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WrestleMania 33

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WrestleMania XXXIII was the 33rd annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE, which took place on April 2, 2017 at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. It was the second WrestleMania hosted at the Orlando Citrus Bowl after WrestleMania XXIV and the third to be held in the state of Florida, after the aforementioned WrestleMania XXIV in 2008 and WrestleMania XXVIII in 2012. It was also the seventh time the event was held outdoors after WrestleManias IX, XXIV, XXVI, XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI. The New Day was the official hosts.

WrestleMania 33 is a joint-promotion event for the Raw and SmackDown brands, the first since WrestleMania XXVII in 2011 as the brand split ended that year, but was reintroduced in July 2016. Thirteen matches are scheduled for the card, including three on the pre-show. This will be the first WrestleMania since WrestleMania 29 in 2013 to include two world championships: Raw's WWE Universal Championship, defended for the first time at WrestleMania, and SmackDown's WWE Championship. Goldberg will defend the WWE Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt will defend the WWE Championship against Randy Orton.

Background

WrestleMania featured professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that will be played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers will portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.

WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. The event will be the second WrestleMania to be held at the Camping World Stadium, which previously hosted WrestleMania XXIV in 2008 under the venue's previous name of Orlando Citrus Bowl, and the third to be held in the state of Florida, the second being WrestleMania XXVIII in 2012. Tickets went on sale on November 18, 2016, with individual tickets costing $38 to $2,130. On October 31, 2016, traveling packages with accommodation ranging from $950 to $5,900 per person were sold. New subscribers to the WWE Network could watch the event at no additional cost. A two-hour pre-show will precede the main show, with the second hour broadcast simultaneously on USA Network. On February 20, 2017, The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) of WWE's Raw brand were confirmed to be the hosts of WrestleMania 33.

The four official theme songs for the event are "Greenlight" (by Pitbull feat. Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis), "Like a Champion" (by Danger Twins), "Flame" (by Tinashe), and "Am I Savage?" (by Metallica). Pitbull, Flo Rida, and LunchMoney Lewis will be performing "Greenlight" at the event, and Pitbull will also perform "Options" with Stephen Marley. American singer Tinashe will be performing "America the Beautiful", kicking off WrestleMania 33.

Beginning at WrestleMania 32, a match between Big Show and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal had been teased from various media outlets, including WWE. Shaq was a surprise entrant in the 2016 André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal where he and Big Show faced off, but the other participants eliminated both of them. In July at the 2016 ESPY Awards on the red carpet, Big Show and Shaq had another brief confrontation. A match was proposed for WrestleMania 33, which Shaq accepted. In January 2017, the two began calling each other out on social media, posting workout videos of themselves preparing for the potential match. Big Show then began to doubt Shaq's commitment to the match. By the end of February, Shaq said that it looked like the match was not going to happen, but he would still train just in case. The following week, Shaq said that discussions were back on between him and WWE. However, Big Show's announcement as a participant in the 2017 André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal indicated that the match was off. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the match was canceled due to monetary reasons; both parties could not agree on a deal. Big Show said that he really wanted to do the match, especially since this would probably be his last WrestleMania, and blamed Shaq's weight as a reason for why Shaq backed out.

Storylines

The card included matches resulting from scripted storylines and have results predetermined by WWE on the Raw and SmackDown brands. Storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and 205 Live, the latter of which is cruiserweight-exclusive.

The winner of the Royal Rumble match traditionally earns a world championship match at WrestleMania. With the reintroduction of the brand extension in mid-2016, which resulted in two world titles in the promotion again, the Royal Rumble winner received a match for either Raw's WWE Universal Championship or SmackDown's WWE Championship. Randy Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble, the second in his career, and thereby earned a title match for his brand's WWE Championship. At Elimination Chamber on February 12, Orton's fellow Wyatt Family member Bray Wyatt won the Elimination Chamber match to become the new WWE Champion, and then retained the championship against John Cena and AJ Styles on the following SmackDown. Afterwards, Orton said that he refused to fight Wyatt at WrestleMania due to his devotion to Wyatt. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then scheduled a 10-man battle royal to find a new opponent for Wyatt at WrestleMania. The battle royal ended in a draw when both Styles and Luke Harper went over the top rope simultaneously; Styles then defeated Harper the following week to become the number one contender. However, at the conclusion of the February 28 episode, Orton appeared on the titan-tron, interrupting Wyatt, and was at The Wyatt Family compound, which was also the burial site of Sister Abigail, the cult leader that Wyatt followed and named his finisher after. Orton declared that he was no longer Wyatt's servant and that he only joined The Wyatt Family to destroy them from the inside (Orton joined the Wyatt's in October 2016 after failing to defeat them in several matches). Orton then set the compound ablaze, which caused Wyatt to have a mental breakdown, and Orton said he was coming for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Due to this confusion, Daniel Bryan and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon decided that Orton would face Styles on the March 7 episode of SmackDown to determine the decisive number one contender for Wyatt, in which Orton defeated Styles. On the March 14 episode, Orton was interrupted by Wyatt, who claimed to now have the powers of Sister Abigail as he covered himself in her ashes. The following week, Harper warned Orton about Wyatt's new "powers", but said he would take out Wyatt on the next episode. Later, Orton was attacked backstage by followers of Wyatt, and Wyatt performed a dark ritual on Orton.

