Wrestlemania 30: What's happening and why should I care?

A crash course on discovering (or re-discovering) the wacky but wonderful world of pro wrestling

With Wrestlemania 30 just weeks away and wrestling's greatest season in full swing, a long-time fan takes a look at why you should be tuning in – and maybe even spending your hard-earned money watching WWE.
 

Why should I watch WWE?
It’s the world’s best soap opera. It’s a weekly display of athletic prowess. And because Wrestlemania has been, in recent years, as big as the Super Bowl – only a lot more enjoyable to watch.

What about characters? Who are the good guys?
John Cena – WWE’s undisputed star, Cena is a hero to millions of children and a villain to as many adults (if you can get them to admit they watch WWE, that is). Cena has been the main star of the promotion for almost a decade now, although he's nowhere near the household name that Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin or The Rock are/were. You only have to look at his film career to see why.

Daniel Bryan – Probably the best ‘technical’ wrestler in the WWE (and yes, that is a valid description to use), 'D-Bry' is WWE’s current hottest property and is the uncrowned ‘People’s Champion’. ‘Held back’ by the nefarious ‘Corporate Machine’, Bryan will look to use his superior grappling skills to win back the title that was so cruelly taken away from him in a previous storyline.

Batista – 45-years-old, boasting a 45-inch neck, Batista returned to the WWE in January, winning the Royal Rumble to earn a shot at Randy Orton’s world title. This did not go down well with the fans, who, wanting a Daniel Bryan win, booed him out of the building after realising Bryan wasn't even in the Rumble match. He responded by sticking his middle fingers up at the crowd.

Sheamus – No stereotypes here, except that he’s Irish, ginger, pale, supports Liverpool and has a move called ‘The Celtic Cross’. His brawler-style makes him popular with the fans and has recently come back from an extended break, which always helps refresh wrestlers who have become a bit stale. Shouts ‘FELLAS’ as his war cry.

CM Punk – Arguably WWE’s second biggest star after Cena, Punk looked set to be involved in one of the biggest matches on the show before walking out on the company. In this crazy world of wrestling you never know what is real and what is part of the storyline, so don’t be too surprised if ‘The Best In The World’ shows up at Wrestlemania, or on March 3 when Monday Night Raw hits his hometown of Chicago.

The Undertaker – You remember him, right?

CM Punk could return at Wrestlemania after 'quitting' the WWE

How about the bad guys?
Randy Orton – WWE’s handpicked champion, ‘The Viper’ is wrestling’s equivalent of Joffrey from Game of Thrones… because this article isn’t geeky enough already.

HHH – Triple H is the real-life Chief Operating Officer for the WWE. He is also an on screen wrestler/authority figure who regularly tips the balance in favour of the bad guys.

The Wyatt Family – Imagine if the film ‘Deliverance’ featured a family of wrestlers; these guys are looking to take down John Cena once and for all.

Brock Lesnar – A frightening monster of a man, Lesnar holds the distinction of being the only person alive to hold both the WWE and UFC world title. You would not want to spill this man’s pint.

Anyone else I should look out for?
The Shield – A trio of young, extremely gifted, extremely dangerous men, The Shield were WWE’s breakout stars over the past year and a bit. Entering through the crowd and laying waste to anyone who gets in their way (and plenty who tried to stay out of their way), this unit contains the man who many believe will be WWE’s next big star, Roman Reigns, cousin of The Rock and master of The Spear. Believe in The Shield, as they say.

Cesaro – A wrestler whose wrestling skills somehow match his mammoth intellect (the man speaks 6 languages!), Cesaro is a Swiss born wrestler whose star is finally on the ascent after a couple of years of treading water. Off the back of pinning WWE champion Randy Orton in a non-title match and pushing John Cena all the way on Raw, Cesaro is a future champion, no doubt. Watch out for his speciality – the giant swing, where he literally spins people around by their legs, no matter how big they are. Quite possibly the strongest WWE superstar, pound-for-pound.

Big E – The WWE’s reigning Intercontinental (secondary) champion, Big E is another very large, very strong man with a bright future. Rising from the ranks of NXT, WWE’s developmental federation, Big E may have lost a surname (Langston, since you asked), but has quickly gained a large fanbase - partly due to his incredible Instagram account - and a series of impressive wins.

When/where can I watch it?
UK readers: the two big weekly shows, Raw and Smackdown, both air exclusively on Sky Sports, with Pay Per View events being broadcast on Sky Box Office. A few PPVs a year are shown on Sky Sports, so you can tune in ‘for free’.

When is the next big event?
The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view takes place on Sunday 23 February. It's the last stop before Wrestlemania and the main event sees current champion Randy Orton defend his title against 5 other men inside a steel contraption known as... the Elimination Chamber. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Anything else I need to know?
Yes – the WWE are launching their very own online TV channel, the WWE Network. This is basically every wrestling fan’s dream (and parents’/partner’s nightmare), as WWE has handed over the keys to their vast vaults to allow fans worldwide to watch pretty much any past wrestling show they want, while also keeping up to date with the latest goings on. Scheduled to hit the UK in late 2014, expect some modifications due to the recently renewed deal with Sky.

Read more: Vince McMahon to buy Newcastle United?
Suggested Topics
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer was final surviving member of seminal punk band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice