By: Travis Thayer
Now that I’ve had a full day and a half to digest what I saw on Sunday, I am ready to give my thoughts on the historic Wrestlemania 30. The night was filled with emotional ups and downs as the WWE Superstars and Divas gave the WWE Universe a show that they will never forget. Of course, the most shocking development of the night was when the Undertaker had his 21-0 undefeated streak ended, at the hands of “The Beast” Brock Lesnar. I believe this man’s face sums up the feeling of the 75,000 plus people in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday night.
Nobody ever thought that “The Streak” would be broken, and that was evident when 75,000 people went dead silent once the 1-2-3 was counted. I myself sat jaw-dropped, thinking that I didn’t just see what I saw. It was as if it didn’t really happen. It may sound silly, but it took me a minute to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. “The Streak” was and is so precious to WWE fans because it has lasted for the better half of a quarter century. I have been alive and have witnessed every Undertaker match in Wrestlemania history, including seeing two of those matches live and in person at Wrestlemania 22 and 23 respectively. There is speculation that the Undertaker is retiring, and it sure seemed that was after the match as he tried to soak up as much of the atmosphere as he could, especially considering he suffered a severe concussion during his match with Brock Lesnar. If the rumors are true, then I am happy to say I’ve witnessed maybe the greatest performer of all-time, perform on the grandest stage of them all. The Undertaker’s streak will never be duplicated, and he will go down as one of the all-time greats. It will be a shame if he goes out this way though because he didn’t even know where he was at, and he is certainly capable of having a better match. My hope is that Taker comes back for one last send off, but it seems unlikely at this point, and therefore I say, Thank You for the memories Taker.
The Undertaker’s loss got everyone down, but there were plenty of great moments at Wrestlemania 30, and one of the coolest moments kicked off the show. The “Immortal” Hulk Hogan kicked of the night as the host of Wrestlemania 30, and it didn’t take long for the Hulkster to be joined in the ring by two of the biggest stars of all-time. Hogan was in the midst of talking about how the fans were going to blow the roof off the Silverdome, but the problem was that they weren’t in the Silverdome, they were in the Superdome. Hogan corrected himself much to the fans delight, and it was then that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made his way to the squared circle. The Superdome went nuts, and they hung on every word Austin said. Austin got all of his infamous catchphrases in before Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson blew the roof of the Superdome. Much like the Undertaker’s loss, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock shared a wrestling ring for the very first time, and it was spectacular to see even though there was no physicality. As a long time wrestling fan, I can’t think of many other moments that are a cool as seeing the three biggest stars in wrestling history sharing a few “Steveweisers” at Wrestlemania.
After one epic moment, came another. The first match on the card was Triple H versus Daniel Bryan for the chance to compete in the main event against Randy Orton and Batista for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This match was an instant classic, and it most definitely was the best match on the card. Daniel Bryan has been the hottest superstar in the WWE for quite some time now, and he has been kept from winning the big one since August of last year. Triple H has been holding him down on television for far too long, and Bryan finally got one over on “The Game”. Bryan finally had his big Wrestlemania moment, but it wasn’t the last we’d see of the leader of the “Yes Movement”.
In between Bryan beating Triple H and the main event we saw some exciting action, including a breakout performance by Bray Wyatt against John Cena. Wyatt eventually lost the match to Cena, but he has certainly become a fan favorite among the older male audience, who typically likes to rebel against the guys like John Cena whom you’re supposed to like. Cesaro also made a name for himself by winning the inaugural Andre “the Giant” Memorial 30-Man Battle Royal. Cesaro was actually entrant 31 in the battle royal, but he was able to lift the Big Show up and over the top rope for the win, which was reminiscent to Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre at Wrestlemania III. There were three other youngsters that made an impression in short fashion, and they were Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose of The Shield. The three dominated Kane and the New Age Outlaws in a match that could’ve been longer, but at the same time highlighted what The Shield can do in the ring. For awhile now, a lot of people have been debating who is the best member of The Shield. That answer may not come anytime soon because all three look like major players in WWE. I expect all three to be the World Champion at some point in the near future, and they are certainly going to carry the WWE one day.
There were a lot of memorable moments at Wrestlemania 30, and the best was saved for last. Daniel Bryan finally got his shot at the World Championship in a Triple Threat Match against Randy Orton and Batista. This match was surprisingly good, considering one of the participants, Batista had been out of wrestling for four years. The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) tried everything to keep Bryan from winning the title including interfering in the match, and bringing back crooked referee Scott Armstrong to try and rob Bryan once again. None of that worked as Bryan fought off The Authority by taking out all three with a suicide dive to the outside of the ring. Bryan also got a sledgehammer shot in on Triple H that ended the interference. If that wasn’t enough, Orton and Batista went back to their Evolution days, and teamed up on Bryan. The most devastating move they performed was a Powerbomb-RKO combo that sent Bryan through a table. Paramedics began to take Bryan out on a stretcher, but his relentlessness pushed though and he got back in the match. 75,000 people went absolutely insane when Bryan eventually made Batista tap out to the Yes Lock. An eight month journey to the title finally reached its pinnacle, and Bryan was finally the champ. After the emotional loss to the Undertaker, the fans were treated to the one thing they truly wanted to happen more than anything. Daniel Bryan finally had the defining moment of his career, and the defining moment of a spectacular Wrestlemania 30