This year’s two-day WrestleMania 36 event, based at WWE’s Performance Center and various other locations, is loaded with 18 matches and nine titles at stake.
The card, which is going forward in its new format so WWE can adhere to the CDC’s coronavirus crowd guidelines, has the chance to drastically change the landscape of the WWE in 2020 and create new stars.
While the outcomes are predetermined, The Post’s wrestling writer Joseph Staszewski tries his hand at prognosticating how each match at WrestleMania 36 (April 4 and 5, 7 p.m., WWE Network, FoxSports.com and Fite) will play out.
Liv Morgan over Natalya (Kickoff)
Morgan and her new persona really need some momentum. WWE will let her have a good match and beat Natalya like so many others before her.
Drew Gulak over Cesaro (Kickoff)
WWE needs to maintain Gulak’s credibility if he is going to continue being Daniel Bryan’s confidant. This match from a pure wrestling standpoint is too good for the kickoff, but Gulak slips away with a win.
Aleister Black over Bobby Lashley with Lana
This one came out of nowhere and feels like a match being used to continue the elevation of Black against a heel with some heat with the audience. Black Mass gets it done.
Dolph Ziggler over Otis
WWE’s new mysterious hacker revealed Sonya Deville betrayed best friend Mandy Rose and was behind her botched Valentine’s Day date with Otis, telling Ziggler to swoop in. Otis winning is not inconceivable, but Deville trying to making it up to Rose and costing Otis the match feels more likely. It builds even more tension between the friends.
Elias over King Corbin
WrestleMania host Rob Gronkowski had a hand in making this match, so expect him and maybe best friend Mojo Rawley to get involved to help Elias. Elias wins and sets the table for Gronkowski having a match at SummerSlam involving Corbin.
The Street Profits (c) over Austin Theory and Angel Garza with Zelina Vegas to retain the Raw Tag Team championship
Consider this part of the good wrestling portion of the card. The match was pretty much thrown together and then saw NXT’s Theory replace an injured Andrade. Even with the change, all four of these guys can go. The Street Profits retain and stay hot.
Sami Zayn (c) over Daniel Bryan to retain the Intercontinental championship
Zayn has yet to defend the title since winning it in a handicap match against Braun Strowman. He knows how to get heat and getting an underhanded win – likely with help from Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro – will only add to that. This rivalry is just getting started.
The Miz and John Morrison (c) over The Usos and The New Day to retain the SmackDown tag team championships (Ladder match)
The New Day and The Usos have been champions seemingly a million times before. WWE keeps the belts on the entertaining Miz and Morrison in one of the WrestleMania’s better matches. Could growing babyfaces Heavy Machinery soon be next for the champs?
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross over The Kabuki Warriors (c) to win the women’s tag team championships
Some injuries and Asuka getting a program with Becky Lynch for Royal Rumble has stalled her and Kairi Saine’s run as champions. Bliss and Cross lost the belt to that pair and are supremely entertaining. They win and this division gets another reboot.
Kevin Owens over Seth Rollins
This is a tough one. Rollins cut a killer promo questioning Owens’ ability to win the big one at WrestleMania. Owens proving him wrong is a fun ending and a good way to start a push. It’s hard to see Rollins losing this early as the “Monday Night Messiah”, but a reported injury to Rezar and Rollins eventually needing time away to marry Becky Lynch will bring Owens the win.
The Undertaker over AJ Styles (Boneyard Match)
Both Undertaker and Styles have called each other out by their real names in promos and a brawling-style match sets up well for the Deadman. This all feels like a way to reinvent Undertaker and make his character more reality-based. He needs to win to establish that this version remains a force.
Bayley (c) over Lacey Evans, Tamina, Naomi and Sasha Banks (Five-way elimination match) to retain the Smackdown women’s championship
This storyline is a way to get us to Bayley vs. Banks, so a title switch here doesn’t seem like the best course of action. Look for Bayley to retain with Banks coming oh so close and putting a strain on their on-screen friendship.
Rhea Ripley (c) over Charlotte Flair to retain the NXT women’s championship