First off, huge props to www.fansided.com , I am using their gifs in this article, so feel free to check out their website so they don’t feel like I jacked their gifs purely for the whopping 200 readers I draw in on my website. I also used sbnation for gifs, which they tagged in the gifs, so you know what, if anyone hates me using their gifs just tell me and I’ll take them down. Kudos to you all for putting them on the internets though.
This made me laugh because I always find it odd when people shit all over things people like under the guise of “maturity”. “But a grown ass man shouldn’t be enjoying that, this is bullshit!” says the internet. You know what, if you’re a grown ass man who is responsible, takes care of his friends and family, and isn’t doing anything illegal, then do whatever the fuck you want, I say. You love “Say Yes to the Dress” fuck it, go ahead and watch it, I won’t judge. It’s weird how people only want you to enjoy things they deem acceptable.
That being said….
Overall, I thought this was a very good Wrestlemania. There were a lot of awesome spots during the matches that were very memorable and fall easily under the category of “classic Wrestlemania moments”. The matches themselves weren’t that great, no match really stole the show (brawling was the theme of the night), but overall I walked away from Mania 30 feeling very satisfied. It was definitely the best Mania I have seen in years.
1) The opener of the show featured Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock, all getting into the ring at some point, and busting out some catch phrases. The best part of this entire bit was Hulk Hogan calling it the “Silverdome” instead of the “Superdome”, which led to Austin and Rock having a bit of fun with calling it the Silverdome. One of the guys I was watching it with said “Austin never drops a beer, he’s never dropped one in his life” and then a second later of course, Austin drops a beer. You son of a bitch….
Austin and Hogan were a bit stiff on the mic, which is to be expected as they’ve been away a while, while The Rock was much smoother, which again, was to be expected. The Rock probably gives promos when he orders from McDonalds. “Take your french fries, and shine them up real nice….”
Still, it was a great opening to the show and got the crowd pumped for the show. The Rock even drank a bit of beer, which I assume he did because it was his cheat day (The dude is jacked and has zero body fat, I swear).
2) Daniel Bryan beating HHH in the opener of the night was a solid match. Again, it wasn’t a wrestling masterpiece, but it did a good job of pushing Daniel’s injured shoulder storyline, and again helped build up the idea that Bryan was going to have to fight through hell just to get a fair shot at the title.
3) Stephanie McMahon apparently time traveled back into the early 2000’s, as she was dressed up like her old evil, slutty self, and was very good working the outside of the rings, giving good reaction shots throughout the match.
4) Say one thing about HHH, but the man sure does his elaborate entrances.
I feel like HHH called up The Rock and asked him if he could borrow some props from the set of Hercules that Rock just finished up filming. Or that HHH went through the dumpster behind the set of Game of Thrones.
I was also kind of scared HHH was going to drop the robe to reveal he had nothing on underneath, but thankfully he was clothed. The sledgehammer on the throne was a nice touch, though. Very over the top. but it’s a Wrestlemania, so why not.
4) The ramp to the ring looked like it was about 10 miles long. I was concerned some of the older guys on the card were going to have to take a breather halfway down the ramp.
5) The Shield basically squashed Kane and the NAO in about just under five minutes. If I was a betting man, I’d say the opening segment and match took up more time than they were expecting, so they decided to shave some time off of this match. If you add in that Road Dogg is apparently injured, and that the NAO and Kane have no reason to win this match, as they are all basically semi-retired, it makes sense as to why the Shield mopped them up.
On one hand, it would have been nice to see the Shield put on a big match, but on the other hand, it probably wasn’t going to happen against three aging veterans. Still, the match felt very rushed and didn’t come across that well, but whatever, it is what it is, a squash match.
Apparently after the match Billy Gunn was coughing up blood due to a ruptured blood vessel, and if I was Billy, I would take that as a sign to hang up the boots for good.
How did Billy get injured you ask? With the spot of the match:
I can almost see WWE 2k15 programmers scrambling to put this into their game as we speak….
6) Before the main card started, the Usos retained their titles and apparently the Real Americans finally broke up, punctuated by Cesaro’s official face turn when instead of shaking hands with Swagger after the loss, he instead put him in the Cesaro swing.
