Wrestlemania losing its identity

Discussion in 'WWE Pay Per Views' started by Naniwa91, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Naniwa91

    Naniwa91 19awinaN

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    One thing that's been apparent over the years about WrestleMania is that it's the biggest wrestling event in the world. My issue with it is that it's not quite sure what it wants to be. Guest stars and big names not withstanding, some good matches are out on the card here.

    But it's one thing to be a gathering of Hollywood icons and greats from yesterday, another thing entirely when said icons and greats are being not only advertised as being there at the forefront of the show but making anyone who isn't look absolutely irrelevant. That despite the fact that otherwise they (the full timers) are the primordial centerpieces in the other 10 months.

    It has gone from being hosted in a basketball arena to being hosted in three! cities simultaneously; from that to Atlantic City to Caesar's Palace, back to arena and now to football stadiums. If I recall, the last time that WrestleMania was in a sub-20,000 seat venue was WM22.

    So my questions​ are these. Has WWE put themselves in a corner since WM23 by switching to these large arenas? And have they possibly looked at New Japan Pro Wrestling's January 4 event at the Tokyo Dome as inspiration?
     
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  2. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    I think lustre rather than identity.

    When Wrestlemania started, it was a major event because they were rare.... then we got to the traditional "Big 4" and it still stood out, even with King Of The Ring added.

    11 was an awful Mania, but was right when they decided to go monthly with PPV and the task then became to make Mania stand out. Some years they managed it, others they failed but in the last couple of years they are REALLY struggling.

    First off, the 4 hours... that in itself works, but the idea of pre-show matches that don't make the DVD don't. If you're going to have a long event, have ALL the matches as part of the actual show... some of the better Mania's (6 & 7) had 14 matches or so... some very short, but they still had them. Since they started pre-shows/kickoff shows then it almost becomes impossible to invest in feuds or matches, as you know at least one will be bumped down to the kick-off. Sure they used to do dark matches, but they weren't advertised...

    The other problem they have had in recent years is repetitiveness. Too many of the same faces occupying the main event matches... Cena, Orton, Reigns, Brock and even Taker... it's getting very samey as Vince desperately tries to give Roman his "Mania" moment. It's telling that Jericho has gone to do WrestleKingdom instead, he could do Mania 34 still, but he probably realises they'll give him a shit match again. They don't have the "names" to headline like they used to, and headlining Mania today for a newbie would be massively intimidating as one mistep and their career is over. When Yoko headlined Mania 9, he knew what he had to do and Vince was far more easy going than he is now... imagine Nakamura headlining Mania and Vince not liking it, he'd be gone.

    For me the biggest thing is that Mania was once "must see live", as in staying up till 4am... now, I tend to watch the following day. That's as much on the presentation of it as it is real life getting in the way.

    For me Mania isn't MUST see anymore... it's another show.
     
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  3. Deoxyribonucleic A.C.I.D.

    Deoxyribonucleic A.C.I.D. Kamehamehaaaaa!!

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    Wrestlemania has always been about the fun and the buzz and the Entertainment. It has never been about wrestling. It was always about making an impact, or connecting with the rest of the world. That's why you get Cena/Bella vs Miz/Maryse, that's why you get Snooki, Rock, Rourke, Tyson, Mr. T, Lawrence Taylor etc. Sure all the big matches happen at Wrestlemania, but the greatest wrestling does not happen at Wrestlemania and if so, it rarely does.

    Every year, something must happen at Wrestlemania, that will make an impact. That has always been the norm of Wrestlemania. You combine mainstream stars, so that you can have mainstream coverage. Then you do something impactful, using your wrestlers, so that said wrestlers can go viral using the coverage you got, because you featured a mainstream star.
     
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  4. FromGlasgow

    FromGlasgow Championship Contender

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    I don't have the time to watch as much wrestling as I used to and I may miss other PPV's like Battle ground or No mercy for example but for me Wrestlemania is still the one event that I never miss no matter the quality of the card, Always guarantees big names and great matches, I personaly prefer the bigger arenas as it feels like a huge show especially with the stage set up they usualy have now, Only downside for me is combined with the pre show the length is just too long, I could do with about 4 hours maximum by the time the main event comes on I'm just too tired and worn out of TV to concentrate properly on it.
     
