Marching toward WrestleMania 36: Latest updates

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WWE is plowing ahead with its plans for a two-night WrestleMania, which is already in the can, filmed last week to get in front of COVID-19.

The top of the card got a shakeup when Roman Reigns, who had been booked to face Universal champ Bill Goldberg, backed out of participating, citing his concerns over being exposed to COVID-19 given his recent successful battle with leukemia.

Golberg, you may remember, was booked to win the Universal title from Bray Wyatt specifically to serve as the proxy for Reigns to get the big win at ‘Mania and begin his long-awaited run as the man in WWE.

The sense now is that Braun Strowman will get the spot, and ostensibly, his first run as WWE champ, at least as an interstitial titleholder, though the interstitial in this case could have him running with the belt all the way to SummerSlam.

That one is the main event on Saturday, at the top of a card that also has Raw Women’s champ Becky Lynch defending against Shayna Baszler, Wyatt facing off with John Cena, and Kevin Owens battling Seth Rollins.

The Sunday main event is Brock Lesnar defending the WWE title against Drew McIntyre, who seems poised to be getting his first run with a major title.

The second-day card also has an NXT Women’s title match of interest, with champ Rhea Ripley defending against former champ Charlotte Flair, plus an Edge-Randy Orton grudge match and Undertaker vs. A.J. Styles in whatever a Boneyard Match is.

It will be odd, as it has been odd, to say the least, seeing the biggest show in wrestling in front of nobody, which WWE has been struggling with in recent weeks, in terms of trying to figure out how to do it.

One thought would be to shoot the show differently than it’s been shooting its weekly episodic shows, going for a more cinematic approach, akin to how Lucha Underground was presented during its run.

I give Vince McMahon credit for trying, anyway, in this fresh-media-starved environment that we’re in.

I’ll be tuning in both nights, to be sure.

Story by Chris Graham

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