WrestleMania 28: Cena-Rock Proves Year Long Hype for WM Is Bad for Business

Shalaj Lawania@_Apex_Predator_Senior Analyst IMarch 28, 2012

All forms of entertainment, even the wildest and most frenetic kinds, rely on some unsaid yet untouchable nuke codes. Among those lie virtual characteristics like variety, freshness and shock value. WWE, in particular, a kingdom built over and around wrestling, relies heavily on match-ending, high shock-value moves, crowd 'pops' at entrances, run-ins and enterprise-shattering pipebombs.

This is a company that thrives, and to an extent sustains, on shock value.

History has been witness to some of wrestling's most eternal and iconic moments—moments like Hulk Hogan slamming Andre The Giant, Stone Cold stunning Vince McMahon, Ultimate Warrior charging through the arena like a maniac in order to aid Hogan, Jeff Hardy flinging himself or being spear'ed 15-20 feet off the ground and Shad Gaspard pummeling JTG to end Cryme Tyme.

Okay, not the last one.

All these moments, and scores more, relied highly on the shock factor. There were times when the Internet (IWC in particular) wasn't snoopy enough to ascertain for itself whether Jericho would be the End Of The World As We Know It. They are now, and Jericho wasn't after all, so I guess all is well and good.

WrestleManias in particular, until WM 28, have relied on this very excessively repeated point of shock value over the years. The first jolt of excitement is shot in our veins with the Royal Rumble, which begins to shape the frame for a WrestleMania card that always promises to be better than any other.

Wrestling is a funny sport, and sports entertainment is funnier. The audiences are easily bored and paradoxically easily swayed with simple actions and reactions. A John Cena that preaches Hustle, Loyalty and Respect is easily bland, yet a Santino Marella with drawn-on abs and an amusing walk is still cheered.


Because Santino's drawn-on abs haven't been shoved down our throats for a year. Nor have the FunkaSquash matches and nor has John Laurinaitus' periodic blubbering. It all works for now because it is new, unconventional and fresh.

I write this because of one sole reason (and I don't blame any fan for this emotion because I'm going through these emotions myself and don't find it of utmost sanity to go around publicly blaming myself) and that concerns the upcoming Rock vs. Cena match.

Sit back, relax.

Now empty your mind and consider this: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment vs. The (Ex) Doctor of Thuganomics is penned for this year's WrestleMania. It happens in four days. Are you as excited as you should be?

I was when it was announced. To an extent I've maintained a level of excitement, but it has degraded and rusted into an unhealthy shadow of the burning desire I once fostered for this match of icons. Once upon a time, many many years ago...I couldn't wait. 

Here I sit, a few days before it all happens and despite enjoying all the verbal promos and wars, I'm still guilty of nurturing a dented craving for this match.

WWE's decisions, despite their learned wisdom, are surprising. They know surprise rules fan involvement, and they know a stale product leads to certain doom. This constantly leads to babyface and heel turns and new gimmicks and star returns and gimmick matches. This leads to impromptu tag team matches and No Disqualification matches just to shake the monotony.

I claim shamelessly that we all belong to a sharp generation with a short attention span. You can either dish out fantastic promos in a short period or generate rare gems over the course of a year to build a feud, and the recent RAW ratings and general indifference will show you what we like.

To Stone Cold Steve Austin...you are my favourite wrestler of all time but for god's sake don't you dare spoil the fantasy match of CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin by tweeting about it a year early.

Vickie Guerrero can however book herself for the next epic match with Maria Menouos at WrestleMania 29 because in WWE divas matter as much as Tyson Kidd.

Thanks for the read all.

Shalaj Lawania is gradually getting older but still looking bafflingly younger (that's impossible!) at Bleacher Report and that's about it. You can become a fan of his if you like his work or follow him on Twitter (@_Apex_Predator_) if you really can put up with his useless tweets. Annoying tweets or not, do leave a comment for this article!