WWE WrestleMania 31 airs live on WWE Network this Sunday, March 29. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s the grandest stage of them all. The grandaddy of them all. THE BIG THING THAT HAPPENS OF THEM ALL. It’s happening, and you probably want to read about it.
Here’s your complete WWE WrestleMania 31 card:
1. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c) (with Natalya) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) (with El Torito) vs. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (with Xavier Woods) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (with Naomi)
2. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
3. AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella and Brie Bella)
4. The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
5. Ladder Match For The Intercontinental Championship: Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust
6. United States Championship Match: Rusev (c) vs. John Cena
7. Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
announced entrants: The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor and Hideo Itami.
8. Sting vs. Triple H
9. WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns
And now, our legally-binding staff predictions.
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c) (with Natalya) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) (with El Torito) vs. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (with Xavier Woods) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (with Naomi)
What Should Happen: I keep wanting these thrown-together pre-show tag matches to create something magical. You know? I want Kidd and Cesaro to pull everyone aside and say, “hey, we got put in this pre-show scramble thing because they don’t really care about us. Let’s blow everything else on the show out of the water. If we get in trouble, it’s not going to be any worse than what we’re doing now.” And I want the 12 minutes or whatever they’re given to be the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. Just once.
What Will Happen: That doesn’t happen. I figure Kidd and Cesaro will retain because they’ve just gotten started and are the only team in the match with forward momentum, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Usos win to do the “Samoan wrestlers are champions” photos with Roman Reigns.
David D. – I really enjoyed the tag team match that opened up WrestleMania XXX last year, so this has potential to be a nice crowd-warmer. I really think that Tysaro win amidst an army of people doing their clappy thingy throughout the whole match. It’d be nice if the New Day just beat up everyone at the end and held their fists up for four hours straight in the culmination of their year-long heel turn. *cries in depressed wrestling fan*
Danielle Matheson – Big E vs. Cesaro vs. El Torito is a dream match I didn’t know I needed in my life until now. Ideally it will just be those three in the ring at all times while everyone else films talking heads for Total Divas, but if this WrestleMania card proved anything, it’s that dreams don’t come true. I’m gonna say the Uppercats win, and I spend most of the match listening to Big E’s old theme on repeat while shouting YOU CAN’T PIN HIM USO NUMBER TWO HE CAN’T KEEP STILL DON’T YOU LISTEN
Jessica Hudnall – Unless Diego and Fernando bring a box of Chicken Fries (Available again for a short time at Burger King. Chicken Fries, they are technically a food!) to distract Tyson (Chicken) Kidd, I don’t see how Catsaro loses this one. I do kind of want to see Big E wearing a Matador mask as a wave cap, though.
Austin Heiberg – The championships didn’t change hands at ‘Mania last year, right? I feel like I should remember this, I was there. I think the champions retain again, because Kidd and Cesaro are just too good to have this run end now. FACT.
Ashley Burns – I’d really like to say that Tyson and Cesaro will lose and start a feud, all caused by Nattie (who will becomes this generation’s Hydrox mid-card Miss Elizabeth), but who the hell will win? The Usos need a new gimmick, so they won’t win. Los Matadores are los boring (Living Language lessons are really paying off). And I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to think The New Day is offensive or not. So I guess Tyson and Cesaro defend.
Nate Birch – Usually I’d complain about the tag belts being relegated to the pre-show, but this “sad remnants of the tag team division clawing for scraps” match deserves its placement.
The only way this becomes at all interesting is if Cesaro and Kidd exploit the unspoken fact that WWE is sending an injured Jey Uso out there for a WrestleMania payday. Graphically murder Jey, putting the Usos out until Summerslam when they can make their triumphant return. That or Cesaro and Kidd just Lesnar everyone and we reset this dumb division again.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins (with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble)
What Should Happen: Randy Orton wins, to set up the hypothetical pipe dream of Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase in the confetti at the end of the show. WWE likes to treat WrestleManias like bad teenage mixtapes. You start it off with a big song, then end it with a cover of that song, or something that directly contradicts it. Bryan at WrestleMania XXX, Bret at WrestleMania X, and now hopefully Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31.
What Will Happen: That, I think? Orton winning is the most foregone conclusion on the card, and I expect this to be a good match, but basically Orton vs. Punk with a new, more Crossfitty Punk.
