Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What's going to happen at WrestleMania?

We're less than a week away from WrestleMania 30, and it looks like things could go any kind of way with all of the matches.  That's a good thing, actually.  If you're totally sure what's going to happen, then they didn't do a good job of marketing.  Last year's card suffered because of that; anyone who's been watching for more than five minutes knew that John Cena was going to win the main event, Undertaker would keep the streak going over CM Punk, and Triple H would get his revenge on Brock Lesnar.  This year, not so much.  Sure, there are people who are going to make some really bold predictions over the next few days as if they have inside information, but this time around they really don't know, either.  No matter how things go, you have to give the booking committee credit for making changes to reflect the sentiment from the fans.  From the time Batista won the Royal Rumble, they voiced their strong disapproval at the prospect of a Batista vs. Randy Orton main event and their demand for Daniel Bryan to be put in the title match some kind of way.  I'm guessing pay per view orders weren't at the level they'd expected so they made the change; and let's not get it twisted, that's the only thing that was going to make them do it.  They had that match locked in as soon as the ink on Batista's new contract was dry, and they weren't going to change it come hell or high water.  Well, the high water came and hell was on the horizon.  Low numbers and a live crowd booing your main event is not what you want on the 30th anniversary of your biggest show of the year.  They might be hardheaded but they aren't stupid.

We have four big matches this year:  Batista vs. Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (or Triple H), Bryan vs. Triple H (with the winner going to the main event), the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt.  There are other matches, of course, but these are the ones everybody's paying for.  And like I said earlier, the outcomes to all four are a lot less certain than last year.  How's that, you say?  Well, allow me to explain.  This year there is more than one plausible and/or sensible ending to each one, as opposed to last year.  No way you were going to have a part-timer like the Rock retain the WWE title at Wrestlemania and then lose it later so he could go back to Hollywood.  Also no way you have Triple H come back just to lose again to Lesnar, or have Undertaker lose to CM Punk in a thrown together match.  This year it's different. Let's break it down:

  • Cena vs. Wyatt: Wyatt is a new star and gets huge crowd reactions now; having him go over against Cena, two and a half months after beating Bryan at the Royal Rumble, would cement his place in the WWE pecking order for the time being and set him up nice for a title match later this year.  At the same time, Cena is......Cena.  He hasn't won a pay per view match since November, and is still the big merchandise seller.  At some point he'll have to beat somebody important again so stopping the rising heel who's been running roughshod over everyone is something I could see the bookers being in favor of.
  • Bryan vs. Triple H: OK, this one probably is cut and dried with Bryan winning to get to the main event.  This match may have turned around anyone who thinking of passing on buying the show but having Hunter win will ensure the boos for the main event.  There is no reason for Hunter to win this match, except for the fact that.....he's Triple H, and is notorious for getting wins over people when common sense booking would have had it go the other way.  Ask Booker T and Chris Jericho.  Anytime he's in a high profile match, that is always a possibility so you can never rule it out.  Whatever happens, Hunter will come out of it not looking like a loser.  I can guarantee you that.
  •  Undertaker vs. Lesnar: The easy pick is Taker getting the win to extend the streak.  The potential wrench in the works?  There are two of them, actually.  Age and money.  As is the case every year, the Undertaker is year closer to 50, a little slower, and a little less able to do what he used to just three years ago.  If they're going to end the streak, it better happen soon before he just can't go anymore.  And Brock Lesnar gets paid a lot for a few dates a year, so it's crucial to maintain his dominant persona.  He's already lost to Cena and Hunter since he's been back, so another loss to a top star will him look like a B+ player and put somewhat of a damper on his stated championship aspirations.  Lots of reasons to put Lesnar over here and only one, the streak, to put Undertaker over.  A Taker loss could set up a rematch next year for revenge and a final match.
  • The Main Event:  Assuming that Bryan wins his match and gets in the main event, having him go over to send the crowd home happy seems a no-brainer.  However.......there is the very real perception among the WWE brain trust that Bryan is a B+ player, and they may choose WrestleMania as the place to stick it to all the people who go on the internet and praise Bryan to the hills while bashing them.  In their eyes, Bryan is not money while big men like Cena, Batista, etc. are.  Even a cascade of boos for Batista likely has not changed their minds about his title worthiness.  I'm pretty sure that Randy Orton's days as champion are done either way, but I can see where a heel champion run by Batista (or an ill-advised attempt to turn him face immediately after 'Mania) would be something they want (he's going to get one later this year when his movie - Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - hits in August just in time to coincide with Summerslam).  This casts a huge shadow over the main event.  This kind of thing has happened before, like at WrestleMania 2000 when we all just knew the Rock was going to come out as champion and were served up a title retention by Triple H.  So it's not out of the question now.  Never underestimate the desire of people in power to do things a certain way because, dammit, they just want to.
I think we're in for a good show and I'm glad they did what they needed to do to get people's hopes back up.  Even with no CM Punk around to give us another top shelf match, if they book the right finishes we should all be happy with it.  How would  I book it?

  • The Shield over Kane and the New Age Outlaws
  • Tamina Snuka winning the Divas Title (nobody cares about the Divas beyond a 'hey, look at the hot chicks' moment but AJ's had the title for almost a year so she should drop it to somebody since she's beaten damn near everybody in the division)
  • The Real Americans winning the pre-show Fatal Four Way tag team title match
  • Big E wins the battle royal
  • Bryan over Triple H
  • Wyatt over Cena
  • Taker over Lesnar
  • Bryan over Batista and Orton
Enjoy the show, wrestling fans!

No comments:

Post a Comment