Friday, April 5, 2019

WWE WrestleMania 35 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to the biggest predictions column of all time, here at!  This Sunday is WrestleMania 35, and it's shaping up to be the longest PPV event ever held.  PPV time inflation is a real issue affecting millions of wrestling fans worldwide....

As of this moment there are 15 matches booked for this show, with three of them having already been bumped to the two-hour Kickoff.  I have to think we'll get one or two additional matches (RAW Tag belts aren't up for grabs yet), and maybe one or two more pre-show bumps.  Regardless, this'll be a seven-hour ordeal all told, with 11 or 12 main card bouts.  Gettin' to be a lot, guys.

Before we get to the predictions let's talk about the stupidity of not only another WrestleMania "host" (Alexa Bliss in a thankless role), but special correspondents (whatever the fuck that means) Colin Jost and Michael Che of SNL fame, who will also be in the Andre Battle Royal.  Oh, and they're feuding with Braun Strowman.  Holy fuck is this stupid.  Also we have Elias doing a special performance.  I'm gonna assume John Cena interrupts him like he did last year, leading to a quick match.  Pointless.

Anyway let's get to the real matches on the card.

***I won the 2018 season in a nailbiter, with 69% (93/134), Landon finished second with 68% (91/134), and the Moores tied for third with 67% (90/134).  Landon will be sitting out the 2019 WWE season, but hopefully we'll get him back in the future.***

Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese

I know basically squat about Nese, but he just won a tournament to get a title shot here.  This match being on the pre-show I see no reason to switch the belt, particularly since I anticipate several other title changes on this show.  Match should be solid.

Justin: Buddy retains
Dan: Yes
Dave: The Murph

Pre-Show Andre the Giant Battle Royal

We have 29 names announced for this, but no word on the 30th entrant.  Kevin Owens isn't booked for this show so it could be him.  But Strowman has to be the favorite since he's mixing it up with two mainstream TV stars.  Plus he should've won this two years ago.  It's all pointless anyway - I'm glad these Battle Royals were both moved to the Kickoff.

Justin: Strowman
Dan: Strowman's gonna get screwed by SNL guys and I dunno who will win, but he won't. It'll be the mystery guy. JOHN FUCKING CENA.
Dave: I don't care.  Strowman.

Pre-Show Women's Battle Royal

Only 13 women have been announced for this, and sadly Asuka's stuck here instead of defending her title.  Fuckin' horseshit.  Also Lacey Evans hasn't been added yet but I gotta think she's a lock for it.  Vince likes her so she'll be one of the favorites if she's in the match.  It's either Asuka or Lacey.

Justin: I'm gonna be pessimistic and pick Lacey to dump Asuka at the end, leading to a feud where Asuka gets to carry her green ass.
Dan: I have no clue.  Moolah.
Dave: No clue.  Asuka.

Intercontinental Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor

This match has happened a million times now but Finn's wearing Demon King makeup this time.  AND HE'S GOT A NEW HAT!  Finn will finally get a WrestleMania moment and hopefully put an end to this feud.  And hopefully get a real title reign for once.

Justin: Finn wins the tin agin.
Dan: Finn again
Dave: Finn, and let's keep it on him for a while.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way: The Usos vs. The Bar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black

How fall down the card has poor Nak fallen in a year?  Went from winning the Rumble and challenging for the WWE Title to a 4-way tag title match that may get moved to the Kickoff.  Just sad.  This should be a fun clusterfuck of a match though.  Ricochet and Black are challenging for the NXT belts on Friday as well, so there could be two sets of titles represented.

Justin: I'll go with the Usos to retain
Dan: Ricochet & Friends
Dave: Usos

Women's Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way: Boss & Hug Connection vs. Divas of Doom vs. IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina

This one's gonna be rough.  The IIconics are pretty useless in the ring and Jax & Tamina are hit or miss.  Beth Phoenix has looked just fine however, like she never left.  I wouldn't mind seeing her return full-time and eventually feuding with Nattie.  Sasha, Bayley and the DoD have their work cut out for them to hold this thing together.  I'm gonna stick with the champs here too.

Justin: Sasha & Bayley retain
Dan: DoD
Dave: Champs retain

US Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey supposedly sustained an ankle injury on RAW but no word whether it's kayfabe or legit.  Regardless, this match is still on as scheduled.  I wonder if they pull a bait & switch and sub in Kevin Owens (Joe vs. KO would be BOSS).  But as of now I'm looking forward to this.  I'd say Joe probably retains here.

