THE ULTIMATE THRILL-RIDE Wrestlemania 33 is just several weeks away now, so WWE are beginning to flood the Orlando area with advertisements for the event. The latest – in the time-honoured American tradition of giant roadside attractions, like the world’s largest Wicker Basket replica, or the world’s largest cherry on a spoon – is the world’s largest WWE Championship belt.
Just make sure Vince McMahon doesn’t see that picture. He’ll think Shinsuke Nakamura’s too small for the main roster.
And from the same company that brought you the Royal Rumble 2017 poster, with then-WWE Champion AJ Styles in the back row, and part-timers Undertaker, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar leading the charge, WWE has done it again with their new advertisement for THE ULTIMATE THRILL-RIDE WRESTLEMANIA 33.
Goldberg, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar are at the front again, with Roman Reigns, John Cena, Triple H and Shane McMahon up next. You have to go all the way back to find Styles and Kevin Owens – the two men who carried their respective brands since last year’s split. AJ had been openly critical about his Royal Rumble poster placement earlier this year.
WWE Champion Bray Wyatt also finds himself tucked into a corner. At least front-and-centre Goldberg is the Universal Champion.
There’s also no cruiserweights in the line-up, nor Big Show or Shaq – a long-reported match that might now not be happening. There’s also no Finn Balor or Samoa Joe, neither of whom have anything planned for WWE’s biggest show of the year so far.
But as The Face That Gets Put In The Back Of The Place told Lillian Garcia on her show Making Their Way To The Ring, it’s not about what wrestlers ‘deserve’ – as the popular ‘You Deserve It’ chant goes – it’s about what they ‘earn’.
“I hate when people say, ‘you deserve it’…I want them to say ‘you earned it.’ Sometimes when they chant ‘you deserve it’, like, no I don’t, because there’s other guys who’ve fought just as hard to get to this point.”
‘You earn it’. I agree, AJ. But come back to me when you’ve got something with four syllables in to replace it.
Sunday’s WWE Fastlane was the night the streaks ended. Nia Jax lost to Sasha Banks clean. Charlotte’s undefeated pay-per-view run is now over. And after a tremendous build of his monster character, Braun Strowman succumbed to Roman Reigns’ push.
According to Wrestling News World (so take this with a pinch of salt) the Roman vs Braun match finish was changed at 8.40 EST – 40 minutes into the pay-per-view already being on-air. The site doesn’t say who the original winner was meant to be, but they do report that initial plans didn’t have Reigns beating Strowman clean. Apparently The Undertaker’s return “was pushed from Fastlane to Raw” the next night, so the Deadman was presumably involved in the original Roman vs Braun finish, setting up his ULTIMATE THRILL RIDE WRESTLEMANIA 33 MATCH against the Big Dog.
Undertaker’s appearance being moved from Fastlane to Raw is also reportedly why Finn Balor didn’t make his WWE return on Monday, as “they did not want both returns on the same night.”
And those weren’t the only last-minute changes at Fastlane. Wrestling News World are also reporting that both Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax and Charlotte vs Bayley were also changed, with the original plan having Sasha lose to Nia earlier in the night, and then for Banks turn on Bayley, costing her the Women’s Championship. This corroborates Bryan Alvarez reporting that initially Nia was meant to go over Banks.