The Problems with Wrestlemania 38


The Problems with Wrestlemania 38

Every year we look to get excited to see what Wrestlemania will hold and over the years we have had some of the biggest feel good moments, from Kofimania, to Daniel Bryan’s amazing double match performance to close the show, but for every memorable moment, we have moments that end up feeling lacklustre. We are used to see a celebrity spot, which has become part and parcel of the event, we have the typical Vince McMahon match, the type of match the fans aren’t that interested in, but will allow if they get something else special. The problem going into Wrestlemania 38 is that we don’t have that much to be excited about.

Here I am going to look at each match, look at the positives and negatives around it. I will make one thing clear, I do think the talent in the matches are all fantastic, this isn’t about who is or isn’t good enough for matches, this is about the ability to gain excitement. I would also like to be proven wrong about each opinion I am setting up in the discussion below.

The Missing or Rumoured

These are just a couple of matches that could still happen, or champions that are currently missing from the show.

The US Champion Finn Balor

Finn Balor vs. Damien Priest has been announced in the weeks leading up to the show of shows, even after randomly taking the title of Priest in the build up. The pair have worked well in NXT in the past and with the dynamic idea the Damien Priest is turning demonic, facing the man who can unleash the Demon in Finn Balor, we could easily have had a crowd raising match, but for now they have been thrown into the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

The Intercontinental Champion Ricochet

Ricochet has just won the Intercontinental title a few weeks back, he is currently advertised for a random triple threat match against Angel and Humberto on the Smackdown before Wrestlemania, which on paper could be an amazing high flying spectacle, but with his talents, you would like to see the high-flyer have a match on the grandest stage of them all, as he has been working so hard to rebuild his on screen character since the Brock Lesnar match in Saudi Arabia.

The Andre the Giant Battle Royale

The Andre the Giant Battle Royale is current being advertised for Smackdown Wrestlemania, the show before the big night of events starts. While in recent years with Covid restrictions you could clearly understand why such a match wasn’t used, you don’t want 20 odd wrestlers in one ring for an extended amount of time. Now it just seems to have been a forgotten match, that barely ever go going in the first place, where the winners used the win for about two weeks before everyone forgot about the match. The same can go for the Women’s Battle Royale, is struggled to make an impact and with the recent budget cuts, the roster just isn’t deep enough to have this match anymore.

Omos vs. Who?

The Giant Omos has been one of Vince’s projects for over a year now, last year winning the Raw Tag Team Titles with AJ Styles, before the paid split late 2021. Omos seems to be having a host of almost pushes, where the look at him, he is a giant gimmick is being pushed heavily. Now if rumours are to be believed, he is due to have a match at Wrestlemania, with plenty of questions about who it might be against, with one rumour being a returning Bobby Lashley. If this is the chosen match, it would be a let-down, because Bobby Lashley had been fantastic for the last year as WWE Champion and even owning a pinfall victory over Brock Lesnar. Him losing to Omos would be horrendous, but him beating him would almost certainly be the end of the Omos experiment.

The Tag Team Titles

When it comes to the tag team title matches, we have an expectation of fast paced action that will hype the crowd up, with the spots people will talk about for years to come and a chance for surprises along the way. We have three title matches, here is what we have.

Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat – Champions RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy

This tag team championship match is easily one of the best booked of everything we have on the card, it is three amazingly hard-working teams, with RK-Bro and the Alpha Academy being the best part of the tag team division for the last couple of months, and adding in the Street Profits energy, we have one of the very few matches booked well for this show.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship – Champions The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs

Where the Raw tag team championship looks like a great match, has been built up well, putting together three of the best teams in the division, Smackdown on the other hand have one of the greatest tag teams in the Usos facing up against two guys that have been randomly placed together and have done very little in the last year, even after Nakamura held the Intercontinental title for a good couple of months before losing it recently. This match might well be fun match, it just seems strange that we will not get to see the Usos in a true tag team classic, like we would expect. This could easily have been the title match on another Premium live event through the year, not the biggest one around.

Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal Four Way – Champions Queen Zelina & Carmella vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler

The Women’s Tag Team Championship match does continue to show the glaring weakness within the division, not bringing together any real tag teams since The IIconics were released. When you look at the fact that Shayna Baszler, Natalya, Rhea Ripley and Sasha Banks have all held the tag titles with other partners in the past, we get to see just how little the division is cared about. The glaring omission from this match would included a Nikki ASH, Doudrop, Alexa Bliss and Tamina, who have all held or in Doudrop’s case, being important to the last six months in the women’s division, this could easily have more teams involved and with the way the booking goes, we get a new team every show anyway. We can expect some great action in this match, even if plenty of the talent involved are literally just thrown together for the match.

