WWE: WrestleMania XXX

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WWE: WrestleMania XXX
April 6, 2014
New Orleans, LA
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton (12/15/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler.

Do I really need to mention the weird PPV introduction video with WrestleMania moments happening in the middle of Bourbon Street? Am I the only one who found that strange?

Hulk Hogan – the guest host of WrestleMania 30 – comes down to the ring and soaks up a huge reaction. If you took a drink every time Hogan said “brother” here, you would only be slightly refreshed. I believe it was only like two times. Almost immediately, Hogan calls the stadium the “Silverdome”. You had to know that would slip. You have any idea how many times that man has said the word “Silverdome” since 1987? WAY more than he’s ever said “Superdome”, I can assure you. Anyways, this old dude once again recounts his ancient WrestleMania memories. Apparently, Stone Cold Steve Austin doesn’t want to hear these stories again. The glass breaks and here he comes to the ring. His pop is definitely louder due to being more awesome and not being advertised. Austin double birds the audience in the first corner he goes to, and why not. The camera makes sure not to show his fingers elsewhere. I’m sure Vince was LIVID, but what can he do about it? Our esteemed commentators tout this as a monumental moment in wrestling history as Austin and Hogan stand face-to-face. Austin makes a “Silverdome” joke, but then has a hard time getting his words out as well. He asks the crowd if they want him to open up a can of you know what on Hulk Hogan. The crowd obliges, but he ain’t gonna do that. Austin pays respect to Hogan and counts off WrestleManias while the crowd chants “WHAT”. That’s what I thought you was going to say. Austin then recognizes that tonight is about the WWF superstars and can’t wait to see them all give everything they have. Next thing you know, here comes the Rock. Why is his shirt SO tight? Of course he makes a “Silverdome” joke. Waka waka! Rock puts over Austin and Hogan as the two biggest names in WWE history responsible for inspiring John Cena and Daniel Bryan fighting for their own individual causes here tonight. Rock then makes a joke about families having babies nine months after WrestleMania. I think he just made that up. They all cut their catchphrases and share a beer or two or three.

And suddenly, Cole, JBL, and Lawler each have Diet Mountain Dew bottles in front of them.

  • Winner Joins the Main Event: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon)

From the ring, Stephanie introduces her husband as the King of Kings. Because I suppose Triple H is above Lillian Garcia now. Why is Stephanie dressed like she’s going pheasant hunting with the Duke and Duchess of Douchebaggery directly after the PPV? All she needs to do is pick her riding crop on the way out of the door and she’s ready to go. HHH still thinks he’s either Conan the Barbarian or desperately wanting to be on Game of Thrones with this entrance. He has a couple of hot mask-wearing blonde concubines sitting around him. Is it odd to anyone else that these ladies are blonde and his wife clearly has brown hair? Once that’s over, Motorhead plays and it’s back to normal Triple H. What’s special about Bryan’s entrance? He’s wearing goat-skin around his boots. Yep, that’s it. Bryan’s shoulder is wrapped up as he has now become the new DDP. Steph eskimo kisses her hubby before she heads to the floor and then the bell rings.

HHH wants a handshake to start. Wrestling 101 says don’t shake the hand of the heel. Bryan doesn’t and kicks away his hand. HHH sells the kick so well, that Bryan is able to roll him up for 1-2-NO! Over to the corner during a lock-up, Bryan ducks a shot and kicks at HHH until he bails. Back inside, Bryan and Triple H go to the mat. HHH wants to do some damage to shoulder, but Bryan tries to keep HHH subdued with a headlock. Bryan starts up the kicks again, but HHH shuts him down by catching his foot and whipping him down onto his knee. HHH wants to use the ringpost on Bryan’s shoulder, but Bryan breaks away and dropkicks HHH off the apron so he can nail a leaping tornado DDT off the apron. Bray Wyatt took that better at the Rumble. Bryan follows up with a somersault dive off the top. Helmsley was barely able to catch him at all. Back in, Bryan covers for two. HHH knocks Bryan off the top rope and they head to the announce table for a PEDIGREE. Bryan fights him off, but then HHH jumps off the table and yanks Bryan’s shoulder right down onto the table. Bryan avoids the countout loss, but comes back inside for an armbreaker DDT. HHH stretches the shoulder with an overhead wristlock, but Bryan punches out and dumps Helmsley to the floor. Triple H stops the suicide dive with a right hand and then delivers a nasty variation of the hammerlock slam on the apron. Again, Bryan beats the count. Helmsley takes a page out of the Bob Backlund playbook with a very smart Crossface Chickenwing. Now he transitions over to the Crippler Crossface. Bryan makes the ropes, but it doesn’t stop HHH from continuing the breakdown of Bryan’s shoulder.

