It's finally arrived. WWE's biggest night of the year is here and chances are it's going to be one of those events that changes things for a long time to come. With the arrival of
comes the rise of two young stars, primed to become the future of WWE.
On one end is Daniel Bryan, the man the people have chosen as their uncrowned champion. Six months ago, Bryan was stuck in the
middle of convoluted story-telling
and a seemingly endless run of chasing a title he would never get. That wasn't good enough for the WWE Universe, though. They love him and let the company know who the next face of WWE is.
The Yes Movement
is something special and now WWE ave the chance to capitalize on it with a perfect ending to the 30th installment of "Wrestlemania."
On the other side is a man named Bray Wyatt, who most wrestling fans didn't really know about a year ago. Wyatt has become one of WWE's most promising talents, with the world at his fingertips. As the crazed cult leader of the Wyatt Family, Bray has proven himself as not only the best talker currently in the company, but one of the greatest of his generation. He has wrestling skills to back it up and is set to face the man as synonymous with WWE as anyone could possibly be: John Cena.
In many ways, this is the most exciting match on the card, as the outcome could go either way. However, a win for Wyatt would send his character to the next level. A year from now, he could be in the main event, fighting for the title at "Wrestlemania 31."
The full card for "Wrestlemania 30" is:
- Pre-show: The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans vs Ryback and Curtis Axel for the Tag Team Championships
- Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws
- John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
- The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
- Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
- Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan or Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
In addition to the matches, there are announced appearances by Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin, along with The Rock possibly showing up. Throw in a few more probable surprises, and this is going to be a special "Wrestlemania."
"Wrestlemania 30" kicks off at 7 p.m. ET and you can follow along with
as we live blog the entire show, beginning to end.
The pre-show panel of experts includes Mick Foley, Booker T and Shawn Michaels. Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers is also there, adding even more of a Super Bowl feel to the show.
6:29 - It's time to get the in-ring action underway with the pre-show match.
The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans vs Ryback and Curtis Axel for the Tag Team Championships
This was changed to an elimination match at the last minute, so the Usos definitely have to be pinned to lose their titles. The crowd is excited for the action since it's the first of the night. The only team they aren't cheering for is Rybaxel. The Real Americans just don't get any heat, no matter what. It's still pretty funny how into the "Wee the people" chants the crowd gets, considering what it's all about.
Los Matadores are the first to get high-flying, diving out of the ring onto their opponents. Curtis Axel tries to do the same but instead gets suplexed off the top rope, onto the mess of guys, thanks to an El Torito assist. There's the first "Holy s***" chant of the night.
6:37 - Less than 30 seconds later,
Los Matadores are eliminated thanks to a Patriot Lock from Jack Swagger.
6:45 - Ryback is all over the place dominating the competition until a quick uppercut and Neutralizer from Cesaro takes him and Axel out of the match.
Rybaxel are eliminated, leaving the Real Americans and the Usos battling for the titles. Immediately, the Usos are flying.
6:49 - The two teams go back and forth until all four men are down and out, with Zeb Coulter yelling for Cesaro and Swagger to get back in the game. A miscommunication sees Casaro knock Swagger out of the ring, allowing the Usos to hit a duple splash for the pin and the win.
Winners: The Usos
Next up is the big show. We're only 10 minutes away from "Wrestlemania."
After the match, Swagger attacks Cesaro and locks him in the Patriot Lock until Coulter pulls him off and tries to talk sense to him. He demands the two make up, which leads to a Cesaro Swing on Swagger. The crowd counts along with joy. Babyface Cesaro is something the crowd is down with.
7:00 - The show opens with a video package playing up the musical side of New Orleans and the long history of "Wrestlemania." They even do some crafty CGI work to make it look like Shawn Michaels, Sheamus and the Bellas are in a Mardi Gras parade. That was a nice visual.
Filled with people, the Superdome is an amazing looking venue for "Wrestlemania," with a really impressive stage. WWE went all-out for this show. Luckily, it's domed so that weird canopy of year's past is absence.
We're starting out with Hulk Hogan as the audience comes unglued. The announcers all have bottles of Mountain Dew next to them, if you're wondering who's sponsoring the event.
