Guest Column: WWE WrestleMania 29 In The History Books
By Alan Jay – WrestleMania week is over and after all the events and predictions and post mania discussion – what are we left with? Well WWE is left with a LOT of money from the week! NJ and I guess NY to a point made some amazing revenue also. The fans have the memories – good or bad – you decide. This year Axxess, the Hall of Fame, Mania, and Raw all sold out and for fans of Indy wrestling or just wanted to relive the old days you had your share of fun to be had also.
I can tell you first hand Axxess was a very fun and enjoyable event. The WWE put together a very nice experience for fans and it satisfied everyone’s interest from wrestler signings to exhibits to live matches. The Hall of Fame had an amazing class including the living legend Bruno Sammartino but it also had its naysayers as many fans booed off stage the Donald and Maria Menounos.
But the main reason for this article is the big event of the weekend WrestleMania! Ok it was not on of the best Manias ever but what is? It depends on what era of wrestling you most enjoy – for the fans of the 80’s wrestling you will look to WM3 as a classic or maybe 4 or 5… Attitude Era have WM13, 14, 17, and 18 to pick from – or 19 if that final Austin/Rock match is what you think of. Oddly enough the millstone events never went down as the best cards ever but each had its moments from WM1 (for obvious reasons) WM10 and Bret Hart’s title win and match with Owen, WM20 we saw the grand return of The Undertaker (again) and The Rock’s “last match” at the time, plus we saw the infamous Goldberg/Lesner match with Austin as a ref, and of course the Triple Threat Match. It’s still to be seen if WM30 will be a great Mania!
So how was WM29? Overall it was a solid card with the most amazing stage and ring set the WWE has ever constructed yet! Yes it lacked a firework display at the top of the show and the national anthem was cut in interest in time which left the audience confused at the start of the show. It also had some horrible match placement! The show should have started with Y2J and Fandango – but the Shield proved that they are just as exciting in front of 80,000 people as they are in the arenas! Talk about timing in the ring, those 3 men are destine for greatness in the WWE down the road. We also got to see some amazing entrances and post ring celebration fireworks (to make up for the start of the show). Fans relived 1997 when Diddy came out to do a musical montage of some of his old stuff and Living Colour gave us a live set of CM Punk’s song, which match of the night goes to Punk/Taker! I was in attendance and I can verify that the Taker match was the only match that held the Fan’s attention from bell to bell. Those two men know how to put on a classic match and for the 5th time in a row Undertaker had a classic WM match! I would say Pun taker comes in second of the 5 last Taker matches (With HBK/Taker 1 being the best from WM25).
As I said before match placement hurt the flow – the Lesner/Triple H match was really good but the ending was predictable and left the fans flat – which hurt the Main Event, no buffer match, no video package, just Cena at the top of the stage to an already frustrated audience, even his boos lacked enthusiasm. However Cena and Rock won the crowd over 5-10 minutes in to the title match as people did get back into the action. And love or hate the ending to the Cena match – people reacted! And yes Rock put over Cena which makes sense – even if I would have rather seen something less predictable. PREDICTABLE – the theme of WrestleMania, except Ryback losing to Mark Henry… that was a shock- even though I was left confused as to why Henry didn’t put over Ryback!
Predictable equals Triple H, Undertaker, and Cena all wining and that left fans unhappy. It’s a shame because the three big matches all were good but they all are hurt by predictable endings and also didn’t help they were placed back to back to back! I think WWE should have given us the Ziggler cash in at Mania, at least which would have been a surprise, because even with a classic Punk/Taker match, Mania lacked any surprises!
At the end of the day you will never be disappointed in a Live WrestleMania experience – it’s one of a kind – and you will always get one or two great matches. Plus give credit to the superstars preforming thought injury; CM Punk busted his knee during his match, Lesner was knocked out with a concussion 5 minutes into his match, Tripe H suffered 2nd burn from dry ice blowing during his stage set (way to burn the boss), and The Rock tore tendons off his pelvis and tore his abdomen & adductor muscles off the bone midway into his match, and Cena had a broken thumb and the end of food poisoning!
WM29 already broke many records including top attendance and grossing event at MetLife in NJ, it is the 2nd most attended Mania ever (after WM3), and I’m sure it did great with PPV buys! Mania is also responsible for giving us the next night of a memorable Raw with the most interesting crowd ever at IZOD in NJ, a Ziggler cash in, Shield’s run-in on Taker, Ryback’s “turn”?! on Cena, and much more! We also all witnesses the 11th WWE title win by John Cena, which is amazing and historical too! So love it or hate it WrestleMania 29 will be recorded as historical and I honestly enjoyed myself this past Sunday. Now can WrestleMania 30 live up to the hype?!
– Alan Jay