin boots him in the face and hits it on a second attempt. Corbin covers for 2, then hammers a prone Ambrose with right hands. Ambrose is up and gets nailed, but hits a rebound lariat. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, Corbin slips out, and he hits something big I didn't catch and makes a cover, but Ambrose is out at 2, and Corbin is livid. Corbin goes for End of Days, Ambrose rolls through and hits Dirty Deeds, and he makes a cover for the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Good match, but again, kind of surprised that Corbin didn't win.
The panel discusses the Undertaker and Roman Reigns, then we see a final video package hyping that match before the panel sends it home. And now, ladies and gentlemen, Wrestlemania 33 begins!
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