This WrestleMania is shaping up to be way better than last year’s, despite everyone’s opinions on who should be facing who. This is setting up to be a very enjoyable event, but it is also easily predictable. Unless the WWE changes things up last minute, it is pretty simple who wins these certain matchups.
Kevin Owens defeats Chris Jericho to become the new United States Champion
Jericho’s championship victory was only significant for two reasons; to get the championship off Roman Reigns and to set up the next champion. Chris Jericho was simply a placeholder in this title history. Kevin Owens, in fact, is the Prizefighter. Ever since arriving in WWE, he’s been after gold, whether that be down in NXT or on the main roster with the Intercontinental and Universal Championships. Owens winning this Sunday means he can add the United States Championship to his conquest list.
This will then allow Chris Jericho to slowly fade away from Monday Night Raw as Kevin Owens has a championship to make relevant during the summer.
AJ Styles defeats Shane McMahon
I’d be very, very shocked if they let Shane Brandon McMahon at 47 years old defeat AJ Styles, who owned his debut year in 2016. It was bad enough Styles lost to Chris Jericho in his WrestleMania debut, yet understandable because of the fiasco that was Fandango. However, if Shane McMahon beats AJ Styles, that should make every wrestling fan turn WrestleMania off. I could imagine Styles losing both WrestleMania events, but I can’t imagine his second being to his boss. That rarely, rarely happens. Styles is a lock here.
Afterwards, AJ Styles should get back immediately in the world title picture, no matter if Randy Orton or Bray Wyatt is champion. Then we’ll see Shane McMahon stand in a suit perhaps until WrestleMania 34. I can’t see Shane putting his body through anything else until then, and I’m even surprised he’s wrestling this go ’round.
Roman Reigns defeats The Undertaker
As previously referenced in my recent article, Embrace Roman Reigns, I mentioned The Undertaker losing his second WrestleMania match (something we never thought possible) against Roman Reigns this Sunday. It is a lock to have Reigns win the match. The Undertaker is getting up there in age and Roman Reigns is about to be the face of the company. I can’t picture Undertaker, at his age, going over against a physically prime superstar WWE is trying to get over.
This result would end The Undertaker’s career, more than likely, and push Roman Reigns to the ends of the earth. This would be the year of Roman Reigns and I could see him in the WWE Universal Championship title picture constantly after this match. Lesnar versus Reigns, potentially? The only two men to ever conquer The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Brock Lesnar defeats Goldberg to become the new WWE Universal Champion
Brock Lesnar is one of the biggest draws in sports entertainment today, simply because it’s a rarity for him to show up and wrestle. This match is two part-timers and in this one, it’s 100% certainty Lesnar wins. They have been building it up since Survivor Series, and since Royal Rumble, that Brock Lesnar can’t conquer Goldberg. WWE’s beast cannot beat WCW’s beast, and that has been the narrative. So how can one rebuild the reputation of their beast incarnate? Win at WrestleMania for the world championship. This establishes Lesnar’s credibility once again and makes everyone fear Lesnar.
This is, in all likelihood, Goldberg’s final match. Or one would hope this is his last encounter with Brock Lesnar, unless they have a rematch at SummerSlam. I’m expecting Goldberg to retire while Brock Lesnar holds the Universal Championship hostage until the Royal Rumble. It is more than likely that Lesnar will headline WrestleMania 34, his third of last four WrestleMania appearances, in the world title picture.
Naomi wins the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naomi was announced for the 6-Pack Challenge at WrestleMania for the title, returning from injury that forced her to vacate the championship not long ago. This is the perfect time to have a heartwarming moment and have her win the title in her hometown of Orlando. The only person I could see walking out of WrestleMania champion other than Naomi, is Becky Lynch. Lynch strikes me as someone who could realistically win the championship and have her WrestleMania moment.
Seth Rollins defeats Triple H
Now, this would be a lock for me, simply because it does no good for Seth Rollins to lose at WrestleMania to the boss, as this nearly never happens. The only reservation I have is Seth’s knee injury and if they use Samoa Joe to help Triple H go over, setting up the stable between Triple H, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens that people are wanting. This would give Triple H power and would be a huge shock to everyone expecting Seth to win. Rollins should, but there’s a little loophole they are leaving open.
