Less than one month away from WrestleMania 33, fan perception of how the event could turn out has gone from hopeful to unpromising to hopeless. Not long ago, this very web site was outlining simple steps WWE could take to save the Showcase of Immortals, and Vince McMahon has uniformly ignored them all (not that we expected any different). The entire WWE Universe has been on a rapid downslide for years now, and it’s looking like the absolute nadir of sports entertainment could occur in Orlando, Florida on April 2nd. At this point, there’s no shortage of reasons why WWE has gone completely off the rails.
Similar to any business, the biggest problems are on the top and trickle down from there, ultimately effecting practically every wrestler employed by the company. Even the best superstars are getting wasted, and the worst and most overpaid part-timers will be unreasonably pushed to the main event. Everyone stuck in the middle is just that; forced by WWE to keep his or her performance level in a tiny little corporate approved box that will prevent anyone new from ever becoming a star. If these general statements aren’t worrying enough and you need some specifics, keep reading to discover 15 reasons why WrestleMania 33 might be the worst WWE show in history.
15 The Pros And Cons Of Shaq Fu
From the moment plans were set in motion for Shaquille O’Neal and The Big Show to square off at WrestleMania, fans were torn on whether or not it was a worthwhile endeavor. Whether you wanted to see it or not, the fact remains it was by far the first match announced for the show, and in many respects also the most highly anticipated by people who actually did want to see it. Unfortunately for those unlucky few, it looks like the match has been scrapped entirely, and for reasons that Shaq’s team have been a bit unclear on. On the one hand, people who didn’t want to see this match are being spared what could be an all time stinker, but with a card this bad, there’s also a good chance no one would have noticed or particularly cared that the celebrity match was a mess.
14 The New Day Will Keep Eating Ice Cream And Doing Nothing
After setting the company record as longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history, The New Day has continued their incredible success by, um…uh…well…they’re still around, at least. Rather than capitalize on their fame in any way by engaging in solo efforts, splitting up, or merely, you know, wrestling people, The New Day have been picked to host WrestleMania, a concept that has only been around a few years and has never been fruitful for the fans. Best case scenario, New Day show up in the middle of the show and waste 15 minutes minimum, eating ice cream, or talking about ice cream, or maybe refusing to give other wrestlers ice cream…who even cares at this point? One of the rare acts in WWE to earn rave reviews and near universal acclaim is being used to do absolutely nothing at the biggest show of the year. It doesn’t matter how you weasel around that fact; it’s terrible booking.
13 Part-Timers Will Make Rising Stars Look Bad… Again
Out of the many, many, many misguided moves at WrestleMania 32, none were as transparently counterintuitive as when Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin beat up both the top heel and face stables in the company pretty much for fun. While there were definitely people in the crowd who enjoyed seeing the legends make short work of The League of Nations and then The New Day, the segment effectively proved neither group would ever be equal to the Attitude Era stars who could easily kick their butts over a decade past retirement. With the sole exception of the Hall of Fame ceremony, this same scenario plays out ever time retired and part-time superstars make appearance at the Grandest Stage of Them All. The only reason an old wrestler should return is to make the younger talent look good, and the only thing WWE uses them for is the exact opposite.
12 Slapdash Undercards Benefit Nobody
Now’s the point in this list where we admit the card is subject to change, and rumors about the show being a complete whiff could well end up being just that, rumors. With that out of the way, even if WWE came up with a random assortment of solid matches using their midcard talent, the show would still be a bomb because of how rushed and unimportant those matches could be. Upon first glances, adding a huge ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship or a multi-woman war for either Women’s Championship could get more young stars on the show or simply lead to an entertaining couple minutes. Unfortunately, by their very nature, opening matches thrown together at the last minute are never viewed the same as main events that have been hyped for months, and there’s absolutely no saving that aspect of the show this year.
