Joel: In rewatching this WrestleMania, I am honestly a little bit in awe of it. This may be as close to perfect as WrestleMania is ever going to get. Everything just seemed to click. Daniel Bryan is the big story here, having two matches, to both open and close the show. Either one of those matches could be a contender for match of the year, and together, along with the video packages, told one of the best underdog stories to ever come out of this company. The “Monster” video they played, telling the background of this story is one of the best video packages that the WWE editors have ever put together. Even if the rest of the show had been nothing more than subpart, the strength of the Daniel Bryan material is enough to pull the overall quality into good territory. But that’s not the case, as almost every other spot of WrestleMania is great. I enjoyed the opener of Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold just coming out and having fun for a little bit. It worked to celebrate the milestone of WrestleMania XXX, and was a lot more fun and made a lot more sense than The Rock’s “hosting duties” from WrestleMania 27. The Shield looked great, and incredibly strong as they solidified themselves as three wrestlers more than capable of competing with WWE’s top tier talent and legends. Cesaro’s ARMBAR win was fantastic as well, and the man looked incredible in that match. (I know that they’ve done little to nothing to capitalize on that, but in this moment, Cesaro feels like a main event talent.) When it comes to talking about The Streak, I could write a whole separate article about if the streak should ever have been broken and who should have been the person to break it, but that’s not what we’re looking for here. The match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker here is one of the very few wrestling matches that I enjoyed more re-watching, than watching it live. The match itself is not that incredible of a wrestling match and it’s not a good example of what these two men are capable of. But knowing how this match ends, and knowing what that means in the grand scheme of wrestling casts the entire match in a completely different light. Watching it, knowing that your are witnessing the end of a Streak that’s lasted over two decades, causes a sense of reverence to be felt watching this match. Honestly the stars truly aligned to make this WrestleMania what it was and that’s maybe only happened once or twice before, ever. It’s an incredible example of what kind of show this company is capable of putting on every now and then.
Kue: This should be renamed to “The Daniel Bryan Show feat. Broken Streak”. Everything else was a throwaway. And yes, this includes the decent match between Cena/Wyatt and Cesaro winning the inaugural ARMBAR, as neither had any real dynamic standout value. And even with that, I’d say this show was a good one. Trips/Bryan alone was a great match. And it was only the beginning of Bryan’s narrative of the night. The real life and fruitless attempted suppression of Bryan’s momentum had everyone of us thinking they may just slip the rug from under our hopeful ending. And that suspense made it all the sweeter when they pulled the trigger and gave us a dramatic triple threat main event and Wrestlemania ending with a satisfaction and approval that hadn’t been felt since Wrestlemania 20. The other moment that will stand the test of time was the Lesnar’s three count win over Taker, breaking the once immortal streak. My own jaw drop and lengthy silence when it happened was only a small testament to the impact of that capping of an otherwise horrible match. On the weight of Bryan’s story and Taker’s mortality alone, this is definitely a Mania to remember.
Sanders: I won’t go as far as to say this is a perfect Wrestlemania because it’s almost impossible for WWE to put on a show that doesn’t have at least 1 match that doesn’t quite make the cut (looking at you 14 Diva 1 fall championship) especially in this day and age when WWE seems to be almost combative with what their fans want to see. However, Wrestlemania 30 is about as close as I’ve ever seen and I will proudly say this is probably the best Wrestlemania WWE has ever put together and yes, the vast majority of the credit goes to the two Daniel Bryan matches. However, I will say how refreshing it is to sit back and watch WWE finally get out of their own way for once and let something play out. I didn’t even get all that upset about the first segment because sure, it makes sense for the host to open the show but it was produced way better than the Rock’s pep rally at WM27. The opening match is honestly my favorite of the entire show, sure the final match has the big moment but the meat of the story is told in the match between HHH and Daniel Bryan. HHH’s entrance might be my favorite he’s ever done and the table spot on Bryan’s arm still gets to me. This show does remind me that it was the first major WWE live event being streamed on the WWE Network (aside from the first NXT live special) because watching at home, the stream froze and skipped the entire match between NAo/Kane vs Shield which pretty much tells you all you need to know about that match. It’s sad to think about how the ARMBAR did nothing for Cesaro in the long run but if you’re able to put that aside and just look at just the match, I still get chills at the end because I don’t think I ever would’ve guessed WWE to choose Cesaro to win this and it really should’ve been a launching point for him. The Wyatt entrance was cool (minus the voodoo lady, dumb) and the match against Cena had it’s moments but this is the start of Wyatt being used in big matches only to lose and it’s a shame. I do wish at times there was a time machine that would prevent Undertaker from getting injured so early in the match or that they were able to change the finish at the end so that the streak remained and they would have another go at it the next year when Taker healed up. It wasn’t the match it should’ve been but the sheer weight of the moment at the end is enough to cover all of that, talk about something that still gives you goosebumps (also, the Network crapped out on us towards the end of the match and didn’t come back until Brock was walking back up the ramp, I missed the end of the streak live). The Divas championship match never had a chance when it had to follow the end of the streak but give it an absurd 1 fall between 14 Divas and you wonder why WWE has failed at women’s wrestling. Sure they’re making baby steps now but still. And even though I thought the first match was a better overall match, the ending triple threat was still incredible and felt like the fate of the world depending upon the outcome and the right guy won. Randy and Batista don’t really get a whole lot of credit for their work and looking back at it now, I do kinda feel bad for being one of the many who boo’d Batista the moment he returned. His only real crime was that he wasn’t Daniel Bryan and actually put him and eventually The Shield over. Again, it’s depressing when you think about what the future held for Daniel Bryan but within the frame of this one night, the final moments of Wrestlemania 30 was a perfect fairy tale.
BD: Looking back at WrestleMania 30, it’s kind of amazing that it’s remembered as fondly as it is given that the only good matches on the card were the 2 with Daniel Bryan in them. And I am not any exception to that rule because I do too, and if you’ve read up until now I state in no uncertain terms can 2 matches make a card. Looking at it now, the sheer impossibility of the Daniel Bryan thing is really the only thing that manages to accomplish this card. The sheer weight of what he and his fans accomplished is something we’d never seen before – Punk is the only argument you could make, and I’ve made it, but even he never reached this level – and we’ll never see it again, either. Not likely. Cena Wyatt was amazingly over-rated and I never understood why but I’m sure anyone’s answers will include “OMG oldschool psychology selling character development!!!” type answers. Brock Undertaker was an absolutely HORRIBLE match, with an amazing ending, but a horrible match nonetheless. The Shield would have been a great utilization on this milestone show, but they didn’t get much time and squashed Kane and NAO.
Nevertheless… we recommend.
Tags: Batista, Brock Lesnar, Cesaro, clashy ring attire, Daniel Bryan, HHH, Randy Orton, undertaker, WrestleMania, WWE