WrestleMania 28: Long Buildup for The Rock vs. John Cena Will Cause Epic Failure
On second thought, maybe scheduling a match one year in advance wasn't such a great idea. That's the thought which should be running through the minds of many WWE executives because the extended buildup for The Rock vs. John Cena has failed.
The biggest problem has been hype and expectations. Since the company put so much stock into a single storyline, fans have been hoping for excellent promos and angles between the two every week. It just hasn't happened, and is basically impossible.
CM Punk actually suffered a similar fate last summer. After he dropped an epic promo on Raw, which sent the social media world into a tizzy, casual fans started tuning in to see what he would do next. They were disappointed to find out he couldn't pull it off all the time.
One common complaint from the WWE Universe is that the promos have gone stale since both Rock and Cena rely on the same material each week, but that's the dividing line the WWE is trying to promote.
The Rock, a supposed Hollywood sellout, against Cena, a company lifer. The two biggest stars of their respective eras going head-to-head to see who's the greatest. There isn't much else to talk about because Rocky hasn't been around to build the storyline beyond those basic characteristics.
Even though the Raw performances have left a lot to be desired, it hasn't stopped the hype machine from billing the match as a must-see event.
Credit to Vince McMahon and Co. for making it a mainstream talking point, but when it doesn't live up to expectations, any momentum gained will be quickly lost.
When you consider the possible outcomes of WrestleMania's main event, there isn't one that would make everybody happy. No matter what happens, a significant portion of the audience won't be happy.
If Cena wins, the Attitude Era fans who tuned in to watch The Rock won't stick around moving forward. It will only reinforce the idea that Cena's character is unstoppable and always finds a way to win, no matter the odds.
Which side are you on?
If Rock wins, Cena will be getting buried by a superstar who will be off to shoot his next movie before fans fully recover from their WrestleMania parties. That doesn't sound like good business, a phrase Triple H has fallen in love with recently.
While outside interference would also be an option, it would cheapen the entire event and make everything over the past 12 months has been a waste.
The only acceptable outcome in many minds would be a Rocky victory leading to a Cena heel turn, but that's a major risk for the WWE. He moves an absurd amount of merchandise and attracts the younger demographic, which are the next generation of wrestling fans.
No win-win scenario has readily presented itself. There will be a negative side no matter what McMahon ultimately decides, which he probably didn't anticipate when preparing his grand plan last year.
Unless something drastic changes between now and April 1, it's hard to call the entire ordeal anything but a failure.
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