WrestleMania 35 is slated to be one of the biggest shows in company history. WWE has a huge preference for the New York area since that’s where the company’s roots are. Any time WrestleMania comes to the New York/New Jersey area, there are plans to make it the biggest one yet. Rumors and speculation are already making the rounds about the show. Insiders believe this will be the first WrestleMania main-evented by the women, with Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch and/or Charlotte Flair as the obvious choice. There is speculation of Batista coming back for a match with Triple H. Other rumors are out there not only about the show, but the aftermath for WWE following WrestleMania.
There will be plenty of important reasons for WWE to continue their momentum after WrestleMania 35 ends. The Superstar Shakeup typically follows WrestleMania with wrestlers from Raw and SmackDown switching brands. WWE also usually saves some important call-ups from NXT to make the jump to the main roster right after WM. This year will see even more importance with SmackDown starting on Fox in October. WWE must do their best to create a compelling product heading into the fall. We will look at some potential things that could be negative along with better options. These are ten post-WrestleMania 35 plans we hope are NOT true, along with ten that we’d prefer to see.
20 Hope is not true: Becky Lynch moving to Raw
Becky Lynch has been on SmackDown since the brand split and is one of the few to never switch brands. The momentum of Lynch has seen her become the hottest star in the WWE today. There are reports that she will challenge Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 35 after winning the Royal Rumble.
Lynch would likely move to Raw if she wins the title, but there are rumors that she’ll still stick on Raw if she loses, which would be the plan. SmackDown clearly is a better show right now and Lynch is a huge reason why. WWE could risk losing momentum for SmackDown before they end up on Fox without Becky.
19 We want: Finn Balor moving to SmackDown
One potential move in the Superstar Shakeup that may be beneficial to all involved would see Finn Balor move to SmackDown. Vince McMahon is the person that reportedly does not believe in Balor despite most other people with power backstage wanting him to get a chance.
Balor moving to SmackDown would be best for his career since there’s more opportunity on the blue brand to break out. Dream matches with Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, and others could help Balor get to the next level. There is a realistic path to the WWE Championship for Balor on SmackDown rather than waiting in the mid-card forever on Raw.
18 Hope is not true: Ricochet joining 205 Live
205 Live has seen Mustafa Ali join the SmackDown roster, which leaves a huge void for the cruiserweight show. There have been rumors about Ricochet potentially joining 205 Live since he’s developed a reputation for being one of the top cruiserweights in the world.
Ricochet is already a breakout star for NXT after winning the North American Championship from Adam Cole. The move to 205 Live would help the show, but it could hurt Ricochet’s career. All the momentum developed in NXT would be stalled and it would make his eventual move to Raw or SmackDown even harder to turn into a success.
17 We want: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Io Shirai and Kairi Sane
The Women’s Tag Team Division is going to be a huge part of WWE following WrestleMania 35. Most expect the first champions to be crowned at WrestleMania with the duo of Sasha Banks and Bayley as the favorites to win them.
NXT’s Kairi Sane and Io Shirai have started teaming in NXT with the fan base hoping that means they’ll be called up to take part in the Tag Division. Sane and Shirai have been best friends for years after working together in Japan. The tag matches between Sane and Shirai vs. Banks and Bayley could make the titles very important right away.
16 Hope is not true: Alberto Del Rio coming back to WWE
There were rumors in 2018 about Vince McMahon expressing interest in bringing back Alberto Del Rio despite the bad blood between both sides. Del Rio was let go due to a company violation and his backstage issues relating to his then-relationship with Paige.
The comments from Alberto since leaving have him seen rip WWE before apologizing and showing signs of wanting to return. Del Rio was always a favorite of Vince, which means there’s a chance he may get yet another run after the issues that led to his most recent exit. We hope this one isn’t true since Alberto is past his prime and was a bust last time he was in WWE.
15 We want: New faction with Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, and Chad Gable
Dolph Ziggler is once again irrelevant after his partnership with Drew McIntyre ended. There was a prior rumor of Ziggler getting a chance to lead his own faction. Ziggler’s past in amateur wrestling would play into the idea of fellow wrestlers with similar backgrounds like Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin working with him.
