#1. John Cena vs The Rock
WrestleMania is going to draw big, and that's the bottom line, but I can't see it doing better than last year. Monday's promo between Rock and Cena didn't necessarily give me reason to think otherwise, either.
Boxing and MMA comes to mind in this situation. When two fighters fight for the first time, if they are big enough names with the right promotion, it will draw well. If the fight is good, with a good ending, and maybe even a little controversy involved, the second (and even third, sometimes) draw that much more than the initial one. Fans get invested from the beginning, but the second and third fights are where the real money is at.
Movie sequels aren't any different.
Wrestling "should" be that way. It might not be true, competitive fighting, but that's not required to make a second or third match draw better than the first. Good storytelling, however, is exactly what it takes.
John Cena is trying to sell this second match as his one shot at redemption. He made mention of some sort of "demise" – both personally and professionally – since losing last year at WrestleMania 28. Um, when was this again? I never saw any demise or downfall.
The worst part is that WWE missed the opportunity to tell that exact story. And tell it well. If the plan all along – and I have to assume it was – was for Rock vs Cena II, they had another full year to sell this match properly. But they didn't. Now, John Cena basically has to lie and make stuff up to try and get the story across.
That's taking "fake" to a completely different level.
WWE had the ability to trump 1.7mil this year. However, the failure to utilize the past year effectively is now going to force them to settle. Don't get me wrong, "settling" still results in a successful event, but I can't imagine it even gets close to last year's numbers.
If it does, it will be due to Punk and Taker, not what Cena and Rock can produce in less than a month.
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