Well it’s really happening — WrestleMania 36. The only WrestleMania in history that’s too big for one night and somehow at the same time, too big for any fans! Well, the whole global pandemic is a good reason for no fans, but nonetheless many of us out there felt the WWE Universe would be better served by a WrestleMania 36 postponement. But this is Vince McMahon we’re talking about! The show must always go on, and thus, here we are.
So how can you watch it? The Show of Shows will be streaming on WWE Network tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Will the two-day WrestleMania kickoff show beginning at 6 ET / 3 PT on WWE.com, WWE Network, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch. Did you get all of that?
There’s a whopping SIXTEEN matches on the card, every WWE title is on the line, as well as the NXT Women’s Championship, and there’s a yet to be explained boneyard match. A lot to take in? You bet it is. But not to worry. Our team of experts breaks down each match for you with their predictions.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
Shane: I hate to admit it, but I have become unbearably bored with Becky Lynch… There. I’ve said it. The Man gimmick has run its course. We need something new. And that something is Shayna Baszler. I was going to take Baszler in this bought anyway, but with the rumors of Becky taking time off after Wrestlemania, my confidence in taking Baszler has only increased. I’m just hoping Shayna absolutely demolishes Becky on her way towards her championship victory. That would be entertaining to see.
WINNER: (and NEW Raw Women’s Champion) Shayna Baszler
Jay: Baszler. Becky Lynch is in a rarified company. She has been the top champion on her show without the fans turning on her for an entire year. She’s carried the belt from ‘Mania to ‘Mania, shined up every single challenger she has come across, and delivered fantastic moments and matches all throughout. She is honestly the WWE’s most valuable asset but now it is time for her to step aside for Shayna Baszler.
The Man is currently at the Rocky III part of her career. Meaning she has completed her ascent to the top of the card and has cemented it by defeating anyone who has wronged her or doubted her. Enter Shayna Baszler playing the role of Clubber Lang – a brutal force of nature dead set on tearing her down. Baszler will reign upon Lynch ala Lang reigned upon Balboa and Lynch will step aside for a time before returning to conquer Baszler at Summer Slam or Survivor Series or whenever. This is the next logical step for Becky Lynch’s story and it will surely be an excellent match
Winner: Shayna Baszler.
Forrest: I love Becky, but she works best when there’s a mountain to climb, not to rest upon. Baszler has paid her dues in NXT, is a much more sound and interesting performer than say Rousey, and now it’s time to capitalize for her and Becky’s benefit. Becky will be back and better than ever, and maybe Asuka and Shayna can fued in the meantime.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal Five-Way Match: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans vs. Tamina vs. Naomi
Shane: This one is an interesting one to call. In my opinion, I can only really see two women winning this match. Lacey Evans and Tamina. Ha! Ha ha ha! I’m only kidding. I can see either Bayley retaining or Sasha Banks winning the match. I think we are on our way to seeing Bayley vs Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women’s Championship somewhere down the line, probably SummerSlam, so I can see WWE using this as a slow-burn to that point. What kind of slow burn are we going to see? Are we going to see Bayley pinning Sasha to retain? Are we going to see Sasha pinning Bayley to win the title? Are we going to see Naomi winning because Sasha and Bayley are too busy focusing on each other to break up a pin or submission attempt? Will the WWE pull a Zack Ryder and have Tamina win the thing? Who knows! And that’s what I like about it. But, I have to go with my gut here and my gut is telling me…
WINNER: (and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion) Sasha Banks
Jay: Sasha Banks will take it. The only top competitors on SmackDown are Sasha Banks and Bayley. Bayley has had a strangle hold on the title for the better part of a year and has no one left to feud with. Banks will take it to start a slow burn type feud between the two besties.
Winner: Sasha Banks.
Forrest: Man, I feel kinda bad for Carmella whose feud with Bayley started this whole thing and was almost immediately superseded by Naomi and…Tamina? Regardless, I think this match has some really great storytelling potential, and I don’t think WWE is in a rush to spoil anything that comes out of that. Give it to Naomi, the most electrifying performer here, and let Sasha and Bayley deal with the fallout for a while.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Shane: History is going to be made in this match as, for the first time ever, a NXT Championship is being defended at Wrestlemania as Rhea Ripley takes on Royal Rumble Winner Charlotte Flair. In terms of calling the winner of the match, I keep looking at possible storylines and match-ups down the line. Rhea Ripley is just fresh enough as a champion that she still has tons of possibilities moving forward on NXT. However, I can’t help but feel that Charlotte has already done everything she possibly could on Raw and Smackdown, which makes calling this a little more difficult. Because it’s Wrestlemania… Because it’s Charlotte Flair who has had many a moment at Wrestlemania… and Because Vince is Vince… I think I’m going to take Charlotte Flair winning the match (but maybe not the title?) here.
