Wrestlemania 35 – MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
The highlight of any wrestling fan’s calendar. The Grandaddy of them all. The showcase of the immortals. Call it what you want, but Wrestlemania is almost upon us.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of WWE’s equivalent of the Superbowl or World Cup final. The wrestling world will descend upon New York and New Jersey as the Big Apple hosts independent and WWE shows alike in a smorgasbord of grappling action.
The card for Wrestlemania 35 contains some eagerly anticipated matches, as well as some intriguing bouts that should showcase the very best WWE has to offer.
Rumours of a seven-hour plus running time, suggests that at the time of writing more matches are set to be added than the ones currently announced. With both John Cena and Mania stalwart The Undertaker nowhere to be seen, this should be the year Superstars have an even bigger chance of stealing the show.
For the first time ever, WWE is putting the women’s division in the main event of the night: a true testament to every woman who has worked for the company and contributed to making this historic event happen.
Without further ado, it’s time to delve in to a mammoth ROR prediction special with Wrestling Royalty’s Andy Spoors and father-and-son tag team John and Reese Burrows.
Winner Takes All WWE Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
After months of build-up, shifting storylines and the rise of a new hero we have finally arrived at the endgame. No, not the latest Avengers film, although you could be forgiven for confusing the two given the huge amount of coverage WWE has given this match. Make no mistake, this match will be a true main event. Expect all three women involved to put everything they have into putting on a show, as they look to prove WWE made the right choice in making them the closing bout of the night. Should Becky prevail, the noise inside MetLife could reach fever pitch, as the underdog story reaches a conclusion.
RB: Becky JB: Becky AS: Becky
WWE Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins (2019 Royal Rumble winner)
A slow burner of a feud between the part-time Lesnar and Royal Rumble winner Rollins has finally boiled over in the last couple of weeks. Most of the WWE Universe will be pulling for The Architect to bring home the championship and give us a full-time champion on Raw. Lesnar normally delivers when fighting ‘smaller’ guys and Seth has the ring awareness to make this a low key classic. Their triple threat match with John Cena a couple of years back proves there is magic to be found.
RB: Brock JB: Brock AS: Rollins
WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Sometimes lightning can strike twice. Back at Wrestlemania 30, the WWE Universe got behind Daniel Bryan so much so, that the company was forced to change their Mania plans to involve him. Fast forward five years and we find ourselves in the same situation with Kofi Kingston. Kofi is an 11-year veteran of the company and the storytelling to get him from part of the New Day to a genuine contender and fan favourite has been nothing short of incredible. With three underdog stories on display, it’s hard to imagine that they will all end in celebration. This could be the match that both steals and breaks the hearts of those in attendance and watching at home.
RB: Kofi JB: Kofi AS: Bryan
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Having headlined the few Wrestlemania’s, this match may be one of the most important in Roman Reigns’ career. Returning to a WWE ring after months away battling with leukaemia is a phenomenal achievement and one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. An emotional return to the grandest stage of them all, will most likely end in victory for Roman but a resurgent McIntyre will come out strong in his journey to the top of the company.
RB: Drew JB: Drew AS: Reigns
No Holds Barred Match: Triple H vs. Batista (If Triple H loses, he will be forced to retire from in-ring competition)
After some bizarre yet compelling promos in the build-up to this match, WWE welcomes Batista back in to the fold one last time. Long rumoured to want a final mat H against Triple H, Batista will need to use all of the acting chops he has earned from his (really rather impressive) Hollywood resume to make this more than a throwaway match. Following some pretty horrific injuries over his career, it’s not out of the question that Trips loses here to focus on his corporate responsibilities. However, it would be a damp squib of a finish to a hall of fame career should the cerebral assassin fail here. As one of the brains behind NXT, his career would surely be ended by an emerging talent rather than a glorified guest appearance.
RB: Triple H JB: Triple H AS: Triple H
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Another long-rumoured match came to fruition at Fastlane when Shane attacked The Miz and laid hands on the latter’s father. On paper this rivalry shouldn’t work but added layer to The Miz’s brilliant but one-dimensional character has been a great change of pace. Fans would be forgiven if they are on the lookout for potential jump spots for Shane within the Mania stage set, what with his penchant for throwing himself off of the tallest structures possible.
RB: The Miz JB: The Miz AS: Shane
Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal Four Way Match: Sasha Banks and Bayley (c) vs. Natalya and Beth Phoenix vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The IIconics
Maybe not the match the fans hoped for, but with a women’s main event taking place later in the show, all of the women involved here will be looking to bolster claims of Wrestlemania 35 being the year of women. One of the more difficult results of the night to call, but the cobbled together feel here should mean the champs retain and hopefully move on to a programme with an established tag team or stable.
RB: Sasha & Bayley JB: Sasha & Bayley AS: Sasha & Bayley
Intercontinental Championship Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Bálor
A rivalry that has seen the title flip flop between both Lashley and Balor within the space of a couple of months. The return of Lashley has been a slow build, but the pairing with Lio Rush has been inspired in building some much needed heat. Balor’s Demon King persona is making his first appearance at Wrestlemania and is undefeated, it would be one of the biggest upsets in recent years for the streak to end here.
RB: Balor JB: Balor AS: Balor
United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Compared to the usual psychological warfare Joe normally enters into when heading into matches, the build here has been pretty much non-existent. Both Superstars have the potential to put on a clinic and the size differential can tell a story of its on. Joe capturing his first title came at an awkward time, as by rights, it should have been a momentous occasion. The inclusion of Rey’s son Dominic raises more questions than answers, one of which is will we see some family drama unfold on the biggest stage. It would certainly be some introduction…
RB: Joe JB: Joe AS: Joe
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
On paper this isn’t the most thrilling of encounters, but a series of verbal and extremely personal back and forths, have injected some serious spice into this one. The clash of a wrestler thrust into the mainstream limelight contrasted with one that has taken the indie road less travelled is fascinating in itself. It’s a story that mirrors the current landscape of the wrestling audience. Indie vs WWE. Of course, in that match there is no winner, just opinion. There will be a winner here and both men will be out to prove that they should be next in line for a title opportunity.
RB: AJ Styles JB: AJ Styles AS: AJ Styles
Farewell Match: Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
The end of a career is always an emotional moment and Kurt Angle thoroughly deserves his final Wrestlemania match in a WWE ring. The chance to say goodbye on your own terms doesn’t come around too often, so it is surprising that his opponent will be the much-maligned Baron Corbin. Social media demanded a different opponent in a ferocious outpouring following the announcement of Corbin. It’s doubtful if Corbin will still be in this match when the bell rings, as WWE always has a trick or two lined up for Mania. Don’t count out an appearance from a dead man or a 16-time champion…
RB: Angle JB: Angle AS: Angle
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs The Bar vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs Aleister Black & Ricochet
The eight men in this match have the potential to put on the match of the night, if not the match of the year. A lot will depend on the time they are allowed to create the magic everyone knows they are capable of. After an emotional farewell from NXT at Takeover: New York Black and Ricochet will be out to prove they are full time main roster Superstars now. Chips on the shoulders of everyone else involved will ensure a fast paced and action packed ten or fifteen minutes.
RB: Usos JB: Usos AS: Black & Ricochet
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (c) vs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
After gaining the tag team championships The Revival have defended on a number of occasions but still haven’t been granted the kind of matches they are looking for. They are unlikely to find it on the biggest stage, as Hawkins and his record losing streak have been a focal point for WWE heading in to this one. A huge upset could be on the cards, but for the sake of the tag team division, let’s hope not!
RB: The Revival JB: Hawkins & Ryder AS: The Revival
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
Destined to be on the preshow as has been the case with the last few Manias. The cruiserweights have been quietly building a host of solid and spectacular matches on PPV events but never really getting the big payoff. Murphy has arguably been one of the best champions the brand has had and will be pushed all the way by a talented Nese. Both men will undoubtedly keep the run of outstanding matches going here.
RB: Murphy JB: Murphy AS: Murphy
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal featuring Michael Che and Colin Jost of SNL fame
The over the top rope Battle Royal has at least had some build this year, even if it has come at the expense of Strowman’s development. It is sad to see his fall down the ranks all the way to a feud with Saturday Night Live hosts. Wrestlemania is however a PPV that has always attracted celebrities from its very first show 35 years ago. The majority of the match will likely be comedic, but WWE would do well to keep this short as the crowd will likely be vocal in their disdain for too much slapstick. This match could be perfect to give some character to one of the up and coming or fringe Superstars.
RB: Strowman JB: Andrade AS: Andrade
Women’s Battle Royal featuring Superstars from Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT
Another almost throwaway match with very little in terms of repercussions. Popular opinion is that Asuka will be thrown a win after surrendering the title last week, but WWE rarely plays fair so it’s not out of the question that a leftfield option might be the last woman standing.
RB: Asuka JB: Asuka AS: Ruby Riott