Ultimately, the lesson of Wrestlemania weekend is that spectacle is relative.
Lucha Underground can take one smoke machine, four Aztec tribal drummers/dancers, and a few sparkly outfits and create spectacle because it's in a tiny, cramped, dark venue and the action itself is so dynamic.
NXT Takeover, with a slightly large budget, can create spectacle with just some lights, a big sound system, and a very excited crowd. Well, and two of the best matches I've seen in a while Takeover dallas. Was way, way bigger than the room it was in, and you could feel it.
Wrestlemania 32 was in the biggest venue in the event's history, the AT&T Stadum, holding over 100,00 people, and WWE couldn't fill it. They filled it with people, but they couldn't fill it with spectacle.
To be honest it feels like they picked this venue based off laste year's Wrestlemania, where they filled a huge outdoor venue with a fucking Soviet tank and a bunch of Terminators, and then, right after the ink dried on the paperwork, the money dried up too. The biggest entrance prop was a giant box of cereal, which, while glorious inconcept, spilling out three New Day members dressed in Dragon Ball armor, still seemed too small for the space.
The second biggest entrance prop was Snoop Dogg, and he was miked so badly you could barely hear him rap about his cousin Sasha Banks. You could hear the other woman with him sing the main parts of Sasha's theme song off key, though.
In a smaller arena, all this may have worked. But, to be crued, WWE brought a very tiny dick to a very large hole. The arena made the spectacle seem small by comparison. And sure, the show, including the pre-show, clocked in at nearly seven hours, but you know what they say. Length isn't as important as girth.
They need to rethink Wrestlemania. You can't just put on a double length episode of Monday Night Raw for 100,000 people, call everything that happens a "Wrestlemania Moment", and have that be true. The real Wrestlemania Moments were the great matches, momentous events, huge surprises, and culminations of storylines that get remembered for years to come. Very little from Wrestlemania 32 will be remembered.
We'll remember Shane's dive off the cage, because they'll be showing all the angles of it to us forever going forward. And rightfully so. I don't know how they made that spot safe, or thought they did, but it was nuts. You know what nobody will remember? The rest of the match, which was agonizingly dull. What the match was for will be forgotten too, because Shane didn't win, didn't take control of Raw, didn't retire the Undertaker, and thus the promise of a status quo shakeup disappears.
We'll remember the day they ditched the fucking purple butterfly Diva's belt in favor of.a Women's Championship belt that looks just like the men's belt, but in different colors, because that's a real change. That's the real followthrough from the "Diva's Revolution". That's the WWE committing to taking women's wrestling seriously for the first time, literally, EVER. That's huge. And it happened as almost an afterthought on the pre-show. Luckily, the championship match itself was the best thing on the entire card, proving everyone's point.
People will remember Reigns winning at Wrestlemania, but not in a good way. Hopefully, in a "even their last attempt at making Roman Reigns a big thing, his win over HHH at Wrestlemania, didn't succeed" kind of way. The match certainly won't be remembered, even though they tried to help us by doing the same spots over and over for what seemed like forever.
Zack Ryder's Intercontinental Title win will be forgotten as soon as he drops the belt. Which means possibly by this time tomorrow. That's WWE brilliance for you. Take the two guys everyone wants to see fight, put them in a match with five other guys, four of them schlubs, and have the final sequence be a fight between two of the schlubs to see which schlub takes the belt down. I hold no grudge against Zack Ryder, but come on.
People will remember AJ Styles and Jericho feuding, but they won't remember which of their matches was at Wrestlemania, because there have already been four of them, they're largely indistinguishable, and clearly there's gonna be a fifth in a month or so. Ugh.
I've already forgotten all three pre-show matches, mostly as a defensive mechanism my brain employs.
People will remember the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, but only because we will spend the rest of our lives trying to answer the question "WHAT THE FUCK WAS SHAQ DOING OUT THERE DOUBLE INTERROBANG ?!?!" We'll also hear how Baron Corbin won it every time he's on TV for the next year, so enjoy that if you watch WWE Main Event.
People will remember The Rock defeating Erick Rowan in six seconds as the day the last holdouts gave up on the Wyatt Family.
Nobody will remember Ambrose-Lesnar, because Brock Lesnar has had more memorable instances of hurling people around a ring, and Dean Ambrose has had more memorable instances of hitting people with sticks and landing on piles of chairs. I can think of at least five examples of each
And so we're left with The New Day. People will remember the giant box of cereal and the entrance gear. They won't remember the match per se, because it was nothing special, but they'll be reminded vaguely of it once The New Day win their titles back and start entering to "Clap for your WOLD FAMOUS THREE TIME CHAMPS". Which I hope happens soon, because fuuuuuuuuuuck the entire non-Rusev League of Nations.
So, yeah. Spectacle is relative. When Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, a match with zero buildup and zero story, generates more excitement and more pure emotion than seven full hours of Wrestlemania, just by dint of the raw talent on display being three times larger than the building it was contained it, well, there's a lesson there. A lesson Vince McMahon is demonstrably incapable of learning.