WrestleMania XXX Results/Review

Title: WrestleMania XXX Results/Review
Date: April 6, 2014
Original Source: Voices of Wrestling
Synopsis: I provided some commentary on Wrestlemania for the excellent Voices of Wrestling, taking part in a panel reviewing the show.

We decided to do our WrestleMania XXX review different than usual, instead of a breakdown of each move we decided to just give our thoughts on the match (the good, the bad, what we liked, etc.) and a star rating using the Dave Meltzer/Wrestling Observer Star Rating system. Another wrinkle is it’s not just one person reviewing WrestleMania, not even two but six of our esteemed staff members and one special guest joined us.

Before we get to the reviews, let me introduce our guest reviewers:

  • Jason Felix: Columnist on Voices of Wrestling, famous for his New Japan Pro Wrestling Power Rankings and his study on the WWE Linear Championship. Follow him on Twitter at @Felix824
  • Bryan Rose: Voices of Wrestling’s Raw reviewer and part-time New Japan Pro Wrestling recapper. Follow him on Twitter at @br26
  • Cullen Baldwin: Voices of Wrestling’s Ring of Honor Television and AAW Pro Television reviewer. Follow him on Twitter at @Steenalized
  • Joe Lanza: You know him by now, one-half of the Voices of Wrestling flagship podcast and esteemed New Japan Pro Wrestling reviewer. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeMLanza
  • Rich Kraetsch: That’s me! The worse-half of the Voices of Wrestling podcast, columnist, managing editor and all that other good stuff. Follow him on Twitter at @richkraetsch
  • Blake Murphy: Our special guest who has better credentials than the rest of us.  News Editor at The Score and also contributor to Raptors Republic, FanGraphs and The Leafs Nation. Follow him on Twitter at  @BlakeMurphyODC

Pre-show:  Usos (c) defeated The Real Americans, Rybaxel and Los Matadores

Blake: This was pretty formulaic as far as multi-team tags and pre-show matches go. High energy, a lot of chaos, and investment-free entertainment. The Usos winning made sense given the year they’ve had in-ring (and the complete lack of viability with the other teams), but this was really more about the post-match angle than anything. They could have just planted more seeds and had Swagger and Cesaro split in the Battle Royal, but being able to show that highlight beforehand adds a little more drama and, should he win, really sets Cesaro on this babyface turn in the right way. ***

  • 1. Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H

Blake: What in the blue hell was on Daniel Bryan’s feet? Aside from that, there isn’t much to nitpick with here. Triple H’s entrance (hat tip to Game of Thrones) was cool, the crowd was on point, and the story, while obvious, was well-told. Triple H did his worst, and Bryan kept fighting through it, eventually hanging on long enough to steal the win. Bryan’s selling was excellent, Hunter’s offense looked crisp, and Stephanie was fantastic, as usual, as the ringside antagonist. The point here wasn’t necessarily to have a five-star match, it was to build additional drama for the main event later on while continuing the Bryan-Authority story, and it did an excellent job of both. They also had some pretty creative reversals. My only complaint here is the announcing, as calling this ‘the most embarrassing loss of Triple H’s career’ and ‘the biggest upset in Wrestlemania history’ do a pretty big disservice to Bryan. I know it’s part of the story, but given what Bryan has done and who he’s beaten, it’s silly. I digress. Really solid match to get things going. ****

2. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) defeated Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn)

Blake: This was exactly what it should have been – a total squash of three older stars by The Shield. The interruption of the Outlaws entrance, the stereo suicide dives and the 3-on-2 cerebrus bomb all stand out as highlights, but it’s hard to walk away not feeling like this was a complete waste of The Shield. They’ve had a better year than almost anyone, and while this served to re-establish that they are now faces and not likely to break up, this seemed like a real waste of their talent. *