The Celebrity Match Section

We are used to seeing celebrity matches through the years, we are only used to seeing one though, this year we end up getting three, which will show how much the company now cares about bringing in more eyes, rather than keeping the current audience happy with what the talent are going to be doing.

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory

Pat McAfee did have two amazing performances in NXT against Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era, he showed amazing amounts of commitment to perform some of the moves most celebrities wouldn’t even consider and even took defeats along the way, coming into and understanding the business, his excitement on the commentator desk has improved Smackdown too. When it was announced Pat would be having a match, the first rumour was against Vince McMahon, which was strange enough, because put Pat with a talented worker, we will get an entertaining match, but against Vince, this isn’t going to happen. Then the choice of Austin Theory, who is going to be a major star in the future, the young man is breath taking to watch in the ring and has been placed in the position of Mr McMahon’s (The character that is) protégé, leading to plenty of expectation he will get a major push. The problem with this role is that it hasn’t been going down as well with the audience, he has been put in spots many don’t believe he deserves, including the last man against Brock Lesnar in the Elimination Chamber match and the main event against him in the Madison Square Garden event. This is another match, the crowd aren’t excited for, despite having two great workers who will put on a great match.

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul

The Mysterios have been doing plenty of good things over the past year of so, ever since Dominik debuted, Rey has been guiding his son through some of the biggest storylines in the company. The Miz is always a great selection for a Wrestlemania match that doesn’t sound interesting, but he will elevate it with his natural charisma being one of the best company men around. Then we get the Logan Paul effect, he will bring the casual audience to the show, he is annoying and I still question why he is even famous, but last year he did a good job, came into the business and understand he was the bad guy, taking the stunner from Kevin Owens. It feels like it would easily be one to continue this on for another year, to give the Mysterios a chance for a win on the big stage. This match does feel like it is the most acceptable celebrity match of the three, it will involve the ‘celebrity’ who will put eyes on the talent involved for the future, while accepting he will be the fall guy and like Bad Bunny last year, he looks committed to take a few big spots.

Sami Zahn vs. Johnny Knoxville (Anything Goes)

Sami Zahn is on the best run of his WWE career, he is always on television, he has the crowd completely invested in his character and he knows how to go big with this character. Johnny Knoxville did come in for the Royal Rumble for a promotional spot for the new Jackass Forever movie, where he did what he needed, took some shots and did what a Jackass star needs to, bump. the fact the pair seemed to have a blast working together and it was the most invested part of the Royal Rumbles, you can see why they bought him back for another match and again it will look like they can have some fun and put together some crazy big spots, almost filling the Shane O Mac massive dive off something spot.

The Random Rivalries Section

Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin

Drew McIntyre, how he has fallen since he lost that WWE title, every year we see WWE repackage Happy Corbin to something new and then put him up against one of the more popular baby faces in the company, remember those endless matches with Roman Reigns, the ones nobody cared for. This is just like that, it doesn’t feel like anyone is interested in this match, it would be fair to say we would like Drew in a much higher spot on the card, even if he was just going for a mid-card title or having a full-blown blood feud, this rivalry feels like it ended at the Royal Rumble and has just dragged along.

The New Day vs. Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland

This match looked like it was going to be built up for King Xavier Woods return from injury, only to become overshadowed by the horror injury Big E suffered, forcing the big man out for the foreseeable future. Turning Pete Dunne into Butch seems strange too, as his reputation would work with what was being built around Sheamus. Before the injury, this could have been a very fun match between 6 very good workers who know how to work the crowd, given Ridge Holland and Butch the boost going into the new year, without taking anything away from The New Day.

Edge vs. AJ Styles

Edge vs. AJ Styles is a dream match on paper, from the moment Edge made his shocking return at the Royal Rumble and was involved in the injury that almost took AJ out of Wrestlemania that year, we have wanted to see the two square off. The open invitation was an excellent way to start the rivalry, only for it to go sour with the completely random new Edge character that feels like he needed another rivalry before jumping into a character we don’t understand yet, against one of the best in-ring performers leading to the Wrestlemania match. We have barely heard anything about what this would mean to AJ Styles going in and we are left in a position where we are expecting to see a classic, with a character we don’t completely get.

