Have you ever been in a situation where 70,000 people are in shock and confused at the same time? Even some of them mad? I have been, and it happened on April 6, 2014, at WrestleMania 30. This infamous event was the one where the Undertaker lost his undefeated streak at WrestleMania with a record of 21-1 at the hands of Brock Lesnar at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
I was at the event with one of my best friends, a bucket list vacation for both of us. We were yelling “Yes” at any opportunity we had, joined the chants in our area, and we were enjoying what was a fun show. It was time for Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar. I remember Lesnar coming out and jumping in the ring while the WWE crew was setting up Undertaker’s entrance with caskets and preparing the smoke. The gong hit, and the feeling of the Undertaker WrestleMania entrance took over. There was an electricity in the air because of how special Undertaker’s big WrestleMania entrance was. Hearing the theme alongside the smoke, props, special entrance video, the feeling in the arena, fans going crazy, it was infectious. It felt really special.
Then, the bell rang.
I can’t speak for the whole building since the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is huge, but people in my section weren’t really caring about the match after the entrance. It was a foregone conclusion: Undertake wins, who cares. It was predictable, people weren’t in it after the entrance, and we’re mostly talking about the event so far and trying to get food. I was still paying attention to the match since the tickets were so expensive even if I wasn’t that much into it. Then, the F5 heard around the world.
Lesnar hit the Undertaker with the F5, and the referee counts to three and nothing happens. No music, no call, nothing. That was the moment when 70 thousand people were shocked. People in my area stopped walking and talking. There were a lot of murmurs of “Is Undertaker okay?” and “What happened? Was it a mistake?” I even heard a guy yell to someone: “Dude, I don’t even know. I think the referee fucked up.” I turned to my friend and went: “I don’t know what’s happening. I think the referee fucked up, like the guy in the back said. I mean, are we really witnessing the end of Undertaker’s streak in person?” There was a minute of pure silence and speculation, people were confused. You can see this in the video of the match. I saw Heyman celebrating, Brock getting up, and before they announced it, they put it on the huge video screen, 21-1. Justin Roberts makes the call, I turned to my friend and went: “So, it really happened. I think…Undertaker is retiring. Maybe. All I know now is that Daniel Bryan is definitely winning both titles tonight”.
A huge chorus of boos started cascading while Lesnar was leaving the ring. There was a guy with a sign that said, “Who booked this shit?” and was walking around my section while nodding. The boos became into a furious “Fuck you, Lesnar”. This is how a match that people at the stadium live were not hot for awoke everyone from their routine.
After Undertaker left with a huge response, it was time for the next match, the Vickie Guerrero Invitational match for the WWE Divas Championship. I’ll just say that people did not care. But what I can confirm is that Undertaker losing created an effect on the crowd that they were even hotter for the Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton vs Batista main event. The audience wasn’t ready to take another disappointing loss, and we were rooting even harder for Bryan. That is one effect that is barely mentioned when talking about this event, how Undertaker losing made the fans even hotter for the main event. Hell, I’ll admit I was “Yes”-ing my ass off even louder, rooting for one of my favorite wrestlers to win the big one.
After WrestleMania, my friend and I decided to go to Bourbon Street. We saw a group of drunk fans in a circle yelling wrestler’s catchphrases until someone yelled “FUCK BROCK LESNAR” and that corner of Bourbon Street had a 5 minute “Fuck Brock Lesnar” chant. A bar owner asked me who Brock Lesnar was. I tried to explain, and she answered: “That’s a WWF guy? I have to say, I was with some of them in the ’80s and they are fucking nuts, those wrestling guys.”
WWE is a company obsessed with creating WrestleMania moments, and I would argue that the true last great moments happened at WrestleMania 30, with Daniel Bryan winning the title, and most importantly and historic, the end of Undertaker streak. It is not easy to have one of the toughest wrestling crowds and genuinely silence them by doing something surprising and logical. It is not easy to shock 70,000 people, but I was there live, I was one of those people, and it is a moment that I’ll never forget in my life and it is a moment that I probably won’t ever get to experience again.