David D. – Finally, after booking backwards for months, we finally get to see how the angle that led to Survivor Series 2014 started. The only logical outcome is Seth Rollins winning because 2015 is his year, dammit!
Danielle Matheson – This has the potential to be one of the best actual wrestling matches on the show, and I say that as someone who is very vocal in her distaste for Randy Orton. By now nearly everyone can agree that if the stories of the matches were better and more concise, it would be a much more exciting card. This is the best example of that. We all wanna be negative and make jokes (especially those of us who get paid to do so), but this card has so much potential but it was nerfed before it even started. So I’m gonna say Seth Rollins wins, because even though it wasn’t great, he still shone through all that garbage build up. I am genuinely interested in what he does next, which is a thing I have said exactly zero times about Randy Orton.
Jessica Hudnall – Seth Rollins wins easily because Jamie Noble will distract Orton with a tasty bowl of grits, while Joey Mercury, AKA young Michael Rooker, will be cosplaying as Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy, leading Randy to believe that Batista is somewhere close. Rollins wins, triple leaping high-five, freeze frame and star wipe as WrestleMania ends.
Austin Heiberg – I’ve got Orton here, but I expect Rollins and J+J to provide all the entertainment value.
Ashley Burns – This is a genius match for the WWE, because they essentially said, “What’s the worst possible match we could make for a guy like Burnsy? Eureka! Put in the two guys he dislikes the most.” In fact, I predict that Rollins wins, but only after they simply talk trash on the mic for 30 minutes. There will be two whole minutes of fighting.
Nate Birch – As I’ll get into later, I have a feeling Rollins may leave ‘Mania as champion, but that doesn’t mean he’ll win here. In fact, it may actually play against him, as WWE may think a loss to Orton will make his later win more surprising. Even if Rollins doesn’t cash in at WrestleMania, an Orton win to start the show would be a good way to get the sociopath-lovin’ kids in the audience excited.
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella and Brie Bella)
What Should Happen: Women’s wrestling representation. Paige is NXT Paige, AJ is pre-Crisis “before she had her heart broken by This Business” AJ and the Bellas use that super secret worker training they’ve gotten to put on the match of their lives. WrestleMania gets a marquee women’s match to brag about forever, and we move forward understanding that “women’s wrestling” and “WWE Divas” don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms.
What Will Happen: The Bellas win to give The Bellas a WrestleMania Moment. I feel like that’s the entire point of the match. The Bella Twins have been around forever and haven’t really done anything at WrestleMania, so this is their chance to get a win as partners so their eventual (and inevitable) Hall of Fame video package ends on the big stage.
David D. – The Divas will get a chance! And they’ll get a chance to give us a 7-minute match before the main event. As usual. I’d like for this to turn into a four corners match somehow. That’d be their best chance at a great match. The Bellas win and Cena and Bryan come out crying to celebrate their ladies.
Danielle Matheson – This is the most difficult to articulate without write another few thousand words about the dire treatment of Divas in WWE. To keep it short, this is still the best opportunity they have to really switch gears, and right that ship that sailed on women in WWE so long ago. I want all or nothing. Give them ten minutes of full-on brutal, joshi-style wrestling, or scrap the match, put them all in sailor hats and let them grind on LL Cool J. I just can’t take any more of this middling will-they won’t-they bullsh*t. Teasing giving divas a chance is dangerous and harmful for everyone involved, and the thing I should be the most interested in shouldn’t be the thing that exhausts me to think about.
Jessica Hudnall – I’m taking the Los Bellas Twins to win here because there’s no other outcome but “frenemies collide”, right? Unless AJ implodes in a cloud of ennui and disappears sponge up her husband’s face blood from sparring sessions. Also, Nikki’s forearm will shatter someone’s jaw in this match.
Austin Heiberg – I’ve got AJ and Paige here. In my craziest prediction of the night, I have this going at least 12 minutes and actually being an impressive match. This is the biggest possible platform to Give Divas A Chance, maybe they can deservedly turn some heads here.
Ashley Burns – I’m assuming the Bella Twins will win. I’d rather see the NXT Divas invade and destroy this match, but I’ll take the Bellas for now.
