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WWE is really firing on all engines heading into this Sunday’s Wrestlemania XXX as it drives fans to subscribe to it’s new digital video service WWE Network, which will air the big show from the Superdome in New Orleans live. Wrestlezone reported yesterday that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is having “late night meetings” with WWE Network content director Brian Singerman and other officials to add even more special content on the streaming channel this week to make it a more immersive experience for fans paying $9.99 a month for the Netflix-like service.

WWE Network already has a ton of WM related shows including the first ever live broadcast of Saturday’s WWE Hall of Ceremony and much more. You can read the whole schedule of announced shows on the Network here. Any new live shows that are added this week will be announced on Wednesday or Thursday this week.

This truly is a huge week for WWE and it’s pirate ship ride away from traditional pay-per-view distribution through satellite and cable TV with the WWE Network where subscribers get access to live events like Wrestlemania, which is the biggest annual wrestling show of the year. WWE Network launched on February 24 with a flurry of technical issues, which is a concern to both fans who have subscribed and those that are jumping on the bandwagon this week. The worst thing that could happen to the Network is to see it crash or suffer from serious lags during the live stream of Wrestlemania, and the company understands this but weeks ago they assured fans everything will run smoothly on Sunday.

Pro Wrestling Examiner’s Perspective: WWE Network is almost everything that WWE has sold it has, this wonderful ever-flowing well of wrestling content. That is this Examiner’s opinion and you can read more of that in this official review. The extra content this week just make it easier to take the risk and subscribe to the Network with that 6 month commitment.
The 2014 WrestleMania PPV is heading our way. What are your predictions for WrestleMania XXX? Spoilers for WrestleMania 30 as well as my predictions for the pay-per-view are here. The Elimination Chamber still has to take place, which will influence the card for WrestleMania, but now that Batista has won the Royal Rumble, things are starting to shape up. Can this be the biggest WrestleMania of all time like it’s supposed to be or will it fall flat? Here are my predictions for the WrestleMania XXX PPV. Check back for WrestleMania 30 results and review coverage here.
WWE WrestleMania XXX Main Event Randy Orton vs Batista World Heavyweight Championship Match

WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista (vs. Daniel Bryan)
This was just a mess, wasn’t it? WWE did the wrong thing by having Batista win the Royal Rumble and now they have to do the stipulation with Daniel Bryan’s match in order to try to salvage it from being a disaster. At least we’ll most likely get Bryan in this match winning the title rather than them sticking to their guns and forcing Batista to win a solo match against Orton in the main event. Doing that and telling the fans to just suck it up and accept it would be disastrous. The quality of this match is up in the air. I don’t think it will be fantastic, but it has a chance to be good, and I hope that I’m wrong and they end up having a classic. I still maintain that Batista should have been booked to face Sheamus instead of being in the title hunt, and they should have given him a title match at SummerSlam at the earliest.

PREDICTION: Daniel Bryan wins the WWE Championship.
WWE WrestleMania 30 PPV Streak Match Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker

The Streak: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Since the likelihood of Sting showing up and challenging Taker is barely there, it has to go to Lesnar. This should be the match of the night and a highlight amongst a card filled with crap, which is a shame for WrestleMania XXX. Lesnar should look really strong going into this and Undertaker will come out on top. There’s no way they can have Brock be the person who ends the streak.

PREDICTION: Undertaker wins.
WrestleMania XXX Daniel Bryan defeats Triple H at Mania 30

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
If Daniel Bryan wins, he’ll be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. I hate to be the downer of this situation, but that makes me nervous. Bryan should have won the Royal Rumble and having Batista win just for Bryan to get inserted makes the Royal Rumble victory a bit of a pointless endeavor. Also, this means we could see Triple H use some kind of bullshit maneuvering to have him lose by disqualification or something cheap, where he technically loses the match, but doesn’t actually put Bryan over. This happens ALL THE TIME with Triple H, and I’m really worried it’s going to happen again. Daniel Bryan needs to win this clean. This should be a great match if it isn’t booked as Triple H just beating Bryan and then Bryan getting lucky. No ego can get in the way or it will ruin it.

PREDICTION: Daniel Bryan wins.
WWE wins Andre Giant WrestleMania 2014 Battle Royal Memorial Over the Top Rope Match

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Thirty men are going to compete in an over-the-top-rope battle royal with the winner receiving the Andre the Giant memorial trophy. As of this moment, the only official participants are Ryback, Curtis Axel, Big E, Damien Sandow, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, though John Cena mentioned wanting to be involved.

