Like so many other WrestleMania 29 rivalries, the ongoing feud between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger isn’t exactly riveting.
You can take your pick as to why that’s the case. Some say it’s simply because Swagger and ADR aren’t established enough stars to make it work while others argue that it’s because the issue at the forefront of this rivalry is too complicated for the fans to truly understand and react to it.
Whatever the case may be, though, the consensus is that this World Heavyweight Championship rivalry has been rather lackluster and is one of the weak points on a WrestleMania 29 card that is full of them.
Next to no one seems to be all that into what Swagger or Del Rio is doing, and as a result, no one is really expecting much from either of them as this rivalry moves forward.
While it’s understandable—given the lack of excitement surrounding this feud so far—that hardly anyone is impressed by it, don’t be surprised if ADR and Swagger make us forget about that when they impress us all at Wrestlemania 29.
Say what you want about this World Heavyweight title rivalry—how it lacks star power, how it’s been disappointing or how Swagger doesn’t really to deserve to be in the match at all. I’m not here to argue any of those points, which all carry some sort of validity.
Oftentimes, though, bad buildup to a match doesn’t mean that the match will be bad—just like great buildup to a match doesn’t mean that the match will be great.
There have been countless matches throughout the WWE’s history the fans were begging to see. Yet, when those matches actually took place, no one could stop talking about how disappointing they were. Similarly, there have been just as many matches with lackluster build that ultimately turned out to be really great bouts in the end.
Swagger vs. ADR could very well be a feud that has a pretty bad buildup, and therefore, results in a pretty bad matchup. But it won’t be.
Although there’s a case to be made against this—of all matches—being the World title match at WrestleMania 29, what you can’t take away from Swagger and Del Rio are their abilities in the ring.
Over the last couple of years, Del Rio has proven to be one of the best in-ring performers in the WWE. He’s put on some very good-to-great matches with everyone from John Cena to CM Punk to Dolph Ziggler to Randy Orton, and as far as consistency goes, he delivers the goods more consistently than just about anyone on the WWE roster.
Swagger, on the other hand, is a bit more of a wild card. Because he has spent a large portion of his career in the midcard or even at the bottom of it, he hasn’t gotten the amount of opportunities in the main event or World title picture that Del Rio has.
That being said, Swagger has proven in the big matches he’s had that he’s more than capable of putting on a great show in the ring. Going way back to his ECW Championship matches against Christian or his World title run in 2010, he may not have ever delivered five-star classics—but his matches were always really good whenever he was given enough time.
That’s been true for Swagger throughout his WWE career. When given the time and opportunities, he’s great, and few big men in the WWE can touch him. It’s just a matter of getting those opportunities.
At WrestleMania 29, Swagger gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he competes for the World title on the grandest stage of them all, and judging by what he’s done recently, he is going to deliver one of the best performances of his career that night.
Will Swagger vs. Del Rio impress at WrestleMania 29?
Just look at the great performances Swagger has put on with Chris Jericho on the last two episodes of SmackDown. No, Y2J didn’t “carry” Swagger. Swagger did his part to put on two fantastic TV matches—matches that should give us faith that Swagger will deliver in the ring at WrestleMania.
No, no one is amazed by Swagger’s promos or his feud with Del Rio. But not every feud is going to be built up all that well, and not every feud is going to feel like a must-see rivalry between two major stars.
But let me pose a question: Would you rather see a feud that has great buildup but results in a dud of a match, or would you rather see a feud with decent-to-bad buildup that results in a great match?
As a wrestling fan, I’ll take the latter any day of the week, and odds are, that’s exactly what we’re going to get from Swagger and Del Rio at WrestleMania 29.
It may not have the importance of CM Punk vs. The Undertaker, the feel of The Rock vs. John Cena or the star power of Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, but it features two great in-ring performers who know how to put on a show.
On the grandest stage of them all, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!