At WrestleMania XX in 2004, Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar in their first match against each other. Both left the company after the event, however, Lesnar returned in 2012. After twelve years, Goldberg returned in 2016 and immediately began a feud with Lesnar, thanks in part due to the WWE 2K17 video game, which featured Lesnar on the cover and Goldberg as the pre-order bonus. This culminated in a match at Survivor Series, in which Goldberg humiliated Lesnar by defeating him in one minute and twenty-six seconds. Both then competed in the Royal Rumble match; Lesnar entered at number twenty-six and dispatched of several other wrestlers before Goldberg came out at number twenty-eight and once again humiliated Lesnar by quickly eliminating him from the match; Goldberg was soon after eliminated by The Undertaker. The next night on Raw, Lesnar and Paul Heyman appeared and challenged Goldberg to one final match at WrestleMania 33. The next week on Raw, Goldberg accepted Lesnar's challenge and also challenged Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane on March 5. Lesnar and Heyman said in an interview with Michael Cole that if Goldberg wins the Universal Championship, Lesnar would challenge him for the title at WrestleMania. Goldberg appeared the next week and promised that he would defeat Owens and be the Universal Champion going into WrestleMania against Lesnar. At Fastlane, Goldberg kept his promise and turned his WrestleMania match against Lesnar into a match for the Universal Championship. The next night on Raw, Lesnar confronted Goldberg and offered to shake his hand to congratulate him. Goldberg refused and Heyman said that at WrestleMania, Goldberg would be "Brock's bitch" and Lesnar attacked Goldberg with an F-5. The following week, Lesnar and Heyman gloated about Lesnar giving an F-5 to Goldberg and Heyman said that at WrestleMania, Lesnar would have the "greatest comeback in sports entertainment history".

In 2014, The Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns) were involved in a rivalry with Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista). After multiple losses to The Shield, Batista out of anger left the WWE, which disbanded Evolution. Triple H then revealed his "plan B": Seth Rollins. Rollins attacked his former Shield brothers and joined Triple H in The Authority, turning heel. Rollins was the forefront of The Authority for over a year and won the then-WWE World Heavyweight Championship (now WWE Championship) at WrestleMania 31, but was forced to vacate the title in November 2015 due to injury. He returned in mid-2016 and was drafted to the Raw brand and then unsuccessfully faced Finn Bálor for the inaugural WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. After Bálor was forced to vacate the title due to injury, Rollins qualified for a fatal four-way match for the vacant title. During that match, a returning Triple H, who had not been seen since WrestleMania 32, helped Rollins to eliminate Reigns, but then turned on Rollins by giving him a Pedigree, allowing Kevin Owens to win the championship. Rollins did not address the incident until December, and called out Triple H. On the January 23, 2017 episode of Raw, during Rollins' match with Sami Zayn, Triple H's music played, which distracted Rollins and allowed Zayn to win Rollins' spot in the Royal Rumble match. Rollins appeared at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio the day before the Royal Rumble and challenged Triple H to a match. Triple H came out and signaled for security, who took Rollins away. On the January 30 episode of Raw, Raw Commissioner and Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon confronted Rollins about his appearance at TakeOver and revealed that Triple H would be there later that night. Triple H showed up, said that Rollins disappointed him, before calling Rollins out. As Rollins made his way to the ring, he was attacked by NXT call-up Samoa Joe, who made his main roster debut. Joe's attack on Rollins re-injured the same knee that had sidelined him for six months. It was then reported that Rollins would be out of action for up to eight weeks. Rollins appeared on the February 27 episode of Raw to address the status of his injury where he said that it looks unlikely that he would be at WrestleMania 33. Triple H came out with Joe on hand, and told Rollins not to come to WrestleMania, because if he does, he would end him. Rollins then declared that he would be at WrestleMania. The following week, videos of Rollins' rehabilitation were shown and Triple H said that Rollins was ignorant for going against doctors advice and trying to compete at WrestleMania. The next week, Triple H got into an altercation with Raw General Manager Mick Foley, after which Rollins came down, dropped his crutch, and attacked Triple H. However, Triple H recovered and attacked Rollins' knee. On the March 20 episode, Foley was fired as Raw General Manager for his actions, and Rollins' physical therapist Kevin Wilk said that Rollins should not compete at WrestleMania. Triple H later challenged Rollins to a non-sanctioned match, which would keep Rollins from suing the WWE if he were to get injured again. The following week, Rollins signed the contract, thus making the match official.

