This is an in depth review of the results last night as they happened.
WWE World Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs The Real Americans vs Ryback and Curtis Axel vs Los Matadores
Los Matadores have failed to get over as faces, and so it is not surprising they are the first eliminated, tapping out to Jack Swagger’s Patriot Lock. The second team is no surprise either, as Ryback and Curtis Axel have failed miserably in their current team, with the former pinned after Cesaro delivers a Neutralizer. The Usos and Real Americans are arguably the two hottest teams in WWE right now and so in theory it was always a toss-up between these two for the victory. However, in reality it is much more predictable. The Usos only won the titles last month and have not been given a fair shot as champions yet, whilst the Real Americans have seen on the verge of a break-up for weeks, with Cesaro popularity with the fans increasing day by day. A double splash secures the victory for the Usos in a rather entertaining opener.
Winner: The Usos retain
The Real Americans are arguing amongst themselves and now Swagger has Cesaro in the Patriot Lock, but Zeb Coulter breaks it up. Cesaro has had enough and delivers the big swing to Swagger! Face turn for Cesaro! He’s been one of the best talents on the roster for a long time and it looks like his time has come at last.
The Host of Wrestlemania Hulk Hogan opens the show and hypes the night to come. Barely a minute in and he has called the Superdome the Silverdome! Clearly he was thinking about Wrestlemania 3. The crowd corrects him soon enough and he gets a big cheer as he gets the name right. All of this is interrupted by a shattering of glass and none other than Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold! (Jim Ross voice obviously). The crowd erupts for the Rattlesnake as he makes his way to the ring. He jokes about the Silverdome and thanks Hulk for all he has done, telling him he respected him. The segment is not over though as more music hits. This time it is none other than the Rock! They all joke and laugh, drink a few beers and have a good time for almost half an hour, and the crowd absolutely eats it up. The announcers are quick to point out it was a true Wrestlemania moment and you can’t help but agree with them. It was the perfect start to the show, with excitement at a fever pitch because of the sight of these three living legends.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Number One Contender’s Match
Daniel Bryan vs Triple H
A great match to start the night with, as it gives the winner a long rest before the main event. Triple H enters first, sitting on a throne, wearing a skull mask, crown and robe. Pretty cool, even if they looks plastic-y (probably because they were plastic). His entrance music is “The Game” rather than “King of Kings”, not sure why though. “Flight of the Valkyries” hits and the place explodes for Daniel Bryan. No such fancy entrance for him, but he receives a pop to rival Stone Cold’s. A whole crowd doing the Yes chant in unison is still impressive. Daniel Bryan has to win this right, after everything he’s been put through?
Bryan’s left shoulder is heavily taped and you can bet for the majority of the battle the Game will focus on that. Triple H offer his hand for a handshake only for Bryan to kick it away and roll him up for a two count. As I thought, HHH works on the arm for a while, and there is a nice bit of mat wrestling between the two. These two guys can wrestle. The action moves to the outside where Bryan gains the upper hand and hits a DDT from the apron. First really cool moment. And there’s the second, as Bryan climbs to the top rope and delivers a somersault from the top rope to HHH on the outside. Looked painful for Bryan as HHH barely caught him and he hit the floor and barricade hard! He’s up first though and seems okay. Damn he’s tough. The action moves back to the ring and HHH knocks Bryan off the top rope. He rips apart the announce table and sets Bryan up for the pedigree on the table. Reversed but HHH still manages to yank Bryan’s bad arm onto the table. I thought the table was going to break for a moment. HHH works on the arm, Bryan rallies and goes for the suicide dive only for HHH to deliver a big punch.
HHH remains in control with crossfaces before hitting a German suplex whilst holding his arms behind his back (if anyone knows the name of that move let me know). Awesome and nasty. HHH and Bryan to the top rope, with HHH going for a superplex, but Bryan reverses into a sunset flip powerbomb. Bryan with the momentum as he hits HHH with two dropkicks in the corner, but on the third HHH takes his head off with a huge clothesline! Bryan sold that really well.
Bryan regains control though with a kick to the head, goes for the flying headbutt but HHH raises his knee to block. HHH works the crossface but Bryan reverses into the Yes Lock! HHH makes it to the rope. Bryan with two suicide dives! He has HHH where he wants him, missile dropkick, kip up, and lining him up for the knee… HHH hits a huge spinebuster and then a pedigree! Great reversal. Only a 2 count though as Bryan kicks out!
HHH goes for the pedigree again but Bryan breaks out and hits a kick to the head, tries again, HHH ducks, goes for a back drop, Bryan backflips and lands on his feet, and hits the knee!! 1…2…3 Bryan wins! The crowd erupts! Great match to start the night with.