Nate Birch – I’m a fan of women’s wrestling, and I’m pretty sure I’m more into the Bellas than anybody writing for or reading this site, but this is the most boring match on the card. There’s nothing new about any of it, and there’s absolutely nothing on the line. Maybe they’ll actually get 10-minutes to have a good match, but everything about this one screams “buffer match”. I suppose AJ and Paige win, because if a match doesn’t matter, the good guys (or girls) win by default at ‘Mania.
The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
What Should Happen: Total supernatural mayhem. I don’t want it to be a match. I want it to be Wyatt entering via firefly teleportation, Taker entering via druid-lined fire walkway, then 25 minutes of prop explosions, lightning bolts, flaming rocking chairs, ghost children, spooky lanterns, the works. Just blow it out. Pretend you’re booking an Evil Dead movie or something. I want the Undertaker being Sister Abigail’d be a demonic tree.
What Will Happen: Well, it’s the Undertaker, and the match lives or dies on him. If he took the time off to come back strong and can put up a performance like his 22-29 run, he’ll be fine and prove everybody wrong and go out on top. If we get WrestleMania 30 Taker? Hold on to your butts, because Bray Wyatt ain’t Brock Lesnar.
I don’t see Taker losing this, although the scenarios for him doing so make sense. Plus he’s lost before now, so what’s the damage in being 21-2? But whatever, yeah, Bray didn’t get an inch from Cena last year, so barring the impossible becoming possible I don’t see him becoming the New Face Of Anything quite yet.
(although if he kayfabe kills the Undertaker and steals his powers I reserve the right to claim that was my prediction all along)
David D. – Here’s what the ballsy thing to do: have Bray obliterate Undertaker out the gate. I mean, running body press thing before the lights even come up. Let him cut a boring ass promo in the middle of the match. Really piss people off. Then we can go to WrestleMania 32 with people doubting Undertaker’s ability to win and he has his last match as the underdog.
Danielle Matheson – There are like, twenty different ways this could go and they’re all great. Bray Wyatt becoming the new Undertaker by absorbing any remaining underworld powers Taker has? Into it. Taker being a changed man, looking to steal Bray Wyatt’s demon powers for himself to return to his former glory stolen by Brock Lesnar? Into it. Taker showing up as a siding salesman because Lesnar broke him so completely he forgot who he was, and Bray has to try to bring him back to the dark side? Also into it! I am into the potential for this for literally all of the reasons that don’t involve these two actually wrestling. And frankly, if they barely lock up but tell a compelling story, I am into the the most.
Jessica Hudnall – Undertaker beats the holy heck out of Wyatt, and that’s not a euphemism. Wyatt is the name of the demon inhabiting Husky Harris, and just like in the Denzel Washington movie “Fallen”, that evil spirit will leave the corporeal form of a severely battered Windham Rotunda. Bray will find a new host, maybe Fandango, while Husky will wake up thinking it’s still 2012, and be really excited to see “Magic Mike” come out.
Austin Heiberg – This is the real toss-up for me. Heck with it, I got Wyatt. Out with the old, in with the new.
Ashley Burns – Undertaker wins because I really don’t like Bray Wyatt anymore, not that I ever really enjoyed his bizarre gimmick. I’m more interested in what happens next for Bray. My guess is he becomes the new Tugboat.
Nate Birch – You can pretty much copy and paste what I said about Rusev/Cena here. Bray Wyatt was created to lose to the Undertaker one day. Would it be nice if Bray won? Sure, but the good it would do for Bray wouldn’t be enough to make the damage to the Undertaker’s legacy worth it. Losing once to Brock freakin’ Lesnar at ‘Mania is one thing, but losing twice? That’s the kind of thing that might happen to a regular old mortal. If Undertaker loses again, it’s going to be in his very well-promoted retirement match.
Ladder Match For The Intercontinental Championship: Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust
What Should Happen: The only logical payoff for this story is that someone who isn’t in the match shows up, races up the ladder, pulls down the Intercontinental Championship to become the new champion and runs off with it, right? Adrian Neville maybe?
What Will Happen: I keep thinking something anticlimactic’s gonna happen, like Barrett retaining. The belt has to go to someone who can give it a fresh coat of paint, and the only person in the match that can do that is Daniel Bryan. So Bryan wins. And yo, if Bryan doesn’t win he’s made one of the biggest Mania-to-Mania downgrades ever. From defeating Evolution, winning two championship belts and chanting in confetti to not being good enough to be a factor in a match involving R-Truth.
