Updated: Nov 21, 2020
It’s finally here.. I think? Sort of? The Show of Shows! The Showcase of the Immortals! The… empty arena?
WWE is plowing forward and still holding a WrestleMania this year, now broken up into two nights not because a 10-hour show is ungodly, but to help spread out performers during the Coronavirus pandemic. At least it’s something. Everything in theory has already been filmed so with Florida finally issuing a stay-at-home order earlier this week we should still get whatever it is we’ll be watching. After that, get ready for the Raw after ‘Mania… maybe? It’s unclear if we’ll have new material on Monday so enjoy new wrestling while you still can for a while. That may be a federal order at this point.
If you want to watch live on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show(s).
Card Matches, Hopes, and Dreams:
(Card, more so than ever, subject to change)
Aleister Black vs Bobby Lashley
The Background: I’m setting this match first because there really isn’t any background. It was simply announced. Black has had two jobber matches on the March 23rd Raw and March 30th Raw, and that’s the build. That’s it.
Fanboy Fantasy: I am not feeling this match at all. I haven’t been sold on Lashley since he returned to WWE despite good reviews of his work in Impact. Aleister should either be fighting for the WWE United States title (more on that in a little bit), in a final grudge match with Buddy Murphy, or both. Either way, Black disposes of Lashley quickly and heads into a title program with Andrade that plays on their NXT history.
Fanboy Prediction: I see Aleister picking up the win, but I can easily see shenanigans with Rusev showing up to distract Lana or Lashley, hopefully with a Performance Center-appropriate sized tank. Because why not, we need to add some extra gaga to this somewhere.
Baron Corbin vs Elias
The Background: On the March 20th Smackdown, Rob Gronkowski was introduced as the host of this year’s Show of Shows, and Baron Corbin tried to Make A Statement™ but was thwarted by Elias who has been musically harassing Corbin for a few weeks. However the next week on the March 27th Smackdown Corbin escalated the situation with attempted murder by throwing Elias off a perch. Assuming Elias survived, they will fight this weekend.
Fanboy Fantasy: This thing all started with Rob Gronkowski egging on Corbin and then Elias coming to the rescue, so let’s keep him in play as a special guest referee and Mojo Rawley, now officially in his true form as “Gronk’s friend,” as announcer. Corbin and Elias don’t need much time because the end is simple: Elias goes for a guitar shot on Corbin, he “misses” and hits Gronk, Mojo slides in to look after his friend, and the two both get beat down by a Corbin/Elias team-up. It was all a ruse by Corbin and Elias both. Gronk can get in a shot later on in the night on the two backstage to ensure that yes, he is here to wrestle, but he and Mojo should go down pretty easily. I prefer Elias as a heel and I like the idea of him and Corbin as a combo. They’ve dabbled in it before but never in an official capacity that I remember? Elias can play Corbin out to the ring while he’s still playing king, but can also step up more as a threat when Corbin finally ditches the crown.
Fanboy Prediction: I think Elias will get the win, likely with interference from Gronk. Would I love to see an Elias/Corbin alliance form? Yes. Do I think it will happen? Sadly no. Elias will win and then he’ll sing about Gronk as he and Mojo dance.
Dolph Ziggler vs Otis Dozovic
The Background: Otis has been sending Mandy Rose lovingly weird (though work inappropriate) messages via Twitter for probably the last year. He finally got the courage to ask Rose out on a date which was of course set for the February 14th Smackdown because the best time to go on a date with your co-worker is during work hours. Unfortunately for the Patron Saint of Steaks & Weights (trademark pending), Dolph Ziggler took over the date and woo’ed Mandy first. Ziggler and Robert Roode then stole the 6th spot in the Elimination Chamber match from Heavy Machinery in a gauntlet match on the March 6th Smackdown. Roode was able to eliminate Heavy Machinery in the Elimination Chamber match before they fell to the New Day, and now it’s time for the final confrontation. But the winner does not win Mandy Rose because she is not property. Wrestling is better than that, but just barely and only very very recently.
Fanboy Fantasy: Otis wins and steaks drop from the sky. We are then treated to multiple segments through the rest of EmptyMania simply showing Otis and Tucky grilling and enjoying said steaks while hilariously trying to social distance and actively ignoring that Otis just had a match that was the exact opposite of that. Oh, and to throw some gasoline on the fire for later, Sonya Deville is seen enjoying one of Otis’s steaks. Drama!
