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Living life chapter after chapter.
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It has been 8 years since we last witnessed a WrestleMania Main Event that did not contain at least 1 'Part Timer'.

Wrestlemania XXVII (2011)
The Miz vs. John Cena.
Wrestlemania XXVIII (2012)
John Cena vs. The Rock.
Wrestlemania 29 (2013)
The Rock vs. John Cena.
Wrestlemania XXX (2014)
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan.
Wrestlemania 31 (2015)
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.
Wrestlemania 32 (2016)
Triple H vs Roman Reigns.
Wrestlemania 33 (2017)
Roman Reigns vs the Undertaker.
Wrestlemania 34 (2018)
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar.
Wrestlemania 35 (2019)
The main event of Wrestlemania 35 is T.B.D.

There are a couple topics of discussion I want to bring forth:

1) When does this trend end?

2)What full timers should step up?

3) If this trend does not end, who will take the part timer place should Lesnar not main event.

4) How do you feel about big name part timers main eventing as opposed to lesser known full timers.


If Rousey main events (which is looking likely) I would definitely count her as a part timer seen as according to rumours she is leaving shortly after Mania.

Speculating on when this trend may end, I think that is down to whenever Lesnar gets bored i.e. leaves. Obviously Rousey is a pretty replacement since she goes with the whole Women's Evolution, although leaving to start a family isn't a year long break. In other words, I cannot see her main eventing this year and going part time afterwards only to main event again next year. I think Rousey will have the spot this year and Lesnar next year at least, facing off against Reigns in the rubber match. So WrestleMania 37 will possibly be a turning point in part timers main eventing...unless Rocky/Reigns.

After so many years of selling WrestleMania with 1 or 2 names, it's going to be tough garnering attention with just a "regular roster". The biggest name that sticks out is Seth Rollins. I think it's clear that he is number 2 to Reigns (not including part timers). However, a solid year long build up I think is needed, as opposed to just being able to market a name. Drew McIntyre is clearly someone with talent, let alone a marketable look, one that we know Vince loves. McIntyre however, is not North-American and thus foreign. This is the one and only thorn in McIntyre's side. I don't think Vince will want Bryan headlinng his baby if he doesn't have to (see WM XXX). Orton is a name that can step in if needs be, but "needs be" is a get-out-of-jail-card. AJ Styles is a major name in the wrestling world...but this ain't rasslin'. Samoa Joe I think is seen as an upper-midcarder who can potentially main event any PPV other than the 'Big 4' (opinion of WWE). These are the only names that come to my mind right now.

If and when Lesnar steps down, there are really only 3, maybe 4, replacements-Rousey/Rock/Cena/Undertaker (the maybe).

My opinion on part timers main eventing, like others I believe, has changed over the years. Of course it was amazing to see The Rock come back for a big time main event, few will argue...but then he main evented the very next year...against the same opponant. It was cool to see Batista come back but became glaringly obvious he was going to main event, which took away from the moment, not forgetting to mention YES! Suplex City finally made it's way to a Mania main event. By the way, I cannot believe Lesnar has only main evented 2 years out of the 6 he has been back. That ironically does not sound right, but it is. Aside from the Mania main events, Lesnar's backlash comes mostly from him doing the same shit for 6 years. With that being said, it's certainly cool to have big names main event regardless of them being part time, however, 8 years of this-not only 8 years, but the same stars headlining-and you begin to wonder when does it all end. Think about it, after so long it would be silly to imagine a WrestleMania main event with 2 major full time stars. Moreso, it's difficult to imagine it. I of course want to see 2 young, hungry, full time stars feuding for 6 months culminating with a WrestleMania main event, with both stars gaining from it. I hope we're not waiting too much longer.

I would be interested to read peoples thoughts on the topics I mentioned.
 

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1) The trend probably ends when the WWE care about creating new stars. Which they won't do until they stop making money, which is highly unlikely in the near future. Lesnar, Batista, Taker, Rock or whoever they can get as a part-time wrestler in Vince's eyes are probably seen as the draws for part of the show because outside of the WWE brand, legends of the business will always get older eyes on the product. I know someone who hasn't watched wrestling in over a decade who would watch Wrestlemania if he saw that someone like Batista or Rock was there for example. He won't pay attention or give a shit about any other of the matches but will probably mark out for seeing those he knows of. The company cares about making as much buzz as possible leading into Mania and most of the part-timers help do that.

