WrestleMania 29: Prediction Results

April 08, 2013

WrestleMania 29 is in the books and despite not originally planning to order the show I did get caught up in the hype at the last minute and I ordered the event. I am notoriously cheap and don't like to spend money on PPV's but my birthday was on the 3rd and I got some cash as a gift (which I usually spend on books) and decided to put it toward WrestleMania so I ordered the PPV.

On the whole I enjoyed the show but I do have one major complaint, which I remember having two years ago for the Atlanta Mania, the last WrestleMania I ordered. That complaint is the amount of video packages and in essence commercial I had to sit through watching this event. Not only do they detract from the show and kill the mood of a live event, I feel somewhat ripped off when I pay a lot of money for an event (I paid $59) and still have to watch commercials. I'd be curious to go back and time out how many minutes of the show where from the live event, how many of those minutes were actually in ring action, and how many minutes were pretaped video packages and commercials. To make it worse I watched the pregame show online and I'd already sat through and watched most of these packages already. A brief angle recap to set the stage before a match is one thing but we got several Cena-Rock hype videos throughout the night and that damn movie trailer really pissed me off. When I pay money to watch a Wrestling event I want to feel like I'm watching a live event, not a TV show and this felt more like a TV show because of all of these video packages and commercials.

That said I did enjoy the show, but thought it peaked after the Undertaker – Punk match and trailed off a fair bit after that. I'll go through each match in order looking at my prediction percentage as well as off a few thoughts on each match as I go.

Just so we know, I'm going into this show with a 7 year Mania prediction average of 50%. Yes I'm as accurate as a coin toss; let's hope I improve my average this year.

Pre-show, Wade Barrett vs. The Miz (IC Title): I don't include preshow matches in my predictions but on my Figure 4 Daily interview with Bryan Alvarez I did predict Miz to win the title to start the show off so I did get this one right. Match really wasn't much but they only had 4 minutes. I had some psychology issues with it early, but it was short and the way they got into the Figure 4 at the end was nice so in the end this was fine.

The Shield vs. Orton, Sheamus, Show: I really liked this match, it was the first PPV match of the Shield's I've seen and I thought it was good. I didn't notice the shaky camera deal which was a huge plus so I got to watch the entire match. It wasn't particularly long (only 10 min) but it had good action and an exciting finish. I think everyone was expecting an Orton heel turn in this match so those bitching about the show being too predictable really need to get their heads out of their asses.You may have been able to predict who won, but a coin flip should do that half the time, so with things making sense and a little bit of logical thought every result should be somewhat predictable. Almost everyone was predicting an Orton heel turn and were WRONG. I picked the Shield to win and they did, so I'm off to a good start 1-0.

Mark Henry vs. The Ryback: I doubt many people predicted this result, I know I sure didn't. Mark Henry defeated Ryback relatively clean in a really surprising finish; Mark used the ropes to block a Shell Shock, but just landed on top of Ryback and pinned him 1...2...3. Unless Mark Henry is moving on to Challenge John Cena for the title I really don't understand beating Ryback in yet another PPV outing. Even if that is the case, I still don't understand it because laying Mark out post match just left both guys flat in my opinion. I picked Ryback so I'm now batting 500 at 1-1. This match was slow and not particularly good.

Team Hell No vs. Ziggler & Big E. (Tag Titles): This is another match I know many people thought would go the other way so I'm curious how this show was predictable. Unfortunately this match didn't get a lot of time; it was actually shorter than the Ryback – Henry match, which is quite sad. With the time they had I thought they did a great job, and I enjoyed this match. The AJ kiss spot to open the match was great and it was pretty much nonstop action to the finish which also came off well and it sounded like the crowd loved it. I think I was in the minority here picking the champs to retain so I picked up another win and move to 2-1.