Winner: Daniel Bryan pins HHH with the knee and will be in the main event tonight.
Stephanie into the ring, she slaps Bryan, and HHH attacks from behind! Chair shots to Bryan’s arm.
The Shield vs Kane and The New Age Outlaws
The Shield interrupt Road Dogg as he says something about “humility”. They wear masks that remind me of Michael Tarver… anyone remember him? The Shield looked like they were going to break up a few months ago, but their recent face turn seems to have prolonged their life.
Wow, the match starts fast! Ambrose hits the clothesline. Regins in, superman punch, big flying boot on the outside. This is hectic. Rollins goes flying over the top rope onto Kane. Now Ambrose and Rollins with suicide dives to the NAO, whilst Reigns spears Kane. Double Spear on the NAO!! And now both of them being set up… and down… for the Triple Power Bomb. Cool spot. 1…2…3. Rollins pins Billy Gunn. Wow. That was a lot shorter than anyone expected. The Shield absolutely obliterated their opponents in a glorified squash match. I wonder where they go from here.
Winner: The Shield with the triple powerbomb.
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale.
Only Big Show (in Andre black one strap attire) and Sheamus get an entrance. Hoping for a Ziggler win in this.
Big mess to begin, Brad Maddox and a few others are eliminated as the number is halved pretty quickly. Basically all the jobbers are getting eliminated first.
Big Show rolls Henry over the top rope. First big name gone. Big E and Fandango on the apron… and… Fandango eliminates him! He dances around on the apron and the crowd love it! Sheamus catches him and hits 27(?) clubs to the chest before simply pushing him out. ADR gets rid of both Rhodes brothers. Rey on the apron, tries to fly into the ring but Cesaro uppercuts him out the ring. Amazing! Kofi attacks Cesaro, gets thrown over the ring post, he hits the floor but his feet don’t hit the floor, he’s still in! The crowd pop big.
Cesaro swing on Kofi, then chokeslam then ADR kicks him out the ring. Poor Kofi.
Ziggler on a roll with DDT’s but ADR eliminates him with a kick. Down to Sheamus, Del Rio, Cesaro and Big Show. But Sheamus and ADR throw each other out! Crowd are excited as its just Cesaro and Show. Cesaro from the top rope, receives a huge slap from Show. Lifts Cesaro up and points to the outside. Cesaro slips down, huge uppercut, and he picks up the Big Show, and bodyslams him over the top rope! CESARO wins! Wow, that was a great ending to a better than expected match.
Hope he gets a huge push now, he truly deserves it.
P.S. That trophy is huge!
Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
Have to say I’m hoping for a Wyatt win but I don’t know whether to get my hopes up.
We see a creepy sword woman dance around fire for some reason, and then Bray’s music hits. Live performance of the song is pretty good. Cena comes out to a mixed response. This cannot be the true face of WWE in the upcoming year.
Match begins with Wyatt falling to his knees and begging Cena to finish him. Cena won’t do it. Bray takes control early on before Cena finally snaps. Huge clothesline and Cena begins pummeling Wyatt as Bray laughs. Love Bray’s character. He’s proving he can be the top heel in the company. The ref keeps having to pull Cena off Bray. Interesting so far but little has really happened.
Bray takes advantage of a distraction and hits a cool suplex. The match slows to a crawl but is still very intriguing. You can’t take your eyes off Wyatt, this guy is electric. He whispers “Go to sleep John” as he has Cena in a sleeper hold. Some memorable spots are needed though I admit, to become a great match. Wyatt and Bryan had an epic at Rumble and so I have no doubt he can pull it off.
Cena fights back. Vintage Cena, two shoulder tackles and goes for the 5-knuckle shuffle but Wyatt pops into the spider walk, scaring Cena. “That was creepy!” according to the audience. Wyatt gets the crowd to sway, this is very cool. He has them eating out the palm of his hand. But Cena hits a great tornado DDT to get back into the match. To the top rope, looking for the leg drop, but Wyatt turns it into a powerbomb. Great execution of a difficult move. Back and forth, before Cena goes for the AA, Wyatt reverses into that front-gut buster. Great move. This match is heating up. DDT onto the apron by Wyatt, gets him a 2 count. The crowd continue to sway. That’s a great sight as this young wrestler could be the future of the company.
