Tonight is WWE’s last PPV stop before WrestleMania and a six-pack challenge will determine the fate of the WWE Championship. The winner of this match will significantly change the landscape heading into the “Show of Shows”, however, one lucky man doesn’t have to worry about the outcome of this match. That man is Shinsuke Nakamura and his path to WrestleMania is already paved. Unfortunately, it looks like the Royal Rumble winner, who is guaranteed a main event match at WrestleMania for the title, may not receive that honor once again. Over the last few years, WWE has closed the show with a variety of matches, many of them not for the title such as last year’s The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns. With April fast approaching, WWE hasn’t confirmed which match will truly main event this year’s show, leading to strong fan opinions on who has earned the opportunity.
First things first, speculation has led many fans to believe that Vince McMahon is trying to decide between three matches: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, or Triple H and Stephanie McMahon vs. Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey.
In my opinion, there is a clear and easy choice to be made here. I do not think that the mixed tag match should close the show. While it might be insanely cool to see two olympic medalists team up against two egotistical corporate heads, a mixed gender tag shouldn’t close WrestleMania. The match, from what we know at this point, has no weight to it. It’s not important. There are no titles on the line, nobody’s career is in jeopardy, and this is only the debut of Ronda Rousey (not to mention only the second time Stephanie McMahon has wrestled in over a decade). I don’t know if any of the four competitors in the ring are capable of putting on a great in-ring performance considering that half of the performers aren’t even wrestlers, and the other half are experienced, but old and injured veterans.
This shouldn’t take away from the fact that all four of these competitors do have quite a lot of star power, but again, they shouldn’t be main eventing the biggest show of the year.
As for Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, the WWE Title just needs the main event more. Roman Reigns has now main evented four WrestleMania’s in a row, with both of his singles matches failing to grab anybody’s attention, and his first main event saved by Seth Rollins. The Reigns experiment clearly hasn’t worked. It would be wise of WWE to have AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura close the show. WWE runs the risk of the fans booing Reigns off the stage to close the show, leaving a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. If the show ends badly, that’s what fans will remember.
Letting Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles deliver a 5-star performance to close out the show, though…that’s how you create a memorable ending. The Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style going one on one is an absolute dream match. The fact it’s under the WWE umbrella and for the most prestigious prize in the industry’s history only makes this match bigger.
Needless to say, Shinsuke Nakamura’s winning of the Rumble technically guarantees him a main event title shot. In my mind, AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura must close WrestleMania to preserve the legitimacy of the Royal Rumble, as well as virtually guaranteeing that fans go home happy after an in-ring clinic, instead of closing with a mixed gender tag with nothing on the line, or Roman Reigns for the fourth time in a row.