Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Russ Morgan & Jamie Lithgow
We are now only one week away from one of the worst hyped and built-to WrestleManias in the history of the event. We have a card but are we really sure we know what match is going up last? Will it be Triple H vs. Roman Reigns or will it be Shane McMahon’s Hell in a Cell clash with The Undertaker. That’s the topic of this latest Sunday Sermon.
Craig: After this week’s Raw and the hype that is being given to the Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker match, I am more convinced than before that it will be that, rather than the WWE title bout, that will close the show.
Rumours abound that Vince wants to be more of an off-screen character and that the current programme is a mess with terrible ratings and a dragged out Authority gimmick.
Could WrestleMania 32 see the reset button pressed? Shane defeats The Undertaker – and either is reinstated by the new boss Shane the next night or rides into the sunet – and the WWE ploughs a new furrow.
Factor in that Ticketmaster are selling tickets post Mania under the banner Raw vs. WWE – do we have a game changer in our midst and would that be better than Triple H vs. Roman Reigns closing the show? A match surely that the fans, for want of a better phrase, would shit all over?
Brian: As for what match right now has more interest behind it, that would have to be Shane vs Taker.
I will admit, they are finally booking Roman Reigns the right way. He should speak very little and just destroy people. The WWE is finally doing that, but it is a little too late now with ‘Mania right around the corner.
Craig: I thought it was very interesting that the WWE rolled out a series of legends and Hall of Famers to talk about the Hell in a Cell match. It was quite telling just how much effort they are going in to making this seem even more of a big deal.
Is the fact that we are even having this conversation telling? On every level we should be expecting the WWE title match to go on last and, like when Punk as champ didn’t go on last, be complaining that the title is being treated in such a fashion? Is this the WWE’s chickens from years of booking veterans over establishing new stars coming home to roost?
Russ: The World Title match should always be last, it is what Wrestlemania is about! Wrestlemania is basically the end of the year and the follow up Raw is the start of the new. If RAW is already advertised to go against WWE, then expect a Shane victory. Whether the victory is clean or not is up for debate.
Jamie: There’s something in me that is still leaning towards the title match going on last too. It’s not unheard of for something other than a title match to go on last – I think I’m right in saying that it last happened at ‘Mania 26 with Michaels vs. Taker? However, on that occasion Shawn Michaels was shoot retiring and the title match was Cena vs. Batista.
This time around one would assume all the stipulations in Taker’s match are just angles – the wording is so delicately chosen, why not just say his career is on the line? – and in the title match the defending champ is Triple H. There’s probably more interest in the gimmick match, but I have every reason to believe that WWE are that arrogant that they will plough ahead and end the show with Triple H taking matters into his own hands to get Reigns over.
Brian: I disagree, if this is Undertaker’s last match (which it might be) it should definitely be the last match of the night and I think it will be. Triple H Vs Reigns will only work as a last match IF something big happens in the end and I am not referring to Roman Reigns winning the title. While I’ll agree that Vince is arrogant, he isn’t stupid. He must know that the WWE title match will get booed out of the AT & T Stadium.
Jamie: If I genuinely thought this could be The Undertaker’s last match then he should absolutely go on last, I just don’t buy it though. The match has so many gimmicks and stipulations and isn’t even about Taker, it’s more about the McMahons in my opinion. That said, you never know. In my head I see The Undertaker retiring the way Shawn Michaels did; losing a retirement match clean in the middle of the ring. That’s me though, Vince and Taker might have other ideas.
I say ‘retire’, but that’s not the stipulation. That wording is so awkward and precise that it could come to pass. That would suggest that The Dead Man will ultimately retire on another show, that’s not Wrestlemania, and I just don’t see that happening.
Craig: I think the stipulations surrounding the Taker vs Shane match are as convoluted as you would expect from Vince Russo during the Attitude Era. As Jamie alludes to, there is much more to come on the night and afterwards in relation to what the match actually means.
You had legends say that the Hell in a Cell was a main event style match on Raw and just over the top hyping it. I just can’t see it not closing the show. If it is the choice between two one-on-one matches then it is Taker vs Shane not Trips vs Reigns that closes. But there’s still time for even more tomfoolery, right?
Russ: Triple H passing up the opportunity to head-line Wrestlemania for possibly the last time??? Hell no.
Craig: The thing is though, if Shane is to win, what match can follow such a historic moment? Afterall, the Undertaker is “retired” and a new era, the post-Authority one, is ushered in. on the other hand, if Taker wins its after a match packed full of insane bumps. Is the booking and storylines convoluted? Absolutely. But can anything realistically follow it? Reigns vs. Trips could well be a top match but will the Hell in a Cell match not have sucked the energy out of the crowd?
Brian: Great point! I guess that is why they are going to have the Lana/Brie Bella multi tag match. It will probably be sandwiched in between the two big matches. That is my guess.
Those are thoughts on this year’s WrestleMania and what will be the main event. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.