Ranking the Wrestlemania Card
How excited should you be for the matches on this weekend's "Showcase of the Immortals"?
It’s Wrestlemania Season. Again. The “Showcase of the Immortals” will be this Saturday and Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. It is, of course, the biggest week in professional wrestling every year as the entire Wrestling World descends on the host of Wrestlemania again to hawk their wares, run their shows, and make a lot of money.
There are thirteen announced matches for Wrestlemania so far, and while the matches on the show will probably not be the ones that get as much cred from “smart” fans, let’s take a look at the card in reverse order of what will likely be the best match.
12. Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders
13. Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya and Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville
Both of these matches are “WrestleMania Showcase fatal four-way tag team” matches, which is just a fancy way of saying “easy way to shove eight more people on the card for a Wrestlemania Payday.” Neither one of these matches has any interest to me, and most of these are just stories shoved together for the sake of this match. Like the Alpha Academy and Street Profits slow-motion splits that are going on right now. Most of the teams in the women’s match were created seemingly by a random tag team generator.
Why does Braun Strowman need a partner anyway? It was only five years ago when the won the tag team titles at Wrestlemania with a ten-year-old partner.
11. Brock Lesnar vs. Omos (with MVP)
Last year, Lesnar was in THE main event of Wrestlemania with Roman Reigns in a match that unified the WWF World and Universal titles. This year, Brock has….this. The only thing that Omos has going for him is his height and MVP as a manager. Somehow, Lesnar has fallen into an even worse opponent than the Goldberg match he had at Wrestlemania 33. I have no idea why this match is happening, though the internet scuttlebutt is one Vincent Kennedy McMahon had this happen.
Of all the matches I would be sad to miss at Wrestlemania, this is up there. Yet at least there is a vague outline of a story, which is more than I can say about the first two listed matches.
10. Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL
Lita can still go and is one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions with Becky Lynch. I’m a fan of everybody in this match. But I am not a fan of a match that is clearly booked for Damage CTRL, who is the best team act in WWE right now in the women’s division, to do the honors for two WWE Hall of Famers wrestling less than part-time. I’d rather see Lynch have two full-time partners to get the rub here.
9. Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Would have never thought that this match would ever be this high for me for this reason.
Domenik Mysterio had go-away heat with me pretty much from his in-ring debut until his heel turn. Since then? One of the most hilarious heels in a long time. The entire angle with him pretending that his four hours locked up means he served hard time is a dumb idea that he has ran with and made it absolute gold.
The other problem with this match….
Yeah, I’ve been done with Rey Mysterio’s career for awhile now. It’s nothing personal. He can still work. Certainly has had a Hall of Fame worthy career. But he has been doing. The. Same. Match ever since he debuted on Nitro all those years ago. Dom is the one piquing my interest in this match, which is amazing and astounding and kinda sad.
8. Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka, WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Asuka is doing great heel work right now bringing her “Kana” character over from Japan. All of that will be for naught though because she is almost certainly going to job to Biance
Cena Belair. I was a huge Belair fan at first, but as time has worn on she is doing the same thing over and over and over again. She needs a break from the top of the women’s division; after all, she won the title a year ago at Wrestlemania. But I do not forsee her dropping the title at least in this match. I hope I’m wrong.
7. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley, WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Three years ago, Rhe Ripley was supposed to get her big Wrestlemania moment when she defended the NXT Women’s Title on the main card at Wrestlemania 36 against Charlotte Flair. COVID took away that a bit when that match was relocated to the WWE Performance Center, where she lost the title.
Ripley won the Royal Rumble in a dominant performance to set her up with this rematch with Flair in LA. There is no doubt who is going to win. It will be Ripley’s coming out party.
One other thing: Charlotte’s new theme slaps.
6. Austin Theory vs. John Cena, WWE United States Title
John Cena getting a title match at Wrestlemania after having one singles match in the last two years makes no sense. But neither did Logan Paul getting an undisputed title math after having one singles match in his entire career. But this match, ultimately, isn’t about John Cena even if he is likely to win. This match is about Austin Theory.
