Another WrestleMania has come and gone for WWE fans, and while there were both many high points – like seeing Daniel Bryan return to a WWE ring after years of inactivity, or being able to watch Charlotte end Asuka’s undefeated streak – and low points – such as the disaster of a main event featuring Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns – WrestleMania season is always the high light of the year for wrestling fans. While this WrestleMania 34 will not go down in the books as one of the greatest in history, there is a lot to be taken away from it leading into the rest of 2018. Will Braun Strowman find himself back in the main event picture? How much longer will Brock Lesnar be around? Will we ever see The Undertaker again? What is next for Ronda Rousey?
So many questions that will carry us through on both RAW and SmackDown Live for the next calendar year before we reach WrestleMania 35 in Metlife Stadium, but since we have a general idea of how WWE will be booking over the next year, we should speculate how the next WrestleMania 35 card will look, as well as some other twists we could expect.
15 Pre-Show – The New Day vs. The Street Profits
With the Cruiserweight Championship set to move onto the main card (we'll get to that), there needs to be a draw on the pre-show to get people to tune into the WrestleMania coverage early (even if it is three hours before the actual event itself!), and The New Day are just that type. With their act slowly moving them out of the upper echelon of the tag team division, they would have a nice home here kicking off WrestleMania night during the pre-show to get the crowd warmed up for the rest of their night. Also utilizing this time to boost up another NXT call-up team in The Street Profits is a good idea rather than pushing them into an already crowded main show.
14 Pre-Show – Andre the Giant Battle Royal: Winner – Who Cares?
I hope and pray that every year when the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is announced for WrestleMania that there will be more at stake in the match for the winner (more than the giant trophy, of course) and that the winner will receive a proper push. However, as previous winners Cesaro, Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley can attest to, winning the battle royal does not lead to much for their career. While we all hope that Matt Hardy will benefit from his win at WrestleMania 34, the fact of the matter is that this match is used as an excuse to get more wrestlers onto the card and not necessarily for it to lead to anything spectacular for the future.
13 Women’s Battle Royal
Hopefully by WrestleMania 35 there will be much less negative media coverage surrounding the name of the battle royal, and a little more coverage about what it means to the division. The first match of its kind at WrestleMania 34 was nothing incredibly special since it was only used for a vehicle to further the Sasha Banks and Bayley feud, so hopefully next year we will see a more focused match that has an actual stake to it.
Considering that we should have even more fresh faces from NXT round out the battle royal, such as Candice LeRae, Nikki Cross and new NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. As long as someone doesn't pull an Alicia Fox, they should all have a good showcase!
12 IC Championship Ladder Match - Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Rusev
It is no secret that the Intercontinental Championship has not been a direct focus of the WWE creative team for several years now, but with such extensive mid-card talent on both RAW and Smackdown Live, perhaps WrestleMania 35 is the time to showcase them all. Ladder matches at WrestleMania have been a feature for several years now, and the athletes that would be involved in this match could put on a great spectacle, especially because some of them already have some great ladder match experience. Couple this with the fact that both Orton and Nakamura seem to be destined to leave the main event level at this time, and there is some real star power injected into this match.
11 Bayley & Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan – Women’s Tag Team Championship Final
With Charlotte versus Asuka from WrestleMania 34 being one of the best matches of the night, it certainly proves the strength of the Women’s Division. It appears that WWE management feels the same way as there have been rumors of the introduction of a Women’s Tag Team Championship to the division to allow the women another Championship to feud over. With an increasing amount of call-ups from NXT coming to the main roster and the new Mae Young Classic tournament announced for this year, WWE is in a great position to introduce this Championship.
Given the developments on WrestleMania 34 in the Women’s division, it appears that all four women involved in this match do not have much slated for them in terms of singles matches, therefore utilizing the popularity of Bayley and Becky as a tag team would be a great win to kick off the Championships.
10 Finn Balor (c) vs Kevin Owens - US Championship
Unfortunately both of these men were left without a leg to stand on following WrestleMania 34 – Balor did not win the Intercontinental Championship and Owens’ feud with Shane McMahon has finally culminated. However, we know that both of their talents should be speaking for themselves and utilizing them in a one-on-one feud over a Championship would be a sure-fire solid WrestleMania match. Since the brand-split, Balor has been on the RAW brand and could surely use a shake-up this year, and would benefit greatly from switching brands to compete for the US Championship. In addition, both of these men have history due to their previous feud over the Universal Championship so we know that matches between them can draw well.
9 Ricochet (c) vs Roderick Strong - Cruiserweight Championship
Since its inception in 2016, the Cruiserweight Championship has yet to be featured on the main card of WrestleMania but given the star power currently brewing for the division there is a high likelihood that the “curse” will be broken by next year. With Ricochet making his long awaited debut in NXT during the most recent TakeOver event (and impressing like we knew he would with his athleticism and charisma), it is only a matter of time before WWE scoops him up to assist with the Cruiserweight division. On the same token, Strong had a star-making turn during the end of the Dusty Rhodes Classic which really showed off what a great heel he can be (which previous fans of his independent work already knew) so having him featured in this division creates a great antagonist for the proposed Champion.
