Amalgam Rhapsody: Is Wrestlemania Still Important? Submitted by LoneLee on 04/01/2019 at 10:04 AM
As of writing this, we are exactly one week away from the Grand Daddy of ‘em All. The Showcase of Showcases. Whatever other nickname the event has been tagged with since its inception. But to be honest, does this year’s presentation give you that must-see stimulation it has in storied history? As a matter of fact, when was the last time it did give that anxious anticipation? Wrestlemania has been the perpetual flagpole event of WWE and for decades has served as the culmination of year-long trials and tribulations of its top tier talents. The problem with that is...most of the match card seems a little thrown together and obviously convoluted.
Now if you are a Dave Meltzer enthusiast, then first of all bless your heart, but you’ve also grown accustomed to reading that plans may change. Indeed, in some cases that appears to be true in the situations involving sudden injuries and contracts not being renewed. Roman Reigns battle with Leukemia certainly left little time to prepare a proper build or feud for face of their company. Would the women even be at the end of the card if those circumstances had been different? More on that in a bit. The issue isn’t who is doing what and placement on the match card, it’s that rather than being a Showcase of the Immortals, Wrestlemania has become an example of deserving a Miz Participation Award.
As it stands right now Wrestlemania is scheduled to have 14 matches! And if you believe early rumors, they’re expected to announce at least 2 more in the week leading up to the actual event. This isn’t even including an Elias musical segment and any Alexa Bliss hosting hijinks they have planned. Pre-show included, we’re looking at another nearly 8-hour event on Sunday. This is the direct effect of attempting to include everyone from the entire main roster, cruiserweight division, and a handful of NXT talents as well. But it’s not all bad, WWE did trim some the fat, right? By eliminating the entire SDLive Women’s title picture. Shame! This was a perfect example of having no set direction for the culmination of a story. Asuka's championship reign and evident growing rift between Mandy and Sonya just GONE in a flash! If you believe reports online, this was done solely to eliminate a match that “no one would care about.” Was it a plan for WWE to aggravate half of the women on its roster and to even infer that fans wouldn’t care about the SD championship to begin with? Well, in some ways it was a great move.
Even though I am a humongous supporter of Asuka, it is easy for me to see that she has had no real direction since becoming SD Women’s champion, at no fault of her own. Her title victory at TLC was done at the necessity of setting up the Becky/Ronda/Charlotte feud. She was simply a placeholder. And rather than put an obscure match on an already exhausted card they’ve chosen to put all their eggs in one basket with the first ever women’s match to close out the show. If both titles are on the line it adds a big fight feel to an already important match. It also gives Charlotte a shred of purpose in a feud where she has been highly overlooked and disregarded. This is how you make a match feel exciting, salient, essential, valued, and superior. Qualities that much of this year’s card lacks. This is why the women need to go on last.
Raw’s Universal title match has felt increasingly lackluster due in part to Seth Rollins having to promote the bout almost entirely himself. Given a Paul Heyman promo or two, we already know what Brock Lesnar brings to the table...when he’s paid to bring it every 3 months. Yes, part-timers. Are they really benefiting from the occasional big names from the past returning for these tent-pole shows? DX vs Brothers of Destruction at Crown Jewel proved to be a cringe-worthy experience, not just in my eyes and the Botchamania faithful, but in the eyes of Chris Jericho. He made a valid point that part-timers or legends need to be in the ring with some of the growing superstars to not only give the rub to younger talent but to protect the match. As the years went by, I went from being excited to see Triple H to just hoping he doesn’t hurt himself too badly. I expect the same for his face off with a ring-rusty Batista. Now we’re faced with part-timers getting a spots on the card, part-timers facing other part-timers, and getting every one of the regulars on the show too. Where does it stop???
Wrestlemania 21 gave us 8 matches (including a Sumo match I’d rather forget about) and remains one of my favorite events to this day. Well, you might be asking why can’t they limit the show to 7 or 8 matches and only put the more prominent names on their Superbowl? It’s clear. The money. Since 2007, Wrestlemania has been held exclusively in stadiums and football fields. WWE sets the goal of breaking attendance records for that particular venue each time they host the event. The magnitude of Mania has grown worldwide with fans that span the globe traveling sometimes thousands of miles to experience the grandeur and pageantry of the annual spectacle. Some of these fans have never seen WWE in person in their lives and quite possibly never will again. They give fans a chance to see everyone, not just the best. Attendance has tripled and quadrupled in years since and it only continues to grow...Although, I’m not very sure how many people are traveling 5,000 miles to see Heath Slater.
Before Wrestlemania becomes a 12-hour event in the future, I’d rather see them borrow a page from Wrestle Kingdom and split it over the course of two days. Imagine a set card for days 1 and 2. Evenly promoted matches with separate main events. I mean, there are two separate brands as it is. What changes, if any, would you like to see for the Grandest Stage of Them All?