Bray going for a superplex from the top rope, Cena pushes him off and dives to the outside taking out Harper and Rowan! That gives Bray the advantage though. He picks up the steel steps but is reversed. Cena with the steps but he can’t bring himself to hit Wyatt. Back in the ring, and what a collision as Wyatt hits a crossbody. He cradles Cena and sings “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. Creepy but awesome again. Cena somehow manages to hit an AA but only gets a 2. Harper allows Wyatt to regain control, hitting Cena behind the referee’s back. Cena thrown to the outside… and instead of rolling back in, he attacks Harper! Speared through the barricade! But once again that lets Bray have the advantage. Sets up Sister Abigail, reversed into STF, but Wyatt manages to hit his finisher out of nowhere! 1…2… Kick out! Cena kicks out. I’m pretty sure he’s the first to do that. Bray snaps and rips apart the announce table before grabbing a chair. Rowen into the ring. Bray throws the chair to Cena, falls to his knees and begs him once more. “Finish me John”. Cena swings over Bray and hits Rowen. Bray goes for Sister Abigail, kiss to forehead, but Cena powers out and hits AA. 1…2…3.
Winner: John Cena
Really great match. I think I expected something slightly different, but that was still fantastic. Bray proved he could perform on the biggest stage against the biggest stars. Don’t really see why Cena needed the win, but Wyatt didn’t suffer in the loss.
Cena goes on the hug basically the whole front row.
Hall of Fame
Nice recap of last night’s show, with what is possibly the greatest class ever. Razor and Lita got the biggest reception by what I can tell. Ultimate Warrior gets his own little entrance.
The Streak vs The Beast
The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar
The video packages are always awesome, proven here once again. Heyman is also currently the best on the microphone no doubt about it. So will Brock win? I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone expects it and this match might suffer because of it. In the lead up the last five years, Michaels, HHH and Punk all made a victory seem at least possible. This year, Taker constantly got the better of Lesnar until last week’s Raw. Of course he’s a beast but in the world of professional wrestling that doesn’t really matter. Lesnar enters. I’m interested to see the crowd reaction tonight I really am.
Taker gets a cool entrance as always. A video plays showing every victory of his (I believe only the back of Punk’s head is seen. They really are cutting him out of everything aren’t they), whilst the camera pans over 21 coffins on the stage each with a name and number. Oh Punk’s is there. Make that 22, Brock Lesnar’s name is on the final one. The gong hits and Taker emerges. New hat and coat by the looks of it. The Lesnar coffins opens, Taker keeps walking, turns back and it sets on fire. Pretty cool entrance. Preferred last year’s though I must admit.
Still Undertaker’s entrance always gives me chills and gets me excited for the match to come. When was the last time he didn’t produce the goods at Mania? Wrestlemania 22 I think vs Mark Henry. Orton at Mania 21 was awesome before that just for record.
The Undertakers eyes roll into the back of his head and the match is on. Can Lesnar defeat the Streak? We will find out very shortly. He doesn’t look intimidated, but Taker hits first with strong right hands. Lesnar hits a belly to belly, one of my favourite moves. He clotheslines Taker over the rope but he lands on his feet. Both men get some offence in, in the early going here. The announcers play up the Streak. It’s truly remarkable who he has beaten. All of Evolution including Flair. The best of all time in Michaels. The Streak will never be matched. Lesnar stops Old School, but Taker is in control. Head on the apron, Lesnar does not want to be here. Huge legdrop on the apron from Taker! Love that move, vintage Taker, according to Cole. Taker lines up chokeslam, reversed, Lesnar gets Taker up for F5 but he manages to scramble away and push him into the turnbuckle. Lesnar ducks though as Taker goes for the big boot, and he gets caught up. Lesnar in control now. JBL, Cole and Lawler emphasising the Streak once more, and the impact it could have on both Lesnar and Heyman. The crowd is quiet as Lesnar remains dominant. He’s working away on the leg, delivering an awesome kick on the outside. Taker rallies but Lesnar manages to throw him into the barricade. Slow slow pace in this match.
Finally an explosion as Taker hits a DDT. It’s been rather poor so far, lets see if this picks up. Taker with some big strikes, clotheslines in the corner. This is better. Snake eyes into the big boot, the crowd pop. Leg drop and a 2 count. The crowd are yet to wake up though still, and I can’t blame them. Wait… chokeslam from Undertaker and he gets a 2 count! Lesnar reverses the Tombstone into the F5 but it only gets 2! Heyman screaming at Brock is great. Best manager of his generation. Can Lesnar win? Not convinced at all.