This had implications for the Battle Royal match. With Cesaro now a singles wrestler in need of a push….Well, you see where I am going with it. Cesaro was the star of this match and had the crowd firmly behind him, as he eventually won the match with a nice homage to Andre the Giant being slammed by Hulk Hogan when he lifted Big Show up and threw him over the top rope:
I’ve said in the past, but I will say it again, I am a huge fan of Cesaro. It’s funny to think that the WWE apparently didn’t view him as a potential star, so I am excited to see how wrong they will most likely be. Cesaro is just fun to watch, and he truly looks like the strongest guy in the locker room (“That guy is a man’s man!” was shouted at my Mania viewing tonight), which makes him fun to watch as he pulls of various feats of strength.
The Battle Royal itself is a shitty concept, and I hate the match itself. I also hate the fact that it is so close to the Royal Rumble, it kind of takes some of the shine away from the Rumble. That being said, if they use it to elevate mid carders, than I will be happy to see it stay. In the old days they used to use the IC title to elevate mid card talent….
7) There is a rule in the WWE: If it involves over the top eliminations, Kofi Kingston will always be the star and steal the match. He did it again tonight:
I don’t know how many times I’ve thought to myself “Holy shit, what if Kofi had missed that??” but the dude is flawless in his execution of staying alive spots. He has razor thin edges between success and failure in his big spots, but he always delivers. We spent the entire match waiting for his big spot, since we all knew it was coming.
He will never win a major title (he seems destined as a random high flyer unless management changes their minds), but man, he will always be remembered for spots like these.
I wonder if he meant to land on the steps, or if the plan all along was to fall back and still keep his toes on the stairs…. I’ve always always wondered why people in the Rumble haven’t tried this before, keeping their feet in the air and kind of wiggling their way back to the steps or ring….
8) John Cena beat Bray Wyatt. I have no idea why Cena won this match, it does absolutely nothing for him, and just sets Bray Wyatt back a bit. The in ring storyline was that Bray wanted Cena to beat him by unleashing his inner monster (you may have seen this already when Kane did the exact same thing when he did the “Embrace the Hate” story line with John Cena), but Cena, of course, overcame that and won another match.
Now, this could end up going somewhere down the line that makes this match not matter in the grand scheme of things, but from where I stand now, I just don’t like Cena winning it. And that isn’t coming from a purely “I hate Cena” standpoint or a “I like Bray because his last name is the same as my first name” standpoint. I just truly see no reason to have Cena beat Bray and his family this early on this easily. It just feels like a momentum stopper for no reason other than to keep Cena happy, and to keep pushing the “Cena will overcome EVERYTHING with positivity ! YAY!” garbage.
There was one amazing part of the match, though, and that was Cena’s reaction to Wyatt’s creepy fucking exorcist walk:
As I said earlier, there wasn’t a ton of good technical wrestling, but they were really really good at making sure there were a lot of awesome memorable moments throughout the show.
I am interested to see if these two keep feuding or if they both go their separate ways. I would hope Wyatt would keep hunting Cena otherwise this match will feel meaningless, but we shall see. As one of my friends said “At least Cena is doing this in the mid card, and not the main event.” Good point, Brian, good point.
9) So the streak? Yeah, that’s over.
This dude is Brock Lesnar Guy, even he looked shocked!
The crowd reactions were amazing. I know the people I watched it with were blown away. I didn’t think for a second that Brock Lesnar, a part time, veteran wrestler, would be the guy to break the streak. Once he hit that third F-5, though, part of me went “Wait, there is no way they let Taker kick out of three F5s….will they?” and then boom, Lesnar pinned Undertaker. It was such a shocking moment for everyone I was watching it with.
I thought the streak would never die. It was Undertakers legacy, and for a guy who never demanded the title that often, a guy who was always a leader of the locker room, it felt like “the streak” was the companies gift to him. “Ok, you might not always be in the main event or win, but you’ll always have that streak….” So to see him lose, to Lesnar, I was shocked.
I wanted Lesnar to win, don’t get me wrong. The wall of believability was shattered by thinking an aging Undertaker could beat Brock Lesnar (I know all wrestling uses suspension of belief, but this felt like TOO much suspended belief), but I still didn’t think it would happen.
In hindsight, though, it kind of makes sense.
One, Undertaker loves the business of wrestling way too much to leave that streak intact. He has given everything he has to the wrestling business, so you just know he would want to pass the power of that streak to somebody else. The streak ending does way more for the business then it does staying intact, at this point.
Two, when a wrestler goes out, they go out on their back. Much like those before him, Undertaker (assuming he retires), went out on his shield, and on a loss. What bigger and better stage than “The Streak”?
