Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
|Date||April 6, 2014|
|City||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Tagline(s)||Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler|
(Let the Good Times Roll)
|WWE Network event chronology|
WrestleMania XXX (also written as WrestleMania 30) was the 30th annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE. It took place 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 subscription streaming service, WWE Network. Seven matches were scheduled on the event's card, including one on the Pre-Show.
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 was also notable for The Undertaker's 21-0 undefeated streak at WrestleMania coming to an end with a loss to Brock Lesnar. The event also saw the WWE Divas Championship being defended on the main show, which was the first and only time it was contested for at WrestleMania, while the WWE Tag Team Championship was defended on the Pre-Show.
WWE claimed $10.9 million in ticket revenue for WrestleMania XXX and estimated a $142.2 million economic impact on New Orleans. The event has received highly positive reviews. SLAM! Wrestling rated the show a 4.5 out of 5, while the Pro Wrestling Torch rated the event 8.75 out of 10 and The Times-Picayune described it as "spectacular".
WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having first been held in 1985. It is the longest-running professional wrestling event in history and is held annually between mid-March to mid-April. It was the first of WWE's original four pay-per-views, which includes Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four". It has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment.
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. The event is alternatively known as WrestleMania 30. 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. On November 16, individual tickets went on sale through Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $25 to $850.
In addition to being sold as a pay-per-view through television providers (with prices ranging from $55-$70), WrestleMania XXX was the first WWE PPV event to be aired in simulcast by WWE Network -- a new subscription streaming service offering video on demand access to WWE's library, original programming, and pay-per-view events, costing $9.99 per month with a six-month contract.
The event was the first WrestleMania to be held in the state of Louisiana. There were three official theme songs for the event, "Celebrate" by Kid Rock, "Legacy" by Eminem, and "In Time" by Mark Collie. 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. The WrestleMania set was built by a crew of roughly 400 workers over two weeks, assembling equipment carried by 85 semi-trailer trucks.
After the Royal Rumble event in late January 2014, CM Punk reportedly legitimately walked out on WWE while still under contract and WWE stopped promoting him for future events; which Pro Wrestling Torch editor Wade Keller analysed as playing a part in Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania journey. In May 2014, Bryan revealed in an interview that he also believed that WWE decided to give him the big WrestleMania spotlight only after Punk quit.
Daniel Bryan entered the event as the bookmakers' favorite to walk out of WrestleMania as champion, while the biggest favorite to earn a victory was the Undertaker, which Forbes endorsed as "as close to a sure thing as you're going to find".
The card consisted of eight matches, including one on the Pre-Show, that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers.Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
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, as his rise in status led him to a title shot at SummerSlam. 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. 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". 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, but due to referee Scott Armstrong making a fast count, Triple H stripped Bryan of the title the next night on Raw. At 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. 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.
At TLC, WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena to unify the two titles into the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In January 2014, Batista returned to WWE after having left in May 2010, 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. 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 when he defeated Alberto Del Rio) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXX. 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.
Frustrated over being constantly cost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by the Authority, Bryan challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania XXX. 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. 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.
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. This set up a match where Lesnar would attempt to break the Undertaker's 21-0 undefeated streak at WrestleMania.
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. 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. 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. 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. On the March 10 episode of Raw, Cena issued Wyatt a challenge for a match at WrestleMania, which Wyatt accepted.
|English Commentators||Michael Cole|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Spanish Commentators||Marcelo Rodriguez|
|French Commentators||Christophe Agius|
|Ring announcers||Lilian Garcia|
|Howard Finkel (WWE Hall of Fame)|
|Pre-show panel||Josh Mathews|
The WrestleMania 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.
Analysis was hosted by Josh Mathews with 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 match was a fatal four-way elimination tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship between defending champions The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso), RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel), Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando), accompanied by El Torito, and The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Cesaro), accompanied by Zeb Colter. The match was changed to an elimination style match shortly before it got underway. Five minutes into the match, Swagger forced Fernando to submit to his signature Patriot Lock to eliminate Los Matadores, followed by Cesaro hitting a European uppercut after throwing Ryback in the air then delivering his signature Neutralizer to pin Ryback and eliminate RybAxel at the eleven-minute mark. Later, after Jey Uso threw Cesaro into Swagger, Jimmy Uso tagged in and the Usos landed a double superkick and then a double top rope diving splash on Cesaro to win the match and retain the titles. Swagger blamed Cesaro for the loss and put Cesaro in the Patriot Lock. Colter demanded that they put their differences aside, but Cesaro put Swagger in the giant swing and then walked off.
The English commentators for the event were Michael Cole, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and Jerry "The King" Lawler, while there were also Spanish and French commentators at ringside.Justin Roberts and Lilian Garcia acted as ring announcers.Charles Robinson and John Cone were noted to have refereed Triple H's and John Cena's matches respectively.
