WrestleMania XXX was unquestionably one of the most unpredictable and entertaining WWE events in recent memory. Now that it is in the rearview mirror, though, the fallout could prove to be just as interesting.
The stage is set for a great post-WrestleMania run in WWE, although that ultimately falls on the shoulders of the creative team. Not every booking decision at WrestleMania was perfect. However, that doesn't mean that the results can't be validated moving forward.
In many ways, the slate is clean now that WrestleMania is over, but here is a look at how the happenings in New Orleans will impact WWE's biggest stars in the coming weeks and months.
After months of trying to become the face of WWE, Daniel Bryan finally accomplished his goal at WrestleMania. The odds were stacked heavily against Bryan in New Orleans, but he managed to overcome them in dramatic fashion. Not only did Bryan defeat Triple H cleanly in order to reach the main event, but he also managed to beat both Randy Orton and Batista to become WWE World Heavyweight champion, as seen in this photo courtesy of WWE's Instagram account:
It was blatantly obvious heading in to WrestleMania that Bryan deserved to be champion. He was constantly held down by The Authority, but his ascent could not be prevented any longer. The entire Superdome was firmly behind Bryan throughout the night, and he thanked them for their support afterwards:
I only have two words: THANK YOU— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) April 7, 2014
As much as Bryan should be WWE World Heavyweight champion, it's understandable why there may be some skepticism. After all, Bryan is the ultimate underdog, and that fact is what fuels his character. Now that he is champion, it can be argued that the underdog tag no longer applies.
At the same time, Bryan will always look like an underdog due to his small stature, so WWE can easily keep that intact. Triple H enlisted Orton, Batista and Kane to help him on Raw, so The Authority will continue to stack the deck against Bryan and make him look like an underdog.
The Shield came to Bryan's aid on Monday, so he does have some support, but it was more a case of The Shield getting back at The Authority than being Bryan's protection. Bryan could face any one of Triple H, Orton or Batista with the titles on the line at Extreme Rules, and it's likely that this feud will persist for the next several pay-per-views leading up to SummerSlam.
Since Bryan is going up against so many different Superstars, WWE has enough bullets in the chamber to keep this angle interesting for a long time to come. Bryan vs. The Authority was the most entertaining thing leading up to WrestleMania, and that will continue throughout the spring and summer.
While John Cena was not involved in a main event match at WrestleMania, he certainly had wrestling fans talking. Cena went up against one of the fastest-rising stars in WWE in the form of Bray Wyatt. The overarching belief was that Cena would put Wyatt over and give him the momentum he needed to become the next top heel, but that wasn't the case.
Which star's storyline are you most interested in following WrestleMania XXX?
The entire storyline leading up to this match had to do with Cena preserving his legacy. That was a flimsy premise to begin with since Cena is one of the most accomplished Superstars in WWE history. He has had so much success that nothing can ruin his legacy, yet he was still given the victory at WrestleMania.
Wyatt essentially tried to get Cena to "embrace the hate" throughout the match, which was exactly what the Cena vs. Kane feud from a couple years ago was built upon. That feud wasn't good, and the story told at WrestleMania wasn't particularly good either. Cena predictably refrained from hitting Wyatt with a chair, and he still went on to win the match.
Cena didn't need the win whatsoever, while Wyatt would have benefited greatly. Wyatt may get a win over Cena yet, but it won't be the same as a WrestleMania victory. With that said, the Cena vs. Wyatt feud is far from over.
An Extreme Rules match between them is virtually guaranteed, and Wyatt will continue to try to alter Cena's character. In what may be a harbinger of things to come, Cena talked about evolving:
Cena isn't going to turn heel any time soon, but adding some type of consistent edge to his character could go a long way. Based on recent history, however, that character change is highly unlikely to stick.
Wyatt needs at least one pay-per-view victory over Cena to reach that next level, and even though it didn't happen at WrestleMania, the build suggests that it will occur in the near future.
Brock Lesnar was established as one of the biggest stars in WWE history entering WrestleMania XXX, but that was taken to another level when he shocked the wrestling world by halting The Undertaker's 21-0 undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Nobody truly expected The Beast Incarnate to get the job done, and it can certainly be argued that it was the wrong decision.
Ending the streak was obviously up to The Undertaker, but the streak felt like something bigger than the business that should have never been blemished. If it were to come to an end, however, it would've made more sense to have someone who could truly benefit from the win to end it.
It remains to be seen how WWE will use this decision to its advantage, but Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman has already taken the ball and run with it, as evidenced by his comments on Twitter:
Heyman is the one guy who can spin this situation into gold, but it could be difficult because of Lesnar's limited schedule. Although WWE hasn't made any announcements, it seems very likely that Lesnar will be taking time off until SummerSlam season.
To make up for that, Heyman took on Cesaro as his newest client:
I'm a #HeymanGuy— Cesaro (@WWECesaro) April 8, 2014
That will keep Heyman at the forefront, so perhaps he will continue to hammer home the point that Lesnar ended the streak until he comes back.
A very obvious feud and match for Lesnar when he returns would involve Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Assuming Bryan gets past The Authority, Lesnar would pose the biggest challenge of his career, especially after he ended the streak.
Regardless of whether Lesnar wins or loses that match, it will make for an intriguing story. At the same time, it would have been a great rivalry even if Lesnar had lost to The Undertaker.
Some fans may never forgive WWE for ending the streak, but perhaps they will come to appreciate it if Lesnar is properly booked as a dominant monster.
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