With the both the Road To WrestleMania and the 20th Anniversary show on the horizon, WWE is having to choose its priorities.
According to F4Wonline.com (via LordsofPain.net), WWE had planned to bring back several stars to celebrate 20 years of Raw on Monday. Now there has been a change in direction, and the company does not intend to bring anyone special back for the occasion.
As the author of the original article notes, it does seem unlikely that WWE will not bring a single person back. Too many people expect at least one or two special guests. So WWE would be in real danger of leaving its fans disappointed if no one makes an appearance.
Regardless, WWE is right to concentrate on the Road to WrestleMania rather than expend too much effort on another landmark show.
Of course, it is wonderful for wrestling fans to reminisce over what has happened before. The indulgence that was the Raw 1000 spectacular should be all that is needed to confirm this.
Only, that celebration was just six months ago and this time of year should be for making history.
WrestleMania is the company’s showcase event. The preparation needed to create an emotional crescendo to accompany the showcase matches takes months. Preferably, the feuds have a logical progression from this time onward to maximize this effect.
This means that a celebration placed in the middle of the schedule—however joyous—is a real issue for the ramping up of the tension.
Being only two weeks from the Royal Rumble—the starting point for the Road to WrestleMania—is also a great reason for the company to concentrate on the action happening in the present. A few people have officially entered, but only Sheamus and Randy Orton have shown themselves as real contenders.
WWE really needs to establish a group of competitors who have a legitimate chance of winning the event. Every Superstar in the company wants to claim victory—in both the WWE world and the real one—but more reasons need to be given to support individuals.
It is already a push to create the necessary excitement in the time available. So removing—or at least severely limiting—the time available in one of the shows would be a poor decision.
There is an argument that the rumble is less important now than it used to be. No winner has headlined WrestleMania since 2009, and that saw the champion Triple H retain. Certainly, it can no longer be said that winning the rumble is the guaranteed passport to stardom it once was.
Yet many feuds that will culminate at WrestleMania will start off in the 30-man, over-the-top-rope match. Sometimes an elimination can spark a quest for vengeance, or a surprise betrayal triggers two friends to become enemies.
Undoubtably the rumble is still critical for the setup to ‘Mania, so WWE really must use Raw on Monday to promote it properly.
Many people would love another opportunity to run through the greatest moments of Raw’s history. It almost guarantees enjoyment, as the fans get to relive their favorite memories once again.
Still, it is the right choice by WWE to concentrate on the present. Making WrestleMania as big as possible is the key to the company’s year. Choosing any other path would be foolish, even though such a choice does take the instant gratification from a landmark event.