WWE News: Christian on why WrestleMania crowd were lacklustre for AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura
What's the story?
Wrestling Inc. is reporting on a recent edition of Edge and Christian's Pod of Awesomeness where they were discussing the results of WrestleMania. One particular subject that Christian covered was the lack of energy from the WWE Universe in attendance for the WWE Championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles.
In case you didn't know...
Before WrestleMania 34, the pair squared off at Wrestle Kingdom 10 for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2016. Nakamura won this 24-minute match by hitting the Bomaye (Kinshasa) to the back and then the front of Styles' head.
The heart of the matter...
Overall, Christian believed fan fatigue was a major catalyst for the lack of crowd energy during the WWE Championship match with Styles and Nakamura. WrestleMania itself started at 4:00PM in the afternoon local with the Kickoff Show, and this match was the third to last match on the card, taking place nearly six hours after that.
"Sometimes the crowd can affect the perception of a match, [and] I think it happened during this one a little bit," Christian said. "Especially when it's two guys that are babyfaces - there's the title on the line, but emotionally, what else is going on? I think what they did after the match meant more than anything that did in the match."
What happened after the match, not many people saw coming. Nakamura got down on one knee to present Styles with the WWE Championship - AJ accepted and they hugged, but as he turned to the crowd in celebration while holding the title aloft, Nakamura delivered a low blow, thus turning him heel.
Christian would compare this situation to a similar one with himself and Randy Orton back in 2011 at the Over The Limit pay-per-view. That match was for the World Heavyweight Championship, with both men then babyfaces.
"The emotion was, this guy who we've wanted to see at this level for like 17 years has been scratching and clawing and finally won it. Then, had it snatched from a guy who's been patented as 'the golden boy' for years and years, and has been molded to be a top superstar gets it back after a couple of days."
"People didn't want to see me lose it yet - that was the emotion. 'Can he get it back, get back to that level already, so quickly after he worked so hard to get there?' People liked me, but they didn't like what happened."
For the WrestleMania match, Christian said the WWE Universe essentially chose a side for whom they preferred, but Nakamura's heel turn allows him to "sink his teeth" into this feud as a result. Edge agreed that it was the right thing to do as well, whilst stating his enthusiasm for where this feud goes next.
Nakamura continued his heelish actions on the "SmackDown After Mania" this week when he attacked both Styles and Daniel Bryan in the main event. SmackDown Live takes place from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island next - where you'll expect this feud to escalate even further now that Bryan may be added to the WWE Championship picture.
I completely agree with Christian on the fan fatigue reasoning, but this also wasn't near the level of their Wrestle Kingdom 10 match in 2016 either. I didn't know why this match didn't reach the epic levels it should have, until Nakamura's low blow.
I think the blowoff of this feud takes place at SummerSlam where we get the epic encounter we were expecting at WrestleMania, it just needed more fuel on the fire.