During the event, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductees (Jake "The Snake" 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. Two backstage segments included WWE veterans; the first consisted of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Ron Simmons. The second consisted of the stars from WrestleMania I, with Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, Pat Patterson, and Mean Gene Okerlund appearing. Meanwhile, WWE Hall of Famers Bruno Sammartino, Harley Race, Bob Backlund, Dusty Rhodes, and Bret Hart were shown at ringside.
The pay-per-view event 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 about past WrestleManias and led the crowd in their signature chants and catchphrases. They then shared a number of beers together before departing the ring.
In the first match on the pay-per-view portion of the show, 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 and the win. 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.
Next, The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and Kane faced 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.
After that, the battle royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy was next. 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 WWE 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.
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 attacked 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.
In the next match, Brock Lesnar faced The Undertaker with Undertaker's streak of victories at WrestleMania on the line. Lesnar survived a chokeslam while Undertaker did not succumb to Lesnar's signature F-5 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 F-5, but Undertaker kicked out. Undertaker responded with a Last Ride powerbomb and a Tombstone Piledriver, but Lesnar kicked out at two. As Undertaker attempted a second Tombstone Piledriver, Lesnar countered into a third F-5 and pinned Undertaker for the victory, 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 of a shocked and stunned crowd, just before Justin Roberts announced Lesnar as the winner. Instead, WWE showed a graphic displaying the Undertaker's WrestleMania record of "21-1". The crowd eventually booed Lesnar as he left. Undertaker was left in the ring, where he gathered himself. As he slowly walked up the entrance ramp, WWE's announcers gave him a standing ovation and the crowd chanted his name and various "thank you" chants.
The penultimate match was the 14-Diva single-fall Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational for the WWE Divas Championship; this marked the only time the title was defended at WrestleMania. 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. Snuka pulled Aksana out of the ring to prevent Natalya from winning, so Natalya clotheslined Snuka on the outside but was prevented from re-entering the ring due to Lee kicking her. Lee applied her signature Black Widow hold on Naomi and won the match, thus retaining her title. WWE reported that AJ won by moving Naomi's hand unto the mat to deceive the referee into thinking that Naomi had submitted.
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's entrance included a live performance by Rev Theory. 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.
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. 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 submit, giving the victory and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for Bryan. The show ended with Bryan's celebrations, including fireworks, confetti, pyrotechnics and Bryan leading the crowd people in a "Yes!" chant for the "Best Main Event of the Night Ever" at the End.
The event was a critical and commercial success. 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. 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 at this point". WWE later claimed that WrestleMania XXX had a $142.2 million economic impact on New Orleans, generated $24.3 million in local taxes and that 79% of attendees were from outside of New Orleans. The figures were higher than those of the previous two WrestleManias.
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. 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 what the Network would have gained on a regular day at the time. On April 15, WWE announced "nearly 400,000 domestic PPV buys" for the event, while the previous year's WrestleMania (before the existence of the WWE Network) had earned 1,039,000 buys. In June 2014, WWE reported 690,000 total buys from both domestic and international sources.
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".
The Times-Picayune reported on 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!". 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".
Nolan Howell of Slam! Wrestling 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.
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 many 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 labeled Cena's win as a "genuine upset".
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."
Benjamin Tucker of the Pro 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 lack of hype before the event of the Streak being in jeopardy 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 those 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 segment involving Hogan, Austin and the Rock 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".
The Ultimate Warrior's first WrestleMania appearance since WrestleMania XII, headlining the unveiling of the 2014 Hall of Famers, would be his last. On April 8, the day after making his last public appearance on Raw to speak to the fans, Warrior suddenly collapsed and died at age 54 in Arizona. WWE paid 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".
The Undertaker was reportedly taken away from the Superdome in an ambulance, which WWE later confirmed was due to him suffering a "severe concussion"; he was discharged the next day. In May 2014, Shawn Michaels said that Vince McMahon made the final decision to end the Undertaker's streak about four hours before WrestleMania XXX. McMahon confirmed in December 2014 that it was indeed him who made the final decision and that the Undertaker was initially shocked at the decision. The decision was made due to McMahon believing that it would make a huge deal out of Brock Lesnar to set up the next WrestleMania event. McMahon also said that he did not foresee other viable candidates on the roster to fill Lesnar's role within the near future.
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.
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. At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, the Shield defeated Evolution while Bryan defeated Kane in an Extreme Rules match.
John Cena continued to feud with Bray Wyatt over Wyatt capturing Cena's fanbase. At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a steel cage match, after interference from the rest of the Wyatt Family and a demonic child.
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. Swagger later cost Cesaro his match against Rob Van Dam in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Championship #1 contender tournament, while Van Dam later lost in the tournament final due to Cesaro's interference. At Extreme Rules, Cesaro defeated Swagger and Van Dam in an elimination match.
