Wrestlemania! The “Showcase of the Immortals”, the “Granddaddy of them All”, and all those other things we’re not supposed to call it anymore.
We are only a few short days away from undoubtedly the biggest weekend of the year for the sport of pro wrestling as a whole. Mania has been the scene of historical moments the likes of Hogan taking on The Rock, Shawn Michaels retiring Ric Flair and Brock Lesnar ending the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania win streak. This year’s show hopes to leave it’s own mark in the halls of wrestling history by being the first Wrestlemania to feature a female main event match. Monumental as a women’s main event may be, it serves as a poor distraction from the fact that the build up to all of the other THIRTEEN MATCHES has been nothing more than WWE’s usual crap. In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at the extremely overbooked match card for Sunday’s big show, and I’ll give you a few reasons why each match will have a hand in making this one of the worst Manias to date. Let’s jump into it.
I’m going to start with the easy targets. Firstly, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the Women’s…Wrestlemania…Battle Royal? Have either of these matches ever served any sort of real purpose? Seriously, when the biggest stories going into this year’s battle royals are Michael Che and Colin Jost being in the men’s and the women’s match still not having an official name, it’s hard not to assume we’re in for more of the same. I started off slightly long winded there, so let me jump to rapid firing at the numerous seemingly pointless singles matches featured.
Randy Orton vs AJ Styles. Sure, you can say two great competitors can have an amazing match without a title on the line, but Styles and Orton lack the combined ring dynamics to pull that off.
Tony Nese versus Buddy Murphy. Does the average casual fan even watch 205 Live? It’s safe to say build up doesn’t really matter if most of the viewing audience doesn’t keep up with the weekly cruiserweight product.
The Miz versus Shane McMahon. I don’t ever want to hear another fan complain about WWE not doing long term booking, because this is what we end up getting.
Roman Reigns versus Drew McIntyre. I could bury this match, but let’s just be thankful there’s not a championship on the line.
Triple H versus Batista. The moment that this match was given the Triple H retirement stipulation, all hype went out the window. The chances of Batista ending the Game’s career in a one shot return match are slim at best.
Baron Corbin versus Kurt Angle. Trying to build up a retirement match when most of the fanbase views Baron as undeserving of even being involved has to be akin to attempting to put out a house fire with a water pistol.
Christ, who needs this many matches on one show?! Takeover: New York only has five matches scheduled, and you just know it’ll be a better event by comparison. That aside, let’s move on to the two tag team championship matches featured on Sunday’s six hour wrestling marathon.
The Usos versus The Bar versus Rusev & Nakamura versus Ricochet & Aleister Black. This Fatal Four-Way for Smackdown’s Tag Team Championship is the definition of overbooked. Sure, it’s great to see the NXT guys getting an actual push, but even I have to say having them compete for three different sets of tag titles in a week’s time is slightly excessive.
The IIconics versus Nia Jax & Tamina versus Beth Phoenix & Natalya versus Bayley & Sasha Banks. Wait a minute…didn’t I just talk about this match? Oh, I see. It’s the same match but with ladies. Isn’t it weird how WWE never seems to half ass something they put their minds to? “Give divas a chance, huh? Well, how about we give every match a female equivalent?! No, I don’t think that’ll come across as forced pandering after our dealings with Saudi Arabia.”
Let’s move on to the meat of the show, the singles championship matches.
Finn Balor versus Bobby Lashley. When my reaction to seeing this match listed on the card is, “Wait, didn’t Finn already when the Intercontinental title? And why is Rush still Bobby’s hype man after Lashley turned on him?”, maybe WWE should’ve worked a little harder on this one. Otherwise this match is just an excuse to have Balor use his demon persona.
Rey Mysterio versus Samoa Joe. Not a lot to talk trash about with this one. Two great stars facing off for what very well could be the first time. However, having Rey job to Baron Corbin on the go home Raw doesn’t exactly help your cause.
Seth Rollins versus Brock Lesnar. Anyone else expecting Brock to resign with WWE the morning of Mania? All im gonna say is this, if Kofi beats Daniel Bryan, Seth isn’t walking out with the Universal title.
Kofi Kingston versus Daniel Bryan. I just want remind everyone that Mustafa Ali was originally supposed to compete in this match before he sustained an injury. Please keep in mind that when WWE starts giving you what you want, they may be setting you up for a swerve of Vince Russo proportions.
Charlotte Flair versus Becky Lynch versus Ronda Rousey. Okay, I know I talked this match up at the beginning, but I just gotta say that the comparison of Lynch to Steve Austin has gotten a bit ridiculous. When the go home Raw sees all three competitors taking part in a scuffle with the police, leading to their kayfabe arrest, it starts to feel like the company is trying to force the thought of Stone Cold into our minds. This is gonna sound crazy, but can’t the story just be three great female wrestlers headlining the biggest show of the year?
And there you have it, folks. Hopefully Mania won’t be as terrible as I’m making it out to be, but history shows that it more than likely will be.