Wrestlemania Count-Up – Wrestlemania XXX (2015 Redo): YES!

Wrestlemania XXX
Date: April 6, 2014
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 75,167
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

I haven’t watched this match since I saw it the day after seeing it live in the Superdome last year. This show received rave reviews at the time (including from me) and it’s going to be interesting to see how it holds up a year later. Granted, given how this year’s Wrestlemania has been built up, anything is going to seem like a classic. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Real Americans vs. Los Matadores vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Under elimination rules and the Usos are defending as part of the TWO HOUR preshow. I remember when these things were thirty minutes but that’s the age we live in I guess. These entrances show you how many different paths people can take. Cesaro is in the same place but with a title, Los Matadores are in the exact same spot, the Usos are in the same match minus the belts, Ryback is rebuilding and Curtis Axel got to confront Hulk Hogan on the go home Raw for Wrestlemania. That last part still makes my head shake.

Axel and Jey get things going with the champ grabbing a headlock. The fans chant WE THE PEOPLE as JBL says Colter is the greatest war hero in Louisiana since Andrew “Stonewall” Jackson in 1814. History geeks around the world are shaking their heads (Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was a Civil War general who wasn’t born until 1824. JBL meant President Andrew “Not A Stonewall” Jackson) as Jey and Axel chop it out. The Real Americans bail to the floor to avoid a tag attempt and Axel drops Jey with a dropkick.

Off to Ryback for some hard shots but Diego tags himself in to go after Jey. The Usos make a tag and it’s Jimmy vs. Diego but they stop for an OLE! Fernando tags himself in for a dropkick to go with his cousin’s legsweep for two on Jimmy. Cesaro tags Jimmy for the biggest pop of the night so far (that might change) and hammers away before bringing in Swagger for a running clothesline. A springboard back elbow scores for Fernando and, amazingly enough, no one cares.

Both Real Americans are sent to the floor with Ryback and the Usos being thrown on top of them so Los Matadores can dive on everyone. Torito gets on the top but Axel grabs him from behind and throws him inside. Axel goes up but Los Matadores catch him in a double electric chair, allowing Torito to cross body him down onto the big pile for a crash. Back in and Swagger throws Diego off the top and puts on the Patriot Lock for the submission elimination.

Jimmy comes in and jack Jack’s jaw but he gets caught in the Patriot Lock as well, only to have Jimmy roll out in a hurry. Axel tags himself in and stomps on the champ before it’s off to Ryback for a delayed vertical. Axel and Ryback take turns on Jimmy in the corner until Ryback slaps on a chinlock. That goes nowhere until Jimmy fights up and makes the tag to Jey as house is cleaned. The running Umaga Attack staggers Axel but Jack breaks up a charge with a belly to belly.

Ryback plants Swagger with a spinebuster but Cesaro breaks up the Shell Shock. The Meat Hook is blocked by Swiss Death and the Neutralizer eliminates Ryback to send the fans into a frenzy. We’re down to the Usos vs. the Real Americans, which is pretty much what everyone was expecting in the first place. The Usos send them to the floor for a big double dive, leaving all four on the outside.

Back in and Cesaro gets two off a backbreaker to Jey but the Swing doesn’t work. Instead it’s off to Jimmy but Swagger comes in off a hot tag, only to have Jey hit a Whisper in the Wind for two. Swagger, with a bloody arm, blocks the running Umaga Attack with the Patriot Lock but Jimmy breaks it up with a superkick, only to walk into Swiss Death. Cesaro and Jimmy get tags but the Americans are whipped into each other, setting up a double superkick to Cesaro, followed by the double Superfly Splash to retain the titles.

Rating: B. This was the perfect way to open a show as the fans are now way into things. It’s a pretty meaningless match, proven if nothing else by how similar this year’s pre-show match will be. At the end of the day, that’s the benefit of a multi-team tag match: let the fans get fired up and have a great time while not wasting anything of note. It’s another reason I’m amazed by how little tag wrestling is used. You can use it for something like this but for some reason it’s almost never done.

Post match Swagger and Cesaro go at it with Jack putting on the Patriot Lock as Colter loses his mind. They break it up but Cesaro Swings him to blow the roof off the place again.

The opening video is set in the streets of New Orleans with a jazz band playing. There’s a great opening line of “A good time occurs when we forget what time it is, and man have we lost track of time.” Wrestlers fill up the streets for something like a Mardi Gras parade with shots of famous Wrestlemania entrances, such as Shawn at XII and Heenan/Andre at III, superimposed over the streets. It’s a REALLY cool video and fits the theme of how big a night this really is.

