27 articles ago I wrote in my debut here on TJR Wrestling about my deal with the WWE. That deal was, I wanted bang for my buck. I didn’t want the salesman Mr. Smiles to be walking away from my viewing experiences happier than me.
The way the deal was structured was crucial. It was crucial to me to enter into a viewing deal that guaranteed that every PPV was at least an 8 or 9 out of 10 event; but that was just the headline clause. There was more to it than that if you read the fine print and it wasn’t so detailed that you’d need a lawyer to understand it. It was simply that storylines should end with that satisfying bang that my buck bought. A good conclusion to the storylines I’m watching.
Only…I’m going to sit here and change that deal. You could pray I don’t change it any further, or say that it is getting worse all the time, but the fact is I probably will change it, and that’s really the point. We all will. We all make a deal with WWE just as I did in my first article, and we watch with expectations of people delivering on their side of the bargain of producing something not only worthy of being watched, but something great.
Well, I think we got (mostly) 8 or 9 out of 10-level PPVs since I started writing in September. So they get a big tick on that big headline of the deal. The sub-clauses about satisfactory storyline endings? Not so much.
Only…that’s not what’s in it for me at Wrestlemania. It’s not really part of the deal, when you really look at it. It’s supposed to be, and it’s billed as being that, but really, historically at least, it’s not.
Maybe I’m being cynical here, but Wrestlemania is so often not the ending to feuds that I’m not expecting that many storylines to end this weekend. Some may branch off into new directions, sure – I doubt Shane faces Undertaker again at Extreme Rules for instance – but really, there’ll be a ton of rematches or rematches in other forms after Mania.
Wrestlemania is more of an end in itself. It’s not where stories go to die, or end, it’s where they go to get made. It’s the glitzy Vegas holiday, where the fun never stops.
In fact it’s one big weekend of great wrestling, with Takeover on the same weekend, and nowadays, the Monday Night Raw after Wrestlemania being just as much of a big event as the big event itself. I look forward to that first Raw almost as much as Wrestlemania. There’ll be debutants striding their way out onto the mat at their first big dance and there’ll be old, suspicious suitors there ready to try and show up their gauche newbie status.
There’ll be a shock. A proper shock, not an expected shock. At least one.
Which is something there definitely won’t be for most of Wrestlemania. Roman Reigns will win. That will not be a shock. I think Shane will lose, and I think that will shock some people, but I think there’ll clearly be some interaction with Vince where Taker takes Vince off TV for a while, at least that’s how I see it going, so that will be the shock part there. None of the other winners will be a shock.
Where Wrestlemania will have the edge over Raw is part of my new sub-clause for my deal with WWE. Star power. If rumours are to be believed, we’ve got Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold and The Rock attending Wrestlemania. Appearing? No, that’s not been confirmed, but you’ve got to think they will. Mick Foley will probably do some bad comedy spot at some point.
Now I’m firmly in the camp that doesn’t mind returning stars. I think it’s worrying the company needs to rely on them to provide interest, but that worry is reserved more for when they make returning or part-time wrestlers champ rather than think of an interesting and creative way to elevate someone else. No, at Wrestlemania I love to see the stars come out and play because that has always been part of the whole point of the event. It’s in its DNA.
So the first thing I’m expecting to get out of my amended deal is star power. The second is a bit more tricky.
When Seth Rollins cashed in the briefcase last year, ruining Roman Reigns’ night and making mine, it was a milestone event. It was a headline, a ‘wow’ moment.
So my next part of the deal is please, please WWE, do something to make sure that the crowd booing Roman Reigns off the face of the planet while confetti falls from the ceiling and a confused Rock holds up the new pouting champ’s hand isn’t the last image of this year’s Wrestlemania.
It can’t end like that. Surely they know that? Surely we have to give them enough credit to know that ending the show in the way we all think they’re going to end it isn’t just not the best idea, but surely just can’t happen, given how crowd reactions are going? I can’t believe they’re actually going through with it and I think if they do, it runs the risk of derailing what’s actually a good show, on paper at least. Sure, Reigns vs. Triple H isn’t going to be match of the year, but the rest are all good matches (I don’t count or care about pre-show matches – but that’s just me).
So if we know it can’t end like that, surely WWE, having had the same information poured into their brains with analysing the crowd reactions, seeing the same social media comments and having seen how Triple H got cheered when he beat Reigns up on Monday, know that it can’t end like that too?
I reckon this is where they pull the big Wrestlemania rabbit out of the hat. This is where they show us all that they are the biggest trolls on the planet and they’ve had something else up their sleeves all along. I think another deal is signed on the dotted line already and not the one with us viewers. Something else is going to go down at Wrestlemania that will be huge and it will be in the main event.
And that’s my last piece of evidence for this – the title match is the main event. They could easily have buried Roman’s bad reaction lower down the card and given the top spot to Undertaker and Shane, but they’ve gone all out in some really quite dull promos this week to point out that Triple H vs. Roman Reigns is the main event at Wrestlemania. Now maybe I give the WWE too much credit, but I really, really don’t think they’d do that, knowing the reaction they’d get, without something else being the real plan.
So I’m going to make a bold prediction here – I don’t think it will end like that. I think my deal is safe.
That’s my Wrestlemania deal with the WWE – that’s what’s in it for me. Star power, and changing the main event. Mr. Smiles I think is signing the paper already, because I think he knows they’ve already done everything they need to do to under the new terms already.
Of course, I’m probably very, very wrong and just carried away with my own fantasy booking. Do you think they go with Reigns, straight up like a middle finger to the fans? Or are they smarter than that?