Powell's WrestleMania 30 predictions: Will Daniel Bryan take home the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Will WWE Network viewers actually get to see it?
By Jason Powell
***Please note that the match order listed below is the way I would lay out the card, though not a prediction on WWE's match order.
The Usos vs. The Real Americans vs. Los Matadores vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel for the WWE Tag Team Championship: The match feels like it's about two teams. Sure, they could try to boost Ryback and Axel or do something ridiculous such as put the titles on Los Matadores for a night. The Uso Brothers are a very good team, but I don't see many teams left for them to conquer in the depleted WWE tag division. I know everyone expects a Real Americans split here and while I can't rule it out, I would like to see them stay together longer and be cast as a kick ass tag team rather than a comedic duo. I'd settle for the WWE approach of having quarreling tag team partners. Plus, I need at least one "heart over head" upset prediction.
The Real Americans win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The Shield vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws: Grumble, grumble, waste of The Shield, grumble, grumble. Now that we have that out of the way, here's hoping this match surprises us. This could be the last time we see the Outlaws work at WrestleMania, and you never know how much more gas Kane has left in the tank. Glenn Jacobs is a treasure that we should appreciate while we still can. I don't think we'll see The Shield implode. I certainly hope we don't. WWE can sell a lot of merchandise with the trio and it looks like that's the plan based on the Hounds of Justice shirt that Seth Rollins was rocking at WrestleMania Axxess. There's still a lot of good things to do with Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose as a unit. Why jump the gun? Kane avoided the Triple Powerbomb on Raw this week, so I assume he takes it here.
The Shield defeat Kane, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn.
30 Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: WWE built up Big Show as such a heavy favorite that you have to think he's going to lose. I was no fan of the way they focussed all of the attention on Big Show rather than on the additional stars in the match, but hopefully they were building him up in a big way so that someone can look impressive by eliminating him. Many of us expect that someone to be Alexander Rusev, who may or may not be one of the remaining three entrants. We haven't seen much of Rusev on television lately, but this would be a make good for the shoddy introduction they gave him out of nowhere in the Royal Rumble match.
<i>Alexander Rusev wins the Andre the Giant Memorial battle royal.</i>
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt: Cena's legacy is on the line! I honestly have no idea how or why that is aside from the fact that someone in WWE bought the rights to use the Eminem song. Whatever. The build was all over the place. We started with Cena telling Jimmy Buffett jokes. The very next week, he was suddenly afraid of Wyatt. The next week we started seeing his bathroom visions of sheep masks in a mirror. Then he was miraculously cured and the old John Cena was back after apparently leaving for two weeks. I did like the bit with Cena in the mask on the go-home show, I just wish time had not stood still as the Wyatt Family members spent time trying to figure out who the extra guy in the mask was. I expect a good match and plenty of interference from Luke Harper and Erick Rowan since this is their WrestleMania match. I want to believe this is a big night for Bray Wyatt and maybe it will be, but I don't have a strong feeling about the outcome. If no one such as Hulk Hogan helps Cena, then perhaps Wyatt does get the win. However, I fear that the legacy talk leads to a Cena moment with the legends.
John Cena wins.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar: I firmly believe that the build for this match would have been better if both men had never appeared on camera together. I can't believe WWE dropped the ball on hyping this. It's the former UFC Champion and the biggest badass bully in WWE, yet WWE couldn't wait to show Taker put the bully in his place right from the start. They did so again the second time they met. Finally, Lesnar got something when left Taker lying after an F5. It was too little too late to make this feel like the mega match that it should. Here's hoping that they make us forget all of that once the bell rings. Most of us assume that Taker is going to win these matches every year, yet he and his recent opponents have managed to have us hanging on each major near fall. I really hope we get that type of match from Taker and Lesnar, and I hope that Heyman doesn't take a Tombstone and disappear with Lesnar for a while. I also hope that we don't see Sting... until Monday night in the rafters.
Undertaker extends The Streak to 22-0.
A.J. Lee vs. Naomi vs. Cameron vs. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya vs. Eva Marie vs. Emma vs. Aksana vs. Alicia Fox vs. Summer Rae vs. Rosa Mendes vs. Layla vs. vs. Tamina in a single-fall match for the WWE Divas Championship: I use this as the buffer match between the Taker match and the main event scenario. Bring down the crowd by confusing the hell out of them as the world wonders what in the hell the rules of this match are. We know the match ends when someone is pinned or submits. Can A.J. Lee just pick up a chair and smack the referee with it to get disqualified? Not over the head, of course, because this isn't Ring of Honor. Are all 14 women in the ring at the same time? Are there some weird tag rules? Couldn't they just broadcast a special 10-minute edition of Total Divas instead?
A.J. Lee retains the WWE Divas Championship.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H for a spot in the Triple Threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match: This is the match I am looking forward to more than anything on the show. The history goes back to SummerSlam and I really believe they will have a hell of a match together. I also feel it's logical for Triple H to dominate the majority of the match to make Bryan look like the underdog, so spare me the smark rage that Hunter didn't right by Daniel Bryan if he gets the bulk of the offense and still puts Bryan over in the end. I am curious to see whether the finish is definitive in that Bryan goes over strong via submission or if they do something a little lighter to set up a rematch.
Daniel Bryan advances to the Triple Threat.
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: As you may have noticed, I continue to hope that the final hour of WrestleMania 30 is dedicated to the Hunter vs. Bryan and the Triple Threat matches. I think it would set up an incredibly memorable final hour of WrestleMania and be the most effective way to make Bryan look like the underdog all the way through. That said, I can listen to arguments that the Hunter vs. Bryan match could go on earlier to make the overall crowd flow better since this undercard is about as flat as they get for WrestleMania. Like most sane people, I have Bryan going over strong. A running knee to the head of Orton and a pin sets up an eventual rematch with Batista, and it's not like there's any need to protect Orton since his character has been abused so badly.
Daniel Bryan wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
WrestleMania closes with the biggest Yes! chant yet. Now let's just hope everyone who orders the show on WWE Network actually gets to see it. My plan is to order the pay-per-view, yet watch the show on WWE Network. In other words, I will have a fallback plan, so I will have you covered with a report on the show and my analysis either way.
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