Another year rolls around, the weather warms up (or cools down if you’re down here in the Southern Hemisphere) and we arrive at another Wrestlemania. Each year the WWE tries to top the previous year. Sometimes they succeed, other times they fail (I’m looking at you, last year’s main event). This year we’re looking at (at the time of writing this) over a dozen matches, so let’s not beat around the bush any further.. it’s time for some predictions!
- WWE Universal Championship Match – Goldberg(c) VS Brock Lesnar
To me, and I’m sure a lot of you reading, this match seems like it’s going to be a lock for Brock Lesnar to win. If we stick simply to story-line for a second, Lesnar is going to be hungrier, more ruthless, and more ferocious after being beaten by Goldberg in their previous two matches, and being eliminated by the man in this year’s Royal Rumble. Goldberg has been shown to have some cracks in his armor, after being hit with an F-5 for the first time on Raw a couple of weeks ago as well.Now, taking a more “realistic” look at things, Brock can’t lose. They need to make sure his character doesn’t get hurt by the previous loss to Goldberg, and from what I’ve read and learned, Wrestlemania marks the end of Goldberg’s current contract. Whether that’s extended before the event or not remains to be seen, but as of right now, after April 3rd, Goldberg is gone. Therefore, Brock Lesnar must win.My Pick: Brock Lesnar
- WWE Championship Match – Bray Wyatt(c) VS Randy Orton
This one is a little tougher than it’s RAW counterpart. On one hand, we haven’t really seen a lot of what Bray Wyatt can do as champion. He’s showed up sporadically to talk, and in doing so has told us that he has evolved, and become a newer, more dangerous version of himself, imbued with the spirit of Sister Abigail, whom Randy Orton tried and failed to destroy when he set the Wyatt Compound ablaze a month ago. To me that can mean one of two things.
One, that Bray is simply holding onto the title until Wrestlemania so that they can put it on to Orton and at least have some sort of story with it, or Two, they’re actually going to run with him. WWE is putting quite a bit of work into Bray’s character and giving him time to speak and connect with the Universe. But, on the other hand, we haven’t (until this week’s smackdown at least) seen him wrestle. And we know that Orton is a proven attraction.My instinct tells me that it’s Bray Wyatt’s time. He can’t just be a transitional champion. It would hurt his character far too much. Will we get to see some sort of physical manifestation of Sister Abigail at the big dance though? Will Erick Rowan make a run in? And if so, who’s side will he be on? Whatever happens, I see Wyatt retaining.My pick: Bray Wyatt
- Triple H vs Seth Rollins – Non-Sanctioned Match
This is an interesting one. We don’t really know how much of Seth’s knee injury is pure storyline, and how much of it is reality. This match has been so on again/off again that it feels like anything could happen. The “Non-sanctioned” stipulation feels like it’s a way to protect Seth if he isn’t able to do as much as he would want to, and it seems like we’ll have to get some interference from Samoa Joe. I’m also going to go out on a limb, and say that someone will come to Seth’s aid if that’s the case, and that someone is none other than Finn Balor.
The hype for this match has been excellent. Triple H has evolved once again into this almost Godfather (the movie, not the wrestler) like character, and his overconfidence going in will likely come back to bite. This match needs to make Seth Rollins and propel him forward for the coming year, and that only happens with a victory.
My pick: Seth Rollins (with some assistance)
- Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker
Since “the streak” ended, nothing has been the same. The certainty of an Undertaker wrestlemania match victory is gone, and that coupled with WWE and Vince McMahon’s insistence (despite the audience screaming their displeasure at him) that Roman Reigns is “the guy”, along with Undertaker’s physical health, makes this year the most uncertain of them all. We know Undertaker is nearing the end (or possibly at the end) of his career. We know that he’s an “old school guy”, someone who would want to pass the torch to the next generation. All of that would lead one to believe that Roman Reigns comes away with the victory.But it’s not quite that simple. If Roman Reigns wins, he is a bad guy. There’s no getting around it. That Wrestlemania crowd sets the stage for the year. There is NO way Roman comes out of that as anything but a full on heel. Even if Strowman interferes. In that case, Roman wouldn’t have been able to beat Undertaker on his own, and Undertaker looks weak.
But, I do see Strowman interfering. I just think he will attack Reigns. Cost him “his yard”. Cost him the match. That keeps Roman in his current role, it keeps the crowd from turning on the show, and it gives Strowman a big moment, and continues his feud with Reigns.