PREDICTION: My gut reaction is that Big Show wins this, but I will update this after Raw.
WWE WrestleMania 2014 Wyatt Family vs John Cena predictions

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Cena haters will dislike this comment, but I’ll say it anyway: Cena deserves better. This is WrestleMania XXX! John Cena is the top guy in the company according to WWE. And he’s wrestling Bray Wyatt? Lame. I know Bray Wyatt’s made some headway, but it just doesn’t seem like he’s ready for that spot to me, similar to how Fandango faced off against Jericho last year. Hopefully, they’ll prove me wrong and have a good match (like Jericho vs Fandango). Despite how it would seem odd, I’d rather them make this a handicap match with Hulk Hogan teaming with Cena to face all three members of the Wyatt Family. That would bump it up in importance.

PREDICTION: It all depends on how many faces win the other matches. This won’t be an event where all babyfaces win the big matches, so Wyatt has a good chance of beating Cena through bullshit tactics.

 

 

When the WWE Network launched, the first week saw their first live streaming efforts. The WWE post-show aired fine after “WWE Monday Night Raw” but the “WWE NXT: Arrival” broadcast froze up and many people missed the main event until replays went up later that night. According to PWS on March 15, the WWE Network “Wrestlemania 30” live stream should work fine by the time it airs.

The problem with the “WWE NXT: Arrival” live stream was that it froze up on occasion and at one point towards the last quarter of the show, it kicked viewers out and to the log in screen. When logging back in, the viewers were taken back to where they were booted and then it would kick them out again.

It was distressing because the lure for many fans was the pay-per-views being included in the package.

Since that time, the WWE has made the decision to make “WWE Main Event” a live stream show on Tuesday nights when it is recorded. That is so the WWE can properly work out the glitches and fix the problems before the biggest event of the year takes place.

According to the WWE, they have “put in place significant quality assurances. These steps include increased capacity to handle high volumes of transactions, logins, and concurrent live streams, daily ‘stress’ testing of all systems over an extended period, and the addition of technology experts to review our plan and procedures.”

At the end, the WWE said they are confident the WWE Network will be ready for “Wrestlemania 30” on April 6.
WrestleMania XXX is being billed as the biggest celebration in the history of the WWE, and the company is looking back through the annals of the annual event by naming the 30 greatest matches in history.

The unenviable task of ranking the matches fell on the shoulders of WWE.com staff.
After 30 editions of the WWE’s biggest show, there is a long list of great matches featuring legends and Hall of Famers. While WWE.com put together a great list, the content of the list is extremely subjective.

While many fans may love John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIII, there is a large contingent of fans that wouldn’t have put that match on this list at all.

Here are WWE.com’s top 30 matches in WrestleMania history and the most overrated and underrated bouts on the list.

WWE’s Top 30 Matches in WrestleMania History Rank WrestleMania Match
30 Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper—WrestleMania VIII
29 Money in the Bank Ladder Match—WrestleMania XXIII
28 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock—WrestleMania XV
27 The Undertaker vs. Edge—WrestleMania XXIV
26 Money in the Bank Ladder Match—WrestleMania XXI
25 Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle—WrestleMania XX
24 Mick Foley vs. Edge—WrestleMania XXII
23 The Undertaker vs. Triple H—WrestleMania XXVIII
22 Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar—WrestleMania XIX
21 The Undertaker vs. CM Punk—WrestleMania XXIX
20 John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXIII
19 Undertaker vs. Triple H—WrestleMania XXVII
18 Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho—WrestleMania XIX
17 Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair—WrestleMania XXIV
16 Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania VII
15 Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania V
14 Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair—WrestleMania VIII
13 The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan—WrestleMania XVIII
12 Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan—WrestleMania VI
11 The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian—WrestleMania XVII
10 Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle—WrestleMania XXI
9 Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon—WrestleMania X
8 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart—WrestleMania X
7 Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XII
6 Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant—WrestleMania III
5 The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXVI
4 Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin—WrestleMania XIII
3 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock—WrestleMania XVII
2 Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania III
1 The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXV

 

Most Overrated Match: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XXIII

 

Watch WWE Wrestlemania 30 XXX Free Live Streaming HD
There may be a lot more attention on the matches that don’t involve titles at WrestleMania XXX—but that doesn’t mean there could still be some gold that changes hands at the event.

Whilst the likes of Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H and Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker continue to dominate the buildup to the event, there are still three championships that will have to be defended at the event.

Credit: WWE.com

One of those is the biggest belt currently in the company—the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. And it is a match that will carry much intrigue, given there will be a third member entering the fray following Bryan vs. HHH.

As well as that, we have the sometimes forgotten tag titles on the line, as well as a huge brawl to decide who will head up the Divas division following WrestleMania XXX. But who will win these battles?

 

Divas Championship 14-Diva Match

We start with the women’s division, and the night that AJ Lee may finally come unstuck as Divas champion.

