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WrestleMania XXXI

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WrestleMania 31 was the thirty-first annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on March 29, 2015, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

It was the first WrestleMania event to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area, the sixth to be held in the state of California (after 2, VII, XII, 2000, and 21), and the sixth to be held in an open-air venue (after IX, XXIV, XXVI, XXVIII, and 29).

Seven matches were contested on the main card with two matches on the pre-show. In the main event, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the scheduled match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns and won the resulting Triple Threat match to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Production

Background

WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, and has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment.

It was the first WrestleMania to feature a logo which is the red "play" button. According to a San Jose Mercury News article, Vince McMahon explained that the play button represents the technical prowess of Silicon Valley. There were two theme songs for the event. The main one was "Rise" by David Guetta featuring Skylar Grey, and the secondary one was called "Money and the Power" by Kid Ink. Grammy-award winner LL Cool J was featured in the opening video package for the event. Aloe Blacc opened the show with "America the Beautiful". Kid Ink, Skylar Grey and Travis Barker also performed at the event.

Travel Packages for the event went on sale on September 29 with the exclusive California Dreamin' Travel Package ranging from $5,500. The VIP Package, Platinum Premium Package, Gold Package and Silver Package was available on October 6 with prices starting from $3,250, $1,650, $1,150 and $900 respectively including tickets to WrestleMania, hotel accommodation, airfare, and other activities through WrestleMania Axxess. Individual tickets went on sale on November 15 ranging from $35 to $1,000.

Storylines

WrestleMania 31 featured professional wrestling matches that involved wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portrayed faces (heroes) or heels (villains) as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

At Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar successfully defended his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match, while the 2015 Royal Rumble match was won by Roman Reigns, granting him a main event title match against Lesnar at WrestleMania. Reigns' win was met by a negative reaction from the live crowd at the Royal Rumble, and he continued to receive mixed reactions thereafter. On the February 2 episode of Raw, Reigns agreed to put his number one contendership on the line in a match at Fastlane. Later in the night, Daniel Bryan defeated Rollins to earn the privilege to face Reigns at the event. At Fastlane, Reigns defeated Bryan to ensure his title shot against Lesnar at WrestleMania. Reigns had only two face-to-face interactions with Lesnar prior to WrestleMania, with his title match described as "being built on whether or not he is even worthy of being in the match in the first place". Reigns was also described as having "experienced no adversity on his journey" as he "chatted with [Lesnar's manager] Paul Heyman one week, got a shirt, and then played tug o' war with" Lesnar - a reference to the in-ring confrontation between Lesnar and Reigns on the March 23 episode of Raw, in which the two grappled with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt. It was acknowledged in the storylines that Lesnar's contract was set to expire not long after WrestleMania. Less than a week before the event amid speculation that he would be returning to UFC, Lesnar announced his signing of a new WWE contract and his retirement from mixed martial arts.

At Survivor Series, Sting made his first appearance in the WWE by interfering in the main event Survivor Series elimination match, attacking Triple H and aiding Dolph Ziggler in pinning Rollins, giving Team Cena the win and causing the Authority to be removed from power, which had been a secondary stipulation of the match. On January 19 episode of Raw, Sting made his Raw debut by appearing backstage during the main event, a 3-on-1 handicap match between Cena and the team of Big Show, Kane, and Rollins. The lights in the arena darkened as Sting walked to the stage and gestured to the Authority at ringside. The distraction allowed Cena to pin Rollins for the win, which reinstated the jobs of the recently (kayfabe) fired Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan. On January 26, it was officially announced via WWE.com that Triple H challenged Sting to a "face-to-face" confrontation at Fastlane. On the February 9 episode of Raw, Triple H again called Sting out to accept his challenge. The lights went out, and a group of Sting impersonators appeared around the arena and inside the ring, illuminated by spotlights, while a video message stating that Sting had accepted Triple H's challenge played on the TitanTron. At Fastlane, the two brawled until Sting got control of Triple H. Sting then pointed to the WrestleMania sign in the rafters, with Triple H accepting the challenge. Later in the night, it was announced that Triple H would face Sting at the event.

On the February 23 episode of Raw, it was announced that the second annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal would take place at WrestleMania. The Miz, Curtis Axel and Ryback announced their participation in the match. On the February 26 episode of SmackDown, Fandango and Adam Rose announced their participation in the match. On March 2, it was announced on Facebook by WWE that Zack Ryder was added to the match. Later in the night, Jack Swagger, Titus O'Neil, and Darren Young announced their participation in the match on the WWE App. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Big Show and Kane announced their participation in the match. On March 9, it was announced on WWE.com that Erick Rowan and Sin Cara were added to the match. On the March 9 episode of Raw, Damien Mizdow announced his participation in the match. On the March 16 episode of Raw, Goldust, Heath Slater, and Mark Henry were added to the match. On the March 23, the Ascension announced their participation in the match on the WWE App. On March 26, it was announced on WWE.com that the match would take place on the pre-show. That same day, Hideo Itami won an NXT tournament at WrestleMania Axxess to earn a spot in the match.