NXT star Matt Riddle also could be perfect for this faction and would be an even better leader. The idea of a unique faction playing into their backgrounds that are rarely discussed could be fun to watch unfold. It would also provide each wrestler with a better chance at success on the main roster than they would have otherwise.
14 Hope is not true: Lacey Evans becoming top title contender right away
Lacey Evans has been fast-tracked to the main roster after a short run in NXT. The matches of Evans are lacking compared to the other top women in NXT, but her character work as a heel has allowed her to get on the main roster before most of the others.
Evans is reportedly going to get a major push in 2019, due to her character resonating with Vince McMahon. Raw is expected to be the brand where she wrestles on, given the lack of heels behind Alexa Bliss on the show. Evans getting title opportunities right away would be a bad decision since she’s inexperienced and has never been involved in big matches.
13 We want: Aleister Black getting called up to the main roster
A valid argument can be made that Aleister Black is the wrestler most ready for a main roster call-up. Black has been a top star in NXT since debuting due to the stellar presentation, great matches, and general mystique. There were rumors of a call-up since his first year in NXT, but it has yet to happen.
Black has main event potential, as the “it factor” needed to get to a top level is there. This may be the biggest call-up since Shinsuke Nakamura or Finn Balor. Black must join the main roster sooner than later since he’s good enough now. Either Raw or SmackDown will get a huge bonus by having Black on the roster.
12 Hope is not true: AJ Styles' second heel turn
The end of 2019 featured AJ Styles hitting Vince McMahon after he egged Styles on. It was done to get an edge out of Styles moving forward, but there was enough of a tease of a heel turn. Styles is still the face of SmackDown after helping it take off from the start of the brand split until now.
WWE should not even experiment with turning Styles heel a second time. His wrestling style is perfect for a face and fans are going to cheer him no matter what his character does. Styles should remain a face unless there’s a perfect storyline set up to turn him heel.
11 We want: Ember Moon getting a title push
Ember Moon’s first year on the main roster is almost at an end, but she’s yet to make any major moves up the card on Raw. The former NXT Women’s Champion was a huge call-up, thanks to her great talent and established success in NXT.
Moon can deliver great matches, but she is typically in secondary matches on Raw these days. There are reported plans of Ember getting a bigger push in 2019. We should see Moon getting involved in either the Raw or SmackDown women’s title picture shortly after WrestleMania 35 when the bigger storylines and plans reach an end.
10 Hope is not true: Braun Strowman moving to SmackDown to feud with Daniel Bryan
There is speculation that Braun Strowman will be moving over to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup due to the show needing more stars on Fox. Strowman has been pushed heavily and no one ever gets the better of him, aside from fellow protected stars like Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre.
The top feud for Strowman on SmackDown would see him start a rivalry with Daniel Bryan. This would potentially ruin Strowman as the story of a big man face vs. little man heel rarely helps the face. Fans would turn against Strowman if he squashes Bryan, which is how most instances of that match would go. Bryan vs. Lesnar worked due to Bryan remaining the underdog early in his heel run.
9 We want: Drew McIntyre feuding with Seth Rollins over Universal Championship
Drew McIntyre has become one of the premiere stars on Monday Night Raw. The return of McIntyre is seeing him find redemption after his prior run in WWE ended in severe disappointment. McIntyre improved dramatically during his time on the independent circuit and is now ready for the top role WWE once again sees in him.
2018 featured Drew getting protected and only getting pinned twice, both with interference on behalf of the other wrestler. Insiders are reporting that Seth Rollins will be the one to dethrone Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. McIntyre is likely going to be the biggest challenger for Rollins and they have proven to have good chemistry already.
8 Hope is not true: Hulk Hogan returning as an on-screen character
WWE has slowly eased Hulk Hogan back into the company after the horrible quotes from him got him fired a few years ago. Hogan returned at Crown Jewel as the Saudi Arabia fan base wanted to see him. WWE brought Hogan back on an American show to honor the life of Gene Okerlund.
There have been rumors of Hogan potentially becoming an on-air character in 2019. WWE may resort back to the General Managers for Raw and SmackDown. We can only hope that Hogan is not part of those plans. The veteran does not have much to offer and there are too many negatives associated with him being around.
