With WrestleMania on the horizon, the WWE is abuzz which anticipation and excitement.
But for all the highs that this time of year brings, the scales are eventually balanced with what is often colloquially dubbed the “WrestleMania hangover.”
The more far-sighted among us may already have one eye on the aftermath of the biggest pay-per-view in professional wrestling.
Who will be pushed off the back of the Show of Shows? Will the annual exodus of part-timer stars leave the roster worryingly thin? And who will go on to dominate storylines in the lead-up to SummerSlam?
The answers to some of these questions seem to already be crossing the collective mind of WWE’s Creative team. F4WOnline.com (via WrestlingInc.com) reports:
For what it's worth, it's said within WWE that current plans have John Cena and Daniel Bryan being pushed as the #1 and #2 guys in the company after WrestleMania XXX, now that CM Punk is gone. No word yet if this means Bryan is winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
On the face of it, this certainly makes sense. John Cena and Daniel Bryan are the company’s two biggest stars, so it’s hard to argue that neither man deserves that main event spotlight. And furthermore, they’ve proved in the past that they’re more than capable of producing some fantastic matches together—a promising sign for the WWE Universe as a whole.
But what is the wider-ranging significance of this news?
For one, it would suggest that CM Punk is indeed done with the company. His prolonged absence is making the idea of this whole angle being a work look less and less likely by the day. This news of him no longer being considered in future main event plans could well be the final nail in his WWE coffin.
As sad as it would be to see him go, the limbo that the Second City Saint appears to be in makes it extremely difficult for the WWE to plan ahead. With many fans citing the company’s habit of last-minute changes as damaging to the overall product, perhaps it’s for the best that Punk and the WWE go their separate ways.
And maybe I’m reading too much into this information, but I feel that we can make some predictions regarding WrestleMania on the back of this revelation.
Bryan has rarely won the big ones. And he’s been labelled as weak for a very long time now, with Triple H’s "B+ player" moniker acting as something of a ball and chain for the former indie star. Thus, if the WWE wants to truly establish Bryan in the main event scene, it's going to have to back him on the big stage.
With a showdown versus Triple H all but confirmed for Bryan at WrestleMania, this news would suggest that the Game will indeed put his adversary over at the April 6 extravaganza. Either that, or Bryan is at least going to be booked very strongly—otherwise how are we supposed to take a subsequent main event run seriously?
Based on this logic, one could argue that Cena also looks set to come out of ‘Mania on a high.
However, I’m not sure that’s the case.
Cena and Bray Wyatt are on a head-on collision. And if their early promo work is anything to go by, it’s going to be a cracker.
History suggests that Wyatt could meet his comeuppance, as WrestleMania is often a show with a feel-good vibe in which the faces tend to come out on top. But if the WWE wants Wyatt to live up to his huge potential, then it wouldn’t be too wise to have him lose in his first appearance at the Showcase of the Immortals.
And furthermore, Cena can bounce back from defeat.
We’ve seen it before, and I’m sure we’ll see it again. On two occasions he has tasted defeat in a huge match at WrestleMania, and on neither occasion has it damaged his legacy too greatly. He's still at the top of the company, after all.
In short, I feel Cena can afford defeat and Wyatt less so.
Of course, I could be completely wrong with all this. The most certain conclusions to draw from this news, though, is that Punk is going home and that Bryan will be filling the void.
As the source noted, it remains to be seen whether or not Bryan’s push will result in a run as WWE world heavyweight champion. But with the momentum he’s gathering, it would look like a pretty safe bet right now.
But what do you guys think?
How do you feel about this news?
Is it what you expected to hear?
And how will it impact the WrestleMania card?
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on these matters as well as anything else that was discussed in the article. And as always, thanks for reading.