WWE WrestleMania 35 predictions, matches, start time, card, date, PPV preview, location

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --  The Road to WrestleMania 35 has reached its conclusion. Thirty-four years after Vince McMahon decided to go all in with taking WWE to the national stage in 1985, WrestleMania will return to its traditional home of the greater New York City area as the "Showcase of the Immortals" takes place inside MetLife Stadium. The WrestleMania 35 card will consist of 16 matches on Sunday night, and you certainly won't want to miss out on any of the action set to take place. 

For the first time in history, women will headline the WrestleMania card as Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch compete in a triple threat match for both the Raw and SmackDown women's titles in the winner-take-all main event. Kofi Kingston, meanwhile, has an opportunity against Daniel Bryan to become just the second African American wrestler to win the WWE championship. The 16-match card offers a bit of everything, although WWE legend The Undertaker is not scheduled to compete for the first time in 19 years. 

Let's now take a closer look at our staff predictions for the WrestleMania 35 card (5 p.m. ET on WWE Network) from top to bottom.

Listen to our audio preview of WrestleMania 35 from the State of Combat with Brian Campbell podcast, and be sure to subscribe at the link in the player below. We will have an instant analysis immediately after WrestleMania 35 on Sunday night.

WrestleMania 35 predictions

Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese (Kickoff Show)

Adam Silverstein, Brian Campbell, Jack Crosby: Congrats to Nese for getting this opportunity, but he does not hold a candle to Murphy in terms of ability or future in WWE. Unless the company is planning to make a major change and push Murphy into the main roster after this match, he should hold onto the title through the pay-per-view. Murphy is a unique talent with an exceedingly high ceiling, and the kickoff show is a good opportunity for him to show that to the world with a retention. Pick: Buddy Murphy retains the title

Women's Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)

BC, AS: Having had her SmackDown women's title sacrificed over the past week in unceremonious fashion so the WrestleMania 35 main event could be as prestigious as possible, WWE owes Asuka a victory in this otherwise meaningless match. Overall, has booking done her wrong since joining the main roster? The only answer is the truth: You betcha. Pick: Asuka wins the battle royal

JC: In this match, we'll get yet another random Lacey Evans appearance down the ramp ... and then she's going to proceed to win the whole thing. The runway-style appearances throughout Raw and SmackDown will prove to be leading to a surprise victory here in the second annual women's battle royal. With Vince McMahon reportedly high on Evans and her potential, this win is a good start in having fans begin to take her seriously as a competitor -- especially if her victory at the end comes at the expense of Asuka. Pick: Lacey Evans wins the battle royal

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)

BC: It's always difficult to guess which mid-card performer WWE will decide to put the spotlight on by booking them to win this match. This year, the likes of EC3 and Apollo Crews would perfectly fit that expectation. But let's not forget about Strowman, who has been saddled with feuding against two "Saturday Night Live" actors and has seen his once bright star dimmed to an almost embarrassing level by WWE booking. Let's also not forget that things weren't any better for him last year when he was forced to team with a child chosen out of the crowd at WrestleMania 34. The least WWE can do is let him win this trophy, as it's obvious the company has no plans for a title push anytime soon and only see Strowman as an attraction. Pick: Braun Strowman wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

AS, JC: These battle royals are becoming messy. Consider that WWE ran the same four men in a U.S. title feud for weeks, and then settled on just two of them in a match on the show. Then there's going-nowhere Braun Strowman with the "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update crew of Michael Che and Colin Jost. Ultimately, I don't think Strowman will win this thing as it is completely meaningless for him. The SNL guys could somehow cost him, and he could wreck them as a result. The only person in this match who could really use a "moment" is Andrade, who has all the potential in the world but just remains an afterthought. Pick: Andrade wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Raw Tag Team Championship: The Revival (c) vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

JC, BC, AS: Talk about short notice -- this match was formally announced just three days prior to WrestleMania. Nevertheless, it's nice to see that The Revival will get the shine of the WrestleMania stage. However, what many may not enjoy is the fact that this appears to ultimately be serving as the climax of the "Curt Hawkins can't stop losing" storyline. It just seems obvious that one of the "WrestleMania moments" we'll be treated to early on Sunday will be the image of Hawkins snapping that streak while making sure he and Ryder are tag champs once again. Pick: Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins win the titles

SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Bar vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura

BC, JC: As a mirror image of the women's fatal four-way tag team title match on the same card, it's hard to look at this match as anything other than a means to get as many big names on the card as possible. Will it be entertaining? Probably. That doesn't mean it needed to happen. Ricochet & Black, for example, have looked great following the strong booking they have received since joining the main roster. Yet it makes almost no sense from a logic or storyline standpoint that they would get Raw, SmackDown and NXT tag team title shots in the same week, let alone the same six-month period. In the end, look for The Usos to retain. Pick: The Usos retain the titles

