Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why It Doesn't Feel Like Wrestlemania Season In WWE


We are literally less than 2 weeks from Wrestlemania and having seen them all in my lifetime and lived through them this Wrestlemania is different and not in a good way. This show has just not had that special feeling that comes with the biggest show of the year. There are lots of reasons why and it begins but doesn’t end with the main event of the show. You have Brock Lesnar who is a guy who at the end of the day is out for a pay day. If Lesnar loses and makes his exit to the UFC he will not care as long as the check clears the bank. He just doesn’t come off as someone that loves the business. Roman Reigns while he clearly has a passion for this he also seems to have a cocky attitude that does not match what he has earned to this point. In an interview he did with Sam Roberts he spoke of himself as a brand not a wrestler. He clearly is already talking like the face of WWE that we have become use to in John Cena. It isn’t about putting on matches that entertain us as much as it is living up to what the company wants him to be.

In conclusion at least in my view Brock and Roman are both hard to root for in my view. They both in their own way are just so beyond the average person that it is hard to relate to them or care about them. Brock is simply a beast that you marvel at but can’t possibly relate too. You can marvel at what he is but you can’t possibly relate to him anymore than you can Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan. You respect the greatness but you find yourself looking for someone to knock them down from this mountain of greatness they stand on.

Roman Reigns a guy that is good looking and has a build that few can match other than a Lesnar or a Cena. He is not exactly the easiest guy to root for to beat the beast. Women love him but it has nothing to do with what he can or can’t do as a wrestler. He lacks the experience and comes off as someone that has yet to pay his dues in this business. Roman Reigns hasn’t earned it as much as he was chosen for greatness and to be the next one.

The guy that is the polar opposite of these two is Daniel Bryan. His story that led to last year’s Wrestlemania is a Hollywood movie that would be rejected for lacking realism. It happened though and this man that was short and had a scruffy beard went on a rise the likes we have rarely seen in wrestling. A year later he has missed most of the year due to injury and was stripped of the title never losing it based having it taken away based on those injuries. He now finds himself in a dangerous match for a devalued secondary title a year later. He headlines a match of unwanted and misused toys that WWE has failed to capitalize on and make into stars. Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Cody Rhodes Wade Barrett and Luke Harper have all had moments where they could have stepped up to another level and seemed to be pushed back down. Will this end up being a heck of a match despite the horrible title stealing story line leading up to it? Sure it will but at what cost in a ladder match with one guy coming off a serious next injury, another with a concussion history and a fragile champion that has been booked to look like an idiot in this entire angle. The sad thing is you honestly have to question if these guys are being treated like crash test dummies trying to prove some point that they will never prove.

Many expect that ladder match to produce the match of the night. It very well could but my pick prior to this lackluster build to it was and still is Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins. My fear now is that this match will not get the time I expected it to get. In addition this match could be ruined by potential run-ins to help Seth Rollins. Randy seems motivated since his return and this is the first big singles match for Seth Rollins at a Wrestlemania. The combination of those two things should produce a great match. I find it hard to be motivated to be invested in any of these matches on this Mania card but if any this might be the one I was excited for.

What I am not excited for is to see Sting face Triple H in a match with a storyline that is 15 years in the making of the imagination of a writer a month ago. I have no problem with Sting getting a Mania moment even if I personally don’t care. I do have a problem with this ridiculous story of Sting after 15 years coming back for some kind of revenge for the long forgotten WCW. Triple H probably doesn’t have many matches left in his career it is a match here and there at this point. To have one of his matches wasted on this lousy angle to give some past his prime guy in his mid-fifties a moment does nothing for me. I might be in the minority on this one but even the people excited about this match can’t be thrilled with the build to it. In addition the lack of seeing Sting only adds to the list of not seeing Brock or the Undertaker in the builds to their matches all that much. In case of Undertaker he has not appeared at all. No disrespect to Bray Wyatt or Triple H but everyone wants to see Sting and Taker. The thought is saving it for next year might be the plan. It will be a horrible match when and if it happens, but it is what people want. Not one Sting or Triple H fan has ever cared to see them have a match

Cena for the second year in a row is not in the main event at Wrestlemania. Instead he will defend America and try and make people care about the United States Title. The build to Rusev and Cena has taken the expected turn to being just the typical bad guy Russian against the babyface American Hero. Much like Hulk Hogan any actions Cena has taken are automatically justified based on simply being American. In reality Cena bullied his way into this match and Rusev has been victimized by John Cena.