So will that happen? Or will Vince ignore the crowd and have his “guy” become equal to Brock Lesnar? For the love of everything, let’s hope not.
My Pick: Undertaker(UNLESS ROMAN COMPLETES HIS HEEL TURN)
- WWE United States Title Match – Chris Jericho(c) vs Kevin Owens
I’m just going to say it. This match should be for the WWE Universal Championship. KO deserved to be the champion going into Wrestlemania.
Regardless of that though, I have a feeling this match could be a show-stealer. The WWE have done something very abnormal for them in recent years, they’ve carried this storyline over more than a couple of months. This has been a long, slow build, with two supremely talented wrestlers, both in the ring and on the mic. They’ve entertained us, but been able to switch to another gear when it was time to go.This is another match I could see Samoa Joe making his presence known in. We’ve seen it the last few weeks on Raw, and WWE don’t do anything without a payoff in mind. I see Chris Jericho getting some kind of revenge for the beating he suffered at the festival of friendship, but in the end, this match is to elevate Kevin Owens. And give him a title to defend post-mania. Chris Jericho is over with the universe forever, and this culminating in Kevin Owens being the new US champion, just feels right to me.
My pick: Kevin Owens
- WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Dean Ambrose(c) vs Baron Corbin
This is another difficult one to break down. WWE don’t seem to be very invested in the match, with no mention of either competitor, or the title on this past week’s Smackdown Live. In fact, if you didn’t watch Talking Smack, you might forget that this is even a match on the card.
Having said that, WWE do seem to be high on Baron Corbin. And to be fair, he delivered a hell of a promo on Talking Smack, after a fairly forgettable “interview” segment.
I get the feeling that it might be Baron’s time, but with the match getting no promotion on Smackdown, it’s hard to really care about it that much.
My Pick: Baron Corbin
- WWE Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way Elmination Match
Bayley(c) vs Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
I’ll be honest, I’ve forgotten more than a couple of times that Charlotte Flair isn’t the Women’s champion over the last couple of weeks. That’s nothing against Bayley, I think Charlotte just feels like she’s on a different level. However, thinking about this match, and considering that it’s an elimination match, here’s what I think is going to happen.
Nia is eliminated first, either by someone making her tap out (because we’ve seen that before), or by the other 3 women ganging up on her. Either way, she’s out first. She’s by far the least ready to win, and the crowd will be into her being there the shortest amount of time.
And next, we have to have a shock elimination. Which means either Charlotte Flair, leaving Sasha and Bayley, two best friends to fight it out, or Bayley herself, leaving Charlotte and Sasha to re-ignite their rivalry to crown a new women’s champion.
Honestly Sasha has felt like a little bit of an afterthought during the setup of this match, Nia is a last minute addition, and, as I said to begin this, I have forgotten a few times that Charlotte isn’t champion. So as much as I’d love to see Bayley retain, I really just see one conclusion.
My pick: Charlotte Flair
- Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles
I can’t wrap my head around the logic of this match. I understand the story, and the kayfabe reasons for it, but looking at it from a, for lack of a better word, “real” perspective, I don’t understand. AJ Styles is one of the best EVER. Surely his presence in a WWE Championship match, as part of a Triple Threat would only elevate the status of that match, even if there’s a bitter feud between the other two competitors. Instead we get a match that feels thrown together last minute, in which WWE is trying to get people to boo AJ Styles, with not much success.
I’m not taking anything away from Shane, he can have great matches, but it just feels illogical(in the same way KO not being champion on the Raw side of things does) that the guy who spend most of the year being WWE champion isn’t anywhere near that title for the biggest show of the year.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Shane works in the confines of a “traditional”wrestling match, but I can’t see any other result other than a victory for the Phenomenal One.
My Pick: AJ Styles
- John Cena & Nikki Bella vs The Miz & Maryse
If you’d told me 3 weeks ago that this match would be the one I’m probably the most excited to see, I would have slapped you in the face for being so silly. But after Miz and Cena’s appearances on Talking Smack, the Total Bella’s parodies and then John Cena’s promo this past week on Smackdown Live, I can’t wait to see what happens. I honestly can’t figure out what the result will be, just like I have a tiny bit of doubt that this is 100% storyline. Which I LOVE. They’re working me, brother!
Wrestling logic tells me that the biggest show of the year is the place that the wronged Babyface gets his revenge on the evil heel, his dastardly deeds getting thrown back into his face etc. So, because I have no idea what’s going to happen, I’m going to refer to that for my pick. I can’t wait to find out if I’m right or wrong.
