It’s a spectacle like no other – WrestleMania.
by: Chad Cooper
The world will be watching as the WWE presents the biggest extravaganza in professional wrestling Sunday, April 7, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Sixteen matches are slated beginning with three on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show, which streams at 4 p.m. CST on the WWE Network and the company’s YouTube channel. The second hour can also been seen live on cable TV via the USA Network.
Synonymous with WrestleMania comes celebrity involvement. Four-time Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams will perform “America the Beautiful;” Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che will participate in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal; and Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett will be on stage to play Ronda Rousey’s entrance song, “Bad Reputation.”
No ‘Taker? No Cena? No worries. We have Alexa Bliss as the host and Elias has promised a performance to remember.
Main Event – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch
This should go down as one of the biggest ‘Mania main events of all time. It’s a winner take all with both RAW and Smackdown’s Women’s title on the line and the WWE Universe is craving Becky. With Kofi-Mania running wild over the last several weeks, Becky’s promo on Smackdown quickly why we all fell in love with “The Man.”
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins earned this title match by choosing Brock after winning the Royal Rumble earlier this year, then proceeded to take a plethora of F5s from the Beast Incarnate. The proverbial “David vs. Goliath?” Sure. Rollins said “the future of the business is on the line,” and I tend to agree. RAW needs its top title back on TV.
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi has taken us on a phenomenal ride. It was Feb. 12 when Kingston replaced an injured Mustafa Ali in a gauntlet match on Smackdown and the rest is history. After weeks of being told he didn’t deserve a shot, he proved to Vincent Kennedy McMahon that he belonged on the big stage.
No Holds Barred – Triple H vs. Batista
Triple H will put his wrestling career on the line against former Evolution friend Batista, who returns to the WWE ring for the first time since 2014. Though both stars at the ages of 50, this is a match we’ve been anxiously awaiting to see since Batista left for Hollywood.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
The “Big Dog” returns to his yard after his battle with leukemia and faces one of the best talents in wrestling – Drew McIntyre. McIntyre is ready for a main event run, but this night belong to Roman.
Intercontinental Championship – Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Bálor
This will be the third time these two go at it for the IC title, but we get to see Bálor’s “The Demon” persona, which really gives this match more interest. I’m a big fan of Lashley, both the wrestler and MMA fighter, so I expect him to raise his game against Bálor on the grandest stage of them all. Stay out of the way Lio.
United States Championship – Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio was dealt with an ankle injury, so here’s hoping he is cleared to compete against the “Samoan Submission Machine” and capture the U.S. title for the first time in his career. Don’t understand why Rey’s son Dominic got involved.
Farewell Match – Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle will say goodbye to the WWE with a match against Baron Corbin… The two do have history as Corbin replaced him as the RAW General Manager. Baron began to grow on me during his role as the GM, but I thought Angle’s final opponent in the WWE would be someone else. Still could be.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
This match could steal the whole damn show. No gimmicks or hype needed for this one.
Women’s Tag Team Championship – Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) vs. The IIconics vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka
I am a big supporter of women’s wrestling, so the more women on the card, the better. A part of me wanted Trish Stratus and Lita to be participants in this match, but it’s not a bad consolation seeing WWE Hall of Famer “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix in action. Huge fan of The IIconics (especially Peyton Royce), and I’m hoping for a surprise win, but the “Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection” will likely be too strong.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship – The Usos (c) vs. The Bar vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black
Thanks to a last-minute declaration by “The Goddess of the WWE,” Alexa Bliss, the Smackdown tag team titles have a rightful place on the WrestleMania Card. Imagine the spots we will see from these eight guys. Don’t forget Lana, who is the best.
Falls Count Anywhere – The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
I absolutely love The Miz, face or heel. He has so much going for him in his career with hot wife Maryse, including Season 2 of the USA Network hit reality show Miz & Mrs., as well as baby No. 2. Expecting to see both Miz and Shane use most of MetLife Stadium in the falls count anywhere affair.
Raw Tag Team Championship – The Revival (c) vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
What a week for Zack Ryder. First off, this match was announced earlier this week, then he proposes to his NXT girlfriend Chelsea Green with a monster size engagement ring. He and Hawkins, who host a popular podcast about wrestling actions figures called The Major Wrestling Figures Podcast, were the youngest team ever to win the WWE tag titles back in 2008. The only issue is that Hawkins has turned into the Washington Generals of the WWE. He last won Nov. 8, 2016.
Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
This match will be on the Kickoff Show and I’ve never seen Buddy have a bad match.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Confirmed entrants of the sixth annual battle royal also on the Kickoff Show include Jinder Mahal, No Way Jose, Bobby Roode, Andrade, Apollo Crews, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel Titus O’Neil, Tyler Breeze, Chad Gable, Lucha House Party, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Viktor, Konnor, Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Otis, Tucker, EC3, Brawn Strowman and Saturday Night Live Weekend Correspondents Colin Jost and Michael Che. I expect several more “surprise” competitors.
Women’s Battle Royal
This will be the second year of the Women’s Battle Royal with confirmed WWE superstars Carmella, Mandy Rose, Soya Deville, Asuka, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Naomi (last year’s winner), Lana, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Mickie James, and Zelina Vega. Like the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, expect to see some familiar and surprised faces.
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