WWE WrestleMania 30 Summary Review And Results
WrestleMania 30 was meant to be Daniel Bryan’s big night, he was meant to be the story of the show….
WrestleMania 30 was meant to be Daniel Bryan’s big night, he was meant to be the story of the show. But as it turned out, WrestleMania 30 won’t be first and foremost remembered for Bryan’s big achievements. Despite the YES movement leader beating Triple H and going on to win the WWE Title, he was the secondary consideration on all wrestling fans minds this Monday morning.
That’s because the unthinkable happened in New Orleans last night, The Undertaker lost at WrestleMania. After 21 years of victories, Undertaker was pinned cleanly by Brock Lesnar. The biggest pro-wrestling story of this decade had occurred. That will now be the lasting legacy of Mania 30, the first thing we think of when we reminisce about the event. It was one of those wrestling moments which just transcends the normal parameters of our experience watching WWE. Even now the surreal notion of Undertaker being 21 and 1 at WrestleMania is taking time to sink in.
Looking beyond Mania 30’s legacy as the night the Undertaker lost, just how did this event stack up?
Overall, the judgement has been average to positive. Certainly the matches failed to fully electrify with the exception of Hunter vs Bryan. However, the impact spots were all so good that the lasting impression left was a good one. From Hogan / Rock / Austin opening the show, Bryan’s victory over Triple H, Cesaro’s lifting of the Big Show, Taker’s shock and Bryan’s final victory — all the big moments were sufficient enough to leave a satisfying verdict.
From a purist pro-wrestling point of view it wasn’t so hot. The six man Shield match was so brief it could have been a Raw angle. The Diva invitational was a clustered mess with zero meaning. The Andre Battle Royal had various guys trying their hardest, but if it hadn’t been for Cesaro’s win by lifting Big Show out of the ring, it would have been totally forgettable. Sure, Kofi had a cool spot landing on the steps after being thrown out of the ring, and the Cesaro swing was great, but this was another contest which would be just as home on Raw. WWE’s challenge this year with the Network is to stop producing PPV’s which equate to ‘Sunday Night Raw’, we must see much better content on the big events.
As for Bray Wyatt vs John Cena, they tried too hard. It was so un-natural and the chemistry wasn’t there. Both could have been used much better in other roles on this show. Cena in particular would have been a so much more compelling streak match for Undertaker, imagine the reaction if had been Cena who ended the streak. Instead the 11 time WWE Champion had to make do with a win over Bray Wyatt in the mid card.
The Undertaker match itself was poor. This may have been down to the reported injury Taker picked up early on, but just as likely is the fact Taker is limited in his ability at 49 and Brock Lesnar wasn’t the man to help him through proceedings. Some of the work was ok and the suplexes were good, but fans never really got invested in the match due to the plodding ring work. The finish ended up stealing the show regardless. To see Undertaker pinned by Lesnar is an experience that can’t be put into the words. That feeling of watching live and something so hugely unlikely happening was something we may never get to this extent again in our lifetime. It took 22 years to build that moment.
Did WWE waste it on Brock Lesnar? Time will answer that question. There’s a lot of upside to ending the streak and investing a push in Lesnar. This is the man who would do a million PPV buys a show for the UFC. However, if WWE don’t follow up with something huge for Brock this next year, the Taker streak sacrifice will be viewed as one of the great travesties of all time. At the end of the day though, Undertaker was probably physically done, he was doing the right thing by putting over someone on the way out.
The wrestling highlight of the show was Bryan vs Triple H. It was the finest wrestling match of the year so far, everything they did had meaning and contributed to the story they told. As the intensity progressed we saw some of the sickest suplexes and strikes you could hope for if you enjoy a hard hitting style. Bryan winning was undoubtedly the right thing and that led to his title winning performance in the main event. The title match was a slow starter but got great by the end. The image of Bryan being Batista bombed and RKO’d at the same time was particularly awesome. It looked like Orton landed badly on that fall and cut his back on a monitor, literally putting his body on the line.
The finish in which Bryan made Batista tap to the Yes lock was popular with the crowd. We got the scenes we had all wanted for so long, Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion. The 75,000 in New Orleans gave him the reaction he deserved to end the night with a feel-good moment which has probably influenced over-riding positive views of the event in general.
As a whole, it has to be judged a successful night. Seeing Hogan, Austin and Rock tear it up on the microphone was also very, very, much a mark out moment. As a lifelong WWE fan I felt very happy with my overall experience of the event. In terms of the mainstream audience it seemed to resonate well too. This marked the first WrestleMania my girlfriend didn’t fall asleep in, which as a litmus test for the non-WWE fan perspective suggests this was a wholly entertaining show. The Undertaker loss seemed to be the catalyst for engaging everyone into the show as something special. It was the kind of moment which grabbed you and wouldn’t let go. Even now it is still on all our minds and has became a mainstream news story.
That’s what WrestleMania 30 was all about. The end of an era. All the big moments were perfect in making a memorable night, but nothing will ever be quite as monumental as seeing a 21 year winning streak end in a shocking loss. A good show which will be remembered as the conclusion of WWE’s greatest ever long term gimmick.
Results, times, % ratings -
Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) Singles match for the third spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat match 25:56 90%
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) defeated Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) Six-man tag team match 2:57 30%
Cesaro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal by last eliminating Big Show for the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy 12:47 60%
John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) Singles match 23:00 65%
Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated The Undertaker Singles match 25:25 70%
AJ Lee (c) won the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational after making Naomi submit, 14-Diva single-fall match for the WWE Divas Championship 6:48 10%
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton (c) and Batista by submission Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship 23:23 75%