The Grandest Stage of Them All Lives Up to its Name


By Caleb Bailey, Staff Writer

On Sunday March 29, World Wrestling Entertainment, better known as WWE, hosted its biggest pay-per-view event of the wrestling season: WrestleMania. This was the thirty-first edition of the “Showcase of Immortals” and it did not disappoint. Bare with me as I take a look at why exactly this show drew in over 79,000 fans into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The show opened with a seven-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. In the ‘90s, this title was the title that seemingly every young superstar wanted to get their hands on because it meant you would all but be the top dog in the company one day. Over the last few years, however, this championship has lost a lot of its luster. WWE decided to change that when by putting the title on Daniel Bryan, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion who was forced to relinquish the title due to a career-threatening injury. Bryan was on top of the world before tragedy struck in June 2014. Even with him being gone, crowds erupted in his signature “YES” chants everywhere the company went. Putting the Intercontinental Championship on Bryan brings prestige back to the title.

One match that a lot of fans believe they would never see happened. That match was Sting (yes, that Sting) facing off against the future head honcho of the company, Triple H. The match was built as WWE vs WCW. It was not a surprise when members of D-Generation X and the NWO made their way ringside to help their fellow wrestlers. Triple H won the match, but it was Sting who got the support of the fans as he left the arena. Fans want more and at WrestleMania next year, they just might get it.

John Cena needed to be the hero for the United States as he took on the “Bulgarian Brute” and United States Champion, Rusev.

Rusev is a Russian flag-toting, Putin-hailing, undefeated monster who nobody seemed to be able to defeat.

Cena came into the match having to fight his way into WrestleMania. He was, for the first time in his career, the underdog. Cena was dominated throughout the match, but, like most of his matches, he overcame adversity and defeated the Rusev. Much like Bryan’s win, Cena will bring prestige back to the United States Title.

When wrestling fans, and possibly even non-wrestling fans, hear the name the Undertaker, many will think about the dark, ominous feeling you get when you hear that gong.

Even underneath the California sun fans felt the fear when he entered the stadium. Undertaker was dominated the year before by former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar which resulted in his first loss at WrestleMania and bringing his record to 21-1. He needed to win, right?

Bray Wyatt, the man who woke the Deadman from his year-long slumber, claimed that he was the “New Face of Fear” and that he would finally put the Undertaker to rest.

For weeks Wyatt had filmed vignettes, vowing to forcibly take the torch from Undertaker.

With the loss to Lesnar the year before, Undertaker did not want drop his record to 21-2. He and Wyatt waged war and, in the end, it was the Deadman who was victorious. This match not only set forth the match everyone believes will happen one day, that being Sting vs Undertaker, but it also gave Bray Wyatt that extra push towards stardom that he desperately needed.

Wrestlemania was headlined by a match that not a lot of fans were happy to see. Brock Lesnar entered into the event as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. This comes just one year after Lesnar ended the undefeated streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania.

Lesnar went on a tear through 2014, defeating John Cena, the proverbial “Superman” of the WWE, to win the title in August. He was seemingly unstoppable. That is until one young Samoan stepped up to the “Beast Incarnate.”

Roman Reigns, a member of the legendary Anao’i family, was hand-picked to be the next superstar in the company. He eliminated a record twelve competitors in the 2014 Royal Rumble before being eliminated in the final two himself. In 2015, however, things were different. Reigns entered into the Rumble at number 19 and, with a little help from his cousin Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he won and guaranteed a main event title match at WrestleMania.

Lesnar dominated for most of the match by using his arsenal of powerful punches and different variations of suplexes.

The suplexes even inspired the quickly trending phrase “Suplex City Bitch.”

It seemed as though Lesnar was going in for the kill before Reigns got the upperhand and busted Lesnar’s forehead open. With both men unconscious in the ring, another man saw his opportunity.

Seth Rollins, another young superstar, ran down to the ring to a roaring crowd. He cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase, which gives him a World Title shot at anytime he wants for one year. It just so happens that time was then, at the biggest show of the year.

The show ended with Rollins standing at the top of the WrestleMania stage as the New WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a lot of fans left the show happy. The Show of Shows was shaping up to be one of the more boring and bland WrestleManias of recent years, but once the pyro went off, WWE “proved the haters wrong.” The next year is going to be a wild one as the Road to WrestleMania 32 has officially began.