David D. – Daniel Bryan wins. He does his chant on top of the ladder and goes on to carry the IC belt to heights it hasn’t seen since HBK vs. Razor Ramon. I sort of want to be happy about that, but it feels like a consolation prize to shut us up, though.
Danielle Matheson – Okay guys, can you keep a secret? Between you, me, and the entire internet, I think this match is gonna be BANANAS. I don’t even care that there’s no story. I love secondary belts and I love guys who aren’t Kofi Kingston or Dolph Ziggler or Sheamus going after them. Luke Harper and Daniel Bryan and Stardust alone would have already sold me on this, and R-Truthfully I don’t even care about the rest. It’s going to be mayhem. All of these guys have the potential to make this the kind of match that is advertised on the backs of DVD Best Of compilations, and I desperately want that to happen. Since I’m probably not going to get the joy I want from any of the other matches, I’m going to turn off my hypercritical wrestling brain, dig into the chaos, and hope that at least one decent story can come out of it for the future.
Jessica Hudnall – Perfect world scenario: Ambrose and Harper are at the top of the ladder, and both pull the belt down simultaneously. It’s impossible to tell who got it first, so they are co-champions. They then defend the belt under Freebird rules, and since both wear greasy tank tops and blue jeans, they are easily mistaken for one another, leaving them plenty of opportunities to pull twin magic switcheroos.
Austin Heiberg – Ziggler and Bryan are easy picks to make here, and while they’ll probably steal the match, Dean Ambrose has been carrying all the momentum going into it. Don’t pick against a CZW guy in a ladder match.
Ashley Burns – After a long, entertaining match, I believe that Dean Ambrose will raise the IC belt. I won’t mind if Barrett maintains, but I would be upset if Daniel Bryan wins this lesser belt. He needs to be back in that big belt hunt.
Nate Birch – All analysis goes out the window for this one. Daniel Bryan will win, because he must win. This is the only way I’ll accept him being shunted down the card. He must be the classic match-generating Brock Lesnar of the Intercontinental division.
United States Championship Match: Rusev (c) vs. John Cena
What Should Happen: Anything but the obvious. As long as there’s one thing to make us go “huh, okay” during the match, I’ll be okay with it. It can be as grand as the double turn that smarks imagine in our wildest dreams or as simple as Cena going Rambo on the entire Russian army and Attitude Adjusting like 60 people at once. Lana in a red white and blue bikini on a motorcycle eating a Hardee’s hamburger. Putin doing a run-in. Something. Anything.
What Will Happen: the f*ck do you think’s gonna happen, brainiac
David D. – I care way more about this match than just about anything else on the card because I want Rusev to win with all my heart. Cena lost a month ago, wanted a rematch he didn’t deserve and choked Rusev out (after Rusev had just finished a match) until he got his way. Cena is the heel. Rusev is the Super Athlete. If Rusev wins I’m losing my cotdamn mind.
Danielle Matheson – I dunno if you guys saw that Rusev hype video, but I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that has succeeded in making me genuinely excited for WrestleMania. To be fair, that video was so great it got me hype to do almost anything. Banking? CRUSH. Making a smoothie? CRUSH. Recycling? Okay, well, I’m Canadian and always hype to recycle. The point is if John Cena goes over because America really needs a W, I will be CRUSHED.
Jessica Hudnall – The obvious answer is spoiler John Cena wins, but screw that, I won’t stoop to that level. Rusev is going to spin kick Cena’s brains out because John only works out his glamour muscles and Rusev has eliminated all weakness from his body by hitting a tractor tire with a sledgehammer. Yay Russia!
Austin Heiberg – Cena, because… well, because John Cena. And then he brings back the spinner US title belt. I’m only half joking there.
Ashley Burns – Rusev wins. I won’t pull for Cena after everything that has happened in this horrendous feud (or generally anything that he ever does). What will probably happen is Cena wins and converts Rusev to loving the American way, and he’ll show up to the next Raw in a Hawaiian shirt like the one Russian dude from Iron Eagle 2. Just please stop with the USA vs. Russia thing already. Stop with the USA vs. anybody thing. UNLESS you have the bad guy as a fat cat corporate guy and the USA guy is a post-grad homeless bro buried in debt, and he’s fighting to end financial slavery. That would be a hero for all of us.
