Well, the Royal Rumble is over and done with and you know what that means. Everyone is really angry at Roman Reigns! Oh, wait, that’s all the time. But especially post-Rumble. Also, Road to WrestleMania and all that. Yes, the 33rd edition of wrestling’s biggest show is mere months away and with storylines beginning to come together, plans beginning to come to light and Undertaker retirement rumours growing by the minute, it’s feels like WrestleMania is just a few days away. However, there’s still a lot of time between now and The Show of Shows, which, combined with the unpredictability of the WWE booking team, means that anything could happen between now and then. And if you don’t think that’s true, just go and watch Survivor Series 2016 again. You tell me you saw that coming, you just try.
As with all things, plenty of good developments could happen in the build up to Mania or just the worst things ever could take place and we’d be forced to watch on like some sick voyeur act. Only with way more sweaty men. Sweaty men aside, here’s a look at some of the stuff that should most definitely happen between now and Mania and some of the stuff that should most definitely not. Fair warning for new wrestling fans; most of the stuff on the ”shouldn’t happen” side of this list will probably end up happening. Sigh.
15. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Seth Rollins Returns From Injury
Well, this has thrown somewhat of a spanner in the works, hasn’t it?
I was originally going to write something in this section about how Seth should look dominant against Triple H, score a big win or get one over on The Game to keep their feud going. You see, Triple H and Seth go way back. It was Triple H who lured Seth away from The Shield in 2014, Triple H who set Seth up to become Mr. Money In The Bank (and, by proxy, WWE Champion) and it was Triple H who cost Seth his chance at becoming Universal Champion when he laid him out for Kevin Owens to pin on Raw in August 2016. Yes, it really was that long ago. After months of silence from Trips, the feud finally began to pick up when Rollins officially declared he wanted to fight his former mentor on Raw a few months ago. Triple H then cost Rollins his spot in the Royal Rumble, then Rollins invaded NXT TakeOver: San Antonio and it finally looked like this rivalry was heading somewhere. Then Samoa Joe happened.
Yes, within the first five minutes of his main roster career, Samoa Joe may have ended up costing the WWE millions of dollars. And you all cheered him when he showed up. Shame on you! I am, of course kidding; there was no way Joe could have known taking down Rollins for the Coquina Clutch was going to tweak the knee that kept Rollins out of action for seven months in 2015/16. But, that’s exactly what happened. With an estimated return time of eight weeks, Rollins could make it back just in time for The Showcase of the Immortals, but that’s if things go to plan and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to perform at his usual level. All I can say is get well soon, Seth, but please only come back if you’re ready; we don’t want this to turn into something worse than it already is. Besides, you were meant to fight Triple H last year, apparently, and they managed to find a suitable replacement for you. Oh, yeah, that. For god’s sake, get better now, Seth!
14. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: Braun Strowman Fades Away
Who’d have thought we’d ever feel this way about Braun Strowman, huh?
I say “we”, I don’t know about you, but I cannot get enough Strowman in my life. All the complaints about him from a year ago – he’s too slow, he’s too big, he’s a boring character etc. – have all been rectified and he finds himself as one of the biggest stars, not only on Raw, but in WWE right now. His incredible mix of size, power and speed make him truly terrifying to watch and his recent nuances have actually shown a more intelligent side to his character and has left plenty of fans ready to cheer The Monster Among Men. Except, not when they use that nickname. It kinda sucks.
Beardy Braun is doing quite well for himself, that much is clear, but what isn’t clear is his position at WrestleMania. He was rumoured to be taking on Roman Reigns at the show for Reigns’ United States Championship, but that isn’t happening now, obviously. There were murmurs aplenty that he would be The Undertaker’s Mania opponent after he was shown to be watching The Deadman on a TV screen in the back when he appeared on Raw a few weeks ago, but signs are now pointing to Roman taking on Taker instead. He does some have grievances against Kevin Owens after failing to capture his Universal title on Raw, but Owens looks like he’ll be fighting Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. So, what is there for Braun to do? WWE might be tempted to just stick him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but that’s had about as much effect on a superstar’s career as a hairdryer would at drying up the Pacific Ocean. Strowman deserves a decent match at WrestleMania and a big push beyond it, but, as we’ve seen in the past, WWE usually drops the ball with once-intimidating giants. Just ask Rusev. Or Vladimir Kozlov. Or The Great Khali. Or Viscera. Or – you know what, never mind. You get the idea.
13. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: American Alpha Begin A Feud
Because, you know, they’re only the freakin’ Smackdown Tag Team Champions!
The team of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable took NXT by storm when they joined forces in 2015, picking up steam thanks to their incredible athleticism, oddball chemistry and whirlwind wrestling style. They won the NXT Tag Team Championships at Takeover: Dallas from The Revival in a highly emotional moment, but would lose them back to Dash and Dawson just a few months later. Don’t cry for Jason and Chad just yet, however, because this quickly reign was done to facilitate a move to the main roster as a part of the 2016 Draft, where they were appointed to Smackdown. The duo would eventually become the Smackdown Tag Team Champions on 27th December 2016, lastly eliminating The Wyatt Family from a fatal 4-way tag team match also involving The Usos and Heath Slater and Rhyno. And that’s really all there is to say, mainly because Smackdown seem to have forgotten that their top tag team exists.
After defending the titles in a rematch against the Wyatts, Gable and Jordan have been without a solid storyline for over a month now. They were missed off the card for Royal Rumble entirely, not even making an appearance in the Rumble match itself. Gee, if only there had been someone in that match fans would have been happy to see replaced… The announcement that AA will be facing off against five other teams only shows how lost the bookers are with what to do with the team. They need a strong feud to help cement them on the main roster, a feud with a team that can really push them to their limits, a team that might help bring about American Alpha’s comeback, their redemption, their… Revival. I can dream, dammit.
12. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: Champions Get Put Into Pointless Matches
Heads up, American Alpha, this is probably going to happen to you.
Bringing back the brand split has done wonders for WWE. It’s made both shows must watch television, it’s helped create new stars out of guys like Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin and The Miz, and it’s given both shows a chance to be more creative and take a chance when putting their programmes together. There have been some downsides though, like the fact that we now have 5 million different champions in WWE. And that’s only a slight overstatement. Before the split, there was the WWE, Intercontinental, United States, Tag Team and Women’s Championships in WWE. That sounds manageable, right? It may have been, until the brands were split and WWE introduced a Women’s and Tag Team Championships for Smackdown and the Universal and Cruiserweight Championships for Raw. That’s nine total champions in WWE right now (not including the UK Champion), which is, to use the technical term, a butt-load. So, what’s going to happen to this butt-load when WrestleMania rolls around?
Obviously the two world titles will get defended and the Women’s Championships stand a good chance of going on the line, but it’s safe to assume that not every title is going to be defended when it comes to WrestleMania. If they were, that’d be nine matches, and that’s not taking into account Brock v Goldberg or Triple H vs Seth Rollins (hopefully) or Taker vs Roman (hopefully not) or a half an hour segment where The Rock comes out and does something weird, but cool. Whilst I’m not saying every champion needs to defend their title at Mania, but what I am saying is that each champion needs to have a reason for being there. Don’t just throw them into a battle royal or, worse, not feature them at all; maybe have an interbrand match to determine who the better champion is or maybe have them compete in a sort of mini-tournament for the right to three draft picks the night after WrestleMania. If you’re thinking that I stole that last one from Smackdown vs Raw 2006, you’d be absolutely right. Point still stands.
11. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Chyna Is Announced For The Hall of Fame
This would just be nice.
When Joanie Laurer – AKA “The Ninth Wonder of The World”, Chyna – it was news that was as shocking as it was saddening. Chyna was one of a kind; the first female participant in the Royal Rumble match and King of the Ring tournament, as well as the only woman to ever hold the Intercontinental Championship in WWE (something he managed twice). Throw in her roles as a part of D-Generation X (of which she was a founding member) and The Corporation, as well as her on-screen relationship with Eddie Guerrero and Chyna’s career is truly one of WWE’s finest. Then, like all good things, it was ruined by a man. Chyna was in a real-life relationship with Triple H when (allegedly) he started seeing Stephanie McMahon. This lead to Chyna being blacklisted by the company, eventually forcing her out of WWE in 2001. All this has yet to be confirmed by anyone (including Chyna herself), but the signs are all there. It doesn’t take Columbo to figure this one out.
