WWE WrestleMania 35 Preview/Predictions
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
NXT TakeOver: New York (or TakeOver: Brooklyn V?) came, conquered and impressed everyone in all its glory.
300-pound Heavyweight Hanson performed a handspring back elbow and a top rope senton to the floor, Velveteen Dream was the GODDAMN STATUE OF LIBERTY and the main event between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole delivered more wows than a summer blockbuster.
To be frank – WrestleMania will pale in comparison to its NXT counterpart and that’s to put it nicely, despite the fact that Mania will run more than twice the amount of time and contain more than three times as many matches.
Below are our predictions to shape Mania into a halfway decent show. If you’ve followed the Raw side (without falling asleep), the build has been abysmal while SmackDown has held themselves together better thanks to Kofi Kingston’s journey, but there are still some flaws here and there.
Let’s get to it.
– WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royale (Confirmed Participants – Naomi, Dana Brooke, Mickie James, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Asuka, Carmella, Lana, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Zelina Vega, Nikki Cross) – Delegated to the pre-show can’t be something to be proud of. Just look at the names above and ask yourself if they’re high on the totem pole right now. Probably not. We feel most bad for Asuka, who headed into two SmackDowns ago as WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion before she lost it to Charlotte Flair. The next episode, Asuka danced with Heavy Machinery’s Otis backstage. Yeah. This match is all for a trophy too no less, not even a future Title shot or anything. Naomi complained on Twitter of Creative’s last-minute changes, so that realism adds a slight spark of interest for us to see if maybe they push her here. Just for the sake of an accolade, we’ll side with Asuka here. Who wouldn’t?
Prediction – Asuka
– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Confirmed Participants – (Braun Strowman, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Apollo Crews, Titus O’Neil, Tyler Breeze, Jinder Mahal, No Way Jose, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Kalisto, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Viktor, Konnor, Andrade, Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Otis, Tucker, EC3) – The main hype for this match has come from Raw’s lame “celebrity feud” between Strowman and Saturday Night Live’s Jost/Che highlighted in the form of a destroyed car, like Strowman hasn’t done THAT before, right? We have little reason to care about this and we can completely abandon the idea that a win here’s a sign of any push. It’s all a ploy for celebrity mainstream publicity. We’ll assume Strowman gets his moment to simultaneously eliminate Che/Jost for the “talking moment.” Out of the field of WWE’s “last picked to play” squad, let’s go with Strowman just so maybe Creative will finally lift him towards the WWE Universal Championship. Just remember how hot he was months ago and how he has cooled off. Let’s get back to where we were please. End the lame comedy.
Prediction – Braun Strowman
– WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (Champion) Vs. Tony Nese – We’ll give credit where its due as far as Murphy – the man can go. He has made the Cruiserweight Championship somewhat of a coveted prize and has stacked wins against all challengers as they come. The upstart Nese has always impressed us with his sheer athleticism and we’re eager to see when he gets the “Ali Treatment,” but we’ll slow down to appreciate this. This should be a barn-burner of a match (there’s not many on the card, so cherish it) and we’ll probably get a handful of near-fall teases. Murphy has done superb as Champion, but it’s Mania, so if there was a platform for him to lose the belt, it’s here. Give Nese a run with the belt and see where it brings the Division. Change is good in this instance.
Prediction – Tony Nese
– WWE Raw Tag Team Championship – The Revival (Champions) Vs. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder – There are no words when it comes to how unappreciated The Revival are on the main roster. They’ve lost more TV matches than we can remember and a walkout on the company was supposedly prevented with a promised Title run. They received said Title run with a random Raw win. Since then, they’ve lost more TV matches with the exception of a successful defense this past week against Aleister Black/Ricochet, won by countout by the way. After quarrels with Chad Gable/Bobby Roode and Black/Ricochet, an anticipated multi-man Title match has been delegated to SmackDown. What do Revival get? They’ll defend against Ryder/Hawkins and it was announced on WWE’s website, not even live TV. Hopefully, Revival get a chance to do what they’re best at for more than 8 minutes with Snickers commercials layered in the middle. We don’t expect a classic, but we may get a tease for the babyfaces. In the back of our minds, we sort of want Ryder/Hawkins to win so Revival can go to SmackDown where tag team wrestling gets more of a spotlight, but who are we kidding here? This is set up for Revival to win. Fingers crossed.