2) None of them are really allowed to step up. They're all practically handcuffed to what they can do and say. Ffs, they put all their eggs in one basket with Reigns, had him go over HHH in the main event of Mania, had him go over Taker in the main event of Mania only to then LOSE to Lesnar the following year. I mean, really? This either tells you that Vince doesn't care bout creating new stars or he genuinely believes Lesnar is a big monetary draw and underestimating the WWE brand as the main draw.

3) Cena seems like the next logical one. He still loves the company and I have no doubt if offered a Wrestlemania main event for the chance to break the record for most world title reigns, he'll grab the opportunity. Beyond that? They're running out aren't they? The Rock is too busy to really come back part-time. Batista is pretty much getting retired this year. Taker is getting too old and broken. Orton was never really on their level so if he ever goes part time it will never be headlining Mania material. Goldberg has had his run. So Cena seems the most logical.

4) I don't care. It doesn't bother me. Wrestlemania has become less and less about creating stars over the years, less about long drawn out storylines culminating on one night and more about the whole spectacle of it all. Trying to draw mainstream attention with celebrities that no one cares about, over the top stadium designs, trying to break attendance records and create moments which usually means stupid booking decisions. I happen to enjoy most of the part-timers to be honest, I think they give off a presence that some of the current guys can't pull off but again I think that's down to Vince and the writers.

All in all though - none of this is actually new. Wrestlemania has always been littered with celebrities or legends.
 

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All I can say is, the things that these part timers do, most of them being from the old school of course is WAY MORE entertaining than anything the new Wrestlers bring to the show. I'd rather see some intensity and good story telling, rather than seeing the same flip-y matches with wrestlers that barely have no charisma.

I mean, look at this WM build. Batista and Triple H's feud seems way more interesting than any of the other WM builds that are going to be on the card. And you have no idea who Kurt is gonna face, but probably another part-timer, and I'd still take that match over most of the other advertised matches. Drew McIntyre of Kevin Owens are the only 2 guys who can bring something to the table, but both of them are being held back anyways.
 

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1. It probably will never end as now the WWE knows it's an effective part of their programming. Eventually Cena, AJ, and Orton will be the nostalgia part timers. Then it will be the Kofi's and Dolph's, then The Shield Boys and their generation. Shit is just a part of their style now.

2. It's not about new talent stepping up, it's about the fact WWE realizes nostalgia sells. With the way they operate they could find their next mega stars and they'd still bring in a Batista just for that extra kick.

3. Already answered in 1.

4. I don't care about how it affects the full timers. I don't typically care about the performers on that level were I'm upset over career prospects. But as a fan I'm just mostly over the old guard. Like with Rey Mysterio or the Hardy's I've been watching them since I was 5, I'm 26 now. I don't hate them, but I could do without them.
 

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Batista was a full timer when he came back in 2014, he works RAW matches and SD matches too, work house shows.
Yeah he came back for 6 months or something like that but he has more matches in 2014 than all of the partimers you named combine in the last 6 years.
They will not stop with spaming the parttiming shit, lets be honest , lets make the best possible match to ME WM from Raw, lets heard that without part timers.
In SD it s more easy, i think the best match you can make its Styles vs Bryan vs Orton ( the characters that it s not damaged at the moment so much)
In raw? Shield TT, makes me laught.
Or Braun? Or let me give you another one , Corbin vs Roman?
The one match you can make in Raw is Rhonda vs TDB, you think Becky vs Cgarlotte have some intereat right now?
 

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It rarely bothers me, I mean most of the time the feuds are decent. At this point most of their go-to part timers are nearing the end of their careers.

I'm cool with Batista, Angle and HHH. The former are having their farewell matches so it will be the last we see. I will always accept a Batista return. HHH is a part time wrestler but hes a big part of WWE overall and one of my all time favorites so he can wrestle as long as he chooses. He can still wrestler and cut promos pretty well!!

Undertaker might not even be on the card unless he shows up like last year with no build which is pretty stupid. Brock is the main issue here and its because hes the champion. I have always and will always be a Lesnar fan but a very part time champion is horrible. It is LONG overdue for him to drop the title, if Brock remains with the company thats cool but he was way more enjoyable without the belt. He has become so irritating simply because he barely shows up, has the title and hardly has any well built feuds. Take the belt off Lesnar!!
 

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I don't think Batista counts considering he was doing house shows and working both SmackDown & RAW consistently at the time. Basically, he was temporarily full-time.

