Usually, I like to do my utmost to put a positive spin on WWE shows.
But if I had to choose one word with which to describe the spectacle that was WrestleMania XXIX, then I would have to go with:
Don’t get me wrong, the show certainly had its highlights. However there were also a number of glaring mistakes which ultimately detracted from the pay-per-view’s overall quality in my mind.
And given that such errors were showcased on the Grandest Stage of them All, it's difficult for them to go unnoticed.
Thus, in something of a departure from my typical optimism, this article rounds up the five biggest mistakes that the WWE made at WrestleMania XXIX.
If we include the extended one-hour pre-show, in total WrestleMania went on for five long hours.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Mania—and the more action we get, the better.
But for those watching the show live in MetLife Stadium, five hours is a very long time. That’s almost the same as watching three-and-a-half soccer matches back-to-back.
Furthermore, the midcard bouts were all pretty short in duration.
The Shield’s six man tag match against Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show was the only one to pass the ten minute mark, clocking in with an official time of 10:35.
As a result, the show was very heavy on promos, packages and recaps. More often than not, these videos were of exceptional quality, but it still disrupted the pace of the show.
Ultimately it left the crowd rather tired and, dare I say it, bored—which leads me onto my next point...
With little or no warning, the WWE cancelled the scheduled eight-person tag team match pitting Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls against the Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins.
Firstly, it’s pretty terrible for the Superstars and Divas involved to see their big ‘Mania match pulled at the last moment, however I don’t know the full circumstances here so I’ll give the WWE the benefit of the doubt.
But secondly, it ended up short-changing the fans too.
Though this match was never going to steal the show, it would have made for a nice break between one of the three main event matches.
Instead though, we had the excellent Punk vs. Taker contest, followed by two equally huge matches with little respite for the audience.
It was this that really made the audience tired, as it was always going to be tough for the crowd to keep going strong after the roller coaster ride that was the extension of the streak.
I feel that a different running order could have had the East Rutherford crowd more invested in the final two bouts of the evening.
Now admittedly, I don’t know too much about this one as I wasn’t using the WWE.com stream.
However, it appears that the live feed of WrestleMania XXIX crashed after the first segment of the show, much to the annoyance of thousands of WWE fans across the world.
Though the stream was eventually rescued, it then started from the beginning and was reportedly a number of hours behind proceedings.
While it’s good that fans didn’t have to miss any of the action, an extended interruption is not what you expect from the WWE on the biggest night of the year. One would have assumed the company had such matters in control, but as a result this incident could be hugely detrimental to the WWE’s image.
Of course, accidents do happen—and perhaps this technical fault was in fact an unavoidable occurrence.
It certainly reflects badly on the company, but in this instance I’m willing to once again give Vince McMahon the benefit of the doubt.
Despite this being a rematch of last year, events on Monday Night Raw over the past couple of weeks had really got me geared up for this WWE Championship clash.
But ultimately, I think it fell short of expectations.
Right from the outset, the match had a slightly odd feel.
For one, there was no video package beforehand—which is a shame because the WWE could have really put together something special for this one.
Also the entrances were very straightforward, which is rather uncharacteristic of the WWE on WrestleMania night—especially when John Cena is involved.
Perhaps it was the fact that I was expecting the eight-person tag match instead that made this match feel so out of the blue, but nonetheless there just seemed to be something lacking ahead of this blockbuster showdown.
And as for the choreography in the match itself, that wasn’t a lot better.
The two traded finishing maneuvers for what felt like an eternity. And though some of the sequences were pretty impressive, there are only so many ways that an Attitude Adjustment can be countered into a Rock Bottom.
Ultimately, this was neither man’s greatest piece of work. Was it a solid matchup? Yes. But was it worthy of closing the biggest show of the year?
I don’t normally like to complain about predictability in the WWE, as it seems highly hypocritical given the availability of spoilers and internet dirt sheets these days.
But even without reading ahead to ruin the surprise, the outcome of many of the ‘Mania matches were all too easy to guess—and for one key reason:
By applying common sense, it was possible to predict virtually all of the outcomes of this year’s WrestleMania matches.
Would the WWE have let Chris Jericho go over Fandango having built up the ballroom dancer for weeks beforehand?
Would CM Punk end the Streak when bigger legends like Shawn Michaels and Triple H had failed so recently?
Would the WWE put the World Title on a man who recently received a DUI during the biggest push of his career?
And why would the Rock remain Champion when he has so many movies to film and promote in the coming months?
I could go on, but you get the point. By taking a rational look at these matches, it was easy to see how they would pan out.
No spoilers needed; just common sense.
At least Mark Henry vs. Ryback threw us something of a curveball, while the psychology on show in the Shield’s bout and CM Punk vs. The Undertaker made proceedings somewhat less straightforward.
But for the rest of the evening, the WWE seemed to be simply going though the motions.
When all is said and done, the predictable nature of many of the matches was a huge issue and in my eyes prevented the show from being an absolute classic.
While I’d like to apologize for what may come across as something of a rant, I stand by my views in that WrestleMania was riddled with problems and errors.
This may sound like a typical response from a member of the IWC, but even those who don’t necessarily agree with my sentiments can surely see the reasoning behind my points at least?
Nonetheless, such criticisms do not mean that the show was a complete failure; in fact, far from it.
There were plenty of positives to take from WrestleMania XXIX, and these will be discussed in an upcoming article that I hope to complete shortly.
Until then though, do you agree with the issues discussed in this particular piece?
Or do you think I’m merely being pedantic?
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts, and let me know exactly what you thought of WrestleMania XXIX.