Craig Wilson, John Carbery, Jamie Lithgow and Brian Damage
With WrestleMania 33 just six weeks away, in today’s Sunday Sermon we take a look at how the card is looking, what we hope will still find its way onto the show and share our feelings on the event.
Craig: I appreciate we’ve still got another Raw PPV to come before the granddaddy of them all, but I don’t think anyone will really mind that we overlook Fastlane in today’s Sunday Sermon.
Instead, let’s look ahead to the thirty-third instalment of the biggest event on the wrestling calendar: WrestleMania. In terms of the card. We’re likely to have Bray Wyatt against Randy Orton, Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, Shaq locking up with the Big Show and the rumoured John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse. Throw in rumoured matches pitting AJ Styles against Shane McMahon and Roman Reigns against The Undertaker and an Andre the Giant Battle Royal (Braun to win?) and we’ve got a pretty near complete card.
What else do we expect to see grace the WrestleMania card? What are the glaring omissions? Do we expect multi-men and women matches to get everyone on the show?
John: I’m actually excited to watch WrestleMania just because the last few shows have been tremendous regardless of how they were built. I actually have faith in McMahon to put on a great show. To be honest, though, none of the major matches really appeal to me. I’ve heard that Roman Reigns may be turning heel on the show and if that happens it’ll be a worthwhile event regardless. The possibility of seeing Samoa Joe on the biggest stage also intrigues me.
Jamie: I want to be excited and I think I am. The card is still relatively hard to predict, which I am kind of enjoying because it feels like the road to WrestleMania will indeed be a journey, rather than killing air time until the big day arrives. I love that one of the most predictable matches is, by virtue of Seth Rollins injury, still up in the air. If he gets cleared to face Triple H then a return from injury is the cherry on the cake of this potential match, storyline-wise. If he doesn’t get cleared, then what will Triple H do or what other matches will get promoted into the semi-main event spot?
What I am not particularly excited about is Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. I really hope this match is not for The Universal Title, because it doesn’t need to be, but I fear the worst. On the flip side, if Owens retains then who gets the title shot? Finn Balor would be cool, but that’s total fantasy booking. What I see as most likely is Chris Jericho accidentally (or not?) costing Owens the title, thus Goldberg heads in as champ and Owens faces Jericho. Also, Goldberg losing – clean or otherwise – a few weeks before his big match at WrestleMania? It’s WWE, the up and comer does the job at Fastlane all day long for me.
I like the potential of a Roman Reigns/Undertaker match too. Could WrestleMania finally see a significant storyline or character development in shape of a Reigns heel turn? I doubt it, but that potential is teasing me!
Brian: I usually do get excited for WrestleMania because they over saturate you with promos for it. The roster, in general, is stacked with talent and could easily put on some sensational matches. I am just cautiously optimistic that card and the show will be as good as all the hype leading up to it. I mean is anybody really going to care one way or another about the Big Show vs Shaquille O’Neal? Goldberg Vs Brock Lesnar can only be effective if kept short. Triple H vs Seth Rollins is in serious doubt and Undertaker vs Roman Reigns if rumors are true. Undertaker can barely walk let alone wrestle and Roman is good but I doubt he can carry the veteran.
Jamie: I think I’ve figured out why I’m, kind of, excited about WrestleMania; because I don’t care that much about it. By that I mean I don’t have such strong opinions about who should be booked into what matches this year. For example, I’d be interested to see Reigns vs. Taker, largely due to what Brian said about the doubts regarding Taker’s condition and Reigns’ ability to carry such a match. However, if this bout doesn’t happen I’m unlikely to be heart broken. I’m not a Reigns guy and must admit that Undertaker’s time to call it quits may have finally arrived.
The things I feel strongly about are AJ Styles and Kevin Owens being booked in worthwhile matches; it would be a crime if the top baddies from Raw and Smackdown are left by the wayside to accommodate the likes of Shaq, Lesnar and Goldberg. My only other strong opinion relates to John Cena. The rumoured mixed tag match with him and Nikki against Miz and Maryse does nothing for me. Cena’s better than that, I’d honestly rather see him fight Styles again. But hey, Total Bellas/Divas/whatever it is needs to be plugged somehow, apparently. That said, none of these things is a deal breaker for me.
I guess I’m curious about WrestleMania rather than invested in it, thus the hype stands a chance of sweeping me up for a change.
Brian: Very good points about this year’s WrestleMania Jamie. It’s interesting that you are curious about the show considering you are not invested in it. I mean, when it comes right to it…’Mania has always been a show to attract more outsiders than insiders. Why else book a match with Shaq in it?
I want to be excited for WrestleMania and perhaps I will be once the show gets closer to happening. In all honesty, the night after WrestleMania is so much more fun and enjoyable just by the rabid fans who attend it. Also, some new talent usually pops up after Mania so there is that.
Craig: I’ve got to agree with Jamie on this one, too. It’s not a card that’s blown me away so far, in terms of rumoured matches anyway, but there’s no reason that I won’t. as is usually the case, be swept up as Raw and Smackdown builds towards the show. Like others, I want to see big matches featuring AJ Styles and Kevin Owens and also have concerns that a mixed-tag match really isn’t the best use of John Cena nor, really, is it the best way to use The Miz on the show – considering the fine form that he has been on in recent months.
Brian is also spot on, the best part of the WrestleMania weekend does indeed tend to be the next night on Raw… Hopefully, we’ll have some big things in the offing the previous night too.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.