*The following article will reference this past Monday’s episode of Raw. If you have not yet watched the show and do not wish to be spoiled, do not read any further.*
That time of year when wrestling fans are allowed to get excited, the time of year when wrestling fans get WWE at their absolute best.
So what’s happened this year?
Last night’s Raw had a final segment that consisted of Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Dusty Rhodes and Booker T asking questions to WrestleMania 29 main eventers The Rock and John Cena. For about 40 minutes, The Rock and John Cena talked about why they wanted to win, about redemption and being the best.
For 40 minutes.
And the most action we got? An AA countered into a Rock Bottom. A sequence that we are guaranteed to see on April 7. That was the main event segment of a Raw held two weeks before the biggest show of the year.
Now I don’t expect them to be wrestling each other week in, week out heading into the big show, but repetitive promo segments are becoming tiresome. The big question is; Do any of us really want to see Rock-Cena II? Is this really a match that people are going to pay to see again? WWE made millions from their first match a year ago, so from a business point of view, it makes sense to go back to the money-making well, but is this really want anyone wants?
And moreover, now that we do have the match, do we want to see them just talk to each other? It seems the ‘Wrestle’ part of the event is being forgotten about.
I’m not going to break down every scheduled match for WrestleMania at this point (after all, if I did that, what would I do for a WrestleMania preview article in the days leading up to the show?!), but after watching last night’s Raw, it hit me how weak the build for WrestleMania truly is this year. In the past, we would get drawn-out, well-written and sterling planning, build-up that left you wanting to see the match more than anything. Now be honest, is there anything on this year’s card that has left you feeling like that?
Can’t wait to see Ryback try and lift Mark Henry?
Counting down the days with anticipation to see if Fandango can dance his way past Chris Jericho?
Me either. Now don’t get me wrong, WrestleMania will provide entertainment. The top two championship matches should deliver, Punk and Undertaker will be determined to steal the show, and I believe that Jericho-Fandango will be a hell of a lot better than many are expecting, but is this really the best WWE can deliver? Apart from the main event, and possibly Triple H-Lesnar, has there been any long-term planning put into any of these matches?
The most worrying thing for me is; if WWE’s creative team can’t find their A-game for WrestleMania, what hope do we have for the rest of the year?