|The card is fuckin’ stacked, no doubt about it.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
OK. There are 20 dudes, which means I get three picks, based on the Rumble precedent and/or arbirtrary rules. Of the fourteen announced entrants, eleven of them are not going to fucking win it (Breezango, Slather, Rhyno, Ryder, Goldust, The Revival, Mojo Rawley, Matt Hardy). One of them might win it for the second time but I’m not gonna pick him (Corbin). That leave me with a likely winner, Dolph Ziggler, who they’re paying a lot of money for as a glorified jobber and could use the meaningless accolade. The long-shot winner is Tye Dillinger, who seems perfectly suited for the Mojo Rawly “hey you get this win and everybody thinks it means big things for you and then you go nowhere” tradition. And finally, my surprise entrant pick, Mark Henry, who’s going into the Hall of Fame and is probably owed one last moment before he retires.
Women’s Battle Royal
Again, I’m gonna give myself three picks. Thirteen entrants. We can eliminate Lana, Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan, Sonya DeVille, and Sarah Logan right off the bat as not positioned to win anything really. We rule out Carmella because she has the briefcase, Natalya because she had a title run this year and there’s only so much they give Natalya, Bayley and Banks because feuding people never win these things, and Mickie James because she’s Mickie James. Which leaves us Ruby Riott for the underdog longshot pick, either Becky Lynch or Naomi for the likely winner, and Ember Moon as the surprise entrant winner. I’m going to go with Becky over Naomi because Becky needs it more.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali, Cruiserweight Championship
This is Cedric’s. It’s always been Cedric’s. It was gonna be Cedric’s back when he was going to take the belt off Enzo before Enzo self-destructed. Ali’s getting a huge rub just by getting this far.
United States Championship: Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton vs. Rusev
I’ve got to go with my heart here. RUUUUUUUUUUUUSEV DAAAAAAAAAAY! Open the show huge, make everyone happy. We know Orton’s gonna be dropping it.
Uso’s vs. New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers (SD Tag Championships)
Shit. I have a problem. There are actually very few opportunities for heels to win belts at Mania. There are three face wins I’m sure of, and four matches that are face vs. face. Which means that to maintain balance in the Force, the Bludgeon Brothers have to win this. I don’t want them to win it. I want New Day to win it and have a big Wrestlemania moment. but the math doesn’t allow it. BB’s take it.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
This is another match where the heels could conceivably win, by pinning Shane and get3ting their jobs back. Or they could end up on Raw after Mania. It’s really a coin flip. Do they want to give Daniel Bryan a big Wrestlemania win on his return? Do they want Owens and Zayn to beef up the Raw tag division? I can’t see WWE not riding the momentum of the Daniel Bryan popularity, so I’m gonna say he and Shane win.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship)
This has to be Jax. They’ve kept her away from every title she’s been near her entire career. It’s long past time. And I cannot see eithe rJax OR Bliss agreeing to a body shaming, fat shaming storyline if the face doesn’t get the big triumph on the grandest stage of all.
Braun Strwoman and ? vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
You don’t put Strowman in this position and have him lose.But who will his partner be? I know I mentioned Mark Henry before, but another slot for him would be here. World’s Strongest Man and Monster Among Men. Henry gets a last moment without having to do a lot of work, then retires either at Mania or Raw, leaving Strowman holding the tag belts alone, boom, Authors of Pain show up. Other possibilities include Bray Wyatt 3.0, Mystery Callup, and Surprise SIgning.
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. HHH and Stephanie McMahon
Oh, you know Rousey’s making Steph tap out for the win. Second most foregone conclusion on the card.
The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship)
You’ve gotta figure Miz drops the belt here. It’s time, he needs some paternity leave, and he should go away for a while then come back to promote his reality show. So do they put it on Rollins or Balor? Balor needs it more, so i’ll say WWE puts it on Rollins.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker
Another very tough call, because in some ways, neither of them should win, so both of them should. I’m going to give this to Undertaker, though. He ostensibly put Lesnar over by ending the streak, Reigns over by losing last year, and so he could have his last match be a win. And Cena can go on to get his record-breaking title win next year.
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
This is the toughest call of all. If anyone can and should end Asuka’s streak, it’s Charlotte Flair. And there’s only so long you can do Asuka’s streak before it becomes boring and predictable. At the same time, Asuka’s streak story and rise naturally culminates in a title victory. I want to see Asuka win the title, and then lose the streak when she loses the title, maybe to Charlotte at Summerslam.. Bonus prediction - Carmella cashes in and gets her ass kicked by Asuka. I hope they don’t do a thing where Carmella turns it into a triple threat so she can eat the pin from Asuka without Charlotte losing, but it’s absolutely a possibility.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)
Styles will win this one. He owes Nakamura a win from Wrestle Kingdom. Just being in the title picture is an elevation for Nakamura. And Styles has earned his big Mania moment.
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)
Roman. This is the most foregone conclusion in the history of foregone conclusions.