There are no more ppv’s between now and April 7th. The Road to Wrestlemania is officially firing on all cylinders and the card is taking shape. This is the part of the season where I get simultaneously nervous, excited, and overwhelmed. Whenever I hear people talk about WWE during this time of year, especially this time of year, I get a grin on my face similar to Thanos when he hears Death’s name. Several matches are official while a few more are slowly forming but the hype is definitely growing and I can’t wait to see how these angles culminate.
On Raw, we have three key matches already announced. The first is Batista vs HHH in a No Holds Barred match which was announced on Raw this past week. WWE teased this match several months ago during Smackdown 1000 when Batista made the comment that HHH has never beaten him. The two had an intense staredown before calming down and brushing off the words. But when Batista attacked Ric Flair a few weeks ago, that tension reignited and the Game demanded a fight. On Monday, Batista insisted he fight Hunter at Wrestlemania. Hunter obliged, but the match would be No Holds Barred. These two had a few matches in the past, one being Wrestlemania 21 and the other inside Hell in a Cell, but this match will undoubtedly be their most personal. HHH has done a lot in his career, but beating the Animal is the one achievement that’s alluded him and looks to change that in Metlife Stadium.
The second key Raw match is the triple threat match (ugh) between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair (UUGH) for the Raw Women’s Championship. I’ve already expressed the reason for my frustrations in this storyline and now that it’s official, nothing has changed. WWE writers have successfully made this match less meaningful by adding Flair and insisting SHE should be in this match. Everything about her involvement has made no sense and has made this storyline hypocritical and confusing. Charlotte accusing Becky of getting handouts. Removing the injury angle that Charlotte started. Victimizing herself in this storyline. NONE OF THIS IS NECESSARY!!!! You literally had the pieces for a solid main event and you just threw it out the window. At this point, I can’t see a scenario where they can change my mind, but stranger things have happened. I will say one major positive shift was the heel turn of Ronda Rousey. MUCH NEEDED improvement as she’s finally showing her ruthless side that we saw in UFC. This is the Ronda I’ve been waiting for so hopefully this and Becky’s dynamic will carry the excess weight that Charlotte brought.
The third match is one that was announced since January which is Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Not much to say about this one since WWE has yet to really promote the match due to an absent champion. If you don’t get the reaction you want WWE, you only have yourself to blame. Having said that, if done right, this match and overall storyline has major potential and hope it pans out.
For Smackdown, we just found out last night that Shane McMahon will face the Miz. Personally, I had a feeling someone was going to turn and I was hoping it would be Shane. Thankfully I was right because honestly, Shane makes a much better heel than a face and it’s time to see what the Miz can do with a legit full face turn. These two should put out a good match.
One match that isn’t official that I feel will be by next week is Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. I mentioned a few weeks ago that it’s Kofi’s time to finally cement his legacy and become the champion we’ve all been waiting for. Although I’ve been bashing the writers for their terrible work on the Raw women’s division, they’ve been doing a fantastic job with this angle and how they’re making Kofi the underdog which we can all relate. We all love a good underdog story (Rocky anyone?) Next week Kofi has to run a massive gauntlet match to determine his fate at Wrestlemania and while it is pretty clear what the outcome will be, I’m still excited to see the payout, especially if Kofi fulfils his dream.
Wrestlemania season is in full swing and most of the key matches are announced with the exception of one. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited about a Wrestlemania, and this is my fourth one attending. We still have several weeks of build-up and things can swing in any direction until then, but if it stays the course and continues to ascend, East Rutherford is in for a wild weekend.