Richard Gray recently discussed the WrestleMania 29 card in this video and he asked the question of whether WWE would aim to defy expectations or on the contrary, those we would expect to be put over would have their arms raised. The events from last night’s edition of Raw are the reason I have decided to once again touch on the same topic. That particular video was published prior to the latest Raw episode, and I think it is worth it to go back and look at the upcoming Brock Lesnar-Triple H match once again.
Richard predicted Lesnar would probably go under at WrestleMania, so that Triple H could avenge his loss at SummerSlam. What he could not take into consideration were the stipulations Paul Heyman added to the match at the end of last night’s show. Not only did Heyman announce it would be a No Holds Barred contest, but that Triple H’s career would be on the line.
Nothing is more telling about the impact of the announcement than the reaction of the live crowd in attendance. The first part of Heyman’s announcement, the one concerning the No Holds Barred character of the showdown, was met with a fair amount of cheering. It should be noted, however, that Lesnar’s first bout with HHH at SummerSlam was billed as a No Disqualification match, and these are basically two different names for the same kind of match-up. Not only does this particular stipulation contribute with nothing we have not seen yet, but it was to be expected, as otherwise WWE would be booking the feud backwards, starting from a No DQ Match and moving on to a standard one. Yet the fans cheered, because they knew how violent Lesnar and HHH can be and their fight is guaranteed to be one heck of a show.
Then came the second part of the announcement, which was supposed to be the big one. As soon as it was revealed that the match would be a career threatening one for Triple H, the crowd went silent. In just a matter of a few words, WWE have managed to significantly decrease fans’ anticipation for the bout.
If you share Richard’s opinion that Triple H is the obvious pick for WrestleMania, ask yourselves the same question now that we know he is putting his career on the line.
And if you are still hoping for surprises, ask yourselves, would Triple H, not only one of the biggest names in WWE history but the heir to Vince McMahon’s legacy, ever have his final match be a loss to a part-timer who only gets to wrestle twice a year?
Even if the WWE Universe was hoping for the unexpected at WrestleMania, those hopes may have now been thrown out the window, particularly when it comes to Lesnar vs. Triple H.