Wrestle Royalty Predicts…WrestleMania 35!

Here, ye, hear, ye.  The Royals of Wrestle Royalty are at it yet again – this time pontificating, elaborating on, and predicting what promises to be an amazing WrestleMania!  Read along with what we have to say…and predict along with us!  Vote in the polls following each match!

 

Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch
(Winner Take All)

Going back to the rumor I heard, I’m really bummed that it won’t be happening as it would be a beautiful thing to see, if a bit cliché. It is what it is and I want to see it happen, but it won’t, so I have to move on. Now, I could go on and on about how great this match will be, how Charlotte shouldn’t be in it, how Ronda and Becky have killed it for months now, but we all know these things. What I will say is that I hope the fans are still awake enough to really give this match the love it deserves, and that in the end Becky ends up raising both straps, because that’s what they need to do with this one. If they go anywhere else, the fans will riot.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Becky Lynch

 

Women are main-eventing Mania!  WOMEN!  MAIN EVENTING!  MANIA!  Wow…  Just a breath-taking achievement, really.  I’m so happy for all of them.  This is so richly deserved for all of them and it’s a great moment for all women who wrestle.  It really is possible now.

This is one of the two matches I’m most looking forward to.  I’m sure we all are.  The storytelling with this feud has been absolutely masterful – culminating with the single best arrest segment I’ve ever seen.  As an aside, I also love that one of my favorite indie workers, Stephon Smith, was one of the guys in the ring that came out to attempt to break it up.  Anyway, WWE really forced Charlotte into this match – even giving her a title so she’d fit better into it.  In truth, Asuka’s title reign was pretty meh so that didn’t bother me as much as it did my fellow Royals.  I’m okay with Charlotte being in this match now and it’ll be interesting to see what the dynamic turns out to be.  As Queen says, Becky has to win or they will riot.  Wouldn’t it be fun, though, if she didn’t and Ronda won both belts?  I wonder how they’d spin that?  I might kind of love that because I want to see “wrestling Twitter” implode…and it would.  You know it and I know it. Still, I think Mania will be the place where this is blown off.

BOTCH’S WINNAH AND NEWWWWWWW!!!:  THE MAN!

 

Instead of taking the easy route, WWE decided to take the more scenic and longer route but here we are. This match should have been a simple story, but it did become convoluted at times. As much as I didn’t like Charlotte being added to this match, I will give in and say she has added something to this. Becky is of course the hottest person on the roster right now and has become one of the faces of the company. Ronda has adapted to wrestling pretty well, though there are still rooms for improvement. The women have earned the right to main event Wrestlemania and I fully expect all three women to tear the house down and rise to the occasion. It felt very easy to predict who would win this match until Stephanie McMahon announced that it would be winner take all. That makes it all the more tricky in predicting this one because that gives all three women a real chance at winning. At the end I will have to go with my initial pick at the start and not waiver from it.

Sam’s winner:  The Man Becky Lynch!!

 

Firstly, let’s not underestimate just how huge Women main eventing WrestleMania is! It shows just how far Women’s Wrestling has come, but there are still improvements to be made.

This match is the perfect example of WWE catching fire with an angle…then overbooking the crap out of it. Becky vs. Ronda was a story that wrote itself and fans were beyond pumped for it. Charlotte DID NOT need to be added to the angle, and the Smackdown Women’s Title DID NOT need to be added to the match. Charlotte should have faced off against Asuka and should have put her over after Asuka was put on the back burner for months after she won the Title. Which was done to rebuild her after that awful program with Carmella and to get Becky away from her feud with Charlotte so she could be moved to Raw after the Rumble to start the program with Becky.

After the last two weeks of the Women’s Division being pretty much the Charlotte Flair show, I was worried Vince had chosen another one of his beloved blondes over the person the fans are behind. But after the promo Becky cut on Smackdown this week, it looks like sanity has prevailed and “The Man” will be triumphant at WrestleMania.

Mitch’s winner: Becky Lynch

 

The culmination of everything all the women in the WWE have busted their butts is finally here and you couldn’t ask for three better ladies to represent women’s wrestling then what these three:  The mainstream star/most recognizable MMA fighter, possibly the most over person on the main roster regardless of gender and the most arguably the most decorated woman wrestler this side of Fabulous Moolah are headed for a massive collision in the main event on the grandest stage.

There’s a possibly here that Ronda decides to stick around pass Mania (despite the rumors she’s leaving) and retains similar to what Brock did last year but the chances aren’t great she retains. Becky without question should go over here and I think she will, and she’ll do it via submitting Ronda to officially crown her the top face of the company going forward.

Dre’s winner:  Becky Lynch

 

This story would have been simple – Ronda Rousey vs The Man, but when is the WWE ever simple about anything, especially the main event at WrestleMania. Charlotte Flair is here, but really shouldn’t be. Ever since just before Survivor Series last year, we’ve all been clamoring for Lynch vs Rousey one on one and we had it, until SOMEONE felt that wasn’t enough. In any case, the story has made Charlotte a somewhat better villain, but this is Becky’s story all the way, and if The Man doesn’t walk out of WrestleMania with the title(s), the WWE has once again wasted a main event, but that seems to be par for the course lately.

Mat’s winner:  Becky Lynch

 

Random Trivia:
Charlotte Flair will compete in her 4th Women’s title match at Wrestlemania 35. Her other 3 were the past 3 Wrestlemanias, 32, 33 and 34. This will tie her with Trish Stratus for the most Women’s title matches at Wrestlemania. Trish had title matches at 18, 19, 21 and 22. Also, since we know that this match will main event Wrestlemania, Becky Lynch is in limited company. She becomes only the 2nd wrestler not born in North America to main event a Wrestlemania. The other one to do it is Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III.

David, Jr.’s winner: Becky Lynch

 

Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch

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Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins wins this one and hopefully BL goes away forever. I know Rollins is amazing, but I cannot waste any more of my time or energy on BL.

 

 

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Seth Rollins

 

This really hasn’t been built well.  This week’s “Raw” didn’t really go much further with said build either.  Because of how little effort has been put into this story, I honestly don’t really care about it.  I don’t even care if Brock wins or not.  I honestly can’t imagine he won’t either.  He’s beaten everyone who matters.  Why would he not beat Seth?  The bigger issue really is who are they going to get to finally beat him?  He’s gone through everyone – even Braun Strowman.  Who’s left?

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Brock Lesnar

 

I could give a long and drawn out explanation about who I want to win this match, but I think it is very obvious who should win. Seth Rollins more than deserves this win and the belt needs to be taken off of Lesnar. The build for this match hasn’t been all that great and that is due to Lesnar not being there every week. Heyman is an all-time great on the mic but he can only do so much to build this match with Seth. Seth has done a great job in building himself up to be a legit contender for Lesnar and, if history has shown us, this could be a good match. Seth tends to bring out the best in people and Lesnar seems to like working with smaller wrestlers. It should not be a surprise who my pick will be for this match.

Sam’s winner:  Seth Freakin’ Rollins!!

 

Seth Rollins having to take time out to rest a tweaked back in order to be fighting fit for WrestleMania really hurt his momentum and the build for this match – so much so I fear Vince will lose confidence in him and decide to keep Lesnar strapped even long

I know I know…I may throw up at the thought too. But sadly I think it’s going to happen.

Mitch’s winner: Brock Lesnar

 

I have Becky and Kofi winning their respective championship matches. Unfortunately, I don’t think Seth will be so lucky. There’s only so much happiness that Vince will allow on one show. Brock retains here but what credible direction this goes from here is anybody’s guess.

