Most people have painted the build-up to this year’s WrestleMania Season as “dull”. I would more paint it as “weird”. Almost everything about this year’s WrestleMania is either weird or totally unexpected. Did you ever expect to see a WrestleMania without John Cena again? Did you ever expect Shane McMahon to take part in WrestleMania again? Did you ever expect Fifth Harmony to be scheduled to appear on a wrestling broadcast for any reason? Did you ever expect AJ Styles, Kevin Steen, or El Generico to compete on WWE’s grandest stage? Did you ever expect Sting to be immortalized in WWE’s Hall of Fame? Well, Cena (along with MANY others) is out with an injury, Shane O’Mac has come back, the ROH standouts have made it, guess who’s opening the show with America The Beautiful, and guess who’s going in the Hall of Fame. So yeah, more stuff than I realized is unexpected about WrestleMania this year. But I’ve seen many fans on Twitter react negatively to this build, saying that WrestleMania will surely be awful and will never live up to NXT TakeOver: Dallas. And the fact that so many wrestlers are out with a injuries doesn’t help the cause. But I’m confident that WrestleMania will surprise us all; I’ve very much looking forward to it. But
10-Diva Tag Team Match
Team Total Divas vs. Team Blonde & B.A.D.
What took so long for Lana to start wrestling on TV? It was barely a month ago that Rusev’s fiancé started tormenting Brie Bella, mostly by way of body-shaming, and that soon branched off into her tormenting other Divas like Paige, whom she’s already karate-kicked in the jaw a couple of times. Soon, both ladies would form their own cliques; Lana would align with Team B.A.D., her former rival Summer Rae, and now-granted-a-second-chance Emma. Meanwhile, Paige teamed up with the Caroline to her Max (Alicia Fox), a Hart Family descendant (Natalya), and Lana’s original target (Brie Bella). Plus heat-magnet Eva Marie became the final widely-hated ingredient in the cake seemingly against the team’s will. And now these ten women have the distinct honor of competing on the pre-show. Maybe Fifth Harmony faces the winners on the main show…nah, that’s not gonna happen.
Who I Want to Win: Team Total Divas; anytime team that includes reality television’s best wrestling duo on the same side along with Natalya earns my complete support.
Who Will Win: Team Total Divas; if the rumors are true and this is the last stand of Brie Bella, I imagine they won’t let her plant those two feet in the loss column.
The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
Probably the one match of this entire card that I don’t care about even the tiniest bit. I admire that the Dudley Boyz don’t want to be seen as a nostalgia act, but in going on a table strike, it’s like they lost an important member of their group. And their opponents, The Usos, are headed straight into the third straight pre-show match. You know, it’s kind of hard to get hyped for someone to be at WrestleMania if they’re always stuck as the opening act. Unlike precious years, the Tag Team Championships are nowhere to be found; it’s a tag team match for the sake of a tag team match. Not the first time it’s happened in WrestleMania history, but that doesn’t make this match any more anticipated.
Who I Want to Win: A table or two.
Who Will Win: None of us without tables.
United States Championship
Kalisto vs. Ryback
Did you know that Kalisto is small? He’s one of the few wrestlers on the roster who’s at eye-level with JoJo Offerman; he’s so small, he’s probably at eye-level with Caillou. If Katt Williams‘ ever tried to fight him, it would technically count as taking on somebody your own size. OK, that’s enough corny short jokes, especially since Ryback has drilled them into the ground in recent weeks. He must’ve reverted back to his bullying days because his entire beef with the luchador is based around the fact that he’s short. It’d be like if Vanessa Kraven decided to one day go after JoJo Offerman, but with Marvel-obsessed comedy writers at the helm.
Who I Want to Win: Kalisto; after restoring my faith in the Lucha style within WWE, he deserves a WrestleMania moment.
Who Will Win: Kalisto; he did it once and he can do it again.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This is the new Money in the Bank Ladder Match, only without the potential to become a spinoff event. In WWE’s attempt to get everyone under contract on the show, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal is back for a third straight year. Cesaro made the match one to watch a couple of years ago and Big Show further associated his name with Andre’s by beating Damien Sandow in the finals last year. For 2016, Big Show is back and is once again the favorite to win, because giant. Hopefully Damien gets a shot to avenge last year; how would that be for redemption after almost a year in television purgatory?
Who I Want to Win: Depends on who’s in it; of the confirmed participants, I say Damien Sandow.
Who Will Win: Probably Kane, only because I don’t see them giving it to Big Show two years in a row and the rest of the match is jobber central so far.
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Kevin Owens vs. The World
For the second year in a row, seven men will put themselves through Ladder Match hell for a championship that was previously assumed to be cursed. And looking at what happened to last year’s winner, it’s not like the claims are unfounded. We should probably just name this the Daniel Bryan Memorial Ladder Match. Anyway, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are both making their WrestleMania debuts, and instead of the former tag team partners facing each other like we all assumed would happen, they’re being joined by The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Sin Cara, and Zack Ryder. Yes, Zack Ryder, the guy most famous at WrestleMania for this. I was not the only one surprised by that he’s in this match; I guess Vince‘s confidence in Tyler Breeze is just that non-existent.
Who I Want to Win: Either Sami Zayn or Stardust. Yes, Stardust. I just want this guy to start shining again.
Who Will Win: Either Sami Zayn will win to a roarous ovation or Kevin Owens will hand Sami Zayn his second loss of the weekend in the closing moments.