Prediction – The Revival
– WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Fatal 4-Way – The Usos (Champions) Vs. The Bar Vs. Ricochet/Aleister Black Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev – The multi-team match has been brought to SmackDown, but we won’t complain. There’s even a storyline tie to why this happened, since this is how The Usos will be “punished” for their forfeit in the Tag Team Gauntlet that helped propel “KofiMania” to happen. There’s a lot of star power here, but the one thing that we wish to see is change. We originally wanted to go out on a limb and go with Black/Ricochet just for said change and make immediate stars out of the newfound team. It’d also prevent Black/Ricochet from an 0-3 record in attempts to gain tag team gold on all three brands (Monday’s Raw, Friday’s TakeOver and Mania) but we just can’t see an Usos loss here. We’ll clamor for an Usos-Black/Ricochet program for the in-ring work alone, so maybe Black/Ricochet will come close to a win, only for Usos to escape at the last second. Then again, Black/Ricochet have unfinished business with The Revival on Raw, so who knows?
Prediction – The Usos
– WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – Fatal 4-Way – The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection (Champions) Vs. The IIconics Vs. Beth Phoenix/Natalya Vs. Nia Jax/Tamina – Women’s tag team wrestling gets the spotlight for what we can assume to be 15-20 minutes. We even have a hook with Phoenix’s return, whom got the chance to shake off her ring rust on Raw recently. The IIconics are even in it and we’re so happy about that, since they’ll freshen up the heel side. Of course, we have to deal with the monotone duo of Tamina/Jax, but we assume our suffering pays off. Sasha Banks/Bayley retain here so we can see them get to deliver on their NXT promise and defend the belts there against The Sky Pirates. Just give us that match and you can do whatever you want with the belts after. Promise.
Prediction – The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection
– Roman Reigns Vs. Drew McIntyre – We’re actually stuck on how they’ll go here. On one side, you have Reigns back and in remission as a genuine babyface gift-wrapped and ready to go. Plus, people are legitimately behind Reigns for the first time in a long time and they should take advantage of it. On the other, McIntyre’s “Scottish Psychopath” moniker has been a key part of Raw as he has basically dissected The Shield with moments of domination with each member. He has defeated Dean Ambrose twice, Seth Rollins once and has even attacked Reigns backstage. We assume the plan’s to propel McIntyre to the Universal Title picture, but with Brock Lesnar as Champion, there’s nowhere for him to go right now. The stage should be set for Reigns to get his feel-good Mania moment just because he warrants one for what he has been through. Let’s just hope McIntyre can recover and build off his momentum. He’s one of the few things Raw has going for it.
Prediction – Roman Reigns
– WWE Intercontinental Championship – Bobby Lashley (Champion) Vs. Finn Balor – We wish we could get behind this match more, but Raw being Raw has went and messed this up. Balor was once IC Champion and didn’t even pin Lashley to do it. They’ve teased a breakup between Lio Rush/Lashley, but have reverted back to pre-Rumble status. Now, Lashley has the belt back in anticlimactic fashion and boasts he has Balor’s number. The trick now is that Balor will bring his demon makeup back, as if that’s supposed to change anything. It also makes us wonder why the demon didn’t appear for his Universal Title shot against Lesnar. It is what it is though. They’ve also hot potato’d the belt more than we like and based off recent trends, we assume Balor gets the IC belt here and actually earns a long run this time. One can dream.
Prediction – Finn Balor
– WWE United States Championship – Samoa Joe (Champion) Vs. Rey Mysterio – Assuming this match happens with rumors of Mysterio’s injury, hopefully this gets enough time to showcase what we’ve seen a taste of in the ring without Andrade and R-Truth thrown in. They’ve stayed away from physical contact and have mostly kept it to Mysterio backstage promos with his son Dominic, much older and without his trademark blonde hair and pouty lips. We’re surprised they never had Joe attempt to attack Dominic, since Dominic aspires to be a wrestler like his dad. This should be a fun affair if it happens, though it could be a way to “bait and switch” if Mysterio gets “taken out” and is replaced by say, John Cena, who put the belt on a pedestal with his Open Challenges in 2015 and gets revenge for all the bad talk Joe spewed in a SmackDown promo weeks ago. We’ll stick to the card though and based off what we’ve seen with Joe as Champion, no reason to take the belt off him now.
