Thursday, March 14, 2013

Playing Second Fiddle

Secondary champions
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

With the world watching and waiting for Wrestlemania 29 to unfold, I think many fans have noticed the undercard is more than lacking at the moment.  As of this post, Wrestlemania is 24 days and right now there are only four matches.  The Rock vs. John Cena, Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (we're still awaiting Triple H's official response, but I think we all know he's going to accept).  Rumor has it another match will be announced on SmackDown! and without giving it all away, I can tell you who ISN'T a part of it...

Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett,  United States champion Antonio Cesaro,  tag team champions Tell Hell No, and Divas champion Kaitlyn have yet to be announced for the biggest show of the year.  I'm disappointed by this, but not surprised.  Part of me wonders if they'll all even be a part of Wrestlemania this year.  Let's examine the past few years...

Epico, Primo, & Rosa
Photo courtesy: WWE
Wrestlemania 28:

The tag team titles were defended on the pre-show with Epico and Primo beating the Usos and Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel.

U.S. Champion Santino Marella at least made the show, but the title wasn't defended as he lead a losing team representing Teddy Long against a team representing John Laurinaitis.

The Divas title wasn't defended either, but champion Beth Phoenix was in a tag match with Eve against Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos.

The IC, WWE, and World heavyweight (18 seconds) titles were all defended on the show.

Bryan vs. Sheamus
Photo courtesy: WWE
Wrestlemania 27:

The pre-show match was the U.S. Title match that had been announced as happening on the show, but didn't.  Heck, it really didn't end up being a pre-show match either as Sheamus and Daniel Bryan brawled with the lumberjacks, setting up a battle royal that ended up being won by the Great Khali.

No Divas title match nor did the champion Eve wrestle on the show.  Instead it was Snooki and Trish Stratus (a celebrity and a retired Diva) getting the spotlight.

IC champion Wade Barrett and tag team champions Heath Slater (he held gold!) and Justin Gabriel were in an eight man tag match with Corre member Ezekiel Jackson against Santino, Kane, Big Show, and Kofi Kingston.

Drew McIntyre in MITB
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
Wrestlemania 26:

The Miz was the U.S. and tag team champion.  He and the Big Show beat John Morrison and R-Truth.  No U.S. title match though.

The IC champion was Drew McIntyre.  He wrestled in the Money in the Bank match that year.  I can kinda understand that, but I'm have an old school mentality, and would like to see my champions defending their titles on the biggest show of the year.

Maryse was the Divas champ and a part of the 10 Diva tag team match that took Vickie Guerrero to new heights.

You get the picture here.  I know the roster is bigger than it was in the early days of Wrestlemania.  The WWE has also put more focus on the Undertaker's streak and adding guest celebrities to matches than some of their secondary champions.  I understand their desire to get main stream media attention and continue building on the legacy of the Undertaker, but I really wish guys like Cesaro, Barrett, and Bryan would get a chance to shine too. If the Divas title gets defended at 29, it'll be the first time that title has been on the line since Wrestlemania 23.  I know it's early in the planning stages, and in just over three weeks, we'll know who will step on the biggest stage of them all.

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