WWE is heading back to a much warmer destination for this year’s “Showcase of the Immortals.”
WrestleMania 33 will emanate from Orlando, FL’s Camping World Stadium. Fans will be treated to the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” of wrestling cards as Raw and SmackDown Live’s finest go to war. Goldberg will defend his newly won Universal Championship against his fiercest rival, Brock Lesnar. Bray Wyatt will take on his former ally Randy Orton in a match for the WWE Championship. Roman Reigns will attempt to get rid of the old guard as he does battle with The Undertaker. These three bouts and the rest of the stacked card are all WrestleMania worthy in our eyes.
As we get closer and closer to WWE’s biggest show of the year, let’s bask in all its hype by breaking down our predictions for each matchup.
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: This is quite the shock! The internet wrestling rumor mill had us geared up for a multi-man ladder match featuring the best of the Cruiserweight Division. But to our surprise and satisfaction, a one-on-one bout has been signed for the Cruiserweight Championship. Austin Aries recovered from the injury he suffered while in NXT (we’re going to miss his commentary, though…) and now he’s ready to take on the king of the division, Neville. This is much more preferable than the ‘Mania ladder match for a title that throws a bunch of guys in with no real storyline behind it. This grudge match has been built up solidly and its turned into one of our most anticipated matches of the show. This will no doubt be an impressive bout (especially if it’s given 10+ minutes). Neville has enjoyed a pretty good reign as champion and we honestly don’t see it coming to a close just yet. We’re going to pick Neville as the winner here, but “Double A’s” gonna stay in the mix with him until the next PPV.
WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss to Defend Against All SmackDown Women Who Are Available to Compete
Update: SURPRISE!!! Well, not really since Naomi’s shocking ‘Mania 33 appearance (WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED AS A SURPRISE!) won’t be a thing. She’s officially been entered into this match now that she’s recovered from her injury. We’re still picking her as the winner of this one, though.
Predictions & Winner: It sucks that Naomi had to relinquish the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship due to a nagging injury. We figured she’d get a good run with the title, but that dream scenario got cut short before it could really get going. The title landed back in the hands of Alexa Bliss, but she’s heading right into a huge challenge at ‘Mania 33. Daniel Bryan made it clear that Bliss has to defend her division’s top prize against every SD Live women’s competitor. So with Alexa Bliss and Naomi (just wait because we’re going to speak on her inclusion later…), that leaves:
– Becky Lynch
– Eva Marie
– Mickie James
Our gut’s telling us that Naomi will make a surprise re-appearance since ‘Mania 33 hails from her home state. It makes the most sense for her to come back as the conquering hometown hero and reclaim her spot as the rightful queen of SD Live’s Women’s Division. So that’s the result we’re predicting will occur before our very eyes here. Her healing process occurred in February and is slated to last two months, but we’re still expecting her to come back early. Naomi will show up, shock the crowd, surprise the champion and leave with the title back around her waist.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Triple Threat Ladder Tag Team Match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: In all honesty here, we haven’t been that intrigued in the tag team division on Raw and SD Live. There just isn’t a whole lot of good feuds or standout matches to look back on since the brand split birthed each tag team roster. Enzo and Cass have cooled off in our eyes, Cesaro and Sheamus are just…there and Gallows & Anderson still feel like damaged goods at this point. Throwing all three teams into a Triple Threat Tag Team Match like this is fine, we guess. We don’t care too much about who will capture the titles, but we’ll still make a pick here – Enzo and Cass will get the big babyface pop when they get the W! So yeah, the super charismatic good guys will FINALLY win the Raw Tag Team Championship after several failed title shots.
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: This “friends turned enemies” feud has been built up ever so nicely ever since JeriKO became a thing. While Owens’ run as Universal Champion left a lot to be desired, we still enjoyed the comedy styling of an always surly Owens and happier than usual Jericho. Owens’ turn on Jericho during their surprisingly entertaining celebratory segment hurt us more than expected. That’s why we’re so invested in watching this huge grudge match go down. Jericho tends to go that much harder in the ring when he’s on the ‘Mania stage. And Owens is one of the best wrestler’s on the Raw brand, so we know he’s prepared to do that once more. This one’s going to be a war. After the dust finally settles, only one proud Canadian will walk away as the victor – Y2J! Owens’ dastardly act against Jericho has to lead to witnessing such a vile man getting his comeuppance. And that rightful revenge from Jericho is what we’re expecting to see here.
