WrestleMania XXX

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WrestleMania XXX
WrestleMania XXX Poster.png
Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
Tagline(s) Laissez les bons temps rouler
Theme
song
(s)
"Celebrate" by Kid Rock
"Legacy" by Eminem
"In Time" by Mark Collie
Information
Promotion WWE
Date April 6, 2014
Attendance 75,167
Venue Mercedes-Benz Superdome
City New Orleans, Louisiana
Pay-per-view chronology
Elimination Chamber (2014) WrestleMania XXX Extreme Rules (2014)
WrestleMania chronology
WrestleMania 29 WrestleMania XXX WrestleMania 31

WrestleMania XXX (also written as WrestleMania 30) was the thirtieth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE, which was held on April 6, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the first WWE event simultaneously broadcast live on pay-per-view television and WWE's new streaming media service, the WWE Network. Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card and one pre-show match was streamed on the WWE Network.

Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H in the first match on the main show to qualify for the triple threat main event match, where he defeated Batista and defending champion Randy Orton to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The event also saw The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania, which had lasted for more than 21 years, end with a loss to Brock Lesnar.

WrestleMania XXX received numerous positive reviews. The Canadian Online Explorer rated the show a 4.5 out of 5, while the Professional Wrestling Torch rated the event 8.75 out of 10 and The Times-Picayune described it as "spectacular".

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event,[1] and has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment.[2]

On February 18, 2013, WWE announced that WrestleMania XXX would be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the city of New Orleans on April 6, 2014.[3] The event is alternatively known as WrestleMania 30.[4] On August 12, travel packages for WrestleMania XXX went on sale, which included tickets to WrestleMania, hotel room accommodation, and other activities including WrestleMania Axxess, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, and the next Raw; the cheapest package cost $795 per person.[5] On November 16, individual tickets went on sale through Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $25 to $850.[6] While ordering WrestleMania through pay-per-view television costs between $55 – $70, WWE has also made WrestleMania XXX available live through its new WWE Network online streaming service, which costs $9.99 per month with a six-month contract;[7][8] WrestleMania was the first event available simultaneously on pay-per-view and on the WWE Network.[9]

A panorama shot of the event within the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The event was the first WrestleMania to be held in the state of Louisiana.[10] There are three official theme songs for the event, "Celebrate" by Kid Rock, "Legacy" by Eminem, and "In Time" by Mark Collie.[11] A promotional poster for the event was released through pay-per-view providers such as In Demand, with the tagline laissez les bons temps rouler.[12] The WrestleMania set was built by a crew of roughly 400 workers over two weeks, assembling equipment carried by 85 semi-trailer trucks.[13]

In late January 2014 after the Royal Rumble event, CM Punk reportedly legitimately walked out on WWE while still under contract and WWE stopped promoting him for future events;[14][15] which Professional Wrestling Torch editor Wade Keller analysed as playing a part in Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania journey.[16] In May 2014, Bryan revealed in an interview that he also believed that WWE only decided to give him the big WrestleMania spotlight and title victory only after Punk "quit".[17]

Storylines[edit]

WrestleMania XXX featured professional wrestling matches that involved wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portrayed faces (heroes) or heels (villains) as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.[18][19]

Daniel Bryan's eight-month road to WrestleMania began at SummerSlam in August 2013, when he started feuding with Triple H and Randy Orton. Since June, Bryan had been praised as one of the top performers in WWE by critics and veterans of the professional wrestling industry,[20][21][22] as his rise in status led him to a title shot at SummerSlam.[23] At the event, Bryan defeated John Cena to win his first WWE Championship with Triple H as the special guest referee. After the match, Triple H turned heel by attacking Bryan, which directly led to Orton using his Money in the Bank title opportunity for an immediate title shot. Orton pinned a downed Bryan to capture the WWE Championship.[24][25] After SummerSlam, Triple H claimed that it was a "business decision" to sabotage Bryan because Bryan did not fit the type of wrestler that the company was looking for as its champion; therefore, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (later known as the Authority) instead endorsed Orton as the "face of the WWE".[26][27] Over the next few months, Bryan was constantly sabotaged in his attempts to gain and hold on to the WWE Championship. Bryan defeated Orton to regain the WWE Championship at Night of Champions,[28] but due to referee Scott Armstrong making a fast count, Triple H stripped Bryan of the title the next night on Raw.[29] At WWE Battleground, a match between Bryan and Orton for the vacant title ended in a no contest when Big Show (who had been manipulated by the Authority in the weeks prior) attacked both men.[30][31] Bryan once again challenged Orton for the vacant championship at Hell in a Cell; Triple H interfered in the match and was attacked by Bryan, resulting in special guest referee Shawn Michaels attacking Bryan, which led to Orton capturing the WWE Championship again.[32]

Randy Orton was the defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion heading into WrestleMania XXX.

