Paul’s WrestleMania 30 Review

Pre-Show Tag Team Championship Fatal Fourway

This match was a little too much of fast paced awesomeness not to be included on the main show. They pulled no punches from the beginning, Los Matadores were the first to be eliminated after making their impression on the match with some high flying, over the top rope shenanigans. From the Rybaxel end Ryback got in most of the offense for that team, getting in some decent offense before being eliminated second.

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Here is where the match got interesting, the crowd was both firmly behind The USOs and Cesaro. The two remaining teams had an impressive chant off before going at it for the finish. These two teams have had great chemistry in working together so it was the perfect way to end it. We were deprived of the famed Cesaro swing in the actual match, the proceedings ended with The USO’s retaining the titles. Glad we get to see more of the USO’s as champs, they are definitely charismatic.

Opening Segment: Hulk Hogan – Host of WrestleMania 30

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Hulk Hogan comes out to a reaction worthy of his Hulkness. As I watched him walk down the ramp I acknowledged that it was awesome seeing him on Raw the last few weeks…but seeing the man at WrestleMania, the event he helped build will always be something special. Hogan hit the mic with his usual shtick, reminiscing about WrestleMania’s past, and lovingly mistaking the venue that they were currently in. The crowd took it in stride and Hulk was able to make fun of himself. Shortly after, a familiar sound…GLASS SHATTERS. Stone Cold makes his return, salutes the crowd, and in a cool moment stares down Hogan like he was about to open up a can of whoop ass. Steve does some reminiscing of his own and give Hulk his props on everything he’s down for the business. Shortly after, IF YA SMELLL…The Rock makes his way down to the ring.

Now these three have been in the same ring before in 2002 as Rock and Austin were battling the NWO, but this was the grandest stage of them all and these guys are three biggest icons to ever grace the business. Both Rock and Austin made fun of Hogan for his “silverdome” flub and Hogan took it in stride and that added a natural feel to the segment. It was an amazing way to open the show and the waves of nostalgia drowned my happy ass.

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H

Stephanie McMahon introduces her husband to the ring, who graces us with an entrance that started with him looking like Super Shredder bathed in gold. Once Daniel Bryan was in the ring I was digging the psychology, Triple H smirked away, he wasn’t taking Bryan seriously. Pretty quickly HHH found that to be a mistake, this match was back and forth and Bryan looked like a million bucks. He was proving to the world he deserved to be in the ring with the likes of Triple H. HHH worked the angle of focusing on Daniel’s injured shoulder throughout the whole match. In the end, Daniel Bryan DEFEATED Triple H. At first, I was taken aback by the abrupt knee and the seemingly out of nowhere ending to the match. The match was great, both men looking strong.

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After the match, Triple H attacked Daniel Bryan to further injure Bryan for his second match later in the night. Booking 101 and it still works to create amazing drama.

The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws

A squash match that quite honestly should have been the pre-show match. I keep hearing Roman Reigns is being looked at by the brass as one of the next big stars of the company, if so they should have given this match and Reigns some more time to shine than they did. The match ended with a pretty impressive double powerbomb that the New Age Outlaws suffered. Quick match, and I expected more from a match featuring The Shield. But it was a great finish, so I still love ya WWE.

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Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal:

I have to see, this battle royal had a lot more memorable moments than I thought we’d be treated to. Quick eliminations throughout, and I was surprised to see The Miz eliminated early on by Santino Marella. That said, HIGHLIGHT #1: An amazing Kofi Kingston spot that saw him nearly eliminated over the top turn buckle, taking a tumble down the steps with his feet never touching the floor. HIGHLIGHT #2: An impressive showing from Fandango that warranted a quick returned of the famed Fandango dance. HIGHLIGHT #3: A cool elimination in which Sheamus hit Fandango with numerous body shots, followed by a simple push off the apron. ULTIMATE HIGHLIGHT: The final two came down to Cesaro and The Big Show, they had a great back and forth and it looked like Big Show had it in the bag. Then out of nowhere, in a move that was reminiscent of the classic Hogan body slam on Andre the Giant, Cesaro body slams Big Show over the top rope in a move that would have made Andre proud. The crowd is firmly behind this guy, and it was a well deserved WrestleMania moment. Looking forward to a lot more from Cesaro. WE’RE YOUR PEOPLE!!!

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John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

I am amazed by Bray Wyatt, this man has amazing in ring psychology and he is really coming into his own physically in the ring in my humble opinion. This match told a story, it was dedicated to Bray trying to get John Cena to “unleash the monster.” In some great psychology work from Cena, he made some moves in the match that said he was close to doing so. Bray was extremely physical, getting in most of the offense. In an amazing moment in which Cena got some offense in and was going for the five knuckle shuffle, Bray stopped Cena right in his tracks by creepily popping up in his spider pose. Definitely a moment to remember.

