30 is in a few short weeks and I want to do a top-to-bottom overview of
everything that’s going on in WWE heading into the biggest event in company
history. Decades of history have led to this event and the 30th anniversary
of Wrestlemania and its shaping up to be one of the most memorable events in
first big Wrestlemania 30 announcement is that Hulk Hogan has returned to the
WWE to host the show. Since I heard this announcement, I’ve been hoping the Hulkster
stays in this capacity as a host/personality and doesn’t get involved in any
feuds or matches and so far, that seems to be happening. Hulk’s only shown up
on a few episodes of Raw so far and pretty much has only done two things –
shill the WWE Network and announce the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
an effort to try and get every talent on the roster onto Wrestlemania 30 (which
will be 4 HOURS LONG), the WWE decided to create the Andre the Giant Memorial
Battle Royal. So far, several midcard wrestlers have been added to the match –
guys like Ryback, Ziggler, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston and Damien Sandow. It
isn’t much but at least it will let guys with little to no direction have a
spot on the biggest show of the year.
has been doing a pretty good job promoting it too, as several Superstars have
made it known that they want to win the Memorial Battle Royal and take home the
trophy. WWE has mentioned that whoever wins will carry the trophy around all year
(ala Owen Hart and his Slammys or the Young Lion’s Cup in Chikara) though I
honestly don’t see the trophy surviving very long after the match ends (ala
Kyle O’Reilly’s 2013 Battle of Los Angeles trophy). It’s hard to pick the
winner of this match, since it could be either used as filler for WM or used to
launch a midcarder into the next level. I’m looking for someone like Cesaro or
Dolph Ziggler to win the Memorial Battle Royal and get on the main event scene.
for anyone wondering, the difference between the Royal Rumble and a Battle
Royal is pretty simple. In the Royal Rumble, two wrestlers start the match in
the ring, with new competitors joining the fray every few minutes. In a battle
royal, all the competitors start in the ring, rather than joining as the match
continues. The last man in the ring in either contest is the winner.
World Heavyweight championship
Orton (c) vs Batista vs winner of Daniel Bryan/Triple H
return to the WWE can’t be going as smoothly as he expected. When The Rock
showed up last year, won the title and took it to Wrestlemania, people seemed
mostly OK with the angle. This year, people just do not seem to be buying
Batista’s Rumble win and what seems like a push toward winning the title at
Wrestlemania. Because of this, Batista has been acting more and more heelish in
recent weeks, calling out the fans and getting into the faces of Randy Orton
and Triple H alike.
weeks ago on Raw, Daniel Bryan’s “Occupy Raw” movement held the show hostage
until Triple granted Bryan a match at Wrestlemania. But not just a match – Bryan wanted into the WWE
World Heavyweight Championship match if he could defeat the COO. Eventually,
Trips relented, much to the dismay of his wife, Stephanie McMahon, and granted
Bryan his demands. But this past week, Triple H and the Authority got a measure
of revenge on Bryan for his Occupy Raw stunt. Not only did the COO give Daniel
Bryan a hellacious beatdown on Raw, he also added a stipulation to their ‘Mania
match – if Triple H beats Bryan, he gets a spot in the title match. Which, come
on, I’m pretty sure we all saw coming.
I want D-Bry to win but that looks like a long-shot right now. And even though
Orton is the champ, he’s pretty much taken a backseat to this whole
Bootista/Triple H/Daniel Bryan debacle. Which is too bad because the more
heelish Orton became, the better he’s been but it just seems his role is to
merely carry the belts until Triple H or Batista win at Wrestlemania 30. Hey, I
don’t like that prospect any more than you do – but Trips or Dave winning the
belt is almost an inevitability.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
Beast vs The Streak
Phenom” is nearing the end of his career but still has enough left in the tank
to defend his streak of Wrestlemania victories at WM 30. The Undertaker will
need every bit of the power that’s propelled him to a 21-0 record at WWE’s
biggest annual show when he takes on “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar at
Lesnar has been destroying every opponent that’s stepped up to him during his
current WWE run. He’s dominated Superstars and viciously beat down the Big Show
at the Royal Rumble before turning his sights on Undertaker’s Wrestlemania
streak. Former Paul Heyman guy CM Punk tried to beat the streak last year and
got close but could not overcome the power of The Dead Man.
is going to be an interesting match. Brock and ‘Taker have faced off before,
during Lesnar’s initial run in the WWE, but several years have passed since the
two met inside the squared circle. The years have worn down the Undertaker
while Brock has overcome incredible odds to continue competing at the level of
a UFC athlete and WWE wrestler – will Undertaker have enough left to beat
Brock? To even survive “The Beast?” It’s going to be a brutal contest no doubt,
but I don’t see Undertaker’s streak of Wrestlemania victories ever being broken
– and this year will be no different.