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  5. Kamala316

    Kamala316 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    The McMahon family (including HHH) has made WrestleMania all about themselves in recent years. HHH thinks he is now worthy of the Undertaker's annual "spot", not to mention he always makes sure he wrestles the 'babyface' with the most momentum (of course, with Stephanie at his side). Not to be outdone, Stephanie always gets her "WrestleMania moment" - the Ronda Rousey armbar was beyond ridiculous, making sure she posed for all four sides of the ring. And Shane is no better - even Luke Gallows and Jack Swagger throw better punches than Shane. WrestleMania's name should be changed to "Sports Entertainment Mania". If you want to see actual wrestling, watch the pre-show. If you want to watch Flo Rida and Machine Gun Kelly, tune into the actual show. Vince is comfortable with keeping things as they are - and why wouldn't he? People will always pay to watch WrestleMania, regardless of how bad the show is. When people stop giving their money to the McMahon's, that's when you will see a better product...maybe.
     
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  6. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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    I think it has in some ways but it has nothing to do with the large venues but that WrestleMania has become more and more an event that revolves around part timers and special attractions. For WrestleMania next year, there's a strong possibility that half the card looks something like this: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, probably a Triple H match, probably a Shane McMahon match, a John Cena match, POSSIBLY an Undertaker match and possibly a Kurt Angle match. I doubt Taker will wrestle but I included him as I don't think anyone is still, truly 100% certain that he's retired; it looks that way but we can't be sure. There's also talk that WWE has an eight woman tag team match between wrestling's Four Horsewomen and MMA's Four Horsewomen lined up; reports indicate that the match is basically a done deal at this point and, if so then that'd put it right back up to 6 part timer/special attraction matches, 7 if Taker is on board.

    If the card does turn out to look something like that next year, then WrestleMania has become a full blown convention for part timers looking to make a big payday. The focus of the show will be on them instead of the guys and girls who carry WWE the other 364 days of the year like Styles, Balor, Nakamura, Owens, Zayn, Strowman, Ambrose, Rollins, Wyatt, Miz, Asuka, Bliss, New Day, Sheamus, Cesaro, the Usos and a number of others.
     
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  7. JoeMallard

    JoeMallard Getting Noticed By Management

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    Mania has essentially became the Make Roman Reigns Show since 31, I don't have time for that shit anymore. There are plenty of talent on the roster that can do what Reigns does, some even better. Stop with dragging down and putting on uninteresting matches to make his look better. The part timers/attractions don't bother me as much, but don't waste 30 minutes of a show on them like the Rock segment from Mania 32.
     
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  8. rge2010

    rge2010 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Take away the Celebs, legends and part timers and the Wrestlemania card will look like a Fast Lane or Clash of Champions card. Triple H, Undertaker, Kurt Angle and to an extent Brock Lesnar will be what makes WM34 special and 'different from the rest'. I would take those 4 gentlemen over Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and all the other mid-carders any day of the week.

    Hopefully this year we see the return of Hulk Hogan and The Rock make an appearence - if that takes away the spot of The Usos or Elias then so fucking what!!!! I will watch those on Raw the following night.
     
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  9. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    It amazes me how many people still don't get it. How many years in a row do these conversations have to take place before the answers sink in? I swear this forum is like an uninteresting Groundhog Day sequel when it comes to Mania. Every single one of you who complain about part-timers, venue, length of the show, pre-show matches, whatever else...you all either watch or attend anyway. WHY would Vince change a thing? Someone mentioned Vince handcuffing himself by using large stadiums. Handcuffing? Why would he want to go back to small arenas? Because Billy at the keyboard misses Mania's identity?

    I'm sorry, guys, I understand how it feels when something you love changes to something you kind of like. But, presented with all of the facts you guys have been presented with and to still wonder why things have changed, don't you see how silly that sounds? If you want to talk about the good ol' days and reminisce, hey that's why I come to this forum...I get it. But so many of you actually think what you think matters and, worse, think your ideas are going to bring changes. It's preposterous. You know where Vince has "handcuffed" himself? The Hall of Fame. Every year it is part of Mania weekend and, regardless of whether they have deserving inductees or not, they will have a Hall of Fame ceremony. But it is free money, why would they choose to leave it off of the Mania weekend schedule? Because a bunch of people who weren't even alive at the time are disgusted by Koko B. Ware's induction? Get over yourselves! Mania and all that comes with it makes Vince and family money. It is really as simple as that. Someone said Triple H forces himself into the card. Triple H is more entertaining than most of the everyday roster. Who wants to see another Raw at Mania? I don't know why people watch Raw every week anyway, but that's another debate.

    Again, I'm sorry to be so forward, but so many of you have the same argument every single year. HOW can you not see what's going on by now? The Mania weekend formula works. Wake up and realize that the power of the keyboard is nowhere near as strong as most of you think it is. And I'm not just talking wrestling fans. Political people, sports people, music people...did any of you vote yesterday? Did any candidate win by one vote? No. You don't matter. Find something you enjoy and enjoy it. Stop trying to change people that don't even know you're alive and stop trying to change things that don't need or want your approval for it to go on.
     
