This is going to be something I consider a "spur of the moment" type of column. It's something that's been on my mind for a while and after putting it on my Facebook page I decided to turn it into a short (for me) column.
What's on my mind? All the rumors out there regarding the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and everything else we have to look forward to in the new year. I think sometimes internet rumors can get out of control. I also think some people take things too seriously.
I think any speculation as far as who faces The Rock for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble is just that at this point: speculation. I don't know what the lineup is going to be for WrestleMania 29. It's not like WWE has to tell us what it's going to be yet. There's a lot of time. In a lot of years past we didn't know any of the matches until a month or two before the big event. Just because last year we knew it would Rock vs. John Cena a year in advance doesn't mean it has to be that way every year.
If you're WWE you don't have to tell us anything. WrestleMania sells itself. After all, WWE has to be pretty happy for having a gate that's over $10 million already with more than 50,000 tickets sold. It's the biggest gate in company history. They're going to sell at least another 15,000 tickets if not more than that.
What do we know about WrestleMania 29 as far as matches go? Nothing. The three guys on the WrestleMania 29 poster are The Rock, John Cena and Brock Lesnar, but do we know who any of them are facing? No we don't.
I read the Wrestling Observer & Figure Four Weekly (pay site costs $10.99 monthly at F4Wonline.com) newsletters every week. If you don't know, they're the source for a lot of the news you see on wrestling sites on the internet. I'm not saying they are perfect or always right. What they do is offer insight on a business I really care about, so I feel like spending my $10.99 to read what they have to say and listen to their audio programs because it's worth my time. I'm sure that some people in the wrestling business also pay attention because Meltzer has been doing this for nearly 30 years. Others in the wrestling business don't like the "dirt sheets" and I think that's understandable too.
I saw what Bryan Alvarez wrote in the F4W newsletter about the current WWE Champion and here is one part of it:
"Regarding the finish in the Punk vs. Ryback vs. Cena match at Survivor Series, we'll see what happens. Whatever the finish is, it'll likely change a number of times before Sunday. For whatever it's worth, last week the idea was that CM Punk was closing out WrestleMania. This would indicate he'd be in the Mania title match, which would also seem to indicate at the time they made that decision they were leaning towards Cena vs. Rock at Rumble and Rock vs. Punk for the title at Mania. If it's Cena vs. Rock at Rumble, that would mean Cena wins the title on Sunday."
There's more, but I'm not posting his newsletter. Pay for it if you want to see it. As you can see, Alvarez said that the finish will likely change a number of times before Sunday. Then he goes onto his theories into what he thinks might happen just like you or I would do. He's not saying "this is going to happen for sure." He's offering up ideas. There are endless possibilities.
Then if you look on the internet for wrestling news you will see a post like this one on Lordsofpain.net titled "CM Punk Scheduled to Headline WrestleMania."
"As recently as last week, WWE creative was forwarding storylines with the idea that CM Punk will be featured in the closing match of WrestleMania 29."
That's it? I'm not here to bash the guy that posted this news because I'm not here to tell a wrestling website how to run their site. What I'm here to say is that a lot of the time a copy/paste kind of site is going to report somebody else's news in a way that actually hurts the original copy.
If I was writing that post I'd phrase it this way.
"Bryan Alvarez of F4W is reporting that as of last week WWE officials were contemplating the idea of CM Punk wrestling in the last match at WrestleMania. Keep in mind that plans can always change and there are a number of possibilities that can happen in the months ahead."
Doesn't that look better?
I just want there to be clarity. A guy writes few hundred words about something, but then on the copy/paste sites the writer will put 50 words saying "CM Punk to main event WrestleMania" and everybody takes it as something that's definitely going to happen. There's a condition to it and that's that the long term planning in WWE is pretty awful right now, so there's no sure thing. The only thing we know is The Rock vs. the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble. That's it as far as facts go.
There are so many internet wrestling sites out there that do well and are only trying to share the news with a wrestling fan seeking out that information. I get that. But I think it's important to clarify that info because otherwise two sentences written by somebody can turn into a "Punk is headlining WrestleMania" and all of a sudden it's like that telephone game in grade school that ends up with a lie by the end of it.
What do I think will happen at WrestleMania? I think it will be Rock losing the WWE Title to John Cena as the last match at WrestleMania 29, but I don't know that to be true. I think CM Punk should go on last. I think Daniel Bryan should too. But it's not what I think because I'm not the guy calling the shots. It's what they want to do and unless you are Vince McMahon or the doofus son in law then you probably don't know what they are going to do.
I love the Royal Rumble PPV by itself. I don't even care that the Rumble winner the last two years has wrestled first at WrestleMania. I love the Royal Rumble match. The fact that Rock is wrestling there makes me give care more than I would have anyway. I'll pay $55 or whatever the expensive PPV price is and I'll enjoy it.
Personally, I don't WANT to know what's going to happen. Yes I write about the business and I've become successful at it, but I write as a fan. Nobody I know in the business is going to tell me this is going to happen or that's going to happen because I don't ask and I won't ever ask. And even if I did ask I would hope they would say no. Most of the time the wrestlers don't know anything anyway.
I write as a fan. Am I cynical at times? Sure. Like I always say it's like watching your favorite sports team. You love the team, but do you love every coaching decision, free agent signing or trade? I don't think so. I'm pretty sure if I wrote columns as some egotistical jerk that thinks he knows everything then I wouldn't have built a website that does five million views in a year. That's not me bragging. That's me being proud of what we have here. I'm proud of the kind of fan I am too because I still get excited to watch wrestling. If I didn't I wouldn't be writing and neither would the other guys that are a part of this site.
Getting back to the "not knowing" thing, I remember Daniel Bryan doing an interview saying he didn't know when he was cashing in MITB until the day he did it. Go to the 14:00 mark to listen to this interview. He was in town for an autograph signing. They pulled him aside in the backstage area and they had him win the World Title at TLC 2011. He had no idea.
That's an example of how quickly plans change even for something as major as the second most important title in the company! It's okay for us, as fans, to not know things. Talking about rumors is fine. That's what we do. But don't take things as fact just because something is written on the internet five months before we even get to WrestleMania 29.
I'll end this column by offering up this piece of advice: Be a fan. Watch as a fan. Read the news as a fan. React as a fan.
Being a "smart fan" isn't a bad thing. Just be smart about what you read and how you take in the information given. It's up to you to figure out what kind of fan you are.
John Canton the Editor-In-Chief of TJRWrestling.com. He's got his writing mojo back. Even if you don't have Facebook, click on that Facebook post because there are some good reader comments about it too.
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