Wrestlemania XXX: Say Hello to the Yes Era

by Shanna Harris (@AbsoluteSmark)

Wrestlemania 30 was an epic show. From HHH seated at his throne, to Daniel Bryan crying looking at his newly earned championships, Wrestlemania 30 has earned the early distinction of being #1 in my all time favorite Wrestlemania’s ever. I’ve seen them all, but this night took the top spot, and for good reason.

But in order to understand the full scale of the show, we’ve got to break down this show down match by match. Here we go.

Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Winners: The Uso’s.

The very first match to open the show was a damn good way to start off what would be an epic night of wrestling entertainment. As ambivalent as I was about Los Matadores, those boys performed and I felt sad when they got eliminated. Rybaxel debuted (what I thought) was an atrocious new theme, but the boys did work last night and I can’t be mad at that. The high point of the match was when the final two teams were in. I always knew The Uso’s were amazing wrestlers, but they had me on my feet a few times during the end of the match. False finishes galore and the breakup of The Real American’s makes for a successful opener.

HHH vs Daniel Bryan
Winner: Daniel Bryan
(Advances to Triple Threat match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

A few of my 4CR pals said this would be the first match, but I didn’t believe it. How silly of me. Of COURSE this match would be on first so the emotional rollercoaster called Wrestlemania 30 could start off bright and early. I’ve said before that I thought Daniel Bryan would take HHH to his limit, and he did that and then some. But make no mistake. This was a hard match to watch. It was physical and brutal. But, if the point of the match was for me to be on my feet pacing and cringing at every hit, WWE hit the mark. WWE also hit the mark with the INCREDIBLE HHH throne entrance with the harem of NXT women at his sides and feet. Holy god, I really loved that. The disparity between the entrances really highlighted that DB is not a man of flash and over the top showings, but one of the people. He’s a regular guy who just happens to be an amazing wrestler.

To sum things up, I screamed when Daniel Bryan hit the knee on HHH and the match ended. I physically jumped up and down when he beat HHH. Daniel still had a way to go, but I knew my belief in him was justified. But more on that later.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal
Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Guys, as much shit as I talked about this battle royal, the “big ending” of this was so much fun. However, I still stand by the fact that having 30 guys in a ring in this type of match isn’t something that should be repeated. I hate battle royals, but like I said, this match was the perfect relief from the super serious HHH/Bryan match. Kofi Kingston had his craziest elimination avoidance spot yet by falling flat on his back outside the ring, but still managing to keep his feet on the ring steps, which kept him in the match. Awesome visual, awesome bump to take. However, the real winner of the evening was WWE not taking the predictable way out with this match by having Big Show win, and having Antonio Cesaro (the literal swiss super man) be the one to eliminate him. I said this on Twitter last night, but Cesaro actually lifting Big Show and throwing him over the ropes is a moment that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I’m very much hoping that this match is the much needed start to the super push of Antonio Cesaro. He can do anything, and now it’s time for WWE to put their weight behind him.

The Shield vs Kane and The New Age Outlaws
Winners: The Shield

Imagine my complete surprise at The Shield squashing Kane and NOA. Which is exactly what The Shield should’ve done. This one match was one of few times on the show where I had a solid, minute long laugh. I’m so glad The Shield smashed them to bits. I don’t have much else to say other than nite nite NOA, and don’t forget to not be on TV for at least 2 years.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
Winner: Super Cena

I’m sorry if you disagree, but the ending of this match pissed me off. I love Bray Wyatt and the Family, and I still believe they should’ve been the victorious party at Wrestlemania.

But, the rest of the match was a master class in ring psychology. Bray taking Cena to his emotional limit will always be entertaining to me, but Bray Wyatt conducting the crowd as they sing “The whole world in his hands” is my personal pick for the 2nd greatest Wrestlemania moment of all time. I’m not sure just how much of Bray’s momentum was lost after Cena decided to go and hug babies in the crowd and not acknowledge the ass kicking he was taking the entire match, but I can only hope that my theory of this story continuing on Raw tonight will actually come to fruition.

