We’re a little over twenty-four hours away from “the ultimate thrill ride” WrestleMania 33 and with all the matches now announced (bar any last minute surprises) we thought it was the perfect time to give our predictions on the match card that’s lined up.
Originally set to have three matches take place, the kickoff show will now only feature two. One of these will see the Cruiserweight Championship put on the line as Austin Aries challenges Neville. Now the first thing I have to say about this is, “why is it on the kickoff show?” Well that aside my prediction for this match is Neville retaining, as despite there having been a lot of hype placed around Aries as of late, the King of the Cruiserweights will manage to pull it out of the bag on the grandest stage of them all. How he does this is a completely different question, however, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the champion has to resort of underhanded tactics or plain cheating to keep the belt.
The second, and now final, match scheduled for the kickoff show is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, pitting various Raw superstars against SmackDown superstars (basically the rest of the unused talent). Now given the names that have already been announced for the match the obvious winner is Braun Strowman, with the match being perfectly suited for his dominant style. If this isn’t the case (e.g. he gets ganged up on early) it will likely be someone like Sami Zayn or even Big Show.
Originally planned to take place on the kickoff show, the SmackDown Women’s Championship will now be on the main card. The match is still a six-pack challenge, pitting champion, Alexa Bliss, against Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, Mickie James and Naomi. Now this one is a little harder to predict, given the amount of talent involved, but the safe bet is that Naomi will regain the title she never lost.
Originally a match I expected to see on the kickoff show, the Raw Tag Team titles will now be defended in a triple threat ladder match. And given the history of ladders at Mania, I’d expect this to be one of the opening matches. Participating in the contest are champions, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Enzo and Big Cass, as well as former champions Cesaro and Sheamus. Before the ladders stipulation was added, I had this as a win for Gallows and Anderson. Now, however, it’s a bit harder to predict, as ladder matches rarely go the way we expect them. Nevertheless I’m sticking with a title retain for the champions, with the slim possibility of interference from someone like Finn Bálor (who’s yet to return, and affiliated with the champs) being the deciding factor.
Another match I expect to see early in the show is the Intercontinental title bout, which will see Dean Ambrose defend against Baron Corbin. This is yet another match that could go either way, but given the fact that WWE haven’t been pushing Ambrose much since losing the then World title to AJ Styles at No Mercy, as well as the push Corbin‘s received to get to this point, I expect a win for the Lone Wolf.
One year after its introduction, the Raw Women’s title will be defended in a fatal four-way elimination match. Involved in the match we have champion, Bayley, former champions Charlotte and Sasha Banks, as well as Nia Jax. Much like the main event of WrestleMania 2000 (which saw Triple H, Mick Foley and The Rock team up to take out the biggest competitor, Big Show), I expect to see Bayley, Sasha and Charlotte collectively eliminate Nia Jax. Next I expect Bayley to eliminate Charlotte, with Sasha picking up the eventual win, turning heel out of desperation to beat her friend.
One of the stranger matches to come at this years WrestleMania is John Cena and his girlfriend Nikki Bella against The Miz and his wife Maryse. Given the rumours that this has been put in place due to a possible early retirement for Nikki (due to prior neck problems), I’d expect the win to come for Cena and Bella. In addition to that I wouldn’t be surprised if Nikki lays out Miz, with Cena picking up the 1, 2, 3.
Having had one of the best storyline twists of the last year, former “best friends,” Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho will square off for the latter’s United States title. Now despite a lot of fans having wished this would have either been title vs. title or just for the Universal title, I personally think this is the better choice. As for the match itself, I honestly see it being one of the standout boughts, with the chemistry between the two sure to pay off big time. As for the who will win, that is fairly obvious, as given Jericho is set to tour with his band Fozzy very soon, this would be the perfect point to quietly take him off TV.
A stapled part of WrestleMania for the last twenty-six years has been the Undertaker, and despite his streak having came to an end at WrestleMania 30, it is still something fans clamor to see. This year the Deadman takes on the Big Dog, Roman Reigns, to see who’s yard this truly is. Despite this not being a popular decision with fans (given the fact Undertaker could retire any year now), I still expect it to be a good match. When this match was first rumoured, I expected Reigns to win, possibly turning heel in the process. As we move closer to Mania, however, I’m starting to think Undertaker will win. This will then set-up a return match next year, where Reigns will do whatever it takes to win, finally turning heel in the process. I also expect Reigns to have won the Universal title in between this making it a title vs. career match.
Having come off a “phenomenal” year, the prospect of AJ Styles not fighting for the WWE title has left many fans disappointed. So when it was revealed that he’d be facing SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, instead you can bet there were a few that saw this as a waste of talent. Personally, though I’d have rather seen the former, I expect this to be a good match, with some big moments from both wrestlers. When all’s said and done, however, it can’t really be anyone other than AJ Styles picking up the win.
Easily having the biggest buildup off all our matches (having originally been planned for last years event), Triple H will take on Seth Rollins in a non-sanctioned match. Though this is a match that could hold a few surprises, I’d be shocked if Rollins didn’t pick up the win, with the whole angle feeling like a passing of a torch. One thing that is easy to predict about this match, is that we’ll get some kind of interference from Samoa Joe (with it being a crying shame he doesn’t have his own match). To counter this, however, I also expect some interference on Seth‘s behalf, with the recently fired Mick Foley having a score to settle with The Game.
The WWE Championship match at this years show will see Bray Wyatt take on Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton. Once again this is a match I can see going either way, but after weighing up the possibility I’d have to go for a title retain for Wyatt. I expect Orton to dominate the early portion of the match, with an even playing field later on. What, in my opinion, will give Wyatt the win will be interference from a returning Eric Rowan, with Luke Harper also rejoining the fold (with everything we’ve seen prior being at Wyatt‘s behest. If this shouldn’t come to pass, I’d expect “Sister Abigail” to play a part (whether spiritually or in a physical form).
The main event, and last match on the card, will likely be Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal title. Despite not expecting this to be anywhere near as short as all Golberg‘s prior matches since returning, I’d still be surprised if it was any longer than 10 minutes, expecting a 5-10 minute schedule. As for the outcome, that’s probably the most obvious of the night, with Lesnar finally getting a win over Goldberg (who isn’t likely to stay much longer anyway).
Well there you have it, those are our predictions. But what do you think? Do you agree with these predictions? Or do you expect Mania to go a completely different way?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!