With the Royal Rumble right around the corner, it means that the WWE is currently on The Road to WrestleMania. WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year for the WWE, it is the Super Bowl of American professional wrestling. As we have seen for the past few years, the WWE likes to do some long-term storytelling when it comes to WrestleMania, and they like to save some of the biggest or most anticipated matches for WrestleMania. Last year, they planted the seeds for AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura at Money in the Bank, and then saved the singles match for WrestleMania, and made it for the WWE Championship, at that. When fans for clamoring for Kevin Owens to get his comeuppance for turning on Chris Jericho, they kept Jericho off of television for a few weeks and saved the match for WrestleMania.
When Roman Reigns was forced to relinquish the Universal Title back in October of 2018, that likely threw away many of the long-term storylines that the WWE was counting on for this year’s WrestleMania. The bookers have done a good job in the past few months of recovering, however, and they have already planted the seeds for some of the most interesting stories that we have seen in a long time. Whether the storyline has already started or will start soon, it is likely that the WWE bookers have already planned out most of the card for this year’s grandest stage. Here are some of the storylines that will play out on both Raw and Smackdown in the buildup to WrestleMania 35.
20 RAW: Baron Corbin Losing Streak
For some reason, WWE Creative decided to blame all of the bad fan reaction and the falling ratings on Baron Corbin’s kayfabe general manager position. Since losing power in his TLC match with Braun Strowman, Corbin has been eaten alive. He was demolished by the babyface mid-carders during the match and on the post-TLC episode of RAW. Now that the WWE has found a scapegoat to blame everything on, it's more than likely that Corbin’s storyline going in to WrestleMania will be that, without his general manager position and the power that came with it, Baron Corbin can’t win any match.
19 SmackDown: Tag Team Attention
When Vince McMahon appeared alongside the rest of his family on the RAW after TLC, Triple H promised that we were going to get more of what we want and new matchups. SmackDown’s tag team division is pretty full at the moment, but it largely revolves around only The Usos, The New Day, and The Bar. The Good Brothers, Primo and Epico, and Sanity have had to linger in the background. The bookers on SmackDown seem to have noticed this, though, as the tag team division was featured pretty heavily on a recent episode of SmackDown, so going in to WrestleMania, expect SmackDown to put a lot of attention on all their tag teams.
18 RAW: Breezango Reunites
Only a couple of months after moving to RAW in the 2018 Superstar Shake-Up Fandango was injured and was projected to be out for around six months. It has been six months since that injury, and every WrestleMania has to have a fan-favorite feel-good moment. This year, it will be the on-screen reunion of Fandango and Tyler Breeze. The Fashion Files segments on SmackDown got Breezango over in a big way, and Fandango recently appeared on an episode of Fashion Files on the WWE’s YouTube channel. Even though the Fashion Files are extremely popular, most casual fans don’t watch it online, and an on-screen reunion is the way to go this WrestleMania.
17 SmackDown: Mandy Rose Gets A Push
A recent report said that the higher-ups were set to give Mandy Rose a big push on SmackDown. The storyline about her trying to steal Jimmy Uso from Naomi seems like a stepping-stone for Mandy Rose before she goes on to bigger and better things. Rose is far too inexperienced to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, especially with such a stacked women’s roster on SmackDown, but, with her teammate Sonya Deville at her side, Rose could be involved in a high-profile storyline where she racks up a small win streak. In fact, this push for Mandy Rose could lead to her and Sonya Deville becoming the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions.
16 RAW: Bray Wyatt's New Character
Once they lost the RAW Tag Team Titles, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt disappeared from television and neither have been seen since. There was a report that Bray Wyatt was being considered to replace Braun Strowman at TLC if Strowman was unable to compete in the match. Wyatt teased a new character with a series of cryptic tweets, and Matt Hardy has unofficially retired from in-ring competition. Since Wyatt has not yet returned in an officially televised capacity, the WWE is likely waiting for just the right opponent for Wyatt’s return. With six new NXT call-ups waiting around, a WrestleMania storyline between debuting EC3 and returning Bray Wyatt is possible.
