The Super Bowl of professional wrestling is finally here! WrestleMania 30 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. is monumental event from a number of perspectives.
From a historical perspective, it is a milestone that an event Vince McMahon rolled the dice 30 years ago has not only last this long, but has made so many strides into what it is today.
Looking at the event in a vacuum, the outcome of the main event will mean more than it has in quite some time. Whatever way it goes down, there will be a lot of people talking about the aftermath of WrestleMania 30.
The event itself boasts a card with some strong main events, but a very weak undercard. A weak undercard won’t dull my excitement, however. By the time you’re reading this, I will be either en route or on site in New Orleans to take in the festivities in person, so this isn’t the last you’ll from me during the weekend.
Be sure to stay tuned for video interviews with some of the biggest names in WWE as well as live coverage of the event itself here on Philly.com.
Without further adieu, let’s get to some picks.
Disclaimer: Since I have no idea what Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan is going to do at the show, I will not speculate and predict. I will sit back with all of you and enjoy it as it happens.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
I usually start these predictions with the main event, but since this plays right into the main event, I’ve decided to go with this match first. Plus, this has been built as the de-facto main event anyway.
To me, this match goes one of two ways. Either Daniel Bryan simply defeats Triple H and moves on to the main event or the match ends with both of these men somehow landing in the main event and making the championship match a fatal four way.
My gut is telling me to lean toward the latter. Bryan gets into the main event for obvious reasons. The story that has been told over the last seven months essentially dictates that he makes it to the title match. As far as Triple H, I believe that for his work as a straight up heel over the last couple of weeks he deserves to have a say in how all of this goes down.
The question is how does WWE get to that point? How does WWE somehow land both Bryan and Triple H in the main event? The easy answer is to have some form of double count-out or double pin fall or something of that sort.
I think WWE will be a lot more creative than that being as though it is WrestleMania — at least a lot more creative than my wrestling mind could drum up.
But at the end of the day, I believe both men will compete for the title.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan and Triple H, both advance to WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan or Triple H
As noted above, I believe this match will become a fatal four-way. The winner of this match is obvious: Bryan.
There’s no other way to end this story. Period. WrestleMania is where crowning, defining moments are made and remembered forever. WWE hasn’t had one of those moments in a long time. No, The Rock and John Cena did not provide one of those moments. Certainly The Miz didn’t provide on of those either.
The moment Bryan wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and confetti is raining down and fireworks are blaring will be a moment that is replayed over and over and over again. It will be right next to Hulk Hogan winning at WrestleMania III, Randy Savage winning at WrestleMania IV, Bret Hart winning at WrestleMania X, Shawn Michaels winning at WrestleMania XII and Steve Austin winning at WrestleMania XIV.
You do not send the people home angry and disappointed at WrestleMania. You send them home happy, especially at the 30th edition of the biggest show of the year. This is a milestone for WWE and who could really imagine the company ending WrestleMania 30 with Batista holding up the championship? I certainly can’t. WWE may have its booking flaws, but the powers at be are not completely brain dead. They’re not completely out of touch with what the fans want. If that was the case, Bryan wouldn’t be in the match to begin with.
I know some people out there believe it won’t possibly happen. I know some people believe that the chase should last longer. No.
The whole purpose of the chase is the gratification of when it finally ends. You end chases at WrestleMania, not Payback or Extreme Rules. That’s what WrestleMania is for. That’s like the NFL crowning its champion in Week 4. No, you crown your champion at the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
I also know that some people believe that WWE will swerve the fans because the outcome is too obvious. Really? You don’t swerve for the sake of swerving.
Did WWE swerve last year with Rock and Cena? No. Everyone knew Cena was going to win and guess what? He did. Who didn’t think Austin was going to beat Michaels at WrestleMania XIV? It wouldn’t have made any sense for him to lose. It was Austin’s time and you don’t mess with that just to swerve the fans.
If it’s predictable, so be it. As long as it makes sense, it really shouldn’t matter.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan WINS the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
If this was two years ago, this match would have a much bigger feel to it. On a lot of levels it still does, but not quite to the level it would have had a couple of years ago.
What hurts the match even more is that the build has been quite underwhelming. WWE did very little in convincing people that Lesnar could indeed end the streak. Other than one F-5, Lesnar didn’t do much.
Why WWE would book this feud like that, I have no idea — unless they’re booking Lesnar to win. I know, it sounds ludicrous, but there’s something weird about this. Usually, WWE does something to make it look like The Undertaker’s opponent has the best chance to end the streak. Eventually, they all lost.
But with Lesnar, WWE has made him look as weak as he ever has. Michael Cole even called him a coward on Raw. That should never happen to Lesnar.
