A few months ago, I got an email from Ring of Honor wrestling, advertising a show that would be their return show after a four-month hiatus. It was set to take place in Dallas, and my eyes lit up at the thought of going to visit my brother, and going to a show that was likely going to be a banger of an event.
But then, it was brought to my attention that this was going to be taking place the same weekend of Wrestlemania, which was also in Dallas, and suddenly the idea of going to a show that was more than likely going to be attended by other mouthbreathing marks from all over who were on their way to watching Wrestlemania really took the wind out of my sails, and the idea was dead in the water just like that.
Over the last few years prior to coronavirus, a thing that been happening was that whatever city was hosting Wrestlemania, promotions and events that weren’t even WWE, would start booking shit in the same city, around Wrestlemania’s dates, all with the obvious intent to try and leech off of the droves of people who would already be coming into town to watch Wrestlemania, and entice them into these giant weekends of wrestle-everything.
One notable example was when Wrestlemania was in Brooklyn, New York, New Japan Pro Wrestling booked Madison Square Garden two nights prior. Over the last few years, there’ve been what’s been dubbed WrestleCon, which is exactly what it sounds like, something of a convention for wrestling fans, with the primary thing being all sorts of meet and greets with current and former wrestlers.
However, this year’s Wrestlemania weekend in Dallas, would turn into this week-long affair, where numerous events and promotions started staking claim to times and venues all around the Dallas area, and I thought to myself, man, there really can be such a thing as too much wrestling.
There was one year where Wrestlemania ended up being like five hours long, and I was completely toast by the end of it. They’ve since moved to the two-night model which I greatly prefer, and I’m sure all involved parties do too, since there’s two nights worth of gate, merch, parking and revenues to be made instead of one.
But Wrestlemania being two nights, on the Saturday and Sunday meant that even their own in-house Saturday show, the usually outstanding NXT TakeOver, got relegated to Saturday afternoon status. In addition to the WWE’s presence in Dallas, there was the aforementioned ROH show that took place on Friday night, and earlier in the week were events booked by GCW, and even one venue that had MLW and the upstart Control Your Narrative promotion at the same time.
And of course, WrestleCon took place too, to help fill in the time in between actual wrestling shows. Except that WrestleCon had their own mini-show at it too, with Impact Wrestling running an interesting event with a multiverse theme, which flexed just how many companies Impact had working relationships with.
All in all though, this is a good example of how there really could be such a thing as too much wrestling. Now obviously, I love the business, and I’d definitely love to have been able to go to the ROH show, and maybe the NXT show. But as I’ve said numerous times, I don’t really have that much desire to go to a Wrestlemania again, seeing as how I’ve been to two. They’re just too large, and frankly, the quality of them aren’t really as good as they used to be when they’d have cards full of actual wrestling matches and not these spectacle/moment-maker matches where Johnny Knoxville and Logan Paul get on the show while the current US and Intercontinental champions don’t.
And because I don’t have the time, nor desire to pay to watch any special events, the only thing I ended up watching was Wrestlemania, which I have to say was pretty below average as a whole. The matches that I was expecting to be good weren’t necessarily terrible, but they could’ve been better. I had high hopes for Edge vs. AJ Styles, but it was average at best. I had hoped the Roman vs. Brock match would’ve been as hard hitting and Japanese strong style as some of their earlier matches have been, but a supposed injury to Roman seemed to take the steam out of it, and make it seem very abrupt.
The best match of the show was probably Seth Rollins vs. the mystery opponent who turned out to be the return of Cody Rhodes which I called within the first month of AEW’s launch. And it’s not like it was a Macho Man vs. Steamboat-caliber classic, it’s just it was the best match on a widely mediocre card otherwise.
Regardless, I was pleased to see Roman Reigns end the show with the double belts, because I still do believe Roman is still the best thing going in the WWE now, and he’s not just cutting promos about being in god mode, because he really is performing like he is.
All things considered though, I caught much of the ROH show’s primary matches after the fact, and to no surprise, everything they did was leaps and bounds better than Wrestlemania, as far as actual wrestling talent is concerned. But frankly, actual wrestling is hardly what Wrestlemania’s been about over the last few years, and they’ve gotten content at just being an entertainment spectacle above all else. But 150,000 attendees over two days doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s not the wrong call either.