At the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker was a competitor in the titular Royal Rumble match. Roman Reigns, who lost his Universal Championship match earlier that night, entered the match at number 30 and eventually eliminated Undertaker from the match. The two had a stare down and Reigns claimed that the ring was his yard now; for many years, Undertaker had claimed that the ring was his yard. On the March 6 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman, who lost to Reigns at Fastlane, called Reigns out, stating that Reigns got lucky, however, The Undertaker came out instead. The Undertaker stared down Strowman until Strowman left the ring. As The Undertaker was about to leave, Reigns came out and got in Undertaker's face. Reigns said that Strowman had called him out, not the deadman and again claimed that the ring was his yard now. The two had a stare down and both looked up to the WrestleMania sign. The Undertaker then delivered a chokeslam to Reigns. A match between the two at WrestleMania 33 was confirmed the following week. On that night's Raw during Reigns' match against Jinder Mahal, The Undertaker's gong sounded, which caused a minor distraction for Reigns, although Reigns managed to defeat Mahal. After the match, Reigns called out Undertaker, however, Shawn Michaels came out instead and warned Reigns about The Undertaker and that he needed to focus. Reigns said that he appreciated the advice, but said that he would retire The Undertaker just as Undertaker retired Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI. The following week, during Reigns' Fastlane rematch with Strowman, The Undertaker appeared. Instead of attacking Reigns, he chokeslammed Strowman and Reigns attacked Undertaker with a spear. After Reigns left the ring, Undertaker did his signature set up and throat slash taunt at Reigns.

At the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles lost the WWE Championship to John Cena. Styles was immediately entered into the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon also promised Styles that he would get a one-on-one rematch for the title if he did not win the title back at the pay-per-view. At Elimination Chamber, Bray Wyatt eliminated both Cena and Styles to win the championship. Cena then immediately invoked his rematch clause, but Styles intervened, stating he should get his first. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then scheduled a triple threat match for the WWE Championship, where Wyatt retained. Randy Orton then refused his right as the Royal Rumble winner to face Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania 33, so Bryan scheduled a 10-man battle royal to determine a new number one-contender. Styles was entered into the battle royal, which ended in a draw between him and Luke Harper. The two faced each other in a number one contender's match the following week. Styles pinned Harper, but the referee did not see Harper's foot on the rope. Shane came out and restarted the match, which angered Styles, but he again pinned Harper and won. At the conclusion of the show, however, Orton reclaimed his right to face Wyatt at WrestleMania. Shane and Bryan decided that Styles would have to compete in another number one contender's match, this time against Orton, who won. After the show backstage, an angered Styles got into a heated argument with Shane. The following week, an irate Styles said that he was tired of Bryan and Shane. He said because of them, he did not have a match at WrestleMania, but Orton, who committed arson, did. Later backstage, Styles attacked Shane and threw him through a car window; Styles was subsequently (kayfabe) fired by Bryan. However, at the end of the show, an injured Shane announced that he would face Styles at WrestleMania, and Styles accepted. At the end of the following week's episode, Shane called out Styles and the two brawled, which ended with Shane doing a Leap of Faith on Styles through the broadcast table.

