Random ReWatch Series: Wrestlemania XXX

In this edition of Random Re-Watch we go back to 2014 and the super dome in New Orleans where Wrestlemania celebrated its 30th edition of the sports entertainment extravaganza.

The show opens with footage of previous Wrestlemania moments blended into the New Orleans street and party life. It’s a good mix of the local area, the history of Wrestlemania and the current superstars. Once we get a intro from Michael Cole welcoming us to the show, The Immortal Hulk Hogan music plays across the arena.

The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin

Hogan, who is the official host of Wrestlemania XXX, receives a great reaction even after he starts calling the super dome the silver dome. The silver dome was the venue for Wrestlemania 3. All of a sudden Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music hits the stadium and out comes Austin to a huge ovation. Face to face in the ring, Austin says he respects Hogan for all he has done for the business. Next up to a bigger ovation again, The Rocks music plays and the stadium is electric. The sight of the three biggest mainstream stars of wrestling history is mesmerising. The Rock showers respect and love over both and all three end up having a beer together.

Michael Cole then introduces the first match up of the evening between Triple H and Daniel Bryan with the winner going on to the main event later in the show. The video package for the match is sensational as it focus on the rise of Daniel Bryan up to the point where The Authority, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon call Bryan a B+ superstar. We see the famous ring invasion from the crowd as Bryan gets his chance to earn his shot at the championship at Wrestlemania.

Triple H entrance

Triple H is entrance is a spectacle as he sits on a thrown with armour. Surrounding him are Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss who remove the armour. The three ladies in 2014 are development talent and Triple H would ask them if they would like to be a extra on the show and be part of his entrance. Daniel Bryan entrance takes the roof of the place as the Yes Movement was at its utter peak at this point, The yes chants were deafening.

The match between them is great, Triple H controls most of the match, with a cocky attitude, dominates the match trying to prove that Bryan isn’t in his league and doesn’t belong. Triple H applies a submission hold as he tries to humiliate Bryan. Eventually Bryan makes a comeback and out of now where Bryan would hit a running knee for the win. 

A livid Triple H afterwords would attack Bryan, hitting him with a chair across his already injured shoulder. Bryan would need medical help after the savage attack.  

The next match straight away was The Shield facing the Authority henchmen Kane and The New Age Outlaws. The match was quick and The Shield were dominate and defeated the heels quickly. It’s the only way this match should have been booked and was to perfection.  

Up next was the first annual Andre The Giant battle royal. It’s the match where it’s an opportunity for everyone to get on the card. Looking at the participants in this match there are some big names. These include Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Cesaro and Rey Mysterio. 

For a battle royal, the match is very entertaining. Kofi Kingston gets thrown out of the ring by Cesaro but Kofi manages to keep his feet on the ring steps in a very cool spot. Kingston manages to shuffle onto the steps without his feet touching the floor. Once back in Cesaro swings him around for what feels like an age. The finish comes with Cesaro showing off his huge strength by lifting the Big Show up and walking to the ropes and then dumping him out of the ring.

I remember at the time feeling this was a big moment for Cesaro than it actually became to be. Paul Heyman would become his manager the next evening but it never quite worked out for Cesaro being a Paul Heyman guy.

Bray Wyatt would make his way down to the ring with a live band playing his song. He would start his match against John Cena by goading Cena into hitting Wyatt first. The whole story of the match is to bring out the monster within Cena. Theres a cool spot where Cena looks to hit his 5 knuckle shuffle but Wyatt lifts himself up and does his crab walk and Cena sells it amazingly. The whole match goes on with Wyatt goading Cena into releasing the monster within and it’s a great bit of story telling. My only fault with the match is that it felt it went on too long and should have been 5 minutes shorter. Cena would hit the AA for the second time in the match and pick up the win. 

Afterwords we have the Hall of Fame ceremony recap. Some of  the inductees on the ramp include Lita, Razor Ramon and The Ultimate Warrior. 