Not acknowledging this situation does more of a disservice to the build of the match and the power of Bray Wyatt. WWE, give Bray his power back. Turn up the heat on the psychotic Bray and let him run wild tonight. It’s the only acceptable way to go.

The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar Winner: Brock Lesnar

First and foremost, the actual match was awful. It didn’t belong at Wrestlemania. No question. People might think I’m exaggerating, but I was doing household chores instead of watching the full match. From time to time I would look up, see an F-5, and look back down at what I was doing. And then it happened.

I was sitting on my couch looking at Twitter when I looked up and saw Lesnar deliver a 3rd F-5 to Taker. I stood up and chuckled to myself, thinking they were going way too far over the top with the false finishes for this match. Then, the referee counted 1-2-3 and the steak was broken. I was standing up and holding my phone in my hand, and when the finish happened, my jaw hit the floor and I sat myself back down on my couch. I was stunned.

I’m 30 years old and have been watching Undertaker for years. He’s had a lengthy career, and for all intents and purposes, is a WWE legend and future hall of famer. But the streak being broken is a definite coming of age for me. I never, ever in my wildest dreams ever thought I would live to see Undertaker defeated at Wrestlemania. Him being pinned was a huge shock. But make no mistake. Undertaker is finished and it is more than time for him to be finished. He cannot wrestle anymore, and after that match, I am not sorry to see him go. I respect the performer and always will, but it is time for the new stars of tomorrow to take the stage.

No matter what happens in the future, I will always remember where I was and what I was doing when the streak was broken. It was legitimately one of the most memorable match finishes in the last 20 years of Wrestlemania. Off the top of my head, I can think of nothing that even comes close to the storied streak being finished. Crazy.

Vickie Guerrero Diva’s Championship Invitiational Winner: AJ Lee

To be quite honest with all of you, I was still in shock about Taker losing, so I didn’t pay much attention to anything but the finish of this match. No mistake, AJ “made” Naomi tap out. Naomi didn’t tap on her own. I know it’s not the cool thing to assume anything anymore, but I’m thinking that AJ and Naomi will finally be going toe to toe for the Diva’s title after this. I said in my predictions that I wanted something big to happen for the Diva’s after Wrestlemania, and it looks like that might happen. AJ and Naomi have had some damn good matches, and I would be more than happy to witness a continuation in the series.

Oh, and Nikki and Brie may be mad at each other. Whatever.

Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Winner (and new Champion): Daniel Bryan

I’ve been a fan of WWE wrestling for over 10 years. I lived through the attitude era, the murder/suicide of Chris Benoit, the deaths of past legends like Eddie Guerrero, and a host of other retirements and epic matches. Until Wrestlemania, I felt confident in saying that I’d seen it all. That is, I’d seen it all until April 6th.

To start, I’d like to say that I’ve not seen a single moment of Daniel Bryan outside of WWE. I never saw him in ROH or anywhere else on the indy scene. My only exposure to him is his work in WWE. But, Daniel Bryan won me over quickly. He went from a baby faced background player to the man who is now the driving force behind the new era of prime time players in WWE. Because Daniel Bryan is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and is now the new face.

But make no mistake. We were put through the ringer to get to this point. Daniel Bryan took every kind of ass kicking imaginable, including being tossed through a table and being double teamed and thrown through a table by Orton and Batista. But I am so, so happy that the build was so intense. Like I said earlier, I’ve been a fan for a long time and have seen so much in this business. But Daniel Bryan beating HHH with a KNEE PLUS, and then making Batista tap out to win the titles are the only two times in my life where I’ve screamed with joy and cried at the result of a wrestling match. I was a complete wreck after Daniel picked up the title for the first time. Daniel Bryan, the man I’ve been behind since he came into WWE, finally climbed the mountain last night.

Since I’m writing this in a haze of non-sleep, I’ll say this. Seeing Daniel Bryan get emotional after he won the titles just shows me that he was the right man to win. He is the future, and I will remain firmly in the Daniel Bryan camp no matter what happens in the future.

Long live Daniel Bryan, and the new era starts NOW!

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