Bryan gets into a slugging contest with Triple H and manages to build up speed for an elbow smash. Bryan tries the backflip out of the corner that has generated so many comebacks, but HHH sees it coming (naturally) and catches Bryan in a waistlock. Standing switch by Bryan, and he tries the Hat Trick of Germans. Chris Benoit is all over this match. HHH prevents the third German and delivers a release Tiger Suplex! WHOA. Bryan counters a superplex with a sunset flip powerbomb. Time for the running dropkicks in the corner, but HHH prevents a third running dropkick with the inside-out clothesline. PEDIGREE is countered to a jackknife rollup for two. Once Bryan gets to his feet, he lands the Buzzsaw Kick. Flying Headbutt is blocked with a knee, and HHH applies the Crippler Crossface again. When Bryan gets close to the ropes, HHH even uses the Benoit rollover to keep the hold going! Bryan slips out this time and gets Triple H in the YES LOCK. HHH finds the ropes and escapes to the floor, but Bryan hits him with the suicide dive – not once, but TWICE. Back inside, Bryan connects with the Owen Hart missile dropkick. Yes Kicks and the Knockout Blow gets 1-2-NO! Time for the Busaiku Knee Kick, but Bryan charges right into the Double-A Spinebuster. PEDIGREE! Cover, 1-2-NO! Triple H retreats to the corner in disbelief. After Stephanie gets him a pep talk, HHH walks right into a small package from Bryan for a nearfall. HHH beats him down in the corner and goes for another PEDIGREE, but Bryan backdrops him away and bridges on top of Helmsley for 1-2-NO! Still with his arms hooked, Bryan finally breaks free and Muay Thai kicks HHH in the head. HHH tries a back suplex, but Bryan flips out and lands the BUSAIKU KNEE KICK! Cover, 1-2-3! (26:00) This was a fantastic match with decent psychology. I still think HHH cheating to win and having Hogan put both of them in the main event is a better plan. I’ll explain why later in the main event, but it would have at least given Hogan a purpose for his role as “guest host” of WrestleMania 30 besides just coming out and talking about himself. That’s a TERRIBLE host, right? You go to someone’s party and then all they do is talk to you about themselves and what they did 10-20-30 years ago. Sounds like a bad time to me. ****

After the bell, Stephanie slaps Bryan around to distract him while HHH runs him down and hits his shoulder with a chair while it’s up against a ringpost. Steph – “That’s what happens when you play with the Game.”

  • The Shield vs. The New Age Outlaws & Kane

The Shield interrupt the New Age Outlaws entrance shtick while Kane interrupts the Shield’s entrance. Why are the Shield wearing Aces & 8’s masks over their mouths? This match lasts no time. The Shield completely dominant (as they should be) as they wipe out Kane and deliver a TRIPLE POWERBOMB to both Outlaws at the same time. I marked out, you guys. Rollins covers Gunn for the win. (2:56) I certainly expected this to go a little longer, but they definitely made the right call. Seemed like the Shield were getting some strange boos here as well. *

WWE Hall of Famers and legends make their WrestleMania cameos to promote Slam City or whatever. Slaughter, Duggan, ref Danny Davis, Ricky Steamboat, Ted DiBiase, and of course Ron Simmons all appear.

  • 31-Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Big Show is wearing replica Andre tights, which is his “the Giant” gear from WCW. The entrants as they exit include: Yoshi Tatsu, Brad Maddox, Brodus Clay, the Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Darren Young, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Titus O’Neil, the Miz, Santino Marella, Xavier Woods, Damien Sandow, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Big E, Fandango, R-Truth, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston (who does another one of his lucky returns to the ring as his feet landed on the ring steps), and Dolph Ziggler.

