Wrestlemania is starting to take shape and it is not exactly anyone’s dream scenario. This being a mania with a significant number it takes on a greater expectation for long time fans of the product. If you look back at, these landmark moment shows have not exactly delivered the goods at the end of the day. At least not on that main event level of them, they have kind of fallen flat to be honest. Wrestlemania 10 is not remembered for Bret Hart winning the title. It is remembered for a gimmick match for the I-C title between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon.
You speed ahead to Wrestlemania 20 and at the time it delivered what fans wanted and was kind of similar to what is happening now. Eddie Guerrero defending his world title and Chris Benoit went over HHH and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match and they both embrace at the end of the match. Benoit and his title run was very short lived as he would lose the title at the next major PPV Summerslam in Toronto to Randy Orton making him the youngest WWE Champion at the time. Looking back after the sad tragedy that leads to Benoit murdering his family and taking his own life basically has erased that Wrestlemania main event from history.
As we head toward Wrestlemania 30 the world title match as it stands now is booked as a match Batista and Randy Orton. The WWE clearly has missed the mark in assuming that Batista was a much more over character and personality than they thought. Randy Orton has been a neutered heel as a result of the “Authority” angle. It has led to a match where in the eyes of fans is a heel vs. heel contest that absolutely no one wants to see.
Daniel Bryan is being kept away from the title match whom most people don’t want to see. They had teased the idea of HBK vs. Bryan match which has neutered the idea of HHH vs. Bryan match which could have been fantastic had they not teased HBK vs. Bryan. This was of course supposed to be the CM Punk feud against HHH. Even a tag-match between Punk and Bryan vs. DX might have made more sense than this. Shawn Michaels seems unwilling to return to the ring and before they teased anything with anyone he needed to be on board to come out of his wrestling retirement.
Punk not being in the mix is a huge thing on its own. Punk in some sense has replaced HBK as the guy that comes to Wrestlemania and steals the show. He did it last year in his match with the Undertaker. We will get to in a minute on where Taker and his streak will be heading on this card. However with all that WWE has presented it seems pretty clear that Punk will not be walking through that door for a match at Wrestlemania. If Punk returns you have to ask yourself where he would fit into the current landscape being set up to this point.
Undertaker against Brock Lesnar is a match a lot have people have wanted to see. The two had an interaction at a UFC show and there seems to be a legit or at least presumed heat between the two. I am not sure this match can work with a very old Undertaker against a very physical and real style of Brock Lesnar. You look back at the Punk match from last year CM Punk did a brilliant job of protecting Undertaker. There were a lot of spots where Punk would cut off Undertaker from being able to do classic spots that he likely can’t do anymore. A Taker vs. Brock match is likely to turn into some mat based MMA fight that I am not sure a WWE audience is going to enjoy. This holds especially true with the history of the streak to have to live up too.
John Cena is going to Wrestlemania against Bray Wyatt. This is a match where all the pressure is going be Bray Wyatt to deliver. Has Cena become the new in ring HHH in the sense of burying talent? His gimmick of late that the future of the WWE has to go through him needs to happen in reality for it to work. Fans are really into the Wyatt’s and the Shield but as we saw on Raw they might not be as in to the individuals like Bray and Roman as solo acts. It remains to be seen at this point. In terms of Bray he has had his issues in single matches since his debut. His match in a Ring of Fire against Kane was not exactly a success. This match with Cena will have everyone in the company's full attention and is a make or break moment for him at least in the short term if not his long term future.
As for the Shield there break up will have to take some form on this mania card and the booking for this has been rock solid. If it ever applied more I am not sure when but I “Believe in the Shield” and think some combination of the three in a match will be tremendous and if given the time have a shot to be a show stealer. Roman Reigns has clearly been positioned to be the baby face star coming out of this angle. Dean Ambrose for my money is just as good a talent and could have more lasting power. It is just as big a deal for him as it is for Roman. While Seth Rollins has to find a way to carve out his spot coming out of all of this as not looking like the forgotten man. He is capable of doing so and I expect this group will always be tied in WWE Storylines for years to come like other past factions have been like Evolution, DX and others that don’t involve HHH.
The rest of the card not sure what happens with that with nothing laid out in that regard at all aside from rumours and logical ideas. A.J Lee vs. Snuka seems the way we go here. Not all that excited to see it and if Punk is not around not all that convinced that A.J can survive whatever match she has and leave with the title. The Divas division is hurting and struggling along you also will have the temptation of using the girls on that show at mania which really no one wants to see.
Some other breaks up feuds have been teased of talked about with the Real Americans and turning Csearo baby face. The Rhodes brothers doing battle has been rumoured but not really evident in story line. You have the Tag title still on the Outlaws and Usos trying to take them away. Big E is still the I-C champ with no obvious challenger at this stage. It is so sad how the I-C title match has become an after thought at Wrestlemania. In the early days it produced classic matches and was normally the second biggest match on the card most years. Those days are sadly long gone.
It all leads to a mania card that really doesn’t have me counting down the 40 days till they get it on at the Superdome. Mania in the past was an event you can’t wait for. This year Wrestlemania almost feels like something I want to get past. Nothing on it really gets me excited to the point that I am counting the days too it. But that might be in part on us as the mania expectations for a show that ends in 0 like a 10 or 20 has always been a show we have expected the moon and fallen far short of it.