Can Everyone Be Included at Wrestlemania or Is It Too Much To Ask? – by Mike Sanchez

Last week I wrote about the various roads to Wrestlemania and the stars who are main-eventing the show itself. It goes without saying that the big title holders will be at the top of the card, plus the annual Triple H (and Shane McMahon) match that always happens, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets to shine in the spotlight. Yes, Kofi Kingston’s recent push has been very popular and deserving, if the stories from his colleagues are anything to go by, and it’s good to see a new face vying for a top title in WWE, rather than be part of the supporting cast.

The last match, the true main event, was confirmed this week to be the Triple Threat we all knew was coming, but unsure as to where on the card. Becky Lynch will take on the Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey and also the newly-crowned Smackdown Live Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, in what promises to be an epic match. Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship vs. Seth Rollins should also be in the top three matches on the night.

With all these stars on display, has WWE put their biggest names in the spotlight? It depends on your point of view I suppose, but it would be foolish to assume all the biggest stars on the product are in the main event spots. As we all know, the current WWE roster is bigger than ever, so there’s no way to properly utilize everybody. Let’s take a look at those big names that now find themselves in the supporting cast.

Roman Reigns – Set to have a match with Drew McIntyre, which I’m sure will be better than we think, the Big Dog will enter Wrestlemania away from the top of the card. I don’t think there’s anyone to blame here, as Roman is only just coming back from a serious illness, plus he has main evented four years a row in the past, so perhaps the break is justified this year. It also gives a good rub to McIntyre, who will be on a massive stage against a bonafide top guy in the company. It should be fun.

Asuka – Twelve months ago, the Empress of Tomorrow was on her undefeated streak (after winning the first Women’s Royal Rumble) heading into Wrestlemania. Asuka had been pushed to the moon back then, and since winning the Smackdown Live Women’s Title last year, she’d been steadily beating all comers until dropping the belt to Charlotte Flair this past week. Does this signal the end for Asuka? Is her career over in WWE? No. Champions lose belts from time to time. She’ll no doubt bounce back post-Mania, perhaps revitalized and reinvigorated and better than ever? Though it is a shame there will be one less title match at Mania, I’m sure this isn’t the end of Asuka.

Elias – Reduced to vignettes on Raw, it appears he needs to change the acronym to Who’s Wasting Elias? He can divide opinion, but I like the guy. Simple shtick, but effective when getting cheap heat from the crowds. I’d like to see WWE develop his character a little more though. No doubt his singing performance at Wrestlemania will be cut short by an interruption and finishing move from someone. I’m taking bets as follows: Tombstone – Evens, Stunner – 5/2, Rock Bottom – 4/1, Stinkface – 7/1, Walls of Jericho – 33/1, GTS – 50/1. We can all dream.

Braun Strowman – Probably the most underused entry on the list in my eyes. Braun Strowman will be in his third Wrestlemania this year. Has the Monster Among Men been in the biggest showdowns on the night? Has his dominance and power been used to fell many top names?

  • 2017 – Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
  • 2018 – Raw Tag Team match with mystery partner, Nicholas. (sigh)
  • 2019 – Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (again)

Wasted doesn’t do it justice, does it? It’s weird how this popular, giant man who connects with the crowd and is very good at what he does, appears to be an afterthought when it comes to Wrestlemania. Hopefully, he can work his way up the card for next year’s event as he has done for the majority of PPVs since he’s been on the main roster.

Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens – Damn, what happened here? I’d say these two epitomize the phrase ‘creative has nothing for you right now’ more than anyone on the roster. Last year they went up against the pairing of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. Sure, Sami has been injured and Owens only recently returned a month ago, but to omit them from Wrestlemania (so far, anyway) seems a crying shame. Owens appears to have turned face since coming back on the TV, and he’s another popular star with the fans. Hopefully, WWE are keeping their powder dry with both men until after Mania.

I’m not going to sh*t on this show at all, the matches that have been announced look to be very promising, and the event should be one of the better ones in WWE’s illustrious history. I guess it just proves the point that the current roster in WWE is stacked from top to bottom, so we should be grateful for what we have. Others who aren’t even on this list include Shinsuke Nakamura (who last year faced AJ Styles for the WWE Championship), John Cena – remember him sitting front row waiting for the Undertaker last year?

Alexa Bliss defended her Raw Women’s Title against Nia Jax, and this year isn’t even having a match. True she’s the host of the show, but I’d rather see her wrestle.

That being said, one could argue that the ‘supporting acts’ from last year have been given their chance to shine now. Sasha Banks & Bayley were part of a Women’s Battle Royal on the pre-show. Baron Corbin was in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and is now preparing to face Kurt Angle in Kurt’s last match in WWE. Seth Rollins has gone from opening the show in a triple threat with The Miz and Finn Balor to being in a main event level match with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title, so it’s not all bad.

What do you think? Should WWE push more stars in the bigger matches or should they rotate each year? Have I missed anyone you’d like to mention? Who will take out Elias? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.