With that in mind, let’s look at the biggest hits and biggest misses from WrestleMania 30.
HIT: Daniel Bryan wins the WWE, World Titles What a night for Daniel Bryan, who opened the show with what was sold to us as an upset win over Triple H, then had to endure a post-match attack from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Then came the main event with Randy Orton and Batista, who teamed up for one of the more devastating moves in WrestleMania history, a Batista Bomb into an RKO on a table that brought out the parademics to put Bryan onto a stretcher headed back to the locker room. Bryan fights his way off the stretcher, hits the running knee on Batista, then gets Batista to tap out. Excellent ring psychology built up from the first match to the tapout.
MISS: The Streak is over Seriously? Brock Lesnar? We all knew The Streak had to end at some point. But … Lesnar? The match had all the drama of a clash between two backup high-school JV grapplers in an early-season practice. The crowd checked out early and never made it back, and then, WHAMMY!, Lesnar hit a third F5, and it was over. Earlier in the day on Sunday, WWE Network rebroadcast WM28 and WM29, which included classic Undertaker Streak matches against Triple H and CM Punk. Those matches are among the top five in WrestleMania history. The Lesnar-‘Taker match tonight was barely top five on the main show. Sad to see The Streak end, and to end this way.
HIT: Bray Wyatt adds to his star power We all knew there was no way Wyatt would get a fall on john cena at WrestleMania. The best we could hope for was what we ended up getting: Wyatt stealing the show even as Cena got the fall. Wyatt trying to goad Cena into turning thug, even handing him a steel chair and imploring Cena to finish him off, is class heel.
MISS: The battle royal I like Cesaro winning, but the battle royal itself was utterly lacking in entertainment value. Comment of the night came from JBL, who said about two-thirds of the way into the battle royal, upon seeing Cesaro on the ring apron, that he wasn’t even sure Cesaro was one of the participants. We didn’t know who a lot of the participants were, unfortunately.
MISS: The Shield win in a squash And of course, prayers for Billy Gunn, who is in a hospital tonight after being injured by the powerbomb from The Shield at the end of the six-man. Shame that he was injured in a three-minute squash that served no purpose.
MISS: Divas match Too much of a clusterfrick for there to have been any value to this one. At least they kept the belt on AJ Lee.
MISS: The opening segment It was fun seeing Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock together for the opening segment. But it went on WAY, WAY too long, and served no purpose, other than to cut short the time allotted to the battle royal and Divas match.
OVERALL GRADE: B+ Like the ending to the Undertaker-Lesnar match, you didn’t see that one coming, did you? A lot more misses than hits, but the hits brought up the average, and the biggest miss – the end to The Streak – had a story to tell all in itself. Everybody is talking about Undertaker losing at WrestleMania, which, short term, is good for business, though the long term impact may end up being negative. Daniel Bryan is now the (bearded) face of the company, and Bray Wyatt is the top heel. Where does WWE go from here? This WrestleMania has us set up to go in any of a number of directions.
– Column by Chris Graham