Analysis: What does WWE need to do to get ready for WrestleMania 30?

Maybe start by firing everybody in creative and starting over. OK, that’s a bit extreme. But this train went off the rails last week with the CM Punk situation that has thrown the card in the works for WrestleMania 30 into disarray.

So what can creative do to get WM30 back on the rails?

For starters, don’t steer us away from the John Cena-Bray Wyatt match that has been building. Of course there’s no way WWE will have Wyatt come out on top, but the chase itself will sell pay-per-views and WWE Network subscriptions. The payoff with Cena winning, at the end of a hellish 30-minute-plus match at ‘Mania, will vault Wyatt to the top of the card.

So stay the course on Cena-Wyatt. And actually, as much as it pains to say it, stay the course on the brewing Daniel Bryan-Triple H match. Word being leaked out to the wrestling media is that it’s looking pretty clear that Triple H will be the winner, and yeah, it’s hard to imagine the COO taking the fall, but even so, as with Wyatt, give Bryan the opportunity to make the chase interesting, have Hunter win in a schmoz ending, and the fan uproar afterward will rival the initial fan reaction to the nWo with garbage flying to the ring in protest.

The Bryan character gets more out of a controversial loss than he does with a win.

With Randy Orton-Batista for the WWE Title? Eh, who cares. We seem stuck with this one. As with last year’s title main event, john cena vs. The Rock, this one will be forgettable, and likely overshadowed, by the matches before it. Life will go on. Hey, we can all get to bed a little earlier not having to watch this snoozer.

Undertaker is next. Creative seems intent on not wanting to use Sting here. Which makes no sense, but that’s creative for you. Daniel Bryan had been set up for a match with Sheamus, which means Sheamus is freed up, but not being a heel could be a hindrance, and it’s doubtful that WWE wants to turn Sheamus heel to feed him to Undertaker in a feud that has no logic to it at all. Maybe Corporate Kane fits in here? Nobody else seems to, except for Sting, who again isn’t going to go here.

The wild card to all of this is CM Punk. The rumor mill continues to buzz that CM Punk quitting WWE is a work, and now we’re hearing talk from inside sources that Punk actually just wanted time off because he feared that he suffered a concussion at Royal Rumble. That leak is making it look less like a work and more like reality, with the weak, weak backstory about the possible concussion being a poor attempt at providing cover.

In any case, a Punk return shakes up the card. Punk likely slides back into the match with Triple H, though a rematch with ‘Taker from WM29, in what was undoubtedly the match of the year in 2013, isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

– Column by Chris Graham

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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