Prediction – Samoa Joe
– Randy Orton Vs. AJ Styles – Outside of a 2017 SmackDown match, Orton and Styles have kept away from each other, until now. It has mostly been a war of words (a good one at that) with the “Established WWE Veteran Vs. Indy Darling Who Won WWE Fans Over” vibes. Now’s the chance for them to lay it all out in the ring and we expect nothing less than a spectacular RKO to end it all when it’s said and done. It has been a WrestleMania staple and hopefully we won’t get any creepy holographic imagery on the canvas this time. Expect a few false finishes as well as these two are crafty specialists in that regard. Just for the spectacle of the RKO alone, it’s worth it to give this one to Orton, not that we expect this to be a one-and-done, where Styles eventually gets the last laugh.
Prediction – Randy Orton
– Falls Count Anywhere – Shane McMahon Vs. The Miz – This has been a pleasant feud as it has developed and we’re happy they decided to have Shane as the heel (ties back to his “Best In The World” debauchery back late last year) and Miz as the hungry babyface out to get payback for Shane’s attack and how he grabbed his father by the cheeks and forced him to watch. A camera pan that went back and forth between Miz and Shane at last night’s Hall Of Fame saw them soak in their respective reactions and was stuff of legend. We assume the stipulation was thrown in so Shane could jump off a random structure and we imagine maybe this one involves a ladder and a table. We just have a feeling. Crafted for WrestleMania, there’s no reason why Miz shouldn’t win this and for both to go on their respective ways afterwards. It has been good, but don’t make it overstay its welcome.
Prediction – The Miz
– Kurt Angle Vs. Baron Corbin – Met with negative fan feedback the moment it was announced, it’s hard to be surprised since nobody likes Corbin. He garners more “go away heat” than anything else and even though he has no power on Raw since he lost to Strowman at TLC 2018, he’s still dressed like an Applebee’s Manager. Angle has had some fun with his “Farewell Tour” with matches against Chad Gable (probably the best one) and Samoa Joe, but since he can’t go at the speed he could in his prime, they’ve been a struggle to watch. We’re happy to see this end at WrestleMania and hopefully, they make this quick and painless. Creative deserves credit for that superb Angle video package we got on Raw and hopefully they air it on the show. Corbin would have the biggest bragging rights to gain with a victory, but this is Angle’s last hurrah and it’s WrestleMania, so we’ll go with one last victorious Ankle Lock to appease the masses. Maybe Cena even shows up here for an impromptu “last last match”?
Prediction – Kurt Angle
– No Holds Barred – If Triple H Loses, He Must Retire From In-Ring Competition – Triple H Vs. Batista – A kind of match that can only happen at WrestleMania, it’s safe to assume this feud peaked at the start when Batista made his return with a savage backstage attack on 70-year-old Ric Flair at his birthday celebration on Raw. Poor Flair didn’t even get to make it out of the locker room. Since then, we’ve gotten this weird promo clash that have included Spice Girls references, “jobbing to jackets” and other shenanigans on Trips’ side. Batista has kept it super serious and managed to add this stipulation. This should be a match with plenty of big moves. We can’t picture Trips ending it here, probably since he’d look to use a retirement angle against a future NXT star to put them over on the way out. We don’t think this will come close to their WrestleMania 21 encounter, but it should be good for what it is in 2019. Triple H wins, Batista goes away and we all get what we really, really want.
Prediction – Triple H
– WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (Champion) Vs. Kofi Kingston – Without a doubt, this is probably the match that has garnered the most interest from casuals and diehards alike. This all stems back to Kingston’s gutsy performances in a Gauntlet match and in the Elimination Chamber where he was inches away from a Title win only for the scrappy heel Bryan to win clean. We feel there’ve been mistakes in the logic of how we got here between “Out Of Touch” Vince and his many obstacles for Kofi to jump through. If the plan was to get here to begin with, we would’ve reversed the Gauntlets in how they happened and had Kofi win the chance all on his own instead of his New Day teammates doing it for him the next week. Without tense racial discussion, we never got a true reason as far as why Vince didn’t feel Kofi was ready for a World Title match. Besides that, the feud has been excellent in terms of promo work, especially on Kingston’s side, who has gotten the chance to run with the ball. Bryan’s heel work has also been superb with the irony that he now is the force that has tried to keep the underdog down. If it was up to us, we would’ve had this match official after Elimination Chamber and let the work do itself instead of slightly overcomplicated gauntlets and this and that, but what matters is we’re here. You can’t not have this match and have Kofi lose. It’s been branded “KofiMania” for God’s sake. This is where 11 years pays off and Kofi gets his big moment. If it doesn’t happen here, then just don’t make it happen period.