*EDIT* So originally I had John and Nikki winning this match, but I’ve ben thinking about it. What do John Cena and Nikki Bella have to gain from winning? Not a lot. He’s John Cena. He’s said this won’t be a challenge. But what do The Miz and Maryse stand to lose, by losing? Miz has been KILLING it since the brand split on Talking Smack, putting on great matches, and has become Smackdown, and WWE’s hottest (real) heel. If Miz loses, none of that means anything.
There’s also talk of Cena proposing to Nikki after this match, and add to that the fact that he’s leaving for a while, and this is Nikki’s last match, they don’t need the win AND that moment. Give it to Miz and Maryse and let their stock continue to rise.
My REVISED Pick: The Miz & Maryse.
- Smackdown Women’s Title 6 Pack Challenge Match – Alexa Bliss(c) vs Mickie James vs Carmella vs Natalya vs Becky Lynch vs Naomi
I have a feeling this match is going to become a 7 or 8 pack challenge, and that’s ok. I’m glad to hear that it’s also going to be on the main card now, as opposed to the kick-off show. It may open the show however. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
These types of matches are always so hard to predict. All the women have been given moments to show that they’re a credible challenge to Alexa, but unfortunately for Mickie, Carmella, Natalya and Becky (and whoever else gets added), to me, you either keep the title on Alexa to build her as the blue brand’s champion, or you get the title back to Naomi, which was clearly the plan before her injury.
I’m sure this will be a fine match with some fun spots, and for me, I hope Alexa is the winner. She’s done an amazing job with that title so far. Let’s hope this isn’t the end for her.
My Pick: Alexa Bliss
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match – Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson(c’s) vs Sheamus & Cesaro vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
This is my other pick for kicking off Wrestlemania. They’ve had a habit of starting the show with a Ladder match in previous years.Enzo and Cass are the only team that haven’t been champions, and it feels like their time. Sure, they’re the new era equivalent of The New Age Outlaws, sure, you can talk about Enzo’s in-ring ability, but you can’t deny how over they are, and especially with a Wrestlemania crowd, they seem like the right decision.One other note, Sheamus will be the luckiest person in history if his face isn’t split open again on sunday after seeing that hideous gash he suffered. Brutal. My only request is no-one jumps in the ring and stops the match. Just have Sheamus run to the back or something. There’s nothing worse (especially if it’s the first match on the card) for a match than it being stopped in it’s tracks.
My pick: Enzo & Big Cass
Wrestlemania Kick-off Show Matches
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Neville(c) vs Austin Aries
It’s such a shame that this match is on the kickoff show, but looking down the card, it’s hard to argue for what match you could swap out for it.
Austin Aries has been on fire since his return to in-ring action, as has Neville. This match has the potential to be a show stealer as well, but with it being on the pre-show, it’s unlikely to be given the time it needs to really tell a great story. It feels like this is a rivalry that should continue for a while to come, and one way to do that, is to have a title change to keep things fresh. Plus, Aries is amazing.
My Pick: Austin Aries
- Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler & more
The fact that the Smackdown Tag Team champions are in this match and not defending their titles at Wrestlemania is ridiculous. The WWE can’t expect the fans to see their two shows as equals, if one show’s champions aren’t even on the main card. (see lower for a crazy prediction involving the Usos)
How do you even predict a Battle Royal Winner? I think it comes down to one of the four Wrestlers I named in the title, and I think the odds are with Braun Strowman. I also don’t think that will be his only appearance Sunday night.
My Pick: Braun Strowman
Outside the box predictions
- The (broken?) Hardys surprise return, in an unannounced match for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles.
- Asuka joins the Smackdown women’s title match, and wins.
- Shinsuke Nakamura joins the Battle Royal (if he does not win at Takeover)
- Finn Balor costs Triple H his match against Seth Rollins (as mentioned above)
- The Crowd never chants CM Punk… ok that will never happen.
- We see Kurt Angle more than once.
This Wrestlemania is full of strange booking decisions, uncertainty and quite frankly, a lot of matches that could prove to not be all that entertaining. I’m hoping that we get some unpredictability, and that the powers that be have listened to the crowd and don’t try to force an agenda onto us.
Stay tuned for my NXT Takeover Reactions tomorrow after the event, and then following Wrestlemania, my Mania reactions.
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