7 We want: Other members of Four Horsewomen join Ronda Rousey on main roster
Ronda Rousey has worked as a top attraction for WWE. Not only does Rousey provide positive media coverage for the company, but she shows up to Raw most weeks and does not look for a Brock Lesnar schedule. The other three members of Rousey’s MMA Four Horsewomen crew all reside in NXT as well.
Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir all work together, as they look to eventually join Rousey on the main roster. Rumors of a 2019 Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match would lead to the three ladies getting called up to Raw and paired with Rousey. It would be cool to see a dominant faction for the Women’s Division as we find out if the other three can deliver the same success on a bigger stage.
6 Hope is not true: Nia Jax feuding with Becky Lynch
The potential of either Nia Jax or Becky Lynch switching brands in the Superstar Shakeup is very likely since both have been with their current brands since the draft in 2016. Jax brutally hitting Lynch in the face and injuring her turned into a huge moment that added more momentum to Becky's rise as "The Man."
However, it also added a lot of heat on Jax, as the fans further disliked the less impressive wrestler for having a reckless reputation. WWE tried to use this to push Nia harder as a heel. There could easily be a feud for both ladies if they end up on the same show. Sadly, Jax's lack of in-ring talent would just waste an angle for Lynch following WrestleMania 35.
5 We want: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn becoming top tag team
Both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are expected to return to Raw around the same time following their separate injuries. Owens left to face ovations after getting brutally attacked by Bobby Lashley. Zayn left as a heel, but fans have always liked cheering him. The odds are that both guys will get treated with love when returning.
There is a chance that Owens and Zayn will once again be paired together but in the form of a legitimate tag team this time. The combination of Owens and Zayn could easily become the face of a rising Tag Division. Matches against The Revival, The Usos, or whoever is on Raw after WrestleMania would be great.
4 Hope is not true: Mandy Rose winning SmackDown Women's Championship
Mandy Rose is one of the names expected to take a big step forward when it comes to her push in 2019. WWE’s site is already listing her among the wrestlers they expect to become a champion for the first time and various reports have already indicated that those are the hopes for Rose’s future.
Vince McMahon has been high on Mandy since her days in Tough Enough. The look and charisma of Rose make her a top prospect for the company. Rose is expected to get a push towards the top of the SmackDown roster. The problem is that there are so many better female wrestlers than her on the roster that it could push the Women’s Evolution backward unless she improves.
3 We want: Queen of the Ring tournament
One of the most interesting rumors about 2019 is that WWE is considering having a Queen of the Ring tournament for the Women’s Division. Fans long for the King of the Ring returning after many of us grew up loving the annual tournament.
The past few King of the Ring tournaments have done little for the winners. WWE would benefit from changing it up and having this become part of the Women’s Division. The first woman to win such a tournament will get a huge accomplishment to her name. It could build a new star like Sonya Deville, Ruby Riott, Mandy Rose, or others. It could also cement a star like Charlotte Flair or Alexa Bliss as an even bigger name.
2 Hope is not true: The New Day splitting up
The run of The New Day has helped them become three of the faces of the WWE. As a group, Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods accomplished huge success. They are the longest reigning tag champs in WWE history, sold a ridiculous amount of merchandise and still get great ovations from the crowd each week.
A report has recently broken that Vince McMahon feels it is time to change The New Day. Some think that means a heel turn or a bigger push, but others fear it will be a split. WWE does not seem to have huge singles plans for The New Day like they did for the members of The Shield. The group splitting up could just hurt all their careers for no reason.
1 We want: Undisputed Era becoming top Raw heel faction
The hottest act in NXT right now is the Undisputed Era and Raw is the show struggling the most for relevance. SmackDown has found success with the rise of Becky Lynch, the consistency of AJ Styles, the emergence of the "New" Daniel Bryan, and many other fixtures.
Raw could benefit greatly from having a hot new group trying to take over the show. Adam Cole. Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish are all seasoned performers that know how to thrive in almost any situation. Undisputed Era becoming a big part of Raw may be what the doctor ordered to give it momentum after WrestleMania.