The reason for the serious tone of this segment is because I really feel sorry for Chyna. Despite having great success in the field of adult film-making following her departure, I feel like she would be remembered in such a higher regard by wrestling fans had the WWE not gone against her. Triple H himself said on the Stone Cold Podcast that he didn’t want Chyna in the Hall because he was afraid kids would google her and see her porn films. Umm, anyone wanna remind him who else was in 1 Night in China? Because maybe it was his close friend, Sean Waltmann, who has appeared on WWE TV numerous times since the tape was released. For her incredible breaking down of barriers and for re-defining what it mean to be a woman in wrestling, Chyna shouldn’t just go into the Hall of Fame, she should head up the class. Whilst that probably won’t be happening, it would be justice to see her take her rightful place amongst wrestling’s best. On to lighter things, now.
10. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: The Undertaker Turns Heel On Roman Reigns
Well, when I say lighter…
Ugh, I can’t believe I have to write about the possibility of this. So, as you all know, Roman Reigns entered the Royal Rumble as a “surprise” entrant at number 30. When I say surprise, I mean the kind of surprise your cat leaves for you at the end of your bed. Dead bird or poop, you decide. Despite having competed for the Universal Championship that same night (by that logic, where was AJ Styles’ Rumble appearance, WWE, hmm?), Reigns entered the Rumble match and managed to get to the final two, before being the last man eliminated by winner, Randy Orton. Don’t worry, we’re getting to him.
Before being thrown out by The Viper, Reigns somehow manged to enrage the San Antonio crowd even more than he already had by eliminating a lot of people’s favourites to win, The Undertaker. After this, Taker and Reigns shared a stare-down, hinting that a possible match is on the horizon, probably at WrestleMania. Now, before you all grumble, I’ve gotta say the idea of this match doesn’t totally repulse me. Reigns could use this to finally pull the trigger on his long-anticipated heel turn; not only could he attack Taker numerous times before the show and, god help me for actually wanting this, Reigns could even defeat The Deadman at WrestleMania, maybe retiring him the in the process. I know it sounds bad, I know you don’t want it, but think about it for a second. Undertaker has said he is in a lot of pain right now with his hip, but won’t get surgery until after he retires. The sooner Taker retires, the sooner he can be healthy again and giving Reigns the nod of actually burying The Phenom would crown him the new undisputed top heel in WWE. He’s getting booed anyway, so why the hell not? But, WWE, for the love of all that is good and sacred on this Earth, do not, and I mean do not, turn Taker heel and expect us to cheer for Roman Reigns over The goddamn Undertaker. Just don’t do it. It won’t work. We’ll hate Reigns even more than already do and children will cry. End of subject. Moving on.
9. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Jericho Drops The US Title Thanks To Kevin Owens
I hate to say it, but it needs to happen.
The Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens friendship angle is, when you think about it, really weird. Jericho is a veteran of over two decades, Owens is a relative newcomer to WWE and they bonded over their mutual hatred of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, teaming to defeat them at SummerSlam 2016 in their first appearance as a duo. Since that day, Jericho has been by Owens’ side as he ascended to the top of Raw, claiming the Universal Championship and becoming the show’s top heel, with Jericho following close behind. Jericho has undergone a career renaissance since aligning with KO; he’s given some of the best performances of his life both in the ring and on the mic, getting himself over in more ways than he has ever done before. You try and tell me that a man who can get a clipboard over isn’t one of the greatest of all time, you just try.
