Would you be remotely surprised were I to tell you that 58 minutes of WrestleMania 33 consisted of wrestlers making their entrances? Of course you wouldn’t. The show was over five hours long, and the path from the entrance, to the ring, was incredibly long. In fact, John Cena even looked at the camera before making his trek, and said “this is gonna be a long run!”. Oh, and it also happened to be a massive screen.
As tiring as the show became, it was well worth it. The stage was absolutely phenomenal, and paved the way for some spectacular entrances. It is difficult to get one’s head around it, considering how this stage was used once, and then scrapped. Here are my favourite 10 from WrestleMania 33.
10. ENZO & CASS
I am going to be completely honest about this, and I know that many people will want me crucified for it, but he goes – I am not a big fan of Enzo & Cass’ long arrival. Or rather, I’m bored of it. To watch the same drawn out monologue over and over again is a bit strenuous. However, it went down a treat at WrestleMania 33, and it was amazing to see them have 70,000 people wrapped around their little fingers, arguably achieving it better than The New Day did that evening.
FEEL THE GLOW. For a while, there was worry that this match wasn’t even going to happen, considering just how long the show had been running by this point. Aside from Naomi, and champion Alexa Bliss (who got a lot of fireworks), the other SmackDown women didn’t get especially spectacular entrances, instead getting about 30 seconds of their themes each before cutting to the next. Naomi on the other hand, was given almost three minutes of vomit-inducing colour and UV light to dance under. It became apparent pretty quickly that this match was a fast handover of the title to the local wrestler to cheer up the crowd, as the final match wasn’t going to be provoking nearly as much grinning.
It probably comes as no surprise that the entrances for the Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar match, added up to longer than the miniscule match itself. Goldberg’s signature entrance (walking backstage, blowing smoke at the camera, standing in fireworks etc.) is a testament to the whole situation. Its legendary status defines the situation surrounding this match – it’s something that thousands just wanted to be able to say they witnessed in person (and to my surprise, the match wasn’t as terrible as I had expected).
Earlier in the night, Chris Jericho arrived onstage next to a giant inflatable ‘List of Jericho’ clipboard, in a colourful, flashing scarf. Under the darkness of night, Bayley’s entrance used a similar format, with retina-frazzling screen, a technicolored frilly cape, and of course her signature tube men. (Corey Graves was not impressed – “They’re too close to me. Get them away from me.”) There were even heart and smiley-face shaped fireworks. As she was the champion, I thought that this would be the biggest entrance for the women. Nia Jax walked to the ring just with images of her face and logo on the screens. Sasha Banks might have been driven to the ring by a chauffeur, but still Bayley had the most spectacular show. But then came Charlotte Flair. More on her a little later.
6. BRAY WYATT
WWE don’t even need to try when it comes to getting Wyatt to the ring. All they have to do is switch the lights off, and the crowd will do the rest, as they become Wyatt’s “fireflies”. As clever as Randy Orton’s entrance was (a giant snake followed him down the path on the screen), Wyatt’s entrance will be always be the most striking. Considering how poorly WWE have booked Wyatt, the infamy of his signature entrance might be what keeps him on the map for years to come.
5. SETH ROLLINS
This was definitely the most spectacular use of the screen on the path. Rollins came out to his signature black and white static, flaming torch in hand. He pointed it to the ground, and as though the path were a fuse, fire spread towards the ring, and the screens on the ring and its shelter looked as though they went up in flames. The images of flames were even projected onto the ring canvas as Triple H stood there. I think that seeing this earlier in the night, meant that the odd projections in Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton didn’t seem so special anymore. It was pretty awesome nonetheless.
4. TRIPLE H
Now that The Undertaker has no more business at WrestleMania, it is quite possible that the infamous entrance torch will be handed over to Triple H for the time being. For a long time, Triple H’s entrances have been sheer indulgence and ego, for better or for worse. Remember at WrestleMania XXX, he appeared onstage in a throne, with three masked maids (played by Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss), and was booed – hardly a surprise considering that he was up against Daniel Bryan. Then Motorhead kicked in and a plethora of strobing lasers, won everyone over. This time, he rode to the ring on a Harley-Davison (with a beautiful looking Stephanie McMahon), surrounded by police on motorcycles. It was spectacular, although the sirens were a bit irritating.
3. THE HARDY BOYZ (w/ THE NEW DAY)
Sure, Roman Reigns managed to retire The Undertaker, but arguably the most talked about moment of the show, was the much rumoured return of The Hardy Boyz. What made this entrance so special wasn’t spectacular imagery or fireworks (although there was an incredible display at the end of this match), but the ingenious appearance of The New Day. The New Day appeared before the Triple Threat Tag Team ladder match, in their ring gear, and announced that a fourth team would be entering. They seemed to start walking as though they would be the new entrants… and then Team Xtreme’s music began. They kept everyone guessing until the very end, and my jaw dropped when Michael Cole said “things are about to get broken”. Believe it or not, WWE are aware of things going on outside of the WWE Universe.
2. THE UNDERTAKER
The Undertaker’s infernal WrestleMania entrance has long been a spectacular highlight of the show, as well as feeling as though it takes about an hour, as The Undertaker’s walk to the ring gets slower every year. In fact, the full entrance took six-minutes, and he didn’t even walk the entire length of the path, instead rising from underneath it, halfway to the ring, amidst a cloud of dry ice.
1. CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Yes. Really. Last year, the Women’s Championship match was given a huge amount of attention, as though it were the main event. Everyone got spectacular entrances, and there was a firework display afterwards. It was a powerful statement. WWE showed that they weren’t done yet, and they would now focus as much attention on one person. And she wasn’t even the champion. As Michael Cole pointed out, Charlotte Flair was given the same entrance that arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair was given at WrestleMania 24, as he walked to the ring for what was meant to be his retirement match. While it is undeniably tedious hearing constant references to her father (especially since being billed as Charlotte Flair), this was an instance where it felt justified. This match was now billed on the same level as Michaels vs. Flair. There were an obscene amount of fireworks, and on the broadcast, there were stunning aerial views from a helicopter.
Which were your favourites? Leave your favourite in the comments.