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:

I’ll take Strowman with my fingers crossed, as he’s pretty much the only wrestler involved to have gotten any serious attention. As long as the SNL guys don’t win, everything should be fine because it’s just a battle royal to warm the crowd up. For some flavor I’ll throw Ali out there as a possible candidate, though you almost never get the full list of competitors early so there’s a good chance it’s going to be someone not even mentioned.

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:

I’ll take Nese winning for the hometown moment, but my goodness if that’s the case have Murphy moving up to the main roster immediately. He’s WAY too good for this show anymore and Nese….well he’s Nese and I don’t know what else to say about him. This isn’t going to be interesting and the fans are likely to be getting food or taking one last walk before the show, because it doesn’t get much less interesting than this one.

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:

I’ll take Lacey Evans, because I have the blind faith that WWE actually has a plan for her with all those random cameos. There isn’t much of a reason for this to be the case and Evans hasn’t exactly showed a world of talent yet, but that’s never stopped WWE before. I’ll go with her winning, though I’ll be rather happy if Asuka wins. It’s not like it means anything though, as Naomi didn’t exactly rocket up the card last year. But hey: a swerve ending right?

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:

I’ll go with Miz winning as McMahon doesn’t win these big matches (just a Tag Team Title match). It’s going to be long, commentary is going to talk about how awesome McMahon is, and then Miz will beat him and it won’t be worth the five months they put into this one story featuring McMahon, when several others could benefit from having this spotlight. At least Miz might be a better face this time around, though I don’t have my hopes up.

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:

Of course Revival drops the titles here and probably never get them back, because WWE doesn’t get why they’re unhappy with their spot in the company. This match is going to be about five minutes long and belongs on the Kickoff Show but the fans will lose their minds at the New York team winning the titles again. It would be perfectly fine on Monday Night Raw the next night, but that would mean just fifteen matches and that’s not good enough.

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:

I’ll go with Styles winning here as he’s a bigger star, though Orton has a tendency to pull off the surprise wins in these big match situations. I’m not sure if he’ll actually pull it off, but it would be cool to see either of them win. Styles knowing to expect the RKO out of the Phenomenal Forearm will be good and if he can prove Orton wrong, it should be a perfectly fine moment. Either could win, but I’ll take Styles.

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:

This is the biggest layup on the show as Angle isn’t going to retire after losing a match to a goon like Corbin. This really should have been anyone else but if this is the best we can get, so be it (I guess). Angle wins with the ankle lock to go out as a winner and is thankfully allowed to heal his broken and mangled body. And Corbin can go tend sheep or something.

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:

And naturally Reigns wins, because you don’t have your top star come back from leukemia and lose his first match at Wrestlemania. Reigns winning here is fine and McIntyre will get a lot out of just rubbing elbows with him. It’s a good idea and this should be a strong match for both of them. Reigns survives the Claymore and hits a few spears to win as McIntyre gets a rub and Reigns can start gunning for the title again.

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:

Balor will get the title back once and for all, but I’m not sure if it’s in a squash or a competitive match. It’s one thing to have the Demon destroy Corbin at Summerslam but having him do it to Lashley here doesn’t make sense. You don’t squash a monster like that and that leaves a dilemma for Balor. I’m sure he’ll win, but if it’s too competitive then it doesn’t make that much sense.

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:

So yeah, I’m going with the theory that the injury is a work and Cena comes out to challenge Samoa Joe instead. I’ll go with the champ retaining in a surprise, which doesn’t feel right but would be a great way to push him. The problem with putting the title on Cena is that he’d have to lose it, and unless that takes place in the next two nights, I’m not sure I see that happening. Unless…..say to someone debuting on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live in a US Open Challenge? But what kind of a Freak would you have to be to do that?

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:

I’ll go with the champs retaining, though the IIconics stealing the titles wouldn’t shock me. Bayley and Sasha Banks are way too early into their reign to lose and it’s not like there are a ton of teams for either heel team to face anyway. Keep them on the champs and figure out what you want to do with the belts later on.

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):

I’ll actually go with Black vs. Ricochet just to mix things up a little bit. The SmackDown tag team division is dying for some fresh blood and it makes sense to have the newer teams getting the titles. That being said, since it makes sense, the Bar or Nakamura/Rusev are probably the favorites. I’ll take what I want to see, though with very little confidence in seeing it happening.

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:

Yeah Triple H wins here because Batista doesn’t need to wrestle again and Triple H can still wrestle an occasional match when necessary. The match itself should be a solid brawl because these two know how to do a street fight style match very well. I’m sure it will be entertaining and get a lot of time (because Triple H) and hopefully they don’t go too long and ruin things.

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:

And yes I think Lesnar retains the title here, mainly because WWE still thinks he’ll win the UFC Heavyweight Title again and hold up both titles. You know, as has been promised for YEARS now. I’m still not sure how that instantly equals money, but WWE seems obsessed with seeing it happen. I think Rollins falls short here though, as we get another Lesnar vs. Reigns match down the line. Or here, if Lesnar pulls a WrestleMania IX and somehow Reigns gets the title back Sunday. Would it really shock you?

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:

I’ll take the plunge here and say the title changes hands here, though there’s next to no chance of Kingston making it to the middle of May as champion, which is just fine. The whole point here is the title win, which is the kind of moment that you need on a show like this. Kingston doesn’t need to be a main eventer long term, but being a former WWE Champion sounds just fine.

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:

With a close of my eyes and a deep breath, I’ll take Lynch to win in the moment that we’ve been building towards for months now. As much as I could see Rousey winning here and then losing the title in her post-pay per view title defense or Charlotte because SHE’S CHARLOTTE and we need to build towards one more (of many) lynch vs. Charlotte match. I’ll go with Lynch and hope that WWE doesn’t overthink things for once in my life.

Overall Thoughts

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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