WWE Wrestlemania XXX is finally here tonight as the biggest pro wrestling event of the year it will air live on pay-per-view and for the first time it will be the new digital video service WWE Network at 6pm CST / 7pm EST. In the grand setting of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, WWE’s best and brightest stars will clash, hoping to leave with victory, glory, and a career-defining moment. Pro Wrestling Examiner pulls back the curtain and gives you an in-depth preview of this mega-event and everything that may or may not occur.
WWE’s special pre-show live coverage kicks off at 4pm CST / 5pm EST with panel discussion of legends and superstars running down the action on the card. The first hour of this live show will air on youtube.com/wwe and WWE Network. The second hour will air exclusively on the WWE Network. You can subscribe to the Network at wwenetwork.com
Hulk Hogan serves as host of Wrestlemania 30, bringing his legendary charisma to the event he helped put on the map 30 years ago. After many surgeries and just the burden of being the Hulkster, Hogan is not going to wrestle in a full fledged match but that does not mean this American icon can not get into a brawl of some kind. The man in red and yellow will also be in several non-wrestling segments during tonight’s 4 hour show.
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As if Hulk's stardust was not enough to sprinkle on this evening, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin is confirmed to appear on WM30. The Rattlesnake's role is unknown at this time, but weeks ago on his popular podcast Austin stated that he would not do Wrestlemania if he did not have something noteworthy to do on the show. Will the glass break tonight at the Superdome, followed by a couple of Stone Cold Stunners? Oh hell yeah!
Fatal 4 Way WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. Real American vs. Rybaxel
The sons of Rikishi Jimmy and Jay Uso have made their dad proud, carrying on the rich tradition of the Samoan wrestling dynasty when they captured the WWE Tag Team titles in Chicago last month. Now they can stomp their way into a higher plane of success with a ‘W’ here but that will not be easy in the Big Easy. The Real Americans lead by the wooly bully mustached Zeb Colter, may not get along very well but they got the hottest up ‘n comer in the business: Cesaro. The Swiss strongman has been swinging opponents around and giving fans so many memorable performances that his star seems to outshine his partner Jack Swagger. That tension could lend itself to sprawling nature of a one-fall-to-a-finish match for the Bronze belts being a surprisingly strong opening bout on the pre-show. Prediction: The Usos deliver on their potential and retain the titles.
30 Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Here are the 27 confirmed entrants for this match:
Intercontinental Champion Big E
Alberto Del Rio
The Great Khali
Pro Wrestling Examiner dug a little deeper into sifting through the pack here and singled out 5 superstars who got the best chances of leaving the match with Andre the Giant trophy, you can read that here. Much like the Royal Rumble in January, educated WWE fans always expect a surprise when so many superstars are in one match. There is three spots open here which could be easy slots to fill with a returning names like Rob Van Dam who has been spotted all over the NOLA area. Just imagine the nostalgia pop of seeing the newly inducted Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior running to the ring?!
The Vickie Guerrero Invitational for the WWE Divas Championship
Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero set up this match and it features almost every WWE diva on the roster competing for the Butterfly Platinum title. The current title-holder AJ Lee has been reigning over the ladies of the WWE as the longest running Divas champion in several years. It just seems like there is no way AJ is going to survive this one when every Total and non-so-total diva collide. Here are the confirmed names for the Invitational.
Prediction: Brie Mode! Brie Bella wins this scramble to have another special gift before her upcoming wedding to fan favorite Daniel Bryan.
The Shield vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws
In January, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and United States Champion Dean Ambrose were very close to falling apart as a team. Reigns with dashing good looks and profound power seem to steer himself away from the Shield at the Royal Rumble when he eliminated his Shield partners and shatter the eliminations record in the classic 30 man match. Yet somehow that changed, and here we are. The Shield who have been the cornerstone of WWE TV since their late 2012 debut, dominated many of the biggest names in the business but it seemed being that ‘bad’ made them that ‘good’ in the eyes of the fans. Before breaking the Hounds of Justice are back on the prowl.
The veteran trio of Corporate Kane and the Corporate Age Outlaws ‘Roaddog’ Jesse James and Billy Gunn have the years and the past championships behind them but they lack any momentum here. Prediction: The Shield wins but they may see some discontent in a post-match scene.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
For the first time in a long time, the franchise player of WWE John Cena is not in the main event for WWE title at Wrestlemania but that is the only first here. The Cenation leader faces a leader in his own right, the upstart Bray Wyatt and his demented Wyatt Family. The narrative told in the past few weeks on ‘RAW’ has been one of the best roads to WM30 to follow with Wyatt dialing in his insane words into a slightly focused madness that feels like a true threat to Cena and his legacy which may be fading. The ‘first’ thing fans can take from this match Cena is going to face a legitimate threat and he knows it. Prediction: Playing out like ‘Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back”, the Wyatt clan conquerors Cena through nefarious means yet it will be very entertaining.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
The road to WM30 for these two bitter rivals started off with a rip roaring bang on ‘RAW’ when Brock Lesnar and his associate Paul Heyman laid out an open contract for WM30. The Deadman hit the ring, stabbed Lesnar’s hand with the same pen he signed the deal, and slammed the former UFC Heavyweight Champion through a table. That excitement among fans tuning in around the world subsided, and the matchup is lacking that 'will he or won't he' mojo that Undertaker's preivous Mania campaigns benefited from.
And the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak is all about expectations after growing to an astounding 21-0 and delivering performances that are considered the ‘Match of the Year’ almost every year. Those highly raised stakes with the winds of time catching up to ‘Taker at his extended age and proven aggression of Lesnar make it likely this match will meet expectations of high drama. Prediction: Undertaker moves ‘the streak’ to 22-0 in a brutal and gnarly brawl.
WWE Championship Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. the winner of Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
There is no telling how this main event angle will play out but one thing is true: this is Daniel Bryan’s night to move Wrestlemania sized mountains with his ‘Yes Movement’. Dbry is the man who has been suppressed and screwed out of the WWE title now has the chance to destroy his direct nemesis Triple H and in the same evening capture the prize that has eluded him since Summerslam. The culmination of that issue combined with the star power of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and Batista will deliver a two match titanic of a wrestling tale.
The key to pulling off this spectacle is how the two separate matches are formatted on tonight's 4 hour show. Will Bryan have to go through Triple H and then immediately face Orton and Batista? Will the King of Kings open the show against the Yes-Man, with the title match closing out the show? Only time will tell, and the anticipation among the wrestling world is at a fever pitch.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan gets passed the Game only to be laid out with a post match attack. Later in the evening, Daniel Bryan says ‘NO!’ to quitting, enters the WWE title match, and says ‘YES!’ to his destiny of being the ‘