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  10. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    I feel that wrestlemania had to change and evolve with the times. When it started in 1985, I felt like a big event because it was the first of his kind. The first major wrestling event broadcast nationwide on ppv. So they rallied on celebrities to make the show feel bigger. In fact, the 2 big match on the card had celebrity evolvement.

    As the years past, mania needed to evolve and stand out from the pack of the ppv event. So they went bigger and use part timers and celebrities to make the event feel like a big deal and it worked.

    Wrestlemania, as always been about the pageantry and the entertainment aspect of wrestling. It's the one event that casual fans will go out of there way to watch so why not use you're guys like HHH that fans casual fans actually knows to highlight the guys that has the most momentum. Business wise is make sense.

    So I don't think is losing it's identity, I think it's just evolving.
     
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  11. ShinChan

    ShinChan Gone. For. Good.

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    I don't think that anyone is trying to change anything. Obviously, only WWE has the power to change. People are just voicing their opinions on what they think of Mania. That may or may not change but it doesn't mean that you can't discuss about it if you can't change it. If someone on a keyboard doesn't have strong power, it doesn't mean that they can't voice their opinions on it. Vince will obviously see what benefits him. So, can't we discuss what will entertain us?
     
    #11
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  12. Dagger Dias

    Dagger Dias Natural 20
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    Wrestlemania didn't lose its identity or luster or whatever you want to call it. The event has evolved into something even bigger. The celebrities and legends will always be a part of it. I get annoyed by the full-time wrestlers losing potential spots on the card too, but the biggest show of the year needs bigger names in order to be the big deal that it is. I came to terms with that. As far as the switch to the larger arenas.... That was a VERY good idea. WWE will make way more money so long as they are able to generate enough interest to fill these arenas. I don't see why anyone would want them to return to smaller venues for the event. No, this change needed to happen. Wrestlemania has become a brand in of itself. It is THE show and having it take place at massive venues only made it become that much more special. I got to be there at Wrestlemania 32 alongside 100,000 other fans. That was amazing. It would not have been anywhere near as special if it was in a smaller venue. The celebrities and part-timers are not going anywhere anytime soon and we likely won't see a return to smaller venues either. Just sit back and enjoy the show. Eventually it will go through another evolution and it will continue to grow.
     
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  13. Navi

    Navi With the safety off!!

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    Normally I'm in agreement with you Dagger, but in the this case I don't agree. Sure Vince and company want to play to bigger arena's with Wrestlemania being the biggest show of the year and all, but there are a few issues with that.

    First of all the WWE seems to be fixated on breaking attendance records, well that's all well and good, but you are painting yourself into a corner when you go that route. I mean let's face it there aren't that many big arena's or stadiums around except in southern parts of the United States. So you run the risk of going to the same places over and over again. The reason you have to go to those stadiums is because Mania is held in April and in the northern US and Canada it's the middle of winter. No one will spend thousands of dollars to sit for over 6 hours in a windy, cold or icy stadium no matter how good the card is.

    What I would like to see is this. Since the WWE advertises itself as a global company, every 5 years or so take the show on the road overseas. Europe has the climate and stadium size the WWE craves. For example they could go to Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain, home of FC Barcelona. It holds almost 100k without even using the field. Then there is Wembley in London, another stadium with holds upwards of 100K. Last but not least Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain, the home field of Real Madrid. Again another stadium that with field seats would hold over 100k. I could put up with watching Mania in the middle of the afternoon once in a 5 year period. Plus they would sell these arena's out. Lot's of money to be made there.

    Getting back to the original point of the thread though. I think we've all become used to the fact that Mania isn't your average PPV. It will be full of celebrity part timers and sometimes silly matches that don't really mean much. Once a year I can put up with it, the only thing I have an issue with is the time. 6 hours for a wrestling show is a little hard to sit through and I find myself zoning out about 4 hours into it. Probably won't even watch this years main event as it's been kind of spoiled already. Just waiting for Lesnar to drop the belt to Reigns and then we can all get back to normal. It will be an entertaining show though as it always is.
     
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  14. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Roman Reigns is only part of the problem. In theory WWE trying to make a coronation moment for Roman Reigns is what Wrestlemania should be for but WWE dropped the ball in handling him.

    WWE tried to put all their eggs in one basket (The basket being Roman Reigns) they didn't have a Plan B.

    But then again how could you? They hot shot Roman Reigns to create a new star when that's what they should be doing in the first place. Think about it, ever since WM26, the event was surrounded around part time guys like Undertaker, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Sting, Goldberg, Batista, The Rock, etc. who would only have less than a handful of matches a year. Because of over reliance on the old guys WWE forgot how to book a WM with their main roster or younger talent.

