Powell's Blog: WrestleMania 28 and The Rock vs. John Cena isn't generating mainstream attention, where has the WWE Hall of Fame hype gone?

Posted in: Powell's Blog, MUST-READ LISTING
Mar 10, 2012 - 11:30 AM

By Jason Powell

Saturday, March 10, 2012 – 11:30 A.M. (CT)

-One of the key things missing from The Rock vs. John Cena hype is the WWE has yet to make the match feel larger than life. WWE did a great job of making Undertaker vs. Triple H feel like a major event when they aired the video package that featured the stars of WWE talking about the greatness of their last encounter. Likewise, everyone in WWE should be shown talking about The Rock vs. John Cena.

WWE should also get celebrities involved in the hype by having them state whether they are members of CeNation or Team Bring It. Granted, as regular WWE viewer, I couldn't care less who the youngest daughter on "Modern Family" (awesome show and I'm still bitter that there was a rerun this week) wants to win the match, but comments from some key celebrities would make the match feel like a major event rather than just a big pro wrestling match.

For that matter, the pageantry is missing from WrestleMania 28. It's as if they are merely reaching out to older fans by showcasing mostly Attitude Era stars in the top two matches. Pro wrestling fans are well aware of the significance of WrestleMania and Rock vs. Cena, but WWE has to sell the casual and even fringe fans. It requires more than the same type of video packages we see every year and the sales pitch of Michael Cole, who has limited credibility with viewers due to his strange heel role.

The Rock's singles match return isn't generating much buzz outside the wrestling industry. It received that initial wave of media attention when Rock returned to WWE in February 2011, but the Hollywood trades don't seem to be giving his Monday night exploits or WrestleMania any attention. Sure, Rock was asked about his WWE run during some of his promotional interviews for his latest movie, but it was understandably a side note to the movie talk rather than the primary focus of those interviews.

I assume we'll get a major media blitz as we move closer to April 1, but thus far I have been underwhelmed by the buzz the company has generated for their marquee event and the return of its most high profile star. There are many approaches that WWE can take, but perhaps Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn would benefit from taking a stroll down memory lane by watching the way the company made Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant feel like the most important thing in the world on March 29, 1987. At this point, Rock vs. Cena barely feels like the most important match on the WrestleMania 28 card.

-Whatever happened to the WWE Hall of Fame hype? WWE gives the Hall of Fame attention when they announce an inductee or have to sell tickets to the event, but it's been an afterthought lately. I realize there is limited time with WrestleMania hype dominating television time, but they should find a way to bring up the Hall of Fame and its inductees each week. Not only does it make the Class of 2012 feel more significant, but it also makes the actual WWE Hall of Fame seem more prestigious.

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