Taker playing possum, and he gets Lesnar into the Hells Gate. Lesnar picks him up though and delivers a powerbomb. Hells Gate again but a more convincing powerbomb this time by Lesnar. Now its time for the Kimura Lock by Lesnar. Reversed and now Taker has Lesnar in the hold. Brock crawls to the rope. I don’t like to compare matches but this is beginning to remind me of Cena/Rock where it turned into a finisher fest of sorts. Also, for future reference JBL saying “Can you imagine ____ tapping out?” only makes people realise he’s not going to tap out. He does that too often for my liking.
Undertaker in control and going for Old School. Reversed and caught by Lesnar! A second F5! Only gets a two though. Brock hits two German suplexes, another favourite of mine.
Heyman: “This is your destiny.” “He’s taking this away from you!!” Love Heyman, best heel in the business.
Lesnar has Taker in the corner, on the second rope hitting punches. Taker catches him in a Last Ride though. Looked a bit sloppy. Taker lifts him up for the Tombstone… and he hits it. But Lesnar kicks out at 2! Heyman has a huge grin on his face. Undertaker sits up. How is this going to end. Undertaker lifts him up again but Lesnae reverses and F5!!!! 1….2….3!!!!! Oh my goodness! Lesnar beat the Streak!!! Undertaker lost! And the crowd is in disbelief! It’s practically silent in the Superdome. There’s confusion on everyone’s face. I can’t believe it either. 21-1. It’s over. It had to happen one day, because Taker is such an old-pro he would want to put someone over as he went out, but to Lesnar? I don’t think anyone would have called it. The ageing part-timer ends the Streak. I guess Taker’s body just couldn’t take anymore. Huge moment at Wrestlemania, possibly the biggest shock in professional wrestling this century.
Taker eventually sits up. The crowd are still in shock but finally a “Thank you Taker” chant begins. One of the greatest of all time no doubt, just seems a shame to go out in such a mediocre match, and not even last on the card!
Winner: Brock Lesnar hits a third F5 and pins Undertaker clean in the middle of the ring to end the Streak
Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational Match for the Divas Championship
After that result I feel sorry for the Divas. They are being fed to a gang of angry rabid wolves.
Everyone gangs up on Tamina and AJ Lee as the crowd chant for Undertaker. Lots of suplexes at the same time and everyone pins each other. The ref decides to count the pin(s) with two hands for some reason. Everyone kicks out. Emma finally gets the crowd going, admittedly only a little. She hits a crossbody in the corner which leads to practically all the Divas getting hit by each others finishers. Tamina’s superkick is the most impressive. AJ is knocked off the apron, she’s barely been in the match. Double suicide dive by the Bellas on to everyone, before they argue with each other and Nicki hits Brie with her finisher. It’s broken up before she can hit the pin. Samoan drop by Tamina onto Natalya, and she climbs on the top rope only to be pushed off by Naomi. Aksana joins her, goes for a superplex, Natalya joins in and it ends up being a powerbomb and a superplex which is pretty cool. Tamina drags Natalya off the cover but is duly clotheslined by her. AJ delivers a dropkick keeping Natalya out the ring and locks in the Black Widow on Naomi. She taps. It sort of looks like AJ manipulated Naomi’s hand into tapping, but the announcers don’t comment on it.
Winner: AJ Lee
Not too bad considering the poor quality of women’s matches since Trish, Lita and Mickie James left. It suffered greatly because of what came before it.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Randy Orton (c) vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan
We begin with Orton’s entrance. He gets a live performance of his theme song which is average. Next up is Batista, who gets more boos than Orton. Randy has not been the best champion, and I can’t begin to imagine how poorly the match would have been received had it been Orton vs Batista. Bryan enters but the pop is not as loud as previous. People are definitely still in shock.
The match begins and Bryan hits a dropkick on Orton and a hurricarana on Batista. Soon enough, Batista is in charge though, bouncing Orton’s head of the announcer’s table. We now live in a post-Streak world and so anything can happen. It feels like people are much less sure that Bryan will win now. But surely he has too, it would be the perfect ending to the story.
Batista remains in control of Orton, tries a powerbomb onto the steel steps, but Orton flips him over. First cool spot of the match. Orton beats on Batista as Bryan is still out of the ring. Okay Bryan is back! Huge double missile dropkick from the top rope takes both men out. He delivers kicks to both until Orton catches him and hits a suplex. Nobody is able to build any real momentum until Bryan gets Orton and Batista in the corner and hits mulitple dropkicks.
