It’s still Wrestlemania 31 to me, dammit!
So here we are at the granddaddy of them all. The big show. The event. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I started watching wrestling again (Wrestlemania 30 was what brought me back into the fold), and it’s crazy to see how much has changed in a year, and in some ways how so much has remained the same. Looking down at the card, there’s a few head-scratchers (it totally should have been Taker vs. Sting), but Mania is still looking to be quite the spectacle.
Divas Match: AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bellas
Let’s get this right out of the way: How do you not have a championship match at Wrestlemania? The champ is competing in a tag-team match and the belt isn’t on the line? That’s a Raw booking. Wrestlemania 17 had 6 title matches for a reason: It’s the biggest show of the year, with the biggest matches, so everything should be on the line. If there weren’t enough indicators that the Divas division was maligned with creative’s vision, this is certainly a huge red sign. That being said, the match has limited potential in my eyes (I’ve never been sold on the Bellas), but it is nice to see AJ back. Given that she’s still far and away the most popular female superstar on the roster, I’m calling for a babyface win for her and Paige.
What I think will happen: AJ and Paige will get the win.
What I hope will happen: This turns into a fatal-four way for the Divas belt somehow.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
By definition, this one is a little tough to call. While we can usually whittle down the 30-man match to a few clear contenders, the match has gotten so little hype that I honestly don’t even know who’s all competing. The most logical choice would have to be Mizdow, though, as anything he does gets a huge fan reaction and his breakup with The Miz is inevitable. This could certainly be his Wrestlemania moment. If I had to choose one of the NXT athletes to be in the match, I’d have to pick Neville. The fed needs a guy with his skillset after losing Justing Gabriel and Rey Mysterio, and his main-roster debut seems inevitable at this point. Being one of the last few guys in the ring could give him a canvas to show off a little to the WWE Universe at a big-time event.
What I think will happen: Mizdow will get the win by eliminating the Miz, and Neville will make his debut.
What I hope happens: Whomever wins doesn’t suffer terrible bookings a la Cesaro last year so this event actually means something.
Intercontinental Ladder Match: Barrett, R-Truth, Stardust, Ambrose, Ziggler and Bryant
This, to me, could be the show-stealer. Then again, anything with Ziggler is seemingly the show-stealer. I’m a big fan of how this match was put together, and having so many big names fighting over the strap has definitely helped to bring up the belts prestige. With Lesnar more likely to keep the belt after resigning with the WWE, the potential for another year of an absentee-champion has raised significantly. Therefore, creative will need to raise the importance of the other belts. While there are some big names in the match, I think we can easily write-off R-Truth and Stardust. I’m really not sure how long the Stardust character is going to last without Golddust around either, so while I’m interested to see what happens to Cody Rhodes I don’t think he’ll have the intercontinental strap around his waist while it happens. The remaining four contenders are all good candidates, but it’s hard not to see Daniel Bryant as the favorite. He’s still the most popular star on the roster, so if Creative wants people to believe in the belt he’s likely the best choice.
What I think will happen: Daniel Bryant will walk out of Wrestlemania with the Intercontinental belt.
What I hope happens: Sheamus doesn’t run in and ruin his chances. Rumors are swirling of a feud between the two, and I just hope that it doesn’t start with Sheamus keeping Bryant from the strap.
United States Championship: Rusev vs. Cena
On paper, this one seems really easy to pick: It’s Wrestlemania, of course Cena wants to win. I think I’ve only every seen Cena lose twice at Mania: Once to The Rock (because he’s The Rock), and once in a triple-threat match with Orton and Triple H. The crowd was so surprised when Orton retained I don’t think that they made a sound until he left the arena, as if a mistake had been made and they were waiting for the match to continue. My point is, Cena rarely loses at the big show. However, assuming that Bryant wins in the ladder match, it would behoove Creative to keep the belt on Rusev so that they had a face and heel champion, as this would open up greater creative variation. Plus, Rusev maintaining his win streak at Mania would really put him over. After seeing the new European Championship a few months ago, my guess would be that Rusev retains, decides that a U.S. Title is laughable, and instead brings back the European strap. But that’s just me.
What I think will happen: Cena ends Rusev’s streak and takes the U.S. belt at Mania.
What I hope happens: Rusev retains the belt and the streak and brings back the European championship.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
I would have never picked this one for a Wrestlemania match. Sure, the pieces are there, but the feud between Orton and Rollins lost a lot of steam over the 6 months that Orton was out of the picture. After seeing Rollins in the title match at the Royal Rumble, this seems like a big step back for him. Likely, this could be a misdirect for Rollins to cash in on someone before the night is over (perhaps stealing the intercontinental belt?). Either way, this seems a little thrown together but does have some potential as a one-on-one match. Orton has had huge momentum since coming back (those RKO chants are everywhere!), so he’s my pick for this one but I’d honestly be fine either way.
What I think will happen: Orton will win over Rollins and J&J Security.
What I hope will happen: Rollins will finally cash-in the MITB briefcase sometime during the event.
The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, I really don’t want to see Taker develop a losing streak at Mania trying to put people over. On the other, I feel that Bray is totally deserving of a big-time push into the stratosphere. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bray Wyatt is the new Undertaker, so this could prove to be a “passing of the torch” scenario. However, I think most people will agree that Taker shouldn’t lose two Manias in a row, especially if rumors of Taker vs. Sting next year are to be believed. Bray will likely put on a strong show, but the nod will probably go to Taker on this one.
What I think will happen: Taker gets back to winning at Wrestlemania.
What I hope will happen: 2015 really does turn out to be “Bray Wyatt’s year” and he gets the respect that he so rightly deserves. That guy is pure magic.
Sting vs. Triple H
I just want to go on record right now that the whole “vigilante Sting” thing is kind of irritating. How is he a vigilante? Why did we start calling him that? I just don’t get it. Why not just refer to him as Sting, the franchise, the last hold-out, the legend ect. But I’m not writing for the WWE, so what do I know. This one seems pretty cut and dry: Sting gets a win over Triple H and sets up a year-long buildup for Sting and Undertaker at WM32. It’s just basic math.
What I think will happen: Sting will get the win at his first-ever WWE match.
What I hope will happen: Triple H is smart enough to not bury a big-name like Sting at the biggest show of the year. That wouldn’t be best for business.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
A few days ago, I would have picked Reigns to win this one (with a MITB run-in from Rollins). However, after hearing that Lesnar resigned with the WWE just a few days ago at Raw, the pendulum has completely swung in the opposite direction. No question, Brock walks away with the belt at the end of this one. There’s really no other way that this makes sense. Granted, this will likely mean another year of absenteeism for the championship belt, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping the strap off of Reigns (at least for the foreseeable future).
What I think will happen: Brock stays on top and will likely hold on to the belt until next Wrestlemania (Brock vs. Rock!).
What I hope happens: I may not like the guy’s style, but I honestly hope that Lesnar doesn’t beat up Reigns too much. He could really put a hurting on him if he’s not careful.
That should do it! If you’re still on the fence for the WWE network, Justin can show you exactly how to get on the Network before the big show (Justin’s note: visit www.wwenet.ca!) . Here’s to Wrestling-Christmas!