The ultimate thrill-ride Wrestlemania 33 is just weeks away – with such eagerly anticipated matches as Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar, Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho and Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt. Say what you will about the actual card – you can’t deny that these are feuds that have been patiently built over time. Lesnar vs Goldberg kicked off in November, and both Kevin vs Chris and Orton vs Bray’s storylines date back to August.
WWE is often accused of short-term booking – and that does seem to be the case with episodes of Raw sometimes being redrafted just hours before the show starts – but the overall direction Vince McMahon wants to go in has – this year, at least – been relatively well thought out.
Unfortunately, some of those long-term plans might not be what the fans want.
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has revealed the current plans for next year’s Wrestlemania main event. Get the stress balls ready. Remove easily breakable objects from your immediate surroundings. Take a deep, deep breath. Because it’s Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the Universal Title.
“The plan is to once again build for a year and have the big coronation at WrestleMania. The idea between now and then is for Reigns to be the face, not just when he wins the title, but to fully replace John Cena as the lead babyface of the company.”
Meltzer notes that he doesn’t know whether WWE are going to turn Roman heel, how he’ll fare against the Undertaker, or whether Brock will have a year-long reign with the title, just that Reigns being the company’s top babyface by Wrestlemania 34 is the current overall direction.
WWE will probably face many obstacles if that’s the case, one of which being: how to keep Reigns and Lesnar apart for a year?
One idea is that Roman could go to Smackdown while Lesnar remains on Raw. That would help fill the spot left by John Cena leaving to make movies. And it could be part of the rumoured roster trades that Vince is apparently considering.
Both Wrestling News World and Cage Side Seats’ rumour section – so remember, this is just a rumour at the moment – are reporting that Vince has brought up AJ Styles moving to Raw and The New Day going to Smackdown “on multiple occasions.”
Wrestling News World have been reporting the Styles move since late last year, but the New Day rumours are more recent, with the site adding, “Vince McMahon has complained about the writers not coming up with something better for The New Day to do at WrestleMania besides host the show…Vince has expressed some regret over taking the titles off of them before WrestleMania.”
This problem allegedly stems back to the 2016 draft, where Enzo & Cass and The New Day were meant to go to different shows – meaning both teams could be in their respective brands’ tag title pictures without having to face each other. But Vince changed his mind last minute, wanting both acts on the ‘A’ show, Raw.
McMahon has now apparently made the decision for Enzo and Cass to win the tag titles at Wrestlemania, but because he doesn’t want them going up against The New Day, Woods, Kofi and Big E have “been put on the back burner, which Vince isn’t happy about.”
Maybe AJ Styles should just go back to New Japan to celebrate the latest Bullet Club milestone, about which the Young Bucks tweeted:
— The Young Bucks (@NickJacksonYB) March 15, 2017