WrestleMania 35 represents the culmination of the WWE year, as 75,000-plus people packed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, for what has come to be known as the "showcase of the immortals." There was an extra sense of history in the air for WWE's annual supershow, as Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair took part in the first women's match to main-event a WrestleMania show.
WrestleMania 35 offered 15 matches, including headlining bouts such as Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal championship, Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE title and Triple H taking on Batista.
Tim Fiorvanti and Matt Wilansky were live at MetLife Stadium to break down all of the action. This file was updated throughout the night.
Women's Raw and SmackDown championship: Becky Lynch def. Ronda Rousey (c-Raw) and Charlotte Flair (c-SmackDown)
Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey to become the Raw and SmackDown women's champion to close out WrestleMania 35.
In the first women's match to main-event a WrestleMania, Lynch handed Rousey the first loss of her WWE career via flash roll-up, taking advantage of a leveraged situation to grab an instant victory. The decision to end what had been a physical and intense match in such an abrupt and shocking way might be debated for some time, but there's no doubting the effort invested in the match or the importance of the moment at hand.
After building a grassroots following with the WWE audience, it was clear Lynch was being positioned as the people's champion from the time the entrances for the match began. Flair and Rousey each entered with an amount of flash that was certainly on scale with the importance of a WrestleMania event. Flair, channeling the opulence of her family name, flew to MetLife Stadium in a helicopter and walked in the door. Rousey was played to the ring by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
But Lynch, very much representing the common people, walked out with minimal pomp and circumstance and a few smoke cannons shooting into the air. She walked out to a great deal more -- a roar of applause and a dizzying pyrotechnic display that signaled the close of WrestleMania 35 and the start of a new era of WWE.
Despite the bell signaling the start of the match at midnight ET Monday morning, the crowd was still as enthusiastic as it was at any other point when Lynch managed to pin Rousey -- closing out a show in which the audience also got a feel-good Universal championship win from Seth Rollins to open the show and a WWE championship win from Kofi Kingston, as well. There were moments throughout the match, however, when a level of exhaustion was clear, some seven hours after the WrestleMania Kickoff show began.
After a moment to take in the gravity of the situation at hand, Rousey was extremely aggressive in the early stages, cutting down both of her opponents with strikes to bring the action to the outside of the ring. Two different versions of Piper's Pit continued her momentum, but the combined efforts of Flair and Lynch were able to counter that early push.
Flair and Lynch, longtime friends and rivals, got a few moments to battle each other before Rousey rolled into the ring -- necessitating Flair and Lynch to team up. Rousey briefly held both women in a simultaneous armbar while draped upside down over the top rope, but Lynch got a running start and drop-kicked Rousey, sending her crashing to the floor with a massive thud.
It was the start of a lot of creative, begrudging, team-up offense in multiple directions, with each woman getting in a few of her signature moves in between.
Every strike was tight, every submission seemed to be a potential end, but the audience had to push itself with the last of its energy to push for Lynch. Through double armbars, a top rope Spanish fly and each woman laying everything on the line time and time again, the crowd's energy drain was clear until the final, shocking moment.
Those who thought Lynch would walk out with both titles in hand imagined a submission victory would be her path, but that simply wasn't the case on this night. Just as the match seemed to be hitting a crescendo and fans were giving the last embers of their enthusiasm, Lynch slid out from atop a Rousey attempt at a "Piper's pit" and leveraged Rousey into a stunning three-count.
Even the announcers acted surprised, and the suggestion that Rousey's shoulder was up was floated along the way. It could be a signal that another match between Rousey and Lynch is yet to come, but it seemed as though the late-match celebration was a bit rushed, as well.
Regardless of the direction in which things are headed, Flair, Rousey and Lynch can hold their heads high knowing they stepped up to the plate given the unbelievable pressure of main-eventing WrestleMania. The WWE train never stops or even slows down, though, and so even while we celebrate a historic moment for Lynch and women's wrestling as a whole, it's right back to business Monday night.
Intercontinental championship: Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley (c)
Win, lose or draw, Finn Balor was going to put on a show. He forewarned everyone he was going to have a little something special for this, the biggest night of the WWE year. Balor was going to embody his demon persona, his menacing alter ego, and he did not disappoint.
Perched on a raised platform just outside the curtain, Balor stood high above everyone and methodically made his way to the ring, his face covered in black and red paint.
