April 3, 2017 - 5:50pm
The Undertaker bowed out of the WWE on an emotional night for fans as he appeared to pass the torch on to Roman Reigns, with the legend suffering only his second ever defeat at WrestleMania after an incredible 27-year career in the WWE.
The Undertaker went into the match with Reigns having lost to only Brock Lesnar during his incredible WrestleMania record, but having also won 23 matches since his debut in 1987, this defeat by Reigns looks set to be his last.
Having landed both a chokeslam and a tombstone on Reigns, Undertaker looked on course for another gruelling victory, only for Reigns to kick out. What followed was a brutal ending to his career, with Reigns dishing out three spears, two superman punches and one final, era-ending spear.
After the loss, The Undertaker removed his gloves, his coat and his hat, and made his way back along the entrance ramp visibly emotional. He broke character to hug his wife, Michelle McCool, and, having taken his time to take in everything around him, walked away to retire as the greatest wrestler the WWE has seen.
For Reigns meanwhile, the fact that he ended Undertaker’s career is unlikely to do him any favours with the WWE Universe. Despite it being an obvious passing of the torch by the WWE, Reigns put in a disappointing, error-strewn display, as he twice botched an attempted tombstone counter and also messed up the ending to the match, and compared to some of the other eye-catching displays at WrestleMania, you wonder if it was the right decision.
One of the most spine-tingling WWE returns also took place at WrestleMania 33 as the Hardy Boys, Jeff and Matt, made a stunning comeback to now only thrill the fans in attendance at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, but win the Raw Tag Team titles in a brutal Fatal Four-Way match.
In what was supposed to be a Triple Threat match between Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Cesaro and Sheamus and defending champions Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, all three teams walked out to the ring for the ladder match to begin.
However, WrestleMania 33 hosts The New Day quickly interfered to confirm that the match had been expanded to four teams. After the Hardy Boys made their way down to the ring to a raucous reception, a fascinating match took place as each team got their hands on the belts, which were suspended high above the ring.
Once Anderson was taken out by a Twist of Fate off the top of the ladder, Jeff once again left the WWE Universe stunned as he delivered a Swanton Bomb off a 20-foot ladder to put Cesaro and Sheamus through two ladders suspended between the ring and the fan barricade. That cleared the way for Matt to scale the ladder, and pull down the two tag team titles to ensure the Hardy’s made an incredible and triumphant return to the WWE.
Seth Rollins released two years of frustration on Triple H in an unsanctioned match between former mentor and pupil, with The Architect attempting to fight back from his second serious knee injury that kept him out of last year’s WrestleMania.
Rollins would prove the high-flying thriller that has made him one of the crowd favourites, but Triple H repeatedly attacked the bad knee to keep him grounded. In a match that saw both chairs and a sledgehammer used, Triple H looked to be on his way to victory, only for Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon, to interfere by snatching the sledgehammer off Rollins on the ring apron.
Triple H promptly charged towards his opponent, who moved, and despite stopping himself, Rollins kicked Triple H into his wife, sending her off the apron and crashing through a table at ringside. Stunned by his actions, Triple H turned straight into a Pedigree to give Rollins the victory.
The Universal Championship was on the line too, but that was not the story as Goldberg and Brock Lesnar met for just the third time in singles’ competition. Having won their Survivor Series clash in 1:26, and eliminated Lesnar from the Royal Rumble, Goldberg appeared to have The Beast Incarnate’s number. However, it was a different number this time around, as Lesnar delivered 10 German suplexes to the champion.
Despite landing four spears – one through the barricade – and a Jackhammer, Lesnar would not give in, and it took an F5 from Lesnar to clinch his first victory over Goldberg and win the title in the process.