The X-Factor: WrestleMania – Ronda, The Man, KofiMania, and zero fans

For all the whining that the vocal minority tend to do, they still bring themselves to enjoy what they watch.

And they love to whine.

On October 2018, I took to this site to defend Nikki and Brie Bella, and got a decent amount of comments agreeing with my views. There was this one troll who couldn’t stand the thought of the Bellas being defended.

There was even a YouTube vid named “Why WWE Wrestling Fans Suck”. (

You can’t say it’s a lie. When the world was turned upside down last year, there were calls for WWE to shut down. Great idea. Touring was not an option, Roman Reigns had to step away, Brock Lesnar was out, so let’s stop doing TV so more people lose their jobs.

For all the whining, WWE did give us things to remember.

WrestleMania 34

New Orleans, where streaks go to die.

This year, it seemed that winds of change were truly sweeping through. Nakamura and Asuka winning their Royal Rumbles was Vince McMahon throwing us a bone, not changing it up. We could debate the pros and cons of the Empress’ first loss, Nakamura being marginalized, but it’s done. 

Ronda Rousey was the ultimate sink or swim, and there was also her partner Kurt Angle. Their tag match turned out bigger than expected. Hey Stephanie, you couldn’t make more stars when you went on your own “reign of terror”? Narcissist.

Where he had the greatest moment of his life, was where the American Dragon returned to the ring.

The pieces fell into place well enough. While Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were heels, Shane McMahon bordered on villainy himself. Of all people, Bryan knew the pain of an “authority” holding him back. Shane decided to concede, but KO and Sami just couldn’t leave well enough alone. They were truly the villains now.

It was euphoria for those in N’awlins seeing the man they brought to the main event do what he loved again.

It’s sad that AJ Styles didn’t have that defining WrestleMania moment, for a couple more years anyway.

That main event. Physical, hard-hitting, and legit bloody if not booked at a mediocre level. 

The fans could not be bothered to care. There’s a Wikipedia page centering on how much he was loathed. They wanted Roman Reigns to go away, and when he did six months later, they felt lousy about it. 

WrestleMania 35

Did you ever imagine it? The women taking the headlining spot? Becky Lynch on top of the world? KofiMania?

How could you not love it? Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan put on a Match of the Year that hit all the right notes. Some of us were low-key upset that Kofi’s singles theme wasn’t played. Nothing could’ve dragged that victory down.

Say what you will about that botched finish, and Charlotte in the match, but she is that good. The only low point is that the crowd was mostly drained. Cena vs. The Rock II had more energy. Still, to see Becky go from Lass Kicker to Becky Two Belts? She ain’t overrated people.

Between those and Reigns making his triumphant return, we had some feel-good moments at the time.

WrestleMania 36

And then, we were here.

No doubt it was uncomfortable for us to watch the be-all end-all of shows with NO CROWDS. Imagine what it was like for the wrestlers. Kairi Sane, Elias, Shayna Baszler, and Rhea Ripley among others were supposed to make their WrestleMania match debuts in front of 70,000+ fans and had to settle for a glorified high school gym. For Dolph Ziggler and Otis, their first singles matches. Also, the dream match of Reigns vs. Goldberg didn’t happen.

Mandy Rose and Otis’ kiss, Edge’s grand return, and Drew McIntyre’s coronation were great moments nonetheless. Overall the wrestling was good under the conditions they had to work with.

There’s a saying: “Necessity is the mother of invention”. If this went down in the ring, it wouldn’t have been as good. The Undertaker got to redeem himself for his post-Streak ‘Mania showings, AJ Styles got his ‘Mania classic, and now he’ll be the Dead Man’s last ever opponent. We think.

So, what about that Firefly Funhouse match?

If one were to summarize it, Bray Wyatt was the avatar for those who hated John Cena, adamant that he was his own worst enemy and the man holding others down.

I could sit here all day and analyze what the match was saying, if it hadn’t been already done. I will close with this:

“If I was really this black-arts manipulator, pulling all the strings, this close to WrestleMania, you think I would be standing in the ring, toe-to-toe, face-to-face with you (The Miz and Maryse)? HELL NAH! I’D BE STANDING FACE TO FACE WITH THE UNDERTAKER!” (at the 1:51 mark)

Final thoughts

At what point do we just enjoy it again? We can’t go backwards. The world’s changed and I’m not referring to the pandemic. Don’t get hung up on everyone else’s opinions. Have your own. I did. I’m a longtime John Cena fan. You’re not? Ok.

Respect people’s likes. Don’t slam them for it. You don’t want a hater telling you who you should like.

Don’t mess with the X.