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The Crossover – Fight Game Media Mania Week

wrestlemania week

Before I get to the column, I want to dedicate it to the great Robert Silva who is going through a family tragedy. We love you Robert.

I haven’t written a regular column in quite some time, so I hope this idea has legs. And I hope you like the title. Word to Erick and Parrish Making Dollars.

As everyone knows, it’s WrestleMania week and we’re covering it in a big way here at Fight Game Media.

If you take a look at the schedule above, you’ll notice that we’ll have many podcasts previewing and covering many events for the weekend. We’ll also be giving away more POAPs for a lot of the shows, so stay tuned to the Fight Game Media Network, our Patreon, and our Twitter account which is @fightgamemedia.

We already have two Patreon shows kicking off the week as Keila Cash and Scott Young talk about WrestleMania XXX on their Throwback Bonus show. And I did the quarterly Q&A with Dave Meltzer for the Patreon with WrestleMania’s history as the topic.

And then today, you may have seen Keila and Scott already previewing the big WrestleMania two-night show on the latest episode of The WRAP (Apple Podcasts link).

Where’s Cody?

We’ve been talking about Cody Rhodes a ton on this website and our network of podcasts. When is Cody going to show up on WWE TV? Why should I believe he’s signed if he’s not on TV yet? Those are some common questions you hear about Cody, which means he and WWE alike are doing a great job at keeping people guessing.

If I were a betting man, I’d put a lot of money on him showing up between now and the end of WrestleMania.

I was a guest on Wrestling Observer Live with Andrew Zarian and he had an interesting scoop on Seth Rollins’ road to WrestleMania. It would come against an opponent of Vince’s choosing.

That scoop came to fruition just today on WWE’s Twitter account. Vince McMahon told Seth Rollins he was going to WrestleMania against the opponent of his choosing, which is expected to be Cody Rhodes.

Most people want Cody to debut before WrestleMania because it’s much easier to build a match and an expectation that way. We’ve learned that promoting is about giving fans something they are interested in and then making them want it even more leading up to the big show. But often, WWE can screw that up. They can take a match that people are excited about and then lessen the excitement week after week.

In the way they are building to Cody’s re-arrival, if no match is announced for WrestleMania, they’re using what I called the art of the surprise after AEW’s All Out.

Because news travels so fast these days, many fans ultimately aren’t surprised by anything. We all knew CM Punk was coming back many weeks before he showed up. We all knew Bryan Danielson was headed to AEW many weeks before it happened. In this situation, WWE can use fan expectations, social media, wrestling blogs and website such as ours, podcasts, and anything else you can think of that gets the word out without the WWE marketing arm having to do much work. It’s a brilliant idea if it works. My hope is that WWE pushes Cody to the moon and this can be a landmark moment for both them and him.

Is the ROH Supercard of Honor the sneaky most looked forward to non-WWE show of the weekend?

When Sinclair shut down Ring Of Honor to reevaluate their business, they mentioned that they were going to try and run Supercard of Honor in April. At that time, no one knew what that show would even be about, other than that it could relaunch the company that was recently shutdown.

It was an odd announcement because if you were going to run one more show to end 2021 and then come back in April, why even shut down?

Fast-forward to early March and Tony Khan announced that he was the new owner of ROH. Now, this restart show does seem like a true restart show. What is the Tony Khan version of ROH going to be like? Some of his biggest stars had major runs for ROH.

I do wonder if the idea to run ROH separately could take away from AEW. If you run ROH as a separate brand, why not use the hot brand that is AEW? Running the brand as ROH immediately lowers the value in the fans’ eyes. ROH was an indy dandy, while AEW is a legit successful pro wrestling TV property. Marketing anything as not AEW seems like a giant mistake.

If I were to guess, this isn’t the restart that Khan would’ve wanted, but he doesn’t want to remove the show from the WrestleMania week schedule, especially after tickets were put on sale. And I imagine he feels challenged to make this show the most talked about, maybe even getting competitive and wanting to be the best show of the weekend. And by doing that, he’ll probably have some surprises up his sleeve. I have a feeling this show may be the most talked about heading into the two WrestleMania shows on Saturday and Sunday.

UFC’s underreported impressive attendance

If you’ve been reading Ryan Frederick’s great weekly Monday morning column on this very website, and listening to In The Clinch with he and Paul Fontaine, you know that he’s been insisting that the UFC get out of the Apex and run every single show back on the road.

They did another sellout in Columbus this weekend for a Fight Night card that wasn’t necessarily pay-per-view worthy, but had a lot of fun, name fighters. According to Paul, he believes that would make it 14 straight sellouts outside of the Apex, with 12 pay-per-view gates and two Fight Night gates. The main reason why they still hold shows at the Apex is because it doesn’t cost them anything to run the show there. But Ryan says that excuse no longer holds water because of all the sellouts and the crowd reactions.

They also did a huge number for attendance and at the gate, and even if some of that is due to the show being the first in Columbus in 13 years, it’s just more proof that trying to save money, which they don’t need to do, is just an excuse. Get all of these shows back in arenas and in front of fans- there’s tons of UFC demand these days.

Does the non-UFC fan understand how hot the product is right now? It doesn’t seem so. Because the pay-per-views are now on ESPN+ and the UFC doesn’t need to promote the shows very hard, or pay higher guarantees for big fights because they get paid the same rate from ESPN no matter what, the buzz on these shows isn’t as high as they could or maybe should be.

The weekly shows also don’t seem to track for most outside of the hardcores, but I think what they have done is create more hardcores who watch weekly. And if you’re watching weekly, you’re buying the monthly big shows. I’m no longer watching every week, but it’s very easy to throw on the show during the week while I’m working and catch up on what I miss. And I’m watching as many of the named UFC pay-per-views as my schedule allows for.

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