Wrestlemania 29 and the Nerds
After watching parts of Wrestlemania 29 on DVD for the first time since I saw it on pay-per-view last month, I have come to some different conclusions about this year's show. At first, when the show ended on April 7, I was thoroughly disappointed. I felt like the WWE blew a few great opportunities to do some different things that didn't happen and I was frustrated. Part of me felt like I had been ripped off. After taking some time to think about it in the weeks after it aired, I bought the DVD last week and replayed the parts that I was upset with. I found myself feeling differently after I had watched it.
I was specifically disappointed in the fact that Lesnar and Triple H didn't have the brutal, knock down, attitude era-like, blood dripping down the face fight that I thought we were going to get (especially after Lesnar's blood spot on Raw back in February). I was also disappointed in the fact that The Rock and John Cena put on a carbon copy of their match from last year instead of tapping into Rock vs. Austin from Wrestlemania 17 that would finally deliver a new John Cena who would do whatever it took to win, even if it meant turning heel. What we got were two pretty good matches that initially felt hollow because more could've been done. After watching them again, I've come to the conclusion that I fell into the trap that too many wrestling nerds fall into, I expected more than was realistically possible and I let it affect my viewing experience.
Wrestling nerds have a bad tendency to have extremely ridiculous expectations that are almost always wrong and then they complain that nothing happened. The problem goes to the root cause of their complaints about this years Wrestlemania. The nerds did NOT want to see Triple vs. Brock Lesnar and The Rock vs. John Cena again. Despite the fact that each storyline was set up to have more than one match and the simple historical truth that big fueds always have more than one match. Lesnar/HHH and Rock/Cena have been big, moneymaking fueds that were consistently more compelling on television than almost anything else going on. WWE was always going to capitalize on their star power and take these fueds to their logical conclusions. The fact that the matches between them were all good made it a no-brainer from a business standpoint to have rematches.
The one problem about these fueds that I agree with nerds on is the predictability of the rematches put on at Wrestlemania. Every fan knew that Triple H would save his career and that John Cena would beat Rock for the WWE title since Rock was going back to Hollywood. The build-up significantly hurt Rock and Cena's match since they couldn't properly hype the match until two weeks before the show because of the Rock's media obligations for G.I. Joe. After last years great build-up between them, more was expected of Rock and Cena on the way to this years show and they simply didn't deliver. The match itself, however, was just as good as their first match. It had technicality, physicality, intensity, and excitement as they constantly kicked out of each others finishers, getting the crowd into a frenzy in the process. Cena's win may have been ridiculously predictable, but the match was still great. The quality of the match shouldn't be diminished because of the predictability or the fact that the nerds hate Cena and will boo whatever he does anyway.
As for Triple H and Lesnar, the career threatening stipulation was unnecessary and hurt the build-up for the match. Everyone knew that Triple H would win after that. It's harder to get excited for something like that if they make it easy for you to realize who's going to win. If they hadn't of thrown in that stipulation, than the fans would've been more into the match since the outcome would've been less predictable. Despite my feelings that blood should've been shed for some old school flavor, they put on a good brawl that featured some intense spots.
I feel like Wrestlemania 29 is a good show that will continue to be unfairly bashed by people who hated the predictability and the fact that John Cena won again. The only reason people booed the handshake with Rock at the end was because it involved John Cena. If that had been CM Punk, Randy Orton, or any other big name wrestler, then the entire stadium would've clapped and cheered instead of half of them booing a nice moment.
Was it the worst Wrestlemania of all time? Hardly. Was it the best Wrestlemania of all time? No. Was it another good Wrestlemania? Yes. I compare Wrestlemania to James Bond movies. Each movie is pretty good, but some are FAR better than others. This Wrestlemania isn't one of the far better ones like last year, but it was still a good show. Rock/Cena and HHH/Lesnar had a lot to do with that, predictable or not.