WrestleMania 30 review: The end of The Streak

WrestleMania 30 will go down in history as one of the most shocking of all time thanks to one event: The Undertaker’s legendary streak was ended by Brock Lesnar.

Undertaker WrestleMania 30

Undertaker walks to the ring.

The first two hours of the show were pretty much perfect. WrestleMania 30 was kicked off by the host, Hulk Hogan, who cut a promo putting over the importance of the night. It felt special and it felt right. Then Hogan was joined by two more legends; Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. It felt even more special. Three of the biggest stars ever in WWE in one ring at the 30th WrestleMania. A true WrestleMania moment that made the fans laugh, smile and most likely get goosebumps.

Then came the match of the night – Daniel Bryan vs Triple H. The fans were electric for Bryan, and the sigh of 70,000+ people all chanting ‘YES!’ in unison is one I won’t forget in a long time. The match itself was lengthy and told a great story with Triple H working on Bryan’s already-injured shoulder to further stack the deck against Bryan in the main event later in the night.

The Shield dominated the team of the New Age Outlaws and Kane in under 5 minutes. Possibly a waste of potential but at least The Shield won dominantly and furthered their babyface turn.

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal was a little messy (when is it not with 30 men in the ring at the same time?) but once the field thinned out it provided us with two great moments. The first being Kofi Kingston’s near-elimination spot, a spot he is now famous for in Royal Rumble matches. Kofi flew over the top rope and ringpost and somehow landed with his back on the floor and feet still on the steps. An incredible show of athleticism that may have stuck in the mind longer had it not been for the Swiss Superman Antonio Cesaro providing us with the modern re-enactment of Hogan slamming Andre by hoisting up The Big Show and eliminating him. The comparison was uncanny and hopefully Cesaro is on his way to Hogan-like success in the future.

Cesaro Andre The Giant

Cesaro wins the Andre The Giant trophy.

Cena vs Bray Wyatt was also a good match as it provided us with another dimension to John Cena’s character. Cena was forced to do things he normally wouldn’t and question his morals to beat Wyatt, who put on another stellar performance at PPV level. Wyatt is really a fantastic wrestler and one to take WWE into the future.

Then WrestleMania 30 cemented itself as one of the most shocking ever. The Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar. The Streak, which stood at 21-0 before WrestleMania 30 went to 21-1 as Taker failed to kick out of a third F-5 delivered by Lesnar. Fans in attendance were stunned to silence for a long while as they watched the legendary Phenom lie motionless on the mat as Heyman and Lesnar celebrated. A truly shocking moment that I and everyone at the SuperDome never thought they would see.

The match itself was a slow affair as Undertaker was not in the best of shape and got even worse early on when Taker suffered a concussion. He was taken to the hospital immediately following his match.

At first, shock and disappointment took over as I believed The Streak should never have been broken but since recollecting my thoughts I respect The Undertaker for his decision and for creating such a shocking moment. The Undertaker is a certified Hall of Famer and what he has done in the wrestling business is nothing short of phenomenal. As fans, respecting his decision is a compliment that Undertaker deserves.

Undertaker 21-1

The Undertaker lies motionless after being defeated by Brock Lesnar.

AJ Lee retained her Divas Title in a throaway Divas Invitational which was merely used to let the fans recover from the shock of Undertaker’s match before the main event. AJ Lee retaining was the best decision as there is really no other Diva on her level.

Then came the main event. The moment fans had been waiting for for months was finally here and it did not disappoint. There was a huge announcers table spot which saw Bryan get Batista Bomb/RKO’d through the table and stretchered out, there was The Authority intervening to try and screw Bryan again and there was near-falls for a cocky Batista, who the fans definitely did not want to see win. At the end of the day, Bryan finally prevailed and became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and what a moment it was.

Confetti, fans chanting ‘YES!’ and Bryan standing tall at WrestleMania 30 all made for an epic emotional moment similar to when Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit won the titles at WrestleMania 20 ten years prior.

Daniel Bryan WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Daniel Bryan celebrating after his match.

