It’s WrestleMania weekend, with 16 matches scheduled for this Sunday and Monday. But which should be the main event?
AEW has introduced the TNT Championship, to be determined in an eight-man tournament. Who’s the favourite to emerge with the title?
And, with Covid-19 forcing events around the world to move behind closed doors, we reminisce about the best matches we’ve seen in person.
Join us for this week’s Gimme Five!
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1. WrestleMania 36 is “too big for just one night” with 16 matches scheduled for this Sunday and Monday. Of them all, which should be the main event?
David Dunn (@david_dunn):
I enjoy a WrestleMania main event with as much build-up as possible, so it’s got to be Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar. We’ve got two days to fill this year though – which gives us the chance to get something else over the line. Why not Edge vs. Randy Orton, with its history going back more than a decade?
World title matches should be the main event each night. I’d pick Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for Night 1 and Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre for Night 2. Both of those matches come as a result of Royal Rumble victories and have a bit extra behind them.
Grady Hooker (@GradyHooker):
I think Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar should be the main event of WrestleMania 36. It’s a combination of me being a massive McIntyre fan and the fact he won the Royal Rumble.
Steve McCleary (@SJMcCleary):
It’s a really hard thing to pick, given the situation WWE finds itself in. It’s going to be weird. I’d just nudge Charlotte vs. Ripley as Night 1 and McIntyre vs. Lesnar as Night 2. And I say that as a massive Becky fan, but they’ve just done nothing with her to automatically give her a main event. Ripley has put in the work.
Sammy G (@RealSammyG):
Brock vs. Drew. Drew eliminated Brock then went on to win the Royal Rumble. Those feats alone have earned him his main event status!
2. AEW is introducing a new title, to be decided at Double or Nothing in May. Who’s your pick to become the first TNT Champion?
Cody’s got to be considered the favourite for this tournament, right? Heck, now he can’t compete for the AEW World Championship, this could be his last chance to hold a title ever again!
I’m going with Darby Allin. The guy is incredibly special. If it’s not him, it would be Lance Archer.
I see a few guys who have a chance, but I think Lance Archer will grab the title after beating Cody in the grand final. The story is sitting there and Archer is a good final boss to have the mid-card title to prove yourself against.
It’s coming down to Archer vs. Cody, I’m sure of it, and I think it’s only fair that Archer takes it.
Lance Archer. Being one of the newest additions to the roster, this not only solidifies his spot in AEW, but puts Archer in a position to dominate all possible challengers to his reign.
3. After WrestleMania, would you prefer to see pro-wrestling continue inside empty venues due to the coronavirus, or take a break and return once fans are allowed back inside buildings?
At the moment, Raw and SmackDown have had something to build toward. Once WrestleMania is behind us, it’s going to be hard to keep the momentum up without any sort of end destination in sight.
I think as far as WWE is concerned it definitely has the video library that would allow it – as we have seen in recent weeks – to mix past matches with new, live content. Is that feasible in the immediate future? I’m not certain it is. I’m open to seeing some more character-based stuff. Let’s have a 5-10 minute interview with certain Superstars. Allow us to understand them more and become invested in them.
Off-seasons are a hotly debated topic, but this might be the perfect time to try one. I don’t think it is safe to continue to wrestle, but even if it was, take a break and come back strong.
Take a break. I appreciate what they’re doing, and AEW is handling it better, but just… have a rest.
It’s an unprecedented situation, and I think WWE et al are handling things well despite the reduced staffing and pre-tapings. Whatever happens, I’m on board with it.
4. WWE Dream Match Mania is making dream matches a reality within WWE 2K20. What’s one dream match you’d have loved to see that never came to fruition?
I got into pro-wrestling in 2001, just in time for The Alliance (ECW and WCW) to invade the then-WWF. And while I loved it at the time – and still do! – I can’t help but reimagine a 2001 where Goldberg led WCW into battle against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the WWF.
I think the obvious one here is Sting vs. The Undertaker, but some other dream matches would be Andre the Giant vs. Big Show, Goldberg vs. Matt Riddle, Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Riddle, John Cena vs. Steve Austin, CM Punk vs. Steve Austin, and finally, Chris Benoit vs. Pete Dunne.
I would like to see today’s Drew McIntyre take on the Attitude Era’s Test. It might be a weird pick, but they are two guys who I both like and whose styles I think would mesh well.
Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock. Hogan vs. Austin. CM Punk vs. Austin most of all.
I go in enough about ‘Taker vs. Sting, so another dream match would be The Outsiders vs. The Brothers of Destruction. Nash and Hall from the NWO against ‘Taker and Kane at the height of their powers would have made for an electric match-up.
5. It could be some time before fans around the world are attending live pro-wrestling events again. Looking back, what’s the best match you’ve seen in-person?
Probably Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Dallas? That’s a match many people cite as a favourite, and the atmosphere in the building that night – as the WWE Universe was introduced to the King of Strong Style – was amazing.
I’m going to cheat and say the whole card of NXT TakeOver: New Orleans with a special mention to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon vs. Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 34.
The New Day vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows at WWE Live 2016 in New Zealand. Nothing to do with me sitting at ringside, ringing the bell, and getting a big championship belt afterwards… nothing to do with that.
Possibly Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. I feel spoiled with all of the matches I’ve had the privilege to watch live. There’s definitely something from one of the WrestleMania weekend indie shows that I’m sure I called the best match I’ve seen, but it’s currently lost in the blur– Ah, I’m lying. It was Colt Cabana & Marty De Rosa vs. Joey Ryan & Session Moth Martina, at Pancakes and Piledrivers in New Orleans.
One that is etched into my mind vividly is “Rufguts” Roddy Gunn vs. Paul Sayers in a Fans Bring the Weapons match at CPW’s inaugural MitchellMania event. The match started with the two of them seated on folding chairs, and descended into chaos from there. Rufguts picked up a victory with a Rufdriver onto thumb-tacks for the one, two, three!