Okay, the Wikipedia Page has ELEVEN(!) matches set up for WrestleMania.
That’s kind of not perfectly accurate, though. Three of the matches are part of the pre-show. Kalisto vs. Ryback for the US belt, a Ten-Woman Divas Match (sigh), and the Dudleyz vs. the Usos. Of those three, I find myself wishing that they’d put Kalisto vs. Ryback on the main card and move, oh, the 20 man Battle Royale down to warm up the audience.
I suppose I understand why they did what they did… but the storyline for Kalisto and Ryback actually, you know, *EXISTS*.
Anyway, we’ve got eight matches to look forward to (in pretty much the order I’m looking forward to them):
The aforementioned Battle Royale.
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Rusev and King Barrett).
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. The Miz vs. Stardust in a ladder match for the IC belt.
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker.
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman).
Wait, Roman Reigns has a match too. Against HHH or somebody. That one will probably close out the show, now that I think about it.
Of those, let’s make predictions.
They’re going to try to push two or three storylines with the Battle Royale but they won’t really stick the landing with any of them. We’ll see tension between tag team partners, tension between stables, and tension between Goldust and R-Truth. I have no idea who will win. “Someone who has not yet been announced” is my best guess but I can’t imagine they’d have “winning a match at WrestleMania” be the start of a storyline. They’ll just throw this match out there and then forget about it 3 minutes after it’s over.
New Day is wonderful comic relief and can cut promos like nobody’s business. The League of Nations are bullies who get booed out of the building. Aren’t they both heel stables? Have I been taking crazy pills? The League of Nations wins because they cheat and they’re evil. This will set up a nonsensical rematch at Payback.
Charlotte is lightning in a bottle. She has Ric Flair explaining to her “here’s how you get the audience to *HATE* you… if it’s 1987.” The women’s division is also turning into “remember what matches looked like in 1987? Let’s do that…” and turning the weekly women’s match from “get up for a snack” material to “holy cow, I can’t believe that this is a good match” material. Pity it’s a triple threat match. Charlotte with the win.
AJ Styles, welcome to the WWE. As part of your initiation, we’re going to shackle you with a storyline that nobody likes. The upside is that you get to beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania.
The ladder match will have chills, thrills, and spills. We’re going to see a lot of dangerous spots, a lot of no-selling, a lot of 4 of these guys disappearing for a minute at a time and cycling through them with KO winning his belt at KOMania.
The Undertaker will kill Shane McMahon. It’s great to see Shane again (which surprises no one more than me) and I can’t believe that they’ve done this good a job hyping up this match and I really, really would have rather seen Undertaker vs. Sting… but what can you do? Poor Shane.
This Brock vs. Dean thing has me honestly scratching my head. Are they going to set up a Rock/Paper/Scissors where Brock beat Undertaker at WrestleMania and now it’s Brock’s turn to start putting over new talent? It’s a great idea!!! I just don’t know that Dean Ambrose would be my first choice for the guy who gets a win over Brock. Who is my first choice, you ask? I don’t know the answer to that either. It wouldn’t be Dean, though. That said, I think he just might pull it out. I can’t believe I’m picking Ambrose here.
And that’s it. It looks like a solid show.
Oh, yeah, Reigns. Reigns will probably win. He’ll do that “cock the forearm before the Superman Punch thing” and it’ll suck. But, maybe, they’ll turn him heel for real… and let the audience boo him out of the building and officially give him the work version of the shoot storyline that they lampshaded with Seth Rollins.
All in all, this is my own personal Superbowl and, if you’re a ‘rasslin’ fan, I hope you put your hopes and picks down below.
If you’re not, well… what are you reading and/or watching?
(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)