WrestleMania is almost upon us and the buzz is nowhere near stopping with changes and adjustments still being made. Some are looking forward to it. Some think the wheels have fallen off over the last few weeks. I’m trying to stay positive and think this years may actually suprise people. Here is why.
First lets look back at last years WM. We had Cena vs Batista for the title which was as good a match as you could expect from the two of them. You had Bret vs Vince which was a massive waste of time. Then there was Edge vs Jericho for the WH Title which didn’t live up to the high expectations those two command. Finally there was the match people actually wanted to see which was Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker ,’Streak vs Career’ which was as perfect a way to cap off a stellar career as any.
There was also the MITB ladder match which didn’t work well with the added two men, a thrown together tag match between ShowMiz and R-Truth/Morrison (What a diffrence a year makes). And who could forget the womens ‘ Who Cares ‘ match, HHH vs Sheamus and the one good undercard match between Rey and CM Punk, which really should have had more time.
This was meant to be a decent card full of perfect match ups throughout. Instead it was pretty much an up hill struggle over boring poorly built fueds with the saving grace of HBK/Undertaker at the end. So already the expectations aren’t great for this years.
This year though Vince appears to be trying to get a million buys and is doing whatever he thinks will achieve that. Lesnar and Sting are out while Rock and Snookie are in. And compared to last years, this card doesn’t have any of the cohesion it should have but anyway lets look at with an open mind. In no particualr order:
First off MITB is gone for now. Really that was kind of to be expected given it now has its own PPV. I think we can all agree it was better as a six or eight man ‘Mania tradition and that if there had to be a PPV around it (there didn’t) then there should have been something that made the cases diffrent. On some level I am glad about it. I can’t stand the attitude of more people=more getting paid. The way I look at it is, people used properly=better matches=more buys=better pay days NOT more people anywhere on the card=worse matches=less buys=PROBLEMS which seems to be the mindset right now.
John Morrison, Trish Stratus, & Snookie vs. Dolph Ziggler & LayCool: This will suck and we all know it. It will be on between the two big main events and no one will care. I think we would all rather see Morrison vs Dolph one-on-on. Hell, if you made in #1 contenders which I think it could warrant and gave it some time, it could be the suprise of the night.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: This may seem like it will be boring but this is another match I think has the potential to suprise. i think given the right character could be a decent heel and I enjoy the work he has done in the ring since going solo.
To put on my fantasy booker hat a sec I would change the match though. Bring out Rey and exploit him supposedly having problems in WWE by saying he is one of its biggest stars and deserves a better match. Issue an open challenge to anyone in the back that thinks they are better than him and…….out steps Sin Carra. A classic moment right there.
Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole with Jack Swagger +(Austin as guest ref): I love Austin and will watch whatever he does. This isn’t going to be great by any means but I doubt it could be worse than Goldberg v Lesnar or Bret v Vince so who knows. It’s a bit of light relief and I think Cole has done a great job at being a heel whether you genuinely hate him or not.
The Undertaker vs. Triple-H (No Holds Barred): There is no good reason Hunter should win this or that it should go on last. The build for this has been all over the place. It won’t be a great wrestling match but more of a brutal street fight though given both the physical and rating restrictions it will be interesting to see what they do.
Side note: Everyone keeps going on about it being NO DQ so Shawn can get involved. That is a good point but lets not forget Sheamus, Kane,The Corre and now Ted Jr. all have a good reason to get involved and I think really HHH v Sheamus and Undertaker v Barrett would have been better placed at least in the long term.
Corre vs Bigshow,Kane and ?: I really don’t care about this one at all. Wade Barrett should be doing so much more both because of the last year of stoylines but also because of how talented he is. I think WWE are starting to give up on Corre/Nexus.
CM Punk vs Randy Orton: Another match I think could be suprisingly good. Punk is great on the mic and in the ring. Orton is functional as the silent anti-hero. And he is massively over. He is kind of a Bret/Austin mix. while I am personally bored of Randy I think he knows how to put on a decent match and Punk certainly does. Hopefully Nexus will be nowhere near as that is really the only thing that has been wrong eith this.
Punk and Barrett were both in the same boat in that they were both standouts who were meant to help bring forward the lesser guys around them. It hasn’t worked and that is largely the writers fault. Punk is so great he eclipses everyone around him and Barrett is clearly better than those around him and is really only being held back. The other guys aren’t terrible but they havn’t been used properly pretty much since Nexus began. Back to the drawing board.
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan-US Title match: Sheamus has really improved this last year and showed it against Morrison. We all know Daniel Bryan is talented so hopefully this will be a mid card match that will be given some time.
World (Smackdown) Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio: Christian will be in this match somehow. Hopefully actually competing but if not I hope he costs Edge the Title to help set up some great feuds between the three of them. Other than that I think it will be pretty good.
WWE (Raw) World Champion The Miz vs. John Cena: This has to go on last. To help bring meaning back to the Title it has to. Again the build for this has lost so much steam it is hard to see it living up to its potential unless they do something drastic soon. Most have there own firm idea of what the Rock’s involvement will be. Like everyone else I hope Rock doesn’t help Cena win and then get all pally with him. I also doubt Rock will win or compete. Finally I know I am the only one in the world who thinks this but using Brady’s ‘everyone says it won’t happen’ logic, I think Miz could leave Champion.’Mania might be done but there is nothing stopping a Rock vs Cena SummerSlam match. Isn’t SummerSlam now always in LA/Hollywood and might it remind people of Rock giving the rub to Lesnar almost a decade ago? Maybe that is insane thinking but hey I can dream. Either way I think it could be a mian event to remember.
Like I said I am trying to stay positive. None of these matches right no scream buy rate but that could be good. I really think the newer and younger talent will seize this chance to show what they can do on the biggest stage of them all.