Can you smell it?
No, not just what The Rock is cooking, but the excitement and anticipation leading up to the biggest weekend in wrestling history.
This, of course, can only mean one thing:
WrestleMania is back again!
An entire year of building, training and preparation culminates at this point. The big "WrestleMania Week" where not only WWE employees, but fans and other wrestling promotions alike flock to the city in which the event is being hosted. This year, we are in Atlanta, Georgia, ready to marvel upon the Most Electrifying Event in Sports Entertainment History.
Diehard wrestling fans and casual fans come together for this one night and celebrate the reason why pro wrestling (sorry, "sports entertainment") has lasted as long as it has in the mainstream.
'Mania is always a big event, chock full of the biggest and best talent the WWE has to offer, great matches and celebrities. This year will be no different, so join me as I list the reasons why you should purchase the 27th WrestleMania in WWE history.
While there are probably hundreds of reasons why you should watch tonight, I have whittled the list down to 13 main reason. Enjoy!
Come on...The Most Electrifying Man in All of Sports Entertainment has finally returned to the WWE! And not only that, but to host WrestleMania 27!
Weeks of build involving The Rock, John Cena and The Miz promise that something will take place between the three men this Sunday. I can't even begin to hazard a guess at what will happen—it's just too unpredictable at this point.
One thing's certain, though, and that is that The Rock will appear at some point during the WWE Championship match.
As well as this, The Great One will be hosting the event, so he'll be seen at various points during the show.
Why on earth would you miss that?!
We have a lineup here featuring the best of the best.
Hot, young/new talent like Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, John Morrison, Layla, Michelle McCool, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz have the chance to really shine and show us how great the future of the WWE is.
Triple H, Undertaker, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Big Show, Jerry Lawler and Trish Stratus are seasoned veterans who are Hall of Fame certs (or HOFer in Lawler's case) and could teach the newer talent a thing or two about being the best in the WWE.
And then we have the top stars of today: John Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk. These three are seasoned enough to be considered vets already but at the same time young enough to still be seen as the future.
This brilliant mix of yesterday, today and tomorrow's stars makes for what should be a card full of different styles and techniques and shows how capable the stars of tomorrow are when it comes it hanging with the main players of the business.
This card is also full of several MOTN candidates. I honestly think every single one of these matches have the ability to be something amazing, as either great wrestling clinics or just really entertaining bouts. Maybe even both.
I think the earlier slide sums this one up quite well.
This card involves some of the best wrestlers in the world. There are no big fancy gimmicks or stipulations, just a night full of pure wrestling and er... Snooki and Michael Cole. The only match that is not a straight Singles or Tag match is Undertaker versus Triple H, which has a no-holds-barred stipulation.
This means that there is nothing getting in the way of the talent on this card putting on a beautiful WRESTLING show. We can leave the sports entertainment aspect to the matches involving Cole and Snooki. Whether the WWE wants to admit it or not, this card will most likely be three hours and 15 minutes full of amazing wrestling and 45 minutes dedicated to the sports entertainment stuff.
Since 'Mania is an hour longer than the other PPVs of the year, none of the matches will be rushed through at all. I imagine they will be given plenty of time, which just makes it all the more better.
I might be playing devil's advocate here, but the idea of this WrestleMania involving seven potentially great wrestling matches and two throw-away novelty matches does not bother me at all. Every good card needs a bit of fun.
Speaking of which...
Come on guys, lighten up. She's not a wrestler, she's "stealing spots," whatever—Snooki is mad entertaining. She's full of natural comedy and her antics guarantee that the six-person tag team match featuring the "Brunette Mafia" (Snooki, Trish and Morrison) and LayCool and Dolph Ziggler will be a good watch.
Snooki is basically famous for doing silly things, and you can be sure that she will bring this to 'Mania tonight.
Plus, celebrity involvement has been as much a part of WrestleMania as the actual wrestling, dating right back to Cyndi Lauper's involvement at the very first. Its purpose is to get casual fans and the media involved, which is what Snooki's involvement has been very good for.
She's famous. I don't know why, but she is. Might as well milk the Jersey Shore cash-cow for all it's worth!
