Wrestlemania Preview and Predictions
It is only hours away, this year’s WRESTLEMANIA! The lead up to Mania this year has been highlighted by some shocking returns and hindered by some truly questionable segments on Monday Night Raw.
Injuries have effected the WWE this year more than most. The injury list could fill a separate card. Established main eventers like John Cena, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, and Sting are all out. Respected mid card talent like Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Luke Harper, Tyson Kidd, and Neville are gone as well. Rumors persist that some of these will return tonight. My money is on Cesaro or Orton. For now, let’s just focus on our match-by-match preview.
US Championship Match. (c) Kalisto vs. Ryback.
Kalisto has been a fine US champ that needs a solid contender. Ryback, while vastly improving in recent years, may not be that guy. He has been a good guy and a bad guy so many different times, that I am not even sure what he is now. The story line is simply- Ryback is big and Kalisto is small so Ryback should win. So he won’t. Kalisto wins.
Total Divas vs. Team Blonde and Bad.
Every Diva not in the triple threat match gets a Mania spot with this match. The team of Brie Bella, Paige, Natayla, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie (really, I am not joking) go against Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Emma, and Summer Rae. Expect the Total Divas team to win with Brie getting the pin. Rumors say she is set to retire soon, as soon as tonight or tomorrow on Raw.
The Dudleys vs. The Usos
When The Dudleys returned to Raw after almost a decade away, I was excited. Since then, the veteran tag team has been used to lose to champions The New Day. I am sure when The Dudleys returned, fans were already thinking a classic TLC match at Mania. That did not happen. With the recent heel turn for The Dudleys, I am going with them to win.
Intercontinental Ladder Match. (c) Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara.
First, kudos to Zack Ryder for getting a match at Mania. After everything he has endured throughout his career, he deserves it. He won’t win. I am picking Owens to win the match, leading to a long story line with rival Zayn.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
AJ Styles made his debut in WWE at The Royal Rumble. After years in TNA and New Japan, the sight of seeing Styles in a WWE ring was odd at first. Styles had become the MVP of WWE, having great matches with Owens, The Miz, and Jericho. In fact, he has had many matches with Jericho. Standard WWE protocol says that a feud lasts three matches. Whoever wins best of three wins. WWE rarely says this on TV, but fans know different. Jericho and Styles have already had three and Styles won two. It is odd to have a fourth match (with no stipulation) at Mania, but this is a strange Mania. Styles wins.
The New Day vs. The League Of Nations (3 vs. 4)
The New Day are a highlight of WWE programming. They are the current Tag Team champions. For some reason, the title is not on the line. This is where a superstar may return to make it a four on four. My money is on Cesaro. Give the win to The League of Nations leading to a true title match next month.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Veterans Kane and Big Show are in the match, and the rest is filled with stars who had no where else to go on the card. This is the third year for the battle royal and previous editions have not led to much story advancement. Big Show won last year and I am picking him to repeat or a returning star (Orton?)
Triple Threat Diva’s Championship (c) Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch.
Three wrestlers that were not on the main roster last year get the top spot this year. All three are incredible wrestlers and (if given time) this match could steal the show. Sasha is my pick.
Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose- Street Fight.
Dean Ambrose is a crowd favorite. The story line leading up to this match has featured Dean getting destroyed by Lesnar and Dean getting weapons ready for use in the match. Dean will not use a chainsaw or a barbed wire bat in this match but he will win. Dean winning with some sort of a weapon does Lesnar no harm, but a big win at Mania does plenty for Ambrose.
WWE Championship Match (c) Triple H vs. Roman Reigns.
WWE wants Reigns to be the top guy in the company. At times, it looked like it was going to happen. Since, Reigns has been met with a chorus of boos at most arenas he is in. The Wrestlemania crowd is a snarky crowd. They will be booing Reigns. If ever WWE was going to turn Reigns bad guy, this is the time. He would excel as a bad guy, he could scold those that boo him, and he will entertaining doing it. This will make him the good guy WWE so wants him to be. Reigns wins.
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon.
If the sight of AJ in the WWE was strange, Shane back in the company was truly shocking. Shane is not the opponent we all thought Taker was getting, but Shane is the opponent he got. The stipulation is that Shane gets control of the company if he wins and Taker will not wrestle at Mania again if he loses. Something fishy is going to go on tonight and I am picking Shane to win. I am also saying this is the pick I have the least faith in being correct.
The Rock Appears.
The Rock will be at Wrestlemania. Doing what? We have no idea, but he keeps teasing that it will be big. I am calling for him to get involved in the match with “cousin” Reigns. Will it lead to a return to the ring for The People’s Champ? Maybe. He would need to clear a spot in his movie schedule for that. Next year at Mania- Reigns vs. The Rock?
This may not have been the Mania that the WWE was looking for, but I think it will work in the end. The allure of Mania and the pomp of the event is half the appeal. If it gives us something to talk about and a reason to tune into Raw tomorrow, it has done its job.