WrestleMania is the most interesting time of the year. It’s grown from a show that had all the chips put in for bargain, to the iconic pop-culture extravaganza that it is today. Every year, WrestleMania has grown in popularity, so much so that WWE didn’t need top stars to sell tickets – they just needed the WrestleMania name.
However, that’s now. The WrestleMania now is very different from the WrestleMania that started off, but there’s no doubt that it’s surpassed what Vince McMahon’s original vision of it was. It’s their biggest event of the year, and if you’re an aspiring pro wrestler, there’s no bigger dream than performing at WrestleMania.
At first, it was performed in regular arenas (minus the mammoth WrestleMania 3), but in the 90s, there was a big mix of stadium shows and regular arenas. Either way, what was almost nearly guaranteed was a sell-out and a record-smashing gate. After the mid-2000s, WWE decided to start having WrestleMania in stadiums only, and they’ve never gone back since – a very wise decision.
One of the major discussions that WWE would have with regards to WrestleMania was naturally creating a card attractive enough to sell tickets. Bruce Prichard, on his podcast Something to Wrestle With, once stated that around WrestleMania VI, Vince McMahon himself was open to the idea of getting every single superstar on the roster on the card. Is it any surprise that at that year’s WrestleMania, the card had over 14 matches on it?
While it was not unheard of at the time to have so many matches on the card, the fact of the matter is that this was when McMahon started making a conscious effort to get every superstar on the WrestleMania card. It’s not a bad thing by any means, but there are two sides of the argument.
Now, WWE has used a rather clever strategy to get everyone on the card. It doesn’t have to be in the form of multiple matches, but two big battle royals. The introduction of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal has ensured that there is place on the card for every superstar on the ever-growing roster.
In fact, these battle royals also provide an opportunity for multiple NXT superstars to get their first taste of WrestleMania as well. WWE may tell you about how prestigious these battle royals are, but the truth is that the winner never really has any direction going for him. It looks good on paper, but not much really comes out of it.
Another strategy WWE has used is to have several multi-person matches. These days at WrestleMania, you can fully expect a whole flurry of Triple Threat matches, Fatal-4-Way matches, ladder matches, etc.
Now to get to the argument, is letting every superstar on the WrestleMania card a good or bad thing? We look at both sides of the coin.
Fans need to understand that WrestleMania is the dream of every wrestler who ever laces up a pair of boots. To be given the opportunity to do what they love in front of a crowd that massive is nothing short of bone-chilling. And when it comes to full-time superstars, the reality is that their schedule is grueling enough as is.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be about main eventing WrestleMania. It can simply be the fact that walking down the ramp in front of all those people would be a dream come true. Fans take for granted how much the walk down the ramp means of WWE superstars. It’s essentially a culmination of their childhood dreams.
It’s hard to argue that they haven’t earned it. WrestleMania is a celebration, and WWE superstars deserve to have their moment. Moreover, WrestleMania isn’t just about great matches, it’s about great moments.
While it’s hard to argue against the points above, WWE has changed WrestleMania in such a way that every superstar can get on the card. With the main PPV often increasing in legnth year by year, it can easily burn out fans. Also, the argument could be made that since it is WrestleMania, the main card should only really feature the cream of the crop – a way to make the card feel much more special and less watered-down.
Often, things like Battle Royals and multi-person matches act as fillers during the show, and that could also affect the reactions received during the marquee matches. WrestleMania is known as the “Showcase of the immortals”, which would make one think that superstars of top caliber would really make it.
Verdict: While it may not be in our place to make the judgement, we believe that with WWE’s new model of having an extensive WrestleMania, it more than allows the opportunity to get other superstars on the card. With the kickoff show being viewed by millions of people across the world, it shouldn’t hold the same stigma that it has all this time.