WrestleMania is here! It seems like just yesterday I was leaving to fly down to Dallas for WrestleMania last year. It seems like WrestleMania season goes quicker and quicker every year. For the first time since WrestleMania 27 we will see the brand split affect matches. There are no “RAW vs. SmackDown” matches this year. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal will be the only match consisting of RAW and SmackDown talent but it isn’t a battle for brand. The thing I like most about this years card is how many title matches we will see being defended. Many times in years past a champion might wrestle in a match but that title would not always be on the line. The only titles NOT on the line at WrestleMania are the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and the United Kingdom Championship. Right now the Uso’s will compete in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal so at least the champions will at least be on the show, but it seems like the United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate will be nowhere to be found WrestleMania weekend. Let’s get to the reason we are here, my predictions. I am going to list my predictions in the order I think the matches will take place on the show.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
(c) Neville vs. Austin Aries
For the first time since WrestleMania XX in 2004 the Cruiserweight Championship will be defended at WrestleMania. While technically the title will be defended on the pre show and not the main card, I’m still going to count it. While the superstars of 205 Live have not been as exciting as most want I think this match has potential to be the best of that brand. Neville for years has been the best “cruiserweight” the WWE has had on its roster and Neville showcasing his talents against one of the bigger names on the brand “A-Double” Austin Aries should make a great start to the night. Aries has been a nice addition to the 205 brand and is the only hope to breathe some life into 205 Live every week.
Prediction – New WWE Cruiserweight Champion Austin Aries
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
For the most part this match is just to get talent on the card. I would LOVE to see Finn Balor return and win this match but that would seem more likely if this match was on the main card. Since it is pre show bound I don’t see that happening, I’m going with the odds on favorite.
Prediction – Braun Strowman
SmackDown Women’s Championship
(c) Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. Naomi
It was a surprise a few weeks back when Naomi won the SmackDown Women’s Championship and then had to relinquish it just days later. Naomi being the hometown girl seem’s like the favorite but sometimes WWE doesn’t like to put a title back on a person when they come back so quick from injury. I am still hoping for Alexa to retain but wouldn’t put it past the WWE to give it to Naomi. (UPDATE: After I typed these predictions up there is a rumor going around that the SmackDown Women’s Championship match will be on the main card of WrestleMania. No word if this is official or what match they are swapping with, I would put the Intercontinental Championship in this spot, but I guess we will find out Sunday night.)
Prediction – New SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi
RAW Tag Team Championship
Triple Threat Ladder Match
(c) Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
– When Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson and The Uso’s didn’t have any real direction leading into WrestleMania I was hoping for a battle of the brands between the RAW and SmackDown tag team champions. However, the WWE decided to stay with brand neutral matches this year. This becoming a ladder match at the last moment really does not make this automatically become a MUST SEE match but it does add a level to the match that it was lacking before. I don’t want to see Cesaro and Sheamus together too much longer and it seems like Gallows and Anderson are just champions for the lack of excitement in the division. Who is the most exciting team in the division, the team with the gift of gab! If this was a regular tag match I’d say Enzo and Big Cass didn’t have the odds on their side but making this a ladder match helps. Plus, if this opens the show the WWE will want to kick the show off with something to get the crowd excited which leads me back to Enzo and Big Cass.
Prediction – New RAW Tag Team Champions Enzo and Big Cass
WWE United State Championship
(c) Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens
– If you would’ve asked me if Chris Jericho was sticking around after WrestleMania last year I would’ve said no. Here we are a year later and he is still with the company. I have heard Fozzy is due back out on tour so Jericho probably will head off soon. However, I personally want Kevin Owens get back in the Universal title picture after Mania. Which could lead to Jericho dropping the title on RAW the next night.
Prediction – Chris Jericho retain the WWE United States Championship
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
Here is a match where the WWE didn’t have anything planned for these two so they just threw them together. I think this match has potential to be a highlight of the night because of the 2 people involved but it needs to lead to something more. I would love to see Gallows and Anderson interfere in this match which could possibly lead to them moving to SmackDown or AJ moving to RAW.
Prediction – AJ Styles wins
WWE Intercontinental Championship
(c) Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin
This is the match I expected to be a ladder match. With both men having a lot of weaknesses I thought a ladder match would have showcased their positives which are basically brawling techniques. Ambrose and Corbin offer nothing in the ring and I consider this my “bathroom break” match of the night.
