Wrestler's Court: WrestleMania XXX Preview Edition + Nakamura wins New Japan Cup | Smark Out Moment
Case of the Week: WrestleMania XXX is Almost Here

Excited yet? We're only a few days away from the Big One, and since I'm heading out to New Orleans to witness it in the flesh, I'm pretty stoked for it. But for you poor unfortunate souls who have to stay home to watch it, is it worth buying the PPV/subscribing to the Network for? Well of course it is, it's WrestleMania; the Mecca for wrestling fans, and even the worst Manias have at least one match you have to see. But how will this one stack up against the 29 that have come before it? The undercard is fairly weak, but it looks like all 4 of the 'main event' matches will deliver. Let's take a look at all the storylines and see what has the biggest hype heading into the show.

The Misadventures of Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Batista, Stephanie McMahon and that other guy (Randy Orton)

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H WrestleMania 30 XXX New Orleans Yes Movement Authority McMahon WWE ChampionshipIt was a bumpy ride, but somehow the WWE managed to pull a very compelling story from the drudgery that was supposed to be leading towards Batista vs Randy Orton in the main event of WrestleMania. Well, we got that match for free on this week's RAW, and in its place at Mania we have a great People vs Authority story that pretty much any wrestling fan can get behind. I talked at length last week about this story, so I won't go into detail here, but all of the characters involved have done an excellent job over the past couple of weeks. Bryan obviously has the full support of the fans and is very capable of wrestling two matches in one night, while The Authority themselves have been perfect as his foil; not being too over-bearing and willing to show vulnerability to keep the feud even. Batista, who was a major disappointment after the Royal Rumble, has turned it around by playing the 'Hollywood Heel' character he arguably should have been upon his return. The Champion; Randy Orton, is the 5th most important person in this story, which is a little disapointing, but the prize he holds has been a key point of motivation for Bryan, Trips and Batista, so the championship itself hasn't lost any importance.

At WrestleMania, I have high hopes that Bryan and Triple H can deliver a very exciting match which the crowd should be very into. Bryan should win it, but I still have doubts as to how clean he will be able to do so. I'm also predicting a big beat-down from Trips and his buddies after the match, to keep the excitement up heading into the main event. Hunter may even insert himself into the main event match, but I think that would destroy any significance his match with Bryan could hold, so that would be the wrong way to go. As for the Triple Threat Main Event, I can't see this match being particularly special, but as long as Batista doesn't stink up the joint/become unable to intake oxygen properly, it should be alright. Orton and Bryan had some amazing matches last year (and some crappy ones, to be fair), and if the match ends with a clean Bryan victory, I will have no complaints. If someone else wins, well, if you thought the backlash against How I Met Your Mother's ending was bad...

John Cena is scared of Bray Wyatt, except he isn't, but actually he is

John Cena Sheep Mask Bray Wyatt Family WrestleMania XXX 30 New Orleans Luke Harper Erik Rowan
I consider Cena vs Wyatt to be the Co-Main Event of this WrestleMania, and that's thanks in no small part to the excellent build this match has had. Even silliness such as Cena seeing an apparently haunted sheep mask in the bathroom mirror hasn't detracted from this feud. I know I mocked Cena's bi-polar feelings towards the Wyatt Family in the sub-title above, but apart from all that, this has been brilliant TV.

Bray Wyatt was one of the stand-out acts of 2013, and his eery, unique promos have been a huge part of his success so far. In this feud in particular, his promos have been spectacular, and Wyatt is cementing himself as a top-level performer now. WWE obviously has huge amounts of faith in the guy to be working with Cena on the biggest stage possible (ignore what happened to the Miz), and this match is a perfect reward for his great work. It feels like he's stepped up to Cena's level, rather than Cena getting pushed down, which also means that rather than sleepwalking through the motions, Cena has 'brought it' to this feud, which he always does when he gets given something he can get invested in.

Bray has proven that he can put on awesome matches in the past, especially with Bryan at the Royal Rumble. Cena always delivers in the ring when it matters, and so I think both guys can make this match challenge for match of the night honours. Keep the Family's interference to a minimum, and we're on.

Undertaker's Streak is in jeopardy! (Not really)

The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar WrestleMania 30 XXX New Orleans The Streak 22-0 21-1 Paul Heyman F5
While I've enjoyed the other main event match build-ups, Taker vs Lesnar hasn't done it for me. They've only come to confrontation three times, and Undertaker has gotten the better of Lesnar twice. There is a mind-set that 'The Streak sells itself', but that's only really true during the match itself. The build still has to be intriguing, but Lesnar just hasn't shown any reason for why he could beat the streak. He F5'd Taker on RAW this week, but it wasn't enough. He was made to look like a chump when Taker came out of his coffin and punched him a few times, and without a properly savage beat-down like we've seen from 'The Beast' in the past, he just hasn't been able to assert himself against the Deadman.

Still, I have high hopes for the match itself. Streak matches have always been good in the past decade or so, and if Lesnar brings the intensity he has shown against Cena and CM Punk in this run, this will be another excellent addition to The Streak. No doubt about 22-0, but some of the near-falls should be believable in the heat of the action.

And the rest...

Be prepared for plently of song-and-dance numbers and other filler to pad out the 4 hours, because only 7 matches have been announced for the main show, with the Tag Title match relegated to the pre-show. For those keeping score, that's 1 hour more and 1 match less than a regular PPV gets...

The ATG Battle Royal and the Divas Cluster Fuck (official name) are both throw-aways. I liked the concept of the ATGBR when it was announced, but nothing has been done to make it feel special at all. The Shield are wasted going against Team Geriatric, but it still should be a fun match. And if you really wanted to see The Usos or the Real Americans, but you live outside the USA and therefore can't get the Network yet, I'm afraid I've got some BAD NEWS.

New Japan Corner: Nakamura wins the Cup, Devitt to WWE?

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bad Luck Fale New Japan Cup 2014 final blood Bullet Club Prince Devitt Minoru Suzuki
Shinsuke Nakamura won the New Japan Cup after two very good matches against Minoru Suzuki and Bad Luck Fale. Fale got a lot of criticism from fans for his apparent lack of wrestling ability, but in my opinion, Fale more than held his end up against Nakamura, and that match really hit top gear after Shinsuke got busted open and Fale started hitting the big moves. He's rumoured to be entering a feud with Okada now, and we'll have to see if he can get another good match working with him.

Nakamura will get his second re-match against Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Invasion Attack on Sunday, which should be a blast. After watching 'Mania, go out of your way to find Invasion Attack. Also on that show, Prince Devitt may have his last match in NJPW against his old partner Ryusuke Taguchi, as he is rumoured to now be heading to WWE. He would be an incredible pick-up, although he has been linked to WWE for some time now and nothing has come about yet. I'll keep you informed of the latest Devitt news in the coming weeks.

So, are you excited for Mania, or has it failed to get your interest? Will you be heading out to NOLA to see it live, or watching it with some beers and some friends on the sofa? Chat away in the comments below...
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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