There really wasn’t anything bad about WrestleMania 30 except for The Undertaker’s match. Partly because it was hard to watch one of the greatest of all time wrestle in bad shape and partly because Undertaker lost. Everything else on the card contributed to making WrestleMania 30 a great show, culminating in Bryan celebrating to close the show. WrestleMania 30 will certainly go down in history.

Behind the scenes videos from WrestleMaina 30 can be found on WWE’s YouTube channel here.

WrestleMania 30 predictions

Here are my WrestleMania 30 predictions, in the order that I think the card will go.

Fatal 4-Way for the WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs Rybaxel vs The Real Americans vs Los Matadores

The Usos have been on a roll over the last 6 months, a roll which culminated with them winning the Tag Titles. Real Americans have also been hot, with Rybaxel and Los Matadores merely there to make up the numbers. This match could have (and probably should have been) a traditional tag match with The Real Americans facing The Usos. I think Swagger and Cesaro leave New Orleans as new WWE Tag Team Champions.

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H

I can see this going one of two ways: either Bryan wins clean and goes into the main event as normal or Triple H gets a cheap win over Bryan, gets himself added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later in the night and then Bryan later gets added via Vince McMahon.

The latter is the most likely, with that then giving fans something to cheer for with Bryan finally getting added and then Vince McMahon returning to storylines at WrestleMania 30.

The Shield vs New Age Outlaws & Kane

Expect the newly-turned faces The Shield to win this one. The Shield have had fantastic matches since debuting and despite the age of their opponents at WrestleMania 30 I still expect to see a pretty good match.

After teasing a break up over the last few months, The Shield look to have a new lease of life as a face team.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

I really have no idea who will win this. With 30 men competing it really is anyone’s pick but the odds-on favourite seems to be Alexander Rusev making an immediate impact by winning. That wouldn’t be the worst outcome as it seems like a trophy that a young up-and-comer could do with winning to kickstart their WWE career.

Interestingly, there are three spaces in the Battle Royal so expect these to be filled up by legends. It may be just coincidence but Roddy Piper is teasing a WrestleMania experience and Stone Cold Steve Austin is confirmed for the event.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

While Wyatt beat Bryan at the Rumble to claim another major scalp, I can’t see him beating Cena at WrestleMania considering the build-up this match has been given. However, Cena is not in a position where he is immune to losing at Mania so Wyatt could get the win.

Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational

Again, this is a choice between 14 Divas. I think AJ will retain or Naomi of the Funkadactyls wins this one.

The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar

While Lesnar is a beast and will make this match as physical as possible, the streak will not be ended by Lesnar. Short and sweet; Undertaker makes his streak 22-0.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match: Randy Orton (c) vs Batista vs ???

As I mentioned earlier, I think this one could go to a Fatal 4-Way match. Even so, the outcome should still be the same with Daniel Bryan triumphing to win the title after months of being screwed. The fans have persisted and Bryan deserves his moment of closing out WrestleMania with 70,000 fans chanting “YES!”

WrestleMania 30 takes place on Sunday, April 6 at 7pm ET, 4pm PT, 12am UK.

WrestleMania 30 announcements coming from Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker tonight

Undertaker WWE

Image credit: WWE.com

WWE have announced that both Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker will be making announcements regarding WrestleMania 30 tonight on RAW.

Hogan’s announcement was promoted last week on RAW, but The Undertaker’s announcement has been revealed in the new Raw Five-Point Preview on WWE.com.

Undertaker’s announcement could be that he will inducting Paul Bearer into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 30 but given how little Taker breaks character, this seems unlikely.

What is more likely is that The Undertaker will announce that the match at WrestleMania 30 will be his last. Undertaker (real name Mark Calaway) is 48-years-old and currently has an extremely light schedule due to nagging injuries and pains in his body after such a lengthy wrestling career.

Hogan’s announcement, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess. Since Hulk Hogan is hosting RAW the announcement could be anything from certain guest stars set to appear at the show to a new match being added to the card.