In mid-2016, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens began teaming and assisting each other. Jericho played a part in Owens winning the vacant WWE Universal Championship, which ultimately led to them becoming best friends. Jericho then assisted Owens in retaining the Universal title against Seth Rollins at Clash of Champions, and again at Hell in a Cell. The two were then made co-captains of Team Raw's men's team at Survivor Series, but ultimately lost to Team SmackDown. On the following episode of Raw, tensions were high as Jericho was about to blame Owens for using "The List of Jericho" as a weapon. Owens defended himself, stating that he was trying to protect Jericho from being eliminated. The two then agreed that it was Rollins and Roman Reigns' fault for the team's loss. Rollins then faced Owens for the Universal title, but Jericho again interfered. The following week, Reigns challenged Owens for the Universal title, but questioned Owens' ability to win a match without Jericho. Owens declared that he did not need Jericho, and the match was scheduled for Roadblock: End of the Line. At the event, Jericho seemingly turned on Owens by attacking him during Owens' title match, which was revealed to be Jericho's plan so that Owens would win and retain the title. The two then challenged Reigns for his United States Championship in the following weeks, and Jericho ultimately won the title. Reigns received a rematch for the title, but lost due to interference from Owens. At the Royal Rumble, Reigns again faced Owens for the Universal title, where Jericho was suspended above the ring inside of a shark cage. Despite this, Owens retained due to interference from Braun Strowman. Jericho, who hinted at wanting to face Owens in a title for title match at WrestleMania 33, accepted Goldberg's challenge on Owens' behalf for the Universal title at Fastlane, which was made official to the dismay of Owens. Jericho then held a "Festival of Friendship" for Owens, however, Owens turned on Jericho and brutally attacked him. In retaliation, Jericho cost Owens his match and Universal Championship at Fastlane. The following night on Raw, Jericho said that he screwed Owens for betraying him and then demanded an answer as to why Owens betrayed him. Owens said that they were never actually friends, and that he only used Jericho who became useless to him after Jericho accepted Goldberg's challenge on his behalf. Jericho then challenged Owens to a match at WrestleMania, which Owens accepted only if it were for the United States Championship, and Jericho agreed. Owens said he would eventually get a rematch for the Universal title, but he first wanted to take the U.S. title from Jericho just as Jericho took his title from him. On the March 20 episode, on Jericho's Highlight Reel, Jericho revealed the "real" Kevin Owens, who attacked Jericho from behind and destroyed "The List of Jericho".

At Elimination Chamber during the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, as Baron Corbin had a stare down with The Miz, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose eliminated Corbin with a rollup pin. Out of anger, Corbin attacked Ambrose and executed the End of Days on him before he left the chamber; Miz subsequently eliminated Ambrose. On the following SmackDown, Ambrose wanted to exact revenge on Corbin, but got surprise attacked by Corbin as Ambrose made his entrance for his match against James Ellsworth. Ambrose and Corbin then participated in the WWE Championship number one contender's battle royal, where Ambrose eliminated Corbin. An angered Corbin again attacked Ambrose with the End of Days and Ambrose was eventually eliminated from the match. Ambrose called out Corbin over the next couple of weeks, and Corbin attacked Ambrose backstage and indicated his desire to take the Intercontinental Championship from Ambrose. On the March 14 episode, Corbin formally challenged Ambrose for the title at WrestleMania 33. The following week during Corbin's match against Randy Orton, Ambrose caused a distraction and cost Corbin his match. He then accepted Corbin's challenge and executed Dirty Deeds on him.

At Elimination Chamber, Nikki Bella and Natalya had a backstage confrontation that lead to Natalya shoving Nikki into Maryse. Later that night, The Miz attempted to eliminate John Cena from the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, but Cena eliminated Miz. On the February 21 episode of SmackDown, Nikki and Natalya's Falls Count Anywhere match led to the backstage area, where Natalya again shoved Nikki into Maryse, who retaliated by hitting Nikki with a lead pipe, costing Nikki her match. In that episode's main event, the same incident between Cena and Miz happened in the WWE Championship number one contender's battle royal; this time, however, Miz returned and caused Cena's elimination. Cena was then the guest on Miz TV where Miz criticized Cena for being a hypocrite, as Cena was basically doing the same thing that he himself had criticized The Rock for doing: leaving the WWE and going to Hollywood. Miz said that he works as hard as Cena, but does not get the same opportunities, and he eliminated Cena to prevent him from going to WrestleMania 33, and wanted Cena to know what he felt when Cena defeated him for the WWE Championship back in 2011. Miz also said that Cena gets what he wants, but Cena said if that were true, he would be facing The Undertaker. Cena then criticized Miz for copying other people's gimmicks and moves, which caused Maryse to slap Cena for insulting her husband. Nikki then came out and Maryse and Miz retreated. The following week, The Miz and Maryse attacked Cena and Nikki after the latter two's match. The Miz said he was tired of Cena's lies and said his relationship with Nikki was also a lie. Afterwards, on Talking Smack, The Miz and Maryse said that Nikki was where she was at now because of Cena, and that Nikki was jealous of them because Cena will not marry Nikki. The following week, Miz and Maryse continued their insults against Cena and Nikki, and the two came out and chased Miz and Maryse out of the ring. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then came out and said that since he could not fight The Miz, who had been insulting him for months, both The Miz and Maryse would face Cena and Nikki at WrestleMania; Maryse's last match was in 2011. The Miz and Maryse then made fun of Cena and Nikki's reality show Total Bellas by impersonating them in "unaired footage". On March 27, Cena was a guest host on NBC's Today and announced that weatherman Al Roker would be the special guest ring announcer for the match.

