WWE made a concerted effort to feature as many WWE Superstars and Divas—past and present—on the WrestleMania XXX card as possible.
Everybody from John Cena to Heath Slater will forever be able to say they competed on what was an unforgettable WrestleMania. Even as non-wrestlers, Bret Hart, Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino were shown and announced at ringside.
A talent who can truthfully say he or she were not part of WrestleMania XXX—or at the week's festivity—will be an outlier.
Surprisingly, this includes Vince McMahon.
This time last year, McMahon was injecting his trademark exuberance as WWE officially revealed the WrestleMania XXIX set.
“It's the Statue of Liberty! It's the Brooklyn Bridge!”
McMahon was not only marking WWE's territory on the New York/New Jersey market, he was standing alone as the monolithic ruler of the WWE.
This time around, that distinction went to Triple H and Stephanie, who rolled out a less exuberant, yet still impressive, set reveal for WrestleMania XXX.
The tandem has slowly inherited more power within the WWE corporate structure both on and off camera.
Last year, Triple H was embroiled in a heated feud with Brock Lesnar that had little to do with his power in the front office, and more to do with his brawn inside the ring.
This year, he was in a self-booked match against Daniel Bryan. His goal was to crush the Yes Movement as an authority figure and go on to seize a kayfabe monopoly as the WWE world heavyweight champion.
Triple H's WrestleMania entrance was far from subtle in its symbolism. The Game sat as a silhouette, and later under a spotlight, to reveal the current executive (and part-time wrestler) seated in an enormous throne.
Flanked by servants played by WWE NXT Divas, Triple H ceremoniously removed his cape and then his crown prior to making his more standard walk to the ring.
Triple H and Stephanie later assumed a chief authoritative role that night after Vince McMahon legitimately left his backstage post, according to WrestlingInc, to tend to Undertaker. Undertaker had suffered injuries following his streak-breaking match against Brock Lesnar.
With Triple H and Stephanie entrenched as the end-all be-all authority figures on WWE TV, WWE is sending a message that reverberates through its entire roster.
Raw this past week featured the debut of newcomer Paige, the first match for the loquacious Bad News Barrett under his new gimmick, a more prominent slot for Cesaro and the announcement of impending debuts for Bo Dallas and Adam Rose.
Ready or not, WWE is in the midst of its newest era. Call it the Reality Era, but with an undersized and anti-corporate Bryan as its biggest star, the rules have changed.
McMahon's absence through a WrestleMania week that went off without a hitch is a strong sign for WWE's future. Whether or not WWE is in good hands long after McMahon is gone is anybody's guess. But for now, the company's transition to its next phase is a smooth one.
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