You can count the time left to the 33rd iteration of WrestleMania in merely hours, which means its time to take a look at the final card.
Titled the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” this year, WWE is looking to wow their audience with a fast-paced show features a multitude of twists, turns, ups, and downs. It’s the biggest show in pro wrestling and it looks like some superstars will be shooting for their career defining “WrestleMania moment” while others who have been around the block will add their star power to the spectacle. In a show where anything can happen let’s go into our predictions for what’s in store come Sunday.
Kickoff Show, Cruiserweight Championship: Champ Neville v. Austin Aries
Chris’ Prediction: Neville will retain. If they want the Cruiserweight Championship to mean anything they need someone to make it feel big and Neville seems like the one to do it. Austin may take it off him some day but Neville should shine at the biggest show of the year.
Elysia’s Prediction: I’m so checked out of this match, it’s unreal. I’m going to guess Neville hangs onto the belt, but it could probably go either way. I’m hoping for some cool aerial and top-rope stunts from both parties to kick the night off right. If not…I’ll be in the kitchen getting my drink ready.
Kickoff Show: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Chris’ Prediction: The obvious choice in this one would be Braun Strowman given his current push, but I’m going to go with Sami Zayn who could use a push after jobbing to the roster for so long. More specifically, I think he’s going to eliminate Strowman last to win, giving him some nice retribution from their rivalry. That being said, Samoa Joe’s absence from the card may suggest a surprise entrant who could thwart Sami’s victory, but I’m going to stick with Sami if only because he’s actually listed for this match.
Elysia’s Prediction: First of all, I hate to disagree with Chris because a) Sami Zayn is the best thing ever and b) this would make my night. With that said, this is a hard match to predict with a good portion of the contenders missing but Braun Strowman’s showing at the Royal Rumble and early announcement here makes me think he’s likely to come out victorious.
Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: Champs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson v. Enzo Amore & Big Cass v. Cesaro & Sheamus
Chris’ Prediction: This match is a nice surprise! The TLC match at WrestleMania X-Seven was one of the best ever due in no small part to what the participants were willing to do. This match has a lot of talent as well and while WWE is more toothless these days I’m hoping for a really good match more than a specific winner. However since I need to make a prediction I’m going to say Gallows and Anderson retain. There’s no benefit to the titles switching hands at this point, and it would be good to build up some prestige in the current run.
Elysia’s Prediction: My guess is that Enzo and Big Cass are eliminated pretty early on. Seemed like there was trouble in Cesamus-land in pay-per-views of yore, so after some hub-bub I imagine Gallows and Anderson retain.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Champ Alexa Bliss’ Open Challenge
Chris’ Prediction: As much as I would love Becky to take back the title I think the returning Naomi, who had won the belt at Elimination Chamber before vacating it, will win it in her home state.
Elysia’s Prediction: This one is really up in the air. Something tells me that this is an opportunity to get Alexa Bliss a bit more street cred – my gut is telling me she’ll retain.
Intercontinental Championship: Champ Dean Ambrose v. Baron Corbin
Chris’ Prediction: Given his push as of late, Baron Corbin will win the Intercontinental Title from Ambrose. As much as I like Dean Ambrose it was really strange to give him the belt from The Miz without much buildup surrounding it, until you consider that Corbin needed a big time babyface to win a championship off of. I don’t think the belt does anything for Dean, and could do wonders for Corbin, so this one mostly writes itself.
Elysia’s Prediction: Given his recent feuds Baron Corbin seems to be getting a bit of a mid-card push these past few months, which I think will be cemented when he overcomes Ambrose for the Intercontinental title. I’m not sure what Corbin’s appeal is – he seemed a bit out of place in the Elimination Chamber but…yeah. There it is.
John Cena & Nikki Bella v. The Miz & Maryse
Chris’ Prediction: This match feels like filler. I think John Cena and Nikki Bella will win but I don’t think it really matters either.
Elysia’s Prediction: This is a really weird match that a) I just don’t care about b) will probably be decently entertaining. I have a lot of difficulty imagining that WWE will book these heels to win, so I’m calling this one for Cena/Bella.
United States Championship: Champ Chris Jericho v. Kevin Owens
Chris’ Prediction: This one is tough to call because the whole Jeri-KO thing really felt thrown together. It worked well, it was entertaining, but I don’t know that the fallout from their broken friendship has enough weight to make me care enough. Especially since Owens and Zayn have already done this angle and much better. The US title being mixed in adds nothing in my opinion, but having to choose I think Owens will win and hopefully move on to make the US championship feel important again. (I’d like to also note the irony of two Canadians fighting over the United States title).
