The final PPV before WrestleMania and I love that matches are still in the air. Outside of the Reigns/Strowman match I'm not sure how many of these contests I'm really looking forward to separately, but I am excited to see where the results collectively lead us. Between now and Monday night, WrestleMania fever should really start to build. I'm pumped. Let's get a prediction on each of the matches.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick and Noam Darr
Good guys win the kickoff show matches, especially if no title are on the line. That’s just the way it goes. This can allow Tozawa to be featured a little more and get some PPV eyes on him. And gives Rich Swann a reason to celebrate upon his return.
Winner: Swann and Tozawa
I don’t think you can run Charlotte vs. Bayley again at WrestleMania as a 1-on-1 match. Same with Charlotte vs. Sasha. You could maybe do a Sasha vs. Bayley feud into WrestleMania but I just don’t see Charlotte not being in the main event women’s match on the biggest event of the year. So if she’s in it, then it’s either a Triple Threat match between Charlotte, Sasha, and Bayley (which means Sasha would win this match) or it’s a four-way match between those same threat and Nia Jax (which means Nia Jax would win this match). I just don’t see Nia being ready for that big of a stage yet. I wouldn’t mind being wrong here but I think Sasha defeats Nia Jax here and moves into the Charlotte/Bayley feud….possibly even accidentally costing Bayley the title later in the night.
Winner: Sasha Banks
The Club vs. Enzo and Cass
It’s frustrating to me that this match doesn’t seem like a big deal. The WWE has just butchered almost everything with The Club to the point where they don’t seem like legitimate threats, despite being the tag champions. And Enzo and Cass chasing their first titles really doesn’t seem like a big deal either. In an alternate universe, this match could be the second most anticipated match of the night. In the WWE Universe though, it feels like a filler match. Give me The Club to retain somehow.
Winner: The Club
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
The play here is to have Neville retain, gloat on RAW that no one can beat him since he’s the “King of the Cruiserweights”, and then have the entire Cruiserweight roster gang up on him. That leads to a multi-man battle royal or elimination type match at WrestleMania. The WrestleMania card will be stacked so I can’t see the Cruiserweights getting more than one match on the night. Give the entire Cruiserweight roster a chance to put on a show.
Joe isn’t being built up to be a monster only to lose to Sami Zayn.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Disclaimer: I’m going to go through this entire section saying how I think Braun should win but ultimately pick Roman Reigns because I think he’s like Cena in the earlier part of this decade, just can’t pick against him and feel confident.
My plan would be to have Strowman destroy Roman Reigns tonight. Not a squash match but some back and forth where ultimately Strowman wins. After the match, Strowman continues to beat up Reigns. Throws him through anything he can find: ring posts, steel steps, announcer’s tables, and barricades. Just leave Roman looking bloodied and helpless while Strowman looks like an unstoppable monster. Then Roman can come back on RAW, or preferably the following week’s RAW, and say he’s down but not out and wants Strowman again. Braun beats him up for 3-4 weeks leading into WrestleMania where he can look a little more sympathetic and overcome the monster. That’s a classic WrestleMania type build for kids.
That also frees up The Undertaker to face AJ Styles at WrestleMania instead of facing Roman Reigns. AJ Styles can get screwed out of his #1 Contender’s match on SmackDown and get pissed. He can demand Shane show him respect since he hasn’t been getting any respect for the past couple months. Once AJ starts demanding respect the lights go out, the gong hits, and The Undertaker walks down to the ring. He says if you want respect, earn it against him. Boom!
Winner: Roman Reigns
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
With her PPV winning streak still in tact, there’s no way Charlotte is losing this match. The question is only whether she leaves as the champion or not. Like I hinted at earlier, I think Sasha is in Bayley’s corner to negate Dana Brooke but inadvertently costs Bayley the match. This leads to some Sasha/Bayley drama heading into ‘Mania and let’s Sasha work heel, which is her strong suit anyways.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg
I feel the same way about Goldberg as I felt about Charlotte earlier. There’s no way Goldberg is losing this match clean, it’s just a question of whether he leaves as champion as well. I keep hearing that Goldberg win the championship is almost a lock so the Goldberg/Lesnar match can be for the WWE Universal Championship….I just don’t see that though.
For one, Owens needs to keep some strength in his character after turning on Jericho three weeks ago and his promos the past couple weeks. A loss to Goldberg kills most of that momentum and build. And second, I also think Lesnar needs to gain some edge back on Goldberg heading into their match at WrestleMania. Goldberg holds a 90-second win and a quick Royal Rumble elimination over Lesnar, Brock needs to cost him the title here to give Goldberg some legitimate beef with him.
I’m not even sure there needs to be a match here. Have both men make their entrances, stare each other down, maybe trade a couple blows and then have Lesnar come out and destroy Goldberg. Leave him laying a puddle of his own blood and end the PPV with Lesnar standing over an unconscious Goldberg.
Winner: Goldberg (by DQ)