Being Vince McMahon and WWE’s fabled creative teams must be an absolute pain in the rear end at the best of times, never mind in the build-up to a WrestleMania.
I always find that once Survivor Series is out of the way in November, the bulk of the following year’s WrestleMania card is pretty clear. The seeds of a number of rivalries have been sewn, the dirtysheets are already reporting the favourites to win each of the Royal Rumbles; WWE’s plans start to unravel like a freshly pressed duvet made from the finest Egyptian cotton.
So then, with the Road To WrestleMania™ as predictable as any given Brock Lesnar house show match, Vince McMahon and those fabled creative teams need to provide programming that is entertaining, but also delivering of a narrative that most already know the ending of – it’s a horrible place to find yourself in.
This year, for example, WWE haven’t really deviated too far from the WrestleMania script we all saw coming towards the end of last year. Yes they’ve provided potential swerves like the Fastlane main event, Braun Strowman has provided us with a few more memes, but other than that it’s been pretty formulaic ahead of the New Orleans spectacular which takes place tomorrow. I know, the world is spinning too quickly this year.
It hasn’t always been this way though…
10. Randy Can’t Make His Mind Up
WWE did a marvellous job of covering up an underwhelming 2017 Royal Rumble winner when Randy Orton eliminated everyone’s favourite, Roman Reigns. After that, it appeared The Viper finally started to hit puberty even though he was rapidly approaching his 37th birthday – he was confused, emotional, irrational, and didn’t appear to know what he wanted to do with his life.
For a very long time, Bray Wyatt wanted Randy to join his family over on SmackDown Live. Randy, like any classy lady would, resisted the advances of his suitor for as long as he could before finally caving in.
Randy would eventually join forces with Bray, and in the process gave up his hard-earned WrestleMania main event place. This allowed AJ Styles to earn the title of number one contender, with the pair facing off and Randy’s ‘Mania main event spot on the line.
This is all as confusing as it sounds, and then it gets worse because out of nowhere, Randy turned on Bray and wanted his WrestleMania main event spot back – making his Road To WrestleMania twice as hard as it should have been.
I guess that’s better than just seeing a Royal Rumble winning cutting endless promos with the Champion each week. But bloody hell, Randy’s rationale doesn’t half make your brain hurt.
Some murder then happened live on WWE TV in front of the world as the journey to SmackDown Live’s ‘Mania main event took more turns than Big Show’s 18-year WWE career. It’s a shame the destination wasn’t anywhere near as captivating as the journey.