Fanboy Prediction: Unfortunately I’m going to go with Ziggler for the win. Ziggler recently tweeted “15 years in the making & I am less than 1 week away from having as many singles matches at #WrestleMania as Michael Cole. The translation is that this is his first somehow, having always ended up in multi-person spot fests. I love Otis, but I’ll tip my hat to Ziggler - he can have this one.
WWE Raw Tag Team Titles Match: Angel Garza & Austin Theory vs The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) ©
The Background: This was originally supposed to be Andrade & Angel Garza vs Humberto Carrillo & Rey Mysterio vs the Street Profits… maybe? Andrade, Garza, Carrillo, and Mysterio have all been pretty intertwined going back to last year now and in a perfect world would be having a 4-way WWE United States title match. However, a few things. After Mysterio beat Garza on the March 9th Raw and Andrade on the March 16th Raw, he reportedly went into quarantine. Carrillo was then pulled and we were given an Andrade and Garza victory in a random #1 contendership match over Cedric Alexander and Ricochet (hailing from tag teams you didn’t know you wanted) on the March 23rd Raw because why defend the United States title. At some point Andrade became injured and Zelina Vega has subbed in NXT’s Austin Theory in a 6-man tag team match on the March 30th Raw. Theory is best known around these parts for not understanding that you don’t mess with Daddy and quickly got the shit beat out of him by Tomasso Ciampa.
Fanboy Fantasy: Just make it a fun match, okay? Street Profits are great, Angel Garza is great, Zelina Vega is great, the only unproven thing to me is Theory, and let’s play him as such - Street Profits will clearly have fun in the ring, and Angel will be his delightful self, but Theory can be visibly off by how the match is going. Profits get the pin on Theory and then completely sell celebrating with the crowd in the middle of an empty arena. Garza and Vega ditch Theory and he goes back to NXT for more Ciampa beat downs.
Fanboy Prediction: Street Profits all the way here. There’s no reason to give the titles to such a make-shift team that may or may not actually be on the Raw roster? I think both are still technically NXT? Either way, Profits with the win and hopefully I’m not wrong about the post-match celebration.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Lacey Evans vs Naomi vs Sasha Banks vs Tamina vs Bayley ©
The Background: Bayley and Sasha went into WWE WrestleMania 35 as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions only to lose them to both the Iconics and sadly obscurity. While Banks took a sabbatical, Bayley won the title back in June last year after cashing in her just-won Money in the Bank briefcase and soon turned heel. Banks soon returned and joined her best friend/enemy and the two have been protecting each other ever since and somehow have not turned on each other yet. Having felt like she’s defeated everyone on the Smackdown women’s roster, Bayley was dealt a crushing blow when Paige showed up (via Performance Center-tron) on the March 20th Smackdown to announce Bayley would defend her title at EmptyMania in a fatal five-way fatal four-way against Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Naomi, Tamina, and Sasha Banks.
Fanboy Fantasy: In a perfect world, this would be a one on one with just Bayley and Sasha Banks like it should have been… two years ago? That can’t be right. Oh well. Working with what we’ve got, I’d give the nod to Naomi with having her pin Sasha. We’re obviously working on a looooong term plan here (are we?) and I’d put an endgame for the two at SummerSlam. Weeks and months down the line it can come out that Sasha purposefully got pinned to get the belt off Bayley because she wanted to share the tag team belts again (and of course Naomi gets a strong singles win over Bayley somewhere in here to reaffirm she’s not champ simply due to circumstance). With Bayley/Sasha shuffled back to the currently non-existent tag team division, for the time being, Naomi can settle in to rebuild the division.
Fanboy Prediction: I expect Bayley to retain by directly pinning Sasha, and then more non-action in their storyline. Or worse, more anger management classes that only reminds us how much better it worked with Daniel Bryan and Kane.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles Match: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) ©
The Background: Asuka and Kairi Sane won the Women’s tag team belts by defeating former champs Bliss and Cross back at last year’s WWE Hell in a Cell and then a whole lot of nothing. They actually have 4 title defenses which is more than I expected, but they also last defended the belts in December at WWE TLC against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. More recently, Bliss defeated Asuka on the March 27th Smackdown to Gain Momentum™ going into their titles match.
