Sunday brings the biggest night of the year in the wrestling industry. Wrestlemania 35 comes at you live on pay-per view and the WWE Network. The show is the company’s calling card and is filled with wrestlers looking to create something special. Today we grab the crystal ball and attempt to choose the winners of each match currently listed for Sunday.
Women’s Battle Royal:
This is a toss-up. Rose has gotten a steady push on television since being called up to the main roster. It would make sense for someone like Asuka or Naomi to get the nod, although the rumors of unifying the women’s titles have seemingly put a hold on any push either would get. Hopefully we get some fun entrants.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
This is really just hedging bets here. Braun will always be the favorite in an over-the-top-rope match. Celebrity entrants, Michael Che and Colin Jost, will make it interesting and likely add the comedic value. The winner typically gets a minor push prior to the event, Strowman checks that box here.
Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (C) vs. Tony Neese:
While not the sexiest matchup, Neese and Murphy are capable of having a solid match. Since joining the 205 Live roster, Murphy has been an electrifying addition and has put on entertaining matches nearly every week. A title change doesn’t make sense here as Murphy continues to grow into the top guy on 205 Live.
Raw Tag-Team Championship – The Revival (C) vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins:
This is a tough pick. The Revival are one of the best tag-teams in the industry today, but have received a disappointing push to say the least. When your entrance gets cut on the go-home episode of Raw, your status in the company isn’t on the best footing. The losing streak angle for Curt Hawkins is what makes this match confusing. While Dawson and Wilder should get the nod, the nostalgia of the former Edge Heads breaking the losing streak at Wrestlemania looms large.
Smackdown Tag-Team Championship – The Usos (C) vs. The Bar vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura:
This should come down to either The Usos or Black and Ricochet. The two teams make the most sense as Jimmy and Jey have carried the division for most of their careers, while the newcomers to the main roster have been a dynamic force. Ricochet and Black make for an eclectic mix of styles. Over/under on the number of Black Mass connections is set at three.
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin (Farewell Match):
Conventional wisdom dictates the old-timer drops his farewell match. This is more of a hopeful pick as it would be frustrating to see Corbin as the winner as we say goodbye to the Olympic Gold Medalist. Please let there be an appearance of John Cena!
The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (Falls Count Anywhere):
This has been a fun arc. From the moment these two got together, it seemed like a brawl was inevitable. Fastlane gave us this gem and now we get to see the blow-off match. Shane-O-Mac will have his big spot, but it would be a major surprise if he gets the victory. The Miz gets another moment at Wrestlemania.
Women’s Tag-Team Championship – Sasha Banks & Bayley (C) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka vs. The IIconics:
Banks & Bayley
Full disclosure: Sasha Banks is my favorite women’s wrestler. With that out-of-the-way, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the belts go to Jax and Snuka. Tamina has held her own as the partner to Jax and is riding the biggest push of her career. Jax continues to show her worth as a heel, continuously playing the foil to the rest of the division. It will be nice to see Beth Phoenix back in the ring, although it would be a surprise to see her and Natalya walk out with the belts. The IIconics are somewhat of an afterthought, although they will likely provide the comedy for this match.
United States Championship – Samoa Joe (C) vs. Rey Mysterio:
Samoa Joe is the epitome of consistency on the main roster. Regardless of the brand or where on the card he may be, Joe has portrayed a dangerous player who is a force to be reckoned with. It will be nice to see Mysterio back in a big match for Wrestlemania, but Joe is the guy currently running the Smackdown midcard.
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Intercontinental Championship – Bobby Lashley (C) vs. Finn Balor:
The feud should have ended a month ago. This has been a long and often confusing battle between Lashley and Balor. The mini-arc of Lio Rush’s redemption was the only noteworthy contribution since the first battle. WWE would be wise to get the belt back around the waist of The Demon. Well, that’s if The Demon makes an appearance on Sunday.
Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred; Triple H’s Career on the Line):
This seems more like a farewell match for Batista as opposed to Triple H. Both stars have done well to move the story along without ever laying a finger on the other during the buildup. Batista’s nuanced promo last Monday was the perfect final salvo leading into this grudge match. The narrative of Triple H coming up short against Batista in the past creates the expectation that the Cerebral Assassin finally vanquishes The Animal. Avengers Endgame is sure to bring a happier ending for Guardians of the Galaxy member.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton:
Orton seems to be taking the position that Styles is not worthy of being the main guy on Smackdown. The recent barbs between the two of gotten personal, with Styles commenting on Orton’s substance issues and the later commenting on the former’s past struggles to make it in the industry’s top promotion. The match should be fun, but it just makes sense to give Styles the victory and momentum for another title chase.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre:
McIntyre is poised to be the biggest heel on the red brand for the foreseeable future. That said, he’s in line to oppose Roman Reigns for much of the future. This is a battle of two athletic big men that promises to be hard-hitting. Ultimately it is tough to see Reigns losing this fight after the cancer victory and return to action.
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (C) vs. Kofi Kingston:
It would be nice to see The New Day celebrating a Kofi title reign. One could imagine WWE Championship pancakes being tossed into the crowd. However, it is hard to envision the current run for Daniel Bryan being cut short for a feel-good moment for Kingston. Emotions be damned, this should be a great match, maybe with a shocking turn by a Florida man.
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Seth Rollins:
The narrative is set. The Beast that is Brock Lesnar has tormented the roster and the WWE Universe by extension. Fans and wrestlers are tired of the part-time champion. In steps the King-slayer, the man who blew out his knee, only to return and vanquish his foes. The King-slayer now turns his attention to become the Beast-slayer and save the WWE. With Lesnar looking to put on the MMA gloves again, it would make sense to see Rollins take the belt and become the face of the company moving forward. If Lesnar wins, don’t be shocked if the crowd burns it down.
Winner Take All – Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Becky Lynch:
Rumors of Rousey stepping away puts the focus on Flair or Lynch as the favorite. In a surprising move, Flair captured the Smackdown title from Asuka just two weeks ago. With the announcement that this has become a de-facto unification match, Flair’s stock rises ever so slightly. However, in the end it is tough to deny the movement pushing Lynch forward. She truly has blossomed over the past year and with a unified title, Lynch truly would become The Man of the WWE.
It Will Be Fun
Regardless of who you think will be the victors, Wrestlemania is going to be one hell of a show. This is easily a five-hour event, with likely another two-hours added for the pre-show. Wrestlemania is the biggest event for the WWE each year. On Sunday it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch some wrasslin!