The WrestleMania Rematch Syndrome and Why it Sucks
For those unaware, there has been a serious problem afflicting WWE over the last few years. You could even call it an illness. It’s a rare condition that rears its ugly head at the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania. Like any disease, it starts out slow before spreading with a deadly vengeance. I refer to it as the WrestleMania rematch syndrome.
Ever since WrestleMania 25 WWE has fallen victim to this mentality and I fear that it will only get worse. WrestleMania has always been the show where the biggest and best matches of the year transpire. You can watch a great match on a regular PPV and forget about it a week later. Watch the same match at WrestleMania and you will remember it for a lifetime.
Without question, the WM 25 bout between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker was a classic. Both men, who at that point were in the twilight of their respective careers, put on a show stealing performance that left the wrestling world in awe. It was so great that I had no problem when a rematch was announced for the following year. Similar to the first, it was a match that defied everyone’s expectations. Having a classic the first go round is often easier than replicating the magic. Once again they proved why they are among the best to ever lace up a pair of boots. More than that, it was the perfect way to cap of the career of Michaels.
The HHH and Undertaker series was very similar. They had a tremendous match that was easily the best thing at WM27. Even though I wasn’t too thrilled when they revisited it for WM28, it was at least a well told story and putting it inside of Hell in a Cell did add a level of intrigue. While their second match was among the best in Mania history, it was a bit anticlimactic. I don’t think any fan who watched ever had any doubt as to who would emerge the victor. Even though several match of the year honors were bestowed upon it by the wrestling press, I felt Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena was the best WWE match of 2012, but that’s another story for another day.
While it hasn’t been officially confirmed, the prevailing belief is that the main event of WM29 will be a rematch of Rock vs. Cena. Call me crazy but that just sounds ridiculous. The thought process is that Rock will win the championship from C.M. Punk (presumably at the Royal Rumble) and then go on to defend the belt against Cena . That way Cena could avenge his loss from last year while finally getting the championship back around his waist.
It’s a bad idea on many levels.
If for no other reason, this match shouldn’t take place because last year’s was promoted as a once in a lifetime event. The match built for an entire year and was in Rock’s hometown of Miami, giving it an electric atmosphere. I felt Rock going over was the right decision since a loss of that magnitude would not hurt Cena in the slightest. It was one of those rare nights in the business where the stars aligned and the right man won on the right night. In many ways it was reminiscent of the 2011 Punk vs. Cena match at Money in the Bank.
Even if they fight for the championship, we’ve already seen it once and a rematch would come across as nothing special.
The bigger issue at hand is that WWE is setting a dangerous precedent by constantly going back to the well. WrestleMania should be the show where dream matches occur and new stars are made. It’s difficult enough to do that when they keep relying on the same guys, but it’s an entirely different matter when they’re repeating the same matches year after year.
I will once again mention that it’s just a strong rumor at this point and nothing more. We will find out soon enough whether it becomes a reality.
Writers Note: I know there may be someone reading this that brings up the fact Rock and Steve Austin had three WrestleMania matches. Their dynamic was very different as their matches didn’t take place at three consecutive shows. WM15 was the classic story of good guy vs. bad guy, WM17 was the clash of the two biggest stars ever at their peak and WM19 was Rock finally getting his first win over him on the grand stage.
Remember the good old days when classic WrestleMania matches, like Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart, weren’t repeated.