Is it just me, or could WrestleMania have been 2 weeks ago and it would have been perfectly paced? All of the matches were in set, all of the story lines were in place, and all of the participants had their time to talk trash and hype of professional wrestling’s biggest showcase.
Yet here we are, 37 days since the Elimination Chamber, and we are still five days away from WrestleMania XXVIII. It may sound a little weird to complain about over hyping in an industry that is built on just that, but this year it just seems to be a bit much.
Maybe part of it has to do that we have basically been hyping WrestleMania 28 since the day after WrestleMania 29, when The Rock and John Cena told us that they would square off in the main event. Way to build the suspense fellas. So since they couldn’t wait to announce the match until later, avoiding months of Cena trying to get Rock into a match so that when he finally accepted (likely the week before tickets went on sale) it would be a huge moment, we had to get an entire year of John Cena hyping up a match against a guy that only appeared in one match during that same time. It also meant that we had to be subjected to four months of Cena being in pointless feuds that ended up going nowhere. A love triangle with Eve and Ryder intersecting with back to back crap matches with a washed up Kane? Not the way to keep your main attraction in the spotlight (I love CM Punk as much as the next guy but let’s face it, there is a reason he is in the main event). They had to do it to keep him out of the title picture, but that’s only because we already knew who he’d be facing.
Further adding to the frustration is the protecting of both Cena and The Rock leading into ‘Mania. Perhaps it has something to do with the recent trend of in ring injuries (real ones, I mean), but it was rare to see either of these guys not in street clothes for the last five weeks. I haven’t looked back on this but I think Cena has been in one actual match since Elimination Chamber. Remember when feuds used to get heat with outside interference and backstage attacks? These guys have barely done more than stare at each other this whole time. I know they have to save it for Sunday but at least make think there is the chance of something happening. By the way, I hate to say it but I don’t see any way Cena loses this match. Rock has nothing to gain and Cena will still be around long after the bell rings. His whole mystique takes an unnecessary hit if he loses. Just wouldn’t be smart
The Undertaker/Triple H with Shawn Michaels as a guest referee Hell in a Cell End of an Era Match for the Streak is another one that has just been talked to death for the last month with nothing really to say. I think the WWE even got the hint with this one since none of the participants bothered to appear on Raw. Actually, these guys barely appeared anywhere this year. This will be the Undertaker’s first match since last WrestleMania, and Triple H pretty much only wrestles in PPV’s now. Makes me worry about the quality of the match, especially after watching Kane struggle through street fight matches because he is too out of shape to really wrestle anymore (poor Randy Orton drew the short straw to carry him at ‘Mania). It makes me worry more when I consider that the shape of the competitors is the reason that they made it a Hell in a Cell match to begin with (don’t need to be in great condition to grate someone’s face against a fence). The one thing this match does have going for it is unpredictability. I really don’t have a clue who will win. Ending the streak would give Triple H a pointless push considering he doesn’t have many years left in him, but on the other hand this could be it for the Undertaker and no one leaves the WWE on a winning note (just ask Bret Hart). Then there is also the Shawn Michaels factor. I can see him quick counting an Undertaker pin, but I can also see him stopping on two and a half because he can’t deal with not being the one to end the streak. It’s a shame that this couldn’t just be a clean match. I didn’t think this one needed tampering.
The streak is bigger than anything else the WWE has going on right now. Titles get changed all the time but the streak has gone on for 19 years. If it gets to 20 it could stop there and live forever as a the bar that every wrestler has to live up to. However it it doesn’t happen it has to be done right because 19-1 doesn’t have anywhere near the same vibe. A loss is a loss no matter how many times you win before it (just ask the 2007 Patriots). This could possibly be the last time any of the three people involved get in the ring, so if nothing else I expect something big. Also, for the record, Undertaker has beaten both Michaels and Triple H twice at WrestleMania. Some new blood wouldn’t hurt
In case you forgot, there are a couple of titles on the line. I’m most excited for Punk/Jericho for the WWE Championship, but I think they went overboard with Jericho’s verbal attacks on Punk’s family. I was pretty much sold when they billed it as Best in the World vs. Best in the World. Adding the whole CM Drunk angle adds nothing for me, and could it have gone out with more of a whimper Monday on Raw? They went from calling Punk’s dad a drunk, then to his sister being a drug addict, and the big finale is Punk was born before his parents were married making him a bastard? That’s what drives him over the edge? “You’re a bastard!” Oooooooooooooooooooooooh. Gimme a break. For the record I think Punk wins for the same reason I think Cena wins. I also think Daniel Bryan beats Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title, but I don’t really care about that match and apparently neither does the WWE, since barely a word has been spoken about it.
I do find it a bit weird though that those are the only titles on the line. The US champion, and Women’s champion are in filler matches, while the tag team champs don’t even appear on the card. The one bout that did use up the entire six weeks to develop was the 12-man tag match for control of both Raw and Smackdown. I will honestly be shocked if Team Johnny doesn’t pull out the win (specifically will last entrant, The Miz making the pin). Plots are always easier to come out when the GM is a little sinister. I just hope it leads to a true union of the brands since there just isn’t nearly enough depth to carry two shows now. They already cross promote all the time and having two champions is just silly.
The addition of Booker T to that match also adds further evidence to the complete lack of current stars in WWE. The three major matches each involve a wrestler that started his career at least 15 years ago, and now we’re adding Booker T, who participates in PPV’s specifically because there isn’t anyone else that the people know. No wonder Brodus Clay keeps getting jammed down our throats. There is no one else left to push.
I also think Cody Rhodes will lose via DQ to keep his title, but there isn’t enough going on there to merit more than a mention here.
Disagree with anything I said? Be heard in the comments below!