Prediction – Dean Ambrose retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship
RAW Women’s Championship
Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
(c) Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
When this was originally a triple threat match I had high hopes, but adding Nia Jax doesn’t make sense to me. Nia Jax is not even close to being in the same league as the 4 horsewoman, I think she has something to offer but just hasn’t hit her real groove yet. I see something happening to Bayley and Sasha, I’m thinking Bayley will eliminate Sasha in this match leading to a feud between the two. Charlotte has been the face of the division since the inception so it would be nice at least for a month or so for Charlotte to go into a feud that isn’t championship based.
Prediction – Bayley retains the RAW Women’s Championship
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
This is the second match of the night that I don’t expect much. Rumors are going around again that The Undertaker may retire after this match. I hope that doesn’t happen, because in my opinion The Undertaker deserves some hype like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels did for their WrestleMania retirements. The only person that has defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania is Brock Lesnar, so if Roman Reigns defeats The Undertaker that means Roman is at least equal to Brock Lesnar which I do not agree with. However, another rumor going around is that WWE wants Roman back in the main event at next years WrestleMania. So a potential Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar rematch could be possible if Roman wins this year to set up a feud as who the greatest really is. Does that match interest me? Nope, but I’m sure Vince is all for it.
Prediction – The Undertaker wins
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H
With this match I feel like it is 2002 all over again. The Seth Rollins vs. Triple H story reminds me a lot of Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H from SummerSlam 2002. I just hope the 2017 version can live up to the hype of 2002. This match has potential to steal the show, Triple H especially needs a good match after coming off of last years dreadful main event against Roman Reigns. Seth of course missed last years WrestleMania, so he plans on making up for lost time and seeking justice against Triple H turning on him back in the fall. The build up for this has been a long time coming and I hope the pay off is worth the wait.
Prediction – Seth Rollins wins
(c) Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
If nothing comes out of this match other than the build up and rebuilding Randy Orton into the main event, then it was all worth it. The mind games between Bray and Orton have been some of the best WrestleMania build up this year. I’m hoping that we get a Wyatt Family match at some point after WrestleMania (Bray v Rowan v Harper and maybe even Orton). I’m really hoping that Orton wins and leads to a potential Orton vs Styles feud over the next few weeks and months.
Prediction – New WWE Champion Randy Orton
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse
As much as I have loved the build up to this match the past few weeks on SmackDown, I am really not expecting anything special here in ring. Both Cena and Miz have strengths on the mic, but lack a lot when it comes to in ring work. The same will go for Nikki and Maryse, I expect a few moments for them to get their hands on one another but really am thinking Miz and Cena will get the majority of in ring time.
Prediction – John Cena & Nikki Bella win
WWE Universal Championship
(c) Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
The final match of the night that I expect very little in. I remember watching WrestleMania XX live and hating this match. Fast forward to this past November at Survivor Series and I hated this match. Why should I expect anything different this time around? I’m a traditionalist when it comes to WrestleMania, I think a championship match should close the card, I do have some exceptions like when The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels closed out WrestleMania 26 for Shawn’s retirement. This year unless The Undertaker is going to retire I think a title match should close the show. I also think whoever wins the Royal Rumble should actually main event the show, which would mean I think Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton should main event but I don’t see that happening. The WWE marketing machine has been behind Goldberg and Brock Lesnar for months so WrestleMania is the pay off. I am not expecting anything more than 10-15 minutes of a match but by the time this 4+ hour show is over a quick main event would be a good thing. Last year when the main event when on it lasted almost a half hour and the show including preshow was over 6 hours which meant by the time the match started the crowd was already tired. The match didn’t do anything for Roman Reigns of Triple H so it never got the crowd excited again. I am expecting the same thing with this match. The quicker WWE can book it to end the better, but they can’t just have a complete squash match either. Goldberg has been back for a few months now and I’m sure he has received a great pay each time but that’s it, nobody should be next. What should be next? Goldberg going home and retiring for good. You want to come back next year for a Hall of Fame induction fine, but no more in ring work. Rumor also has it WWE could possibly put The Undertaker and Roman Reigns last this Sunday. I don’t think that match will do enough to warrant the official “main event” spotlight. The only reason I can justify The Undertaker and Roman Reigns main eventing the show is if this really is The Undertaker’s final ride. I guess time will tell and we will find out what all goes down this Sunday night.
Prediction – New WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
That’s it, leave some comments below or on facebook and @pghwn on twitter. I would love to hear from people on what they predict this Sunday at WrestleMania.