WrestleMania 29: Grading the Buildup Hype for WWE's Main Events

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: John Cena attends a press conference to announce that MetLife Stadium will host WWE Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

No matter what, you'll always tune in to WrestleMania.

Much has been made by fans (yours truly included) about how poor the hype has been for WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year. It's a largely irrelevant concern for the company because the true fans will always tune in regardless of how disappointed they are with the buildup.

That doesn't mean criticism is completely unwarranted. Just like anything you're passionate about—be it sports, work, movies, a television show, etc.—you can be critical and excited about the prospect of something simultaneously.

Plus, WWE would probably rather have tons of people complaining about WrestleMania rather than people saying nothing at all.

Back to the business at hand. Just how bad have the top matches on the card been promoted? Let's take a look.


Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: C-

Triple H can just be unbearable at times. He always has to put himself across as the coolest, baddest guy in the company. His reputation for burying wrestlers is often exaggerated, but he does himself no favors by kicking his Intercontinental Champion in the crotch for no reason.

That was after he took the manager of Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, attacked him, ripped his shirt off and slapped him in the chest. It was a stupid way to build toward Triple H and Lesnar at WrestleMania XXIX. So Heyman said something about Triple H's wife, Stephanie.

Take it up with Lesnar, not his manager.

This is a tricky situation considering the finite number of dates WWE has Lesnar for during the year. It's hard to properly build a feud when you can't count on one-half of the wrestlers to show up each week. But you could argue having him come out, slam a chair on the ground and then do nothing was not a great way to use up one of those dates. The company did a great job hyping up Lesnar for his match with John Cena at Extreme Rules. It subsequently failed here.

Even with the retirement stipulation, there's little to separate this match from the one Lesnar and Triple H had at SummerSlam 2012. It's yet another match where anything goes, and the longevity of Triple H's career is up in the air.


John Cena vs. The Rock: C

Speaking of matches that feel a little too familiar, you'd be excused if you thought this was 2012 and you were prepping for WrestleMania XXVIII.

WWE needs to drop the whole "John Cena can't win the big one" angle immediately. Outside of his match with The Rock last year, Cena has managed win almost every single big match of his career. He's a 12-time world champion for crying out loud. Cena has failed to win the big one in the same way the New York Yankees have failed to win World Series and Bill Gates has failed to make money.

On the other side, The Rock has been conspicuous in his absence. He's gone off to promote G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and his feud with Cena has suffered as a result. When he has been on Raw, The Rock has had some bad promos about buying beds from crackheads, evoking Martin Luther King Jr. and talking about how city X is his favorite city in the United States.

It's fair to expect more from the build for the main event of the biggest show of the year.


CM Punk vs. The Undertaker: A-

This is the one main-event angle that has managed to deliver something fresh. You do wonder, though, where this feud would have gone had Paul Bearer not died.

CM Punk and The Undertaker have faced off before, but lumping this match in with Lesnar/Triple H and Rock/Cena is unfair. Punk and Taker have brought a different variable to this feud: the urn.

Punk is not the first person to steal/desecrate the urn. Mankind stole the urn and Bearer, while Kama turned the urn into a gold chain. Punk is in uncharted territory now having dumped the ashes in the urn on The Undertaker before rubbing them across his chest like war paint.

It's added a personal stake in the match for The Undertaker while simultaneously making people want to see Punk go down.

The one bad part about this rivalry is that at its heart, this is yet another scenario where a guy wants to beat The Undertaker's streak. It's not like when Shawn Michaels and Triple H were facing off with The Undertaker.