AS: The Usos should come out of this match as the reigning, defending champions. But WWE putting Ricochet & Black in this match -- when they could have just as easily put in the deserving Hardy Boyz, who looked primed for a solo opportunity -- is curious. It will be the third title match for Ricochet & Black in seven days. They lost a chance at the Raw titles on Monday, and I expect them to fail on Saturday against War Machine. It would be strange for them to go 0-3. Pick: Ricochet & Aleister Black win the titles 

Kurt Angle (Farewell Match) vs. Baron Corbin

BC, JC: Let's hope WWE has been trolling us the entire time, including an almost unthinkable idea of having Corbin in the main event match during Monday's go-home episode of Raw. Retirement or not, this is a match fans simply don't want to see. Here's to hoping Angle makes quick enough work of Corbin that a plea for one more challenge is answered (with "ruthless aggression") by John Cena. It's too perfect not to reach for. Pick: Kurt Angle wins

AS: Everything WWE has done leading up to 'Mania is leading you to believe that Angle will go over Corbin in his so-called "farewell match." While many believe WWE has a swerve planned with John Cena or someone else taking Corbin's spot, we have to predict the match as if it is actually happening. Should this be the match, it's a travesty for Angle to go out against an opponent so few care about, even if he's doing great heel work on the mic and has improved drastically in the ring. In this business, when you step away, you go out on your back. That's what Angle should do here if he is indeed facing Corbin and leaving. Pick: Baron Corbin wins

The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (Falls Count Anywhere)

JC, BC, AS: Given his actions as of late, McMahon has an A-list ass kicking coming his way, and he'll get just that here from Miz. This feud likely won't be going any further, with WrestleMania serving as the blowoff of what began all the way back at the Crown Jewel event. I'm actually more intrigued by what happens after this feud comes to a close. Babyface Miz has been incredible to watch -- but at the same time, he's been placed opposite a heel McMahon, which traditionally makes it easier to get over as a fan-favorite. Can babyface Miz -- which was attempted before and failed -- sustain with the audience heading into the summer? Guess we'll see. Pick: The Miz wins

Women's Tag Team Championship: Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Tamina vs. The IIconics

AS, BC, JC: WWE wanted to give the Boss 'N Hug connection the honor of being the first women's tag team champions. That's great. They should also be the ones to walk out of WrestleMania with the titles. Far too often, WWE rushes to do title changes -- just look at the intercontinental and United States championship histories over the last few months. Brand new titles should be held by their first champions for at least 3-4 months,  at a minimum, and no other outcome actually makes sense here. It will be nice to see Phoenix in this match, but her and Natalya winning would be eye-roll inducing. Pick: Sasha Banks & Bayley retain the titles

United States Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

JC, BC, AS: Boy, it's been quite the whirlwind journey for the U.S. title recently, but you won't find many who will complain about seeing these two go at it one-on-one on the biggest stage of the year. This is a tough one to pick, but in the end, you can't take the United States championship off of Joe so quickly after he finally earned a singles title on the main roster. The Samoan Submission Machine will retain here, and as a matter of fact, this might only be the beginning of the feud. To help further things along here as Joe retains, look for Mysterio's son Dominic -- who's recently begun to train for a career in the industry -- to eat some abuse from Joe to generate some heat. Pick: Samoa Joe retains the title

Intercontinental Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Balor

JC, BC, AS: First off, whether you agree with Balor bringing the Demon persona out for Lashley, it's happening whether you like it or not. Secondly, because of said Demon persona emerging in MetLife Stadium, there's no way Balor isn't walking out of there a two-time intercontinental champion. Pick: Finn Balor wins the title

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

JC, BC: Since Styles arrived in WWE a little over three years ago, most fans have longed for a feud between he and Orton simply because it may be the safest assumption in the world that their chemistry in the ring will be outstanding. They've shown in recent weeks on SmackDown Live that the chemistry on the microphone is there, so now it's time to find out of the in-ring assumptions are correct. If it is as incredible as to be believed, then this should really only be the beginning of these two industry veterans working together. This could be a memorable feud of the spring-summer period, beginning with a victory from Orton at WrestleMania to begin the journey. Pick: Randy Orton wins

AS: Faces go over at WrestleMania, and Styles taking down Orton just makes logical sense from a booking standpoint. Orton countering Styles' Phenomenal Forearm into an RKO on the go-home edition of SmackDown foreshadowed the finish of this match. Just as Styles has in the past, he will feign the move, sending Orton to the canvas, allowing him to hit the finishing maneuver clean for the 1-2-3. Pick: AJ Styles wins

Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred, Career-Threatening Match)

