WrestleMania XXX Preview

WrestleMania XXX preview

Via WWE.com

There’s no need for a big introduction here. We’ve been covering WrestleMania XXX all year.

Here’s our WrestleMania XXX preview:

The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) (c) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) vs. The Real Americans (Cesaro and Jack Swagger) vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel

GG: The Usos

I think the key to this match is what happens with Cesaro. He’s the most dynamic wrestler in the bunch, and you have to believe he’s going to at least attempt to Giant Swing El Torito. The Usos are an exceptional tag team and an underrated part of WWE’s fabric. Adding Los Matadores and Rybaxel to the mix hurts the match. Personally, I would’ve added Cody Rhodes and Goldust and put the other four in the battle royal. But oh well.

I see Cesaro looking fantastic much like at the Elimination Chamber, but in the end, Ryback, Axel, or Swagger look at the lights for three seconds and the Usos win.

Alan: The Usos
Duan: The Usos
Don: Real Americans
Big D: The Usos

The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn)

Alan: The Shield

I really wish I wrote this before Raw because I thought the go-home angle for Shield/Team2000 was very flat.

But regardless, The Shield as babyfaces are incredible – chemistry they have with each other, how endearing they are as characters, the charisma and of course the wrestling ability. I am going to go absolutely nuts when they make their entrance on Sunday. I’ll be like a girl at a Von Erich match in 1983. I sense there will be 60,000 people with me. On the contrary, I think Kane and The Outlaws (Team 2000 as I like to call them) have been very good as antagonists/arseholes and I like the generational theme to the match. The fact that The Outlaws in particular requested that they work with The Shield makes me optimistic that they will want to go out and have a killer match (I know Seth and company will want to). I think there’s a chance that this will have a ton of energy and really be a highlight on the show. I just hope they don’t use this as their annual surprise result (think Henry over Ryback last year, or Kane over Orton the year before) because The Shield losing could really take the air out of the crowd.

I hope this will be the platform for the start of a great summer of The Shield as mega-over faces.

Duan: The Shield
Don: Kane and the New Age Outlaws
Big D: The Shield
GG: The Shield

Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational

Big D: Brie Bella

We were originally booked to have AJ vs. Naomi here, but due to circumstances beyond any competent wrestler’s control, it was nixed for this. I was really unsure of the rules prior to the go-home Raw and expected it to be a gauntlet style match, sort of like the Cruiserweight Open from WrestleMania XX. But no, its apparently going to feature all of the Divas in the ring at the same time. But what REALLY strikes me as odd is that it is one fall to a finish. The WWE has yet to specify whether or not the fall has to occur on the champion AJ Lee or not, but boy, this has all the makings of one of the biggest clusters ever. If WWE is planning to book Daniel Bryan to walk out with the strap, then you might as well book his fiancĂ© to win too.

Alan: Brie Bella
Duan: Naomi
Don: AJ Lee
GG: Nikki Bella

André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

GG: The Big Show

I think there are two ways to go here. As Big D and I discussed on FGB Radio, a heel could win the tournament and flaunt his newly won trophy, much like Owen Hart did with his Slammy Awards. Damian Sandow, the Miz, Alberto Del Rio or even Christian would fit the type. Or, you put it on a Big Man since the battle royal is named after the biggest man of them all.

Creatively, I would lean toward the former, but I think WWE does the latter. The Big Show’s entire career has been based off comparisons to Andre. WCW brought him in early on as the son of Andre. Scott Hall even asked him if Andre was really his dad. It would be a nice hat tip to Show who was really screwed by WWE booking in 2013 after getting over to have him as the inaugural winner. Someone like Big E could also win here, but by the way they’ve been booking him of late, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. And while he’s not even officially booked for the match yet since as of this writing there are three spots left, I wouldn’t have Alexander Rusev win, but I’d have him toss out many a man.

Could someone like RVD or another surprise entrant win? Sure. But I think it means more if the Big Show wins.

