Well, that’s it! Everything that there is to know on The Road to Wrestlemania is known. Of course that must mean that it is time to spend far too long churning out overly-long and too in-depth predictions of the results. Despite Wrestlemania 31 already being slated due to the pessimism surrounding the main event, WWE have actually done a respectable job of making many of the night’s matches sound important. On paper, half of them could headline a PPV.
So without further ado, here are some predictions, on how the matches will unfold, who their winners will be, and whether the matches will actually be any good.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro VS. Los Matadores VS. The New Day VS. The Usos (Fatal Four Way for the WWE Tag Team Championship)
Who should win?: Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
Who will win?: The Usos
Length: 13 minutes
There is not a lot to discuss during this match. However, the fact that all four participating tag teams are bringing with them a cheerleader says that more than the eight men in the match, will be involved, leading the match to be a battle royale in itself. In short, a mess – stuck between massive brawl and a solid match. Still, it could be fun.
It is for this reason that I predict that the additional presence will result in all participants dragged out of match, conveniently leaving behind the defendants, and the winners, presumably The Usos, to unleash their signature double splash. As half of the combatants are comedic, such moves will pass without incident, rather than there being much in the way of great counters (such as the brilliant two-out-of-three falls match between The Usos and The Wyatt Family). I maintain that Kidd and Cesaro should win, if only due to the title not being thrown away too quickly, and to give the heavily demoted Cesaro something to be champion of. On that subject…
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale
Who should win?: Damien Mizdow
Who will win?: Sheamus
Length: 11 minutes (Excluding corny trophy presentation)
This was the alleged confirmation of Cesaro being the incredible next big thing. That sadly didn’t work out. Also, there is only really one feud that appears within this same match. A comedic one – The Miz and Damien Mizdow. And to add insult to injury, this poor match has been demoted to the Wrestlemania pre-show. Considering how the hype around it involved John Cena trying to induct himself into it and failing when even The Authority got involved, this has been managed rather poorly.
I predict that this will simply be ten minutes of chaos with very few memorable spots until the very end. At one miraculous point a couple of minutes from the end, the remaining few combatants will be simultaneously puffed out, aside from The Miz and Damien Mizdow, provoking a crowd-pleasing staredown and quick brawl. Ideally Mizdow would be the man to eliminate The Miz with all attention drawn to it. It is the only feud across the entire roster that everybody is cheering the desired face and booing the desired heel, and WWE should take this opportunity for a great show-opening moment. The prestige of the match has sunk so low that it wouldn’t be the end of the world were Mizdow to win.
However, I believe The Miz will eliminate Mizdow, having been on the receiving end of a Skull-Crushing Finale, followed then by providing for Sheamus what had been attempted at the Royal Rumble for Roman Reigns – a show of strength, eliminating everyone left (dragging the tired wrestlers off the floor and over the rope), to avenge fan favourites and win. While a backlash won’t be quite as monstrous as the Royal Rumble’s, it’ll be a disappointing ending, and the most underwhelming match of the night.
Randy Orton VS Seth Rollins
Who should win?: Seth Rollins
Who will win?: Randy Orton (by DQ)
Length: 20 minutes
This is one of the most intriguing matches on the card, as considering the history of both men, this certainly has the capacity to the best match of the show. If given time and permission, this could steal the show. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems that have me believe that this will not happen.
First of all, with so little faith by many in the main event due to universal hatred of Reigns, WWE Creative will be very careful not to pack this single match with spectacular moments, so not to upstage the WHC match. I hope that if any match has to have moments that take it through the barricade and into the crowd, it’ll be this one., though sadly it won’t. Secondly, at least one of these men is going to reappear during the closure of the show, justifying (at least in the eyes of WWE), this being one of the shorter of the big matches. After all, Rollins is still holding onto his Money in the Bank contract, and it would be surprising if WWE’s plans were so anti-climactic. But more on that a bit later.
Considering moments, I am expecting a tease of a massive elbow drop or phoenix splash, though pulled off as a ‘flying nothing’ and caught in an RKO. Also expecting the incredibly irritating J&J to invade and pull Orton off of the pin during the closing couple of minutes. The signature cinder blocks will be unveiled, and after failed attempts to curb stomp Orton into them, Rollins will attempt to throw one, causing a disqualification and one very aggravated Rollins. A disqualification means that he needn’t be too beaten up before his cash-in attempt (making the cash-in more convincing).
The match will most likely end with a post-match brawl, although it would be better if Rollins wins brutally and cleanly (for once). This match will also be early on, as it’s a big opener despite not being especially important. And to distance Rollins from the last match as much as possible.
Bad News Barrett vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan (Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Who should win?: Dolph Ziggler
Who will win?: Daniel Bryan
Length: 15 minutes
Wow. Try saying that match line-up in one breath. With so many massive segments throughout the night, and everyone hoping for something incredible, I think that this might be disappointingly cut a few minutes short of what fans would like. However, considering its acclaim, it’s easy to forget that the legendary TLC II was only sixteen-minutes long. Also, like the Orton/Rollins situation, Ambrose, whether he wins or not, will probably appear in the closing segment, apparently justifying a shorter match, and make the involvement of the ladder match’s cast seem longer than it was. Of course, fans aren’t that stupid not to notice, but it’s the sort of stupidity that WWE would try.
Due to being total chaos, this is simply a checklist of predicted moments.
- Bad News Barrett attempting a Bullhammer, but is prevented from doing so by an opponent, even though the opponent needn’t have bothered, as fans notice instantly that there would have been ladders and six men preventing room. As a result of total injustice, he’ll get little to no time to show off, although will hopefully be the last man left standing as Bryan heads for the belt. (Spoiler: He won’t be.)
- Dean Ambrose successfully doing his daft rebound clothesline (on his second attempt), but even though facing the same problem as Barrett, will have a very unconvincing success. He also will not successfully unleash Dirty Deeds, saving it for his reappearance at the end of the show.
- R-Truth in a comedic moment arrogantly punching the air as he begins his climb, it turns into a grimace as he notices as he begins he climb that he is staring at Luke Harper’s backside.
- Luke Harper will do an awesome powerbomb, and the IWC will sigh in unison, wishing that he was further up the card.
- Stardust will come near to victory, only to be sabotaged by Goldust.
- Daniel Bryan will do a crossbody to the outside of the ring, knocking over everyone at the same time, whether he actually hits them or not.
- Dolph Ziggler, the only man still in the ring, will make an outrageously slow, pained crawl and climb of the ladder, only to be prevented by an aggravated heel Stardust.
I am good with Bryan winning if the final blow is to Ziggler, provoking a short feud between the two, teasing a heel turn for one of them, and slowing Bryan’s climb back to the top. However, the imminent return of Sheamus says that Ziggler will be brushed aside quickly. Again.
AJ Lee and Paige VS. The Bella Twins (Tag Team Match)
Who should win: Paige and AJ Lee
Who will win: Paige and AJ Lee
Length: 11 minutes.
This match was fantastically set up during the final Raw before Wrestlemania, in a brilliant match. It showed off their skill, especially for Nikki Bella (who has been doubted by crowds for far too long). It also added some genuine tension that could go anywhere, by reigniting a poor relationship between teammates AJ Lee and Paige. Will their relationship break during the match and lead to their loss? Will they brawl after the match? Bizarrely, this is the only match across the entire card to really have multiple unpredictable components beyond win/lose. Who would have expected that from the Diva division?
I predict that AJ Lee and Paige will win, as a direct attempt is made to bring a solid closure to the match, not only due to distractions. At least by a ‘tag team’ standard, which is based almost entirely on such rule-twisting. I predict the infamous slow crawl of Brie Bella and Paige to their teammates will happen, with Nikki Bella tagged, but for AJ Lee not waiting for Paige. Paige will be held in a mocking PTO. Cue Lee finally returning to action for the win with speedy energy, starting with an instant climb to the top turnbuckle, delivering an aerial move, a DDT to finish off Nikki. A shattered Paige will give a death stare from the ring to AJ Lee who arrogantly skips away and mockingly looks back at her.
This match will be the solidifying moment of AJ Lee atop the podium once again and next in line for the title, as a plot of a building direct Lee/Paige feud bubbles beneath. Yes. Again. However, desirable or not, I think that this is the most likely result. On top of this, while the chaos of four Divas in the ring can be brilliant (look no further than the Women’s Fatal Four Way at NXT Rival), this will not be nearly as clean and brilliant as the match on Raw. As far as Creative are concerned the ‘Give the Divas a Chance’ campaign has already been fulfilled, and forgotten.
The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Who should win?: The Undertaker
Who will win?: The Undertaker
Length: 23 minutes
Obviously, this is the biggest stab in the dark with regards to quality and length. We haven’t seen either of these men wrestle (sorry, ‘sports entertain’) in a long time, and haven’t got a clue of Taker’s state at the moment. It’s another match that has to be twenty-minutes-plus, whether they are capable or not. And even though their match will be disappointingly in daylight, expect two outrageously long entrance sequences for these two.