At TLC, WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena to unify the two titles into the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[33] In January 2014, Batista returned to WWE after having left in May 2010,[34] and promptly won the 2014 Royal Rumble match for a slot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXX. Batista's win and Daniel Bryan's lack of participation in the Royal Rumble match was heavily booed by the live crowd at the event.[35] At Elimination Chamber, Randy Orton successfully defended his championship in the Elimination Chamber match to set up Orton versus Batista (who still received a negative fan reaction at Elimination Chamber) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXX.[36][37] Daniel Bryan also participated in the Elimination Chamber match, but was the last wrestler eliminated due to interference by Director of Operations Kane, who was affiliated with the Authority.[36][38]

Frustrated over being constantly cost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by the Authority, Bryan challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania XXX.[38] When Triple H refused Bryan's challenge, Bryan brought a large group of fans on the March 10 episode of Raw to "occupy" the ring and refused to leave. An irate Triple H agreed to Bryan's demand for a WrestleMania match with the stipulation that if Bryan won, he would be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the event.[39] On the March 17 episode of Raw, Triple H voiced his frustrations over Orton and Batista, then changed the stipulation of his own match, guaranteeing that the winner between him and Bryan would be added to the WWE World Heavyweight championship match, thus assuring a triple threat match for the title.[40]

On the February 24 episode of Raw, Brock Lesnar and his manager Paul Heyman voiced their complaints about Lesnar not being in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania. Instead, the Authority offered Lesnar a contract to face anyone else at WrestleMania. They were interrupted by a returning Undertaker, who confronted Lesnar. While Lesnar signed the contract for a match at WrestleMania with The Undertaker as his opponent, The Undertaker accepted Lesnar's challenge by stabbing Lesnar with a pen and chokeslamming him through a table.[41][42] This set up a match where Lesnar would attempt to break the Undertaker's 21–0 undefeated streak at WrestleMania.[43]

At the Royal Rumble event, The Wyatt Family, led by Bray Wyatt, cost John Cena his match against Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[35] At the Elimination Chamber event, the Wyatt Family attacked Cena during his Elimination Chamber match for the same championship, which directly led to Cena's elimination from the match.[36] Wyatt was motivated by a desire to end "this era of lies", beginning with Cena, because he wanted to expose to the world that Cena being an upholder of all that is moral and good and right was merely a hollow illusion.[44] Proving that Cena was a fraud would ruin his legacy, but Wyatt wanted to take it one step further by turning Cena into a monster.[45] On the March 10 episode of Raw, Cena issued Wyatt a challenge for a match at WrestleMania, which Wyatt accepted.[46]

Event[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

The English commentators for the event were Michael Cole, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and Jerry Lawler,[47] while there were also Spanish and French commentators at ringside.[48] Justin Roberts acted as a ring announcer.[47] Charles Robinson and John Cone were noted to have refereed Triple H's and John Cena's matches respectively.[49][50]

The pay-per-view began with Hulk Hogan (left), Stone Cold Steve Austin (back turned) and The Rock sharing the ring.

During the event, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductees (Jake Roberts, Mr. T, Paul Bearer (represented by his real-life sons), Carlos Colon, Lita, Razor Ramon and The Ultimate Warrior) appeared before the live audience after being introduced by Howard Finkel.[51] Two backstage segments featured WWE veterans; the first consisted of Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat, Ted DiBiase and Ron Simmons.[50] The second consisted of the stars from WrestleMania I, with Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, Pat Patterson, and Gene Okerlund appearing.[52] Meanwhile, WWE Hall of Famers Bruno Sammartino, Harley Race, Bob Backlund, Dusty Rhodes, and Bret Hart were shown at ringside.[52]

Pre-show[edit]

The pre-show was split into two segments, each an hour long; the first half could be watched for free on WWE.com, YouTube, and other social media outlets, while the second half (which had the pre-show match) was only available on the WWE Network.[53]

Commentary was provided by a panel of Josh Mathews, Mick Foley, Booker T and Shawn Michaels; joining midway were retired National Football League linebacker Shawne Merriman, Jimmy Hart, Alex Riley and Trish Stratus. Renee Young directed social media discussion, while Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips conducted backstage interviews.

