Kickoff Pre-show: Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Tag Team Championships The pre-show has become the home for the Tag Titles to be defended, multi-team or otherwise, for a the last couple of years now. This year will be no different as the titles will be defended by the team of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro against four challengers: The Usos (former champs), Los Matadors, and New Day members Big E and Kofi Kingston. The match is full of talent which makes it hard for me to believe it won’t be any worse than a solid match. As far as who wins, I think it comes down to Kidd and Cesaro retaining (my hope) or The Usos winning their titles back. I don’t see either of the other teams winning, and this keeps the feud between Kidd and Cesaro and The Usos at full throttle. If I had to pick a winner… Winner: The champs retain! Kidd and Cesaro win!
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins I’ve paid just enough attention to this feud to tell you who is going win: AJ and Paige. The reason? The last two weeks, the Bellas have got the better of the AJ/Paige duo. That’s not always the case, but I would think that logic would apply here quite nicely. And what better place for our heroes to win than at Wrestlemania. This will probably end up being a decent match between four of the better female wrestlers on the main roster. Unfortunately, due to WWE’s lack of focus for their Divas division, this match will be put on before the main event which makes it a perfect spot for the live crowd, and everyone watching at home, to take a bathroom break or grab a drink in preparation for Lesnar vs. Reigns. Am I lying? Winner: AJ Lee and Paige
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal As of this writing, there are 19 entrants in the second annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. So here is a list of everyone that has a shot at winning: Kane, Big Show, Ryback, Damien Sandow, Mark Henry, and everyones favorite not-so-secret entrant, Sheamus. If you haven’t counted yet, that is six real possible winners out of 19. Let’s cut it even further by taking Kane and Big Show out of the running along with Mark Henry. All of those guys will be used to enhance the winner or one will throw out the other to further their feud (you know, the one we were all begging to see). That leaves Ryback, Damien Sandow, and the yet-to-be-confirmed-but-pretty-much-confirmed Sheamus. I would love to see Sandow win this thing and the pop he would receive from the crowd after he did, but lets all be honest and agree that if Sheamus shows up in this over-the-top-rope shindig he will take home the trophy (maybe by jumping Curtis Axel). If he doesn’t, I’m going with Sandow. Winner: If he shows, Sheamus. If Sheamus doesn’t show, Sandow. Either way Axelmania will have his moment.
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust Every wrestling fan knows that this will be the best match of the night. No competition. The collection of talent in this match may be the best to ever be assembled for a ladder match. You can pick any of these guys to win, even R-Truth who mysteriously reemerged for the match and has been more than entertaining during this run, would make a great IC champ. This will be the match everyone is tweeting about and the one everyone will be STILL tweeting about on Monday. It will be a fantastic showcase for these talents and all these guys are show stealers by themselves, so it’s pretty much guaranteed they will be the highlight of the show when put together. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty stoked to watch this match. I do believe that Bryan will ultimately go-over in this match and that will hopefully elevate the IC title as a stepping stone to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The title has been a bit more prevalent over the last year, but the setup for this match has been pheromonal with everyone trying to lay claim to the title by basically stealing it from champ Bad News Barrett. the booking of the this match has been brilliant and it’s made the title the center piece instead of an afterthought. With Bryan being the most over guy in WWE (though the powers-that-be will never admit it), putting the IC title on him will raise the profile of not only the championship, but whoever is feuding with Bryan for it. Not to mention we might finally get the Bryan/Ziggler feud every true wrestling fan wants and deserves. Winner: Wrestling fans. The actual winner of the match: Daniel Bryan
Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker I don’t expect much from this match. It will be solid, but won’t live up to the build, which has been great. When you put characters that are based on mind games and being a bit creepy (in Bray’s case, a lot creepy) then the story points are always better than the match. With that being said, this does have the potential to steal the show if Taker is in good shape to put on a vintage performance, which after last year I very seriously doubt. We will see how good Bray is in the ring as he will have to do most of the hard lifting like Punk did in his match with the Deadman a couple of years ago. We all know that Taker won’t lose at two Wrestlemania events in a row. Right? Winner: Undertaker
United State Championship Rusev (c) vs. John Cena We all know Cena is going to win this match. And allow me to explain why I’m cool with that. I’m not a fan of Cena, but I also don’t hate the gut with the passion I used to. I’m a bit indifferent about him at this point, but it makes all the sense in the world for him to win the match. Does Cena technically need to win this match? No. But if the goal of WWE is to make their mid-card titles matter again, putting the US Title on Cena is a great decision in achieving that goal. But doesn’t that hurt Rusev? Not really. He has been booked very well in this storyline and that continued on Monday with him out-brawling Cena on Raw. Finishing with him applying The Accolade to Cena on the announce table until he passed out. They have made Rusev a credible heel champion and the crowd may actually want Cena to win this one. I’m also a sucker for USA vs. Evil Foreign Threat stories. Especially when that Foreign Threat holds OUR championship! KILL THAT RUSKIE AND BRING BACK THE CHAMPIONSHIP OF AMERICA! Winner: John Cena…AND ‘MERICA!
