While there are still two more pay-per-view events to go, the card for this year’s WrestleMania is starting to take shape. Rumors and storylines on television lend credence to the matches that might transpire on Sunday, April 8 in New Orleans, LA. Let’s look at the scenarios that will officially occur on the grandest stage followed by those that are possible.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Die-hard wrestling fans have been waiting for this match since their last encounter, two years ago, in the Tokyo Dome. It became official when Nakamura won the Royal Rumble, two weeks ago, and declared his intentions to challenge Styles for the WWE Championship. I have one request. Please, please, please give Styles and Nakamura time to put on a stellar match. Don’t gimmick it up. Don’t hamper it with some convoluted story and don’t have this match open the show. Just give them plenty of time and lets these two extraordinary workers do what they do.
Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka won the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble, and she has yet to choose which titlist she will challenge. While both titles will no doubt be defended, it’s a win-win no matter who Asuka picks. Alexa Bliss would make a great heel foil on the Raw side of things, and Charlotte would represent SmackDown as Asuka’s toughest challenge to date.
Cruiserweight Tournament Finals: It’s a new day for 205 Live. Drake Maverick (aka Rockstar Supd) is the show’s new general manager, and a sixteen-man tournament has begun. The final two wrestlers will face off for the vacant championship at WrestleMania. No tournament brackets have been announced as of yet. However, six matches have occurred with Cedric Alexander, TJP, Kalisto, Roderick Strong, Mark Andrews and Drew Gulak advancing to the second round. Next week, Jack Gallagher vs. Mustafa Ali and Ariya Daivari vs. Buddy Murphy close out the opening round.
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar is waiting in the wings to see who will emerge from the Elimination Chamber as his WrestleMania opponent. Seven men will enter the chamber in two weeks, and unless plans have changed, Roman Reigns will be Lesnar’s dance partner on April 8. Vince McMahon has wanted the match to headline WrestleMania since the last time it did, three years ago, when Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
Undertaker vs. John Cena: Some feel that the Undertaker’s best days are behind him while Cena’s time on top is slowly starting to fade. This match might be a case of either better late than never or too little too late. Taker’s reemergence puts a damper on his retirement at last year’s WrestleMania. This match has never happened with both men at the main event level. Hopefully, there is a good story here if this match comes to fruition.
Bruan Strowman vs. The Miz: I really like the idea of this match. Miz is highly entertaining as the cocky heel you want to see get beat up. Strowman is tremendous at the role of the hulking behemoth that beats people up. It’s the perfect pairing.
Seth Rollins vs. Jason Jordan: This may or may not happen due to Jason Jordan’s recent neck surgery. Honestly, this match does nothing for me, at all.
Stephanie McMahon & Triple H vs. Ronda Rousey & (Insert Name): This will probably be the most heavily push match heading into Mania. Rousey is a bonafide superstar, the likes of which WWE has never had on their roster in a full-time capacity. WWE’s first choice is The Rock to be Rousey’s partner, and it makes all the sense in the world. However, if that can’t happen, I think that Kurt Angle would be an excellent second choice. Two Olympic medalists teaming up against the evil cooperate tycoons is a straightforward story to sell.
The mainstream audience will enjoy this card. However, I expect a mixed reaction from the die-hard faithful. WrestleMania is 51 days away. Things could change, and more matches are going will be announced. Still, even with a four-plus hour main show, it seems that many wrestlers could be left off the granddaddy of them all. Perhaps there will be a lot of multi-person bouts to get more wrestlers on the show.