Despite lacking the star power of previous Wrestlemanias – this year’s ‘mania will be remembered for several reasons. First and perhaps most highly advertised that it saw the first ever true main event for the women. If you had said that a women’s title match would headline Wrestlemania 10 years ago people would have laughed at you and yet here we are. The match deserved top billing too as arguably the most interesting match on the card.
History was made in other ways too as Kofi Kingston beat Danial Bryan to become the first black man to ever win the main title at Wrestlemania and the first ever African born champion. The WWE has been long overdue and African American champion and for many, this is seen as another milestone. Wrestling isn’t just for white men anymore and that is a very positive move for the company.
It’s all very well setting records, oh and by the way, the company set an attendance record for the venues, but then when don’t they? I can count the list of people that care about that on one hand. Still, it may impress the shareholders, I guess. But the proof of the pudding is was it any good? Well, let’s start off with a bit of a gripe.
Length vs depth
The roster at the WWE is very large. Even without the NXT upstarts, there is a wealth of talent for the WWE to draw on and events like the battle royals are designed pretty much just to get everyone some screen time. The only problem with having such a deep roster is that the show was incredibly long. For those of us watching live in the UK, we started watching at 10:00 and didn’t go to bed until about 6 am. That’s like a full working day of wrestling.
Although a few of the bouts were pretty predictable. (check out our predictions here. We got more than 60% right) they did manage to throw in a few curve-balls. However, there were a few high profile stars that we would have liked to see make an appearance. This was a ‘Mania with no Rock, Austin, Foley or ‘Taker. That coupled with the defeat of Brock Lesnar and Batista’s subsequent retirement means that you could class this ‘mania as one aimed at a new generation. Hardcore fans have been clamouring for the focus to be on full-time stars and if this was the event where the WWE finally listened to that (you know, Hogan appearance aside!) did the new generation pull it off? Did they make history?
If this is any indication it is fair to say, that despite the length of the show, it seemed to buzz by at breakneck pace. The preshow was great and all the commentary and predictions gave the illusion of it being a real sport and gave ‘mania a big sporting feeling comparable with something like the Super Bowl.
The aforementioned match between Bryan and Kofi was memorable. The two have great chemistry and Daniel Bryan is just on a different level. He has the 2×4 factor, as in he could put on a great match with a plank of wood. But in Kofi he wasn’t facing a plank, Kofi is a veteran and the pair put on a match worthy of main eventing. The Miz impressed, considerably upping his intensity for arguably the biggest match since he won the heavyweight title at Mania. And to their credit, even HHH and Batista managed to entertain in their brutal bout. It seems the future is bright and with several superstars not on the card, I can’t be the only one already looking forward to a card next year containing Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt, and Sami Zayn to name but a few.