Opinions have varied on the more than year-long build to the upcoming WrestleMania 28 main event match pitting The Rock vs. John Cena. The match was first announced the night after WrestleMania 27 but had been quite obviously building beforehand.
In a recent interview with Between the Ropes, retired former WWE headliner Edge talked about how astounded he is by the manner in which they've been able to build the match in today's pro wrestling world:
"I've really enjoyed it. I like the promos. I like the fact that you can tell they don't like each other. I also like the fact that you have a match that's a year in the making, especially with nowadays schedule and the amount of TV programming that we have. For them to be able to do a match a year out and not touch, nowadays is mind blowing. I think people have lost respect for that aspect of it. You know, everybody goes 'back in the day programs last longer and they didn't get blown off so quick'. Well yeah but there wasn't six hours of programming every week or whatever it is. It's hard to keep guys apart to do Savage vs. Steamboat nowadays. Back when I was a kid growing up, you had Wrestling Superstars or one hour on a Saturday from 11-12 or 12-1. It was easy to keep guys apart. Not any more. It's changed. So the fact that they've been able to do this year-long program without touching is astounding to me. And the fact that if Rock comes back next year, who knows? They could go again next year. Then you essentially have a three-year program with two matches. That's amazing."
He's right in the sense that it's fairly amazing WWE decided to spend this long building one match. But we should pump the brakes on being overly complimentary because the reality is they didn't have to do much along the way.
The Rock worked, what, 15 dates between 'Mania 27 and 'Mania 28? He showed up just long enough to hype the match and cut a few promos before bailing off to make more movies. It's not like he worked even a moderately difficult schedule and it's only been in the past month that he's bothered to show up for TV week in and week out.
That's not a complaint so much as a reminder that it's far easier to build a match for a year if one guy is absent almost the entire time while the other gets involved in pointless feuds with big red monsters.