Bray Wyatt defeats Randy Orton and retains the WWE Championship
It’s the simple thing to do. Bray Wyatt is the younger star and needs WrestleMania more than Randy Orton does. Wyatt just gained the championship and some feel it would be foolish to have him drop the title this soon. I’m there with you all, and feel Wyatt should win. I could, however, see Randy Orton overcoming his master and winning his 13th world title. Luke Harper might impact this match, for one side or the other.
My Gut Feeling:
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Braun Strowman is the guy. Big Show won it in 2015, and so he’ll lose this one. Maybe Sami Zayn wins it? Maybe a callup from NXT or a returning superstar wins it (not Finn Balor). The only reason this isn’t a lock is because I have no clue who will fill out the match, or else Strowman would be the heavy favorite.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville should retain against Austin Aries. This will be an awesome match, and that is why they booked this. Neville needs a lengthy reign through the summer as champion and his reign continues.
Raw Tag Team Championships Triple Threat Ladder Match: Gallows and Anderson lose their titles, not to Cesaro and Sheamus, but to Enzo Amore and Big Cass. I’m pretty sure Cesaro and Sheamus don’t win, but I could see the champions retain. However, Enzo and Cass haven’t held the championships and it is long overdue in many eyes. WrestleMania is the night to give them this moment.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose retains against Baron Corbin. It’s hard to picture Ambrose going 0-3 in singles action at WrestleMania since The Shield split. This is Corbin’s first time, so typically means a loss in most cases. I’m not so sure this rivalry ends after WrestleMania though.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Cena and Bella put The Miz and Maryse in their place. I could completely see The Miz and Maryse winning, pushing a Cena-Miz rivalry even further which would be awesome. However, it seems as if John Cena and Nikki Bella should have that moment in the ring. This is a tossup, really, and it might depend on how long Cena stays before taking more time off.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Comes down to Bayley and Charlotte with the Queen beginning her fifth reign. This is the hardest to select, because I think aside from Nia Jax, three could win it. This might be the time Sasha Banks turns heel, whether she wins or loses. I see how Bayley could keep her championship, but I think Charlotte’s Pay-Per-View history in title matches show she’ll retain. Starting 2-0 at WrestleMania is not a bad start! This, however, is one of the more unpredictable matches on the card.
So these are the matches. Let me know what you see happening this Sunday at WWE’s biggest event of the year. Watch out for those locks!
EDITED: Thanks, Bleak. He caught me writing this half-asleep.
Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)
Last month I kicked off a new feature, where I run down the 10 best WWE matches of the month from across all shows and PPV events. January saw some very good matches take place (which you can check HERE), but the month of February actually saw that stepped up a notch.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what my top 10 matches for February were in the world of WWE.
Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)
It’s Sunday, you know what that means. As ever, it is time to Break It Down, as we take a detailed look back on the last week of wrestling, taking a look at what has worked, and what has fallen short, in what’s been another action-packed set of shows.
As ever, there have been some highlights and lowlights, but there have been some brilliant matches throughout the week which have kept fans entertained. But which of the shows was the true standout?
WWE Raw continued in its recent tradition of being a very long three-hour show, and while certain moments worked, and were enjoyable, there are too many moments that simply don’t work. The Miz TV opening segment wasn’t exciting, but it does make sense on his behalf to pull out of the Elimination Chamber.
The six-man tag team match featuring The Hurt Business against Riddle and Lucha House Party was a very average match, and the Lacey Evans announcement renders that recent storyline fairly pointless. It’s not been a great story anyway, and the fact a tag team match had Asuka as a bit-part player just showcases where the women’s division is at right now.
Kofi Kingston and The Miz did have a nice match against each other, which was great to see, but the overwhelming positive of this show was the gauntlet match. It’s a stipulation WWE typically does very good at, and this was no different.
WWE Network Recap: ‘WWE The Day Of’ Royal Rumble 2021
The following is a recap of the new ‘WWE The Day Of’ special that dropped on the WWE Network (LINK) today, taking us behind the scenes of the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
The show opened with classic clips of Pat Patterson talking about how much everyone loves the Royal Rumble and the process behind how he came up with the match. “We’re always trying to be creative and do something that’s never been done.” He had to convince Vince McMahon that it was going to work as he didn’t initially believe it was viable. Patterson also told a story about “Nature Boy” Ric Flair coming through the curtain in ’92 after winning the world title “crying like a baby” and hugging him.
