Well…my way behind behind finally made it to Wrestlemania. I thought about dusting off the notepad for the occasion, but I’m glad I didn’t. There’s only so many times and so many ways I would have been able to say nice try, but meh.
These empty building shows are rough, you guys. Like really rough. As I was watching my way closer and closer to when this era was going to start, I thought hey, maybe it won’t be so bad. The way they’re going to scatter the old matches throughout the shows, I’m going to be able to get through things so much faster. I suppose technically that is what’s happening, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. If anything, they all somehow seem even longer. As bad as WWE in front of a dead crowd can be, I would give anything right now for the deadest of dead ass crowds if it meant I didn’t have to sit through any more shows with no crowd at all.
I realize that I’m at the early stages of pandemic TV/PPV and that things are constantly evolving, but it feels like AEW has so much better a handle on what to do at this point than WWE does. They’re at least trying different things to liven up the presentation. Sometimes those things work and sometimes they don’t, but WWE could benefit greatly from not being so stubborn and set in its ways. More than one compelling storyline at a time might help, too.
But even when something WWE does is interesting, it’s still not enough. I just cannot focus on these shows. I’m constantly watching wrestling while I’m doing other things, and it’s never a problem. I always take in what I need to take in. But right now, even if I go out of my way to do nothing else, I find myself repeatedly losing interest and thinking about how much fun I’m not having and how much time is still left on the god damn clock. The lack of any sort of fan interaction or excitement is only serving to magnify all of the problems with WWE’s stale presentation, so much so that quitting again has crossed my mind.
I don’t blame the wrestlers for this. They’re just doing what they’re told. They’re putting forth the best effort they can. Motivating yourself to go out and get beaten up in front of no people while pretending it’s the biggest weekend of the year can’t be easy, and I commend them all for trying so hard. It kind of makes me feel bad for not caring more.
But I don’t care, and that makes it really hard to talk about this Mania fairly. It feels like a Raw or a Smackdown or an NXT. Yes they’re telling me it’s Wrestlemania and the Wrestlemania matches are mostly happening aside from some mysterious disappearances that nobody appears to be in any sort of hurry to acknowledge (it’s ok to say Coronavirus, Vince), but when every show is basically the same and I haven’t really cared for any of them, it’s hard to suspend my disbelief and play along. Even when I know something is good, I can’t convince myself that it’s good. Please tell me that makes sense.
So instead of saying anything about the matches individually, I’ll offer this as my over all takeaway. It’s easy to look at things from the outside and say this is what I would have done. It might not even be a fair thing to do. But if it’s me and I must produce content, I’m putting the Mania matches on Raw and Smackdown this year. That’s where all the money is made now anyway, plus they would have less of a standard to live up to. There’s a lot wrong with WWE, but the Mania name still means something. Under these circumstances, this just was not a Mania.