 

Dre’s winner:  Brock Lesnar

 

It is not hyperbole to say that Brock Lesnar is simultaneously an exciting performer to watch and has also held the Universal Title hostage. Lesnar is an attraction, he is a performer that people will buy tickets to see, and in that same breath, it is way long past time for the Universal Title to be on RAW on a weekly basis.

Seth Rollins is the Man.  He is the present and the future of WWE, an amazing performer who can do it all, and it’s long time for him to get another title reign and try to resurrect the Universal Title, which is currently so dead the History Channel might release a 3 part mini series about it.

Mat’s winner:  Seth Rollins

 

Random Trivia:
At Wrestlemania 31, Seth Rollins ended the WWE Championship reign of Brock Lesnar. So, if Seth Rollins wins at Wrestlemania 35, it will be the 3rd time that a wrestler or tag team have ended a championship reign of the same wrestler or tag team, twice. The other 2 times were Stone Cold Steve Austin ended the Rock’s WWE Championship reigns at 15 and 17 and Edge & Christian ended the Dudley Boyz’ Tag Team Championship reigns at 16 and 17. Seth Rollins, also, would become the first to do it with 2 separate titles.

David, Jr.’s winner: Seth Rollins

 

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins

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WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston

I honestly never thought I’d see Kofi in a WWE Championship Match at WrestleMania, but the fans have been wonderful getting behind Kofi going into the Royal Rumble and have really been pulling for him. I thought Orton had ruined it all for Kofi, yet here we are. It won’t matter if Rowan is ringside because there are so many superstars who want to see Kofi win this that they will take out Rowan if they need to. This is the other possible spot for Bray Wyatt to return to the WWE. It makes as much sense as returning to screw over Orton. No matter what, I don’t think there’s a way they cannot strap Kofi at WrestleMania. It’s beyond time and long overdue, so I cannot predict anyone but Kofi to win this one. I cannot wait to see this match

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Kofi Kingston

 

I am completely with Queen (and likely just about everyone else).  This is the other match I’m most looking forward to.  The storytelling here, as was the case with Ronda/Becky/Charlotte, has been nothing short of masterful…only this one has been entirely fan-driven.  Ali got injured in a prior match which prevented him from competing.  Kofi was inserted and showed out!  His work was nothing short of spectacular during that gauntlet match.  Ali will get his later (and I have no doubt he will).  This worked out just as it should have.  This is Kofi’s moment and my mind and heart are fully invested.  There is something to note, though.

I don’t know if you saw it or not but the contract that Kofi signed on “Smackdown Live” shows the date of the WrestleMania match as March 10, 2019.  I thought I saw it but when Ryan Satin posted it to Twitter, I knew I wasn’t crazy.  While that may have just been a…ahem…BOTCH!, I’m not sure it was.  It did show on TV that way and I have a hard time imagining that they wouldn’t have caught that before it went out.  Vince also never said that Kofi would have a title match against Daniel Bryan verbally.  Will they use this as a thread that runs through the show, only for Vince to finally make it right so that the match will take place?  Obviously it has to.  What also has to happen is that Kofi has to win.  If he is ever to win, it’s here.  This night, #KofiMania and #WrestleMANia WILL rule the day.

BOTCH’S WINNAH AND NEWWWWWWW!!!:  KOFI KINGSTON!

 

This is a match that none of us could have predicted would come to fruition and has become the number one story heading into Wrestlemania for me. Kofi Kingston had a push derailed by Randy Orton and it looked like he would never get his chance, but fate had other ideas. Xavier Woods has said on multiple occasions that one of his goals has been to get Kofi the world title and here we stand at the precipice of it. The New Daniel Bryan has been the perfect opponent for him to go up against because the path to it is almost a mirror image of what Bryan went through to get to the top. The crowd will be hot for this match from the start and I feel sorry for whoever will have to follow this one. Emotions will be running high for everybody watching this one and I will be nervous throughout this match. If it wasn’t for the women closing the show, this could easily main event Wrestlemania because the build and possible moment are certainly deserving of it.

Sam’s winner:  KOFI KINGSTON!!

 

As much as I’m an advocate of Pro Wrestling growing and moving away from depending on the same old story troops it has depended on for decades, I fully admit that the old school “One wrestler overcoming management to become a main event star” shtick still works in this day and age…if you add a new twist to it to keep it fresh.

That’s exactly what’s been done here with Kofi Kingston and the New Day. Now, while some have expressed discomfort regarding WWE turning the industry’s long and unfortunate history of racism into an angle, I personally think it was a great way of getting people to talk about the subject. Plus, WWE has approached the whole very carefully and have not made light of said history nor excused itself as a company or the industry itself. That is all I will say on the matter as I am the least qualified person to discuss it.

As far as picking a winner, I think the decade long journey Kofi has been on is all leading up to becoming WWE Champion at WrestleMania.

Mitch’s winner: Kofi Kingston

 

In all my nearly 30 plus years as a wrestling fan I’ve never been this emotionally invested into a match/feud in my entire my life. This story just sort of fell out of the sky due to Ali’s untimely injury but boy has Kofi picked up the balk and run with it in the most specular way imaginable.

In the span of 2 months he has become the most over act in all of wrestling due to his in ring performances, Bryan and Vince’s amazing heel work and Big E/Xavier playing the ultimate cheer leaders for Kofi. This story has been told perfectly. Having Kofi lose here would be the ultimate creative blunder and would surely suck a lot of life out of MetLife stadium on Sunday. Kofi wins and finally completes his 12 year journey of wondering the desert to finally reach the promiseland in the feel good moment of the year. I’m all in on #KofiMania.

Dre’s winner:  Kofi Kingston

 

11 years, ELEVEN YEARS and Kofi Kingston is just now getting a shot at a main title. He’s been the IC champ, the US champ, a multiple time tag team champ, longest reigning tag team champ but never a match, a chance, an opportunity at a main title. I don’t care about “the New” Daniel Bryan or Rowan or whatever granola crunchy agenda he has. This is about a man, who for over a decade, has worked HARD, jumped through every hoop, done everything right but has been passed over and passed over and passed over. Working twice as hard to get half as much and that day is over. TIME FOR THE COMEUPPANCES! TIME FOR THE COMMEUPPANCES! KOFI! KOFI! KOFI! KOFI! KOFI! KOFI!

Mat’s winner:  Kofi Kingston

 

Random Trivia:
This is Daniel Bryan’s 2nd WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania. The first time he was a face, this time he is a heel. Daniel Bryan becomes the 7th WWE Superstar to have a WWE title match at Wrestlemania as a face and a heel. The other 6 are Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, the Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. Randy Savage was a face at 4 and 8 and a heel at 5. Shawn Michaels was a face at 12 and 23 and a heel at 11 and 14. The Rock was a face at 16, 17 and 29 and a heel at 15. Triple H was a face at 18, 24 and 25 and a heel at 16, 22 and 32. Brock Lesnar was a face at 19 and a heel at 31. Randy Orton was a face at 33 and a heel at 24 and 25.

