Does it even matter who main-events WrestleMania?

Right now there are three matches that could easily top the card at WrestleMania 35 Planet of the Apes Ending Shot! The Universal Title match features Brock Lesnar defending against Seth Rollins. The WWE Title match features Daniel Bryan defending against (we assume) Kofi Kingston. Kevin Owens may or may not be added into that match. The Raw Women’s Title match features Ronda Rousey defending against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.

As of a month ago, the odds-on favorite to close the show was the women’s match. It had multiple factors working in its favor: For one, Becky Lynch was the hottest thing going. For another, Ronda Rousey was the still-new UFC superstar champion who was adjusting at a steady pace to the WWE environment. Likewise, the prospects of a women’s match main-eventing the biggest show of the year would bring mainstream buzz that the company is always craving.

Since then, the women’s match has become an overbooked mess of a feud, with Charlotte offering nothing of substance, Ronda had a complete character meltdown (to the point of having to turn heel just to have some semblance of a character), and Becky being saddled with a literal crutch, taking away a lot of her “tough girl” persona.

There’s still a lot of buzz with the match, but it’s undeniable that’s it’s cooled off a bit.

Meanwhile, the WWE Title match has skyrocketed in terms of buzz. Kofi Kingston replaced Mustafa Ali in the Elimination Chamber match, lasted until the end, and won the hearts of the WWE Universe. That’s maybe unfair; Kofi has had the fanbase’s hearts for years. He’s been one of the most consistently-liked characters on the roster for a decade.

Throughout his career, Kofi has never really had a shot at the big one. His run with New Day made him one of the best segments of the show, any show, every week. Finally, he seems to have grabbed the brass ring and not looked back. As a result, we are this close from crowing the company’s first black WWE Champion, a feat that’s been so long in the making it’s probably too embarrassing for them to make mention of. Fans would be ecstatic to see Daniel Bryan (in the midst of a career renaissance as a heel champ) take on Kofi in the main-event.

And then there’s the Universal Title match. Anytime Brock is on the card, he’s going to command a spotlight. The company isn’t paying him his weight in gold just to curtain-jerk. There are factors working against his match main-eventing this time, namely the fact that Roman Reigns has returned. A month ago Seth Rollins was the heir apparent to the “Babyface Top Guy on Raw” mantle. With Roman back, it’s very easy to imagine Seth being slid down a peg to make room for the previous “Top Dog” to reclaim his spot. Lesnar retaining to set up Roman reclaiming the title would be the last thing people would want to see close the show.

With that said, let’s set the Universal Title aside and consider the other two matches. One of two finishes are likely going to close WrestleMania this year: Either Becky Lynch is going to win the title after the first women’s main-event in the history of the show, or Kofi Kingston is going to break the last major racial barrier in pro wrestling. Someone’s going to the top of the mountain and someone else…isn’t.

Does it matter?

Let’s consider the issue from two perspectives: On the one hand, WrestleMania’s main-event is the ultimate “feather in your cap” moment for a superstar. On the other hand, WrestleMania’s biggest matches all end up running together after enough time has passed.

For example, when you think of WrestleMania VIII, what do you think of? I think of two matches, both of which were billed as “the main-event:” Ric Flair vs Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice, with Ultimate Warrior making a botched return. Hogan’s match closed the show, but a quarter-century later, both matches are seen as the matches of the show.

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A year before tells the same tale: WrestleMania VII is remembered for Ultimate Warrior retiring Randy Savage (making both their presences the next year funny in hindsight) and Hogan defeating the entire country of Iraq. Hogan closed the show, but both matches are remembered equally. In fact, in both cases the match that didn’t close the show is remembered more fondly.

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WrestleMania X8? Hogan and Rock is what you think of, but it wasn’t the top of the card.

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WrestleMania 25? Undertaker and HBK is on your mind, not Triple H and Randy Orton.

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WrestleMania III? Both Steamboat vs Savage and Hogan vs Andre are remembered equally.

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WrestleMania 13 was a one-match show, and it sure wasn’t Sid Vicious vs Undertaker (Bret Hart vs Steve Austin won the night while the other match just main-evented it).

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The point is, given enough time, the biggest matches on every WrestleMania card end up leveling out in fans’ minds. In that respect it doesn’t matter which one closes the show; you’re still going to be able to skip to the match you want when you replay it on the WWE Network.

On the other hand, fans have such a vested interest in which match tops the card. You can criticize those fans for caring too much about the “business” that they forget to just enjoy the show, but really it’s not about being a “smart-fan;” it’s about wanting the best for your favorite character. Game of Thrones fans have their pick for who they want to sit on the Iron Throne in the end.

The same happens when we watch wrestling; we have that character that we have invested in that we want to see rise to the top of the ladder. Seeing Becky Lynch (if that’s your favorite) or Kofi Kingston (that he’s your guy) main-event brings a special kind of satisfaction: It brings validation to know that your guy or your gal is getting the recognition he/she deserves.

Whichever match ends up closing the show this year, we know that in ten years, we’ll look back on both of them with equal appreciation. In the meantime, however, fans are going to be divided as to which one should main-event.

As for me, I’ve been on the Becky Lynch bandwagon since her NXT days. Watching her finally get the recognition she deserves as, in my opinion, the best combination of “ring talent, charisma, mic skills, and it-factor” of all the four-horsewomen, has been a dream come true. I’m so happy to see her get the honors she has coming to her. I’ve likewise been pushing for “New Day” (the trio) to win the WWE Title, sharing it Freebirds style, so if Kofi wins and New Day runs with the title and has their own brand of fun with it, I’ll be happy.

Do I have a preference? Sure.

But I want to know yours. Who do you want to see main-event the biggest show of the year?

Let us know in the comments below!

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