So it begins. The great fan sh--storm of our era. Ladies and gents, WrestleMania 30 is officially in the bag and the world of the WWE as we know it will never be the same again. Again. What might sound like mere marketing buzzwords at plenty of other moments in WWE history have a decided ring of truth to them today. In the aftermath of this past Sunday's 'Mania, the face of the WWE looks a whole lot different than it did this time last week.
The most noteworthy moment to come out of sports entertainment's biggest show has to be the results of the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match. Going into the match the Undertaker carried an impressive over two decades long undefeated streak at the show. Yes, this means that for 21 years strong the Deadman has competed in the 'Mania and successfully defeated every single opponent placed in his path. For his 22nd WrestleMania match the Phenom took on Brock Lesnar, the Monster, the Violator, the Reaper of Men, the Beast Incarnate. On this fateful day, in the year of our Lord 2009 + 5, the Phenom, the Deadman, the Unstoppable Force, the Man the Myth and the Legend fell.
21 - 1
Living up to the promise of his 'EAT, SLEEP, BREAK THE STREAK' t-shirt, Brock Lesnar did just that and put the Undertaker down for the count. In the aftermath of his win an unnerving silence swept through the 75,000 plus sold out New Orleans SuperDome. A genuine sense of shock seemed to have overtaken everyone, people being unsure if they really just saw what they think they did. There are reports of people in the audience being genuinely in tears; some of people storming out angrily. The fallout from this is going to be epic.
For now, though, let's go into the bout itself and look at exactly how it all came to pass. Lining the stage at the beginning of their epic match was 21 caskets, symbolizing every single one of his other opponents he's defeated at 'Mania. At the top of the ramp is the 22nd, reserved for Brock. Seems tragically ironic now. A badass man once said, "The grave you dig for me is the one you'll rot in." At least, I think. If not, then why the hell not, as it's a sufficiently badass thing to say. So yeah, badass guy, if you're out there, coining awesome phrases like this, congratulations. If not, get on your job, man. Yeesh.
From the opening bell the Undertaker erupts from the corner, raining down big shots on the Beast, appearing as if he wants to match the monster's savagery on his own terms. Not exactly the best of strategies for going head to head with the UFC seasoned MMA champ and Brock quickly turns the tide, returning heavy shots of his own. Not even the Phenom can stand up to a sustained pummeling from the Beast and Lesnar sends him over the top ropes with a big clothesline.
Unfazed, the Deadman lands on his feet and fixes his cold, cemetery eyes right on Brock. He fights to get back into the ring, taking a couple of stiff knee shots from Brock for his trouble. The Phenom tumbles Brock over the top ropes and to the outside floor. Realizing he's not going to be able to take down the younger, stronger, faster Lesnar on brute strength alone, the Undertaker switches tactics, targeting Brock's arms and legs to weaken and slow him down.
The two tie up outside, 'Taker slamming Lesnar into the corner post. Back inside he lifts the massive mound of muscle known as Lesnar and carries him to the corner turnbuckle, ringing his neck on it with his trademark 'Snake Eyes' then bounding off the ropes for a big boot chaser. He goes for a chokeslam and Brock reverses, pulling him into the F5. The Undead One reverses this and sends Lesnar into the corner. The Undertaker tries to ram him with a hard boot but gets caught up in the turnbuckle.
All momentum seems to be on Brock's side as he unloads heavy boots to the downed star and picks him up for a staggering suplex. The Undertaker finally breaks through the assault, making headway with a running DDT. He puts Lesnar in another 'Snake Eyes', followed by a leg drop and pin, for a 2 count. He puts Brock in a chokeslam that rattles the ring, good for another 2. Looking to seal the deal he pulls Brock in for a Tombstone but the Monster powers out, turning it into a vicious F5 instead. Lesnar goes for the pin and 'Taker kicks out at 2.
Lesnar reaches for the downed 'Taker and the Phenom pulls his arm in for the 'Hell's Gate' arm lock. In an amazing display of raw power Brock lifts 'Taker off the ground and reverses the move into a power bomb. Unrelenting, the Lord of Darkness goes for another 'Hell's Gate' only to be powerbombed again. Lesnar pulls the Undertaker into a stiff kimura arm bar, the same move he used to put Triple-H out of commission a couple years ago. Only instead of succumbing to the move the Deadman manages to reverse into a kimura of his own. Lesnar makes it to the ropes, forcing a break. The pair slug it out, then another F5 from Lesnar gets a noticeably much closer 2-count than before. The Behemoth pulls 'Taker into a German suplex that crumples him.
The Undertaker repays the favor with a Last Ride powerbomb that almost deflates Lesnar. The devastating Lesnar powers back to his feet and 'Taker pulls him in for the Tombstone. Still seeing signs of life 'Taker picks him up for another piledriver to put the final nail in Lesnar's coffin. The Beast has apparently been saving some reserves for a final feat of strength and reverses into an F5 instead. He goes for the pin and 'Taker doesn't answer the count. 3 seconds later and Brock Lesnar's name is suddenly one that will go down in infamy: The Man Who Ended The Streak.
AFFIRMATIVE! AFFIRMATIVE! AFFIRMATIVE!
Man, how different would the WWE be if Daniel Bryan had chosen this word as his catch-phrase. Or what about that supercalifragilistic Mary Poppins monstrosity. All of this is just a roundabout way of saying the 'YES!' movement barreled into the New Orleans Superdome (or Silverdome, as a very confused Hulk Hogan referred to it) with authority. First up was-- to quote Booker T-- my main man D-Bry taking on the Game, Triple-H. The winner of this match would go on to compete in the Main Event as part of a triple threat with Randy Orton and Batista. In his new position as COO, Hunter has made no secret of his lack of faith in Bryan's ability to be the head guy of the WWE. A lot was riding on Bryan's ability to prove himself tonight, both to the WWE Universe and to the Game himself.