Alan: Alexander Rusev
Duan: The Big Show
Don: Mark Henry
Big D: Big E

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H

Don: Daniel Bryan

Even before last year’s SummerSlam, a program between Triple H and Daniel Bryan was being set in place. With Randy Orton as the Money In The Bank briefcase holder and John Cena going out on an “extended” leave due to injury, the WWE needed a “Face of the WWE”. The man to represent the company with the championship title, a mantle held for many years by men the likes of John Cena and The Rock. Forget that CM Punk guy.

Enter Daniel Bryan, the man who was inexplicably getting over. He was small. He looked disheveled with long hair and a beard. His WrestleMania Moment was an 18 second title loss to Sheamus.

But he was still getting over. He, like Steve Austin before him, became the Every Man. He didn’t have the look, but he definitely had the talent. He was the definition of the World’s Greatest Underdog. So lets throw him into a title match with John Cena at the second (or third, depending who you ask) biggest show of the year. However, upper management (Vince, Stephanie, and Hunter) all thought he could never be “The Face” of the company. Lo and beholden to us all, Bryan pins Cena clean in the middle of the ring, shocking the world. Except his grandmother. She always knew he could beat Cena.

Enter Randy Orton. This dude, he’s got THE LOOK. He’s got the tats, the muscle, the military (erm…) look, and the history. He looks pretty on camera. So Trips works with Orton to screw Bryan out of the title once, twice, thrice, and quadrice, although the last two times were through Trips’ (Shawn Michaels and Kane) henchmen. Either way, Bryan was being known as the man who was getting a pretty major stiff neck by pushing up so hard against the glass ceiling.

So what to do? The fans want to see Bryan finally win the title, but he wasn’t in the WrestleMania picture. That title match was earned by Batista. At the Elimination Chamber when Bryan was thwarted by Triple H’s stooge Kane (I get giddy writing that for some reason), the crowd was exhausted, tired out by the screwjob after screwjob. At the time, it was getting to the point where even if Bryan won the title everybody would be wondering exactly how and when it would be taken away from him. It’s the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Finally Bryan demanded a match against Triple H at WrestleMania, which caused a mild uproar among the fans. Yes, this is the perfect match for Daniel Bryan BUT he’s only digging himself out of a hole. Sure, he may exact revenge on Triple H and win one for the common man, but he wasn’t going to walk away with what mattered the most to him — the prized WWE Championship belt. It’s a YAY, BUT situation. Then came the “Yes Movement”, a phrase coined by Bryan on his Twitter after he was left out of the Royal Rumble match. This “Yes Movement” continued to grow until it started to be chanted at every show.

Bryan finally forced Hunter’s hand by taking over the RAW ring with members of the “Yes Movement”, getting Hunter to agree to a singles match, along with the improbably — a chance at the WWE Championship if he defeated Hunter. This scenario, suggested by smarks everywhere, was a pipe dream. Now it’s close to a reality. Bryan can get his revenge on Hunter AND finally realize his dream of winning the WWE Championship… in one night. AT WRESTLEMANIA.

WrestleMania XXX preview

Keeping Bryan off of television for the majority of the last two weeks was one of the smartest things the WWE could do. Keep Bryan fresh. Make the possibility of him succeeding at WrestleMania a HUGE DEAL. Giving that time to Triple H to build his side of the story, with the possibility of him being put in the title match, worked out great. The moment where Bryan attacked Hunter at the end of RAW on the go-home show was made even better because of this.

I love it when the WWE gives a storyline time to build, and this one — though quite rocky in the middle — may be looked back on as one of the greatest storylines this side of the Mega Powers exploding.

Who’s going to win? It may be a foregone conclusion to get that perfect WrestleMania moment, but this is the WWE.

Where anything can happen.

Alan: Daniel Bryan
Duan: Daniel Bryan
Big D: Daniel Bryan
GG: Daniel Bryan

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

Duan: Bray Wyatt

I sort of snuffed at the idea of Cena facing Wyatt when the match was first rumored late last year. Not because I thought it wouldn’t work, but because I knew it simply couldn’t headline. The idea of Cena being outside of the money matches on a PPV (let alone WrestleMania) never seemed likely, so I felt when push came to shove, WWE would choose a safer option. To the company’s credit, they’ve stuck to their guns and they have made something that’s at-least forward thinking and creatively engaging, if not necessarily a big drawing card.

