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The Heist Of The Century Took Place On This Day In 2015
Posted By: Ben Jordan Kerin on Mar 29, 2021
Ryan Pratt goes back in time to look at what happened in the main event of Wrestlemania 31 on this day six years ago.
The crowd in attendance at Levi’s Stadium were treated to a packed card in what was the sixth Wrestlemania to be held in the state of California. The pre-show saw WWE Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd and Cesaro successfully defended their titles in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team bout and Big Show win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Opening the main show was an action-packed seven-man Intercontinental Championship match, where Daniel Bryan overcame champion Bad News Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, the late great Luke Harper and Stardust. Next up, Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins, hitting Rollins with an outrageous RKO from out of nowhere after Rollins attempted a Curb Stomp but was caught mid-air with Orton’s trademark finisher for the win. We then saw Sting make his WWE in-ring debut against Triple H, the latter ran out as victor after joint interference from D-Generation X and the nWo. Following on from this, AJ Lee and Paige defeated the Bella Twins and John Cena defeated Rusev to claim the United States Championship, handing Rusev his first defeat since his main roster debut the year prior. Ronda Rousey had her first segment in the WWE, siding with The Rock against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon after the power couple bragged about ‘The Game’s’ win earlier in the evening as well as Wrestlemania setting an attendance record of 76,976 (a figure which has been debated over the years) at the Levi’s Stadium. In the penultimate match of the night, The Undertaker beat Bray Wyatt a year on from his first Wrestlemania loss against Brock Lesnar who was the one in 21-1.
The man who conquered the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak Brock Lesnar defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event against Roman Reigns. Reigns, the winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble match, put his number one contender spot on the line at Fastlane against Daniel Bryan, but he successfully defeated ‘The Yes Man’ to get his Wrestlemania match for the WWE World Title. Lesnar, champion since August 2014 beating John Cena to win the strap at Summerslam 2014, walked out of the Royal Rumble as WWE World Heavyweight Champion after successfully defending against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match.
Within the first minute of the Wrestlemania 31 main event, Lesnar hit Reigns with an F5 and a German suplex. He dug deep into his arsenal, hitting Roman Reigns with numerous different knee strikes and various suplexes. He hit Reigns with four F5s over the duration of the match. Halfway through the match, ‘The Big Dog’ Roman Reigns pushed Lesnar into the ring post on the outside, causing the champion to bleed profusely from the head. Lesnar stumbled into the ring just avoiding a count-out, and Reigns hit ‘The Suplex Machine’ with three Superman punches and two back-to-back Spears, but Lesnar somehow managed to kick out. Lesnar countered a Reigns Superman punch with an F5, but whilst the two men were laid out in the middle of the ring after a physical slugfest, the music of Seth Rollins echoed throughout Levi’s Stadium. ‘Mr Money In The Bank’ sprinted down the ramp to cash in his Money In The Bank contract, to make it a Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins delivered a big Curb Stomp to Lesnar, and attempted a second, before ‘The Beast Incarnate’ dodged the move and lifted ‘The Architect’ up on his shoulders for an F5. Reigns then hit Lesnar with a Spear, knocking Lesnar out of the ring. Rollins capitalized and hit a dazed Reigns with a Curb Stomp, pinning ‘The Big Dog’ to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the first time in his career. The crowd went insane as Rollins celebrated with the championship and fireworks lit up the night’s sky in California.
This was a somewhat unexpected and shocking outcome. Labeled as ‘The Heist of the Century’, Rollins’ cash-in was unique as it was the first time in history a superstar cashed in their Money In The Bank briefcase during a match. It was an exciting end to an all-round gripping show that was filled to the brim with amazing matches.
Ryan Pratt is a feature writer for WNS, looking back at some of the most memorable events and moments in pro-wrestling history. You can find his work on WNS under the hashtag #TDIWH.
Thank you for reading.
Seth Rollins relives the moment he cashed his Money in the Bank contract at WWE WrestleMania 31
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