Spoilers for the results of Wrestlemania 30 ahead. If you don’t want to know what happened, stop reading now.
This was one of the best Wrestlemanias of all time, starting off with a great match between Daniel Bryan and HHH, then ending with Bryan taking the WWE World Heavyweight title later. The biggest point of contention during Mania 30 of course, was the ending of The Undertaker’s streak by Brock Lesnar.
According to reports I’ve read online, Taker actually suffered an injury early in the match from Lesnar’s belly-to-belly overhead suplex, where he landed awkwardly on his head and neck, resulting in a concussion. This would perfectly explain why the rest of the match was slow and underwhelming to watch: Taker was quite immobile for the rest of the match, and apart from the three F5s, did not receive any more lifted wrestling holds from Lesnar.
It was a disappointing way to end the streak with a dull match, but to be honest the prestige of The Undertaker’s streak has become diminished over the last few years when he decided to wrestle only once a year at each Wrestlemania. You cannot fault Taker for that: he’s approaching his 50s, no longer has the energy to meet the demands of traveling on the road, and I think it’s time for him to retire. If he chooses to hang up his boots after Mania 30, then I’m glad that he allowed his streak to be broken (Taker does have creative control over his matches).
You can argue until the cows come home that Lesnar was an undeserving wrestler to end the streak, but that is exactly the point. His victory over Taker was controversial because no one saw it coming: just look at the reaction of the fans after the successful pinfall. The best Wrestlemania moments, the best sporting moments, are the ones that shock you and stun you into silence. I’m glad that it was Lesnar because he’s also got Paul Heyman on his side, a great manager for absorbing the heat from the fans. Just listen to Heyman’s speech at the following RAW after Mania 30 — it was on the verge of breaking the fourth wall, similar to CM Punk.
I watched this year’s Mania live on the new WWE Network, and my overall experience so far has been very positive. There were no stream disruptions or outages unlike last year, and apart from the very occasional stutter or buffer lag (happens all the time even on Twitch.tv), I had no complaints. Do take note that as of now, the WWE Network is only available to US residents. I had to use a VPN in order to bypass this. The rest-of-the-world launch for the WWE Network (a list that includes SINGAPORE! Yay!) is slated for the end of the year or early 2015.
I also managed to quickly browse through all of the archived PPVs and shows on the WWE Network, and yes, it seems that they have practically everything. There’s even old WCW and ECW PPVs and tapings. If you know what matches you want to watch, and the date and year that it aired, you can find it on the Network. At only US$9.99 a month, this is a great value if you are a long time wrestling fan.
Now comes the hard part of finding all the old, good Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle matches on the WWE Network.