Over 75,000 members of the WWE Universe packed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday April 6th for the 30th anniversary of the spectacle that is WrestleMania. WrestleMania 30 provided everything from excitement, laughter and pure triumph to pure disappointment and plain shock, as this event was sure to tap into different emotions for those who witnessed it. Adding to the hype behind the event was the fact the it would be the first live pay-per-view that could be viewed on the newly-launched WWE Network, which made its debut back on February 24th.
As with most PPV events, especially as of late in the 'PG Era," the matches that took place at WrestleMania 30 were hit and miss. There were matches that brought out a chorus of "this is awesome" chants from the WWE Universe and matches that left most wondering when the next match would come. For the purposes of this article, we'll rank the best matches from the night that was WrestleMania 30.
Before we get started, it would be a travesty not to mention the iconic and historic beginning to WrestleMania 30. The host of the event, The Immortal Hulk Hogan, made his way to the ring and brought us down WrestleMania memory lane. Then the sound of broken glass filled the arena with the arrival of the Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin. After asking the WWE Universe if they wanted to see him open up a can of whoopass on Hogan, Austin would express the respect that he had for the Hulkster before..."Finallllllly, The Rock came back to WrestleMania!" The Great One would make his way to the ring to join Hogan and his longtime foe Austin in the ring. The three had an exchange for the ages, one that brought generations of WWE fans together. After the Rock reminded Hogan which dome they were in and they exchanged each other's catchphrases, the three celebrated with some cold Steveweisers and WrestleMania 30 was officially underway.
8 The Shield defeated Corporate Kane and The New Age Outlaws
This wasn't much of a contest at all. The veterans from the Attitude Era could have at least tried to put up more of a fight vs the young, dominant team of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, but that would not be the case in NOLA. The Shield, one year removed from its impressive WrestleMania debut vs Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus at WM 29, started strong and finished even stronger Sunday night. The team of Kane, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn was simply over-matched and a step (or two) slower then their opponents.
7 AJ Lee Won The Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational; Retained Divas Championship
6 Cesaro Won the Andre The Giant 30 Man Battle Royal
Had this been a regular battle royal, without the history and prestige behind the name of Andre The Giant, this would have been the WrestleMania Pre-Show match or it wouldn't have happened at all. To be quite honest, the match underwhelmed but it had its moments. The most exciting moment came when none other than Kofi Kingston, known for finding unorthodox ways of staving off Royal Rumble eliminations, found himself outside of the ring, but he had not been eliminated. Kingston managed to keep his feet on the steel steps to stay alive for a little longer. In the end, the match would come down to Big Show and Cesaro, who used his brute strength to bodyslam the World's Largest Athlete outside of the ring, similar to how Hogan lifted Andre the Giant in their famous WrestleMania 3 match. Cesaro would hoist the massive trophy as the winner of the inaugural Andre the Giant 30 Man Battle Royal.
5 The Usos Defeated The Real Americans, Rybaxel And Los Matadores; Retained Tag Team Championships
4 John Cena Defeated Bray Wyatt
A very emotional contest saw the leader of Cenation prevail over the head of the Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt. I, for one, had this pegged as the upset of the night but once the word 'legacy' was brought into the equation, it had a Cena victory written all over it. Wyatt had been taunting Cena for weeks, saying that at WrestleMania he would prove Cena is the monster that no one else saw but Wyatt. During the match, Wyatt on several occasions begged for Cena to finish him. And Cena almost caved in a number of times, contemplating hitting Wyatt with the steel steps, a steel chair and often pushing his limits with the referee not breaking certain holds.
3 Brock Lesnar Defeated The Undertaker; The Streak Done At 21-1
The moment the WWE Universe stood still. A legend fallen in the middle of the ring. Shocked and distraught faces everywhere in the Superdome. The large numbers displayed on the titantron and every other screen in the building; 21-1. It is still hard to fathom, and it will be for a long time, that The Undertaker's legendary WrestleMania streak is over. The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, set out to end the Streak and he did just that. But something was not right about the end of this match. The actual match left much to be desired as it was a slow and sometime boring match, but the ending made up for what the rest of this match lacked. The match eventually would pick up and see both superstars kick out of each other's respective finishers. The Undertaker was able to lock the Hell's Gate on Lesnar twice and twice it was countered. After kicking out of two previous F-5 finishers, the third one would prove to be too much for The Undertaker, as he lay in the middle of the ring while a triumphant Lesnar and advocate Paul Heyman celebrated the ending of history.
2 Daniel Bryan Defeated Triple H; Inserted Into The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Main Event
This was an all-around awesome match to watch and we got the privilege of this being the first match to go down on the 30th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Triple H was hellbent on ending the Yes Movement and Daniel Bryan, which have both been a nuisance and a challenge to him in his role as COO of WWE. The only thing that could top what happened from the time the bell rung at the beginning and end of the match was the epic entrance by the King of Kings, who donned a skull mask and was perched atop his throne before making his way to the ring. Once the match got underway, it was clear the WWE Universe was in for a treat.
1 Daniel Bryan Defeated Randy Orton And Batista To Win The WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan finally had his dream realized and his WrestleMania moment. Bryan showed he was much more than a goat-faced, B+ player in his thrilling victory in the main event. Everything was thrown in the way of the leader of the Yes Movement and he overcame it all. It didn't take long for The Authority to make its presence felt in the match, bringing with them a sledgehammer and crooked referee Scott Armstrong. Bryan was able to withstand a Batista Bomb and near 3-count from Armstrong before turning the tables on Triple H who was looking to end Bryan with the sledgehammer. Bryan got rid of The Authority and Armstrong by delivering a dive to the outside of the ring, taking out all three. But the worst was yet to come for Bryan.
Batista and Orton decided to rekindle the flame that was Evolution with the common goal of taking out Bryan, who they both felt should not have been in their 1-on-1 main event. The two delivered a brutal Batista Bomb/RKO combination to Bryan through the announce table, leaving Bryan to be wheeled away on a stretcher. But Bryan would not go easily, as he fought off of the stretcher and back into the ring to finish what he sought out to do. Eventually Bryan had the Animal Batista locked into the Yes! Lock, leading to a tapout as everyone in the Superdome rose to their feet to celebrate. A long and tumultuous eight month journey had come to an end and Bryan found himself on top of the WWE mountain. Bryan was reduced to tears as the confetti fell and he hoisted and cradled both titles, celebrating with the people that made this moment possible, the WWE Universe. There was no other possible outcome for the main event at WrestleMania 30. This had to happen. This was meant to be. Yes! Yes! Yes!
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