Where most sports leagues have playoffs, and most tv shows have season finales, the WWE has Wrestlemania. Story lines can come to a thrilling conclusions, or cliffhangers can be made for tomorrow’s Raw. The big story of course, going into Mania, is “Will Daniel Bryan Overcome The Odds and win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?”

This year’s 30th edition of Wrestlemania begins with a 2-hour pre show, starting at 5pm Eastern, which will feature a Fatal Fourway Tag Team Championship match, and there is a rumor that this could be where stipulations are added to the Bryan/Triple H match.

Join us at TVMix, for Henry T. Casey‘s live updates from The Superdome in New Orleans:

And it’s ON:

Lilian Garcia, ring announcer, enters the arena and introduces in French, Spanish and English, the regular commentary team:  Michael Cole, who enters to thunderous boos; JBL the heel commentator that fans love; and Jerry “The King” Lawler, who is still loved, for some reason.

Heel xenophobe manage Zeb Coulter leads the snarky fans in the crowd in a chant of WE, THE PEOPLE. Out come the entrants for the Fatal Fourway tag team match. The Real Americans, Rybaxel, Los Matadores, and your defending champions Jimmy & Jey,  the Usos.

If you’re at home and keeping track of predictions, I’m guessing Usos retain, but I’d prefer The Real Americans.

Fairly regular match so far. Cesaro entered midway in to a big pop. Los Matadores are hitting some nice tandem moves.  Curtis Axel effectively antagonized El Torito leading to the Mini Bull’s involvement and a big suplex onto every other competitor still outside the ring.

Jack Swagger eliminated Los Matadores via the Patriot Lock submission.

Another ”WE THE PEOPLE” chant from the crowd, that wants Cesaro back in.

One Uso hot tags the other who comes in and clears house. Cesaro tags himself in. Hits the giant uppercut, then the Neutralizer, and pins Ryback. Now it’s the Usos v The Real Americans.

Cesaro continues to shine on whichever Uso he fights. Almost starts the giant swing, but it’s maneuvered out of. More amazing giant uppercuts. Dueling We The People and Lets Go Usos chants. Usos hit a double splash from the top rope. Cesaro gets pinned, 1-2-3, Usos win.

After the match, Jack Swagger flips out on Cesaro, blaming him for the loss, and puts him in the Patriot lock, AND FINALLY WE GET THE REAL AMERICANS BREAKUP. The crowd, sensing the next step is chanting SWING SWING SWING. Zeb convinces Swagger to apologize, Cesaro takes his hand, and puts him in the giant swing, for about 10 rotations by my count.

A good match putting all the talent over, giving a feel good win and a great moment for Cesaro.

Is Eminem teasing a performance?

And the lights go out, the THEN. NOW. FOREVER. graphic plays, and it’s Game Time!

Hype package promotes Taker / Lesnar, Cena / Wyatt, and Bryan, Triple H, Batista, Orton.

Here comes our host ”The Immortal” Hulk Hogan out to the still epic “Real American,” and the crowd pops big time.

Hogan’s first botch, he calls it The Silverdome. Nope, Hulkster, it’s the Superdome. And he botches that again, and after a ton of boos, he realizes it and corrects himself.

Glass breaks and out comes Stone Cold Steve Austin to interrupt Hulk.

Austin yells “If you want me to open up a can of whoop ass on Hulk Hogan give me a hell yeah,” and of course the crowd HELL YEAH’s.

But that’s not going to happen.

Austin says no whoop ass, he respects the hell out of Hulk Hogan, and thanks him for everything he’s done.

Out comes The Rock to interrupt Austin’s Goodbye. The Rock hugs Hogan, and hugs Austin as well, after shaking his hand.

Rock does three of his FINALLY’s the last one ribbing Hulks Silverdome botch. Rock puts both Austin and Hogan over as the two biggest names in WWE history.

Rock is talking about John Cena’s fight for Hustle Loyalty and Respect and says it doesn’t happen without to Hogan, and then says Bryan’s fight with The Authority doesn’t happen without Stone Cold’s feud with The Corporation.

The Rock completes a limerick about WWE history with the word “anus.”

All three get to do their big catch phrases, and then Real American plays as someone off camera tosses Austin three beers, and the three of them toast.

On screen graphic makes it seem like Bryan vs Triple H is up first.

Here’s a video package about Daniel Bryan’s WWE history, conveniently leaving out the time Bryan was fired for fake choking out ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie. Video goes from Bryan’s NXT days through to The YES! Movement invading the ring.

Stephanie McMahon in the ring to announce her husband Triple H to the ring.

Triple H entered in his giant skull throne, which dwarfs Game of Thrones‘ Iron Throne, to music of monks chanting, in complete armor and red robe.

This is just perfect. Amazing visuals of women in masks and armor removing his outfit. I think one of them is NXT’s Sasha Banks.

