WWE WrestleMania 35: What to Expect in New York/New Jersey

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

WrestleMania is the biggest event in sports entertainment, and on April 7, WWE rolls into East Rutherford, New Jersey for the event's 35th anniversary with a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the extravaganza.

So far, we know the Universal Championship will be up for grabs as Seth Rollins challenges Brock Lesnar and, while it has not officially been announced, all signs point to Ronda Rousey defending the Raw Women's Championship against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in what may be the first women's main event in the three-decades-plus history of the show.

What else can fans of the promotion expect when WWE rolls through the New York-New Jersey area for The Showcase of the Immortals?


A Long-Awaited Coronation

Kofi Kingston captured headlines over the last month with inspirational performances, first in an hour-long gauntlet match performance, then inside the vaunted Elimination Chamber.

It was in that latter match that he had the WWE Universe behind him, rooting for his meteoric rise to culminate with a WWE title win over Daniel Bryan that would shake the SmackDown brand to its core and reward the 11-year veteran competitor for his body of work.

He did not win that match, nor did he capture his first world title, but he sparked a desire to see him succeed that should result in him challenging Bryan on wrestling's grandest stage.

When he had his chance at winning the title at Fastlane ripped away from him by Vince McMahon, who inexplicably pronounced he had not earned it and, instead, granted the opportunity to Kevin Owens, that support intensified even further.

Whether it comes in a singles match or some sort of multi-man mess also involving Owens, Mustafa Ali or any other number of Superstars the company can drum up to challenge Bryan is the question.

If Kingston does end up receiving the championship opportunity, and both he and WWE Creative can maintain the level of excitement that currently surrounds him, expect him leave East Rutherford with the WWE Championship.

Considering the red-hot, passionate crowd in the northeast, the victory should be a memorable one that rewards an unexpected journey to the top.


An Animalistic Return

For the first time since 2014, Batista will compete at WrestleMania, and for the first time since 2005, it will be against one of his greatest mentors, Triple H.

The Animal returned on the February 25 episode of Raw from Atlanta, attacking birthday boy Ric Flair and asking Triple H if he had his attention.

Since then, The Game has cut a passionate promo demanding a face-to-face with his former Evolution teammate but we have yet to find out the reason for Batista's unprovoked assault on The Nature Boy. Flair was instrumental in his success and an inspiration for the Marvel Studios star.

Whatever storyline reason the writing team comes up with, the end result here is one last showdown between the COO of WWE and Batista.

Their previous bout lacked the in-ring emotion that their program had thrived on to that point, ranking as somewhat of a disappointment. With both men older, expect a gimmick-filled match that leans heavily on weapon use and overbooking to negate the performers' weaknesses and injury history.

From a storyline perspective, it makes sense for Triple H to emerge victoriously but it is unlikely Batista returns to lose at The Showcase of the Immortals as he did in New Orleans at WrestleMania 30.



Lots of Multi-Person Matches

The WWE roster is so bloated with talent there is no way to get all of the deserving Superstars on the show without delivering a number of multi-person matches on April 7.

We have seen this previously, most notably at WrestleMania 2000, when the only singles match on the entire card pitted The Kat against Terri Runnels.

That show was notably disappointing given the hot streak the company found itself on from a creative standpoint and this year's event could suffer from the same problem.

Multi-person matches that exist solely to get everyone on the show diminish the stories that precede it and force overbooking. The result? Messy shows that lack the emotional punch of other shows that kept it simpler and benefited exponentially because of it.

Like WrestleMania XIX in 2003.

It remains to be seen if we do, in fact, get a card chocked full of too many Superstars and matches to ever really live up to the potential of the roster the company currently employees but history suggests if that is the case, we will have to wait yet another year for a truly great edition of wrestling's most prestigious event.