They then say welcome to Wrestlemania 30.
(Dark: El Generico d. Pac)
Your announce is Joey/Regal/and making his surprise debut, Christian.
Bret comes to the ring, this segment is modeled on the real world XXX open; Bret says back at the very first Wrestlemania, the very first match, even before the show started, was he against Dynamite.
Bret’s said for years it was the best dark match in Wrestlemania history (coming this week, best of dark matches on the WWE Network, only for $9.99) but tonight, after seeing Pac and El Generico here in the Silverdome (not really, just to see if you’re paying attention) he’s changed his mind.
Austin then enters, teases that he might stun either guy, then says that the three of them are about the past, and the past had a lot of good moments; but life is for the living, and Wrestlemania is for tonight. And tonight you’re going to see Rey Mysterio vs. Bray Wyatt, and Brock Lesnar vs. Jack Swagger, and the Shield vs. the Usos – and the main event, The American Dragon Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli.
Bret then says the WWF is also always about tomorrow, always about the next thing – and this summer, it’s that time again, time for the Battle Royal to determine who will challenge for the WWF Championship at Summer Slam. And a man who will enter that Battle Royal is a man some say is the Best Wrestler in the World….Kenta.
Kenta gets the big entrance, pyro, music – comes to the ring, shakes everyone’s hand, goes to the top buckle and makes the sign for the belt as the segment ends.
Before the opening tag, the legends match, and the three title matches, a clip package of the past equivalent matches in Mania history plays.
1. Wyatt Family (Cena/Virgil w/Harper) d. Defiance (Orton/Cody w/Bernard)
2. AJ Lee d. Natty Neidhart
5. Tables Match: Ka$h Kingston d. Tyson Kidd/Primo Colon/Yoshi Tatsu
Now, a new segment - In Memorium.
Going forward, it will be a clip montage of notable wrestling personalities who died over the course of the year; but here, at XXX, it's a package of Wrestlemania wrestlers from the three decades who have passed.
And then the title matches.
7. Tag Titles: The Shield (Black/Ambrose/Langston) d. Usos (Reigns/Jimmy/Jey)
The Shield left WM 29 with the belts; they leave WM 30 with the belts. Relaxed rules, so there is fighting inside and outside the ring, brawling up into the stands; it's designed to be as wild as possible without breaking an announce table or using a ladder. Usos have been chasing for a year, but The Shield cements its legacy as the most dominant tag team in years (more dominant than E&C, Regal points out to needle Christian) by getting the fall and keeping their belts (Black over either Jimmy or Jey). The Shield hit their pose postmatch, Black, the ROH Champion who is growing in his belief that he's the best wrestler alive, Ambrose, half crazy, always willing to fight dirty, and the power man Langston. They've vanquished all comers: Defiance, Wyatts, and now Usos.
8. IC: Ladder: Nick Nemeth d. Sheamus
The Michaels/Razor comparison is intentional and this match looks to play off of it by using variations on many of the classic spots, including Kidd running in as Waltman did 20 years before to take a giant bump. Regal makes clear that this isn't faction warfare; Underground isn't GDI or the Harts or the Clique, it's the future of WWF, and one day all the title matches will be Underground v. Underground. Sheamus is going through the Spanish announce in this match; we're not going to see him for at least a year. Nemeth stays at the top of the ladder postmatch shouting out:
My house. Whose house, my house. Whose house, my house.
9. WWF Title: Claudio Castagnoli d. Bryan Danielson
Funny thing happened on the way to Punk/Danielson at 30...
This is designed for the highest star rating possible; we are looking for a match of the year candidate here. Danielson stops and stares up at the McMahon luxury box pre-match, cause that's where Kenta is, and Kenta stands and stares right back at him. Claudio gets the Hey chants, probably on and off all night, but in pretty heavy force during this match, which maybe even sees the crowd sometimes turn against Danielson when it appears he has the advantage.
Claudio gets in his stuff, hits Hey Fever, hits his uppercuts, the announce notes there maybe is some wear on Danielson from the Lesnar matches; we saw it with Punk, he was never the same after the Lesnar match, and Danielson's been in the ring with Brock three times, he's taken a helluva beating this year - and here's Claudio, fresh, strong, maybe his technical equal and without all the wear and tear of carrying that belt.
Claudio catches an airborne Danielson with an uppercut, hits the Ricola bomb - and there's a new champion.
Postmatch GDI, including Steamboat, hits the ring for a celebration, Danielson shakes Claudio's hand, and the Hey chants fill the arena while the confetti fills the ring. Claudio Castagnoli leaves WM XXX as WWF Champion!
I'm back in April to wrap up TNA, there will be at least one intermediate post in May, then the Battle Royal in June, the rest of the build in July, and Summer Slam 2014 in August. See you then.