15 SmackDown: Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy
This is one of those storylines that began a few weeks ago. Samoa Joe has been the aggressor, bringing out Jeff’s past to come haunt him. This storyline feels like a long-lasting storyline that will be paid off at WrestleMania. Jeff is a veteran of the business, and of the WWE specifically, and Joe has really only had one feud that he could sink his teeth into, which was his intense feud with AJ Styles over the WWE Championship. Neither man feels primed for anything higher than the upper mid card at most, and both are reliable hands, so these two will continue their feud into WrestleMania.
14 RAW: Kami Feud Reignites
“Kami” is the nickname that AJ Styles gave to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn before their 2 on 1 handicap match for the WWE Championship. Both wrestlers have been on the shelf for a few months, but both have recently received video packages hyping their returns. However, while Sami Zayn was a heel when he was written off of television, Owens turned face as he was brutalized by Bobby Lashley. When they return, the two of them will likely face off again in a new way that we haven’t seen before: a heel Sami Zayn going up against a face Kevin Owens.
13 SmackDown: Daniel Bryan's Heel Run Stays Strong
The WWE Universe was stunned when Daniel Bryan turned heel to defeat AJ Styles on the SmackDown episode before Survivor Series and became the WWE Champion. Since then, he has cut some of the most intense promos of his entire WWE career, and his storyline going into WrestleMania involves his heel turn going even further. Bryan’s heel turn was his own idea, so he shows no signs of ending his heel turn anytime soon, and AJ Styles wished to take a reduced schedule going into 2019. Until the WWE feels like they can have a new top star on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan will continue to dominate the blue brand going into WrestleMania.
12 RAW: Revival for The Revival
In the eyes of the most hardcore WWE fans, The Revival were the most overlooked tag team on the WWE main roster for the better part of 2 years. They tore down the house in NXT with their tag team championship matches, and they seemed destined to breathe life into the tag team division of whichever brand they were drafted to. They went largely unused for a long time, but the WWE seem to finally be taking notice of the skills that Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder possess. Their storyline going into WrestleMania 35 will just involve them getting a big push, as they will definitely be in the RAW Tag Title picture.
11 SmackDown: Rusev Reigns As U.S. Champion
Rusev’s United States Championship win on the Christmas Day episode of SmackDown provided a great feel-good moment in the holiday season. While there were high hopes for Shinsuke Nakamura’s title run, he never did anything of any significance or had any memorable matches. Rusev has been able to show his charisma on the main roster and prove that he is a really likable guy. Not only that, but he can put on a heck of a match as well. Going in to WrestleMania 35, Rusev will have a dominant title run and will be in a high-profile feud, but he will ultimately retain his title.
10 RAW: Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre
Anyone who knows anything about Vince McMahon knows that he likes big guys, whether they can wrestle or not. Braun Strowman was, at one point, one of the most organically over wrestlers on the main roster. The reported plan backstage is that Vince wants Strowman to win the Universal Championship and defend it against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania. Even if Strowman does not win the championship from Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre have been on a collision course for months by now, and having Braun Strowman lose to Drew McIntyre clean as a whistle would be a great way to pile more heat onto Drew McIntyre.
9 SmackDown: AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
The backstage rumors now are that Vince McMahon has intentionally kept AJ Styles and Randy Orton separate, even though they have been on the same brand. Vince apparently sees money in an AJ Styles and Randy Orton feud. While Styles has feuded with Daniel Bryan for the most part since Bryan's heel turn, the plans of WrestleMania are for AJ Styles and Randy Orton to be featured in a high-profile feud. It is unknown how these two will cross paths, but there are many different avenues to explore. This feud could even be built around a Phenomenal Forearm or a springboard 450 into an RKO.
8 RAW: Boss & Hug Connection Roll
Following the announcement of the new Women’s Tag Team Championship, only one duo or trio has verbally expressed interest in winning the championships, and that is the team of Bayley and Sasha Banks. Seeing as how the Women’s Tag Team Championship was announced at the end of 2018, there will likely be a tournament to crown the first Women’s Tag Team Champion on the Road to WrestleMania, with the finals of the tournament ultimately taking place at WrestleMania. Heading in to WrestleMania, The Boss and Hug Connection will dominate all women that challenge them in a two-on-two capacity, and they will be one of the teams in the finals of the tournament.