There’s something so amazing looking about the sea of people in the Superdome to watch the show.

We open big with the special host Hulk Hogan, which is really the only way to open a major anniversary Wrestlemania. First line: “Well let me tell you something brother!” Oh yeah he’s got us in the palm of his hand and he knows it. He was there at Wrestlemania I in Madison Square Garden but now it’s thirty years later at Wrestlemania XXX, right here in the Silverdome. I thought he flubbed that line on purpose and I still think it now. Think about it: how many times has that been referenced since, meaning people keep thinking of Hogan? There’s nothing wrong with it if it’s true but I’m almost certain he did it intentionally.

Hogan talks about how there are Wrestlemania moments and surprises, and you never know when one of those moments is going to happen…….CUE GLASS SHATTER! I’ve been to a lot of wrestling shows in my day and I’ve never freaked out more than hearing that sound. That was the moment when you knew you were in for something very, very special that night.

Austin hits all four corners and you can tell he’s fired up to be here. He says it’s good to be back here at the Silverdome and asks if the fans want to see him open a can on Hogan. They were sitting next to each other at the Hall of Fame and Austin has seen every thing Hogan has done over the years, from Wrestlemania I (WHAT!) through Wrestlemania X (which Hogan wasn’t at). Austin appreciates all of Hogan’s accomplishments in this business and shakes his hand. He talks about how tonight is about the current stars…..and here’s the Rock.

After taking his sweet time getting to the ring, Rock and Austin hug for old times’ sake. Fans: “THIS IS AWESOME!” Rock says all five of his senses are on fire and FINALLY he has come back……to the SUPERdome! He looks across the ring and sees the two biggest names in the history of the WWE and he’s had the privilege of facing both of them at Wrestlemania.

They’ve had a huge impact on his career and on everyone’s in the back as well. Tonight Cena is coming out here to fight for hustle, loyalty and respect, but he doesn’t do that if no one told him to say his prayers and take his vitamins 29 years ago. Tonight someone is fighting against the Authority (pause for a YES chant) but that doesn’t happen unless a bald headed SOB didn’t have the guts to fight against the boss.

Rock wants to know why so many babies are born just nine months after Wrestlemania? They’re Rock Babies! Rock gives us a great rhyme about the history of Wrestlemania with the final line saying that everyone else would have lost to the three of them (look it up because just reading it doesn’t do it justice). Everyone hits their catchphrases, beer is consumed and all three songs are played. JBL: “My life is complete.”

Overall Rating: A+. Well that was…..oh dang we’ve got three and a half hours to go. I had my money’s worth right here already.

We get the AWESOME recap video for HHH vs. Daniel Bryan. If there’s one thing this show got right (and there are about a hundred of them), it’s the big recap videos. This is set to Monster by Imagine Dragons and shows Bryan going from an NXT rookie up to the US Champion and then into the main event.

At Summerslam 2013, Bryan pinned John Cena completely clean but guest referee HHH knocked him out so Orton could cash in Money in the Bank. HHH didn’t want Bryan as the face of WWE because he didn’t fit the mold, but Bryan spent the next several months trying to prove himself and get the title back. Eventually Bryan wanted a match with HHH but couldn’t get the boss to agree. With nothing else left, Bryan took Raw hostage and forced HHH to agree to let them have a match here at Wrestlemania. The winner is put into the World Title match main event.

Stephanie, showing so much leg that Stacy Keibler would tell her to tone it down, introduces HHH. Naturally HHH has a golden throne with three good looking women (played by NXT girls Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss) to take off his mask and armor. To be fair, this is pretty cool.

HHH vs. Daniel Bryan

Winner goes to the main event title match. For some reason, Bryan’s entrance is never actually announced, likely due to not being able to hear the announcer over the INSANE YES chants. Cole says this is a mismatch on paper, even though Bryan is a multiple time World Champion coming in. HHH would be the heavy favorite but it’s not that big. Bryan is coming in with a bad shoulder after HHH attacked it a few weeks back on Raw. Stephanie kisses HHH for an awesome heel moment.

We start with a long staredown as the fans are about 300% behind Bryan. HHH’s offer of a handshake is kicked away and Bryan gets a quick rollup for two. That would be one heck of a way to open the show. The threat of a big kick sends HHH outside but he comes back in to go after the arm. Bryan flips out and hits a dropkick to the ribs before taking him down with a headlock. Stephanie: “COME ON BABY!” They hit the mat for a nice technical sequence until HHH takes him into the corner and wraps the bad arm around the ropes.