David, Jr.’s winner: Kofi Kingston

 

WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston

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Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

I’m a bit shocked that Reigns is going to be in a one-on-one match at WrestleMania in his condition. I know he has a clean bill of health, but that doesn’t mean he’s 100% ring ready. Reigns has lost quite a bit of muscle mass and just isn’t back to where he was before he left. He’s been covering well, but it’s obvious that he lost a lot while he was away. It can be hard to come back from some of these medications, and Reigns isn’t back to his old fighting self yet. That being said there’s no problem with Reigns losing here when he’s not fully up to snuff. According to McMahon wins and losses don’t matter, so this is the time for Reigns to lose as McIntyre needs the push coming out of WrestleMania. McIntyre is so much more than I thought he possibly could be, and a win at WrestleMania could help propel him into the main event on Raw, where he’s ready to be and has been ready since he returned to the WWE!

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Drew McIntyre

 

I honestly don’t care too much about this one.  I am glad that Roman is well and that Drew finally made it to Mania.  That’s about it, really.  The story hasn’t been that well-told.  As a result, I’m not much invested on who wins.  I will say that Drew could likely use it far more than Roman so I’ll go there.

 

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Drew McIntyre

 

This is a match I could see play out for the Universal title some time within the next year and will be one I look forward to. Now this match has been causing me trouble because it really is a toss up as to who will win. Roman is coming back from his battle with leukemia and could use the win here. Meanwhile, McIntyre has become the top heel on Raw and has been booked like a major threat to every single one of his opponents. It will be interesting to see how Roman fares in this match, but I think he will be able to rise to the occasion. Plus, there is the question as to whether or not Dean Ambrose will be involved somehow and in what role. I think Dean will cost somebody the match and it could possibly be he last real act as a member of the roster.

Sam’s winner:  Roman Reigns

 

Hear me out; maybe Roman Reigns doesn’t immediately go back to being a superhuman that overcomes everything every time? Maybe things have changed in WWE since he went away to get healthy? Maybe Roman has lost a step and shockingly gets his arse kicked by Drew McIntyre which leads to him questioning himself and his abilities before eventually overcoming Drew in a rematch leading to some much-needed character development?

I know…its a long shot! But WWE higher-ups would be silly to think the days of fans being tired of Roman Reigns mega push are over because Joe Anaoi was cheered after beating cancer. It’s been said many times, but it still rings true. Fans respect the hell out of the man Joe Anoa’i, but the loathe the character of Roman Reigns with a passion.

While the chances are EXTREMELY low that WWE’s higher-ups are aware of any of this, I’m choosing to hope they may somehow learn from their mistakes and set Roman on a different course!

Mitch’s winner: Drew McIntyre

 

This is a tough one to call. Roman has made a triumph return from a cancer scare so it’s hard to imagine the WWE having their top face over the last 3-4 years to under in his first single’s match back but it’s also hard to imagine Drew going under here because it seems that WWE is positioning him as the top heel of the company going forward and a win here would only help increase his stock.

I feel like this match (had Vince waited) could have main-evented next year’s Mania. I think we get another swerve here with Dean Ambrose getting involved and ultimately screwing Roman over to allow McIntyre to go over dirty which protects all parties involved. Roman then feuds with Dean (in what may be his final match on the roster if he is indeed leaving) while Drew ends up in the Universal title scene.

Dre’s winner:  Drew McIntyre via DQ

 

Roman’s return from his battle with leukemia has come at an expense. A very angry and large Scottish Psycopath who wants nothing more than to send Roman back home. This is a good matchup because it is McIntyre’s first Mania match since his return to the WWE and it is very clear the WWE has plans for Drew, and it means that Roman is not anywhere near the main event. A good test to see how Drew handles a big match on the biggest stage and a chance for Roman to get his legs back under him


Mat’s winner:  Drew McIntyre

 

Random Trivia:
Roman Reigns was born on May 25, 1985. Drew McIntyre was born on June 6, 1985. This is Roman Reigns’ 7th Wrestlemania and despite the miniscule age difference, Drew McIntyre is the first scheduled opponent of Roman Reigns to be younger than him. Seth Rollins is also younger than Roman Reigns, but he wasn’t the scheduled opponent but was added in after his Money in the Bank cash-in.

David, Jr.’s winner: Roman Reigns

 

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

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AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

I feel bad for AJ. He doesn’t deserve to be saddled with Orton at WrestleMania. The only thing that could make this not horrible, besides the fact that watching AJ work the ring is a beautiful thing, is the return of a long-missing superstar. Personally I think this would be the best time for Bray Wyatt to return, but I doubt that will happen because this is the WWE. Hopefully after this, AJ can get into a good feud and we aren’t stuck watching Orton appear with his RKO outta nowhere and little else.


Queen’s Predicted Winner:  AJ Styles

 

When this match was originally announced, I honestly couldn’t have cared less.  I’m a fan of AJ Styles but Randy Orton’s character has remained virtually unchanged since he debuted.  Then, the storyline began.  I love the “WWE vs. Indie Darling” mindset of this one.  As we kind of have that happening right here at Royalty (Mitch, in particular, being very “indie darling/anti-WWE”-oriented), it’s fun to see this play out.  For my part, I fall somewhere in the middle.  I love many indie workers but I also realize that WWE is a gargantuan entity unto itself with absolutely zero competition anywhere near the horizon (sorry, AEW lovers; it is what it is).  Randy has handled this very well and AJ has too.  My only wish is that this feud had gone on longer so it could have gotten me even more invested.  This could have really been far more about WWE Fans vs. Indie Fans and there was so much more they could have done with this.  As a result, I’m not as into this as I’d like to be.  I still think we’ll get a very good to great match out of this.  Neither man really needs the win that badly so I’ll just go with who I’d like to see win.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  AJ Styles

 

When I heard this was a rumored match, I was not very thrilled by it. That being said, this has now become one of my anticipated matches of the whole card. They haven’t had much time to build this match, but they have done a good job generating heat for it. Orton is playing the role of scoffing at the indies and AJ is the defender of them. The promos have been stellar from both men and this has show stealer potential written all over it. The build to this does remind me of the Cena/Styles rivalry but with far more intensity from each side. Both have traded shots at the others career and it has been a delight to watch. Either man can take a loss here given the stage of the career both men are in so that makes choosing a victor all the harder.

Sam’s winner:  AJ Styles

 

This is one we were all super excited for after the awesome promo both men cut a few weeks ago on Smackdown. But since then, with everything else going on…interest as waned. However, don’t sleep on this match. AJ Styles is still one of the very best as is Randy Orton (when he actually decides to put some effort in) so don’t be shocked if this match steals the show.

 

Mitch’s winner: AJ Styles

 

Besides Kofi/Bryan this is the match at Mania that I’m looking forward to the most. The promos between these two have been fantastic, both have done an amazing job of establishing their roles in this feud. Both these guys are legends but they took two completely different paths to reach that point. This has a HBK/Angle at WM21 type vibe too it and I love it. Just two legends locking up to probe who’s better, it’s simple and effective. I flipped a coin because I couldn’t decide for myself who would win. Orton wins on Sunday but this feud is far from over.


Dre’s winner:  Randy Orton

 

Not a long build but a couple well placed promos and this might be the Match Of The Show. Randy has seen a nice return to form over the past year and A.J. is currently the WWE’s go to franchise player. Randy is good, but he needs the right opponent to push him to great, and if anyone can do it, it is the Phenomenal One. This match might be in the middle of the card and I don’t envy whoever has to follow it. I expect Orton and Styles to put on a near classic and physical and exciting match.


Mat’s winner:  AJ Styles

 

Random Trivia:
This will be Randy Orton’s 15thWrestlemania match. He becomes the 6th wrestler to have at least 15 Wrestlemania matches. The other five are Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, Big Show and Shawn Michaels. John Cena also stands at 14 matches, so if he has a match, he would also join the list.

