I tend to agree with ESPN.com's assessment of the upcoming WrestleMania 29 card as one which is "lazy" and a rerun of events already seen on past pay-per-views and television programming.
Just like most of us, I took in as much of the four-letter network as I could as a youngster, but my likes and dislikes with the company and the channel have changed over the years.
This time, however, I cannot help but think they hit the nail right on the head in reference to the lack of excitement this year's main event matches will bring to the table. After reading my friend and fellow B/R colleague Tom Clark's article about what ESPN.com had to say, I too was quick to defend the WWE and the business for what it has become.
But I am also not blind to the fact the WWE has made no real attempt to eliminate the stale programming it is serving us on a regular basis.
That is why we have return matches between The Rock and John Cena and Triple H and Brock Lesnar. That is why Ryback continues to get his ass handed to him week after week by The Shield. This is why we are all praying for John Cena to wear black and call himself the baddest man on the planet.
The last one is still a little far-fetched.
The WWE should be putting more effort into selling us the undercard and the feuds which could come of it instead of putting all its eggs in the basket of the three matches we really do not want to see. Booking and ill-timed planning has resulted in matches that could be dynamite, but have not been given the proper respect they deserve.
Like all events, the build up must be the key to the success of the main event. I am not sure a tag-team match between Team Hell No and Dolph Ziggler and his thug Big E. Langston really gets me all that jazzed about being in New Jersey.
Matches like The Miz versus Wade Barrett is a little more appealing, and the thought of AJ Lee in a match at WrestleMania instead of costing someone the World Heavyweight Title makes me a bit happier.
Look at WrestleMania like the NFL Draft for a minute. Teams spend time scouting for the best players available, and while the first round pick gets the most attention, picks in the later rounds are what make or break a team's overall grade. The same holds true for this event.
The headline matches are the ones the WWE is selling, but the undercard, the true essence of the event, is what everyone will or will not be talking about the next day.
We all know Vinnie Mac won't lose money on this event, but having a solid nucleus is vital for forward progress (Please jump ship, John Cena. Please). The fans want to see a complete card that will leave us on our feet for the entire time, not one we want to sleep through from match to match.
If you look at everything that embodies WrestleMania, then this really is a mediocre card. Not a lot of drama, because except for Undertaker/CM Punk, we have seen the main events over and over. Too much of a good thing in this case is not a good thing.
The WWE needs to sell the undercard more. Plain and simple. A solid showing by the likes of Ryback, Mark Henry, Kaitlyn and others will make us want to stay until the end. Right now, we want to leave at the intermission.
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