Bet on WWE WrestleMania XXX being built on the expected, according to the latest batch of WWE rumors and information.
Fans will go into that huge pay-per-view thinking that Daniel Bryan will win twice in one night. He's favored to do just that. The Shield's expected breakup and several big name no-shows are big parts of recent WrestleMania buzz as well.
With "The Show of Shows" nearing, the card is all but set.
Who will win those matches, how The Shield story will play out and which surprise guests, if any, will show up at the event are at the center of backstage reports, speculation and betting odds.
According to OddsChecker.com, the current betting odds for WrestleMania have Bray Wyatt, Undertaker and Bryan as favorites.
Those are destined to change as WrestleMania gets closer, but it's interesting to note that Bryan is favored to win both his match against Triple H and the Triple Threat for the WWE title later in the night.
It seems logical that after everything Bryan has gone through, the climax of his story would be him besting his enemies and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Undertaker's favored status is not surprising either. Winning 21 consecutive times at WrestleMania will do that.
For those wondering how accurately these odds can be in predicting winners, look back to last year. The WrestleMania 29 betting odds from Las Vegas (h/t Wrestle Zone) favored eventual winners Triple H, Undertaker, The Shield and Alberto Del Rio.
Additional Big Names Unlikely
There are still a few spots left open in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and WrestleMania could be home to a number of surprises, but don't count on CM Punk, Rob Van Dam or Sting getting in the ring on April 6.
Those holding out hope that Punk will make it back to WWE before WrestleMania have one more dose of reality to take.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc.com, reports, "There has been no communication as of late between CM Punk and WWE."
Vince McMahon may try to resume talks with him at some point. Punk is too young and too big of a star to go ignored, but the proverbial window to make this year's WrestleMania is apparently closed.
Eva Marie will be wrestling at WrestleMania XXX, CM Punk will not. #RealityEra— SmackTalks (@SmackNetwork) March 25, 2014
WrestleMania 31 could well be a different story, though. Punk could come in as a special attraction for a nice payday.
Sting fans may see "The Icon" in a ring before that event next year, but he likely won't wrestle until then.
The latest on the WCW and TNA star is is that, "There is now a working idea within WWE that Sting will wrestle one match and then retire, which everyone presumes will be against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 in California," per Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc.com.
Van Dam, who seemed a likely candidate to sign with WWE during WrestleMania season, may be waiting until right after "The Show of Shows" to begin his latest run.
As reported by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc.com, "Rob Van Dam is scheduled to return to WWE on the April 7th RAW, the night after WrestleMania XXX." The report also says that Van Dam would be back for a stretch of several months.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider reports that "Van Dam will be returning to WWE Wrestlemania weekend", but doesn't say whether or not he will be wrestling in the Superdome.
Whether he comes back on WrestleMania night or right afterward, it will be great news for WWE who likely won't have Triple H, Brock Lesnar or Undertaker for the next few pay-per-views.
Soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior seems to have a better shot of competing at this year's WrestleMania than Punk or Van Dam, as crazy as that sounds.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reports, "The Ultimate Warrior was open to wrestling a match at WWE's WrestleMania XXX pay-per-view but there's no word if WWE has plans for him to perform or not."
The 54-year-old getting in this ring again certainly isn't likely, but it appears the door is more open for him to do so than Sting. He would make one heck of a surprise entrant for the Battle Royal.
The Shield Not United For Long
After returning to the cohesion that brought them early success, The Shield are headed for a showdown with Kane and The New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania.
The breakup that many fans thought was coming weeks and months ago could happen at WrestleMania despite that renewed unity. F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reports the following:
The report also notes that the idea is for Reigns to turn on Ambrose and Rollins and not the other way around. With the intensity of their current rivalry and the heat of the WrestleMania spotlight, does that breakup happen in the Superdome?
At the very least, we should see hints of how WWE plans to tell that story.
If this is The Shield's last pay-per-view match together, expect them to put on a stellar show. WWE gave them a disappointing set of opponents, but The Shield has been having great matches since the trio's very first one together.