It should be no surprise that the best WWE had to offer this week came at WrestleMania. From top to bottom, it's difficult to remember WWE delivering a more satisfying and surprising pay-per-view than WrestleMania 30.
Whilst it's difficult to think of anyone who didn't play their part well, one match did shine a touch brighter than the others—and on as strong a card as the one in question, that's no small feat.
In truth, pretty much the whole 'Mania card and at least one match from Raw deserve a mention this week, but there are a couple of bouts that stand out from the pack.
The opening bout of WrestleMania between Daniel Bryan and Triple H set a very high bar for the rest of the night, with both men living up to the high expectations for what they could do together.
Which of Daniel Bryan's matches was better?
It's a testament to the skill of both of the participants that this match came off so well whilst having so much ground to cover. For one, it needed to be a show-opener that set the night off with a bang but also give some resolution to this chapter of the feud between Triple H and Daniel Bryan. It had to set up the events later in the evening but also be compelling in its own right—and it certainly was.
The main event set up by that opener was another great example of a match that had a lot of narrative to unfold but presented it very well. The Triple Threat between Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Batista had enough moving parts that it seemed very much the product of its slightly disjointed build, but it still managed to be an excellent WrestleMania main event and that will surely be looked back on very fondly.
For a match that had three participants, multiple referees, interference and a semi-stretcher job, the controlled chaos of the main event never reached the farcical levels of over-booking that a match this complex can sometimes reach.
Match of the Week for April 5: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30
The result of this match will be enough to ensure that it goes down in the history books as essential viewing for any wrestling fan, but the story that these two men told in the ring would be enough to solidify it as a classic.
No, that wasn't a dream. The Undertaker's #WrestleMania streak ended Sunday.— Wrestling Observer (@WONF4W) April 7, 2014
There were certain things that anyone familiar with The Streak would have expected of an Undertaker match at WrestleMania; lots of near falls, lots of finishers and lots of shocked faces after a surprise kick-out. This match subverted a lot of those expectations and delivered something entirely surprising but also very smart.
The sheer amount of finishers seen in a typical Undertaker match at WrestleMania had been criticized in the past, with his duo of matches with Triple H at WrestleManias 27 and 28 being particularly extravagant in this sense. Whilst this match wasn't short of finishing moves, the decisive third F5 from Lesnar was a logical end to an iconic WWE storyline.
Undertaker defeated, Paul Bearer dead...we're all officially adults.— MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) April 7, 2014
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that Undertaker would kick out of that third F5—and thinking that three kick-outs to such a move was overkill. Seeing it put The Phenom away was perhaps the most shocking WrestleMania moment in the event's 30-year history—and a triumph of logic to boot.
Three F5s from Brock Lesnar should be enough to put away anyone, even a legend like Undertaker. The onslaught of finishing moves in recent years set up the sheer disbelief of the finish perfectly. Not one person in that arena thought that it would be good for the pin, only further emphasizing the shock that coursed through the Superdome as the referee counted to three.
The Undertaker won every Wrestlemania match during Fergie's reign. All of a sudden it's 21/22. #MoyesOut— Big Scary Monsters (@bsmrocks) April 8, 2014
The lasting impact of the match will perhaps be partially reliant on where Lesnar goes from here, but as but one moment from a really excellent WrestleMania this will be a match that lives on in the minds of fans for years to come. There were several great matches at WrestleMania this year, but Lesnar vs. Undertaker was historic and well worthy of its conclusion.
What was your favourite 'Mania match? Or did a TV match beat out everything on the pay-per-view? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.