wrestling / Columns

The S.A.R.S.A Of WrestleMania 34

February 14, 2018 | Posted by Justin Watry
WWE WrestleMania 34

“I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.

That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemania was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.

Thank you for the great stuff.”

– Jay’s Ways reader


A week removed from the Royal Rumble, we are definitely on the road…


Eric Bischoff has been discussing his S.A.R.S.A method to professional wrestling for over 20 years now. What is it you ask? Well, as he puts it, your show should be all about those five tricks: Story, Anticipation, Reality, Suspense, and Action. Of course, he often times points to the success of Nitro/nWo to back up those lessons. Of course, his critics will point to his forgotten Impact Wrestling days and the rest of his WCW run to discredit the entire discussion.

Rather than debate the pros and cons of that all (I am a firm believer in the Keep It Simple Stupid method), let’s take a look at WWE right now heading into WrestleMania 34 and see how much S.A.R.S.A is involved.

WrestleMania 34 Build

I am writing this before the February 5th edition of RAW for the record. Based on the Royal Rumble and rumors, this is what we are looking at come April 8th in New Orleans:

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Title
John Cena vs. The Unndertaker
The Miz vs. Braun Strowman for the IC Title
Ronda Rousey making her WWE debut

The rest of the card is pretty much up in the air. Heck, I am not even sold on those five matches happening, much less care to figure out an entire six hours worth of Mania. In my mind, the only guarantee is the AJ vs. Nakamura showdown for Smackdown LIVE, but I have thought that since last April. Regardless, that is what we’re working with. With five matches listed, we have five categories to discuss.

Story of Brock/Reigns – Pretty self explanatory here. We have only got this battle once before, the main event of WrestleMania 31 for the WWE Undisputed Championship, and it was a classic. Epic slugfest. The problem is there was no winner. Seth Rollins c(r)ashed the party and three years later, we still don’t know who would have won: Brock or Reigns. With the top prize on the line again, we would finally get our answer. For much of the WWE Universe, this is the one we have been begging for. Top two guys fighting over Raw’s title. The story is fascinating on multiple levels.

Anticipation of Ronda Rousey debuting – Like it or not, she is selling WrestleMania 34. Whether against Charlotte, Alexa Bliss (no), Asuka, or Stephanie McMahon, this is the girl that will be plastered all over the posters and doing mass media interviews throughout March and the first week of April. Rousey and nothing but Rousey. It may seem rowdy to the fans reading this, but I am ALL IN on the WWE signing and ALL IN on her bout being either the main event or certainly the main attraction. Why? Anticipation. Eric Bischoff has this one nailed down perfectly. How will Rousey do? Who will she wrestle? Is she any good? Will The Rock be with her? Is a title in her future? Are there any Roddy Piper tributes planned? A live Joan Jett performance perhaps? Not only will WWE be pushing this but you can bet your bottom dollar UFC, ESPN and every single Hollywood page will as well.

Reality of The Undertaker vs. John Cena – I don’t know if this match will take place. A part of me would love to know that I was live in Orlando for the Deadman’s last ride. Another part of me knows that Taker/Cena at WM is the ultimate dream match and something we should have seen years ago. Maybe even multiple times! Still, the reality is simple. Cena is done as a full-time performer in the wrestling business, and Taker is all but done period. A few may even argue he has been done for awhile now. It is a harsh reality to come to terms with for any athlete. One minute you are on top and doing amazing work. The next you are on set shooting your fifth movie of the year or your gear is left in the ring as you kiss your wife at ringside. For fans, it sucks. For the wrestlers, it sucks. In any event, WWE can take that negative and flip it into a huge positive by having Cena and Taker deliver one final classic on the grandest stage of them all.

Surprise of The Miz vs. Braun Strowman – Okay, remember last year when everybody was whining and crying about AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon? What did I say? It would be great and potentially steal the show. AJ was in there. Shane O Mac was in there. Two guys who knew how to get it done on pay-per-view, and sure enough, the match was great. This year, the early rumors of Miz/Braun for the IC Title appear to be falling under those same gripes. It will be terrible. It will be a waste of time. Nobody cares to see them face off. Blah, blah, blah. Here is the surprise of it all: The Miz, despite shockingly being drafted to Raw in 2017, has his character down pat. Braun, despite some struggles at times, is popular and is destined for gold in 2018. On paper, I agree that this feels like a mismatch. Even with their garbage truck history, I can think of a bunch of different WM34 scenarios for each guy…but that is the beauty of it all. Watch this be the surprise feud of the year. Watch these guys be in some entertaining segments and have remarkable promos. Just watch.

Action of AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – Do I even need to explain this? Headliner or not, the match of the night and match of the year is right here. The WWE Championship will be on the line in front of 75,000 fans featuring two of the best the blue brand has to offer in a match one year in the making. Styles runs Smackdown, while Nakamura has debuted and won the Royal Rumble all in the past 12 months. The teases have been clear since the summer. It’s happening folks. Imagine the staredown. Imagine the entrances. Imagine the flashbulbs. Imagine the first “This Is Awesome” chant before they even lock up. Imagine it all. Then the bell rings. Action!

SUMMARY: In a day and age where it is so boring to blindly bash WWE and rip on the WrestleMania card months in advance, you see how it easy it is to take the opposite approach. With a little creativity and awesome talent, the biggest wrestling company in the world is more than ready to give us fans exactly what we deserve. Story, anticipation, reality, surprise, and action…

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article topics :

WrestleMania 34, WWE, Justin Watry