David, Jr.’s winner: AJ Styles

 

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

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Triple H vs. Batista
(No Holds Barred; Triple H’s career on the line)

I’m so not impressed with this match. Honestly, I’d be fine with Trip working a match at WrestleMania if it was with a younger superstar that he was going to put over, but Batista doesn’t have the cardio to keep up in the ring and shouldn’t be working any matches, but especially not a WrestleMania match! I know a lot of people think that this is Trip’s way of bowing out of the ring, losing at WrestleMania, the way Flair and HBK did, but I truly hope not. Trip isn’t just a wrestling genius, but he’s a wrestler who can still go in the ring. I know HBK could still go when he retired, but this is Trip, and he’s not going home to be a hunter, he is married to the WWE and should be open to work the ring when needed. I truly hope Trip’s last match isn’t with the likes of Batista. It would be a huge slap to Trip’s in-ring career for it to end with a match with someone who has never been impressive in the ring and who is too much of a crybaby to truly be a wrestler. He needs to stay the heck away from the WWE ring, forever! I don’t care what other people think, but Trip needs to win this match to stay viable for when he passes the torch to a young superstar who will marry his eldest daughter and take over the WWE when he, Steph and Shane are doddering fools, the way VKM is now!


Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Triple H.

 

I’ve pretty much already made my feelings known about this match.  If you’re into reading them, you can do so (here).  They’ve tried to add some intrigue to this with the added stipulations but I still don’t care.  At least they didn’t take up too much TV time with this.  Hopefully, they won’t take up too much Mania time with it either.  Triple H. isn’t giving up his in-ring career.  I just can’t see it yet.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Triple H.

 

When this match was rumored, I groaned at the thought of it. During the initial build for this match, I have groaned at it. There have been some good moments like Batista’s promo during the go-home on Raw and his interview with Michael Cole. Triple H has had some moments too, but they aren’t as memorable as the ones from Batista. I have low expectations for this match and I hope it doesn’t drag on too much. The No Holds Barred stipulation was the right call as it gives them a chance for a brawl rather than a slow-paced match in the ring.

Sam’s winner:  Triple H.

 

Did this match need to happen? Could this spot not have been given to two young, hungry workers who deserve the spotlight?

While both Triple H and Batista have done their best to get this program over (and for some fans eyes they have succeeded), all I see are to workers who should just retire for good.

As far as picking a winner is concerned, I don’t see Triple H giving up his in-ring career in this fashion!

Mitch’s winner: Triple H.

 

Given the added stipulation of Triple H’s career being on the line, this one seems too obvious. At least that’s what they want you think. My gut is telling me that Batista wins forcing Triple H into walking off into the sunset. This one will serve as the swerve of this year’s Mania. Batista winning here is the only thing that justifies this match taking place on Mania in my humble opinion.


Dre’s winner:  Batista

 

So this is a match about 4 years too late and honestly I didn’t think Big Dave would ever come back to WWE considering how his last run went. Triple H gets what I presume is his contractually-obligated Wrestlemania match. Batista hasn’t performed at a Mania in a few years so I have ZERO idea what to expect here. Could be ok, could be a train wreck, won’t be good. Maybe this will be the bathroom break match.

Mat’s winner:  Triple H.

 

Random Trivia:
Triple H and Batista will face off in a Wrestlemania rematch, their previous encounter taking place back in 2005 at Wrestlemania 21. The 14-year gap is the longest gap between a Wrestlemania rematch. The previous record was 13 years with Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, who had a 13-year gap between their Wrestlemania 20 and 33 bouts. Triple H already has a 10-year gap between Wrestlemania matches with the Undertaker. His first match with Undertaker took place at Wrestlemania 17 and his second match was 10 years later at Wrestlemania 27. Also, if Triple H wins, he will join Undertaker (24 wins) and John Cena (10 wins) with double digit wins at Wrestlemania. Triple H does have the most losses at Wrestlemania at 13.

David, Jr.’s winner: Triple H.

 

Triple H vs. Batista

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Intercontinental Championship
Bobby Lashley (c) [w/ Lio Rush] vs. Finn Balor

At each PPV we hope to see the Demon come through the curtain, but it’s been almost forever since we’ve seen Balor’s alter-ego. I understand only breaking the Demon out for very special occasions and WrestleMania is the most special occasion there is. I’m thrilled they showed the Demon on Raw, so I’m more thrilled to see how this match goes down. While I wish Balor was facing someone with a personality, he seems to work rather well with Lashley. Add in the Demon and Lashley, even with Lio ringside, won’t have a chance. Balor needs this WrestleMania win, while Lashley doesn’t. It’s time McMahon get over himself and push Balor as he should be pushed and let the fans truly enjoy it.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Finn Balor

 

Bálor has hit the glass ceiling in WWE.  I’ve long since given up the idea that he’ll do much that matters going forward.  Here, we’ll get his alter ego – we already know that, though I think it could be a more interesting story if we didn’t.  I like the “I don’t need my other self to beat you”.  Bobby was completely meaningless until Lio began working with him.  Lio is absolutely amazing both on the mic and in the ring.  Lashley really turning on him, not the teases we’ve been getting here and there, should be pretty cool when it happens.  ‘Course, I don’t know how well Lio would be used away from Lashley but I’m sure we’ll find out as they can’t stay together forever.

As for this match, both of the could use the win, really.  I’ll go with who might actually go further as a result of getting it.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Bobby Lashley

 

They have been playing a bit of hot potato with the IC title during this program and I think that has really benefited the build of this. This has been a solid mid-card feud and one that has exceeded all my expectations. Lio Rush has helped Lashley reach another level and he isn’t the boring, smiling Lashley he once was. Finn is one of the best in the company and this match could be his moment to shine on the biggest stage. It was inevitable that WWE would pull the trigger on Finn bringing out the Demon for Wrestlemania and I feel it is the right time to do it. The odds are not in his favor, so he has to dig deep and bring out something that he hasn’t brought out in some time. I think this could be a sleeper hit of a very long card and I hope it is that.

Sam’s winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Finn Balor!! 

 

Honestly, the only thing about this match I’m excited about is FINALLY seeing the Demon get a WrestleMania entrance.

 

 

Mitch’s winner: Finn Balor

 

Finn Bálor is going Demon for this one so this is a sure thing i my eyes. This feud has been kind of lackluster, Lio Rush has easily been the most interesting aspect of this feud by far. The real story here is what happens between Lio and Lashley in the aftermath of Lashley dropping the title


Dre’s winner:  Finn Bálor

 

While Bobby Lashley’s return to WWE has been uneven at best, putting him with Lio Rush and letting him be the Dominator Bobby Lashley has helped a bit, add in the ascendant Finn Balor and the IC title and you get reasonably entertaining feud. Balor and Lashley appear to work well together and while it’s not “must watch” wrestling, it’s making a spot for itself. Oh and The Demon will be showing up, so there’s that.

Mat’s winner AND NEW Intercontinental Champion:  Finn Balor

 

Random Trivia:
If this match makes the main card, it will be the first singles match for the Intercontinental Championship since Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes took on the Big Show at Wrestlemania 28. At Wrestlemania 29 the title was on the line on the pre-show. The Intercontinental Champion (Big E) was in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30. Wrestlemania 31 and 32 saw the Intercontinental title defended in a multi-person ladder match. At Wrestlemania 33, the Intercontinental title was defended on the Kickoff show. At Wrestlemania 34, the Intercontinental Championship was defended in a Triple Threat match.