Bryan escapes an attempt at sending his arm into the post before hitting a running tornado DDT off the apron to the floor. As HHH gets up, Bryan dives off the top for a big flip dive and Stephanie is losing it. She shouts that Bryan is a B+ at best as HHH crotches him on the top, followed by a running forearm to put Bryan on the floor. It’s time for the announcer’s table but Bryan fights out of the Pedigree attempt, only to have HHH grab the arm and drive it into the table.

Back in again and HHH puts on an armbar as JBL shouts about how brilliant this is. He really needs to figure out proper tone. Bryan is able to low bridge HHH to the floor but a right hand stops the Flying Goat. Something like a belly to back suplex on the apron drops Bryan’s arm on the apron again and he has to beat the count back in. HHH channels his inner Backlund for a crossface chicken wing before putting on a regular Crossface to make Benoit scream even more.

Bryan finally makes the rope and nails a running forearm to knock some of the smile off of Stephanie’s face. The moonsault out of the corner doesn’t work but Bryan uses a standing switch for some rolling Germans for rolling near falls. HHH reverses back into another chicken wing attempt before settling for a tiger suplex. They head up top for a superplex but Bryan reverses into a sunset bomb to put both guys down. Bryan starts shaking his head as he gets up for the running dropkicks in the corner, only to have HHH nail a running clothesline to stop the third. Stephanie LOSES IT on the floor in celebration.

The Pedigree is countered into a jackknife for two before the big kick knocks HHH silly. Back to the Crossface but HHH can only grab across Bryan’s forehead. Bryan rolls away but gets caught in the middle of the ring ala the ending of Wrestlemania XX. Another roll lets Bryan counter into the YES Lock but again the grip isn’t perfect. HHH finally makes the ropes and you can see Stephanie breathe a sigh of relief. She’s gone from all confident to having to sweat over this match.

HHH bails to the floor but Bryan gets up for two straight Flying Goats, followed by a series of kicks to the chest as they hit another gear. The missile dropkick puts HHH down but Daniel lands on his shoulder. He nips up though and the fans are right back into it. JBL is starting to panic as well as Bryan busts out the YES Kicks. The big one knocks HHH down but he kicks out at two. This is reaching epic.

Bryan sets up the running knee but it’s countered into a spinebuster, followed by the Pedigree for two, sending Stephanie into shock. HHH puts him in the corner for more right hands but is smart enough to break at four. Another Pedigree attempt is countered into a backdrop for two but HHH doesn’t let go of the grip. Bryan won’t get up so HHH drives knees (yes, knees from HHH) to the side of the head. This time Bryan rolls out and kicks the boss in the head, only to miss a second attempt. HHH tries a belly to back but Bryan flips out and hits the running knee for the huge upset pin, sending him to the main event.

Rating: A. This was a great match with the big key of Bryan winning clean. HHH wrestled a smart match and did everything he should have, including the arm work and hitting the Pedigree but Bryan flat out beat him. This match was a Match of the Year contender all year and it’s easy to see why. Really good stuff here and HHH continues to prove why he’s still worth putting in the ring a few times a year.

Post match Stephanie gets in for a real challenge. She slaps Bryan in the face, allowing Stephanie to get a chair and crush Bryan’s shoulder against the post. Oh man they really did stack the deck against him. Stephanie: “That’s what happens when you play with the Game.” Dang she’s good at being evil.

New Age Outlaws/Kane vs. Shield

There isn’t much to this one. Kane blamed Jerry Lawler for letting Bryan’s fans in for the Occupy Raw incident but Shield wouldn’t attack him. The Outlaws were added because who else was going to be put in the spot? Road Dogg’s speech is cut off by Shield’s intro, complete with half masks which didn’t last long. This was right before Shield turned face, even though they’re insanely popular and have practically been good guys for a few weeks now. One last note before we get to the massacre: if you’ve never heard it, Kane’s pyro is one of the loudest things you’ll ever hear live.

Kane punches Ambrose into the corner to start but the US Champion (remember that?) fights back and nails a clothesline. Off to Reigns to run over Gunn before taking down Dogg and Kane for good measure. Reigns even tells the Outlaws to suck it. The Apron Kick (he hasn’t done that in a while) hits both Outlaws but Kane blocks the Superman Punch. That earns him a springboard knee from Rollins and Dean breaks up the Fameasser.

