The WWE ushered in a new era in of stars and broadcast strategy at WrestleMania 30. Many presumed that this year’s WrestleMania results would be the most predictable in years. Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker proved them all wrong.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]The big story at Mania was the end of the streak. The streak is over! Brock Lesnar pinned The Undertaker. Brock looked a lot bigger than he has looked in a while, almost back to UFC shape. Undertaker dominated early until he missed a kick into the corner. Brock worked the leg from that point forward. The match had a slow, methodical, old school pace. Taker later kicked out of the F5 and Lesnar broke Hell’s Gate twice. I also don’t think anyone in the crowd believed Lesnar was winning. The match didn’t have the same emotion from the crowd as the last several Taker matches which made the finish here even more memorable. Lesnar pinned Taker after reversing a tombstone attempt into a third F5 and the crowd was stunned silent. This certainly wasn’t up to par with Undertaker matches of the previous five years. The reaction from the crowd however was one of the best reactions I have ever seen in modern day wrestling.
I would presume at this point that The Undertaker is retiring. I don’t see a point continuing now that the streak is over. He was certainly put over after the match as if it was his last match. This also ends all speculation about a Sting vs. Taker match. The Undertaker looked much older here and I think it is fair to say he lost a step. I just question putting over a part-timer in this spot as opposed to giving the win to someone like a Bray Wyatt, CM Punk last year or even John Cena. I can’t come up with a good reason for this finish regardless of Undertaker’s future in the ring.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H in the show opener to advance to the WWE world championship Triple Threat Match. This contradicted most reports that indicated that the match would place second to last. I think this was a great way to start the show. What better way to set the pace for the entire night? Lawler brought up the idea that Hunter put the match on first so he would have plenty of time to recover for the championship match which made a ton of sense.
This was as a hell of a match and had a sold out crowd into it from start to finish. I’d put this far ahead of anything else on the show and easily call it a Match of the Night. It was brilliant placement on the card in that you had a fresh crowd and got the better reactions before the crowd burnt out. The Yes chants before and after the match were both WrestleMania moments. Michael Cole called the match a “mismatch” which is ridiculous in that now you have a guy as the face of the company who is being promoted as “lucky” or B+. They never learn. Hunter spent most of the match working over Bryan’s injured arm. The match ended at around 26:00 when Bryan pinned the Game with the Busaiku knee.
Stephanie slapped Bryan after the match. Hunter attacked him and slammed a chair into Bryan’s injured arm. The injury angle set up a storyline where Bryan head into the title match hurt. The odds were certainly against Bryan in the Mania headliner. Simple but effective booking here.
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World championship. The crowd very into this match as expected. This was a decent match but the fans really didn’t care about Orton or Batista which is a shame because they both worked real hard here. It was almost dead silent whenever the two of them would work spots without Bryan. Stephanie and Triple H came out during the match. Hunter pulled the referee out of the ring (it was a No DQ match). Scott Armstrong wound up coming out to referee the match. Armstrong has been part of this story going back to when he reversed a decision and stripped Bryan of the title last year. Bryan kicked Armstrong to the outside. Bryan wound up hitting a dive over the top rope onto Stephanie, Hunter, and Armstrong. Bryan snagged a sledgehammer from Triple H and took him out. Orton and Batista did a Batista bomb into an RKO on the floor on Bryan. Bryan and Orton were out. Bryan was stretchered out but wound up rolling off and returning to the match. Shortly thereafter Batista broke up a Yes Lock. Orton did as well. Batista kicked out of an RKO. Bryan hit a Busaiku knee on Batista and then tapped Batista to a Yes lock. Michael Cole called it one of the most incredible WrestleMania moments ever. Lawler called it magical. This was truly more than just Bryan winning the title. This was a star-making moment.
John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt. It was a decent match but something was missing to me. The storyline of the match was that Bray was bringing out a darker side of Cena and it was a moral struggle for Cena. The problem with this psychology is that everyone hated Cena to begin with in New Orleans. Otherwise it would have been an effective storyline with an over babyface. The storyline got more ridiculous as the match played out, especially when Cena was wrestling Ryback in an Ambulance Match just last year.
The finish came when Bray Wyatt brought a chair into the ring and told Cena to nail him with it. Cena instead used the chair on Rowan and was caught in a Sister Abigail by Wyatt. Cena revered it into the Attitude Adjustment for the three. I have seen a lot of fans in social media calling this an upset but quite frankly I never expected Wyatt to win. I know people are going to complain but this was the right finish here. Wyatt would have been cheered wildly if he won which is not the kind of scene you want for your top heel. I want to see where this goes by SummerSlam before I start to complain about the finish.
The show opened up with a real cool segment featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan. The three put each other over with Austin going out of his way to put over the new “regime” of the WWE. As cool as it was I have to think that the WWE really missed a big opportunity by not advertising the fact that three of the biggest stars in history would be in the ring at the same time.
Another big story going into the event was the stream. Could it hold up? I had problems. The big one started during the Cena vs. Wyatt match when the stream kept freezing. At one point the quality in the stream became terrible after it returned from a freeze. My only solution was constantly switching between different browsers. The stream was better quality than the streams I paid for through WWE.com for Manias 28 & 29 (other than one incident coming back from a freeze). I heard mixed reviews online with most on Twitter noting that iPad was most stable for them. I also noticed the quality change at times depending upon the camera angle.
I thought this was a hell of a show. It had a great pace from start to finish and was probably one of the most fun WWE events I have seen in awhile. The crowd was super hot from start to finish and the match placement was fantastic. It never felt like a dull moment and most of the matches and wins felt like big deals, one of course historic. It didn’t have any top Mania matches but as an overall show I thought it was one of the best Manias in ages.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Full WWE WrestleMania 30 results…
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World championship
AJ Lee retained the WWE Divas title
Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker
John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt
Cesaro eliminated The Big Show to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The Shield defeated The New Age Outlaws and Kane
Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H
The Usos retained the WWE tag team championship defeating the Real Americans, Curtis Axel and Ryback, and Los Matadores in an Elimination Match
[amazon_link id=”B0009E32TI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00HRUQA8C” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Wrestlemania 30 DVD[/amazon_link]