He was feeling it, as his opponent and Intercontinental champion, Bobby Lashley, found out early. Lashley would regroup, sending Balor over the ropes with a nasty clothesline, followed by a drop kick into the barricade. He then absolutely annihilated Balor with a spear through the ropes.
But this was the demon in the ring, a demon who somehow power-bombed Lashley and then struck him with a coup de grace to win the Intercontinental championship for the second time.
It was short, and the in-ring performance was fairly anticlimactic. But at least we had the entrance. And as far as everyone in the stadium was concerned, that's all that matters.
Baron Corbin def. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle has had one of the greatest careers in professional wrestling. You can't forget his classic WrestleMania battles with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero or Brock Lesnar. Tonight, he had his final battle.
Would Baron Corbin be Angle's final opponent? The WWE audience had been clamoring for a late swerve to bring in -- with all due respect to Corbin -- a more high-profile opponent, but it was not to be. The match went on as scheduled.
Corbin dominated many of the early sequences with the exception of a patented Angle belly-to-belly suplex and, as he does so well, garnered heat while taunting the crowd, which was a bit tired at this point in the show.
Eventually, Angle delivered a trio of German suplexes and was able to catch Corbin with the ankle lock, but Corbin fought out of the hold and delivered his Deep Six, a move he has used as a finisher of late. But Angle kicked out.
Similarly, Corbin kicked out of one of Angle's signature maneuvers, as well, with a shock to the audience after an Angle Slam. He also escaped the ankle lock one more time and began to instigate Angle with one of John Cena's "you can't see me" taunts; Cena was one of the popular choices to face Angle in his last match.
As the match neared its conclusion, Angle ascended the top rope looking for the moonsault he used to execute during his heyday, but Corbin moved out of the way. Corbin then hit the End of Days and defeated Angle in his final WrestleMania match.
"For the past 20 years, I have had the time of my life, in addition to tonight, right here in front of all go you," an emotional Angle told the MetLife crowd. "And I want to thank each and everyone one of you."
Angle then left the ring for the last time as an active performer and embraced his family, who was at ringside. One of the greatest in-ring careers is over.
No Holds Barred match with Triple H's in-ring career on the line: Triple H def. Batista
This match was not for the weak. Forget the elaborate entrances (Batista in an Escalade and army of escorts, and not to be outdone, Triple H in "Mad Max: Fury Road" style), this was about pain and elevating a No Holds Barred stipulation to the next level.
It began with a whipping, as Triple H took a chain and mauled his opponent. That was nothing compared to the pliers Triple H used to pinch Batista's fingers. And that was nothing compared to the needle-nose pliers Triple H brought out and, with a chair over Batista's face, plucked the nose ring out of his opponent and then held it high as if it were some sort of trophy.
Did we mention this was not the weak?
From there, the pain only worsened. Batista nailed Triple H with steel stairs, while Triple H himself reversed a Batista Bomb into a suplex, sending The Animal into the announcer's table before spearing him into another.
But mercifully, just moments before Triple H was able to incapacitate his opponent with a sledge hammer, Batista was able to quickly move out of the way, first connecting with a spine buster and then a Batista Bomb.
Like so many other heated rivalries, Triple H and Batista were once the closet of teammates, part of a dominant stable with Ric Flair and Randy Orton. Together they thrived and feuded. But nothing, in the long existence of this faction, was as personal as it was last month when a returning Batista beat down and spoiled Flair's 70th birthday, a decision that kick-started the latest beef between Triple H and Batista.
This was personal and painful. And it wasn't over. Even Shawn Michaels, who was on commentary, could not believe the level of brutality. "This is just unbelievable," he said, stating the obvious. And that was before Triple H power-bombed Batista on the steel steps inside the ring, followed by a pedigree. And even that was only enough for a two-count.
What else could Triple H possibly do? He was at a loss -- that is until Flair made a dramatic appearance, handed Triple H another sledge hammer, which he slammed into Batista's head, followed by a pedigree and, finally, a three-count.
John Cena shows up to confront Elias
Elias' headlining gig at WrestleMania got off to a solid start, with a three-piece trio made up of Elias, Elias and Elias on guitar, piano and drums. As Elias was about to roll into another song, however the audience was treated a Babe Ruth highlight in its entirety -- followed by the return of John Cena. But it wasn't John Cena as we've known him of late -- it was his former iteration as the rapping "doctor of thuganomics," and he was there to tear down Elias.