Triple-H started off the fight by extending his hand for a shake, one which Bryan rebukes by kicking it away. Already injured from a previous run-in with the Game, the bandaged Daniel Bryan explodes out of the corner at Triple-H. The Game is quick to capitalize on Bryan's weakness and instantly targets the injured shoulder and left arm.
This match becomes a down-and-dirty brawl, seemingly more about each person trying to hurt the other moreso than any victory. Bryan delivers are hard kick to Triple-H's back; the Game puts Bryan in a wince-inducing armbreaker. Daniel Bryan puts Triple-H in a tornado DDT that shocks Stephanie at ringside. He pulls Bryan into a crossface which the 'Yes'-man reverses into his own 'Yes'-lock. After much back-and-forth Triple-H pulls Bryan into a Pedigree, hoping to make short work of him.
To Triple-H's astonishment Bryan kicks out. Game goes for another Pedigree and Bryan floors him with a stiff running knee. He goes for the pin and... wait for it... gets it, beating the Game clean for a 3-count win. Steph comes in the ring, seemingly to congratulate him, but instead slaps him hard. This allows Triple-H to sneak up behind him and attack. He grabs a steel chair and uses it to jam Bryan's injured arm against the ringpost.
Fast forward to the night's main event, where Bryan, Randy Orton and Batista all face one another in a Triple Threat. Daniel Bryan starts off the match like a rabid honey badger, one who gives zero f's about who his opponents are. Whether its the insurmountable wall of muscle, Batista or the Viper, Randy Orton, Bryan has traveled long and far to get to this point and he's determined not to let anyone stand in his way. He starts the match with a targeted missile dropkick to Orton. He hurricanranas Batista out of the ring, showing the surgical precision with which he's approaching this match.
Not to be outdone, the Viper homes in on Bryan's weakened arm and dishes out some punishment of his own. With Bryan writhing in pain, Orton sets his sights on Batista. He drops the Animal with a backbreaker. Outside he tosses him into the barricade. Batista grabs Orton and rams him into the steel steps. The pair battle their way back into the ring and are busy pummeling each other when Daniel Bryan unloads a double missile drop kick that floors them both.
With Brian gaining the upper hand, it wasn't long before The Authority would make their hand known. Hunter and Stephanie would hurry to ringside just as it was looking like Orton would fall. The Game pulls the impartial referee from the match, replacing him with one of his own lackeys, Scott Armstrong. Bryan would have none of it, delivering one of his trademark head kicks to Armstrong and sending him back to the nether regions from whence he came. Bryan would then suicide dive outside the ring, landing on Game, Steph and Armstrong. Triple-H packs his trademark sledgehammer but Bryan turns the tables, using it on him instead.
While Bryan is distracted Orton and Batista decide to gang up on him. Orton slams him with the steel steps. Batista takes Bryan to the top of the announce table, setting him up for a Batista bomb. As he executes it the Viper grabs Bryan by the neck and turns it into a very cool-looking (if painful) combo power bomb/inverted RKO. A BombKO, if you will. This looks to be it for Bryan. Attendants rush out to his aid and put him on a stretcher to be wheeled away.
You can't keep a good GOAT down
Bryan hops off the stretcher and returns to the fray. Orton goes for the RKO and Bryan reverses it to the 'Yes'-lock. Things devolve into chaos. Batista spears Bryan. Orton RKO's Batista. Bryan running knees Orton. Batista tosses Bryan out of the ring then grabs Orton for the Batista Bomb. Bryan comes back in and slugs Batista with a running knee. He pulls the massive man into the 'Yes'-lock and all air leaves the arena. The Animal finally relents, and in three quick taps cedes victory.
The arena explodes. Your new WWE undisputed champion, Daniel Bryan.
Creapy Swamp King, Bray Wyatt and his hillbilly brood continued to haunt John Cena. Wyatt starts off the contest with his typical mind games, dropping to his knees and inviting Cena to quote "Finish me. Be the monster you already are." Ah, but no, WWE. You shall not entice me any further with more vague intimations of Cena becoming a bad guy. In the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects that which is less likely than a John Cena heel turn."
The Cenation Commander-in-Chief doesn't take the bait. Wyatt unleashes a hellacious offense, showing there's more to him than just cryptic words and general all-around creepiness. Both men put on an impressive display, Cena reminding people why he's still one of the top dogs in the WWE and Bray putting his name in the ring as a superbright up and coming star, but in the end there can be only one.
Cena takes the win, but not before Wyatt dodges the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a super freaky crabwalk thing.
Other results from WrestleMania 30, courtesy WWE.com:
WrestleMania XXX Pre-Show: Fatal 4-Way
(Tag Team Champs) The Usos vs. Real Americans vs.
Rybaxel vs. Los Matadores
Winners (by Pinfall): The Usos
The Shield vs.
Kane & The New Age Outlaws
Winners (by Pinfall): The Shield
30-Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
Winner: (Divas Champion) AJ Lee
All-in-all, a very exciting WrestleMania, one which made a lot of bold moves and dared to shake up the WWE in a way fans have been clamoring for for a very long time now. The upcoming Monday Night Raw following the 'Mania is going to be one to watch out for.
Alright, that "badass" quote from earlier was driving me crazy so I Googled it. Turns out it was used by Celie in 'The Color Purple'. Man, who saw that one coming, eh? I guess it's only fitting with the surprise twists and turns we've seen this WM30. Lesnar takes the streak and Bryan takes the belts. No one saw that coming, just like when this article started i'm sure no one predicted that by the end of it i'd be talking about 'The Color Purple'. So that's where we are now. As a species.
Thanks for reading.