The Wrestling News Experience: 4.07.14
Posted by Stephen Randle on 04.07.2014
News and thoughts on the Streak ending and the rest of the results coming out of WrestleMania 30, a preview for Raw tonight and more!
Monday April 7th, 2014
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and I can say, without hyperbole, that Sunday was possibly my worst day of employment in my entire life. I'm pretty sure that, as a result of everything that went wrong, I may have had a mild panic attack. Fortunately, I have a five-step plan to recover:
2. Game of Thrones
3. Post-Mania Raw on Monday
4. The Winter Soldier on Tuesday afternoon
5. First live Blue Jays game of the season on Tuesday night
If you can't have a good time with that itinerary, I don't know what your problem is. With that said, let's get right into Step One, shall we?
Slimmer had the live coverage, I did what commentary I could in between my son once again knowing that I had something to do, so it was time to refuse to nap. I'd be upset, but he's clearly already smarter than the average seven-week-old. And possibly evil. I'm so proud.
I loaded up the Network early in the hopes that I would avoid the bottleneck once everyone tried to log on. The graphics quality keeps switching between low and high-def, and we had a weird tinny audio issue for about half an hour during the pre-show, but so far, we're all good to go!
Hey, it's a pre-show match! See what kind of bonuses you get with WWE Network!
The Usos (c) vs Los Matadores vs Rybaxel vs The Real Americans - Elimination Match - WWE Tag Team Championships
They changed it to an elimination match about halfway through the pre-show, which led to some interesting commentary from the panel as they tried to figure out something to say about a decision that they hadn't know about until that moment.
The Real Americans eliminated Los Matadores (Swagger submitted Diego (probably), Anklelock)
I'd say Carlito's Hall of Fame speech could have led to them being out first, but it's not like Los Matadores had a shot in hell of winning anyway, so probably not.
The Real Americans eliminated Rybaxel (Cesaro pinned Ryback, Neutralizer)
And now we get down to the match that people wanted to see anyway.
Holy crap, I just noticed The Usos now have massive Rock-style tattoos, which means that I can no longer use the one which had the chest tattoo to differentiate them. Crap.
The Usos eliminated The Real Americans to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships (Jimmy (probably) pinned Cesaro, double top-rope splash)
And wacky heel miscommunication leads to a loss, and Swagger gets pissed and puts Cesaro in the Ankelock. Zeb appears to broker peace once more, but Cesaro will have none of it, and there's your official face turn, so it's already the best WrestleMania ever!
Aw, Cesaro finally got tights that matched the yellow colour scheme, too.
Okay, so the last video package before we switch over to the actual Mania PPV is for the Divas Clustermatch? I guess we're exclusive on the Network, so they don't need to sell you on anything.
Well, the Network has survived the opening video. You have no idea how much I was worried.
Well, apparently Hulk Hogan thinks we're in the Silverdome. To be fair, it's not like this was the only job he had for this show.
Can I mention that I'm really happy that there isn't a ridiculously super-long entrance ramp this year?
And heeeeere's Austin. Hey, look, it's a dream match that they will probably always regret never doing when they had a chance.
Austin respects the hell out of Hogan, especially how, when he came to WCW and brought all his friends, WCW cut him in a cost-cutting measure and inadvertently created the biggest money-making star in the history of pro wrestling...for WWE.
And now it's The Rock, clearly on an off-cycle. I wonder how much it kills Triple H that he will never even be close to being considered anywhere near as great as any of these three.
Well, at least Rock knows where they are.
So...last three entrants in the battle royal?
Yeah, the opening segment of WrestleMania was Austin, Rock, and Hogan cutting promos. THE OPENING SEGMENT! There's still more show!
Daniel Bryan without a beard looks incredibly wrong.
Daniel Bryan vs Triple H
I see Stephanie has dipped back into her McMahon-Helmsley Era closet for that miniskirt.
Hey, look, it's The Game on a Throne. Maybe don't remind people about that tonight, guys.
We also would have accepted a joke about Skeletor.
Bryan with the DDP-trademarked taped body part. Ironically, if he used DDP Yoga, he might not have needed it.
I'll be damned, Triple H does know how to sell like nuts. He hasn't done that in years.
Wait, what's the third announce table for? Is the SAT just setting up decoys? Some sort of Three Card Monte scam in an attempt to not lose their table for once?
Sunset Flip Powerbomb!
The rest of the commentary for this match may well be me just yelling move names.
Bryan kicks out of a Pedigree! No delay between move and pin! Vintage Ultimate Warrior!
Knee out of nowhere!
Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H (pinfall, Knee Plus)
Years later, when Daniel Bryan talks about how "no big star ever put me over", we can remind him about this match.
