Bang for Your Buck PPV Review: WrestleMania XXX

The Showcase of the Immortals comes but once a year, and after consecutive editions that were considered “lackluster” by people who aren’t fans of how handsome The Rock is, the 30th edition brought the house down. From the ending of an era to the beginning of a (few) new ones, the first PPV on the WWE Network showed why no one really laughs when the company calls it the “greatest spectacle in all of entertainment”. Also, guys… CESARO!

For those who missed the Elimination Chamber review, the criteria for these reviews is simple: “Did I get my money’s worth?” in terms of the individual matches and the PPV as a whole, using the tried and true “what was this trying to do, and how well did it succeed” test of “quality”.

Each match is rated plus or minus on a sliding scale between 1 and -1, with matches worth multiple rewatches being +1, a just-quite-PPV quality match +/- 0,  and things that make me reevaluate being a fan earning up to a -1 score. The scale is arbitrary, of course, but it’s based around the idea that a match will be fundamentally good, and give me things I wouldn’t see for free: major heel turns, definitive conclusions (which are different from clean finishes) and moves that don’t make their way to Raw.

The more of that in a match/show, the better Bang For Your Buck on the PPV. We’ll (eventually) keep a running tally for each PPV, and a handy list of PPVs we review to give you (and us) a better idea of what we thought was worth the time to check out in terms of matches and PPVs. As for the scale, it’s not particularly complicated but here are the basic levels (on a per-match basis):

Review Guide

As always, we’re going to be using what I said during the What’s the Worst That Could Happen preview to see how close I was to “predicting” what unfolded,  how that stacked up to my beliefs of what they were “trying” to do and whether or not I got what I wanted out of the show. Enjoy!

Kickoff Match

WM30_Photo_22

Fatal Fourway for the WWE Tag Team Championship

THE REAL AMERICANS vs. RybAxel vs. THE USOS (C) vs. LOS MATADORES

Best Case Scenario: Enough time for everyone to look good, with this match getting treated more like a match that happens to be on the “pre-show” than one that belongs there. And, of course, a giant swing involving a tiny bull.

This was, outside of the Divas Invitational, probably the least good match (depending on how you feel about Taker.) That it was still would have been one of top 15 matches on PPV this year if it made it to the main card should tell you all you need to know about how good this show was. Making this an elimination match took out much of the suspense — there was significantly less of a chance that the title was going change hands on a random pin — but surprise isn’t necessarily what you’re going for at WrestleMania. While other booking decisions made later may contradict that, the idea is to “send people home happy” and for fans of the Usos (and even Cesaro,) this match did exactly that. Or, well, you know.