Kidd and Cesaro (C) v. The New Day v. The Usos v. The Matadores
What I don’t get here is why The Matadores got the 4th spot in this match. Is it really just because they have a little bull on their team to please the little kids? I know the tag team division is weak but there had to be better options than The Matadores. Keep the Ascension rolling and throw them in here. Have Miz/Mizdow continue their feud here instead of the battle royal. The best option, in my opinion, was give this spot to The Prime Time Players and let them actually do something. They apparently reunited about a month ago and have done nothing of note at all since. Now they are just fillers in the battle royal, instead of building momentum together as a team on their way to this WrestleMania match.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think you keep the belts on Kidd and Cesaro. They are gaining some traction here and close to finding their niche as a tag team. Taking the belts off them now takes away all the traction and puts them back into tag team obscurity. Plus, with the Andre battle royal on the preshow as well you don’t need the title change just for the sake of excitement on the preshow.
WHAT I THINK ACTUALLY HAPPENS: I think Kidd and Cesaro will retain. I was leaning towards The Usos regaining the belts here to share the WrestleMania moment with their father Rikishi on his Hall of Fame night, but the shoulder injury to Jimmy (?) Uso ultimately swayed me from going that route.
Two things I love about this match that don’t actually involve the match.
1) This is being labeled as the “Second Annual” Andre the Giant Battle Royal meaning this should stay around for a couple years. There wasn’t any real indication as late as early February I think that this match would take place this year. Good to see its planned on becoming a regular event.
2) This ended up on the preshow. I will enjoy watching this match but not sure I need to see it on the actual show. This will still allow almost everyone to get a WrestleMania moment but not take away from other matches’ time. Plus, it’s a legitimate reason to watch the preshow now and start watching the show even earlier. I love it, let’s see if I can get WrestleMania content on the Network all day. I’ll watch and I know I wouldn’t be the only one.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think you ride the #AxelMania train as long as it will take you here. I have almost no confidence that it will actually happen but Curtis Axel has found something recently and I think you use that to help build him up in this match. The fans are behind him and a win at WreslteMania cements that and pushes him forward. Plus, him winning would just be a fun moment….and it’s hard to pass up a WrestleMania moment.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: I don’t think I like any of the options that I think will actually happen. A Sheamus surprise return victory? Eh. Ryback dominating the field to get a win? I’m not sure he really needs the win and how does that really benefit him? Mizdow wining to continue the feud with Miz and get the upperhand seems like the popular opinion here but that seems too obvious to me. Sometimes though in the WWE It’s obvious for a reason, so I’ll go with Mizdow.
This is the match that seems like it should be the four way match of the night instead of the Tag Title match. But with that being on the preshow, I don’t see why this one couldn’t have been a four way match as well to get the Divas Title on the line at the biggest show of the year. That being said, I’ve really enjoyed most of the stuff leading into this. Even though I run half-marathons better than either Bella twin acts this feud has been really well done with some solid wrestling thrown in. And Paige is really good. I’ve said it before in these posts but I was concerned mid-to-late last year that Paige was going to get lost in the shuffle after her debut, but the kept the focus on her and she has been the best thing in that Divas division BY FAR. She’s great.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think Nikki has to get pinned by either AJ or Paige to set up a title feud after WrestleMania. I’m not sure it matter who picks up that victory because I’d imagine we’ll get some type of triple threat or fatal four way match anyways with some combination of these women. But to make a prediction I’ll say Paige will be the one to actually get the pinfall over Nikki.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: I’m not sure. If this were any PPV other than WrestleMania I think predicting the Bellas to win after an AJ/Paige confrontation is the easy choice but not sure if that’s how it will play out at a WrestleMania. Plus I think AJ or Paige has to win to progress the feud for the title post-Mania. If the Bellas win, where do we go from there with the Divas title? I don’t see any other viable options, so AJ/Paige have to win here the way I see it.
