WWE Falls Count Anywhere Volume 11 Credit: WWE.com

WWE Falls Count Anywhere is here! We’re deep into the Road to WrestleMania XL in Philadelphia, PA in April.

We’re going to do the column a little bit differently this week. In an homage to retired sports journalist Peter King, here are the Ten Things I Think I Think… About Our Current Road to WrestleMania. A one-time only thing here. Not trying to be accused of stealing ideas.

So, let’s party. And think!

Ten Things I Think I Think… About Our Road to WrestleMania

I THINK that much of the card has already begun to take shape, which is a huge positive for all involved. All the big title matches are locked in. Some big non-title feuds appear to be gearing up, too, (Jey vs. Jimmy Uso, AJ Styles vs. LA Knight, Bianca Belair vs. Tiffany Stratton, to name a few) which will go a long way towards piecing this puzzle. Previous years haven’t always been so easy to sniff out, but this has felt very academic. Logan Paul and Gunther need challengers. Randy Orton and Chad Gable might fit those bills really easily. All told, you’re only left to wonder about a few things. And the filler and undercard are easy to resolve.

I THINK that any talk of Liv Morgan or even Nia Jax becoming involved in the Women’s World Championship Match at WrestleMania XL is both unnecessary and nonsensical. If we’re playing it straight, there’s absolutely no roadmap out there to have Nia or Liv get into the title match between champion Rhea Ripley and challenger Becky Lynch. For a very simple reason also: They didn’t earn it. Nia and Liv both lost the Rumble to Bayley. Then, Liv lost the Elimination Chamber to Becky, and Nia lost a World Title Match to Rhea that closed the PLE in Ripley’s home country of Australia. If there’s one thing that fans, by and large, don’t like, it’s things not feeling earned. Getting Liv involved might achieve getting her “heat” if that’s what they want for her, but it’d be for the wrong reasons. It’s not even likely that it will happen anyway (probably will in France), but the fan discussion needs to chill out. It would be worse for both Morgan and Jax to be added to the title match.

I THINK the tag showcases should return for WrestleMania, and also that the WWE Tag Team Titles will change hands. Right now, I’d probably forecast Awesome Truth to win the titles from The Judgment Day. People have been trying to map this out, but since Survivor Series, R-Truth and his involvement is clearly leading to somewhere. So, an Awesome Truth reunion should likely play pretty well. I think there are a few creative ways that you can finally achieve a much-needed title split by giving The Miz and Truth the titles also. So, all told, that’s probably the healthiest decision that they could make there. As far as the showcases go? Definitely. There’s been constant activity in both tag team divisions. I’m unsure if the Women’s Tag Titles will be defended yet, but it could happen in a multi-woman tag match too.

I THINK that the appreciation for Gunther should not be relinquished whatever Intercontinental Championship match happens. This dude has taken every potential thought about him going into his WWE run and turned them all upside down. He’s arguably the best on the entire planet, let alone in WWE, and his IC Title reign has been the greatest of all time. There’s truly nothing that’s been like it, and he’s managed to make every single time he comes out to the ring a compelling work of art. He could honestly be champion for 500 more days, and I won’t care. He’s earned plenty of praise for this run, and it shouldn’t stop.

On that note…

I THINK that Chad Gable is the guy to take the title off of Gunther. They’re leaning heavily into his road by recently having him post an incredible video on his X account. Usually, when they start giving tells like that, then you’ll usually see to it that they’ll be the ones tabbed. Gable has been an incredible performer for years dating back to the days of American Alpha. If anyone’s earned a loftier spot on the card over what’s nearly been ten years at this point, it’s Chad Gable.

It doesn’t seem like we’ll have a celebrity match this year (I think considering someone like Logan Paul in that role, at this point is a mistake), so I THINK that the celebrity involvement at this year’s WrestleMania will come in different forms. Likely some of Philly’s most notable sports figures. Could retired lineman Jason Kelce appear? Would he bring his brother Travis Kelce? And if he did, then does that mean… … …

How about Joel Embiid? He’s proven time and time again to be a wrestling fan. So yeah, I think it will be outside the box this year.

I THINK that wrestling fans need to start complaining with context. Because what was all that noise on Friday night all about?

I hate to come off grumpy or off-putting, but, what is going on here? Promo segments in WWE have been their most frequent way of telling stories. That’s only been further exacerbated with The Bloodline storyline. “Bloodline Theater,” as it’s sometimes been coined, always winds up being elongated. There’s a very good reason why people were averse to the idea of Rock vs. Roman in his current stage. The kicker here, also, is that most wrestling fans enjoy promo segments. Some of them can be overdone and done for too long. I understand that.

I don’t understand dismissing everything.

As it turns out, Smackdown’s viewership peak on Friday came between 8:30-8:45 p.m., the third quarter-hour of the show. So that means that while the segment went 40 minutes, the height of everyone’s tuning into the show, and the segment, was… 30 to nearly 40 minutes in.

WWE is going do what they’re going to do. Especially when it comes to their show structure and formatting. Ratings suggest that they’re not just doing what their viewers want, but viewers are tuning into the program in droves during those segments. It’s the most-watched and biggest storyline of this era. It’s one of their biggest storylines ever.

A better idea would be to just say “This isn’t for me” and trudge on. I feel like that advice can be used in many places in this space. But especially this.

I THINK that they’re continuing to hit it out of the park for the Bayley vs. IYO SKY storyline. Beyond that not being surprising, everyone seems to agree. While Smackdown’s viewership peaked during the elongated opener, it’s true that Bayley’s tag team match with former friend Dakota Kai saw no change in the audience. So those who wanted to stick around to see the next development did. They weren’t disappointed as Dakota proved untrustworthy (again) and turned on Bayley, leading to a beatdown led by IYO. This match is going to be sensational at WrestleMania. The week-to-week storytelling has been terrific.

I THINK that WWE is clearly trying something ambitious with The Bloodline and WrestleMania. I think it’s going to work. They are building towards a tag match with Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and The Rock. They have begun to involve Drew McIntyre, who faces Rollins on Sunday for the World Heavyweight Championship. They’ve started involving Jey Uso too. There’s still plenty of potential people to involve as well. Who knows if that happens on Friday when Cody and Seth pay a visit to The Bloodline?

Something’s coming here… and I’m excited to see it.


That WrestleMania XL has an opportunity to be an all-timer.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022