1. The trend will end soon because all those guys they always rely on are getting older.
2. There are plenty of options. Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens, Asuka, Drew McIntyre as top babyfaces. They're doing all they can but the booking has been atrocious for them. I've also thought Roman Reigns & Jason Jordan could be great top heel options. We lack really strong heels in this day and age so why not try something different?
3. Cena, Orton, AJ.
4. I feel that those 'lesser known full-timers' would be more well known if given main event opportunities.
 

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How do you manage to make someone that has been a full time wrestler for a year a part timer because rumors say that after she's done with Mania she will be gone/have a break? Fits your agenda, right? So screw the facts, better with a fake.. uhm I mean good story
 

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If I'm not mistaken, Hulk Hogan was a part-timer for most of his reign as the face of the company during the rock-n-wrestling era.

Hogan main evented Wrestlemanias I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII, and was significantly involved in the main events for Wrestlemanias IV and IX.

He was at most of the big PPVs during that era but certainly wasn't wrestling each week on Superstars and Challenge.
 

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Its been said before, but they will keep doing what they're doing as long as they are making money. Also, the last match without a part-timer was Cena vs. Miz, which was possible the worst WM main event ever.
 

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Well, the women are going to headline this year, so it’ll end this year. As far as it continuing? Lesnar could possibly still get there. Although, I don’t really see him getting anything more than attraction matches after this year’s Mania.

I guess Cena, possibly if they build it around his 17th. Outside of that, they’re pretty much forced to go with their current group until they start going PT. It’s probably Reigns vs. (insert name here) for the following 5 years. AJ, Seth, Drew, maybe Braun, Bryan, KO, and probably a guy like Black.
 

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One problem is that WWE doesn't save their big money matches for Wrestlemania.

A Shield Triple Threat is Wrestlemania Main Event worthy.
Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman is Wrestlemania Main Event worthy.
Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe is Wrestlemania Main Event worthy.

But you gotta save the big money matches for Wrestlemania, not give it away at a smaller PPV like Battleground or a weekly Raw.

Also, Wrestlemania IX was the first Wrestlemania without a big name star like Hogan, Savage, or Warrior headlining the main event (I'm not referring to the Hogan screwjob at the end). Even though Bret Hart wasn't as big a star, McMahon wisely put him in the main event looking to the future. Hart went on to main event Wrestlemania X and XII and had a GOAT match at Wrestlemania 13.

Sometimes you gotta put your chips down and let it ride. A few years back, McMahon picked Roman Reigns to lead the company, and it's more or less worked out. Reigns went on to headline four consecutive Wrestlemania main events.
 

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1) When does this trend end?
I don't think it does. This has been going on since the days of Hogan, since McMahon (or for a brief period, Ted Turner) has been able to pay his larger draws a lucrative wage. As others pointed out, back in the day, being someone like Hogan, Warrior, Luger or Nash meant you weren't expected to be at that many house shows, and you had only 4 PPVs to headline--comparatively a part-time schedule to today. Not to mention a lot of the 80s mentality was about protecting yourself: in terms of how you're booked, not overexposing your character in minor events (thus theoretically diluting your exclusivity and part of your drawing power), and not taking that many hard bumps.

4) How do you feel about big name part timers main eventing as opposed to lesser known full timers.
It may be unpopular but I'm one of the people who don't have an issue with this, if it's booked properly. For example, WrestleMania 18, and the Hogan vs. Rock and Triple H vs. Jericho main event debate. I would have not had a problem with Hogan and Rock main eventing, in fact preferred it, because returning part-timer put over the then-current FOTC, and it did not involve the title. Because it wasn't the main event, they unfortunately upstaged Jericho and Triple H, not because they put on a clinic, but because they were clearly the bigger pair of draws. Despite what people want to say, characters > titles. Hogan and The Rock had the accrued cache of all of their combined title reigns, memorable promos, spots and matches. And, frankly, people marked out. I prefer to use past examples because it gives an example of how the fanbase now perceives things compared to in the past, in very similar situations (Hogan/Rock, Cena/Rock). Cena and Rock would have absolutely upstaged CM Punk and Jericho if they hadn't been the main event, for example.

If people would look at it logically, booking established acts and proven draws more exclusively is beneficial to everybody. It protects the wrestler by not overexposing him and catching a certain amount of "go away heat," and gives the majority of weekly TV time to other wrestlers looking to climb the ranks.

