Why WrestleMania 36 Is Needed Submitted by Justin Watry on 03/19/2020 at 07:39 PM
I'm going to be honest with all of you.
With everything going on in the world these past few weeks, nothing has really impacted my life. I have still worked six days a week. I just got back from a road trip after Valentine's Day. I saw two movies in the theater recently. My girlfriend and I still hang out, go out to eat, etc. Nothing has changed. I log onto the internet and see all this negative stuff, and it didn't entirely hit me until the wrestling headlines began to pour in. Yes, wrestling is what got me into all of this. Live events canceled? Okay, fine. I think those are going away anyways. No major loss, even with one coming to Milwaukee in two weeks. Smackdown at the Performance Center? Alright, it was pretty cool actually. A bunch of different independent shows being postponed? Meh, I don't care. I couldn't tell you one single match on any single card. Then Monday afternoon arrived...
Yowie wowie! WrestleMania 36 will take place in front of no fans at the WWE Performance Center.
Now, I'm invested.
To keep this as simple as possible, I will break this all down into categories. Let's go!
The World Needs WrestleMania To Happen
First of all, what about NXT Takeover? - Simple solution. I would stretch out the well built up card over the next few weeks to air live on USA Network Wednesday night. Easy as that. Obviously also held at the Performance Center. Of course, the 'season finale' will be the NXT Championship match as the main event somewhere down the line. A few weeks, a month, two months, whatever. Then I assume we transition into the usual Superstar Shakeup with Raw and Smackdown involved.
Well, hold on! Isn't there is a WWE Hall of Fame ceremony too? - Yeah, I am not sure that should have fans attending anymore anyways. Especially after last year. Feels kinda awkward as a 'fan entry' event to be honest. When I went to Orlando three years ago to attend my first (and only) WrestleMania, going to the WWE HOF Ceremony was never even a thought in my mind. No interest. Since the company will likely want to honor everyone being inducted, just do it Summerslam weekend. My guess is everything will be back to 'normal' by then. Do it there.
What about all the Axxess events? - Eh, WWE was already limiting the meet and greet restrictions. Once you start to put a lot of limitations in there, it kinda takes away from the fan interaction thing. I say just cancel this stuff and do something cool for live events later on in the year. Maybe meet and greets for fans or autographs or something like that to those attending future shows.
Okay, makes sense. Before getting to the wrestling side, what about the fans who would have attended in Tampa Bay? - It sucks. It really does. Clearly, they will be getting refunded for any WWE related events. Their vacation time from work, travel plans, hotel bills, and all that junk will also have to be resolved. That isn't from WWE though. Fans surely understand this decision was out of WWE's hands and in the best interest of everybody involved. Fans, wrestlers, crew, sponsors, etc. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. I just had my Brewers/Rockies vacation for next month cancelled, so I am well aware of vacation plans being canned. It just plain sucks, but that is life. It doesn't go according to plan. This isn't fantasy booking. It is reality.
Alright, alright. Non-WWE question, what will all those independent shows do now? Again, sucks for them. I still feel a little iffy on everyone piggybacking off WrestleMania each year. I understand the business side, but I also understand the counter. If you are banking your entire year off one weekend of success due entirely to WWE, you may have to re-think your business plan. That reeks of 'all your eggs in one basket' and definitely reeks even more when it all rests on another company. That being side, I hope they all land on their feet and like the fans...get their money back. Whatever is lost financially could be devastating, but just consider it a hard lesson learned.
Enough stalling, why couldn't WWE just postpone WrestleMania a few months? - Ridiculous. Completely absurd. Who says John Cena will be available beyond April 5th? Who says Bill Goldberg is signed through the Roman Reigns match? Who says Edge will still be ready to wrestle in another month? Who says any of these guys/gals remain healthy? Who says the world will be back in a good place in May, June, July, or ever? A lot of assumptions have to be made to postpone Wrestle FREAKIN' Mania will all the logistics involved. You can't stay hit pause and resume play in June. That is made even more absurd when thinking fans can magically attend an entirely different date. Yep, new travel plans, new hotel bookings, new time off work, etc. Anybody who has ever planned a trip (for Mania as an example) knows a lot goes into it. You can't just up and change things on a whim.
WWE could just stall the feuds though. It would work! - Would it? Really? You want another two months of The Stud and his sign pointing? You want two more months of Brock Lesnar standing there and bouncing around as WWE Champion? Edge can only cut so many good promos in the build up to WM36. Randy Orton can't hit all of Edge's kids with an RKO each week. Goldberg and Reigns can only stare each down so many more times. The Undertaker can't chokeslam AJ Styles every week while Michelle McCool trends on Twitter. This stuff is coming to a head right NOW. Delaying all of this until the summer is a huge risk because again, we don't even know the world will be in the clear by then! Maybe things will be settle down in September, October, November...who knows? WWE is supposed to just keep waiting to pay these feuds off. No.
Just cancel it then! Take time off and come back refreshed. - Worst idea yet. Yeah, just go dark. You see that stock price? It can't get much lower. WWE has deals with USA Network and FOX for over a billion dollars a piece. I understand what the sports community is going through. I am well aware those games are cancelled or delayed. I get it. WWE is not a straight up sport though. They push through, they keep moving forward, and Vince McMahon knows better than anybody: THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Need I remind long-time fans of the September 2001 historic Smackdown? Just ask Stephanie McMahon; she will tell you. Not a chance in you know what was WrestleMania ever going to get cancelled. Please.
SUMMARY: Look, laugh all you want but the world needs WrestleMania right now. Too much negativity. Too much bad news. Too many plans getting jacked up. We need something normal. We need smiles on our faces. We need a big event to celebrate. We need to all sit down and watch something on TV that brings us joy, even for just a few hours. We need that. As I outlined, WWE couldn't postpone WrestleMania 36. That would be a nightmare, and they certainly couldn't simply cancel it and move on. With fans attending not being an option, that left the WWE Performance Center. Is it ideal? Um, no. Obviously not. Will it be as big as it should feel? Obviously not. Is it going to fall flat and be very underwhelming? Probably. Still, it's WWE, and it's WrestleMania. It may not be what they world wants right now, but it's exactly what we need...