Way-Too-Early Predictions for WWE WrestleMania 35
WrestleMania 35 is still approximately two months away, yet it's apparent WWE has already begun to put the pieces in place for what should be an extraordinary event.
Confirmed for the card so far are Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship and Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship. The rest of the lineup should become clearer once Elimination Chamber and Fastlane have come and gone and more matches are officially announced.
For now, all fans can do is speculate what will go down on The Grandest Stage of Them All on April 7, and if recent installments have been any indication, this year's event is set to be both unpredictable and exciting.
Of course, anything and everything has been known to happen on The Road to WrestleMania, so it is possible the card will change drastically between now and then. There are also no guarantees WWE will do right by its fanbase during the biggest show of the year, considering the underwhelming fashion in which the marquee event has ended in years past.
Although not much else is set in stone at this time, it should be star-studded on paper. WWE typically goes above and beyond with WrestleMania by putting together as many marquee matches as possible, but whether they will deliver remains to be seen.
It's too early to say with full certainty who will win what at The Show of Shows (let alone what the lineup will look like), but there's no harm in offering some predictions for what could (and in some cases, should) happen at WrestleMania 35.
Seth Rollins Beats Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship
Save for a brief three-month period late last year, Brock Lesnar has been running rampant over the entire WWE roster as universal champion since WrestleMania 33 two years ago.
Several Superstars have stepped up to challenge him, but none of them ever felt like the right successor to the title (including Roman Reigns). Coming off his epic Royal Rumble win, however, Seth Rollins seems to be the perfect person to slay The Beast Incarnate at WrestleMania 35.
Rollins' bad blood with The Beast can be traced back to WrestleMania 31 when he cashed in Money in the Bank to essentially steal Lesnar's WWE Championship.
In fact, The Architect is the sole member of The Shield that Lesnar has never beaten one-on-one at WrestleMania, and that shouldn't change at this year's installment.
Above all else, it's high time the universal title was placed on someone who can appear on programming every week and put the gold up for grabs at every pay-per-view. Who better than Raw's ultimate workhorse?
Rollins has been riding a wave of momentum for well over a year now and has more impetus than any other male star on the WWE roster.
Thus, his beating Lesnar for the belt at The Show of Shows should be considered a slam dunk. Then again, fans thought the same thing when Reigns contended for the championship at WrestleMania 34 before he fell short, so perhaps the outcome won't be so obvious.
Trish Stratus and Lita Vie for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
Tag team titles for the women of WWE have been in the works for several years now, and at Elimination Chamber on Sunday, the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship will make its highly anticipated debut.
Six teams from Raw and SmackDown Live will do battle inside Satan's Prison to determine the inaugural champions. It's difficult to predict what the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship match will be at WrestleMania 35 without knowing who will be in possession of the belts by then, but it's safe to say Bayley and Sasha Banks will be involved one way or another.
After everything they've been through both as friends and foes, they make the most sense to walk into WrestleMania with the titles in tow. Nia Jax and Tamina would be the only real threat to their belts at the event, but even if that match doesn't feel WrestleMania-worthy on paper.
Enter Trish Stratus and Lita.
WWE fans last saw the WWE Hall of Famers at Evolution when they teamed up against Mickie James and Alicia Fox. They then took part in a 10-woman tag team match on the next night's Raw and won, but we haven't seen them since.
SEScoops reported at the time WWE had plans to use Stratus and Lita in another storyline together in early 2019, and although it was never disclosed what that would be, a chase for the tag team titles would seem to make the most sense.
Drew McIntyre Scores a Clean Victory over John Cena
John Cena's WWE appearances have been so few and far between over the past year that it's tough to envision him wrestling in a marquee match at WrestleMania 35, assuming he'll even be present at the pay-per-view.
The more time passes, the more unlikely it seems that a WWE Championship feud between Daniel Bryan and Cena is in the cards for The Grandest Stage of Them All. Lars Sullivan was also rumored to be taking on The Champ at the event, but he, too, has been persona non grata lately on WWE TV.
Beyond Bryan and Sullivan, there aren't many logical opponents for Cena come April 7, aside from possibly Drew McIntyre. After all, it was the Scot who put the veteran on the shelf with an ankle injury a few weeks ago (in storyline, of course) and caused him to miss the Royal Rumble match.
