We’re less than four weeks away from WreslteMania 33, and things are finally taking shape.
Following Fastlane this past Sunday, which wound up being one of the worst overall network specials in quite some time, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live answered a ton of questions as far as what the card will look like at WrestleMania 33 on April 2 in Orlando.
As of right now, there are seven confirmed matches, starting with the obligatory Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Raw has three title matches set so far. Newly-crowned WWE Universal Champion Goldberg will defend his championship against Brock Lesnar. The Raw Women’s Championship will be defended in a triple threat match when champion Bayley takes on Charlotte and Sasha Banks. The last locked-up title match from that show is United States Champion Chris Jericho taking on his former best friend Kevin Owens for the title.
SmackDown has confirmed one match so far, and that’s the likely main event of Randy Orton facing Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship.
Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson will also defend their titles against either Enzo Amore & Big Cass or Cesaro & Sheamus. SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss will also defend her championship in a match that will include all the remaining women on the SmackDown roster, but nothing more of that match has been specified yet.
Several other potential matches are either in the works or waiting to be announced, including plans for Seth Rollins, Triple H, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, A.J. Styles, a potential Intercontinental Championship match between Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin, the John Cena/Nikki Bella vs The Miz/Maryse feud, something with the cruiserweight division and SmackDown Tag Team Champs American Alpha.
That leaves us with probably the most interesting match left to announce: Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker.
When it comes to fantasy booking, this is the truest definition of that. I had been hoping that Undertaker’s last few WrestleMania opponents would include The Big Dog.
The seeds were planted at Royal Rumble, and it was pretty obvious. Reigns eliminated Undertaker, and went on to shout at him that the ring was his yard now. You don’t say something like that to Undertaker and expect him to forget.
Reigns doubled down on his proclamation Monday when Undertaker came to the ring after Braun Strowman called out Reigns. Certainly, the seeds for an Undertaker vs. Strowman match were planted for the future (SummerSlam?).
Reigns didn’t take kindly to Undertaker answering Strowman. He told Undertaker to his face that the ring was his yard now and Taker should leave. A glance at the WrestleMania sign followed by a choke slam was all the confirmation we needed that this match will happen.
- Strowman nodding to Undertaker and retreating was so well done. Strowman, who has no problem kicking anyone’s ass, at least respects the presence of Undertaker. There will be something between these two and it will be exciting because Strowman is remarkable.
- Looks like we’re planting the seeds for A.J. Styles vs. Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. My only gripe with this set up is the fact McMahon said that Styles deserved to be at Mania and not Orton. Switching that around to have Daniel Bryan support Styles made way more sense. The match will still be fun, and I think I’m in the minority in thinking that.
- I don’t like having two multi-women title matches unless the SmackDown Women’s Championship will be defended in a ladder match. It doesn’t look like we’re getting a women’s Money in the Bank match at Mania yet either.
- Owens and Jericho is my early favorite to be match of the night. Either that or the unannounced and potential Austin Aries vs. Neville match for the Cruiserweight Championship.
- Neville and Jack Gallagher stole the show Sunday along with Reigns and Strowman. Outside of those two matches and a solid, but forgettable, opening match between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, Fastlane was terrible.
- I’m still not happy with how they booked the Goldberg/Owens match. I get it, it’s the story WWE wants to tell by having Lesnar and Goldberg look as indestructible as possible going into WrestleMania 33, but it sucks for Owens. It brings back bad memories of The Rock beating CM Punk for the WWE Championship, only to have Rock drop it to John Cena two months later.
- Baron Corbin continues to do fine work on SmackDown. I’d be shocked if he isn’t holding the Intercontinental Championship going into the Monday following WrestleMania.
Power 7 Rankings
Week of March 6
The top seven wrestlers on Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, 205 Live and NXT.
Monday Night Raw
- Goldberg (2)
- Roman Reigns (5)
- Kevin Owens (1)
- Braun Strowman (3)
- Samoa Joe (4)
- Bayley (6)
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (7)
On the bubble: Chris Jericho, Sasha Banks.
- Randy Orton (1)
- Bray Wyatt (2)
- A.J. Styles (3)
- John Cena (4)
- The Miz (5)
- Dean Ambrose (7)
- Alexa Bliss (UR)
Out: Luke Harper (6).
On the bubble: Baron Corbin, American Alpha, The Usos.
- Neville (1)
- Jack Gallagher (2)
- Rich Swann (3)
- The Brian Kendrick (4)
- Noam Dar (5)
- Cedric Alexander (6)
- T.J. Perkins (7)
On the bubble: Akira Tozawa, Tony Nese.
- Bobby Roode (1)
- Asuka (2)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (3)
- Authors of Pain (4)
- Eric Young (5)
- Roderick Strong (6)
- #DIY (7)
On the bubble: No Way Jose, Ember Moon.