Now to the final four: Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Cesaro. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio start brawling with each other. Del Rio slaps on the CROSS ARMBREAKER and Sheamus lifts him up off the ground. As he walks Del Rio over to the ropes, they both fall out over the top rope to the floor. It’s just Cesaro and Big Show now. They take turns nearly eliminating each other. Cesaro comes off the top down into a slap to the chest. Show goes to throw out Cesaro, but Cesaro slips off his shoulder and PICKS UP BIG SHOW AND DUMPS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE FOR THE WIN! (13:25) Well, the finish was no doubt fun. Show makes sure to shake Cesaro’s hand before he’s awarded with the big trophy. It’ll be interesting to see what Cesaro does from here. *½

Some gypsy woman does a fiery voodoo dance before the Wyatts come out.

  • John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)

Mark Crozer from ‘The Jesus and Mary Chain’ fame performs the Wyatts theme song. Bray kneels before Cena and tells him to be the monster he is inside. Wyatt – “FINISH ME! FINISH ME!” Wyatt quickly charges Cena and misses. Now he’s caught in a headlock on the mat. Wyatt eventually gets tired of that and starts beating on Cena. He tries the Avalanche, but Cena cuts him off with a clothesline. Cena now loses his temper and starts returning the favor on Wyatt. Harper and Rowan distract him a little bit. When Cena feels contrite about losing his temper, that’s when Wyatt pounces on him. Vader suplex by Wyatt. He cuts Cena off with a sleeper. Cena comes back with the shoulderblocks and the Protobomb. When he smiles for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Wyatt is doing the crab walk. Cena freaks out accordingly. When Rowan distracts Cena, Wyatt manages to plant him with the uranage for two. Wyatt delivers the Avalanche this time, but Cena fires back with a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Flying Famouser by Cena is countered with a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Cena quickly comes back with another Protobomb and lands the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Wyatt avoids the Attitude Adjustment and hits Cena with a fancy gutbuster. They fight over on the apron where Bray drops Cena with a DDT. He still can’t get the pinfall though. Cena counters a superplex and looks for the Flying Famouser, but jumps on top of Rowan and Harper instead. That could come back to bite Cena as Wyatt attacks him and throws Cena into the steps. Wyatt tries to drop the steps on Cena, but that just PISSES HIM OFF SO MUCH. Cena fights back and lifts the stairs over his head to put away Wyatt, but he can’t do it. Hustle, loyalty, respect, ya’ll. Cena throws down the stairs and heads back inside only to be met with the running body block. “He’s got the whole world…. in his hands….” With Cena in trouble, Bray puts Cena’s head in his lap and starts caressing him. Apparently that got too gay for Cena, so he gets up and hits Wyatt with the AA for 1-2-NO! While Rowan distracts the ref, Harper superkicks Cena in the face. Wyatt lands the running senton for two. To the floor, Harper begins to stalk Cena when Cena pops up and spears him through the barricade! Bray brings Cena back inside for Sister Abigail, but Cena counters to the STF! Oh, but Bray makes the ropes. SISTER ABIGAIL! Cover, 1-2-NO! Continuing to play mind games with Cena, Bray brings a chair into the ring and hands it over to him. “FINISH ME! FINISH ME!” Even the ref is trying to convince Cena that this isn’t in his character. Cena rears back with the chair and then takes out Rowan instead. Bray then schoolboys Cena for 1-2-NO! Sister Abigail is countered to the ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT for 1-2-3! (22:27) Different kind of psychology seen here where Bray was trying to get Cena to embrace his dark side. Just wonderful storytelling here, but Bray should have gone over. ***½

We get a chance to once more see the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014.

In the back, Daniel Bryan is getting his shoulder checked out by a trainer.

  • The Undertaker (21-0) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)

