At WrestleMania 1 one of the main matches on the card was Andre The Giant Vs. Big John Studd in a body slam challenge match. Wrestling fans are used to the idea of pitting two enormous human beings against each other, to see who is stronger and who is better. Yet this year fans are complaining already about the yet to be announced match of Ryback Vs. Mark Henry. Despite this I believe this match makes a lot of sense from multiple stand points, will benefit the show and if done right will make everyone involved look better than before they entered. This match has the potential to add an extremely intriguing part of this year’s WrestleMania that no other match will. This match also is a perfect spot on the card for Mark Henry, making him loo strong. Finally this match has the ability to put Ryback into the next level on his trip to WWE Main Event status. I think a lot of fans are complaining about this match because it doesn’t fit their particular tastes, without thinking about what a good option it really is.
When compiling the list of WrestleMania matches, from a business stand point, this match makes for a tremendously good option. Putting these two behemoths into a match is one of power and strength. The different matches on the card already announced have a variety of what will likely be, brawls, wrestling, athleticism and fast paced action, but there is not a match based on strength. While this match will likely not be very fast paced, it offers the possibility of super-human like feats of strength, that the occasional viewer will be stunned by, which could make them tune in more frequently. Also by putting these two into one match, it takes away the problem of where to put either of these men. Last year at WrestleMania, Mark Henry was in the twelve man tag match, showcasing him as nothing more than another man on the roster. Both Mark Henry and Ryback can wrestle in the main event, but not at WrestleMania. By putting this match on the card, it is a match that could main event a Pay Per View during the summer or fall, but we get it as a mid card match, which I see as a good thing.
Mark Henry finally got his space in the main event in 2011, gaining his first World Heavyweight Title. Henry got injured and was contemplating not coming back, unless he was guaranteed that he would be treated with the respect he deserved. Mark Henry was not going to get to the main event of WrestleMania, he did some great work in 2011 and ascended by leaps and bounds, but was still not up to the qualifications of main eventing the show. Yet by going into a match with Ryback, he has a chance to do something special to gain his WrestleMania moment, and at the same time help make Ryback a star. This match could set up a future feud between these two perhaps over the World Heavyweight Title and Mark Henry could easily come out of this match looking like a double tough badass, while still taking the loss.
Obviously however, the man who will gain the most from this match will be Ryback, this match could foreshadow the future of his career. Ryback got a shot in the main event last year, getting extremely over with the audience, even making me change from hating him this summer, to caring about him currently. Like Mark Henry though, Ryback is not, and should not, be main eventing WrestleMania. I hate to say it, but I could see Ryback being in the main event for WrestleMania’s in the future, but this is simply not his year for that. This is however his first WrestleMania and quite frankly, we could be seeing the start of the next streak this April in New Jersey. A large portion, if not a majority of the fans watching WrestleMania this year will be watching for The Rock and Brock Lesnar, either way they will be familiar with Mark Henry. Mark will be recognized as the World’s Strongest Man and a serious threat in the ring, so if those part time fans see Ryback beat him, that could establish Ryback as a household name. Not to mention that full time fans have seen Ryback screwed out of the WWE Title multiple times, even eliminating Randy Orton from the Royal Rumble and being the final man to be eliminated by John Cena. This could be a very serious stepping stone for Ryback’s ascension through the WWE ranks, and if he’s able to hit the Shell Shock on Mark Henry, not only will I be genuinely impressed, but that alone would justify having this match on the WrestleMania 29 card.
Finally I’d just like to say here that the people criticizng, and specifically the internet wrestling community, are dismissing this match, but forget just what WWE and WrestleMania are all about. They’re essentially carnivals, they’re spectacles, with everything not designed to please everyone, instead the ultimate idea is for there to be at least one thing for anyone. Also at WrestleMania, at least lately, WWE tries to get everyone on the roster to be at least featured in the show, to gain some of the profits for appearing. When looking at the current announced matches and possibilities for the remainder of the card, Mark Henry Vs. Ryback makes sense. This match can make Ryback a star, keep Mark Henry looking like a monster and entertain a large portion of the audience with feats of strength. If executed correctly this match could has benefits for everyone involved and be a valued segment, adding some different and special to the broadcast of WrestleMania 29 on April 7th.