8 Alexa Bliss (c) vs Ember Moon - RAW Women’s Championship
While she may not a Champion following WrestleMania 34, I don’t think it will be long until we see Alexa Bliss with her Championship back over her shoulders because she has proven to be a great draw for the division as a cocky heel. Combine this with the fact that Ember Moon looks poised to leave NXT following her loss at TakeOver to Shayna Bazlor and you have a fresh feud ready for WrestleMania 35. Moon has proven that she has the ability to help carry a Women’s division as she was left to hold things up following Asuka leaving NXT last year, and Bliss is a great talent for her to be paired with for this high profile match for the RAW division. The question is, will we see Moon debut soon or will we have to wait?
7 The Authors of Pain (c) vs Broken Hardys – RAW Tag Team Championship
Speaking of NXT call-ups, the team of Akam and Rezar are certainly poised for a transition to the main roster this year – they have dominated the NXT Tag Team division since their arrival and were involved in star-making performances with their matches against Gargano and Ciampa last year. While we all hope that they do not get the same treatment as The Ascension upon their main roster debut, a long Tag Team Championship run could be in their future. In addition, WWE Management seems to have fully opened up to the idea of including the entire Broken Universe into the Matt Hardy character, so seeing a team of both Matt and Jeff leading in to WrestleMania 35 is certainly a possibility.
6 Triple H vs Batista
Batista himself was allegedly contacted about being Ronda Rousey’s tag team partner for WrestleMania 34, but contract negotiations fell through before the event. While this may have left a sour taste in “Big Dave’s” mouth, he has stated on several occasions that he would look to end his career with a final feud featuring Triple H, whom he considers to be one of the greatest wrestlers he has ever worked with. It would not be hyperbolic to say that Batista’s last run in WWE was not what he had in mind to end his career on (does Blue-tista ring a bell for anyone?), so if WWE would commit to having this match scheduled with a proper build-up, it would be a great money match for both men involved, especially considering the eyes on the product that Batista would bring to WWE now that his movie career has really taken off.
5 AJ Styles (c) vs Seth Rollins - WWE Championship
While the WrestleMania 34 match featuring Styles and Nakamura was touted as a Dream Match by WWE, this one would surely not disappoint as we have yet to see these two men face off one-on-one in a WWE ring. Both men are surely at the top of their game right now and have proven that they belong on the main event echelon of the WWE, so giving them a chance with a marquee match for the WWE Championship together would be a sure-fire way to ensure that the WWE Championship is well showcased. We have seen over the years that both men are adept at playing the bad-guy role leading into a match, but with the proper build-up of AJ Styles as a cocky heel leading into WrestleMania versus a fired-up Seth Rollins, we would be treated to a sleeper-hit of a match.
4 Braun Strowman (c) vs Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose - Universal Championship
It's no secret that Braun Strowman has been poised for big things since his huge breakout year in 2017, but there is one thing that we need to realize – he is not finished with his Universal Championship prospects. With several main-event Championship matches already under his belt, it is no stretch of the imagination to say that a Championship run leading into WrestleMania is fully possible.
Having Braun walk into the event as a monster champion (as well as monster over like he is now with fans) would be a great showcase for him, and pairing him together with both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose adds a great dynamic to the match – especially if WWE finally pulls the trigger on a Roman Reigns heel turn. In addition, Dean Ambrose can always find himself in a main event and fit directly in which adds an element of “danger” to the match, as we never fully know what he is capable of.
3 Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz - Extreme Rules
If we were writing this list a month ago this would not have been included as Daniel Bryan’s return to the roster as an active professional wrestler was kept fully under-wraps, but now that we know Bryan has been medically cleared, this years-in-the-making match is finally possible at WrestleMania 35. Since Bryan’s debut on the original NXT competition, there has been a feud brewing with The Miz that has never had a big pay-off, and it only escalated during Bryan’s time as SmackDown Live’s General Manager.
Now that Bryan is finally able to retaliate against Miz’s extreme personality and taunting (don’t forget that The Miz has been using Bryan’s Yes! Kicks as a maneuver for years), an Extreme Rules match between the two would make for a very exciting way to blow-off the feud, it would be a showcase Bryan in a way that he hasn’t been for years, and The Miz would finally get what has been coming to him.
2 Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Asuka (c) – SmackDown Women’s Championship
The long rumored main event for WrestleMania 35 looks like it will come to fruition now that stars are beginning to align – Ronda Rousey has signed a contract with WWE and already has a WrestleMania match on her resume, Asuka is eventually poised for a long reign as Women’s Champion and Charlotte has already proven that she is one of WWE’s most reliable female performers. Considering just a few short years ago, there were WrestleMania cards which did not feature any women's matches, or if they did they were only involved in matches which did not showcase their wrestling abilities, this is a huge development for WWE.
Rousey’s involvement in WrestleMania 34 surely sparked some mainstream interest, but hopefully she will be up to the task of competing with two of the best wrestlers that WWE has to offer. While it would have been great for Asuka to be defending her undefeated streak here, I'm willing to wager that Asuka will have held the Smackdown Women’s Championship for close to full year by this point, and look forward to a lengthy reign for the Empress of Tomorrow.
1 Hall of Fame – Headlined by The Undertaker
Considering how The Undertaker was featured during WrestleMania 34, it's clear that his involvement as an active wrestler for WWE is coming to an end – much like how so many legendary careers were ended at WrestleMania by The Deadman himself, it seems as though his final appearance at WrestleMania was to have a three-minute match with John Cena. While this match was certainly not what we are used to in regards to how The Phenom usually performs at WrestleMania, it was a very surprising good-bye match for the special attraction considering the state of his body at his age. Would it have been nice to get another five-star classic match during what may be his final appearance? Of course, but we should be thankful for all the ones that we did get previously.
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