From a nostalgia perspective, getting a couple of bars from Cena and an F-U (think A-A, but less PG), as well as a couple pumps on his sneakers, was an entertaining enough moment. It also allowed the crowd to decompress a little more and reset themselves for the final few matches on the show.
The spectacle was grand in the lead-up to the match, with Drew McIntyre walking in to pipes and drums from the NYPD, while Roman Reigns paid tribute to Leukemia awareness with a reimagined logo shaped into a red ribbon, but the end result was a simple, straightforward match that didn't quite hit the level of excitement many would've hoped for.
Reigns and McIntyre scrapped early, but Reigns gained the edge with a running leg drop on a suspended McIntyre on the apron. He promptly lost it once McIntyre charged forward with a head-butt in the middle of the ring.
As Corey Graves so eloquently put it, Reigns became McIntyre's "whipping boy," tossed all over ringside and then backwards off the top rope for an uncomfortable stretch. Reigns put up a few moments of fight back in the other direction, but things finally swung in Reigns' direction with a Samoan Drop on the outside.
He hit a Superman punch, lined up a spear, drove straight through McIntyre and one was enough to put McIntyre down for the three-count.
It was tough for the crowd to get into this match, still reeling from the emotion of the WWE championship match, but it was good to see Reigns back in action and at WrestleMania, considering how the last 12 months played out.
The roster may yet be shuffled, but it appears that if all things remain fairly constant atop the Raw men's division, Reigns may be on a collision course with new Universal champion Seth Rollins before too long. As for McIntyre, he flashed some serious charisma and chops, and a match against Reigns, who headlined each of the last four WrestleManias, is no small thing. But he'll likely be best suited with a fresh start on SmackDown.
United States championship: Samoa Joe (c) def. Rey Mysterio
Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio had the unenviable task of following Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan's classic WWE championship match performance.
Samoa Joe got his first taste of championship gold as part of SmackDown Live last month when he defeated R-Truth, Andrade and his opponent tonight, Rey Mysterio in a fatal 4-way to capture the United States Championship.
Mysterio, who was taking part in his first WrestleMania singles match since his loss to Cody Rhodes in 2011 (WrestleMania 27), has held a lot of championship gold as part of the WWE -- the World title, Intercontinental title and Cruiserweight title, but not the title he was fighting for on Sunday.
Joe was aggressive from the get go as he connected with a big boot to the jaw of Mysterio, but just a couple sequences later, Mysterio caught him with the 619 and it appeared as though we were about to relive Mysterio's performance at WrestleMania 25 when he defeated JBL in under a minute to capture the Intercontinental championship. But it was not to be.
Following the 619, Mysterio ascended to the top rope, presumably looking for his West Coast Pop, but Joe caught him and applied the Coquina Clutch for the submission win.
It's too bad these two talented performers didn't get the chance to shine on the big stage tonight, but if there was one positive coming out of the match, it's that Joe came out looking dominant.
WWE championship: Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan (c)
You could feel the energy from the moment his music hit. Led by his longtime New Day tag-team partners, Kofi Kingston bounced out of the locker room and down the ramp as the entire stadium screamed his name in unison.
This was the moment he had waited for. Eleven years -- if you hadn't heard by now -- and it wasn't as if Kofi was awarded a WWE championship match against Daniel Bryan based on patience. He earned his shot at gold because he evolved from a talented performer to a phenomenon, a superstar who has been sending fans into a frenzy with his recent performances in the past couple of months.
This was going to be Kofi's moment. It had to be.
Bryan and Kofi took some time feeling each other out before either risked a maneuver that could backfire, but that's exactly what happened when Kofi attempted to dive on Bryan, who was outside in the ring and in front of the announcer's table. Bryan moved just in time and Kofi took the brunt of the blow. Advantage, Bryan.
The champ, standing on the top rope, then delivered a knee to Kofi's head, and slowly and surely, Bryan was showing everyone why he has been head of the class on SmackDown. Soon afterward, Bryan locked in a Boston Crap, a submission move that had Kofi screaming in pain, but Kofi wouldn't tap, even as Bryan connected with one kick after another to his face.
Kofi was able to turn the tide as he leaped off the top rope and onto Bryan, who was lying face first in the ring. Back and forth they went as the cadence picked up. Kofi was feeling it, and so was the crowd inside the stadium.
Kofi had his first real shot at the win with an SOS, but Bryan was able to reverse it with a LeBell Lock. Still, no one was going to concede, not yet anyway.