At Roadblock: End of the Line, Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks to win her record fourth Raw Women's Championship, ending their long feud, and as per a post-event stipulation, as long as one of them were champion, the other could not challenge for the title. Charlotte then began a feud with Bayley, resulting in a championship match at the Royal Rumble, where Charlotte retained the title. The next night on Raw, Bayley pinned Charlotte in a tag team match, thus granting her a rematch for the title on the February 13 episode of Raw, where she defeated Charlotte to become the new Raw Women's Champion, thanks to help from Sasha. The following week, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon confronted Bayley, asking her to relinquish her title due to Sasha's interference, but Bayley refused. Charlotte then came out and invoked her championship rematch for Fastlane, which saw Bayley retain after Sasha again interfered, which subsequently ended Flair's undefeated streak in singles matches at pay-per-views. The following night on Raw, Sasha said that her and Bayley should face off for the title at WrestleMania 33 as it was a dream of theirs to face each other at the event. Charlotte came out and demanded that she should have a rematch due to Sasha's interference and said that Sasha interfered due to the Roadblock stipulation. Raw General Manager Mick Foley then scheduled Charlotte to face Sasha in which the winner would challenge Bayley for the title at WrestleMania. However, Stephanie changed those plans. She kept Charlotte in the championship match at WrestleMania, but allowed Sasha the opportunity to be added to the match if she could defeat Bayley that night, which she did and made the Raw Women's Championship match a triple threat match at WrestleMania. The following week, Sasha defeated Charlotte's ally Dana Brooke, who Charlotte had ordered to take out Sasha. Charlotte came out and disassociated herself from Dana, who then attacked Charlotte. Later, Bayley defeated Nia Jax by disqualification after Nia continued to beat Bayley in the corner beyond the referee's five count. Stephanie then gave Nia a rematch the following week in a no-disqualification match where if Nia won, she would be added to the championship match at WrestleMania. Nia defeated Bayley and turned the Raw Women's Championship match into a fatal four-way. The following week prior to Raw, the match was turned into a fatal four-way elimination match.

At Elimination Chamber, Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss to win the SmackDown Women's Championship, but due to injury, she had to relinquish the title as she was not able to defend it within 30 days. Bliss then demanded that the title be awarded to her since Naomi could not face her for a rematch. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan instead had Bliss face Becky Lynch for the vacant title, in which Bliss won. The following week, Natalya hinted that she wanted to face Bliss for the title. On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Bliss claimed to be the greatest female wrestler on the SmackDown roster. Lynch then came out and said she would become SmackDown Women's Champion at WrestleMania. Natalya then came out and said she would face Bliss for the title, but Bliss denied her. Bliss' ally Mickie James then said she would be the one to face Bliss for the title at WrestleMania to Bliss' surprise. Bryan then came out and said that since Bliss is apparently the greatest female wrestler on the roster, she would have the chance to prove it as she would be defending the title against all available female SmackDown wrestlers at WrestleMania, much to the dismay of Bliss. Bliss and James then teamed up and defeated Lynch and Natalya, and James turned on Bliss after the match. The following week, Lynch defeated Natalya, but after the match, both were attacked by Carmella, who claimed that she would be the next SmackDown Women's Champion. Later, James defeated Bliss. On the March 21 episode, Natalya interfered in Lynch and Carmella's match. James then came out followed by Bliss and all the women brawled until Bliss was the last standing. The match was moved to the pre-show.

At Fastlane, Neville retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship by defeating Gentleman Jack Gallagher. The following night on Raw, Neville again retained his championship against Rich Swann in Swann's rematch from the Royal Rumble. After the match, Neville said there was no one left in the cruiserweight division that could compete with him. Austin Aries, who had been out of action due to injury, disagreed, and attacked Neville, insinuating his desire to challenge Neville for the title. On the March 13 episode of Raw, it was revealed that a Fatal 5-Way Elimination match between Aries, T.J. Perkins, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, and The Brian Kendrick was scheduled for the following night on 205 Live to determine the number one contender for Neville at WrestleMania 33, which was won by Aries.

