Today’s date is March 28, 2021, which was the original date for WrestleMania 37 that was going to be in Los Angeles. Instead, the world has gone through a lot of changes over the last year and due to COVID-19, WrestleMania got pushed back two weeks and will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. That was the original location of WrestleMania 36 last year, which took place mostly at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando in front of no fans.
WrestleMania 37 is a two-night event with matches taking place on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11. There will be approximately 25,000 fans in the building that would have had around 70,000 people in a normal year. There will be plenty of visible empty seats for sure, but here’s hoping those in attendance are vocal and can be heard even while they are wearing masks.
What I’m here to do today is go over the WrestleMania card with my thoughts on the matches and offer up a prediction on who I’m picking at this point. These predictions certainly may change by the time we get to April 10 and April 11, but I figure I might as well get my thoughts out there now. Plus, we always need Sunday content and on a rainy day, I might as well do that.
WrestleMania 37 Night One on Saturday, April 10
SmackDown Women’s Championship:Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair
During Smackdown on Friday they mentioned this match after the WWE Championship, so does that mean the women will main event? It might happen. The reason it’s deserved to go on last is because Belair won the Royal Rumble and it would be cool to have a women’s match main event one of the two nights. The thought against it is that a Smackdown match is going to headline Sunday night, so maybe a Raw match should headline Saturday night. I’m fine either way. I don’t get worked up about what goes on last on the first night of a two-night WrestleMania. To me, the WWE Championship match is more interesting with a better story and will probably be a better match too, so that’s why I’d favor that match.
I think they are finally on the right track on how to build this match with the cheap shot slaps by both women over the last week. Going after the Women’s Tag Team Titles multiple times and failing made them look bad and didn’t help the story at all. Banks has been a bit edgy of late. I wouldn’t call her a heel, but she is leaning that way a bit. It’s not like Banks is going to be a Bayley ally again, though. It’s the right way to go to make Belair the clear babyface in the story. Since Banks has had the title for over five months, a title change makes a lot of sense. I think Belair wins the SD Women’s Title.
WWE Championship:Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
This is a tough one to call because Lashley only won the title on March 1, so when they have this match he’ll only have a title reign that’s barely over one month. Considering it took Lashley 16 years to get the WWE Title, it makes sense for him to have a decent run as the champion. However, Drew McIntyre was the guy that was going to headline WrestleMania last year and while he did do just that last year, there weren’t any fans around to celebrate with him. This year, there are fans there, so that could make his third WWE Title win feel special. Could be there be some audience fatigue when it comes to McIntyre, which could lead to boos for the top babyface? Maybe, but I think Drew has earned the respect of the fans after being WWE’s best performer in 2020 and I think the match will be so good that the fans are going to be cheering by the end of it.
I’m a big fan of Bobby Lashley and the way he has been booked over the last year or so with MVP as his manager/main ally by his side. It would suck for Lashley to have such a short title reign. I just think this is going to be a feel-good show in a lot of ways, so that means it should be a big weekend for babyface wrestlers. I think McIntyre wins the WWE Title again. Maybe Lashley gets it back again this year too.
Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman
My interest here is very low. I don’t like the way Strowman has been booked, but Shane is there as a veteran heel that is going to put over Strowman in a big way. It’s predictable. Strowman is also a guy that could challenge Lashley or McIntyre for the WWE Title post-WrestleMania as well, so that’s probably part of WWE’s thinking with this match. A win for Strowman seems like a lock.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
I feel sorry for whoever has to follow these guys because they are going to steal the show and have the best match on night one. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of WWE fans, especially those of us hardcore fans that follow the company closely on the internet, have been clamoring for a Cesaro push since 2014 when he got a bit of a push and then it went away. In the past six plus years, he’s mostly been a tag guy with Tyson Kidd, Sheamus and Shinsuke Nakamura. They’re all great partners, but I’m so ready for singles wrestler Cesaro. I think they’ll have an outstanding match and I hope it gets in the range of 15-20 minutes because if they do then I know it’ll be a WrestleMania classic. Cesaro winning seems like a lock to me. Seth is the bigger name in the company, so he’s there to put Cesaro over and build him up some more. That’s fine with me. Cesaro wins.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
I’m intrigued by how this will be booked. The New Day has the most tag team title wins in WWE history with 11 while Styles is one of the greatest wrestlers of the last 20 years and then there’s Omos wrestling in his first televised match in WWE. You have three very established guys along with a “rookie” that is in a title match. If New Day wins then it could be done to split up Styles & Omos soon, but I think it’s more likely that there is a title change. I think Styles & Omos win the Raw Tag Team Titles. It seems like they are headed that way.
