WWE WrestleMania XXX is now in the history books, and while it was an overall disappointment (worth the $9.95 on the WWE Network but not the $50+ on pay-per-view), there were more than a few memorable moments. There were big winners and even bigger losers.
The biggest push
The push of the night had to be Cesaro winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Everyone called The Big Show a heavy (no pun intended) odds-on favorite to win the inaugural event because he always had been likened to the immortal Andre. But in the end, it was the “Swing Man from Switzerland” that wound up carrying the trophy out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Cesaro’s immediate future should see him break from the Real Americans and strike out on a solo career as the company’s newest babyface. He could wind up the top babyface on the midcard by the end of the summer and playing an even more prominent role in WrestleMania 31 next March.
Did anyone else besides me notice the similarity between the end of that match and the end of the famous Andre-Hulk Hogan WrestleMania III match decades ago? In that match, Andre – who had never been bodyslammed before – let Hogan pick him up and drop him in the middle of the ring.
The Andre battle royal ended with Cesaro picking up Big Show and not slamming him but depositing him over the top rope. Big Show has been slammed before, but I sensed this one was a special one because it happened in a contest memorializing Andre and conjured up images of that famous slam 27 years ago.
The end of a push
This award goes to Bray Wyatt. Even though he had a pretty good match with John Cena, the fact that he came out on the short end of the stick should signal a drop in his rating, maybe not down to the midcard but no longer near the top of the uppercard heel
Cena is the second face character after Daniel Bryan to stand up to Wyatt’s mind tricks and beat him down. While no one really expected to think Wyatt would actually win, there always was the possibility that this feud could have carried on for several more weeks, maybe even into one of the summertime pay-per-views. With minions Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at ringside, everyone could have rightfully expected to see either or both of them charge the ring and cause a disqualification. As it stood, their intervention in the match was relatively minimal.
WWE Creative does not need to tear Wyatt down and rebuild him because the character still is one of the most unique heels to grace the ring since Kevin Sullivan.They might, however, want to insist of having Wyatt keep at least his upper arms covered while in the ring. It’s hard to believe him as having any type of Messianic complex when he clearly has a tattoo of Jesus’ crucifixion on his left arm.
The biggest winner
Hands down, this has to be Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s character overcame all kinds of odds and roadblocks thrown at him by The Authority and emerged victorious as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It will be interesting to see how WWE Creative handles his storylnes from here on out. I knew he would beat Triple H in the “qualifying match” at the beginning of the night because WWE would not have thrown three heels into the main event of its signature PPV. But I was surprised that Triple H did not invoke executive privilege and turn the main event from a Triple Threat into a Fatal 4-Way.
That leads to almost certainty that the feud between The Authority and Bryan is not quite over. It will simmer over the next few months and probably culminate with a Bryan-Triple H main event for the championship at SummerSlam 2014 in August. That would bring the feud full circle since it began at SummerSlam 2013.
The biggest loser
It is easy to pick The Undertaker as the night’s biggest loser because The Streak came to an end. We all knew it had to come to an end sometime, but I honestly thought he would have to eventually face John Cena before The Streak died.
The fact that it ended at the hands of a goon like Brock Lesnar was the most shocking part. Reports have circulated that even though Undertaker may have been injured during the match, it had no effect on the outcome. WWE is known for its storyline swerves, but this one has to rank at the top of that list.
But there also was another biggest loser Sunday night…and he did not even wrestle. Sting was supposed to be coming to WWE for one match only, and that was against The Undertaker…preferably in a WrestleMania match involving The Streak. Now that The Streak has gone by the boards, one cannot help but wonder if Sting’s career with WWE will follow suit.
Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at www.wrestlewatch.com.
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