David, Jr.’s winner: Finn Balor

 

Intercontinental Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Bálor

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United States Championship
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio*

As much as I adore Rey, and he’s great at making matches with biggest superstars look viable, this is Joe! Joe isn’t the typical big guy. Joe is something else entirely. Watching Joe in the ring with Ali on SD this week left me scratching my head. I couldn’t believe that Ali could go over Joe so easily and so early in the match. If I cannot believe Ali who is bigger than Rey, younger than him, and moves better these days, how am I going to believe Rey facing Joe? As much as I love Rey, I also love Joe and it’s because of that love that I have to go with Joe in his first WrestleMania.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Samoa Joe

 

This WrestleMania, like others before it, is big but this one just feels bloated.  It’ll be too long and there are too many matches.  While I’m glad Joe is going to WrestleMania, I really don’t care too much about this match.  Rey has nothing to gain by winning and, because the U.S. Title means nothing, Joe has nothing to lose by losing.  Rey’s son was added as a plot device to get me interested in this but it didn’t work at all.  I’m sure the match will be good as both will bring it but the outcome is of no consequence to me.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Samoa Joe

 

Rey Mysterio has found the fountain of youth because that is the only explanation I can find that explains why he is still able to be as good as he is at his age. Samoa Joe has been a fantastic heel during his run in WWE and it is a shame this match hasn’t had more build. Mysterio’s son, Dominic, is supposed to be ringside and I have a feeling he will get involved in the match somehow. Either Samoa Joe will try to take a swing at him or maybe Mysterio hits him by accident. This match should be great, and I hope they give them enough time to tell a good story in the ring. This match feels like a coin flip and I have gone back and forth with who I will pick for the win here.

Sam’s winner and NEW United States Champion: Rey Mysterio!!

 

This one is up in the air since Rey’s injury, but even if it did go ahead, I doubt Rey would be going over. Joe was given the US title so he could look like a credible threat again after months of putting people over. I don’t see that ending so soon!

 


Mitch’s winner: Samoa Joe

 

Word on the street is that Rey suffered a legit injury this past Monday and may not be able to compete at Mania this Sunday sadly. With that said a new replacement will have to be found. I narrowed it down to two guys; John Cena & Kevin Owens. I think we end up getting KO vs Joe this Sunday which ends in a double DQ.

Dre’s winner:  Double DQ (Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Owens)

 

Winning the US Title in a very entertaining Fatal 4 Way, Samoa Joe might be just what the United States Title needs to get some of its prestige back. Violent in every sense of the word, Joe has made it his mission to punish anyone who steps in the ring with him and the next one is one of the best to ever do it in Rey Mysterio. This is Mysterio’s first Wrestlemania back since his return and Joe’s first Mania as he had missed the previous due to an injury. I expect Joe to retain, but I also expect a great performance from two seasoned veterans.

Mat’s winner:  Samoa Joe

 

Random Trivia:
At Wrestlemania 25, Rey Mysterio won the Intercontinental Championship from JBL. If, Rey Mysterio wins the United States Championship from Samoa Joe at this year’s Wrestlemania, he will be the first wrestler to win the Intercontinental title and United States title at Wrestlemania.

David, Jr.’s winner: Samoa Joe

* = We do not yet know if this match will take place in this form due to Rey’s untimely ankle injury.  Some wrote predictions prior to the news or if they were written after it, they were written as though Rey will be well enough to compete.  Since we don’t know, I decided to proceed with the picks made.  If Rey can go, the picks are valid.  If he cannot, they aren’t.  (Botch).

 

United States Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

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Women’s Tag Team Championship
Boss N’ Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Samoan Slaughterhouse (Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka) vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)

I wrote this prediction out once already, but things have changed in the main event, so here we go for round two. Not just a rewrite either, I had to change my plan all together. I’d read a rumor about something that might happen at WrestleMania after the main event, but since with the main event now Winner Takes All, there’s no way the rumor will come to fruition. I heard through the grapevine, clearly not an extremely reliable source, and the idea of it had sucked me in so deeply that I couldn’t let it go. It was rumored that WrestleMania would end with the 4 Horsewomen holding the top championships high in the ring with the possibility of a 4 Horsewomen attack from behind. WrestleMania hasn’t ended with epic memorable moments in a long time, and this would have been stellar! Now, with the main event scheduled the way it is, there is no way that can happen, so I’m changing my prediction from Boss & Hug to Nattie and Beth. It would be great for Beth and Nattie to have a short run with the straps, because they are still viable in the ring, and were a huge part of the women getting to where they are now in the WWE. I’m all good with Nattie and Beth winning this because the IIconics surely shouldn’t be Champions, ever, and Samoan Slaughterhouse will get the straps at some point in the next year. Nattie and Beth makes the most sense to me at this point.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Nattie & Beth

 

This should be a lot of fun.  While I loathe the name, I do like Sasha & Bayley together.  They’re both great workers and they have great chemistry as a team.  Nia Jax is decent but I like her teaming with Tamina.  She’s justifying Tamina’s existence in a WWE ring at this point.  Tamina’s issue has always been that while she’s extremely beautiful, she has zero charisma.  She also has “dead face”.  She reacts to nothing.  Nia is very reactionary and she tells stories well – something Tamina cannot do.  I do like Tamina, though, so it’s nice that Nia is making Tamina’s Mania moment happen for her.  Tamina is not young (the oldest in the ring at 41) so this may be the last shot for her.  I initially disliked the Iiconics but they’ve grown on me.  So sue me.  It’s likely UpUpDownDown’s fault (the bowling tournament is a riot if you haven’t seen it).  Beth & Natalya are a hastily-put-together team that could be fun too as both can go.  Who wins?  Sasha & Bayley’s reign with the titles hasn’t been long enough yet.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Boss N’ Hug Connection

 

I wish I was more excited for this match, but I think it has to do with the participants more than anything. The IIconics have yet to find the magic that made them popular in NXT with the main roster and that is a shame. Nia and Tamina just challenged for the titles and lost their match so I really don’t think they should be in this match. I would prefer the Riott Squad to fill the heel tag team role from Raw. Nattie and Beth are an interesting pair because they probably would have been tag champions when they were a team all those years ago. Sasha and Bayley have found new life as tag champs and that has been for the better. I do expect a good and fun match and I hope that Beth is able to have a great showing at Wrestlemania. A case could be made for any of these teams to win this match, but I will have to go with my gut on this one.

Sam’s winner and STILL Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks & Bayley!

 

Honestly, I would have preferred to have seen a normal tag match for the first defense of the new Women’s tag straps at WrestleMania. But I’m not going to complain about more Women on the roster getting a chance to shine on the main card (even if one of them is somebody who randomly came out of retirement)

I REALLY hope Bayley and Sasha retain here, but I have an awful feeling Vince has a soft spot for the IIconics. As I’ve said many times in our dignified discussions, it makes me sad that Aussies like Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley are killing it in the UK while Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are stinking the joint up in America!

Mitch’s winner: The IIconics

 

For months, I’ve heard rumors that Sasha & Bayley would be defending the women’s tag team titles against Trish & Lita. That would have been a great passing of the torch match. For whatever reason though we won’t get that. While I’m extremely happy for all the women involved here to get the opportunity, this feels extremely thrown together (just like the SD men’s tag team match). I fully expect Sasha and Bayley to retain here by pinning either one of the IIconics or Nia/Tamina.

