WrestleMania - WWE’s biggest show of the year – goes live this Sunday from Orlando. The showcase of immortals always guarantees to have some major high spots and WWE Universe-shattering outcomes.
This year’s stacked card promises to keep many fans on the edge of their seat from show beginning to end.
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This contest has been held for the past few years. Despite it being heralded as a prestigious match, it has done little to propel the careers of its winners, as it was expected to.
Personally, I think Braun Stroman will get the victory here. With the way he’s been pushed by the company as of late, maybe his victory will actually cause the battle royal to mean something for once.
Prediction: Braun Stroman
Austin Aries vs Neville (c) for the Cruiserweight Championship
Quite honestly, this is one of the few feuds (if not the only feud) that the struggling Cruiserweight Division truly has going for it.
Austin Aries and Neville are both wonderful, highly athletic performers. It’s a shame this match has been assigned to just the preshow, although I have to wonder if that is strategy by WWE to draw viewers to what is usually a lukewarm pre-PPV warm up show.
Neville has done well carrying the division, but I think it’s time for the “King of the Cruiserweights” to be dethroned.
Prediction: Austin Aries
Nia Jax vs Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley (c) for the Raw Women’s Championship
This one is tough…
Flair, Banks and Bayley have all proven to be credible Raw Women’s Champions, and while Nia Jax has yet to claim the title, she has been booked as a dominant, momentum killing wall.
For this prediction, I look to rumors of a Banks heel turn in the near future, and the best way to set that up is to have the champ retain.
Prediction: Bayley retains, Banks turns on her the next night on Raw
Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles: Sheamus and Cesaro vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs The Club (c)
For the last few ‘Mania’s, the Intercontinental Championship has been defended in massive multi-man ladder matches.
This year, we see the ladder match tradition continue, however this time with the Raw Tag Team Championships hanging high above the ring.
The Club’s reign at the top of the Raw Tag Team division has been, well, “Just too Sweet…” That being said, it’s not Gallows and Anderson’s night.
There’s going to be new, highly deserving champions crowned at WrestleMania. And you can’t teach that.
Prediction: Enzo and Big Cass
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: All eligible women on the roster can compete
This match has been kept extremely vague, and I think that’s by intentional design.
Expect to see the obvious combatants: Carmella, Mickie James, Natalya, Becky Lynch, and Champion Alexa Bliss.
Perhaps surprisingly, Naomi (who has been out from injury) was announced as a participant in the match. The former champ technically never lost her title, and the event is in her native Orlando…
Prediction: Naomi returns from injury in her home town and takes back the belt she never lost
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryese
Like him or hate him, Miz has been one of the best heels on the “Blue Brand” as of late, especially in the quasi-reality feud with WWE’s face of the company John Cena and his real life girlfriend Nikki Bella.
Cena is taking time off after ‘Mania, so the smart thing would be to have Miz and Maryese elevate themselves and get some momentum by going over.
Unfortunately, this is the company golden boy we’re talking about here.
Prediction: John Cena and Nikki Bella
Baron Corbin vs Dean Ambrose (c) for the Intercontinental Championship
OK, maybe Baron Corbin isn’t the most entertaining guy on the roster (decent in the ring, but I still find his mic skill atrocious).
The important thing is that the WWE back stage big-wigs seem to be behind him.
Look for Corbin to get the nod to start his title run. This will give him some good experience and will really test him to see if he can be a legitimate “big man” in the business.
If nothing else, this at least frees Ambrose of the IC belt so he can potentially reenter the Main event scene.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (c) for the United States Championship
The Kevin Owens / Chris Jericho friendship was the best thing we’ve seen on Raw in years. It was heartbreaking to see it end, even though we all knew it had to happen eventually.
Jericho is rumored to be taking time off after ‘Mania to tour with his band Fozzy, so look for him to drop the title to his former best friend.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker
WWE logic: Let’s take the guy that we really want to be our top baby face (even though the crowd can’t stand him), and pit him against the one guy nobody wants to see him beat, especially at Wrestlemania…
Surely that won’t get him booed out of the building, right?
Prediction: Roman Reigns
Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles
Many have said that Styles is being wasted by being inserted into a match with what is basically a glorified part-timer who is by no means a wrestler. If anything, Shane-o-Mac is a daredevil, arguably maybe a brawler.
I disagree with that assessment. I believe this match may potentially steal the show.
AJ Styles will bring out the best in Shane. Couple Shane’s daredevil antics with Styles’s athleticism, and you have the makings for a match full of high spots.
This is going to be one “Phenomenal” match.
Prediction: AJ Styles
Triple H vs Seth Rollins in an unsanctioned match
Rollins was forced to sit out of last year’s Wrestlemania due to injury, and almost saw the same fate this time around.
The WWE is really milking the injury angle here, and Rollins finds himself across the mat from his former mentor, “The Game” Triple H.
This is too much of a good versus evil story for the bad guy to end up victorious at the Showcase of Immortals. Look for Rollins to get his feel-good moment.
Prediction: Seth Rollins
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg (c) for the Universal Championship
Blah blah blah “The Conquerer” yadda yadda yadda “Who’s next?”
I won’t discredit the draw power of both Lesnar and Goldberg, but when you get right down to it you’ll find that these guys are still just part-timers.
This rivalry was fine without the title; it’s a shame the WWE felt they needed to involve it.
Anyways, Goldberg is likely retiring, so Lesnar gets the belt. Let’s just hope the match actually lasts more than a few minutes this time around.
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt (c) for the WWE Championship
Bray Wyatt is awesome as champion; he’s so good in fact, that he really doesn’t need the title to elevate himself.
Wyatt faces Royal Rumble winner and former follower Randy Orton, who only recently revealed that he only joined Wyatt in order to get close enough to him to strike when the time was right.
Orton is one of the veteran talents on the roster, and while I’m sure he may have another title run in him eventually, the best thing right now would be to put Wyatt over, establishing him even more as a credible champion.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt