So this past weekend saw the spectacle that is Wrestlemania go off in one of the weirdest ways possible due to Covid-19. What’s usually a huge 1 day spectacle with a weeks lead in of amazing fan driven events, had to become a 2 night event in front of nobody. Where usually people from around the world would swarm into the city that hosted Wrestlemania, this year it was surreal because of the absence of these very same fans many of which are stuck at home in whatever quarantine and stay at home orders their local governments may have put in place. This was very evident during the show of shows where instead of roaring crowds the only roaring came from the wrestlers.
Another oddity that came out of this show was the Undertaker vs AJ match that was very much reminiscent of the Broken Hardy matches done from the Hardy Compound from TNA/Impact. Then there was the Firefly Funhouse match between The Fiend and John Cena. All the things that were done in this were brilliant putting in so many easter eggs and bringing in so many rumors and such putting them forth as fact. The entire way this match was done though can only be described as an acid trip on meth, and while I agree with a lot of the wrestling sheets that this was a brilliant match, artistically the match itself just didn’t click for me and I am going to attempt to explain why.
We are living in an odd time in wrestling right now. In Impact wrestling you see cinematic matches taking place and supernatural storylines that started with the Broken Hardy stuff from years ago and continue nowadays with the Underworld stories of Rosemary. However, if you move over to the WWE you see a company that says “Hey we’re not going to insult our fans anymore.” And then go and get rid of most of their “characters”. In the WWE you used to see garbage men, plumbers, and clowns fighting against porn stars, jail guards, and even a person who was on a Saturday morning cartoon! In the WWE you used to have supernatural elements all the time like Undertaker, Kane, the Ministry and more but nowadays it has been whittled down to just two real characters that are anything more than just another Sports Entertainer. You have Undertaker and The Fiend (sometimes the Demon for Finn but you really don’t see him enough to count.) Then we go over to AEW that says they want to be more sports like and have gotten rid of a lot of the unneeded soap opera types of stories that the WWE does…the Hokey Shit as Jon Moxley would call it. At the same time, however, we see Aliens in Kris Statlander and the undead in Abadon. We see Cults in the Dark Order and the start of the return of characters other than just “Hi I’m a wrestler!” It’s these differences right here that make things so weird in this time so let me point out one of the oddities.
Matt Hardy has debuted in AEW as Broken Matt Hardy saying he is the vessel of a 3000-year-old spirit. During his introduction to come face to face with Chris Jericho they took advantage of the empty arena to do some creative editing and have him teleport down from on high through the empty chairs. There was such backlash to this little bit of “magic” in a mainly sports-based company that AEW kinda retconned it to say that Vanguard-1 led a group of drones to create holograms to trick Jericho into thinking Hardy had teleported. Now compare this to the first night of Wrestlemania where we see an almost buried alive Undertaker just suddenly appear behind A.J. Styles when moments before he had been lying in a six-foot deep hole. Yet people didn’t put up a fuss about this because it was Taker. So what if Taker calls fire onto a building against his opponent even if he is dressed as the American Badass and not the Dead Man. Yet when Hardy calls the pyro on stage people say it just seems Hokey. The only real difference is that AEW calls themselves sports but leans into the characters and entertainment and WWE calls itself Entertainment and leans harder on the real-life sports side of things than it ever used to. But let’s be honest it’s the same exact thing but one can get away with it while the other can’t seem to and it’s a bit of a double standard.
So now we come to the “Amazing”, “Brilliant”, “6 Star rated” match that was the Firefly Funhouse Match from night two of Wrestlemania. This match only saw maybe 1% actual wrestling and that’s being generous. It was more an art piece of cinematography than it was an actual match. Most of the match was skits teleporting John Cena around through time and locations from the past to relive various WWE era’s and even WCW. We saw some Attitude Era, we saw some nWo, we saw a remake of John Cena debuting against Kurt Angle where Bray was Kurt. All of it was done tongue in cheek, they used the Firefly Funhouse puppets, and it was just basically a head trip the entire time.
So, I think this is why the match just fell flat to me. No matter how brilliant it was put together it wasn’t wrestling, it was cinema and that just hasn’t ever really had a place in WWE. In Impact it wouldn’t have shocked or bothered me, if done at the Hardy Compound it wouldn’t have surprised me. However, as a huge match on Wrestlemania it just felt out of place and when you have the Fiend pinning John Cena and Bray Wyatt counting the pin I mean honestly how are we supposed to be taking this seriously as part of the storyline going forward for either susperstar?
Maybe I’m just being overly critical, but for me, it didn’t work. Let me know below in the comments about what you may have thought of this match!