The pre-show fatal-four-way tag team match was between The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso), Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel), Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) and The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Cesaro) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. The match was changed to an elimination style match shortly before it got underway. The Real Americans shone with Swagger forcing Fernando to submit to his signature Patriot Lock to elimanate Los Matadores five minutes into the match, while Cesaro followed by throwing Ryback in the air for a European uppercut and then hit his signature Neutralizer to pin Ryback and eliminate him and Axel at the eleven minute mark. With only defending champions the Usos left, Jey Uso countered Cesaro's signature giant swing. Later, Jey threw Cesaro into Swagger, then Jimmy Uso tagged in so that the Usos could land a double superkick and then a double top rope splash on Cesaro to win the match.

Swagger blamed Cesaro for the loss and put Cesaro in the Patriot Lock. The Real Americans' manager Zeb Colter demanded that they put their differences aside, but Cesaro put Swagger in the giant swing and then walked off.[54][55][56]

Main card[edit]

The main show started when host Hulk Hogan came down to the ring for a segment, at one point accidentally calling the Superdome the "Silverdome". A few moments later, Stone Cold Steve Austin joined him in the ring, teasing a confrontation between the two. After that, The Rock also came down to the ring. The three reminisced on former WrestleManias and led the crowd in their signature chants and catchphrases. They then shared a number of beers together before departing the ring.

Triple H making a grand entrance for his match against Daniel Bryan.

In the first match on the main card, Daniel Bryan faced Triple H; the winner would be inserted in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship main event later that night. Triple H was announced and accompanied by Stephanie McMahon. Bryan kicked away Triple H's handshake and started the match strongly, including performing a tornado DDT off the apron. Triple H gained the advantage by driving Bryan's injured arm into the announce table and continually attacking the arm including a hammerlock belly-to-back suplex on the apron. Bryan refused to submit to Triple H's submission holds of the crossface chickenwing and a regular crossface, instead reversing to his signature Yes! Lock, but Triple H reached the ropes to break the hold. Triple H countered Bryan's signature Running knee with a spinebuster and his signature Pedigree maneuver, but Bryan kicked out at two. After another series of counters, Bryan hit his running knee for the three count. After the match, McMahon slapped Bryan, distracting him long enough for Triple H to attack him from behind. Triple H placed Bryan's injured arm against the ring post and hit it with a steel folding chair. Bryan had to be attended to by medical staff while Triple H and McMahon celebrated on the stage.[47][57]

The second match saw The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and Kane take on The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns). The pace of the match was quick; the end of the match saw Kane being hit by Reigns' signature spear, and Reigns then hit both Outlaws simultaneously with another spear. The Shield then performed their Triple Powerbomb maneuver on both Outlaws for a decisive victory.

The third match was the battle royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy. Brodus Clay was eliminated by The Great Khali, followed by Khali himself by the three members of 3MB, who were all eliminated by Mark Henry, who was in turn eliminated by Big Show. Fandango eliminated Intercontinental Champion Big E and showboated on the ring apron, so Sheamus delivered over 20 forearm clubs to Fandango's chest and eliminated him. Cesaro, an unannounced entrant who had wrestled on the pre-show, eliminated Rey Mysterio with a European uppercut and then threw Kofi Kingston out of the ring, but Kingston survived because his feet landed on the ring steps. Kingston returned to the match but Sheamus later eliminated him. Alberto Del Rio, who had earlier eliminated Goldust and Cody Rhodes, eliminated Dolph Ziggler to leave himself, Sheamus, Cesaro and Big Show as the final four men. Del Rio and Sheamus eliminated each other, leaving Cesaro and Show to fight back and forth until Cesaro lifted Show and body slammed him out of the ring to become the victor, mirroring Hulk Hogan's momentous body slam of André the Giant at WrestleMania III.

Bray Wyatt (left) failed in both defeating John Cena or turning Cena into a 'monster'.