For Taker’s entrance, he has coffins for all his past WrestleMania opponents. There’s also one for Brock Lesnar that opens up. Well, that’s cool. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for his hat and jacket. He looks like a Satanist cowboy. Taker beats him in the corner, but Brock comes out with a belly to belly throw. Taker rolls out and baits him over to the ropes where he snaps Lesnar’s neck off the top rope. He now goes to work on Brock’s shoulder – running him into the post. Lesnar avoids Old School, but then misses a corner charge and damages his shoulder on the ringpost. Taker legdrops him on the apron and follows up with Snake Eyes. He tries a running boot in the corner, but misses and Lesnar starts swinging Taker’s leg into the post. A lot of post action here. Just real “methodical” pace from now on. Lesnar stalks Taker inside and out of the ring when he’s not stomping and twisting on the injured leg. Taker delivers a desperation running DDT and mounts a comeback hitting Snake Eyes and the running boot. Chokeslam gets 1-2-NO! From there, Lesnar unloads on Taker with the F-5! Cover, 1-2-NO! Taker surprises Lesnar with the HELL’S GATE a couple of times, but can never get the tapout. Lesnar escapes by picking up Taker off the mat for a slam. Now they trade Kimura Locks, but wind up in the ropes. Taker tries Old School again, but ends up onto Lesnar’s shoulders! F-5! Cover, 1-2-NO! I must mention how great Heyman is at flipping out over each and everything happening in this match. Lesnar throws Taker around and heads over to the corner where he receives the LAST RIDE! TOMBSTONE TO LESNAR! Cover, 1-2-NO! Taker does his best “what do I have to do to beat this man” look. Taker sits up, calls for the ending, and picks up Lesnar for another Tombstone. Oh, but Lesnar counters and lifts Taker up on his shoulders once more for a THIRD F-5! Lesnar covers Taker and gets the THREE COUNT. (25:13) Certainly nothing amazing with the really slow pace. The booking of the feud didn’t connect with the match at all for me as Taker was booked WAY stronger than Brock. Here in the match, it looked like Taker had lost a step and didn’t have the drive of his previous WrestleMania encounters. Understandably, his past WrestleMania matches would logically take its toll on the Undertaker, but that was never mentioned in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania. The whole buildup was just wrong in my opinion, and I believe the match would have came across a lot better if they had just gone with Taker being the underdog instead of Lesnar. ***

Now as far as the streak goes, I’m fine with Lesnar ending the streak. If the streak ended at the hands of a rookie or someone who was building their career, then I wouldn’t feel quite as confident. What does Lesnar have to lose by ending the streak? All people will do is boo him. And if he gets so much heat that people don’t even want to pay to see him and creative fails to create a storyline that can capitalize on this monumental event, so what? WWE creative has dropped the ball on angles time and time again since Stephanie McMahon took over in 2000. As for Lesnar, he’s a multi-millionaire and has already well established himself as a main event player. I truly believe the man could easily walk away from WWE without taking a second look if it came to that. And if this is Taker’s last match, a wise man once said: “You come into this business on your back, you leave on your back.” Austin did it at WrestleMania 19, Rock did it at WrestleMania 29. The ending surprised me and everyone else, but I’m fine with it.

And of course, everyone’s reactions were great. I just hope no one has committed suicide over it. Besides Heyman, my favorite has to be the “Just Say Yes” t-shirt guy. He may have had a panic attack.

  • The Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational

This crowd or any crowd or any small gathering or individual person watching from their iPad could care about this match after Taker losing. There are fourteen Divas in this match: the Bellas, Cameron, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae, Emma, Eva Marie, Natalya, Aksana, LAYLA, Tamina Snuka, and of course the WWE Divas champion AJ Lee. Action ensues until everyone falls out to the floor. As far as I know, the Bellas debut STEREO SUICIDE DIVES on all the other Divas. Back inside, the Bellas EXPLODE. Nikki gets a nearfall on Brie after the RACK ATTACK. Some more stuff happens. You could hear a pin drop in the Superdome. There’s a tower of doom spot. AJ puts Naomi in the BLACK WIDOW for the submission to retain the Divas title. (6:48) Crowd was actually digging the finish and hoping for a tapout. Glad to see AJ retain because everyone else is either boring or just plain inexperienced to hold the Divas strap. To be fair, the girls actually did a pretty decent job here and busted their very nice behinds in this match. It just came at a bad time. *½

There’s a brief confrontation between the WrestleMania 1 main eventers. Despite the mustache, it’s good to see Paul Orndorff! Hey, Pat Patterson even shows up dressed as a referee. Piper and Mr. T share a hug.

Out to the crowd, we get to see some other WWE Hall of Famers and all former world champions: Bruno Sammartino, Harley Race, Bob Backlund, Dusty Rhodes, and Bret Hart.

  • WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan

For Orton’s entrance, Rev Theory plays his theme song. Bats tries to end Bryan early with a BATISTA BOMB, but winds up on the floor after a headscissors. Orton takes Bryan’s kicks and then yanks him down shoulder-first onto the mat. Now we get some of that sweet Orton vs. Batista action. Bats controls with some ringside violence, but takes a backdrop onto the steps. He then receives a back suplex onto the barricade that gets two. When they aren’t looking, Bryan flies in with a double missile dropkick. He kicks them while they’re on their knees, but Orton counters the Knockout Blow and delivers a T-Bone Suplex for two. As both Bats and Orton are in opposite corners, Bryan begins hitting them with running dropkicks. Headscissors off the top rope gets two. Batista takes care of Bryan with a suplex off the apron to the floor. Orton brings Bats off the top rope with a superplex. Next thing you know, Bryan flies off the top with the headbutt to Orton! YES LOCK to Orton. Meanwhile, Triple H and Stephanie appear to yank the ref out of the ring. Once Bryan releases the hold when he realizes what’s happening, Batista plants him with a spinebuster. Crooked referee Scott Armstrong becomes the new ref. BATISTA BOMB to Bryan! Cover, 1-2-NO! How can he not know how to fast count? Bryan kicks the ref Armstrong out of the ring to prevent anymore stupidity. When HHH and Stephanie try to help him up, Bryan flies onto all three with the suicide dive. Finally having had enough, COOHHH pulls out his trusty sledgehammer from underneath the ring. Bryan knows what could happen and knocks the sledgehammer away from HHH only to then run him off the apron with the sledgehammer. During all this time, Bats is just doubled over in the corner for some reason. Bryan shoots over with a schoolboy rollup for 1-2-NO! Orton makes the save. He and Bats begin to do a number on Bryan down on the floor. Orton picks up half of the steps and drills Bryan in the shoulder. Now they clear off two of the three announce tables for a Batista Bomb-RKO combo to Bryan! I would imagine Orton is the worst for wear by falling kidneys first on one of the monitors. Bryan gets carried out on a stretcher, but refuses medical assistance. Hmm, where have we seen this before? Orton grabs Bryan and whips him hard into the steps. Inside the ring, Bryan sees the RKO coming and counters to the YES LOCK. Bats makes the save, but ends up in the YES LOCK himself. Orton saves his WWE title, but can’t hit Batista with the RKO. Spear by Batista misses Orton and runs over Bryan. RKO to Bats! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now he looks for the PUNT, but Bryan cuts him off with the BUSAIKU KNEE KICK! Then Bats throws out Bryan and covers Orton for 1-2-NO! BATISTA BOMB to Orton, but then Bryan surprises Batista with the BUSAIKU KNEE KICK as well! YES LOCK TO BATISTA! BRYAN GETS HIM TO TAP OUT! (23:21) No doubt about it, they did the right thing giving Bryan the WWE championship. It was clearly where the story was heading since the beginning at SummerSlam. All the BS endings to PPVs made that pop totally worth it. The problem I have with the match is that it leaves very little room for credible opponents for Bryan’s title reign in my opinion. This is why Triple H should have been in the main event. If Bryan lost to Triple H and a sledgehammer in the first match, then you could have Bryan tap out HHH in the main event. It’s a perfect ending to this whole thing. Bryan lost the WWE title because he received a Pedigree at the end of SummerSlam. What better way for him to win the WWE title than by tapping out Triple H? What does HHH have to lose at this point? Plus, why would Bryan need to wrestle Batista between now and the rumored SummerSlam match with Brock Lesnar? If Bats hadn’t lost the match, then you allow him to be able to plead even more of a case that this match was unfair and that he should get a 1-on-1 WWE title shot in the future. In Orton’s case though, he never lost the WWE title to begin with, so you can already allow for WWE title rematches for him fairly easily. As sweet as it was to see Bryan win, it could have been sweeter. ***½

Now let the celebration begin.

Final Thoughts: Certainly a controversial WrestleMania to say the least. I think I’ve said all that needs to be said. It could have been much better though. Thumbs up for WrestleMania 30.

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Posted on April 7, 2014, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. HHH going over Bryan in ANY fashion would’ve been awful.

    • Plead your case. Why would HHH going over Bryan, but Bryan going over HHH in the main event to win the world title be an awful decision?

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