Oh man it’s that time of year again. We are officially clear of the Royal Rumble and that means we are officially on the Road To WrestleMania. All roads lead to Tampa, Florida and Raymond James Stadium (as seems to be the case with every major sporting events as of late) for the big two night spectacle (if we have to). That’s the kind of thing wrestling fans get excited about every year….and am I the only one who really isn’t feeling it this time?
You might not know it but as of Wednesday, we are only 59 days away from WrestleMania 37. Yeah did you realize that? I know WWE has their regular “X Days To Go” graphic that they put up every single show but the countdown really doesn’t feel like it has much of an impact. I’m trying as hard as I can to get excited but for one reason or another, it isn’t clicking this time around. So what is going on this time that is causing the roadblock on the…..dang it now I’m doing the road thing too.
First and foremost, there are so many things to get through before we get to WrestleMania. This coming Sunday, NXT presents Takeover: Vengeance Day. The Sunday after that is Elimination Chamber. Then four weeks after that, we have Fastlane. For those of you who don’t count down to WrestleMania in weeks, that puts Fastlane a mere three weeks before WrestleMania 37.
That three week stretch would be the shortest amount of time between the final pay per view and WrestleMania in history. With more than one show, including one featuring probably two Elimination Chamber matches, left before we get to the big one, it takes away the spark. Instead of having everything cleared out and then a month’s worth of TV (at least) to take us through the final stretch, it feels more like we’re done with everything else and now we have to do WrestleMania.
I think that’s the problem with the whole thing: it feels like we have to do something rather than having something all that interesting. Just having Elimination Chamber between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania is already enough but now Fastlane is thrown in at the same time? Yes it has been there before and it has always been a bit of a problem. Other than we need to have a pay per view in March because that’s just how things works, is there that much of a need for one more show to finally get us to WrestleMania?
As tends to be the case with WWE, there is just too much going on. That brings us back to Tampa for a change, as I’m still not feeling the two night WrestleMania structure. It continues to be the same situation as it was last year: if WrestleMania is supposed to be the biggest night of the year with the most important show, it kind of loses some of its impact if you’re doing it again the next night. That’s not to say there aren’t some benefits (because there certainly are) but some of the special feeling goes away.
The lack of the special feeling is where this whole thing starts to go downhill. WrestleMania is not supposed to be the kind of show that you just get through, but rather the kind of show that you look forward to. It’s the kind of a show that you are supposed to be looking forward to and having it taking place over two nights (WrestleMania does not belong on a Saturday. That’s just unnatural.) makes it feel like some other weird gimmick show that WWE loves to put on.
Now that being said, any show can be rescued by a good card because it all comes down to the wrestling side of things. If you have the lineup to back it up, anything can be saved and that has certainly been the case before. WrestleMania is the kind of show that can be built up in a hurry and the feeling alone, especially near the top of the card, can get you over whatever problems you have coming in.
As you might have guessed, I’m not sure that’s the case here. The idea of Edge going after (likely) Roman Reigns and the Universal Title because he wants to get back to the top of the mountain isn’t exactly inspiring. The story does sound good on paper, but at the same time…..it’s Reigns at WrestleMania and Edge is the best thing they can come up with? Not Daniel Bryan or some other big star? Edge is a famous name in WWE history but is he the kind of star you can picture taking a title from Reigns? Is the Battle Of The Spears really that big of a draw (to anyone but WWE that is)?
Or maybe Edge does go after Drew McIntyre and the WWE Title. There is a little more drama than there would be from a match with Reigns (as I don’t think even WWE would be crazy enough to pull the trigger on Edge there) but…..is this really a match that anyone would want to see? I’m just not feeling the drama in either possible option and unless WWE loses their minds and has Edge go after the NX…..never mind.
And right now, other than Bianca Belair vs. either Women’s Champion (likely Sasha Banks (a fine way to go) because Lacey Evans vs. Charlotte is likely getting the Raw Women’s Title match), what else do we know for WrestleMania? With about two months to go, are there really any matches you can look forward to from here? Are there any matches you can even assume will be happening? The Fiend vs. Randy Orton in some kind of screwy matchup that will likely be overthought and leave fans not wanting to see either again for months on end? Damien Priest/Bad Bunny vs. Miz/John Morrison?
What about any of this makes it feel like WrestleMania? I’m sure there will be some part timers thrown in, but this does not feel like the kind of a WrestleMania where a lot of things are going to happen. It’s more along the lines of the lower half of the WrestleMania cycle, which rarely gives us good results. It feels more like WWE is trying to piece something together rather than having something that is going to be something that showcases the biggest and best that WWE has to offer.
Now of course WWE could still pull something off with this show. WrestleMania 31 felt rather similar in that there was little reason for the show to work and then it wound be being great. The WrestleMania banner alone should be enough to carry things and there are still several weeks to get things going. Maybe they can have a few stories come together and something they are doing catches fire. Or maybe the old timers come in and save them. Again. It’s not like that hasn’t been the case more than once before.
Either way, there is a chance that they could make something work out in the end. WWE has pulled a rabbit out of their hat before and they might be able to do it again here. The problem is more that they have to pull it off again because they are losing the ability to put WrestleMania together (with some exceptions of course).
I’m not sure what to expect from WrestleMania and there is always the chance that they could put something together. What matters is the fact that the show does not feel like WrestleMania, which takes away the most important aspect of the show. WWE still has a good deal of time to make the situation better, but without the magic of WrestleMania, this is just going to be a big night (uh, two nights) in April. WrestleMania deserves better than that. It’s not like it’s Fastlane.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 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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