With WrestleMania just around the corner, I wanted to take a look at what we could see this Mania season, all of which is purely speculation based on rumored happenings and how things are positioned now, who is available for matches and also likely contenders.
In recent times we have seen the growth of Women’s Wrestling into a whole new era. First dubbed the Women’s Revolution and now Evolution, we have seen the first ever all-female Money in the Bank ladder match, Royal Rumble, and Elimination Chamber so it’s a given that this year’s biggest show for WWE will not be lacking in this department.
Women’s Evolution Takes Over WrestleMania:
Women’s Royal Rumble:
It has been rumored by Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Radio that we may see another first. With this years Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal being changed to a Women’s Battle Royal named after an iconic female wrestler such as Fabulous Moolah or Mae Young much like we had the Mae Young Classic showcasing the world’s finest female athletes. This would be a great way to bring attention to more NXT talent and give those on the main roster, without matches, a place on the show. Not sure if they will then alternate men’s and women’s every other year or have one at Mania and one halfway through the year at Survivor Series.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley:
We have witnessed the build between Sasha Banks and Bailey’s longtime friendship turning into what will be the greatest rivalry in a long time in the division and a match for the ages. We saw Banks who is acting more and more like a heel in the ring, on the mic, and on social media. Playing the role of the friend who is just waiting to stab you in the back.
Bailey being the loveable hugger she is, seems unaware and is totally trusting of Banks. Which will make the pay off even more rewarding, especially knowing how well both of them can perform and how their friendship adds the extra dimension to the feud. This all means that this would be the first one on one Women’s match with no added stipulations or championships on the line, just a good, old-fashioned rivalry pay off since WrestleMania 2000, and that was labeled a ‘catfight.’ I for one think it will be an epic match and one of the best on the card.
Asuka vs. Charlotte:
Speaking of epic, we could get to see not only Asuka vs. Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s belt but Nia Jax take on longtime friend Alexa Bliss for her Raw Championship.
Asuka is still riding her unbeaten streak and is currently feuding with Nia Jax over the Mania title opportunity Asuka earned by winning the Women’s Royal Rumble, and with no clear choice yet as to which belt she will contend for many believe we will see both matches happen. Meaning this WrestleMania, there is a chance we could see the Empress of Tomorrow’s streak finally end. Whether it be a retaining Charlotte, or a cash in from Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella, either could potentially end the streak.
Five Man Match for the Intercontinental Championship:
As of late, we have seen many people injured, and others left with no match built up for Mania season. Which is why it is currently being rumored that there will be a five-man Intercontinental Title match featuring champion The Miz, Braun Strowman who came close to winning this year’s Elimination Chamber, eliminating five men before succumbing to Roman Reigns’ push. Finn Balor who is patiently waiting for his Universal Title rematch, using the time being OVER and building clubs, Elias who is, in my opinion, one of the most love to hate heels at the moment, or possibly hate to love I cannot decide! All I know is I look forward to his entrance every time, and I know what to expect! Last but not least Seth Rollins, one of the hottest stars Raw has, who initially was involved in the Shield reunion story, which became the ‘Seth babysitting for Kurt Angle’ angle, where he was paired with Jason Jordan, Kurt’s whiney Son, who is currently out after surgery on his neck. Leaving Rollins in a position where he is either off the card or in this match.
There are a few things that could happen here. Braun could become champion and lay waste to the division. Or this could become a number one contender’s match given the fact that The Miz’s wife Maryse is expecting their first baby around the time of WrestleMania meaning the champion may not even be at this year’s show.
Reigns vs. Lesnar:
Roman Reigns beating Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. It’s been a long time in the making, and there are many people unhappy about it, but the fact is, unless WWE swerve us massively and have Brock win, the Roman Empire will Reign supreme.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker:
It has long been rumored that The Undertaker will return for a final match against John Cena at WrestleMania. A match many have begged to see for years. It would be the perfect send-off match, and I don’t think I have seen anyone unhappy about this as a possibility.
If they turned Cena heel just for this feud it would add an unknown element to the scenario. However, I believe given the size of these two massive characters they could both just have an epic program with each other just by being themselves and feeding off of their mutual respect and experience in the company. Cena has teased the match, but that could just be WWE trolling us.
Fingers crossed we will finally get to see one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ matches and an all-time great.