The Superman Punch (which the camera misses) lays out Gunn and Billy is surrounded. He gets outside with Dogg, only to take a double dive from Ambrose and Rollins. All three villains get speared (the Outlaws get theirs at the same time) and a double Triple Bomb to the Outlaws is enough for the pin. Total and complete dominance here as you can feel the Shield’s mega face push coming imminently.

Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter are playing with toys in the back with EVIL Danny Davis counting the pin. Why Duggan isn’t wearing a shirt isn’t clear. Duggan wants another opponent so here’s Ricky Steamboat. They can’t play though because someone has bought the toys. Guess who that would be. On a personal note, other than Davis, I’ve met every person in this segment in the last year. Ron Simmons comes in for the required cameo.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Big Show, Cesaro, Xavier Woods, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Yoshi Tatsu, Brad Maddox, Brodus Clay, Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Darren Young, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, Tyson Kidd, R-Truth, Fandango, Big E., David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Damien Sandow, Santino Marella, Miz, Titus O’Neil, Mark Henry

In a line I can’t take credit for, this should be the Andre Rousimoff Memorial Battle Royal: the ARMBAR. There are thirty one people in this and eight of them are out of the company less than a year later. I’ll give them credit for this: they snuck everyone but Big Show and Sheamus into the ring during the legends’ segment and I didn’t notice a thing.

Kidd goes to the apron to start and flips onto a pile of people. You can’t tell what’s going on to start like in most battle royals. Tatsu is out first and Cody and Kofi get in a kick off as they’re hanging from the ropes. Maddox, GM of Raw at the time, is out next and Khali knocks Brodus out with a chop. A few guys dump Khali a few seconds later and you can actually see the mat now. There goes Ryder at 3MB’s hands and Young gets the same treatment.

Mark Henry actually sells a punch from Slater before knocking out McIntyre and Mahal. Henry makes it a matched 3MB set by throwing Heath out but Big Show gets rid of him a few seconds later. The ring is down to a manageable number now and it’s nowhere near as crowded. Show throws Titus out next but it’s Cobra time. Miz tries to block it but with an assist from Xavier Woods of all people, Miz is knocked to the floor. Del Rio kicks Santino out and Sandow dumps Woods. Racist.

Cody’s Disaster Kick nails Sandow and Goldust low bridges him to the floor. Intercontinental Champion Big E. powerbombs Gabriel out and throws Otunga to the floor for good measure. Fandango and Big E. get in a fight on the apron and Fandango actually kicks him out. Your champion ladies and gentlemen. The fans start Fandangoing but stop as Sheamus hits the thirty forearms to the chest and shoves the dancer out.

Show throws Truth out and we’re down to Big Show, Mysterio, Sin Cara, Del Rio, Kidd, Goldust, Cesaro, Sheamus, Ziggler, Kingston and Rhodes. Sin Cara goes out off camera to get us down to ten and Del Rio enziguris Kidd off the top to make it nine. Another enziguri drops Goldust and a shove gets rid of the other Rhodes brother. Del Rio takes a 619 and Cesaro gets the same treatment, only to uppercut Rey to the floor. Ziggler gets an uppercut of his own in the middle of the ring and everyone is down.

It’s Kofi up first and charging at Cesaro, who launches him over the post and down to the floor. You know it’s not that simple though as Kofi’s feet land on the steps and he gets back in for a HUGE top rope cross body. I paused the video to type a bit with Kofi in the air and I couldn’t believe how high he got on that thing. Kofi kicks everyone, including Big Show, down but he gets caught in the Swing that everyone had wanted to see. There’s something hilarious about those braids flying around.

The Swing goes on for a ridiculous thirty seconds but Cesaro walks into a chokeslam. A Brogue Kick drops Big Show and another puts Kingston out. Ziggler DDTs Sheamus but gets superkicked to the floor but Del Rio, drawing some awesome heat. The final four are Del Rio, Big Show, Sheamus and Cesaro. There’s the cross armbreaker to Sheamus, which JBL points out as a waste of time.

Sheamus powers up but both guys fall to the floor to get us down to two. You know who the fans are behind I’m assuming. Cesaro starts firing off uppercuts and clotheslines but dives into a big chop. Show loads him up but Cesaro slips down the back (ala Rock at the 2000 Royal Rumble) and casually picks him up (not like Rock at the 2000 Royal Rumble) for a slam to the floor and the win.

