Too Many Part-Timers, Not Enough Wrestlemania

I know, I’m about to blog about something that has been blogged about so many times before. But, as we head into WWE’s largest pay-per-view (PPV) of the year it’s so hard not to jump on the topic. Are part-timer’s monopolizing those coveted Wrestlemania spots that should be going to the full-time superstars?

When I was a little girl, and Wrestlemania debuted for the first time, it was more about the current roster than history. Alas, when you start at point A, it’s hard to draw in anything from the past. In recent years, we’ve seen a trend of Wrestlemania becoming a mix of the past and present; with older superstars/part-time talent dominating a big portion card.

Now this debate gets so much more heated when we take a closer look at what recently happened at Fastlane. Whether you like Kevin Owens or not, he’s had a solid heel champion run. His BBF shtick with Chris Jericho has been one of the very few entertaining things going on RAW pre-Wrestlemania season and he certainly has taken that proverbial ball and ran with it. In swoops Goldberg, 12-year hiatus from the company and all, 50 years young, and beats the superstar in match that was shorter than The Undertaker’s entrance. And now, Goldberg is heading to Wrestlemania, most likely closing the show, after two matches under his belt since the fall (that combined are still shorter than The Undertaker’s entrance). Meanwhile, Kevin Owens is at every Monday Night RAW, does the live events circuit, etc., etc. And right before the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All’ … bam, done, move over … part of Wrestlemania, but not closing the show … not headlining, no longer Universal Champion; thank you for time and participation.

Fair, not fair? But when you are trying to sell out a stadium to continually break records and elevate a big event … what does fair really mean?

Here’s the thing: as much as ‘I’ would have liked to see a champion versus champion match between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens, the reality is, Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar will drawn in the fans that Wrestlemania needs to break records, make money, and still be considered a unique and illustrious PPV. Me? I sincerely watch Wrestlemania every year; I’m a long-time fan, it’s a tradition, and I follow storylines and programs closely. The average fan? Well, I know plenty of wrestling fans and they fall across many spectrums. We have the ones that are avid viewers, watch all the programming, go to live events (some super fans in that mix that head to PPVs and RAWs, etc.); we have casual fans that may catch a Monday Night RAW here and there, watch the PPVs when their favorites are on; and those that ‘used to watch’ the WWE, and will tune into Wrestlemania because they know they will see The Undertaker, or Lesnar, and now maybe even Goldberg. So, when you look at from that angle, then yes … these part-timers may not ‘be there every RAW’ … but they do play a key role in WWE’s overall success when it comes to main stream popularity. To boot, there have also been part-timers that were once full-timers, that ‘paid their dues’ and in a lot of ways deserve (and have earned) the one-time-per-year WM spot … despite the fact that some other talents could use the lift up (I’m looking at you Shane McMahon, HHH, and especially The Deadman).

But, if these part-time superstars don’t let go of these spots, how can a younger superstar even consider building a legacy where they can get in on the action? So, what comes first … the chicken or the egg?

Thankfully in the past the WWE has mixed in some part-timers with newer talent (i.e. Taker versus Bray Wyatt and now it seems this year we will Rollins versus HHH, Shane versus AJ Styles, The Deadman versus Roman Reigns); so, the full-time elite will get their time in the spotlight. And if the idea is to ensure that these veteran superstars help push over the younger or full-time talent – whether they win the match or not – then maybe not all is lost when it comes to WM. Drawn the crowd in with well-known names, and keep them by showcasing newer talent as well. It gives these full-timers an opportunity to connect with fans on a larger scale.

I recently read an article where thesun.co.uk interviewed Sami Zayn. I found his perspective quite interesting and I think he puts it best. He starts off by saying:

“Selfishly, of course part of me thinks, ‘Hey, get the hell out of here, this is our show, we work here every week’. It would be stupid to ignore that.”

Then adds:

“But at the same time, Brock Lesnar or Bill Goldberg coming in… the fans like it, it’s good for business, and if it’s good for business, it’s good for me in a roundabout way.

“Do I wish I was main eventing WrestleMania and not Bill Goldberg? Yes, absolutely. But you know, might it be better in some way to bring these guys in to help business. If it’s helping business, it’s helping me.”

So, as a long-time fan, an avid fan, do I wish to see certain things booked in certain ways? Sure. But I also enjoy being entertained. I also enjoy the idea that the world of the WWE does not revolve around the idea of one fan, or one demographic; rather an entire and diverse spectrum of differing individuals who all love pro wrestling for very different reasons.

WNZ fan! What do you think? Do you like the idea of part-timers dominating Wrestlemania 33 this year? What about two part-timers closing the show? Leave your comments below!

Dorathy's been an avid fan of the WWE and sports entertainment since she was a small child. She attended... More about Dorathy Gass

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