After months of build, WrestleMania 36 is finally here. Let’s point out the obviously, folks: this is definitely going to be one of the most memorable ‘Mania’s of all-time, for better or for worse. The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered this year’s edition of the Show of Shows crowdless for the first – and let’s face it, hopefully last – time in history, giving an eerie vibe to any and all wrestling programming since the pandemic’s beginning.
However, despite the unusual circumstances behind this year’s event, this year’s card is still one of the most anticipated in years in this writer’s humble opinion. A major reason for that is not only the abundance of Canadian talent advertised for this year’s card, but the prominent positions in which the individuals from north of the 49th parallel see themselves this year.
Let’s take a look at some of the Canucks on this weekend’s card.
Let’s start with the big news. This weekend, Adam “Edge” Copeland will wrestle his first singles match in over nine years, taking on Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match.
This year’s Royal Rumble was the scene of one of the biggest surprise returns of all-time, as the Rated R Superstar stepped inside the squared circle for the first time in over nine years. Unfortunately, any good feelings were absolutely gutted during the following evening’s RAW, as Orton sadistically attacked his former Rated RKO teammate with a series of brutal chair shots. Since then, both Orton and Edge have played their parts absolutely perfectly, with the latter showing absolutely no rust as far as his ability to spellbind an audience. There’s perhaps no better-built program on the WrestleMania card, and even the most casual of wrestling fan should be salivating at this one.
This year will finally see one of Canada’s most beloved wrestlers take part in a singles match on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Last month, Laval’s Sami Zayn captured his first-ever main roster title, defeating Braun Strowman in a handicap match to claim the Intercontinental Championship. Now, Zayn will defend the title against former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 36, marking the first time that the Underdog from the Underground will wrestle on the Show of Shows in a one-on-one match. Ironically, the only other time Zayn has participated in a WrestleMania match outside of a battle royal was as part of Bryan’s return matchup at ‘Mania 36, where he teamed with fellow Canuck Kevin Owens in a losing effort against the aforementioned DB and Shane McMahon. There’s no doubt that these are two of the most talented in-ring performers of our generation (even despite Zayn’s on-and-off booking on the main roster) and is my sleeper pick for match of the weekend.
Outside of last year’s aberration, Kevin Owens always finds himself in a premier spot come WrestleMania season. This year is no different, as the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu will finally duke it out in singles action against Seth Rollins following months of conflict. Despite the cursed nature of the feud – both KO associate Samoa Joe and Rollins’ disciple Rezar have gone down in recent weeks due to injury – both Rollins and Owens have played their parts exceptionally, delivering a series of impassioned promos throughout the past few weeks that make this one of the most anticipated matches on the WrestleMania 36 card. That fact, however, isn’t surprising. There’s little doubt that the two combatants represent the high end of WWE’s talent pool. If their 2016 feud is anything to use as a baseline for their ‘Mania matchup, this should be a barnburner.
Earlier today, it was announced that Calgary’s own Natalya will take on Liv Morgan as part of one of the WrestleMania pre-show matches. Despite the complete and utter lack of build for the matchup, it should be a solid bout and is definitely one tuning in for.
Yes, it may be cheating the system a bit, but current Maryfield, Saskatchewan resident Brock Lesnar will enter WrestleMania as a WWE Champion for the third straight year. In fact, one has to look all the way back to WrestleMania 32 for Lesnar’s last appearance in a match NOT involving either the WWE or Universal Championship in some form. This year, the Beast Incarnate takes on 2020 Royal Rumble winner Drew McIntyre in what should close out the Sunday night edition of WrestleMania. Two big dudes beating the ever-loving hell out of each other? Sign me up!
Though the Irish Lass Kicker may not be Canadian by birth, to not include her on this list would be an incredible disservice to the inaugural ECCW SuperGirls (now-Women’s) Champion. That’s the case for the former Rebecca Knox, who captured the title in 2005 and held it for a massive 301 days. Despite the length of her SuperGirls title reign, however, it pales in comparison to her current 361-day run with the RAW Women’s Championship. This weekend, though, for the first time in a long time, Lynch’s title truly seems up for grabs, as Shayna Baszler will make her singles debut on the main roster on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Few have looked as dominant upon their debuts as the Queen of Spades has, with the former NXT Women’s Champion eliminating all five of her competitors at last month’s Elimination Chamber event. More than any match on the card, this is truly a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Not scheduled to compete: Jinder Mahal, The Singh Brothers, Akam, Eric Young, Robert Roode, Tyler Breeze
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