At this point, the adrenaline was taking over. After numerous "YES" kicks, Kofi shook the pain off and dared Bryan to hit him. Bryan obliged, but to no avail. As this was happening, Rowan, Big E and Xavier got into it, with the baby faces taking out the big man with a midnight express out on the floor.
Shortly after Kofi headed back into the ring, Bryan nailed him with a running knee to the head, which Kofi kicked out of, followed by another LeBell lock. Kofi fought through and turned the tables quickly. Kofi crushed Bryan with a Trouble in Paradise, and he had done it. He had his championship. He had his WrestleMania moment.
The fireworks inside MetLife stadium exploded, as Woods and Big E brought a new WWE championship to a tearful Kofi. Kofi's kids joined him in the ring for a memorable celebration.
About that 11-year wait. It was worth it.
Women's tag team championship: The IIconics def. Sasha Banks & Bayley (c), Beth Phoenix & Natalya, Nia Jax and Tamina
The women's tag team championship received a fitting WrestleMania debut, with the odds stacked against Bayley and Sasha Banks as three teams challenged to dethrone the champions.
As shocking as the method by which Seth Rollins won the Universal title win was, The IIconics walking out of WrestleMania as the new WWE women's tag may be one of the most surprising outcomes of the night when all is said and done.
Few would've given Billie Kay and Peyton Royce a chance at the start of the match, with all the pre-match attention turned towards Beth Phoenix and Natalya, who were joined by recently inducted (again) Hall of Famer Bret Hart, and the defending champions, who came out first.
After a bit of chaos and a melee that saw Phoenix drive Nia Jax into the ring steps, Banks played the fool for The IIconics for a stretch until she was finally able to tag out and bring Phoenix into the match. The IIconics continued their early charge in the match at Phoenix's expense, but the Hall of Famer suplexed both Kay and Royce at the same time to turn the tide.
The Divas of Doom went toe-to-toe with the reigning tag team champions, with Bayley utilizing a creative setup to allow Banks to spin her way around and into a Banks Statement on Phoenix.
Natalya interrupted the proceedings and soon put Bayley and Banks into a double sharpshooter, and as they tried to keep each other from tapping out, Tamina interrupted the attempt. Jax finally recovered enough to go side-by-side with Tamina on stereo Samoan drops on The IIconics, followed by an attempt at a double splash on Bayley and Banks from opposite corners -- only for Phoenix to interrupt at the final, deciding moment.
Bayley hit a flying elbow and Banks followed with a frog splash on Phoenix, but that only earned a two-count. Natalya hit a crazy spinning powerbomb on Banks that took both of them out of play, leaving Phoenix and Bayley, perched atop the turnbuckle, staring into the abyss. Phoenix landed an avalanche Glam Slam from the second rope -- only for Kay and Royce to charge in, toss Phoenix out of the ring and allow Kay, who sneakily tagged Phoenix as they were about to fly through the air, to pick up the three-count.
Prevailing wisdom in recent memory indicates that the performer makes the titles, and not the other way around. While logic might seem to dictate building up the prestige of a new title with a solid reign to start, The IIconics now have a chance to prove themselves under a brighter spotlight moving forward.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon def. The Miz
Chalk this one up to a luck of the fall. An insanely brutal match ended far differently than we could have expected.
The Miz and Shane McMahon feud has been personal -- really personal. This was Miz's opportunity to put an end to his opponent's taunting and the aggravating showmanship by beating McMahon ... anywhere in the ring or out in a falls-count anywhere showdown.
And that's what happened, until it didn't.
In an already physical bout that saw Miz's father, George, interfere and subsequently get beat in the ring, moved outside the squared circle to a spot in between large sections of the crowd on the cement floor -- with chairs, as McMahon found out. Over and over, Miz slugged his foe with the fans just inches away and then into the international announce team's table. With some strong southpaw swings, the Miz was putting a hurt on McMahon. But that was nothing compared to the pain McMahon must have felt when Miz nailed him with a TV monitor, sending the former SmackDown commissioner over a barricade.
But somehow McMahon survived a skull-crushing finale on a camera platform, which McMahon would scale moments later, as would Miz. Now high above the crowd in the lower section, McMahon pleaded for mercy, but to no avail. And then it happened! A superplex off the platform onto the lower section. Unbelievable, but somehow McMahon landed on Miz, and with both knocked out, the ref counted to three and McMahon won, even if he had no clue until he finally got his wits about him.
