Two-Night WrestleMania Downgrading Importance?

Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar Two-Night WrestleMania Sunday
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For decades, it has been common knowledge that WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling event of the calendar year – that is a fact which will likely never change. “The Grandest Stage of Them All”, as it was so commonly referred to in years past, is professional wrestling’s answer to the Super Bowl; it will occupy the largest stadiums, attract choruses of fans from across the globe, and is, ultimately, the one event which the WWE can forever rely upon for some desirable mainstream publicity. Since WrestleMania 36 – which took place during the initial lockdown stage of the 2020 part of the COVID-19 pandemic – WrestleMania has been a two-night event and, it would appear, that this is the new normal.

Gone is the yearly tradition of a one-night WrestleMania and in its stead is two nights of around four-to-five hours each. In fairness to the WWE, prior to WrestleMania 36, WrestleMania had become one long night of around 8 hours of WWE which, for even the most ardent of WWE fan, is simply too much. Therefore, the move to two nights was not without reason (plus it makes the company a lot more money). The question is, does a two-night WrestleMania downgrade the importance, or significance, of the event?

Argument For: Overexposure

Two-Night WrestleMania
Photo: WWE

One argument in favor of the motion is that WrestleMania now feels overexposed. In a way, since 2020, it has been like having two WrestleManias per year. If the Super Bowl is the biggest yearly sporting event on earth, would it still be if there were two of them per year? WrestleMania remains the biggest wrestling event of the year, but its importance – as well as the excitement around it – does feel as though it has waned somewhat. However, in fairness, since WrestleMania became a two-night extravaganza, we have been stuck in pandemic purgatory; have witnessed a war in Europe with potentially apocalyptic consequences, and have most recently been affected by Will Smith smacking Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. Therefore, it is safe to say that, despite our love for pro wrestling and indeed WrestleMania, our attention has been elsewhere over the past two years. So whereas many will still watch wrestling, that media attention and the excitement of fans has been somewhat diverted.

Argument Against: Extra Main Event

Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair Headline WrestleMania 37
Photo: WWE

An easy argument against is the concept of two WrestleMania main events. If not for this new idea, Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks likely would not have main evented last year at WrestleMania 37, which would have been a travesty. Not only was it a star-making moment for Belair (and a deserved reward for Banks), but the match was the best match of the entire weekend, rivaled only by Cesaro and Seth Rollins. Yes, one might argue that having two WrestleMania main events per year lessens the impact of a ‘Mania main event, but the obvious argument against is that there is now one extra opportunity per year to make new stars, such as Belair. There was a time when whoever was WWE Champion not named John Cena would fail to be the main event of a WWE event because of Cena’s star power and the company’s trust in him. Nowadays, Cena would main event one night and there would be a chance for someone else to main event another. Therefore, this has helped the company immeasurably.

Conclusion

Whereas WrestleMania‘s importance, or at least the hype surrounding WrestleMania, has been diminished by converting the event to a two-night show, it cannot be argued that there are no positives to the move and, on the contrary, the positives of finally having extra space to make stars outweigh all negatives. The WWE desperately needs new stars and if anything can make a new star, it’s having them main event WrestleMania. Let’s just hope Goldberg doesn’t take up these extra nights instead.

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