Theory has been saddled with some really, really bad gimmicks since he signed with the WWE in 2019. First it was a weird faction managed by Zelina Vega. Then it was as the dimwitted member of The Way. THEN there was the angle with Vince McMahon, when he eventually lost at Wrestlemania to Pat McAfee. And THEN he used his Money in the Bank contract on a match for the U.S. title, which is lost.
So yeah, Theory’s booking has been absolutely weird.
BUT Theory has been given this opportunity to shine against John Cena. Cena will make Theory look like a star no matter what. Will Thoery likely drop the title to Cena? Yes. And that should lead to two things:
Theory getting a main event level push;
Cena quickly putting over somebody else by dropping the US title as early as the RAW after Wrestlemania.
A win-win for everybody.
5. Seth "Freakin" Rollins vs. Logan Paul
It doesn’t matter if you like Logan Paul or hate Logan Paul. Paul is a natural for the business and he is box office. IF Paul was a full-timer, and were he to put the time in to hone his craft, he could be THAT good. I mean, the dude can GO.
All of this is good news for Seth Rollins, because the spotlight is gonna be on him and Paul’s starpower is gonna help make Rollins a star potentially beyond the world of “sports entertainment.”
This should be a helluva match.
4. Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre, WWE Intercontinental Title
This match is gonna be stiff as hell. Three guys who work VERY snug working with guys who like to work snug. This match will be physical, it will be hard-hitting, and it will be the most realistic-looking match on the damn card. If one thing is for certain, it’s that there will be a lot of chops and by the end of the match Sheamus’s chest will be very, very red.
Just push Gunther to the damn main event, please.
3. Roman Reigns vs Cody Rhodes, WWE Undisputed Championship
The buildup for this story has been better than I thought it was going to be. But that doesn’t mean this is the match that I am most looking forward to seeing. The truth is, this match is getting overshadowed by a separate part of its own angle. And the inevitability of Cody winning this match and becoming the champion takes it down a notch. But it’s still going to be a better wrestling match than most of the recent Wrestlemania main events, so that’s good.
Of course, Reigns winning the match and keeping the title would be possibly the biggest swerve since Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker. So that would be pretty cool.
2 Edge vs. "The Demon" Finn Bálor, Hell in a Cell
I’m surprised they are trotting out the Hell in a Cell match outside of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. It’s only the fourth time the match has been done at Wrestlemania, and the first time the match hasn’t involved The Undertaker. The last time was Wrestlemania 32 when ‘Taker defeated Shane McMahon.
This match will be somewhat character driven as Finn Bálor breaks out the demon gimmick on the main roster for the first time. Meanwhile, Edge will trot out the Brood entrance for the first time since Day 1 2022.
Bálor, of course, can go. Edge, of course, turns fifty this year. But this match will be violent and will have the unique (for Wrestlemania) Hell in a Cell aspect to the match. This is the sleeper hit of the entire show.
1. The Usos vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, WWE Undisputed Tag Team Titles
There will be no bigger pop on all of Wrestlemania weekend than when Sami Zayn’s entrance his in what will likely be the main event of Wrestlemania Night 1. Yes, Seth Rollin has his singing fans. Yes, John Cena will get a huge pop. Yes, the crowd will go nuts for Rhodes beating Reigns. Yes, there will be a “Holy Shit” chant for something awesome. But there will be nothing louder than the pop for Zayn’s entrance….
….except for when Owens and Zayn win the titles.
This match, this angle, Sami Zayn’s story arc, is what eclipsed the Reigns/Rhodes storyline as THE story in WWE. It doeasn’t hurt that the best tag team in the company and two of the best wrestlers of the last decade are in the match, too.
Zayn’s stock creates a lot of “what if” moments. What if Cody Rhodes had not gotten injured last year? What if Vince McMahon didn’t have to leave the company? What if Cody never left AEW at all? Would Zayn have had the rocket strapped to him?
But I think he’d be happy to main event the first night of Wrestlemania in a town like Los Angeles with his best friend, too.
From top to bottom, this is one of the better cards WWE has trotted out for Wrestlemania in a while. Let’s see if it meets our expectations.
Everybody will almost certainly end up saying that that’s the El Hijo del Vikingo v. Komander match for the AAA Mega Championship at ROH’s Supercard of Honor