With WrestleMania 30 but days away, anticipation for WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year is reaching a fever pitch. Whilst the many twists on the road to WrestleMania have made this year's event rather difficult to predict, there have been a few rumors circulating ahead of the event this Sunday.
First off, Batista shocked everyone in attendance at the WrestleMania press conference when he appeared on stage to promote his involvement in the title match this weekend and was very likeable and entertaining. Please note, this is not some kind of April Fools' gag—Batista was far better in the awkward setting of a press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe than he is on Raw.
(Wrestle Zone's Nick Paglino has a recap of the press conference here.)
Whilst no great revelations came from the press conference, an interview with the Bella Twins conducted by Josh Mathews ahead of the event seemed to hint at a future programme between Daniel Bryan and John Cena, when Bryan's fiancee, Brie Bella, suggested that Bryan's popularity was more organic than that of her sister's boyfriend, Cena. This could be anything from idle talk to promotion for Total Divas to a hint at the main event of WrestleMania 31, so take it with a pinch of salt—although it's hard to imagine Cena not being a top contender if Bryan does win the title on Sunday.
Speaking at the press conference, Triple H confirmed that NXT performers would be present for some WrestleMania week coverage on the WWE Network.
Will WrestleMania live up to the hype?
Confirmation came last week that the Tag Team titles would be defended in a 4-Way match and that the bout would take place on the two-hour pre-show, which starts at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. This would suggest that the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal that was rumored to be relegated to the pre-show, according to F4WOnline (via Lords of Pain), will in fact be on the main card.
Whilst the talent involved in the Tag title match will no doubt result in a very entertaining pre-show, it seems only right that the Battle Royal will take place on the pay-per-view proper. If the intention is to get as much talent on the card as possible for the 30th anniversary, why not do it properly? Besides, a fast-paced 4-Way tag match is the perfect way to hype up the crowd at the arena and the audience at home.
In other Battle Royal news, according to Cageside Seats, Raw general manager Brad Maddox has been announced as a participant in the match. This will be the first match of 2014 for Maddox. According to WrestlingInc.com, Rob Van Dam is also rumored for the match, which means a couple of spots could still be left for big surprises on the night.
Photographs of the stage for WrestleMania 30 being built have begun circulating Twitter. Some people consider knowing what the staging looks like to be a spoiler, so it'll stay behind this link for those who want to wait and see it (it shouldn't be too much of a spoiler to say you should expect plenty of gold and purple).
Rumors of Sting making an appearance at WrestleMania have once again reared their head. In last week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t B/R's Sharon Glencross), Dave Meltzer reported that Sting vs. Undertaker is intended for WrestleMania 31 and that there is some possibility that that match will be teased well ahead of time.
Wrestle Zone reported Sting will be in New Orleans making an appearance at WrestleCon this weekend, so it could well be that he might make an appearance at either WrestleMania itself or Raw the next night to start a year of buildup to the long-awaited match.
Finally, it remains to be seen whether CM Punk will play any part in WrestleMania this year. Punk is once again being discussed at length today, both for his apparent engagement to AJ Lee—which, according to Wrestle Zone, is true—and in many April Fools' gags pertaining to him making an appearance at WrestleMania.
Aside from interjecting in an already crowded main event, it's difficult to see where Punk would fit in on the 'Mania card as a surprise appearance. If a match with Triple H wasn't enough for Punk a few months ago, it's very unlikely that he'd show his face in the Battle Royal. That being said, at this point, I wouldn't write anything off—from Punk interfering in the main event to him showing his face somewhere entirely unexpected.
Do you have a last-minute prediction for WrestleMania? Orton to retain? El Torito to win the Battle Royal? Bryan to lose in 18 seconds? Make them known in the comments section for bragging rights next week.