I previewed WrestleMania 29 towards the back end of last week.
I expressed my disappointment with the lacklustre build-up, and the lack of intensity on Raw in the weeks leading up to WM29 – but I also held hope that, regardless of those concerns, the show would still be a good one.
I will not review each match as is customary in these columns. I am going to try to encapsulate how I felt at WrestleMania 29’s conclusion.
The vast majority of the show was good. Not great, but good. I thought the 6 man tag was a good choice to start the show. And it was a good match. Next up was Ryback vs Mark Henry which never really got going and took some of the momentum out of the show way too early. I expected that match to appear somewhere in the middle. The pinfall finish to this match was beyond odd – we’ve seen similar spots hundreds of times and I can’t recall a heavily pushed babyface ever being pinned in that situation. Surely Henry could have just delivered his slam before pinning Ryback?
Jack Swagger’s entrance didn’t even appear on TV. I predicted that he would lose – and this slap in the face (to Swagger) made it absolutely crystal clear. The crowd wanted Ziggler to cash in, and it seemed like a great opportunity to do it – but it never happened.
Undertaker vs CM Punk was a terrific match. Brock Lesnar vs Triple H was very good. There’s a reason why that’s all I am going to say about those two matches…
That reason is because the WWE Championship match left me absolutely bewildered and frustrated. Moreover, I was regretful that yet again I have paid for a WWE PPV that has left me wishing that I simply hadn’t bothered. It didn’t matter how great those other two matches were. The Rock and John Cena delivered the finish that EVERYBODY had predicted, but NOBODY wanted to see. Not only was the finish to the PPV absolutely disheartening and insulting – the match itself was poor. After all those promos, those repetitive and annoying montage videos. Poor.
How many times can you go through this Rock Bottom/AA counterfest? Seriously? How many PPVs can Cena main event when he can clearly be seen communicating with his opponent throughout the entire match? It’s almost as if he doesn’t care that the cameras might be picking up his endless move calling – it’s so obvious. It’s not a one off, either. This has been going on for years. My problem with Cena isn’t his limited move-set – it’s his constant chatting and his horrendous over-acting. As I mentioned in my WM29 preview – his promos so far this year have been absolutely dire, as well. Beyond boring. For how much longer can this continue? It used to be that wrestlers who clearly had such flaws in their abilities simply did not succeed at this level no matter how dedicated and hard working they were. It used to be that when the fans told WWE that they did not like what they were seeing – something changed. Fans have been fed up of this shower of Cena-rubbish since WrestleMania 22. I expressed my hope in my WM29 preview that they just do something a little different – a little exciting – in the main event. Alas, worst-case scenario was exactly what happened, in the end. Status quo. As fans chanted at Cena at One Night Stand in 2006 – “Same old s***!”
I’ve learned a valuable lesson from WrestleMania 29. For years I’ve continued to PAY for WWE’s PPVs, expecting (sorry, hoping) for something a little different – again, exciting – to happen. I have now received the message loud and clear from WWE’s creative team – it isn’t going to happen. I will not buy another WWE PPV until I start hearing/reading that new and exciting things are happening – and that John Cena is no longer dominating the main event scene. Should this ever happen – I am now prepared to miss a few groundbreaking events (and catch up on them later) in order to save my time and my money. Just to be clear – I will not pay any of my hard earned cash money for anything WWE-related until my confidence in the product is restored. I will also stop trying to convince my old friends that lost touch with WWE years ago to watch it again – I simply cannot justify it any more. I was planning on going to my first WrestleMania next year (WMXXX, for my 30th birthday) but that is now extremely unlikely. I will, however, continue to fast forward through most of these pretentious 3-hour episodes of Raw until I find something remotely entertaining. I now have no more time for WWE than that.
I’m aware that, being nearly 30 years old, I am not the target audience for people like Cena. However, I’m not that difficult to please when it comes to pro wrestling. I’ve watched it for over 20 years every single week. I’ve been to live events and bought countless T-Shirts, figures, CDs, games, belts, and DVDs. I am just one fan and I know that – but there must be more feeling exactly the same after this year’s WrestleMania – the culmination of years of frustration – the straw that broke the camel’s back, if you will.
In short, the two great matches that did appear on WrestleMania 29 were completely overshadowed by a poor main event with a horrible finish.
I sincerely hope that a change of direction is coming soon. I WANT to support guys like Wade Barrett, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Brock Lesnar, Ryback, Jack Swagger, Big E Langston, Antonio Cesaro, The Shield, among many others – but I simply cannot throw any more money at this product until things change.