Fanboy Fantasy: Sigh, wasn’t I just talking about long term women tag teams that need to break up? I realize we need tag teams to necessitate a tag team division, but Nikki wants to play and Bliss needs to be sacrificed. Upon realigning Nikki to her true form as her crazy fantastic NXT self, you get an instant new title threat to Naomi’s new title, a new ready to reprove herself Alexa Bliss. Also, Asuka and Kairi Sane get to hold onto their belts. As I was saying above, I’d like them then to be busy with Bayley/Sasha who now refocus on getting the belts back (see? I added a team back!) while we wait for Nia Jax to rejoin Tamina as the theoretically dominant power team. I’d throw Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan back together as a face squad team (I want my Ruby Riott singles run!). Other teams I’d love? Bring Mercedes Martinez up and team her with Shayna Baszler as she doesn’t need to accomplish anything in NXT and if the money’s right bring Ronda Rousey back as a mentor to Sonya Deville. Now that’s a tag team division.
Fanboy Prediction: Since Bliss is great as a heel and more the proven commodity as such on the Raw/Smackdown rosters, I see her being the one to turn on Nikki after they lose. Alexa would be great, but Nikki would still be… well, not Nikki Cross.
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: I never thought I’d be in a world where I’d be rooting against a tag team of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross but the last few weeks have been weird AF so what’s one more thing? Yes, as much as I love Bliss and Cross I love Asuka and Sane MORE. Asuka gifs are getting me through this pandemic. Tim’s Pick: I feel like Bliss and Cross will win but I refuse to go against Asuka or Sane let alone BOTH of them. Asuka and Kairi Sane.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles Match: New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) vs John Morrison & The Miz ©
The Background: John Morrison returned on the January 3 Smackdown, figuratively stepping out of the shower like Bobby Ewing as if nothing happened since 2011 by rejoining Miz as his friend and confidant. The two went on to win the Smackdown Tag Team titles at WWE Super Showdown defeating New Day and survived the Elimination Chamber by lastly pinning the Usos. On the March 27th Smackdown, New Day and the Usos fought to a no contest after Miz and Morrison interfered causing them to have more work at EmptyMania.
Fanboy Fantasy: So the dirt sheets say that part of the reason Roman Reigns pulled out of working WrestleMania is that Miz showed up a touch sick and Roman, nor the Usos, were pleased. Is this true? Who the hell knows, but let’s go with close enough - New Day and Usos start by all teaming against Miz/Morrison, devolve enough to give us sweet sweet New Day/Uso action, and end with Usos pinning the Miz, and while celebrating the mic catches them saying something to the effect of “that’s for Roman.” Usos get the belts and move on the feud with Dolph/Roode who are now free out of their feud with Heavy Machinery, New Day slides into the Intercontinental title scene because I want them to win and all defend a belt under the Freebird rules, and Miz and Morrison enter a hard hitting feud like they should have in the first place. Miz blames Morrison for not breaking the pin and Morrison blames Miz for having changed while he was off enjoying Milwaukee with Mondo Lucha.
Fanboy Prediction: I actually think Miz and Morrison will retain here - they made it past the elimination chamber so technically there’s no reason they shouldn’t survive here.
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: FUN FACT – One time I had an artisanal sausage at The Vanguard with John Morrison. He was a regular at my favorite hometown promotion, Mondo Lucha. I do a little artwork for Mondo here and there and as such sometimes I get invited to cool shit. This was one of those times. Johnny is super cool IRL and I still tell stories about the wrestling lingo I was privy to that evening. As such, I will root for Johnny in any match, any time. Tim’s Pick: The Miz and John Morrison
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs Sami Zayn ©
The Background: Last month at WWE Elimination Chamber Daniel Bryan defeated wrestle-rival Drew Gulak but gained a new friend. Later that night, Sami Zayn used the hard work of his friends Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura to help defeat Braun Strowman to win the WWE Intercontinental title. Daniel Bryan defeated Cesaro on the March 13th Smackdown while Bryan and Gulak defeated Cesaro and Nakamura on the March 20th Smackdown. Lastly Gulak defeated Nakamura on the March 27th Smackdown to give a title shot to Bryan against Zayn. Huh?