WINNER: Charlotte Flair
Jay: Rhea will retain. This match will bring Charlotte’s career full circle. Charlotte’s career began with a phenom-esque buzz regarding her athletic prowess and her winning the NXT Championship began her ascent within the WWE. Ripley has followed the same trajectory. For months, critics and fans have rumbled about Ripley’s ability and presence within the ring which propelled her through the ranks of NXT U.K. and NXT proper to the NXT Women’s Championship – exactly like Charlotte. The two now come to mirrors of themselves. Charlotte, in Rhea, sees her past in the same way that Rhea sees her future in Charlotte.
This match is difficult to predict. Shifting Charlotte to NXT would be a much needed adrenaline shot for NXT which has lost significant ground in the Wednesday Wars but the same effect may be obtained should Rhea retain. I’ll go with Rhea only because Mania tends to favor results that propel wrestlers along their career trajectory but it’s a very difficult match to predict.
Winner: Rhea Ripley.
Forrest: I still wish this was a triple threat with Bianca Belair, but I’m immensely excited for the opportunity Rhea and by extension NXT is being granted here. Why ruin that?
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
Shane: Turning Seth Rollins heel was a great idea! It really saved him in my opinion. Turning Kevin Owens face was also a great idea. However, KO really hasn’t done much as a face except getting rid of Shane McMahon and Seth Rollins hasn’t really done much as a heel because KO is his real first feud since the turn. Typically, heels lose their matches at Wrestlemania, so I’m going to take KO in what could be an excellent match.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Jay: KO. Owens has been on the receiving end of this feud since November. The catalyst for this feud was Owens enduring weekly beatings from AOP, cultivating a brief alliance with The Viking Raiders and Injury Joe, a brief cameo from The Big Show, and getting curb stomped by the newly annointed, Monday Night Messiah. KO has to win this match simply because he simply hasn’t won anything else. It is also important to note that the last few weeks of Raw has been sure to note that Owens has not been able to best Rollins since this entire ordeal began.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Forrest: I love heel Seth, but I love gritty godkiller face KO more. It’ll be weird with a sick Murphy, an injured AOP, and all the rest, but it’ll still be a hell of a match that culminates in exactly what Seth wants and needs: to become a martyr.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Intercontinental Championship Match: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Shane: I’m going to start this with NO MORE HOT POTATO WITH CHAMPIONSHIPS! Sami Zayn just won the title off of Braun Strowman who just won it off Shinsuke Nakamura and that is too many title changes in a 3 month period. Now that that is out of the way, I am a huge Daniel Bryan fan. He’s one of my top five favorite wrestlers of all time… but Sami Zayn has to take this. WWE, please, give Sami an actual break and actually let him have a meaningful run with the IC Championship. Sami has more than proven himself and deserves to be champion. This match will be excellent. Maybe best of the night. Not only are Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan, two of the best wrestlers in the world, involved, but we could also see spots from Drew Gulak, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura too! The possibilities are endless with this match. I would just love to see Sami Zayn retaining the belt and moving on to have a meaningful reign. Like I said, he deserves it.
WINNER: Sami Zayn
Jay: Sami Zayn will take it. Bryan has nothing to gain here and his skits with Gulak will become all the more humorous should he lose. Zayn, also, will get a stronger pedestal from which to spout his chicanery as he continues to drive forward in this new direction. Who knew that a Sami Zayn heel turn would last back when it first happened in 2017.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Forrest: It’s no secret that I love everyone involved here and would love to see almost any outcome in what I’m already anticipating will be my favorite match, but Bryan doesn’t need this and Sami does. It helps that his whole Castro schtick is just so much fun to watch, and that Bryan and Gulak’s training will be made all the better, too. WWE has put itself in a very good place with all these guys, I hope they know that.
Winner: Sami Zayn
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: The Miz & John Morrison (c) vs. The Usos vs. The New Day
Shane: Rumor has it that Miz was injured and was unable to compete in this match like originally scheduled… So, with that mind, I would like this match to turn into a ladder match for the number one contendership on the line between the Usos and New Day. We’ve already seen what they can do inside Hell in a Cell, imagine what they could do in a ladder match! I mean Kofi freaking Kingston is in it for crying out loud. This match will be fast and it will be good. I’m picking the Usos for this one just because I’d like to see them tangle up with Miz/Morrison over The New Day. Super scientific reasoning, I know.