Undertaker’s character is an interesting thought too, as we can’t yet be sure how he will be portrayed. Despite the ridiculous aspects such as the lightning on Raw, the defeat by Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX meant that he plummeted back to humanity – something we really hadn’t seen since the Big Evil days.
I predict this to be full of ridiculous dramatic moments and taunts. There’s always one match to do so, and this will be it. It’s normally the case with Wrestlemania Undertaker matches. Just look at Triple H screaming “STAY DOWN!” at WM27, and Shawn Michaels almost crying at WM28. Expect Wyatt to taunt The Undertaker by doing his signature ‘sit up’, as well as a mocking kickover of Wyatt’s spider walk before he can roll over to his knees.
A few months ago, when signs pointed for this match to be against Sting, I was predicting that we would see The Undertaker attempting to claim back his legacy (which he never truly lost) from an icon. However, if we are to see Sting and Undertaker face each other another day, The Undertaker needs to, and probably will use this opportunity to show off his strength.
I predict a relatively equal match throughout with a relatively respectful closure between the two men, at least by The Undertaker, with a far more reluctant Wyatt. Not quite a handshake, but more a tip of the fedora from a limping Undertaker. In his usual grinning way, Wyatt can appear not too shaken by his defeat. It might not be the best of endings for quick changes and progression for Wyatt, but if managed properly (the hopefully more human Undertaker can leave Wyatt the most mystical figure in WWE), it won’t be too damaging to Wyatt.
John Cena VS. Rusev (United States Championship)
Who should win?: Rusev
Who will win?: John Cena
Length: 19 minutes
We saw a full length Cena/Rusev match so recently, that it seems a little impractical, and that there may not be enough in their inventory to justify a lengthy match without being a repeat of what we saw just a month ago. I am also expecting a massive entrance sequence for these two as well. It was recently made public that there was a casting call for an ‘army’ for Rusev. Cena being Cena, I don’t imagine that he will enter without a degree of retaliation. After all, he’s there to save America. Apparently.
I am hoping for a win for Rusev, yet with a slight humiliation at the hands of Cena, After all, WWE have hyped up no end that Cena is fighting not for himself, but for America – enough so that Cena has even acknowledged in promos that he isn’t popular to some, and that he heroically selfless. Cena can lose, and should lose to give Rusev a continued push. However, the drop of an American flag on his exit is another to anger him and look slightly victimized as he is ridiculed by 90,000 Americans.
However, it is an option that I don’t think WWE will take. Now that the situation is about America, it being the United States Championship will not be ignored until an American wrestler takes it back, and who better for the job that The Marine, in front of the biggest audience of the year. Rusev’s entrance will be spectacular, however it will be sabotaged by a smug-looking Cena, as an American flag falls from above. Expect a very close battle to begin with, a five-minute beatdown, followed by Cena’s revival with inevitable shows of strength as Cena refuses to tap from any holds. I predict that the ending won’t be as explosive as it should be, as Cena escapes the Accolade to counters with the STF, which a now weak Rusev looks. This is the match that will be most conditioned to be a crowd-pleaser, just as a wimpy Batista tapped out to Bryan’s Yes Lock last year.
The match has the capacity to be great, but the ending will make the world, at least outside of the USA, wince. Expect Cena to salute on turnbuckle, and during the match as a taunt. He’ll hold his hand to his heart after the match and conduct a 90,000-piece orchestra singing an off-key karaoke version of Star-Spangled Banner. It sounds like a mockery, but none of it will surprise me.
Triple H VS. Sting
Who should win?: Sting
Who will win?: Sting
Length: 25 minutes
This is a match that can never get away with being an anti-climax. If this match doesn’t turn out very well, it is more likely due to tedium from being too long to match their ability, making it the longest match of the night, albeit not the longest segment as a whole. Triple H’s matches have often been very long, and in recent years, they have had their reasons to. Against Daniel Bryan, moves were used against him in a very creative match, at least by WWE’s standards, heightening the excitement all the way through. Wrestemanias 27 and 28 against The Undertaker had brilliant drama surrounding them, that led to the latter match being the longest one-on-one match (aside from Hart/Michaels’ Iron Man Match) in Wrestlemania history.
However, I don’t think that there is enough to be dwelt upon beyond generic moves and signature spots. On top of this, the match while hyped up for months, doesn’t have a whole lot of history behind it beyond ‘just because’. I don’t expect the match to be especially spectacular, but then, matches don’t need massive spots to be great. Expect to see a lot of staring between the two, clocking in about five minutes worth of the match, as well as the main talking point afterwards being Sting’s entrance rather than the match.
They each have their signature weapons, that to use would be against the rules, but I predict that they will be used creatively, closing the match with an arrogant Pedigree by Sting (in response to an earlier attempt by HHH of the Scorpion Death Drop), driving HHH’s head onto his own sledgehammer. And for additional dominance, an unnecessary Scorpion Death Drop onto the baseball bat.
Brock Lesnar VS. Roman Reigns (World Heavyweight Championship)
Who should win?: Brock Lesnar
Who will win?: Roman Reigns
Length: 17 minutes
This is a very peculiar situation. For a match that everyone is so miserable about, it’s getting a lot of attention, if only for all of the wrong reasons – primarily how loud the booing will be for Roman Reigns. Everybody was so sure of how this match would end, and have been for months. Just take a look back to the Royal Rumble, as Reigns won, and Lesnar “breaking a rib” (yeah, right) earlier in the night, meant that a victory for new boy Reigns would be a bit more convincing. It was that obviousness that led to fun fury at the end of the night, and ever since. However, just a few days ago, WWE and Lesnar announced that the latter would be staying with the former for the next three years, opening up the option that Lesnar could win. While I don’t want to come across as one of the IWC smarks, my expectations remain disappointingly low, still predicting that Reigns will be the winner.
As for the match itself, this doesn’t offer anything particularly marvelous. Lesnar’s party trick is beating the hell out of his opponents. Reigns’ is to jump and punch simultaneously for the win. Neither are terrible, however there is little open in the way of creativity. It is highly unlikely that Lesnar will be giving the Shooting Star Press another go. Unlike Bryan’s match at Fastlane, this won’t be helped along with submission holds and much in the way of creativity. This will be ten minutes of an equal(ish) match, leading to the usual circuit of the ring, and in a Seth Rollins-lite sort of way, as it is the final match of the night, will finally destroy the announcers’ table. Lesnar will first tease a jump from the apron onto Reigns, who is lying on the table (having been suplexed at least once onto the metal stairs, and bleeding from him mouth again), but in a magically surge of strength, Reigns will get up, pull at Lesnar’s legs, causing him to fall, leading to the positions switching in time for Reigns to deliver a splash off the apron and finally break the table. Finally, a shattered Brock Lesnar will pluck up the strength to F5 Reigns, although it won’t so much damage, as a spear and a Superman Punch will end the match with Reigns’ victory.
It will get away with being shorter during this match due to inevitable post-match drama, outrageously long promo tapes and possible cash-in. Speaking of a cash-in…
Who should win?: Nobody
Who will win?: Nobody
It doesn’t matter how much McMahon wants Reigns at the top of the company. He won’t just win and pose for the cameras beneath a storm of confetti. No matter what the result is of the main event, Rollins is going to attempt to cash-in his Money In the Bank contract.
The best way to end the night for the sake of entertainment would be for Rollins to successfully cash-in on Brock Lesnar. Reigns can look strong having worn out Lesnar without winning. Lesnar can still be a monster, as it has required two men to knock him down, especially if the cash-in takes substantially longer than the standard two minutes. Wouldn’t it be great if Reigns is out cold within fifteen minutes, and Rollins got fifteen-minutes of his own against Lesnar? Of course, this will almost definitely remain a dream.
In the longer term, and therefore more practical, it would be better for Rollins not to get to cash it in, and in being sabotaged, saves it for another event – hopefully Extreme Rules. However, only Brock Lesnar as the champion can bring that to its full potential. However, as the decision of the main event winner is allegedly still not been decided upon (according to Dave Meltzer), there may not be much time for creativity, with everything being based around the directions that Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns end up.
So, what if Reigns wins? I expect for Dean Ambrose to prevent the cash-in after a Dirty Deeds on the path to the ring, to steal the case, though before Ambrose can do so, is knocked down ready to be Curb Stomped. Just before Rollins does so, Orton will return to give him an RKO outta nowhere. For the sake of doing so, J&J will be attempting to pin down Reigns and weakening him further before Rollins can reach the ring, only to be knocked out by Reigns, who will Superman Punch Rollins. Have you ever watched the ending of an episode of Raw? Then you have seen how Wrestlemania will probably end.
While this seems overly pessimistic, it’s irritatingly probable. I hope that I am proven wrong.
That’s it. So, what are your predictions? Comment below.