But seriously, that was nothing less than Triple H putting Bryan over as hard as you can put over a guy. They went nearly even on offense, Triple H sold everything like crazy, and Bryan not only kicked out of the Pedigree but only had to hit his finisher one time.
And there's the injury angle to create doubt.
Apparently the Network stream is a couple minutes behind reality, but frankly, if that's the worst thing about it, I'll take it. It's been perfect so far, by the way.
The Shield vs Kane and The New Age Outlaws
Shield are all wearing skull bandanas as face masks, so it must definitely be on.
Spear! Spear! Spear! I'm not doing an Edge thing, Reigns just keeps Spearing people.
Wait, a DOUBLE Triple Powerbomb?
Well...that was short. Fortunately, it was basically Shield beating the crap out of all three guys, which is absolutely the right decision.
The Shield defeated Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Rollins pinned Dogg, Double Triple Powerbomb)
I can't believe they got Steamboat to dress up in his karate outfit.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I think the trophy might actually be close to Andre's actual height.
Only Big Show and Sheamus get actual on-camera intros, in case you wondered who you should have considered picking in your pool.
Just by looking, I don't see anyone surprising. I think Tyson Kidd , Xavier Woods, David Otunga, and Yoshi Tatsu ended up in those last unannounced spots. Christian's also not there. Due to his concussion, I'd imagine.
For posterity's sake, Yoshi Tatsu ended up as the first person eliminated.
Hey, wait, Cesaro's in there!
Okay, so let me try and explain this. Cesaro absolutely launched Kingston over the ringpost to the floor, but Kofi somehow landed feet-first on the bottom ring step and kept them there as he hit the floor, so he got to go back in. How the hell did he do that?
Final two: Cesaro and Show. Well, I know who the crowd wants to win.
And Cesaro scoop slams Show out of the ring! Hey, I know how a bodyslam is done, but it just looked so effortless that it was incredible. Plus, exactly the right Andre tribute.
Cesaro won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Hah, Cesaro has more trouble lifting the trophy than he did Show. I assume Swagger will be destroying that trophy tomorrow. Hopefully when it gets smashed across his back.
Ah, finally we learn that the third table is for the French announce team. How come they rate an actual table?
John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
Bray gets a crazy dancing voodoo lady and a live performance of his theme. Isn't Cena supposed to be the one with the over-the-top Mania entrances?
Holy crap, they're actually having Wyatt get into Cena's head , driving him insane. This could be the greatest thing ever.
I mean, I'm just thrilled that they've finally found a heel that Cena can't laugh off or overcome just by gutting it out physically.
Well, popping up in a spiderwalk is certainly a new way to counter the Five Knuckle Shuffle.
And now Wyatt kicks out of an AA without any pause between finisher and pin! What world did I wake up in today?
Bray brings in a chair...and gives it to Cena. This is awesome.
I can't say I didn't expect that, realistically. You can't put Cena's "legacy" on the line and then have him lose.
John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt (pinfall, AA)
Well, there's definitely enough there that they can claim Cena came incredibly close to crossing the line, so I guess we'll see where it goes. I can quibble about the finish, but that was a great story being told in the ring.
Oh thank God, it's the Hall of Fame rundown. There has been literally no time to hit the bathroom on this PPV. Well, maybe there has been, but I wasn't leaving.
Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker
Wait, go back and show me who that 21st coffin was again? You went by it so fast I missed it, and I don't think I saw him in the video.
Damn, what a time for random freezing.
Well, for two part-time guys, at least one of whom should probably be retired, they're actually keeping a decent pace. I was incredibly worried we'd have another Trip-Taker cure for insomnia masquerading as dramatic selling.
I mean, it's not a great match, and I'm glad it didn't end up the main event of the show, plus we all know Lesnar's losing, but it's not terrible.
Well, apparently it's just my connection that's a few minutes behind reality. Probably from the occasional freezes. Still nothing that I can't handle.
Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker (pinfall, F5)
Did I just see what I think I just saw?
Did Brock Lesnar just end The Streak?
Was that a blown ending?
There's no way they would have run with it if it was a blown ending, they would have just pretended he kicked out.
What the hell just happened?
Holy shit. The Undertaker just lost. The Streak is over.
Well, look at it this way. This PPV has been all about getting new talent over for the future. Bryan, Cesaro, Shield, even Wyatt in defeat. Having The Streak end pretty much puts an exclamation point on the whole "remembering the past, but preparing for the future" theme, doesn't it?
So, Lesnar is #1 Contender for Extreme Rules, right?
Also, who makes a graphic for 21-1? Why would you want to commemorate that? Maybe Heyman got someone to put it up there, because otherwise someone in the tech department is really rubbing it in Taker's face.
And the show isn't over yet!