Prediction – Kofi Kingston
– WWE Universal Championship – Seth Rollins Vs. Brock Lesnar (Champion) – While it could be argued that it appears as if this feud has been between Rollins and Paul Heyman since their mic work is all we have to support this match, they’ve done a great job with what they’ve been given. We can’t imagine that anyone sides with the mostly absent Lesnar since Rollins has carried Raw for a long time and deserves to be rewarded with a run with the belt. This would also bring the belt back on the show on a full-time basis and we could actually get a Title match as a Raw main event. Crazy, right? Then again, with the “Superstar Shake-Up” so close and the fact that Rollins has been stuck on the red brand since the brand split inception, maybe this is a chance to move to the blue brand and showcase his talents there. However, that could be all the more reason to keep him on Raw and let him carry the show some more. He’s doing just fine. This match also ties together some past WrestleMania history since Rollins won Lesnar’s belt at WrestleMania 31 with the “Heist Of The Century” via Money In The Bank cash-in. Four years later, we’re eager to see how it goes. Let’s hope for the best.
Prediction – Seth Rollins
– Winner Takes All – WWE Raw And SmackDown Women’s Championships – Triple-Threat – Ronda Rousey (Raw Champion) Vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Champion) Vs. Becky Lynch – The women have finally done it. They get the true main event. Our only problem with this three-way bonanza is the path taken to get here. Back in December, Lynch was hot as can be and since her match with Rousey that was supposed to happen at Survivor Series got called off because of her injury, we assumed they’d pick things back up at WrestleMania. This match never actually needed Charlotte, but Creative has insisted on her inclusion in the Mania main event. We guess in the end, it’s not all bad since the match quality will be raised to a higher standard with her athleticism mixed in, but the true “money bout” was in Rousey against Lynch, solo. Let’s not mention all the overbooked promos/segments we got just to stretch things out. Let’s see – Lynch has been suspended for 30 and 60 days. Rousey at one point “vacated” her belt, demanded it back and got it with no problems. Lynch has been arrested on two separate occasions. The go-home Raw was the ultimate silliness as the three ladies fought each other in the back of a police car. Charlotte hobbled into the screen picture in handcuffs just to deliver a knee to Rousey’s face as she had her head out the window. Yes, this all happened. Now, we love the idea of Rousey’s full-fledged heel turn and her mic work/mannerisms have immensely improved since then. This may actually be because it’s closer to Rousey’s actual personality. We wish she was a heel from when she debuted. Just imagine how different this dynamic would’ve been. Thus, we can’t and we’re stuck with what we have in the present. New York WILL RIOT if Lynch doesn’t win this and complete her journey with both belts raised above her head to end the show. We find the “Winner Takes All” stipulation a little silly in lieu of next week’s “Shakeup” as Lynch will more than likely have to surrender one belt, but let’s enjoy the moment for what it is. “The Man” gets her endgame reward and the crowd goes home happy.
Prediction – Becky Lynch
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on April 7, 2019, in WWE and tagged Adam Cole, AJ Styles, Aleister Black, Ali, Andrade, Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Apollo Crews, Asuka, Baron Corbin, Batista, Becky Lynch, Beth Phoenix, Bo Dallas, Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, Buddy Murphy, Carmella, Chad Gable, Charlotte Flair, Colin Jost, Cruiserweights, Curt Hawkins, Curtis Axel, Dana Brooke, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dominic, Drew McIntyre, EC3, Elimination Chamber, Finn Balor, Gran Metalik, Hanson, Heath Slater, Jeff Hardy, Jinder Mahal, John Cena, Johnny Gargano, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kofi Kingston, Konnor, Kurt Angle, Lana, Lince Dorado, Liv Morgan, Luke Gallows, Mandy Rose, Matt Hardy, Michael Che, Mickie James, Naomi, Natalya, Nia Jax, Nikki Cross, No Way Jose, NXT, Otis, Paul Heyman, Predictions, Preview, Pro Wrestling, Randy Orton, Raw, Rey Mysterio, Rhyno, Ric Flair, Ricochet, Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey, Ruby Riott, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Sarah Logan, Seth Rollins, Shane McMahon, Shelton Benjamin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Smackdown, Sonya Deville, TakeOver: New York, Tamina, The Bar, The Boss 'n' Hug Connection, The IIconics, The Miz, The New Day, The Revival, The Usos, Titus O'Neil, Tony Nese, Triple H, Tucker, Tyler Breeze, Velveteen Dream, Viktor, WrestleMania 35, WWE, Zack Ryder, Zelina Vega. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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