WWE’s Superstore Seems To Confirm There Were Late Changes To The WrestleMania Card
Well Well Well...
I dropped by the WWE WrestleMania Superstore today in Los Angeles, and I can confirm it’s awesome. It boasts hundreds of t-shirt styles, classic memorabilia, unusual souvenirs and a Mattel booth showcasing many of the fabulous toys coming over the next year or two. I spent over an hour in there, and while I was looking at all the amazing merchandise, I also noticed the store is set up in such a way that it seems to confirm the rumors that the original WrestleMania 39 card looked different.
When you first walk into the Superstore, which is at The Los Angeles Convention Center, there is a wall of motion posters that features many current WWE superstars. They’re all made to look like movie posters, which is fitting for the theme and location of WrestleMania 39. These don’t seem to have anything to do with who is actually on the WrestleMania card, as I saw Karrion Kross, LA Knight, Alexa Bliss and a bunch of others who don’t have official matches.
By the check-out, however, there is a second series of posters. These are static and laid out much more thoughtfully. First, there are the five superstars going into The WWE Hall Of Fame class this weekend. Then, after that, there’s a poster for every (almost) every person appearing on the actual card, and they’re grouped together with their opponents. So, for example, John Cena is next to Austin Theory. Bianca Belair is next to Asuka. Almost all of it makes complete sense, but there are a few that very specifically don’t fit the pattern and they seem to offer confirmation that the final WrestleMania plans we got were not the original plans.
In total, there are six WWE superstars who have pictures that are not currently on the card, plus Snoop Dogg who has helped promo the event. Now, three of them, in my opinion, are very easily explained. The Miz doesn’t have a match but is hosting WrestleMania. It would be weird if he wasn’t there. I also think it makes sense that Solo Sikoa and Damian Priest have posters, as they’ll almost certainly play a key role as cornermen in matches. So, that leaves three more, starting with these two...
Now, WWE basically told us this match was coming. Bray Wyatt openly challenged the winner of Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. Lashley accepted the challenge and there were a few promos and teases, until it suddenly disappeared without explanation. Rumors have been swirling for weeks about what might have happened. We've heard everything from Wyatt maybe having an illness to Wyatt maybe walking out. We don't know, but I think this is a sign that WWE was hoping to make it work until pretty recently.
As evidence, everyone in the men's fatal four way tag team team showcase match that was added less than two weeks ago has their own individual poster. Maybe WWE has secretly been planning that match for months, but it went from rumor to confirmation in basically a day. The stories going around, if they were to be believed, essentially said Triple H and the writers wanted to feature more wrestlers so they added that. So... until how recently was WWE still holding their fingers Bray and Bobby would happen? Less than two weeks ago?
And finally, the last person with her own poster that's not scheduled for a match is Carmella, and those who have been paying close attention may have seen that coming too. The Staten Island Princess appeared for a few weeks with Chelsea Green by her side, and it looked like the two were going to form a tag team and compete at WrestleMania. As soon as the women's showcase fatal four way was announced, they seemed like a shoe-in. But then out of nowhere, Chelsea Green partnered with Piper Niven and then the following week, she partnered with Sonya Deville and won a qualifying match to get added to the 'Mania card.
Exactly what happened with Carmella is unclear. Fightful Select previously reported that Mella was "sidelined" from competition, but they said it wasn't anything to do with backstage heat. She's made appearances this week at local events to promote WrestleMania; so, exactly why she was pulled is unclear. Both WWE's programming and this graphic strongly hint she was planned to be included, though, so, there must be some kind of reason.
Regardless, WrestleMania 39 will take place this weekend at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. You can check out my full predictions for the event, which you can stream for free with a Peacock subscription.
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Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
By Nick Venable