Thousands of “Yes” chants echoed through the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at Wrestlemania XXX after Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That’s the biggest thing coming out of New Orleans right?
No. Many wrestling fans, myself included, are still shocked at what happened last night.
Twenty-one and ONE.
That “ONE” is Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar countered a second tombstone attempt by The Undertaker, heaving the 6-foot-10, 300-pound Undertaker onto his massive shoulders and delivering a third F-5. Surely Taker was going to kick out again, which would have been pretty much overkill on his can’t-be-killed reputation at Mania.
But he didn’t. Referee Chad Patton’s hand hit the mat for a third time, and it was over. Lesnar’s music didn’t hit. Instead, there was a deafening stunned silence going around the Superdome. All that could be heard was Paul Heyman yelling to Lesnar, “You did it!”
Lesnar didn’t do it. Undertaker did. He ended the streak in what was arguably the most shocking thing to happen in Wrestlemania and WWE history. It’s always been a popular thought that Undertaker wanted the streak to end, and there are signs at the end of last night’s match that say he made that decision on the spot.
When Taker went for the second tombstone, he visibly got close to Lesnar’s ear and signaled the counter. Lesnar reversed it, landed his F-5 and went for the pin. When Patton counted three, he immediately jumped up, and waved to signal for the bell. It was reported today that Undertaker injured his neck during the match and needed to be checked for a concussion, which led to the early finish.
WWE rolled with the surprise ending and put a 21-1 graphic on the jumbotron, and after allowing the shock to sink in, Lesnar’s music hit. Undertaker lied in the ring until Lesnar was out of sight, and climbed to his feet. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and everyone at ring side. It was the truest end to an era.
It was the gutsiest thing that has ever been done by the WWE. On the night of the company’s biggest pay per view ever, coupled with WWE Network and spotlight it cast for itself with the Daniel Bryan story, WWE shocked everyone by ending Undertaker’s streak.
Every superstar and athlete in any sport knows when its time to call it a career. Undertaker’s realization came last night. Perhaps it was because the 49-year-old finally looked his age in a match. In wrestling tradition, it’s proper for a legend to go out on his back than just walking away. Shawn Michaels did it to Ric Flair and Undertaker did it to Michaels.
This decision came with many questions, but the biggest question of all is the decision to have it be done with Lesnar. Lesnar is currently on a part-time contract with WWE after taking a long hiatus to try his hand in the NFL and UFC. Lesnar returned less than two years ago and has only worked part-time feuds with the biggest names in the business.
Having Undertaker’s streak snapped by a part-timer who once walked out on the company is mind boggling. But having a character like Lesnar do it is most believable. Lesnar is a destroyer. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Perhaps that once believed characteristic of the man known as Brock Lesnar has become the focus of this new version of Brock Lesnar, making him the perfect wrestler to end the streak.
WWE only gets one chance to end the streak, and to have it done by Lesnar was a better option than having some young superstar cement his legacy. It’s a risk to do so, especially if the guy fizzles or walks away without establishing himself as a great. A guy like CM Punk is the perfect example, but looking at how Punk walked out on WWE at the end of January just proves that WWE can’t go that route.
What is Lesnar’s future in the WWE? Is he going to have a restructured contract that will have him appear more on the show? Will he eventually become the champion for one more time? With WWE taking that first big step into the unknown, breaking away from tradition, it will put pressure on WWE Creative to make this work. WWE is taking actions to better its company, and it started at Wrestlemania XXX.
Kudos, WWE, for having the intestinal fortitude to do this. But more importantly, thank you, Undertaker, for leaving us with a legacy that no one will ever forget. To the streak, may it Rest In Peace.
Bryan Wins the Title
Undertaker’s loss set the stage for the biggest celebration of the night: Daniel Bryan coming out on top.
Bryan beat Triple H clean to kick off Wrestlemania in what was the best match of the night. After the match, Stephanie McMahon slapped the taste out of Bryan’s mouth before Triple H assaulted Bryan. Again, Triple H took a steal chair to Bryan’s shoulder, softening him up for the main event.
Bryan was the third guy in the ring for the main event. His shoulder was re-taped and he couldn’t raise his left arm above his head to do his “Yes” chant. The match started off great, and at one point, Bryan was in control. Then it was time for Triple H to come down and get involved.
Bryan had Batista in the Yes Lock when Triple H pulled referee Mike Chioda out of the ring. Triple H signaled to the announce area, and in came Scott Armstrong, who was “fired” half a year ago for hitting a fast count when Bryan beat Randy Orton at Night of Champions.
Batista hit a Batista Bomb and went for the pin but Bryan managed to kick out. A stunned Armstrong went to check on Bryan, but was kicked out of the ring. Bryan followed that up with a dive to the outside, taking out McMahon, Triple H and Armstrong. A frustrated Triple H went for his sledgehammer, but Bryan was able to get possession of it and hit Triple H, send the COO to the back for the rest of the night.
With Batista in the corner, Bryan went for a roll-up. Chioda slid into the ring and went for the count but Batista kicked out at two. The match continued, but Orton and Batista began to work together to destroy Bryan. It peaked when they two combined for a spectacular power bomb-into-RKO fisher through the Spanish announce table.
With Bryan destroyed, the two continued the match. EMTs came to the ring to put Bryan on a stretcher, but when they go to the ramp, Bryan rolled off and got back into the match.
Things escalated again when Bryan was speared out of the ring by Batista before Orton RKO’d Batista. Batista kicked out to continue the match. Minutes later with Bryan back in the match, he hit a running knee to Orton, but was thrown out of the ring by Batista. Batista went to steal the pin but Orton kicked out. Finally, the match concluded with Orton out of the ring. Bryan hit a running knee on Batista and put him in the Yes Lock. He made the Animal tap, and finally overcame everything to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
For eight months, WWE kept building and building for this moment, finally prolonging a feud and getting the payoff it wanted from the WWE Universe. They did it at Wrestlemania, and the 5-foot-9 kid from Washington, who worked his way up from the indies to the WWE was rewarded with the Wrestlemania Moment he will never forget.
Top 5 Shocking Moments of Wrestlemania XXX
5. Bella Twins double running dive to the outside, taking out 10 Divas.
4. Bray Wyatt counters and scares John Cena with the spider walk.
3. Cesaro lifts Big Show up and over the top ropes to win the battle royal.
2. Daniel Bryan gets power bombed and RKO’d through an announce table.
1. Brock Lesnar beats Undertaker’s streak.
Power Rankings - The best performers of the past week - April 6
1 Daniel Bryan (1) - Won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Brock Lesnar (6) - Broke Undertaker’s unbeaten streak.
3 John Cena (UR) - Didn’t give in to Bray Wyatt, but this feud isn’t done.
4 Cesaro (UR) - Lifted Big Show over his head and won the battle royal.
5 The Shield (4) - Handled Kane and the Outlaws with ease.
6 The Usos (8) - Retained their tag team championship.
7 A.J. Lee (UR) - Held onto her Divas title with the odds against her.
8 Bray Wyatt (2) - He was the most impressive loser of the night.
9 Batista (3) - Nearly won the title, and his double finisher with Orton was classic.
10 Undertaker (5) - His streak is over, but he went down fighting.