MMA fan watches WrestleMania 39 so you don’t have to
So I watched the Main Event of WrestleMania…
Let’s start off by acknowledging I am not as dialed in on pro wrestling as I am on MMA. It’s not my interest, forte, or any other word to suggest a deep level of investment. However, I felt it’d be funny to tune in to the main event and spin some thoughts following Roman Reign’s victory over Cody Rhodes.
I know Cody’s return to WWE following his years building AEW was one of the most hyped moments in the last several years and the pop “The American Nightmare” garnered at The Royal Rumble was one of the biggest of the year. Great story telling and evolution of a guy who at one point was covered in gold glitter embodying every criticizable aspect of pro wrestling.
Instead of fading into an anecdote, he rebuilt himself, won the Royal Rumble, and by all accounts should’ve dethroned Roman Reigns last tonight at WrestleMania.
The Tribal Who?
It was a really entertaining match with a lot of similar beats to other great wrestling matches. The swings in momentum, the tests of strength, the referee bumps which are just par for the course of Roman’s matches were all very familiar. The interference of Solo Sikoa was frustrating. Seems like a guy who is unsure of the exact facial expression needed for the occasion, felt like he was about to cry at a few points. Him being the reason Cody was pinned really sucked a lot of air out of the sails of an otherwise solid main event.
I did love The Usos vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn moment as they didn’t overstay their welcome and didn’t impact the result of the match. When The Usos teamed up on Cody, in my mind I thought, “well I hope the same occurs to Roman,” and a few moments later my wish was granted. It felt FAIR and JUSTIFIED, whereas the other dude’s moments in the main event were cheap.
As a person who did follow wrestling closely as a kid, my eternal appreciation for Paul Heyman continues to grow. A guy who was pivotal in the Undertaker’s development, participated in Brock Lesnar’s biggest moments, and now doing such good work furthering the character of “The Tribal Chief”. Heyman is as first-ballot HOF as you could possibly ask for in pro wrestling icons. His act is so good it makes you angry.
Every time I heard, “I love you my Tribal Chief” I wanted to throw a brick at Heyman. Anyone with the acting chops to get on your nerves like that, is absolutely class and I love how he is such a cornerstone in the WWE universe.
They Did Cody Dirty…
Overall, I felt Cody Rhodes should’ve been the one to take the belts off Roman. If not him, who else? It does seem the WWE wants to have Roman cross the 1,000 days as champion, but is that truly worth seriously denting the comeback of Cody?
I am sure a rematch, if built up correctly, would reach near the same heights as this main event as there would be an even deeper layer of redemption for “The American Nightmare”. However, it does beg the question: Is that really worth it? What if the hype isn’t as big? My answer is that it won’t be. You can’t match 81,000 screaming fans urging the prodigal son to complete his return. You can’t match this first crack at the undisputed title.
If a rematch occurs after the 1,000 days, we all know and expect Rhodes to then secure the belts. But that makes it predictable and won’t rise to the same level it could’ve been last night. And in the event Rhodes loses AGAIN?!? It just seems insane to secure Cody Rhodes, push him to the moon with the Royal Rumble victory, and bury his stardom to some degree in favor of another notch in Roman’s already studded legacy.
As someone who doesn’t follow wrestling, this doesn’t make me want to pick it back up. Glad I watched it, was entertained and will potentially catch a match here and a highlight there. But unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for me to really dive back into the pro wrestling world…
P.S. why the f**k did Edge beat Finn Bálor, how does that help anybody?