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Eddie Burkett



It WILL Happen

April 2, 2000. Approximately 6:23 p.m. Anaheim, CA. A rabid crowd is screaming for the participants of the main event of the WWF's crown jewel of PPV's to come out and let the fun begin. Everyone is waiting for the challenger to strip Triple H of the belt. Everyone is waiting for the challenger to come out. Finally, the challenger's music hits, and the Big Show walks to the ring.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the above situation will not happen. Conventional wisdom dictates that the Rock is somehow, between now and April 2, going to work his way into the Wrestlemania 2000 main event. Conventional wisdom dictates that the federation's top face must walk of out Anaheim with the Championship. In this case, conventional wisdom just might be wrong.

The WWF has thus far established that the Rock had one final chance to reclaim his number one contendership. According to Helmsley, this was Rocky's "last chance." After successfully hitting the People's Elbow for the first time in weeks on TV (on champion HHH no less!), Shane McMahon broke the pin, thus preventing the Rock from ever getting into the Wrestlemania main event.

Granted, this is most likely the way the WWF is trying to build heat for the potential match, by having Helmsley and Shane hold the Rock down, but with the alliance of Shane with Helmsley rival Big Show and the McMahon Civil War, the issues between the Rock and the Triple H and Shane become convoluted. If the Rock was going to main event Wrestlemania, then every show between No Way Out and Wrestlemania should be dedicated to building the feud between him and Helmsley. If that were the case, then the McMahon Civil War has no place occurring. All that the heat between the HHH/Stephanie and Big Show/Shane camps serves to do is build to what is currently the scheduled main event: Triple H vs. the Big Show. It would almost seem as if the WWF has decided to use that main event instead, and is going to allow the feud between these two, which has been left on the backburner lately in favor of pitting them against the Rock, to explode and take center stage, as any Wrestlemania style feud should.

However, if the Rock is left out of the Wrestlemania main event, what happens to him? The style of booking the WWF has been using lately seems to dictate that the main story building before a PPV occurs within the two weeks before, thus giving them eight hours of prime time television, plus Heat, to build interest in their monthly offering. Granted, Wrestlemania deserves a much grander scale of build-up, but with it being 4 weeks away, it is still too early to accurately predict where all the cards will fall leading into the beginning of April. By the same token, however, if the Rock/HHH should be the main event, who would the Big Show face? Or is a triple threat match in the works for the fans? While these questions will be answered in the coming weeks, it should not be surprising if the Rock never does end up in the main event.

Despite this, conventional wisdom might have a way to prove itself correct when all is said and done. After Wrestlemania, there is apparently an extra hour of coverage that the fans will receive for free. While details are not known regarding exactly what this extra programming will contain, the possibility that a post-PPV title match between the Rock and the champion at Wrestlemania will occur should not be ruled out. Additionally, instead of adjusting the participants in the main event to align with the philosophy that a face must always compete and win at Wrestlemania, perhaps either Triple H, or more likely the Big Show will turn face before the PPV. Helmsley may be the company's top heel, but the Big Show did not develop a heel status until challenging the Rock prior to the Royal Rumble. Even then, in such publications as "the Ross Report," it was insisted that the Big Show was still a face; he just had issues with the Rock. Assuming this is still true, if Show resolves his issues with the Rock, and Helmsley applies his dastardliness to him, then the Show could easily walk into Anaheim as the face in the match booked to win. Additionally, it should never be ruled out that just because the face has won at every Wrestlemania, the face will always win. The WWF may generally practice the philosophy of "send them home happy," but that does not guarantee that at the beginning of the Raw on April 3, Triple H will not walk out and inform the crowd that he is still the WWF Champion because he is the game.

It seems that everyone knows that the Rock will be in the main event at Wrestlemania, and it seems that everyone knows the Rock will win the belt at Wrestlemania. Consider this a warning not to be too surprised if what everyone knows turns out to be wrong.

Eddie Burkett

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Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission