Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on WrestleMania 36 coming this Saturday and Sunday night.
The way this works is a gauge range of Scorching, Hot, Lukewarm, Temperate, Chilly, Cold and Freezing. The hotter, the better, as that indicates your level of excitement, anticipation and faith that it will be good.
An important note: I’m trying to be fair to an honest judgment of this situation while also being respectful to the circumstances. WWE had some terrible stuff built up very poorly before COVID-19 was even getting in the way of this card. However, I also acknowledge that in some situations, this is out of WWE’s control. Take everything with a grain of salt. It’s not the end of the world or the most important thing to get riled up about any opinions.
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre = Lukewarm
This is not at all the match I was looking forward to seeing a few months ago. I’ve been over Lesnar as champion for years and I think McIntyre is exactly the type of guy they’d give the push to, just for him to not have the right tools to succeed. Then, in a normal set of circumstances, he’d drop the belt by SummerSlam after a lackluster reign.
Now, with everything that’s going on, there’s even more uncertainty. WWE loves to keep the belt on Brock in any kind of situation where they don’t know what to do. That makes me nervous that we either keep the status quo and it kills McIntyre, or they are going to try to have Lesnar retain and just do a rematch and hope people are excited about that when that happens and they crown McIntyre later down the line, or they’ll give it to McIntyre and his big moment will be like a fart in the wind.
It’s almost like it’s a no-win situation as even when you look at the glass as half-full, it’s as though someone spit in it. I hope I’m wrong. I really, really want to be wrong here.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre wins.
Universal Championship Match: Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman = Cold
This title is cursed. Their idea of a “unique” way to replace Roman Reigns was to announce Strowman is fighting Goldberg in a quick graphic after a tease that Elias might not wrestle? FFS. I don’t even know how to think about this, other than frustrated.
They’re going to job Strowman and then have Goldberg sit with the title until SummerSlam when he can drop it to Reigns. I’m not interested in seeing a guy I like (Strowman) lose in a few seconds in a bad match with zero build to it.
Prediction: Goldberg wins.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler = Temperate
I should be Scorching on this. I’m not. That isn’t even due to the coronavirus situation. I wasn’t sold on this feud from the start.
Last year, I was thinking that they could build Baszler up so well that she could take the title from Lynch and be a star. Now, I can’t help but think they need to keep the belt on Becky to avoid killing The Queen of Spades’ momentum in an era where she can’t do anything with her title post-Mania.
But maybe they just pull the trigger anyway and crown a new champion. If so, WWE shouldn’t blame Baszler on any struggles that come with that situation that are out of her control.
What’s sad is that I honestly don’t care at this point.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler wins.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5-Way Match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks vs. Tamina = Cold
WWE had nothing for this well before lockdowns got in the way. This was arguably the worst set up part of this card, although some other things try to give it a run for its money.
It’s a shame such little thought and effort was put into this title. All WWE had to do was have this same basic idea of Banks winning something to put her in title contention leading to a split via the Elimination Chamber. Banks could have won that, then the remaining weeks could have been the dissolution of their friendship and the build to a singles match.
Nope. Instead, WWE said “here’s a bunch of people Bayley’s beaten.” Quantity is not quality. The sum of its parts means nothing. Nobody will care about this unless Banks wins. That’s the one and only remotely interesting part of this and even that hasn’t been done well.
And no, having Dana Brooke or Carmella or anyone else in this as a Six-Pack Challenge wouldn’t have changed my Cold rating, either.
Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair = Hot
More than our other three top title matches, I feel like this one stands the best chance of being awesome in the ring. Even without a crowd, I feel like Flair and Ripley might be able to pull it off, all things considered.
Naturally, every single thing on this event would be better with an audience and this is no exception. However, I’m less worried about this than I am about every other match save for Zayn vs. Bryan.
However, if Flair wins the title, it will completely sour my disposition and put me in a bad mood. This needs to be a win for Ripley. She has everything to gain while Flair has nothing to lose and taking the title would just serve no purpose.
Prediction: Rhea Ripley wins.
Elias vs. King Corbin = Freezing
A meaningless match like this that served no purpose other than to give Rob Gronkowski something to do in front of a big crowd is pointless without that big crowd. The segment wouldn’t have been great at Raymond James Stadium, let alone at the WWE Performance Center.
This is a total dud, and the idea that they’re teasing Elias may not even be in the match doesn’t make me more intrigued. It just makes me feel even more that this is just to give Gronkowski something to do. I’m curious about that, but I’m not excited about it.