7:07 - Hulk Hogan's already forgotten his lines. He says we're live in the Silverdome. TWICE. He did it twice. Finally, someone corrected him. Someone hit the big leg drop on Hogan's memory. That's all it takes to bring out Stone Cold Steve Austin to a huge ovation and many middle fingers in the crowd. It's Austin's first "Wrestlemania" appearance since "Wrestlemania 27."
He runs through a promo about how important "Wrestlemania" is and it's pretty good. He talks about how tonight is the night for the new generation to put it all on the line. Enter The Rock to an even bigger ovation.
7:15 - Rock, Austin and Hogan in the ring at the same time, this is the stuff of professional wrestling legend. A "This is awesome" chant has never been more appropriate and New Orleans doesn't disappoint. "Finally, The Rock has come back to New Orleans." It's the Rock's first WWE appearance of any kind since his main event match with John Cena at "Wrestlemania 29." Rock doesn't screw up the name of the Superdome.
The Rock brings up Cena to a chorus of boos. Daniel Bryan doesn't get the same treatment. The "Yes" chants are plentiful and loud. This is coming across as more fun for The Rock than he had during his entire build to either John Cena match he had. He's all smiles and not doing it to promote anything. All three men are having a blast throwing out catchphrases and joking around like old friends. It has to end with a beer bash, Steveweisers for everyone.
Wait, there are matches?
7:26 - Daniel Bryan and Triple H are getting the opening match. Makes sense since the winner will also be in the main event.
Daniel Bran vs. Triple H - Winner competes in the main event
7:30 - Stephanie is out to introduce Triple H wearing very short shorts, something you commonly see on corporate types, right? Triple H emerges on the stage wearing his skull crown, on that throne that seems to pop up around "Wreslemania" more and more. He's surrounded by scantily clad blondes. His wife must love that.
Triple H has to practice that water spit, right?
7:35 - In contrast to Triple H, Daniel Bryan has a no-frills entrance. All he needs is the people, and they are there for him. The reaction he's receiving is off the charts and Bryan couldn't have a bigger smile on his face because of it.
Bryan's shoulders are taped up, so expect that to become a focal point for Triple H. Hunter offers a handshake, but Bryan kicks it away and goes for the quick pin. That's when the kicks come out. Triple H is already realizing how he underestimated Bryan.
Stephanie being at ringside sets up a situation where Triple H may get a dirty win. It's odd, Triple H essentially having a valet at ringside for his match.
7:41 - The two men are going punch-for-punch, hold-for-hold. Outside the ring, Bryan jumps off the ring apron to hit a huge DDT on Triple H. He then takes a dive off the top rope to further incapacitate Hunter.
7:48 - Finally, Triple H goes after the shoulder to start wearing Bryan down. He locks in the crossface, while Stephanie harasses Bryan on the outside. Even though it's strange for Hunter to have a valet, Stephanie is bringing huge heat to the match. Bryan gets to the ropes, causing Triple H to break the hold.
Bryan battles back with a series of German Suplexes, something you never see in wrestling anymore. Triple H counters with a chicken wing and a Tiger Suplex. This is the kind of wrestling it would be amazing to see all the time.
7:57 - After some more back and forth, Triple H is back on the shoulder with another crossface, but Bryan counters into the Yes Lock. Bryan then fires up, diving onto Triple H at ringside twice and taking him out with a missile dropkick. Then the repeated kicks begin, ending with one to the head. It's the first time Stephanie looks legitimately scared.
8:00 - Triple H counters the running knee into a huge spinebuster and a pedigree, but only gets a 2-count.
Triple H goes goes for another Pedigree, but Bryan spins out of it and nails the running kick for the win. The crowd absolutely explodes while Stephanie looks sad. No shenanigans to give Bryan the win. That was clean as clean can be and just beautiful.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
After the match, Triple H attacks Bryan to do even more damage to the shoulder, whacking it with a chair. Stephanie is one happy girl.
The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws
8:10 - That's a long walk for The Shield when you're in a stadium. Kane starts off the match with Dean Ambrose. That means nothing though, this match is all over the place. Roman Reigns spears everyone and they powerbomb the Outlaws both at once. Seth Rollins gets the quick pin and it's done.
8:14 - The Shield leave with a super quick victory.
Winners: The Shield
Backstage the legends are playing with toys. That was the best commercial for WWE Slam City that could ever possibly hapen. Thankfully, Farooq is there to sum it all up in one word: "Damn."
