After an eventful WWE Raw, much of the WrestleMania XXX puzzle is set, but rumor and speculation still crackle regarding what else to expect at the event.
Daniel Bryan finally got the opportunity he had been demanding from Triple H. Will the WWE Divas, Chris Jericho and the Rhodes brothers get their share of the spotlight as well?
A Hall of Famer may be convinced to join the fun at the pay-per-view. The NXT champ may make his main roster debut along with a number of his rivals.
Digging through the denials, backstage reports and the rest of the info swirling around the Internet reveals what fans should get their hopes up for and what they should just put out of their minds.
What's Confirmed So Far
The WrestleMania XXX card now has five official matches:
- Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (If Bryan wins, he will be added to WWE title match)
- Randy Orton vs. Batista (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
- Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena
- Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
On Monday's Raw, Hulk Hogan announced the Battle Royal, his first major act as WrestleMania host. The bout that will allow WWE to cram 30 additional Superstars onto the event.
So far, WWE.com lists Ryback, Curtis Axel and Big E as official participants.
Other wrestlers have made their intentions of entering clear as well. Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow and Kofi Kingston have all announced that they'll be in the running for the Andre the Giant trophy, per WrestlingInc.com.
Andre the Giant Memorial 30-man battle royal at Wrestlemania? @HulkHogan, I like your style! Where do I sign up?— Kofi Kingston (@TrueKofi) March 11, 2014
Those folks may have to deal with the uppercutting Swiss strongman, Cesaro. PWInsider reports that the German version of Raw featured Cesaro discussing entering the match.
He will be one of the favorites should he join the 30-man fray. If he does, a proposed tag match will have to either be altered or scratched.
WWE is considering a tag team match featuring both NXT and WWE wrestlers at WrestleMania XXX, per WrestleZone.com. The report notes the following:
The most recent internal rundown shows the match still tentative, but it would be an eight man tag team bout. It would feature Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Bo Dallas and NXT Champion Adrian Neville versus Jack Swagger, Corey Graves and NXT tag team champions, The Ascension.
If Cesaro joins the Battle Royal, Swagger is likely to follow him.
The tag partners have been baring their teeth at each other a lot as of late. Eventually, no amount of smooth talking from Zeb Colter will prevent The Real Americans from imploding.
The NXT match would still be possible with another set of WWE Superstars leading the way, but the Battle Royal is going to use up much of the roster.
Sami Zayn, Corey Graves and the other NXT prospects may have to settle for being filler in that massive match.
Big E's entry into the Battle Royal likely means he won't be defending the Intercontinental Championship unless WWE has him pull double duty and wrestle on the pre-show as well. It's more likely, though, that the Divas title gets the WrestleMania spotlight instead.
It may not be AJ Lee who is wearing the belt by that time, though.
On Monday's Raw, WWE focused on two other Divas, both of whom are on the Total Divas reality show. After pinning AJ, Nikki Bella grabbed the Divas title and raised it in the air. Natalya stood on the apron and stared her down.
That AJ-less image has led to speculation that perhaps it will be an all-Total Divas title match at WrestleMania. PWInsider, via WrestlingInc.com, are among the many outlets envisioning a Nikki vs. Natalya vs. Naomi title bout.
One match it seems fans can forget about seeing is Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust.
Fans have been pushing for the brother vs. brother contest for months. While it seems that just about every team in the division is falling apart, the Rhodes brothers reportedly won't be battling each other at "The Show of Shows."
According to F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, "Word from within WWE this week is that there will be no Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes match at WrestleMania XXX after all."
It looks like we should have believed Goldust when he said it wasn't going to happen.
I repeat... I WILL NOT BE FIGHTING MY BROTHER AT MANIA!!!!!!! Time has passed. Think what u want. Wouldnt get the spotlight it deserves.— GOLDUST (@Goldust) February 13, 2014
The Rhodes boys have no signs of turning on each other. The event is getting crowded, too.
Even if this contest were to be added, it would likely get little attention and not have the kind of buildup that it needs.
Appearances, Unlikely and Otherwise
WrestleMania XXX already boasts three of the four wrestlers on WWE's Mt. Rushmore, and there's a chance the company could add the fourth.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin probably won't be wrestling, but the sound of glass breaking and the sight of him chugging beer would certainly get the crowd riled up. WWE is reportedly trying to get that to happen.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc.com, "The idea of being there has been pitched to Austin but there's no word on any kind of deal yet."
Austin did attend the WWE Network announcement. One has to assume that whatever it took to get him to leave Broken Skull Ranch to come to that event can repeated.
Jericho showing up at the event should be filed in the "far less likely" category. Fans have been waiting for his return ever since this year's Royal Rumble. They may have to keep waiting.
When a fan bemoaned Jericho not being at WrestleMania, the former world champ didn't correct him.
A report in mid-February from DailyWrestlingNews.com stated that with CM Punk out of the picture, there was "renewed interest" in re-signing Jericho and Rob Van Dam. There has been no word of anything happening on that front.
Regarding Punk, the chances of him returning before WrestleMania 30 went down drastically after he didn't show up at Raw in Chicago.
The topic of him coming back hasn't gone away, though. Expect the most fervent of Punk fans to read too much into Fandango's comments on the situation.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Fandango said of CM Punk possibly returning before WrestleMania, "I really can't tell you there, but I'm always excited to turn on WWE with the chance of someone coming back. So you never know."
The way he phrased this could be interpreted as him hinting that the company has a surprise Punk return coming, but he's more likely just giving a non-committal answer because he doesn't know. Information about Punk is scarce right now, even among his peers.
Punk is one of the most valuable pieces to possibly add to the card, but it's more probable that he watches this WrestleMania XXX instead of being a part of it, something Jericho, Goldust and the NXT prospects may be doing as well.