As of Monday’s edition of Raw, there are currently 58 wrestlers booked for WrestleMania. No, not personnel or staff. Active wrestlers.
Currently on the doc is an Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, a guaranteed Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a six-man tag team match and a Divas invitational all before a likely three- or four-way tag team title match has been announced.
This isn’t WrestleMania. This is Game of Thrones.
The only thing missing is a last-chance Battle Royal featuring all the talents who didn’t make it on the
card. But who needs another Triple Threat match?
The novelty of WrestleMania has always been a culmination of prolonged tension. There’s no better way to culminate anything in a wrestling ring than with a one-on-one affair that gives two individuals the much-needed spotlight.
The Royal Rumble feeds into WrestleMania by design. The journey to a world championship starts with 30 men at the Rumble, then boils down to six at Elimination Chamber, which then boils down to two individuals who earned their main event billing.
With added parts past April, nothing has really boiled down. The feuds just seem incomplete, as if the booker just ran out of TV and told everybody to go to the ring and sort it out.
Being booked at WrestleMania is usually a prestigious honor. Last year, Cody Rhodes, Cesaro and Kofi Kingston were just some of the talented names left off a star-studded card.
This year, however, so many WWE Superstars and Divas are advertised it says more about them if they weren’t booked. Take a look at the names unlikely to appear on WrestleMania XXX. Are they WrestleMania snubs or the debut of WWE’s PUP list?
A crowded WrestleMania XXX awakens a viable fear that many cynics had ahead of the launch of the WWE Network.
Now that the majority of WrestleMania customers have already bought the Network, and therefore
WrestleMania, WWE won’t need to work as hard to sell the event on pay-per-view and therefore the quality would suffer.
In a sense, fans are only paying $9.99 for WrestleMania this year. Given the equal-opportunity booking, it seems like they’re getting their money’s worth.
The WrestleMania lineup has become the night club without a bouncer. Attracting the free crowd, these clubs are prone to fights, weapon-smuggling and an overall decrease in decorum.
Say what you want to say about the Marquee Night Club in Las Vegas, but it’s exclusive for a reason.
If the element of the showdown is bastardized through an overbooked card, why even have WrestleMania. This is closer to Survivor Series: Gang Rulz.
Lost in all the controversy of The Rock allegedly taking a spot from younger talent over the past two years was the fact that WrestleMania lived up to its “showcase of the immortals” tagline through his presence. It was one of the rare occasions where fans could see a modern-day clash of the pro wrestling titans.
Now that the majority of the roster has that once-elusive spot, suddenly it’s not worth fighting for.
Was this the plan all along? A discount WrestleMania that was really just an elaborate exhibition to bait customers into buying WWE Network?
Then, next year, with a healthy clientele the top franchise gets moved off the WWE Network lineup?
As much as that scenario would upset some subscribers, a WrestleMania return to pay-per-view may be all that can save it.