7 SmackDown: Team MizMahon
This entire storyline of The Miz trying to court Shane McMahon as a tag team partner has taken some twists and turns. Many people believed the early report coming out of Crown Jewel, which was the Shane McMahon winning The Best in the World tournament was leading to a Shane McMahon heel turn. However, those plans now seem to have been scrapped, as Shane has not shown any real heel tendencies. However, The Miz has shown some tendencies that he might turn face, and a face tag team of The Miz and Shane McMahon seems to be the storyline that the WWE is going with going into WrestleMania 35.
6 RAW: Natalya Turns Heel
Ronda Rousey will, without a doubt, be in the main event of WrestleMania 35. That has been the worst kept secret in the WWE since right before WrestleMania 34 last year. However, until that feud, Rousey needs someone to face until then. Natalya is the perfect candidate to take on Rousey, as everyone has expected Natalya to turn heel at any moment. Following her loss to Rousey at the end of 2018 on RAW, this is the best time to turn Natalya heel and give her another title match before WrestleMania, building Rousey up before her WrestleMania main event match.
5 SmackDown: Charlotte/Asuka Rematch
While many fans want Becky Lynch to be the SmackDown Women’s Champion, there are other plans for her at WrestleMania. Becky was initially scheduled to take on Asuka at the Royal Rumble, but that match was scrapped, seemingly for Becky to compete in the Rumble match itself. Now, Asuka will likely have a short, throw-away match at the Royal Rumble, with her WrestleMania opponent being Charlotte Flair. Charlotte broke Asuka’s winning streak last year at WrestleMania 34, and the tables are turned now, with Asuka as champion going into WrestleMania 35. This could be built up as a rematch or a redemption for Asuka, but The Empress vs The Queen is the perfect tag line for this match.
4 RAW: The Fall Of Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose’s run as Intercontinental Champion hasn’t really been going long enough to judge his current reign. However, Ambrose is finally unleashing the heel that everyone always knew he could be, and he is doing a great job of being a thorn in the side of Seth Rollins. However, his championship reign has been met with a largely lukewarm reception from the fans, and Dean Ambrose will lose his championship going into WrestleMania. It will not be the Seth Rollins, which is a little disappointing, because everyone wants to see Dean get demolished by Seth, but Dean will definitely drop his championship at WrestleMania.
3 SmackDown: The Rise Of Mustafa Ali
When one wrestler drops from the main event, another ascends to it. Mustafa Ali’s callup from 205 Live seemed random at first, but he had two consecutive victories over Daniel Bryan, the WWE Champion. He has an interesting style that is unmatched by anyone else on the Smackdown roster, and he is someone that Daniel Bryan seems comfortable losing to. The WWE has a hard time building new stars, but Mustafa Ali seems to be the next big thing on SmackDown, and, while they do not always do the best job of building a new star, Mustafa Ali’s rise to the top will culminate in a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, securing Ali as a main event performer.
2 RAW: Kingslayer Becomes Beastslayer
While the aforementioned Strowman and McIntyre match is one of the proposed Universal Championship matches for WrestleMania, Triple H has a different idea. Triple H has stated that his wish is for Brock Lesnar to retain his championship until WrestleMania, with Seth Rollins being the man to topple The Beast. This story would apparently play off of Roman Reigns’s leukemia diagnosis, which is understandable. The story could be that Roman fought hard to get the championship back on RAW only to have to relinquish it weeks later, and Seth would be avenging his best friend. This storyline seems more likely than the Strowman and McIntyre one, as this is the story that Triple H favors.
1 SmackDown: The Man vs. The Baddest Woman
After the fans were robbed of this match at Survivor Series by a botched punch to Lynch’s face from Nia Jax, Becky Lynch versus Ronda Rousey should and will definitely be the main event storyline going into WrestleMania 35. This storyline could end up spilling in to both shows, but the initial push for this feud will likely happen mostly on SmackDown, as Becky Lynch is definitely the better performer when it comes to mic skills. Once she was pulled from her match with Asuka at the Royal Rumble, Lynch will more than likely enter the Royal Rumble, win the match, and challenge Ronda Rousey for her RAW Women’s Championship.