Hi Scott, ‘pbreathing’ from the boards here. Rumours doing the rounds today, Punk/Y2J will open ‘Mania:A few issues with this. Firstly, if the rationale is the need to break up the ‘three main events’ by putting Rock/Cena last and HHH/Taker in the middle, that has pretty much relegated Sheamus/Bryan to the same level as the thrown-together Show/Cody and Orton/Kane matches.Second, combine this with the fact that the April 2nd Raw will be all about the winner of the Long/Laurinitis tag match and it’s difficult to see how the get the WWE title to be the focal point of the promotion again for a long while.Third, that match is going to be the work-rate match of the night. Every other match, except Sheamus/Bryan, has an element that will either detract from the in-ring product (Show, Kane, arguably Taker) or distract from it (overbooking in Rock/Cena, and the 12-man tag). Every other match could look half-assed by comparison, and do you really want to throw 20 minutes of mat-work at your ‘Mania audience straight out of the gate? It’s notoriously the most open-to-the-public and least wrestling-savvy TV audience of the year.
I totally disagree. I think that Punk and Jericho should be happy they’re getting the opener, because now they can basically get whatever they need to tell the story they want. A Wrestlemania opener is a different beast than a regular PPV opener. People still remember awesome matches like Owen v. Bret for a reason. As well, Jericho can win the title without bringing the crowd down late in the show, saving the Sheamus title win for later in the night to make him seem like a bigger deal.