Have you ever felt something in the world of sports to be true, then wasted your time watching an event, the outcome of which was never actually in question, that only confirms your feeling?
Well, in case you missed Sunday's installment of the WWE Survivor Series, that's kind of how most wrestling fans felt.
If you had that not-so far-fetched feeling that the Rock-John Cena tandem would body slam The Awesome Truth's pairing of The Miz and R-Truth, you actually didn't miss anything.
There was very little intrigue to the much-ballyhooed match, as The Rock and Cena did what they were expected to do by winning, and in a surprising fashion.
The controversial and widely-despised Cena predictably took a backseat to The Rock, who quickly became the star of the show.
Not shockingly, he went largely untouched for the entirety of the match while landing his signature People's Elbow on The Miz as the clinching blow that sealed the match.
The post-match proceedings were equally predictable. The Rock lingers around the ring to the praise of the crowd while the deflated Cena lurks in the background. The Rock beckons Cena back into the ring, presumably to set the stage for their showdown at Wrestlemania next year. After Cena turns his back on The Rock to leave the ring, The Rock spins him around and goes Rock Bottom on Cena, showing everyone in the building that he always, and still is, the boss.
Any wrestling fan could have written that ending, right?
All the while, the perceptual juxtaposition of The Rock and Cena was painfully obvious as the crowd lauded the former and jeered the latter. Again, this development contains no leaf that hasn't already been overturned in the WWE plot.
For an entity fueled by evolving and maturing storylines, this WWE event was maddeningly off the mark and unhelpful, if not entertaining. Let's number off the things we knew before the match and what new things we know after:
Before: The Rock's popularity is ubiquitous, as is the vitriol for Cena; The Rock and Cena don't like each other; The Rock is back only on a temporary basis; Cena and The Rock are headed for a pivotal showdown at Wrestlemania 2012.
OK, alright, so we didn't learn anything new from Sunday's Survivor Series event regarding Cena and The Rock.
And that's precisely the point: there was no advancement of the plot leading up to Wrestlemania. It was just the same old stuff between two of WWE's best-known wrestlers, teaming up, but not really, to win another match as favorites.
The Survivor Series was supposed to add something new to the story, but it just didn't offer anything compelling.
The WWE has put a lot into the hype machine for Wrestlemania 2012, which functions as a watershed event. That event must offer something new and unexpected if the wrestling body wants to keep its audience engaged and glued to the TV.