Rusev has been undefeated and never submitted heading into this match. In the build to it Cena has both knocked out and made Rusev tap out taking away some of special nature to this match-up. In addition these two have already had a match at Fastlane. I maintain this match and Rusev winning at Fastlane has only hurt the build to this and made the predictable Cena win at Mania almost a foregone conclusion.

Cena’s Mania opposition last year Bray Wyatt has moved on to the 21-1 Undertaker for his opponent for this year.  Wyatt losing to Cena remains one of the huge mistakes of Wrestlemania 30. Now he enters another match where he is likely to lose to another WWE Icon in the Undertaker. Bray was not made better from sharing a ring with Cena and losing. I fear the same for the WWE’s potential new face of fear.  Bray seems to be in no win situation facing the Undertaker. What gets lost in the end of the streak is the match with Brock and Taker was pretty much a stinker. I fear Bray Wyatt will have a hard time getting a good match out of an aging Taker. Taker has been slowing down for years but it has been masterfully hidden by great talents like HBK, Triple H and C.M Punk. They all worked hard to make Taker look fantastic. Give Bray a ton of credit for basically having to do the build to this match alone but will that be what anyone remembers? Of course not it will be just who wins or loses the match.

I know it is hard to believe but the Tag-Team Titles use to be a big deal at Wrestlemania. Here in 2015 we are having a match destined to be on the pre-show of Wrestlemania. A legit injury to Jimmy Uso makes what was planned as four-way match to now a three-way match. That leaves Tyson Kidd and Cesaro the champs to face the world beaters of Los Matadors and the New Day. If Kidd and Cesaro lose I personally give up on Cesaro and Kidd ever getting anywhere. The loss of the Usos makes this match mean even less than it originally did. It also speaks to how badly things have gone for the Accession not even been included in this match. They could be a late replacement for the Uso’s but on a show where everyone gets fit into make this card and they were not. Perhaps they would have been included in the Andre Battle Royal which is back for another year.

So in this match of unwanted toys that is the Andre The Giant Battle Royal it seems there are only 3 real options to win this match. The people’s pick would be Mizdow and his rival in a slow build to a feud The Miz also could be considered to win this. However the chance a returning Sheamus could return to win this match is likely. After Cesaro winning last year and the aftermath of this from last year makes the winner of this match is far less significant.

In addition we will be giving the Diva’s a chance to not have their match cut as Brie and Nikki team up to face Paige and A.J Lee in a tag-team match. No Diva’s title on the line and it has been ages since we single one on one contest for the Diva’s or Women’s Title at Mania.

There has been no mention of celebrities appearing at Mania just another small thing that has been lacking in this build. What was planned to be a coronation of Roman Reigns to be the next John Cena for a decade has become a story about if Brock will stay or go. Personally the face people are hoping for him to return I don’t quite understand. Realistically Brock is MIA and so is the Championship for as long as he holds it. While it is financially irresponsible to pay what Lesnar will command with out question.  It is just not realistic based on the new model the WWE has created to justify paying Lesnar for a very limited amount of dates. This also speaks to perhaps the lack of care that has been put into this Mania build. The effort level has matched the 9.99 price tag or 11.99 if you happen to be in Canada.

It has been pretty universal in people lack of excitement heading into what is suppose to be the biggest show of the year in pro wrestling. It is a sad reflection of how this last year has impacted on the WWE.  The WWE Network has cast a shadow over this year and changed wrestling in the WWE not for the better. Mania has had trouble moving tickets with tickets still available just weeks prior to the event. It makes the massive challenge of filling AT&T Stadium seem like mission impossible looking forward to next year. A match the level of Hogan vs. Andre is not waiting around the corner for WWE.