The latest update for the WrestleMania 33 card has current WWE Champion set up for a tag match with girlfriend Nikki Bella as his partner. This is according to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which was released by Dave Meltzer on Wednesday night.
Cena, the current WWE Champion, is expected to lose the title at Smackdown’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in less than two weeks. From there, Cena would be paired up with Nikki for a mixed tag match against a former Cena WrestleMania opponent in The Miz and his lovely wife Maryse.
It was noted by Meltzer that Cena was originally set to face The Undertaker at this WrestleMania, but Vince McMahon changed those plans. There were rumblings that Cena could face Samoa Joe, but his Raw debut shows that WWE must not have wanted to go in that direction.
The reason for the match is because Nikki Bella could be retiring either at WrestleMania or shortly after, so it would give her a chance to team with the love of her life. The two stars have been dating for about five years and star in two reality shows on E Network: Total Divas and the spin-off Total Bellas. Nikki missed nearly a year of action after a serious neck injury that required surgery, so it’s possible that her neck is hurting or she simply wants to stop wrestling because she’s been in WWE for almost a decade.
TJR Thoughts: I’m not a fan of that idea at all, but if she is retiring then I could see why Cena would want to do it. I would prefer Cena in a singles match and liked the Undertaker and Joe ideas a lot. That’s nothing against The Miz or Maryse either. I like both of them. It just doesn’t seem like a huge match to me.
The other matches likely for WrestleMania are as follows:
Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title – As we have mentioned before, Goldberg is expected to face Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane on March 5. From there, he would go on to defend that title against Lesnar at WrestleMania. No word on who would go over, but it might be Lesnar since his WWE deal runs until WrestleMania in 2018 while Goldberg’s deal is apparently done at WrestleMania. Of course, that could be extended.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns – It was set up during the Royal Rumble. Meltzer wrote that Vince McMahon really wants to do this match to try to elevate Reigns, who he sees as his future top guy while Undertaker may not have many matches left. Undertaker is likely going to have hip replacement surgery whenever he retires, which could be after this match. Undertaker will turn 52 in March.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title – Wyatt is the guy that will likely be WWE Champion after Elimination Chamber on February 12. Orton won the Rumble, so it sets up their match. Orton should be the face for this match.
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins – The match is in jeopardy now due to Rollins knee injury. As I covered elsewhere on the site, the early word is that Rollins has a torn MCL that would require surgery and a recovery time of about eight weeks. WrestleMania is in eight weeks, so it’s a maybe as to whether he will be ready. We can only speculate on what alternative plans there would be if Rollins can’t have the match. They could always make Triple H a face vs. Samoa Joe or do Finn Balor vs. Triple H as another possibility. I’m just guessing, though.
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens – It will probably be for the US Title that Jericho currently holds. It would also make sense for Jericho to be a face for that match. A jealous Owens could beat him up after KO loses the Universal Title to Goldberg.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse – I covered it above.
AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon – That’s the rumor for now. Vince McMahon likely wants to get his son Shane on the show and Styles is the guy that can probably have the best match possible with him.
Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal – This is the celebrity match with 7-foot Big Show taking on the 7-foot NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. They have been talking about it since the last WrestleMania. It’s going to happen.
Charlotte vs Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Title – This has been rumored for a few months. Makes sense as a way to get all four Raw women on the card. It’s not like Raw has much of a women’s division at this point.
In addition to that, the Andre the Giant battle royal should take place with Braun Strowman as the likely favorite to win or perhaps Baron Corbin for a second year in a row. There could be an Intercontinental Title ladder match as well since they did it the last two years as a way to get a bunch of guys on the card. Right now there are no rumors for Tag Title matches on either show. There are also names like Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and potentially Shinsuke Nakamura that should be probably be in featured matches too. For now, they aren’t among the names in rumored matches.
Once again, I need to re-iterate that these are just rumors. They have some validity because Meltzer is a respected source and most of the time he’s right about this stuff, but as we say all the time in wrestling, plans can always change. The Rollins injury is proof of that too.
WrestleMania 33 takes place on April 2 in Orlando, Florida. The show will probably be five or six hours long, so get ready because it’s going to be a long night.
TJR Thoughts: I don’t think it’s a particularly strong card. However, like with WrestleMania 31 two years ago, good booking would certainly help and if they did a few surprises it would make it a memorable night.
Let us know your thoughts below.