Wrestlemania 29: It’s Early Days, But I’m Not Sold

Bob Bamber

Rock vs Cena, again. Triple H vs Lesnar, again. Undertaker vs Punk, well this one is at least a new feud. I can’t help but feeling looking at that line-up, that it’s not only a very uninspiring, it’s also rather predictable.

Rock vs Cena will be the third Wrestlemania in a row that the WWE has headlined the big one with these two. Yes, Wrestlemania 27 was Cena vs The Miz, but Rock was the headline act, in name if nothing else. It almost felt like the sole purpose of the main event that year was to simply set-up the Rock vs Cena “Once in a Lifetime” match a year later. We can have misgivings over certain parts of it, but the buy-rate tells the story, Rock vs Cena sold, and it sold big.

But where next? Rock won, so there is a logical argument for a rematch simply for Cena to “get his win back” – does anyone give Rock a hope of winning again? It’s hard to imagine that the powers that be would set up *the* guy to lose to The Rock if there wasn’t an ultimate chance of retribution.  But even if the WWE Title is this time on the line, is there any demand for Cena vs Rock II? Is there a big enough story to be built around it that can sell the PPV again?

Or are we going to return to the segments of the pair acting like children throwing insults across the ring? For all of the critics of Cena’s overly childish shtick, Rock hardly takes the higher ground when he resorts to “Cookie Puss” or “Cena’s ladyparts”.  Did you know both phrases are trending worldwide? Do you even care?

I’ve heard much criticism at the match simply over the “Once in a Lifetime” moniker that underscored their match last year. Of all my problems with this match, that isn’t one of them. It’s not like the WWE is great at keeping their word anyway. Even so, it would appear that the get out to that  would be that it would be a match formed “organically” i.e. with Rock as Champion and Cena as the Royal Rumble winner.

The final reason I don’t want to see Cena vs Rock is, as great as their match was last year, are both men capable of putting on a match with equivalent excitement levels, whilst making it different enough to the match they had last year to still feel special in its own right? You could use shortcuts – make it a No DQ or equivalent, but this feels like a cop out. The proof of the pudding will likely be in the eating, but at this stage I’m not sure.

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Triple H vs Brock Lesnar, the second of the three main events to be a rematch. This time from Summerslam last year. I’m still not exactly sure what the motivation was for the first match they had, given the pending “lawsuits” Lesnar and Heyman had no reason to accept the match, and I’m still not sure what exactly about Stephanie’s promo tipped the scale (“I’m a hypocrite, fight my husband?”).

But they had the match, and Lesnar won, clean. So… why do we even need a second match? What rationale will be placed behind Lesnar and Heyman accepting a second match? Will Mr “This Business” put his career on the line? Why would Lesnar care? The WWE failed to give a believable reason the first time around for the match to take place, so I guess I’m pushing it a bit to think that a rematch might be given a plausible reason.

One thing Lesnar has proved in his two matches back is that he is capable of putting on excellent, believable matches. He straddles the MMA/wrestling line very nicely, and unlike Rock vs Cena, I think both are capable of putting on a match that can complement, but not copy, the first.

But most of all, much like Rock vs Cena. They gave the guest the opening win so that the home boy could “get his win back”, in this case on the bigger stage. There’s no way Triple H doesn’t win this one.

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