McIntyre has been on quite the tear recently on Raw. From humiliating Kurt Angle late last year to decimating Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage match, he has been positioned as one of the red brand's top heels and should be in line for a major bout at 'Mania against a star such as Cena.
Not only should The Scottish Psychopath beat Cena at WrestleMania, but he must also win in clean fashion. A victory over the former 16-time world champion under the bright lights of The Show of Shows would go a long way in establishing McIntyre as a main event player on the red brand.
Asuka Avenges Her Loss to Charlotte Flair from Last Year
Based on her interactions with Becky Lynch in recent weeks, Charlotte Flair appears to be poised to join the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 35. Needless to say, her presence in the bout is not necessary.
Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey is set to be a one-on-one affair as of this moment, but plenty of time remains between now and WrestleMania for The Queen to be added.
Instead, WWE should blow off her rivalry with Rousey and Lynch at Elimination Chamber or Fastlane before having her shift her focus back to the SmackDown Women's Championship.
The Flair family scion last held the prestigious prize in September when she lost it to Lynch. She failed to regain the gold in the months that followed, including at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs when Asuka emerged victorious in the Triple Threat main event.
Unfortunately, the Japanese Superstar has felt like a bit of an afterthought on SmackDown Live lately due to Lynch and Flair stealing the spotlight. She needs an opponent of importance at WrestleMania, and The Queen fits the bill given their history together.
It was at WrestleMania 34 that Flair snapped Asuka's undefeated streak. It took time for The Empress of Tomorrow to bounce back, and although she is the SmackDown women's champion, she won't be taken seriously as a true threat until she avenges that loss at this year's Show of Shows.
Mustafa Ali Leaves as the New United States Champion
In a relatively short span of time, Mustafa Ali has already made a name for himself on SmackDown Live.
Recent highlights have included pinning WWE champion Daniel Bryan in tag team action, eliminating Samoa Joe from the Royal Rumble, and taking Randy Orton to the limit. He'll be vying for the WWE Championship in a stacked Elimination Chamber match Sunday, but the odds of him coming out on top are slim to none.
However, Ali should be showcased in some form or fashion at WrestleMania 35. Winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal would a nice accomplishment, but the winners of the annual match have traditionally amounted to nothing.
Instead, it would make more sense for Ali to contend for the United States Championship in a multi-man ladder match, which has been a staple at WrestleMania in recent years. R-Truth is in possession of the title, and regardless of who holds it between now and then, The Heart of 205 Live deserves to walk out the new champion.
The blue brand's midcard scene is in desperate need of some direction at the moment. There is a wealth of talent to choose from, but as a fresh face and an exciting athlete, Ali has the best chance of making the prize a hot commodity again.
Besides, it would be a cool moment for Ali to capture the championship one year removed from his loss to Cedric Alexander on the WrestleMania Kickoff show. He has been waiting for that one career-defining victory ever since, and WrestleMania 35 would be as good of a place as any for WWE to pull the trigger.
Becky Lynch Hands Ronda Rousey Her 1st Singles Defeat in WWE
Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey must main-event WrestleMania 35. That is less of a prediction and more of an expectation at this point given how hot their rivalry has been since November.
Instead, it's more a matter of who wins, especially considering both are at the top of their game. Had you asked anyone a few months ago, the answer likely would have been Rousey, if only because The Man has shown she can absorb a loss and not be damaged by it.
However, the former UFC star could see her mystique shattered if she loses at The Show of Shows, similar to when she experienced failure for the first time in the Octagon. She was never the same after that loss to Holly Holm in November 2015, but that doesn't necessarily mean she should win at WrestleMania 35.
As dominant as Rousey has been in WWE, Lynch has more momentum than her right now. Thus, for WWE to not capitalize on the buzz surrounding The Man by having her fail to capture the title from Rousey at WrestleMania would be a massive mistake.
If it isn't Lynch, then virtually no one on the active roster stands a chance of beating Rousey because nobody else is close to being on her level. With rumors of Rowdy taking time off after April 7, it's only appropriate she passes the torch to Lynch on her way out.
WWE needs to go all the way with The Man by booking her to hand Rousey her first WWE defeat on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.