If I were a gambling man, which I’m not, I would roll the dice with Lesnar. But quite frankly, I’m too much of a wimp to against The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Because I’m a wimp, The Undertaker will go 22-0.
Prediction: The Undertaker defeats Brock Lesnar and improves to 22-0 at WrestleMania
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
Besides the matches that Bryan will be involved in, I’m probably looking forward to this match the most and I believe it has the potential to steal the show Sunday night.
I think the build has been very good over the last couple of weeks and I believe Wyatt will bring something out of Cena we’ve never seen from him.
Whether Cena will show a more vicious side to him or simply pull some more tricks out of his bag, I believe Cena will wow some people with his performance in this match.
But this night will be the coronation of Wyatt. I believe Wyatt will win and I believe he will do so for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I think it will do wonders for Wyatt’s character to have a WrestleMania victory over the top guy in the industry. Another reason why I believe he will win is because I believe The Undertaker and Bryan will win. What does have The Undertaker and Bryan have to do with this match? Nothing other than that they’re both babyfaces.
Somewhere in the show you have to have a heel get a win. If you’re not going to do it in the main event and you’re not going to end the streak, well, this would seem to be a prime opportunity to do so.
Will he beat Cena clean? I don’t think so. You have to believe Erick Rowan and Luke Harper will be involved somehow and I don’t think it will taint the victory either. How many people can say they’ve defeated Cena at WrestleMania? Three? One of his losses was in a triple threat match and the other there was interference from The Rock.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats John Cena
Six-Man Tag Team Match – The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn)
Boy, am I happy that The Shield is still together. Boy, am I not happy about their opponents at WrestleMania.
The Shield have been one of the few reasons to tune into to Raw on a weekly basis because of their fantastic in-ring work and they’re reward at WrestleMania is three guys over the age 40.
However, being on the card at WrestleMania means a lot, so that’s still a pretty nice reward.
There’s a chance The Shield can have their inevitable breakup during this match, but I don’t see any reason to have three men who’s prime was 15 years ago beat three young stars who the fans like and care about more in this present day and time and will do so for the next decade or more.
I believe the breakup of The Shield will be saved for another time. It may get lost in the shuffle of everything else that’s going at WrestleMania and may not have quite the impact it could if it happened on Raw or another pay-per-view.
Prediction: The Shield defeats Kane & The New Age Outlaws
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
In my opinion, this match comes down to three women: Tamina, Naomi and Brie Bella.
Notice that none of those names were AJ Lee, as I believe her time as Divas Champion is up. She’s held the belt for nearly a year and it’s time to give it up. She had a nice reign, but all good things must eventually come to an end.
Tamina is a person to watch mainly because of her association with Lee. The WWE has been building tension between the two of them going back to Elimination Chamber and I believe things will reach a climax at WrestleMania.
From there, WWE could have a rivalry reminiscent of Diesel and Shawn Michaels and may get some good matches out of it.
Naomi is a favorite in my eyes (no pun intended) because of the push she was getting before her nasty eye injury. It looked as if she was in line to take the title away from Lee, but the injury derailed any plans that could have been in place. Naomi has improved her in-ring work to the point she’s a credible talent in the ring. Not to mention her athleticism is probably unmatched among the Divas.
As far as Brie Bella, she could win so that her and Bryan can stand atop the WWE as champions, much like Triple H and Stephanie McMahon did almost 15 years ago.
At the end of the day, I’m going to go with Naomi. I’m going to use an NFL Draft term here, but I believe she has the highest ceiling of any Diva that’s currently on the roster. She’s good now, but with a little more seasoning, she could be great. I think WWE recognizes that and would want to push her to the forefront of the division.
Prediction: Naomi WINS the Divas Championship
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Like the Divas match, there are simply too many names to list here. Just know this: essentially every person on the roster is in this match and only three spots remain open, which could give way to a couple of legends who WWE decides to throw in.
The favorite is Big Show because of his size and he was once billed as Andre the Giant’s son. WWE won’t mention that second part.
But I’m not going with Big Show. I think he’s the obvious choice. I’m going to go with Big E.
I think Big E is big enough that it would make sense that he could topple Big Show in a battle royal and it could reheat his push as he’s been kind of stagnant for a while even with the Intercontinental Championship.
Prediction: Big E wins the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Pre show match: WWE Tag Team Championship – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (c) vs. Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. The Real Americans (Cesaro & Jack Swagger)
The fact that this match doesn’t have Cody Rhodes and Goldust and instead has Los Matadores is laughable. Yeah, two matadors are tag team championship material.
If The Usos hadn’t recently won the titles, I would go with The Real Americans here. Cesaro and Swagger are a very good tag team despite the tension that has been teased in the last month.
Since The Usos won the titles no more than a month ago, I believe they will retain.
Prediction: The Usos RETAIN the WWE Tag Team Championships