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WrestleMania 36: Watching the pieces fall into place

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As we watch the final pieces fall into place with WrestleMania 36 just a handful of weeks away, it’s always fun to speculate on where those proverbial chips will fall. Let’s start with what has been written in stone thus far.

Both Royal Rumble victors, Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair, have declared which world title they will be targeting when WWE takes over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on April 5th. For McIntyre, it will be Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship, while Flair will go after Rhea Ripley’s NXT Women’s Championship. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch will challenge the winner of the upcoming Elimination Chamber match between Shayna Baszler, Natalya, Asuka, Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. We fully expect Baszler to emerge victorious to continue what has been a very strong angle between the former dominant NXT champ and WWE’s brightest star.

Before the action gets hot and heavy over at Best Sportsbook for Mania season, let’s see what may be in store for the rest of those world titles.

Universal Championship

“If history has taught us anything, you never bet against Goldberg.” – Corey Graves

Will Goldberg derail The Fiend in Saudi Arabia to carry the Universal Championship into WrestleMania? Why not? After all, it was in Riyadh where The Fiend’s title run began when he defeated Seth Rollins at Crown Jewel last Halloween. And remember, Goldberg is at his best when he’s squashing his opponents. The amount of sweat he produced in just a handful of seconds on last night’s episode of Smackdown after just one spear combined with his abysmal performance in Saudi last fall suggests he shouldn’t be involved in anything short of a squash match. Regardless of whom emerges victorious next Thursday, both of these men are major attractions and will be in must see Mania matches regardless of who carries the strap into Tampa. Also, don’t forget about Roman Reigns. It’s hard to imagine him not being involved in the Universal title picture as either champ or challenger regardless if it’s against Bray or Goldberg. Both make sense no matter how you slice it.

Tag Title Picture

I’ve been very vocal about my dream scenario for the men’s tag titles — combine them — there’s no need for one on each brand.

I do not expect to see Rollins and Murphy as RAW tag champions when Mania rolls around. AOP would be a more likely bet with a faction blow up likely to happen sooner rather than later. Modern WWE does not like to keep this groups together for too long unfortunately.

I’d love to see The Street Profits carry the RAW titles into Mania and face off against either The New Day or The Usos to create an undisputed duo that would be forced to work both brands and defend against the best of the best. There’s simply not enough teams to justify two world titles, especially when you bring NXT into the fold. And while this isn’t likely to happen, one can only dream.

As for the women’s, The Kabuki Warriors have been an incredible throwback heel team ever since they turned. It seems like it’d be a great time to bring The IIconics back into the fold as a babyface team to take on Asuka and Kairi on the same stage where they had their big moment last April in East Rutherford. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross would also be a great pick as challengers.

IC/US Title Pictures

That new IC belt just don’t look right on Braun (it’s so tiny) but he still carries it well. Does that even make any sense?

After this seemingly endless Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin feud ends, this seems like a good spot for Corbin to be inserted. Last year we had 16 matches on the Mania card and this year there will likely be around the same. That leaves space for a few monster squash matches — Braun over Corbin to retain the IC strap should be one of them. Quick pops like that will be needed to keep the crowd going.

With Andrade set to return after his wellness policy violation, it’s unclear whether or not WWE will want to punish him by having him drop the US title before Mania. I like the idea of him becoming a stable leader with Zelina as a mouthpiece and I think the US title would be a great centerpiece. So as far as title defense goes, if Andrade does hang onto the title, it’s simple, a hair versus mask match against Rey Mysterio.

Mysterio and Samoa Joe only went about a minute last year at Mania due to an injury to Rey. While it was nice for the fans to see Rey, it definitely left more to be desired. Rey and Andrade have been killing it since, every single time they take center stage. There’s no reason not to have a lengthy blow off at the “Granddaddy of Them All” with high stakes. You don’t necessarily need a title on the line for this match, but it would be a nice touch. If Andrade does drop the strap, I’d love to see him drop it to Humberto Carrillo and have defend it against an up and comer in a nice pre-show match.

Smackdown Women’s Championship

This is an interesting one. Bayley will defend the title against Naomi and Super Showdown and a title change could be in order. Regardless, it seems like we are on track for a Bayley versus Sasha feud unless they want to save it for SummerSlam. I really like this long title run for the new Bayley character so hopefully they keep her at the top of the card on SmackDown and let her carry the title into Mania.

24/7 Championship

It was cute at first. At this point, it’s jumped the shark about 20 times over. Without R-Truth in the mix, the 24/7 title just doesn’t work. Give it back to Truth at Mania and let’s just say he lost it. I never want to see this title again.

Stay tuned right here for more Mania coverage and odds as we head move closer to April 6th in Tampa. Feel free to leave your predictions in the comments section or get at us on social media @FightBoothPW.

Dave has been covering Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts for various websites since 2010. He currently runs both FightBooth and FightBoothPW with the help of some lovely and talented people.

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