G5: WrestleMania 35, women’s tag titles, Superstar Shake-up, more
Both Royal Rumble winners have made their choices. Becky Lynch will challenge Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 35, while Seth Rollins will battle Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Which match should go on last as the WrestleMania main event?
All six teams have been announced for the Elimination Chamber Match to crown the first WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. It’s a stacked field with The Boss & Hug Connection, The IIconics, The Riott Squad, and more. Who are the sentimental favourites to become the first titleholders?
The Superstar Shake-up returns in April, after WrestleMania 35. Which Superstars are in need of a move to either Raw or SmackDown?
The NZPWI contributors tackle these – and more &ndash pressing questions. Join us for this week’s Gimme Five…
1. Two matches have been made official for WrestleMania: Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch, and Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins. Which match should be the main event?
Steve McCleary (@syxseed):
Lynch vs. Rousey. For both the mainstream appeal from Rousey and the emotional storytelling, much of which has come organically from Lynch. Nothing else WWE is doing comes close.
Grady Hooker (@GradyHooker):
Raw Women’s Championship. End of answer.
Sammy G (@RealSammyG):
Rollins vs. Lesnar is four years in the making but, with just four months of build, Rousey vs. Lynch is already more interesting on paper, and has way more hype behind it! Lynch vs. Rousey for me.
Mister J (@misterjcomics):
Lynch vs. Rousey. I don’t think there is a bigger WWE star in the mainstream media than Rousey, and I’m not sure there is a bigger or hotter (in terms of audience reaction) star currently in WWE than Lynch. They would be mad to go with anything else.
We’ve had the first women’s Royal Rumble, the first women’s Hell in a Cell, the first women’s Elimination Chamber and the first all-women’s pay-per-view. It is time for the first women’s main event at WrestleMania.
2. All six teams have been named for the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match. Who do you want to become the first titleholders?
The IIconics. They’re a proper team, they’re yet to get their due, and I’d like to see Boss & Hug chasing them for the belts.
Because of where we live I have to go with The IIconics, but in reality I would expect Bayley and Sasha Banks—or else the on-again-off-again thing they have had for ages will be wasted… again.
Grady and I had an interesting chat about this. In the end, I think Carmella and Naomi could be fun champions.
First ever, not including Velvet McIntyre & Princess Victoria, The Glamour Girls and the Jumping Bomb Angels, right WWE? Since the question is, who do I want to win though, rather than who do I expect, I will have to go with the IIconics. (Though I have to admit to having a soft spot for The Riott Squad too.)
I’m hoping for the Boss & Hug Connection to take it out. If only so I can see Charlotte with the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Becky with Raw’s, and Sasha and Bayley with the tag titles. All the gold for the horsewomen.
3. WWE’s annual Superstar Shake-up returns in April. If you could send one Superstar to Raw and one to SmackDown after WrestleMania 35, who would you move?
I want AJ and Seth on the same show, so whatever gives me that match-up, I’m for. The rest all seem fairly interchangeable these days.
Drew McIntyre to SmackDown, and SAnitY to Raw.
To Raw: R-Truth. To SmackDown: Finn Balor. There’s some follow-up to the interaction between Nia Jax and Truth there, as well as some fun dream-match scenarios for Balor to run with on SmackDown Live.
To be honest, I think changing between brands is immaterial until Fox takes over later this year. The big question for me is always which superstars get the call up from NXT, and that is something I will be very curious to see.
I’d probably swap Andrade “Cien” Almas (the name still stands for me) for Finn Balor. Give me Balor vs. Bryan and Almas vs. Rollins.
4. Halftime Heat returned for the first time in 20 years for an NXT showcase earlier this week. Does the concept of a stand-alone match have legs outside of the Super Bowl?
Yes, but you need a good enough reason for it, and the effort to set it up seems counter-intuitive.
I’d say yes. With enough hype they can build a special one-off for the WWE Network and all of the social media channels. You could also have a championship based on one-off matches for the WWE Network.
Aside from the name “Halftime Heat”… I think there’s scope for sure! If a rivalry builds up to the point that for safety reasons they need an empty arena to “get business done”, that would be pretty special.
Yeah, for sure. But it would depend greatly on the situation. In the past, WWE has based many pay-per-views around one match, in that whilst we got six other matches or whatever, it was really only one match we were paying to see (Tuesday Night in Texas, War to Settle the Score, even the first WrestleMania)… so why not? If Rousey vs. Lynch was marketed in this way, who wouldn’t tune in to watch that?
I don’t see why not. If it’s booked and billed correctly there’s not much you can’t do with a good wrestling match.
5. Daniel Bryan unveiled a new-look WWE Championship during SmackDown Live last week. Are there any other pro-wrestling championships you’d like to see renovated?
Very glad to see an eco-friendly, cruelty-free championship. It’s about time. The WWE United States title has always been a poor design. They need to borrow elements from the old WCW version, like that WWE 2K concept that got spread around. Anything’s better than what they’ve got.
It has always bugged me that in the world of matchey-matchey that the United States Championship doesn’t match the Intercontinental one. There was a really good concept floating around a few years ago and I would definitely support that.
If Rowan wins the US belt, then absolutely. For the sake of renovation, nope. I prefer when situations like this arise where the belt is an extension of a character/storyline. For example, the spinner WWE/US belts were perfectly unique and changed organically to fit Cena’s rapper gimmick of the mid-2000s. (Their eventual destruction/replacement was epic too!)
I do love Daniel Bryan’s new WWE Championship, and honestly think many of WWE’s could do with renovations/re-brandings. I mean the UK titles are all great, far better than most of their US equivalents.
I wanna see the IWGP Heavyweight Championship reimagined out of an electric guitar for the Ace. I don’t know how you’d do it but I still want it.