JC’s Top Rope Report: Is It Even Wrestlemania Season?
The calendar says we are in March. According to the WWE’s website Wrestlemania is on March 29th. But if you have been watching RAW and Smackdown for the last month, then you wouldn’t even know it was Wrestlemania season by the way they’ve been booking their storylines.
Every year it seems like the WWE goes out of their way to make the big matches feel important. But this year that does not seem like the case. You can start by looking at the WWE Title match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. First of all, god bless Paul Heyman. He is doing everything in his power to make people want to care about this match. But in the last two weeks, it feels like the story has turned more toward Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar vs The WWE rather than Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns. The WWE was trying to use the rumors of Brock leaving to their advantage. But while doing that, they have taken a lot of the spotlight away from Roman Reigns.
We all know that Roman Reigns has his critics. And the criticism that he gets has been warranted. But I supported the WWE’s decision to go all in with Reigns rather than switch the match to a triple threat. But over the last two weeks, Reigns has been treated like an afterthought. How long was he on RAW Monday? All of maybe ten minutes? Here’s the guy that is going to be the next face of your company, and you only put him on a 3 hour show for 10 minutes? Daniel Bryan felt like more of a big deal last year than Roman Reigns has all of this year. Sure Bryan had more momentum, but you have to at least give Reigns an opportunity to win over his detractors. Reigns was pushed more going into the Rumble and Fastlane then he has been in the last two weeks. This does not have the feeling of a big time WWE Title Match.
Then there’s Triple H vs Sting. As I’ve said numerous times before, I’m a Sting mark. I’m looking forward to Sting’s first and possibly only match in the WWE. But the WWE is running in to the same problem that they always do when they book a match with part timers going into Wrestlemania: They have to rely on promos to sell the match. This past Monday, the WWE used a distorted Sting voice for a video package. And he even talked about how he failed stopping the nWo in WCW. Sure that’s a minor nitpick, but why would you even bring that up? Plus, there’s still no stipulation or meaning to the match. If Sting wins, so what? Triple H stays in power the next day and the win will be forgotten in a few months. It’s a match between two big stars but in the end, there’s just no real meaning to it. And until there is a stipulation added, I fear there is a strong chance that Triple H wins.
Lets move on to Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker. Here we have a program that is relying on Bray Wyatt to sell it entirely. As far as we know, The Undertaker isn’t appearing until Wrestlemania. We got some crazy pyrotechnics and light shows on RAW, but it in no way makes me care about this match. Bray Wyatt’s promos have done nothing to make me care either. It sounded like the WWE got a clip of Undertaker saying “Rest in Peace” from a previous interview and used it on RAW the other night. If Bray Wyatt defeats The Undertaker and gets pushed as the next big heel in the WWE, then maybe this will be worth it in the end. But we said the same thing about Bray Wyatt and John Cena last year, and that ended up setting Bray back for about six months.
John Cena and Rusev was a match I was looking forward too. I still don’t know why they went ahead and had the match at Fastlane. On RAW we had John Cena, the ultimate good guy who never gives up, bully his way into a rematch by beating up Rusev until his manager couldn’t watch anymore. That is the closest you will ever get to seeing heel John Cena in the WWE. And I’ll admit that those may have been the loudest Cena chants I had heard on RAW in quite some time.
And Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins. To me, this has once again been booked wrong since the start. From the start, it should have been Orton going through every member of the Authority to get his hands on Seth Rollins. Instead, the WWE tried to get the viewing audience to believe that Orton had really re-joined the Authority. And then they gave away the beatdown on RAW. And it went on for way too long. Orton could have had a ton of momentum going into Mania. They could have repeated the build from Wrestlemania 27 with Randy Orton going through the New Nexus to get to CM Punk.
When Wrestlemania season comes around we expect the WWE to go out of its way to make it feel big. But the WWE has not come close to that this year. It almost feels like another throw away PPV that the WWE has every other month. Wrestlemania just doesn’t feel like a big deal this year.
This column may seem like a lot of complaining. And it is. But we as fans expect Wrestlemania to be the pinnacle of the WWE every year. But they have failed on almost every level this year. The WWE thinks they can just skate along at times and fans will come back no matter what. But the WWE might risk losing fans if they skate by with Wrestlemania this year. If you are a casual fan who only comes back during Mania season, what would make you stick around after Wrestlemania? The guy the WWE is suppose to be pushing as the future of their company as been an afterthought since Fastlane.
Wrestlemania is fast approaching. But instead of Wrestlemania season, it seems like the middle of summer in the WWE.
Until Next Time,
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