Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on WrestleMania 35 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Winner Takes All Triple Threat Match: Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair (c) = Hot
Even ignoring how this is a historic match that WWE is clearly putting all their eggs in the basket of, just look at the three women involved. Ronda Rousey has been able to perform consistently well over the course of the past year, Becky Lynch is The Man for a reason and Charlotte Flair is arguably the best women’s wrestler WWE has ever seen.
This has amazing potential to be great, and while we can nitpick the execution of the angle, each step of the storyline along the way, or even complain that it should be a singles match with one or the other between Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair against Ronda Rousey, I think it’s important to go with the flow with this one.
It isn’t the match I’m looking forward to the most, but it’s probably my #2.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins the titles, unless Vince McMahon is officially insane.
Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins = Cold
I’m supposed to care about this more than pretty much anything on the card, but I just can’t seem to care.
I’ve found it beyond incredibly difficult to get invested in the slightest bit in anything Brock Lesnar has done since before WrestleMania 33, even, and it just gets harder and harder as time goes on.
Regarding this feud, they’ve really copped out on trying to make it interesting and just figured the two names sold it without any real effort, but that didn’t translate to me as anything to be excited about, as I see it going down in two possible ways:
1) Brock Lesnar wrestles the same type of match we almost always see him do, where it’s nothing but German Suplexes and an F-5 or two, and he retains the title.
2) Brock Lesnar wrestles the same type of match we almost always see him do against smaller opponents like AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Finn Bálor, where it’s all over-selling and then he hits two F-5s and wins.
That’s not special. That’s mundane and the norm. I’m pretty sure this will only get a rise out of me if Seth Rollins actually wins the title and I just don’t see that happening now that Roman Reigns is healthy.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar retains the title.
WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston = Hot
Talk about falling ass-backwards into a lucky situation! WWE had nothing good going for the WWE Championship match and no solid feuds lined up for Daniel Bryan, and then Mustafa Ali’s injury paves the way for Kofi Kingston of all people to swoop in and become one of the most over people going into WrestleMania.
Wow. That’s crazy, and something that I’m so glad they didn’t push back on.
I’m more excited about this match than almost anything for the entire weekend, and I hope isn’t tarnished by some sort of funky booking decision to try to prolong it into Saudi Arabia or Money in the Bank.
If Kofi Kingston wins the title, that might end up being my absolute highlight of the whole event, but even if he doesn’t, I think I’m still going to enjoy this more than nearly everything else.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston wins the championship.
United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio = Lukewarm/Cold
I’m a big fan of Samoa Joe and feel he keeps getting robbed, so I was glad to see him win the title. This current Rey Mysterio is better than the one that we had gotten for the last few years of his previous run in WWE, so that’s a positive.
But I’ve already seen this match multiple times with Andrade and R-Truth factored in to spice it up. This offers me no real reason to get invested, especially knowing that Rey Mysterio is injured and won’t compete at his best.
Dominic is the big hook? Pass. This could have been much more interesting with John Cena challenging Samoa Joe, or maybe if they had kept the Fatal 4-Way off to the side and done it for the first time here to put the title on Samoa Joe instead. Hell, I would have opted for Kevin Owens against Samoa Joe and just moved on to a new feud entirely.
In any fashion, I’m not hyped about this, and I’m more so anticipating what WWE has in store for it rather than what will happen if it’s just actually what is being advertised.
Prediction: Samoa Joe retains the title.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Bálor = Cold
Stop having matches that lead to rematches that lead to rematches that lead to rematches that lead to rematches and then expect people to give a shit about ANOTHER rematch being on the card for WrestleMania!
There is absolutely nothing that I’m interested in seeing here, and I enjoy both Lashley and Finn Bálor to varying extents.
Slapping some paint on Finn Bálor does nothing for me.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley retains the title. I don’t know. I don’t care. Do whatever.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: The Usos (c) vs. The Bar vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura = Lukewarm
I’m underwhelmed by Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura as a tag team unit, and feel both men are better on their own, but I don’t think that will get in the way of this being a good match.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is one of the more easily guaranteed quality matches that is on the card. It will be a buffer segment more than anything else, but I think these eight men will deliver and put on a good show.
I say good, not great, because I think they’ll be hindered by the timing issues that will hurt every match on this card, but I don’t think that will be their fault.
Prediction: Aleister Black and Ricochet win the titles if The Usos are leaving WWE. If they aren’t leaving, The Usos retain.