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Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Wrestlemania XXX

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



Wrestlemania XXX comes to you from New Orleans

There’s a pretape open, similar to real world HHH/Steph; it’s Hogan and Steamboat, after some banter focusing on “moments”, Steamboat asks if Hogan ever wonders how life would have been different if Steamboat hadn’t beaten him in ’85?

Through Hogan’s minds eye, we get some semblance of Hogan’s real life (the good parts, not when his kid killed that dude).  Hogan then says no, everything turned out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

They then say welcome to Wrestlemania 30.

(Dark: El Generico d. Pac)

Your announce is Joey/Regal/and making his surprise debut, Christian.

Bret comes to the ring, this segment is modeled on the real world XXX open; Bret says back at the very first Wrestlemania, the very first match, even before the show started, was he against Dynamite.
Bret’s said for years it was the best dark match in Wrestlemania history (coming this week, best of dark matches on the WWE Network, only for $9.99) but tonight, after seeing Pac and El Generico here in the Silverdome (not really, just to see if you’re paying attention) he’s changed his mind.
Michaels then enters; he says 20 years ago he and Razor Ramon changed the sport when they climbed the ladder for the Intercontinental Title.  Tonight, Sheamus and Nick Nemeth are going to climb that ladder and change it again.

Austin then enters, teases that he might stun either guy, then says that the three of them are about the past, and the past had a lot of good moments; but life is for the living, and Wrestlemania is for tonight.  And tonight you’re going to see Rey Mysterio vs. Bray Wyatt, and Brock Lesnar vs. Jack Swagger, and the Shield vs. the Usos – and the main event, The American Dragon Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli.

Bret then says the WWF is also always about tomorrow, always about the next thing – and this summer, it’s that time again, time for the Battle Royal to determine who will challenge for the WWF Championship at Summer Slam.  And a man who will enter that Battle Royal is a man some say is the Best Wrestler in the World….Kenta.

Kenta gets the big entrance, pyro, music – comes to the ring, shakes everyone’s hand, goes to the top buckle and makes the sign for the belt as the segment ends. 

Before the opening tag, the legends match, and the three title matches, a clip package of the past equivalent matches in Mania history plays.

1.       Wyatt Family (Cena/Virgil w/Harper) d. Defiance (Orton/Cody w/Bernard)
Recall the stip, if Defiance wins, Cena and Dustin leave the Wyatts (perhaps to join Defiance) and if Defiance loses, they break up.  And so they will. 

Two stories here, one is Harper’s dominance; tags are relaxed rules, there’s a lot of brawling and Harper is positioned as a beast, the announce puts over his domination of the veteran Bernard.  Second is that Dustin’s got Cody’s number, and when Orton is taken out by Harper, a Cena/Virgil double team catches Cody, and Dustin gets the fall.

Postmatch is a Golden Goal to Bernard’s temple which ends his run, Cody and Orton look at each other warily as they exit separately.

2.       AJ Lee d. Natty Neidhart
The first women’s match on major US PPV.  Ryback comes out to the ramp first, cuts a brief “how can Ryback not be on the biggest show of all time and these girls are” promo – designed to draw some concern that, as with 1, 10, and 20, there isn’t going to be a women’s match, but instead, a big dude is going to squash someone.

Instead, Pac and Generico do whatever the scalable equivalent of the big dive off the video wall is, in a callback to their first PPV appearances, and take Ryback out (also a nod to real world Punk v. Ryback feud from the Cabana podcast; in fact, Ryback’s name is now SG Ryback).

AJ goes over – and in the midst of her celebration is attacked and laid out by Paige, who we're told by Regal for those unaware, is from Underground, the first women’s graduate from developmental.

3.       Legend’s Match: The Clique (Miz/HHH-M/New Age Outlaws w/Hall and Nash) d. Undertaker/PAUL/Kane/Henry
This match is largely about the big men dominating, each of them hitting a finisher, but that sneaky, weasel Miz is able to hide under the ring most of the match, avoid taking a big shot, scurry his way back into the ring and get a cradle on Kane to get the win for the Clique. 

4.       Bray Wyatt (w/Harper) d. Rey Mysterio (special guest referee - Jake Roberts)
This wraps up Rey; he’ll get specials all next week on the Network. 

Rey’s gotta take a beating here; this isn’t a back and forth match, it’s an execution; Rey gets one spot in, goes for a quick 619, it’s blocked by Harper from the outside and that leads to a fall.  Wyatt promised he’d take Rey’s mask and he rips most of it off of his face (Rey covers up so we do not see him); it’s a stone cold quiet Superdome as the legendary Mysterio gets obliterated at XXX.

Cena and Virgil, who also won earlier in the night, also with help from Harper, who the announce puts over as the Wyatt Family MVP for the night, come to the ring – the four men posing over Mysterio’s broken body. 

5.       Tables Match: Ka$h Kingston d. Tyson Kidd/Primo Colon/Yoshi Tatsu
Just about spots, no pretense that we care about anything else; they don’t use ladders as we save them for the IC, but anything else can be jumped from and anyone can do the jumping – Matt Sydal, Justin Gabriel, anyone else on the roster who wants to risk life and limb to be on the show, this is the spot – everyone’s going through a table but Kingston, he gets the last elimination by taking out Kidd.   After a year when he served as an underdog babyface, going up against multiple men, against Lesnar, just getting thrown all over the arena – Kingston gets the Mania win in a collision match.

