I don’t know about you but, last week, I was exhausted from watching a whole bunch of wrestling. As much as I love the pomp and circumstance of “sport entertainment” in general, there’s just so much you can handle in one sitting. And last week, I had to watch a marathon of 5 full hours of wrestling programming in one sitting thanks to the WWE largest pay-per-view annual event, Wrestlemania. It would’ve been a total of 7 hours if I watched the kickoff show!
That means that, if I did watch the entire thing, I would’ve been sitting on my butt glued to the TV watching wrestling for 1/3 of the entire day! That’s insane and, honestly, it’s a bit much. I may love wrestling but, geez. That’s a whole lotta time you gotta invest. You almost got to plan your entire day ahead of time before you plop down to watch it. And, considering I think that a 3-hour Monday Night Raw show can be intimidating already, 5-hours is too long.
And to think that the WWE probably shuffled some matches like the Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin match to the kickoff program just to give some more time to the main Wrestlemania show. There weren’t any matches I could think off that could’ve been cut as all of them were heavily promoted and fans were generally expecting the show to go on as advertised. I would’ve been so okay to see the John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse match DELETED from the card but I know there are some casual wrestling fans that just loved the entire proposal thing… which was probably scripted, by the way. But that’s an entirely another story.
This year’s Wrestlemania may have been good but it suffered from being extremely long as it had a stacked card. But what could the WWE do about it? They needed these matches in as they were plugged ahead of time. Well, I recently saw a video featuring Dave Meltzer, prominent wrestling journalist, on Jim Ross’ radio show (?) and it turns out he has the same feelings as I do. He felt that this year’s Wrestlemania took up a lot of time but he did have a weird solution to make it seem shorter: break up the show into two days/nights.
This may seem like a really insane idea and, honestly, I thought so at first. Breaking up Wrestlemania into two nights seems illogical and would take away from the grandness of the Grandest Stage of Them All. It’s never been done before and it would break the WWE’s illustrious history of making Wrestlemania the biggest pay-per-view of the year. But, after I thought of it for a while, I have to say that Dave Meltzer may be onto something…
First off, Wrestlemania isn’t just one night of jam-packed wrestling anymore. For a lot of fans, it’s an entire week of events! The WWE starts off the entire event on Thursday with Wrestlemania Axxess, which is pretty much like a WWE Convention if there ever was one. You can meet the WWE Superstars and get them to sign stuff. You get to see some midcard matches there as well. You can even get into a ring filled with foam so you can live your dreams of being a WWE Superstar without the hard work of training for years to do the moves right!
Not only that, there’s also the NXT show before Wrestlemania as well. As a true blue wrestling fan, you just gotta see that as well. Even if you don’t see it live, you just had to check out NXT: Takeover since you know some of these guys and gals will be making the move to the main roster after Wrestlemania. Oh, and there’s also the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. So, that’s already like a good 2 to 3 days of wrestling right there! And that’s just from the WWE side of things. I’m not even including the other non-sanctioned WWE events that just so happen to be occurring during Wrestlemania weekend like Ring of Honor and Wrestlecon!
Second, one of the biggest reasons why Wrestlemania is incredibly long is because the roster is filled to the brim with great talent. So, removing one or two of these talented performers would be a bad idea because you know that fans will be disappointed if they don’t show up in the Grandaddy of Them All. This would equate to more time necessary to feature all of them. But why don’t you have this same problem with the other WWE pay-per-view events? The answer is the recent brand split. Raw and Smackdown now alternate pay-per-view events. This makes it possible to focus more on specific wrestlers without making the card any longer. So, why not do the same for Wrestlemania?
Now, with the WWE Brand split, it would be possible to actually break up Wrestlemania into two separate shows. One day would be for the Raw show and the other for Smackdown. There would be some issues with which show would be first and which would be last, of course. But this would break up an otherwise extremely long show into two good chunks. Now, the WWE shouldn’t take advantage of there being two shows and sell two separate tickets. That would be insane! Rather, they can even make it a selling point as fans would only need to purchase one ticket to get into two great shows! There’s obviously going to be a feeling of value with that, right?
So, while Dave Meltzer’s idea seems outrageous, there are ways to make it work. But do I think the WWE should do this? Well, actually, I don’t. I do like Meltzer’s out-of-the-box thinking; I probably couldn’t come up with a rather clever idea like that. But, ultimately, this is Wrestlemania. It’s the WWE’s biggest and most important pay-per-view event of the year, every year. It’s allowed to be as big and as long as it needs to be. In fact, it needs to be as big and as long as it can be.
Wrestlemania is essentially the Christmas of wrestling fans. It’s the biggest day of the year for them. Like most fans, I am usually super excited for Wrestlemania and the excitement starts at the Royal Rumble and usually persists for three months. That’s how big it is! Yes, 5 hours is pretty long but, for Wrestlemania, I think each and every wrestling fan is willing to make the “sacrifice” and “endure” the marathon long viewing.
Wrestlemania is just too special to break up into two shows. You don’t break up Christmas into two days, do you? You can’t. You want it to be held on one day and make it the biggest darned celebration it can be. I may like your idea, Meltzer, but Wrestlemania is and always should be just the one Show of Shows.
Do you think it would be a good idea to break up Wrestlemania into two separate days? Let me know in the comments section below!