Come back to Pro Wrestling Is Fake tomorrow to find out what the announcements are.

Elimination Chamber: Why The Shield vs The Wyatt Family is so exciting

Image credit: WWE.com

On Sunday at WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV two of the most exciting and unique teams on the modern era will go face to face; The Shield will face The Wyatt Family.

The Shield debuted at Survivor Series 2012 and for months went on to dominate and destroy everyone and everything in their path, including The Undertaker and John Cena. They didn’t lose for a number of months and at one stage they all held championships. Dean Ambrose won the United States Championship and still holds the title to date, while Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns won the Tag Team Championships. The Shield have a unique entrance, a unique promo style with the handheld camcorder gimmick and a great style to boot.

Rollins is the fast paced, athletic member. Ambrose is the crazy, unorthodox member. Reigns is the powerhouse. Each element meshes extremely well in matches and The Shield’s 6-man tag team matches have been a highlight of WWE programming since their debut match at TLC.

Image credit: WWE.com

The Wyatt Family debuted in summer 2013 after a number of vignettes teased their debut. The Wyatts are a creepy, cult-like team who are led by Bray Wyatt. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan make up the muscle of the team and they are often seen doing Wyatt’s bidding.

Again, The Wyatt Family have a unique entrance but instead of entering through the crowd like The Shield, they enter with nothing but a lamp guiding their way to the ring and a rocking chair in tow for Wyatt to sit on. The Wyatt’s don’t have varying styles like The Shield, instead they are primarily based on power with Wyatt and Harper being deceptively quick.

Over the last few weeks, WWE have teased The Wyatt Family challenging The Shield at Elimination Chamber with a number of tense stand-offs that have had the crowd buzzing at the prospect of the match.

Both teams are incredibly popular and even the mere hint of a brawl between the two has elicited big reactions from the crowds. On Monday’s RAW, the two teams finally went at it in a brawl to close the show but on Sunday at Elimination Chamber there should be a fantastic 6-man tag team match featuring the present and future of the WWE – Roman Reigns is being primed for the big time, in case you missed it.

The match at Elimination Chamber is so big it could be saved for WrestleMania but on Sunday we should get a WrestleMania quality match; it has excitement and intrigue, power and athleticism.

Wyatt vs Reigns. Harper and Rowan vs Rollins and Ambrose. The Shield vs The Wyatt Family.

Cesaro

Cesaro swings Randy Orton. Image credit: WWE.com

Cesaro. Quietly dropping the Antonio from his name last week, alongside beating WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, the WWE made a very clear statement: Cesaro is going to be a key player in this company in years to come.

Cesaro announced the change on Saturday, just after he appeared on SmackDown with his new name. On SmackDown, Cesaro defeated Randy Orton clean, in what was an excellent wrestling match.

Then, on Monday Night RAW, Cesaro faced John Cena in another fantastic wrestling match. Cesaro lost, but that match was so good that he reportedly received a standing ovation in gorilla position following the match. There is a trend here.

For a long time, Cesaro has showcased his skills to the WWE Universe as United States Champion and, more recently, as a member of the tag team The Real Americans alongside his tag team partner Jack Swagger. Cesaro and Swagger form a powerful duo who utilise a lot of amateur wrestling moves with powerful strikes and gripping grapples and, under the tuition of Zeb Colter, they have become one of the best tag teams in the WWE.

Cesaro alongside his tag partner, Jack Swagger. Image credit: WWE.com

Cesaro has recently started using the giant swing, a move which has become wildly popular and has the fans counting the number of rotations as Cesaro’s opponent dangles from his grasp, trapped in a whirlwind of centrifugal force. This move has increased Cesaro’s popularity as it is a unique move that adds an air of light-heartedness to his moveset.

Even more recently, Cesaro has been involved in some big matches throughout the WWE. His feud on NXT with Sami Zayn has already encompassed three matches, all of which have been excellent, with a fourth on the way at NXT: Arrival on February 27 on the WWE Network. On the bigger stage Cesaro qualified for the Elimination Chamber match by defeating Dolph Ziggler on the January 27th edition of RAW while his team-mate failed to do the same against Christian.

