My predictions of this year’s event were very poor, as I only got four out of the eight correct. Only three of my predicted matches, guessed a month before Wrestlemania even happened. That said, considering the result of one particularly shocking match (I wonder which one…), not many people would have scored any better than seven-out-of-eight.
So, what hope would I have, predicting the card and the winners, a year in advance? Well, it’s worth a try. This is my stab at the line-up for Wrestlemania 31.
Just to get the inevitable matches out of the way, I’m thinking that Sheamus will win the ANDRE THE GIANT BATTLE ROYAL as he’s a superstar with nothing to do, and that an NXT starlet will acquire the championship in (number)-DIVA MATCH. I’m guessing Charlotte just because of her connections due to being the spawn of Ric Flair.
THE ROCK vs BROCK LESNAR
Winner: The Rock
Why?: There will be hell to pay is WWE doesn’t make the man who took down The Undertaker a full-timer from today, until April 2015. A part time wrestler getting that honour would be horrifying. If so, Brock will be once again in a worthy position to face The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment. Paul Heyman could have a field day picking who Lesnar’s next megastar that his ‘Heyman guy’ will squash next. Next on the list that lives up to The Phenom’s level of fame, and then some? The Rock.
I, like many, think that The Rock is done, after a sub-par performance at Wrestlemania 29. However, this has been hinted for quite a while. The People’s Champion versus the currently most despised man in the WWE would be great… were it a decade ago. It will probably still happen though. It will be sadly unconvincing, but as of April 2014 for the time being, it will be at least what the fans want. In fact, for anyone to destroy Brock Lesnar would be a crowd pleaser.
The Rock has stated that a match with Brock Lesnar was planned for Wrestlemania 30, but an injury prevented The Rock from wrestling this year. Finally, The Rock may come back to put the currently rather unpopular Brock Lesnar away. If a fued with Lesnar, aside from The Undertaker can begin, I am quite sure of this one.
The biggest flaw in this prediction, I think is rising star Cesaro. By this point, he will possibly be the crowd favourite after turning his back on Paul Heyman himself (though I imagine that such a feud would be over by then). Cesaro is actually a big flaw for all of the predictions, aside from the Diva match. It seems that he might require his own singles match, but I don’t yet know where to put him. If Cesaro vs Lesnar happens at Wrestlemania 31, then I can still envision Rock vs Brock at Wrestlemania 32.
I would actually prefer this to happen at Summerslam 2014, as in a year’s time, the current villainy of Lesnar will have word off too much, but I’m not convinced that we will see The Rock wrestle anywhere aside from Wrestlemania, and giving the odd heel a Rock Bottom on Raw every so often to please fans.
THE USOS vs GOLDUST & CODY RHODES vs LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN
Winner: Goldust & Cody Rhodes
Why?: A muddle of tag teams seems to be a popular opener, and these are the three that I think will be facing off. The Usos are popular, and I imagine that they will stay that way, and ‘the other two Wyatts’ actually need more to do than support Bray. I think that my later prediction about Bray Wyatt is enough that the Wyatts don’t win.
So why the Rhodes boys? Simply because it’s been a while, and considering the recent success of The New Age Outlaws, Goldust’s age is no reason for them not to win.
BRAY WYATT vs RANDY ORTON
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Why?: Sadly, at the moment, it appears that the Wyatts’, especially Bray Wyatt, will for the time being follow the format of ‘select Superstar to creep out’ until defeated. However, in this instance, I think that in this time, the monster will already have been released, and Orton’s reasoning will be something along the lines of “you are just a weirdo. I am the true badass.”
Orton probably won’t be particularly likable during this period, meaning that this could be a rousing, brutal success, or a miserable failure as two heels face one another. After a loss this year, I am handing this one to Bray Wyatt. This will probably be WWE’s attempt at setting up a match where the unlikable heel wins, so that SOMETHING goes wrong. However, I think everyone will be cheering for Wyatt anyway.
TRIPLE H vs ROMAN REIGNS
Winner: Triple H
Why? In my predictions, I stated that against odds, I wanted Kane & The New Age Outlaws to win against The Shield. This could have created a more intense and vengeful connection with ‘Corporate Kane’, and then to The Authority. I felt that The Shield’s attitude could create what a battle with the company akin to Daniel Bryan this year, and Stone Cold Steve Austin during the ‘Attitude Era’.
I think that during the next twelve months, The Shield will dissolve, and Wrestlemania 31 will result in the surprise reunion, perhaps beating the hell out of Triple H, after the match. Triple H’s repeated losses over the last few years say that he is due a win.
This seems more likely, as there have been a lot of mentions of a ‘new era’ unfolding, especially when discussing the power of Roman Reigns and the current rise of Cesaro. The Shield is made up of three men, and the other two are just as worthy of A listing in the coming years, and I don’t think that the talent will be wasted by treating them as one unit.
However, for this reason I am slightly unsure of this match. If all three men are ‘used’ separately, even within the same story, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this process were stretched out longer and we saw this in two years time, with a Triple Threat match between The Shield at Wrestlemania 31, and a Triple H fight at Wrestlemania 32. Considering that they are currently babyfaces, and it’s anybody’s guess how long this will last, such a string of events could take over a year.
