With the Royal Rumble out of the way and the path to Elimination Chamber cleared, we are officially on the Road To WrestleMania 38. It is the biggest time of the year and that means we are on the way to those two nights in Texas and that means WWE is supposed to start picking things up. This is the important stretch of the calendar….and it just isn’t working this year.
I was in the house for this year’s Royal Rumble and I have had tickets to WrestleMania for months. I’m flying down to the show and I have a nearly full schedule ready for the weekend, but the whole thing is not clicking. The Rumble had me very fired up, but after seeing what WWE has done, it doesn’t exactly leave me excited about what we are going to be seeing in the coming months (assuming they don’t make any last minute changes to the expected card).
The biggest problem is still the main event scene, which as of Monday Night Raw, will be featuring Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. Again. For the third time at WrestleMania and the second time in about five months. The two biggest names in WWE are going to be going at it in another huge match and now there is even a chance that we are going to be seeing it title for title. Since the match has been done so frequently, it needs to be title for title, because that is what is going to help the rest of the roster close the gap with those two.
That’s what we’re supposed to get behind again? Reigns and Lesnar have done their thing time after time and while it still feels big, it is the kind of thing that we have seen so many times that it doesn’t feel WrestleMania worthy. They did this match back in New Orleans four years ago and it felt tired even then. The fact that we already saw the match back in Saudi Arabia and almost saw it at Day One last month.
WWE seems to feel that these two are the only male wrestlers in the company that matter and that is getting more and more exhausting. You have all of these wrestlers who feel like they are on a treadmill because they can’t become stars? Why can’t they become stars? Probably because they are always being sacrificed to Reigns and Lesnar so they can have showdown after showdown. That might work for a little while, but eventually you need someone else to be given a shot over these two.
There are a few other big names in the men’s main event scene though, such as Drew McIntyre….who was thrown out by Lesnar to win the Royal Rumble, after Lesnar was involved for about two and a half minutes. Ok so that doesn’t work, but there is Bobby Lashley, who did beat Lesnar to win the WWE Title…after Reigns knocked Lesnar cold with a title shot. But at least Lesnar didn’t throw him around with a bunch of German suplexes before….never mind.
That’s more or less where we are with the main event scene at the moment and things are not looking great. I’m sure WWE will build up Lesnar vs. Reigns (possibly with both titles on the line because they need all of the gold) as the be all and end all of matches, but it isn’t exactly an inspired feeling. That was the case the last time these two fought at WrestleMania and it seems like it could be happening again. I’m not sure how to fix that, but I don’t think WWE seems to care all that much either.
Then we get to move over to the other side, where it looks like we are going to be seeing Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Title. This comes after Rousey returned and won the women’s Royal Rumble, last eliminating Charlotte, because naturally she could help take out everyone not named Rousey. It is technically a fresh match as the two have only met in a triple threat at WrestleMania, so at least they are a step ahead of the men.
It is nice to have someone getting a chance, though I’m not sure how much interest there is going to be in a showdown between Charlotte and Rousey, which is not likely to feature the best talking on the way to the match. Rousey has not exactly shown the greatest ability to speak in the scripted WWE style and you know what you’re going to get with Charlotte, who has been the same character for years now.
That’s where we are with the women’s side of things: Charlotte (probably) dropping the title to Rousey, who is likely to hold onto the title for several months before dropping it to….well probably Becky Lynch, because they have a lot more history than Rousey and Charlotte. It makes sense to have Charlotte help Rousey get through the biggest singles match of her career, though it doesn’t exactly leave us with the greatest set of options over the next few months.
The fact that half of the thirty women in the women’s Royal Rumble had to be either returns or nostalgia choices tells you just about everything you need to know about the WWE women’s division at the moment. There were fifteen women involved in the match who are currently regulars (including the reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion) and how many of them were a serious threat to win? If you really stretch, you might be able to get to five between the two women’s divisions.
In other words, it’s the same situation as the men’s division has: there is almost no depth when it comes to possible title winners, or even challengers, and the title picture keeps coming back to the same people. With the men it is all about Lesnar and Reigns while the women’s division is all about Lynch, Charlotte, Banks, Belair and….am I missing anyone around at the moment?
That is where the Royal Rumbles should be able to do some good for the roster as they can make someone an instant star. It isn’t like WWE doesn’t know how to do this, as they did it with McIntyre in 2020 and Belair in 2021. Somehow, that is about all there is in the way of people becoming stars though, as now it is right back to the status quo, with the same core group of wrestlers dominating the title pictures for a long time to come.
What it comes down to is the fact that four people (Lynch, Charlotte, Reigns and Lesnar) have been on top of the company’s title pictures for such a long time now that they have taken away so much of the interest that they could have. It isn’t that the four of them aren’t great and incredibly talented, but at some point it is time to move on and let someone else in there. Belair and McIntyre have been added to the mix, but look at where they are a year or two later. It is the same people back on top, and the energy is gone.
I know WWE is making more money than they know what to do with (save for lining their own pockets) and it isn’t like they are going to change their path forward anytime soon, but it is a pretty depressing feeling to see the same names showing up at the top of the card over and over without some kind of a freshening up that actually matters. Maybe there is a change coming up or maybe WWE can come up with a better way to present the same things, but it would be nice if they gave things a bit of a rumble.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books
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