Cesaro will face Zayn in a 2/3 falls match at NXT: Arrival. Image credit: WWE.com

While Swagger is now chasing Big E’s Intercontinental Title, Cesaro is edging towards the main event picture following the two great matches against the biggest two stars in the company and the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View should see Cesaro put in another excellent performance.

I don’t see Cesaro winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title so close to WrestleMania but what I do expect is Cesaro to have a stand-out Elimination Chamber and a stand-out 2014 and really take his game to the next level.

Antonio is gone. Cesaro is here to stay.

Royal Rumble: Analysing Roman Reigns’ performance

Image credit: WWE.com

Roman Reigns had a great Royal Rumble match. The Shield member entered at #15 and lasted for 33 minutes 58 seconds, eliminating 12 superstars. Roman Reigns beat Kane’s record of 11 eliminations in one Royal Rumble match that had stood since 2001.

In his time in the match, Reigns eliminated Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Nash, The Great Khali, Goldust, El Torito, JBL, Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Antonio Cesaro and Sheamus before being eliminated himself by the Royal Rumble winner, Batista.

Breaking Kane’s record is symbolic for Roman Reigns, who is in the infancy of his WWE career. Over the past two years he has dominated huge stars as a member of The Shield and since Survivor Series 2013 he has been receiving more and more attention for his fantastic in-ring work.

Fellow Shield members Ambrose and Rollins are often talked about as the fan favourites of The Shield, mainly due to their time on the independent scene and, especially in Seth Rollins’ case, in NXT. Reigns, however, should not be overlooked. He is a member of the Anoa’i family which features Samoan wrestling greats such as The Rock, Rikishi, Yokozuna, Umage and The Usos. He has a great look; Reigns stands at 6 feet 3 inches of pure Samoan athleticism and even has the Samoan sleeve tattoo to match.

In the ring, Reigns has been increasingly impressive since eliminating four out of five opponents at Survivor Series (tying the record), utilising an impressive arsenal of moves which include a devastating spear and a highly unique superman punch.

Reigns looked at ease during the Royal Rumble match, showing off his power and athleticism at numerous times during the 33 minutes he was in the ring for. He entered the match after delivering a running dropkick to CM Punk who was hanging over the bottom rope, going on to spear Cody Rhodes and then launched Kofi Kingston over the top rope to eliminate him. It was an emphatic start and it got better from there for Reigns as he dominated the competition.

Reigns’ dominance shows a sign of faith from WWE. The Shield looks to be teasing a separation soon and it looks like Reigns could be getting a good solo push following the split. While many will clamour for Ambrose or Rollins to be pushed, Reigns looks to be the first in line.

Roman Reigns seems extremely capable of going far in WWE. Can he reach the heights of The Rock? Only time will tell.

CM Punk leaves WWE

Image credit: WWE.com

WWE superstar CM Punk has left WWE, following a meeting with WWE officials at RAW this Monday.

CM Punk reportedly told Vince McMahon and other WWE officials that he was going home and not coming back, possibly due to WWE’s plans for him at WrestleMania where he was due to face Triple H. Punk is under contract with WWE until July.

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, CM Punk noted that he does not know what he’s going to do yet [regarding his contract] and he seemed to express a lack of enthusiasm for the gruelling schedule of WWE.

TMZ says that Punk was “livid” after learning Batista was set to win the Royal Rumble match because he feels Batista is not in great wrestling shape.

Punk tweeted this on Monday, just before he would have told WWE officials he was leaving.

After Punk notified Vince McMahon of the change, RAW re-writes began, but details are conflicting at this time. PWInsider notes that one of their sources claimed Punk was due to wrestle Antonio Cesaro and lose via interference from Kane, who Punk is currently feuding with.

With Punk gone and seemingly not coming back, WWE are now changing plans for WrestleMania and are instead said to be going with Daniel Bryan vs Triple H at WrestleMania.