Rating: C+. This was a lot more fun than I was expecting and one of the more entertaining battle royals I’ve seen in a long time. Cesaro winning should have meant a big push but it wound up going nowhere due to the incompetence of this company. Good stuff here but they would have been better off with twenty like they’re doing for the second version. That slam was freaking cool too.

Cesaro celebrates with his chest high trophy.

The next awesome recap video shows us Cena vs. Wyatt, which is based around the idea of making Cena destroy his legacy….whatever that means. Wyatt thinks Cena is lying when he talks about hustle, loyalty and respect and seemingly just wants to destroy Cena for fun. He’s a weird guy like that.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

Wyatt’s song is played live with a bunch of burning barrels, a woman dancing like she’s possessed and what looks like a bunch of junk set up as an altar. This was CHILLING live and an absolutely amazing visual. Bray has Harper and Rowan with him here. This was before Rowan got pushed by having Big Show knock him out 19 times in a row. The fireflies are starting to become a thing at this point but it’s not there yet. Cena doesn’t have any kind of a special entrance, but how could he follow Bray’s anyway? For some reason Roberts doesn’t even announce him until he’s in the ring.

Bray drops to his knees and offers Cena a free shot to finish him early but Cena tells him to get up and fight. They finally get going with Cena headlocking him to the mat as JBL has no idea what he just saw. Back up and Bray hammers him into the corner, shouting that Cena doesn’t want to fight him. A headbutt drops Cena as Bray asks if this is the one the people call hero.

Bray sends him across the ring but Cena just explodes with a running clothesline. A fired up Cena takes him into the corner, only to have Wyatt laugh as Cena stomps away. John gets creative (or is it basic?) with a running big boot. The Family stares at Cena and Bray shouts that John is a monster before hitting the release suplex slam (cool move). We hit the sleeper but it’s quickly just a regular chinlock.

Cena fights back and starts his finishing sequence but the Shuffle is blocked by Bray’s spider walk. Cena’s reaction is perfect as he falls down and gets distracted by Rowan, allowing Bray to hit a chokeslam (meant to be a Rock Bottom but it’s the same move for all intents and purposes) for two. It’s time for Bray to conduct the crowd but the delay lets Cena get two off a jumping tornado DDT.

Cena’s top rope Fameasser is caught in the Batista neck breaking powerbomb and control switches again. Another finishing sequence has Bray in trouble but he counters the AA into a gutbuster for two. A DDT onto the apron drops Cena and his face just looks stunned. Back in and Bray’s superplex attempt is countered but Cena, ever the rocket scientist, dives on the Family for no apparent reason. They weren’t doing much and they’ll just be ticked off now, but Cena is Cena and unquestionable right?

The wild eyed Bray sends Cena into the steps and says he’s figured out what to do. Cena kicks the steps out of his hands and picks them up instead, only to throw them down instead of giving in to the demons. Back in and Bray runs him over, says he has the whole world in his hand, but misses the backsplash. AA gets two and why are people always shocked by that? If you don’t see two of those it’s not a major match.

Rowan offers a distraction so Harper can get in a cheap shot to give his boss two. It’s about time they did something in this match. Cena goes out after Harper and spears him through the barricade, which seems to be exactly what Bray wanted. Sister Abigail is countered into the STF but the rope is quickly grabbed. Now Sister Abigail connects for two and Bray is……happy? Scared? Shocked? You never really can tell with him.

Bray goes out and rips the top off the Spanish table. Ricardo Rodriguez is on Spanish commentary and tells him to go after the French table in a funny moment. Instead Bray gets a chair and kicks it over to Cena before kneeling in the middle of the ring. He tells Cena to finish this but Cena blasts Rowan instead, setting up Sister Abigail. The kiss is too much though and the second AA is enough to pin Bray.

Rating: C+. It’s a good enough match, but what the heck was the point in having Bray lose here? The entire thing was built up as Bray being a monster and he loses the big match? Now of course this didn’t end Bray’s run, but it was questionable then and it doesn’t get any better a year later. Cena really didn’t need the win and the whole legacy thing still doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t get how Bray pinning him ended his legacy, so it seemed to be another way of saying “Hey Cena, turn heel already!” It’s not explained why hitting Rowan is different than hitting Bray but this story never made the most sense in the first place.

Hall of Fame video from last night. This package aired about a million times on Sunday and Monday, to the point where I memorized half the lines. Undertaker coming out with the urn during Bearer’s induction was perfect. Mr. T.’s speech on the other hand was so beyond perfect that I don’t have the words to describe it. Seeing Scott Hall and Jake Roberts up there is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and proof that Diamond Dalla Page is a saint.