On the Royal Rumble pre-show, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. Cesaro and Sheamus invoked their rematch, but lost due to interference from Enzo Amore and Big Cass. On the February 20 episode of Raw, Enzo and Cass defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to receive a tag title match against Gallows and Anderson at Fastlane, where Gallows and Anderson retained the titles. A rematch occurred the following night on Raw, where Cesaro and Sheamus got involved, costing Enzo and Cass the titles. Later on, Raw General Manager Mick Foley scheduled Cesaro and Sheamus to face Enzo and Cass on the next episode, with the winners going on to challenge Gallows and Anderson for the titles at WrestleMania 33. However, during that match, Gallows and Anderson attacked both teams, causing a double-disqualification. Foley then scheduled Gallows and Anderson to defend the tag titles against both teams at WrestleMania in a triple threat match. The following week, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon fired Foley and in opposition to his decision due to his relationship with Cesaro and Sheamus, she scheduled them to face Gallows, Anderson, Enzo, and Cass in a two-on-four handicap match with the stipulation being that if Cesaro and Sheamus were to lose, they would be out of the WrestleMania match; Cesaro and Sheamus retained their spot in the triple threat match.

On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Mojo Rawley became the first wrestler to announce his participation in the 4th annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Afterwards on Talking Smack, Apollo Crews announced that he would be in the match. On the March 13 episode of Raw, after plans for a potential match with Shaquille O'Neal fell through, it was revealed that Big Show would be part of the battle royal. The following week, SmackDown's Curt Hawkins confirmed his participation. On the March 27 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman, Goldust, R-Truth, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Jinder Mahal were confirmed for the battle royal. Later in the night, Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens in a No Disqualification Match to qualify for the battle royal. It was then confirmed that the match was scheduled for the pre-show. On the March 28 episode of SmackDown, Heath Slater, Rhyno, American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), Dolph Ziggler, and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) were confirmed for the match. That same episode, a graphic for the match was shown, confirming that Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Kalisto, Titus O'Neil, The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), and The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) would be in the match. On March 30, Mark Henry was confirmed for the battle royal, as well as NXT's Tian Bing, who was WWE's first Chinese recruit. On April 1, NXT's Killian Dain was added to the match.

Event

Pre-show

Three matches were contested on the two-hour long pre-show, which was broadcast on the WWE Network, WWE.com, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube, with USA Network joining the live coverage for the second hour.

In the first match, Neville defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Austin Aries. In the end, Aries applied the Last Chancery on Neville, but Neville raked Aries' eye to escape the hold. Neville performed a Red Arrow on Aries to retain the title.

In the second match, the André the Giant Memorial battle royal took place. Mojo Rawley last eliminated Jinder Mahal to win the match.

Finally, Dean Ambrose defended the Intercontinental Championship against Baron Corbin. The end came when Corbin attempted End of Days on Ambrose, but Ambrose countered and performed Dirty Deeds on Corbin to retain the title.

Preliminary matches

The event opened with AJ Styles facing Shane McMahon. During the match, Styles attempted a springboard 450° splash on McMahon, but he countered into a triangle choke on Styles, who countered into a one-armed Styles Clash on McMahon for a near-fall. After the referee was knocked down, Styles attempted a Coast-to-Coast on McMahon, who countered by attacking Styles with a trash can. McMahon then performed a Coast-to-Coast into a trash can on Styles for a near-fall. McMahon attempted a Leap of Faith through an announce table on Styles, but he avoided the move, causing McMahon to fall through the announce table. Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm on McMahon, but McMahon countered into a DDT on Styles. McMahon attempted a shooting star press on Styles, but Styles avoided the move and performed a Phenomenal Forearm on McMahon to win the match.

Next, Chris Jericho defended the United States Championship against Kevin Owens. Owens attempted a pop up powerbomb on Jericho, but Jericho countered and performed a Lionsault on Owens for a near-fall. Owens applied the Walls of Jericho on Jericho, but Jericho escaped the hold. Owens performed a pop up powerbomb on Jericho for a near-fall. Owens attempted a second pop up powerbomb on Jericho, but Jericho countered into a Codebreaker on Owens, who touched the ring ropes to void the pinfall at a two count. Owens performed a powerbomb onto the ring apron on Jericho and pinned him to win his first United States Championship.

After that, Bayley defended the Raw Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax and Sasha Banks in a fatal four-way elimination match. Bayley, Flair and Banks performed a triple powerbomb on Jax and pinned her to eliminate Jax. Banks applied the Bank Statement on Flair, but she escaped the hold, causing Banks to collide with an exposed turnbuckle, after which Flair pinned Banks to eliminate her. In the end, Flair collided with the exposed turnbuckle, allowing Bayley to perform a diving elbow drop on Flair to retain the title.

In the fourth match, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were originally scheduled to defend the Raw Tag Team Championship against Cesaro and Sheamus and Enzo Amore and Big Cass in a triple threat ladder match. Before the match, however, The New Day announced that the returning Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) would also be involved in the match. In the end, Matt performed a Twist of Fate off a ladder on Anderson and Jeff performed a Swanton Bomb off a ladder through two bridged ladders on Cesaro and Sheamus. Matt retrieved the title belts to win the championship for the first time as a team and, individually, the first time for Jeff and the second time for Matt.