BC, JC, AS: Once the stipulation was added that Triple H would be forced to retire with a loss, the chance of Batista actually winning the match seemed to go out the window. That's OK, however, as the story has been so brilliantly told up to this point -- without the two even touching one time -- that both participants are deserving of praise for how expertly this was booked. The match is essentially gravy at this point. A loss for Batista is just fine from a storyline standpoint provided his newly refined heel persona is allowed back for more business. Pick: Triple H wins

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

AS, BC, JC: Reigns' four-months absence caused by his real-life battle with leukemia -- which is now in remission -- is inspiring. The fact that he took his fight public and bared his soul to the world is praiseworthy. But now that he's back in the squared circle, it's important to take an analytical look at his future as the face of the company. WWE has erred in the past by over-pushing Reigns and never having him face the greatest adversity: losing. In McIntyre, WWE has naturally built a legitimate heel who can stand toe-to-toe with Reigns in size and ability -- and actually holds an edge over him in terms of microphone work. In doing so, WWE has given itself the ability to tell an incredible story. Whereas typical booking over the last few years would be for McIntyre to get his comeuppance at WrestleMania with Reigns going over clean (yawn) -- unlike in the past, fans would roundly cheer that result this Sunday -- WWE needs to lean away from its intuition here. The story to tell is not Reigns being triumphant in his return but rather to show that he's not yet ready for prime time. The best possible booking is for McIntyre to edge Reigns in a close match, pushing McIntyre as a heel challenger for potential new champion Seth Rollins and leaving Reigns to work his way back to the top as an actual face and underdog. WWE could even have McIntyre take the title from Rollins eventually, setting up a McIntyre-Reigns match at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa, where Reigns calls home. Don't think, WWE. Just do it. Pick: Drew McIntyre wins

WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston

AS, JC: It's difficult to believe that all three face challengers at 'Mania's three biggest matches will emerge victorious. If one expects Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins to both go over, that would leave Kingston in the dust. But anyone who watched the go-home edition of SmackDown Live on Tuesday saw Kingston get serenaded by the crowd to a level perhaps greater than even Lynch on this Road to WrestleMania. It is one thing for Kingston to get his first one-on-one WWE title match in 11 years; it is another for him to emerge from the event as the first African-born WWE champion. Met Life Stadium would explode if Kingston goes over Bryan, and ultimately, I think that's too big of a moment for WWE to pass up. Pick: Kofi Kingston wins the title

BC: Had this match been chosen to close the card, a Kingston victory would have seemed automatic. But WWE often likes to delay the inevitable with one final swerve to lead critical fans to believe they'll never capitalize on what's in front of them. Considering Vince McMahon has made Kingston's journey to this match so difficult within the storyline, look for him to do it once more as Bryan retains the title. Two nights later on SmackDown, Kingston may finally has his moment. Pick: Daniel Bryan retains the title

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins

BC, AS: Given a chance to put the universal championship back around Lesnar's waist after Roman Reigns was forced to exit last fall for his battle with leukemia, WWE chairman Vince McMahon didn't hesitate. But it's time for Raw's most prestigious title to move on beyond "The Beast" and into spinoff feuds involving Drew McIntyre and Reigns. Rollins is the perfect champion to take the story there, especially if it leads to the dissolution of his friendship with Reigns. The former Shield teammates have an opportunity to be this generation's Austin-Rock in terms of creating the defining feud. All it takes is McMahon's confidence that he can let Lesnar walk back to the UFC without the red belt around his waist for the journey there. It's time. Pick: Seth Rollins wins the title

JC: I have to admit, even dating back to his show-closing Royal Rumble victory in January, I was skeptical in regards to Rollins "slaying the beast." The lackluster build within this program coupled with potential other feel-good moments on this card, such as Becky Lynch closing the festivities as a dual-champion and Kofi Kingston completing his 11-year journey to the WWE championship, have turned me from skeptic to full-on: "Rollins is definitely not winning this match." Not everything with Vince McMahon can be a happy ending, and this will serve as the proof on this night. Rollins will put up a valiant effort, but a few F5s from Lesnar will suck the life out of MetLife Stadium -- and, of course, the internet -- for a short amount of time. Pick: Brock Lesnar retains the title

Winner Take All -- Raw, SmackDown Women's Championships: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch

BC, JC, AS: It's no hyperbole to call this the biggest match in the history of women's pro wrestling. When you add in the intensity shown during Monday's go-home episode of Raw, there's no reason to expect anything less than a classic. But with Rousey's expected exit post-Sunday (or, at the very least, a significantly-reduced schedule), it only makes sense to send the fans home happy with the biggest babyface pop of all. That means a Lynch victory that would justify how much WWE has done to cool her off in the months since she nearly broke the internet by attacking Rousey and having her face bloodied by Nia Jax. It's time for "The Man" to have her moment to close out this history-making event. Pick: Becky Lynch wins the titles

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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