Thanks to his partnership with Kevin, Chris picked up the United States Championship on Raw on 9th January 2017 after pinning Roman Reigns in a handicap match also involving Owens. This was Jericho’s first US title victory, but it need to be a doomed one, unfortunately, because the best way to build to the eventual Jericho vs Owens match is to have Owens cost Jericho the title. It’s entirely possible that Owens will lose his Universal Championship before WrestleMania, so, out of jealousy, Owens could interfere in a title match between Jericho and somebody else (maybe Sami Zayn?), costing his best friend the title. This could facilitate Jericho’s face turn (it’s been building for a while) and give Chris a reason to fight his former friend at WrestleMania, bringing to an end one of the longest-running storylines in WWE at the moment. With rumours swelling that Jericho is due to leave WWE soon to work on his musical career, Jericho should probably lose to Owens to keep him strong, but I think a lot of fans want to see Jericho victorious at Mania and, if they’re lucky, they might just get…………….. IT!
8. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: AJ Styles Starts Feuding With Shane O Mac
No! You can’t have him go from John Cena to Shane McMahon, you just can’t!
AJ Styles had the year of any wrestler in WWE last year. From his incredible debut at Royal Rumble to his great series with Roman Reigns to his match of the year against John Cena at SummerSlam and his resulting WWE Championship reign after defeating Dean Ambrose, culminating in another incredible bout with Cena at Royal Rumble 2017. There was the whole James Ellsworth thing, but we’ll just forget about that.
After losing the title to John Cena, Styles has his rematch (of sorts) at Elimination Chamber, but there’s no real chance he can win the title. So, what is next for The Phenomenal One? Well, if you believe the rumours swirling at the moment, he’s scheduled for a match at WrestleMania with Shane McMahon. Yes, you heard me, the son of the boss, the grey-haired wonder, the forty-seven year old father of three, Shane McMahon! Styles deserves a bigger match than this and, considering how WrestleMania matches usually go, AJ will probably end up losing to Shane if this match goes ahead and that cannot happen. It just can’t. I like Shane as a performer and him going against The Undertaker last year was fine, because Taker is a part-timer. However, to put him in a match with one of, if not the, most talented performer WWE have right now, especially at their biggest show of the year, that would be nothing short of catastrophic. Please, just let Shane jump off something at the Hall of Fame. That’ll keep him happy.
7. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: An Interbrand Feud Is Established
Because, you know, WrestleMania’s sort of a big deal.
Back in the original brand split, The Show of Shows has a rich history of matches that featured two superstars from opposing brands. Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21, Batista vs Umaga from WrestleMania XXIV and who could forget the legendary showdown between Umaga and Bobby Lashley the year before, that also just happened to feature current President of the United States, Donald Trump, putting his hair on the line against Vince McMahon’s. Vince lost, by the way. Don’t say that guy doesn’t put people over.
With this being the first Mania since the new brand split, logic dictates that an interbrand match should also make a return. There are plenty of possibilities that WWE could explore for this match; Baron Corbin could take on Braun Strowman in a “Battle of the Giants”, AJ Styles could face a returning Finn Balor in a Bullet Club dream match or maybe the Intercontinental and United States or the two different Tag Team Champions could face off in a battle for bragging rights. Eew, Bragging Rights. Now there are some bad memories. Putting together two wrestlers from different brands would go a long way to making this year’s Mania feel special, in spite of the fact that fans most likely will have already seen these performers in a match. Because they’ve been kept apart for so long, these once-boring match-ups will feel fresh again. You know what they say – “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. If that’s the case, maybe WWE need to send Roman Reigns away for a while. A really, really long while.
6. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: Daniel Bryan Agrees To Wrestle The Miz
Hold up all you Bryan fanboys and girls, I have some ‘splaining to do.
