You’ve heard the tagline by now. WrestleMania 36 is “too big for just one night.” Well, with 16 matches on the card, the show likely would have stretched to five or six hours if it was going ahead as planned in Tampa, in front of about 70,000 people. Instead, these matches have been pre-taped in an empty WWE Performance Center, and WWE is, wisely, choosing to break up the show over Saturday and Sunday night so they don’t completely burn out fans. Here’s our preview of what to expect, and picks for WrestleMania 36.
1. Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship
This match is interesting because I could see it going either way. There’s an argument to be made for Flair winning, which would put her on NXT as WWE wages war against AEW on Wednesday nights. But this could also be a star-making moment for Ripley, who is in her first big WWE main-roster match against one of the best women wrestlers in the world.
Prediction: Rhea Ripley retains.
2. Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
There’s something going on with this storyline, especially after it was revealed on Friday’s episode of SmackDown where there was some mystery person recording Ziggler and Sonya Deville backstage trying to sabotage the relationship between Mandy Rose and Otis. But, WWE needs the good guy winning here.
Prediction: Otis wins.
3. The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Asuka is getting more and more over as a talent, even if she isn’t entirely being accepted as a heel. Bliss and Cross seem more like a short-term pairing than a long-term solution for both.
Prediction: The Kabuki Warriors retain.
4. Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the Intercontinental Championship
Zayn has the backup of Cesaro and Nakamura, but Bryan was beaten up badly by the group on Friday night’s SmackDown. I think that’s setting the stage for Bryan to overcome the odds and pick up a title win at WrestleMania.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins the Intercontinental Championship.
5. Elias vs. King Corbin
Corbin shoved Elias off a staging platform on last week’s SmackDown, which WWE speculated could take him out of the match at WrestleMania. I think that’s setting the stage for Elias to come back from the injury and fight a good fight, but it gives him the excuse to fall to Corbin, who Vince still sees something in.
Prediction: King Corbin.
6. Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
I legitimately have no idea who will win this match.
7. The Street Profits (c) vs. Austin Theory and Angel Garza for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Theory and Garza are a team thrown together. Theory just made his main-roster debut last week. There’s no way this random team beats a team that WWE has put some time into developing on Raw.
Prediction: The Street Profits retain.
8. The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs. The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The New Day could be in line for another run with the tag titles here, and there are rumors that Miz won’t be on the show because he pulled himself due to COVID-19 concerns. That means the match either won’t take place as advertised, or it could be scrapped altogether.
Prediction: Miz and Morrison retain.
9. Edge vs. Randy Orton
Edge HAS to win this match. Orton has been getting the upper hand at every step. He took out Edge, and then he took out Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix. Aside from one quick spear, Edge hasn’t gotten his hands on Orton yet.
10. The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match
What the heck is a Boneyard Match? Well, we’re about to find out. Given that he’s an old man and Styles has some legs left as a main-event talent, Styles should 100 percent win this match. But Vince McMahon does Vince McMahon things. Styles has been berating Undertaker every week and it’s Undertaker’s match.
11. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
This is a match that could go either way. Ultimately, I think WWE is more worried about getting Rollins over as a top-level heel after he had such a long run as a babyface.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
12. John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Funhouse Match
Wyatt is looking for redemption for his loss at WrestleMania six years ago. Cena is back to repay the favor and do the honors here, especially considering this is Wyatt’s match. Plus, Wyatt needs a big win to get back on track after inexplicably losing to Goldberg in Saudia Arabia so quickly.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
13. Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler for the RAW Women’s Title
Lynch was crowned at last year’s WrestleMania when she beat Ronda Rousey. Now, it’s her turn to make Baszler, who is a hard-hitting MMA machine. Baszler wins here, but this is just the first chapter in what will likely be a long rivalry.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler wins the RAW Women’s Title.
14. Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks vs. Tamina for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
This has the potential to be an absolute mess. There’s going to be way too much going on in this match, and not enough of the wrestlers involved are talented enough as wrestlers to make this work. This is probably the match I’m looking the least forward to.
Prediction: Bayley retains.
15. Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Goldberg shouldn’t have won the Universal Championship in Saudi Arabia. And he shouldn’t retain it here. But he will, because WWE wants to do the spear vs. spear match at some point.
Prediction: Goldberg retains.
16. Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship
It’s time for Brock to pass the torch and make a star. It’s Drew McIntyre’s moment, and it’s just a shame he’s not going to get the big crowning moment in front of so many people.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre