WrestleMania 36 Preview - Triple Threat POV Bumper Edition | Smark Out Moment

WrestleMania 36 Preview - Triple Threat POV Bumper Edition

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, April 2, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Ethan Neufeld and Bodeen Green will be previewing WrestleMania 36.

This weekend marks the first WrestleMania to be held in front of no fans, as COVID-19 has resulted in numerous travel bans and lockdowns. There has been much consideration and debate about whether or not the event should go ahead, but WWE have decided to press ahead with the show, albeit it with no fans in attendance. This has resulted in a show that feels underwhelming, however it could just be the tonic that fans need in order to forget about the global issues surrounding COVID-19.

Question 1: Goldberg will no longer defend the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns. If Goldberg loses to his replacement, does this hurt the standing of both Goldberg and the WWE Universal Championship?

ALLSOPP: Goldberg holding the WWE Universal Championship is painful to see, considering the insipid manner of his victory over The Fiend. As he is a surprising favourite of Vince McMahon, I can see him holding onto the title as we head into the great unknown that is COVID-19. Roman Reigns would have easily become champion had he competed, but keeping the title on Goldberg is, in McMahon’s eyes, the best way to maintain the importance of the title. But this could not be further from the truth. I hope he drops the belt, but real world consequences have predicated a need to give WWE stability and name power. There would be no negative effect on the championship if Reigns' replacement was to win, primarily due to the fact a full time wrestler would once again be champion.

NEUFELD: The first point to make is that I don’t think Goldberg should be holding the title in the first place. But that damage being done, where does it go from here? Goldberg doesn’t have a lot to lose at this point. I think his match against The Undertaker did all the damage in the world to his standing and completely exposed him. I’m not convinced he has a lot of credibility left, which is exactly why his current title reign is especially hard to swallow. So him losing won’t really hurt him at all in my opinion. Anyone else having the title would increase its credibility and prestige. I wouldn’t say the title is totally devalued at this point, but it took a huge hit when it was pulled from a full time performer who completely reinvented himself, only to be given to a part timer who can’t even perform his signature maneuvers well anymore.

GREEN: This all depends on the person that is taking Roman Reigns' spot. Whilst I won't say any names to avoid spoiling the event, I definitely feel that Goldberg won't lose any credibility if Reigns' replacement is a big name. There is also the fact that Goldberg has very little credibility, and is only seen as an aging part timer who can't even do 2 moves. The WWE Universal Championship itself has had a rocky road with its holders, so I feel that Reigns' replacement winning won't hurt the prestige of the belt. As for Goldberg, I feel like WWE will still want their battle of the Spears somewhere down the line, most likely at another Saudi Arabia show.

Question 2: Will this year be The Undertaker’s final WrestleMania? Is there any chance that AJ Styles retires The Phenom in their boneyard match?

NEUFELD: No. No, no, no, no, no, no, toddler throwing a tantrum in his wagon no! This cannot be his last WrestleMania, as he deserves so much more than that. I am strongly of the opinion that The Undertaker should have formally retired already, but that ship has sailed. When he finally retires, it needs to be in front of a crowd to a standing ovation. AJ Styles wouldn’t be the worst choice to formally retire The Undertaker, but the build isn’t good enough and the situation is wrong. Styles will lose, and I hope we see The OC Chokeslammed into an open grave. At a time like this, seeing an overly produced, silly, graveyard battle with The Undertaker going over would be an enjoyable spectacle we need to see.

GREEN: As much as I agree with the fact that The Undertaker should have retired three years ago, this definitely should not be his last match. I will admit that AJ Styles might be a good name to wrestle The Undertaker in his last match, however the lack of an arena, crowd and the fact that no one knows what a boneyard match even is means that this is definitely not the environment that The Undertaker should have his last match in. As for Styles' chances of winning, I'm giving him a huge no. I just don't see him having any logical chance of retiring, or even beating The Undertaker.

ALLSOPP: The Undertaker is my favourite wrestler of all time, but he needs to hang up his gloves and retire for good. He is destroying his legacy as he is a mere shadow of himself, and despite AJ Styles being the world class athlete he is, there is no interest for me in this match. I feel the boneyard concept will be disappointing, however I can only see a victory for The Phenom to maintain his aura.

Question 3: Becky Lynch will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Shayna Baszler. Will Baszler stamp her authority on Raw’s women’s division, or will Lynch’s record breaking reign continue?

GREEN: The women's division needs a changing of the guard. As much as Becky Lynch has done a good job in being the face of the division, she can only do it for so long until she becomes stale and repetitive. The fact that there will be no crowd reaction will hurt the moment if Lynch hands the torch over to Shayna Baszler, but it is still a moment that needs to happen. However, knowing WWE, they'll want to play it safe until this current situation is over, so I'd say there is a good chance we might see a dodgy finish such as a tap out and pinfall, followed up by a rematch at SummerSlam or the first pay-per-view WWE have with a live crowd.

ALLSOPP: Shayna Baszler is an absolute machine, and my hope here is that she goes over in spectacular fashion. Baszler is capable of tapping Becky Lynch out in under a minute, but the strong manner in which both wrestlers have been booked indicates their contest will be competitive. Lynch has no need to retain the title, as she will be one of the stars of the women’s division regardless. Baszler is strong, but she needs the validation of the Raw Women’s Championship. I will go out on a limb and say Baszler wins, but it will be a hard hitting match.

NEUFELD: I’m going to be a bit bold here with my prediction, and it ties into another question below. I think Shayna Baszler is losing. In times of crisis, Vince McMahon has shown that he will default to what he feels is the safest position, which is to not make any major changes. Becky Lynch is the established star with drawing power. She’s the one who has a custom semi-truck made. Baszler is, as far as McMahon would be concerned, an unknown entity. And to be fair, her matches on the main roster so far haven’t been starmaking performances. I’ll hate to see it happen, but I think the title stays firmly around the waist of Lynch. Because when the world is spinning out of control, McMahon doesn’t turn into the spin.

Question 4: Do you think Edge will be victorious in his first WrestleMania match for 9 years? Will this be the start of another magical run in WWE?

ALLSOPP: I think Edge will defeat Randy Orton in a nail biting match, as it would set him up perfectly for the rest of the year. Edge can be used as a showpiece for multiple pay-per-views, or he could even have a run with a world title. He has the aura from his last run intact, with fans absolutely in love with everything he does. Hopefully, a victory over Orton will be the start of Edge's own career re-birth, similar to how Shawn Michaels returned from injury as a better wrestler in 2002.

NEUFELD: I’m very excited for this match. It’s the shining star of current storylines in terms of build, and I’m looking forward to a hard hitting match with a lot of emotion, and hopefully some good storytelling from a motivated Randy Orton. I think it would be criminal for Edge to lose, and I believe he’ll pull out a win. I predict he’ll win in a way that demonstrates his craftiness and veteran experience, exploiting Orton’s lack of emotional control. I don’t think this is the start of an extended run for Edge though. His neck, though better, is not in great shape, and he’s got a lot more miles on him at this point. I think he’ll have a few more good matches, maybe wrapping up by next WrestleMania. And that’s fine. I’d rather see that then him be foolish and risk his well being.

GREEN: This is a match I can definitely see still being good, even in an empty arena. In fact, I'd say that it has an advantage of being in an empty arena, as it allows for more brawling around the arena, as well as the chance for some creative spots. As for who's winning, it makes sense that Edge should win this match. Whilst other names on this card can easily lose at WrestleMania 36 but have their big moments later on in front of a crowd, Edge's situation with his neck makes him different, with each match potentially being his last. This is why Edge needs to win, as having a rematch with Randy Orton down the line just creates time that Edge unfortunately doesn't have. However, neck injury aside, this is definitely going to be the start of another run for the Rated R Superstar.

Question 5: The Fiend will host John Cena in a Firefly Fun House match. Do you feel this is a suitable matchup for The Fiend? Does he deserve a higher spot on the card?

NEUFELD: However you feel about The Fiend, I think Bray Wyatt deserves a tremendous amount of credit and respect for the work he has put into reinventing himself. He has clearly invested time, thought, and effort into a fully formed character that has put on a lot of entertaining segments, shaking things up in WWE. For those reasons, I think he deserved better than losing to Goldberg, and The Fiend vs Roman Reigns (or someone else I suppose) should have happened. Based on what has occurred and what can’t be undone, yes, I think this is a good match. It’s a good bookend to their prior WrestleMania match, and I think a match against John Cena at WrestleMania isn’t something to turn one’s nose up at. If this is going to be a theatrically produced match a la the House of Horrors match against Randy Orton, I hope they go overboard with it and let both Wyatt and Cena really have fun with it.

GREEN: I'll say it. I love the Fiend. He has been my favourite superstar of 2019, with Bray Wyatt's fun loving creepiness mixed with the mystery of the Firefly Fun House resulting in some of the best segments in recent years. However, Wyatt's matches have become somewhat stale. As much as I enjoyed the first few matches from The Fiend, the whole no sell gimmick became somewhat washed up over time. The empty arena situation at WrestleMania 36 would only reinforce this, as the shock from the audience from The Fiend getting back up is not going to be there. This is why having a gimmick match is perfect. It allows The Fiend to do something new and different, whilst at the same time hopefully still keeping his eerie aura.

ALLSOPP: Does Bray Wyatt deserve better? Yes. Does The Fiend deserve better? Hell yes! But as a consolation prize, a match with John Cena is not a bad option. The Firefly Fun House stipulation is intriguing, especially when you consider how straight laced Cena is. The Fiend should still be WWE Universal Champion, but a dominant victory over the former face of WWE should return him to the main event picture.

Question 6: Drew McIntyre has been pushed hard during the road to WrestleMania 36. Is McIntyre about to become the next WWE Champion, and if so, how successful will his first reign be?

GREEN: I'm 50/50 on this one. As much as I want to see Drew McIntyre have his big moment in front of an audience instead of an empty arena, I also don't want to see Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion for who knows how long. There is always a chance that McIntyre will be forgotten about, and that is why I hope WWE decide to pull the trigger and have Lesnar lose at WrestleMania 36. WWE can still have Lesnar vs McIntyre in a rematch in front of a live crowd if they really want it. As for how long the Scottish Psychopath will hold onto the title, I can see him having a solid title reign until most likely losing it to Roman Reigns a couple months after WrestleMania 36.

ALLSOPP: Brock Lesnar has already done more to put Drew McIntyre over than anyone else not named Kurt Angle. This is an indication that he will be dropping the WWE Championship to McIntyre, and if this is the case, I feel WWE has wrestling's next true star on their hands. McIntyre is strong, surprisingly charismatic and possesses movie star looks. Booked correctly, he could rule WWE for the next 10 years.

NEUFELD: So, here’s the second part of my bold prediction. I predict Brock Lesnar is winning. I'm not confident about this, but that’s my prediction. As above, when things are chaotic and the chips are down, Vince McMahon will not take what he thinks are risks. Changing the title is a risk of sorts, as Drew McIntyre as the lead guy is an unknown entity. And I have learned to never, ever bet against WWE defaulting to Brock Lesnar under any situation. Also, we have seen a lot of very poor booking decisions recently, and I’m not convinced that this will be any different. Do I want it to happen? A thousand times no. I want my Scottish superhero to lead us into a better 2020. I hope I’m wrong, but my gut says I’m not.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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