WWE WrestleMania 31 DVD Review

Even in the age of everything for “9.99”, WrestleMania is still THE show in professional wrestling. It’s the one event that every man, woman and child who has ever heard of wrestling knows about. Of course over the years there has been the good, the bad and the indifferent. But could the 31st installment deliver? Well let’s revisit this BluRay set to find out.

We’ll start with the main card itself, with seven matches to devour. There was some criticism of the WWE’s build up to the event but looking at the card as a whole there was a feeling that every match mattered, every match had something hanging on it. There was no filler here.

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The opening seven-man Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title was the usual insane affair you’d expect from such a match on the biggest stage of them all. The usual “suspension of disbelief” was required as wrestlers sold and sold blows so that others had their uninterrupted moments in the spotlight (it’s even more jarring in this era where wrestlers simply don’t sell the impact of moves for more than three seconds) but you can’t deny the effort by the wrestlers, nor the high impact moves they pulled off. Daniel Bryan was the popular winner, although watching it now you do wonder if a man coming back from such a serious injury should have been put in a match like this (or even wrestling at all at that point). You’d hope that this doesn’t prove to be Bryan’s farewell moment of glory but you do have to wonder.

Randy Orton and Seth Rollins followed that with a very good match that successfully portrayed the “grudge” behind their feud as well as delivering one of the coolest looking finishes in WrestleMania history. Then it was the moment that we’d been waiting a life time for, or so it seemed. The first ever match in the WWE for the Icon that is Sting. On the night itself the novelty of the face of WCW wrestling for the enemy and the slew of nostalgic run in’s from D-Generation X, the New World Order and Shawn Michaels meant that this was an entertaining affair that should have disappointed nobody. Watched again it is less successful; the mistake of making this storyline about WWE Vs WCW, and the way it cut of “babyface” Sting, is evident and the match itself is not packed full of thrilling moves. HHH going over doesn’t bother me as much as it does some, but using the first ever Sting match in WWE as a way to display the WWE’s superiority over WCW once again just didn’t seem to have much point. Triple H’s handshake and condescending ruffling of Sting’s hair afterwards smacked of the HHH ego too. Full marks to Kevin Nash for pretending to have torn his quad during the ringside brawl though.

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The Women’s match had no chance of following that, of course, but if expectations for AJ & Paige against the Bella’s were low going in, it proved to be a reasonable match. The storyline of AJ hardly being a part of the match seemed strange at the time (and didn’t really work as a heat seeking device) and there’s a hundred and one conspiracy theories you could apply given her abrupt departure from the company a short while later. But whilst never close to reaching the heights that some of the NXT “Diva” matches have reached this year, it was acceptable and the genuine emotion from Paige getting herself a Mania Moment™ was a nice reminder that this business is about dreams as well as money.

Few were looking forward to John Cena against Rusev, largely because it’s still the cool thing to do to hate John Cena. I’m no great fan but he tends to deliver on the biggest stage and this was a good match with a lot of drama. Rusev making his entrance in a tank was pretty darn cool too. This was followed by the segment involving HHH and Stephanie, The Rock and, ultimately, UFC’s Ronda Rousey. As a Rousey fan I enjoyed it, but the ego trip from Stephanie spoiled it as a whole for me. Yes I know Stephanie is the heel, I know she has a character to uphold, but to show no fear at all in front of a woman who could kick the ass of 95% of the male roster was just a step too far. Heaven help us if the WWE do manage to book that mixed tag match…

rock and rhonda

Those wondering if the end of The Streak would make The Undertaker an irrelevance got their answer as he returned to take on Bray Wyatt. And the answer was that the Taker still matters, at least as a once a year special attraction. With Wyatt struggling with an ankle injury the match was never going to be a five-star affair but it was a well worked, well received bout that at least meant that there should be the clamour for at least one more Mania match for the Dead Man.

The build up to the main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns had disappointed many and with most of them also not thinking Reigns was ready for the “spot” you could have been forgiven for fearing the worst from this. In the end though it was excellent. There is simply an aura and an atmosphere around a Lesnar fight that is unlike anything else in Wrestling. This felt like the main event of the biggest card of the year. Lesnar was as impressive as ever, Reigns stood up in the most pressurised situation of his career and delivered the goods. And although to some the Seth Rollins Cash In was the “obvious” ending, it was no less of a jaw-dropping moment for all that. It ended a great show on a very memorable note.


Although I don’t think WrestleMania 31 quite managed to be the best Mania ever, it is up there in the very upper echelon of Mania shows, or indeed any WWE shows. Perhaps all that was missing was an out and out five-star classic that might have elevated it right to the very top.

The set is comes with the extras you would expect. The two “kickoff matches” are here in full. The four way Tag Team Title match was fun, as it should have been with the talent in there. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale had it’s moments (mainly Mizdow finally turning on Miz) but it just seemed like a wasted opportunity when all was said and done. Ok, so Cesaro wining it the previous year did nothing for him but the victory this year will almost certainly make no difference to The Big Show’s career at all.

The full Hall of Fame ceremony is included. It was certainly a stacked class in 2015, although the usual debates about “worthiness” abounded around the internet. Rikishi’s speech is fun although perhaps most remembered for the people he didn’t give shout out’s too. Bruno Sammartino takes an age to induct Larry Zbysko, who then cuts a heartfelt speech that was nonetheless slightly rambling. Madusa cuts a speech she never thought she would get to make after dumping the WWF Women’s belt in the trash live on Nitro whilst Dana Warrior introduces the Ultimate Warrior awards as Daniel Bryan inducts Conor The Crusher, via his father. The Bushwhackers return us to craziness with an entertaining speech whilst it’s s slightly disjointed sounding Hulk Hogan who inducts the Macho Man Randy Savage. His brother Lanny “The Genius” Poffo accepts on his behalf. Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the latest celebrity inductee (by now, the celeb wing it what it is, so there’s no point moaning about it) before things end with Kevin Nash. Always a polarizing figure, he is put over by his good buddy Shawn Michaels as the man who brought in guaranteed contracts for the boys. Some might say on that score he just happened to be the right man in the right place at the right time when WCW came-a-calling. Nash seems a little subdued, it’s not the wise-cracking Nash we’re used to, but perhaps he was telling the truth when he said the only “real” honours in the business are your first World Championship and the Hall of Fame call. To be fair the ceremony as a whole drags on, and is something to dip in and out of, but it is an important part of the WrestleMania festivities an the chances are there will be at least one person you’re glad to see inducted from this list.


There’s not much else in terms of extras other than a few promo videos. With a four hour main show, a four hour Hall of Fame and the kickoff matches to include there simply isn’t much room for anything else.

If it’s not quite the greatest WrestleMania of all time and if the Hall of Fame ceremony does drag on at times, it doesn’t change the fact that WrestleMania 31 was a FANTASTIC show. For the event itself this is worth having in your collection and the extras are just the icing on the cake.

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Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our review copy of WWE WrestleMania 31. WWE WrestleMania 31 is available on DVD & Blu-Ray from Monday, June 1st 2015. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.

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