For the next three days (Thursday through Saturday), the WWE Network is airing a new show called WrestleMania Today. For two hours each night from 6-8 pm ET (and available afterwards on replay), a group of panelists will take us through video packages and live interviews taking place at Fan Axxess.
Below are some highlights from Thursday’s WrestleMania Today episode:
Your hosts are Josh Matthews, Jason Albert (yes, Tensai/Albert is now an announcer on NXT and a panelist here), and Alex Riley.
To kick things off, the panelists talk about the WrestleMania Today format, which will feature exclusive interviews and other WrestleMania-related items like a countdown of the Top 30 WrestleMania moments.
Today’s episode will have an interview with Batista and part 1 of a three-part interview with The Shield.
They then cut to a video package featuring Hulk Hogan’s WrestleMania legacy and his return to WWE for Mania 30.
Then, the Top 30 WrestleMania moments countdown begins:
30. Jeff Hardy off the big ladder onto Bubba Ray Dudley
29. Bret Hart pins Yokozuna for the WWF title
28. LT vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
27. Rey Mysterio beats Randy Orton for the Big Gold Belt
26. WrestleMania goes Hollywood (with the clips of movie parodies they did that year)
Booker T then joins the panel (he was late), and they talk about the moments they counted down.
Next up, Big E hits the Big Easy as he takes us through different spots in New Orleans. First is a palm reading, then a shopping trip, then a food stop. This was a little corny by okay.
Back to the panelists, who talk about what it’s like on the road and how to balance travel and down-time with in-ring performances.
They then flash back to the Raw go home show before WrestleMania, when Daniel Bryan got back at Triple H. After the footage was shown, the post-Raw interview with Daniel Bryan airs from Raw Backstage Pass. Bryan emphasizes how HHH can soften up his body, but he can’t soften up his heart.
The panelists are joined by Michael Cole and JBL, and JBL plays up his belief that the YES! Movement ends on Sunday. The other panelists disagree and say Bryan will overcome everything and win both matches on Sunday. They also talk about 75,000 fans doing the YES! chant on Sunday and how that will be an epic moment if he wins.
Cut to a video package on the YES! Movement which is really cool as it showcases fans everywhere talking about why they love Daniel Bryan and also mentions the crossover appeal of the YES! chants in pop culture.
They talk about Daniel Bryan again, then switch gears and show a video package highlighting the career of The Ultimate Warrior and his upcoming Hall of Fame induction. God I miss Gorilla Monsoon’s announcing, by the way.
They talk about Warrior’s impact on WWE and discuss whether or not they chose Warrior or Hogan during their battle at WrestleMania 6.
Cut to a video package on Bray Wyatt and John Cena, beginning with Cena’s attack on the Wyatts on this week’s Raw and then revisiting Cena’s “foot in your ass” promo on Wyatt afterwards.
The panelists then discuss whether Cena will overcome the Wyatts at Mania and discuss how Bray Wyatt simply wants to destroy Cena, which is different than past Mania opponents like The Rock.
Tom Phillips then interviews fans waiting on line at Fan Axxess. Lots of world travelers in attendance again will make WrestleMania 30 and the Raw after Mania 30 pretty similar scenes to the past few years.
Mark Henry, Lillian Garcia and Eva Marie are shown hanging out with some troops in New Orleans, then the panelists transition to talking about THE STREAK vs. THE BEAST, or, you know, The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar.
A GREAT promo is then shown where Paul Heyman just does incredible work promoting this match as a huge deal. Seriously, Paul Heyman kicks ass here and delivers a fucking sermon on why Brock Lesnar will beat Taker, and it’s the best thing they’ve done to date to sell this match. It’s a shame it didn’t air on Raw, but awesome stuff here.
The Top 30 WrestleMania Moments countdown continues:
25. Roddy Piper vs. Morton Downey, Jr., smoke vs. fire extinguisher at WrestleMania V
24. Trish Stratus regains the Women’s Championship
23. Edge’s spear on Jeff Hardy from the giant ladder
22. Steve Austin won’t quit against Bret Hart, bleeds out and passes out instead
Josh Matthews speculates that the Austin-Hart moment is way too low on the list, I agree.
The first part of a three-part interview with The Shield is up next. They talk about the group being a pact to be better than everyone else and how they just want to keep taking over this business because they can and will. Very confident, cool interview segment here.
Alex Riley talks about how awesome Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns were in NXT, and the panelists discuss their roots and their dominance together since they complement each other so well. They also say no matter who is leading the charge for them at the moment, they always come together and conquer anything in front of them.
The Stephanie McMahon-voiced promo on Daniel Bryan and HHH airs next. “In the end, all that’s left is The Game.” We’ll see about that come Sunday.
A live interview with The New Age Outlaws is next to promote their match with The Shield at WrestleMania 30 when Billy Gunn and Road Dogg team up with Corporate Kane.
Josh Matthews asks Road Dogg and Billy Gunn about cashing a corporate paycheck and Matthews presses them about working for The Authority. Road Dogg jaws back and then they talk about their match without anything of note being discussed, though they do pick The Usos to win the Fatal 4-Way in a sign of respect.
Jake The Snake Hall of Fame video package is up next.
R-Truth joins the panel to talk about the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Truth says he’s honored to be in the match and he’d love to win the battle royal to get a WrestleMania legacy of his own.
A great package on Andre The Giant is up next. They talk about Andre’s 15-year undefeated streak, his amazing persona / career and of course the Hogan-Andre match at WrestleMania III.
Booker T interviews Batista next. Batista talks about his return to WWE after 4 years away, and they flash back to his Royal Rumble win. Batista says he doesn’t care if he’s cheered or booed, either way it motivates him. He then talks about how important WrestleMania 30 is to him and Batista says he is focused on winning the Triple Threat match though he hates the fact that he doesn’t have to get pinned to lose at Mania. Batista then says Triple H should stay behind his desk with his tie wrapped around his neck, then tells Booker that Daniel Bryan is a passing fad and Randy Orton is the biggest corporate suck up he’s ever seen. Lastly, Batista says his goal at Mania is to win the gold and see the fans boo their butts off when he is as happy as he can be as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The Top 30 WrestleMania Moments countdown continues:
21. The Ultimate Warrior beats Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 6
20. Shane McMahon hits the Van Terminator on Vince McMahon
19. Bob Uecker and Andre The Giant
18. Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar complete with Lesnar’s Shooting Star Press (attempt) on Angle and Lesnar’s title win
The panelists talk Taker-Brock again and Riley switches his pick to Lesnar while everyone else sticks with The Phenom keeping THE STREAK intact.
The panel wraps up by running through some of the other matches again, including the tag titles match. They all think The Usos retain the belts but watch out for The Real Americans.
END SHOW, good stuff overall.
Tags: Albert, Alex Riley, batista, Booker T, Daniel Bryan, Josh Matthews, New Age Outlaws, R-Truth, randy orton, Tensai, The Shield, triple h, Wrestlemania 30, WrestleMania XXX, WWE, wwe logo, WWE Network