Go-Home to WrestleMania 2018 - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Go-Home to WrestleMania 2018 - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jonathan Maldonado Thursday, April 5, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jonathan Maldonado, Robert DeFelice and Ben Guest will be giving their opinions on this Sunday's marquee event, WrestleMania!

Let's discuss...

Question 1: Four week's after John Cena's initial call out of The Undertaker, the Raw go-home show to WrestleMania once again left fans disappointed by avoiding his appearance. What is WWE thinking with this buildup?

MALDONADO: I've already said there's too much fuel behind this for it not to happen, and I stand by that. WWE is taking an unconventional approach to this match and it's great to see the company take such an approach with larger-than-life superstars. Most professional wrestling pundits would say it doesn't make sense not to advertise what would be the biggest marquee match on the card. I'm going to go against the grain and say it really isn't. Yes, these two have never met at WrestleMania. Yes, these are two of the biggest names in WWE history. But for one, I disagree on the significance of the match in relation to some of the other matches on the card. For another, this is so much more fun, unpredictable and dare I say, creative.

WWE have exhausted nearly every avenue with regards to story in each of Cena and Undertaker's careers. We have seen it all from them. This is such a refreshing approach to the legends, and they can afford to take such a big risk. Fans are clamoring for a story they don't realize they've already seen before. Cena breaking Undertaker's famed kayfabe is unheard of and I'm excited to see how this pays off. So what if The Undertaker hasn't shown up. When have we seen this before from him? Never.

Of course I could be blowing smoke and there's no match. Color me frustrated, disappointed and downright clueless if that's the case. If not, brace yourselves for a really fun, entertaining and emotional bout.

DEFELICE: Definitely the strangest build to a WrestleMania match in the history of this event. I do think that we will get a full length match, and not just a segment, but I'm a little concerned about how they get there. I talked about this on the recent Smack Talk podcast with our WrestleMania predictions, but I do not want to see John Cena in several 3 minute segments throughout the show and then randomly The Undertaker's music hits and he's beating the shit out of John Cena in the crowd. I especially don't want a cheesy segment where John has been fooling around all night in small segments and then he gets in the ring and employs the audience to try to summon the Undertaker again. It's very hokey and I don't care how much people say that The Undertaker is past his prime, he deserves a little bit more than this and so does John.

Let's play devil's advocate here. Let's say Undertaker actually doesn't show up, then what? If he really wasn't healthy and they weren't kidding when John said initially that he was told this match is impossible, why bother with any of this? The entire build to this has been John basically calling Taker a bitch and saying that he has no balls. By all means, he deserves an ass-whooping fitting of a 1980's southern heel. This is a terrible way to book the most child-friendly superstar you have. This has been a strange road to WrestleMania, so I guess they accomplished something unique but I just don't know if the payoff will be worth it and that's what scares me.

GUEST: Six weeks ago I thought there was no chance of The Undertaker fighting at Mania. As soon as Cena called him out I was 100% sure it was happening. Now, I'm still 90% sure it's happening, but there is doubt in my mind and it's one of the most interesting parts of Mania weekend to me. Doubt and interest are always good, and WWE is using it very well here. I think it's great.

Question 2: Did you enjoy getting a sneak peak at Charlotte vs. Asuka in the Mixed Match Challenge or would you have preferred WWE to save any encounter between the two for WrestleMania?

MALDONADO: Part of the intrigue to this match was the fact that Charlotte and Asuka have never squared off in the ring. That's now out the window following the MMC. Granted, we didn't get too much to spoil the upcoming bout, but I'm just a tinge disappointed.

I will admit what we got left me excited for more, and perhaps that's what WWE had in mind the whole time. Maybe the MMC was a Women's revolution component in disguise. I don't know. What I do know is, in the words of Ryback, FEED ME MORE!

DEFELICE: I 100% think it was a mistake to put them in the ring together before WrestleMania. I think you rush everything and kind of ruin the payoff that way. Also, it's weird that WWE allowed for Charlotte beating up the Miz and woman on man violence, but if it was the other way around they would be harassed on social media with people calling for the head of whoever the culprit was, but that's besides the point. Major matches like this shouldn't be rushed in a cheap tag match especially when you're 5 days out from the first one-on-one confrontation. This was lazy. Anyone else could have been on the other side of the Mixed Match Challenge finale.

GUEST: I haven't watched any of the Mixed Match Challenge yet, though I might catch up with it at some point, but I don't mind getting a sneak peak of a big match. Most matches get some kind of in-ring build up and you can guarantee they held a lot back. This has potential to be match of the night, and very little could prevent the excitement for this match.

Question 3: For such a stacked WrestleMania card, the pair of go-home shows this week were a bit underwhelming. Does this bode well for Mania, or is the card so strong we didn't need much else?

MALDONADO: WrestleMania is so stacked that it will stand on its own. No go-home show would do justice for this card, and I don't think WWE ever intended to much effort into the final shows before Mania. Fans everywhere are expressing confidence in this year's card, and I don't think this week's Raw or SmackDown did anything to diminish that feeling.

DEFELICE: Admittedly, the go-home shows were a little less than stellar, but I don't think that matters. Honestly, I don't think much of what happens on Sunday will matter eight nights afterwards, and that's the unfortunate thing about WrestleMania. They spend so much time hyping up the biggest show on Earth by having so many part-time people at the forefront, that by the time we're on the road to Backlash, the television product barely reflects what WrestleMania was. I think that's a case of them trying to make WrestleMania more of the spectacle than the culmination of the biggest wrestling feuds of the year. That being said, I think the card looks amazing and WrestleMania will be a lot of fun as it always is.

GUEST: It has felt like a very long build to Mania this year and a lot of the feuds seem to have been going on for a long time. I think it was just a case of ticking off the weeks and trying not to over do anything. This card is amazing and I think they're playing up to the fans a little more than usual. And although that makes me suspicious, I think this card will struggle to be below average and could be in contention for the best Mania of all time.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN MALDONADO

Jonathan Maldonado is a lifelong wrestling fan from the Bronx, NY. He grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era and is a sucker for the flippy stuff and a good wrestling tee. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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