Repeat. That’s what it feels like. A lot of people will groan about WWE getting stale because they never do anything new or have the same matches all the time. WWE has managed to do very well in creating new storylines and giving fans new matches. It is a lot better than it was in 2009, but it there is still a matter of rematches happening frequently. I began going back through the past couple of years of pay per views to see how many rematches, be they variations of a match by turning it into a multi-man match, as well as straight up rematches. I was actually surprised by how long it had been since WWE had done a pay per view of matches that had not happened at the pay per view prior. But is this a problem, or is it just the way things go in wrestling?
Around this time of year is when rematches really hit the fan. After WrestleMania, rematches make up the next couple of pay per views. 2008 and 2009 were ridiculous. In 2008, we saw variations of Triple H vs. Randy Orton and Undertaker vs. Edge for four pay per views in a row. We did see a ridiculous number of pay per view matches last year between Randy Orton and Christian, but that is no longer the norm. Still, rematches are constantly happening on pay per view. Looking at Wrestlemania to Elimination Chamber, CM Punk and Chris Jericho were in the ring against each other. Jumping back to February, John Cena and Kane squared off in a rematch from the Royal Rumble. The World Title match at the Rumble show was a triple threat between Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Mark Henry, while Show faced both men the month prior at TLC. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio were in the same match at TLC, and faced each other at Survivor Series. This goes on and on all the way back until the 2011 Elimination Chamber.
Rematches are unavoidable. It’s not that rematches are a bad thing, nor do they mean that having them indicates a lack of depth to the roster. It is just the way of wrestling. There is always a story going on that weaves one thing to the next. I got stuck on this new Keifer Sutherland show recently called Touch. It’s deals with this idea that everything is connected. I don’t even like the show that much, I just realized how the idea of the show is how most other television shows work. Everything is connected in some way, and there is constant shifting and transitioning, yet is still build toward on central theme. Wrestling works in much the same way.
A great example is Randy Orton in the year 2009. He started off the year in a big way by attacking Vince McMahon, and then winning the Royal Rumble. He then went onto face Triple H at Wrestlemania in the first of several matches. After falling to HHH at Mania, Orton managed to win the title from HHH at Backlash in a tag team match, which had the title on the line. They then fought at the June Bash pay per view in a Three Stages of Hell match. Orton managed to get the win, and fans were dreading another rematch between them, but instead, John Cena was thrown into the mix to make it a triple threat. This match was the perfect transition. It allowed for Triple H to exit his feud with Orton, and for Orton to move onto a feud with Cena for the next several months.
Given that we are in the aftermath of Wrestlemania, its to be expected that we get a handful of rematches. Things are different this year. The main event involved a guy not even on the roster, and John Cena could be headed for a showdown with Brock Lesnar. Sheamus will likely have a rematch with Daniel Bryan, but looks like he is headed in Alberto Del Rio’s direction. The scene is fresh for the first time in a while. In fact, the last time I can remember such a shakeup was in 2003, which was when John Cena had his first pay per view match against Lesnar.
2003 was a very strange year. Coming off of a low-grossing Mania, and with Steve Austin and Kurt Angle injured, Cena was put in a title match with Lesnar. Goldberg had just arrived on the WWE scene and was set to face The Rock. Things are similar, but very different when compared to 2003. WWE is not desperate at this point. They are in a great place with John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar at the top of the show. That’s not counting the fact that Rock will be coming back for more matches down the line. That is a pretty good roster.
If you are ever worried about WWE getting stale, now is the time to put aside any fears you had and forge ahead. They say Wrestlemania is the end of the calendar year for wrestling. Never has the new year been rang in as big as it was this past Monday. Things have become very interesting. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the show.