Three, the streak had honestly lost a lot of its power. It is an accepted part of wrestling lore, now, and it couldn’t get any bigger….except in defeat. People will be talking about this match a lot longer than they will about 90% of his matches he had during the streak. As cliched as it is, it was best for business that Undertaker lose the streak because it is now a huge talking point and a huge storyline for Lesnar
Four, I assume Undertaker was going to pick who he lost to, so I assume he was ok with losing to Lesnar. Losing to a former UFC and WWE champion ain’t too bad of a way to lose a streak.
Five, I kind of wish Punk had been the one to break the streak, I think he could have done a ton with that (and would have been great ammo for him for storylines, especially without having the belt anymore).
Six, I think Undertaker should retire. He has been wrestling for so many years, and tonight it showed. It was an awful match, and Lesnar, god bless him, sold Undertakers punches as best he could, but Taker looked awful in the ring. Lesnar’s over aggressive offence wouldn’t have worked with Taker due to fear of injuries, so they spent the match punching and kicking each other, until they traded finishers and ended the match. I don’t think Taker would have had another great match in him next year, he honestly looks done.
Seven, this sets up an amazing showdown between Bryan and Lesnar in the future. Lesnar, who needed momentum due to kind of shitty booking, can use this win and head into a showdown with Bryan. Those two will put on an awesome match, half of which will be powered by Heyman and Lesnar talking about how their ending of the streak is more impressive than anything Bryan has done. It’s just a great storyline starting point.
After my shock wore off, I was fine with how it went down, but it will be interesting to see how other people reacted to it. The people in attendance honestly looked like it was The Red Wedding happening right in front of them, though.
10) The Divas match was garbage, but it ended with AJ slapping on the best finisher in the business, and using Naomi’s own arm to signal a tap out to win the match. Clever booking and makes AJ look like more of a heel using evil ways to win matches. Love it.
No Diva has stepped up to earn the title at all (AJ is the best they have), so AJ is kind of screwed right now. There is no Lita to her Trish. I thought maybe the Total Divas storyline stuff would push one of them into winning the title (because the Divas title is just a prop at this point, so I don’t think the WWE would care at all about letting a Total Diva win it in order to help out interest in that show) but I am glad they kept it on AJ.
They just really really need to find an opponent for AJ, or at the very least, a storyline. I would even settle for a simple storyline at this point. Maybe Summer Rae spills mustard on AJ and they hate each other for it? Anything. Just give us something.
11) Daniel Bryan won. Yes, he finally won, and got his Wrestlemania moment.
Now, I am a huge Bryan fan, and I am glad he finally won. It’s just part of me felt that it wasn’t the cleanest way it could have gone down. It just felt like Summerslam was honestly the top of the Yes movement, and all the time since then was just a bunch of garbage that kind of watered down the impact of the Mania moment.
Again, I am probably being too harsh on it, but it just didn’t feel as grand as it should have to me. I am very glad Bryan finally won, and the WWE did their best to shove the idea down our throats that nobody in Authority wanted Bryan to win, but it just didn’t feel as satisfying as I had hoped it would.
Part of that was the fact Bryan slapped on his submission move instead of pinning Batista (I prefer the ol’ 1, 2, 3 pinfall for big moments, only Bret Hart has ever made me enjoy submission finishes to big matches), and part of it was that it just felt like so many months had been wasted telling the same story of how much the authority disliked Bryan.
Regardless, I am happy Bryan won and I am very excited about his possible future opponents (anyone but Orton or Batista, please). Cesaro? Rollins? Reigns? Lesnar? Sandow? Get a couple of those guys heel and make them wrestle Bryan and it will be amazing.
The biggest spot of the match, though, wasn’t the finish, it was when Bryan was powerbombed through the table and was RKO’d at the same time. It resulted in both Bryan and Orton crashing through the table, with Bryan being taken away on a stretcher, only to Mick Foley his way back into the match, and for Orton TO LAND ON HIS FUCKING BACK RIGHT ON A TV MONITOR.
ON HIS FUCKING BACK. Man, Orton is going to be feeling that one tomorrow. Holy shit. Still, an insane spot, and was one I won’t soon forget.
12) Mania after the Raw is always awesome (due to the crowd being full of smart marks), so I can’t wait to see where the Bryan storyline goes. I assume Lesnar will become the new weapon of the authority, but we shall see.
Either way, it was a great Mania, and I think the WWE has set themselves up for a great year. The Bryan being held down stuff is behind us, now it’s time to see what they can come up with for him now that he’s the champ. For once I am not livid after a PPV, that has to be a good sign, right?