WWE and Mattel are headed to San Diego Comic-Con International 2018. Various superstars and personalities throughout the years have participated in the WWE panel at San Diego Comic-Con International, including Bayley, Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, CM Punk, Charlotte Flair, Daniel Bryan, Paul Heyman, Hulk Hogan, and Sami Zayn. Unlike recent panels the company has held at Comic-Con, the 2018 lineup is largely absent of A-listers that are relevant in today’s WWE television programs.
The WWE website describes the event, and who will be attending.
“On Thursday, July 19 at 11:15 a.m. PT, the action kicks off with WWE and Mattel for a panel featuring Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins and Cathy Kelley of the Elite Squad — an assemblage of toy aficionados dedicated to providing the WWE Universe with the hottest reveals and amazing prize opportunities all this year. Joining them will be one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy, Mattel designers and perhaps a mystery guest or two!?”
For those that may be wondering, the Elite Squad is not a new wrestling faction but a line of WWE action figures by Mattel. San Diego Comic-Con attendees will be able to get their hands on the new M.U.S.C.L.E. mini-figures that include legends like Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, The Ultimate Warrior, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, as reported by the WWE.
— Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) July 5, 2018
@TheCurtHawkins going to Comic Con should count as some kind of win for him.
— Jason (@mathboywonder) July 5, 2018
While the personalities attending this year certainly have some fans, they aren’t all that relevant in today’s WWE television programs. In 2017, fans got to meet some of the most popular female wrestlers, such as Charlotte Flair, and in 2018 they get Cathy Kelley, who occasionally pops up in NXT as an interviewer. In 2016, fans interacted with The New Day, AJ Styles, and Becky Lynch, and this year they get Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, and Matt Hardy. Of the three superstars featured this year, only one (Hardy) is on television on a weekly basis, and even when Hawkins is on Raw, it’s so that the WWE can highlight his losing streak.
This isn’t a knock on the superstars featured at San Diego Comic-Con International 2018 — they are certainly talented — it’s just that they aren’t as relevant or as legendary as past guests that have appeared on the WWE and Mattel panel. From 2011 to 2017, major names were advertised for the event, and now it seems the WWE may be changing that. Even with the lack of A-listers at Comic-Con 2018, the event will likely be an entertaining one, and the WWE did mention that there may be a mystery guest or two, so you never know who will show up.