It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again already. WrestleMania is right around the bend. It’s so close, that if you take a nap, you might miss it.
On Sunday, April 5th in the afternoon, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida we’ll see the high-flying, fist-smashing, body-clashing amalgamation of the RAW, SmackDown, and NXT brands.
Latest News … and Not News
There has been a lot of talk about the Rock joining in on the fun for WrestleMania 2020. But it’s funny because for all the talk … there has actually been no real mention.
Of course, WWE loves when Dwayne gets involved in anything they are doing. His massive super-stardom is a magnet for ticket sales and Pay-per-View purchases. But has he even been officially invited? Doubtful.
Ok, but it is official that Simone Johnson is on the WWE roster, making her the first-ever 4th generation pro-wrestling star. So, is that enough to get the Rock involved at WrestleMania? He was hanging around the Performance Center, supporting his daughter, but does this mean he’ll be showing up on April 5th?
Hmm … doubtful.
In other not so news, some are speculating that this could be John Cena’s final hurrah.
There have also been rumors that WrestleMania 36 might not go off. This, due to the Wuhan CoVid-19 flu that is rapidly becoming a pandemic. The state of California just declared a state of emergency and Florida, where WrestleMania 36 will take place, has just declared a public health emergency.
WWE PR folks say that nothing is more important to them than the health and safety of their fans and employees but WrestleMania 36 is not canceled. They will monitor the situation closely, but it looks like nothing short of Marshall Law will keep the WWE from putting on their most lauded event of the year.
Each episode of Monday Night RAW and SmackDown is setting the stage for WrestleMania.
So what do we know at this point?
Well, the next Universal Championship match will be between Roman Reigns and Goldberg – of all people. And believe it or not, Goldberg is only a medium-sized underdog to win at 11/2 or +550. Roman Reigns is 1/10 (-1000).
The WWE Championship Match is all set with Brock Lesner and Drew McIntyre to do battle. Drew McIntyre is a -278 favorite (4/11 odds) and The Beast is sitting at 2/1 (+200). This match is also the favorite to close the show as the final match of the evening at WrestleMania 36 with odds of -175.
Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair will collide and Ripley is the odds on favorite to beatdown Charlotte Flair at 4/9. Well, after Charlotte Flair told the NXT champ that she was now in her Kingdom (Monday Night Raw) and that Rhea is just a shiny new toy who better enjoy the spotlight while it lasts – because it won’t– Rhea Ripley stepped up and socked ‘the Queen’ in the face before backing out of the ring. I love the set-up and it’s no wonder that the odds have the up-and-comer as the favorite. But I think Charlotte Flair is right. It’s a different thing to be standing in front of 90 thousand people and I’m pretty sure the WWE will make this a good fight, but one where the NXT star doesn’t quite overcome Mrs. Flair. However, it will set up for the feud to go on … especially since I predict that Charlotte will win not on physical merits but via dastardly trickery.
Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler are all set to go for the RAW Women’s Championship. This one is listed at -110/-110 or 5/6 each. So, it’s one that will be hard to call. That said, Becky Lynch is the current champ and has been the undisputed babyface of the blue brand for a long time running. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her get at least temporarily knocked off her horse.
The Fiend will take on John Cena … all because John Cena had a sweet little homecoming and after a 3-minute monologue where he told the crowd that he always listens to the biggest WWE star, the WWE Universe – them– the Fiend came out and pointed to the WrestleMania sign, silently challenging Cena. Of course, the crowd went wild and Cena looked to the crowd for confirmation. Then, tipped his ball cap to the Fiend in acceptance of the challenge. The Fiend is a moderate favorite to win at -400. But Cena’s +275 odds are not that long at all. He should be considered to win, and as many have stated, this is probably his last appearance – at least for a long time.