The next match was between John Cena and Bray Wyatt. The Wyatt Family's entrance was voodoo-themed and performed live by a costumed Mark Crozer and the Rels. Wyatt started the match by kneeling down and telling Cena to be the monster that he is and to finish him off; Cena refused. Wyatt continued taunts led to an enraged Cena's aggressive retaliation, but Wyatt just laughed while taking punishment. Cena managed to collect himself and reverted to his normal self, attempting his signature Five Knuckle Shuffle when suddenly Wyatt responded with a 'crab pose' that shocked Cena into retreating. Wyatt later hit a DDT on the apron, but it was not enough to beat Cena. Cena climbed to the top rope, but instead of attacking Wyatt, Cena dove onto Wyatt's henchmen Harper and Rowan at ringside. Cena teased becoming a 'monster' again by preparing to smash Wyatt with the steel ring steps, but he could not do it and threw them away. Wyatt took too much time when he held Cena while singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", so Cena hit his signature Attitude Adjustment maneuver but Wyatt kicked out. At ringside, Cena tackled Harper through the guardrail at the timekeeper's area. Back in the ring, Cena put Wyatt in his signature STF submission, but Wyatt reached the ropes. Wyatt followed with his signature Sister Abigail for a near fall. Wyatt introduced a steel folding chair into the ring by tossing it to Cena, again begging Cena to use it on him and thereby ruin his own legacy. Cena instead smashed Rowan (who had gotten on the ring apron) with the chair, so Wyatt capitalized by rolling him up for another near fall. Cena countered another Sister Abigail attempt and hit another Attitude Adjustment for the win.[48][50][57][58]

One of three F5s that Brock Lesnar performed on the Undertaker. The third ended the Undertaker's 21-0 WrestleMania winning streak.

In the next match, Brock Lesnar faced the Undertaker with Undertaker's streak of victories at WrestleMania on the line. The match was a slow one with Undertaker looking old and worn down throughout. Lesnar survived a chokeslam while Undertaker did not succumb to Lesnar's signature F5 maneuver. Undertaker twice trapped Lesnar in his Hell's Gate submission, but both times Lesnar broke the hold by lifting Undertaker up and powerbombing him. Lesnar and Undertaker then traded locking each other in the kimura submission, but neither submitted. Lesnar then countered an Old School attempt by Undertaker into another F5, but Undertaker kicked out. Undertaker responded with a Last Ride powerbomb, then a Tombstone Piledriver into a pin, but Lesnar kicked out at two. As Undertaker attempted a second Tombstone Piledriver, Lesnar countered into a third F5 and covered Undertaker. A three count was rendered, scoring a victory for Lesnar and ending the Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania as Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman "freaked out" at the result. WWE did not play Lesnar's theme music immediately after his victory, highlighting the reaction and sound of a shocked and stunned crowd. The crowd eventually booed Lesnar as he left first. Undertaker was left in the ring, where he gathered himself. As he took the long walk up the entrance ramp to backstage, WWE's announcers gave him a standing ovation and Undertaker left to "thank you" chants from the crowd.[54][57][59]

The seventh match was the 14-Diva single-fall Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational for the WWE Divas Championship; this marked the first time the title was defended at WrestleMania.[60] The match started with the other wrestlers attacking champion AJ Lee and her bodyguard, Tamina Snuka. As the match progressed, Aksana met Naomi at the top rope and Natalya slipped under Aksana to perform a powerbomb superplex combination. Tamina pulled Aksana out of the ring to prevent Natalya from winning, so Natalya clotheslined Tamina on the outside but was prevented from re-entering the ring due to AJ kicking her. AJ applied her signature Black Widow hold on Naomi, but she also grabbed Naomi's hand and tapped it on the mat to deceive the referee into thinking that Naomi had submitted, thus winning the match and retaining her title.[57][61][62]

Main event[edit]

In the main event of the night, Daniel Bryan, Batista and Randy Orton faced off in a triple threat match for Orton's WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Orton started by targeting Bryan's injured arm to momentarily neutralize him. With no count-outs in a triple threat match, Batista and Orton battled at ringside; Batista tried for his signature Batista Bomb onto the steel ring steps, but Orton countered with a back body drop onto the steps. After Orton and Batista returned to the ring, Bryan made a comeback with a missile dropkick to both men, then peppered his opponents' chests with roundhouse kicks. Bryan then served consecutive corner dropkicks to Orton and Batista, but then was suplexed from the ring to the outside by Batista. Batista and Orton fought again with Orton executing a superplex, but then Bryan immediately returned with a diving headbutt and applied his signature Yes! Lock on Orton.

Daniel Bryan celebrates his championship victory, closing the show.