Justin: Joe retains, unless KO is subbed in or added, in which case KO wins
Dan: Joe baby
Dave: Joe

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Miz

Holy sperm whale shit, do I not care about this.  Shane needs to stop taking valuable WrestleMania slots that could better be used for actual wrestlers.  This tag team was over in a goofy way but their subsequent feud has pretty much died with the live crowds.  I guess I'm happy for The Miz for being in such a prominent spot, but why does it take a feud with Vince's kid for that to happen?  Given the stipulation this should be a somewhat entertaining train wreck at least.

Justin: Miz wins
Dan: Miz better fucking win.
Dave: The Miz, and let's get him a good feud after this.

Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin

Imagine having a career like Kurt Angle's and having it end with Baron fucking Corbin.  Imagine the go-home RAW before WrestleMania ending with Baron fucking Corbin.  Imagine running a wrestling promotion boasting the most talented roster of all time and devoting multiple segments every week to Baron fucking Corbin.  Jeezus Christ.  Stop trying to make "fetch" happen with this guy.  If this goes more than 90 seconds it's gonna be awful.  Kurt is in no condition to even be cleared at this point.

Justin: Obviously Angle gets a quick win to ride off into the sunset
Dan: POINTLESS.  Angle.
Dave: Angle all the way

No Holds Barred Match: Triple H vs. Batista

Here's another one I don't care about.  99 years between these two.  And we saw this same WrestleMania match 14 years ago.  Why do I wanna see it again now?  To be fair, Davey Bats is a great heel character, but if he has to come back for one more match, why can't it be against someone we haven't seen him wrestle?  Why do we need to see these two try in vain to recapture what they did in their 30s?  Hopefully this won't go more than 16 minutes or so.  Anything longer would drag like a sonofabitch.

Justin: Obviously Hunter is getting his win back against the one guy he couldn't beat.  Hunter always gets his win back.
Dan: Fuck that, Drax will DESTROY.
Dave: Let's make it interesting - Batista.

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

This is another one I'm really looking forward to.  AJ vs. RKO could easily steal the show if given time and if Orton is motivated.  I assume this feud will last a few months so it makes sense for the heel to win the first match.  Orton counters a 450 splash with a spectacular RKO Outta Nowhere.

Justin: RKO
Dan: AJ
Dave: Styles

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

For the first time since 2014, WrestleMania will NOT be headlined by Roman Reigns.  Pretty weird feeling, really.  Not only that, a WrestleMania crowd will almost certain cheer him for the first time in as many years.  We're in the upside down!  This should be okay, nothing spectacular.  I can't imagine Roman loses his WrestleMania return, post-leukemia.

Justin: Roman
Dan: Roman
Dave: Has to be Reigns

WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

Who'd have thought two months ago that we'd be seeing this as the WrestleMania WWE Title match?  One thing I'll say about Vince right now is at least he's listening to his audience.  Some of the time anyway.  This was of course originally supposed to be Bryan vs. Owens, but when Kofi got red-hot they called an audible and slated him in the big 'Mania bout.  Either option would've yielded a great match, but this one will include immense crowd heat.  Another potential show stealer.

Justin: Kofi gets his big 'Mania moment, but I think Bryan will win the title back at some point.
Dan: D-Bryan, cuz I see somethin' in him.
Dave: Let's go Kofi!

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins

It's about goddamn time Seth got the big push.  Rollins is really the guy they should've been building around this whole time.  We've only seen this match once before in 2015, but Seth was an afterthought to set up Brock vs. Taker.  This version should be a helluva lot better.  I assume Seth wins and they set up a Seth vs. Drew program, since Drew has a win over him.  Then maybe Seth vs. Roman at SummerSlam?  Either way, in the words of Don King, "I'm excited!"

Justin: Seth burns it down
Dave: Rollins takes down The Beast

RAW & Smackdown Women's Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch

Here it is.  The first-ever women's WrestleMania main event.  Regardless of how terrible the build has been, this is a monumental, historic moment.  Ronda's arrival a year ago began a 365-day push to make the women's division a major drawing card, and it's worked.  Maybe not quite the way they anticipated, but with Becky Lynch becoming the hottest star in the entire company, one can't argue with the results.  I'm not crazy about putting both belts in this match, both because it screwed Asuka and because if this isn't a unification match, what's the point?  But the sight of Becky closing the show as a double champion with 70,000 fans going apeshit will be quite a moment.

Justin: Becky wins it all
Dan: She has to
Dave: Sure, Becky.

There's your bloated WrestleMania card.  There's a lot of potential for greatness here, plus a lot of filler.  I'm still waiting for a 'Mania card with no old guys, but at least the three biggest title matches are about pushing full-timers.  The build has been a nonsensical mess, but hopefully the destination will be good.

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