WINNERS: The Usos
Jay: Miz and Morrison. Rumors are swirling that The Miz will not be competing in this match but I think Miz and Morrison will retain either way. The New Day and The Usos have been there and done that. There is nothing left for them to do with the tag titles. Miz and Morrison: Part Deux however, has been refreshing if a bit familiar. There is simply more to do with if they walk away with the title ESPECIALLY if Morrison retains without Miz. Think of all the trash talk and the bragging rights the team will have if they beat The New Day and The Usos with only one of their members in the match
Winners: Morrison all by his lonesome
Forrest: I know they’re resistant to it, and with good reason, but this is as good a time as any for New Day to turn heel. Miz and Morrison are detestable, and the Usos have a once-in-a-lifetime energy with Kofi, E, and Xavier. Let Kofi finally break, let E carry him out of there kicking and screaming, let us see how much they need Xavier to stay together…give me the story I haven’t seen from anyone here yet. Oh, Miz and Morrison will retain, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not the real story.
Winners: Miz and Morrison hey hey ho ho
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits (c) vs. Austin Theory & Angel Garza
Shane: Angel Garza is my boy, but that still isn’t enough to interest me in this match. I was already not sold on this when Andrade was in the match and now that he has been replaced with Austin Theory, I’m even less interested. There’s no way that The Street Profits lose.
WINNERS: The Street Profits
Jay: The Street Profits. This match has suffered through audible after audible. This match originally had nothing to do with The Street Profits and the tag titles and was supposed to be a fatal-4-way featuring Rey Mysterio, Angel Garza, Andrade, and Humberto Carillo. Mysterio is apparently out of action and literally no one has noticed that Humberto was gone so the WWE powers that be threw together a Teddy Long special with The Street Profits putting their tag titles on the line. Andrade, unfortunately, then suffered an injury placing meaning that he was unable to compete in the match which led to Austin Theory being placed in the match. I honestly believe that Austin Theory was the only person in the building when he was slated for this match. He’s perfectly functional as a member of the WWE roster and the match will be fine but – Austin Theory? This has been a very tumultous endeavor for WWE so I truly believe that this was one of those moments when WWE was just like, “F*ck it.” Since this match has been subject to two separate, sub-optimal changes, I cannot imagine that WWE would change anyone’s career trajectory because of it. The Street Profits will retain.
Winners: The Street Profits
Forrest: This match went from interesting to…just there. The Street Profits have a ton of momentum going into this, and I don’t see WWE throwing that away for a hastily made tag team as much as I love Zelina.
Winners: Profits are up!
Elias vs. King Corbin
Shane: Eh, King Corbin. Just because. Give him some momentum back from the Reigns feud, I guess.
WINNER: King Corbin
Jay: This match will be excellent because both men are likely mad as hell at their position in the card. They are two of the strongest characters on the roster and have proved they deserve more than this thrown together match. Corbin will take it because there will be more to this feud beyond this match.
Winner: King Corbin
Forrest: Did anyone else think they were building to a Jeff Hardy v. Corbin match in this spot that just inexplicably faded away? Either way, they’re clearly more interested in the King than uh, Elias.
Winner: Corbin, corporate yes man
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
Shane: This match is still going on? Huh, ok. Interesting. Uhh… Aleister Black wins. He has a ton more momentum going on and the WWE just doesn’t seem to allow Bobby Lashley to do much of anything besides being Lana’s *****.
WINNER: Aleister Black
Jay: What? I don’t even…whatever. Aleister Black.
Winner: Aleister Black
Forrest: I have no idea where this is coming from but it’s either a very concentrated effort to get Aleister some more momentum before something big, or to just completely bury him and I don’t know which, to be honest. I hope it’s the former. Even if I don’t think he’s the most interesting wrestler, Black has a heck of a lot more character than Bobby.
Winner: Aleister Black
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
Shane: I’m actually really looking forward to this match! Dolph Ziggler can always put on a good show, and Otis has proven that he too can work. That Tag Team Gauntlet match leading into Elimination Chamber was great. I am just really looking forward to having Otis get his hands on Ziggler and (hopefully) winning the match. This is probably going to be the feel good moment of this year’s Wrestlemania and I’m ok with that.
