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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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EOTR Retro: Wrestlemania 30 Review

By @TrueGodImmortal

The day is approaching. Wrestlemania 34. In New Orleans. The last time the WWE was in New Orleans for Mania, things went extremely well.... for the most part. Considered by many to be the best Mania of the last 7 or 8 years (maybe longer), Wrestlemania 30 saw a company that had alienated their audience in a way try to right their wrongs and fix everything. After the disastrous Royal Rumble win by Batista and the nonsense that Daniel Bryan had to endure to get to the main event, the WWE set up a dream scenario for the biggest event of the year where Bryan would face Triple H earlier in the night and then go on to take on Batista and Randy Orton for the WWE Title if he was able to defeat Triple H. Along with that, WWE would bring back Hulk Hogan for the event and have him become the host of Mania, and they would tease appearances from The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Also on the card, The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar, John Cena vs Bray Wyatt, and more.

After a Pre-Show match between four teams over the WWE Tag Team Titles, the show would kick off with Hulk Hogan in the ring as the host to a resounding cheer. Hogan would be interrupted by Stone Cold, giving us a once in a lifetime moment with Austin and Hogan at Mania together. The Rock would interrupt later and we would be treated to a segment with the three biggest stars in the history of the business. It was a great moment for nostalgia and one of my favorite moments of Wrestlemania, but it was merely a precursor to what would be a shocking and inspiring night in WWE. What about the rest of the Mania card? Let's revisit it, shall we?

*Daniel Bryan vs Triple H

-The best match of the night opens the show and it was excellent. Daniel Bryan was essentially at the top of his game, and he was the most popular wrestler at the time. He had fought to get a title shot and he would have the opportunity to do so during the early part of the show if he defeated Triple H. If Triple H won, he would have the chance to fight in the main event, but it was clear what the plan was. Bryan would defeat all remaining members of Evolution and move on to become the World Champion. The action here is excellent as there is technical wrestling, brawling, and an amazing finish that saw Bryan notch a huge career victory over Triple H and prepare himself for the main event. It was showtime. 

*The Shield vs Kane and The New Age Outlaws

-The match was a squash match and it was more comedic than anything. Lasting only three minutes, The Shield would destroy Kane and The Outlaws, staking their claim as the best force in the company. There isn't much to say about this match aside from the fact that The Shield dominated and walked away as the winners without an issue. This was dominance for sure by The Shield.

*31 Man Andre The Giant Battle Royal

-Another match that didn't have a substantial build to it, this match didn't seem to really have a purpose. It was clear that the match would be full of the leftover superstars who wanted a spot on Mania and of course, this match would feature names like Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, and more before Cesaro would pull off the big victory. Cesaro was essentially the most over guy in the match and eliminating Big Show gave him unprecedented momentum that of course, the WWE messed up. Still, this was a big moment for Cesaro.

*John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

-So, Wyatt was on the verge of becoming a big star, he just needed a win over Cena. Cena, a man who had been a main eventer for over 8 years at this point, should have put Wyatt over at the highest stage for wrestlers. Instead, Wyatt would put up an amazing effort before he would end up losing the match cleanly, and it didn't nothing positive for his career. The truth is, when we look back at the match, it all builds up to the inevitable and it was clear from a mile away. Cena defeats Wyatt and ruins his momentum before moving on and becoming champion a few months down the line. Wyatt however, seemed to lose his footing after this match and never recovered.

*Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker 

-So, this is the match. This is the end. This is where Undertaker decides to end his streak. This is where Brock Lesnar ends his streak following a relatively boring match. This is where Brock finally ends the streak. This is where the world of wrestling changes. Well, that's a bit dramatic. Still, one could truly look at this match and see the end of an era. Taker hasn't been the same since. Now, I'll be honest. Brock became a much more lazy wrestler after this match and honestly, this battle just didn't have the action I hoped it would. Taker had a concussion halfway through and that definitely was important to the outcome, as he seemed out of it and the match suffers as a result. It ended so strangely and I didn't expect to see him actually lose the match. When he did, time stood still. Brock became the one in 21-1 and the wrestling world was never really the same for The Undertaker as a result.

*Vickie Guerrero Invitational 

-A match for the WWE Divas title that didn't really capture my attention. I don't remember much of the contest and I honestly don't want to revisit it too much. All that I know is that it was full of women with name value like Layla, Naomi, Natalya, and more, but they would all fall to the woman who had the division on lock, AJ Lee. Aside from that note, this match is useless, but AJ gets another notch under her belt.

*Daniel Bryan vs Batista vs Randy Orton 

-The main event was excellent. Batista won th Rumble and Bryan won his way into the contest, so the stage was set. Orton had been a subpar champion and Bryan was the most popular guy at the time, so this was the perfect storm. Bryan came into the match injured but that just added to his legend. The action here was fast paced and it's the best Mania main event of the last 5 to 8 years honestly. Bryan would step up big time and the crowd would be on his side, with him making Batista tap to win the title to the excitement of the fans who witnessed it. Yes, Wrestlemania is a big event, but no big event is complete without good execution. The execution for WM30 is one of the best in recent years, and the crowning of Daniel Bryan makes this Mania a true classic.



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