Yes! Yes! Yes!
Somehow it didn’t seem right to not start off with that. Also, Happy Rusev Day!
Now that I’ve gotten that out the way, I want to say congratulations to WWE for putting together a good card, despite some poor booking decisions made throughout the year, for their biggest show of the year. I really had some serious doubts based off the last few pay per views. But overall, from top to bottom, the show should be amazing even if it seems to drag on. If you didn’t realize it, the show last year was over 5 hours, not including the preshow. I would expect more of the same this year, so pace yourself and your emotions.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Winner: Matt Hardy
In an effort to have more names on the Wrestlemania card, this battle royal exists. This has generally been a match where creative says “hey we have nothing for you, go compete in this.” In the past it hasn’t really elevated anyone to any higher spot on the card. In fact, it almost seems like it’s a way to not even be on the card. The previous winners include Cesaro, The Big Show, Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley. With the way their careers have gone after winning this match, I don’t foresee any major push happening for the winner.
WWE is set to have a documentary on Andre the Giant coming out in April and they apparently want this match to mean something. Hopefully the winner of it will receive some type of push. This match was perfectly suited for Rusev to win since he has the crowd behind him, but he has been added to the US title match. The next best option would be Matt Hardy. Finally WWE can deliver a winner of this match that has the WWE Universe in the palm of their hand. Imagine Hardy making all other competitors obsolete and the trophy being part of the woken universe. Hardy just deleted Bray Wyatt and this could be the next step to deleting all competitors in WWE. With Hardy winning this match it can be a way for him to get entered into the title picture (Intercontinental or Universal) as a singles competitor.
Hopefully WWE adds some surprise entrants to this match to make it feel important. A genuine idea might be to have the winner of this match get a shot at the Intercontinental or US championship going forward. By doing this it wouldn’t devalue the Royal Rumble since the winner receives a shot at the WWE or Universal title.
Cruiserweight Title Tournament Final
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Drake Maverick has injected life into 205 Live. His first act as general manager was to create a tournament to crown a new 205 Live cruiserweight champion. This final to the tournament will provide a great climax to an epic tournament. Cedric Alexander looked to be in line to win the title from Enzo Amore a few months ago, but that was scrapped as Enzo was future endeavored before the feud ended. Cedric Alexander’s time is now and he should shine in this match. He is one of the top performers on 205 Live and should represent their division as the champion. Mustafa Ali has come on strong during this tournament but Alexander should prove to be too much for him to handle on this night.
Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal
Winner: Becky Lynch
Similar to the Andre the Giant battle royal, creative has nothing for these woman and wants to get more names on the card. There’s really only one storyline going on between any women in this match and that’s the Sasha Banks and Bayley feud. Those two have seemed to be fed up with each other the last few weeks and have exchanged blows a few times, both backstage and in the ring.
Somewhat the forgotten member of the four horsewomen, Becky Lynch is overdue for a win here. I really have no clue when the last time Becky Lynch won a match on pay-per-view. I’m pretty sure it has been over a year. Hopefully WWE realizes they have a gem in Becky Lynch that needs to be elevated on Smackdown in order to have more star power in their women’s division.
United States Title match Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode vs Jinder Mahal vs Rusev
Winner: Randy Orton
Honestly I have no clue how this match came together, as the build for it is pretty weak. Orton won the title at fastlane and Roode is due a rematch. Jinder did beat Orton right before Fastlane and I guess he’s also due a shot at the title. Rusev was Jinders’ partner in a tag match vs Roode and Orton and he did pick up the win over Orton, so I guess he’s also due a title opportunity.
Thankfully Rusev was added to the match to give it some hype and fan interest, but unfortunately he won’t win. I doubt WWE will want to take the belt off Orton so soon after winning it. This match should probably lead off the show to capitalize on the energy Rusev day will bring. Orton should look pretty strong in this match and continue his title reign.
Raw Women’s Title match Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax
Winner: Nia Jax
Alexia and Nia shared a great friendship, shown out on WWE television and on total Divas, but it all came to an end a few weeks ago. Alexia was caught backstage speaking her mind about Nia with a hot mic, unknown to little Miss Bliss. Nia was all ears for the comments and proceeded to rip apart the locker room Bliss once occupied. These best friends turn into bitter enemies to see who the rightful women’s champion of Raw will be.
Please WWE, do not screw this up like you did with the HHH vs Booker T Wrestlemania 19 payoff. That storyline was filled with racial overtones and in the end saw the villain (HHH) prevail. The Bliss vs Jax feud has had a similar build (substitute racial overtones for body shaming). Physically Nia Jax should be the most dominant woman on the roster given her size, speed and athletic ability, and should dominate this match. Alexia Bliss is a great talker, but physically she doesn’t scare anyone and shouldn’t pose much of a threat to Nia Jax. This match really should be reminiscent of the Chyna vs Ivory match from Wrestlemania X7 (2001). A match that was heavily one sided as the overpowering woman showcased her dominance. Nia Jax should be given her opportunity to do so.