Dre’s winner:  Sasha & Bayley

 

So this story has a couple interesting threads. Sasha Banks and Bayley are defending the women’s tag titles across all 3 brands. Nia and Tamina think they should be next in line for a title opportunity. Beth Phoenix is returning from several years in retirement, and The IIconics believe the future of the women’s tag division will be………ICONIC! This might be a better match than many think and a good kickstart to what will be an interesting time in the women’s tag division as it grows.

Mat’s winner:  The IIconics

 

Random Trivia:
If Bayley & Sasha Banks retain or Nia Jax & Tamina win the titles, Bayley or Nia Jax will be in small company. Bayley or Nia Jax would join Trish Stratus and Charlotte as the only women to win 2 title matches at Wrestlemania. Trish Stratus won the Women’s title at Wrestlemania 19 and retained at 21. Charlotte won the WWE (later the Raw) Women’s Title at Wrestlemania 32 and retained the Smackdown Women’s title at Wrestlemania 34. Bayley retained the Raw Women’s title at Wrestlemania 33, and Nia Jax won the Raw Women’s title at Wrestlemania 34.

David, Jr.’s winner: Bayley & Sasha Banks

 

Women's Tag Team Championship: Boss N' Hug Connection (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. Samoan Slaughterhouse vs. The IIconics

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The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
(Falls Count Anywhere)

I’m actually looking forward to this match. Shane and Miz have killed it in this feud. Both are great talkers – most of the time. Shane did a great job of turning heel on Miz, and Miz has done a great job on mic reacting to Shane’s turn. This has been one of the better builds toward WrestleMania, and so I’m quite invested, but I still worry that Shane will find the need to jump off something he shouldn’t and further try to destroy his body. Shane might think he’s invincible, but he’s edging up on fifty. While his father didn’t really start in the ring until he was over fifty, he didn’t put his body through the abuse Shane has for so long. Each time he jumps I think it will be his last, so I wish he’d stop, but we all know he won’t. Either way, this match needs to go to Miz. He’s been stuck in the mid-card for too long. It’s time he’s back up fighting for the WWE Championship or the Universal Championship, because even though he might have beaten Cena at WrestleMania too early in his career, he’s more than ready to carry the top gold once again.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  The Miz

 

I’m one of the few who doesn’t love Shane as a heel.  The whole thing has felt forced.  He’s just not a good heel, in my humble opinion.  He says the right things but puts little emotion into it.  He wasn’t convincing beating up Miz’s father (Miz’s father is no actor either) and he wasn’t convincing threatening the ring announcer either.  Heeling just isn’t his thing and I don’t believe him.  He makes a far better face.  This causes a problem in that someone needs to be hated.  I can’t hate Miz because that’s not his character.  Can’t hate Shane either.  What to do?  Wait for Shane to jump off of something and wow us with how far he’s willing to go to get people invested.  That’s all this is about, really.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  The Miz

 

The writing was on the wall that this match was going to happen, and I think this has the ability to deliver. The Falls Count Anywhere stipulation was needed for this match because Shane excels in chaotic matches. The Miz has been underrated with his in-ring work throughout his career and this could be a chance for him to show a different dimension. Since Shane is the heel here, I expect him to try and pull some underhanded tactics to gain the advantage during this match and the Miz will have to play a bit of an underdog for once. The Miz’s first face run wasn’t successful but this one has gone well so far, and I think this match could help cement him as a top face. This won’t be a technical style of a match and I expect more of a brawl here and for the Miz to show us some things he has yet to show the world.

Sam’s winner:  The Miz

 

I still don’t know why this is a match at WrestleMania. I’ve never been invested in this random and ridicules storyline that has been boring me to death for months, and I do not care one bit who goes over.

But if you were to put a gun to my head…Miz wins.

Mitch’s winner: The Miz

 

The WWE usually doesn’t stick with long term booking these days so this is one of the rare examples of what happens when WWE sticks to a plan and sees it through, and the results have been mostly good. I don’t think by any means that this will be some technical masterpiece in terms of workrate but this should be a fun brawl. I think Shane wins here with the help of Sanity. I don’t think the feud will end here either.

Dre’s winner:  Shane McMahon

 

Long form story telling isn’t the WWE’s strong suit, but this one seems to be the exception. Since Shane won the “Best In The World” tournament, Miz has wanted nothing more than to be best friends with Shane-O-Mac. So a tenuous friendship and unlikely tag team was born. A few key wins and Miz and Shane would become the SD Live tag team champions. Losing the titles would lead to tension and tension would lead to backstabbing, but by Shane – whose been largely a “face” since his return to WWE. The Miz has suddenly become the good guy here, the guy you want to see get revenge on the supposed “best friend” who attacked him and Papa Miz. Shane has turned in some amazing Mania performances since his return and I don’t see this as any different, and Miz has been the steady hand of the WWE for some time now.

Mat’s winner:  The Miz

 

Random Trivia:
The Miz takes on Shane McMahon in a Falls Count Anywhere match. This is only the 2nd Falls Count Anywhere match at Wrestlemania. The first one was Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Crush at Wrestlemania X. The rules for Randy Savage vs. Crush were a little different than what today’s Falls Count Anywhere match is. If Savage or Crush got pinned, they had 60 seconds to return to the ring. If they made it back to the ring in 60 seconds, the match would continue.

David, Jr.’s winner: The Miz

 

The Miz vs. Shane McMahon

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Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
(Kurt Angle Farewell Match)

People are so annoyed that Angle is facing Corbin, but shouldn’t it be his choice on who he passes the torch to? Corbin is a strong competitor who is better than I thought he ever could be. He’s been in a rut since his run as Raw GM, but I know he can bounce back with a big win like this. All that being said, they have kept any possibility of Cena being involved in any matches at WrestleMania so quiet that I have to hope he gets involved in this one. This is where Cena needs to be, and would make so much more sense than Corbin, but that’s the WWE for you. I have to wonder if Corbin will be getting a double rub out of this one. Either way, Corbin has to win this one as Angle doesn’t need this win on the way out, in his very last match.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Baron Corbin

 

Angle is absolute toast as a performer in the ring and I think he’s going out too late, honestly.  His “retirement tour” hasn’t been good as he’s absolutely glacial in the ring now.  Nothing is forever and the bodies of these talented athletes take a beating.  Kurt’s body has absolutely had it.  Still, I think he’ll do all he possibly can to make this as good as he can.  Do I think this’ll be an “Angle vs. Corbin” match as advertised?  Nope.  I think WWE is trolling and I think there’ll be more to this.  Cena makes far more sense in this slot and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t appear in some capacity.  If this really does go as advertised, Corbin has to win.  He can then say he retired Kurt Angle and be a new-age “legend killer”.  That could work for him and I wouldn’t be mad at that at all.

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Baron Corbin (if it goes as advertised)

 

People were hoping that WWE wouldn’t go through with this match and it looks like this is the match we are getting. Storyline wise it makes complete sense but as Angle’s last match. I don’t think it does. Corbin has been utter slime throughout this whole build and that is great to see. Angle has had a series of farewell matches leading up to this match and they have all been very underwhelming. It has become so clear how much of a step Angle has lost and I hope this match isn’t terribly long. I think the longer this match goes, the worse it could possibly be. Either way, it is fitting for Angle to have his farewell at Wrestlemania and the crowd will give him love regardless of the match quality.

Sam’s winner: Baron Corbin

 

I know many of you still aren’t thrilled that Corbin is who WWE picked to be Angle’s last ever opponent. Especially after this week’s Raw where even Rey Mysterio couldn’t get an exciting match out of him!

