The X-Factor: My WrestleMania stories - Part 5
Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 04/03/2018 at 07:47 PM

At WrestleMania XXVIII, what was supposed to be a heel “getting his” turned into something else entirely. In 18 seconds, some guy from Aberdeen, WA would get squashed, and two years later, become a folk hero.

It was a double-edged sword to be sure.

WrestleMania XXX
The fan outcry had hit the tipping point. I couldn’t believe there was so much support for him. It hit a level so high that Batista became public enemy #1, and it didn’t stop after Bryan won the big one.

It happened, when he beat Triple H in the opening and then Batista and WWE Champion Randy Orton to win the two belts. It will stand forever as one of the greatest feel-good moments of all time.

And what about that other talking point?

I sat there with my spinner WWE Championship replica beside me, never expecting the referee’s hand to hit the mat a third time. It did. Then ’21-1’ came on the screens. The Streak was over.

The abject shock that washed over the crowd, the shot after shot of fans with hands on their hands not believing what just happened, that was a moment. The bell didn’t even ring afterwards.

Why did Brock Lesnar become the “1 in 21-1”? So that the “one who beats the 1” would automatically get the rub. However, the fans made it clear that if Daniel Bryan wasn’t going to be that “one”, they would not stand for it, and even that’s putting it mildly.

WrestleMania 31
Roman Reigns was meant for bigger and better in Vince McMahon’s eyes. Not hard to see why. While his popularity hit a high in 2014, that all changed when Daniel Bryan announced his entry into the Royal Rumble. What started as a “Nobody but Bryan” mentality morphed into “Anybody but Roman”.

Three years later, it hasn’t stopped. The haters keep finding reasons to hate Reigns, and a lot of them make little if any sense. The main event was why fans’ expectations were low.

Oh boy, were they wrong.

Reigns proved that he wasn’t the also-ran the critics made him out to be. Lesnar was dishing out a serious beating on him. Blood was spilled. Reigns was smiling at Lesnar as if to say, “Is that all you got?” Dude is a great seller.

Then it happened. Rollins hit the ring and a few minutes later, he was leaving as the top guy in the business. All of this was on the heels of a nude photo scandal. Must be nice to be Triple H’s boy, isn’t it? Speaking of…

It took 14 years, but Sting finally arrived. He did get an elaborate entrance, but Triple H? It’s hard to play the heel when you’re using the Terminator as a theme, and it took two minutes for his theme to even start playing.

You can always count on people to trash talk. D-Generation X vs. the nWo was a dream scenario, and as much as they talked smack, they wanted it. I did.

Both Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall knew it was a bullshit finish. It’s his first WWE and WrestleMania match and he loses!?

WrestleMania 32
It’s one that will forever go down in infamy.

A conspiracy theory made the rounds that Triple H – big surprise – was not only opposed to Vince’s desire to push Roman as the next big guy but also took steps to derail said push. What Triple H did was similar to what happened with John Cena at WrestleMania 22.

Three months before Dallas, Reigns had laid a vicious beat-down on the Game and won the WWE Championship the very next night. Reigns was branded a cancer on the business when won the Rumble in Philly and “stole” Daniel Bryan’s spot. 11 months later, that city was part of the Roman Empire.

Why did it go south? Because Paul Levesque was doing what he always did when it wasn’t his guy: putting people down when he was supposed to make them. He kept up the cool heel persona and the playing to the crowd for the purpose of sabotaging the guy he was gonna put over.

And this is the guy who’s gonna take over for Vince?

Wasn’t all bad. The opening ladder match was a great contest. Seeing AJ Styles make his ‘Mania debut was damn cool.

The Women’s Revolution had begun proper here. The Divas title was gone and replaced with a new Women’s Championship. What was better than that was seeing three of the Four Horsewomen duking it out in a damn good match!

I love Charlotte, but come on. Sasha Banks needed that win. She was paying tribute to Eddie Guerrero dammit!

John Cena, Randy Orton, Neville, Luke Harper, Seth Rollins, Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, and Nikki Bella were all down.

So how did it sell out?

We have Shane McMahon to thank for it. It’s no coincidence that ticket sales went up after he returned. It must kill Triple H knowing he didn’t sell out AT&T Stadium.

WrestleMania 33
You can never accuse them of half-assing it. That. Stage. Was. The. Best.

“DELETE, DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.” These moments, they keep me around.

I was giddy as hell when their music hit. The Hardy Boyz in a ladder match at a WrestleMania! And they won! I wish I could’ve known what Cesaro & Sheamus, Gallows & Anderson, and Enzo & Cass were thinking. They watched them tear it up in the Attitude Era and now they were in a ladder match with them.

Yes, it’s true that AJ Styles deserved better, but he was lucky enough to be in a match with the McMahon that goes balls to the wall.

If I could DELETE anything, it would be how badly the WWE Championship was treated in 2017: John Cena makes history but only gets two weeks as champ, the dumbass title match in Orlando, and then Jinder Mahal. Ugh.

The way Goldberg was handled coming into Orlando, you could see what it was. Maybe he didn’t need to be Universal Champ, but it was their way of apologizing to him. His match with Brock was what it needed to be.

They inducted Diamond Dallas Page that year. You could say they were saying sorry to WCW.

I want to say that the main event was good, but I feel a little depressed just thinking about it. We knew that Undertaker was physically wrecked. Reigns could only do so much.

Are we going to see Mark Calaway in New Orleans? What character will he be?

Not even Philadelphia treated Reigns as badly as Orlando did the next night. DAMN!

Roman did become the second man to defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania, but he also became the fifth man to do a main event hat trick at ‘Mania. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Triple H, and John Cena were the first four.

Well, that does it for me. I covered every WrestleMania I’ve seen from top to bottom. I’ll be back with my predictions soon.

Try to remember that this is the be-all end-all. This is the event we live for, the one that every wrestler dreams of headlining, and the one that makes lasting memories. Enjoy it people. It only comes once a year. I know I will.

Don’t mess with the X.

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