Well, we made it to the end of another season. WrestleMania 35’s card has been finalised and confirmed, and we’re all anticipating some big changes in New York come Sunday. Many fans are throwing out their thoughts and opinions on what’s to come, the likely outcomes and the results that be damned if they do happen. It’s about time that I throw my infamously bold predictions out into the field, some unexpected results mixed with fortunes of the future.
Regardless of what goes down, WrestleMania is always a marathon of fun and I’m really looking forward to seeing a Mania that doesn’t go too heavy on the nostalgia trips and puts the focuses on the superstars of today who are putting in the hours each and every week. I can’t wait to see what happens, and how we’re all divided in opinion on Monday morning.
5. Finn Bálor & Bobby Lashley have a seriously underrated match
The Intercontinental Title has been hot-potatoed between Finn Bálor and Bobby Lashley over the past couple of months. In what doesn’t sound like a typical WrestleMania title match, they’re set to have one final rematch on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Assumptions are that the title was only taken from Balor to give him an excuse to win it back in spectacular fashion at Mania itself, which would only go to suggest that we’ll finally get to see The Demon alter-ego make its first spectacular appearance.
The last time we saw The Demon was at last year’s SummerSlam, in a total squash match against Baron Corbin. I would like to think that this match won’t follow suit in lasting only a few minutes and instead allow both Bálor and Lashley to really flesh out their last match and reclaim their reputations for being solid athletes.
I think that outside of the re-debut of the Demon, interest in this match is at an all-time low, and rightly so considering that we’ve been watching this feud for months on end in various forms. That’s just more reason to believe that this could end up as one of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history. We all know that Bálor has it in him, and contrary to popular belief, so does Bobby Lashley. Let’s see if my prophecies come true and we get an Intercontinental title match to remember.
4. Kurt Angle wrestles twice in one night
The backlash against WWE for selecting Baron Corbin as Kurt Angle’s final opponent has been astronomical. Not everyone is sold on the former Constable as a WrestleMania worthy star, and their 2018 feud barely made it off the ground. It would be a real shame to see such an iconic figure bow out in a match that is likely to be shunned by a negative reception.
The quick-fix solution here is to have Angle annihilate Corbin in a matter of minutes, giving Angle the one last feel-good moment on the big stage. Baron Corbin can take the loss and would be much to the delight of the audience to see him out of the spotlight as soon as possible. However, perhaps Kurt Angle doesn’t want to go out in such an underwhelming manner, maybe he issues another open challenge before hanging up the boots?
The history between Cena and Angle has been subtle yet instrumental in both of their careers. Cena’s first appearance on WWE TV was against Kurt, which spawned the ‘Ruthless Aggression’ tagline that we’re all familiar with. Since then, Angle put on some excellent matches against the up-and-comer throughout the early 00s and prior to his depature in 2005.
One last hurrah against the face of a generation wouldn’t go amiss for Angle and would be a suitable farewell match for the Olympic gold medallist. Naturally this match wouldn’t have to be a 20 minute classic, just seeing them both suited and booted for a match would be enough of a WrestleMania moment.
Who knows, but one thing’s for sure: anyone but Corbin.
3. An NXT star wins the ARMBAR
WWE have recently shaken up the roster with an abundance of NXT call-ups, ranging from Ricochet to Aleister Black to EC3 to Otis Dozovic. The sheer amount of talent available to WWE right now is nothing to snooze on, so it’s a shame to see them currently all relegated to the Andre Battle Royal.
It’s almost a tease now to see any of the other call-ups involved in a tangible angle on Raw or SmackDown Live. Heavy Machinery have flirted with the idea of being a semi-serious threat while EC3 has been relegated to Main Event. So their hopes of being considered top-tier talent rests on a big victory, which could come in the form of a big golden trophy.
I’m going to lay my optimistic self on the line here and say that I think WWE might come through for them and perhaps give one of the freshmen a ‘shocking’ WrestleMania victory. It’s always a complete free-for-all when it comes to the ARMBAR, so your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, I feel good about this one — I think they might finally figure out what they want the Andre to mean, an opportunity for exposure, to be taken seriously.
Either that or EC3 is eliminated first by Nia Jax or something.
2. Brock retains the Universal Championship
Oh lawdy, he retainin’.
For the second straight Wrestlemania, I predict we’ll all be punk’d and Brock Lesnar will once again walk away from a Championship match victorious. With all due respect to Seth Rollins, and WWE for the story they’re telling, I don’t see him being the guy to defeat Brock. Something just doesn’t add up.
Seth is coming into this match looking as strong as he ever has, just by being in this main event match is enough of a rub to his singles career. Regardless, after subsequent victories over Finn Bálor, Daniel Bryan and even Braun Strowman, I don’t see Rollins having the X-factor that WWE are looking for to be Brock’s bane.
With Lesnar’s contract seemingly running on after WrestleMania, I’m not sure if Vince is ready and willing for his biggest box office draw to drop the title just yet. Its almost as if he’s waiting until the very last opportunity for his shining babyface to finally overcome the odds. Granted, Roman has already done so, but again we’re waiting for our knight in shining armour to finally get Brock out of the Universal Championship picture.
To summarise, on paper this is a Brock victory and in theory this is a Brock victory. Seth Rollins is the exact name that should be considered to be his challenger at this year’s WrestleMania, but there’s no amount of slogans and heartfelt promos that’s making me believe we’ll see a new champion just yet.
It’s either that or Roman meets a defeated Rollins on the ramp, Seth beckons Reigns to head into the ring. Roman lets out a massive OOO-AHH and destroys Lesnar in seconds. WrestleMania closes with Roman Reigns as your new Universal Champ. Rejoice.
1. Braun Strowman is officially buried
Braun Strowman was at one point the hottest thing in all of WWE. He seemed poised to be the next in line for the Universal Championship after Reigns and Lesnar had finished their little debacle at last year’s Mania, but that never came to be. Braun lost several matches to Brock in convincing fashion, which really started to wear on his momentum. There was only a certain amount of optimism that the fanbase can hold onto until it’s well and truly crushed.
Here we are at WrestleMania 35 and Braun is involved in a feud with two hosts of Saturday Night Live. How far the mighty have fallen.
Being the first entrant into this year’s ARMBAR signalled dire things for The Monster Among Men, not that there was much else going for Strowman who hasn’t been involved in a high-profile singles feud for months. Being the obvious winner usually means quite the opposite in WWE, and now that the two celebrity guests have also been confirmed to be included in this year’s battle royal, all things point to a straight up burial.
Strowman’s stock has plummeted and at this point it’s fair to say that he’s nothing more than a joke character on Monday Night Raw, much like The Great Khali circa 2010. Mark my words that WWE will hammer the final nail in his coffin during the ARMBAR and have him hoisted over the top rope by two mooks who are taking up space that could be used on actual talent. Like The Ascension.
What far-out predictions do you have for WrestleMania 35? Do you passionately disagree with me? Let us know in the comments below.