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A perspective on WrestleMania heading into the show

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A perspective on WrestleMania heading into the show

Postby The Legend » Apr 09, '21, 9:44 am

Not sure who might be around this weekend, but figured I’d do a writeup on Wrestlemania to help anybody with any interest in watching that hasn’t seen the product in a while. Once again WrestleMania is a two-night event and I’m here for it. Making WM two nights is the best thing WWE has done in more than a decade.

NIGHT ONE

Tag Team Turmoil: Lana and Naomi vs Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose vs Riott Squad vs Natalya and Tamina – These four teams have been pursuing the women’s tag titles for a few months now in a decently built progression that is organic and not super exciting, but makes sense. The winner of this match will face Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax for the tag titles on Night #2. Natalya and Tamina are an annoying, nonsensical team that shouldn’t be in the running. Lana and Naomi are less annoying, but still don’t make sense as a team. This one should come down to either Brooke/Rose or Live Morgan and Ruby Riott. I’m a big fan of the Brooke/Rose pairing and think they should get the win. Wouldn’t be surprised if WWE pulls a switch and has Lana/Naomi win in a poor booking decision.

Cesaro vs Seth Rollins – Rollins returned from paternity leave a little bit ago and immediately got thrown into this program with Cesaro and by association Nakamura. The matches between Cesaro and Rollins have been solid and this one should be the best technical match on the first night. The build for this one has been a little up and down, basically it revolves around Cesaro not kissing Rollins’ ring when he came back and swinging him 22 times. Rollins cut one of the more cringeworthy promos in a while when he pretty much was drawing from an unhinged Donald Trump about to lose all his power and inciting riots. This has to be Cesaro’s chance to start a real push and be a guy that gets a decent singles run, even if it’s not as the champ.

Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon – However bad you think this match and the build to it sounds just from seeing the match in print, trust me it’s been so much worse. Strowman returned from injury, pissed off that he wasn’t put in the elimination chamber title match because it was only for former world champions. Just when it looks like Strowman is going to turn heel. Shane McMahon starts to call him stupid over and over and over again in promo after promo. Basically, it’s the most childish bullying storyline you’ve ever seen WWE produce. The only way I see this match ending is much similar to the Shane vs Miz match from a few years ago did, where Braun does something totally impressive, but Shane gets the win. In this case, Braun is going to throw Shane through the cage and onto the floor. No doubt about it.

Raw Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs A.J. Styles and Omos – A.J. Styles got himself a 7’ bodyguard, Omos, think Diesel, but skinnier, taller, a former college basketball player and less intimidating. New Day has lost Big E in the most recent draft as he gets a push as a singles star on SmackDown (More on that in night 2), but they are still doing their thing, which includes putting on great tag team matches. This one should be enjoyable considering what Woods, Kofi and Styles all bring as performers. Styles is just missing a tag title run from being a grand slam champion and I really think he should pick up the belts here.

Miz and Morrison vs Damian Priest and Bad Bunny – I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Bad Bunny, he appeared at the Royal Rumble and sang his song Booker T as an entrance theme for Booker T and later got involved in the Rumble costing Miz. Since then they’ve been engaged in a decent feud that has some good comedy moments and culminated Monday in Miz and Morrison trashing Bunny’s Bugatti. I’m hoping the Priest, a recent call up from NXT gets the rub here because Miz and Morrison don’t have much to gain from winning this one.

SmackDown women’s championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs Bianca Belair – I would argue that this is WWE’s most effective storyline headed into this WrestleMania season. Banks has been a long running women’s champ after getting over on Bayley to end her reign. Belair won the women’s Royal Rumble and as the newcomer is looking for her breakthrough moment and first championship in WWE. The promos have been good and the action solid. They are both the type of performers that will make sure to put on a good show. Belair should get the win.

WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs Drew McIntyre – The story with this one has been decent, but unnecessarily convoluted and rushed. It seems WWE want to give McIntyre his crowning moment in front of a live crowd that he missed out on last year, but they let him hold the belt for altogether too long to set that up.

McIntyre retained the belt in the Elimination Chamber, but then Miz convinced Lashley to come out afterwards and beat the crap out of him, so that Miz could cash in the MITB briefcase on a guy that just went through Elimination Chamber and got a beatdown. The next night we found out that Miz had to give Lashley a title match for doing his bidding. After a couple weeks of consternation Miz gets squashed by Lashley and here we are with McIntyre trying to win the belt back. Lashley has been too good in this role for me to say he should lose the belt to a guy that was world champion for an entire year just a couple months ago.

NIGHT TWO

Women’s Tag Titles: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs ??? I won’t spend too much time on this one because I talked about it on Night 1. The WWE is booked into a corner here, it’s hard to argue any of the teams in the turmoil match can beat these two, but it’s time for new champions. Whoever wins the turmoil needs to win this one though.

U.S. Championship: Matt Riddle (c) vs Sheamus – The WWE didn’t learn anything from the RVD booking experience on how to write for a character like Riddle. At this point just let Sheamus win the belt so it can be taken more seriously, because as talented as Riddle is, he’s not doing anything for the belt being booked the way he is.

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn -- This story should actually be better than it is, but the tone of it just isn’t quite right. Zayn was the Intercontinental Champion when the Coronavirus pandemic hit and because of travel restrictions he was stripped of the belt. He came back and was a pissed off guy that felt cheated. That has led to him getting a film documentary crew following him around tracking the conspiracy of holding Zayn back. Eventually, Owens told Zayn to quit complaining and it led to this match. It’s a solid premise, but he comes off way too whiny and annoying rather than a guy that actually did get screwed over. Oh and for some reason Logan Paul is in Zayn’s corner. Zayn should get the win.

United States Championship: Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E (c) vs Apollo Crews – So Apollo Crews has turned heel and he apparently is the offspring of Nigerian royalty. He’s decent enough as a heel and a Nigerian Drum Fight is basically just a No DQ fight. The two of them have been fighting over the championship for a while now. Crews needs to get the win in some underhanded fashion so that Big E’s push can continue and Crews can begin his push.

The Fiend Bray Wyatt w/ Alexa Bliss vs Randy Orton – Oh boy, get ready for this one. Alexa Bliss is now a demonic Harley Quinn type of character that can appear from out of nowhere and has been tormenting Randy Orton ever since Orton and the Fiend fought in an inferno match that saw Wyatt put completely on fire (thank goodness for the power of prerecording in the fanless era. Since the original burning incident, Bliss has thrown a fireball in Orton’s face. Orton made us believe he was going to set Bliss on fire, Bliss has some magical power that makes Orton start bleeding black blood from his mouth. Yeah, it’s basically your typical crazy Fiend/Undertaker storyline. It will be interesting how they deal with what should be a cinematic match when there’s at least a partial audience live at Raymond James Stadium.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Rhea Ripley – Ripley just appeared a few weeks ago making her RAW debut. Basically, she’s a fill in for Charlotte, who caught COVID-19 right before Mania. Asuka deserves a big WrestleMania moment and should get it here, Ripley can use the loss as fuel and a character development point.

Triple Threat: Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs Edge vs Daniel Bryan – I really wish they could have convinced The Rock to come back and fight Reigns, because that would have been so much better. Edge returned to win the Royal Rumble to earn this one. Daniel Bryan won an Elimination Chamber match to become #1 Contender who had to have his match right after the Chamber match and got squashed by Reigns. He then convinced management to give him another shot, making this a triple threat. Neither Bryan or Edge at the end of their careers excite me as champion with Roman Reigns putting in some of his best work of his career as a heel champion. However, there’s not a lot more mileage in this feud unless they switch it up. I’d have Edge win the belt, but lose it fairly quickly afterwards just to end Mania on a high note.
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