The date is November 23, 2018, less than a week removed from WWE Survivor Series 2018. Greg DeMarco checks in with his top match predictions for the big event in New York City!
Survivor Series is behind us, meaning it’s time to update our WrestleMania speculations! October 7 was the date of my last WrestleMania speculations, and a lot has changed. Namely, Roman Reigns is off beating leukemia, with no timetable set for his return. We also have a new injury to Triple H, and there’s also talk of an injury to Samoa Joe. And who can forget Becky Lynch!?!?
Injured WWE Superstars & Their Expected Return Dates
So between the growing injury report, title changes, and Survivor Series fallout, we are ready to update our WrestleMania predictions!
Brock Lesnar (champion) vs. AJ Styles
Last time I called for a Shield Triple Threat here, with Roman Reigns walking in as Universal Champion. Reigns obviously vacated that championship, and Brock is the new champion. Reigns’ announcement left WWE with big void to fill–the WrestleMania closer.
As I referenced on a recent Greg DeMarco Show, WWE (and any company worth its salt) books backwards from a set ending. This is why the WrestleMania focus is typically set by the week after the prior year’s event itself, to give the booker, writing teams and agents a focal point to guide their decision making. When Reigns steps away, the first order of business was “What do we do at WrestleMania?”
I believe the answer to that question was AJ Styles.
Survivor Series went from AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns to AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar to Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar–and the latter delivered an amazing and unique match that isn’t getting the love it deserves.
AJ Styles is the perfect story for WrestleMania. Signed to be a mid-carder, AJ has exceeded expectations within WWE, and has shown the ability to deliver in all scenarios. A Royal Rumble win and subsequent match with Brock Lesnar would have MetLife Stadium rocking, delivering the ultimate feel-good moment for WWE and likely the top highlight in a career full of highlights for AJ Styles.
Before you ask, yes I have read the rumors of Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins at ‘Mania. Doesn’t mean I believe them!
Raw Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey (champion) vs. Charlotte Flair
Becky Lynch has set the world on fire, and I am among her top fans. But I also live in a place called reality, and I don’t see this match changing at all. I called this match last time, and for months everyone has been calling for this match to close the show (I don’t think it does).
The finish of their Survivor Series match served only to continue us on our path to Rousey-Flair at WrestleMania 35. Rousey said herself (in a red-carpet interview before Evolution) that she wants to take time off and have a family. She’s also struggling with life on the road.
WWE is building Charlotte Flair’s legacy. She ended Asuka’a “streak” at WrestleMania 34, and she is going to serve Ronda Rousey with her first loss at WrestleMania 35. Becky will be just fine, as another round of Becky-Charlotte after WrestleMania will do big business, and likely see both women main eventing house shows and possibly a pay-per-view along the way.
Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax
Talk about things changing! In my first round of WrestleMania predictions, I said we’d get Asuka challenging Becky Lynch. I assume Becky will end up dropping (or forfeiting) the Smackdown Women’s Championship soon enough, and I think Asuka is still in a championship match at WrestleMania.
But Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax is MONEY. I know it’s not Lynch-Rousey, which we may have been robbed of thanks to that errant punch thrown by Nia Jax. But assuming Rousey-Flair is in stone (as I am), the next best thing is for Becky Lynch to get her hands on Nia Jax in front of 90,000 rabid fans in the New York/New Jersey area. Nia is finally settling in as a heat magnet, and “The Man” is the true people’s champion.
Becky doesn’t need Ronda at WrestleMania, Becky sells this WrestleMania match on her own–and that’s the biggest compliment you can give a WWE superstar.
Daniel Bryan (champion) vs. The Miz
I was originally going to slot Shane McMahon in as The Miz’s opponent, but I think that storyline gets tied up sometime during the TLC-Royal Rumble-Elimination Chamber run.
I had Miz pegged as your challenger for the WWE Championship (then held by AJ Styles) along with a Royal Rumble win. Now that AJ is in a different position, it only makes sense that Miz–who is creeping closer and closer to being a babyface on a daily basis–to emerge as Bryan’s challenger. Bryan will have his supporters over WrestleMania Weekend, but Miz has emerged as a favorite of the internet fanbase himself. This match can steal the show, and is worthy of a top spot at WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
I originally went with a Shield Triple Threat for WrestleMania 35, but that might have to wait a year. Instead we continue the issue between Ambrose and Rollins.
This is a much better match for Rollins, in my opinion. Yes, Lesnar is the money match, but Ambrose and Rollins will deliver big time, and the street fight stipulation only helps things.
I considered Hell In A Cell (which happened at WrestleManias 29 and 32), but the street fight makes sense here. If Roman is able to, an appearance either helping Rollins or celebrating at the end makes total sense as well.
The Undertaker vs. John Cena
No change from last time–to me this seems as “set in stone” as Rousey-Flair. (Mainly so I can be doubly wrong? Maybe…)
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
One thing that really stood out to me in Eric’s injury report today was that both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are expected back by WrestleMania. I was racking my brain to figure out what the company would do with Drew McIntyre, and this provided the answer.
Owens and Zayn will get a heroes welcome upon return, as that is the standard return pop for WWE superstars these days. Ziggler and McIntyre are amazing as heels, and I would bet money on Drew getting a mega-push after WrestleMania. McIntyre vs. Styles could be a major program for the company. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, and it would deliver.
I’d expect Kevin & Sami to go over (on Ziggler), with McIntyre turning on his partner and ending their year long alliance in the process.
There’s a lot more ground to cover outside of those matches. You have Shane McMahon, Asuka & the Smackdown Women’s Championship, United States Championship, Braun Strowman, Triple H (if he’s back), and more. This will be another packed WrestleMania for sure, so get ready for 5+ hours of action next April!