The worst possible secret in the WWE was leaked this week. SummerSlam 2014 will be headlined by a Brock Lesnar/John Cena rematch. Now, I know most of you have probably groaned at the thought of this since it’s a no-win situation for you guys.
My question is though; did the WWE miss the boat on a Lesnar/Cena rematch?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved and I mean LOVED the first Cena/Lesnar match at Extreme Rules. It was my personal candidate for MOTY, because it was so different. The little touch of Cena bringing the chain to ringside to use a weapon was great. So many people expected the typical WWE no disqualification matches like they had seen earlier (Punk/Jericho) and what we got Lesnar just destroying Cena. The crowd going from cheering for Lesnar to murder Cena to actual anger at Lesnar and eventually boos at Lesnar.
Praise goes to Lesnar for being such a great heel, taunting Cena while he’s down and his facial expressions throughout the whole match. Its equal parts cockiness mixed with an “I’m gonna rip out your eyeballs and have relations with your eye sockets” the other time. It doesn’t feel like a wrestling match, it felt like a legitimate fight, and the story of Based Ace sending Brock in to take out Cena adds to the feeling of legitimacy. Imagine if Hogan at the peak of his popularity, so 85 Hulk and they brought a monster in like Brody and they booked a no DQ match at MSG. I feel like that would be like the first Lesnar/Cena match. Hell, even the commentary was great with Cole acting legitimately concerned, turning face for one night only, Booker trying to cheer Cena on and all of them putting Lesnar over. I’d say that it might be one of the best PPV main events of this decade, only to be topped by Cena/Punk from MITB.
At the same time, a Lesnar/Cena rematch has always felt like less of a wrestling main event and more of a big time boxing main event. Not because of Lesnar’s pay, but it just feels like such a unique match and the added presence of Heyman this time. In-fact, the commercial that leaked is even hyping it up as the Ultimate Battle, which sounds like something out of a boxing main event.
If we weren’t in the middle of Budget Cuts 2k14, the match could benefit from a HBO 24/7 style series with both men. You can have the narrative of Heyman motivating Lesnar to not only take the title but to destroy Cena, and Cena facing the doubt of whether he can actually beat Lesnar again. People have told him that he got lucky the first time around and that this is a different Lesnar, not the man being led by an idiot like Johnny Ace. This is the man leading Lesnar that lead him on the most dominant rookie year in WWE history when he debuted in 2002. This version of Lesnar is fueled by anger, rage and the desire to become champion again, the killer of the mythical streak, the man who made grown men cry. Cena now his back against the wall, having to stare down this monster one last time and maybe he doesn’t believe that he can beat Lesnar again. Splice in footage of Lesnar training at Death Clutch along with Cena training and I think you have a damn fine way of building up the second match.
Heck, I think with the proper build up that you could make a pretty big killing on pay per view buys, but that’s the problem. The company is moving out of PPV in news that’ll shock nobody, and putting more emphasis on getting people to subscribe to the network. So, the big question is did the WWE wait too long on the big rematch?
While I do believe that the match will bring big numbers for Network subscribers and quite possibly the last big PPV numbers that the company will do. With the reestablishment of Lesnar as a monster since ending the streak, this might be the last chance for the WWE to pop a big PPV number. Whether or not that happens, we’ll just have to see. If the buy rate is bad, then the WWE must be kicking themselves in the ass for waiting so long to pull the trigger on the rematch.
Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.
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