As Corey Graves called it, this was a WrestleMania miracle. McMahon was hurt and beaten, but he emerged a winner. As compelling as the storytelling was in the lead and during the match, the insanity that unfolded during it outweighed everything else. All we can do, is applaud the effort. It was bold and it was brutal.
SmackDown Tag Team championship: The Usos (c) def. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black
Although the tag team division has taken a backseat for the most part over the last few months, there's no denying the level of talent that was packed into the Fatal 4-Way tag team match for the SmackDown tag titles. The Usos ultimately walked out with their gold still in hand, but as far as showcases for what could come in the future go, there's plenty of depth in the division to work with once things reset in the coming weeks.
Ricochet soon stole the audience's favor with a bit of lucha libre trickery, but that got derailed in a hurry. Cesaro connected on an uppercut and then unleashed an extended cut of a WrestleMania Cesaro swing -- one that spun Ricochet around for over a minute before Cesaro set Ricochet down, shook his head and settled into a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring.
As the match wound down, Ricochet once again took center stage, as he sat atop a tower of doom with The Bar, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura -- but for once, the guy on top survived as he spun out of the attack at the final moment. Black lined up Sheamus for a Ricochet 630, but the pinfall attempt was interrupted by every other competitor in the match.
A finisher bonanza wiped out most of the match, and ended with Sheamus in the ring with both Usos. They knocked Sheamus down with a series of superkicks and hit stereo flying splashes to secure the victory. On a chaotic night, they were the first champions to retain their titles at WrestleMania 35.
AJ Styles def. Randy Orton
It was a tough act to follow. No one saw Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar, one of the main attractions of this year's WrestleMania card, kicking off the show and the crowd had little time to catch its breath when AJ Styles' music hit.
Leave it to Styles and Randy Orton, though, two longtime veterans who have taken very different paths to reach superstardom level, to make us forget we have a new Universal champ.
On the surface, Styles and Orton was a matchup of two guys who deserve to be on this stage, but two guys who did not have a heated feud leading up to the event. So why not pair them up?
The beginning moments were slow, if not methodical, even as Styles landed a phenomenal forearm on Orton outside the ring before Orton returned the favor my slinging Styles into the barricade.
Styles picked up the pace, striking Orton in the back of the head with his knee. Styles' locked in a calf crusher, causing Orton to howl in pain, but the hold was broken was Orton made it to the ropes. Styles kept on the pressure and narrowly ended the match with a perfectly executed 450 splash.
Orton took over and executed a daring superplex for a two count. Styles turned the tables and covered Orton for a two count, but as they got up Orton hit his signature RKO. To the shock of the stadium, Styles kicked out after two.
At this point, both competitors were breathing heavily and moving slowly -- that is until Styles decided to bring out the phenomenal forearm. He struck Orton with one outside the ring and then once again inside the ring. Styles covered Orton and picked up a big win. Styles beat a solid opponent, and in the process gained some much-needed momentum, leading us to the obvious question: What now? He's run through nearly every star on the SmackDown roster and with the Superstar Shakeup just over a week away, could we see a move to the red brand with some new rivals?
It seems like a logical move, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Universal championship: Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar
Host Alexa Bliss kicked off WrestleMania 35 by creating a moment -- a moment of Hulk Hogan. After screwing up the venue name on purpose, calling back to WrestleMania 30 by calling the stadium "the Silverdome", Hogan called it the "MetLife Center", which may or may not have been intentional. "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania, Alexa Bliss and WrestleMania run wild on you" Hogan predictably asked, and with that, Paul Heyman walked out to the ring to say that if Brock Lesnar wasn't going to close the show, he wanted to get the business done early before flying to Las Vegas where he's "Ultimately appreciated."
With that, Lesnar walked to the ring, followed by a "Beast Slayer"-themed entrance for Seth Rollins. The Universal championship match got underway not in the ring, but as Lesnar bumrushed Rollins while he stood on the apron. Lesnar tossed the challenger all over ringside, hit an early F5 and continued to manhandle Rollins before the bell ever rang. After getting tossed over the commentary desk, Lesnar picked Rollins up and tossed him into the ring -- but the referee refused to ring the bell and start the match.
Lesnar soon tossed Rollins over the German announce table, tossed him through the hood of the table and then carried the action back into the ring -- forcing the official to finally ring the bell.
Suplex City was Rollins' next destination, which he endured for a couple of minutes until he wriggled out of an F5, sent Lesnar into the ref and nailed a low blow to even the score. Rollins hit a stomp, then another, then a third to finish the deal. Rollins covered Lesnar, picked up the three-count and kicked off WrestleMania with a shockingly quick Universal title win.