Sting vs. HHH I can’t wait to see Sting have his Wrestlemania moment. They could have paired him with the Brooklyn Brawler for a match and I would have still marked out for him being on this stage. The guys deserves it after the career he has had. He did it his way and never felt pressured to come groveling to Vince for a job. Sting can never be accused of being a sell-out, and in an industry full of them, that is quite the achievement. Now for the tough question: Does he win? He better. If he was facing The Undertaker, I don’t think it would matter. Two legends in a fantasy booking 10 years too late would have sufficed the fans regardless of who was booked to go over, but now that it’s Triple H the story has changed. Every fan knows Sting should win this match and if he doesn’t, it’s going to kill the whole event. This match is the main event. I’m not going to say it’s going to be as big as Rock/Hogan, but it’s still going to get the biggest reaction of the night from the smart Wrestlemania crowd. And if he doesn’t win, everyone will know why: Vince won’t let a WCW guy beat a WWE guy on the stage he made famous. It doesn’t matter that the Monday Night Wars ended 14 years ago, Vince’s ego may not allow one of the greatest wrestling icons to get his moment. And if that happens, it will be a travesty. I can only hope that Vince has let bygones-be-bygones and do what the fans want to see: Sting winning and being showered with the appreciation he deserves on the biggest stage in wrestling. Even with Vince’s ego hovering, I am pretty confident that Sting will win. I don’t think he would come back to lose unless it was to Taker. And Triple H, for all his faults, respects the legends that came before him and would understand what this means for wrestling history to have Sting win at Wrestlemania. Let’s hope Sting will be immortalized the right way. Winner: Sting
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns Let me get this out in the open: I have no issue with Roman Reigns. I actually think the guy has a ton of talent and can be the next big superstar in wrestling. Just not right now. It’s been painful to watch WWE try and get the fans to like him. They gave him a catchphrase (“Believe That!” which is terrible by the way), gave him the spear as his finisher (fan favorite), and even let him continue to enter the arena through the crowd (man of the people). All of it for nothing. Even getting the Rock involved and making your most over wrestler, Daniel Bryan, walk out on live TV and say that he is the real deal still hasn’t made the crowd cheer him. Throw in the fact that he really can’t cut a decent promo, though he has improved, and you keep making him talk after guys like the Rock and Paul Heyman doesn’t help cover up the fact he isn’t quite sure what to do with the mic in his hand. It’s been bad. Very bad. The other end of the spectrum gives you Brock Lesnar, who has been booked perfectly as a monster champ that seems to be unbeatable. He has been book perfectly and having Heyman as his representative on RAW keeps him, and the title, in the spotlight even though he isn’t there. If you told me that WWE would not book a title defense for every major show and the champ only shows up on RAW every two months or so, I would have told you that would end up in disaster. To my surprise, it hasn’t. The risk paid off, at least in my eyes, and that style of booking should have made this main event special if you had the right guy to take the title from him. And Reigns isn’t that guy. It’s been a lesson in good and bad booking all rolled into one match. The end of RAW didn’t help with both, apparently, just holding the belt in between them while they stared at each other void of any intensity. Then reality opened the door and granted us a dose of intrigue by letting us know that Lesnar is still undecided on if he wants to resign with the company. I’m pretty sure by now, WWE knows his decision and is booking accordingly, but we the fans don’t know that decision. And that may save this match. If the rumors are true, if Lesnar does indeed sign an extension, the push for him to retain the title is the popular one. That leaves Reigns winning the title only if he doesn’t resign with the company. The irony of reality saving this match in a world of make believe shouldn’t be over looked. Even if Reigns does win, there are still a couple of possibilities of making the match a success. You could have Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins cash in his title shot and beat a depleted Reigns for the title. Or, and this is my choice, turn Reigns heel. Have The Authority help Reigns win the title and give the fans a reason to boo him. Either way works for me. Winner: Reigns, but Rollins cashes in and becomes your new World Heavyweight Champion.
Before I end this post, I want to send my hopes and prayers to the family of Perro Aguayo Jr who passed away in the ring last week. Even though I wasn’t familiar with is work in the ring, as a wrestling fan it’s always sad to hear of a young athlete and performer pass away. In sport that takes so much dedication and precise rehearsal to safely put on a show for us fans, it makes you appreciate how much hard work it takes to be a professional wrestler, and how much they put there lives on the line to entertain the crowd. May his family find peace in this time of mourning.