This will be Cena’s lowest profile Mania match since the beginning of his monster push ten years ago, but it’s also one of the most artistically interesting programs he’s had during that time. I know there were concerns over how the Cena and Wyatt characters would mesh on TV, but to me it’s been worth the gamble. The cartoony babyface going up against the horror movie heel brings an old school feel to the rivalry that that I have kinda enjoyed. And this is a year where they can afford to take that chance on something different. There is enough going on that they don’t need John Cena to headline. They’ve found him a feud that will be hot among their fanbase and should serve to elevate a new guy to superstar level, and that’s all they wanted from this. I feel whatever is being lost by Cena not main eventing at 30, will be returned ten times over on Wyatt in the long run.

A Cena win would be poorly received by some, and while it’s not what I would do, I don’t think it would be the end of the world either. The way the build has played out, a babyface victory almost makes perfect sense. I would use it instead though as a restart point in the career of John Cena. Think Bret Hart after Wrestlemania 12. The loss that makes him regroup, refocus and come back stronger. If that’s the way they decide to go, it will just be a matter of whether they’re capable of delivering the type of in ring action needed to tell that story. If the match quality is decent or above, the crowd heat will do the rest.

Alan: Bray Wyatt
Don: John Cena
Big D: Bray Wyatt
GG: Bray Wyatt

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Duan: The Undertaker

It’s seems ridiculous to say this but out of all of the Undertaker’s WrestleMania opponents over the last decade, the one who has had the least physical or mental edge going into the big night is Brock Lesnar. Up until this week, I thought they were trying a reverse psychology approach by giving Brock so little in the build that you would assume they must be going to give him his heat back at Mania. And yes, he did finally lay Taker out on Raw on Monday, and while that was great and everything, this is a dude who hasn’t lost on the big show in 21 years. With each year that passes it becomes harder to make a convincing case for his opponent – at this point it’s near impossible – and they failed miserably to do it with Brock.

This is a match people were psyched for before Lesnar even signed back with the WWE. This is one of The Undertaker’s best opponents and the one guy left who could be presented as a genuine threat to the streak. It’s a dream match which should have sold itself. And when you think of it like that, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as big a spectacle as it should be. Creative has to take blame for that because this one was placed in their hands and they dropped the ball on it.

In spite of all that, I have enjoyed the build and I expect that I will enjoy the match too. Anytime you have Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and Paul Heyman involved in something, it’s going to be good. It starts as good and only gets better from there. I have found their promo segments and TV interactions a blast to watch over the past month. It’s all been good TV. It just never made me doubt the result even one percent, and that’s a disappointment, but maybe that would have been the case no matter what they did. This is still the match I’m most looking forward to at Mania. These Undertaker performances are one of the few things in wrestling that still feel special. More so now than ever because who is to say how many more of them we will get. The streak goes +1 on Sunday.

Alan: The Undertaker
Don: The Undertaker
Big D: The Undertaker
GG: The Undertaker

Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista vs. Triple H/Daniel Bryan

GG: Daniel Bryan

Another thing that Big D and I discussed on FGB Radio is having Triple H end up in the match, turning this into a Fatal Fourway rather than the Triple Threat match that it’s scheduled to be. That would really upset the hardcore fanbase and it would get awesome heat. But I don’t think they’ll do that. I also don’t think Triple H is going to beat Daniel Bryan and make it an Evolution Triple Threat (though, from a match perspective, it wouldn’t be bad).

Instead, I think he helps make Bryan in their one-on-one match. He’s done it before with Chris Benoit, Batista, and John Cena.

As a match, I don’t expect it to be excellent. Three ways can get a little clunky and predictable. You also have the possibility that Batista blows up. We’ve seen Orton and Bryan so often than none of it is going to feel special. But really, it’s not a huge deal. This match doesn’t have to be a five-star classic. It just has to end with Bryan hitting the flying knee on Orton or Batista (probably Orton), winning the title, the babyface locker room emptying out (or putting the “Yes movement” marks in the ring again), and the fans in the crowd chanting, “Yes!”

That moment will be all that anyone remembers and will be one of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history.

Alan: Daniel Bryan
Duan: Daniel Bryan
Don: Daniel Bryan
Big D: Daniel Bryan

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