4th Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Predictions & Winner: Okay, so here’s the lineup of participants entering the 4th iteration of this annual battle royal:
– Mojo Rawley
– Apollo Crews
– Big Show
– Curt Hawkins
– Braun Strowman
– Curtis Axel
– Bo Dallas
– Jinder Mahal
– Sami Zayn
– Tyler Breeze
– Dolph Ziggler
– Heath Slater
– Jason Jordan
– Chad Gable
– Jey Uso
– Jimmy Uso
– Mark Henry
– Tian Bing
– Killian Dain
So of course the giants who’re a part of this massive brawl will dominate. And it’s a safe bet that one of them will make it to the final roundup of guys left battling in the ring. Let’s just keep it a buck with each other – we all know who’s walking out of this matchup as the newest trophy holder. The bearded badass with the theme music that starts with a blood curling roar – BRAUN STROWMAN! He’s been built up all year as an unstoppable beast. His loss against Reigns at Fastlane 2017 didn’t deter his push too badly, but this battle royal win could heal all the booking wounds he still took from that feud with Reigns. Braun’s our guy here!
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H (Non-Sanctioned Match)
Predictions & Winner: Remember the last time Triple H got himself involved in a Non-Sanctioned Match? It was against his best friend turned enemy HBK and turned out be one of the best matches of 2002. With Seth Rollins stepping into the role of HBK this time around, we’re expecting a violent battle on par with the one contested at SummerSlam 2002. Rollins’ surgically repaired knee will be a huge hindrance to him, no doubt. But the added adrenaline and bright lights of ‘Mania 33 will cause him to step up to the plate and fight his heart out. HHH and Rollins are no longer the unstoppable Authority combo they used to be thanks to HHH’s backstabbing turn. So now they’ll get the chance to physically act out their grievances during this battle with relaxed rules. Expect a lot of weapons getting thrown around and some outside interference. So here’s the thing – remember when Finn Balor got injured after his match with Rollins at last year’s SummerSlam? That event will play a huge part in how this match unfolds. After Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn’s interference subsides, Finn will then make a shocking appearance. To do what, exactly? He’ll jump all over Rollins as revenge for sustaining an injury from him and then pledge his allegiance to the main who hired him in the 1st place. HHH will get the win while his newest ally will begin a new feud with Rollins when he’s good and healthy. Finn, Gallows and Anderson vs. Rollins and whoever decides to roll with him will be one of Raw’s biggest summer storylines.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Dean’s been infinitely more interesting ever since he developed a grudge with the SD Live’s “Lone Wolf.” Corbin has every right to take out his frustrations on the current IC Champion ever since he took an elimination from the champ during the last Chamber match. Ambrose has become even more of a wildman now that he has another worthy foe to clash with. Now both men will settle their differences for Ambrose’s title at ‘Mania 33. We’re kinda surprised that this title encounter won’t fall under some kind of hardcore rules. You’d think that’d be the case considering who’s involved here, but oh well. We see this going one way and one way only – Corbin crashing Ambrose into the mat with a devastating End of Days after a back and forth brawl. Corbin’s ready to take his career to the next level. We think an IC Championship run is just what the doctor ordered. This war won’t end after just one match, though. We’re betting that the relaxed rules match that we wanted here will take place on a later episode of SD Live.
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse (Mixed Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: The Miz is STILL on fire! His scathing promos against Daniel Bryan have drawn both the ire and adoration of the WWE Universe (we still loathe that term, but oh well). Ever since he brought his real-life companion Maryse back into the fold, The Miz has revived his career and become one of the main highlights of SD Live. The Miz and Maryse have made enemies in the form of another WWE couple – John Cena and Nikki Bella. The words being shared between both duos have been so disrespectful, which is one of the factors that actually made us care about this feud. Now the match itself? We have a feeling it won’t exactly be a MOTY candidate, but it’ll be mildly entertaining. We can totally see Cena and Nikki beating back The Miz and Maryse, then going on to make a WrestleMania moment when Cena proposes to Nikki right in the middle of the ring.
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
Predictions & Winner: Side note – with Finn Balor healthy and in working condition again, we’d hoped that he’d take on AJ Styles in some sort of WrestleMania Brand Supremacy matchup. But…we got this instead. Sigh…anyway, AJ Styles has brought up some legitimate claims as it pertains to his issues with Shane O’Mac. Styles turned into a complete savage when he caught Shane McMahon slippin’ in the parking lot and smashed his head through a window. Daniel Bryan “fired” him, but we all know he’ll come back into the SD Live fold. How so? Well, Shane McMahon challenged him at ‘Mania 33 so AJ will have to be rehired for that to happen. AJ Styles will engage in a battle with the man who decided to bring him onto the Blue Brand. While we don’t care to see this match unfold, we have a feeling it will be pretty decent. AJ is allergic to bad matches and Shane can still put on an amazing performance. Shane’s a daredevil who’ll fight to the very end, but that ending will be all about a conquering AJ Styles.