Kofi after winning WWE title: 'I was overcome with emotion'
Kofi Kingston explains the emotional moment when the bell rung and won the WWE title.
In a lot of ways, this shock victory is the opposite bookend to Rollins closing out WrestleMania 31 getting the best of Lesnar and Roman Reigns. He even stood atop the stage and spun the title around in a clear callback to that moment.
After wrestling for the Universal championship in its inaugural match at SummerSlam 2016, and losing to Finn Balor, Rollins finally stands atop the Raw men's roster coming out of the biggest show of the year. It's a long overdue reset, which will be further clarified in the weeks to come in the annual superstars shakeup, and it's a clear hint of where Lesnar's future might lie.
Braun Strowman wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Given the amount of star power, the first reaction we heard was a spirited jeer as Colin Jost of "Saturday Night Live" walked to the ring wearing an Odell Beckham Jr. Browns jersey. Ouch.
The ring was overcrowded with all shapes and sizes, including the biggest and baddest of them all, Braun Strowman, who was easily the odds-on favorite.
And just like that they fell fast and furious. But not Jost or Michael Che, who ducked under the ropes and under the ring. Shades of Carmella?
As the action got rolling, Strowman was unstoppable, eliminated everyone in sight, including Heavy Machinery, Luke Harper and Ali before the "Saturday Night Live" boys returned. But their in-ring presence would last only so long as they failed to help save the Hardy Boyz from Strowman.
At that point, it was down to just the three of them. But before Strowman could take out the jokesters, Jost called in his therapist to work out another solution.
"Braun, there are other solutions," Jost said. "Not everything has to end in violence, right? That's why I have invited my therapist to work through some of this anger."
Strowman would have none of it. First he took out Che, then tossed Jost like a ragdoll over the rope to lift the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Hardly the showcase Strowman wants, but a nice consolation prize for now.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder walked into a hometown WrestleMania and made it three-for-three for locals on the Kickoff Show -- defeating The Revival to become Raw tag team champions and end Hawkins' historic losing streak for good.
The last time Hawkins won a match prior to Sunday night on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show was on Nov. 8, 2016. That losing streak, which WWE set at 269 losses (though there may have been some Goldberg-esque math involved), ended with Hawkins rolling up Scott Dawson. The Revival, who were dogged for much of their reign as Raw tag team champions with losses in a number of non-title contests and "already in the ring" match starts on Raw, walk out of WrestleMania empty-handed.
This tag team title win is the second for Ryder and Hawkins in WWE, whose previous win came in July 2008 at the Great American Bash.
Carmella wins WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal
The truth is there was no real payoff for the women's battle royal winner where, with everything on the line in the main event later Sunday night.
But there was a question of whether Asuka would find some redemption after losing her SmackDown women's title just a couple of weeks ago. Early on, it seemed promising, as last year's winner, Naomi, and one of Raw's finest, Ember Moon, were eliminated.
One by one they went, until there were only three: Sonya Deville, Asuka and Sarah Logan. First went Deville and then, shockingly, Logan mustered the energy to knock out the favorite Asuka, winning the battle royal -- or did she? Out of the blue came Carmella, who had spent copious time outside the ring playing hooky until she hopped back in to take care of Logan and win the battle royal.
The surprise ending gave the crowd at MetLife Stadium, which was still filling in, a reason to cheer wildly. Carmella has been out of the championship mix for some time, but this might be the momentum she needs to get her back in hunt.
WWE Cruiserweight championship: Tony Nese def. Buddy Murphy (c)
Tony Nese stole the spotlight in the early stages of the match, with a suplex into the turnbuckle that put Buddy Murphy on his head and a springboard moonsault onto a suspended Murphy hanging in limbo between the ropes. He also landed a reverse trapped-leg moonsault and a running fosberry flop onto Murphy, followed immediately by a 450 splash, which only drew a two-count. In between, Murphy was his typical, devil-may-care self, throwing himself and Nese all over the ring in increasingly impressive fashion throughout. Murphy hit his finisher, Murphy's Law, only for Nese to get his foot on the ropes, and Nese came through in the final moments with a superkick, a head-first German suplex into the second turnbuckle and a Running Knee-se to earn what has to be called a shock victory to open up the WrestleMania Kickoff Show with an action-packed 13-minute cruiserweight showcase.