Royal Rumble: Why the WWE Got It Wrong, and Why the Fans Lost
Maybe we are in denial, that's got to be it.
Wrestling has always been viewed as sports entertainment for kids and for casual adult viewers, much like comic books.
It's the reason why it always seemed like Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan never lost, especially in pay-per-view matches.
At Royal Rumble on Sunday, both John Cena and The Rock, as predicted, came out as the biggest winners of the night. Clearly, both are on a collision course for a rematch at WrestleMania 29, where once again, as predicted, John Cena will win and become WWE Champion.
It's this kind of predictability that upsets hardcore fans.
How could the WWE allow CM Punk, a champion for 434 days to drop his title belt to a man who hasn't wrestled since April 2012?
And that's also the problem. To the hardcore legion of older fans, this is exactly what is wrong with the WWE: predictability.
It's one of the reasons ratings for Raw were hitting all-time lows last year.
Did the WWE get the CM Punk-Rock title match right?
One of the things that makes wrestling fun is unpredictability, not knowing what is going to happen or who is going to win. But when you get a pay-per-view like Sunday's Royal Rumble, its results already easily predictable, it's not much fun in the long run.
Now we're heading for a rematch between John Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania 29. So long to the "once in a lifetime" tag-line, because that's worthless now.
Last year's WrestleMania had 1,253,000 buys, with The Rock and Cena headlining.
How will this year's rematch fair? Does it even matter anymore?
We know that John Cena is going to win and that The Rock will disappear back to Hollywood soon after, so what's the point now in ordering and/or watching WrestleMania 29 when you know the outcome?
WWE missed a golden opportunity in the long run to really create new story lines for guys like Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan and instead went back to their bread and butter. Predictability, and in the long run, that hurts the hardcore base of WWE fans.
Ziggler, Daniel Byran and Ryback can't and won't challenge for the WWE title belt until after WrestleMania and CM Punk will most likely have to settle for a rematch with the Rock, or worse, go back to mid-card draw.
Punk is this generation's Bret Hart, one of the better pure wrestlers in the business yet he's relegated to a mid-card draw unless he's headlining with the biggest names in the business, and that's sad.
WWE got it part right with Daniel Bryan and Kane during the Royal Rumble with both men costing each other a shot at a title. It sets up their possible future breakup as a tag team, but more importantly WWE should have just allowed for Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble, setting up a rematch with CM Punk for the title at WrestleMania. Both put up one of the best PPV matches last year at Money in the Bank in July.
Instead, WWE did a disservice to the hardcore fans tonight and they may have even lost a couple of thousand pay-per-views for WrestleMania. You know the outcome, so why bother?
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