11 NXT TakeOver: Orlando Will Definitely Show It Up
NXT has been holding Pay-Per-View style TakeOver specials the night before major WWE events for over two years now, and across the board, these specials have proved one thing—NXT is better than WWE, and there’s almost no question about it. What the brand lacks in polish and experience it more than makes up for by no wasting the audience’s time and focusing on talent that actually cares about whether or not they’ll still have a job tomorrow. Despite being considered a developmental territory, WWE refusing to call-up readymade talent means the wrestlers on the brand are often even greater in the ring than on the main roster, and that most definitely holds true when comparing the respective headlining matches that have been announced already. It’s gotten to a point the only way WrestleMania could possibly be better than NXT TakeOver is if the latter show is canceled, which obviously no one wants to happen.
10 No Big Moments Mean No Excitement
Anyone who pays even a slight amount of attention to the so-called dirt sheets probably knows exactly how WrestleMania 33 is going to go, notwithstanding a few minor details. The matches have been obvious for a few months now, and even the finishes practically write themselves. This wouldn’t be a huge problem if this predictability was due to logic or popular trends, but unfortunately it’s mostly due to Vince McMahon’s stubborn refusal to admit he’s wrong about how cliché and boring the show will be. Fans won’t cheer Roman Reigns, but that won’t stop McMahon from booking The Big Dog to beat The Undertaker clean. They sing about how John Cena sucks, so naturally the company will waste significant airtime essentially filming Total Divas in the middle of the biggest show of the year. Bayley, Sasha Banks, or some other female wrestler could’ve had a huge win against Charlotte, and yet Vince intentionally threw that out the window at Fastlane, and now fans have nothing to look forward to whatsoever.
9 McMahon-A-Mania 33
The only things that are promised in this world are death, taxes, and the McMahon family plastering themselves all over their own product, whether it serves a purpose or not. With each passing year, WWE fans grow exponentially sicker of the McMahon’s, and that includes Shane-O-Mac, barely 12 months after his grand return to the company. Not only is Shane most likely going to be in a match against the best wrestler in the company, but we can also pretty much guarantee a long time killer segment with Stephanie, as well. Should worst come to worst, Vince might even show up and say something offensive, just to ensure the event goes down in the family’s all time most embarrassing moments. The saddest part about McMahon-A-Mania is that there’s no way it could benefit anything but the egos of the three people involved, and this will in no way stop them from appearing.
8 People Will Almost Definitely Get Hurt
Since it already looks like WrestleMania 33 will be one of the most bloated shows in history, conventional wisdom would entail this means WWE will try and trim some of the fat and cut the darlings, so to speak. On the other hand, this is WWE we’re talking about, and if those darlings belong to Triple H, you best believe they aren’t going anywhere. One of the highest profile programs going into this year’s Showcase of Immortals is the long festering conflict between the WWE COO and his former protégé Seth Rollins. Although Rollins recently reinjured his knee in a major way and Triple H is at an advanced enough age and poor enough physical condition he has to stay out of the ring lest his knees fall apart, many fans aren’t convinced the two won’t do something at the show. What this means is either a huge waste of time or guaranteed injuries, neither something we want the company to pursue.
7 The Women’s Revolution Is Getting Revolting
In contrast to everything that has been said about WrestleMania 32, the one shining light of the evening was the triple threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks spent over 15 minutes solidifying that the women’s revolution had arrived, and the era of bitchy divas was finally over. Or at least that’s how things looked for a little while, because less than a year later, WWE has already started ignoring everything that made the latest crop of female talent special. What happened at Fastlane between Charlotte, Sasha, and Bayley was pretty much the straw that broke the camel’s back in proving things can’t possibly turn around in time for Orlando, and it can only go downhill from here. At this rate, by the time the show is over, both Women’s Championships will be retired for the 24/7 Hardcore Diva’s Championship, which will change hands no less than 5 times at the show itself… but maybe that’s just being cynical.
6 The Match Fans Actually Want To See Is Fifth Most Important, At Best
Despite all the negativity surrounding the road to WrestleMania 33, certain wrestlers are still going out there and wrestling the matches of their lives and cutting promos to go along with them. Plenty of WWE superstars have fit this description, with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens arguably two of the most important thanks to their profile and the incredible angle between them headed towards the Showcase of Immortals. The Festival of Friendship cemented Owens-Jericho as easily the match fans want to see more than anything else. Yet, because Owens lost the Universal Championship and only Jericho’s US belt will be on the line, the match rapidly plummeted from main event status to, at best, fifth or sixth billed on the card. Not only is this disheartening for any WWE superstar who still bothers giving his or her A-Game, but it also tells the fans not to care about anything, because the more they react to it, the more it’ll get shoved down the card.
