By Haydn Gleed
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship: After some back and forth over the last few days, I’ve concluded that I can’t see this being anything except the main event. It’s not what every fan believes should be anywhere near the main event, but I strongly believe that Vince McMahon sees this as a superheavyweight match that draws the casual viewer. As for the match itself, I don’t see it going longer than six minutes. I can see an explosive opening minute from Goldberg, but looking at this from a sports like presentation, the 50 year-old won’t be able to put him away and his energy will go allowing Brock an opportunity to come back. There will be a hope spot for Goldberg but ultimately Lesnar triumphs to win the Universal Championship.
Brock Lesnar wins the Universal Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship: The entrance for Bray will be outstanding and a memorable moment and the match should be of a high standard, but I can’t help feel that the buildup for this match has been so disjointed and relaying far too much on a satanic/ritual gimmick, which hasn’t even been done particularly well that it has turned people off this feud. Some have enjoyed it but I sense that the majority have been turned off by it. I don’t want to imagine that within the first four months of 2017 WWE would move a major championship from AJ Styles to John Cena to Bray Wyatt to Randy Orton, therefore I hope Bray Wyatt wins here for that reason. I see this feud as only just beginning therefore there will be time for Randy to get his win and championship.
Bray Wyatt retains the WWE Championship
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: I could write a whole essay on this match talking about what could happen and what it all means, but instead of putting you through that I will give you what I believe is the best scenario and what will happen (which happens to be my least favorite option). Best scenario: The Undertaker wins and goes to give Roman a respectful handshake but gets hit with a superman punch and spear to officially mark a turn heel. What will happen: Roman wins clean and Vince McMahon is joyful backstage watching The Undertaker passing the torch by raising the hand of the former shield man.
Roman Reigns beats The Undertaker
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H in an unsanctioned match: Unlike some people, I’m not overly concerned about whether Rollins should be wrestling. I’m not for a second saying I believe his knee is 100 percent, but this is a company that won’t let Daniel Bryan wrestle due to the threat of a PR nightmare if things go wrong, so I highly doubt they would risk the same with Seth Rollins against their CEO. For me, this is the match that has had the best buildup in recent weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. I can see Triple H focusing on Seth’s knee for a lot of the match and I see a lot of smoke and mirrors to get as much as they can out of both. It might be fantasy booking, but I can see Samoa Joe getting involved in the match leading to Finn Balor coming down to even the odds and take care of the big man. Ultimately, I see another former Shield man getting the win.
Seth Rollins beats Triple H
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles: If anybody can get a decent contest out of Shane McMahon it’s AJ Styles. I’m surprised that they have come and out and said this will be a straight up match and I honestly believe the match will suffer as a result with the crowd being flat thinking the excitement won’t happen until after the match finishes. With that being said if anybody can drag a performance out of the 40-something McMahon it’s AJ Styles. I can see a scenario where AJ gets the best of the opening minutes of the match but gets undone by some cockiness. After Shane gets some offense in, I see Styles putting him away. I can then see the moment after the match that a lot of fans will be looking for out and that is AJ showing a distinct lack of respect and following a post match brawl, Shane does his spot. Just as last year, I will leave the room until I hear he’s ok as it’s not too my tastes watching someone perform those risks for ultimately no reason, but I digress.
AJ Styles to defeat Shane McMahon
Bayley vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax in an elimination match for the Raw Women’s Championship: I cannot disagree with anybody who has been disappointed with the build to this match, as there was so many places they could have gone if they had thought out six months ago that they needed to keep wrestler A and wrestler B apart until WrestleMania. They clearly didn’t have the want or patience to do that. As a result, no singles matchup would have felt special as it had already been done with such a small female roster.
With that being said, I can see this pushing to be best match of the night. With the ability and desire of Bayley, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks to prove how good they are, I’m looking forward to seeing what they can put together. I’m hoping that WWE have realized they need to reset the Bayley character after being handled horribly thus far. I feel that a heel turn by Sasha Banks by breaking Bayley’s heart in the process will see a nice return of the lovable Bayley character that we all want as she chases retribution and her title.
Sasha Banks to win the WWE Women’s Championship.
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens for the US Title: I loved the buildup for this match and as a result of the way Owens turned and subsequently behaved with Jericho since, he feels like a much stronger heel. I’ve just realized how many heels I’m predicting to win on a card that traditionally is a feel good show, but with Chris Jericho having Fozzy commitments soon and the need for strong heels post WrestleMania, I’d be surprised at anything except a KO win.
Kevin Owens defeats Chris Jericho (and his list)
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse: I’ve loved the buildup to this match even if it does feel slightly below what we would expect from Cena at ‘Mania. Having been someone who has watched Total Divas and Total Bellas for reasons explained previously, The Miz and Maryse have been a hoot mocking Cena and Nikki. We all know though that the real story of this match will be what possibly happens afterwards. Cena and Nikki will win and then we will probably see the proposal that has been strongly hinted towards. It’s not for me, but I understand for some reason people still want to get married these days. It’ll just end up in divorce within five years anyways (I’m kidding so spare me the angry emails).
John Cena and Nikki Bella win followed by a proposal.
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin for the Intercontinental Championship: I think I’m a lot higher on Corbin than a lot of people, but I can see a big future for him as an unlikable heel that you pay to see get his comeuppance. He wins his first major title here and it’s the start of big things for the former NFL player.
Baron Corbin to win the Intercontinental Championship
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus in a ladder match for the Raw Tag Titles: The ladder matches have traditionally been a WreslteMania main card opening match in recent times and I don’t see this as being any different. Gallows, Anderson, Cesaro and Sheamus are seasoned veterans, but they likely feel they have something to prove after being overlooked since last WrestleMania. I suspect they will go out and give everything to open the big event in a big way. In a reverse of Corbin, I don’t see the appeal of Enzo and Cass. After their opening spiel, I get so bored with their performances. That being said I know I’m in the minority and a win here will be a great moment for the fans and a good way to start the main show. I just hope with my whole heart that Enzo doesn’t do anything stupid to get attention because I don’t believe he has the talent to do it safely based on previous performances.
Enzo and Cass to win the Raw Tag Team Titles.
Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella (with James Ellsworth) vs. Naomi for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Can I just say I have no interest in this match and move on? No? Okay. There are so many people in this match that I should care about that it’s sad that I don’t care for this match. Because I can’t muster anymore fake excitement for this match, let’s just say Naomi wins here for the big WrestleMania homecoming moment.
Naomi to win the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Neville vs. Austin Aries for the Cruiserweight Championship: I completely agree that this match should be on the main card but the positive that you should take from this is they will probably get more time here than they would have on the main card. It should be a lot of fun and it’s great seeing these two guys on the big stage in a match that means something. I wish they had had more time to build this up but it should be great. I see Austin Aries winning the match and giving a nice moment early in the evening.
Austin Aries wins the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
2017 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: I wish I could say I care about this as I loved the concept when it was announced years ago, but they haven’t done anything meaningful with the previous winners so it’s not the platform that it should be. Anyone who heard the British Invasion preview recorded earlier this week heard Darren’s prediction about Braun Strowman literally eliminating everyone and I love that concept but I don’t see it happening. With every other prediction, I’ve gone with who I think WWE will go with, but with this last prediction I’m going to go with who I want to see win. Braun and Big Show battle each other and Sami Zayn tips them both over the top rope to win the Battle Royal and start the year of ska. Will it happen? Probably not, but I’m going with what I want to happen here.
Sami Zayn wins.
Agree or disagree? As always let me know via twitter @haydngleed. Enjoy the show!
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...