We are now just three weeks away from WWE’s biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, and the card for the big event has started to come into focus.
At the top of the WrestleMania card, we have Roman Reigns taking on WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar for WWE’s top prize. The match came into question when Lesnar walked out at the Monday Night RAW tapings on February 23 in Nashville due to some type of disagreement with Vince McMahon during contract negotiations, but sources within WWE are confident Lesnar is all-in for WrestleMania. The fact that Lesnar is still under contract and risks a lawsuit by no-showing, plus the fact that Lesnar is guaranteed a massive pay-day for WrestleMania, has WWE officials confident Lesnar will be at WrestleMania on the day of the event in Santa Clara. He is also advertised for three upcoming tapings of WWE Monday Night RAW (March 9 in Pittsburgh, March 23 in Los Angeles, and March 30 in San Jose), and there are even rumors that he could be added to the March 16 RAW in Des Moines to make up for his walking out of the Nashville show on February 23.
The real story for WrestleMania 31 is the massive focus WWE has put on the under-card championships, title belts that have been neglected in the WWE pantheon for several years. Three of the company’s biggest stars (John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Dean Ambrose) will be in competition at WrestleMania 31 for titles that rank below the company’s top prize.
The match that could be the best of the night at WrestleMania 31 is the WWE Intercontinental Title ladder match, with Wade Barrett defending his championship against Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Luke Harper, and Dolph Ziggler. These are the announced competitors so far, but the WrestleMania match will feature at least one more person, and it is expected that Daniel Bryan will be the final competitor added.
In a yet to be officially announced WrestleMania 31 match, Rusev will be defending his U.S. Title against John Cena. It is clear that this is the direction the company is moving in, and the match should be announced any week now. The last time Cena competed at WrestleMania for a title outside of the WWE Championship or WWE World Heavyweight Championship was in 2004. That year, at WrestleMania XX, Cena fought Big Show for the WWE U.S. Title.
Sting will make his long anticipated WrestleMania debut in a match against Triple H that is being booked as WWE vs. WCW. Sting and Triple H have reportedly been rehearsing the match at the WWE Performance Center in Florida, and the match should come off well. This is truly the only match on this year’s WrestleMania card that has a special, out of the ordinary feel to it.
It looks quite clear that The Undertaker will be returning to WWE for the first time since his WrestleMania streak was ended last year at WrestleMania XXX at the hands of Brock Lesnar. The current television shows have been building toward Undertaker taking on Bray Wyatt, and so far no special kind of stipulation has been added to the match, as it has not officially been announced yet.
Another yet to be announced WrestleMania 31 match that WWE is building towards is Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton. Cageside Seats reports that WWE was pleased with Jon Stewart’s performance with Seth Rollins on RAW, so Stewart getting involved with this story at WrestleMania makes sense.
Rounding out the WrestleMania 31 card will be the WWE Tag Team titles being defended by Tyson Kidd and Cesaro against The Usos, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and the Bellas vs. A.J. Lee and Paige. Dave Meltzer is reporting this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the WWE Tag Team Title match could also involve a stipulation regarding Natalya and Naomi.
In regards to ticket sales for WrestleMania 31, the pace of sales has picked up in recent weeks. The pace for WrestleMania 31’s ticket sales has surpassed last year’s WrestleMania XXX. Internal comp tickets handed out to WWE employees are down considerably from last year’s WrestleMania in New Orleans.
[Image via WrestlingNews]