By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Don’t look now, pro wrestling fans, but WrestleMania 38 is just about six weeks away (April 2, 3). The two-day event will be held at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The main event is seemingly already booked: WWE world champion Roman Reigns vs challenger Brock Lesnar.
Excuse me while I try to stifle a yawn.
Look, I get it. The WWE is the world leader in sports entertainment. No other wrestling company comes even close to the drawing power and global popularity that Vince McMahon’s empire enjoys. And WrestleMania is the, quote-unquote, “Grandest Stage of Them All.” Or at least it should be.
But as a wrestling fan for almost 50 years, I’m just feeling WrestleMania 38.
So I thought I should help.
Give me complete creative control over WrestleMania and let me run the show. If I do a good job, great. If I don’t, Vince can fire me like he fires everybody else (“…wish him well in his future endeavors…”).
The first thing I would do is hold WrestleMania on one night. Just one. No more of this two-night garbage that uses filler matches to pack the cards. Just. One. Night.
The second thing I would do is insert a new tagline for the show: “EVERYTHING CHANGES.”
Why? Because it will.
My WrestleMania would be the final WWE event that has split rosters. After this night, both RAW and SMACKDOWN will revert to having one combined roster. There will be one WWE champion for the men one WWE champion for the women, one men’s tag team champion, one Intercontinental champion…aaaaand that’s it. (See ya, 24/7 silliness!)
My announce team will include Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Pat McAfee. The backstage interviewers would be Kayla Braxton and Byron Saxton. The on-air “general manager” will be the returning Paige. And the official hosts of the show will be Nicki and Brie Bella.
With me so far? Okay, so here is my card for WrestleMania 38:
The Main Event: WWE Championship Unification Match – ROMAN REIGNS (WWE champion) vs BROCK LESNAR (Universal champion) with Paul Heyman as the guest referee. This match would feature “Last Man Standing” rules, meaning the end will come when one competitor can’t answer the 10 count. Let this drawn-out feud come to a climactic and violent end.
Co-Main Event: WWE Women’s Championship Unification Match – BECKY LYNCH vs RONDA ROUSEY vs SASHA BANKS vs CHARLOTTE vs BAYLEY vs BIANCA BELAIR. This will be a six-women elimination match to crown the undisputed WWE women’s champion. If Bayley is still injured and can’t go, sub in Alexa Bliss.
Special Attraction Match – “STONE COLD” STEVE AUSTIN vs KEVIN OWENS. The WWE is reportedly trying to lure Austin out of retirement for one final match, and I’m all for it. The Texas crowd will go nuts.
WWE Tag Team Championship Unification Match – NEW DAY vs THE USOS. Yes, I know these two teams have wrestled a gazillion times, but these are by far the best two tag teams in the company. Make this a Ladder Match to up the level of excitement.
Grudge Match – RANDY ORTON vs MATT RIDDLE. C’mon, one has to turn on the other eventually, right? I’d have Riddle lose the goofiness and turn into an MMA-based crippler who just likes to hurt people. Except, of course, Orton is no stranger to violence.
CODY RHODES w/BRANDI vs THE MIZ w/MARYSE. After their shocking WWE return after the Elimination Chamber PPV, the Rhodes take on the self-proclaimed “power couple” of the WWE.
EDGE vs AJ STYLES. Two of the greatest in-ring performers square off for the first time.
REY MISTERIO JR., RICOCHET and DREW McINTYRE vs BOBBY LASHLEY, SAMI ZAYN and OMOS. In this match, the bad guys lose, and Lashley and Zayn blame the 7’3” Omos. They beat him down, and Omos becomes a babyface hero.