Raw Tag Team Title match The Bar vs Braun Strowman & Mystery Partner
Winner: Braun Strowman & mystery partner
Braun Strowman surprisingly won a tag team battle royal to earn the opportunity to face the Bar. Strowman beat out every tag team on Raw and did so without a partner. Braun announced that we will find out who his partner is at Wrestlemania. Depending on which way WWE wants to go, this mystery partner could create a lot of intrigue.
Honestly, I can see two different partners that might make sense for Strowman, but you never know when Wrestlemania is involved. With the way Braun Strowman has been booked for the past year, this really seems like the best route for him to take, to develop his character and also allow people to see a more human side of Braun Strowman. Braun has run through the entire Raw roster and looked very impressive doing it. Braun has always asked for more competition and what will be more of a challenge for Braun that basically being in a handicap match.
Partner one could be James Ellsworth. The small framed chinless wonder could see himself on another short WWE run if he is paired with Braun. Size wise, this duo would look similar to the duo Braun had in the mixed match challenge. This would provide some comedy in having Braun carry both title belts while never letting Ellsworth get any glory of being a champion. This also would keep Braun looking strong as he would work most of the matches and pickup the victories. Long-term, this also would give WWE and out as a way for Braun to drop the belts, as Ellsworth can lose the match and Braun can beat the hell out of him to write him of tv. How ironic would it be that Ellsworth got hired by WWE from his match with Strowman in 2016 and his time with the company would be ended by Strowman two year later?
Partner two could be Alexa Bliss. This would actually serve both Strowman and Bliss very well. Picture this, Nia Jax beats Bliss down to the point where she can’t leave the ring on her own power. The next match on the card is the Raw tag title match and Strowman comes out first and sees his mixed match challenge partner laying lifeless in the ring and Braun just says “HER. SHE’S MY PARTNER.” This would really get the point across that Braun doesn’t need anyone’s help to win. With Braun having Alexia by his side, this could give Braun a great mouthpiece to go along with his muscle and also show some type of romantic, loving side of Braun. Ultimately, the “breakup” of these two or Braun being too much of a hero to Alexa could cause Braun to lose the title.
We saw on Raw this past week Curt Hawkins asking Braun to choose him as his partner and that option could also be in play. Similar to the Ellsworth idea, it would align Braun with a loser counterpart and allow him to continue his dominance. It also would give him a loser opponent to work with after the breakup of this strange pairing.
In the end, regardless of who the partner is, Strowman is going to dominate this match and become a tag team champion basically by himself.
Smackdown Tag Team Title match The Usos vs The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers
Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers
Throughout 2017, the Usos and the New Day put on several classic tag team matches. That feud was renewed at Fastlane, but interference from the Bludgeon Brothers brought it to a screeching halt as they annihilated both teams in dominating fashion.
It really is crazy to think that the Usos have never been on a Wrestlemania show, only the pre-show. The Usos have become the best tag team in WWE today and they will showcase why in this match. The Usos should deliver a great pre-match promo and deliver with great in-ring work, but will ultimately fall short. The Bludgeon Brother have been dominate since their debut on Smackdown and I think they will start a new era for the tag division on Smackdown. The New Day should also shine in this match, but one of their team members will ultimately fall victim and be the person who loses this match.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan
Winner: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
This feud has been building for quite some time. It all started from an attack by Kevin Owens on Vince McMahon. Shane McMahon has screwed Owens and Zayn at every opportunity and has been trying to fire them for months. The only reason they weren’t fired was due to Daniel Bryan. Some tension arose between Bryan and McMahon during this time. Forced to watch from the sidelines, Bryan’s love and passion for the business became an obsession with giving Owens and Zayn the opportunities he thought they deserved. After Shane screwed Owens and Zayn at Fastlane, they had enough of McMahon antics and decided to take him out of the equation. In a very fairytale like fashion, Bryan got the news that he’s being cleared to compete just a week after that attack. With him being able to focus on his in-ring return and being able to show his passion for wrestling again, his sights became clear and he fired Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They proceed to attack Bryan and put his comeback in jeopardy. Bryan decided to give Owens and Zayn the opportunity to win their jobs back if they can defeat Shane and himself at Wrestlemania.
While I’m ecstatic Daniel Bryan is back, I don’t see a situation where he wins this match. This match has screw job and heel turn written all over it, but for a good reason. Shane McMahon could turn on Bryan, giving a payoff to the tension between the pair throughout the feud. This would give Owens and Zayn the opportunity to gain their jobs back and also put Daniel Bryan against the authority figure on Smackdown. After all, Shane is a McMahon and you never put anything past a Mcmahon.
If Bryan and Shane do win, Owens and Zayn could always go to Raw, but they have a much better fit on Smackdown. Keeping Owens and Zayn on Smackdown will give Bryan formidable opponents to battle during his comeback.
Smackdown Women’s Title match Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
Asuka won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble and after much deliberation, decided to face Charlotte Flair for her title at Wrestlemania. This will be a matchup of one woman with an amazing winning streak against a woman with the wrestling pedigree of an icon.
