WWE WrestleMania 33: Match Performance Evaluations

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credit: wwe.com

Cruiserweight Title Match: Neville (c) vs Austin Aries

Well this one had very high expectations.  Granted this match was relegated to the pre-show where normally there is not a ton of time to work, but we’re talking about two outstanding talents in their first ever Wrestlemania battling for the Cruiserweight belt.  It was smart booking to have these guys open the show.  They’re both electric in their ways, Aries as the charismatic face and Neville as the smug, underappreciated and under-sized heel, and in the build up to Wrestlemania appeared ready to tear each other apart.

Surprisingly, Neville and Aries were given the amount of time this match deserved, 19 minutes.  Believe it or not, this was the longest wrestled title match on the entire card.  As great as that is for these two Cruisers, it kind of shows just how out of touch the rest of booking really is.  But I digress.  These guys were given time and they absolutely killed it.  Aries came so close, so many times, and the sequence of his superplex, running elbow, and then 450 splash was just breathtaking.  And Neville played his role perfectly, surviving on dirty tactics to protect his title at all costs.

This was a perfect opener and if this feud continues after Sunday, and I have a feeling it will, expect more amazing matches like this.  Anytime you have 70,000 people eating out the palm of your hands, you know you’re hitting on all cylinders.  Expectations were high but these guys had no problem with that.

Verdict: Exceeded Expectations