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day vs. The League of Nations
The League of Nations are pretty much losers. That’s not me saying that all the individual members suck; it’s just me calling it like I see it. They’re challenging The New Day for the Tag Team Championship despite the fact that The New Day has already defeated them on free television plenty of times. One post-match sore-loser beatdown is apparently the catalyst for their title opportunity. Also the fact that the League can’t take a joke. So now it’s 3-on-4 at WrestleMania and things don’t look to good for the defending champs, unless Francesca 2 stops being inanimate and actually becomes an ass-kicking machine.
Who I Want to Win: New Day! I pray it’ll be New Day!
Who Will Win: I am kind of convinced it’ll be The League of Nations; but I still think New Day can overcome the odds.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
This is one of WWE’s best feuds of the year so far. There were concerns from fans when AJ Styles signed with WWE that the corporation could possibly ruin him. But so far, that has not been the case. The Phenomenal One had not one, not two, but three good matches with the self-proclaimed Best in the World at What He Does. After forming a short lived tag team, Jericho turned to the dark side once again and tried everything in his power to keep Styles from the bright lights of the AT&T Center. Lucky for us, the match is now on and Styles, who previously competed at the biggest events on the TNA and New Japan calendar, has finally reached WWE’s PPV apex.
Who I Want to Win: AJ Styles; get that WrestleMania win!
Who Will Win: Hopefully AJ Styles; I learned last year never to expect huge names to win their WrestleMania debut, but in this case, it’d be the right choice.
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
So how did that Diva Revolution work out? If you ask the masses, it didn’t, bombing as quickly as it had arrived. But the three women who were called up for it have all had different destinies on the main roster. Charlotte is the privileged champion, Sasha is the arrogant show off who has the talent to back it off, and Becky is the witty, lovable underdog who’s come up short one too many times. Three women who were previously a quad-squad in NXT now have the opportunity to deliver the greatest women’s match in WrestleMania history, and they are totally capable of doing so.
Who I Want to Win: Becky Lynch; allow me to remind you that the woman hasn’t held a title in WWE yet. This underdog deserves to win.
Who Will Win: This one’s a toss-up; people are saying Sasha because of the hype WWE have put into her, but it’s highly probable they’ll Becky finally get to her moment in the sun. Either way, we’re getting a new champion.
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
We finally get the answer to that immortal question: “What would happen if The Incredible Hulk battles Scrappy Doo?” This whole story has been about Ambrose being way in over his mindless, messy little head, challenging Brock to a fight at every term only to get beat down every time. That’s a “Puppy Power” level of tenacity. But this dog won’t enter the fight alone as legendary friends in higher places have given him some toys to play with during the encounter. He could break out the Barb Wire baseball bat from Mick Foley or the chainsaw from Terry Funk…..OK, maybe not that one. But he did find a niffy pair of nunchucks in Monday; that’s something.
Who I Want to Win: Team Dean! I’d love to see this lunatic topple The Beast! But…
Who Will Win: Brock Lesnar. Dean will put up a good fight, but I just don’t believably see how he can win this short of going Celebrity Deathmatch on Brock with that chainsaw.
Roman Reigns vs. Triple H
Much like the Divas Revolution, the Roman Reigns experimental push hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. In fact, last year’s WrestleMania was meant to be the guy’s coronation to posterboy status. Only one problem: the fans rejected it en masse, so WWE went a different route. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying again this year, giving the former Shield powerhouse Triple H as a rival. Sadly, it seems like this hasn’t worked out that well either; fans have booed Roman in segments they probably would have cheered him for in the Attitude Era. That’s how badly he’s been handled; the villain of the rivalry has more fan support. The question is whether or not this will cause WWE to change their mind yet again. But for now, all we can hope for is a smash mouth match between the two.
Who I Want to Win: Honestly, Roman Reigns. He may not be my favorite, but at least he wrestles on a full time schedule.
Who Will Win: Roman Reigns; boo all you want, but WWE has been waiting over a year to crown this guy in the main event. I don’t think they’ll abort mission this time like they did last year.
Hell in a Cell
Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker
The reason I have this match last is because it’s rumored to be the actual main event. That’s right; even Shane McMahon could potential find himself with a higher WrestleMania main event count that CM Punk. That’s not to say that Shane doesn’t deserve this kind of spotlight; for the risks he’s taken to entertain us, I don’t think I can find it in me to say when he doesn’t deserve something. The fact that fans reacted so positively to his return speaks volumes. But if he wishes to stick around, he has a huge task ahead of him in the form of The Undertaker. If Shane wins, RAW will be under new law and Undertaker’s WrestleMani career is done. If Undertaker wins, I guess Shane just disappears into the ether again and we’ll still be stuck with The Authority. Man, I need a break from them.
Who I Want to Win: I honestly have no idea. I’d love to see Shane win his comeback match, but the Undertaker’s WrestleMania career is done for. I’d love Undertaker to win, but I’m still curious about a Shane-run RAW. Way to put me at a crossroads, WWE.
Who Will Win: I see it being Undertaker.
Do you agree with the forecast? Who do you see winning at WrestleMania? Who are you rooting for to win? Tag me on Twitter @FearlessRiOT and let me know or leave a comment below. Then check out WrestleMania on the WWE Network tonight to see which predictions come true. Hope you all enjoy the show!