Wyatt vs John Cena
legacy on the line
soon as Bray Wyatt and his Family – Luke Harper and Erik Rowan – arrived on the
scene in WWE, they have been decimating the roster of Superstars like few
before them. Bray himself speaks in riddles and it’s often difficult to discern
exactly what he means but his work in the ring leaves little uncertainties –
he’s calculating and brutal with little remorse for his foes.
their appearance on the main roster, Bray and company has been telling the WWE
Universe that they would destroy their heroes, that they are all false and so
far, he has been doing a surprisingly effective job at dominating every
obstacle in his path.
opponent at Wrestlemania 30 isn’t just any Superstar though – John Cena is THE
guy in WWE today. And as much as some on the internet groan at this fact, Cena
is our modern-day Hulk Hogan and routinely rises above and conquers any
challenge in front of him. But he’s never faced anyone quite like Bray Wyatt
before, someone who is determined, someone who fights for a cause larger than
himself and someone who can back up his words with action.
not entirely sure how Cena’s “legacy” is going to be on the line in this match,
considering a legacy is really just an abstract collection of accomplishments
and feats, if Cena loses to Bray it’s not like it takes away his multiple World
title runs or that people will stop buying Cena merch. Though Cena will battle
valiantly at Wrestlemania 30, I don’t see him being able to overcome the
Family, as Harper and Rowan will almost certainly be a factor in the showdown.
Triple H vs Daniel Bryan, which I touched on earlier, these are the only
announced matches for Wrestlemania 30 so far, but there are plenty of other
storylines set up right now that I think WWE will want to expound on at the
that the Usos are tag team champions, the tag division seems to be opening up a
little bit. The Rhodes Brothers are still in contention, especially after
defeating the Real Americans, who themselves defeated the Usos. A triple threat
tag team title match between the Usos, Rhodes Brothers and Real Americans would
be incredibly exciting. I don’t see the Usos dropping the tag belts any time
soon, though, as I think they’ll be holding onto them until the Wyatt Family
sets their sights on the gold.
tensions have been rising between Cesaro and Jack Swagger of the Real Americans
in recent weeks. The two have been butting heads, disrespecting each other and
getting the other disqualified (notably in matches against Intercontinental
champion Big E) and it seems like the tag team is coming apart at the seams. It
looks like Zeb is holding the team together for now but I wouldn’t be surprised
if the bad blood between Cesaro and Swagger boils over before Wrestlemania 30.
And if not before WM, I definitely see these two at odds in the Andre the Giant
Memorial Battle Royal.
there hasn’t been any real build up toward a Diva’s championship match at
Wrestlemania (is there ever, really?), I would be really surprised if AJ didn’t
defend her title at Wrestlemania 30. Nikki Bella has been picking up victories
lately and Natalya is always a contender for the title, but with a rift forming
between AJ and Tamina, AJ’s enforcer could easily find herself in the title
this is all irrelevant, because AJ is never losing the Divas Championship.
Shield breaking is up/turning/stronger than ever
what is going on with The Shield? They’re still incredibly popular and Dean
Ambrose is still the United States champion but they are kinda directionless
right now. They’ve been clashing with Kane lately but not much has come of it.
There was a strange moment on Raw when Kane told the Shield to attack Jerry
Lawler, claiming he was responsible for allowing the Yes Movement to “Occupy
Raw” but the Shield attacked Kane instead.
can’t believe that Kane will just let their insubordination go unpunished. If
The Authority had other lackeys besides Kane, I could see them doing Kane with
partners vs the Shield at Wrestlemania 30 – but the Shield were the Authority’s
enforcers. Without them, who does Kane have to call on for back up? There’s no
Bossman or Ken Shamrock for Kane to throw at the Shield, which is why I think
this angle will take a different direction.
than Kane face any of the Shield at Wrestlemania, I think that Kane will force
Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose into a United States title match.
Right now, the trio is trying to get back on the same page and what better way
to drive a wedge between them than to have them feud over the US title? Plus,
having Rollins and Reigns challenge for the belt also means we’ll finally see a
clean(ish) finish to a US title match, seeing as how they would usually get
involved during Ambrose’s defenses.
are other angles going into Wrestlemania 30 but we’ll have to see if anything
actually comes from them. Here are the stories I can see being
resolved/continued at WM30.
Woods and Alexander Rusev have something of a feud going in NXT that I could
see being brought to the main roster at or by WM. Woods’ feud with Brodus Clay
fizzled big time and putting Woods against another monster heel would be a
great way to make him a sympathetic face.
and Sheamus have been feuding lately and now Titus O’Neil seems to be involved
as well. Christian is currently heeling it up but hasn’t been on the winning
end of too many of their encounters. I could see WWE replacing Christian with
Titus in a feud with Sheamus too but it’s hard to say just what, if anything,
will come of their beefs.
a few weeks, the Miz would come out during a match, get on commentary briefly
and belittle the match taking place, essentially saying that, “They put this on the show but not The Miz?!” It
actually seemed like it might be the start of something, but Miz has been
absent from WWE TV for a while now. The Miz actually has the second longest
Wrestlemania victory streak behind Undertaker (4-0), even though WWE didn’t
acknowledge this fact during Heyman’s video package about other Wrestlemania
streaks. Considering he hasn’t been on TV in weeks, it’s hard to say if
anything will come of this.
NXT call-up Emma has teamed up with Santino Marella to form a hilariously
awkward partnership and it seemed that they might be starting a feud with
Fandango and Summer Rae. Now, unfortunately, that all seems to have been
dropped since Summer joined the cast of Total Divas. A Santino/Emma vs
Fandango/Summer feud would be great to get both Emma and Summer Rae off the
ground in WWE, but now they both seem to be in the background again.
thankfully, mercifully, The Great Khali is nowhere to be seen.