But fear not, I am 99% sure WWE will pull a swerve here, and Kurt will somehow work with someone else. Who you ask? Well, it would be the perfect storyline bookend if Cena was the one to retire Angle and it is known that Cena does have a “secret” match booked for the show.

Mitch’s winner: John Cena

 

It’s hard to get excited for this one because his ability to generate massive her heat has been second to none but this whole thing seems so underwhelming for a final send off for one of the Attitude Era’s biggest stars. No disrespect to Baron Corbin either. Corbin could sure use the win here to help propel him into an even bigger heel but I think Angle gets a happy ending here in what will probably be a glorified squash match.

Dre’s winner:  Kurt Angle

 

Kurt Angle is one of the best to ever do it and probably the best performer of the last generation. There is nothing he’s not been able to do, no style he can’t adapt to, and no situation to intense or ridiculous. He’s faced the best of the best, from The Rock to HHH to Brock Lesnar to Rey Mysterio to Eddie Guerrero and he did it all with a broken freakin’ neck. He’s a Hall Of Famer and it’s time to hang up the red, white, and blue singlet and I thank him for all the years he’s given us.  Baron Corbin is a scrub who dresses like an assistant manager at Sharper Image.

Mat’s winner:  Kurt Angle, even if he loses.

 

Random Trivia:
If this match takes place on the main card, Baron Corbin will be the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner to have a match on the main card.   Yes, Big Show and Matt Hardy have had single matches on the main card, but they hadn’t won the battle royal, yet. Cesaro has made the main card as part of a tag team. Baron Corbin had a singles match against Dean Ambrose at Wrestlemania 33, but it was on the Kickoff show.

David, Jr.’s winner: Kurt Angle

 

Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin

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SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura

I’m thrilled they made this match, but wish they’d done it before the 23rd hour. Waiting until the go-home SD was almost half over doesn’t sit right with me, especially after what I wrote in my NXT TakeOver predicts. Personally I wish Black and Ricochet were going after Revival, but the SD Tag Team Championships are good too. I’m really wanting Black and Ricochet to hold gold together.  They cannot pin either Uso, that should lead to a solid post-WrestleMania feud between the two teams.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Aleister Black & Ricochet

 

I agree with Queen.  This was set up far too late to matter enough.  I’m glad Aleister Black & Ricochet are getting to Mania.  They both richly deserve it.  The Bar is past its sell date and while I love them both, the team has done little of interest lately.  This is more than I can say for Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura who’ve both been misused for years.  Their pairing makes zero sense and nothing has been done with it.  The Usos are reliable veterans who could use a tweak of some kind now.  I’m a fan but their act is beginning to get stale.  Who wins here?  We do!  This match will be stellar ring work-wise.  I think Aleister (am I prefiguring his inevitable name-shortening?) & Ricochet have the most to gain here by winning.

BOTCH’S WINNAH AND NEWWWWWWW!!!:  Aleister Black & Ricochet

 

This match was announced on the go-home for Smackdown and I was wondering what logic they would use for this match. It makes sense and I hope this ends up on the main card and not the kickoff. Black and Ricochet have gelled quite well as a team and I shouldn’t be surprised at that but I am. Rusev and Nakamura haven’t been given much of a chance to show what they could do as a team, but they have had flashes of chemistry. The Bar have come a long way from their beginnings to become one of the best tag teams in the whole world. The Usos have been my favorite tag team for some time now and I consider them the best tag team in the world. Due to the lateness of the match announcement, it makes it quite difficult to choose a winner here. A case could be made for either team and I will just have to go with my initial feeling over this match.

Sam’s winner: The Usos

 

While this is another match thrown together to give people Mania paychecks, it’s still one that should be fun to see. Considering two of the four teams have deals coming up soon (The Usos, Nakamura and reportedly Rusev are all thinking about leaving WWE) it will be interesting to see how this one ends up.

Personally, I think Black and Ricochet are going over here as they are proving to Vince that they are swimmers, not sinkers!

Mitch’s winner: Aleister Black & Ricochet

 

This one sees kind of thrown together last minute but given the 8 guys involved they will make this work and give us an extremely fun tag team match if they get the time. I don’t see a reason to take the titles off the Usos here especially with a epic battle with the Hardyz still on the table so I’m picking the Usos to retain here in a highly entertaining bout

Dre’s winner:  The Usos

 

Announced during SD Live this week, The Usos, being punished for forfeiting last weeks tag team gauntlet match so Kofi could face The New Daniel Bryan, have to face 3 other teams, 1 of which are former tag team champions in The Bar, an angry Rusev and Nakamura, and an absolutely on fire team of Aleister Black and Ricochet.

Fun fact: If Black and Rico win at NXT, they could walk into WrestleMania with the NXT Tag Team Titles, so that would be cool

This will be a fun match – a mix of styles and personalities

Mat’s winner AND NEW SD Tag Team Champions:  The Bar

 

Random Trivia:
At Wrestlemania 34, Shinsuke Nakamura was in the WWE Championship match. This year, he will fight for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. Shinsuke Nakamura become the second WWE Superstar to be in a Tag Team title match the year after being in a WWE Championship match. The other one to do it is Yokozuna. Yokozuna entered Wrestlemania X as WWF Champion, defending it against Lex Luger and losing it to Bret Hart. At Wrestlemania, he teamed with Owen Hart to win the WWF Tag Team Championship from the Smoking Gunns.

David, Jr.’s winner: The Usos

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Bar vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura

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Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
(Kickoff Show)

Murphy has been on such a roll at PPVs! The man seems virtually unstoppable, but there has to be someone to stop him, and it is WrestleMania. As much as I like Nese, though I see a number of straps changing hands throughout the night, I don’t think this is one of them. Murphy is a beast in the ring and has done a great job within the Cruiserweight Division and should continue to do so until someone truly special challenges him. I’d say Ali, but he’s on the main roster and killing it there, so he needs to stay there. That leaves Mitch strapped through WrestleMania and I’m all good with that!

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Buddy Murphy

 

Of course, another 205 Live match is on the kick-off.  WWE clearly doesn’t care about the product and it’s only there to fill time on the network.  They tried getting the concept over on “Raw” and it just didn’t work.  They even tried some mild crossover for a short time and that failed too.  As such, any Cruiserweight match will always be on the kick-off show of whatever pay-per-view it’s featured on.  Such a shame.

If feels like Buddy has held the title forever.  This is likely because he’s run through absolutely everyone in spectacular fashion in great matches – one and all.  Really, the only competitor left that he hasn’t faced yet is Tony Nese.  Up until recently, Nese absolutely bored me to tears.  He had one gimmick:  his abs.  Beyond that, he was devoid of charisma and while his ring work has been good, it wasn’t great.  Once given some substantive direction, Nese has been on fire lately – showing all the charisma once lacking.  He also put on a fantastically brutal match with Noam Dar a few weeks back.  He’s really turned it on.  Simply based on the fact that there’s no one left for Buddy to beat, I can actually see Nese taking this.

BOTCH’S WINNAH AND NEWWWWWWW!!!:  Tony Nese

 

Buddy Murphy has had a long reign and has been able to turn away every challenger. He has looked rather dominant, so it is hard to imagine him losing the belt. Tony Nese has been a nice story and I wouldn’t have imagined him as a contender, but he has grown leaps and bounds to emerge as one. The Cruiserweights have been rendered to the kickoff show for much of their time and they more than deserve a main card slot. I hope they are given at least 15 minutes to show what they can do because anything less than that is a crime. It is hard to pick a winner here, but I will do my best.