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.
Daniel Bryan announced on May 12 that due to injuries, he would require neck surgery, which he underwent on May 15. Bryan was stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by the Authority on June 9 as he was not healthy enough to defend his championship. Due to his injury, Bryan was largely removed from WWE television. John Cena's feud with Bray Wyatt culminated with a Last Man Standing at Payback on June 1, where Cena buried Wyatt under multiple equipment cases to win the match and end the feud. Cena won Bryan's vacated WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank on June 29. Brock Lesnar returned on July 21 and proceeded to decisively defeat Cena at SummerSlam to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
At Payback, the Shield ended their feud with Evolution by defeating them in a six-man No Holds Barred elimination match. On the next Raw on June 2, Batista quit WWE in the storyline as Triple H, in wanting to continue the feud with the Shield, refused to grant Batista a one-on-one match for the WWE World Heavyweight title. Later that night, Seth Rollins turned on his Shield teammates and allied himself with Triple H's Authority, eventually winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. The remaining members of the Shield, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, went their separate ways by the end of June. Cesaro ended his association with Paul Heyman in July on the night of Brock Lesnar's return. By that time, Cesaro had failed to win title matches for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship.
At Night of Champions in September 2014, the Usos' tag title reign ended at the hands of Gold and Stardust. Also at the event, AJ Lee became a three-time Divas Champion by capturing the title from Paige. Paige and AJ had exchanged the Divas Championship several times after WrestleMania, firstly on the June 30 episode of Raw and secondly at SummerSlam.
In January 2015, Daniel Bryan returned to the ring having recovered from his injury. That month at the Royal Rumble event, Brock Lesnar retained his title in a triple threat match against John Cena and Seth Rollins; the New Age Outlaws' return to the ring saw them lose to the Ascension, while Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble match. The live audience booed Reigns' win and Bryan's early elimination from the match. In February, Reigns defeated Bryan at Fastlane to receive a WrestleMania main event title match against Lesnar, while Cesaro and Tyson Kidd won the Tag Team Championship from the Usos.
At WrestleMania 31 on March 29, 2015, the main event began as a singles match for champion Brock Lesnar against challenger Roman Reigns. More than ten minutes into the match, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to make it a triple threat match; Rollins pinned Reigns shortly after to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In other matches, Daniel Bryan wrestled in the pay-per-view opener, a seven-man ladder match, and won the Intercontinental Championship from Bad News Barrett. Next, Rollins lost a singles match to Randy Orton. Then, Triple H defeated Sting in another singles match. A tag match followed where AJ Lee teamed with Paige to defeat Nikki Bella and Brie Bella. Next, Cena scored another WrestleMania victory, this time at the expense of Rusev, while Cena captured the United States Championship. In the penultimate match, the Undertaker (in his return to TV) defeated Bray Wyatt. On the pre-show, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd successfully defended the tag titles, while Big Show won the second Andre the Giant memorial battle royal.
The Undertaker reignited his feud with Brock Lesnar at Battleground by causing a no contest for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins and then proceeded to controversially defeat Lesnar in a rematch at SummerSlam. The feud ended at the 2015 Hell in a Cell event with Lesnar defeating Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match.
|1P||The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) defeated Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) (with El Torito), The Real Americans (Cesaro and Jack Swagger) (with Zeb Colter) and RybAxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback)||Fatal 4-Way tag team elimination match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||16:13|
|2||Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon)||Singles match
The winner was entered into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later that night
|3||The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) defeated Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)||Six-man tag team match||2:56|
|4||Cesaro won by last eliminating Big Show[Elimination order 1]||31-man André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for the Memorial Trophy||13:25|
|5||John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt (with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)||Singles match||22:25|
|6||Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated The Undertaker||Singles match
The match marked the end of Undertaker's Wrestlemania winning streak 21-0
|7||AJ Lee (c) defeated Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Cameron, Emma, Eva Marie, Layla, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae, and Tamina Snuka by submission||Vickie Guerrero Invitational match for the WWE Divas Championship||6:48|
|8||Daniel Bryan defeated Batista and Randy Orton (c) by submission||Triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||23:20|
|1||Los Matadores||Diego||Jack Swagger||Submission||5:40|
|3||The Real Americans||Cesaro||The Usos||Pinfall||16:13|
|Winners||The Usos (c)||N/A|
At the 2014 WrestleMania in the same building, they announced 75,167 fans, and the actual attendance was between 60,000 and 65,000, with 59,500 paid.
... WWE's flagship event lights up MetLife Stadium ... WrestleMania
WWE gave the heel power couple Triple H and Stephanie McMahon a working title of "The Authority.
Apparently this is the first time the Divas title has ever been defended on Mania.
Reigns said he ran this yard with The Shield and he still runs this yard on his own