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World’s Most Dangerous Column 12.08.13: Is a TLC Unification Good for WrestleMania?
Posted by Greg De Marco on 12.08.2013

Welcome to The World's Most Dangerous Column, the Sunday home for your favorite 411Mania News Report's favorite 411Mania News Report!

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In a week, the WWE will once again celebrate a single world champion, something we haven't enjoyed since 2002, where the WrestleMania main event was Triple H defeating Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF Championship in front of over 68,000 people at Toronto's SkyDome. Twelve years later, a sole world champion will waltz into the New Orleans Superdome to defend their Undisputed WWE Championship. It'll be a road to WrestleMania that we haven't seen in over twelve years!

On December 15, the WWE will present its annual TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) pay-per-view event from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The main event will undoubtedly crown a unified, undisputed, unwavering, unabeyanced—whatever you want to call it—we will have one world champ!

Both John Cena and Randy Orton captured their world titles at October's Hell In A Cell pay-per-view, and both were successful in their defenses at Survivor Series. John Cena stole Randy Orton's spotlight in front of the Boston crowd, fueling speculation of a unification at WrestleMania 30. Less than 24-hours later, on Raw, that speculation was debunked. At least…the WrestleMania 30 part of it was! It was immediately revealed (in Raw's opening segment) that the unification would happen at the December WWE: TLC pay-per-view event. The company's first unification, in 2001, happened at the December pay-per-view—then named Vengeance.

Based on the WWE's tendency to end their pay-per-view title matches without a resolution this fall, it's easy to speculate that the WWE will find a way to leave TLC without having one world champ. I believe that it won't go down that way, but that we will indeed see a unified champion when the night is over. I fully expect that man to be John Cena, giving him 75% of the odds to Randy Orton's 25% (for entertainment purposes only, you degenerates!).

Assuming that we will have one world champ, it's time to explore what it means for the most exciting time of the wrestling year: The Road To WrestleMania.

Royal Rumble
When Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble, he was awarded a shot at the WWF Championship at WrestleMania IX. For the first time, the Royal Rumble awarded this amazing opportunity to the winner. It wasn't the first Royal Rumble to offer anything, as Ric Flair won the WWF Championship by virtue of winning the 1992 Royal Rumble.

For over a decade, we've been accustomed to the Royal Rumble winner holding "all the cards," as he had time to decide which championship, and which champion, he'd challenge on the WWE's biggest stage. One of the most memorable decisions came during The Road To WrestleMania 21, where Batista gave then Evolution teammate Triple H the thumbs down, signing a contract to challenge for HHH's World Heavyweight Championship. Others are more obvious, such as this past WrestleMania where John Cena declared he'd challenge for the WWE Championship, held by The Rock.

This year, there is no doubt in who the Royal Rumble winner will challenge. They'll challenge the Undisputed WWE Champion.

Elimination Chamber
Each year, the Elimination Chamber has been used in different and unique ways on the Road to WrestleMania. We've seen it determine WrestleMania title challengers, much like last year's Jack Swagger. We've seen both world titles defended, successfully, like 2012's Elimination Chamber wins for WWE Champion CM Punk and World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. We even saw a special "combo platter" in 2011, where Edge defended his World Heavyweight Championship and John Cena earned a shot at the WWE Championship.

This year, the Elimination Chamber almost has to be for the Undisputed WWE Championship. There is a possibility of the Royal Rumble winner not being able to challenge for the title at WrestleMania, or for "The Authority" to create a Triple-Threat at ‘Mania and including the Chamber winner. But as of now, all signs point to the Elimination Chamber match serving as the pay-per-view's main event, and being for the Undisputed WWE Championship.

WrestleMania XXX
As I said earlier, we haven't seen a solo world title match at WrestleMania since 2002's WrestleMania main event of Triple H vs. Chris Jericho. This year, we can expect a single world title match (even if it's the culmination of a "unification angle"). This opens the door for another story telling element to the build and to the card. Maybe it's another part timer. Maybe it gets someone on the card who wouldn't normally be there. Having one world title match at WrestleMania opens the door of possibilities—including the possibility for something to suck!

I'm actually glad we'll only have one world title match at WrestleMania. Phoenix's WrestleMania XXVI was the last time the World Heavyweight Championship match (Jericho vs. Edge) felt somewhat important. Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio from 27 was hurt by being the opener, we all know what happened when Sheamus challenged Daniel Bryan at 28, and Alberto Del Rio's defense against Jack Swagger at 299 was largely forgettable.

That awkward title match is now gone, with the focus hopefully going to the Intercontinental and United States Championships.

The overall Road To WrestleMania
I think this can help the storytelling during wrestling's hottest period. The one world title match will be an easy build, leaving more television time for the others.

But there's a catch—the WWE actually has to use that television time to properly build the card. And based on recent history, that's a big catch. There are 6 Monday's between Elimination Chamber 2014 and WrestleMania XXX. That leaves plenty of time to build meaningful title matches for the Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Champions. The Divas should be on the card. Plus the expected "special attractions" like Brock Lesnar, Triple H and The Undertaker.

The Road To WrestleMania and WrestleMania itself is the best part of the wrestling year. Eliminating one world title—and don't let the "unification" name fool you, that's what they're doing—really opens things up for this fun season. While it's hard for many fans to swallow the unification happening at what many consider to be a throw away pay-per-view, this is indeed…best for business. WrestleMania will be better for it.

A tradition started at the end of each point when I wrote The Wrestling 5&1, "You Decide!" is your chance to weigh in on a major question facing professional wrestling each week. Vote once per hour, and leave your opinions in the comments section!

Okay, I need your help. I love writing this column, but the "secondary" elements are a challenge. I didn't like the Power Rankings. I'm not totally feeling "5 Up/5 Down." Since I do this for you—the reader—I want to know what you want to see. I don't want to short change you each week in this column. So tell me…what do you want me to do?

Return and vote once per hour!
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Rumors are flying that WrestleMania 31 will be announced for San Francisco, one of the country's coolest cities. Philly fans immediately started complaining, even though WM32 I rumored for Philly.

WrestleMania isn't your backyard, and you're bitching? WTF?

This week we go back to one of the original four DeMarcettes, the beautiful, talented and ready for television Barbi Hayden!!

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See Barbi in action as part of this preview for WSU!

Find the full match (and card) here!

Listen to our latest Greg DeMarco Show, with special guest Alex Chamberlain!

Listen to Greg DeMarco, Patrick O'Dowd, Heather Lynn and Su Yung, live Sunday night, exclusively at www.VOCNation.com!

Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, drop a line in the comments, and until next time...


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