Bad News Barrett (C) v. Daniel Bryan v. Dolph Ziggler v. Dean Ambrose v. Stardust v. R-Truth v. Luke Harper
Since I started forecasting what I thought the WrestleMania card would look like even prior to the Royal Rumble, and especially right afterwards, I never had a spot on the card for Bryan or Ziggler. I thought Barrett and Ambrose would be fighting themselves for the IC title. I figured WWE had other plans for Ziggler and especially Bryan that I just couldn’t see and would see later but they never came. When they just put all these guys in a ladder match for the title, I was hesitantly excited. Excited for the fact that this would as close as we may get to another WrestleMania Money in the Bank match but hesitant because it just felt lazy by the WWE to just throw everyone in the same match. I’m more than pleasantly surprised though by how this has turned out because this may have been consistently the most entertaining part of the shows leading into Mania. And now that we are finally to the match, you’d have to imagine with all these guys ready to steal the show that this one will be 15-20 minutes of good fun.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think Barrett has to retain the title. Every time Wade Barrett gets the IC title, the WWE books him like absolute crap. I bet his Win/Loss record when he is the Intercontinental Champion in his career is under .500. Can you imagine the WWE Champion losing that much? I say finally make Wade Barrett a threat and the badass he could be and start it with a win here.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: I think this is Daniel Bryan’s match to lose. He may not be in the main event but you can still give the fans their moment with Bryan here. They’ll be all in on him and seeing an entire stadium do the “Yes!” chant would be fun.
Rusev (C) v. John Cena
For my money this has been the best built feud along the Road to WrestleMania. Most of that probably has to do with it being one of the only main matches where both wrestlers were actually present on the show each week but still. Biggest question of the match though isn’t “Who wins?” but instead is “Do we get Lana?”
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I know this is a hated phrase in the IWC but I think Cena should win. I think it’s time to give Rusev his first loss and get the US title off of him. He’s ready for the main event scene, especially with a possibly short shelf life for his gimmick, and the US strap could hold him down. Let Cena get a little run with the US title, bring some glamour and spotlight to it and let someone beat him for it down the road to build themselves up. HOWEVER….the Brock Lesnar resigning has me second guessing this pick now. If Brock is back for good, its real conceivable he keeps the title after WrestleMania. And a face-ish badass Brock Lesnar versus a heel, undefeated Rusev sounds really entertaining to me. A little bit of a gamechanger now for me, I don’t know. But I like it.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: I think we do get Lana at ringside for this but I think she factors into the outcome. A miscommunication between her and Rusev seems like the way this is leading. That gives Rusev his first loss but still saves him a little face and gives him some direction after Mania. And Cena gets his WrestleMania win. This seems like the obvious choice for me here.
I think this is the hardest match of the night to pick or at least get a feel for who’s winning. Because……does it really matter who wins here? There aren’t really any stakes in this match and both men could recover quickly from a loss. If Orton loses, he can RKO the hell out of everyone around to get his heat back. If Rollins loses, he still has the MitB briefcase to use eventually. That being said, I really can’t see either guy losing though either. Orton just came back from a long break so a loss here could cut his legs out from underneath him early. But the WWE has spent so much time recently building up Rollins as a huge deal that a loss at WrestleMania seems a little counterproductive. Really intriguing.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think we need to start seeing the unraveling of The Authority. I really don’t need to see Jamie Noble, Joey Mercury, Big Show, and Kane all together in major angles in 2015. And eventually Rollins has to start going at things on his own if he’s truly going to become a major player. So I say Orton wins, due to some Authority miscommunication.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: I think this will go on early to give people the idea that Rollins could cash in the MITB briefcase later in the night. And I was all on board for the Rollins cash-in until I heard about the Lesnar resigning this week and now I’m off (but more about that later). And Rollins will still have that case if he takes the fall here so I think that’s the safest bet. Orton really can’t take a loss this early into his comeback. Give me The Viper.
I don’t see why the WWE couldn’t have treated Sting’s WrestleMania run the way they handled his last 2 weeks. The past two RAWs have been great. Maybe it just took me buying a Sting mask at RAW to turn it around. Because everything between Survivor Series and his run in at Des Moines with Randy Orton and The Authority was pretty underwhelming. Even with that though, it’s been great to have Sting back and finally in a WWE ring. I know it may be a long shot but I hope this isn’t the last time we see Sting. I can’t see why we can’t get one more run out of him. Hopefully even a full year and end it at Mania next year. I know I’m getting greedy there but why the hell not. Let’s go Stinger.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: Sting’s gotta win. There is no reason to wait almost 15 years for Sting to return and lose. The entire purpose of Sting coming back was to get his WrestleMania Moment. He should get it here. You could talk me into Sting losing just to stay around another year like I hope for about, then eventually get his win next year in Dallas….but that seems like too long of a plan to risk with a loss here. Sting should win.