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Ultimately Cena overcame all odds and defeated Wyatt. I would have gone for the opposite outcome, but it can’t be denied that Cena helped Bray look like a superstar tonight, and the reverse holds true too. It’s a collaborative effort. Something tells me this feud is not yet over, and if I am right I am looking forward to seeing how this saga develops. A great match, with even better storytelling. Bravo to both men.

PS, the live performance of the Wyatt Family’s theme was one of the best live theme performances I’ve seen. Well done.

WWE Hall of Fame 2014 Class Presentation

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This is a small segment but a tradition on the night of WrestleMania, to present the Hall of Fame class of the year to the masses that came to see WrestleMania. I felt the need to give my praise to this particular segment tonight because of what this class means to us at the site. We have been following the progress Jake the Snake Roberts and Scott Hall have been making in their personal lives recently. Seeing how far they’ve come, and that all that work culminated in making it this event vibrant and healthy is nothing short of a miracle. The only thing that would have made this lineup of Hall of Fame inductees even better would have been for Ultimate Warrior to haul ass down to the ring, but I feel those days are over. In any event, I was moved to man tears.

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

This will be a moment that will no doubt be talked about and debated over for years to come. Over the last five years Taker has had classic WrestleMania streak matches that many consider to be the best of all time. The Undertaker is getting on in years, and that showed in tonight’s match. This match with Lesnar was much slower paced than Taker’s matches with Michaels, HHH, and even Punk. Both men took their time, much of the match was mat based. You could see it Taker’s body language and facial expressions that he didn’t have much left in him for most of the match. The proceedings had a bunch of the trademarks of Taker’s as far as the false finishers go, Taker hit a chokeslam Lesnar escaped from and Taker survived two f5’s.

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Then, in a finish that stunned the WWE universe, after a third F5 Brock Lesnar scored a victory over The Undertaker making it 21-1. The faces of the fans in attendance, especially one, tells a better story than I ever could. I could go back and forth on whether Brock Lesnar ending the streak was the right move to make, but in the end I have a feeling the decision lies with Taker alone, and there was a reason he wanted it this way. A couple years ago, a video hit the scene of Taker visiting a UFC event in which Brock Lesnar was a part of. A short confrontation between the two simply consisted of Taker asking Lesnar, “you wanna do it?” Do we now know what The Undertaker meant. If I’m being honest, if this was Undertaker’s last match…I wish he would have made the call after 20-0 with Triple H. That match was emotional and classic, tonight just left me bewildered. That said, if it was Taker’s last match he has left a legacy that will never be matched, streak in tact or no.

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Vickie Guerrero’s Divas Championship Invitational

Concentrating on the Divas battle royal was a task after what transpired with Taker. But I saw enough of this match to notice that we really do have a talented batch of divas these days. I am glad AJ Lee left this match with the victory as she is one of the most entertaining divas we’ve had in a long time. I made the prediction that Tamina would walk away with the victory here, alas I was wrong. I am hoping for an entertaining feud between AJ Lee and Tamina to move the divas division forward.

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WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan

At the risk of being redundant, this match had to REALLY deliver after Taker’s defeat…in more ways than one. I am happy to say it did in spades. The energy, and suspense of this match reminded me of main events of old. They definitely took advantage of the no holds barred stipulation here, Orton and Batista worked together much of the much to neutralize Bryan: One spot that had to do with a table, a Batista bomb, and an RKO was especially memorable. HHH came down for a bit to oppose Bryan, but he overcame those odds and sent HHH and Steph back to the locker room with a few bruised to remember. Halfway through the match after the aforementioned table spot took place, Bryan was injured and was put on a stretcher to be wheeled out of the match, he would have none of that.

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After more battling, Daniel Bryan won the title via submission (Batista was the victim). This was the obvious way to go for Orton to naturally come out to say he wasn’t beat tomorrow night on Raw to set up Extreme Rules. YES! YES! YES! Bryan gets his day! This was a well done storyline from beginning to end, slow burning, worth the wait. I wonder if there will end up being any truth to what Triple H said in the coming months. Everyone loves an underdog, assuming they give Bryan a lengthy rein, his underdog days are over for a while. Will his popularity fizzle? If it does, I believe it will take a while. The fans have been given what they wanted. Bryan has been given a chance to pick up the ball and run with it. This was a feel good moment at WrestleMania that I haven’t felt in a while. I have been honored to witness it. I am intrigued by where the storylines will go from here. As my good friend Marcey put it, WrestleMania 30 was a game changer.

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OVERALL PPV RATING: 8 OUT OF 10

Review written by Paul Huffman

 

 

 

 

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