Nate Birch – I’m pretty into Rusev, but the dude was bred in WWE’s secret underground Stamford labs specifically to lose to John Cena. It’s why he exists. It’s his destiny. Really, the winning streak gimmick is starting to limit Rusev anyways, and if he’s gotta lose, it may as well be to The Guy Who Runs the Place. Everybody loses to John Cena. It’s a right of passage. Pull the Band-Aid, move on and give us that Rusev/Lesnar match we all want.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
announced entrants: The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor and Hideo Itami.
What Should Happen: You know, I drop that “they should reform the Nexus” fantasy booking into most of these show predictions, but you’ve got a lot of Nexus guys in here. Slater, Young, Ryback, Axel if you count the New Nexus. I know for a fact that Justin Gabriel’s in town and David Otunga’s pumping away on the pre-show. Have them rise to win the match in unison, then have Wade Barrett saunter out all sarcastically, then smash the shit out of the Andre trophy.
What should actually happen is, I don’t know, Goldust gets a match on WrestleMania and isn’t the fourth guy eliminated on the pre-show?
What Will Happen: My head says Sheamus returns and wins, because “Sheamus” would look right under “Cesaro” on the front of the trophy. I’m keeping my eyes on the Miz/Mizdow situation, too, because either of them could win it, but I think their story is more important than the trophy. Yeah, calling Sheamus. He’s great at receiving arbitrary honors.
David D. – AKA The 2nd Annual Cesaro Memorial Match Of Lost Hope. I just want to see Tyler Breeze make his debut for this match. The only thing that makes sense to me for an ending is this match being the unofficial Miz vs. Mizdow match. They get five or eight minutes just the two of them and Mizdow wins. Sigh. It’s going to be Kane and Big Show, huh?
Danielle Matheson – This just got moved to the kickoff show, making my brain kick into aggressive panic fix-it mode to further justify why Goldust isn’t somewhere else fighting with his brother. I guess I hope that whatever happens, Goldust still shows up, maybe to either help or hinder Stardust in the ladder match, because seriously, how do you whiff so hard on that? How? Just give it to me I want it. Oh, and uhhh…I dunno, Zack Ryder. Let it all burn.
Jessica Hudnall – In another perfect world scenario, the entirety of SHOOT NATION (HOLY SHOOT! HOLY SHOOT! HOLY SHOOT!) wins the NXT tournament and they clean house as a cohesive unit. Up until Curtis Axel’s music hits. He steps out, rips his Axelmania shirt apart, and then BAM! Cesaro blindsides him to take his place and eliminates SHOOT NATION, winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal again.
Austin Heiberg – As much as I’d like to see Hideo Itami win, I’ll go with someone equally unlikely… Curtis Axel. I still believe. Snoop Dogg can’t shake my faith.
Ashley Burns – I guess I’m taking Curtis Axel. People like him, right? I’d prefer that Mizdow wins and breaks out of his gimmick, even though it’s certainly funny and a much-needed dose of charisma. But I’ll stick with Axel.
Nate Birch – Who’s even in this thing again? To Wikipedia! Oh dear.
Most people are predicting a Damien Sandow win, and he’s certainly deserving, so it probably won’t happen. I also don’t see the winner of the NXT Axxess tournament winning. I’m going to go depressing on this one, and pick either Kane or Big Show to win. They’ve been hinting at a feud between them, and one of them flaunting their André trophy can finally push it over the edge. If I have to pick one, I’ll say Kane. Don’t blame me if it actually happens!
Sting vs. Triple H
What Should Happen: Sting vs. Triple H and Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt are meaningless red herring matches. Taker should obviously beat Bray and return to full power. Sting should reach the biggest goal a hypothetical WWE Sting should do, which is oust a tyrant from power. Having done those things, the stage is set for Sting vs. Taker. Sting wins with NOT THE SCORPION DEATH LOCK and Undertaker’s dong catches him on the way out.
What Will Happen: That, I think. It’s the only thing that justifies these matches existing. I just hope Sting is battle ready and looks good in the ring. If he’s a staggering old man, that’s gonna kill a lot of stuff.