Later, John Cena and Nikki Bella faced The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag team match that saw Al Roker serving as the special guest ring announcer. The ending saw Cena and Bella perform Five Knuckle Shuffles on Miz and Maryse. Cena performed an Attitude Adjustment on Miz whilst Bella performed a Rack Attack 2.0 on Maryse to win the match. After the match, Cena proposed to Bella, who accepted.

Seth Rollins faced Triple H in a non-sanctioned match. During the match, Rollins attempted a Pedigree on Triple H, but Triple H countered into a DDT on an announce table on Rollins. Triple H targeted Rollins' leg, applying an inverted figure-four leglock on Rollins, who rolled out of the ring to escape the hold. Triple H retrieved a sledgehammer, but Rollins performed an enziguiri on Triple H. Rollins retrieved the sledgehammer, but Stephanie McMahon took the sledgehammer, allowing Triple H to perform a Pedigree on Rollins for a near-fall. Triple H attempted a Pedigree from the top rope on Rollins, but Rollins countered and performed a Phoenix Splash on Triple H for a near-fall. After trading counters, Rollins performed a superkick on Triple H, who collided with McMahon, causing her to fall through a table. Rollins then performed a Pedigree on Triple H to win the match.

Next, Bray Wyatt defended the WWE Championship against Randy Orton. At the beginning of the match, Orton attempted an RKO on Wyatt, but Wyatt rolled out of the ring. During the match, Wyatt played mind games on Orton by having large images of different insects appear on the ring canvas. Wyatt performed Sister Abigail into the barricade on Orton. After rolling out of the ring, Orton performed an RKO outside the ring on Wyatt. Wyatt performed Sister Abigail on Orton for a near-fall. Orton performed an RKO on Wyatt to win his ninth WWE Championship and his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania.

After that, Goldberg defended the WWE Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar. Lesnar performed three German suplexes on Golderg, who immediately performed two spears on Lesnar, who rolled out of the ring. Goldberg then performed a spear through the barricade on Lesnar and Goldberg rolled Lesnar back in the ring and performed a Jackhammer on Lesnar for a near-fall. Goldberg attempted a fourth spear, but Lesnar avoided the move and performed six more German suplexes on Goldberg. Lesnar then performed an F-5 on Goldberg to win his first WWE Universal Championship and giving Goldberg his first clean singles match loss of his career.

In the penultimate match, Alexa Bliss defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch, Naomi, Mickie James, Natalya and Carmella in a six-pack challenge. The end came when Naomi forced Bliss to submit to the Slay-o-Mission to win her second SmackDown Women's Championship.

Main event

In the main event, The Undertaker faced Roman Reigns in a No Holds Barred match. During the match, Undertaker performed a chokeslam onto an announce table on Reigns. Reigns performed a spear through an announce table on Undertaker. Undertaker performed a Last Ride on Reigns for a near-fall. Reigns performed two Superman punches on Undertaker, but Undertaker performed a chokeslam onto a chair on Reigns for a near-fall. Undertaker performed a Tombstone Piledriver on Reigns for a near-fall. Reigns performed a second spear on Undertaker, but Undertaker applied Hell's Gate on Reigns, who escaped the hold. Reigns attacked Undertaker with a chair and performed a third spear on Undertaker for a near-fall. Reigns performed a fourth spear on Undertaker for a near-fall. Reigns performed a Superman punch on Undertaker and Undertaker attempted his signature sit-up, but collapsed. Reigns performed a fifth spear on Undertaker to win the match and give Undertaker his second loss at WrestleMania, making his win/loss record 23-2. Post-match, The Undertaker symbolically left his gloves, coat and hat in the center of the ring. At the center of the entrance ramp, Undertaker did his signature arm raise taunt as he was lowered below the stage.

Reception

Attendance

WWE claimed an attendance of 75,245 for WrestleMania 33. This number has been disputed, as The A.V. Club wrote that it was "almost certainly a fake number" as WWE "has had a reputation for wildly inflating the attendance figure—as Vince McMahon once said on an investor’s call, the fake number is for entertainment purposes", while wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer described it as "a total worked number even more than usual".