    The last time WM felt like a WM, to me, was Wrestlemania XXX when Daniel Bryan won the World Title. Keep in mind even this WM was a result of initial bad decisions (Batista winning the Rumble over Bryan), and CM Punk walking out that allowed WMXXX to turn out the way it did.
     
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  15. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Rogers centre has a roof. You're argument about doing mania in Toronto because of weather is invalid.
     
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  16. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    Very true. And most importantly they want it to make a lot of money.

    And fake roller coaster design sets.

    You just said what it wants to be. The biggest wrestling event in the world.

    I agree that the part timers are getting too much time and attention but that doesn't take away from WM's identity. If anything it adds to it. Plus, WM helps support the guys who are the centerpiece the other ten months out of the year. It makes sense why they do it this way.

    I don't know enough to speak on the Tokyo Dome or NJPW but it seems as though WWE continues to be in a good position at this time to fill these football stadiums. It limits where they can host WM (although they pulled it off in the cold of NJ) but right now they don't seem to be in a corner. Look at the show outside of Santa Clara (31?). That was an awful card, in an expensive place, on the West Coast, where they featured a women's triple threat on a lot of advertising. I wouldn't call it a sellout (maybe I'm wrong), but they still had a huge gate.

    There may come a day where they can't draw stadiums but it is unlikely to be sudden. Heck, the global economy was in the shitter in early 2009 and they still filled a stadium pretty well. People/fans/critics have been predicting WM's and WWE's demise for years and they have shown no sign of slowing down. UT is probably gone but I don't see that slowing things down. SC has never really come back. HBK as well. Add DB to that list. Say they are hurting for business, there are other cards they may be able to play (The Rock, Rhonda Rousey).

    WM is fine, WWE's biggest issues right now are declining gates and future television contract.
     
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  17. Navi

    Navi With the safety off!!

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    I know the Rogers Centre has a roof, I live in Toronto, and there have been two Wrestlemania's here in the past.

    The Rogers Centre or Skydome as some of us still call it can hold about 64k if they use field seats. The WWE has surpassed those numbers and gone onto bigger stadiums. We have nothing in Canada that can hold 100k, don't know about the northern part of the US, but I know that Canada is limited.
     
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  18. Garak

    Garak Occasional Pre-Show

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    That gives me an idea. If Rock is so interested in Roman's career, perhaps he should volunteer to job to Roman this year.
     
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  19. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Nope, that's already penciled in for next year after he beats bork laser this year.

    I have no doubt a rock/roman main event is going to be a mania event mania.

    Just not before lesnar.
     
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  20. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    The "time difference bitching" would kill the foreign Mania idea, unless they REALLY went balls to the wall and as I said before, 2 shows one in the UK one in MSG or Boston and at least one guy wrestles the start of the first/end of the 2nd... 8 hour Mania would get over the time difference issue.

    But it'll still never happen... too much of a risk financially.
     
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  21. HORRORHOLIC

    HORRORHOLIC Pre-Show Stalwart

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    To me it never really felt like a proper Wrestlemania unless it was in a stadium (except MSG) It just didn't have the same wrestlemania feel. Surprisingly they stopped doing it for the most part during the Attitude era when they were at their biggest. Thankfully they've gone back to it and at this point I doubt that will ever change. It's Wrestlemania, the Superbowl of Wrestling, and bigger is better.
     
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  22. sMark

    sMark Getting Noticed By Management

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    For me WM was about making new stars, now it's about putting all the big names of the past WWE still have under their contracts on the main card no matter what, concerts, hosts etc, while the guys who work there all year without a break became a second thought.
    It was about making the best card possible with the best performers WWE has right now, while veterans got quick matches and weren't a focus of the show.
     
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  23. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    Wrestlemania was always about the big marquee matches. Look at the history of the event, Andre vs Hogan, Hogan vs warrior, Austin vs the rock, rock vs cena & lesnar vs Goldberg just to name a few. These are the type of matches that attract the casual fans to watch the event every year.

    The problem is that with the way of booking and the lack of veterans on the rosters right now, it's becoming harder and harder to make those big marquee name wrestlers. Reigns is kinda the only one outside maybe a.j. styles that's stand out and can attract casual fans to watch mania and have that type of dream match scenario for mania on the current roster. So continuing to use the part timers to attract fans is necessary right now but you need to use them right.

    While I never saw HHH as a big draw, he's still a big name and he use is star power to help make somebody from the main roster a bigger name every year. While fans didn't agree with reigns getting the rub from taker last year, I didn't change the fact that he's a bigger name then at the same time last year and now casual fans will see him as a guy That's on the same level as lesnar.

    So while I do feel that the show is way too long, I have to say that it's still feel like the biggest event of the year and they give something for every type of fans.
     
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