WrestleMania 36 Odds, Best Bets: Will WWE Delay Storylines, Leading to More Retained Titles?
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images. Pictured: Becky Lynch
- WrestleMania 36 continues on Sunday from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, with no fans in attendance.
- Several title fights will go down Sunday night, but will WWE choose to delay certain storylines until fans can return? That could lead to more retained titles than new champions.
- Collin Wilson breaks down some of his favorite bets on the WrestleMania 36 card.
WrestleMania is one of the biggest live events on the globe. The WWE filled the Pontiac Silverdome at WrestleMania 3 in 1987 with 93,000 people. Fast forward to WrestleMania 32 and AT&T Stadium was filled with 101,000 fanatics to see Roman Reigns win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Times have certainly changed in the wake of the Coronavirus. The 36th edition of the pro wrestling’s biggest event will come from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and not Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
There will be no fans in attendance, and reports say that some matches have been pre-taped. WWE will have a tough decision in deciding whether to advance a storyline or wait in a holding pattern until live audiences can return. The WWE will attempt to have its biggest event in lockdown during a two-night event on Saturday and Sunday.
There are 16 scheduled matches, and we’ll try to find some interesting ones from a betting perspective.
Each WWE performer will be looking to pull off a masterpiece in an empty arena, much like The Rock and Mick Foley in 1999.
There are plenty of favorites that get auto-check on the parlay card. Aleister Black -500, Bray Wyatt -500 and The Undertaker -400 may all be treated as a shoe-in for a victory. Black’s build up to Bobby Lashley has been non-existent, while John Cena will do his best to put the red-hot Bray Wyatt over.
The Undertaker has been an automatic bet since a WrestleMania 7 victory over Jimmy ‘SuperFly’ Snuka. This ‘Taker looks more like the ‘American Bad Ass’ gimmick from previous years. Nonetheless, add AJ Styles to the monster list of professional talent to put over the dead man.
Undertaker’s promo on #RAW tonight was the best one he’s done in so long. That got me all giddy.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) March 31, 2020
Otis -160 v Dolph Ziggler +120
— WWE (@WWE) March 31, 2020
As I mentioned on The Action Network Podcast, Otis is the next star in the WWE. The Wisconsin native is listed at 5-foot-10, 330 pounds and has owned the screen since his call-up from NXT to WWE’s main roster.
From a storyline perspective, Otis has had an infatuation with Mandy Rose. This has provided a platform for WWE to show off the former Greco-Roman bronze medal winner from the 2014 Pan-American Games.
Dolph Ziggler has played the heel role perfectly with his interception of Rose on Valentine’s Day. This is Ziggler’s first WrestleMania singles match in his storied career.
While it would be great to get the seasoned veteran his first big WrestleMania moment, this match is about progressing Otis deeper into the singles division.
Pick: Otis -160
Smackdown Women’s Championship
— frank. (@TheNextBlGThing) March 31, 2020
This match was originally scheduled to be a 6-way match with Dana Brooke, who has put herself in quarantine due to COVID-19. Tamina can be discounted at +3300, as she is frequently in these multi-person matches to simply take a bump from someone coming off the top rope. Naomi, currently listed at +650, has been on the back burner of storylines since her return from injury. Lacey Evans continues to hover around the women’s title scene, but has failed in several attempts to take the title over the last year.
The story here is best friend relationship between Sasha Banks and current champion Bayley. Make no mistake, the Four Horse-women will make an alliance in the future to take on Ronda Rousey and her MMA stable that includes Shana Baszler.
SummerSlam is in Sasha Banks’ hometown of Boston, so the crowning of a new champion could possibly be delayed until then.
Because of COVID-19, there may be good reason for WWE to push off a change in the championship until a live crowd can be involved this August. As for now, roll with small wager on Bayley to retain her title.
Pick: Bayley +125
— WWE (@WWE) April 1, 2020
This was a Drew McIntyre slam-dunk bet until the Coronavirus shut down live events. WrestleMania loves to crown babyface first time champions on the biggest stage, signaling a professional wrestler’s ascension to the immortals.
With an empty Performance Center as the backdrop, Drew McIntyre would be robbed of winning the title in front of a live crowd.
This past Monday Night RAW is proof that the WWE might be considering the same. Challenger Drew McIntyre is listed at -350 to win the title, but was nowhere to be found during Brock Lesnar’s promo.
Sure the Coronavirus has put a wrench into travel schedules, but for a challenger to the WWE Championship to not be on the go-home RAW show is eye-opening.
This may be yet another program the WWE would like to punt until SummerSlam.
Pick: Lesnar +225
NXT Women’s Championship
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2020
GET YOUR POPCORN!
From a consumer standpoint, this should be the best match on the card. Charlotte Flair is at the peak of her career and has already reached legendary status in the women’s division. She is on pace to easily break her father’s all-time record for world championships, but a step back to take on the biggest rising talent in NXT is a dream match.
We mentioned before that WWE Creative may have soured on the prospect of Shana Baszler leading the new age of the women’s division. That title may belong to Rhea Ripley, who has every factor needed from a skills, microphone and looks perspective to be the best in the business.
Ripley has been pushed at every single instance when NXT has crossed paths with RAW and Smackdown. This match will be no different with a clean pinfall over Charlotte as a springboard to superstar status.
Pick: Rhea Ripley -175
RAW Women’s Championship
Something is missing from the challenger Shayna Baszler, who is listed at -180 to strip Becky Lynch of her title. Baszler was under Ronda Rousey’s wing for years in MMA and through her rise in professional wrestling.
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2019
Baszler sizzled in NXT with a tremendous run as champion. She was the odds-on favorite to win the Royal Rumble this past January but finished second to Charlotte Flair.
Although Charlotte closed around +150 to win the Rumble, word out is WWE Creative decided to punt on pushing Baszler so fast.
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2020
The interview above is from this past Monday Night RAW and serves a tell for the storyline. While Baszler demolished Lynch from a physical standpoint, pay attention to the words spoken.
The WWE wants Ronda Rousey’s name to stay fresh. There was no reason to bring her up and take the spotlight away from Baszler’s championship opportunity. The end game to this story line is head-on collision of Lynch and Rousey.
Becky Lynch is by far the most popular personality on the WWE roster and at a time with sinking ratings, I expect her to retain.
Pick: Becky Lynch +140