On February 26, it was announced on Facebook by WWE that Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett would defend his title in a multiple-man ladder match at the event. On the March 2 episode of Raw, it was announced that R-Truth was added to the match. On March 4, it was announced on WWE.com that Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper were added to the match. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Ziggler was added to the match. On March 10, it was announced on WWE.com that Stardust was added to the match. On the March 12 episode of SmackDown, Bryan announced that he was entering the match.

At Fastlane, Rusev defeated Cena to retain the WWE United States Championship after hitting Cena with a low blow (while the referee was distracted with Lana) and made him pass out to the Accolade. In the following weeks, Cena challenged Rusev to a rematch, which was declined. On the March 2 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon decreed that Cena would not compete at WrestleMania unless Rusev agreed to a match. On the March 9 episode of Raw, after Rusev defeated Axel, Rusev made several insulting remarks of the United States. Prior to this, Cena warned that if Rusev did that, he would show how much fight the U.S. had. Following the insults, Cena went into the ring and placed Rusev into the STF until he passed out. Cena then picked up a bottle of water, made him conscious, and then he placed him into the STF again. Although Rusev was tapping out, Cena refused to let him out of the STF until Lana granted Cena a title rematch at WrestleMania on Rusev's behalf. On the March 2 episode of Raw, Paige defeated Divas Champion Nikki Bella by disqualification after Brie Bella attacked Paige; Therefore, Nikki retained the title. Brie and Nikki attacked Paige until AJ Lee returned from injury and saved Paige. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, AJ defeated Brie after Paige prevented Nikki from interfering in the match. On March 9, it was announced on WWE.com that AJ and Paige would face The Bella Twins at the event.

At Fastlane, Bray Wyatt challenged The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania after sending messages to the Undertaker weeks prior. On the March 9 episode of Raw, the Undertaker accepted Wyatt's challenge to a match at the event.

On the October 20 episode of Raw, a 3-on-2 handicap street fight was held which pitted Randy Orton, Kane, and Seth Rollins against Cena and Ambrose, Orton picked up the win but was immediately Curb Stomped by Rollins. On the October 27 episode of Raw, Orton RKO'd Rollins thus defying the Authority for not controlling Rollins the previous week. On the November 3 episode of Raw, after increasing frustration, Orton attacked Rollins during his Intercontinental Championship against Ziggler, causing Rollins to win by disqualification, and demanded a match with Rollins to settle their dispute, which Triple H granted in order to keep Orton on their side. Rollins got the win with a backside pin, and Orton attacked the Authority before being Curb stomped by Rollins. At Fastlane, Orton returned to WWE and attacked the Authority. For the next few weeks, Orton helped Rollins to win his matches. On the March 9 episode of Raw, Orton attacked Rollins after their match with Reigns. On the March 12 episode of SmackDown, Orton challenged Rollins to a match at WrestleMania. On the March 16 episode of Raw, Rollins accepted the challenge, but only if Orton faced him that night, which Orton accepted.

At Fastlane, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro defeated The Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. On March 23, it was announced on WWE.com that Tyson Kidd and Cesaro would defend the titles against Los Matadores, the New Day and the Usos in a fatal four-way tag team match on the pre-show.

Match Preview

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c) vs. The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The New DayPreview
André the Giant 20 man memorial Battle royalPreview
Intercontinental Championship Ladder MatchPreview
Randy Orton vs. Seth RollinsPreview
Sting vs. Triple HPreview
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella TwinsPreview
John Cena vs. Rusev (c)Preview
The Undertaker vs. Bray WyattPreview
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman ReignsPreview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal Eliminations

Eliminated Eliminated by Time Eliminations
Curtis Axel Every superstar in the ring.
0
Adam Rose Fandango
1
Fandango Adam Rose
1
Alex Riley Damien Mizdow
0
Zack Ryder Bo Dallas
0
Bo Dallas Hideo Itami
1
Hideo Itami The Big Show
1
Diego Kane
0
Fernando Kane
0
Sin Cara Cesaro
0
Tyson Kidd Mark Henry
0
Mark Henry Konnor & Viktor
1
Konnor Ryback
1
Viktor Ryback
1
Darren Young Ryback
0
Heath Slater Ryback
0
Titus O’Neil Ryback
0
Jack Swagger The Big Show
0
Big E The Big Show
0
Xavier Woods The Big Show
0
Kofi Kingston The Big Show
0
Erick Rowan The Big Show
0
Goldust Ryback
0
Kane Cesaro
2
Jimmy Uso The Big Show
0
Cesaro The Big Show
2
Ryback The Big Show
6
The Miz Damien Mizdow
0
Damien Mizdow The Big Show
2
The Big Show WINNER 18:10
10

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

WrestleMania 31 previews

Brock Lesnar v Roman ReignsSting v Triple HIntercontinental Championship MatchJohn Cena v RusevAndre The Giant Memorial Battle RoyalThe Undertaker v Bray WyattAJ Lee and Paige v The Bella Twins

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History of WrestleMania
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