Elysia’s Prediction: Things that should be on the List of Jericho: olives, waking up before 7:00 am, snow in April, paying for in-flight meals, and a huuugeee box of Kleenex to wipe his tears after being squashed by Kevin Owens on Sunday. This should be a fun all-Canadian match – though I’m a bit disappointed there won’t be any shark cages involved. Owens has it in the bag.
Raw Women’s Championship: Champ Bayley v. Charlotte v. Sasha Banks v. Nia Jax in a Fatal 4-Way Match
Chris’ Prediction: If Charlotte’s PPV streak hadn’t ended last month I would have said her, but since it has this became a lot tougher to call. Charlotte and Sasha have gone back and forth so much last year that I just wouldn’t care if either of them won, so its honestly a toss up between Bayley and Nia for me. If it were any other PPV I would say Nia Jax, but since this is WrestleMania where the crowd favourite overcomes the odds I’m going with Bayley.
Elysia’s Prediction: I’d imagine this one will likely go to Charlotte or Bayley but going to go out on a limb and say that I’m pulling for Nia – I’m digging her character and am hoping for another double suplex like the one we saw (live!) at Survivor Series. I think another move like that might win her the belt. Imagine if she manages to suplex both Bayley and Charlotte?
Shane McMahon v. A.J. Styles
Chris’ Prediction: Shane McMahon has proven that he’s willing to go through a lot to put on a good match but ultimately you have to give it to AJ Styles. Not expecting anything surprising here but you never know with Shane O’Mac.
Elysia’s Prediction: I predict that Shane will jump off something – and then A.J. will win and no one will care. This one feels like a sure-filler way to cram A.J. Styles onto the card.
Undertaker v. Roman Reigns
Chris’ Prediction: I cannot for the life of me see The Undertaker losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania of all places. I do think Taker will win, but I also want to see a Roman Reigns heel turn in the process. He seems to be pointed in that direction and with his fall from his position only a year ago it seems like the right time to make him a bad guy.
Elysia’s Prediction: If the mutt wins, I’m out. Undertaker has to win this snooze-fest.
Seth Rollins v. Triple H
Chris’ Prediction: I’m really liking the buildup to this match. Months of frustration for Rollins, and Triple H holding himself back from flat out murdering his former protégé. It all comes down at the grandest stage of them all. As is typical with most Triple H heel angles at WrestleMania I think Seth Rollins will win this one, but this may not be the final chapter in this particular storyline.
Elysia’s Prediction: I’d like to say Triple H will stomp Seth Rollins but I suspect Rollins will win dirty. There’s got to be something a bit contentious on the card and I’m pretty sure this will be one we’ll be talking about on Monday morning.
Universal Championship: Champ Goldberg v. Brock Lesnar
Chris’ Prediction: The squash match at Survivor Series was a great moment and I would have been happy if they just left it at that. If there’s a repeat I don’t think it would go over as well because everyone will be expecting it. I’ll predict Goldberg only because that’s the safe bet, but I have a feeling that we’re in for something unexpected with this match (we can only hope).
Elysia’s Prediction: GOOOOOOOLLLLDDDDBERRRRRG gets a hat-trick and defeats Brock Lesnar in 46.25 seconds and I get to go to bed a bit earlier than anticipated.
WWE Championship: Champ Bray Wyatt v. Randy Orton
Chris’ Prediction: What started as a seemingly one off rivalry between this unlikely pairing has turned into the WrestleMania main event. Go figure. Being that this is Bray’s first WWE title reign and how antagonistic Orton has become after playing the long game to infiltrate the Wyatt family, I think this might be Bray Wyatt’s time to overcome a mighty foe and become a monster-esce champion similar to how Undertaker was in his day. Plus seeing the fireflies as the show closes would be pretty fantastic.
Elysia’s Prediction: I think this match would have a lot more weight (and intrigue) if Bray wasn’t already champ. We’re either going to see Orton win…again or Wyatt win…again. For the purposes of really igniting this feud post-mania, I hope Orton wins with a Luke Harper interference. That’ll get ’em talking.
How wrong were we? Follow along as we live tweet events as they unfold on Sunday night.