6.       Brock Lesnar d. Jack Swagger (w/Heyman and Bellas)
They do some amateur stuff; they do some stiff brawling, as my view (despite the manifest weight of the evidence) is there’s some money in a stiff working Swagger; most of the match is back and forth until the end stretch when Lesnar just takes over, the force that is Brock just starts hitting suplex after suplex on Swagger (there's no limit, he goes until he's blown up, if its a dozen, if it's 40, as many as he can do) yelling at Heyman the entire time (Heyman’s engaged early, giving orders to Swagger – but there’s a point in the match, even before the Lesnar dominance becomes clear, that he backs away, rubs his chin, leans on the announce table – Paul seems to recognize, seems to appreciate what Lesnar is doing to Swagger.  The Bellas are confused by all of this, and eventually, as Lesnar continues his onslaught late, they leave ringside entirely and you may not see them again) Lesnar growing angrier with each suplex, he curses out Heyman "is this what you wanted Paul - is this what you wanted to see?"  He finally stops, covers Swagger with his foot, entirely dismissive of the actual result of the match.  

Lesnar exits without waiting for the official to raise his hand, he won't give the fans that babyface pop, they've wanted to cheer for him, but he will not let the moment happen – Brock goes to the outside, grabs Heyman by the lapels "go clean up your boy, asshole" – but then letting him go without getting further retribution.

Lesnar, still angry, exits.  Heyman doesn’t wait for Swagger, still laid out in the ring, to recover, he shakes his head at who is now, clearly, a former client, and just exits – but as he’s about midramp – he’s stopped cold by Rob Van Dam’s music.  'Cause the fans want to see Paul get what's coming to him one way or the other.

RVD, in streetclothes, enters.  Heyman knows there’s a receipt due – he hands over Van Dam’s ponytail – Van Dam takes it, then kicks Paul down with a roundhouse, then goes to the ring for a frogsplash on the fallen Swagger. Van Dam's music plays again.

Now, a new segment - In Memorium.

Going forward, it will be a clip montage of notable wrestling personalities who died over the course of the year; but here, at XXX, it's a package of Wrestlemania wrestlers from the three decades who have passed.

And then the title matches.

7. Tag Titles: The Shield (Black/Ambrose/Langston) d. Usos (Reigns/Jimmy/Jey)

The Shield left WM 29 with the belts; they leave WM 30 with the belts.  Relaxed rules, so there is fighting inside and outside the ring, brawling up into the stands; it's designed to be as wild as possible without breaking an announce table or using a ladder. Usos have been chasing for a year, but The Shield cements its legacy as the most dominant tag team in years (more dominant than E&C, Regal points out to needle Christian) by getting the fall and keeping their belts (Black over either Jimmy or Jey).  The Shield hit their pose postmatch, Black, the ROH Champion who is growing in his belief that he's the best wrestler alive, Ambrose, half crazy, always willing to fight dirty, and the power man Langston.  They've vanquished all comers: Defiance, Wyatts, and now Usos.

8. IC: Ladder: Nick Nemeth d. Sheamus
The Michaels/Razor comparison is intentional and this match looks to play off of it by using variations on many of the classic spots, including Kidd running in as Waltman did 20 years before to take a giant bump. Regal makes clear that this isn't faction warfare; Underground isn't GDI or the Harts or the Clique, it's the future of WWF, and one day all the title matches will be Underground v. Underground.  Sheamus is going through the Spanish announce in this match; we're not going to see him for at least a year.  Nemeth stays at the top of the ladder postmatch shouting out:

Whose house.....

Whose house...

Whose house...

My house.  Whose house, my house.  Whose house, my house.

9. WWF Title: Claudio Castagnoli d. Bryan Danielson
Funny thing happened on the way to Punk/Danielson at 30...

This is designed for the highest star rating possible; we are looking for a match of the year candidate here.  Danielson stops and stares up at the McMahon luxury box pre-match, cause that's where Kenta is, and Kenta stands and stares right back at him.  Claudio gets the Hey chants, probably on and off all night, but in pretty heavy force during this match, which maybe even sees the crowd sometimes turn against Danielson when it appears he has the advantage.

Claudio gets in his stuff, hits Hey Fever, hits his uppercuts, the announce notes there maybe is some wear on Danielson from the Lesnar matches; we saw it with Punk, he was never the same after the Lesnar match, and Danielson's been in the ring with Brock three times, he's taken a helluva beating this year - and here's Claudio, fresh, strong, maybe his technical equal and without all the wear and tear of carrying that belt.

Claudio catches an airborne Danielson with an uppercut, hits the Ricola bomb - and there's a new champion.

Postmatch GDI, including Steamboat, hits the ring for a celebration, Danielson shakes Claudio's hand, and the Hey chants fill the arena while the confetti fills the ring.  Claudio Castagnoli leaves WM XXX as WWF Champion!

I'm back in April to wrap up TNA, there will be at least one intermediate post in May, then the Battle Royal in June, the rest of the build in July, and Summer Slam 2014 in August.  See you then.

















2 comments

Mike Heine said...

Happy 30th, Steamboat v Hogan! You must be very pleased with Hideo making the Wrestlemania pre-show.

Jim said...

Didn't break my heart, nope.

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