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Old 04-03-2018, 08:54 AM   #84
Noid
01/05/08
 
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I get what you're saying, but traditionally the Rumble has been a lazy device to set up mid-card matches since 2006.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with this promotional tactic, but the WWE has been purposefully cold in setting up a lot of stuff this Mania. They are not selling the show on the WWE Title match. It's Brock and Reigns, Rousey making her debut, we treat women seriously and thank fuck we got Bryan back. And I think that is actually going to help Styles and Nakamura.

The WWE -- right, wrong or otherwise -- seems to be setting up a lot of surprises for Mania. Cena vs. Taker is not officially confirmed, and looks like it might be an "impromptu match" at Mania. Um, what? We don't know how good (or bad) Rousey is going to be. Angle is also a variable. Braun's partner hasn't been officially announced. There are rumors that the SmackDown Tag Titles will be on the line in a TLC Match that hasn't been confirmed. And Styles/Nakamura is only a known quantity to hardcore fans. Yes, they make up a more present section of the audience, but there are still people who have never heard of New Japan and frankly don't give a shit. Their reactions when they see Styles/Nakamura is going to be part of the story around the match.

It's almost as if the WWE wants you to think of this as Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger or Del Rio vs. Edge or Sheamus vs. Bryan. I mean, they aren't trying to bury their title or anything (they did enough of that with Jinder), but they are setting this up to be a sleeper hit. The only people who are really champing at the bit to see this match are the ones who are familiar with the New Japan one. And that's actually fine for this, because they aren't banking on it hard and it's so clearly not the main event.
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