WWE News: Major Change Made To ‘Wrestlemania’ Card
The WWE has updated its plans for Sunday’s WrestleMania spectacular as it pertains to where the different matches will air on the show. The kickoff show was the subject of much of the debate, with more matches perhaps than ever as candidates for the slot. It was widely expected that the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal would get relegated to the kickoff show, and it originally was. But now, it’s been officially moved to the main WrestleMania card, according to F4Wonline.com.
Another change to the lineup finds the United States Championship match moved way up. Kalisto and Ryback were originally booked to compete on the WrestleMania pre-show, but now they’ve been slotted to face off at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. local time in a WWE Network and social media exclusive. That title will be defended even before the kickoff show hits the air at 6 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. local on a USA Network and WWE Network simulcast.
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The simulcasted kickoff show, which will also air on YouTube, the WWE app, and WWE.com, will now feature just two matches. First, there’s the 10-diva tag team match featuring Team Total Divas (Paige, Natalya, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie) taking on Team B.A.D and Blonde (Lana, Summer Rae, Naomi, Tamina, and Emma). Then, The Usos will battle The Dudley Boyz in what was haphazardly billed as a grudge match. So the 11-match WrestleMania card looks like this, with the official card order still to be determined (once the main show begins).
- United States Championship Match (5:30 p.m. WWE Network & Social Media Exclusive): Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback
- The Total Divas vs. Team B.A.D. & Blonde (Kickoff Show)
- The Dudley Boyz vs. The Usos (Kickoff Show)
- 3rd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Stardust vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara
- Divas Championship: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
- Battle for Tag Team Supremacy: The New Day (c) vs. League of Nations
- AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
- No Holds Barred Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
- Hell in a Cell: Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
It is being speculated that the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will either kick off WrestleMania or already be in progress when the show begins. It might start with a few minutes left in the kickoff show and resume during the actual WrestleMania time slot to entice those who haven’t yet purchased the pay-per-view event. However, that may be a stretch considering WWE’s propensity to want to start their big shows off with a bang. And the battle royal would hardly qualify unless they were planning on debuting a new superstar in that match.
The current participants in the battle royal include Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Big Show, Kane, Tyler Breeze, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Konnor, Viktor, Goldust, and R-Truth. If their goal is to get 20 superstars in the match, that would leave four unannounced. Of those already in the match, only Tyler Breeze will be making his WrestleMania debut.
WrestleMania is a stage for grandiose entrances, which will add an extra element of time management to the program. This could be one of the factors in flip-flopping the order of some of the matches, and there’s a distinct possibility more changes could be on the way in the next couple of days. As WWE descends on Dallas for its biggest show of the year, final rehearsals and walk-throughs will need to be ironed out in order to map out the final rundown of what we’ll watch unfold on Sunday.
[Image via YouTube]