5 thought-provoking ways Wrestlemania 34 can conclude
Kayfabe is one word that is a deep-rooted pillar at the epicentre of WWE’s key founding principles and has been the unseen glue that has held the fictional world of professional wrestling together for decades. However, over the past few decades, that invisible glue has started to fade away, which now raises an important question, what keeps the kayfabe sport of professional wrestling exciting, stimulating and most notably interesting?
The answer has been a bookers solution for decades now, it a simple mix of captivating characters, the right amount of exhilarating in-ring action plus an emotionally gripping narrative, those factors have kept the essence of wrestling intact for years.
The combination of those three elements has been enough to create magic in the squared circle, and that magic has resulted in dream matches becoming 5-star classics, breakout superstars becoming legends and scripted narratives going from a simple storyline to a worldwide phenomenon.
The only reason those instances of truly captivating storytelling stay in the memories of wrestling fans for decades is due to two key factors; the amount of interest it generated and if the company had executed it at the most opportune time, and when discussing fan interest and golden opportunities, there is no other wrestling event on the planet that garners more attention than “the show of shows”, Wrestlemania.
Since its inception, Wrestlemania has served as the conclusive pinnacle for many of WWE’s narratives, as the closing match of the “show of shows”, in theory, is the wrapping up of the company’s calendar year and while WWE has ended the past few editions of Wrestlemania on a monotonous note, the company has thrown in the odd curveball at its own rock-solid plans which no wrestling fan or critic could’ve foreseen. These alternate creative decisions take the company in a whole new direction, that ultimately define the success of their new calendar year, as fresh rivalries, brand new narratives and thought-provoking innovative ideas all bank on one point to have a successful start, the main event of Wrestlemania.
However, over the past decade, WWE’s ‘creative’ plans to close out the most important match of the entire year has either fallen flat, lacked excitement from their fanbase and has capped off Wrestlemania in a lacklustre fashion. Instances such as the Wrestlemania 32 bout of Roman Reigns vs Triple H was a bland encounter and John Cena vs The Miz for WWE Title match at Wrestlemania 27 was disappointing, those two examples are evidence of some of the terrible creative decisions taken WWE’s writing team, even though there were more intriguing options available. However, this year WWE once again have all the right cards in their hand to cap of Wrestlemania 34 in spectacular fashion that truly changes the landscape of the company, creates a new main eventer and most importantly brings back the unpredictability to Wrestlemania.
#1 Reigns turns heel to finally overthrow Lesnar
There are certain things a wrestling promotion can’t fully achieve in the modern era of professional wrestling, first would be the inability to please every single wrestling aficionado in their fan base, the success rate of every narrative they produce would be second and last but not least, the effort in keeping a massive surprise a secret is nearly impossible as rumours have often ruined the element of surprise in wrestling. Therefore, with the above being said, it is definitely no secret that WWE’s Wrestlemania 34 main event plans have become heavily publicised over the past year, and as the rumour goes Roman Reigns will challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at the “show of shows”.
As the booking of Lesnar is akin to a runaway freight train bulldozing its way through white-hot stars such as Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and AJ Styles, that rumour is well on its way to becoming a spoiler. Therefore, Lesnar has dominated the best Raw has to offer him and has a clear path to Wrestlemania, and WWE has cleared Reigns path by having him drop the Intercontinental Title so that he can do what many wrestling critics and fans have forecasted, and that win the elimination chamber match and go on to confirm this speculation at Wrestlemania 34. However, while WWE has laid down a concrete plan to have the two baddest men in the company squared off in what should be an excellent match, they have made one mistake with that solid plan and that is the monster building of Brock Lesnar.
“The Beast” has been the most protected WWE superstar over the last year, with an advocate who sells his invincibility on the mic, his booking sells his invulnerability in the ring and the impact of his finisher sells the credibility of his aura. Therefore, theoretically speaking that is a roadblock for “the big dog”. As Lesnar has done what Paul Heyman preaches on the mic, he has victimised, conquered and dominated every single behemoth WWE has sent his way and he has done all that with just one F5. When Lesnar hoisted Samoa Joe up on his shoulders and defeated him with one F5 fan were shocked, people were outraged when he did the same to Braun Strowman and when he put Kane down the WWE Universe already predicted that scenario.
As many might have noticed the one person missing from Lesnar’s F5 victims in 2017 is Roman Reigns himself, as Reigns was also conquered with one F5 at Summerslam 2017. So how does WWE book Lesnar’s defeat at the hands of “the big dog”? With taking Lesnar’s booking, the number of powerhouses he has defeated and the fact that Reigns will go over against Lesnar at the “grandest stage of them all”, the only possible way Reigns can believably beat Lesnar for the Universal Title is for him to not achieve it as a valiant babyface but as an aggressive heel. WWE has been adamant about producing Hulk Hogan type babyfaces for decades now and they have replicated that success with John Cena, and now the successor to Cena is Reigns.
However, this time fans have seen right through WWE’s masterplan and ended Reigns babyface run the night it had started. If WWE had been paying attention to the last 5 years of Roman Reigns career they should’ve noticed that Reigns being booked as a no-nonsense bada** was what got him over. Therefore, the only way to tap into that natural charisma again is for “the big dog” to turn heel, discover his true personality and carry those traits over into his eventual babyface persona just like many legends before him. At Wrestlemania 34 WWE can have Reigns beat Lesnar in his superman fashion which does nothing for “the big dog" moving forward or they can have Reigns become the bada** heel that truly ushers in a new era in the company.