Stone Cold Steve Austin to Confront Kevin Owens on ‘The KO Show’

Kevin Owens has been calling out Stone Cold for unknown reasons, we know Owens can go with anyone and we can all agree we can’t wait to see that moment when Stone Cold’s glass smashes, but seeing Kevin Owens only involved in a talk show segment is disappointing as we just want to see him have an amazing match. This feels like it could be a headline moment on any weekly show, with us all hoping it might lead to something on night two of Wrestlemania, over just being a couple of stunners and a beer swig.

Seth Rollins vs. Who?

Seth Rollins has been demanding to be given a Wrestlemania match for weeks now, while speculation will say it will be a returning Cody Rhodes, the whole side of this has been Seth carrying any potential match. This will have echoes of the John Cena calling out The Undertaker without getting any answers. This could be the second biggest crowd pop of the night if it does end up being Cody, but it could also end up being a match not many people will enjoy if it doesn’t have a major surprise about who Seth ends up facing. This match doesn’t help because of the dirt sheets reporting everything going around Cody, instead of letting the major surprise happen.

The Main Title Matches

The main event titles matches are what Wrestlemania is all about, they have often created the biggest moments of many a wrestler’s career, last year Bianca Belair completed a fairy tale rise to the top of the women’s division, Becky Lynch won the first ever women’s main event and looking through the history of the event, we have so many title defining moments for wrestler’s career. By only have one men’s title match, we are losing a major moment for anyone else, as we have also seen this match before.

Smackdown Women’s Title Match – Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Royal Rumble Winner Ronda Rousey

Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey is the match Vince wanted to give us on Ronda’s first run with the company, but the fans wouldn’t let it happen with the loved they showed Becky Lynch. The surprise return of Ronda in the rumble felt like it created the chance for Ronda to get her revenge on Becky for beating her, giving her, her only defeat on her run. No, we end up going after Charlotte, in what is easily one of the least interesting matches heading into Wrestlemania, going through the same playbook we saw before and despite having a Royal Rumble winner in, it might not even main event.

Raw Women’s Title Match – Champion Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair

Becky Lynch returned from having her first child to shock the world at Summerslam, defeating Bianca in a matter of seconds, shattering the dream run she had, turning Becky heel and making her Big Time Becky. Becky on paper has only lost one match since she won the women’s titles three years ago, with that being a second match of the night, while trying to defend both titles. This record alone is amazing and the fact that Bianca got sent to the back of the queue for a title match, defeating everyone on route to this rematch, says that Bianca should be winning, with the build up turning more into a blood feud about trying to stop the other even making it to Wrestlemania. This is the match I would like to see main event, as Bianca deserves another moment in the spotlight as champion.

Championship Unification Match – Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion & Royal Rumble Winner Brock Lesnar

The Unification Match is the dream of Vince McMahon for years, he has put this match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar on countless events, with none of the matches coming off. This is not going to change, as we are forced through yet enough match, even if the characters are different, as Roman Reigns has been the best character in the last decade, deserving the main event Wrestlemania and Brock Lesnar has been the most fun we have seen from him in decades. The problem with this being the main event is that it is being sold as the biggest match in the history of the show, but it is failing to make either man better, because they are already seen as the biggest two names in the company, Roman Reigns losing doesn’t make sense for this character and Brock Lesnar losing would only feel like a wasted spot for the Beast.

Overall going into this Wrestlemania, I do feel like nothing on the show feels as special as it should do, it feels like just another Premium Live Event, not the defining moment in anyone’s career, showing the continuing trend within the company of trying to bring more fans in, rather than keeping the current fans happy. The complete lack of important title matches outside of Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair is scarily disconnect from the audience.

One comment

  1. ninvoid99 – Smyrna, GA – I'm a film buff that's written reviews in both music and films for more than a decade during my time with from 2000 to 2010 where I later decided to go on my own and go blogging full-time. I'm also an aspiring writer with a few scripts written and many more in the works.
    ninvoid99 says:

    I haven’t watched Meekmahan-land programming since late 2014 and haven’t bothered to return since. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck about WrestleMania. I love Stone Cold Steve Austin but to see him in some bullshit talk show segment or something close to a fight isn’t going to pull me in. The problem is that there’s no real build to any of these matches while there’s also a lack of motivation into creating these matches.

    This is why I prefer AEW, NWA, New Japan, and GCW whenever I get the chance to watch them while there’s stuff at Impact that has me interested. Then again, these are pro wrestling companies. Meekmahan-land is Sports Entertainment and honestly, sports entertainment is for pussies.

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