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
8:16 - The Andre trophy for the match is impressive. It starts off with everyone except Big Show and Sheamus in the ring. They're the only two who got entrances. Great Khali and Brodus Clay are the first to go. That leaves only one giant left. Zack Ryder quickly follows.
8:20 - Mark Henry dumps all of MB before Big Show eliminates him. A slew of guys follow suit.
8:27 - Guys are dropping out left and right, but Kofi Kingston continues his streak of not being eliminated in the most interesting ways. All it earns him is a Cesaro Swing, though.
The final four are Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Big Show and Cesaro. Del Rio and Sheamus eliminate each other and then there are two. The crowd is big into the idea of Cesaro winning the match, booing Big Show's offense.
8:30 - In an amazing feat of strength, reminiscent of Hogan/Andre, Cesaro picks up Big Show and bodyslams him out of the ring for the winner. He wasn't on anyone's radar coming in, that's a great moment. He and Big Show share a handshake after the match.
It's time for what may be the sleeper hit of the entire show.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
8:38 - Bray Wyatt gets an awesome voodoo-themed entrance, with his music being played live by a very creepy band. The long walk means getting to hear much more of the song, which is even cooler as it goes on. For the first time since maybe "Wrestlemania 21," John Cena has a standard entrance. It plays to how serious he is about the match, which is a great touch.
In the ring, the Family stands between Wyatt and Cena, before Bray sends them out of the ring. Wyatt drops to his knees and tells Cena to finish him, but John just stands there. The mind games are awesome. Cena waits for Wyatt to go on the attack.
8:46 - Wyatt takes control early on, laughing that Cena won't even try to fight him. It's worth noting that Cena is wearing Hulk Hogan underwear. Pull your pants up, John.
8:51 - There's been practically no offense whatsoever from Cena. Wyatt is dominating him, with the announcers playing up that he's gotten inside Cena's head.
Finally, Cena starts stringing together his regular offense, which brings the boos. He does for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but when he turns around, Bray is up in the crabwalk which catches him way off guard. That was great.
Wyatt is back in control after that short flurry. Cena briefly gets Wyatt down but it's countered by a big powerbomb. That awakens something in Cena as he hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the AA. Unfortunately for him, Wyatt reverses it into a sick-looking gutbuster.
8:57 - Wyatt follows that up with a DDT on the ring apron, which earns him a two-count. Outside the ring, Cena makes a rare dive onto the Family, but is then taken out by Bray, who goes to use the stairs on him. Cena recovers and knocks the stairs away before grabbing them himself. He's fighting an inner battle and throws them away before he can use them.
Cena is toying with heel tendencies. Is this the moment his long-awaited turn finally happens? Wyatt takes advantage of Cena's confusion to hit him with the crossbody. As he goes for a clothesline, Cena ducks and hits the AA for two.
A little interference from the Family goes a long way. Bray sends Cena outside, where he attacks other members of the Family.
9:03 - Back in the ring, Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail, but Cena reverses into the STF. He breaks the hold and goes for a clothesline, which Wyatt tuns into a successful Sister Abigail, but only gets a two-count.
Wyatt is finally losing control and grabs a chair, but he hands it to Cena and drops to his knees again, begging John to embrace the hate and hit him. Instead he hits Rowan with it and nails Wyatt with the AA for the win. You know, that thing John Cena doesn't need at all. Say what you will about the match, as it was pretty great, but Cena getting the win was a bad call here. This would have been a match that made Wyatt as a main event talent.
Winner: John Cena
9:17 - Time for the annual lengthening of the streak.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Regardless of how you feel about the buildup for this match, Undertaker always delivers at "Wrestlemania" and has had very entertaining matches with Brock Lesnar in the past. Plus, there's always his entrance. This time there are coffins lining the stage, one for each victory. However, the camera looks away before showing CM Punk's.
Gone are the over-the-top robes. Undertaker is back in the old school mortician's hat and trench coat. He stands next to the newest casket, which awaits Brock Lesnar. The casket open and catches fire before Taker makes his way to the ring.
9:30 - Brock's "scared of Undertaker" face is pretty fantastic.
