With the first ever women’s main event and a title match between Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan, WWE WrestleMania 35 could be the most meaningful “Showcase of the “Immortals” in a long time.
There’s no doubt that WrestleMania feels like a big deal every year. For wrestling fans, this is our Super Bowl, and there’s nothing quite like the week-long spectacle that surrounds Sunday’s showcase of WWE’s best and brightest. Sure, NXT TakeOvers specials have become more enjoyable than their main-roster counterparts, but what makes WrestleMania such a big deal is its status as a larger-than-life show. It lasts well over five hours, features tons of talented performers, and gets us all buzzing, whether the moments are positive or negative.
As I sit here and reflect on the night before WWE WrestleMania 35, I can’t help but think that this year’s “Show of Shows” has a chance to be truly special. Like, even in a way that WrestleMania 30 wasn’t.
It all starts with the three biggest matches on the card. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar is a must-win situation for Rollins, who took Monday Night Raw by a storm in 2018, putting on classic match after classic match. He is the right man to “Slay The Beast”, and Lesnar must lose the title by any means necessary.
Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan is a WWE Championship match 11 years in the making, and #KofiMania means so much to Black wrestling fans. We haven’t seen nearly enough Black wrestlers reach the top of WWE, and Kofi has always been good enough to make it to the top. This year, he’s proven it, getting the entire WWE Universe behind him in a way that seems almost unprecedented. He may just be the hottest star in WWE right now, right there with Becky Lynch.
Speaking of Becky, female wrestling fans have been waiting so long for a women’s match to main event WrestleMania. Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Ronda Rousey are accomplishing just that this year, and the goal of so many women in WWE has finally been achieved in 2019. They have become the biggest story in wrestling over the past year.
But don’t take my word for it. I spoke to fans about how much the women’s main event and Kofi vs. Bryan mean to them. @NicolaBear1988 wrote:
“I’m excited about the women main eventing WrestleMania. It’s been a long time coming and honestly it should have been happened considering two of the three women have been putting in work for years. Ronda being in this match is what finally allowed this to happen so it’s bitter sweet. On the other hand I’m more excited about Kofi and personally would loved to him and Bryan closing out WM with Kofi’s hand raised as the new WWE Champion. For him to have worked so hard and consistently for 11 years and to finally reach the mountain top would fill my heart with so much joy, especially as a black woman and how WWE tends to treat their black stars.”
Before WWE announced that the women would main event WrestleMania, there was some discussion about whether or not Kofi Kingston could win the WWE Championship in the main event, given the special meaning his match has and the momentum he’s gained.
WWE did make the right choice, since Kofi’s match has been all about Kofi winning so that we can have a Black world champion who has spent 11 years working for this opportunity after being passed over by the company time after time. Meanwhile, the women’s match is less about who wins, though Becky really should be the winner after her incredible run, and more about wrestling fans finally having a women’s main event.
I thought @ThatsSoColby_ summed up the situation perfectly, and it is wonderful how supportive fans are of both key matches.
“As a woman who has been a fan of this for so long, this main event means so much. The battles and struggles every woman has been through for this moment really paid off. These women had no match on the card, got cancelled, maybe had a short match but I swear it was worth it and so inspiring.
Kofi Kingston does have a better story going into it not going to lie. I would’ve loved seeing Kofi winning the big one in the main event cause a black man has never had that chance to do so. It’s so conflicting cause I’m a woman but I’m also a black woman and either one of them main eventing would have made me so happy and proud. I’m honestly now just happy Kofi will get the opportunity to win and still make history. He can be the first black WWE champion and also first black grand slam champion! Either way he’s making history and the women are making history and I’m genuinely happy for them all.”
And finally, @GlowESTGBoss gave me an incredibly powerful quote, too. Her words serve as a reminder that the way WWE booked women prevented many women’s wrestling fans from being able to enjoy the product. But so many fans have returned to watching WWE regularly because of the excellent work from wrestlers like Becky and Charlotte, who put in the most to build this main event matchup by shining for years.
“The main event is a special moment for many wrestlers and fans alike. As a black woman and a women’s wrestling fan, my heart is so full for both Kofi and the women. I would have been pleased with either main eventing, but it is the women that have been built up for this since last summer (even since this time last year if you want to argue that). I feel like Kofi is winning no matter what and I will be so happy about it.
For the women, I literally once stopped watching wrestling for a period because I didn’t like their treatment. Short matches, being escorts, having to be limited in the ring, etc. I came back to wrestling because I saw the shift. I kept eyes on it even when I wasn’t watching full time. The 4HW pulled me back in deep. So to see even 2/4 of them in the main event is amazing to me.
Especially for Becky considering a year or so ago most of us would have never guessed it. Her climb was organic to me and heart warming for what even the other women in the division can do. And I think about all the little girls this could inspire and what it could mean for them (or even young boys).
WrestleMania is going to be full of cool and special moments for me this year. I hope that everyone finds something from it to enjoy.”
She said it herself. WWE WrestleMania 35 is going to be special. Whether it’s Rollins “Slaying The Beast”, Kofi proving that he is more than just a “B+”, or the women putting together another Match of the Year (but in the main event of WrestleMania this time), WWE WrestleMania 35 will surely be one to remember.
It is undoubtedly an exciting time to be a professional wrestling fan, and WWE has gotten far more right than wrong lately. There are so many other storylines worth keeping an eye on tonight, too. Can Curt Hawkins break his losing streak in his hometown with his close friend Zack Ryder’s help? Will The Demon dazzle in his WrestleMania debut? Can Aleister Black and Ricochet upset The Usos? Will it be Tony Nese’s time to win the Cruiserweight Championship? Samoa Joe or Rey Mysterio? How will Kurt Angle’s career end? Can Asuka, who was wronged by WWE in the build to WrestleMania, win the “Chyna Memorial Battle Royal”? Will Roman Reigns be able to get a win over Drew McIntyre?
There’s filler, there were questionable decisions, and some of our favorite wrestlers don’t appear to be on the card. But the fact that we have a women’s main event and a Black wrestler fighting for the WWE Championship is a sign that we’re in for a night to remember.
So gather with the people you love the most and get ready to cheer or boo your lungs out, even if it’s actually your Twitter fingers – and not your lungs – doing the talking from the comfort of your couch.