Here’s the class of 2015 live: Jake Roberts, Mr. T., Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon, Lita (you all still would and you know it), Razor Ramon and the Ultimate Warrior, who gets a full musical entrance. The interesting thing here is that the camera guys ran backwards in case he ran to the ring but instead he just walked out after everyone else had been standing there. Knowing what happened to him less than two days later still makes my head spin. This is one of the better classes ever as it’s hard to argue against any of them going in, which isn’t always the case.

Medics check on Bryan’s arm.

We recap the Streak match. The video about the Streak being the lone constant over the last twenty three years is really odd when you think about it as nothing else has anywhere near that lifespan. Can any man break the streak? Heyman: “Obviously the answer to this question is no. But what about a beast?” That’s pretty much all you need to know. Heyman caps it off with “Eat, sleep, conquer, repeat. Eat, sleep, conquer, repeat. Eat, sleep, conquer, repeat. Eat, sleep, conquer the Streak.”

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker

Undertaker’s theme this year is a coffin with the name of each victim, all of which are lit on fire. The latest victim is covered by smoke as luck would have it. Even Brock looks a bit shaken up by all this, but that might be due to his coffin opening up. Long staredown to start until Undertaker fires off right hands. That earns him a belly to belly overhead suplex and a clothesline to send him outside because Brock is awesome like that.

Undertaker comes back with a Stunner over the top and it’s time for more punching, followed by bending Brock’s arm around the rope. The arm goes into the post as well but Brock punches Old School down. That’s it for Undertaker’s control though as he fights back and takes it to the floor, setting up the apron legdrop. It’s been about 90% Undertaker so far. The chokeslam and F5 are both escaped but Brock avoids the running boot in the corner.

It’s time to go after the old man’s leg and the last thing you want to give Brock is a target. Or raw meat. Or a belt that a Samoan wants to take from him because it turns into a stupid looking tug of war. Brock slowly hammers him down and pounds away with right hands and knees in the corner. Now they head outside for another shot to Undertaker’s knee before he’s whipped hard into the barricade. Back in and Brock keeps hammering away as the fans are waiting on the big comeback before they hit the main event style.

Now Brock just starts punching him a lot until Undertaker catches him with the running DDT (a popular counter tonight). The running clothesline in the corner (what leg injury?) sets up Snake Eyes and the running boot, followed by a legdrop for two. The chokeslam (Heyman: “HE’S POISED!”) gets two and Undertaker looks deflated. Brock counters the tombstone into the F5 (way bigger reaction than the chokeslam) for two.

Lesnar slows things down and gets pulled into a surprise Hell’s Gate. That’s fine with Brock who lifts him up into a powerbomb to break the hold. Power like that is just scary and Brock is terrifying enough on his own. Undertaker throws it on again but Brock counters it exactly the same way. Why change what works? It’s Brock’s turn for a submission as he puts on the Kimura to make Undertaker scream. We get MMA Taker as he reverses into one of his own but Brock makes it to the ropes.

Brock fires off some shoulders in the corner but Undertaker gets a boot up. We go Old School but Undertaker falls into the F5 for two. Now it’s Brock’s turn to be shocked for a change. Two German suplexes rattle Undertaker again and Heyman shouts that Brock is going to make it 21-1. Brock hammers away in the corner but climbs to the middle rope, setting up something called a Last Ride but more like a weak spinebuster.

Undertaker is just spent at this point so he loads up the tombstone. Brock doesn’t quite get planted though as you can see St. Louis in the gap between his head and the mat, meaning the kickout doesn’t have much of an impact. There’s the sit up and another tombstone, but Brock reverses and muscles Undertaker into the third F5 for the pin to conquer the Streak.

Rating: D+. This is hard to watch for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the Streak ended. I’m not the biggest Undertaker fan, but knowing what was coming actually made this hard to sit through. I mean……the Streak just ended. It’s like telling a kid there’s no Santa Claus: you know it has to happen someday but you don’t want to ever actually do it.

The other reason this was hard to watch is the match pretty much sucked. Undertaker apparently had a concussion early in the match and barely remembers a lot of what happened here. That can cause some severe problems, but I can’t imagine that the match would have been much better had Undertaker been healthy throughout. At the end of the day, the guy is 49 years old and barely wrestles once a year. You can’t expect him to be able to do it every single year.