With Orton trapped in Bryan's submission hold, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon emerged from backstage and pulled the original referee out of the ring to prevent the match from ending. Triple H then sent in referee Scott Armstrong on his behalf, as Batista performed the Batista Bomb on a distracted Bryan. Armstrong made the count, but Bryan kicked out at two. A charging Batista was sent into the ring post when Bryan dodged. With no disqualifications in a triple threat match, Bryan kicked referee Armstrong in the head, following with a suicide dive out of the ring onto Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Armstrong. Triple H tried to retaliate with a sledgehammer, but Bryan snatched it and used the sledgehammer on Triple H, knocking him off the ring apron. This ended Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's interference in the match.

Batista and Orton decided to work together to assault Bryan, and the original referee returned to the match. At ringside, Batista threw Bryan down with a Batista Bomb onto the Spanish announce table, while Orton immediately combined with an inverted version of his signature RKO maneuver. As both Bryan and Orton were sent through the Spanish announce table, only Batista emerged unscathed. Medical personnel arrived and carted Bryan away on a stretcher. Batista attacked Orton, who retaliated with a DDT onto the floor. Suddenly, Bryan got off the stretcher and crawled back to the ring, where he was set upon by Orton.

Orton attempted to hit Bryan with an RKO but Bryan countered into a Yes! Lock. Batista broke the hold but was instead trapped by Bryan in the Yes! Lock, which Orton broke up. Batista avoided an RKO, then Orton leapfrogged Batista's spear so that Bryan received it and was sent out of the ring. Orton finally landed an RKO on Batista, who barely kicked out before three. Orton measured Batista for a punt kick, but instead received a signature running knee from Bryan. However, Batista threw Bryan out of the ring and covered Orton instead, which resulted in a near-fall as Orton kicked out. A frustrated Batista followed up with a Batista Bomb on Orton, but Bryan came out of nowhere with a running knee on Batista. Bryan then trapped Batista in the Yes! Lock; Batista fought the hold but eventually had to tap out, garnering the victory and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for Bryan.[52][57][62]

Reception[edit]

On the day of the event, WWE claimed that the event had drawn $10.9 million in ticket revenue at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans with an attendance figure of 75,167. WWE also claimed it was the fifth consecutive year that WrestleMania broke the host venue's highest-grossing entertainment event record.[63] Within a week of the event, WWE management and New Orleans city officials declared WrestleMania XXX to be a big success, with SMG general manager Alan Freeman declaring that New Orleans "certainly would like to host the event again ... anything after 2018 is probably open as this point".[64]

The day after the event, WWE revealed that the initial number of WWE Network subscribers was 667,287, therefore that was the maximum number of people who could have watched the event on the WWE Network.[65] Bandwidth optimizing company Qwilt reported that Wrestlemania XXX led to WWE accounting for 6.5% of all online video traffic in North America on that day, ranking third below Netflix and YouTube but above Amazon, Hulu and HBO. Wrestlemania XXX generated 20 times more traffic for the WWE Network than it would on a regular day at the time.[66][67] On April 15, WWE announced "nearly 400,000 domestic PPV buys" for the event,[68] while the previous year's WrestleMania (before the existence of the WWE Network) had earned 1,039,000 buys.[69] In June 2014, WWE reported 690,000 total buys from both domestic and international sources.[70]

Cesaro's battle royal win was highlighted by the Associated Press. Hulk Hogan later endorsed Cesaro on the post-WrestleMania Raw.

The Associated Press article on WrestleMania XXX focused on Hulk Hogan's hosting of the event, commenting that "the Hulkster showed he can host, 30 years later." Hogan was "overseeing the mayhem for 75,000-plus fans, and countless more watching on TV ... and what a scene it was", referring to Cesaro winning the Andre the Giant battle royal "by heaving the sizeable Big Show over the top rope". Brock Lesnar's win over the Undertaker was simply described as "the night's shocker".[71]

The local New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune featured the event, with Daniel Bryan's win of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship win being profiled on the front page with the headline "YES, INDEED!".[72] Gene Guillot of The Times-Picayune also reviewed the event; describing it as "spectacular" and that it "delivered three memorable moments, one for each X". Regarding the setup, Guillot wrote that "the set was magnificent, the pyro and lighting impeccable and the pageantry unparalleled". Guillot described the first moment which started the show as "classic" when "the three biggest stars in the history of the business were in the same ring"; Hulk Hogan "the biggest name", Stone Cold Steve Austin "the biggest star" and the Rock, "the most successful". Next, Guillot wrote that "the second indelible moment nearly stopped the show", describing the end of the Undertaker's Streak as "the biggest surprise ending in WrestleMania history — and maybe even wrestling history". Finally, the third moment which closed the show was "Bryan holding and hoisting in unison the two championships that represent the WWE World Heavyweight Championship while on his knees in the ring", which Guillot predicted "will go down among the greatest moments in WrestleMania history".[73]