The famous match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker takes place next. The match isn’t the best. It’s commonly known that at some point in the match The Undertaker becomes concussed. Around half way through the match you can see Taker looks out of it, Taker has said he doesn’t know at which point he gets concussed but it’s scary to watch Lesnar suplexing him and dropping him on his head whilst knowing Taker is hurt. After hitting a F5, Taker kicks out and applies the Hells Gate submission. Lesnar does another scary sequence in hindsight where he lifts Undertaker up and power bombs him. Lesnar would hit a second F5 but only for Taker to kick out.

Brock Lesnar delivers a F5 to Undertaker

Undertaker would then hit The Last Ride coming out of the corner for a near fall. Undertaker then delivers a tombstone but Brock kicks out to the disbelief of Taker. Undertaker selling at this point whilst being concussed is amazing. Knowing how to react whilst being in pain must be admired. Undertaker picks up Lesnar to deliver another tombstone but Brock reverses it into a F5 and delivers a third F5. In one of the biggest shocks in wrestling history Brock Lesnar would pick up the win and defeat the streak. Lesnar would become the 1 in 21-1. 

That moment takes the air out of the stadium, It falls to a complete silence. It’s a moment like no other in wrestling, there is complete shock and utter silence and it lasts a good 5 minutes as Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman leave with the Undertaker down in the ring. Once he is up, Undertaker receives a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. It’s a well told story now that The Undertaker would collapse as soon as he got into the backstage area and is rushed to hospital.

With the crowd still in silence and shock, WWE set up their show to accomadate that and allow the fans to breathe, the next match is the Vickie Guerrero Invitational Divas Championship Match. It features AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae and Tamina Snuka in a one fall match. AJ Lee retains her championship making Naomi submit with the black widow. 

Before the main event we have a cool backstage segment with the four people involved in the first Wrestlemania main event as Piper, Paul Orndorff, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan.

Rev Theory play Randy Orton music as he makes his way to the ring to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Batista makes his entrance next followed by Daniel Bryan. Bryan makes his entrance and while the audience give him the Yes treatment on the way down to the ring. It’s not as loud or energetic as it was or should be as Bryan heads into the main event of Wrestlemania with the backing of the entire WWE Universe. The Undertaker match and the shock of Lesnar defeating the streak has worn out the crowd and they are still in shock as one of the biggest moments that fans have waited for begins.

The crowd are quiet until mid way through the match when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon appear to stop Bryan winning. The crowd come alive as Bryan takes out the Authority but Batista and Orton team together to beat down Bryan. In a sick looking move, Batista powerbomb Bryan into a RKO from Orton through the announcers table. Bryan takes a huge, massive bump and as he and Orton crash through the table, Orton back lands on a TV Monitor and cuts him. The landing looks awful and like it hurt like hell. 

Batista and Orton would fight whilst Bryan is checked by doctors. A stretcher comes down for Bryan but he gets off it and heads back into the ring. Orton looks for a punt on Batista but Bryan charges with the running knee, the crowd go wild but Batista pushes Bryan out of the ring for a near fall as the crowd gets caught up in the moment. Batista manages to hit a Batista Bomb on Orton but Bryan is back in again with a running knee and locks on the Yes Lock to Batista who submits and the place erupts as Daniel Bryan is crowned the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

The show ends with Bryan celebrating with both belts and Fireworks and confetti everywhere as the crowd join in on the Yes chants. 

Wrestlemania XXX for me is in the top 5 Wrestlemanias of all time. The show isn’t pact with matches and the matches that are booked are allowed time to tell the story. We do have the annual battle royal to get everyone on the show but this one is more memorable and meaningful being the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. Two of the biggest moments in Mania history happen with Undertaker losing and Bryan defying odds and become the champion. 

If you’ve never seen this show before go out of your way to see it. It’s gets a 4.5 out of 5 from The Wrestling Book.

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