We are a little over one month away from the biggest wrestling event of the year. All the glitz, glamor and gratification of being booked on the show all starts on the road to WrestleMania, commencing traditionally after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
This year marks the 29th edition of WrestleMania. Since there have been so many events of this kind now, the expectation increases as every year approaches. With the hopes of watching a better show than the previous one, WWE Creative can't afford not to supersede last year's event with this year's spectacle.
What do we have so far to look forward to? Well let's analyze the matches that are on deck.
WWE Championship: Rock (c) vs. John Cena
Once in a Lifetime? Not quite. I suppose another DVD will come out after their match at WM with the moniker of "Gotcha!" I will say, though, that from a business standpoint, WWE's decision to recreate this match was not a bad one. Simply because the match drew well last year, and McMahon is hoping for those same numbers.
The problem is, though, that it is pretty much a lock that Cena will win, which does not give any form of intrigue to the match whatsoever. This will be the last match of the night, and although I am sure it will have some suspenseful spots, it won't quench the WWE Universe's thirst for a great WM ending.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger
I'll first start off by saying this: Jack Swagger should not be in this match.
This will be the second attempt at a forced push for Swagger, and the first one absolutely flopped. Even with his "We the People" mantra, and Super Nintendo-esque theme song, making the choice to give him this push now is proving to be regretful.
He violated the substance abuse policy, but nothing happened. This shows that the policy is applied when the WWE feels like it. There is no way that Swagger should be on TV, but unfortunately, we have to indulge it.
Like I've mentioned before in a previous article, if this feud would have be placed in a spot after WM, I would have been fine with it. But with WrestleMania being the biggest event of the year, nothing about this feud spells "marquee."
Other Potential Matches
As seen on Raw, another Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar is scheduled to happen. Again, I can see the reason for this match from a business standpoint, because it drew well at SummerSlam. But do we really want to see short-haired, pudgy Triple H vs. uber-part-timer Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania? Doesn't seem very exciting.
Their SummerSlam angle was pretty decent, and their match was as well. Nevertheless, this rematch, although planned to happen for some time now, should have happened at the Royal Rumble to open up a better spot for Brock Lesnar.
Names such as Ryback, Randy Orton and Sheamus would have been better choices. Not because Triple H can't put on a good match, because he can and he has; but because the "corporate" Triple H doesn't bring the same excitement anymore.
Especially after Underaker's return at a house show in Waco, Texas, an Undertaker vs. CM Punk match is pretty much a lock. Taker looks to become 21-0 at this year's event.
The difference between Undertaker being a part-timer compared to others is that "The Streak" has become as important as the world title matches at WM. It's captivating, still. Every year, the suspense is built in who Undertaker's upcoming opponent will be. Whomever is chosen should be honored to fill that position because of how much it means.
With that being said, CM Punk losing at WM wouldn't hurt him at all. His WWE Championship reign was 434 days (one of the longest in WWE history) and he past some undisputed legends. In fact, many victims of the streak have actually benefited from it (Randy Orton, Mark Henry and Batista, to name a few).
As good as CM Punk is on the mic, he could easily keep his dignity with a loss, saying something to the effect of him driving Taker away as a result of their WM match. This would indirectly be true, seeing how we most likely won't see Taker in a wrestling ring for another year.
What are your thoughts so far about the road to WrestleMania? Comment, civilly, below.
Chris Featherstone is a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report, as well as a writer for WrestlingInc.com. Tune in to his wrestling radio show, Pancakes and Powerslams, Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET. Also, continue your support by following him on Twitter @cravewrestling for the latest news and trivia, and spread the word.