A lot of current fans are schizophrenic and can't seem to make up their minds. If a superstar like Cena only appears a few times a year, then he's undeserving of a place on the card. If he appear every week and dominates the main event, then the IWC loses their mind and says booking is holding down other wrestlers. And a wrestler simply fucking off just slightly after their peak or relegating them to the mid-card is not beneficial for the business of wrestling. What did the company gain by having Ultimate Warrior fuck off, return and then get relegated the upper-midcard status not long after? Or demanding Stone Cold put over Brock with no build up, have him refuse and eventually leave the company? Lugar, Nash and Brock (first run) were all similar. Nothing was gained and every opportunity to build up new acts was lost.
 

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I appreciate the effort put into this thread.

I think the trend stops this year, because I think the Raw Women's Title is main eventing and I don't consider Rousey a part-timer, but whatever, those are semantics. Then it really depends on what your main event is going to be on the next show. There's a safe bet it will involve Roman Reigns, so it depends on who he wrestles. That could be John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan or anyone. It's possible they get anxious and heat someone up. It's possible that a new star somehow emerges out of this turgid period and a spanner is thrown in the works.

Nothing this company does surprises me anymore. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Taker/Brock main events, with the story being that Taker wants his streak loss back. John Cena chasing #17 is a big story for them too. There's the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match, which will be presented as a main event match, even if it doesn't close whatever show it's on. But Mania could be a good time for that and there's no reason it can't headline.
 

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1. It probably will never end as now the WWE knows it's an effective part of their programming. Eventually Cena, AJ, and Orton will be the nostalgia part timers. Then it will be the Kofi's and Dolph's, then The Shield Boys and their generation. Shit is just a part of their style now.

2. It's not about new talent stepping up, it's about the fact WWE realizes nostalgia sells. With the way they operate they could find their next mega stars and they'd still bring in a Batista just for that extra kick.

3. Already answered in 1.

4. I don't care about how it affects the full timers. I don't typically care about the performers on that level were I'm upset over career prospects. But as a fan I'm just mostly over the old guard. Like with Rey Mysterio or the Hardy's I've been watching them since I was 5, I'm 26 now. I don't hate them, but I could do without them.
The real problem is going to be that once Cena's not able to come back as a part timer, that basically it for big nostalgia acts.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, Hulk Hogan was a part-timer for most of his reign as the face of the company during the rock-n-wrestling era.

Hogan main evented Wrestlemanias I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII, and was significantly involved in the main events for Wrestlemanias IV and IX.

He was at most of the big PPVs during that era but certainly wasn't wrestling each week on Superstars and Challenge.
Absolutely, it's been said before, there is way too much meaningless wrestling week in and week out. More talent should be on part time schedules, it'll make them seem more important. With a roster this massive there's no reason the same people are always wrestling every week, on house shows and pay per views. I actually love how brock is booked.
 

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I think 2010 and 2011 were the the years when the business model change.

In 2010 WWE lost:

The Undertaker (became part timer)
Shawn Michaels (retired)
Batista (left the company)
Triple H (became part timer)
Chris Jericho (left the company)

And to make it worst they suddenly lost Edge in 2011.

That was a big blow to the company, except for John Cena and Randy Orton WWE lost its entire main event scene in the lapse of one year.

The company entered in panic mode and tried many things to refresh the main event scene:

- Out of nowhere main event pushes for the likes of Sheamus, Del Rio, and even Jack Swagger.

- Aged talent was trusted the main event scene: Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Christian having the run of its life.

But none of that worked, the big names that left were accompanied by many many fans that stopped caring about the product.

That's when the factor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson entered the scene, many don't remember or pretend they don't but when it was leaked that he was going to be (only) the host of WM 27 it was a huge deal, and the RAW when it was confirmed had more hyped than the RR 2011 and Elimination Chamber 2011 PPVs.

Pandora's box was already open and nothing could be done.

WWE realized that they could draw big numbers relying on part timers / big names, and that it was a easier business mode because those big names didn't have to be built by the weekly TV programing, their name alone was all the credibility they need.

The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Sting, Godlberg, Ronda Rousey, WCW brand, UFC brand, AE nostalgia, all of these are by name alone bigger acts that anything current WWE could offer.

They were guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan or The SHIELD guys who have caused some impact in recent years, but that pales in comparison to what the big names can achieve.

To summarize the subject I will say:
The trend will "end" when the likes of Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, Bryan, Styles, Charlotte are "old" enough or have come to have recognition outside of wrestling business to be considered "special attractions", by then people will be bitching about these "has been" taking the spotlight form the new talent.

It's a never ending cycle.
 
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