Fanboy Fantasy: I want shenanigans on the outside with Gulak outwitting Cesaro and Nakamura while Bryan does his best to deal with a surprisingly spry Sami Zayn. In the end, Zayn can get the pin to retain and escape with his title. Gulak will then slide into the ring and… console a distraught Bryan. But what about the obvious turn? Oh, dear reader, it’s far too soon. I want at least a summer’s work of Gulak/Bryan goodness before either turns on the other (Narrator: It will be Gulak).
Fanboy Prediction: I’m going with Sami Zayn to retain - Bryan sounds like he’s looking forward to becoming more of a part-time wrestler in the near future, and despite what WWE does with their World/Universal titles, a part-time schedule in theory doesn’t go along with the workhorse title. Plus, Sami Zayn is wrestling again! And he has a title! Let it ride!
Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins
The Background: These two have been on a collision course since Rollins turned heel and dubbed himself the Monday Night Messiah™ on the November 25th Raw after a poor showing at WWE Survivor Series. Rollins went on to surround himself with AOP and Buddy Murphy while Owens has loosely allied with the Viking Raiders and Samoa Joe. Rollins last had the upper hand at WWE Royal Rumble where the Architects of Pain eliminated both Owens and Joe before Rollins himself was eliminated. Since then, injuries and suspensions have practically taken out everyone but Rollins and Owens and it’s come down to a one on one confrontation.
Fanboy Fantasy: Rollins and his crew got the upper hand at the Rumble, so Owens should get the upper hand here. If he’s healthy again, I’d send Samoa Joe out to even the odds and help Owens secure the victory only to turn on Owens and destroy both men post-match. I feel like I’m advocating for a lot of face/heel turns here but oh well. We set up Rollins still as the cult-leader heel, Owens still as the everyman face, and Joe as the killer tweener who hates both.
Fanboy Prediction: Owens should win because he needs to win. When was the last time Owens has won a match that meant something? The most recent one I can think of is WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 when he technically defeated Shane fucking McMahon, though that was due more to interference from Sami Zayn and gravity. That was 2 ½ years ago. Fuck. Give him the win, WWE, give him the fucking win.
Boneyard Match: AJ Styles vs The Undertaker
The Background: AJ Styles decided to be a big boy after the Rumble and started calling out the Dead Man. At WWE Super Showdown, Taker showed up and chokeslammed Styles for an easy victory and to claim the Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy - obviously the real reason Taker showed up. Taker again showed up at WWE Elimination Chamber to dispatch another chokeslam. On the March 23rd Raw AJ Styles formally challenged Undertaker to a “Boneyard match,” mocking former Diva’s champion and Undertaker-spouse Michelle McCool in the process. This pissed ol’ Big Evil off enough to to accept the challenge on the March 30th Raw. It’s gotten personal because the two have been using their “real” names, Mark and Allen. Now Mark and Allen are going to go fight in a graveyard, like “real people.”
Fanboy Fantasy: I’m going with the idea that a “boneyard match” is a buried alive match in a graveyard? AJ can take the advantage at first with help from Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, but Undertaker should then get help from Kane and Aleister Black to first bury Anderson and Gallows followed up by a tombstone into the grave by Taker to bury the OC. Undertaker then gives Aleister the urn of power before he and Kane ride off on Taker’s motorcycle off into the sunset. I want Kane in a sidecar with fire painted on it. Make it happen!
Fanboy Prediction: I can accept Brock Lesnar defeated Undertaker at Mania. I can also accept Roman Reigns defeating him at Mania. But AJ Styles? I love AJ Styles, but he’s not beating Undertaker at EmptyMania, whether he has Anderson or Gallows or even the whole Bullet Club. It’s Undertaker at EmptyMania in a goddamned graveyard. Undertaker wins.
Firefly Funhouse Match: Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
The Background: Back at WWE WrestleMania XXX, John Cena defeated cult leader Bray Wyatt. Since then, John Cena has gone onto to become The Rock Jr. in Hollywood while Bray Wyatt has become Mr. Rogers from Hell by letting The Fiend in . Since then he has no-sold his way into our hearts and to the Universal title except for his loss (?) to Goldberg (??) at WWE Super Showdown. Instead of looking for a rematch against a retired competitor, Wyatt has decided to pick on someone who defeated him six years ago and they’ll face off in a “Firefly Funhouse match.”
