The main event features Brock Lesnar challenging Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship. The title is almost secondary to this bitter feud. Thirteen years after their disappointing match at WrestleMania XX, with both men departing WWE after the show, Lesnar and Goldberg will get another chance to shine in the brightest spotlight of the year.
The WWE Championship will also be on the line, with Randy Orton challenging Bray Wyatt for the title. Orton is now using the storyline proposed by the Greek God of Wrestling when Orton first joined the Wyatt family: the entire move was premeditated, with Orton breaking the family apart from inside while patiently waiting for his moment to strike.
The United States Championship will be on the line in the grudge match between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. Achilles Heel expects them to create a tremendous match. The Undertaker is slated to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, although Braun Strowman might be added to the match.
Two more matches appeared to be added this past week. A.J. Styles, who has lived up to his “phenomenal” nickname, attacked Shane McMahon in spectacular fashion on Smackdown, smashing his head through a car window to express his anger for not having a match at WrestleMania. At the end of Smackdown, McMahon said he will face Styles at WrestleMania. Expect some stipulations to be added to this match.
Triple H’s beatdown of Seth Rollins at the end of Raw indicates that Rollins will face Triple H at WrestleMania. Rollins may not be fully recovered from a knee injury, which could explain why Triple H slammed Rollins’ leg repeatedly with his crutch, but WWE wouldn’t have done this angle if there weren’t going to be a WrestleMania match.
Both women’s titles will be on the line at WrestleMania. Bayley will defend the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. Alexa Bliss will defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against “every woman on the roster” in a match that is not yet defined.
Dean Ambrose will defend the Intercontinental Championship against Baron Corbin. The Raw Tag Team Championship will be defended in a triple threat match, with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defending the titles against Enzo Amore and Big Cass and former champions Cesaro and Sheamus. One more title will be contested, with Neville defending the Cruiserweight Championship against Austin Aries. As of now, Smackdown tag team champions Chad Gable and Jason Jordan don’t have a WrestleMania match, although this is a slot in which Matt and Jeff Hardy could return to WWE.
John Cena and Nikki Bella will battle The Miz and Maryse in a rivalry that has generated a lot of heat. There also will be the traditional Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Big Show’s entry into the match indicates that his proposed match with Shaquille O’Neal is not going to happen.
As it stands right now, there are 13 matches for WrestleMania, with the possible addition of a Smackdown tag team title match and a six-man cruiserweight match. Even with a four-hour show and a two-hour pre-show, that’s too many matches. The Lesnar-Goldberg match probably can’t last more than 10 minutes, so that saves some time, but expect at least four matches to move to the preshow.
DISAPPOINTING SHOWS: Other than the major angles – the A.J. Styles-Shane McMahon angle was excellent – Achilles Heel was a little disappointed in Raw and Smackdown this past week. WWE needs to raise its game the next two weeks.
PHILLY IS RAW: Don’t forget that the final Raw before WrestleMania 33 will be held at Wells Fargo Center on March 27. As usual, please don’t ask the Greek God of Wrestling for any autographs.
PLAYING TAG: Impact Wrestling announced that the top teams will compete for the Impact Tag Team Championship, which was vacated when Matt and Jeff Hardy left what was then called TNA. The teams competing will be Decay, Reno SCUM, the Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. and LAX, which made its return Thursday on Impact Wrestling.
As someone who admires Alberto El Patron (the former Alberto Del Rio) in the ring, Achilles Heel is glad to see him involved in Impact’s main event picture. Alberto actually captured the Impact Wrestling World Championship from Bobby Lashley, but returned the title because he didn’t win it in an honorable way, hitting Lashley with the belt.
WWE IN HERSHEY: WWE was in Allentown on Saturday and will be in Hershey tonight (Sunday, March 19) for a Raw house show.
CLIMBING THE LADDER: The highly anticipated Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship match between Matt and Jeff Hardy and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) at Supercard of Honor XI on April 1 in Lakeland, Fla., is now a ladder match. The stakes keep getting higher in what should be a spectacular match.
Christopher Daniels, who defeated Adam Cole to win the Ring of Honor Championship, will defend the title at Supercard of Honor XI against Dalton Castle. A bullrope match between Jay Lethal and Cody Rhodes has als been announced. More matches should be announced soon. Very soon.
TAKING OVER ORLANDO: NXT will also hold a major event on Sat., April 1, the day before WrestleMania 33. NXT Takeover: Orlando will feature Bobby Roode defending the NXT Championship against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Asuka will defend the NXT Women’s Championship against Ember Moon, and The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) will defend the NXT Tag Team Championship in a triple-threat elimination match against The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) and DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa).
SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: If you’re reading this on Saturday afternoon, you still have time to get to Flyers Skate Zone tonight for Combat Zone Wrestling’s “Proving Grounds.” In the main event, Joe Gacy will defend the CZW World Championship against Chris Dickinson. Scarlet and Graves will defend the CZW Tag Team Championship in a triple threat match against Dub Boys and EYFBO.
In non-title matches, Conor Claxton battles Devon Moore in a falls-count-anywhere match; Sami Callihan squares off with Alexander James; Matt Tremont and Stockade team up to take on Joey Janela and Cannonball; and Maxwell Jacob Feinstein faces Rickey Shane Page. There also will be a six-man scramble featuring Jake Crist, Greg Excellent, Shane Strickland, Tim Donst, Ace Austin and Alex Daniels.
FLORIDA COMBAT: Combat Zone Wrestling is bringing its Best of the Best Tournament to Orlando for WrestleMania weekend. On Sat., April 1, Joe Gacy will defend the CZW Championship against Brian Cage. Best of the Best includes Ricochet, A.R. Fox, Sami Callihan, Dave Crist, Jake Crist, Michael Elgin, Joey Janela, Shane Strickland and Lio Rush.
CHIKARA IN FLORIDA: CHIKARA also will have a presence in Orlando during WrestleMania weekend. CHIKARA will present “Turn Left” and “Bad Wolf” as part of the WWN Live Experience. During “Bad Wolf” on Sat., April 1, Zack Sabre Jr. will battle Max Smashmaster, and UltraMantis Black will face Juan Francisco De Coronado.
WALL-TO-WALL WRESTLING: The WWN Live experience includes a series of shows in and around Orlando. The action kicks off on Thurs., March 30 at EVOLVE 80. Zack Sabre Jr. will defend the EVOLVE Championship against ACH. Other matches include Drew Galloway vs. Matt Riddle, Keith Lee vs. Ricochet, and Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi defending the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship against Michael Elgin and Donovan Dijak.
Also on March 30, Joey Janela’s Spring Break features some interesting matchups. Janela battles Marty Janetty, Riddle squares off with Dan “The Beast” Severn, and Combat Zone Wrestling’s Matt Tremont meets Eddie Kingston in what should be a physical match.
EVOLVE 81 the next day (4 p.m.) features Sabre battling Michael Elgin in a non-title match, Keith Lee squaring off with Donovan Dijak, Galloway vs. Lio Rush, Yehi vs. Riddle, and Timothy Thatcher vs. ACH.
The culmination of the weekend, which includes more than what I’ve listed here, will be the WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising – EVOLVE vs. Progress. Galloway, Riddle, Yehi, Williams, Jon Davis and Parrow will complete in an elimination match to determine the first WWN champion. There will also be matches pitting EVOLVE vs. Progress.
RUSEV INJURY: In last week’s Heel Turns, the Greek God of Wrestling praised Rusev and noted how he is underutilized in WWE. Unfortunately, Rusev needs shoulder surgery and will likely miss WrestleMania. Achilles Heel wishes Rusev and speedy and complete recovery.