Whether you agree with WWE's decision to continue producing shows during the coronavirus pandemic or not, WrestleMania 36 is still happening. And let's face it, you're going to be watching. I spoke to Rhea Ripley not long ago and she said it best, "WrestleMania is WrestleMania." You can take away the stadium atmosphere, large displays and grand pyrotechnics, but the company and its performers will do their best to step up and deliver for the fans. It's still Game Day, the Super Bowl to them.
At this time, myself and so many others were supposed to be in Tampa. Unfortunately, it's not meant to be. Though, we can't let these circumstances stop us from escaping into a world that has been there for us during the highest of highs and lowest of lows in our lives. A welcome distraction in a world in turmoil by an invisible enemy on a global scale. I for one am happy to have something to look forward to.
Like wondering how the hell WWE is going to pull off this Boneyard Match. Given the talent of AJ Styles and The Undertaker are involved, I'm optimistic. Same goes for The Fiend battling John Cena in a Firefly Fun House match. It's a time where why not think outside the box. I mean I enjoyed the Hollywood Backlot Brawl between Goldust and Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 12.
Feeling the electricity in person for Edge's return to the ring at Royal Rumble was incredible. So, it's no doubt a total bummer his WrestleMania return will be without any fans. That won't stop me and many others from celebrating and soaking in the moment of his return to the big dance. What a story he and Randy Orton have told.
The same goes for Otis and Mandy Rose. Their blossoming on-screen relationship captivated audiences on SmackDown to the extent we were crushed right there with our loveable Heavy Machinery member as Dolph Ziggler slithered into the picture. For me, Otis vs. Ziggler is one of the most anticipated matches on the cards. Others feature the women who just last year made huge strides for their perception in WWE as Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey headlned. This time around Rhea Ripley has the honor of being the first to defend the NXT women's championship on the "Show of Shows" against Charlotte Flair. I expect a physical battle between these two as with Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler. The "Queen of Spades" has a big opportunity to solidify herself on Raw with a win over arguably the hottest star on the brand.
Roman Reigns made the difficult decision and pulled out of WrestleMania. Anyone who has talked to the "Big Dog" for any length of time knows how dedicated he is to WWE and his career. It's why he worked so hard to return to the ring after battling his second round of leukemia. I'm sure taking himself out of a big match against Bill Goldberg weighed heavily on him because he knew it would disappoint the fans.Reigns has since been candid in explaining his standpoint where people understand where he is coming from. It will be interesting to see how things pan out for Goldberg and the WWE championship moving forward as a result.
Drew McIntyre has worked so hard to get to where he is now and a big Universal title match against Brock Lesnar. He has been gaining momentum each week. I'm torn though. I want McIntyre to get his big moment in the sun with a decisive win over the "Beast Incarnate." But I'd rather it be in a place where so many of the people who have supported him can enjoy it too. Lesnar has played spoiler before. One thing that is pretty guaranteed, these two are going to beat the crap out of each other.
Even though WrestleMania isn't anywhere near what anyone expected it to be, we can make the most of it. Decorate the living room, put on your favorite wrestling gear, fire up the grill, grab the snacks, connect with your friends online on Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. Have fun because at its core WrestleMania is about bringing fans who share the same love of WWE and pro wrestling together. And we can still do that, even if it's in our living room.
Let me know what you think of The Fish Tank on Twitter: @smFISHMAN