It seems unlikely that Lee would emerge through the pack of women who are competing in the match as champion, leaving her remarkable run at the head of the division continuing.

But if Lee does fail in her bid to defend the title—in a match which is just one fall—who are the likely contenders to replace her?

The Bella Twins seem to be toward the front of the queue—with Nikki Bella perhaps finally getting the belt. However, there are another couple of twists. Naomi was incredibly close to the belt before she suffered an eye injury a couple of months ago—and she beat Lee on Raw this past week.

The outside bet for my money though, is Tamina Snuka. It would be incredibly ironic should Lee’s bodyguard be the woman who takes the belt from Lee—although obviously she does not need to pin her. It would make for a good storyline heading out of WrestleMania XXX, too.

Winner: Tamina Snuka

 

Fatal 4-Way WWE Tag Team Championship Match

The Usos are relative newcomers when it comes to being champions—at least in comparison to the aforementioned AJ Lee.

However, they too face the realistic possibility of losing their belts without even being pinned at WrestleMania XXX. They face three other teams—The Real Americans, Los Matadores, and Ryback and Curtis Axel.

And in all eventuality, there is only one team who could realistically beat Jimmy and Jey. Let’s immediately discount Los Matadores—it is peculiar enough that they are in this match, let alone possibly winning it.

The Real Americans could well split in the match—with Cesaro’s popularity starting to outgrow Jack Swagger. It has been teased a few times, and it could well happen at WrestleMania.

That only leaves Ryback and Curtis Axel. Whilst they wouldn’t be horrific champions, they aren’t on the level of The Usos. Successful defense, for my money.

Winners: The Usos

 

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

The main event of the evening—or at least it should be. When the dust begins to settle on Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, it will reignite again with the winner’s inclusion in this match.

For what it is worth, I expect Bryan to defeat Triple H and advance into this championship match. That will make for fascinating viewing—especially with Bryan pulling double duty. It is sure to be intriguing.

Batista vs. Randy Orton has been pretty poor as a whole—with Batista’s character change throughout the rivalry really not helping proceedings. The inclusion of Bryan or Triple H was essentially desperately needed in order to make the title match worthwhile.

 

wrestlemania27.jpg
The WrestleMania 27 set demonstrates the rock n’ roll vibe of the big show. (WWE)
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Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on April 02, 2014 at 1:20 PM, updated April 02, 2014 at 1:23 PM
WrestleMania XXX news

WWE Superstars visit pediatric patients at Ochsner
WrestleMania could drive more than $100 million in spending in New Orleans over a week of events
WWE’s week of giving back to New Orleans starts with basketball game
WrestleMania XXX’s Superdome set is the product of a 400-person tag team match
WrestleMania XXX: What should happen

All Stories | All Photos | All Videos

WrestleMania XXX will bound over the top rope into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Sunday (April 6) at 6 p.m. But before master of ceremonies Hulk Hogan tosses on his feather boa or The Undertaker tosses anybody’s body around, the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has a little interior decorating to do. Actually, a lot of interior decorating.

WWE chairman Vince McMahon insists that the spectacular décor of the Superdome be kept secret until the big day – and heaven knows we don’t want to be on the bellicose boss’s bad side. But Duncan Leslie, the WWE’s soft-spoken senior vice president of technical operations, provided a tour Tuesday of the monumental transformation going on inside of the Poydras Street landmark.

It was an amazing sight. Leslie and company were essentially building a giant grandstand within the permanent Dome grandstand. A crew of roughly 400 workers produced a metallic cacophony as they assembled the risers and flooring that will help provide seating for 70,000. Meanwhile, near the stratospheric crest of the Dome, it appeared that a giant spider had been at work, stretching a web of 27 miles of cable, connected to 400 rigging points. The cables will hoist speakers, lights and more. Squinting through the top lenses of one’s bifocals, tiny workmen could be seen laboring on the dizzyingly high Dome catwalk.

No one would reveal what the gargantuan WrestleMania decorating scene cost, specifically.

“A lot of money,” the laconic Leslie said.
Duncan Leslie, the WWE’s senior vice president of technical operations .jpgDuncan Leslie, the WWE’s senior vice president of technical operationsDoug MacCash / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The 150,000 square-foot Dome floor could optically shrink the 20-by-20-foot wrestling ring to the size of a saltine. So Leslie’s job is to get the crowd as close as possible while making the ring as conspicuous as possible. In the upper reaches of the Dome seating, spotlights stood ready at every entry tunnel entrance to blast the ring with Olympian light. It will have taken two weeks to install the seats, set, lighting, custom Wi-Fi network and all the other big-time entertainment accoutrement, which arrived via a mighty convoy of 85 semi trucks rockin’ through the night.

