WWE WrestleMania 29: Why Predictability Shouldn't Dampen Fans' Enthusiasm
WrestleMania XXIX is now just a month away, and while there is still plenty of work to do when it comes to building the card, most of the top-level matches are in place.
Three of those bouts are main-event worthy on any card, but a perceived lack of unpredictability has many fans feeling lukewarm about 'Mania.
Unpredictability is great, but it isn't necessary in order for the WWE to put on a great show.
As of right now the top-three matches on the WrestleMania card appear are: The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk and Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H.
However, all of them are rematches to some degree.
Rock and Cena faced each other at WrestleMania last year, Taker and Punk have feuded in the past and Lesnar and Triple wrestled at SummerSlam.
Even so, that's obviously a lot of star power.
In addition to the rematch concern, the outcomes are already predictable.
Most would agree that Cena, The Undertaker and Triple H are heavy favorites to win their respective contests. Cena and Taker are virtual locks, and while Lesnar could conceivably beat Triple H, the entire feud between them has been building toward Triple H getting revenge on Lesnar at 'Mania.
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A lot of fans have been complaining about WrestleMania XXIX for these reasons and I can definitely understand it to some degree.
With that said, the three main-event matches still have the potential to be great from an in-ring perspective. Unpredictability can contribute to a great match, but it's just one of the many aspects that need to be taken into account.
The important thing to consider here is whether or not unpredictability would actually make any of these matches better.
Provided the WWE decided to swerve everyone for one reason or another by having The Rock, Punk and Lesnar win, it would unquestionably be the most unpredictable WrestleMania of all time.
It would also be the worst-booked 'Mania of all time as well.
As much as I love The Rock and dislike Cena's character, it wouldn't make any sense for The Rock to come out on top because Cena has been building toward this win.
Also, Punk beating Taker would essentially mark the end of The Phenom's WWE run.
Lesnar beating Triple H wouldn't be an egregious error on the WWE's part, but Triple H winning is simply more logical from a storyline standpoint.
I would obviously take unpredictability and proper booking in every match; however, if only one of them is possible, then proper booking wins out every time.
January's Royal Rumble is a perfect example of this.
Cena winning the Rumble match and The Rock winning the WWE Championship didn't surprise anyone, but the pay-per-view was still fantastic because of the matches and the atmosphere.
WrestleMania XXIX will likely be very similar in that regard.
Every match on the card would be a total toss-up in a perfect world, but that's not the way it played out.
Now, the fans have to deal with the cards they have been dealt. Instead of pouting and sulking about having a bad hand, fans might as well go all in because they'll reap the rewards if they open up their minds.
I don't buy into the predictability argument as much others because I have watched plenty of "predictable" WrestleMania matches that ended up being great.
The Undertaker in particular puts on a great show every year despite the fact that it's obvious he is going to win. Every fan is 100 percent certain that he'll come out on top prior to the match, but there is usually one moment that creates some doubt.
Take what happened in 2012 for example. Shawn Michaels hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music, and Triple H followed it up with a Pedigree.
It felt like Taker might actually lose.
And when Triple H Tombstoned The Undertaker in 2011 it had the fans' hearts racing. The Undertaker's two matches with Michaels were the same way.
So even though Taker winning was a foregone conclusion, they were still two of the best WrestleMania matches ever.
Is there really any doubt that Taker and Punk will put on an incredible and memorable match this year?
Punk is arguably the best in-ring worker in the world right now and The Undertaker never disappoints on the big stage. They have history together and already have some chemistry as well, so Taker vs. Punk is going to be fantastic regardless of predictability.
It seems like the match that most fans seem to take issue with is The Rock vs. Cena.
When you mix predictability with the notion that their 2012 match was somehow sub-par, there is concern that they'll bomb this year. I feel like the atmosphere alone made their WrestleMania XXVIII match great and that should once again be the case this year.
Fans just seem too worried about The Rock's stamina or the lack of technical ability from both men.
I love a good technical match as much as anyone, but that isn't what The Rock or Cena is about. They never have been.
They're showmen who get the crowd involved and manage to put on some pretty great matches in the process. Perhaps the vocal minority isn't excited about The Rock vs. Cena, but most of the pay-per-view buys that the WWE generates will still be because of that match.
Again, predictability is the issue for some, but Cena just competed in a predictable match two weeks ago that was arguably the best of the year thus far.
He faced Punk with his WrestleMania title match on the line. Even though everyone knew that Punk wouldn't face The Rock for a third time, it was an unbelievable match due to the story that they told.
The Rock doesn't have the same in-ring acumen as Punk, but he definitely knows how to create excitement.
As long as The Rock vs. Cena is a back-and-forth affair with some false finishes, the fans will eat it up and get involved. It may not feel as big as their first encounter, but the first promo of their reignited feud was great and suggests they will keep things exciting moving forward.
If none of this is enough to convince you that WrestleMania XXIX will be entertaining, then take the undercard into consideration.
It hasn't yet been fully determined, but the World Heavyweight Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger is intriguing and could go either way.
Also, The Shield has impressed in each of its matches thus far.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry seems to be in the works and will be a classic monster vs. monster encounter. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho isn't a sure thing, but it's the only match that makes sense for either man and it appears like it's going to happen.
For those fans who are looking for a great, pure wrestling match, they'll be plenty satisfied by that bout.
Predictability aside, WrestleMania XXIX is shaping up to have a deep and meaningful card from top to bottom. Fans can complain all they want in advance of the event, but once they're actually watching it, I guarantee that they'll be engaged.
They may even wonder what they were so sour about in the first place.
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