Shore's Blog: The night the lights went out in Georgia
Wednesday, February 2 -- 6:23pm (CT)
This Monday night was a night many people in and around Atlanta had waited for. Many of those people had made serious sacrifices. They had slept on hard concrete sidewalks, and spent money they had been saving for months as preparation for Monday night.
You see, this Monday was when the Road to Wrestlemania 27 would formally begin. And Atlanta fans who had camped out to ensure they had the best seat possible would begin to get an idea of what their sacrifice had wrought them.
And what did those fans see? Why, a dance-off featuring Khali and Mark Henry! The brand new Divas Champion pinned clean! More Bellas and Gail Kim drama! And a 61 year old announcer declared the number on contender for the WWE Championship! How do you feel Atlanta!
To be fair, the show did have some good moments. Even though it was obvious that Alberto Del Rio would choose Edge as his opponent at WrestleMania 27 (assuming Edge retains until then), the segment was well done, if not well received by the live crowd. And even though the wrong guy won, the Raw Rumble had some good drama and John Morrison was unbelievable again.
But as a whole, I know I would be disappointed if I had purchased a ticket to WrestleMania 27. Yes, we now have a pretty good idea of what at least half the card will be. But are you excited about any of the match ups other than Del Rio vs. Edge? I'm not. And WWE hasn't given me a reason to.
Is WrestleMania 27 doomed from the start? Hardly. There is a ton of time between now and WrestleMania 27 to create buzz and excitement about the show. And I realize that some of these things don't apply to WrestleMania. But that doesn't excuse what amounted to a slap in the face to those fans that scrimped and saved to make their WrestleMania moment happen.
Instead of thanking fans with slow, steady builds for all of the matches at WrestleMania (even if we don't know the match you can still lay seeds), we were treated to camp comedy, random matchups, Husky Harris jobbing to the Cobra (after getting beat like a rented mule) and more Michael Cole that any human being should be exposed to.
It's no wonder ticket sales and PPV buys are off. Even those who bought tickets to the biggest event of the year were treated to buyer's remorse at the first opportunity WWE had to make them feel good about their purchase. Times are tight, and entertainment dollars just don't go as far as we would like. So the people we give them to should do a better job of earning them from us, or at least not act surprised when we take those few dollars elsewhere.
To those fans in Atlanta who stood there after watching Khali cut a rug and thinking, "If I paid $200 to see that big sumbitch dance I'ma kill someone," take heart. I'm confident that WWE will not trot the Mark Henry/Great Khali ballet troupe onto the WrestleMania 27 stage. Mostly anyway.
Questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.
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