WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE WrestleMania 29 Takeaways

WWE WrestleMania 29 is history and it is time to start looking forward to Extreme Rules. Yet before we get our tables, ladders, and chairs ready I think now would be a good time to look back at the biggest WrestleMania in WWE history.

I thought it would be an interesting idea to reflect on WrestleMania and take a look at where things are going, opportunities missed, and try and make sense of what the heck WWE creative was trying to accomplish. My key takeaways from Sunday’s event are…

When is Randy Orton turning heel already? WrestleMania was the perfect set up for the Viper to go back to his roots. Orton had practically begged for it for months and all roads appeared to lead to the big turn. But it never happened. I don’t know what the deal is with Orton. I can’t remember a star pushed as hard as Orton that was demoted for as long as the former champion. I know he has his detractors but let’s face it, he is one of the most solid workers in the company. His run as a babyface has long grown stale so why they are holding on is anyone’s guess.

Dolph Ziggler deserves better. If you are to believe that hard work will lead to success in the WWE than you will be proven wrong with Ziggler. Even with little time Ziggler went out there and made the most of every second of his brief match at WrestleMania. He has had the Money in the Bank case since July and while we have all been teased with an eventual cash-in he is still walking around with the contract. It makes zero sense logically that a man with an opportunity to wrestle for the world heavyweight title at WrestleMania doesn’t cash it in. He looks like a fool at this point. Even if he does cash in nobody is going to buy him right now as an unbeatable champion. It’s time to pull him off television for awhile and bring him back when they can do it right. The more he is seen on television every week the more he is being wasted.

I understand that the WWE love to pump their chests out about Twitter but I don’t need to see a Twitter crawl every match when I am paying $70 for a pay per view. I really can’t think of anything more annoying in recent memory than having this ridiculous crawl pop up every ten minutes. What was the end game here? Did they expect me to stop watching the event I paid $70 to see and jump on Twitter and tweet about what is trending? I don’t think anything is wrong with it on RAW or SmackDown, but not on a show you are charging people to watch. It’s enough already!

As I watched The Undertaker vs. CM Punk start I was reminded of one of the biggest missed opportunities in WrestleMania history. Imagine how huge this match could have been if CM Punk never lost the title and you had a streak vs. streak match, the WrestleMania streak vs. WWE championship! I know that The Undertaker wouldn’t be around for a big WWE title run but he is already booked on a house show in England. You can’t tell me you couldn’t have convinced him to do one more match on Extreme Rules and drop the title back? There is a good chance that the WWE will never have a chance at something as big as Punk’s title streak vs. The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak fall into their laps again. At the end of the day I really don’t think Rock vs. Cena 2 needed the title and they could have had something absolutely huge if they kept it on Punk.

Chris Jericho is everything that is right about pro wrestling and is the model of how a veteran should take chicken crap and turn it into chicken salad. Jericho was originally booked to wrestle Ryback at WrestleMania but plans changed. Instead of crying about it he embraced it and publicly told fans that he was going to do the best he could to get a good match out of Fandango. He was a one man show here. The match was very good and it had nothing to do with Fandango. Jericho was awesome at Mania and took a match that nobody wanted to see and turned it into one of the better matches on the event.

The Ryback finish tells me that the big man is getting ready to feast on John Cena. The WWE already teased a Ryback-Cena match at the Royal Rumble and I don’t think that was an accident. Plans changed as Ryback was booked with Jericho, then Big Show, and then Mark Henry. There is no reason he should have lost here unless he is turning heel. Take a look at the big picture and there is nobody ready to challenge Cena. The turn is one that makes sense (maybe that’s why Orton didn’t turn) and if he isn’t turning, the finish of the match is one of the dumbest in recent memory….but not the dumbest.

Speaking of dumb finishes, so why was Brock Lesnar brought back? Anyone? You know when everyone cried that the sky was falling after Cena beat him I retorted that the loss was no big deal. The idea that Brock as a part-timer would be rusty against Cena made sense to me. This one didn’t. The loss at WrestleMania was a big deal. You have a guy now that you are paying more than just about anyone on your roster who was brought in for three big matches and is 1-2 in all of them. At some point Lesnar’s draw as a bad a$$ is going to wear off when people look at him and think, “Well he lost to Cena and Hunter.” It is one thing losing to Cena but losing to a part-time 40+ year old aging wrestler is a whole other story. As I asked with Twitter, what is the end game here? How can anyone justify this finish? Hunter needed his win back? In that case let’s bring back Batista next year and pay him $5 million.

Who’s up for John Cena? Nobody was positioned coming out of this card other than maybe Mark Henry as any kind of a killer challenger for John Cena. So you put the title on Cena, great job, now what? Sure you could go back to CM Punk but a) Punk has now gone 0-3 in his last three big matches, b) it’s time to give Punk some wins, and c) it’s been done enough and it isn’t that big of a draw. Is Triple H going to challenge Cena? Heck that is the only reason his finish would have made any sense. Maybe they can go with Cena vs. Big Show 5000? There is a serious problem here with talent depth and the WWE did a tremendous job at WrestleMania to make sure that nobody was elevated. I say look for Antonio Cesaro as a wild card here. By not appearing on WrestleMania he avoided a loss on a big show. Cesaro is fresh and he and Cena would actually be kind of fun. Other than Cesaro and maybe Henry I have nobody else in mind that makes any sense.

Finally, the WrestleMania 29 results were just way too predictable. I think this hurt a lot of interest going in. They really played it safe and didn’t turn anyone or change any major titles. I don’t always think predictability is a bad thing but here you really needed to shake something up whether it was Rock winning or Brock winning (which is really what they should have done). It was a fun show but it felt kind of average with a lack of real excitement seeing everything play out exactly as I thought it would.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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