WrestleMania 37 is a two night event that will take place on April 10 and April 11. It’s theoretically the biggest wrestling event of the year. But here we are with less than a month to go until show time, and most of the matches at the event remain a mystery. What the heck is going on here?
First, let’s start with the matches that are either official or are strong bets to become official for the card.
- Roman Reigns vs. Edge
- Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair
- Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
- Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
- Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
- Damian Priest & Bad Bunny vs. The Miz & John Morrison
The top two matches have been officially booked for WrestleMania 37, while it’s reasonable to assume the bottom four matches will eventually be added, given recent storylines on Raw.
Six matches are normally a good amount for a pay-per-view with one month to go. The problem is that WrestleMania 37 is a two night event, so there will be far more than six matches. Last year’s two night card included 18 total matches, if you include the pre-show. That means WWE has put themselves in a situation where they need to book something like 12 more matches for WrestleMania 37, but they only have four episodes of Raw and five episodes of SmackDown to get there.
One glaring issue here is that the Fastlane 2021 event is coming up first on Mar. 21, and that card is even emptier than WrestleMania 37. There is only one episode of Raw left to go before Fastlane, yet there are zero matches from Raw booked for that card. Fastlane just seems like an unnecessary creative nuisance on the road to WrestleMania this year, because there are only three weeks between Fastlane and WrestleMania 37. New twists in WrestleMania stories might be on hold while WWE is trying to figure out how to get through Fastlane first.
A more obvious issue is that there are several upper card stars in WWE who simply don’t have a clear direction for WrestleMania. Can you find a well-booked babyface opponent on the SmackDown brand for Bayley to fight at WrestleMania? I sure can’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up in some kind of large scale women’s tag team match or Battle Royal. Maybe she should opt to host the event instead.
What about AJ Styles on the Raw side? He fought the Undertaker in a Boneyard match last year, and his WrestleMania past includes other top stars like Chris Jericho, Shane McMahon, and Randy Orton. Which suitable Raw babyface is at his level for a match at WrestleMania? With Keith Lee currently missing, it’s really hard to identify anyone. Maybe
Matt Riddle can be pushed into that spot over the next month, but he’s basically at RETRIBUTION level right now.
How about Kevin Owens? The man who just feuded with Roman Reigns for months on end has been off SmackDown television since Elimination Chamber. On the one hand, a little breather can definitely be a good thing. On the other hand, this is the wrong time to be waiting around for a new creative idea - WrestleMania is less than one month away!
Daniel Bryan will only have three weeks to find need a new creative path for a WrestleMania match once he presumably loses to Roman Reigns at Fastlane.
Big E’s current issues with Apollo Crews could make its way onto the WrestleMania card, and the same can be said for Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro. But it’s also plausible that these matches instead happen at Fastlane, leaving things even more wide open heading into WrestleMania.
The Raw women’s championship scene is a mess. Asuka is injured, Charlotte Flair’s story with Lacey Evans was abandoned due to pregnancy, and Charlotte is for some reason declaring for a title match while suggesting that other title-less women like Mandy Rose need to prove themselves to her. Even though Asuka is the champ, it feels like the Raw women’s championship match at WrestleMania revolves around Flair, with the big unknown being who WWE will select as her opponent(s).
Speaking of the Raw women’s division, what’s going on with Rhea Ripley? There are only four episodes of Raw left before WrestleMania 37. Given her impressive Royal Rumble performance, she should have been introduced on Raw by now and inserted into a meaningful storyline. At this point, I’m starting to think that she won’t show up on Raw until the night after WrestleMania.
There are plenty of other WWE superstars who I have not mentioned yet, some of whom will end up in matches with the above superstars. This could include Sheamus, New Day, Jey Uso, King Corbin, The Mysterios, Jeff Hardy, Sami Zayn, Carmella, the Street Profits, Shinsuke Nakamura, all three pairs of tag team champions, etc.
The biggest question of all might be, is WWE bringing in any more part-timers for WrestleMania, or does this year’s batch consist entirely of Edge, Shane McMahon, and Bad Bunny?
I’m not saying this is an easy puzzle to figure out. In fact, it looks incredibly difficult to figure out how to book such a large roster across a two night event spanning something like 18 total matches. That brings me back to the original point here - there are only four episodes of Raw and five episodes of SmackDown to go until WrestleMania 37. I don’t understand why WWE has left most of the hard work for the last second.
Then again, considering that the current creative energy WWE has put into the WrestleMania 37 card includes a vomiting Randy Orton storyline, a man dominating the SmackDown women’s championship story, an incredibly stupid Braun Strowman story, and a different kind of vomit-inducing story between Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans, maybe WWE really is better off just figuring out the rest of the card on the fly rather than putting more thought into it over the previous month or two.
I’m hopelessly lost trying to figure out how the rest of the WrestleMania 37 card will shape up because there isn’t much time left to develop new compelling stories. But that’s where you can help me out, Cagesiders. Let me know in the comments below what remaining 12 matches WWE can plausibly build to over the next month, just in time for WrestleMania 37.