That brings me to my last point: how can you really expect him to win here? Brock is a monster and wrestles a lot more often than Undertaker, in addition to being thirteen years younger. How can you reasonably believe that Undertaker can win? That’s part of the thing that kills the fans here: the idea of the Undertaker is that one night a year, he’s immortal. This match proved that he was human and that’s a hard thing to admit after all those years of seeing him as a superhero. Lesnar has been a monster since, and this really is the start of something special. Granted no one knew that at the time.

Anyway, Heyman’s reaction is in perfect as even he’s stunned at what he just saw because all his hyperbole is proven correct. They leave as the audience is stunned. Undertaker finally sits up, albeit very slowly, and gets the big hero’s sendoff. He hasn’t been seen since and I’m not sure I want to see him in the ring again at this point. The reaction is even more saddening as the fans are just done at this point. I’ve heard the only thing to compare this to is Koloff beating Sammartino and it’s hard to disagree with that.

On top of that, Undertaker collapsed as soon as he went through the curtain and was sent to the hospital. Vince himself went with him and missed the end of the show. That’s scary stuff but how lucky were they that he didn’t collapse on the stage in front of all the thousands of people?

Wrestlemania XXXI ad.

Divas Title: Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational

AJ Lee, Naomi, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka

All fourteen are in at once, one fall to a finish and AJ (only one with an entrance as the others came out during the XXXI video) is defending. Vickie gets in an evil laugh before we get going. AJ and her bodyguard Tamina are sent into the middle of the circle and the brawl is on. Something tells me I won’t be able to keep track of all this.

The Bellas “hit” a horrible gutbuster on Layla before Natalya tries a triple Sharpshooter on Alicia, Summer and Rosa at the same time. A quadruple suplex gets a quadruple near fall as Cameron’s top has broken. That earns her an Emma Lock as this is a total mess. We hit the parade of finishers until only the Bellas are left.

Instead of fighting, they hit an admittedly sweet looking double dive to take everyone out. It’s amazing how much easier they are to sit through when they don’t talk. They slug it out inside and the Rack Attack gets two on Brie. Back in for a parade of secondary finishers until Naomi breaks up the Superfly Splash by shoving Tamina to the floor. Natalya powerbombs Aksana to send Naomi down in a Tower of Doom, leaving AJ to hook the Black Widow on Naomi to retain.

Rating: D. Well what else were you expecting? There’s almost no way to make a huge mess like this work, especially when so many of the girls have no business inside a wrestling ring. AJ would go on to lose the title the next night to a debuting Paige, which I somehow called about two weeks out. That’s probably a lot better than having her debut here and win as part of this disaster, but it’s rather telling that the same girls are still on top of the division a year later.

Gene Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan (that needed to happen tonight) when Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff come in. Piper reluctantly tells Hogan he’s doing a good job tonight but Paul says he’s tired of hearing about getting pinned at the first Wrestlemania. The losers want to fight now and here’s Mr. T. for the big staredown. Pat Patterson just happens to be here in a referee shirt but they all agree to bury the hatchet and have the most awkward handshakes in years.

Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Bob Backlund and Bret Hart (by far the loudest reaction) are at ringside.

WWE World Title: Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan

Rev Theory (remember them?) play Orton to the ring. Orton is defending of course and Batista won the Royal Rumble to get here. Bryan can barely move that left shoulder and has to do a one armed YES point. After the big match intros, Bryan hits a quick running dropkick to the champion followed by the YES Kicks. Orton calmly goes to the arm and stomps away but Batista takes Randy down.

The Orton backbreaker drops Batista and Bryan gets knocked down to the floor. Batista and Orton head over to the announcers’ tables before Batista whips him into the barricade. Orton backdrops out of a Batista Bomb to send Batista into the steps before going after Bryan again. The champ starts going back and forth to send both challengers into the barricade before taking Batista back inside for two.

The knee drop gets two more as the fans chant for Bryan. That’s exactly what they get as well with a double missile dropkick putting down the shaved headed guys. Daniel kicks away at both of them but Orton grabs in him a high collar suplex for two. Big Dave kicks Orton down and stomps on Bryan in the corner to get the fans booing all over again. That’s fine with Daniel as he hits running dropkicks to both guys in the corner. That woke them up again and so did the top rope hurricanrana for two on Orton.