Undertaker is dominant early on, landing punches and that apron leg drop he does so well. Still, the pacing is very slow and only gets slower when Lesnar goes on the offense.
9:43 - This is the quietest the crowd has been all night. Who knows why, but this match just isn't living up to the rest of the card. Of course, Undertaker is also coming off a string of fantastic "Wrestlemania" matches, so this is being held to a higher standard.
9:46 - Undertaker locks on the Hell's Gate, but Lesnar breaks it before tapping out. Lesnar's the one of them with a bit of energy as Heyman loses his ring screaming at ringside. Brock fires back with the Kimura Lock, trying to break Undertaker's arm. That's not going to work out, though. Taker reverses it into his own Kimura Lock for good measure.
9:51 - Finally the crowd wakes up as Taker goes for Old School, but Brock pulls him down and nails an F5, the second of the match, for a two count. Now's the time for these guys to kick it into high gear.
Undertaker tries for the Last Ride but dropped Brock too early. Then it was Tombstone time, but only for a two count.
9:57 - There are no words for what happens next. Brock hits a third F5 on Undertaker for what looked like a two-count but was rules a three. The Undertaker's streak has been broken. Of all the matches for the streak to end on, this is a disappointment. The crowd is completely deflated.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
That's a nice reward for a part timer. Undertaker gets a standing ovation from everyone at ringside as the crowd continues to stare in disbelief. A "Thank you Taker" chant breaks out, as the video screen reads the final tally of 21-1.
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
10:13 - The crowd has absolutely no idea how to react to this match after Undertaker's loss. In the end, A.J. Lee retains her title with a submission move. Vickie Guerrero is horrified.
Winner: A.J. Lee
Time for the main event. If Bryan and Undertaker both lose, it might be the end of the world. First, Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Mr. T and Roddy Piper are backstage. "Wrestlemania I" main event is represented. They finally bury the hatchet, hugging it out.
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
10:20 - The band that performs Orton's theme song is there to play him to the ring. They sound exactly like the recorded version, which isn't necessarily a compliment. Not even Daniel Bryan can recapture the crowd completely. They're absolutely spent and the "Yes" chants have definitely faded.
The ref gets kicked as well, then Bryan dives onto all of them at ringside.That makes Triple H go under the ring for a sledgehammer. Why is that under there anyway? Bryan kicks Triple H and grabs the hammer, hitting him with it. He then rolls up Batista, but Orton breaks it up.
Bryan immediately uses a headscissors to get Batista out of the ring, leaving Orton to go to work on his injured shoulder.
10:34 - Slowly, but surely, Bryan is rallying the crowd. Orton and Batista are focused on each other, so Bryan is able to get his shots in. Then Batista pays attention and starts stomping him. That doesn't endear him with the crowd, but Bryan gets both men in corners, running back and forth with dropkicks.
Bryan gets Orton in the Yes Lock, looking near a win. That's when Triple H and Stephanie come out from the crowd to pull a referee out. Triple H brings out his own crooked referee as Batista goes for the powerbomb. Bryan still kicks out at two.
10:41 - Orton and Batista work together to completely destroy Bryan, even ramming his shoulder with the steel steps. The two take apart the announcer's table and set up a rather impressive move. Batista powerbombs Bryan through the table, while Orton RKOs him.
The medics are coming out for Bryan.
10:47 - With Bryan out of the match, Orton and Batista finally focus on each other. However, Bryan fights his way off the stretcher.
Bryan still fights back, locking the Yes Lock on Orton, then on Batista. It gets broken up both times. Batista goes for the spear, but Orton leaps over it and instead Batista and Bryan knock heads. An RKO later and Orton gets a two count.
10:51 - Bryan hits the running knee on Orton, but Batista tosses him from the ring. After a Batistabomb, Bryan comes back with a running knee on Batista and the Yes Lock for the submission victory.
Winner and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan
The crowd is alive once again as Bryan celebrates with both titles. Bryan takes the celebration to ringside as every firework known to man explodes on the stage and confetti rains from the sky. It's a big happy face on the end of "Wrestlemania 30," but the Undertaker's loss is hanging over it all.
Still, nothing can take away from this moment. Bryan's in the ring with tears in his eyes, staring at the titles. The best part is the cowd is just as excited as he is. That's a perfect "Wrestlemania" moment to end the show.