Vicki Guerrero Divas Invitational - WWE Divas Championship
Yeah, like I (or anyone else), was paying attention to this.
AJ Lee won the Divas Invitational to retain the Divas Championship (AJ submitted Naomi, Black Widow)
Okay, I think I'm done being stunned. Let's get it back for the main event.
Randy Orton (c) vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan - WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Oh come on, why does Orton get a live band?
Sorry folks, no commentary for this match, as Oliver decided it was time to eat, and with his mother in bed so she can be awake for the early morning feeding, there was really only one option: I changed his diaper, heated a bottle, and we watched the main event together as father and son.
What? It's not bad parenting. He's only seven weeks old, he has no idea what's going on. It's not like I'm going to let him watch Game of Thrones afterwards. As far as his mother knows.
Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (Bryan submitted Batista, Yes Lock)
Well, that's Step One complete. And I already feel better. I'm going to go ahead and call this one of the greatest WrestleManias of all time, and I don't really expect any arguments from anybody. For me, it probably doesn't beat X-7, just because that was the pinnacle of one of the greatest eras of wrestling, but I'd put it over X for the #2 spot fairly easily.
All right, so leading up to this weekend, I watched the Jays opening home series, and I also watched Major League, possibly the greatest baseball movie to come out of 1989. And yes, the Jays lost two out of three to the Yankees, and we all know that the Indians don't actually win the World Series after the movie ends (thank you very much, Major League II, which we only allow to exist because otherwise we don't get Major League III: Back To The Minors). But my point revolves around the crowd, both at the real ball game and the thousands of extras in the movie. In both cases, they are absolutely rabid, loud, supportive, ready to follow their team to the promised land. Every setback rips their heart out, and every triumph is a reason to celebrate like it's the last thing they'll ever do. And when the Jays did win that one game, and when the Indians win that tiebreaker at the end of the movie, the crowd erupted into the kind of euphoria that can barely be described, and simply must be experienced. It is a moment of pure happiness, the point where everything you believed in comes true, and the best part is that you get to share it with thousands of people at the exact same time. It's a moment that you will remember forever, and it's why no matter how many times the Jays lose, no matter how many seasons end in disappointment, I'll always come back, chasing that moment so I can experience it just one more time.
That's why I love baseball.
This Sunday, WWE put on one of the greatest WrestleManias I've seen in a long time. And most importantly, they did exactly what they should have done, by taking Daniel Bryan, a man who exemplifies the people's champion perhaps even more than the man who originated the term, and making him the centerpiece of the biggest show of the year. And as WrestleMania ended, over 70 thousand people (and as Triple H used to say, millions watching at home) were united behind a single man, a single champion, and, of course, a single word. And in that moment, it didn't matter that they spent most of the last year jerking us around. It didn't matter that wrestling still isn't anywhere near as popular as it used to be. Hell, you know what, it didn't even matter that the Undertaker lost The Streak, because it showed that they can still surprise even the most jaded fans. The bottom line is, for everything they do wrong, sometimes, somehow, even just for one moment in time, WWE manages to do the big things right.
That's why I love pro wrestling.
Last night, of course, was WrestleMania. If you didn't know that, why are you here?
And last night, the impossible became reality, as Daniel Bryan, who wasn't even supposed to be anywhere near the main event of WrestleMania as short as a few weeks ago, overcome every obstacle in his path, first defeated WWE COO Triple H to earn a spot in the WWE World Title match, then fending off both Randy Orton and Batista to become the undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I'm not sure what more we could have hoped for.
But then there's the other big story, as in a move which absolutely shocked the wrestling world to the very core, The Undertaker was defeated by Brock Lesnar, ending the heretofore thought eternal Streak. What this means for Lesnar, The Undertaker, and indeed, wrestling in general, I have no earthly idea. All I know for sure is that nothing will ever be the same. Also, I'd imagine Paul Heyman will have something to say about it tonight.
Meanwhile, John Cena overcame Bray Wyatt, but at what cost to his psyche? Though he appeared to quiet his turmoiled mind in the end, it was clear that Wyatt's unorthodox style and focus on playing mind games got deep inside Cena's head during the course of the match. Will Cena shake it off, or has Wyatt made a permanent mark?
And Cesaro finally broke free of the Jack Swagger-shaped weight on his back, and in the process, ended up winning the first ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, literally slamming the World's Largest Athlete, The Big Show, over the top rope to win the match. With this accolade in his back pocket, what's next for the Swiss Superman?
Plus, it's the night after WrestleMania, so any number of incredible things could happen, including all sorts of potential debuts. Rusev? Paige? Sami Zayn? Sting? CM Punk? Probably not that last one, but who knows at this point! If there's ever a Raw that could be considered "can't miss", it has to be the first Raw after WrestleMania, and it's tonight!