Before the flaming starts, let's get back to some pure wrestling talk...
Daniel Bryan seems to have a habit of stealing the show. Most memorable was his bragging rights match against Dolph Ziggler last year, which the WWE ranked as the best of 2010, tying for first place with Shawn Michaels and Undertaker at WrestleMania 26.
But let's not forget the talent Sheamus has too. He is one of the best young workers in the WWE and has some great brute aggression that can easily connect beautifully with the controlled aggression of Daniel Bryan.
Although this match has received little build-up, it's nice to see the United States Championship being contested, and with wrestlers as great as the two we have here.
This match should be first on the card because it can get the crowd going, ready for the event. These two men are extremely talented, and a nice 20- to 25-minute match between them could easily be Match of the Night and even a contender for Match of the Year.
This is also Bryan's debut 'Mania, so I expect him to go all out and truly prove himself.
Both men can go, and if the WWE gives them the time, they could steal the show, no problem.
Fun fact: Four of the original Nexus eight have made it onto the card, marking their first WrestleManias. Three others are inactive due to injury (kayfabe in the case of David Otunga) and one is back on NXT. Funny how that works!
Trish Stratus, Stone Cold, The Rock and Shawn Michaels will be on hand for tonight's festivities. While Stratus is the only one booked to wrestle, it's a guaran-damn-tee that some old favorites will be around to shake things up here and there.
Plus, the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 are booked to be at the show. That means Sunny, Abdullah The Butcher, Animal, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and maybe even Drew Carey could show up during 'Mania.
As well as the announced names, there's also the possibility that some other familiar faces will make an appearance, especially since the WWE have been making a pretty big deal out of big returns.
Calling the action will be Booker T and Jim Ross (for a few matches). Booker is one of the greatest and most celebrated World Heavyweight Champions ever and Jim Ross is Jim Ross. His over-selling and overwhelming emotion just add to the match intensity and brings the audience closer to the action.
The nostalgia here is running wild. Seeing popular Superstars and Divas of yesteryear mix it up with today's talent makes me remember why I got into wrestling in the first place. The past must be revered, and what better place to do so than on the Grandest Stage of 'em All?
After years and years of dedication to the WWF/E and the wrestling business in general, Jerry "The King" Lawler finally gets his WrestleMania moment.
Despite the match being on the card for the pure novelty of it, Lawler having a place to begin with shows that Vince McMahon just may have a heart after all.
Not to mention the sentimental value this moment has. The King has worked for years and has proven several times in the past few months that despite being into his 60s now, he can work circles around some of the younger talent. On top of this, the recent death of Lawler's mother makes his probable win tonight all the more heartfelt and emotional.
Since making his speedy transition into a heel commentator, Michael Cole has become the most hated person on the WWE roster.
His constant putting over of The Miz, Alex Riley and of course himself, partnered with his constant burying of Daniel Bryan and the Divas, especially, has made the collective blood of the WWE fans boil week in, week out.
His actions towards Jerry Lawler in the form of extremely uncomfortable promos and segments on the Road to WrestleMania have single-handedly made most people emotionally invested in their upcoming match. And if that's not enough to make you hate the guy's guts, him treating Eve and her opponents like dirt during her recent matches should.
Hands up who wants to see the jiu-jitsu-trained Eve Torres take part in the Michael Cole a** kicking which should take place tonight?
Alright then, hands up who wants to see Stone Cold Steve Austin Stunner Cole in the middle of the ring and leave him lying in a pool of beer?
Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face, which means the Michael Cole character has been built up correctly. Just like this match.
At the moment, Christian is booked to be in Edge's corner during his match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.
I'm sure most fans would have loved to see Captain Charisma be added more actively into the match but obviously, it won't work that way.
Instead, Christian can do one of two things tonight:
The first is play it safe and help his buddy out whenever he needs it and celebrate with him once he wins.
The second choice has the potential to make Christian a main-event player and a true threat for the WHC. He can screw Edge over completely and either attack him once he wins or prevent him from winning at all.