Edge and Christian were shown arriving at the ThunderDome for the 2021 Royal Rumble. They actually shared a dressing room for the show, I imagine for the first time since Edge retired.
Edge talked about the Rumble being based in fan interaction and the challenges of adapting to the pandemic. Now there’s a lot of going out and trying something, then going back and looking on social media to see the reactions and if it worked.
Christian said he’s been asked for years literally everywhere he goes if he’ll ever wrestle another match. Until six months ago he genuinely thought the answer was no, and didn’t like the idea that the last time fans ever saw him would be that segment where Randy Orton punted him.
Damian Priest said the Royal Rumble was his favorite WWE event of the entire year going back to watching as a little kid. “It’s the dream, man. I think part of the process of achieving your dreams is just making it to the company. … In NXT I was one in the back thinking I don’t know if I belong here sometimes, because there’s so much talent, and I don’t know if I can hang. But I figured out a way to belong, and a way to excel. That’s my goal here.”
Shane Helms was asked if he was nervous coming back, but said he was never a person to get a lot of nerves before a big moment. He talked about being a backstage guy now and enjoying every opportunity he has to help someone achieve their goals, but when he sees that ring or walks into the arena there’s a little voice in the back of his head going “you can do it one more time!” Helms said he was okay if his in-ring career ends in the Royal Rumble because it’s his favorite event of all time.
Bad Bunny was shown rehearsing his song with Booker T, which they apparently did in one take. He met various Superstars backstage including Charlotte Flair, who talked about being able to understand Spanish but getting super nervous trying to speak it in front of people. Bunny admitted he was the same with English.
Torrie Wilson said the best part about coming back is seeing all her old friends and the people she watches on TV now. She was really excited to get in the ring with Bianca Belair, calling her a “badass”.
Carlito didn’t know what to expect as obviously this year’s Rumble was very different than any before it, but he was excited to make his walk down a WWE ramp for the first time in ten years. They showed footage of him winning the Intercontinental Championship. “I’m excited to mix it up with the young ones, the old-timers, everybody. It’s what I came for, to compete with everybody. I’m proud to be one of the surprise entrants. Hopefully some people will be happy about it, and some will remember who I was.”
Victoria opened up about her doubts and the pressure she put on herself to be perfect and have an amazing match. She said she was very nervous to meet all the new girls in the locker room, but they were very warm and nice to her and she seemed to be having a great time visiting.
Seth Rollins reiterated that the Rumble is the most fan-interactive WWE event of the year, so he hoped they were able to connect with the fans and bring them something exciting, as well as keep up the energy for the performers in the ring who don’t have live fans to feed off.
Ember Moon said a lot of the same things we’ve already heard but you can tell she’s such a huge fan and is serious when she talks about wanting to headline WrestleMania since she was a kid, watching her favorites point at the sign after winning the Royal Rumble year after year.
An awesome video package recapped the Women’s Royal Rumble match with all the important moments, surprise entrants and eliminations until it came down to the final three.
An emotional Montez Ford was shown backstage watching Bianca Belair win the match. When she came back through the curtain all the producers and women in the match gave her a standing ovation and chanted “EST! EST!” but she went straight to Montez and as she said, “sat in that moment together”.
Bianca also had a moment with Triple H where he hugged her and told her that he believed in her, and that “this is only the first step.” She also spoke to Ric Flair who congratulated her with a big smile on his face and when she admitted she didn’t know what to do next, he said, “This is the real deal. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. You enjoy it.”
Big E paid tribute to Brodie Lee as they showed off the special New Day gear they were all wearing in his memory. Xavier Woods showed the different Brodie poses they had and explained them to Ruby Riott. Big E had to walk off camera, and Woods broke down nearly crying and said “I just miss my friend….”
Much like the women’s match, they ran a video package recapping the highlights from the Men’s Royal Rumble match, interspersed with comments from the performers throughout.
An emotional Edge talked about winning the match and how important it was for him to do it on the same night that his best friend Christian returned, just like him, after being told he would never wrestle again.
“It means a lot. I assumed this was all done. If you had told me four years ago that I would be in the Royal Rumble, going in first and winning it to go to WrestleMania… I still feel like I need to pinch myself. Next to my family, that means the most to me.” … “If you wrote this as a script for Hollywood they’d say it was impossible, that it could never happen. Yet here we are. I don’t get it, and I think I’m going to stop trying to get it, and just enjoy it. It’s happening, and it’s awesome.”
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