I attended WrestleMania 30 on Sunday night in New Orleans. My three buddies and I have been in New Orleans since Friday and the anticipation for us was very high as we walked into the Superdome. There was a really nice buzz on the streets of New Orleans on Sunday with fans chanting "yes" all the way down Poydras Street. One night earlier on Bourbon Street, we had a great time while drinking heavily (Huge Ass Beers are recommended) and chanting random things with other wrestling fans all night long. By the time Sunday night came around, we were really ready for the show.
One complaint I have is that there was a lot of disorganization as we entered the stadium. It just seemed like they didn't plan how they were going to place people once they got in there. It led to us getting late to our seats as the pre-show match was about to start. We were in section 117, so it was to the right of the stage.
Pre-show: The Usos retained tag team titles in fatal 4 way match
We missed the very beginning of the match. This was a really good match that was given over 20 minutes because they were on the pre-show. If it was on the main show there's no way they'd get that much time. Fans were into the Real Americans more than anything. It bothered me that some were booing the Usos. They don't deserved to be booed ever. They're a talented team.
The post match babyface turn by Cesaro on Swagger was awesome. I predicted that before the show and I'm sure many others did too. Makes sense. Crowd absolutely loved Cesaro and it was smart of WWE to break up the Real Americans at this show.
Hulk Hogan Opens Show with Steve Austin and The Rock
This was one of the most fun segments I've ever been a part of in person. I loved seeing Hogan there. He's not a favorite of mine, but was really cool to see him walk that aisle again. It was funny how he said the Silverdome instead of the Superdome a couple of times. Some fans were upset about it. When Steve Austin interrupted him I marked the hell out. We knew he'd be there, but to see him there with Hogan was amazing. We went wild for him. The Rock's appearance was good although it was less of a surprise because we figured he'd be there considering the other two guys were already in the ring. It was great to see Rock put them over as the two biggest stars and you could make the case that they are the three biggest stars WWE has ever had. Just an awesome moment to open the show made even more fun when Austin and Rock teased Hogan about saying Silverdome too.
Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H
We could see Triple H's throne chair being set up on the entrance because were seated right there. I didn't expect a surprise here. Bryan had to win the match and he did. It's great that they were given nearly 30 minutes to tell the story of Bryan getting his arm worked over, yet he was still able to fight back. Credit to Triple H for putting over Bryan clean the way he did. That's how it should have been.
I'm not surprised by the post match attack. It softened up Bryan some more and made him an even greater underdog.
The Shield defeated Kane & New Age Outlaws
They only got three minutes, so it was booked in a way to make The Shield look stronger. They took care of three veterans pretty easily. Very cool double powerbomb by Reigns to end the match.
There was a backstage segment with WWE legends plugging Slam City. Didn't care much except when Ron Simmons showed up with his "Damn" line.
Antonio Cesaro won the battle royal
As soon as I saw Cesaro in the match I figured he was either going to win or come close. My original pick was Sheamus. The first half of the match was pretty boring since they had to clear the ring of people, but once it got down to the final five it was interesting. The whole point of the match was to put over Cesaro and in that sense it worked. He gave Big Show a body slam over the top to the floor to eliminate him. It was a very impressive feat of strength. Big Show winning would have been the easy way to do it. Glad they went with Cesaro getting the win. It will help him more. We absolutely loved Cesaro. Huge reactions for him.
John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt
This one didn't live up to my expectations. As I look at the match times now and see this got about 23 minutes, I have to say it didn't feel that long. It felt like it was about 15 minutes, but maybe that's because it was boring at some points. My prediction was a Wyatt win figuring that they needed some heels. Instead, Cena won clean and that disappointed most people. I assume the feud isn't over and Wyatt will win a rematch.
It's always nice to see the Hall of Famers honored. Would have been nice to see Warrior run the ropes, but those days are over.
Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker
Huh? It just feels weird typing that. The Undertaker doesn't lose at WrestleMania. That's what we were told year after year. He was 21-0. Key word is "was" there because now his record is 21-1. When Lesnar pinned him to win the match after his third F5, our reaction was a state of shock. It wasn't expecting. In my decade plus writing career, the most common question has been about whether or not I thought Undertaker's streak would ever be broken. I always said "no" thinking about things like that. My feeling was there was no reason to end it. As a match, it was very average. I was expecting more, but maybe I shouldn't have because it was hard to know if they still had chemistry from over a decade ago. Lesnar won a 25 minute match after his third F5. It was as if people were told a loved one was sick. Dead silence as we all wondered why they would do that.
Now that WrestleMania is over, the speculation is that The Undertaker may retire. I think it's a very strong possibility. He's nearly 50 years old, his body has clearly broken down and he's not interested in working more often in the year. It would be as good a time as any to stop for him. That's what most of us were talking about in the arena. As the possibility set in that he may be done for good, I tried to savor every moment of watching him walk up the ramp because we may never see that again.
As far as why The Streak ended, my best guess is that he wanted it to. I don't think it's a case of Vince McMahon or Triple H suggesting it should end. I think it's Undertaker wanting to put over somebody in his last match. Guys like Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels all retired after losing their last match at WrestleMania. Why not Undertaker? I know that The Streak means a lot of things to a lot of fans, but if he wanted to call it a career then he has every right to do so. It's not up to us to tell him what to do. His life. His career. It certainly makes Raw interesting to see what happens next with him.
If it was me, Heyman and Lesnar would start Raw simply by smiling proudly in the ring. Maybe they should laugh. Huge heel heat.
AJ Lee retained the Divas Title
The fans didn't care about this match. Blame it on following Undertaker's match and also the booking of women talent is poor. If you're wondering why AJ Lee won, my assumption is that due to all the babyface wins on the show they needed a heel to go over other than Lesnar. Doing a match with 14 women is difficult. It was booked in such a stupid way with AJ and Naomi as the final two, but it's not like 6 of them even took bumps yet they sold it by going to the floor. What a shame. Their Divas Division needs to be better and soon.
There was a backstage segment to set up the WrestleMania 1 participants. At one point, Gene Okerlund said something about Hogan doing a great job of hosting WrestleMania. What did he do anyway? Hogan just came out for the opener and then disappeared.
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion
This is everything it should have been. Fans were mad that Undertaker lost, so we needed something to get us back up. When Triple H showed up to try to cost Bryan the win, the "yes" chants became even louder. They were consistent all night long and it seemed like when Bryan needed it most the fans got even louder. There's such a rush when you're sitting in the crowd chanting "yes" with 70,000+ other people and you watch Bryan make his comeback. It was so cool to see all the yes chants on the other side of the building. Will never forget that sight.
Bryan overcame Orton and Batista as well as Triple H to win. He was the ultimate sympathetic babyface. Batista didn't look out of place too often, but it still feels like he's a step slow. Then again he's in his mid 40s so that's bound to happen. When Bryan was put through the table via Powerbomb/Neckbreaker (RKO) it was a huge moment. Thing is, most of us thought Orton was hurt worse because he didn't clear off an announce table and then he had a cut in his back because of a monitor striking him. He managed to finish the match without issues.
There were some really good nearfalls late. I'm glad Bryan won with the Yes Lock submission instead of the running knee because he already did it earlier in the show. It's a more decisive way to end the match and do it the right way. I'm a little surprised that Orton wasn't involved in the fall, but in the end it doesn't really matter that it was Batista. The goal of putting Bryan over clean was accomplished.
The highlight of the night for me was listening to 70,000+ fans chanting yes for my favorite wrestler, Daniel Bryan. It would have been a bigger deal if he wasn't a multi-time champion already, but that doesn't really matter much. All that matters is that Bryan won and he got his WrestleMania moment. It was one of the happiest moments in WrestleMania history with a very hot and supportive crowd.
That's all for me. Like I said it's not a full recap so no star ratings, detailed results or too much in-depth analysis. It's more of a quickie review from somebody that loved being a part of that show in New Orleans. I think I'll give it a solid 8/10 or 8.5/10 for entertaining me from start to finish. One of the best WrestleManias ever.
I'm excited about going to Raw on Monday too. Expect full recaps of both likely on the weekend.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org