This upcoming WrestleMania has the chance to be one of the most unpredictable in history and that is by all accounts a good thing compared to recent years. Not just unpredictable in the sense that we don't know or can't predict the outcomes months in advance, but that the actual matches we're going to get aren't being telegraphed so blatantly either. This means that unlike WrestleMania 32 we aren't primed not to care when Roman reclaims his WWE Championship from Triple H in a thud of an anticlimax. We aren't gritting our teeth waiting sans excitement for Cena to get his win back from The Rock at WrestleMania XXIX: 'Twice in a Lifetime'. It's a 'live' card so to speak and as such there's rumors (and conspicuous lack of rumors) aplenty in the place of definitive news and that also means fans are voicing their opinions for and against these ethereal plans.
Unfortunately, when there's almost infinite 'rumors and innuendo' flying about the place, there come out some ideas that aren't even worthy of being thrown at the wall to see if they stick. Others are just laced with WWE's corporate philosophies that they themselves recently admitted needed to go, and others are just matters of bad taste made real. That's what we're examining here. Some of these will make you roll your eyes, others will make you legitimately frustrated, and others will make you wonder if you might just switch WrestleMania off early and get some washing done instead. Here are the tidbits seeping out that we hope against hope are passing fancies and not 'inspired genius' we're forced to endure.
20 Charlotte Promised The Main Event
There's not a lot that fans hate more these days than having their preferences told to them by WWE rather than the other way around. John Cena was ironically the prototype for this and it's continued with Roman Reigns and Charlotte Flair. Now, despite Becky Lynch exploding onto the scene as the clear audience-backed breakout star to headline against Ronda Rousey, WWE has reportedly already informed Charlotte that she's penciled in for WrestleMania's main event. In a moment where women's wrestling may have ascended to actually being the final, headlining match on the grandest stage of them all, what it doesn't need is a diluting presence mitigating proceedings.
19 Cena vs. Undertaker 2
By no means the only rumored matchup involving these two, nonetheless last years debacle has effectively killed any interest in a matchup between them at another WrestleMania. Fans sat through a nonsense buildup to the initial match where Cena complained in increasingly pathetic ways trying to secure the bout and then he spent the first third of WrestleMania 34 overshadowing matches that he had no right influencing. Then, when the payoff came, the highlight was Elias of all people, before The Undertaker returned to finish Cena in minutes and put an end to one of WrestleMania's least effective 'dream matches' ever. Nobody wants part two.
18 Triple H vs. Batista
Batista has said that this is the only televised match he'll return to WWE for, but in truth Triple H hasn't had a good singles match at WrestleMania in a long time, so maybe The Animal should consider someone else instead? Add on top of that Triple H's pectoral tear and the fact neither guy is suddenly about to age in reverse and this match might not be worth it's spot. Another factor is Triple H's propensity to have the longest match at each year's extravaganza and you begin running into more problems.
Batista probably feels entitled to a positive swansong after his last run but with Hollywood working so well for him we'd rather see another cool movie than a WrestleMania slog from these Evolution alumni. The Viper though...
17 Brock Lesnar Retains
We thought the Brock Lesnar era as the Universal Champion was over at SummerSlam when Roman Reigns finally unseated him, but a bad diagnosis and a vacated championship led us right back to where we began with The Beast holding the title hostage. Whatever the payoff is for when someone finally decisively beats Brock , it's gone well beyond a joke and fans are more likely to tune out of a Universal Title match than get invested anymore. Last year's WrestleMania main event is evidence of that. Therefore Brock simply cannot retain another year at WrestleMania. There needs to be a decisive victory, sans shenanigans.
16 The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
This might come as a surprise considering the story so far has been well told, but there's an underlying reason fans should be worried if this is the now annual 'Shane McMahon exhibition match'. That reason is pretty simple, and it's that neither of these guys are known for carrying their opponents to good matches. Both are quite adept at rising to the level of quality opposition, with AJ Styles and Seth Rollins taking Shane and Miz to impressive displays respectively, but together there's a fear that they won't live up to whatever hype they conjure on the Road To WrestleMania. For that reason, if their tag team produces some fun matches, why not keep them together through 'Mania instead of pitting them in an un-winnable situation.