With regards to the Phenom, piledrivers are banned from all events in the state so any shows over the weekend including this one will not have any. Which presumably rules out Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver, not sure how this will be used in the storytelling of the match but it will be interesting to see what they do should the match happen.
I thought WWE would wrap up Cena’s run with his 17th Championship win, which could happen at Fastlane I suppose, then Cena lose it back to AJ before Mania keeping AJ vs. Nakamura a thing. Or making Cena vs. Nakamura and leaving AJ open for that teased match with returning Rey Mysterio, said to be in talks for a similar deal to that of Chris Jericho’s. Working set appearances and angles before returning to his other projects outside of WWE such as his New Japan Strong Style Evolved Match with Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. Mysterio has been pulled from a CRASH Lucha Libre event on the weekend of Mania, fuelling these rumors.
There are people speculating that the Cena vs. Taker match is off of the books, and Mysterio will be John’s opponent. However, with Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer claiming that Neville is now back in talks with WWE over his contract which was reportedly frozen after his walkout following a dispute with the company, some believe Rey Mysterio’s involvement could be in relation to a planned match against Neville, should the reports turn out to be true.
Uso’s Make the Main Card:
We will hopefully get to see the Usos on the main card, which in their nine-year run has never happened sadly, and the Revival backing up their words and becoming the Raw Tag Team Champions.
Orton Wins United States Championship:
Randy Orton is just one title away from becoming a Grand Slam Champion, the United States Title. Luckily for him, Randy is currently in a feud with Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal for Roode’s U.S. Championship. I think we will see Orton walk away with the title and I also think we may start to see less of Randy after this title run, should it happen, along with fellow long-timers Cena and Lesnar.
Matt Hardy has been ‘Woken,’ and is now interlocked in a bitter never-ending Great War with Bray Wyatt which they both seem to find hilarious if all of their segments on Raw are anything to go by. However on social media, ‘Woken’ Matt is rallying the troops, Senor Benjamin is preparing the battlefield, which I’m hoping will be the Hardy compound, as it was the location of the original Final Deletion.
Vanguard-1, Matt’s loyal drone has awakened, shown in a video on it’s reactivated Twitter page, and there are rumors of Jeff Hardy making appearances as his various alter egos of Willow the Wisp and Itchweed to assist Matt throughout the match.
I think if done well this could be one of the talking points of the night. I would also like to see a sign of respect between them at the end, possibly leading to Woken Matt Hardy being joined by Broken Bray Wyatt.
I predict we will see the triumphant return of “The Beachball.” Who was banned from appearing at this years WrestleMania after interfering in many of WWE’s matches. Apparently fans purchasing packages to attend the event have been emailed regarding the ban of beachballs. However I feel that one of its fans if not many will manage to smuggle a small folded up piece of rubber into the venue and once they start flying no one will know where the trouble began.
Ronda and ??? vs. HHH and Stephanie McMahon:
We also have the in-ring debut of Ronda Rousey, which is rumored to be a tag match against Triple H and Stephanie, with the former MMA fighter’s partner being currently undecided.
It seems like Kurt Angle is being positioned as Rousey’s eventual partner, although initial reports suggested that it was going to be The Rock in her corner. After the two had a previous confrontation with Triple H and Steph, however due to The Rock being one of the biggest names in Hollywood as of late and the nature of the wrestling business, it is apparently a nightmare to insure someone in his position given how much money is lost daily on film sets should he get injured and be unable to return to filming.
Other rumored tag partners were Shane McMahon, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins, due to all having loose ends to tie up with Triple H, usually after being screwed over by the Cerebral Assassin, a category shared by Kurt Angle. I believe the Survivor Series finish which saw Trips pull a fast one on Braun, Kurt and Shane, was done to allow for the eventuality of the Rock being unable to perform. Thus, setting up multiple people who could take the place should they be in need of a spot on the card. Such as Rollins who has been left without a match and has had a long term feud with The Game after being a part of the Authority, then losing his Universal Title match to Kevin Owens following a Triple H interference and pedigree.
No matter who is picked out of these choices I would love to see the payoffs to some of these loosely ended angles and I would prefer Kurt to take the spot due to his shoot wrestling background mixed with Ronda’s MMA skill set, making them a dangerous duo to watch out for.
All in all, even if this is all speculation, I think we are in for a stellar weekend with a lot of good caliber matches, I for one, feel lucky to be a fan of wrestling in 2018.