I seriously doubt WWE will want to end Auska’s winning streak with an established top star like Charlotte, but it would be nice if they did. Ironically enough this Wrestlemania is in the same building as Wrestlemania 30. A building that saw the end of the over two decade Wrestlemania winning streak of the Undertaker come to an end. New Orleans is already regarded as a magical and mysterious place, but imagine two miraculous unbelievable streaks ending in the same place and what that would do for the mystique of Wrestlemania and New Orleans. With Auska’s winning streak continuing to grow, it is beginning to limit who she can work with and also makes the results of her matches predictable.
I think this match will be a classic and should hopefully lead to several more matches between these two. While her winning streak may be predictable, it will be a nice change of pace for the women’s division on Smackdown, as they have become stagnant in showcasing their division and the talent they are capable of displaying. Even with predictable finishes, Asuka should be able to turn out great matches with the top women on Smackdown.
Intercontinental Title match The Miz vs Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins
Winner: The Miz
The Miz is on the verge of becoming the longest reigning Intercontinental champion of all time. All time. The only thing standing in his way is Finn Balor and Seth Rollins.
This past Monday on Raw Balor and Rollins put on a great match. With the Miz added into this mix, it will make for a great match. I’m sure some interference from the Miztourage will occur but it won’t take away from the quality of the match. In the end I fully expect the Miz to sneak in for the victory to keep his title and continue counting down the days until he is the longest reigning Intercontinental champion. This is my pick for the sneaky show stealer match.
Universal Title match Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
Winner: Roman Reigns
Brock Lesnar beat Goldberg, in one hell of a fight at Wrestlemania 33, to win the Universal Title and has had a stranglehold on the belt ever since. Roman Reigns barely escaped getting the hands of Braun Strowman inside the Elimination Chamber and picked up the victory over him to earn his opportunity against the conqueror, Brock Lesnar (I understand if you read that in a Paul Heyman voice).
Honestly, this is the most predictable match on the card and we’ve known this match was happening for quite some time (close to a year). This match pits the only two men to beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania against each other for one of the richest prizes in WWE. With a match of this significance, it should have some time of stipulation or feature some type of turn to make it exciting. Imagine if this match had the Undertaker as the special guest referee. Unfortunately that’s not happening because Cena’s ego needs to be catered to. With that said, I’m hoping for a Roman heel turn and alignment with Paul Heyman, similar to the turn Stone Cold Steve Austin made when he aligned himself with long time rival Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania X7. This will at least give Roman something fresh to work with and allow him to lash out at fans. Ultimately if WWE wants Roman to be over as a face, he needs to be over as a heel first and no better place to start than Wrestlemania.
Mixed Tag Match Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Stephanie McMahon & HHH
Winner: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle
This match is to payoff what happened 3 years ago at Wrestlemania 31 when Rousey joined the rock and attacked Stephanie McMahon and HHH. The only difference is that her partner has changed and will be Kurt Angle. Angle has had issues with HHH recently, as HHH eliminated angle from the men’s Survivor Series match a few months ago.
Honestly, when was the last time someone debuted and lost a match? Not a lot of guess work here as to how this is going to go. Hopefully this won’t be the main event and won’t run on like HHH matches seem to do. HHH will continue to add to his record setting performance for losses at Wrestlemania. I fully expect this match to be heavily choreographed on the part of Ronda Rousey and probably have some botches. The exchange from Raw wasn’t exactly the most natural looking way to put someone threw a table. Kurt Angle should be a bright spot in this match and hopefully provide some nostalgic moments from when he was at his height as the wrestling machine from the early to mid 2000’s. In the end Rousey will win this with an arm bar and probably showcase very little wrestling ability.
WWE Title Match AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Winner: The Fans
Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles have squared off before, but never in WWE. In this matchup of two unique styles, anything is possible. This is a matchup of arguably two of the top four or five wrestlers in the world. This match came together when right after winning the 2018 Royal Rumble, Nakamura announced he wanted to face AJ Styles. Since that moment, AJ Styles has coined this as a “dream match” for the fans and himself. Nakamura has proceeded to play mind games with Styles and has stated that Styles will lose because he is too emotional.
I’m fully expecting this match to close the show and to be the match of the year in WWE and quite possible all of wrestling this year. This match should take the fans on an emotional rollercoaster and provide an epic climax. I really have no clue who is going to win and I honestly don’t care, as both men are that unpredictable and would make amazing champions. This match really has Rock-Austin potential, in that it will be talked about for years to come.
As far as a winner, I’m at 50/50 for each guy. I really could see this going either way. Aj Styles has been a great champion and that could continue or Nakamura could be correct in saying Styles is to emotional and will make a mistake allowing him to win with a knee to the face. If I absolutely have to pick, I’m going with Shinsuke Nakamura with a feel good victory over styles.
Now that you know the card and Bryce's predictions head on over to Kimberly's Wrestlemania 2018 You Pick'em for a chance to win a Wrestlemania 34 T Shirt!
Bryce grew up in Richmond, VA, but has been a Raleigh resident for 4 years now. He graduated from Chowan University with a major in Accounting and a minor in Marketing. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, playing video games and basketball and watching sports. He is a firm believer that you’re wise to late and old too soo