Rock vs. Cena, like other big angles, will work well because it’s predictable

By modern standards, it was certainly a bold move by the WWE to set the stage for WrestleMania XXVIII by announcing Rock vs. John Cena as the main event.

That type of straightforward booking worked great  for big angles  in the 1980s. We guessed that “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff was going to turn on Hulk Hogan in 1986. We knew every tandem that Captain Lou Albano brought in would win the Tag Team Titles. We could see the seeds of the Hogan vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage main event at WrestleMania V planted shortly after Savage won the belt at WrestleMania VI.

As pro wrestling fans, we want to know where things are heading generally, because predictability means we will eventually get a payoff for an angle. Sure, surprises are good now and then, but not every week. The fun with an angle doesn’t happen with the outcome, but rather the twists and turns along the way.

Sometimes the hints are subtle (Hogan hugging Miss Elizabeth at the end of SummerSlam 1988), and sometimes the clues scream at you (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s initial visit to Piper’s Pit before his more famous appearance). It will be interesting to see how the WWE will keep fans’ interest in Rock vs. Cena alive for a year as it builds up one of the biggest main events ever.

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