This year WWE is going to have 14 advertised matches for WrestleMania. On the card, 9 of them will be title matches. This means 3 of the 5 non-title matches are 3 of the biggest marquee matches. The other two are battle royals
So, several title matches will be put on the "Kickoff Show" which I prefer over calling it the pre-show.
The term pre-show makes little sense. It's all on the WWE Network. It's all in the same venue. Like George Carlin once asked, "What the hell is pre-board? To get on before you get on?"
So here's the order I can foresee and WWE's reasoning.
While interest and the overall positive reaction has risen surrounding 205 Live, it's a busy card. It also is still in comparison to everything else the least known match with the least television time invested in the two participants. But if you're an early one in your seat or tuning in at home, it's sure to deliver some fun in-ring action.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
One of two battle royals at this year's WrestleMania. It has extra weight to the name this year with the Andre documentary coming out two days later, but the other battle royal is an inaugural one for the women. With the PR push and storyline growth of the women's division, WWE can't afford to not have it on the "main card."
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The build for all three teams has been done well. The Uso's are having their best run ever. But this is an example of WWE needing to spread the card out and fulfilling a Kickoff show and WrestleMania. Too many other political and booking factors I can see pushing this match early in the evening.
United States Championship Fatal 4 Way
For what it's worth, it could at least be put in the headline spot of the Kickoff show. As noted above, not that this isn't worthy, but other matches will take priority in what has to be featured more prominently.
WRESTLEMANIA MAIN CARD:
Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles for the WWE Championship
Starting a show is as important as how you end it. This isn't a demotion. This isn't disrespect. It's trust. Trust and time being given to what is being dubbed as a "dream match." When you're first, there is no worry of being rushed or having your match shortened.
Women's Battle Royal
This match has to be on the main show to keep consistent with the aggressive push of the women's division and the other "firsts" they've had in the past year. A battle royal is a good cool down from the intense opening title match.
Daniel Bryan & Partner vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The in-ring return of Daniel Bryan will be a moment of its own. It's important to keep it spaced out from other marquee matches. Shane McMahon is still listed as his partner, but I have doubts we'll see Shane in this spot given his recent health scares.
Braun and partner vs Sheamus & Cesaro
This match will be designed around bigger novelty and comedy spots. Moments focusing on the relationship between Braun and his partner and others on Braun's strength. Who knows, the way this past year has gone they might have him tip over the entire WrestleMania set.
Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss for RAW Women's Championship
Alexa Bliss has been the most consistent female performer for WWE in the last year. Nia Jax is making this babyface turn with the company getting behind her. Keeping with the Women's Revolution push, this match comes happens in the middle of the show for an unpredictable finish.
IC Championship Triple Threat
A triple threat of work-horses to showcase the in-ring talent on RAW. This will be the final match before the go-home stretch of marquee matches remaining.
One of the highest profile matches of the night with the most mainstream attention. This match following the IC title match will be a good change of pace. It's going to be as much about the entrances and imagery than anything else. It will be there to showcase Ronda Rousey while also protecting her.
Asuka vs Charlotte for SmackDown Women's Championship
Appropriate for this to be the final women's match of the night. Asuka's been booked with such dedication and attention. Regardless of who wins, this belongs on the final leg of the show.
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar
I'm expecting, much like their last WrestleMania match, a quicker encounter with a lot of violence and hard hitting. It won't last long or need anything fancy, just raw aggression. Last time this match went on last at WrestleMania 31 and had a big ending with Seth Rollins cashing in Money in the Bank. I don't see that big ending here, so it won't be what closes the show.
John Cena vs The Undertaker
You can't really ask any match, no matter who the participants, to follow this first and likely last-time ever WrestleMania match of two franchise players. Being built primarily on the taunts from Cena and the questioning from fans on Undertaker's ability—I expect these two big-time players to deliver as the final WrestleMania match should. A Cena win seems more likely, but a true understanding and acknowledgment that this was the final match for Undertaker will be the lead story and lasting image going off the air.
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