Sam’s winner: Buddy Murphy

 

205 Live has some of the best wrestling you will ever see. But nobody knows (or cares) because WWE NEVER promotes it. They don’t let the roster work TV, and they are always on PPV/WWE Network Special pre-shows. The fact people like Mustafa Ali (yes, I’m aware of the name shortening…but I refuse to acknowledge it) can get over in such a short amount of time since moving to the main roster is proof that these guys should be getting more attention.

As far as picking a winner in this one, I’ve always said I saw Murphy losing the title at Mania. But honestly, I don’t see Tony Nese as the person he drops it to.

Mitch’s winner: Buddy Murphy

 

As usual, the cruiserweight guys will turn out a PPV worthy performance but as usual they will get reduced to the kick off show because there just too many other matches that are a bigger priority. Buddy gets the victory here.


Dre’s winner:  Buddy Murphy

 

Last year’s CW title match between Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali was an amazing contest and the result of a tournament put on by 205 Live, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Holding another tournament to determine the next opponent of Buddy Murphy, 205 Live once again displayed the immense talent of its oft-overlooked roster. Great matches by Drew Gulak, Humberto Carillo, and the eventual victor Tony Nese make 205 Live a must watch offering on the WWE Network. Murphy has been a hell of a champ but maybe it’s time for the guy from Long Island to remove the strap from the Juggernaut of 205 Live.

Mat’s winner AND NEW Cruiserweight Champion – Tony Nese

 

Random Trivia:
This will be the 3rd Cruiserweight Title Match with the current Cruiserweight Title at Wrestlemania (well most likely the 3rd on the Wrestlemania Kick-off show). This will also be the 3rdtime that both men in the match will be making their Wrestlemania (Kick-off show) debuts. Neville, Austin Aries, Cedrick Alexander and Mustafa Ali were wrestling in their first Wrestlemania (Kick-off show). This year, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese are wrestling in their first.

David, Jr.’s winner: Tony Nese

 

Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese

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Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Confirmed entrants: Braun Strowman, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Andrade, Apollo Crews, Titus O’Neil, Tyler Breeze, Jinder Mahal, No Way Jose, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Lucha House Party, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Viktor, Konnor, Ali, Shelton Benjamin, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Otis, Tucker, EC3
(Kickoff Show)

I hate to say that this is a throwaway match, but it is. This match has never helped anyone get over at or after WrestleMania, so it’s just a way to give show bonuses to everyone who isn’t in any of the other two dozen matches. Goodness WrestleMania has become too much, and because of that I’m going out on a Queenly limb, as I’ve been known to do now and then for large, multi-competitor matches, and pick someone totally unexpected and not even on the WWE roster. I did it for the Women’s Battle Royal, and I’ll do it here. Two years ago Mojo won with the help of Gronk, so this year Gronk will win and completely send Mojo over the edge, setting up for something that should be fun post-WrestleMania, even if the wrestling between them sucks.

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Gronk

 

Total throwaway – top to bottom.  That’s all it is.  It’s great for the casuals but it’s not for us.

 


BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Michael Che

 

If I were to be honest, I could care less about this match. It was a nice thought at first but now it is where the jobber locker-room goes with maybe one or two legit superstars. They added a story here with Michael Che and Colin Jost rivalry with Braun Strowman and I guess that is to bring eyes to it. I have zero expectations for this match and don’t have any interest whatsoever.


Sam’s winner: Colin Jost

 

This match feels so bloody shallow!

 

 

Mitch’s winner: Does It Matter?

 

The big story here is Braun Strowman and the Saturday Night Live guys (Michael Che/Colin Jost). It’s still not enough to get me excited for this Battle Royal – the whole thing feels like a Kane/Drew Carey rehash but at least it’s something I guess.

There seems to be 1 vacant spot open for this match so my guess is that a returning Sami Zayn will folk that spot and win this match

Dre’s winner:  Sami Zayn

 

These are always weird because sometimes the winner gets a push, and sometimes not. There are always shenanigans, maybe Rob Gronkowski shows up, and apparently this year Michael Che and Colin Jost (SNL Weekend Update) are involved with Braun Strowman in some weird storyline involving a car. I’m not sure what Che and Jost are going to do in a ring full of WWE superstars but it might be quasi-entertaining….maybe.

Mat’s winner: Braun…proabably

 

Random Trivia:
This will be the 6th Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Three superstars have competed in the first five, and they are Heath Slater, Fandango and Goldust. Heath Slater has been announced for this one, so unless Fandango or Goldust are in it, he will become the only superstar to be in every Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

David, Jr.’s winner: Ali

 

Women’s Battle Royal
Confirmed entrants:  Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Lana, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mickie James, Zelina Vega
(Kickoff Show)

I’ve heard another rumor that Eve Mendez is in New York. I’d love to see her in this match. I’ve always thought she was one of the most beautiful women to ever work a WWE ring. Not saying I want Eve to win, unless she was coming back full-time and I highly doubt that will happen. That leaves just one person to win this for me. I know I should be backing Asuka as she deserves serious love, as does Naomi, but I’m going out on a limb and going with Shayna Baszler. Great way to jump start her move to the main roster!

Queen’s Predicted Winner:  Shayna Baszler

 

Another likely throwaway.  Great for the women to get a payday out of it but yeah…

 

 

BOTCH’S WINNAH!!!:  Wendy Richter

 

Just like with the ATGMBR, I really have no interest in this match. I wasn’t even sure they were going to do this match, and this has the least amount of heat. I hate that Asuka is stuck in this match that will more than likely be on the kickoff portion of Wrestlemania. I wish I had more to say about this match but there really isn’t anything to say and that is sad. I have no idea who will win this match and I’m not sure I care either. Naomi won this last year and nothing really happened after that for her.


Sam’s winner: Mandy Rose

 

Again, this match feels so bloody shallow! All it is is a way to give all the Women on the roster who aren’t being used (or in Asuka’s case not being used well) a Mania paycheck, so they don’t feel like leaving. It’s just another example of how WWE signing everyone so other promotions can’t have them is killing the industry (and the careers of most of the people they sign) slowly and painfully!

 

Mitch’s winner: Does It Matter?

 

I really feel bad for Asuka here for having to reduced to this match after the sudden U-Turn to have her drop the title to Charlotte nearly 2 weeks ago on SD. Hopefully she’s back in the title scene shortly after Mania after everything gets sorted out with the RAW women’s division.

While Asuka appears to be the favorite in this match I don’t think she’ll have her raised. I’m picking Sonya Deville to pick up the win here by eliminating Mandy Rose last. I expect big things for Sonya heading into the spring/summer, I’ve always felt she had babyface written all over her so I predict that her and Mandy’s friendship will be coming to close very shortly and those seeds get planted here.

Dre’s winner:  Sonya Deville

 

Everyone not in a match is probably getting tossed in this and some NXT performers as well, this is the 2nd one following last year’s inaugural women’s battle royal. So shenanigans, some fun stuff maybe – possibly a weird surprise – who really knows?

Mat’s winner:  total toss up – Ruby Riott or maybe Naomi again

 

Random Trivia:
Despite what WWE said last year, this is the 3rd Women’s Battle Royal in Wrestlemania history. The first one took place at Wrestlemania 25. The only two superstars to compete in both are Natalya and Mickie James.   Since Natalya is in the Tag Team title match, Mickie James will be the only woman to compete in the 3 Women’s Battle Royal.

David, Jr.’s winner: Lacey Evans