5 Trolling The Crowd Will Only Get Worse
In 2017, talking about Roman Reigns and how he’s arguably the worst babyface WWE has ever pushed to the top spot has reached a point of complete irrelevance. There’s no amount of logic that could persuade Vince McMahon to finally realize he’s making a mistake with Reigns, and Vince’s attitude means he’s more likely to double down on the subject than ever back off. And double down he will, most likely by having Reigns defeat The Undertaker with little difficulty, possibly in the main event. Crowds have increasingly turned on Brock Lesnar, as well, thanks to his booking and controversial last MMA fight, explaining why McMahon is probably going to give him the Universal Championship in the second highest profile match. These are merely the top two examples, and the implications remain the same throughout the entire show. If fans don’t want to see something, McMahon is going to give it to them out of spite.
4 Go Big Or…
Okay, so WrestleMania 32 was more-or-less considered a universal bomb; a disaster in the highest order, such to the extent it didn’t matter 100,000 people were at the event because what those people were subjected to would be considered torture in some countries. More than seven hours long with the matches getting exponentially worse as the night continued, last year’s Grandest Stage of Them All was a crash course in how not to book a wrestling event. Unfortunately, thanks to the undying McMahon mentality that one must go big or go home, it looks like WrestleMania 33 might be even longer, more bloated, and more focused on ensuring the entire audience is furious by the end of the show. The only way this could pay off for fans is if the live crowd gets mad enough to actually go home, forcing Vince to finally change his ways.
3 Wasting Every Top Star On Something Meaningless
Throughout this list we’ve already managed to cover a number of high profile rumors WrestleMania 33 matches, so this problem should be evident by now. Wrestlers like The New Day, A.J. Styles, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Charlotte, Sasha Banks… you know, the ones fans actually come to see on a weekly basis? They’re all stuck in pointless undercard matches that are virtually designed to ensure the audience won’t care about them. Granted, that’s better than top level performers like Dolph Ziggler and Rusev, who are looking like they either won’t be on the show or pigeonholed into the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, along with dozens of other regular wrestlers who are getting passed over so Goldberg, Shane McMahon, and Nikki Bella can compete in top storylines. The only thing worse than refusing to give people what they want is showing it to them and laughing about how they can’t have it, which is how WWE is handling their entire roster these days.
2 Redoing A Main Event No One Wanted To See
It would be one thing if the reason so many young, talented wrestlers were being kept out of top WrestleMania 33 matches was because other young, talented wrestlers took those spots. Instead, the biggest roles in the biggest event of the WWE calendar year are being taken by part-timers with reduced schedules, which is bad enough even if they’re competing in fresh match-ups that people want to see. Goldberg-Lesnar will be much worse than that, the third try in a series no one wanted to see the first time and no one understood the second. Back at WrestleMania XX, the two were booed out of Madison Square Garden for so much as breathing, and how WWE thinks it will go any differently now that people are starting to remember Goldberg can’t wrestle for over 60 seconds is a complete mystery to us.
1 Booking For A Single Night With No Payoff
Ultimately, 90% of this list and indeed all criticisms surrounding WrestleMania 33 come down to one damn near catastrophic issue that no one in WWE seems to notice. Although the event will be the biggest sports entertainment spectacle of the year, as far as we’re aware, it isn’t going to be the WWE Universe’s series finale. Pro wrestling will continue the very next night on Raw, then again 24 hours later on SmackDown Live, and so on and so forth. Despite this, whether or not the headliners at Orlando will still have careers after April 2nd is an entirely different story. Brock Lesnar’s schedule means he won’t be around much win or lose, The Undertaker, Goldberg, and maybe Triple respective physical conditions means they can’t, and will anyone even care if Roman Reigns or John Cena stick around after getting booed out of another stadium? Regardless of how terrible the show is, WWE needs to remember WrestleMania 33 isn’t the end, or else it very well could be the beginning of it.