Can you smell the electricity in the air? No it’s not The Rock, its WrestleMania Week. Even the most cynical fan has a grin on their face this week because the show of shows is on Sunday. However WWE’s biggest show of the year isn’t the only wrestling content you can consume this week.
New York city will be home to a number of live podcast, trade shows, WrestleCon, and a number of indie promotions holding shows. So if you’re lucky enough to go then enjoy, but for those of us enjoying the weekend from our couch here is what you can look forward too.
Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3
I have not found any evidence to this but if Joey Janela’s Spring Break is available anywhere buy it and watch it. Those things are a booze fueled wrestling parties. I have only heard stories and seen clips but it would be awesome to see on TV.
Impact Wrestling: United We Stand
Thursday Night Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground team up for another co-branded show Mania Weekend. The card is laced with talent from both squads with a few standout matches.
The Impact vs Lucha Underground eight man tag returns this year. Last year it was arguably the best match on the card. This year Brian Cage headlines the impact team with Eddie Edwards and Moose in toe. Where as King Cuerno leads Drago, Aerostar, and Daga into battle. All these guys work together year round, and should steal the show.
Also Joey Ryan vs Tessa Blanchard, that’s right the King of Sleaze is back finally after being released from all contracts and he will face off with the Diamond Champion. This match will be fun, and it’s nice to see Joey Ryan back on TV.
Jimmy Havoc vs Sami Callihan in a Monster Ball Match. If your a fan of hardcore wrestling you will be hard pressed to find a better match. If you have a weak stomach you may want to skip this one.
The Main Event will be Rob Van Dam and Sabu vs The Lucha Brothers. This in itself is the beauty of Impact. Two of the best wrestlers in the world vs two guys from beyond the grave. Needless to say The Gregs and I will be glued to our TV sets for that.
NXT: TakeOver New York
Arguably the best card of the weekend and the one that I am most interested in. The card reads of a who’s who in indie wrestling from the past five years. To have them all together on one show on one brand is truly amazing.
The Tag Titles are on the line as The War Raiders take on Aleister Black and Ricochet. We can’t imagine Black and Ricochet winning the titles here, but what if they did then won the RAW Tag Titles at Mania… Oh a boy can dream.
Pete Dunne vs Walter for the United Kingdom Championship. Well Pete Dunne is the longest reigning modern day Champion. Until Friday night where my favorite Bruiserweight will be pummeled by Walter. The match should be five stars and be all the advertising you need for the NXT UK Division.
Velveteen Dream vs Matt Riddle. The Tough Enough star made good takes on the indie darling Matt Riddle for the North American Championship. This matchup is made on personality but it will surprise you with its in ring work. This is a can’t miss and could be the best match all weekend.
Shayna Baszler will attempt to defend her NXT Women’s Championship in a fatal four way against Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Kairi Sane. One would imagine that Shayna will be dropping the title here so she can ascend to the main roster to help her Four Horsewomen buddy Ronda Rousey on Monday Night. To whom she loses is the mystery.
Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole Two out of Three Falls match for the NXT Title. We are all lucky to be alive.
Ring of Honor and New Japan: G1 Supercard
The ROh and NJPW partnership is back with their supercard.They are trying to sell out Madison Square Garden without the likes of Cody, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks. Don’t be fooled this card is sneaky good and could top Mania itself.
Will Ospreay vs Jeff Cobb for both the NEVER Openweight and ROH TV Titles. Twitter will be blowing up over this one. To give you a WWE likeness this is Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy in their primes.
Rush vs Dalton Castle: The leader of Los Ingobernables takes on the The Party Peacock in a match that is truly all about personality. This should be a dandy. Both guys can really go and have more personality than any one human needs. Plus The Boys will be at ringside and with all the members of Los Ingobernables de Japon lurking tomfoolery will surely be a foot.
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match is light on stars for the first time in a long time. However this will be Bandido’s introduction to everyone and trust me it will be well worth the price of the PPV.
The IWGP and ROH Tag Titles are on the line as the Guerrillas of Destiny take on Villian Enterprises, Los Ingobernables de Japon and The Briscoes. This match may take an hour and as long as PCO doesn’t kill anyone it should be a joyful hour.
Zac Sabre Jr. vs Tanahashi for the British Heavyweight Championship. In what might be Ace’s final year he is treating us to a series of dream matches. This one is no exception ZSJ is the best damn British wrestler ever. So he will deliver with New Japan’s most historic wrestler.
Naito vs Ibushi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. This match almost feels lost on this card. Sort of like Naito and Ibushi’s whole career. This match arguably should be for the Heavyweight championship. However these two are constantly not given their due. So enjoy two of the best damn workers out there putting on a clinic on Saturday.
Jay Lethal vs Matt Taven vs Marty Scurll in a ladder match for the ROH World Championship. If Matt Taven wins I will throw a brick through my television.
Jay White vs Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. This match to new Japan die hards will feel a lot like John Cena vs Roman Reigns. The chosen company guy vs the tried and true. Everyone watching from the Thoughts From The Bench Studios will be cheering for the Rainmaker. If you’re cheering for Switch Blade we don’t blame you but we suggest you seriously reconsider.
WWE: WrestleMania 35
WrestleMania is Sunday and the show will likely be seven hours long. No that isn’t a joke. So to keep us interested here are a few matches to look forward to.
The Undercard is going to be tough. A lot of who cares matches thrown together because everyone has to be on the show. However Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio is going to be amazing. These are two of the best workers of their generations and they will shine at Mania.
The other no brainer is AJ Styles vs Randy Orton. This match to me feels like Orton’s match with Rollins at WM31, that match was incredible and you have to imagine the Phenomenal One will be a great dance partner for the Viper.
If the WWE saves us all from Baron Corbin vs Kurt Angle whoever takes Corbin’s place could be special. Like ZSB and Tanahashi this is our farewell to the Olympic Champion and it will be a nice moment in the midcard.
Triple H vs Batista the match itself will be slow and safe. However kinda like Rock and Hogan it has nothing to do with work rate. These two have so much history and it’s a guarantee there will be run ins galore. Enjoy the tale these two weave.
Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston. If this was Summer Slam this match would headline. But its not and it will most likely be the forth main event. However it may be the one you leave this Mania remembering the most. We all hope that Kofi gets his moment, but the lower this match is on the card the more likely it is he loses.
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins. This is the 2nd match in which the WWE can do right by us. Let Rollins win the title let him be Seth Freaking Rollins and let him go one to be the face of the company. Give me what I want. Give it to me!
The Main Event is Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey. We have known this for months and it still tingles when you say it out loud. If I have to give up Kofi and Seth for Becky wining I would do it in a heartbeat. This has Daniel Bryan at WM 30 written all over it. So please WWE let The Man take center stage where she belongs holding the title above her head to end the showcase of the immortals.
So that is the line up. Please enjoy and stay tuned to the Thoughts From The Bench Instagram Story as the group will be posting reactions all weekend long. It’s the most wonderful time of the year Wrestling fans so enjoy it.