We’re less than two weeks away from “Wrestlemania XXXIII” and I can’t help but think back to last year’s “Wrestlemania XXXII”. The shows are similar in name of course but beyond that, it could be interesting to see how many other similarities they really do have. Today we’re going to compare some of the more major points to the shows, which could make for an interesting look at how strong this year’s show really could be.
We’ll start things out with the ladies, who have been split in two this year. Last year’s show featured a single triple threat match for the only Women’s Title, which I felt was the best match all night. This year things are a bit more expanded though as there are now two titles as well as two multi-women matches for those titles.
On the “Monday Night Raw” side we have Sasha Banks, Charlotte (both of whom were in the match last year) and Nia Jax challenging Bayley for the title. “Smackdown Live” has a multi-woman match with unspecified stipulations for Alexa Bliss’ title. The latter seems like a way to set up a surprise (Asuka, Eva Marie perhaps?) and that…..might be more trouble than it’s worth but it depends on who fills in the gap on whatever kind of match the blue women are having.
I have to go with the “Wrestlemania XXXII” version here as while there are a lot of people in both cases, four and then at least five (which is likely to increase to six or more) is WAY too much for a pair of matches. It feels like a way to fill out the card, which isn’t exactly something that needs to be done. I’m worried that the “Monday Night Raw” match will be too much about Jax while the other will be about figuring out the surprise.
We’ll move on to a solo act with the Undertaker. You know Undertaker is going to be high up on the card no matter what year it is and he’s in one of the major matches both this year and last. Last year it was the most intricate story on the show as Undertaker was thrown into the Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon feud, which earned him a match against Shane inside the Cell.
This year it’s a little more simple with Undertaker facing Roman Reigns over Reigns eliminating him from the 2017 Royal Rumble. The story is one that’s been done before but that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective one. Basically Undertaker is the old guard and Reigns is the latest person who thinks he can knock Undertaker off. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.
And a better idea it certainly is. Last year, Undertaker vs. McMahon went on for over fifty minutes (from the time the Cell was lowered to the time McMahon left) and, while the match was well received, it lost me pretty early on. I just can’t get my head around the idea that McMahon is someone who can hang with Undertaker in a brawl, let alone kick out of the chokeslam, Last Ride and Hell’s Gate. Reigns is a different story though and seeing him spear Undertaker over and over until the old man can’t do it anymore is a heck of a story.
Advantage: Wrestlemania XXXIII
While the Tag Team Titles weren’t defended last year (for reasons I’m still not clear on), we can look at what the New Day is doing both years. Last year they had a six man tag where they lost to the League of Nations for whatever reason (swerving the audience I’d assume) and then got beaten up by some legends in an entertaining bit.
This year they’re hosting the show (and likely being drowned out by Xavier Woods/Paige chants) and that could mean a variety of things. You can almost guarantee at least two segments with one big comedy bit and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got to do something with the Rock at some point. These are going to depend on two factors: the amount of time dedicated to them and whether or not ice cream is available.
I don’t know how the hosting gig can go badly as New Day is the kind of act that knows how to work a live crowd. The audience is going to cheer almost anything they do and as long as they have a decent idea, everything should be fine. If nothing else it’s going to be better than losing to a nothing stable like the League of Nations. The other issue is New Day doesn’t really have anyone to fight. They’ve completely outgrown the tag team division so putting them in a match would seem like a waste of time. Just let New Day be themselves, don’t overstay their welcome, and everything will be fine.
Advantage: Wrestlemania XXXIII
Another major point is the midcard titles, which really depends on your taste. Last year saw the United States Title on the pre-show with Kalisto defending against Ryback in a match that was better than I was expecting. The Intercontinental Title was in the annual mess of a ladder match with way too many names added to the match for the sake of adding them to the match. It was certainly fun though and Zack Ryder winning the title was a cool moment, especially in front of a crowd that big.
This year though we have two singles matches with more definitive stories. Chris Jericho is defending his US Title against former best friend Kevin Owens in a match that I might be looking forward to more than anything else on the card. On the other hand, Baron Corbin is challenging Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Title after crushing his chest with a forklift.
The more I think about this, the closer it actually is. I’m still going to go with the two singles matches though as I’m almost always going to pick the story over the spectacle. This year we have one excellent story and one good one so I’ll take those, but I can easily understand someone taking the ladder match and Kalisto vs. Ryback instead. Both are good options but Jericho vs. Owens is too much to turn down.
Advantage: Wrestlemania XXXIII
We’ll wrap it up with the main events. Last year’s main event saw Roman Reigns being booed out of Texas as he defeated Triple H to win the WWE World Title all over again. This match went on WAY too long at nearly half an hour and saw a grand total of one strong reaction, which took place when Reigns speared Stephanie McMahon by mistake. Other than that though, the crowd was bored and angry about this one, which came at the end of a six hour show.
This year will (likely) see Goldberg defending his Universal Title against Brock Lesnar in a rematch after Lesnar lost in less than ninety seconds at “Survivor Series 2016”. These two met in a rather infamous match back at “Wrestlemania XX” and I’m worried about what they’re going to do this time around. Given that Goldberg hasn’t wrestled more than six minutes combined in about thirteen years (not an exaggeration), asking him to have a long match could be going too far.
All that being said, I’d take Reigns vs. Triple H, which I named the Worst Match of the Year, any day. No matter how you look at it, Lesnar vs. Goldberg isn’t exactly going to help anything. They’re both probably gone after the pay per view and I have no idea why that’s good. Reigns vs. Triple H wasn’t a good match but it set up Reigns vs. Styles and some good stuff over the summer. I really don’t need to sit around waiting on Lesnar to grace us with his presence in three months but that seems to be where we’re heading. Oh and good luck spinning a five minute or shorter main event for Wrestlemania if that’s what winds up happening.
Advantage: Wrestlemania XXXII
I know there’s a lot more to this and I’m not at all saying that one show is better than the other based on these five topics. There’s going to be a lot to “Wrestlemania XXXIII” and I’m really not sure if it’s going to be better or worse than its predecessor, though being worse would be one heck of a trick. Wrestlemania is always going to have something fun involved and it’s always worth looking back at the previous editions to see how things have been before.
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