Just think for a moment: this match was originally scheduled to be Randy Orton vs Batista. But the power of the WWE Universe literally changed the WrestleMania main event. The crowd wanted Daniel Bryan to be in the main event. People power changed the mind of Vince McMahon!!! Just think about THAT for a moment. This triple threat match isn’t the best triple threat match to headline WrestleMania…but the best one involved Chris Benoit and has thus been stricken from WWE records. This triple threat is a fun, exciting match. But it’s on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches….List for one reason: the incredible rise of Daniel Bryan.
Like I mentioned before, Bryan wasn’t even supposed to main event Wrestlemania XXX. He wasn’t even in the Royal Rumble match! He lost a singles match on that PPV to Bray Wyatt. Batista made his WWE comeback at the Rumble match and eventually won it. However, the crowd were having none of it. They wanted Bryan in the Rumble. They wanted him to win. Thus, Batista’s win was crowned by a shower of boos from the crowd. He continued to be booed and Bryan’s name continued to be chanted loud and clear during the following months. In another twist of fate, CM Punk left the company after the Rumble. He was due to face HHH at Mania XXX. The WWE higher powers decided to give Bryan the spotlight at Mania, thanks to the power of the people and Punk’s exit.
At #55, you’ll see John Cena vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship (click here for my review). That took place the year before Mania 30, and even though Bryan won that match, he lost the WWE Championship a few minutes later to Randy Orton. He continued to lose to Orton, before being relegated to the mid-card. He would have been doomed to the mid-card had it not been for people power! In retrospect, it was easy for the creative team to develop the storyline of Bryan being screwed over by The Authority. It had happened in reality!
In the storyline, Bryan had convinced HHH to face him at Mania. The winner would go on to make the main event a triple threat match. I’d heavily recommend watching the storyline unfold before WrestleMania. Although it wasn’t planned, and the creative team were making it up as they went along, it’s one of the best stories to lead to a main event at Mania. Bryan, the ultimate underdog, finally had a chance to realise his dream at Mania, in spite of the Authority putting him down again and again. In real terms and storyline terms, they had put Bryan down, time and time again. It felt like it was meant to be!
I’d also recommend watching Daniel Bryan vs HHH, the opening match of Mania XXX. Of course, you know that Bryan wins because he’s in the triple threat main event. But Bryan vs HHH is one of the best bouts in Mania history, and is often forgotten. It’s HHH at his heelish best, and Bryan at his underdog best. It’s better than the triple threat main event. There’s nothing wrong with the main event, as such. It has plenty of twists and turns and the focus remains on Bryan for pretty much the entire match. No one cares about Orton or Batsista: they’re all there to see the GOAT. HHH and Stephanie interfere with a crooked referee, Bryan even has the pleasure of doing a stretcher job after suffering a powerbomb/RKO combination through an announce table! If you were/are invested in Bryan’s fight to win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then you’ll enjoy the ride. I still enjoy the ride now, after watching the match more than a few times.
But does it really deserve to be on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List? That’s a tough one. I’d prefer the opening match between Bryan and HHH at this spot. It’s a much more dramatic and focused match. In an ideal, I’d want the triple threat main event at WrestleMania XX to be on this list. That featured a similar rise of an underdog in Chris Benoit. But he’s been erased from WWE history. According to the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this is the best triple threat match available on the WWE Network! And that’s just plain wrong. But as a validation of people power and people’s faith in this strict era of WWE, you won’t get much better than this match. If you’re not chanting ‘YES’ by the end of the match, then you have no soul.
VERDICT: 7/10. This triple threat match is fun and exciting, and it’s all about Daniel Bryan. But it’s not the best triple threat match available on the WWE Network, as it’s placing on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List would suggest. Check out the main event of WrestleMania XX instead. However, this match is all about the ending and the YES movement!
Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!
Click here for my review of #60 Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio (WCW Cruiserweight Title, WCW Great American Bash 1996)
Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die