As ever with professional wrestling, this could all be a big work, so keep an eye on Pro Wrestling Is Fake for updates.

Sources: ProWrestlingNetPWInsider, TMZ.

WWE Royal Rumble: Batista wins but the fans are left wanting Daniel Bryan

Image credit: WWE.com

Batista made his return to the WWE a successful one when he won the Royal Rumble match last night.

Batista entered at #28 and went on to win the match by eliminating Roman Reigns, who put in a stellar performance himself.

But Reigns’ dominance is another story for another time. Sure Batista won, but the real story here though was the fans’ desire to see Daniel Bryan not only enter the Royal Rumble match but to win it, setting up a WrestleMania match. Bryan, who competed earlier in the night against Bray Wyatt (a match which featured some fantastic back and forth wrestling and a great story,) did not enter the Royal Rumble match. This left the fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania livid as they booed entrant #30, Rey Mysterio simply for not being Daniel Bryan.

The fans had been chanting for Bryan throughout the night, even in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match which saw Randy Orton retain his title, beating John Cena. But the final straw for the thousands of Daniel Bryan supporters was the fact that he wasn’t even entered into the Rumble match when commentator JBL, retired Kevin Nash and even El Torito, a Lucha Libre bull, all found themselves in the match.

WWE Hall of Famer, Mick Foley, expressed his dislike for the finish on Twitter in a scathing tweet he sent out minutes after seeing Batista have his hand raised.

After the event had concluded, Batista was pictured giving a fan the finger on his way backstage, as well as mocking the Daniel Bryan ‘YES’ chants that had echoed throughout the arena all night long.

Joey Ryan tweets about Daniel Bryan and John Laurinaitis

Independent wrestler Joey Ryan (once interviewed by yours truly) tonight shed a little light on John Laurinaitis’ views on Daniel Bryan a few years ago.

John Laurinaitis, a backstage employee of the WWE, used to be responsible for talent relations, and had a number of conversations with Joey Ryan back in 2010 when Joey was vying for a job with the company:

Joey also added something WWE trainer Bill DeMott said about Bryan’s wrestling training.

Daniel Bryan is clearly a money maker for the WWE, and is one of the hottest wrestlers in the company right now.

Joey Ryan is a star of the independent scene, wrestling primarily in the Southern California area. He previously worked for TNA for a number of months.

I contacted Joey Ryan for a comment as to why he shared this information but as of posting this he has not yet responded.

 

 

Daniel Bryan breaks away from The Wyatt Family as RAW gets interesting

Image credit: WWE.com

Daniel Bryan has broken away from The Wyatt Family after just two weeks with the group.

Inside the steel cage last night on RAW Daniel Bryan and his then-master Bray Wyatt faced off against The Usos. The Usos picked up the win after Bryan accidentally crotched Bray on the top rope.

Things then got interesting. Bray whispered in the ear of Bryan to set up a Sister Abigail (Bray Wyatt’s finisher) but Bryan pushed him away and proceeded to beat down the leader of the Wyatt Family.

The crowd reaction to this turn, even after an extremely short time, was epic. The crowd screamed for Bryan, chanting “YES” as he kicked Bray Wyatt repeatedly and ripped off his Wyatt attire to reveal the traditional red Bryan attire.

Bryan then set up Bray for his running knee, which was where a classic RAW moment occured. Bryan led the crowd in a slow “YES” chant, and sent the crowd into a frenzy when he sealed the deal and struck Bray with a running knee.

I was angered by WWE’s decision to align Bryan with The Wyatts at first, as WWE seemingly killed all momentum Bryan had left after his WWE Title victory last year at SummerSlam. However, it seems like WWE have now either seen the light, or this was part of their master plan all along. Bryan seems as over as he ever was, and this RAW ending seemingly propels him on to the Royal Rumble, where winning it would set him up for a WWE World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania.

Vince McMahon has either seen the error of his ways, or he is the genius we all know he is…