Monday, April 22, 2024

WWE WrestleMania 40 card: Four matches outside of the main events that are worth your attention this weekend

WrestleMania 40 is shaping to be one of the biggest events in WWE’s illustrious history. A big reason for that is the build towards the two main events. But focus too much on the drama with Cody Rhodes and The Bloodline and you’ll lose sight of the bigger picture.

The Rock and Romain Reigns vs. Rhodes and Seth Rollins headlines Night 1. Reigns vs. Rhodes for the undisputed WWE universal championship will serve as the Night 2 main event. The scope of their storyline makes it the weekend’s biggest attraction; however, there is a lot to look forward to elsewhere on the card. WrestleMania 40 is packed with quality matches ranging from technical masterclasses to suspenseful plots and all-out chaos.

Ahead of WrestleMania 40 on April 6 and April 7, let’s examine four must-see matches beyond the two main events.

Intercontinental Championship — Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn

Gunther vs. Zayn might be the most technically brilliant showcase of the weekend. They have been two of professional wrestling’s elite performers for a long time. If their in-ring credentials weren’t enough, the match is buoyed by contrasting personalities and a well-developing storyline. Zayn is the eternal plucky underdog and Gunther is the imposing ring general with an iron fist. It’s hard to believe anyone will dethrone Gunther, but WWE has created doubt by inserting Chad Gable in the plot. Gable came closer than most to defeating the intercontinental champion. He’s now mentoring Zayn to accomplish what he couldn’t. Suddenly, it feels like Zayn might pull off the upset. That adds intrigue to an already promising match.

Women’s World Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch

It’s dominance vs. pedigree when Ripley and Lynch clash for the women’s world championship. Ripley recently surpassed one year as women’s world champion and emerged as Judgement Day’s de facto leader. Lynch is a surefire Hall of Famer working to overcome self-doubt in the lead up to their title match. Both women look sharp after recent wins against Nia Jax. Their rivalry is built on ambition and a quest to prove themselves as all-time greats. Multiple pull-apart brawls underscore the intensity you can expect in Philadelphia.

World Heavyweight Championship — Seth Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

This match took a backseat to Rollins’ involvement with Rhodes and The Bloodline, but McIntyre refuses to be overshadowed. McIntyre is doing the best work of his career and keeping intrigue in a match that should be devoid of it. He is a small-to-moderate favorite to win the match with good reason. Rollins should be banged up after the Night 1 main event and McIntyre is long overdue for his crowning achievement. McIntyre carried the company through the pandemic era but seeing him win the WWE championship in an empty venue didn’t satisfy. Rumors about McIntyre’s contract expiring add further intrigue to the outcome.

Undisputed Tag Team Championships — Judgement Day (c) vs. DIY vs. The Awesome Truth vs. New Day vs. A-Town Down vs. New Catch Republic

Sometimes you need to have a little fun. That is exactly what the six-pack ladder match promises. Damian Priest and Finn Balor will defend their undisputed tag team titles against five other teams at WrestleMania. A dozen superstars are ready to seize the opportunity to put their bodies on the line in creative ways. Expect big spots and complete chaos as Kofi Kingston and Johnny Gargano, among others, use eight and 12-foot ladders to create violent WrestleMania moments.

Honorable mentions: Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso, Damage CTRL vs. Jade Cargill, Bianca Belair and Naomi

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