Wrestlemania 31 Predictions
Tonight is the Show of Shows and with all of the matches already announced, we can't wait to watch what happens. Our newest staff writer, Marc Hall, and I wanted to give our final thoughts on the card before the show tonight.
Fatal Four Way Tag Match
Chris: I can honestly say that the only reason that I'm excited for this match is because Cesaro/Kidd are awesome champions and totally underrated. Yes they hold the tag team titles but they should be feuding over bigger, better titles as opposed to holding the tag titles together. With that in mind though, I'm disappointed to see the Fatal Four Way relegated to the kickoff show since they lengthened the show by an hour. I see Cesaro/Kidd retaining the titles, pinning either Los Matadores or New Day, protecting the Usos in the process.
Marc: There's little excitement going into this one for me, considering the general lack of build towards a meaningful tag title showdown. Kidd/Ceasaro have been great champions, giving great quality ring work week in and week out, only marred by the continuation of a feud between the current champs and The Usos. Speaking of the Usos, is it really in anyone's best interest to have the pair come away with the belts again? And is there really any chance that Los Matadores come away with the straps? The only level of suspense here is whether or not WWE is going to go deeper with The New Day stable.. allthough with rumors swirling that the “Freebird Rule” is being reinstated, that unfortunately may be the likely outcome. Despite that, I'm expecting Ceasaro and Kidd to retain.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
Chris: I don't have high hopes for this match, primarily because of the way they handled last year's winner Cesaro. Not only did he destroy the trophy the next night on Raw, but he also was paired up with Paul Heyman, which was a total waste. I don't have high hopes for this match and I honestly can't even keep track of all the people that are in the match at this point. If WWE is smart, they'll let Ryback win it and then hopefully he'll treated like an actual top star of the company.
Marc: A Battle Royal is usually the worst match of the show and I expect this one to keep the tradition alive. While there is a huge amount of up can coming talent in this match, again being shifted back to the network means that this one will likely be a yawner. Even with the addition of Hideo Itami to the card, its hard to get excited about a battle royal when there is already a clear winner in the match. Ryback has the most to gain from a win here, as there are far too many others here who's storylines and momentum aren't going anywhere. Also, much like Ceasaro before him, there is much fan backlash due to a lack of any cohesive push behind Ryback. Ryback is a lock in my Opinion.
Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
Chris: Along with every other feud this Mania, the bad blood between these two hasn't been handled the best. Why they brought Orton back and didn't have him attack Rollins outright was a strange choice, trying to convince the fans that Rollins and Orton weren't going to have a match together. With that in mind however, this match has the potential to steal the show. Rollins and Orton are two of the best workers in the WWE, with Rollins mirroring Orton in his younger years. If Rollins is cashing in his Money in the Bank opportunity at the end of the main match, then I see Rollins losing to Orton. However, otherwise Rollins wins with the curbstomp. The only thing I can hope for is that J&J Security doesn't get involved in the match too heavily as they could really detract from the overall match.
Marc: While their feud hasn't been handled in the most entertaining way, I expect the conclusion well worth the wait. Featured in this match are perhaps the best wrestler to have come out of NXT so far and the best veteran currently on the roster. Unfortunatly, past matches have been marred by the appearance of J&J security or some other level of “Authority” interference bullshit. Wrestlemania is far too important of a stage to let a match like this end dirty, especially with rollins still holding the Money in the Bank case. Neither has much to gain from a victory here, save for bragging rights. Rollins does head into the match with a level of momentum however, after delivering a beating to Rollins some weeks ago during a Raw broadcast. For the sake of drama, I would like to see an Orton victory, but I feel Rollins comes out ahead on this one.
Paige & AJ Lee Vs Bella Twins
Chris: I have no idea what to think of this match. The way the divas have been handled on the main roster is an absolute joke compared to in NXT. That's really unfortunate too since all four women in this match are fantastic wrestler if given the proper opportunity. I fully expect this match to be booked in between two of the main event matches, further reinforcing the idea that the WWE doesn't care about women's wrestling. I see the Bellas pinning Paige, protecting AJ in the process, and allowing the two of them to feud afterwards.
