I did not forget how impactful Daniel Bryan’s run and massive push during the WrestleMania 30 season was. There is no doubt he had an amazing run in the early part of 2014 and was a huge beneficiary of the departure of CM Punk. However, let’s not forget that was also the WrestleMania WWE decided to end the Undertaker’s Streak, in my opinion, a far bigger deal than what Daniel Bryan accomplished that year. The history and longevity of the Undertaker’s Streak abruptly ending when fans least expected it definitely stole the show at WrestleMania 30, in my opinion.
This is where it becomes difficult to assess what should and should not be considered the Main Event every year at WrestleMania. For instance, Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Men's Royal Rumble match and will be challenging the WWE Champion, AJ Styles, at this year’s WrestleMania. In another big-time championship match, Roman Reigns will be challenging the WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. These two matches are clearly going to show how divided many WWE fans are with the current product. It is expected that Nakamura Vs Styles will be heavily cheered, and the fans will be in favor of any potential outcome of the match. It is also expected that Reigns Vs Lesnar may end in a chorus of boos from many fans, especially if Reigns becomes the new WWE Universal Champion.
The major disconnect is that fans now feel they can sway WWE storytelling with their voice because of what happened with Daniel Bryan’s run in 2014. As we all know, Batista won the 2014 Royal Rumble match but was greeted with much unpopularity after the fact, mainly because he was gone from WWE for a few years and fans felt he did not deserve the spotlight so soon upon his return. I believe if WWE would have initially had Batista return as a heel, the reaction he received for winning the Royal Rumble match would have been expected. It seems the word heel comes up all the time when assessing WWE fans’ displeasure with certain wrestlers that WWE pushes as top good guys. Roman Reigns and John Cena come to mind as the main examples.
Is there a happy medium that WWE can find to still deliver their vision of a Main Event at WrestleMania and please fans at the same time? Well, when I say Main Event, I am specifically referring to the match that goes on last to end the show. For as long as I can remember every year at WrestleMania, there are typically at least three matches that are billed as the top of the card; however, only one of them goes on last and ends the show. In my opinion, that is the true Main Event, and we know even CM Punk would agree to that. The one match I believe can fit this moniker and draw excitement in the finale, regardless of what happens during the rest of the show, is none other than John Cena Vs the Undertaker.
Despite having many people say that a John Cena Vs Undertaker match at WrestleMania is too little too late, especially since the Undertaker has been a shell of his former self since his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30, WWE needs this match more than anyone thinks. It does not even matter if John Cena is the Dr. of Thuganomics or the Leader of the Cenation, or if the Undertaker is the Dead Man or the American Badass. All that matters is if both wrestlers are in the ring during the last match at WrestleMania 34. I know we all remember the Rock Vs Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18. That match had so much history, energy, and emotion, it felt like the last match of the show, despite not being the last match. In hindsight, Chris Jericho and Triple H would have most likely gladly switched spots with Rock and Hogan.
If WWE wants to send ALL fans home happy this year at WrestleMania, the last match needs to be John Cena Vs the Undertaker. The two larger than life characters will extrude the emotion out of the crowd, whether the crowd is burned out from the other big matches or not. You could also argue that the Nakamura Vs Styles match would do the same; however, they do not have the history and longevity within WWE as immortal characters like Cena and Undertaker do, and I fear that if WWE does not put Cena Vs Undertaker on last, its historical importance could get lost in translation. John Cena is at the point of his in-ring career that he does not need to be around all the time and can work on more projects in Hollywood. The Undertaker is now at the point of his career where he can have that one last match to ride his motorcycle off into the sunset. If there was ever a time to have a tombstone end a match and show with a 1-2-3, it is now. If there was ever a time to have John Cena on his back looking up at the end of a match and show, it is now. Whether this match goes on last to truly Main Event the show or not, without a shadow of a doubt, WrestleMania needs John Cena Vs the Undertaker.