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.
Prediction: No match. Just a segment with Gronkowski fighting Corbin.
Firefly Fun House Match: Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena = Lukewarm
We’ve seen this match before, at WrestleMania, even. That makes it hard to get super invested in it.
Plus, it doesn’t help that I’ve never been the biggest Bray Wyatt fan. Even his run as The Fiend has largely just been the same performer, but with a mask and some crappy red lights. Hopefully, those don’t return here.
I’m more interested in the way they are going to present this, rather than the match itself. If it’s House of Horrors quality, it will be garbage. If it’s so off the wall crazy that it comes back around full-circle to being good, then that’s great.
I don’t have a lot of faith in it, but I’m still curious.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins.
Last Man Standing Match: Edge vs. Randy Orton = Scorching
I’m so disappointed this match isn’t happening at the stadium with fans in proper fashion. This could be fantastic, but it’s just not going to be the same in the Performance Center. They have less to work with and the energy will be entirely off.
But I’m trying to stay on the glass half full side of things. Edge is back! That’s amazing! Even if this isn’t the way I want it to be, I’m still extremely thankful this match is happening at all.
Prediction: Edge wins.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan = Scorching
If there are two people on this card who can wrestle in front of nobody and pull it off, it’s these two. It’s still a shame they won’t get crowd reactions and that this feud couldn’t have been built better, but I think we’re going to look back on this event and be very thankful this was on it.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza and Austin Theory = Chilly
I like these guys, but this whole thing is just too random for my tastes. I suppose it’s not doing any harm being on the card, but it makes no sense. I think I would have rather seen some alternative match in this place, if that would be possible.
I can’t help but feel like no matter how good this is, it will feel awkward and nobody will remember it even existed.
Prediction: The Street Profits wins.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs. The Usos vs. The New Day = Hot
Man, this would have been so good if this could have happened with The Miz involved and at Raymond James Stadium and with a crowd. Then again…it would have been good if it could have happened even here, too.
WWE hasn’t announced what the replacement match is, so there’s no way of judging whether or not it’s something to be excited about. Is it everyone but The Miz? Is it ONE of The Usos against John Morrison? That’s a big difference.
Prediction: No idea who is even in this match.
Boneyard Match: AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker = Hot
Oh boy. This is going to be either a very cool break from the norm, or an absolute nightmare. I’m worried it will come off cheesy, hokey, lame and just atrocious.
Maybe, if that’s the case, they can revisit this match at a future event with actual fans to give us the match we’re hoping for. Then again, maybe they can pull it off. It’s AJ Styles and The Undertaker, after all. While The Phenom isn’t in his prime anymore and he may not have the right chemistry with Styles, I’d trust them to find a way to do it than some others, that’s for sure.
Prediction: The Undertaker wins.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross = Cold
“So, what should we do with the women’s tag titles?”
“How about Beth Phoenix and Natalya? Or maybe we should finally bring back The IIconics in a fresh way since they’ve been gone for months? Maybe form a new tag team? Bring someone up from NXT?”
“Nah. How about we just do a rematch of Hell in a Cell by having Asuka and Kairi Sane fight the people they won the titles from?”
I’m a fan of all four, but this does nothing for me.
Prediction: The Kabuki Warriors win.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley = Freezing
Does anybody at all care about this? Why is this even happening? This isn’t a feud. It means absolutely nothing. There’s no substance to it. It’s completely pointless.
Prediction: Aleister Black wins.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins = Chilly
Look. I’m a big fan of both of these guys. I think they’re among the best people on the roster. But you can’t give me FIVE MONTHS of these two feuding every week on Raw and expect a standard singles match to seem worth all that.
This needed to be something more than a regular match. It needed to have a gimmick or stipulation attached. Instead, this feels like something that should have happened on Raw months ago.
I don’t blame them for having to do this match at the Performance Center and trying to play that off as a good thing. That’s at least effort. What I do blame them for is this feud being stretched out for nearly half a year just to have a singles match, which seemed like the trajectory before any of this virus stuff kicked in, so that’s on WWE Creative, not COVID-19.
Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler = Temperate
This was going to be strange no matter what the circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s going to be infinitely weirder with just these two and no crowd. At least the real WrestleMania probably would have featured Tucker, Sonya Deville and Robert Roode to offset Otis, Ziggler and Mandy. Also, the crowd would have been able to respond to things. Now, it’s just going to be super awkward.
But maybe it will be awkward in a charming way that we’ll laugh about and move on from, rather than roll our eyes and hate with a passion forever.
Prediction: Otis wins.
Those are my thoughts, but how do you feel about these particular feuds? What’s hot and what’s cold in your mind? Fill us in on your point of view in the comments below!