At WrestleMania 35, at least one match that is universally anticipated now will encounter a mild—if not totally apathetic—reaction on the night. The extent to which we’re all excited, the quality of the match itself, it doesn’t matter.
This happened last year. WrestleMania 35, including the Kickoff portion of the show, ran seven hours and 18 seconds. The mixed tag extravaganza pitting Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, positioned, perhaps sneakily, in the most flattering slot, blew everybody away. It wasn’t just a sensationally laid-out and crafted match in itself; the prodigious, incandescent performance entered by Ronda, the shocking eruption that was her rapid-fire assault on Triple H, combined with the pure catharsis that was her torture of the Stephanie McMahon character—all of it converged into a series of emotional outbursts, a sort of euphoria intensified by slack-jawed astonishment. We weren’t prepared for just how good it was, and we could barely reconcile it after the fact.
After the fact, the Usos wrestled the Bar and the New Day in a Triple Threat match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
In the months—and years—prior to that night in New Orleans, various r/SquaredCircle threads and Twitter posts were dedicated to, if not a grassroots campaign, then several assorted, impassioned pleas to give the Usos their long-overdue moment. Perennial bridesmaids, their relegation from the main card proper was both a specific insult and a general indictment of WWE’s modern focus on the part-timer era. They deserved it, but were not met with the customary—mandated—“You deserve it!” chants.
That was striking. WWE fans will chant “You deserve it!” for anything. It is a meme now.