Marc: Sigh... While in fairness, I, along with much of the rest of the world haven't been paying much attention to the goings-on between the four of these individuals, I still feel like there could be some potential in this match. #Givedivasachance was a very real thing thanks to Lee and there has been much uproar about the state of the Divas for some time, so expect WWE to produce on the grandest stage of them all. Its very likely that the four will give it their all to help calm the internet down. While there may not be much on the line, Bella Twins win this match up, allowing Paige and AJ to feud after the match.
Chris: The Bellas
Marc: The Bellas
Seven Man Ladder Match for Intercontinental Title
Chris: This match has real potential to steal the show, and I thoroughly expect it to. In the vein of the Money in the Bank matches that used to be an integral part of the early 2000s Wrestlemanias, this match is going to be spectacular. I fully expect some insane ladder spots, with caution thrown to the wind in hopes of climbing the ladder and grabbing the title. I know that Marc isn't the biggest fan of Bad News Barrett, and while I actually enjoy his antics and his in-ring work, he isn't going to retain the title. The prevailing logic is that Daniel Bryan is going to win the Intercontinental belt, and in doing so, elevate the title. I can get behind that logic, and I hope that Daniel Bryan wins, primarily because I do enjoy Bryan, but also because he can feud with the others from the match and put on great matches with them.
Marc: This is my vote for match of the night. Five of the best wrestlers in the company along with R-Truth and Bad News Barrett will ascend a ladder for a title that is in desperate need of resuscitation. Barrett needs to lose this match. End of story. He has been a dreadful IC Champion, showing absolutely no interest in holding the belt. He has even shown a level of disrespect towards the belt, simply throwing it on the ground along side his cape during the Royal Rumble. While the hot potato antics as of late have led us to believe that anyone can win the prize, there's really only three here who have a chance. Without question, Ziggler, Bryan and Ambrose are all red hot and are our best candidates for victory. While in my opinion, StarDust and Harper belong in that conversation, the latter being the most underutilized talent in the company, its likely the baby will get its bottle and Bryan will win the match.
Chris: Daniel Bryan
Marc: Daniel Bryan, begrudgingly
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Chris: Last year, the streak was broken. It's still surreal to me to think Undertaker's streak is no longer an issue. With that fact in mind, I fully expect this to be the best of the four main event matches. Undertaker was concussed last year very early into the match which contributed to the lackluster showing by Taker. Bray Wyatt is known for being a safe worker and should be able to protect Taker throughout the match while still making him look strong. I disagree with Marc in that losing to the Deadman would still elevate Wyatt; Wyatt has to absolutely win. They haven't spent the last three months making Wyatt look like an absolute monster just to feed him to Taker because of Taker's seniority. I believe Wyatt wins after three Sister Abigails.
Marc: With the streak no longer a factor, I feel that there actually might be a more interesting storyline going into this match. Is Bray Wyatt able to carry the torch as the “modern” Undertaker? Without the streak, is Undertaker vulnerable as a credible threat? The answer to both, is no. Bray Wyatt, while a great all around talent, is a mess right now. Coming off of several high profile losses, a failed feud with Chris Jericho, and a confusing and underwhelming feud with Dean Ambrose, Wyatt doesn't have the credibility or character to become what the Undertaker is. While many argue that Wyatt needs the win to propel him to that level, I disagree. A loss on the great stage doesn't make Wyatt any less weak, especially if he's made to look strong, as he likely will be. If the pair go out and have a great, twenty minute match (which is reasonable given Wyatt's status as a safe worker,) Wyatt can still lose and come out looking like gold. Many have thrown everything they have at the Deadman and still come out on top. Ever heard of Kane or Triple H? Undertaker wins here, not only to calm fans after last year's loss, but to keep him strong for a likely encounter with Sting at 32.