Batista comes back with a suplex to send Bryan outside but he goes up top for no logical reason other than to allow Orton to superplex him back down. Daniel adds a Swan Dive and puts Orton in the YES Lock but here are HHH and Stephanie to pull out the referee. Crooked referee Scott Armstrong comes in to count two off the Batista Bomb on Bryan. Bryan sends a charging Batista into the post and kicks Armstrong in the head before hitting a FLYING GOAT onto the Authority, including Stephanie. Just fire him right now. Plant a tie on him or something.

HHH is livid and pulls out the sledgehammer but Bryan takes it away and knocks HHH to the floor. Orton comes back in and cleans house, joining forces with Batista to beat Bryan up even more. They take the tape off his shoulder as the Authority is taken out, much to JBL’s chagrin. The announcers’ table is loaded up with Orton setting the steps next to it, drawing a CM Punk chant for the save. Instead they get a Batista Bomb into a jumping neckbreaker (called an RKO). The scary part here is that Orton landed back first on a monitor and took a long time to get up.

Batista is the only man left standing and it’s Lawler with the voice of common sense: “Throw one of them in the ring and cover them!” The old guys still get it. Medics come out to help Bryan as JBL joins Lawler’s school of thinking: “COVER BRYAN ALREADY!” Orton and Batista brawl in a heatless segment as people don’t accept that Bryan is done yet. The Elevated DDT off the apron gets a good gasp from the crowd, but Bryan getting off the stretcher gets a better reaction.


Orton immediately sends Bryan into the steps before throwing him back inside. Again he won’t cover though, allowing Batista to come back in and take the champ down. There’s the YES Lock to Batista but Orton is right back up for the save. Daniel is knocked to the floor by Batista’s spear and the RKO gets a VERY close two on Dave to get the fans back into it.

Another RKO is loaded up but Bryan comes back in with the running knee. Batista throws Bryan down but Orton kicks out at two. Another Batista Bomb puts Orton down but Bryan comes back in with the running knee and the YES Lock FINALLY makes Bryan champion, sending New Orleans into a frenzy. Cole dubs it the Miracle on Bourbon Street in a call I really like.

Rating: B. This needed to be five minutes shorter but my goodness they cranked up the emotions here. There was no other possible ending to this though and the fans ate up every single bit of it. The near falls on the finishers were great and I was totally buying into them as potential endings. Not a great match but exactly the way the show should have ended.

Confetti falls (and I got a piece which I still have) and a huge celebration finally ends the show.

Overall Rating: A-. Time has brought this show back down to earth a bit but it’s still incredibly fun. This was everything the fans could have wanted from Bryan (though not quite everything from Undertaker vs. Lesnar) and an incredibly emotional show. The wrestling here ranges from very good to mixed but the emotion is off the charts. That’s what matters at the end of the day and it was the perfect story being told. The show holds up almost completely and it’s still great and worth checking out. Bryan may never get back to the top again, but they can never take this night away from him and that’s not the worst prize.

Ratings Comparison

Usos vs. Real Americans vs. Los Matadores vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Original: B

Redo: B

HHH vs. Daniel Bryan

Original: A

Redo: A

Shield vs. Kane/New Age Outlaws

Original: N/A

Redo: N/A

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Original: C+

Redo: C+

Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena

Original: B

Redo: C+

Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker

Original: C+

Redo: D+

Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational

Original: D+

Redo: D

Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton

Original: A-

Redo: B

Overall Rating

Original: A+

Redo: A-

The main event was too high but the show is still an instant classic.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2014/04/07/wrestlemania-xxx-oh-yeah-i-went-there/

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of 1998 Pay Per View reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UYAMB8U

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:


http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

5 comments

  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    Uh Shield turned on the Authority by standing up to Lawler weeks before this. They were already faces going into this. Not the next night

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Not fully. The next night they were in the Authority’s office with Stephanie ordering them around. They turned when Kane let it slip that HHH ordered the attack on them. It looked like Kane was the one turning but he was on HHH’s orders, which fully turned Shield face.

  2. Aeon Mathix says:

    Well you obviously remember more than me so thanks for clearing that up.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Well it helps that I watched both shows back to back on Thursday and Friday.

  3. Heyo says:

    To this day, I still think Cena/Wyatt deserves a higher score. Yeah, the story called for Wyatt to win only for Super Cena to do his thing, but my goodness the in-ring storytelling was incredible. It’s rare that a match brings sheer raw emotion out of me like that one did, and honestly, with the way the match was done, I was OK with Cena winning.

    Now, Wyatt could have and SHOULD have won the rematches, but that’s how I feel about that match.