Each men hit some offence with Orton delivering a superplex on Batista, and then Bryan hitting a flying headbutt out of nowhere. He gets Orton in the Yes Lock but HHH and Stephanie are here! HHH drags the ref out of the ring. The crowd wakes up. Batista hits a spinebuster and a Batista Bomb. HHH brings in Scott Armstrong to referee and Bryan kicks out! The crowd erupt into a Yes chant. Bryan sidesteps a spear and kicks Armstrong out of the match, before delivering a suicide dive to HHH, Stephanie and Armstrong. Awesome. YES!
HHH is not happy though and he grabs a sledgehammer. Bryan kicks him though and delivers a shot to the head of the Game with the sledgehammer! He rolls up Batista but Orton breaks it up. He begins to beat on Bryan outside the ring as the audience break out into a “This is Awesome!” chant. The Authority are escorted away as Batista and Orton work together to beat on Bryan, pummeling him with the steel steps. Randy and Dave decide to rip two table apart, as the crowd shout “No”. Batista bashes Bryan in the head with a monitor. A thunderous CM Punk chant breaks out but he’s not coming. Batista pulls Bryan onto the table, picks him up for the Batista Bomb and throws him to Orton into an RKO through the table! That was immense!! Both Bryan and Orton are down and blood rushes from Orton’s back. It looks like he landed on the edge of a monitor, which must have hurt! Medical help arrives and begins to put Bryan on a stretcher, whilst Batista and Orton fight on.
Bryan fights off the stretcher! The crowd loves it. But Orton throws him into the steel steps. That was a short lived revival. Orton lines up the RKO but reversed into the YES lock. Batista saves it but now he’s caught in the YES lock! This time Orton saves it. Batista goes for the spear, Orton dodges and he hits Bryan! Batista turns and gets hit with an RKO!!! Cover… 1….2…Kick out at two and three quarters! That got the fans (me included) genuinely worried. Like I said, post-Streak anything can happen. Orton looking for the punt but Bryan with the knee. Batista throws Bryan out but he can only get a two on Orton! First time anyone has kicked out of the knee I believe. Now Batista hits the Batista Bomb on Orton but out of nowhere its Bryan with another knee, this time to Batista! He’s got Batista in the YES lock and….. he taps out! Bryan wins. Finally he gets the gold, after months of heartbreak for his fans. As the confetti falls in the Superdome you can’t help feel that this is a Wrestlemania moment for the ages. Great performances by Bryan for as long as I can remember have finally paid off and he has his time! Wonderful feelgood moment.
Winner: Daniel Bryan makes Batista tap out to the YES Lock and becomes the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion!
I wrote this analysis live last night during Wrestlemania 30 but I didn’t want to post it without adding a concluding thought. That thought however had to wait till this morning since it was 4am in the UK. On social media there has been talk of this being one of the best Wrestlemanias ever. I think this is an overexaggeration but there’s no doubt from start to finish it was a solid show. The card was not overcrowded which allowed matches like Wyatt vs Cena to breath, and they put on a very effective match. The battle royale also benefited from that and it was great to see the birth of a star in Cesaro. After last year’s extremely predictable show, the WWE threw in some major twists this year, and even though most fans were certain Bryan would end up victorious, we never knew quite how that might happen until we saw it live. The controversial moment of, not just this show, but the 30 year history of Wrestlemania, will no doubt be Brock Lesnar’s victory over Undertaker. Since last night I’ve watched the match again and it still shocks me, even though I now know the result. Is it a good or bad thing? Well as fans we always beg for one more match, but Undertaker looked like he was struggling last night and so maybe it was best he end it there. However, he lost it to Brock Lesnar, a man who left the company to pursue other hobbies and it seems only returned because of the giant paycheck he received. It seemed as if he would fight the Rock at Mania until a few months ago, which means in essence breaking the streak was a second choice. A back up plan in a way. Many fans are no doubt going to feel angered by this, maybe even robbed.
Personally I’m interested to see where it goes from here. Will he show up more often now he is a legend of the sport? Will he may be challenge for the title now? Really what else is there for him to do other than go for the gold? Notice that Bryan defeated Batista not Orton so Orton will I assume be wanting a rematch soon. Will that be his first feud since becoming champion? Or will Brock challenge him now? And more importantly, who will win if they book a match between Lesnar and Bryan? Thinking about it in reality you would say Lesnar (much like Lesnar/Punk), the man who broke the Streak. But how could they put Bryan through all that just to drop it straight away? I’m sure we will get some answers to what’s next tonight on Monday Night Raw, but as always we are likely to get more questions than answers.
As for the show, the Shield’s match was too short, and the actual match between Lesnar and Taker wasn’t particularly interesting until the finale, but everything else was good to great so I’d give this show a solid 8 of out 10.
Thanks for reading!