Jay: Standard WWE booking conventions would never allow Otis to win. The Otis character NEVER gets the girl in the WWE as the booking brass always opts to turn the person in the Mandy role and load heat on the person in the Ziggler role. See Chris Jericho vs. Christian at WM 20, Matt Hardy vs. Kane at Summer Slam 2004, Test vs. Triple H in 2000, and most recently Rusev vs. Lashley. However, this is not a normal situation for the WWE and the climate surrounding this years WrestleMania and, let’s just say WWE knows we could all use a little pick me up. So Otis is going to topple Ziggler and ride off into the sunset with his peach. Ah, romance amidst all this chaos.
Winner: True Love.
Forrest: Otis is strong enough to break through the Elimination Chamber cages and Dolph’s character these days is that he wears headbands. You tell me.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Shane: So, Alexa Bliss pins Asuka on Raw and then immediately gets a tag team title shot at Wrestlemania? Great. Talk about a fantastic build to a match… Uh, let’s just give it to the Kabuki Warriors. Asuka has been killing it on commentary!
WINNERS: The Kabuki Warriors
Jay: This is another match in which we do not even know the competitors. Is this match even happening? The Kabuki Warriors have been killing it. Bliss-Cross-AppleSauce is a delight. I don’t know, I guess Bliss and Cross if the match happens
Forrest: Asuka is the best women’s wrestler in the company, totally misused at Elimination Chamber, and I’m bummed that Kairi won’t get to roll up in her thematically appropriate pirate ship. A win is more than enough compensation.
Winner: Kabuki Warriors
WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Shane: Every scenario I go to has Drew McIntrye walking out of Wrestlemania as WWE Champion. I firmly believe that it is finally his time to win the strap. Brock, at this point, really only serves as the Triple H of old, the final boss for some baby face (not named Roman Reigns) to dethrone at the Showcase of the Immortals. This year’s baby face just so happens to be Drew McIntyre. McIntyre is riding a wave of momentum- a wave that will take him straight through Brock Lesnar.
WINNER: (and NEW WWE CHAMPION) Drew McIntyre.
Jay: Drew. Drew is a tried and true babyface in a tried and true babyface storyline and will win the WWE Championship in a tried and true fashion. You can always sort of tell when Lesnar is into a storyline and is present in the proceedings and this is one of those times. This match will be excellent and it will be a wonderful, long due, coronation for “The Chosen One.”
Winner: Drew McIntyre.
Forrest: I think this will be a good match with an unsurprising outcome. Lesnar’s primary role in WWE these days is to “make” people, and boy is McIntyre — innocent spider killing madman or consummate babyface — ready to be made.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Universal Championship Match: Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Shane: At first, I had pegged Roman Reigns to walk out at Wrestlemania as Universal Champion. However, now that Reigns has been replaced by Braun Strowman, I am not as confident with there being a new Champion walking out of Mania. In fact, I now think I am going to take Goldberg retaining. The WWE has done nothing with Braun Strowman and this year really doesn’t feel any different. The only reason he’s even on the Wrestlemania card this year is because of Reigns backing out of the fight. It’s this reason alone that I can’t see Strowman winning the big one this weekend.
Jay: So, uh. This match isn’t happening. It’s been confirmed as such. It’s been widely rumored that it’s either Braun Strowman or Triple H taking his place. So my prediction will be two fold. First, I think it will be Triple H because he was probably in the building. Second, I think regardless of who is in the match, Goldberg will lose. This is a powder keg for WWE. Roman – understandably and, probably, correctly – chose to pull out of the match due to the raging fire in the world right now and his withdrawal highlights the danger that underscores WWE choosing to produce this event. WWE most certainly does not this match to be tainted, much less the entire affair, to be punctuated by Roman’s withdrawal. The best way to do that is with an abrupt but exciting pivot and the best way to do that would be a shock replacement with a shock title win. Triple H is the most likely choice but I wouldn’t be surprised if Vinnie Mac was looking through his phone contacts to dust off someone we wouldn’t expect.
Winner: Not Goldberg.
Forrest: If you had told me about this match a week ago, I would’ve said there’s no way in a million years Goldberg retains over Roman. Now? I’m not so sure. It really depends on how WWE wants to use Goldberg, if that’s in the same capacity as Lesnar with McIntyre i.e making another, more consistent and interesting wrestler for Roman to go up against, and how long Goldberg, an aging guy with plenty of money, wants to stick around. If it’s Strowman? I think they’ll just put the Roman story on hold and have him pick it up in a safer time and environment. Triple H or Cena or Wyatt? I’m less sure. Regardless, the most interesting thing here isn’t Goldberg, but rather how Roman gets removed and reinserted later…which is probably yet-to-be written, as exciting as the possibilities are.
