During the WrestleMania XXX preview on the Kings of Sport podcast, I gave WWE’s build for the event a C-plus.
It’s not that the buildup has been bad overall. In fact, WWE’s top matches, with the exception of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, have been good to great in that department.
It’s the litany of group matches with little-to-no buildup that are at fault—the several once-compelling storylines that were abruptly scrapped in favor of a socialistic effort to include everybody not named JTG.
Once upon a time, The Rhodes Brothers were the hottest commodity in WWE. An eventual split and blowoff match between them is the type of encounter that WrestleMania stages were created for.
But similar to the growing tension between The Real Americans, The Usos' feud against the New Age Outlaws and The Shield’s impending split, The Brotherhood was swept under a WWE ring like a Triple H sledgehammer.
All for a blatant effort to boost morale by booking more than 60 WWE Superstars and Divas to appear at WrestleMania.
Pro wrestling needs to embrace capitalism over socialism.
The onus is the NBA and NFL to ensure everybody has a chance. If fans in a particular market feel their team has no chance to win a championship, games will be poorly attended, risking the dreaded blackout.
The NFL is equipped for the type of fair and balanced booking that WWE has used throughout WrestleMania season.
The worst team automatically gets the first pick. The best teams play a tougher schedule the following season. There’s revenue sharing. There’s a salary cap.
The league is designed to create parity that manufactures (false) hope for all 32 markets, which then become hooked by the promise of NFL kickoff.
Pro wrestling adopts a capitalist structure. This means picking an elite group of talent and booking them to win most of their matches.
It’s not fair, but it’s the proven method of sustaining a promotion. This has been the WWE’s model from Bruno Sammartino to Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin to John Cena.
A WrestleMania with fewer wrestlers on the card, but with several intriguing rivalries, is a formula to success.
There was once a commercial for high-end job-matching service, The Ladders. In it, two tennis players were playing a point before their game was crashed and fans emptied the stands. Armed with rackets, everyone rushed the court, attempting to compete.
The scene ruined the quality of the tennis match. This was the message being sent by a job-matching service that only services the most qualified of applicants.
WrestleMania needs to be Ladders.com: 65 announced participants on one show feels more like Craigslist.
Still, the jam-packed bill has somehow made room for what may be the most emotionally charged main event in recent memory.
Daniel Bryan, Triple H and the two stooges in Randy Orton and Batista will headline a top-heavy pay-per-view that will receive deserved acclaim if all the top matches deliver.
And, of course, if the WWE Network live feed doesn't crash.