WrestleMania feels like a lifetime ago, probably because we’ve had a Superstar Shakeup and a Saudi Sausage Party PPV in the month since then, but nevertheless, with Backlash in the books, it’s really for real the beginning of the post-Mania season.
Which means it’s time to hop in our Deloreans, grab our Time Stones or crank our Time Turners…whatever you need to do, because it’s time for some WAY TOO EARLY predictions for WrestleMania 35!
The show returns to New York for the first time since Mania 29 and it’s an anniversary show of sorts, maybe not as big as 25 and certainly not 20 or 30, but the fact that they are returning to their home turf hints that they think this should be treated as a bigger deal than most other Manias.
If you’re wondering, yes I’ve done this before, and yes it usually goes terribly.
Though I will say that last year I predicted a couple matches right on the money (Charlotte vs Asuka and Lesnar vs Reigns, and I was close by putting Rollins in an IC title match and Rusev in a US title match, but yeah, these are wild guesses, not spoilers.
So what might be in the books? Let’s lay out a possible card…
ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYALE WITH CHEESE BROTHER JACK DUDE ANNUAL INVITATIONAL EXTRAVAJOBBERGANZA!
I think this one’s a lock: Basically take whoever isn’t featured below but whose name you might think of and wonder why he couldn’t make the show and then stick him in this match. Cesaro won the first one and it’s been all down hill from there: Big Show was meh, Baron Corbin even meher, Mojo Rawley was negative-meh, and Matt Hardy won this year, which is at least something.
WINNER PREDICTION: CHRIS JERICHO (because why not)
NAME REDACTED WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL!
All the women not featured below.
WINNER PREDICTION: BECKY LYNCH (till the day I die)
RAW TAG TITLE MATCH:
BOBBY LASHLEY & APOLLO CREWS vs BRAY WYATT & MATT HARDY
Let’s assume WWE gets stale and stagnant with The Deleter of Worlds tag team but keeps it going just because, and let’s also assume that Bobby Lashley continues doing a whole lot of nothing to little heat. And let’s not forget the moderate racism in WWE that says “we have two black guys who need something to do…pair em up!” I think this is an easy match to book.
CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
NEVILLE vs MUSTAFA ALI
Let’s assume that Neville makes his long-awaited comeback, and let’s also assume that Mustafa Ali continues to improve and excel. I guess we should also assume that 205 Live hasn’t been cancelled despite being arguably the best top-to-bottom show WWE is producing right now. All praise is owed to Cedric Alexander. I’m not writing him off, only assuming the baton will have been passed to Ali, for a change of pace if nothing else. This match can be bananas.
LADDER MATCH FOR THE US CHAMPIONSHIP:
JEFF HARDY vs RUSEV vs AIDEN ENGLISH vs ANDRANDE CIAN ALMAS vs SHELTON BENJAMIN vs TYE DILLINGER
It’d be a lot easier just to say “Hardy vs Almas” and call it a day, but that’s the kind of match that would be booked in the months following Mania. On the big dance they like to (A) feature as close to everyone as possible, and (B) have a ladder match somewhere on the card. This seems like a good spot to do it. The other guys are there just to fill out the match; this is the Hardy and Almas show.
SMACKDOWN TAG TITLE MATCH:
NEW DAY vs SANITY
Another New Day title match at WrestleMania, or just on PPV for that matter. I’d like to believe that the trio would evolve to something new, but then I look at the roster of singles talent and I can’t see where they could go and who they would replace. At least it’s not the Usos again, right? I mean, I love the Usos, but that feud has run its course.
TRIPLE H vs BATISTA
It’s hard to believe that Batista was ready, willing and (g)able to work WrestleMania (tagging with Ronda Rousey) this year, a mere month before starring in the literal biggest movie of all time, and WWE just quit calling him. They expressed interest then dropped him. Rumor is Batista wanted it to be part of a two year storyline which would culminate in a retirement match with Triple H, so maybe they didn’t want to tie their hands for two Manias in a row. But I mean, this is the company that goes crazy when a F-list celeb shows up on Raw, hiding under a hat, desperate not to be noticed. Batista is Drax. Use him. I choose to believe common sense will prevail and they’ll have that big retirement match a month before Avengers 4. Not even WWE is that prideful.
SMACKDOWN GRUDGE MATCH:
JOHN CENA vs SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
I thought we’d get this match this year when I predicted it last year. There’s only a few years left to get out of John Cena, and Nakamura also for that matter. Big Match Jern vs HeelNak? It has WrestleMania written all over it.
RAW vs SMACKDOWN GRUDGE MATCH:
DANIEL BRYAN vs BROCK LESNAR
No I don’t want to see this match.
Yes I want to see this match.
It will be the best 15 minutes I watch between my fingers in a puddle of my sweat.
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
THE MIZ vs BIG CASS
This one seems simple enough. Big Cass has a beef with Bryan. Miz has a beef with Bryan. Miz takes Cass under his proverbial wing. Cass eventually gets sick of Miz ala Damien Mizdow (et al), leading to a feud and a match. It’s been the classic Miz formula. It’s like Coke. It just works.
OBLIGATORY UNDERTAKER MATCH:
UNDERTAKER vs ELIAS
Admittedly it’s an odd fit but judging by Undertaker’s recent fights, there’s not going to be a big storyline build up or much workrate anyway. All you need is (A) an excuse to hit the gong and (B) an opponent who can draw good heat. That’s this: Gong vs Heat. Undertaker vs Elias. Besides, Elias is at that level where he’s not ready for the top of the card but he’s so good and so popular you have to showcase him on a stage like this. This year he cameo’d before the Undertaker match. This seems like the next logical step.
RAW GRUDGE MATCH:
ROMAN REIGNS vs FINN BALOR
I want to believe Finn’s babyface days are coming to an end and by SummerSlam he’ll be turning heel. I hope the success of Nakamura’s heel turn will allow them try it with Finn, who, for all of his NXT/WWE run has been a babyface. And since they’ll push Roman Reigns as a babyface till the end of time, the only way this match is happening without a title on the line is if Balor turns.
WWE TITLE MATCH:
AJ STYLES vs SAMOA JOE
Styles vs Joe can be money and it can be a great Mania feud if WWE has the patience to hold off on it. Keep them both busy with other feuds and then pull the trigger on this next year. If done right it can carry half the company into late-Spring.
UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH:
BRAUN STROWMAN vs SETH ROLLINS
I mean, if Braun isn’t a champ by next Mania something is very wrong. And if Roman is still fighting for the meat-colored belt then just end me now. Braun’s the hottest iron they have. They need to strike it. Run with him for a year and see if a traditional big man can carry the load. If he can, then you take the second hottest guy Raw has, give him a marquee win (the Rumble) and put those two on a collision course.
RAW WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH:
CHARLOTTE vs RONDA ROUSEY
Anything can happen but this one feels written in the stars. The idea of a women’s match main-eventing a PPV at all was unfathomable three years ago. Now this is the most no-brainer main-event I can think of for Mania 35, regardless of gender. That’s good progress (Saudi Sausage Parties aside). Charlotte was never the most skilled of the four horsewomen (she was probably third out of four in that regard) but she has a dynamite presence in the ring and an imposing enough stature to at least look the part when standing against Rousey. I expect Ronda to be undefeated heading into the match and to win the title in impressive fashion.
There’s the show. All fifteen matches (some presumed for the preshow) with several big names completely absent. But that’s why we have Battle Royals.
What’s your card look like?