WrestleMania 30: Matches That Will Make or Break the Show
WrestleMania may be the Showcase of the Immortals, and it may be home to some of the greatest and most iconic matches in WWE history, but, like any event, it can be made or broken by the success or failure of its advertised card.
This year, the company has booked four matches that could conceivably headline the show.
When the lights turn on inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday evening, the WWE signature roles to indicate the beginning of the broadcast, the pyro explodes at the top of the stage, and the fans erupt into a huge ovation as cameras pan throughout the stadium, the Superstars in those matches will begin to feel immense pressure to deliver.
Some will, while others will fall just short of their goal of bringing their best performances on the biggest night of their careers.
Which matches have the potential to make or break the show when they take to the ring on Sunday night?
With WrestleMania mere hours away, take a look for yourself.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
Not only will the match between Daniel Bryan and Triple H make or break WrestleMania, but it will also make or break eight months of storytelling that started way back in August at SummerSlam when the Game dropped Bryan with a Pedigree and cost him the WWE Championship.
Since then, Bryan has faced seemingly insurmountable odds, yet no matter the hurdle placed before him, he has overcome it and enters Sunday's event poised to break out into the stratosphere of main event stars. To do so, he must defeat the one man who has the power to end his career, both from a physical and political standpoint.
It is a wildly intriguing story that has hooked fans over the last month thanks to outstanding angles and an unpredictable nature.
If the match can deliver on the hype and potential surrounding it, not only could WWE have a five-star classic on its hands, but it could also have its first highly successful show since the aforementioned SummerSlam event.
On the other hand, if it fails to deliver, the company could be looking at a storyline that failed miserably to accomplish its goal of legitimizing Bryan on the biggest stage it has to offer.
Triple Threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 30 will be the main event of the evening. As such, it will face tremendous pressure to send the fans home happy with a high-quality bout.
For as many harsh criticisms as his character has faced in recent months, and justifiably so, Randy Orton is one of the best workers in the business today. His matches with Daniel Bryan over the last year have been stellar, and the cerebral approach he takes to his ring work is second only to that of Triple H.
Batista has steadily improved since returning to the ring in January, and his character has progressed and evolved after a dreadful start. Rather than ignoring the boos of the audience and pretending that they are not real, he has accepted them and plays to the disapproving audience.
One of the best big men of the past decade, the Animal could be a wild card when it comes to the quality of the evening's final contest.
If Bryan is involved in the match, as most assume he will be, the bout has the potential to be a legitimate classic. His chemistry with Orton is off the proverbial charts while he has shown interesting flashes of brilliance with Batista in the few exchanges they have had in tag matches over the last month. The crowd will be red-hot, cheering Bryan on, serving as fuel for all three competitors.
A great match would end what should be a very entertaining WrestleMania on a high note. Even a good match coupled with some of the other stuff on the lineup would make for a successful show. Anything less, however, and the show would end with a whimper, regardless of who leaves the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the title in his possession.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
The Undertaker's match at WrestleMania has become such a hotly anticipated bout over the last decade or so that its quality has a tremendous impact on how one views the entire WrestleMania card.
In recent years, his bouts with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and CM Punk have been so great that they have almost single-handedly elevated the quality of the shows they have appeared on. Sunday will be no different when Undertaker takes to the squared circle for his bout against Brock Lesnar.
The Beast Incarnate has been outstanding in the limited ring action he has seen since returning in 2012, and there is no reason to believe that will change, especially given the motivation that comes along with sharing the ring with Undertaker at WrestleMania.
There are questions surrounding the health of the Deadman and whether or not he can hold up in what should be an incredibly physical, incredibly taxing match against the greatest athlete to ever enter WWE, but knowing the lengths to which Undertaker is willing to go to achieve his annual Match of the Year candidate, that should not be a problem.
If it is, the company will find itself leaning heavily on Daniel Bryan and former Evolution teammates Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista to help ensure the quality of the event.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt may be the one match that is kind of flying under the radar that has great potential to solidify WrestleMania 30's status as one of the best of all time. It certainly will not break it thanks to its positioning on the card, but if Cena and Wyatt can come together to create magic on Sunday night, this could very well be the match that helps catapult the event into the realm of the greatest ever.
Wyatt's work leading into the match has been much celebrated. His promo work ranks up there with the best of all time, and what he has done between the ropes in the first three months of 2014 has been special. But his WrestleMania opponent often goes unrecognized for just how good he is.
John Cena is one of the best big-match performers in WWE history. He has delivered his share of Match of the Year candidates throughout his long and decorated career and, more relevant to his match with Wyatt at WrestleMania, always works his hardest when he has the opportunity to put a young star over.
He proved it at Money in the Bank 2011 when he and CM Punk delivered an instant classic and did it again at last year's SummerSlam, when he put over Daniel Bryan stronger than anyone else has to this point.
If their pasts tell us anything, fans should expect something truly memorable and special from Cena and Wyatt, who will undoubtedly be trying to steal the show out from underneath the more hyped main events.