Ever since The American Dragon hung up his wings for good in February of 2016, fans across the world have been desperate to see him step between the ropes of a WWE ring one more time. Fans got a little bit of satisfaction when D-Bry returned to our screens as Smackdown’s General Manager, but this wasn’t what the fans wanted to see. They wanted to see Bryan wrestle again. However, despite being told by WWE doctors that he could never wrestle again, the company seem to have been sowing the seeds for a return to the ring for the leader of the Yes! movement. The Miz, whom, if you recall, was Daniel Bryan’s mentor in NXT and the man he won his first championship from at Night of Champions 2010, started making jabs at Bryan after he got drafted to Smackdown. Miz has called Bryan out numerous times, most famously on Talking Smack he delivered his now famous “coward” promo, and has even gone as far as imitating Bryan in the ring, mocking the “Yes!” chant and performing some of Bryan’s signature moves, such as the Running Knee and the corner dropkicks. So, all signs seem to be pointing at Bryan coming back, one last time, to take on ol’ Mikey M at WrestleMania. However, as cool as that match would be (and there’s no denying it would be cool), it just cannot happen.
You see, regardless of what other doctors may have said and how badly Bryan wants it, he can never wrestle again. You only need to look at the long, tragic history of wrestlers who messed up their necks to see that putting Daniel back in a ring and letting go crazy is a bad idea. You could say that working alongside a safe performer such as Miz could help protect Bryan, but then you wouldn’t be seeing Daniel Bryan wrestle again; you’d be seeing a trimmed down version, the safety version, and it just wouldn’t ‘t be the same. Also, if you think Bryan isn’t going to want to show off on his return to WrestleMania, you need to take a good, long look at yourself. Yes, it’s sad that Bryan had to call ti a day so soon after he finally hit his stride, but putting his career and the fans before his own health and wellbeing just isn’t sensible. Also, he has a child on the way, so that’s something to think about. As much as I love Daniel Bryan, it is with a heavy heart that, this time, I’ve got to say “no”.
5. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Luke Harper Gets A Push
From one beardy boy to another.
Luke Harper has had one hell of an interesting career in the WWE. Beginning strong in NXT, he and Erick Rowan actually held the NXT Tag Team Championships as The Wyatt Family, before moving up to the main roster as Bray Wyatt’s tall, hairy cronies. The faction then had a stop-start run, feuding with the likes of Kane, John Cena and the aforementioned Daniel Bryan, before splitting up in 2014. This actually led to Luke winning the Intercontinental Championship and holding it for a good month or so, before losing it to Dolph Ziggler in a pretty decent ladder match at TLC. Then he got back with Erick Rowan, feuded for the IC title some more, disappeared for a bit, joined up with Bray Wyatt again and then got injured. Jesus. And you thought Daniel Bryan had a hard time.
Since returning from said injury, however, Harper has been doing very well for himself. Re-joining Bray Wyatt (again) at No Mercy, the duo then added Randy Orton to their numbers and captured the Smackdown Tag Team Championships at TLC 2016 (Harper wasn’t involved in the match, but held the belts under Freebird Rules). The team then lost the titles thanks to Harper’s inadvertent interference, leading to a rift between Harper and his newest baby brother, Randy Orton. The two seem to be competing for Bray’s affection (which is kinda cute in a messed-up, cult-y kida way) and things came to a head at the Royal Rumble, where Harper officially turned on Bray and Randy, even positioning his former leader for a Sister Abigail before Randy made the save. It’s been great to see this storyline develop over the weeks and months, but I’m a little concerned they won’t know what to do with Luke Harper in the future. Randy won the Royal Rumble, which puts him (and by proxy, Bray) in the main event scene, but where does Harper slot into this? I’d like to see Harper continue with his battle against his former buddies and maybe get more of a main event push following WrestleMania, depending on how that show turns out. He’s a gifted wrestler and has a killer story behind him, so, why not? If Smackdown are looking for a new top level face, I think I know just where to find one. Although, maybe get him out of those clothes. I’m pretty sure he debuted in those.
4. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: John Cena And Nikki Bella Join Forces
Oh, Jesus, please no.
The rumour mill has been mentioned plenty of times on this list with varying degrees of appeal. However, if the mill is to be believed about these two, then, quite frankly, God help us all. It’s no surprise that The Face Who Runs The Place and The Bella With The Main Event Fella are a real life item. They hooked up in November 2012 and have since gone onto have one of the more public WWE relationships, being featured on shows like Total Divas, Total Bellas and, well, WWE more recently, as Nikki’s relationship has been incorporated into her feuds with Carmella and Natalya since she returned at SummerSlam 2016. While it’s cute and all and the two seem to get along, if the rumours are true, their relationship could be the worst one on WWE TV since Triple H and that mannequin in 2002. You know the one I mean.