Reviews

WrestleMania 33 received mixed reviews from critics. Matt Geradi and Kevin Pang of The A.V. Club co-reviewed WrestleMania. Pang criticized the event for being "long and exhausting to watch at home", with "nothing that would win match-of-the-year in a 2017 poll" and "minimum" surprises. Geradi felt that the event exceeded his expectations and "the storytelling was on point all night", but it was a "tremendously front-loaded show". Yet Geradi and Pang agreed that everything "didn't matter" as WrestleMania "was about one story—the end of The Undertaker"; both reviewers agreed that the main event was "sad", with Pang also describing it as "ugly". Although "Shawn Michaels’ sympathy and expressiveness" made Ric Flair's retirement at WrestleMania "moving and memorable", Geradi chided Reigns for having "barely mustered an ounce of anything other than disbelief and exasperation" as it "was business as usual for The Big Dog." Ultimately, Geradi concluded that the Undertaker "deserved every last second of the long goodbye that he received".

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter described WrestleMania 33 as a "a long but extremely newsworthy show" finished off with the "retirement" ceremony for the Undertaker, whose match was "as good as could be expected as they went long". Meltzer described that though the crowd was tired at the finish of the main event, WWE "did clearly turn down the sound" and "then they hit the pyro". For the WWE Universal title match, Meltzer wrote that it "was what was expected" and the "match was pretty much perfect considering how late it was", with the live audience "going nuts through all of this". For Shane-Styles, Meltzer described that the "match had its moments that were spectacular", with the "story was that Shane was the real striker and got the better of that". For the Raw women's match, Meltzer wrote that it "was too short for an elimination match, while the Raw tag title match "wasn't as good as what most WrestleMania ladder matches but the crowd went completely nuts for the Hardys". Although WWE "may have turned down the crowd noise" for Cena's proposal, Meltzer felt the proposal was "really great". Lastly, Meltzer attributed Rawley winning the battle royal "largely for the mainstream coverage of Rob Gronkowski".

Jack de Menezes of The Independent wrote that WrestleMania 33 was "an emotional night for fans", especially due to the "brutal ending" of the Undertaker's career. With Reigns' "disappointing, error-strewn display ... compared to some of the other eye-catching displays at WrestleMania", de Menezes questioned if the "obvious passing of the torch by the WWE" was "the right decision". For the other memorable moments of the night, de Menezes described the return of The Hardy Boyz as "incredible and triumphant", the Orton-Wyatt match as a "creepy and disturbing affair", Naomi recapturing the SmackDown women's title as "a homecoming to remember", Shane-Styles as a match "filled with highlight moments", and Cena's proposal as "unthinkable".

Match Preview

Neville vs. Austin AriesPreview
Andre The Giant MemorialPreview
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron CorbinPreview
Shane McMahon vs. AJ StylesPreview
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin OwensPreview
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia JaxPreview
Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass and Cesaro & SheamusPreview
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & MarysePreview
Seth Rollins vs. Triple HPreview
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy OrtonPreview
Goldberg vs. Brock LesnarPreview
Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDownPreview
The Undertaker vs. Roman ReignsPreview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Battle Royal Eliminations

# Wrestler Eliminated by Time
1 Primo
2 Kalisto
3 Simon Gotch
4 Heath Slater
5 Jey Uso
6 Goldust
7 Konnor
8 Big Show
9 Viktor
10 Braun Strowman
11 Curt Hawkins
12 R-Truth
13 Rhyno
14 Aiden English
15 Curtis Axel
16 Jimmy Uso
17 Jason Jordan
18 Chad Gable
19 Tyler Breeze
20 Fandango
21 Sin Cara
22 Mark Henry
23 Tian Bing
24 Epico
25 Bo Dallas
26 Apollo Crews
27 Dolph Ziggler
28 Luke Harper
29 Titus O'Neil
30 Sami Zayn
31 Killian Dain Mojo Rawley
32 Jinder Mahal Mojo Rawley 19:00
33 Mojo Rawley Winner N/A

Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match

# Wrestler Eliminated by Method of elimination Time
1 Nia Jax Bayley, Charlotte & Sasha Banks Pinned after a triple powerbomb
2 Sasha Banks Charlotte Pinned after an exposed turnbuckle hit
3 Charlotte Bayley Pinned after a diving elbow drop 12:08

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Hosts
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

  • Vison [ WrestleMania XXXIII on DVD]

External links

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WWE Road to WrestleMania Tour 2017

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WrestleMania XXXIII previews

Bray Wyatt v Randy OrtonGoldberg v Brock LesnarChris Jericho v Kevin OwensBayley v Charlotte v Sasha Banks v Nia JaxAndre The Giant Memorial Battle RoyalThe Undertaker v Roman ReignsTriple Threat Tag Team MatchAlexa Bliss v SmackDownJohn Cena & Nikki Bella v The Miz & MaryseNeville v Austin AriesShane McMahon v AJ StylesDean Ambrose v Baron CorbinSeth Rollins v Triple H

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