15 Cena vs. Lars Sullivan
As is tradition there's rumblings that WWE's latest monstrosity is on a collision course with John Cena, and if the past is any indication it will precipitate Lars Sullivan's rapid neutering as a threat (assuming the even more recent troubling rumors don't get him first). If he's really unfortunate he'll also find himself losing in comedy segments en route to humiliation and release, but that's by the by. For now, the rumor of a Cena vs. Sullivan contest is a little dissipated but it could flare up at any moment, especially if Cena decides he's done enough losing for now and needs to feed on the potential of another new act.
14 Trish Stratus & Lita Challenge The Women's Tag Team Champs
With the announcement of the impending Elimination Chamber to crown the new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, the next blatantly obvious step is to be reaching into the past and having Trish and Lita challenge at WrestleMania. Nothing against the pair, but their involvement has too many negatives going along with it to be worth it. They'll obviously not be winning the gold, they'll be taking the spot of a team more deserving, and perhaps worst of all won't be able to deliver the type of performance that will increase the inherent worth of the titles out of the gate.
13 The Rock Represents
When Roman was healthy there was backstage talk of The Rock winning the Royal Rumble and challenging him for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania to continue the seemingly never-ending 'Roman reigns over WrestleMania' storyline WWE can't get away from. Even last year after he lost, the show ended on his interminable and unwanted pity party walk to the back. Now with his difficult circumstances seemingly stopping his involvement this year, let The Rock take the year off as well. We've seen him be shoehorned into the big show before with mixed success, and when the highlight of your appearance is your tearaway pants to reveal you're geared to go, best not push your luck.
12 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker 3
Why waste a final Shawn Michaels' WrestleMania match on anything but AJ Styles??? That's the only question anyone should be asking when you have the defining in-ring competitors for the last 20 years available under one banner. Shawn Michaels proved with his match-saving performance at Crown Jewel that he is capable even at this age of pulling out the goods, and AJ is still phenomenal (seriously, the word just falls out of your mouth when describing him) so have the dream match happen! Meanwhile, The Undertaker has to be running on fumes and expecting him to hold up his end of a classic is unrealistic to say the least.
11 Cena's 17th
There is precious little to be gained from John Cena challenging for his 17th and "record-breaking" world championship when there's a roster of superior wrestlers chomping at the bit for their WrestleMania moment. Nevertheless, this rumor has popped up again and again, now centered around Daniel Bryan's WWE Championship and Cena 'getting his win back' from SummerSlam 2013. Hopefully a competing rumor that John Cena is taking time off from WWE after 'Mania is more accurate, but as things stand we have to sit and hope that this eventuality isn't seriously considered. There's literally half-a-dozen better matchups for The New Daniel Bryan come WrestleMania and hopefully one of them precludes this rumor.
10 The Cruiserweight Championship's Chance
Considering that since Buddy Murphy has captured the Cruiserweight title that match has been pretty much the best in-ring showcase on each PPV there has to be some talk of actually letting the darn thing take its spot on the main show. Better yet, it should open WrestleMania because nothing gets a big enthusiastic crowd off to a hot start like an acrobatic, athletic, fast-paced showcase. Even better, it allows WWE essentially two bites at the 'get the fans hot' philosophy as they can follow up with a main roster contest akin to last year's Intercontinental barn burner which had more mainstream 'storyline' juice, thereby hitting the fans on both fronts to really open things up on the right foot.
9 Title Unification Trouble
While on the surface fans might get excited for a monumental occasion like the Women's or Tag Team titles being unified on the grand stage, the underlying problem that will cause is far too dire to let happen. The previous brand split devolved bit by bit, beginning with the unification of these championships and it ended with SmackDown becoming a glorified recap show of Raw where nothing consequential happened because all the titles were appearing on Raw anyway. This should be a lesson well learned, especially with the imminent move of Smackdown to FOX who don't want to cross-promote stars apparently. Keep the titles separate. Save the brand split.
8 McMahon Power Struggles
With all four prominent members of the McMahon Clan making appearances on both shows, there's always the lingering threat that when the Road To WrestleMania kicks off they all turn on each other and we're forced to endure the 50,045th iteration of McMahon Family Squabble theater. There are several whispers abound that Shane may be turning heel for something at WrestleMania, Stephanie won't be able to keep herself out of the big women's moments, and Triple H of course will end up angling for a match as we've said earlier, but it all needs to stop this year. The stars of these acts are burning out and new ones won't burn bright if they never get the shot.
