WrestleMania Worries: 5 Things That Could Derail WWE WrestleMania XXVII
It is WrestleMania season, arguably the most exciting time of the year for wrestling fanatics. Fans around the world are glued to the screen (TV or computer), desperate for any new developments regarding wrestling's Super Bowl.
It is this time of year that the WWE performs at its highest level, when anything can happen and surprises crop up more often than a Ric Flair blade-job.
But we wrestling fans are a pessimistic bunch.
Despite our year-long dedication to wrestling programming, we're sooner to dissect a show looking for faults than we are to praise it.
Whether it is derived from love, anxiety or depression, wrestling fans tend to place their grievances with a product at the forefront of the wrestling news agenda.
So why should WrestleMania XXVII be any different?
Over the next few slides, I will share my pessimistic ponderings regarding the five things that I believe could derail WrestleMania XXVII unless they are addressed by WWE.
The Bank Is Closed for Business: No Money in the Bank
The Money in the Bank match has been a WrestleMania staple since 2005. Over the course of its five-year run on the "Grandest Stage of Them All," it has garnered praise from both fans and critics.
Furthermore, the match is a great indicator of the creative direction WWE will take over the months following WrestleMania. The match has been a spectacle in its own right, adding to the overall spectacle that is WrestleMania.
But in 2010, WWE officials recognised the drawing power of the Money in the Bank match, subsequently allocating the spot-fest its own July PPV slot.
This is good, right? Doing this gives additional depth to the 12-month PPV schedule, adding a level of dynamism to the continuous stream of WWE programming. Right?
Removing the match is likely to have a substantial impact on the overall WrestleMania package. The Money in the Bank match is so utterly unique it elevates the quality of the match card just by adding something different.
In addition to this, it is a great showcase for the talent lacking creative direction. Without this match, the mid-card Money in the Bank mainstays are likely to be thrown into a multi-man tag match.
Excuse me while I yawn.
Whilst it may benefit WWE later on in the year, removing the Money in the Bank match will certainly lessen the appeal of WrestleMania XXVII.
The Finer Details: Card Order and Time Allocation
I know, this sounds pedantic.
But it's true and it is crucial.
Look at WrestleMania XXV and WrestleMania XXVI, for example. Two good shows that could have been so much better if the card sequencing was approached differently.
The main event of WrestleMania XXV was an anticlimax of apocalyptic proportions. Despite the brilliant build, Orton vs. HHH did not fulfill its promise. Why? They were never going to surpass the greatness that Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker displayed, were they?
In regards to WrestleMania XXVI, timing was a serious issue. To this day, I am still bemused as to why proven ring masters CM Punk and Rey Mysterio were given six minutes, whilst Vince McMahon and an immobile Bret Hart were given almost 20 minutes. (Ron Simmons voice) "DAMN!"
This needs to be addressed for the sake of the show's quality.
We live in hope that WWE will learn from their mistakes, but with potential non-title show-stealers in HHH vs. Undertaker and CM Punk vs. Randy Orton on the card, their placement may damage the latter stages of WrestleMania XXVII.
"And I Quote...": Michael Cole vs. Jerry "the King" Lawler
This match has the potential of being a disaster.
But it also has the potential to be genius.
If it stays in the ring and tries to imitate a traditional wrestling match, the fans will become uninterested and the lines for the toilets in the Georgia Dome will become a Health and Safety nightmare.
This match has to give a new definition to the term gimmickry.
It needs to be fun, fast-paced and it has to rely on external variables, such as the referee, Swagger and all other forms of outside interference.
Most importantly, it cannot run longer than 10 minutes. Creative is reportedly high on this match, but taking this longer than 10 minutes would be ridiculous.
This match really can go one of two ways. It may be a work of genius that only benefits the show, or it could seriously damage the entire show.
"We Want Wrestling!"
...and at WrestleMania, we do.
Under most circumstances, this wouldn't be a concern, but there is the possibility that WWE could turn this year's WrestleMania into Saturday Night Live with wrestling.
The Rock hosting Mania is a great thing, moreover, the greatest thing to happen in all of wrestling for at least five years. But if the entire show becomes a Rock comedy skit, Rock, WWE and Wrestlemania all come off badly.
Tremendous wrestling matches, spectacular spots and a few select promos and WrestleMania XXVII will be fine.
If WWE chooses to go in another direction...well...do you remember that Kid Rock concert at WrestleMania XXV?
"Let Them Fight!": The Rock vs. John Cena
Don't get me wrong, I do not expect a match between these two.
But their issues, and more importantly, the resolution of those issues need to be resolved effectively to prevent mass disappointment.
If Mania ends with these two shaking hands, the majority of the wrestling fan community will be livid.
This is the most honest, passionate and legitimate feud in wrestling in some time, with genuine history sprawling back to 2008.
The only happy ending to this rivalry involves physicality, or even better, a match at a later stage.
WWE, if you give us a handshake, you can shine that up real nice, turn that...I digress.
Rock vs. Cena is the money match in wrestling today. Give us an explosive finish or keep building until the day Rock grants us what we all want: that one last match.
Otherwise, an abrupt handshake ending will seriously damage how fans receive and look back on WrestleMania XXVII.
The Road to WrestleMania Continues...
Hopefully, these concerns will not materialise and WrestleMania XXVII will go down as a classic.
Or they may come true and WrestleMania will be to PPV what The Great Khali is to technical wrestling.
Either way, the excitement that Wrestlemania generates is hard to suppress and I honestly cannot wait as the Road to WrestleMania rolls on.
Thanks for reading.