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax (Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: The Women’s Division on Raw is an absolute bore, to be completely honest. We’re pretty tired of seeing the same combination of female competitors beef with each other ever since the brand split occurred. Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley are all incredible athletes that have put on absolute classics on NXT. But they’ve been involved in some less than interesting beefs on the main roster. Charlotte’s reigned as the champ for a while, but her routine fell into her losing the title on Raw then winning it right back at the next PPV. That tired routine actually ended at Fastlane 2017 when Bayley held onto her newly won championship. But that victory came with an asterisk next to it – Sasha Banks’ involvement led to Bayley’s win. Plus another wrench has been thrown into the title picture – Nia Jax’s inclusion in the match since she fed the champ herself another loss. Last year’s Women’s Championship match was awesome, so we know this match will be just as phenomenal. Jax’s spot in the match will certainly change its overall dynamic, so there’s the possibility of seeing the other three women in the match working hard to take her down. By the way, Sasha Banks has been inching closer and closer to a heel turn. That return to the dark side for “The Boss” will occur during this match and lead to her winning the Raw Women’s Championship once again. Jax is getting eliminated first, followed by Charlotte, which will them segue right into Banks screwing Bayley for the ultimate dirty ‘Mania win.
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: The Wyatt Family’s been broken. Their compound has been burned to the ground. And one of the former cult members is challenging the leader of that now non-existent clan. Who would have thought that Bray Wyatt would be the WWE Champion? Who could have possibly predicted that Randy Orton would not only prosper as a member of The Wyatt Family, but also tear it apart from the inside? One of the more interesting storylines in the WWE has led to this – a major grudge match that will be contended for the WWE Championship. Now let’s be clear – we were bored to tears when both men faced off at 2016’s No Mercy. But we have a feeling that they’ll put on a much more quality encounter since it’s taking place on the WrestleMania card. While it would make sense for Orton to be the winner here and bring their saga to a close, we’re expecting to see a shocker here. Not only will Bray Wyatt retain, he’ll do so thanks to the surprising interference of Erick Rowan. WrestleMania 32’s events involving The Wyatt Family will come full circle with Bray and Erick coming out on the better end of the stick this time.
Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker
Predictions & Winner: Roman Reigns. The man who still elicits a mixed reaction when his music hits. But we actually enjoy watching Reigns when it comes time to deliver in the ring. His match with Braun Strowman at Fastlane 2017 was much better than expected. Reigns has begun using some of ‘Taker’s old “Yard” catchphrases, which has no doubt garnered the attention of the “Deadman” himself. We saw some sort of feud developing between both men during the 2017 Royal Rumble and we were right in predicting a ‘Mania match between them. Here’s the thing – Reigns puts on good matches, but we’re not confident in seeing him doing the same thing with a broken down Undertaker. It won’t be downright terrible, but it won’t exactly be a barnburner either. Don’t be surprised to see Undertaker take his 2nd ever loss at WrestleMania here. And not by a newly heel turned Roman Reigns (which we originally predicted would happen). Reigns will defeat ‘Taker and cause most of the crowd to boo in unison. The live crowd will be even more irate when ‘Taker does the whole passing of the guard hand raising gesture to Reigns, too.
Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) (WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: So yeah…this is totally going to be the main event. And we have a feeling that the entrances for both destroyers will be much longer than the actual match. Goldberg simply can’t put on a match longer than a few minutes or so. Watching him smash the opposition has lost its luster and we’ve grown a bit tired of Lesnar’s “Suplex City” act. Goldberg has conquered Lesnar in two separate matches and easily eliminated him during the 2017 Royal Rumble. Goldberg did the very same thing to Kevin Owens at Fastlane 2017 and left with the Universal Championship. Lesnar’s ready for another encounter with Goldberg now that Raw’s top prize is on the line. So this is how this match is gonna go – Goldberg’s going to do the very same thing he did to Lesnar at the 2017 Survivor Series. Spear, Jackhammer, Pin. But this time, Lesnar will kick out! A stunned Goldberg will try to go for another Spear, but this time Lesnar will move out of the way and smash Goldberg with a German Suplex. That will be followed by a few more German Suplexes and a match ending F5. Lesnar will get his revenge on Goldberg on WWE’s biggest stage and leave as the new Universal Champion.