So yeah, I was wrong. Bryan v Trips is curtain jerking.

Stephanie still in the ring, cheering her husband on as he poses on the turnbuckles.Bryan is still bandaged up.

Steph and Triple H kiss, teasing Bryan’s Wrestlemania 28′s 17 second loss.

Triple H extends his hand for a shake, Bryan kicks it away, and rolls up Triple H for a near-fall, again teasing WM 28.

I’ve predicted Bryan wins, but Hogan or Vince could put Bryan in the main event if Triple H cheats a win out.

Bryan hits a great running DDT off the ring apron, followed by a beautiful splash on Triple H off the top rope.

Triple H dismantles an announce table. Goes for the Pedigree on it, Bryan reverses, but Triple H drops him onto the table anyways, with an armbar takedown focussing on Bryan’s injury. This match is Triple H focusing on Bryan’s bandaged arm.

Ironically (as Bryan is known as a submission move expert) Triple H is using a variety of submission holds on Bryan, and they’re wearing Daniel down.

A great series of suplexes, with Bryan almost getting three in a row belly to back suplexes on Trips, conjuring memories of Chris Benoit.

Bryan hits two running knees on Triple H, but Triple H catches him with a wicked clothesline that echoed through the arena.

If and when Bryan makes it to the main event, he will be all the worse for wear from these attacks on his shoulder.

Bryan locks the YES! Lock in on Triple H, and keeps it in for a while, but Triple H makes it to the ropes so the Ref makes him break the hold.

Bryan kicks out at two after a Pedigree, Triple H’s finishing maneuver.

A great series of reversals with Bryan evading two pedigrees, and culminates with Bryan hitting The Running Knee, then pinning Triple H for a three count.

Stephanie comes into the ring to slap Bryan repeatedly.

Angry after his loss, Triple H attacks Bryan with a steel chair, slamming it against Bryan’s arm, which was against the steel ring post.

Medical personnel help Bryan up. Steph and Triple H pose on the ramp, claiming victory in defeat.

Match 2

The New Age Outlaws entrance is interrupted by The Shield‘s entrance music, which is then in turn interrupted by Kane’s pyro.

Roman Reigns is just clearing house, superman punches left and right, and mocks the DX crotch chop for good measure.

Shockingly this is over quick. A three man powerbomb to both Outlaws at once, and a Reigns covers Gunn for the 1-2-3 victory.

Not gonna be happy about that squash match. The Shield deserve a bigger spotlight.

Battle Royal Match

After a segment promoting WWE toys, the lights come back on and we see the ring is filled with most of the Andre The Giant Battle Royal entrants. Big Show and Sheamus get their entrances. We can barely tell who else is in the match. Mystery entrances unannounced. I can see Cesaro was added to the match. Without Rusev in the match, I’m now left rooting for Cesaro. 3MB eliminated by Mark Henry, who is eliminated by Big Show. Hilarious spot by Fandango gyrating on the ring apron, only to be eliminated by Sheamus. Evan Bourne, I’m just realizing was in the match, and gets eliminated by Del Rio. That’s the price for getting suspended for Synthetic Weed. Great not eliminated surprise spot from Kofi. A 26 count giant swing on Kofi from Cesaro. Big Show eliminates Kofi, Del Rio eliminates Dolph. Sheamus and Del Rio eliminate themselves.

Down to Cesaro and Show. Cesaro lifts Show up, an homage to Hogan lifting Andre up, and eliminates him!

That was great. Really wonderfully done.

Cena vs. Wyatt

On stage there’s a tribal band performing with flames and a belly dancer.

“New Orleans, we’re here.”

The band that made Wyatt’s entrance music, Mark Crozer‘s band, plays the Wyatts to the ring to “live in fear.”

Wyatt gets down on his knees and opens his arms to Cena to start off.

It’s a good match, starts off slow. Cena’s angrier than he’s ever been and has the advantage. Not much tension, except after a great toss suplex from Bray. Wyatt looked weak from where I was sitting.

But it turns when Wyatt interrupts the five knuckle shuffle with the spider pose, which flabbergasted Cena.

Cena went off the top rope, to be caught by Wyatt in a great powerbomb.

Wyatt reversed out of the Attitude Adjustment, to a near pin. Moments later, Bray landed a great DDT into the ring apron.

Much like in Rock Cena 1, Cena’s getting cocky and jumps off the top rope … onto Harper and Rowan, which doesn’t help Cena.

Cena hits the AA on Wyatt, but to Cena’s shock, it’s only a near fall. Cena attacks Harper again. He’s not focused at all.

Cena reverses Wyatt’s finisher Sister Abigail into the STF. Cena kicks out of Sister Abigail.