Fandango vs. Chris Jericho: Big entrances for both guys, and a solid match but to be honest nothing special. I enjoyed the match but thought the finish didn't click, which brought it down a notch. Again I had minor psychology issues with the match but I realize that I'm very particular with match structure, and the industry as a whole is just going a different direction. I picked Fandango to win, which he did so I'm up to 3-1.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (World Title): This angle has done nothing for me so this was the match on the show I was least interested in going in. On top of that I was called away from the TV for several minutes during this match so I missed some of it. From what I saw it was a match. I picked Del Rio to retain which he did so I'm now 4-1. With the Ziggler & Big E. loss earlier you could tell a lot of people were expecting a MITB cash in after this match, which did not happen so again, how is this show predictable?

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk: This was the match of the show in my opinion and was quite excellent. Punk slapping and disrespecting Taker at the start really set the mood for this match and they had me the whole time. My only complaint for this match was that Jim Ross wasn't calling it. Big matches that rely a lot on the drama and emotion of the story need Jim Ross out there calling the action. No one else can convey that big match feel like Jim Ross, and he would have added to this match and to be frank was desperately needed in the matches that followed. That top rope elbow onto the announce desk couldn't have been fun; I hate when the table forgets it's spot and doesn't break. I think the table not breaking kind of killed the count out tease. The Urn to the back of the head out of the Last Ride was awesome and this was a really great match. The Undertaker of course won in the end, which I predicted so I'm now up to 5-1.

Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: This was the match I was most looking forward to but I have to admit I was let down. In my opinion there were a couple of things that contributed to this match not coming off as well as it probably should have. The match was a match about drama and emotion, and much like the previous match it needed Jim Ross to sell that emotion and fill the gaps where it was more about the drama than the action. No one else can make you feel a match with his words and emotion and this type of match needed to be felt not just watched and described. On top of that I think the open stadium and lack of audible crowd reaction hurt this match as well. I have no idea if there was crowd reaction for this match or not, but I know with open air stadiums often the sound travels up and disappears, which makes it much harder for the guys to listen to the crowd and correctly pace their match, and it also decreases to drama and emotion you feel while watching it. Triple H winning was the predictable finish here, but I went for the long shot and picked Brock Lesnar so I slip to 5-2.

Rock vs. John Cena (WWE Title): With the exception of the Mark Henry and the ADR match (which I didn't see all of) this was my least favourite match on the show; it just didn't work for me. Baby face matches are a bit tougher to begin with so unless they are extremely technically sound or just action packed they are never my favourites, and much like the match before it, a lot of the drama was lost with the lack of audible crowd noise and real emotional commentary. Psychology wise I had a lot of issues with this match too, but that's more a case of what the business is becoming differing from what I personal like and feel it should be. In my opinion matches are becoming more about hitting and teasing big moves and kicking out of everything, than about the combative struggle to win the match, and I find it harder and harder to suspend my disbelief. There were just too many instances, in this match, where one guy would hit a really strong move and the other guy would lay there unmoving (often flat on his back) for an incredibly long period of time and the guy who hit the move would just stand there waiting for the guy to get up so he could try to hit another move. Not only did I feel like the guy should have been going for the pin, I couldn't help think that if this were a last man standing match it would have been over a half a dozen times all ready. I'm not saying I'm right, and they are wrong, so if you disagree with me that's fine, I think we can just agree to disagree and move on. I picked Cena to win the Title which he did so I end up at 6-2 and a 75% accuracy rate.

The Tale of the Tape:
Mania 22: 63%
Mania 23: 63%
Mania 24: 44%
Mania 25: 50%
Mania 26: 20%
Mania 27: 38%
Mania 28: 75%
Mania 29: 75%
Average: 54%

So after 8 years of predictions I'm at a whopping 54% accuracy rate. I'm not exactly the Amazing Kreskin, but at least I'm now beating the coin toss, and if we only count this year and last, I'm doing really well. I'll be very curious to hear the buy rate numbers once they come out as I hear there were a lot of technical problems not only online with WWE.com but a couple cable providers as well. I hope these issues don't end up costing the company too much money.

On a closing note I will be appearing at the Resistance Pro Wrestling show in Chicago April 28th. I'm not sure all of the details yet, as this has just come together now, but I wanted to get word out.

Lance Storm

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