“There are a lot of separate pieces,” Leslie said, heroically understating the obvious.
WrestleMania XXX

What: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s annual championship extravaganza, with matches featuring superstars Randy Orton vs. Batista, Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and other stellar bouts.
Where:The Mercedes-Benz Superdome or on pay-per-view television.
When: Sunday (April 6) from 5 to 11.
Admission: Tickets are $61.15 to $2,074.85 (including service fees).
Related events: The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place Saturday (April 5) from 8 to 11 at the Smoothie King Center (Tickets $35.85 to $170.75). The WWE RAW wrestling matches take place Monday (April 7) from 6:30 to 11 at the Smoothie King Center (tickets $23.80 to $107.70)
More information: For more information, to sign up for television service or to buy tickets visit the WWE website.

Despite the push to produce the big annual WrestleMania extravaganza, Leslie pointed out that the rest of the WWE’s lineup of televised shows, including the Hall of Fame ceremony (look for Mr. T to be inducted) in the Smoothie King Center next door to the Dome on Saturday (April 5), the regularly scheduled RAW matches, also in the Smoothie Center on Monday (April 7) and the SmackDown matches in Lafayette on Tuesday (April 8) must go on as well.

“Simultaneous to this,” he said, “the mother ship is still floating through the air.”

Truly, Leslie said, he hasn’t had to corral his crew to keep them off of Bourbon Street before the job is done. He’s proud of the reliability of his professional interdependent team. For his part, the Connecticut native said he’s used some of his scant time off to visit the World War II Museum and to dine at GW Fins, which he said was outstanding.

Leslie said that during the load-in and build-out he worries most about staying on schedule and the safety of his staff, though there’ve been no injuries to speak of. As curtain time approaches, he said he worries about video failure and the power supply. And not just because the poor Superdome suffered a mortifying, nationally broadcast blackout during Super Bowl XLVII. Leslie said he always worries about power issues. But he feels there are plenty of backup electrical sources to head off any darkness-inducing incidents.

Leslie said the stakes are high when producing the annual WrestleMania extravaganza because it’s so important to wrestling fans.

“People make it part of their bucket list,” he said.

Without employing so much as a shred of specific description, visitors to the unfinished WrestleMania XXX Superdome set could tell you that it has more design punch than either the recent Super Bowl or NBA All-Star Game.
John P. Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of events and Alan Freeman, Superdome general manager .jpgJohn P. Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of events and Alan Freeman, Superdome general managerDoug MacCash / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The energetic John P. Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of events, has seen WrestleMania grow from a popular annual television championship to a days long, multi-event spectacular. Back in the mid-2000s Saboor worked for the city of Orlando, Fla. He helped woo the WWE to choose the Florida vacation destination for WrestleMania 2008, a groundbreaking grandiose production. In the intervening years the WWE has taken America’s much beloved athletic melodrama and given it the tone of a Rolling Stones concert.

It’s not surprising, perhaps, that Saboor soon left the Disney city government to take a job with the WWE, helping select sites for future WrestleManias.

The job boils down to this, he said: “putting our greatest asset in the greatest destinations.”

New Orleans, he said, has what it takes as an entertainment magnet. Plus, the city government, he said, rolled out the “purple” carpet to lure in the big show. All the WrestleMania advertisements from the airport to the highways to the Central Business District were provided by the city. In addition, City Hall has done all it can to smooth out the logistics of the mega-production for all concerned, he said.
The Rock sings When The Saints …, WrestleMania 30 Watch as Dwayne The Rock Johnson leads the crowd in a sweet, whispered rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In at WrestleMania 30.
In exchange, Saboor said, the WWE will provide New Orleans with an especially muscular payday. He estimates that 65 percent of WrestleMania fans will visit the Crescent City from beyond a 75-mile radius and most of those will stay for four and one-half days. He estimates that last year’s WrestleMania showered $103 million on the New York/ New Jersey area. In addition, Saboor said, the WWE and the star wrestlers will participate in charity and good will events that reach beyond the paying customers. If all goes as expected, he said, the whole shebang should be a win-win situation.

“Our goal,” he said, “is to leave more than we take.”

Read about WrestleMania coming to New Orleans and watch videos of The Rock and John Cena in my February 2013 story “The Rock, John Cena charm at WrestleMania XXX press conference.”
However, despite all of his failings, you still have to make Batista the favorite. He returned to the company for one reason, to win the title at WrestleMania.

Whilst you could conceivably put the belt on him at a later date when he begins to develop as a heel, it just feels like the plans are not bound to change. Orton’s reign as champion will come to a pretty limp end, whilst the fans will again be disappointed to see Daniel Bryan come up cruelly short.