7 Andrade vs. Mysterio, Mask vs. Hair
This one has actually got some fans excited about it and yet it seems so obviously wrong. Sure, these two have already proven conclusively to have outstanding chemistry, but that stipulation surely is a joke. Rey Mysterio losing his mask isn't something new, and Andrade losing his hair isn't exactly an appealing thought for a guy who can possibly be WWE's highest quality in-ring competitor for years to come and his look is integral to that. Nor does he obviously need a haircut to hide ensuing baldness, a la Kurt Angle, so why do it? This is a matchup where the raised stakes need to be titles worthy of these matches, not damaging to their ongoing identities.
6 Another Bella Bomb
WWE fans have gotten used to The Bellas over the years, initially as little more than symmetrical eye-candy for celebrity hosts to lean on, and later as moderately improved in-ring competitors (although some might even question that). What most wrestling fans are done with is seeing these two anywhere near the forefront of the division and taking time away from far more athletic, skilled grapplers who could make a moment at WrestleMania, whereas the Bella Twins will simply take up space. The Bellas are welcome to what should've been called The Sensational Invitational (Jericho's idea after the Moolah debacle last year) but any program that features them on a bloated main card needs to be rethought.
5 The Demon Versus The Phenom
Many fans were pleasantly surprised when not only was Braun Strowman ousted from his Royal Rumble Universal Championship match with Brock Lesnar, but the perpetually undervalued Finn Balor slotted himself into that spot a couple of weeks before the event. It gave fans a glimmer of hope, but the rumors of a Finn Balor contest with The Undertaker come WrestleMania pretty much squashed that.
If Finn was only being raised in profile so his otherworldly alter-ego can go toe to toe with The Undertaker, he's being short-changed. The Undertaker may have his last great match with someone like Finn, simply due to size differences, but the spooky vs. dramatic clash should not happen UNLESS Finn is decidedly about to retire The Deadman.
4 Total Divas Drama
There's always a concern that Total Divas manufactured drama will not only seep its way onto WWE's main television shows, but to have it infect WrestleMania in any way is the exact opposite of what people want. Since those shows began there's been at least one instance each year where something from those shows bled over into Raw, SmackDown or even caused championships to change (Natalya's most recent SmackDown Live title run was a Total Divas decision), and considering the wide divide between the fanbases, let's not indulge when it comes to the major wrestling event of the year.
Not only does it leave most fans scratching their heads over what caused the weirdness, but they get no payoff because it's literally not even part of the weekly developments they keep track of.
3 No Plans In The Bank
With the huge emphasis on the women of WWE in the wake of their (r)evolution and the magnifying glass provided by Ronda Rousey's arrival, it is one of the biggest crimes of them all that currently there's nothing approaching a solid plan going forward for Sasha Banks. WWE has plucked her from obscurity to fill the months leading up to WrestleMania for Ronda's Raw championship defenses, but all intentions are to once again sideline here in the burgeoning tag team title division that, despite being new and ostensibly exciting, is beneath her.
Sasha Banks's promos since shotgunning into the Royal Rumble championship picture are more proof that she is being wasted at anything less than premier level, and WWE needs to re-evaluate her pronto.
2 Token AEW Spots
WWE can't just toss exciting and underused talents into spots because they're afraid of AEW signing them away. With AEW becoming a legitimate thing, announcing several new big stars and acquisitions, as well as aggressive signing strategies and wrestler pay revolutions, WWE has seemingly already begun getting off their butts and promoting acts they've been 'sitting on' for a while in retaliation.
Finn Balor and The Revival are suddenly front and center in their divisions almost as if WWE suddenly realized that an alternate company with a big splash could upset their virtual monopoly, and worse, siphon them away to be used better. Rusev almost quit last year, Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder and Tye Dillinger are close with Cody and you can't argue they've been effectively used till now.
1 Battle Royal Banality
The worst reported possibility is one that isn't present, meaning there's no plans, no strategy, and no concern for part of WrestleMania that could be significant if given the smallest amount of thought. Both Battle Royals are positioned as little more than filler segments to get the remainder of each roster onto the card in some small capacity, but with zero emerging goals for anyone in them. Naomi did nothing last year with her inaugural win, and Matt Hardy was the first to ever seem to have a direction but it fizzled with his career climaxing soon afterward. Mojo Rawley, Big Show, Baron Corbin, Cesaro, none of them directly benefited from defeating half the roster at once, and that needs to change.