So, rumour has it that John Cena is set to drop his WWE title soon (we’ll get to that, don’t you worry) and that WWE have already made plans for his big WrestleMania match. Also, apparently, Nikki Bella’s match on the Grandest Stage of Them All has also been made. If you think this is a coincidence, it really isn’t, because it’s going to be in the same match. Yep, for WrestleMania 33, one of the current plans is to have John Cena and Nikki Bella team up and face… The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag team match. What? This is John Frickin’ Cena we’re talking about here, a man whose WrestleMania opponents have included Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, The Rock and more. This is the man who has main evented the Show of Shows countless times over the past few years. This is the guy who just tied Ric Flair’s record! And you want to have him in a mixed tag team match at this year’s WrestleMania? The WrestleMania he was originally rumoured to face The Undertaker at? Nope, nope, I won’t allow it, I just won’t. Even if I have to fly all the way to Florida and slap some sense into Vince McMahon myself. Please, you could put John Cena against Fandango and it would be a better match than this. I hate wrestling so much, sometimes.
3. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Brock Looks Strong Against Goldberg
Who’d have thought we’d ever see this, eh?
If you’d have told me this time last year that Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg would be one of the best storylines in WWE right now and that Goldberg would be more over than pretty much anyone else on Raw, I’d have probably Speared you then and there. But, here we are. When Goldberg returned to WWE last year, everyone thought they knew exactly what was going to happen. Goldberg and Lesnar fight at Survivor Series, Lesnar crushes Goldberg to build momentum, Goldberg rides off into the sunset/the Hall of Fame. But, boy, were we wrong. Instead, Big Bad Bill crushed Brock in 86 seconds, delivering two Spears, a Jackhammer and, most devastatingly of all, allowing his son to take his shirt off in the middle of the ring after the match. I’m still confused by it now. Then, if that was’t enough, Goldberg only goes and eliminated Brock from the Royal Rumble in 22 seconds, bringing their total in-ring time since he came back to under two minutes and meaning that Brock has been beaten more times in the last three months that he had been in the last three years! Madness! But we love it.
The match has been all but made for WrestleMania; Goldberg vs Brock, the decider. Except, Goldberg has won their last two singles matches, so he’s technically already won the series… shush. If fans are to buy into this match, then Brock needs to pull something out of the bag against Bill. If we go into WrestleMania only seeing Brock getting destroyed, we won’t give him a chance, meaning that, if he does win, we’ll all ask ourselves, “But wait, didn’t Goldberg just wreck this guy the other week?”. Maybe Lesnar could come out on Raw and give Goldberg an F5, or, better yet, a Spear. Yes, i know Goldberg is about as fragile now as a glass ornament in the shape of my nan, so having him take a bump like this weeks before Mania might put him in jeopardy. However, I just think the story needs to be more balanced if we are to buy into it come Mania. Fans want Goldberg to win, so he needs to be portrayed as vulnerable, even just slightly, if WWE want us to get behind him properly. Or they could just have him Spear the pants off of every single person on the roster. That would probably get a good reaction too.
2. SHOULD NOT HAPPEN: Goldberg Wins The Universal Championship
This however, well…
It’s that darn rumour mill again and it just keep churning out weird and wacky storylines; but this is probably the most insane of them all. So far. So, you know Kevin Owens, right? Super talented, super over heel, been Universal Champion for a while now, hasn’t really had a chance to shine because he’s always been playing second fiddle to someone else. You know, that guy! Well, guess what the current (rumoured) plans are for him at Fastlane 2017? Nope, wrong again, you idiot. The current plans for KO are for him to drop the Universal Championship to… Gillburg. Oh, sorry, did I put Gillberg? Sorry, I meant Goldberg. Wow. Somehow that isn’t any better.