Both options seem likely but the second would make for a hell of a lot more interest 'Mania aftermath. Heel Christian has always been enjoyable and it would be nice to finally see him be a World Champion, if it happens.
When Shawn Michaels was announced as an inductee for the Hall of Fame 2011, the possibility of him being involved in the match between Triple H and The Undertaker was discussed. When he showed up at the go-home Raw and cut a promo with his best friend and the man who ended his career, it became evident that The Showstopper would be involved someway, somehow.
The capacity of his involvement? There’s no way of telling. Will he screw his friend over? Will he make the assist?
Who knows. All we know is that these three men will be in the same arena at the same time and that the Shawn Michaels factor will most likely play a big part in the final outcome of this match.
The "Youth Movement" has been made a pretty big deal of over the past year or two.
Big names leaving and new names stepping up have made for some interesting (and sometimes awful, admittedly) television recently, but I believe it will all be worth it in the long run. We are in an era of transition and this is usually a difficult time.
The company has been testing the waters with different names, awarding pushes here and there, signing big names in the wrestling world, and changing characters and gimmicks, all in an effort to create and build new stars.
This WrestleMania could be the start of a whole new era, if booked accordingly.
Just imagine it. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan put on a beautiful wrestling clinic. Cody Rhodes goes over Rey Mysterio in a strong showing. Then the same happens for CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio and The Miz.
While it's likely that not all of these things will happen, it seems a big waste for at least two of these things to not happen. Let's think about it; Rey Mysterio is not going to benefit from beating Cody Rhodes tonight. Just like John Cena does not need to beat The Miz and pick up another World Championship.
The booking tonight will most likely play a big role in how the future of the WWE will play out. The immediate future at least.
I honestly hope these newer names get a chance to prove themselves, whether they win or not. Let's be honest, they need the credibility a lot more than Mysterio, Cena, Edge and Randy Orton do.
Very few of the matches have predictable outcomes. The only ones that do are the novelty ones: Lawler vs. Cole and Snooki, Trish and Morrison vs. LayCool and Dolph Ziggler.
Even with those two matches, all sorts of crazy stuff can go down. Celebrity involvement and guest legends and names promise to play some sort of role in many of the matches, these two especially.
When it comes to the rest of the card, things can honestly go either way here. I find it hard to predict whether it'll be Punk or Orton who goes over; Miz or Cena; Del Rio or Edge; Mysterio or Rhodes and so on. The WWE has left things so open-ended that it could go either way and still make total sense and be believable.
Plus, it's WrestleMania. The night where anything can happen. Twists, turns, all sorts of crazy nonsense. The crazy nonsense that got us all into wrestling in the first place.
Which leads to my final point...
This is our Super Bowl, our Grammys, our one night of total celebration and mark-dom. For wrestling fans and wrestlers, this is a pretty special time, right?
If none of the prior reasons give you an incentive to buy the pay-per-view, just think about it. This is the biggest event of the wrestling year, where big and amazing things are promised.
The match card is of great quality with several matches in contention for the potential "Match of The Night" title. You have some of the best of the best set to compete this weekend, including CM Punk, Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler, Layla, Michelle McCool, TRISH STRATUS!, John Morrison, Justin Gabriel, Randy Orton, John Cena and of course, Daniel Bryan.
Countless men and women who are more than capable of entertaining a crowd and putting on a show like no other.
Plus, think about how grand it's going to be.
The stage production. The pyrotechnics. The entrances. The outfits and costumes. The performances. Every single aspect of WrestleMania is go-big or go-home and simply glorious to marvel upon.
WrestleMania is the one night a year a fully grown wrestling fan can mark out, go crazy, do whatever just because it's WrestleMania!
We spend months beforehand discussing the event and the months that follow looking back on the event. We ponder upon the build-up and the aftermath; parties are hosted all over the world; the media gets involved; ridiculous amounts of money are spent just for one show.
Now that, that is big.
I hope all of you purchase and enjoy WrestleMania tonight because I do not think you will be disappointed. The card is full of amazing talent, potentially incredible matches and of course, The Rock!
We've spent months waiting for this day, and it has come. Happy WrestleMania season everybody!