WrestleMania last year was the beneficiary of a 12-month promotional campaign around the rematch between The Rock and John Cena. It’s no secret that Rock isn’t coming back this year, barring a last-minute change of heart so what is the WWE to do?
Hogan vs Cena
Cena vs Bray Wyatt – as Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer reported as a possible matchup in this week’s issue.
Oh boy… what else? Anybody?
Triple H vs CM Punk
OK, but not a headliner because the “once-a-year” crowd doesn’t perceive CM Punk as a household name and that group doesn’t longingly think of Triple H the way they think of Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock.
What about The Undertaker!
Will he do it? Can he do it? I said they should have kept Ryback strong but he’s apparently a bit of a headache. Oh well. They have to have Brock Lesnar face the Undertaker.
Don’t be shocked if there is some UFC crossover if this is to happen. WWE could benefit from the rub from the UFC on Fox and will do anything to help juice their new TV contract.
In fact, the new TV contract is more important to the WWE than WrestleMania is right now. The new TV deal, currently in negotiations and rumored to eclipse 1 billion dollars. Worth more than WrestleMania and could possibly spell the end of their need for WrestleMania to carry the financial burden.
The business model for the WWE could radically change but in the meantime, there is some questions still remaining on what is “best for business”.
AJ Styles Returning to Ring of Honor!
Late breaking news on Saturday afternoon was the announcement that AJ Styles is returning to Ring of Honor is Nashville on January 4th.
AJ returns to the Fairgrounds for ROH’s first event of 2014 where he will face Roderick Strong. The matchup is a great one for ROH fans but I am more interested in what this means for business. Don’t get me wrong… AJ Styles is great as an attraction but this has me wondering what is truly up for AJ and TNA.
Until AJ returns to TNA, he is free to wrestle anywhere promoters have opponents for him. If Styles decides to follow the path of Matt Hardy and remain independent, then he can be an attraction for many companies around the globe. Japanese promotions would love to book AJ Styles.
I thought it was a given that AJ would be back in TNA. Now, I’m not so sure.
After tearing up the scene in Georgia and impressing every trainer/evaluator at a tryout camp in Cincinnati, I recommended that the WWE hire AJ Styles back in 2002 and Johnny Ace gave him an embarrassing, lowball offer that Styles turned down.
My opinion hasn’t changed. If I ran TNA, I would do whatever I could to get AJ Styles back in the fold. Pay him what he wants and make him happy. He deserves it. But this is TNA so who knows what their game plan is?
Happy New Year to all the readers here on Wrestlezone.com and if you’d like to reach out to me regarding anything, including your favorite wrestling moment in 2013, let me know @RealKevinKelly on Twitter.