The Delco Elbow Drop

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wrestlemania 30 - The Road Ahead

Wrestlemania 30 was an amazing event – a spectacular show from top to bottom. The WWE Network stream held up pretty well, Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak is over – 22-0 will forever live in the realm of “what if?”

There is so much to talk about after this historic event but let’s start from the beginning.

The Usos vs. Real Americans vs. Rybaxel vs. Los Matadores 
WWE Tag Team championships
Great way to open the show. Exciting stuff from every team and it looked like it might be the Real Americans’ time but the Usos picked up the win. Postmatch, Jack Swagger and Cesaro continue to exchange words about the defeat and Swagger locks in the ankle lock on Cesaro – who then sweeps the legs and puts Swagger in the giant swing.
Hard to say where the division goes now. With the Real Americans breaking up, I guess the Brotherhood or maybe the Shield are back atop the list of believable tag title contenders. Would be cool to see Rybaxel eventually win the titles but honestly, Los Matadores probably have more of a chance.

Hulk Hogan starts the show by calling the Superdome the “Silverdome” and proceeds to not hear the end of it for the entire segment. “Stone Cold” Steven Austin comes out, followed by The Rock and the crowd is pumped up like crazy. Nothing earth-shaking came out of this segment but it was really cool to see three WWE legends in the ring together to kick off Wrestlemania 30. Oh and Rock and Austin’s bro handshake was pretty spectacular.

Daniel Bryan vs. HHH – winner in main event
An absolutely epic way to kick off Wrestlemania 30. Triple H’s entrance was intense (which also featured NXT performers Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte as Trips’ valets) and the juxtaposition of HHH’s expansive entrance and Daniel Bryan’s no-nonsense entrance really helped cement his underdog status in the match.
This match was really solid all the way through and made Bryan look great. HHH hit him with his best stuff and Bryan kept coming back for more, even kicking out of the Pedigree at one point and pinning HHH after the running knee and the sea of fans in the Superdome doing the “Yes!” chants after his win was epic.
It was great that there weren’t any shenanigans in the finish that would see HHH also get in the main event and getting a clean win over HHH really helps elevate Bryan’s stock even more.

The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws
The Shield picks up a victory over Kane and his cronies, the Outlaws, in a short but sweet match. The Shield looked utterly dominant in this match, turning back their opponents at every step.
I hope this is the end of the friction between Kane and the Shield because it’s really been going nowhere. With the Shield acting as babyfaces in recent weeks, it’s hard to say what is next in store for the trio. They seem to be all be back on the same page after a feud with the Wyatt Family and the Authority so to me, it looks like the Shield need to turn their attention back to acquiring more gold and bringing justice to the WWE.

