In what is believed to be the last match for the 27-year WWE career of the Undertaker, WrestleMania 33 left a memory that was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Following his loss to Roman Reigns, Undertaker had a poignant sendoff that has never been seen before. The dimmed, purple lights zoomed in to him, while he removed his gloves, hat, and coat, leaving then in the middle of the ring. He then went on to kiss his wife, Michelle McCool, who was standing ringside, and then walked up to the ramp before descending down to his metaphoric grave.
Although this was undoubtedly the most emotional moment of the evening, and perhaps the history of WrestleMania, it was not the match that received the most mainstream attention. That award belongs to the mixed tag team match between John Cena & Nikki Bella and The Miz & Maryse. In the end, Cena and Bella were able to defeat their foes, and this was followed by an expected proposal from Cena to Bella. Of course, she said yes.
The reason why this match was more mainstream than any other was the level of media attention it received due to John Cena being involved in other outlets. In the past year, Cena has been a part of the ESPN ESPY Awards, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, hosted American Grit, and has been a guest host of The Today Show numerous times.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter gave details on this match being so popular.
“This actually got the most mainstream response, by far, of anything on the show. The two immediately went the next morning to The Today Show on NBC, where Cena is on regularly as a guest host, to talk about it and clearly talked in fiction terms.”
Regarding the legitimacy of the proposal, many feel that it was indeed staged. The Newsletter further explains that although Nikki Bella claimed that it was a surprise, there were far too many parts of the puzzle that seemed as if it was not. These factors include many people talking about it long before WrestleMania 33, both Cena and Bella’s mothers next to each other at ringside, and the Total Divas show starting its new season.
Perhaps the most obvious reason that it was not surprising was due to Cena’s expected match at the event against the Undertaker changing. This match has been in the works for a number of years, but has never managed to come to fruition on the big stage. While it was the plan this year, it was changed due to the feeling that Roman Reigns against the Undertaker would create a more “passing of the torch” moment and focus more on the future. This would not apply with a match against Cena, because he is also approaching the end of his career as a full-time wrestler. The WON goes further into the Undertaker vs. John Cena match no longer having much relevance.
“In reality, there was no value at all in Cena being the one to beat Undertaker in his final match, because Cena, while saying he has his foot out the door wouldn’t be correct, but he’s no longer a full-timer or a star that needs it or will benefit from it. As far as second-guessing, the Cena program featured the best interviews by far leading into WrestleMania. The match was nothing at all, but it was just there to build up the proposal. Cena vs. Undertaker this year served no purpose. People would hate Cena for winning, but he wasn’t even sticking around after the show.”
At the end of the day, it is about mainstream attention and what could potentially elicit more viewers for the following episodes. Even more, the attention geared towards the E! network looks to potentially be higher in priority than regular viewers of WWE television.
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