With John Cena and The Rock headlining WrestleMania 28 under the tag line "Once in a Lifetime," the interest was intense from all sides of the WWE universe. Two of the biggest icons in the business meeting on the biggest stage in professional wrestling: WrestleMania.
And it worked.
With close to 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, WrestleMania 28 set all kinds of records. It garnered the most pay-per-view buys in company history as well as was the single-highest-grossing live event in WWE history at $8.9 million.
It's hard to top those kinds of numbers, and yet, after seeing how well WrestleMania 28 did last year, expectations are high for the WWE to put on a show as good as or better this year.
As early as January, rumors began to spread that the WWE was considering a rematch between John Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania 29, and why not? If their headline matchup drew record-breaking numbers, then imagine the possibility of what a rematch could draw. Right?
After defeating CM Punk at the Royal Rumble, as many expected he would do, The Rock became WWE Champion for the first time in 10 years. A good portion of the WWE Universe however frowned upon the call for the Rock to win the strap simply because they knew the end result; Rock would lose to John Cena at WrestleMania 29.
Immediately after the Royal Rumble, a growing number of fans began expressing outrage that the WWE would take away CM Punk's title reign of 434 days only to hand it over temporarily to The Rock for two months, then only to see it fall back into the hands of John Cena for what would be his 11th title reign.
Will WrestleMania 29 better last year's pay-per-view numbers?
Now the WWE has spiked some interest to the hardcore wrestling fans of a possible triple-threat match that includes CM Punk as well as hints that The Rock will be appearing at Extreme Rules (h/t cagesideseats.com) in May and Summer Slam in August (via PWS, h/t examiner.com).
WWE already went on record during a live press conference to announce that The Rock will appear at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.
And that's a good thing for wrestling fans.
A rematch between John Cena and The Rock will not top last year's pay-per-view buys simply because the interest isn't there. To the younger generation of current WWE fans, it's a must-see, but to the older group of wrestling fans, it's a must-pass on. Unless the WWE throws in curveball, which they did on Monday night Raw last week.
Now John Cena has placed his title shot on the line against CM Punk with the match set to take place live on Raw this coming Monday.
Nobody expects CM Punk to win, but a good number of hardcore fans hope that what does happen will draw their interest back toward WrestleMania 29.
A triple-threat match that includes CM Punk is something worth watching; the interest is there. With the stories of The Rock remaining active in the WWE and not disappearing for six months like he did last year, now interesting storylines develop and the WWE universe is all in.
Or the WWE could stick with its long-rumored rematch and entice those disgruntled fans by having CM Punk possibly as the co-main event against The Undertaker, although I don't see how a Punk-Undertaker storyline works anymore now that Punk is no longer champion.
In the end, the WWE brass will do what they feel is in their best interest and in what will draw the fans. Here's hoping that they do not go forward with their planned rematch of John Cena vs. The Rock to headline WrestleMania 29, although that is exactly what most of the WWE universe believes will happen.