The X-Factor: WrestleMania – The fans rebel

A guy from Aberdeen, WA was supposed to “get his” in 18 seconds but it turned into something else. Two years later, he was everyone’s hero. They made it clear that if it was someone other than Daniel Bryan, they were gonna make life hell for whoever “stole” his spot.

No longer did people have to pay $70 for WrestleMania. The women were finally getting the attention they deserved. CM Punk called it quits. John Cena moved away from his enduring main event spot. AJ Styles finally arrived. The Authority sucked up a lot of TV time. NXT became the new gold standard. Things were changing, for better or worse.

WrestleMania XXX

The fan outcry had hit the tipping point. WWE could not fight the tide without harming their biggest show in the Silverd… sorry, Superdome. It was Daniel Bryan or bust, and 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. ‘21-1’ came on the screens. The abject shock that washed over the crowd, shot after shot of fans with hands on their hands not believing what happened, that was a moment. The bell didn’t even ring afterwards.

Brock Lesnar’s aura was badly damaged thanks to his soul-sucking feud with Triple H, and then he ended one of the greatest streaks in history. Add the birth of Suplex City atop John Cena’s battered self, and we had a final boss type who would be nigh-impossible to defeat. It worked.

Why did Brock become the “1 in 21-1”? So that the “one who beats the 1” would automatically get the rub. Didn’t quite happen that way.

WrestleMania 31 

What was it that the haters were thinking? Oh right, they thought the main event was gonna suck because Reigns is so bad that Daniel Bryan had to carry him to a great match. Wrong.

I don’t remember Cena selling for The Beast like Reigns did. He proved that he wasn’t the also-ran the critics made him out to be. Lesnar went full-on final boss on him. Reigns was smiling at Lesnar as if to say, “Is that all you got?”

Then it happened. Rollins hit the ring and stole the title out from under them.

It took 14 years, but Sting finally arrived. It’s best to look at the match itself as the real victory. 

You can always count on people to trash talk. D-Generation X vs. the nWo was a dream come true, and as much as they talked smack, they liked 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

Perhaps you remember this one.

Was there any truth to the conspiracy theory that Triple H was out to sabotage Roman Reigns? The proof is there. It’s easy to believe with history and all.

Three months before Dallas, Reigns had laid a vicious beat-down on the Game and won the WWE Championship the very next night, cheered on by the same fans who hated him that past January. HHH just can’t help but undermine others for his own benefit. Doing the job and putting them over tend to be mutually exclusive with HHH. People are forgiving about it “because NXT”.

The opening ladder match was a great contest. Seeing AJ Styles make his ‘Mania debut was damn cool. 

Charlotte is a phenomenal star. It irks me that she’s the only Horsewoman who’s booking has been that consistent. Sasha Banks needed that win more. 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 without it’s franchise player? Shane McMahon, that’s how.  It’s no coincidence that ticket sales went up after he returned. Vince doesn’t just forget that.

WrestleMania 33

You can never accuse them of half-assing it. That was the best stage ever. Of all time.

“DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.” I was giddy  when their music hit. The Hardy Boyz in a ladder match at a WrestleMania! I wish I could’ve known what The Bar, 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.

Why would they treat two of their best assets that way? John Cena hit the ground running that year when he won his 16th world title in a classic with AJ Styles, only has two weeks with the WWE Championship, the “stink-up-the-crowd” title match in Orlando, and then Jinder Mahal. Ugh. 

Maybe Goldberg didn’t need to be Universal Champ, but WWE owed him big, had to wipe away the stink of WrestleMania XX. Lesnar needed a refresh after his lousy 2016. His match with Brock was just what it needed to be.

They inducted Diamond Dallas Page that year. Along with Goldberg’s run, maybe they were apologizing.

We were depressed just thinking about Undertaker here knowing his condition. Reigns could only do so much. Not even Philadelphia treated Reigns as badly as Orlando did the next night.

Roman became the second man to defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania, but he also became the fifth man after Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Triple H, and John Cena to do the WrestleMania main event hat trick.

They say a lot changes in a year. We had no idea.

Don’t mess with the X.