I am the first person to say I’ve enjoyed Goldberg’s return (surreal as it’s been to see a fifty-year-old man come out and kill people every week), but I can’t defend this. Goldberg is meant to win the title from Owens, carry it to WrestleMania and then fight (and presumably lose to) Brock Lesnar. Right. Where to begin with this one? Firstly, Owens deserves way better than to be a transitional champion between two part-timers. He may not have been booked too well, but his performances have been stellar, both in and out of the ring. Secondly, there’s already a tailor-made story for Kevin going into WrestleMania; just have him defend the belt against Chris Jericho and people will go nuts. This storyline has been one of the best in WWE this year and to see it culminate with the biggest prize on Raw on the line would be just perfect. Thirdly, Brock freakin’ Lesnar vs Bill freakin’ Goldberg does not need to be a championship. These are two huge names, one of whom hasn’t wrestled at WrestleMania for thirteen years, capping off one of the craziest stories ever. That’s a money match right there and the title doesn’t have to be anywhere near it. So, why not kill two birds with one stone? Have an awesome “legend vs legend” match and an awesome Universal Championship match. The two do not need to be the same match. Jesus, WWE, it’s like talking to a child sometimes.
1. NEEDS TO HAPPEN: Bray Wyatt Wins The WWE Championship
I told you we’d get to it.
Yes, it’s the thing that probably will happen and definitely should happen – but why? Well, let me tell you, oh fans of mine. You see, Bray Wyatt’s 2016 was quite literally all over the place. He was responsible for Brock Lesnar’s elimination in the Royal Rumble match, leading everyone to suspect that he was going to be taking on The Beast at WrestleMania 32. Then he got injured and ended up being verbally shafted by The Rock at WrestleMania instead. Then he disappeared for a bit, reappearing to battle The New Day in an interesting angle that didn’t go anywhere because of the brand split. Then he started feuding with Randy Orton, except he didn’t, because Randy was still hurting after his match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, so he fought Kane at Backlash and lost. Then he did that thing where he made Randy’s eyes go all lighty-uppy, I don’t know, it was weird. Then he fought Randy for reals at No Mercy in the main event (for no apparent reason), beating him thanks to a returning Luke Harper. Then Randy joined the Wyatt Family, they won the tag team titles, they lost the tag team titles, Luke Harper teased a face turn, Randy Orton killed Luke Harper, Bray and Randy teamed up to kill Luke Harper in the Royal Rumble, which Randy won and now Bray finds himself allied with the guy that’s going to the main event of WrestleMania 33. Christ almighty. I need a lie down.
Despite that sounding more mental than Vince McMahon’s workout schedule (he’s 71, it’s mental he has a workout schedule at all), the Bray Wyatt-Randy Orton storyline has been one of the best in WWE over the past year. From bitter enemies to close friends to champions and more, Bray and Randy now sit perfectly alongside one another and it’s done wonders for both men’s careers; Randy gets a fresh new story and Bray gets to rub shoulders with a future Hall of Famer. All good. At the current trajectory, Randy looks to be taking on John Cena at WrestleMania for The Champ’s WWE title. However, since we’ve already seen that match approximately 47,982 times in WWE (although, never one-on-one at WrestleMania), it’s safe to say that fans are hoping for something a little different and, luckily, that may be the case.
Yes, as you probably already know, Big Johnny C is set to lose his 16th world title in the Elimination Chamber to none other than Bray Wyatt. This sets up one hell of an interesting dynamic for Mania; the leader vs the pupil, the father vs the son, the beard vs the, umm, whatever Randy’s got growing on his face, I don’t know. It throws up so many possibilities; will Randy turn on Bray and go after the title as a face? Will Bray turn face after being attacked by Randy? Will Luke Harper factor in somewhere? Will Erick Row- actually, where the hell is Erick Rowan? Anyone seen him? No? Huh. Weird. Big missing bald man aside, I still really want to see this match and it looks like I’m going to be very lucky indeed. It might be predictable, but sometimes that’s the best way to tell a good story, so, here’s hoping that The New Face of Fear ends up as the New Face of Smackdown before too long. But, they’ll probably just do something stupid like put the title on James Ellsworth instead. Damn WWE.
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