Winner: The WWE writer that came up with an idea to get them out of this.
Boneyard Match: The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
Shane: Is this going to be an instant classic? No, it won’t be. Is this going to be a show-stealing extravaganza? Again, no it won’t be. Is it going to be at least an entertaining match? Yes, I have a feeling it will be. I have no idea what to expect from this “boneyard” match, but when you have The Undertaker (who looks to have gone back to his Biker gimmick?), AJ Styles, and the OC involved, how bad can it really be? I’m going to go with the Undertaker on this one, just because I never bet against him at Wrestlemania and because AJ doesn’t really need to win here . WINNER: The Undertaker
Jay: This match will be much better than we all expect but, the storyline is terrible. The Undertaker is one of the greatest characters the WWE is ever had so his character is simply not suited for breaking the fourth wall. Plus, there is no upside – especially on Taker’s part – towards breaking the fourth wall for either of the two competitors. However, both are master storytellers that have some design behind all of this madness. The Undertaker is, seemingly, tweaking his character and will need a win in order to cement it.
Winner: The Undertaker
Forrest: I’m pretty excited for this! Assuming WWE leans into this match with the same rumored productions as the “warehouse” match for The Fiend and Cena, the visuals will be striking and cinematic in a way that really benefits where Undertaker is at career wise. AJ is a good fit for that kind of production: a fish out of water. Does the fish win in that kind of scenario? No, hardly ever, and that was before it insulted the fisher’s wife. I hope AJ and oh, Shinsuke Nakamura, get a good title run before they retire, though.
John Cena vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Shane: They have to give The Fiend a win here… they have to. If the WWE wants to save any last scraps of The Fiend gimmick after having him lose clean to Goldberg at Super ShowDown, they HAVE to give him the win here. It should be hard hitting. It should have the vintage Super Cena spots. It should have us wondering if The Fiend will actually win. It should have all of that. But, it definitely needs to have Bray Wyatt go over and get his win back from Cena from Wrestlemania XXX. Please, WWE. Please.
WINNER: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Jay: The Fiend. This entire feud has been about how Wyatt lost to Cena six years ago at WrestleMania XXX and how that lead to the emergence of The Fiend. It would not make sense for The Fiend to lose this match when you consider that especially since the will need a way to get the title off of Goldberg after this events proceedings. The gimmick is interesting but I am comfortable saying that our fears regarding it will be for not and it will be quite the spectacle.
Forrest: Same as above! WWE has an almost unprecedented opportunity to make this a unique, cinematic experience that leans into one character’s mystique and theatrical elements. Especially so, when they’re using them to tell a kind of longform story the promotion usually shies away from. The Fiend has worked hard for this, and he deserves it, to say nothing of Bray, one of the hardest most creative guys in the business.
Winner: The Fiend
Last Man Standing Match: Edge vs. Randy Orton
Shane: This is probably THE match that I am the most excited to see at this year’s Mania. From Edge’s surprise return at the Royal Rumble to the weekly build-up, everything surrounding this match has been perfect. I have not been as entertained by Randy Orton is, what, a decade? There is finally some light underneath him again and it shows. I expect great things from this match and the Last Man Standing just adds more intrigue. There hasn’t been a feud this personal in quite some time and I cannot wait to see it being played out. I just wish it was going to be in front of a live audience, because damn it, Edge deserves it. Anyways, Randy is going to get what’s coming to him and it is going to be brutal and it is going to be bloody fantastic. WINNER: Edge
Jay: Edge. This is typical fare for a returning veteran. Face veteran makes a triumphant return. Runs afoul of a villain who tells him “you can’t do it!” Face experiences doubt but is pushed by the villain. Face topples villain and poses as Michael Cole spouts gibberish about overcoming adversity and alludes to miracles. The match will be great, will certainly include spots we don’t expect considering the creativity of the two men, and Edge will spear his way to a victory.
Forrest: You know, WWE has put together a ticket I’m very excited about this year, and this match is a key example as to why. You know these guys, you know their stories, you know their triumphs and their downfalls, and you can feel that once-in-a-lifetime magnetic energy and aggression in every in-ring opportunity and promo building to this. Edge is back in it, he wants it, and he deserves it.
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