You know what? You can't have a WrestleMania like that and say that anyone was truly "NOT", so here it is, the very first ALL HOT edition!
HOT: Daniel Bryan
Well, let's see. First, he went toe-to-toe with Triple H and came out clearly superior, defeating him cleanly and without controversy in a great match. And then he capped off the evening holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Given that none of this seemed like even a remote possibility after the nadir that was the Royal Rumble, how can you not be thrilled by this?
I'm fairly certain that nobody could possibly have seen that coming. How could you? Who could possibly have predicted that? This is probably one of the biggest happenings in the history of pro wrestling...and it might not have even been the biggest moment on the PPV!
Yeah, Hogan forgot where he was for a second, but we got extra comedy out of it anyway, so who cares? In a WrestleMania that was about the future in the form of Bryan, The Shield, Cesaro, and The Wyatts, the opening segment was the best possible reminder of some of the greatest parts of wrestling's past.
All right, now it's okay to cheer for him, he's a good guy. I mean, he was always awesome, but now he's not on the same side as Jack Swagger, so he has to be the one in the right, doesn't he? Plus, he followed up that turn by winning the ARMBAR, and looking damned impressive in the process.
HOT: Roman Reigns
I'm fairly certain that Reigns could have handled Kane and the Outlaws without his partners, so dominant was his performance last night. I mean, good on the entire group, but Reigns did, like, 95% of the damage.
HOT: Bray Wyatt
Imagine if you will, a wrestler who doesn't care if he wins or loses, so long as he destroys his opponent mentally. Now imagine that he gets into the head of WWE's biggest Superstar of the modern era. The possibilities are endless. You might even say, Wyatt has the whole world in his hands...
HOT: Kofi Kingston
Hey, Kofi, here's hoping you never run out of crazy ways to not get eliminated from over-the-top-rope matches, because I'm fairly certain it's all that's keeping you employed.
HOT: WWE Network
Hey, it worked. I've said all along that this would be the ultimate test, and it basically passed with flying colours. I had some video quality changes and a couple instances where the footage skipped back a few seconds, but quite frankly, WWE Network did everything it promised that it would. If it can handle Mania, then it looks like it's smooth sailing ahead.
Do I need to pile on more superlatives here? Or did my little soliloquy earlier sell you on how much I enjoyed this show? Even the bad stuff wasn't offensively bad (unless you were somehow expecting the women's match not to be ridiculous), and the good stuff, well, it was the real good stuff.
Plus, The Streak ended! We saw it happen! That will never happen again, and we saw it!
Inactive List as of 03.31.14
- Christian, out indefinitely as of March 25th (concussion)
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th, 2012 (foot)
- Kurt Angle, out 6-8 weeks as of February 14th (surgery)
- Vickie Guerrero, WWE, released from her contract
**NEW** WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan
- 1 day reign defeated Randy Orton and Batista in a Triple Threat match on April 6th (WrestleMania XXX)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E
- 140 day reign, defeated Curtis Axel on November 18th (Raw)
WWE United States Champion: Dean Ambrose
- 316 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston on May 19th (Extreme Rules PPV)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos
- 35 day reign, defeated The New Age Outlaws on March 3rd (Raw)
WWE Divas' Champion: AJ Lee
- 295 day reign, defeated Kaitlyn on June 16th (Payback PPV)
WWE NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
- 39 day reign, defeated Bo Dallas in a Ladder Match on February 27th (NXT ArRIVAL PPV)
WWE NXT Tag Team Champions: The Ascension
- 180 day reign, defeated Corey Graves and Adrian Neville on October 2nd NXT
WWE NXT Women's Champion: Paige
- 257 day reign, defeated Emma on July 24th NXT to become inaugural Champion
NOTE: NXT Title reigns only count what has aired on TV, not when changes occur at tapings.
TNA Heavyweight Champion: Magnus
- 109 day reign, defeated Jeff Hardy in a Dixieland Match on December 19th (Impact) to win the vacant title
TNA World Tag Team Champions: The BroMans
- 36 day reign, defeated former champions The Wolves and Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo on March 2nd (TNA/Wrestle-1 show)
TNA X-Division Champion: Seiya Sanada
- 36 day reign, defeated Austin Aries on March 2nd (TNA/Wrestle-1 show)
TNA Television Champion: Abyss
- 309 day reign, defeated Devon on June 2nd (Slammiversary PPV)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Madison Rayne
- 81 day reign, defeated Gail Kim on January 16th Impact
The latest After Dark was full of final hype for Mania, so check it out and see if anything I predicted came true! More importantly, this week's upcoming episode will be the 100th After Dark in history, so you might want to listen in to see if I do anything special to mark the event!
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