Hi My name's J-J Hewlett & I'm from Australia. I've been visiting this site for a few years now & finally signed up. Anyway here's my first fanpost so here's hoping it all goes well!
There's a lot of talk going on regarding the matchups at WrestleMania 29 & I thought I'd add my 2 cents. At the moment the current plans seem to be as follows: Cena Vs Rock for the WWE title (after Rock beats Punk at the Rumble for said title), HHH Vs Lesnar in a rematch from their Summer Slam bout & possibly Punk Vs Undertaker. I have to say that IMO these matches as they stand do nothing to help cement the future of the WWE. Filling out a card with part timers is a great short term shot in the arm as far as buy rates go but how does this help the long term future of the company?
Every wrestling promotion needs to constantly be looking at building up the next batch of superstars to ensure the future success of said company. And while doing that they need to make sure that they utilise their major players appropriately as well as using their part timers properly to help build & make the next big player. It's a fine line to tread & I'm very much aware that it can be very hard to pull off. Especially when dealing with a highly political backstage environment filled with fragile egos.
Having said that, the WWE is still run by one man. Vince McMahon may be getting long in the tooth, increasingly volatile & irrational as well as a little out of touch but one thing that Vince always does is what's best for Vince. And what's best for Vince is what's best for business. What's best for business is to use the upcoming WrestleMania season to help solidify the next batch of stars who are going to make money for his company for the next 5 to 10 years.
The first thing I'd do is have CM Punk BEAT THE ROCK at the Royal Rumble. Some people may groan at this thought but how does it help anyone if a movie star who's wrestled one match in the last year beats the 400+ day champion clean in the middle? Regardless of if it's a great match or not the movie star beating the champion makes the (now former) champion look weak. And as a flow on effect it makes everyone he's beaten in those 400+ days look weak. The Rock winning the title at the Rumble & going into WrestleMania as the defending champion against a challenging Cena in a rematch from their main event last year while at the same time promoting GI Joe is great publicity & an amazing shot in the arm for the short term success of the WWE. But then what? Cena beats Rock. Rock goes back to making movies & leave the WWE again until WM30. And we're left with the same tired old routine with Cena as the champ (is here). I truthfully don't see any long term winners out of this scenario.
If however you have Punk beat the Rock, even with Cena interference, you continue this great reign that he's had. Yes, until he turned heel, it had been overshadowed by Cena & his feud of the month but as the days went on (and now especially he's over a year as champ), his reign now means something. The person to beat him for the title will not only be the new champion but will have also upended a guy who's held onto the title for possibly over 500 days. Whoever the new champion is is a made man.
How does this all come to play? Well in my fantasy booking world I'd play it out as follows:
Have Ryback wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. They can start their feud at the Rumble & build to a HOSSFIGHT between the two bulls at Mania. After a brutal hard hitting match Ryback picks Lesnar up, marches him around the ring & hits Shellshocked for the win. Ryback needs a big match for Mania & this would make the perfect match for him. And a win over the monster Lesnar would help cement him further as a bona fide top tier player. Where does this leave HHH? In the gorilla position at the back watching the show like the good corporate man he is now. Who wants to shill out money to see Lesnar/HHH 2? HHH is at best semi retired now & truthfully should be fully retired. There's no more matches for him to wrestle. There's no one on the roster I want to see him in the ring with. His days in the ring are over & it's now time for him to work on becoming the next boss & doing what's right for business.
Cena/Rock 2? I'm not against the idea in principle but not as the main event & not for the title. It seems fairly obvious that the WWE has their hearts set on this match happening again so let them have it. It can go on in the middle of the card or even 2nd last but they can't be in the main or be fighting for the title. Making this a title match is wrong for the reasons listed above & putting this match on last means that 4 years out of 5 the main event of the biggest show of the year hasn't involved the World or WWE title. Yeas we know it's fake but if you're blatantly advertising that your World or WWE champion isn't as important as a special attraction match then any legitimacy that may have existed goes out the window.
Punk Vs Undertaker? Let's do it. Let's make it Punks title vs Undertaker's streak & have Punk win. "Oh no not the streak!" I hear you cry. But isn't one of the points of wrestling to put people over on your way out? Like it or not, Undertaker's on his way out. He's a shell of the man he once was & due to him pushing himself too hard for too long he's going to be in permanent pain for the rest of his life. I think it's a fair bet to say he'll end up wheelchair bound by the time he's 50. It brings me no joy to say that but that's the unfortunate reality he's probably facing. So he's probably looking at this being his last Mania. As such shouldn't he be putting someone over? And not just anyone but someone who's proven they can make some serious money for the WWE? There's only 2 men currently on the roster that can beat Undertaker. One is Cena (who'll be 'getting his win back' against Rock) & the other is CM Punk. CM Punk beating Undertaker at the main event of WrestleMania to retain his title & end the streak brings Punk to a level no one else is on. He becomes 'The Man' & can carry that around for the rest of his career.
This leads us onto Summer Slam where after nearly 2 years as champion CM Punk once again goes up against Ryback (hopefully for the first time since Survivor Series). This right here is the time to crown a new champion. By this time CM Punk's reign will be approximately 630 days & having effectively retired Undertaker at Mania he'll be looking untouchable. Then only a couple of months before his 2 year anniversary as champion, he runs into the irresistible force known as Ryback. That win alone could possibly catapult Ryback ahead of Cena as the face of the company. And with Cena's injury toll mounting, that's a good thing.
After Summer Slam there's a few possibilities which I see firstly involving a Punk rematch followed by a defense against Cena to 'have the torch passed'. After that, who knows? Maybe Ziggler will have cemented himself? (which I believe he'll do so hopefully by cashing in MITB on Show or Sheamus & defending the World title successfully against Orton at Maina) or Wade Barrett? Or a heel Kofi Kingston? (I think a heel turn would do wonders for him). The list is endless. The talent is there. It's just up to WWE to use it properly. And doing that means putting the long term benefit of the company ahead of any short term gains made by jobbing out the future to movie stars & other part timers.
I know the temptation is their to have the 'dream matches' & put as many of the attitude era stars on the show as possible so the WWE can proudly trumpet what a great buy rate WrestleMania did. But when those stars leave & the full time guys who have been made to look inferior are left trying to pick up the pieces, then what? People stop watching. The ratings & buy rates go down & the WWE is scrambling looking for it's next shot in the arm. The best thing for business isn't a shot int the arm, it's building up the next wave of superstars so we can all enjoy a strong thriving & healthy WWE 5, 10 & 15 years from now...