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Big Show and Sheamus were the only Superstars to get entrances into this match and it seemed to indicate they were the favorites. Actually, Show came out in an old-school Giant/Andre the Giant one-strap singlet and it seemed likely that the WWE’s resident giant would take home the trophy.
This match saw several great moments like Brad Maddox’s first Wrestlemania match, Fandango-ing making a brief comeback, Kofi Kingston’s incredible save or breaking The Miz’s Wrestlemania win streak (which was the second longest next to Undertaker’s).
But the biggest surprise was Cesaro picking up Big Show and hefting him over the top rope to win the trophy.
Cesaro repeats and makes history at Wrestlemania 30
Cesaro winning the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy give him an immense boost and the fact that he threw Big Show over the top to do it gives more credence to the growing mystique that Cesaro has as being the strongest man on the roster. With the Real Americans having issues, this win will give Cesaro all the confidence he needs to strike out on his own, without Zeb or Swagger. Cesaro shook Show’s hand after the match, almost cementing a coming face turn. I definitely see Cesaro in the Intercontinental title picture this year, if not the World title picture.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
John Cena managed to pull out a victory against Bray in a very dramatic match. Wyatt has been pushing Cena’s buttons for weeks and he really upped the stakes at Wrestlemania 30. Wyatt pushed Cena to unleash his inner demons on Wyatt, even trying to make Cena disqualify himself. Cena really went all out to make Bray look strong, like he could legitimately dethrone Cena, setting up the future of this feud.
Cena picking up the win wasn’t the outcome I wanted but it was the right one. Cena is the WWE’s equivalent to Superman and Superman always overcomes evil. This being the first meeting between Bray and Cena, Cena had to pick up the win and it will only spurn Wyatt to further hound Cena. The battles between Cena and Wyatt have just begun and who ultimately will come out the victor of their war is anyone’s guess.
One more thing about this match – Bray Wyatt’s entrance was stellar. I didn’t think it was possible to make the Wyatt Family theme song creepier but the live performance of his theme pushed it to a whole new level.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker to break the streak. Nothing can truly compare to the gravity of that sentence. The stunned faces in the crowd after the third F-5 and the three count was one of the most unreal moments I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t think “the streak” would ever be broken and I certainly didn’t think Brock would be the one to end the streak. 
But in a way, it makes an immense amount of sense to have Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker and the streak. People have been bashing the decision, since Brock is a part-timer but so is Undertaker, no matter how revered he is. Brock has a very legitimate, very intimidating mystique all his own. Former WWE champion. Former champion in Japan. Former UFC champion. Brock is a monster that not many people in history – let alone right now – can match up against.
And having a part-time guy break the streak makes a lot of business sense too. If a full-time roster guy broke the streak – how do you book him afterward? Whoever beat the streak would be on a different level afterward and regular booking would downplay the accomplishment of beating the streak.
I can’t see anything less for Brock than being the next unbeatable monster on the level of Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. If he sets his sights on the World title, you run the risk of ruining the build-up that Daniel Bryan has had and anything less than that would be a waste of breaking the streak. “Beating the Beast” is going to be the new “streak.”

Is Undertaker done? It’s hard to say but it does seem likely. He’s starting to look his age and the fact that he lost at Wrestlemania does seem to point to retirement. Perhaps most telling – Taker didn’t look back as he exited the arena.
The Vickie Guerrero Diva Championship Invitational
It felt weird to have this match go on after Undertaker losing to Brock but then again, anything would be overshadowed by the streak ending. And even though nothing in this match could match the gravity of the previous one, it served its purpose wonderfully.
I think we all thought AJ Lee would lose her title and somehow, she survived the entire Divas roster to retain her title, making Naomi tap to the Black Widow. New Divas Emma and Summer Rae had good showings, Natalya continued to be the workhorse of the division and there was even tension set up between the Bellas when they met in the ring and exchanged moves. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Nikki/Brie Bella feud in the coming year but today, AJ still reigns supreme over the Divas division.

Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan  
WWE World Heavyweight championship
If I’m being totally honest – I thought Batista was going to win. Regardless of Authority interference, I thought Batista was going to sneak out the victory, most likely pinning Orton after Bryan hit the running knee. But there weren’t any shenanigans like that. Oh sure, there were shenanigans to be had but none in the finish – Daniel Bryan overcame all the odds thrown at him to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship and barring another Raw-after-Night-of-Champions incident, Daniel Bryan should hold the titles for some time.
It's been a while since D-Bry has held two belts at once
This main event had it all – great work between Orton, Batista and Bryan as well as Bryan overcoming the odds of Triple H and Stephanie, heel ref Scott Armstrong’s return and Orton and Batista teaming up to try and take him out. WWE has played Daniel Bryan’s rise to the top so well that even ardent supporters were unsure if he would ever hold the championship again, let alone defeat Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in the same night to win it at one of the WWE’s biggest shows of all time.
Despite his victory, I don’t think Daniel Bryan is done dealing with the Authority. I don’t know if Orton will continue to be involved in the title picture, but I can’t imagine that HHH and Stephanie will let his victory go unanswered. I gotta believe that Batista is staying in the title hunt though. But for now, it’s time to celebrate the underdog’s victory!

At least until Raw.

(Top image from Gifs and other pics found on r/SquaredCircle)


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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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