Chris: Bray Wyatt
John Cena vs Rusev
Chris: Ugh, I am not excited for this match. I can't wait to see Cena bury yet another up-and-coming star like he did last year with Bray Wyatt. Why the WWE made Rusev look like a total beast only to bury him at Wrestlemania is something only Vince McMahon knows. If I had it my way, I would make Rusev beat Cena within an inch of his life and then unveil a new finisher to end the match. I expect the match to go 25-30 minutes to Rusev tapping out to Cena, further burying any push that Rusev had. It isn't going to happy but goddammit I love fantasy booking.
Marc: The belts are not in a great spot right now, which is a very real and dangerous problem. Without them, wrestling would be pointless. That being said, Rusev has been a great US Champion, giving both relevance and prestige to a belt that Sheamus had previously rendered worthless. With Rusev's star rising, there isn't much more forward momentum he can gain from holding the US Belt. He needs to move on, and the belt needs a bit more star power behind it. What better candidate than John Cena? While the internet will shout, “LOL Cena Wins,” In reality, there's no better outcome. Cena's career is waning, there's no doubt about it. However, he remains a very relevant and marketable figure. A Cena win here not only gives more star power to the belt and will free up Rusev, It will give a huge boost to the lower mid carder that eventually beats Cena to capture the belt. Never thought I'd say it, but I'm rooting for Cena.
Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
Chris: Ugh, I am not looking forward to this match, primarily because I'm not sure whose "dream match" this was. This is being billed as a "dream match" for fans, yet everyone knows that the true "dream match" is Taker and Sting. As I've watched more wrestling, I've come to really enjoy Triple H as both a worker and a businessman. However, with the age of Sting, I fully expect Trips to carry the match and make Sting look strong. I'm also hoping for a straight forward match without interference, mostly because it would make Sting look weaker if he wins by interference.
Marc: This is a dream match for sure, but not a very interesting one. As the last WCW hold out, this is a historic and once in a lifetime event. That being said, Sting is almost sixty, and hasn't wrestled in some time. In addition to that, there isn't a really interesting story line heading into this one, a problem with a lot of the card this year. I'm curious where the story goes from here, especially given Sting's recent statement that he's likely retiring after this match. I expect a less than spectacular encounter, culminating with a Sting victory after interference from Ric Flare or Hulk Hogan.
Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
Chris: The only reason I care about this match now is because Lesnar re-signed with the company which adds a level of possible intrigue to an otherwise straightforward match. I still don't think the WWE has the wherewithal to actually keep the belt on Lesnar, as they are so dead-set in pushing Reigns to the moon. Reigns isn't ready for his push yet, especially not one that involves winning the title off of the most imposing figure in the history of the WWE. If Reigns wins the title, he will be booed out of the building and even more so tomorrow night on Raw. I hope that the WWE can throw an audible and allow the belt to stay on Lesnar, but if McMahon gets his way, Reigns will pin Lesnar clean in the middle of the ring for the title.
Marc: Thankfully, Lesnar re-signed and saved an otherwise very obvious thirty minute match. Now, this one is much harder to call. Does WWE shove their golden boy down our throat? Does The Beast continue to dominate and keep the title out of play? Does Rollins walk away champ? There's a lot of possible outcomes, but one that I think is a sure lock to not happen. That's Reigns winning clean. While the crowd has warmed up to him in recent weeks, Reigns cannot gain the belt clean over Lesnar without a shit storm heading WWE's way. There has been far too much backlash to this main event for WWE to not give us an ending worth talking about. Also, with a three year contract, where does Lesnar go after a clean loss to a rookie? I'd like to see a Lesnar squash match, but I know that's not likely. Expect a very physical fight, with Lesnar kicking out of a spear/Superman punch and Lesnar retaining, followed by a failed Rollins cash in attempt.
Chris: Roman Reigns unfortunately
Marc: Brock Lesnar
So, what are your thoughts on our predictions? Let us know in the comments below!