Bad Bunny vs. The Miz
I figured this would be a tag team match with Damian Priest joining Bad Bunny and John Morrison teaming with The Miz, but for right now it’s a singles match. If you did a tag team match then you have Bad Bunny stay on the corner for most of it, do a hot tag and then go to the finish from there. By making it a singles match, there is a lot more pressure. I should add also that I don’t mind that Bad Bunny is a part of this. So what? I don’t listen to his music, but the guy is popular and is a legit WWE fan, so it’s cool that he is living out a dream. If Priest and Morrison get added then that will make it a more watchable match. If not, hopefully they have practiced it enough to get through it. I’ll go with Bad Bunny getting the win. I don’t see WWE bringing him in and having him lose a match like this.
WrestleMania 37 Night Two on Sunday, April 11
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
The likely main event of night two is intriguing. The plan after Royal Rumble was Reigns vs. Rumble winner Edge. Two months later after Fastlane, the plan changed because WWE likely felt there wasn’t that much interest in the Reigns vs. Edge story with Edge’s quest as a babyface challenger looking to become a champion again. That led to the addition of Daniel Bryan, who is arguably the best wrestler in WWE in terms of having good matches, so you know with Bryan in there, it’s going to be a great match. Personally, I don’t love triple threats because they can get repetitive, but I’m not going to complain about it since Bryan makes every match better. Bryan’s inclusion has also made Edge more of a heel.
Picking a winner here is extremely difficult, which is great. I think Edge was going to be my pick just to complete the story as the guy that came back from injury and then won the title one more. However, since I once again feel like this is going to be a feel-good WrestleMania, it makes more sense for Daniel Bryan to win the Universal Title. I will add also that I think Reigns will probably get the title again by the summer and probably hold the Universal Title going into next year’s WrestleMania as well. Can I pencil in Reigns vs. Big E for next year? That’s my prediction. Anyway, I’m going with Bryan winning the Universal Title for the first time in his career to add to his legacy and change things up a bit on the Smackdown brand. I expect this to be an outstanding match. It could certainly be the best match at WrestleMania. Could I change my mind with this prediction? Absolutely.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
There’s no story here. It’s just a “dream match” of sorts with two episodes of Raw to try to make people care about it more. I assume Ripley will probably pick up a win or two on Raw in order to build her up for this match. It’s possible that WWE could add Charlotte Flair to the match assuming she is past her COVID-19 diagnosis (I believe she is), but I’m not sure if WWE wants yet another triple threat match on the same show. It’s just hard to fathom the idea that Charlotte wouldn’t have a match at WrestleMania if she’s healthy. Asuka has held the title for 200+ days and aside from Sasha Banks having a one month reign last summer, Asuka has held the title for most of the last year. This should be a great match that gets plenty of time and I expect them to work well together. I think we’ll see the veteran Asuka put over her younger opponent with Rhea Ripley getting the win to become the Raw Women’s Champion. I’ll add also that even if Charlotte Flair is in the match, I think Ripley will win.
“The Fiend” Bray vs. Randy Orton
The match with the longest story going into WrestleMania is this one. They started feuding late last year, then Randy put The Fiend on fire in their math at the December TLC PPV and they have been kept apart all this time with Orton having to deal with Alexa Bliss. While I wouldn’t call this a good feud by any means, all of the weird theatrics are liked by some fans. It’s possible that WWE goes the Firefly Funhouse “Match” route with this like Wyatt/Cena last year, but I think if you’re asking people to pay money to watch matches in the ring then it should be in a ring. Do a theatrical match at the next PPV. It’s such a weird story that the demonic Fiend character is the face, so I think The Fiend should get the win. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck like their last WrestleMania match four years ago.
Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
I have liked the story here. It’s pretty basic with Crews turning heel after failing to beat Big E multiple times. We have seen that kind of story many times in pro wrestling. It’s the classic case of jealousy. Since Crews has had the advantage multiple times with cheap attacks and since he pinned Big E on this past Friday’s Smackdown, I think the champion will retain. In addition to that, I think this is going to be a very long title run for Big E, who won the title three months ago on Christmas Smackdown. Big E might be IC Champion for one year or even longer and then he’s my pick to win the Royal Rumble too. I was hoping these guys would get more time at Fastlane, but it was a short match that was done to further the feud. That’s because I expect them to have 10-15 minutes here in what is probably the biggest match of both of their careers. Big E will get the win here.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Two of my favorites that are also fellow Canadians get to share the WrestleMania stage together. It’s not the first time for them since they were part of the same Ladder Match at WrestleMania in the past and they also teamed together three years ago in a losing effort against Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. I don’t know much about the Logan Paul guy that Sami Zayn is bringing to Smackdown next week, but Paul is also a boxer and he’ll be at WrestleMania. That tells me that Owens is going to win the match and then Zayn will be so upset, that he gets into a fight with Paul. That would lead to Paul knocking out Zayn with a punch. If this is a 15 to 20-minute match it could be a WrestleMania classic, but I think it might be too short to really reach that level.
Those are the official matches. Other matches that are possible include:
United States Championship:Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus
They have a non-title match on Raw. Sheamus will likely win to set up the title match, or they can do a DQ finish leading to a brawl to set up the title match. They have had plenty of good matches in the past. I think the current champion Riddle will retain his title.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships
There will likely be four teams in this match: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis & Chad Gable vs. Street Profits. While I would love to see Rey & Dominik win the titles, it just doesn’t feel like the right time. I think that should happen after a long term storyline building up to it as a big moment.
Women’s Tag Team Championships
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defending the titles in what could be a multi-team match as well. There are teams like Natalya/Tamina, Naomi/Lana and Dana Brooke/Mandy Rose that could be part of this match. You could also add Ruby Riott/Liv Morgan as the Riott Squad as well, but they haven’t been on TV as much of late. They could team up Bayley/Carmella as a heel team too. I’m not sure how many teams they are going to do here.
That’s 14 matches. The Men’s and Women’s Battle Royals would mean 16 matches total. They haven’t been announced yet, so we’ll see if it happens.
Final Thoughts on WrestleMania Card So Far
I like most of the card. There’s a lot of talent here and I keep saying if certain matches get 15+ minutes then were are going to have five or six matches total where I will likely be rating matches at ****+, which means there will be awesome matches. It’s not like it’s a perfect card, though. I think Bayley’s absence is a big one because she’s healthy and was a major player on Smackdown last year, yet she’s got nothing going on. Even if she wins the battle royal, would that really feel like a big deal? I just wish Bayley was doing more. There are others too, but Bayley is the biggest omission right now.
I think we might see some surprises like maybe Becky Lynch shows up for a promo or appearance after a match to let us know she wants to wrestle again after having her daughter last December. Becky is engaged to Seth Rollins, so she’s probably going to be at the show. Enough time has passed to where I think Becky could be back if she wants to be. I’m sure WWE would be happy to have her back. Maybe we’ll see other cameos as well.
I hope they come up with some stipulations for a few matches to make them stand out. The Reigns/Bryan/Edge match has No DQs and No Countouts since it’s a triple threat, but maybe you can call it a Street Fight to encourage more violence. They’ll probably have a gimmick match for Strowman vs. Shane so Shane can take a big fall. I’m not sure what else there might be.
If I had to compare the two brands, I think WWE has done a much better job setting up the Smackdown matches compared to Raw. I like the Smackdown matches more for the most part.
As a writer, I love the idea of two nights of WrestleMania. It’s exhausting writing about seven-hour shows. By splitting it up over two nights, it eases that workload for me, so I’m a big fan of that. I know next year they aren’t planning a two-night WrestleMania, but I’m a fan of the concept. That’s for sure.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.