With Wrestlemania less than 48 hours away, it’s time for some predictions. Keep in mind, these predictions are entirely speculation on my part and have high odds of being incredibly incorrect.
PRESHOW: Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback for the WWE United States Championship
The story behind this match is that Ryback’s a heel now, and “can a good little man, beat a good big man?” Whether or not anyone would consider Ryback to be a “good” big man is another question entirely. Nevertheless, I’ve been very disappointed in Kalisto’s US title reign, and that can be chalked up to weak booking. He’s lost some important matches, he hasn’t been featured at all as the US Champion, instead he’s still pushed as one half of the Lucha Dragons. It’s easy to forget that he’s the US Champion. With Ryback’s new look and heel persona, I would be surprised to see him lose. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Pushing Ryback as a monstrous heel champion that demolishes all his babyface challenges is probably the best way to use Ryback right now.
PRESHOW: Team Total Divas vs. Team BAD & Blonde
This 10-diva tag match is a recipe for disaster. You have a returning Eva Marie, who, despite all her time in NXT, still is far from a solid worker in the ring. And the fans know it. And then you have Lana making her in-ring debut, on the biggest Wrestlemania of all time. So no pressure there. Typically these multi-woman tag matches are big messy botchfests. But they do have some decent wrestlers in there like Emma, Paige and Natalya who could all hopefully hold it together. Given that Brie Bella has one foot out the door and this match really has no stakes to it, I’m going to guess that the babyfaces get the preshow win here.
Prediction: Team Total Divas
PRESHOW: The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
The Usos are in a weird place right now. They don’t work as well as a heel tag team, so they’re likely to stay babyface for the time being, but as long as The New Day are around, The Usos aren’t likely to get any meaningful push. The Dudleyz actually may have more value as a veteran heel team right now than The Usos do in their current position. But given that this feud has been fairly one sided with Bubba and D-Von often getting the upperhand over the Usos, I’d expect the babyfaces to pull out a win here.
Prediction: The Usos
The New Day vs. The League of Nations in a Handicap Match
Expect a massive entrance for The New Day. While the feud itself between The New Day and The LoN has been fairly lacklustre, there’s a lot of interest in this match around possible surprises. Maybe a surprise tag team partner for The New Day? We know John Cena and The Rock are just a couple of names that are expected at the show, so you never know if there might be a big time surprise partner thrown into the mix.
Prediction: The New Day
7-Man Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Kevin Owens defends the title against Sami Zayn, Stardust, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder and Sin Cara. Another match that has a fairly underwhelming build, the real feud here is between Zayn and Owens and it’s highly unlikely that anyone else really has a chance of winning. While Owens retaining wouldn’t be a major surprise, this being Wrestlemania and Zayn being new on the roster suggests that he may well win the IC title in his Wrestlemania debut. And it would work from a storyline perspective as they could easily have Owens continue the feud with a rematch.
Prediction: Sami Zayn
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
This will be the fourth match in the Styles/Jericho series, and most likely will be the rubber match. I’m surprised that they gave away two of the matches for free on TV, but it is what it is. There’s always the chance that they decide to keep this feud going for another month and blow it off in a gimmick match, but I think it’s more than likely that they’ll finish things here with a win for Styles in his Mania debut. Either way, it should be an awesome match.
Prediction: AJ Styles
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This will be the third annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and it’s a great way to get some undercard guys on the Mania show. But this year the match looks very thin. It consists almost entirely of irrelevant midcarders and openers and they haven’t done a hell of a lot to promote it. I initially thought that Mark Henry might win this considering he’s reportedly retiring soon and it’s in his home state and all – but there’s been no mention of this on TV. I don’t think Big Show will win it for a second year in a row either. That leaves the Wyatt Family, who haven’t been officially announced in the match yet, so they may not even be involved. Kane is an outside chance I’d guess. If The Wyatt Family are in, I would expect Braun Strowman or (possibly) Bray Wyatt to win. If not, I’d actually put my money on someone who hasn’t been announced. Word going around is that Cesaro may be cleared for the match and he’s definitely in Dallas. So my prediction is going to be largely speculation and gut here.
Prediction: Cesaro (or someone unannounced)
Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks for the Diva’s Championship
Charlotte has been the Diva’s Champion since September last year. She’s come into her own as a heel champion, but I think now’s the time for a title change. Becky Lynch certainly deserves it given all the awesome work she’s done to salvage the “Diva’s Revolution”, but Sasha Banks is the clear favourite here. Sasha’s great and it’s only ever been a matter of time until she won the Diva’s title. Hopefully she ditches the butterfly belt and replaces it with something more professional looking. Either way, you know these three will try their best to steal the show.
Prediction: Sasha Banks
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar in a Street Fight
We could be headed for a star making performance for Dean Ambrose – and he doesn’t even have to win. Brock Lesnar is the most believable monster on the WWE roster. It’s been a long, long time since anyone’s beaten him clean, and it may be a longer time yet. While a win over “The Beast Incarnate” would push Dean Ambrose into the stratosphere and make him a bonafied main event player, it would have to be an clean, untainted win. I don’t see WWE allowing Ambrose to get such a huge win unless they immediately plan to push him as the top face in the company. Lesnar can still win, just as long as Ambrose goes down swinging and gives Lesnar a run for his money, both men can come out looking great. The Wyatt Family is really the wild card here. It’s obvious that Bray Wyatt/Brock Lesnar match is somewhere on the horizon, and given that the Wyatts aren’t officially booked for a match right now, I could see this ending with Lesnar getting screwed over. I think that’s probably the worst outcome as a win like that would do nothing for Ambrose, but I feel like that’s where we’re headed.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match for control of Raw
This is the big question mark match. Is Shane going to stick around after Wrestlemania? Will they actually take Triple H and Stephanie off of TV like they’re saying? They’ve doubled back on stipulations before. Is this actually The Undertaker’s final Wrestlemania? And if so, should he really be losing to Shane McMahon? I wouldn’t be placing money on any outcome here because I really don’t know what to expect. But I feel like Vince wouldn’t have announced that this will be Undertaker’s final match if he loses, if he wasn’t booked to lose. WWE typically like to flip the switch after each Mania and reset a lot of things. Doing a big hard reset and replacing The Authority with Shane McMahon would be a very welcome change. Expect a lot of shenanigans to happen and interferences.
Prediction: Shane McMahon
Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
I don’t know if this will go on last ahead of the Cell match, but no matter what happens, I don’t think Triple H is retaining here. And nor should he. In 2016, and at his age, Triple H should only be putting people over. The problem here though is the reactions Reigns has been getting. He is just not the face of the company that WWE so badly want him to be, and the fans aren’t budging on this. He’s set to get a brutal mega heel reaction from 80,000+ in Texas, and the only real solution is to give the fans what they want – a heel Roman Reigns. Word is that this match is going to be a No Disqualifications match, which leaves things open for all kinds of finishes. We could see a double turn with Vince screwing over Triple H and helping Roman win, we could see The Rock get involved and Roman turn against him, we could even see Austin out there. Nothing would elicit even more boos than if Roman Reigns were to spear Stone Cold Steve Austin in Texas. The worst thing they can do is nothing. If Wrestlemania goes off the air with babyface Roman Reigns holding the belt up amidst confetti and a pyro show, then I just don’t know where WWE could go from there. The dude’s gotta go heel.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
All photos via WWE.com