Twenty four hours or so before this writing, Wrestlemania 30 was just kicking off. There were so many questions. Would Triple H’s ego allow him to truly do what’s best for business? What would happen with The Undertaker’s streak at stake against Brock Lesnar? Would the Divas match be long enough for a bathroom and snack break? And now it’s all had time to sink in. Now here’s my take on a few things…
1)The opening segment was a huge hotshot move, and I like it! The top three WWE icons from the last thirty years, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock, all in one ring, at one time, was amazing. Hogan seemed a bit nervous, or at least unfocused, referring to the Superdome as the Silverdome several times. The Rock picked it up, and it was actually a funny part of the segment. There was one person missing however, and that would be Nature Boy Ric Flair. I guess he is not perceived as a McMahon creation, so
he doesn’t get the invite.
2) Was anybody else surprised when Cesaro took the fall during the 4 way tag match? I was not shocked that The Real Americans did not win, but with Cesaro in line for a major push (or so we’ve been lead to believe), I would have expected Swagger to take the fall, then blame Cesaro. (More on Cesaro in a bit…)
3) Triple H loses clean to Daniel Bryan. I know, this is how the story was supposed to go, but when you have an ego the size of Trip’s nose, it sometimes causes you to lose focus. I figured Bryan would win but in some sort of tainted manner. The clean win means so much more, and for that matter, I’m sure Trip will pat himself on the back for years to come, claiming his role in making Daniel Bryan a star.
4) The Shield needs to stay together a bit longer. Even when you think they’re over as much as they can be, these guys somehow gain more traction with every show. The fact that they squashed Corporate Kane and The Old Age Outlaws says a lot too. Roman Reigns is WWE’s choice for the mega push of the three, but in reality, all three should be around for many years to come, holding high positions on the card. I’m not sure it’s time to break them up though. I really wouldn’t have a problem with them staying together working tag and singles matches. Hell, The Fabulous Freebirds did it for years.
5) Bathroom break #1 aka the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal actually served a great purpose, giving Cesaro his Wrestlemania moment. We were told throughout the broadcast that The Big Show was the odds on favorite, almost to the point where you couldn’t imagine him not winning. But then it came down to Show and Cesaro. Cesaro hoists Show up, as if he were setting up a bodyslam, then throws him over the top rope. Great moment for another long term star of the future. The Battle Royal makes sense.
6) Everybody talks about The Undertaker’s 21-0 streak, but with the Battle Royal, you had to be wondering what Kofi Kingston was going to do to continue his streak of avoiding eliminations at Royal Rumbles/Battle Royals. Well, this time he avoided his first potential elimination by having his feet hit the ring steps and not the floor. I LOVE THIS STREAK.
7) The John Cena-Bray Wyatt match told an incredible story, one which is far from over. Some complain about Cena going over, but I must ask, is it really Cena who went over, or was it truly Bray Wyatt? Reaction to this match, not unlike the match for the streak (more on that later…), proves how fans today just don’t want to have fun anymore. I’ve been told that Wyatt jobbed, Cena is still the WWE’s poster boy who won’t lose, etc. I strongly disagree. Any true wrestling fan sees this match for what it is. Bray Wyatt got inside John Cena’s head, causing the clean cut super hero to question himself and his character. And Cena did just as good a job as Wyatt, with his facial expressions while battling the inner demons which were trying to come out of hiding. It was a bigger victory for Bray, despite losing the contest. This feud has long legs. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
8) The streak is over! I, like many others, was not too happy with Brock Lesnar being the man to do it. I would have preferred CM Punk last year, or one of the other young guns, but it was pretty much Undertaker’s call. Seeing as Taker is a big MMA fan, I would not doubt if losing to an accomplished MMA fighter wasn’t by design. It makes the streak seem more legit. This also cements Paul Heyman as the dangerous, evil genius, who cannot be under estimated. As for the match, to be honest, I did not love it. Undertaker did not look to be in his best shape (and at his age, who would expect him to be), and the build up leading to this match was weak.
9) Daniel Bryan gets the win, and in my eyes, this match was a clear display of how the WWE’s fan base has evolved. Randy Orton is still on top of his game, but weak booking over the last couple years has tarnished his character a bit. At one point, when he and Daniel Bryan went through the announcers’ table, Orton hit his back hard on one of the monitors. I thought he was legitimately done (I was wrong). Batista’s style just doesn’t translate to today’s audience. It’s a milder version of when Ultimate Warrior came back to WCW, was over for about a week, then nobody cared anymore. Eight years ago, chanting, Let’s Go Dragon” at ROH shows in Lake Grove, Long Island, I knew he was possibly the best wrestler in the world, but I wouldn’t have bet you fifty cents that he’d be on top in WWE right now. Bryan is a big money player. YES! YES! YES!
10) WWE’s transitional phase is no longer a phase. The young talent is here, and they’re more than ready. Not only is the in ring talent level at a very high level, so are the characters. Yes, ROH and DGUSA fans, characters sell just as much if not more than in ring work level, otherwise everybody would not have been marking out for Ultimate Warrior over the last few weeks. Fortunately, for the most part, these young superstars have a good balance of both. We are watching the growth of the stars the next generation of WWE fans will worship. The roster is stacked, deeper than anytime in recent memory. These are awesome times. The King coined it perfectly, YESTLEMANIA!