I’m not convinced that this match would be particularly amazing, as the acclaimed collision between Bryan and Triple H was heavily led by Bryan. His technical skills added complexity and strategy. Triple H wouldn’t have used so many holds were he against anybody else. He would just have tried to beat the hell out of them, and as HHH vs Reigns is two bulky powerhouses colliding, it might not be nearly as interesting as Bryan’s match. Just punch, kick and throw until the opponent gets worn out.
We know that awesome matches can take place outside of Wrestlemania, with The Shield having a great reputation against The Wyatts since Elimination Chamber, but I kind of want The Shield’s split to be in good time for a spectacular Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania. No more three-minute matches against Kane and friends. However, I’m standing by the Triple H match next year, as Roman Reigns should be well on top of his game by then (no pun intended), with a rivalry well built.
Besides, I think that the Triple Threat match slot will be used by…
JOHN CENA vs DANIEL BRYAN vs CM PUNK (for the World Heavyweight Championship)
Winner: John Cena
Why?: We have learned this year that Triple Threats can be fantastic headliner events. It would be a real shame for another not to happen. I think that it should. Cena vs Bryan WILL happen sooner or later.
So why Punk? The likelihood of Punk’s return is anyone’s guess, but a RAW filmed in Chicago in early 2015 could be an ideal lead for this to happen.To really throw a spanner in the works that could intensify the rivalry. It happened this year by dropping in Bryan. How about “Hey, I’m back, and if you want to keep me on board, I want in on that match.”?
With both Cena and Bryan both overcoming their rivals this year, the victor is anybody’s guess. However, as the ‘underdog’ story is now obsolete, there is no indication as of yet of who is most likely to win. Will the massive support of Daniel Bryan and the ‘Yes Movement’ continue until 2015? Neither have any chance of becoming a heel. I can imagine a relatively friendly challenge between the two, with a third man thrown in for good measure.
I think that considering the ridiculous push that Bryan has received, and the repeated failures trying to make everyone support Cena, that this will be exploited yet again, handing a win to Cena. I can also imagine Punk returning and being dismayed by Bryan snatching the spotlight, continuing to belittle him, and build a rivalry between the too, adding more reason to put him in as the third man of a previously planned Cena vs Bryan match. I can envision Punk feuding with Bryan, until the match under the guise of “so this thing is now the superstar? I’m much better!”, only for Cena to ‘shockingly’ snatch the win. Cue the return of a feud between Cena and Punk, and sending Bryan on his way into another rivalry, presumably either Cesaro, or tangled with the company again.
Still, nobody is sure how genuine Punk (sorry, Phil Brookes)’s sabbatical is.
The only thing that really flaws this idea, is that no matter how horrid WWE try and make Punk look, everyone will just be really happy that he is back. Three faces against one another would be a rarity, and really interesting. There’s no reason that it shouldn’t happen. It would be more like a sport for once! But there is a reason that it possibly wouldn’t happen – the WWE might not fancy their headlining match not to have a ‘villain’.
THE UNDERTAKER vs STING
Winner: The Undertaker
Why?: Crazy? Of course. Some will say this shouldn’t happen, or like the aforementioned Rock vs Brock, should have happened long ago. A few years ago, such a match would have been great. A clash of WWE and WCWs premier stupid make-up models. Calls for The Undertaker to retire have been flying in left, right and centre, especially since an ideal closure at Wrestlemania 28. There is no way that this match could live up to the hype, especially after loads of “but the match people really want to see is The Undertaker vs Sting” in wrestling articles, even though I’m not convinced that that is what people want to see at all. Odds are that a match between two men aged over 50, will not be very spectacular. Nobody is even convinced that we will see The Undertaker wrestle again.
Just a few months ago, it was speculated that The Undertaker had a few more opponents get through before a final match against John Cena. As a final match, whatever anyone has to say about Cena, could have been unpredictable and nail-biting. In fact, this is another reason that I am slightly unsure about the aforementioned Triple Threat match – that Cena v Taker will be set up as Taker’s final match. Would WWE hand Cena victory again? But now that the streak is over, would anybody care? Maybe a reason to save it for Wrestlemania 32 if Taker is still around, so that fuss about the streak has had a couple of years to be brushed aside slightly. No more “last Wrestlemania there was an upset when… etc.”
Rumours that plans have had to being turned on their head, and that a planned appearance by Sting on RAW was cancelled due to Undertaker’s injury, add yet more juice to these speculations.
Right now, with no reasoning, beyond a ‘retirement’ stipulation, it’s not very convincing that Taker will return. However, assuming that they are up for it, this could be a very interesting match, as rumours say that Sting may only stay at the WWE for a single match before retiring. Something doesn’t sound right about that though – a 0% win record for such a legend? If this DOES happen, I think this will be a venture by Taker to redeem himself by wanting to take down a legend and an icon, amidst teasing from Sting that Undertaker is past it, but after a lengthy career himself, that he is as good as ever. Undertaker could accuse Sting of avoiding the WWF/WWE for all of these years only to avoid him. With that kind of inspiration, THEN this match could be justified.
However, I still don’t really want to see this happen.
As Brock is already facing the Rock here, I unusually considered Cesaro. Why? Because he is a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’, a slight connection for some kind of revenge, while continuing to push Cesaro into the high ranks. However, as has been considered for a long time, Sting is on the way to the WWE, and The Undertaker, whatever state he is in, seems to be the oddity to begin a feud with.
So, what are your thoughts?