Written by Rob Edwards (@rob_edwards19)
The road to WrestleMania 36 has officially begun. The most exciting time of the year for professional wrestling fans has finally arrived.
The Royal Rumble event has come and gone with Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair punching their tickets to Tampa, Florida after overcoming 29 other competitors in their respective matches.
The show of shows goes down on Sunday, April 5th at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. With the clock ticking, let’s have a look at the matches which have been confirmed so far, as well as break down contests which may added over the next few weeks.
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (C) vs Drew McIntyre
McIntyre shocked the world when he eliminated the man he would go on to challenge at Mania in last month’s men’s Royal Rumble match. The following night on RAW, he challenged the Beast Incarnate for the WWE Championship. The Scotsman has established himself as one of the companies’ most popular superstars over recent months, and with the WWE universe on his side, he will have his sights set on dethroning Lesnar.
NXT Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley (C) vs Charlotte Flair
Following her triumph at the Royal Rumble, WWE fans were curious to see which champion the Queen would go onto face. Having dismissed both the RAW and Smackdown championships, NXT champion Rhea Ripley made her presence known by challenging Flair to a match at Mania. After much debate over whether she would accept, the 10-time women’s champion attacked Ripley at NXT Takeover Portland – giving her answer.
Universal Championship – “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (C) vs Roman Reigns
Despite failing to win the rumble last month, many believe we will see Roman Reigns challenge for the title he vacated back in 2018. Since his return almost a year ago, Reigns has been stuck in some terrible feuds against the likes of Elias, Rowan and most recently Baron Corbin. It’s time for him to return to the championship picture, but with the Fiend being such a popular figure, can he keep the fans onside?
RAW Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (C) vs Shayna Baszler
The Man has defeated everyone who has dared challenge her since she became champion at last year’s Mania. With it almost certain she will take the title to Tampa in April, the question is, who will topple her? It seems we have our answer in the form of the previous NXT champion, Shayna Baszler. Many had Baszler down to win the Rumble last month. Despite failing to overcome Flair, it seems we are still set for her and Lynch to collide on April 5th.
Smackdown Women’s Championship – Bayley (C) vs Sasha Banks
Bayley is now the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s champion of all time. However, it’s safe to say her heel turn hasn’t been as big of a success as the company may have hoped. Despite being the champ, she is still living in her best friend Sasha Banks’ shadow. The Boss hasn’t been on television since the start of January, but remains the most credible superstar to take the title off Bayley. If booked properly, this feud could go the distance.
Randy Orton vs Edge
Edge’s return at the Royal Rumble was truly shocking, and his decision to beat Orton to the punch on turning and eliminating him before “The Viper” could strike was a good moment. While Orton’s retribution was inevitable, the level of violence shown when he brutalized Edge the next night on Raw was shocking and this is going to be a huge match on the WrestleMania card that could steal the show.
Intercontinental Championship – Braun Strowman (C) vs Sheamus
After years of waiting, Strowman finally has his first singles championship in the bag. It’s been a long time coming and fans will say it’s no more than he deserves. As a result, the Monster Among Men deserves a quality match at Mania, and the obvious choice is the returning Sheamus. These two could produce a phenomenal match and a feud that all fans would get behind.
United States Championship – Andrade (C) vs Rey Mysterio vs Humberto Carrillo
We have seen Andrade face both Carrillo and Mysterio one-on-one. Putting all three together in the ring promises to be a mouth-watering encounter. These men are three of the most technically gifted wrestlers in the business. The rest speaks for itself.
RAW Tag Team Championships – Viking Raiders vs AOP
This match must happen. Even though Seth Rollins and Murphy currently hold the titles, it is only a matter of time before they return to the safe hands of the Viking Raiders. Once that happens, the AOP can enter the frame and we can see the match that fans have been crying out for.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships – John Morrison & The Miz (C) vs The New Day vs The Usos
I am going with Morrison and Miz to take the titles off the New Day at Super Showdown later this month. However, I don’t think this will be the end of the feud. The two teams may lock horns again on the grandest stage of all. Furthermore, adding six-time champions the Usos into the mix can only make this storyline even better.
Women’s Tag Team Championships – Asuka & Kairi Sane (C) vs Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss
The women’s tag championships have been booked awfully since they were introduced at last year’s Elimination Chamber. Now that Asuka is seemingly finished with Becky Lynch, she and her partner Kairi Sane can turn their attention to defending their titles. Obvious challengers are limited, but in Bliss and Cross they have two women who are over with the crowd. This match may have to settle for a place on the pre-show, but still could be a fascinating story if told well.