Will WrestleMania 33 be the most disappointing of the Big 4?
Well, if history is any indicator, it's definitely a possibility.
WrestleMania hasn't been the end all be all PPV of the year that it used to be, for a long time. To many people, myself included, WrestleMania has been mostly forgetful for about a decade now, give or take a few memorable moments.
The Showcase of the Immortals used to be hours of great entertainment, but now, one or two moments a show is what we're handed. And there are many arguments as to why that is, one being that WWE has stunted the growth of their own stars.
It's been claimed by former writers of WWE and former talent that corporate doesn't want anyone growing to the popularity of the Rock, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold or even John Cena.
The idea is that no one should be bigger than the company and that state of mind has led to talents being looked at as B-grade all around when compared to the Attitude Era.
In-ring talent wise, at no point in wrestling history, has a roster has been this stacked. Men like Rollins, Zayn, Ambrose, Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens rule the roost right now, yet when someone talks about the greatest wrestlers of all time, you'd never hear those names crack a top ten list.
The last big star the company has made was John Cena, and his run is coming to an end sooner rather than later. There's no one that comes near that star power, and it's safe to assume that that's been the plan.
The Rock and Stone Cold were able to leave as they pleased, with no real worry about where another paycheck was coming from. If you kneecap a talent right before they cross that threshold, you'll never have to worry about them achieving the Hogan status.
It means that them leaving is a guaranteed loss of money for them, not the company.
A similar point is that the WWE is trying to make stars that rival the greats, just not with the talents that the fans want. The Roman Reigns project has been a three-year failure that continues to go on despite the fan response.
It's not as if he's reached the crowd reaction of John Cena, where it's half and half.
Fans fully hate Roman Reigns being booked as the next face of the company, yet Vince seems to ignore the outcry for change. With every OOH AAH and every Superman punch, the fans’ hatred for the Big Dog continues to grow and fester.
This has lead to the WWE Universe taking over any match that Roman is a part of, especially his two WrestleMania main events. The common belief is that WrestleMania is for the casual viewer, that's why big name part-timers fill the card.
Yet when Roman came out for WrestleMania 31 and 32, the crowd erupted in a chorus of boos. 31 had the saving grace of Rollins cashing in. 32 wasn't so lucky, and the boos continued until the show's end.
Speaking of part-timers, they rule the ring when WrestleMania comes around.
Brock Lesnar can't be pinned, let alone given a challenge. Triple H always has a match with someone to make sure we remember how important he is. The Rock comes back every now and then to beat someone down. And now we get Goldberg main eventing The Show of Shows with Lesnar, which will probably last about thirty seconds.
There's another one I've yet to mention, only because of the backlash it's sure to bring with it.
He's a man that has given so much to the business and has earned adoration and respect from fans all over the world, but he is still a part-timer, and that man is the Undertaker. Even Shane McMahon has come back to throw fisticuffs her and there last year and this year, this year taking on AJ Styles.
Heck, even John Cena can be considered a part-timer at this point in his career.
If we do get HHH vs Seth Rollins, which is more than likely, then five out of the twelve matches set up right now will involve guys who don't wrestle full time, and they are the most discussed bouts of the night.
Between holding their talent back and keeping slots secured for guys who barely show up throughout the year, of course, there will be a negative impact on WrestleMania 33. You give your hardcore fans reasons to hate the show, and the casual viewers have less of a reason to come back the next year.
That's the main issue, really, with WrestleMania. It's the part of the year where the talent that is there in and out, day and night are forgotten about so we are forced to remember how great the product was 10+ years ago.
And if they are trying to push a younger guy, its the one that no one wants in that spot. Even if you’re a Roman fan, which I am, you have to admit that keeping him in the spot he’s in is doing nothing positive here.
It’s a guaranteed boo fest for Mania, and with the crowd finally souring on Goldberg-Lesnar, it’s pretty clear to see that unless they have something special up their sleeve, WrestleMania 33 has a chance to, not only be the worst of the Big 4 but to be worse than WrestleMania 32.
Last year's Mania was a complete fiasco. AJ Styles actually made an appearance, something we never thought would happen... but lost to Chris Jericho, who was a part-timer until he decided to stick around a bit longer.
The Rock had a match... about six seconds of one, beating Eric Rowan. The League of Nations for some reason beat the New Day in a non-title match and Brock Lesnar essentially squashed Dean Ambrose in a match he should've had an advantage in.
Even the Undertaker match was just a one spot show where Shane jumped off the top of the cell, and that was pretty much it. The worst part of the night, however, was Roman Reigns taking on the WWE Champion, Triple H.
How anyone thought that the main event was going to go over well with the crowd is beyond me.
HHH was built up to be the guy the fans were supposed to hate, verbally beating down their heroes. Guys like Ambrose and Bryan were mocked by The Game, yet fans would rather cheer the dictator of the WWE than Roman Reigns.
With so much potential for an unforgettable night, it fell beyond flat. It left a bad taste in the mouths of its hardcore fans, and this year’s WrestleMania can top that.
It’s not as if every WrestleMania has been hitting it out of the park, though.
I’d even go so far as to say that WrestleMania 30 was sub-par, and that’s considered by many to be the best one in the past decade. It was a roller coaster of emotions that people still talk about fondly.
Daniel Bryan beat HHH to earn a spot in the main event but was then brutally beat down and crippled by the Game. Cesaro got what looked like the beginning of a push to the stars when he won the first Andre the Giant Battle Royal. That went nowhere, and Cesaro was injured half a year later.
Brock Lesnar broke Undertaker’s undefeated streak, carrying the torch that could be taken by a younger talent should they beat Lesnar, getting the rub of a lifetime. However, it was given to Goldberg, so it was pretty much pointless.
Daniel Bryan, injured as could be, defeated both Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and was immediately injured, causing him to relinquish the titles a few months later.
Besides those moments which fell apart the farther we got past the Show of Shows, there wasn’t anything worthwhile.
I had to look up the matches to remember that the Shield had a match against the New Age Outlaws and Kane. Or that Cena beat Wyatt, which was, of course, a decision no one liked.
Even WrestleMania 31 is talked about because of the cash in by Seth Rollins. “The Heist of the Century” that saved the main event. Rollins actually had the two best moments of the night, the cash-in and the Curb Stomp RKO.
Besides those, I guess the biggest match was Sting vs HHH, so, again, a WrestleMania where the older vets are praised and rewarded while the constant workers pretty much got shafted.
When it comes to WrestleMania season, WWE all but forgets their fanbase.
They don’t cater to us, they cater to the casual people that probably watch the Superbowl for the commercials.
It’s not for the fans, for the people that love the business. It’s for the ones that want something to do or watch on a Sunday night. So will WrestleMania be the worst of the Big 4 this year?
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