Fanboy Fantasy: It turns out that a Firefly Funhouse Match is literally a match on the Firefly Funhouse set - but it’s clearly a children show TV set with cameras and spooky children dolls in the audience. During the fight Bray starts Fiend-ing up and no-selling everything Cena gives him - the five-knuckle shuffle, the attitude adjustment, all of it. This devolves into a slow slasher-style chase scene through the hallways of the television studio - Cena flexes his acting chops and becomes more and more scared as our final girl. He turns a corner, and there’s the Fiend. Another corner, there the Fiend is again. Finally, Cena finds the exit door only for it to open back on the main set with only a non-Fiend Bray Wyatt sitting and laughing. Cena turns to see the Fiend next to him. Fiend hits a Sister Abigail and goes for the pin. The non-Fiend Wyatt slides over wearing a referee sweater and counts the one, two, three. Cena then disappears from under the Fiend, leaving the Fiend and non-Fiend Wyatt. The camera then pans up to a framed photo of Cena on the wall as it becomes animated with Cena banging on the frames begging to be let out. Sorry John, you let him in. In a final bid to entertain potentially only the Quixotronic staff, Fiend should merge into non-Fiend Wyatt and he should then stroll out of the studio to show that outside the studio is the boneyard from the AJ/Undertaker match for CONTINUITY. Wyatt finally sits down, Thanos style, content with his win. Anything less than this is unacceptable.
Fanboy Prediction: Wyatt should and will win - not only does he need a win here after his crushing defeat via Goldberg, but while we’ve been talking about Cena defeating Wyatt previously at WrestleMania 30, we’ve been ignoring who Wyatt beat to win his first World title 2 years ago - John Cena. It has happened and will happen again. Hopefully Cena will also be changed by a Fiend defeat and return next time as The Prototype for me and only me to pop.
Last Man Standing Match: Edge vs Randy Orton
The Background: After 9 years, Edge made his triumphant return at WWE Royal Rumble, making it all the way to the final four along with his longtime friend and rival Randy Orton. It looked like Rated RKO was going to stick together until Orton did what Ortons do and prepared to attack. Edge caught him before he could RKO him and eliminated him first. The next night on the January 27th Raw, Orton hit Edge with a con-chair-to, sending Edge away again. After an RKO to Beth Phoenix, Edge finally returned on the March 16th Raw to challenge Orton to a Last Man Standing match.
Fanboy Fantasy: This match can go as long as it wants. Fight forever guys. These two know each other better than most wrestlers and they can do whatever they want. I expect this to include multiple finishers, including each stealing each other’s finishers. Spear by Orton! RKO by Edge! I’d have the two knock each other out down for the count and Edge get up just enough at the count of 9 to win the match.
Fanboy Prediction: I don’t see Edge not winning this match. They’ve set it up where Edge needs proper revenge for both himself and Phoenix, and there’s no reason Orton needs the win. It’s Edge’s first one on one match in 9 years - let’s give him a win!
NXT Women’s Title Match: Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley ©
The Background: Flair won her shot at WWE Royal Rumble and was given the opportunity against whichever title she wanted. Before she could choose, Ripley showed up on the February 3rd Raw to challenge Flair herself. Flair showed up on the February 5th NXT to accept despite Bianca Belair stepping in to inform her that she does not currently attend NXT. After successfully defending against Belair at NXT Takeover: Portland, the stage was set for Flair/Ripley.
Fanboy Fantasy: Ripley and Flair have a hard hitting match but Ripley surprises Flair with the win - let’s even go with a quick schoolboy pin for added shock. Afterwards, and not before, Flair tries to use the title belt to attack Ripley only to be attacked by Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, and however many NXT women’s division members we can safely sneak in here to show once again that Flair does not attend NXT. (I realize in this case it is all of them who don’t go here as in WrestleMania. Shut up.)
Fanboy Prediction: I’m very paranoid that Flair will win and steal the NXT title. It wouldn’t make sense and would be bullshit and sadly that’s my official pick.