The Canadian Online Explorer's Nolan Howell commented that "WrestleMania XXX brings the beginning and end of eras". His star ratings out of 5 stars (*****) for each match are as follows; *** for the pre-show match, ****1/2 for Bryan-HHH, **1/2 for the Shield's match, **3/4 for the battle royal, **** for Cena-Wyatt, ** for Undertaker-Lesnar, 0.75 stars for the Divas' match and lastly ***3/4 for the main event. Overall he gave the event 4.5 out of 5 stars.[57]

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter summed up WrestleMania XXX as a "very newsworthy show to say the least". Daniel Bryan's first match was described as a long technical one, and although Meltzer did not consider it "a match of the year or probably even the week", it "was the caliber of a good PPV main event". Triple H's post-match attack on Bryan was said to be a "very basic" storyline "but it's also exactly what they should have done". Bryan's second match in the main event was described as "really great" with lots of twists and turns, while the match result was "again exactly what they should have done" and "the crowd reacted the way you would expect". Meltzer thought that "the people just weren't into" the Undertaker's match as "nobody bought that Lesnar could win". Meanwhile, he felt that the Undertaker's departure was "certainly teased like a retirement". For the battle royal, Meltzer noted the lack of (surprise) entrants such as Rob Van Dam, Alexander Rusev, Christian or Wade Barrett. In other notes, Meltzer described the strong fan support for Cesaro and also labelled Cena's win as a "genuine upset".[54]

Justin LaBar of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review summed up WrestleMania XXX as "shocking", but "one of the best". LaBar commented that he was "bored" with the Undertaker's match, just waiting for the final stretch as "Undertaker was going to win anyway". When Lesnar won, LaBar said that he had "never been part of a more real and emotionally driven moment". LaBar also commented that "Antonio Cesaro is here to stay" and described WWE as "the ultimate puppet master" because "Daniel Bryan finally wins the world title and it still isn't the top story from that event."[74]

The Professional Wrestling Torch Newsletter described the end of the Streak as "one of the most shocking and depressing moments in WWE history".

Benjamin Tucker of the Professional Wrestling Torch Newsletter attended the event, and he scored the event 8.75 out of 10. He stated, that WrestleMania XXX "served as an event meant to respect the past while looking forward to the future" just like WrestleMania XX, with wrestlers like Bryan and Cesaro "spotlighted as the future of WWE". However, Tucker noted that "saying goodbye to the past proved harder than anyone could imagine" with the end of the Undertaker's Streak. He said this, and not WrestleMania 28, was the true "End of an Era" but Tucker did not "think it could have ended on a worse note" with over 15 minutes of "slow, subpar action". Tucker commented that the Streak's lack of hype of being in jeopardy before the event made it less of a defining moment when Lesnar broke it and more of "an indictment on whoever okay'ed the decision to let this happen". However, "Bryan was there to save the day" with two well executed matches, making "75,000 plus in attendance momentarily forget about Taker and root for the underdog who was finally getting his chance to shine". Tucker praised the booking of the match as perfect with its numerous false finishes. For the rest of the event, Tucker commented that Wyatt "lost nothing by losing, but Cena certainly lost a lot by winning. The man shows no weakness". Tucker also noted that the Hogan, Stone Cold and the Rock's segment was "meaningless, surreal and a lot of fun". Tucker concluded by saying that the event was "easily one of the best Manias of the last ten years" and that "the future certainly does look bright. If only we could have said our good-byes properly."[75]

Aftermath[edit]

Warrior's last public appearance on the post-WrestleMania Raw on April 7, 2014, the day before his death.

Despite making his first WrestleMania appearance since WrestleMania XII during the unveiling of the 2014 Hall of Famers, it would ultimately be The Ultimate Warrior's last WrestleMania appearance. After appearing on Raw the next night to speak to the fans in what was ultimately his last appearance with WWE and his last public appearance, Warrior suddenly collapsed and died on April 8, 2014 at age 54, only three days after being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Warrior had been the main headliner for the 2014 Hall of Fame class.[76] WWE paid special tribute to Warrior on the April 14 episode of Raw.

