30 Superstars will celebrate both the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania and one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time when they compete in the first-ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Almost all of the stars in the ring are mid-level talents.
Since we saw “The Beast” Brock Lesnar return to the WWE two years ago and the big man has been a sporadic wrestler, breaking arms of legends and challenging the likes of CM Punk, John Cena and Triple H, Paul Heyman’s “guy” has not competed for the WWE World Title. Now, he faces the Undertaker on Sunday in New Orleans and still there is no title on the line.
Has the WWE forgotten that the premise of this event is to have the greats of the company put their titles on the line in wrestling’s biggest event on the company’s grandest stage? The WWE World Title, The WWE Tag Titles and the WWE Divas Title are on the block on Sunday while Big E. Langston is in the Battle Royal – so his Intercontinental Title is not being defended. The same holds true for Dean Ambrose – as he and the other members of the newly-faced Shield face off with the New Age Outlaws and Kane. I assume the United States Title might fall off into the Gulf of Mexico after Sunday night in New Orleans.
At one point, these titles meant something. The WWE has done a good job of making sure the matches we see this weekend mean something, but in the wake of producing excitement, when the last time was either of the mid-level titles were defended and feuded over and ti meant something. Calling Kofi Kingston. Calling Dolph Ziggler. Calling Cody Rhodes. You cannot be serious!
Back in the 1980s, at least wrestling promotions got it right. There was a regional title like the Southern Heavyweight Title (the one Hulk Hogan referred to as the best title while he was growing up in Tampa) in Eddie Graham’s Florida Championship Wrestling outfit. There was also the Florida Heavyweight and the Southern Tag Team Champions and the Florida Television Title. The belts were won and challenged weekly. Also, the Southern Champion was then in line to wrestle the NWA World Champion at some point when the champion (Ric Flair, The Funks, Harley Race, etc.) would stroll into town.
That would never happen today.
Disclaimer: For the next 30 days, this will be an ongoing series of stories as we move down the Road to WrestleMania. Follow Camel Clutch Blog writer/blogger David M. Levin as he talks about the history, the pageantry and the success and failures of the past when it comes to wrestling’s biggest events. The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of Camel Clutch Blog, and this series is intended to ramp up the excitement that is associated with WrestleMania XXX and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Please enjoy this new feature and any comments are most welcome.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
[amazon_link id=”B00HRYH7G2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B0009E32TI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s[/amazon_link]