Ryan Pratt looks back at a truly memorable, groundbreaking, historic Wrestlemania that took place seven years ago today.
The first Wrestlemania to be streamed on the WWE Network, the 30th annual Wrestlemania was jam packed with action and eagerly anticipated by the 75,167 fans in attendance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana as well as millions across the world. This Wrestlemania had probably one of the saddest moments in wrestling history when The Undertaker lost his Wrestlemania streak to Brock Lesnar, along with one of the most feel good moments, Daniel Bryan’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory against all probability.
Eight matches featured on this card, starting with the pre-show, with The Usos retaining their WWE Tag Team Championships in a Fatal-4 Way Elimination Tag Team match against Los Matadores, RybAxel and the team of Cesaro and Jack Swagger, the Real Americans.
Starting off the show was an appearance from the host of Wrestlemania XXX, Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster welcomed everyone to the event, and mistakenly called the Superdome the Silverdome, where he faced Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania III. He also nearly called the WWE the WWF! Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock later joined Hogan in the ring to a massive ovation, with three of the biggest stars in Wrestlemania, arguably a trio that make up the Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling, enjoying a memorable opening segment together, reminiscing old times.
The first bout of the night was between Daniel Bryan and Triple H, with the winner going on to the main event to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H focused his attack on Bryan’s taped up injured arm after ‘The Yes Man’ kicked away ‘The Game’s’ handshake at the start of the match. Bryan never gave up despite ‘The Cerebral Assassin’s’ hellacious onslaught. ‘The Game’ hit his signature move, the Pedigree, but ‘The Bearded One’ kicked out at two, before hitting the Running Knee and pinning Triple H for the win. After the match, Stephanie McMahon, who accompanied Triple H to the ring, slapped Bryan numerous times, before her husband attacked D-Bry from behind, going on to focus his attention once again to Bryan’s injured arm, placing it on the ring post and hitting it with a steel chair. Medics attended to Daniel Bryan as he lay lifeless, in doubt for the Triple Threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later on in the night.
Next up, the New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and Corporate Kane took on The Shield consisting of United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. In a quick paced match, The Shield ran out winners after delivering a Triple Powerbomb to Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
Following on from this we had a Battle Royal for the first ever Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy, which saw Cesaro triumph by last eliminating The Big Show, body slamming ‘The World Largest Athlete’ out of the ring, mirroring Hulk Hogan’s body slam of Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania 3.
The next match saw John Cena pitted against Bray Wyatt. Flanked by Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, Wyatt tried to intimidate Cena throughout the match, but ‘The Leader of the Cenation’ would not back down. Wyatt got in John Cena’s head throughout the match and dominated throughout. However despite the mind games and outside intrusiveness from the Wyatt Family, Cena reversed a Sister Abigail and hit an Attitude Adjustment to ‘The Eater of Worlds’ for the win.
The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania undefeated streak was on the line in the next match. Brock Lesnar was the 22nd man to take on ‘The Deadman’ on the grandest stage of them all. The match was a back and forth between two Goliaths of the wrestling world. Both men brawled, and hit their respective finishing moves. It took three F-5s from ‘The Beast Incarnate’ to defeat The Undertaker and pin him in the middle of the ring for the 123. The crowd was in a state of shock and bewilderment. New Orleans was deathly silent as Lesnar put away ‘The Phenom’, becoming the one in 21 and 1; the first man to defeat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. A result that stunned the world…
Following the shocking outcome and the Streak being broken, the WWE Divas Championship was defended in the penultimate match of the evening for the first and only time in Wrestlemania history. AJ Lee retained her title in a 14-Diva single fall Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship match which featured Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae and Tamina Snuka.
It was time for the main event, with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship being defended in a Triple Threat match. Champion Randy Orton faced 2014 Royal Rumble winner Batista, and fans’ favourite Daniel Bryan, who earned his shot earlier in the night after defeating Triple H. Bryan had momentum throughout the match; Triple H and Stephanie McMahon got involved in the match when they brought in referee Scott Armstrong, who cost Daniel Bryan the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with a fast count at Night of Champions 2013 in a match against Randy Orton. ‘The Yes Man’ attacked both Armstrong and Triple H, which took them out of the scenario. Orton and Batista, former Evolution stablemates, double teamed to try and take out Bryan. It looked like he would be defeated when he was put onto a stretcher after being put through the announce table following a Batista Bomb and an RKO. Orton and Batista fought, before Bryan got back into the match. The three exchanged finishers, but there was near fall after near fall. Bryan kept persevering though, and after Orton was taken out by Batista, ‘The Bearded One’ trapped Big Dave in the Yes! Lock, with ‘The Animal’ tapping out, giving the victory and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Daniel Bryan who achieved the impossible and overcame all the odds. After months and months of torment from the Authority, Bryan celebrated in the ring, as the crowd on Bourbon Street were electric and in awe of the scenes they had just witnessed. Confetti and fireworks sparkled the arena, ending the show on a massive high and sending the crowd home in delight.
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, or follow him on Twitter @RyanPratt01.
Thank you for reading.
If Daniel Bryan can find a way to beat Triple H, he qualifies for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match later that night: Courtesy of Peacock and WWE Network.