WHAT I THINK WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN: Sting will win. It makes too much sense. I think the bigger issue here though is how do they handle HHH. WWE has to be careful of how they handle HHH in the future, especially at WrestleManias. Not sure you just want to bring HHH in every year just to lose. He came back a couple years ago against The Undertaker and lost. He came back last year against Daniel Bryan, and lost. He came back this year to wrestle Sting. I know he had a win against Lesnar at Mania snuck in there, but if he comes up short again this year that’s a pretty disturbing pattern. Especially if WWE tries to pack Cowboys Stadium next year which would almost ensure another HHH match. So if there is a way Sting loses, I think it may be to keep HHH strong but I don’t see it. Stinger gets his ‘Mania Moment.
UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT: I don’t really care much about this match. I get the idea behind keeping Undertaker off TV until WrestleMania (keeping the mystery around Undertaker and building the suspense until WrestleMania) but it hasn’t gotten me excited for this match. No Streak, no real stakes, and just a lot of Bray Wyatt promos the past two months. I’m sure I’ll be excited when the lights go out and the gong strikes but right now I’m just not there.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: I think Undertaker should get pummeled early. Bring up some doubts on whether he still has it or not after his loss last year. Look like he’s on the edge of breaking down…..and then get the Sit Up. Throw in an Old School and a couple of tombstones and get the pin. Then start building towards his retirement match at next year’s WrestleMania. I just don’t think he can go into that match with back to back WrestleMania losses.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: I think we are going to get a Wyatt family reunion tonight. Just to stack the deck a little more against The Deadman. I know Harper has held his own since they originally disbanded but it’s not like Erik Rowan is setting the world on fire on his own. If they don’t reform tonight I don’t think we see much, if any, of Rowan post-Mania. And it also sets the scene for the Undertaker’s signature suicide dive over the top rope into all 3 Wyatts. And I think Undertaker does get the win. I’ve read some other opinions online that think Bray will get the win to build him up past tonight, but a WrestleMania match with the Phenom does that on its own. I still just don’t see how you can have The Undertaker lose two years in a row.
Brock Lesnar (C) v. Roman Reigns
Stop me if you’ve read this before over the past 5 days but Brock Lesnar resigning with the WWE this week really throws a new wrench into this match. Which is great because it’s just one much wrench thrown into a match with some many other wrenches already in there. I think there had to have been a better metaphor to use there but I can’t think of it right now. I’ve never claimed to be a WrestleMania historian but I can’t remember a WrestleMania main event where the outcome was so up in the air or that could end in a variety of different ways. Just off the top of my head you could have Reigns finally finish off the journey and become champ, you could have Lesnar dominate and retain, you could have a Heyman heel turn on Lesnar that they’ve been hinting at, you could have Rollins cash in his MITB contract. Or they could do something completely different that’s not listed there. I’m genuinely intrigued to see how this one plays out.
WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN: After the news that Lesnar would be around for at least 3 more years I’m a little hesitant on this now but I still think the Rollins cash in at the end is the way to go. My original thought was with Lesnar probably not being around much after Mania, you gotta go all the way with the Reigns push. I’m not sure how you’d have Reigns beat Lesnar but have Roman win the main event. Brock snaps, lays out Reigns, and Rollins’ music hits. Cash in and end the night with Rollins as champ. Reigns still gets his victory, the crowd doesn’t have much of a chance to reign down boos on him, the crowd goes home happy with the cash in and WrestleMania moment, and you have a built in feud ready to go after WrestleMania. Plus, I think if you have Reigns battling to get his title back you get a better response from the fans in the upcoming months.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: This changed with the news this week but I think we will see Lesnar retain. As much as I’d like to see a WrestleMania cash in, I’m not sure WWE would be willing to make that move. I think they may save that move for a PPV other than their biggest of the year or a RAW. But I also don’t think after the response he got after winning the Royal Rumble that Reigns can be the man with the title at the end of WrestleMania. So, kinda by default I guess, I’ll go with Lesnar retaining here. Part of me though feels that this may be a letdown at the end of the night. And if he does retain, what do they do with him after WrestleMania? I don’t know. But am excited to find out.