The X-Factor: WrestleMania – Up, down, and sideways
Their first-ever all women’s PPV, the arrival of Ronda Rousey, and the bigger than expected rise of Becky Lynch. The pieces fell into place. The women needed to headline WrestleMania. It was their time.
It didn’t take long for some backlash to settle in. She becomes Becky Two Belts, the face of the company and soon enough, the IWC turned on her. They’re unpredictable – Otis winning MITB – and they don’t like it.
When they were forced to stop touring, there were calls for WWE to shut down entirely. Great idea. Live event revenue was gone, Roman Reigns had to step away, Brock Lesnar was out, so they should stop doing TV so more people lose their jobs.
For years there were calls for a two-night WrestleMania. They turned on that too. WWE can’t seem to win.
For all the whining, they still gave us plenty to enjoy.
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. 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 as overrated as the critics think.
Between those and Reigns making his triumphant return, we had some feel-good moments at the time.
And then, we were here.
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.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”. If this went down in the ring, it wouldn’t have been as good. The Undertaker needed redemption, AJ Styles got to headline a WrestleMania, 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.
For me, seeing this with live fans after a year without them felt like nirvana.
Putting aside the rain delay and that horrible opening to night 2, this was a decent ‘Mania. Both main events were something to smile at.
Bad Bunny deserves mad credit here. While not a classic, he looked like he belonged. He had the good luck of being in there with his fellow boricua Damian Priest.
This is the biggest show of the year. Let’s all enjoy it. It won’t hit all the right notes, but so what. Focus on what you do like.
Don’t mess with the X.