To provide some background into my knowledge of professional wrestling, I am not an expert. I have barely watched professional wrestling consistently for the past five or six years. My recent purchase of the WWE Network warranted my viewing of Wrestlemania 30. Wrestling was something I was passionate about during the Attitude Era up until about 2003 or so. Again I repeat, this review is being conducted by a casual fan. With that said, here is my actual review.
-Opening Segment Involving The Rock, Stone Cold Steven Austin, and Hulk Hogan-
This was easily the most entertaining moment of the night for me, personally. It started with Hogan who was recently brought back to the WWE for the purpose of marketing the WWE Network. He failed to accurately name the building he was in, calling the Superdome the Silverdome, and the crowd responded accordingly. Steve Austin came out to a huge pop by the crowd, which came as no surprise. He went through all of his quotes and phrases and really put on a show. Next was The Rock who came out to arguably the biggest pop of the night. The crowd went insane, and what followed were the best mic skills of the night. I must say he was hilarious and he really got the crowd going. He went through his most recognizable quotes and phrases and he seemed to have a lot of fun with it. The segment ended with three sharing a beer bash. Needless to say it was a real throwback, and was the perfect way to start off the event.
MATCH 1 : Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (Winner gets a spot in the Championship Match)
I was surprised to see this open the pay-per-view. Once I realized the winner would need time to recuperate it made more sense to me. Triple H’s entrance was really interesting and dramatic. He came out dressed as a king, and Daniel Bryan came out with no such theatrics. A character like Bryan does not need theatrics when he has a dome full of people chanting his catchphrase. The injured shoulder of Bryan was a major component in this match. The match itself was entertaining although the pace seemed to be relatively slow. Bryan managed to kick out of a pedigree, which led me to believe there was no way he was losing. Triple H was on the brink of victory on a couple of occasions, however Bryan scored the high knee and pinned Triple H. After the match Triple H, out of frustration, attacked the injured shoulder of Bryan with a chair. Nevertheless, Bryan’s victory earned him a spot in the main event. The match went a whopping 26 minutes, however it kept me entertained throughout.
MATCH GRADE – B+
MATCH 2 : The Shield vs. The New Age Outlaws + Corporate Kane
This was a three-minute squash match to quickly summarize it. The match was nothing that you would go back an re-watch, but it definitely did justice for the future of The Shield. I personally thought The Shield would lose simply because they’ve been a stable since Wrestlemania 29 and their bound for accomplished singles careers. I will admit that It was awesome to see NAO and Kane get dominated like they did. The WWE clearly has big plans for The Shield in the future, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge push for Roman Reigns in the coming months. The build-up for The Shield has been well-done.
MATCH GRADE – B-
MATCH 3 : The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The Battle Royal was my second favorite match of the night. It was a match that was extremely fun to watch and the finish was perfect. A couple of highlights that stick out were Alberto Del Rio running a train on three or four of his opponents. Seeing Fandango dance around the ring was funny, and seeing him get eliminated was even funnier. Kofi Kingston had a really cool spot where it appeared he was eliminated over the turnbuckle however he managed to keep his feet on the ring stairs, and in thus keeping him the match. I figured the Big Show would win and that was the obvious choice before the match had even began. Cesaro ultimately won the match and he did not fail to impress. With shades of Hulk Hogan, he picked up The Big Show and eliminated him to win the match. The Battle Royal went about 14 minutes and was worth the time. Excited for the future of Cesaro.
MATCH GRADE – B+
MATCH 4 : John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Never would I have imagined that John Cena would be involved in the best match of the night on the upper-mid card. The story that was told was incredible and carried out with near perfection. Bray Wyatt further established himself as a terrifying character with this performance. The in-ring psychology was the best part of the match by far. Wyatt played mind games with John Cena the entire match, and Cena was visibly shaken by his antics. The audience was greeted with shades of what a John Cena heel-turn may look like should it take place within this story arc. Cena tackled Luke Harper through a wall and hit Erick Rowan with a chair provided by Bray Wyatt. The finish could have gone either way in my opinion. Wyatt had nothing to lose purely because of his performance in this match. I thought Wyatt might win because I sensed a Cena heel-turn, however I was wrong. Cena finished Wyatt with an Attitude Adjustment and won the match.
MATCH GRADE – A-
MATCH 5 – Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
I’m not really sure how to begin my assessment of this match because I am still in shock at the result. Not many things surprise me in the world of professional wrestling, this was one of the few moments that did. Lesnar ending the streak, I could not comprehend this. The past few Wrestlemania events were built around The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. It took three F-5’s to do it, but The Undertaker kicks out of EVERYTHING at Wrestlemania, right? Apparently this was not the case at Wrestlemania 30. It’s unfortunate to say that the match was one of the worst on the card. I am not sure why the match was so unappealing. It was slow and it seems as if The Undertaker is just burnt out at this point. I firmly believe that his retirement is coming soon. The constant is no longer constant, and the streak is now over. At the hands of a superstar who wrestles maybe 3 or 4 times per year. To this moment I question why Lesnar was the one to end the streak. I figured maybe it would have been someone who breaks his back for the company. I was perfectly fine with the streak ending, but I do not understand why Lesnar was chosen as the one to end it.
MATCH GRADE – C-
MATCH 6 – Divas One-Fall Battle Royal for the Divas Championship
What can really be said about Divas matches? It was a Divas match. It followed the most disappointing match on the card to boot. AJ Lee retained her title with a submission victory.
MATCH GRADE – N/A
MATCH 7 – Randy Orton (C) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Batista for the WWE Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan was the story of this entire card, and for good reason. He is clearly the most ‘over’ character on the roster and he earned every bit of what he received at Wrestlemania. This match was better than I thought it would, and it’s a relief for me to say that. Going into the match I assumed it would be a headlock/wristlock fest with little to no excitement considering Batista and Orton. The match was fast paced for the most-part and included an incredible spot by all three competitors. Batista and Orton performed some sort of RKO/Batista Bomb through one of the announcer’s tables. Orton landed directly on a monitor and it looked like it was extremely painful. The stretchers came out at that point for Daniel Bryan considering his shoulder and the table bump, and this made me realize that there was not way Bryan was leaving empty-handed. Triple H and Stephanie also interfered during the match, but they weren’t heard from again after Daniel Bryan suicide dove into them. The match ended with Daniel Bryan submitting Batista and celebrating with an abundance of “YES!” chants along with the crowd. It was a fitting end to what was an above average Wrestlemania.
MATCH GRADE – B+
OVERALL GRADE – B
Photo credit to World Wrestling Entertainment