Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman pushed for the Universal Title match to be the first of the show at WrestleMania.
The match order of WrestleMania is never going to be something we can all agree on, especially in the present day. However, the order of the card at WrestleMania 35 might have been the strangest to date. Kurt Angle's retirement was left late and felt rushed, while Kofi Kingston's feel-good moment was almost lost in the shuffle during the middle of the show.
The most surprising decision by WWE was to put the Universal Title match on first. As Hulk Hogan and Alexa Bliss posed atop the ramp, Paul Heyman came storming to the ring. He exclaimed that if his client won't be going on last, then he insists his match with Seth Rollins be the first bout of the night. A few minutes and three stomps later, The Architect was holding the Universal Title aloft.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was Heyman and Lesnar's decision to go on first. Well, ultimately Vince McMahon made the call but The Beast and his advocate pushed for the match with Rollins to be the opener. It might seem like a peculiar thing to want, especially since it's the first time in his career that Lesnar has gone on first at a PPV.
The supposed reason behind the request is a simple one. Lesnar and Heyman knew that the fan reaction to the match would only be more negative as the night went on. As it happened, the Universal Title match started at around 7:15 pm EST. According to Wrestling Inc, had the plans remained the same, Lesnar and Rollins wouldn't have gone to war until four hours later.
In hindsight, we think Lesnar, Heyman, and Mr. McMahon made the right call. If you include the two-hour kickoff show, WrestleMania's main event didn't even start until seven hours into the show. If Lesnar versus Rollins had gone on six and a half hours into the event, it would likely have been met with boos or, even worse, silence. By putting it on first, fans got a feel-good moment right off the bat. Plus, The Beast got to head home early. Win-win.