WWE held an online charity auction centered around WrestleMania XXX from March 31 to April 8, 2014. It raised over $400,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees's "The Brees Dream Foundation".[77][78]

The Undertaker was reportedly taken away from the Superdome in an ambulance,[79] which WWE later confirmed was due to him suffering a "severe concussion"; he was discharged the next day.[80] In May 2014, Shawn Michaels claimed that Vince McMahon made the final decision to end the Undertaker's Streak about four hours before WrestleMania XXX.[81]

During the post-WrestleMania Raw on April 7, Triple H immediately used his authority as WWE COO to grant himself a title match against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan later that night. As Stephanie McMahon tried to persuade Randy Orton, Batista, Kane and the Shield to help Triple H in his title match, Kane inadvertently revealed that Triple H was the mastermind behind the attack on the Shield on the previous month's SmackDown. As a result, Bryan was attacked by Orton, Batista and Kane just before his title match, which began anyway at the order of Triple H. However, the title match ended in a no contest and Bryan's retention when the Shield interfered, attacking and chasing away Triple H, Orton, Batista and Kane.[82]

Heading into Extreme Rules, the Shield (right) would take on Evolution while Bryan (laying in the corner of the ring) would defend his title against Kane (in white shirt).

The following week, Triple H, Orton and Batista reformed Evolution to take on the Shield. Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon enticed Kane to return to his masked self; Kane complied and was granted a future title match against Bryan, and proceeded to carry out attacks against Bryan and his wife, Brie Bella.[83][84] At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, the Shield defeated Evolution while Bryan defeated Kane in an Extreme Rules match.[85]

John Cena continued to feud with Bray Wyatt over Wyatt capturing Cena's fanbase.[82][83] At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a steel cage match, after interference from the rest of the Wyatt Family and a demonic child.[85]

Cesaro was endorsed by Hulk Hogan on the post-WrestleMania Raw, who presented him with the Andre the Giant battle royal trophy. Cesaro went on to reveal that he had a new manager in Paul Heyman, who would replace Zeb Colter. This earned Cesaro an attack from his former partner Jack Swagger, who destroyed Cesaro's trophy.[82] Swagger later cost Cesaro his match against Rob Van Dam in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Championship #1 contender tournament,[84] while Van Dam later lost in the tournament final due Cesaro's interference.[83] At Extreme Rules, Cesaro defeated Swagger and Van Dam in an elimination match.[85]

On the post-WrestleMania Raw, as WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee celebrated her successful title defense at WrestleMania, NXT Women's Champion Paige made her main roster debut by congratulating AJ on her win. AJ reacted by slapping Paige and challenging her to an impromptu match with the Divas Championship on the line, resulting in Paige pulling out a quick victory to capture the title.[82][86]

Results[edit]

No. Results Stipulations Times
1 The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (c) defeated The Real Americans (Cesaro and Jack Swagger) (with Zeb Colter), RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) and Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) (with El Torito) Fatal 4-Way tag team elimination match for the WWE Tag Team Championship[87] 16:13[55]
2 Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) Singles match for the third spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship triple threat match[88] 26:01[49]
3 The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) defeated The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and Kane Six-man tag team match[89] 2:56[50]
4 Cesaro won by last eliminating Big Show[Elimination order 1][48][90] 31-man battle royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy[91] 13:25[50]
5 John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) Singles match[92] 22:25[50]
6 Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated The Undertaker Singles match[93] 25:13[25]
7 AJ Lee (c) won the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational[Note 1] 14-Diva single-fall match for the WWE Divas Championship[61] 6:48[52]
8 Daniel Bryan defeated Batista and Randy Orton (c) by submission Triple-threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship[94] 23:20[52]
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
† – indicates the match took place on the pre-show
  1. ^ Order of elimination from first eliminated: Yoshi Tatsu, Brad Maddox, Brodus Clay, The Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Darren Young, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Titus O'Neil, The Miz, Santino Marella, Damien Sandow, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Big E, Fandango, R-Truth, Tyson Kidd, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Big Show. Participated but eliminations unmentioned: Xavier Woods, Sin Cara
  1. ^ The other participants were: Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae and Tamina Snuka.

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External links[edit]