7 Reasons You Should Care About Mark Henry vs Ryback at WrestleMania 29
Mark Henry vs. Ryback at WrestleMania 29 isn't for everyone.
Many hardcore wrestling fans aren't too fond of the push Ryback has gotten, so they don't want to see him in a major match at the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Others just don't feel like watching a match between two big men because history says it might not be that good.
But even if you aren't going crazy over what Henry vs. Ryback might hold for us, you should give it a chance.
Although no one's really expecting this match to be a classic and hardly anyone thinks it will steal the show at WrestleMania, this match matters more than some might think. While it may not seem that way, certain aspects of this bout should make it one that you pay attention to.
Here are seven reasons why you should care about Mark Henry vs. Ryback at WrestleMania 29.
7. It's Ryback's First WrestleMania Match
A year ago, Ryback wasn't even on the main roster, but in less than two weeks, he'll be competing in a big match at the WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year.
It is, of course, Ryback's first WrestleMania match, a major accomplishment for any star but perhaps an even more important one for Ryback.
Although Ryback has already competed in plenty of big matches throughout his short career, he has never stepped into the ring at "The Showcase of the Immortals." He has never performed in front of 60,000-plus fans or felt the pressure that comes along with it.
While Ryback has performed well in many of the big matches he's had, his bout with Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29 will be arguably the biggest match of his career.
His performance in that match will go a long way in determining how he's booked in the future, and the outcome of the match will also foreshadow what the WWE has in store for him down the road.
For some fans, this match may not seem like that big of a deal. But for Ryback, it's a huge, pressure-packed moment that could play a sizable role in how the rest of his career plays out.
6. There's Not Much Else to Be Excited About for WrestleMania 29
Let's just come right out and say what seems to be on just about everyone's mind these days: The buildup to WrestleMania 29 has been incredibly lackluster.
Despite the fact that the pay-per-view will feature a boatload of big-name stars, the creative team simply hasn't given us much of a reason to care about the show.
Most of the major matches for WrestleMania 29 are rehashed feuds that hardly anyone was exactly begging to see, while some of the other rivalries are either falling flat for other reasons or seem to have been randomly thrown together at the last minute.
With a show that's highlighted by a number of matches we've already seen before and some other matches that aren't generating a ton of interest, WrestleMania 29 isn't exactly making us want to fork over 70 bucks for the PPV.
Oddly enough, though, Mark Henry vs. Ryback is one of the few matches that has had buildup that actually makes me want to watch the match.
I'm not really jumping for joy over any of the WrestleMania 29 matches, but Henry vs. Ryback is—unlike many other matches on the show—something that's worth being at least somewhat excited about.
5. The End of Ryback's Losing Streak?
Since bursting into the main event scene last October, Ryback has had a very hard time picking up victories.
He lost at Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, WWE TLC, a WWE title match on the first Raw of 2013, at the Royal Rumble and once again at Elimination Chamber. Needless to say, that's a very long losing streak (in big matches) for Ryback.
Yeah, he wins every match he has on TV, but that doesn't mean much when he loses every PPV match, which ultimately means much more in the long run. After that rough stretch of losses, Ryback could use a monumental win now more than ever.
In all likelihood, he gets that win, the biggest victory of his career, by defeating Mark Henry on the grand stage of WrestleMania 29.
Although Ryback's push has been scaled back a bit, he's clearly still someone that the WWE wants to build up as a main event star of the future. In order to do that, though, his losing streak needs to end so he can get back on track and start winning again.
While this Ryback/Henry match may not seem like that big of a deal, it could very well be the end of Ryback's six-month losing streak and the start of a great run for "The Human Wrecking Ball."
4. It May Be One of Henry's Last Major Matches
Over the last couple of years, Mark Henry has hinted at retirement on more than one occasion.
Obviously, Henry is still an active wrestler these days, but judging purely on what he's said in some of those interviews, you have to think that he's close to calling it a career. Especially when you consider all he's put his body through since joining the WWE in 1996, Henry retiring soon seems not only possible, but very likely.
While everyone seems to be worried about when guys like Triple H or Undertaker will retire, however, no one seems to care too much about the possibility that Henry will too.
Now, by no means am I saying that Henry is on the same level as either of those guys. But he's been a part of the WWE for almost two decades, has accomplished quite a lot in the business and is both under-appreciated and undervalued by most fans.
He, too, is one of the few remaining guys from the Attitude Era, and whenever he decides to hang up his boots for good, he deserves a big sendoff just like those other established names do.
Although WrestleMania 29 may not necessarily be Henry's very last match, it may be one of the last big matches he ever participates in. Let's hope that the fans will realize that now, so we can't start appreciating what little time "The World's Strongest Man" has left.
3. It's Fresh
What do The Rock vs. John Cena, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar and CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (to an extent) all have in common?
Well, besides being the three biggest matches on the WrestleMania 29 card, none of them really feel all that fresh.
The second portion of this Rock/Cena feud has been lazily put together and was/is not something that many hardcore fans were dying to see again. Meanwhile, the HHH/Lesnar feud probably should have ended last year, and the Undertaker/Punk feud is something that we've already seen in the past.
Mark Henry vs. Ryback, however, has a fresh feel to it that those other matches lack.
We've never seen these two behemoths feud in the past, which makes the rivalry between the two seem much more special than it would otherwise. While Rock/Cena, HHH/Lesnar and Taker/Punk have all happened in the past (and two of those happened less than a year ago), that obviously isn't the case with Henry and Ryback.
They're two guys who have never crossed paths before, and now, they're headed for a monstrous clash at the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Now, that's the way WrestleMania feuds should feel.
2. It's Different
The feud between Ryback and Mark Henry is different...and that's a good thing.
Many of the major WrestleMania 29 angles have storyline arcs that have been done to death: Someone attempting to end "The Streak" (Punk vs. Taker), the man trying to get revenge for his family (Triple H vs. Lesnar), the clash between two major stars (Rock vs. Cena), etc.
What's different about Henry vs. Ryback, though, is that it doesn't need a complicated storyline or one that comes across as forced, phony or boring. It doesn't need to involve a World title, a sacred streak or avenging a loss.
The story behind this feud is simple: Who is the king of the jungle?
Ryback and Henry are arguably the two biggest behemoths in the WWE, and that's essentially the reason why they're feuding with another. They want to prove who the biggest, baddest and strongest man in the WWE is, and that's it.
There are no lame emotional issues, no awkward promo segments and no weak back stories. All there is here is a deep desire among both men to prove which star is the top dog of the WWE.
It may not necessarily be the first time we've ever seen this story, but it's different and, most importantly, is a welcome change from some of the other "buildup" we're getting on the road to WrestleMania 29.
1. It Could Have World Title Ramifications
At least on paper, Ryback vs. Mark Henry is simply a clash between two colossal superstars.
But in reality? It may ultimately prove to be much more than that.
Although there's really no telling what direction the creative team will take with either of these guys after WrestleMania 29, you have to think that the winner of this match could take a giant step toward becoming a World title contender.
It'll most likely be Ryback who emerges from this match victorious, and since only a few stars have been able to beat Henry over the last two or three years, he's going to gain a lot of momentum with a victory over a nearly unbeatable man.
That could very well be what takes him back to the World title picture, whether that's for the WWE Championship on Raw or the World Heavyweight Championship on SmackDown.
While no one knows what to expect from creative, logic says that when a superstar wins a major match he positions himself at the top of the food chain. Ryback will likely do that at WrestleMania 29.
And when he does, he may find himself in the World title picture sooner rather than later.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!