I guess I don’t have any choice at this point. With less than three days to go, it’s time to talk about Wrestlemania XXXV. I need to start this fast because with sixteen matches on the card, there isn’t much time to wait. To make it even worse, there’s a reason to believe it could be all the way up to seventeen if John Cena does make an appearance. I have no idea how much this show is going to take out of me but let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Here’s your first of two catch all matches because remember: EVERYONE SHOULD BE ON WRESTLEMANIA! IT’S LIKE THE LAW! I really don’t have a problem with this as most of the people are going to be in there for all of five minutes at most and it’s not like there’s any limit to what you can have in a battle royal. Also, I’d rather they do it this way than have the SNL guys get some kind of a handicap match against Braun Strowman.
Something like this:
Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Title: Buddy Murphy(c) vs. Tony Nese
For the life of me I don’t get this one. I mean I get the story with Nese being a hometown guy and Murphy’s former training partner, but Nese getting a title shot at Wrestlemania is as absurd as you can get. Outside of another Cedric Alexander match, I can’t think of a weaker option than Nese in this spot. Murphy has been awesome as champion and should be on the main shows but he’s stuck here trying to give some credibility to 205 Live.
They’re ready to fight:
Kickoff Show: Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal
This is another match where I’ll need to see the full field before being confident in my pick. It feels like the biggest layup in the world to have Asuka win here to get some heat back after losing the title to Charlotte, but I don’t trust WWE to go with the most logical option. There aren’t many good options in the match so far, but that’s where I think we get to our actual winner.
Get your chants ready:
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Let’s get this out of the way so I don’t have to think about it for a few days. This has been treated as one of the biggest matches on the show because reasons of McMahon, though I’m not sure how many people are going to care. The story is built around Miz’s father being a horrible person and only caring about his son when he teamed with McMahon and Miz wanting to stand up for his family. Therefore, McMahon needs a big spot on the show and probably close to twenty minutes.
In case it’s not enough for you:
Raw Tag Team Titles: Revival(c) vs. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder
If there’s a match that felt more tacked on than this one, I can’t remember the last time it happened. This match wasn’t even announced on TV with the only mention being in a YouTube video. Hawkins and Ryder, who haven’t won a match in years, are now getting a WrestleMania title match because WE MUST GET THE TITLES ON THE SHOW. I think you know where this is going.
Ask and ye shall make WrestleMania:
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
Let’s go with something that should be good instead of something this boring. Both guys need something to do as Styles has beaten so many people on the show already. Orton has been floating around for years and his beating the heroes gimmick has already been mostly forgotten. That leaves you with little more than two guys needing to have a good match and….well that’s not a problem for them.
Get out of their way:
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
If there is any hope for this show, this match will be about two minutes long and be a complete squash with Angle winning and getting to have a proper sendoff. There’s no need for this match to keep going because there is no reason to have Corbin anywhere near a ring for a long time at the moment. Or for Angle to ever wrestle again for that matter.
The announcement that wasn’t overly popular:
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
I’ve been a big McIntyre fan for years now so I’m rather happy with him getting this spot. He’s gotten a lot out of beating Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose so facing Reigns is the most logical next step for him. It’s going to be a hard hitting fight and that’s exactly what a match like this needs to be.
I think that’s a yes:
Intercontinental Title: Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Finn Balor
I’ll spare you a long rant about how little this story makes sense, or at least how horrible of a job WWE has done at explaining Balor’s use of the Demon. Or how little sense it made to have Balor win the title for a few weeks and drop it back almost immediately. This is the Demon’s debut at Wrestlemania and I’m not sure what to expect from it. I don’t think the match’s result is really in doubt, but the question is how we get to that ending.
Here he comes again:
United States Title: Samoa Joe(c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Now here’s one where I’m not sure because it’s not clear who’s going to be in the match. Mysterio is already injured and might not be able to make the match….and it just so happens that John Cena has been rumored for a match on the show, which has just so happened to have Cena vs. Samoa Joe for weeks. As much as I’d like to see Samoa Joe vs. Mysterio, I think you can tell where I’m going.
Do they know they’re fighting each other:
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Boss N Hug Connection(c) vs. IIconics vs. Beth Phoenix/Natalya vs. Nia Jax/Tamina
So we have the first champions, the annoying challengers, not Trish Stratus and Lita and those two monsters who won’t stop appearing on every single show for reasons. I’m not sure why we need Phoenix and Natalya on the show but I guess since they came up with the idea of a legends team (Natalya: Legend), they couldn’t just drop it and do champions vs. red team vs. blue team.
They’re certainly ready for anything:
SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Usos(c) vs. Aleister Black/Ricochet vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev
This is another match that doesn’t need to be on the show but is anyway because we need to get these eight people, most of whom have been inconsequential in recent weeks, on the show. It should be a nice little nine minute match at most, but the entrances alone will add close to ten mote. I like the Usos but I’d definitely prefer seeing them face the Hardys in an actual dream match.
I don’t see this happening again (though it’s awesome):
Triple H vs. Batista
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this build as Batista has been nearly perfect with being a delusional jerk, which tended to be his strong suit. Triple H’s comedic promo responding to him was good, though completely missing the point of the story so far. With Triple H’s career on the line, you kind of know what’s coming here, again proving that Triple H is the smartest man/best politician in wrestling.
I think you get the point:
Universal Title: Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Seth Rollins
Now we’re down to the final three matches and since it’s WWE, we’re just not getting three happy endings (it’s all about the chase and the heat you see). That makes you wonder which face has to take the fall and you could go with any of the three. Starting here, we have the Royal Rumble winner against Lesnar, who is STILL Universal Champion, as has been the case for almost two years straight now and somehow WWE is cool with that.
The old Rollins is back:
SmackDown World Title: Daniel Bryan(c) vs. Kofi Kingston
I’ve gone back and forth on this one since before the match was announced and that hasn’t changed yet. We’re at the point now where Kingston either needs to win the title or do something completely different because he has all the momentum in the world right now. Kingston is more than qualified to win the title (period) and it would be the awesome moment if he wins the title.
You can feel the fire:
Raw Women’s Title: Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
And now we have the truly historic moment in something that I didn’t think would ever actually happen. The women’s match is headlining the show to complete the Women’s Revolution, as they’re finally reaching the unreachable goal. With the history out of the way, we get on to the important part, which is the result itself. It should be an obvious ending….but it’s WWE.
Get the Benny Hill music:
I’m exhausted just reading the card and that’s a bad sign the day before the show. WrestleMania is supposed to be the top show of the year and the most important thing that happens in the WWE year. The problem is WWE can’t get out of its own way most of the time and I’m worried that they’re going to do it again this year.
As usual, this year is going to be about the moments, and if WWE doesn’t give us enough of them, it’s not going to work. A happy ending (Lynch finally conquering Rousey and holding up both titles) is the right way to go and if Kingston happens to win as well, we’re in good shape. That’s all that matters, but I just can’t imagine WWE actually going in the right direction every single time.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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