3. Cesaro won by last eliminating Big Show

Blake: Jinder Mahal looks so weird, like a totally different guy. OTUNGA. Big Show and SHeamus were the last entrants, which obviously makes them look like early favorites (yawn). I like the idea of honoring Andre, and this serves as a “maybe we should get these guys a Wrestlemania payday” cool-down filler as well as any. JBL just called Fandango over Y2J the biggest Wrestlemania upset ever, literally minutes after they said the same about Bryan over HHH. Remember how hot Ziggler was at this time last year? CESARO has a heck of a minute, uppercutting Rey out, then Ziggler, then tossing Kofi a mile for his usual “feet didn’t touch the floor” spot. Holy hell is JBL having a bad night on commentary. Cesaro and Big Show are the final two. HOLY HELL, Cesaro gets Show up for the scoop slam and TOSSES HIM with it. Wow, what a moment for Cesaro. A true star-making night for Claudio, what a showing for him. Really excited for this face run. CESARO

4. John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt

Blake: Like always, the video work was fantastic; quibble with the choice of Eminem if you want, but it worked with the video. Ditto for a guy like Bray Wyatt having live music; it’s silly in kayfabe, but it was great for effect. If this feud continues, the fact that the crowd was swaying and signing for Bray is definitely fuel for Cena promos. As far as the match, they did a really strong job telling the story right up until the end – Cena wrestling with how extreme to get, Wyatt clearly not caring nearly as much about the outcome as the psychological warfare, and Cena doing a great job acting perturbed with Wyatt, it was all good. The final sequence felt botched, or at least not as smooth as they would have liked, but it didn’t take away from the quality of the match. I disagree with the call for Cena to go over, especially without him having to ‘snap’ to do it, but it is what it is when it comes to Cena. Hopefully this doesn’t stall Wyatt’s momentum, but at the very least he’s shown multiple times now he can go when the setup is right. ***

5. Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker

Blake: This all seems to have been built for the shock. Lesnar’s poor record, the lackluster build…there’s no way this was done intentionally for extra shock value, right? I doubt it, in all seriousness, but man, is a cloud ever going to hang over the streak’s history now. I don’t care that Undertaker lost, but there are a few problems: the build sucked, the match was sub-par, and Lesnar stands to benefit zero percent from the win. Had this been a great story and four-star match, I think people would be reacting much differently. Instead, a dud match sucked the energy out of the crowd, with the only obvious positive being the endless amount of fan reaction GIFs we’ll be blessed with. ** (Paul Heyman gets *****)

6. AJ Lee won the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational to retain the WWE Divas Championship

Blake: Like this had a chance following Lesnar’s win. Not only that, but the concept was ridiculous (we can’t decide on a feud, so let’s shoehorn them all in), the match included several botched moves, and Vickie Guerrero was bad-Vickie instead of good-heat-magnet-Vickie. At least AJ Lee won, right? Sigh. I couldn’t care less. I want to, but I can’t. #FreePaige? DUD

7. Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Blake: No skinny jeans, 0/10 would not watch again. When Triple H and Stephanie came out, I feared this one might get overbooked. They removed them quickly, but then had Bryan do the stretcher job, but by the end it was more or less booked well. With the crowd starting out fairly dead thanks to Bork Laser-fatigue, and Batista’s being blown up from Minute No. 1, the match lacked something overall. Bryan was solid, Orton was good in his role, and Batista is the best unintentional heel of all time (googly eyes, yo), but it just didn’t click, and the transparent finish kind of hurt the suspense. Now…having said all of that, the crowd exploded for Bryan’s knee on Batista and the tap-out finish, and Bryan’s Wrestlemania/Yestlemania moment was exactly what everyone had hoped for. The win, the confetti, the Yeses. It felt really good and was a nice bow on a Wrestlemania that, for the most part, was excellent. This match didn’t blow us away, but it was absolutely what it needed to be and capped a really strong, well drawn-out storyline. Zero complaints here, with this match or this show. ***

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