WWE WrestleMania 2014: Recalling the Best Moments from WrestleMania Season
Well, the most exciting part of the year is over—WrestleMania season has come and gone.
And the weeks and months leading up to WrestleMania XXX—as well as the actual show itself—were filled with memories that will surely last a lifetime.
We saw epic promos, unbelievable matches and heroes of the crowd finally triumphing in the face of adversity.
And there were moments that stood out head and shoulders above the best. So with that said, it would be rude not to take look at some of them.
Here are the best moments from this year's WrestleMania season.
Cesaro's Coming of Age
This is a moment that had been building for weeks, and the defining moment finally arrived at WrestleMania XXX itself.
Cesaro had been slowly getting more and more over in the eyes of the WWE Universe,and he was outgrowing Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter by the week.
After plenty of swings to get the crowd siding with him, his push was finally confirmed at WrestleMania when he won the first ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
It was almost like a coming-of-age moment for Cesaro, who had been flirting with success for some time.
However, with Paul Heyman now by his side, you almost feel like the possibilities are endless for the Swiss Superman.
Hulk Hogan's Return to the WWE
WrestleMania is all about star power, and the WWE went boom or bust this time around in terms of the people it brought back.
Chief among them was, of course, Hulk Hogan. The man who headlined the very first WrestleMania and created so many other memories at the event was announced as the guest host for the show a few weeks prior to it.
And although he wasn't on TV a huge amount, he still generated enough buzz to deem his return a relative success. Hopefully we see plenty more of Hogan as a backstage character over the coming weeks and months—it would be a shame if he simply disappeared.
His promo with John Cena when confronted by The Wyatt Family was a particular highlight, as was that epic segment with The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to open up WrestleMania XXX.
All in all, it's great to see Hogan back where he belongs.
The Shield Turn Babyface
This wasn't something that necessarily had to happen for WrestleMania to be successful for The Shield, but as it turned out, it was a great move.
The popularity of the group had been growing for some time—and that is the popularity of all three men, not just Roman Reigns.
With a potential split being teased, the WWE realized it couldn't let The Shield simply implode and have the three guys each go their own way—at least, not just yet.
So a babyface turn was a logical step, and it is really starting to pay dividends. Let me put it in plain, simple wrestling terms—the Hounds of Justice are over.
They're continuing to get better week on week, and with a rivalry against The Authority seemingly in the pipeline, it is a good time to be a member of the group.
This has to be one of the biggest success stories coming out of WrestleMania season.
Paul Heyman's Unbelievable Promo
I'll be honest—this was without a doubt one of the highlights of the entire WrestleMania season.
Although the buildup to Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker was slightly limp on some occasions, Paul Heyman was the shining light in the feud.
He dragged the rivalry to new, exciting heights with his unmistakable ability to cut a promo like nobody else.
The promo where he simply informed The Undertaker—in no uncertain terms—that his streak was coming to a bloody and violent end was an absolute masterpiece. It was a true master at work and was outstanding to watch.
As it turns out, Heyman got his prediction absolutely spot on. History was created between Brock and 'Taker at WrestleMania XXX, but Paul Heyman has to take so much of the credit for promoting the match.
Daniel Bryan Occupies Raw
Another huge highlight. Daniel Bryan's rise in popularity can be traced back almost two years, when he embarrassingly lost in 18 seconds to Sheamus at WrestleMania 28.
Since then, things have only been going one way for the leader of the Yes Movement—upwards.
With Triple H reluctant to book himself in for a match against Bryan at WrestleMania, the bearded one decided to take matters into his own hands and occupy the ring full of Bryan "fans."
He dubbed it "Occupy Raw," and it was a remarkable moment. It signified the faith the WWE creative team has in Bryan; to let him pull a stunt off like that was a huge indicator that he is the top guy in the company.
As has been the case throughout the majority of this rivalry, Triple H's selling of the angle was absolutely perfect. He's really come to the fore as a top heel in the latter part of this feud.
But this was all about Daniel Bryan—and a firm reminder of just how far he has come since he was The Miz's rookie on NXT.
The Authority Is Finally Defeated
Of course, moments like the Occupy Raw angle all came together to create the defining moment of Daniel Bryan's career—WrestleMania XXX.
It was a huge night, and one that we will all never forget, for a multitude of reasons. However, Bryan successfully pulling double duty has to rank as one of the main highlights.
His match with Triple H was absolutely fantastic, but that was only the precursor to the main event. That match almost summed up everything that had happened to Bryan over the last few months.
He was battered and beaten by two men in a vicious numbers game. Then, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out with a crooked referee to try and influence the outcome of the match.
But for once, nothing could stop Bryan. The reaction when he made Batista tap out was unbelievable, and it was a great WrestleMania moment.
After months of denying him, Daniel Bryan had finally beaten The Authority.
The Streak Comes to an End
There was no way this could have been left out. With specific reference to the picture above this text, Paul Heyman's reaction summed up how everyone was feeling at that exact moment.
There will never be another moment like the one where Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker's streak. The silence spoke volumes for what we had just witnessed.
Nobody saw it coming. Absolutely nobody. Anyone who claims they did is a liar, unfortunately.
The moments after, when the WWE panned the camera on various fans, showed some brilliant reactions and, again, summed up just how the WWE Universe was feeling.
It is a moment that will live with WWE fans forever—the night the streak died.
The Controversy Surrounding CM Punk
One of the best moments of WrestleMania season—at various points—was the lack of CM Punk.
First and foremost, the constant speculation over Punk "definitely" returning on certain dates kept it all interesting and made us all wonder if it was a work or not.
But more importantly, CM Punk's failure to return at WrestleMania allowed the men who have worked tirelessly in Punk's absence to have their WrestleMania moments.
Guys like Daniel Bryan. Had Punk returned to, say, help Bryan win the title, it would have felt like a shallow victory. Bryan needed a clean win to prove he could beat The Authority once and for all.
And guys further down the card, like Cesaro. His emergence as a potentially huge star is a massive bright spot coming out of WrestleMania.
CM Punk fans won't like it, but the fact he didn't show up has to be regarded as a plus for WrestleMania season 2014.