This article started its life as a WrestleMania 33 booking article, but soon devolved into a large migraine. Put simply, next year’s show is faced with a very unique problem – the WWE has more quality wrestlers than it can physically book for WrestleMania 33. Yes, last year’s show was plagued by literally the opposite problem due to injuries, but assuming nothing goes drastically wrong in the next few months, the showcase of immortals is going to be a nightmare for Vince McMahon.
WrestleMania 32 consisted of a two hour pre-show and a 291 minute main card, which is essentially seven hours all-up. It was way too much and left everyone exhausted and yet they’re going to have to do something similar this year to cram all of the matches in, because there could be as many as 12 of them… on the main card alone! ON TOP OF THAT, The Rock has all-but confirmed he’ll be at the show, Shaquille O’Neal versus The Big Show is apparently happening and the WWE want a piece of Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey which means buckle in folks, because WrestleMania could be a full day experience at this rate. And the cherry on top is the WWE’s love of getting every single member of the roster onto the WrestleMania card. Do you see the nightmare now?
As I said off the top, this article started as an attempt to put the match card together and here’s what I came up with. This is just an example of how many superstars the WWE are going to have to manage coming into WrestleMania. Spoiler: It’s a lot!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: AJ Styles vs John Cena
WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat Match: Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor vs Cesaro
The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs Bayley
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander vs Rich Swann
Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe
Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match: Sami Zayn vs Dean Ambrose vs The Miz
No DQ Match: Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
Seth Rollins vs Triple H
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs Becky Lynch
RAW Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The New Day vs Enzo & Cass vs Neville & Tony Nese vs Anderson & Gallows
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
United States Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs Rusev
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: American Alpha vs Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
Number One Contenders Match: Naomi vs Nikki Bella vs Alexa Bliss vs Carmella…
That is a card consisting of 11 main-show matches and four more before the event has even officially started! Of those four pre-show matches, two are title matches and one is the big battle royal. The amount of roster depth they’ll have access to this year is beyond anything they’ve ever had by a very long way.
Before I break down the card, let’s have a look at who ISN’T there. You have Shane McMahon, Goldberg, Charlotte, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Big Show versus Shaq, Chris Jericho and the current SmackDown Tag Team Champions all not featuring on the card.
Think about that. I have put together a WrestleMania card of 15 matches and can’t find room for four of the WWE’s current champions. On top of that, this is working on the assumption that Jericho will be back with Fozzy and that Goldberg will only have the one match – which is probably unlikely.
We have an 11 match main-card and that’s before The Rock or Conor McGregor or any other intermission stuff they want to do. This is a really big problem. How can they possibly get around it?
Well they could leave Samoa Joe in NXT for another six months – but we all know that’s not going to happen. Hell, this card goes EASY on the NXT call-ups, because you could certainly argue The Revival, Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura should all be called-up before April this year too. Gargano and Ciampa will probably be in there somewhere too along with the other 12 members of the Cruiserweight Division.
They could re-merge the women’s division onto one brand, but even still, anything less than two women’s matches on the main-card would be a massive step backwards and well beneath what the division deserves. You could even push for three women’s matches on the main-card if something like Charlotte versus Ronda Rousey becomes a reality and that would cause an even bigger headache! Both Women’s Championship matches will be crucial parts of the show and, for the first time ever, that takes spots away from male performers leading to this congestion of other matches. It’s a good issue to have because it means women are finally getting the treatment they deserve, but it creates a pickle for the bookers.
My booking of WrestleMania is also without taking any of the real-world issues or backstage politics that’ll take place between now and April, which means things will only get MORE complicated as they try to put this mammoth card together.
The WWE can’t neglect the mid-card titles either, especially the Cruiserweight Championship which has only just come back into this world. The sheer amount of titles, coupled with the brand split, the amount of active part-timers, the prominence of the women’s division and, most importantly, the sheer amount of talent the WWE has right now, leaves them with a large jigsaw puzzle to figure out if they want to put WrestleMania 33 together.
Oh yeah… and the WWE has another 10 big name wrestlers signed to NXT who they’re going to eventually need to make room for on the main roster too. Good luck with that.
Mark my words; this is going to be a big talking point in a few months. Remember where you read it first!