Wyatt brings a steel chair into the ring to give bray a moral choice, Cena hits Rowan with it instead, and then after a failed attempt at Sister Abigail, Cena hits the AA and gets the win, via pinfall, 1-2-3.

I’m not particularly happy about that. The booking elevated Wyatt, but didn’t make his moves look especially strong, even though he did kick out of the AA.

Lesnar/Taker

So with three matches left, Lesnar Taker is up next, to be followed by the Divas Invitational, then the main event.

IF the Divas match happens, that’s both a sign from WWE about how much they like Total Divas, and a chance for the audience to calm down before the main event.

Excellent promo from Paul Heyman to precede the match.

Taker’s entrance takes 7 whole minutes. I timed it. Lesnar starts off the match incredibly dominant, and wrestling cleaner than I thought he would. Maybe he heard people think he’ll accidentally murder The Dead Man.

Both are going for big moves early on, and being met with reversals. Lesnar’s looking great and strong.

Crowd was mostly out of it until Taker hit a catch-DDT off the ropes. Lesnar’s wrestling in a slow style, and the crowd is dry from it.

Taker’s use of MMA holds is great, showing he’s studied his opponent, the former UFC champ.

This match is boring, though. Can’t tell whose ring rust is to blame.

Taker kicking out of the F5 (which came out of a Lesnar reversal to Old School) was expected, but all parties sold it well.

Lesnar kicking out of the a Tombstone Piledriver was great, but then THE Least Expected Thing Happened.

A great reversal by Lesnar out of the Tombstone followed by an F5, AND THE STREAK IS OVER

21-1 JUST FLASHES ON THE TRON

Nobody can believe it. A bullshit chant from the audience. I’m shocked, for a second I thought the ref screwed up, but that just happened.

All bets are officially off.

Divas

This crowd, still sore from that ending, is already booing the Divas match.

Vickie stands up to wish everybody good luck and try and switch the crowd’s heat to her.

And that didn’t work. The crowd is going to chant Under-Taker throughout this match.

The Bellas splash onto the coordinated Divas … That didn’t look fake at all. This match has better pacing than the Taker / Lesnar match. Which is the other thing I didn’t expect to say. It’s such a cluster that AJ‘s victory seems inevitable.

And AJ “making” Naomi tap the way a bully makes you “punch yourself,” was great.

I enjoyed that match. Congrats Divas.

Main Event

Thank the Divas for clearing the audience’s palette. They would have Under-Taker’d all over the main event.

So, my predictions based on where we are:

Bryan wins the title, faces one if not both of Orton and Batista at Extreme Rules, and then Lesnar at Summerslam, who now can claim instant #1 Contender Status after breaking The Streak.

Orton gets played to the ring by the band that made his theme song and I don’t care enough about that song to look their name up.

Batista enters. I was saying “boo-tista.”

Bryan, selling his injury from earlier, comes out.

As Justin Roberts introduces everybody, we still have seen no signs of Triple H, so in expecting a late-match run in from him.

This is a pretty good match and as it’s no-DQ, they are already spending way too much time outside of the ring, which is hard for the live audience to see without looking at the Trons.

Orton’s trying to get a reaction out of the crowd, but this audience may be suffering from the effects of Streak-Loss.

Bryan’s series of kicks to both Orton and Batista was well done, and I liked Orton’s reversal, if he took it, that would have looked too dumb of him.

Triple H’s interference out of the crowd had all the optics of the CM Punk interference the internet wanted, especially in an outfit we’ve never seen him in. Now with the ref that sold Bryan out last fall, there’s a lot of stuff at play.

Here comes Sledgy, Trips’s favorite Oversized Sledgehammer, and immediately Trips takes it to the head. Such shenanigans.

Bryan’s running splash to Triple H and Steph seemed a little early, right? I can almost smell involvement from Vince. Who we still haven’t seen yet.

That Batista Bomb-to-RKO was great. A great perfectly executed move. But without Triple H out here… I still think Bryan winning is a lock.

Out comes the fake medical staff to “take Bryan away,” which is about as real as the cops who handcuffed Bryan. It’s a good way for people to believe that they need to chant Bryan back to health.

And Bryan doesn’t even make it to the ramp, refusing “medical help.” And now the crowd is back in it.

And now we’ve reached finisher reversal city. And the crowd was genuinely hot from Batista kicking out at two from the RKO.

Batista stealing the pin from Bryan, actually had me thinking he could take the match.

And then, out of nowhere, Bryan makes Batista rap to the YES lock, and there we have it folks, a clean victory for Bryan with no Money In The Bank cashins and no shady refs.

And some blonde child and woman enter the ring to hug Bryan. A kid in front of me claims that’s Bryan’s actual wife and daughter, but I’m skeptical.

Thats a wrap folks. All the best from New Orleans. See you tomorrow night for Raw.

More to come…

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SOURCE: TVMix.com