David D. – I know it’s snarky and cool to crap on Sting. Screw you guys. Sting was my hero as a kid and I can’t wait for this match. I actually think HHH is the perfect guy to guide Sting through to a decent bout. There’s Authority interference, good guy interference and it all ends with Sting going over. It’d be great if he celebrated until we get a GONG.
Danielle Matheson – Ethan Carter III beat Sting, so realistically I don’t even know why we’re having this conversation. The only thing that could possibly make me not use this as a chance to check my twitter/go to the bathroom/maybe recycle some stuff is Stephanie McMahon, because she’s already way more interesting that old man slap fights. Well, that or Sting waking up in the Impact Zone with Shark Boy explaining that him being at WrestleMania was only a dream, and he never left in the first place. Either or.
Jessica Hudnall – While I realize that Triple H is fine showing ass to further someone’s cause, I don’t see that happening against Olde Man Steve here. I’m not sure who will dupe Sting, but I expect a tremendous dupering, leading to Triple H and Stephanie standing triumphant at the end of this match.
Austin Heiberg – Stinger, man! I didn’t grow up a WWF kid and miss all the best parts of Sting just to have him lose here.
Ashley Burns – Ten years ago, Sting being in the WWE, scorpion splashing the hell out of everyone, would have probably made my dormant inner wrestling fanboy ignite and take over. Now? Meh. It’s cool and all for the sake of Sting’s legacy, but come on. Even though he’s in decent shape for his age, he’s not gonna be the WWE champion. This is nostalgic fluff, and really it’s way too little, way too late. But… STINGER!!! I’m still pretty happy about it.
Nate Birch – I’m hoping this is an under seven-minute dominant win by Sting, but since this is a Triple H match and they have four hours to fill, I fear it’s going to be a half-hour, audience-killing slog. Either way, Sting wins.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns
What Should Happen: We’ve written about so many possible outcomes and feuds for the newly WWE-dedicated Brock Lesnar, but here’s what I want, since I get to be honest and type it here: Brock winning with SummerSlam levels of decisiveness, and Roman Reigns going to live with a nice family on a farm up north where he’ll have lots of room to run around and Superman Punch.
What Will Happen: I’m honestly excited to find out, both from a fan perspective and as someone who writes about wrestling. As a fan, I want to know where we’re going. As a writer, I want to stop having this f*cking conversation. Lesnar winning seems almost like the default decision now, doesn’t it? My heart still says that’s a marketing ploy from WWE and something’s afoot, because they’re really good at manipulating our thoughts and opinions. CONSPIRACY! But no, I’m going to feel like a fool if I don’t pick Reigns to win, so here’s that. Roman wins. If he doesn’t, I’ll be happy I got it wrong.
David D. – I’m convinced that Vince McMahon is either the Devil or has a deal with the Devil. This match was a joke just four days ago, but a contract signing and an ESPN appearance later has made this the most unpredictable Mania main event since, like, Mania 2000. There are so many possibilities and most of them are pretty great. I think Brock wins here and they go back to the drawing board with Roman. Maybe he turns heel and runs rampant on the company until he’s popular again. Either way, the crowd is going to be red hot for this match and I’m here for it.
Danielle Matheson – Can Snickers build a candy bar so delicious even Roman Reigns can’t eat it? Ah, I kid. I don’t know what happens with this, but if for whatever reason Seth Rollins isn’t walking out of WrestleMania as champion (oh, that made my heart flutter a little just to say), I want something….decisive. And when I think about it, I want Lesnar to win. Not because I have any dislike for Roman Reigns, but because if they want him to be a thing, they have to stop forcing it. If Roman fights valiantly, and Roman fights nobly, and Roman fights honorably but Roman dies, then so be it. If he gets completely broken down – and I mean Brock Lesnar grinds his bones into flour to make his bread kinda broken down – then he can rebuild, and maybe do it in a way that seems more organic. A way that people will respond to. I just wanna like stuff again, y’know? Either that or Roman really is the Kwisatz Haderach, and ‘bringing the Reigns to Arrakis’ stays funny to me forever.
Jessica Hudnall – Picture this: Brock Lesnar, who rode to the ring on top of the dumptruck full of cash that he got paid to re-sign with WWE, beating the ever living dog mess out of Reigns. Except Roman digs deep and pulls out a canister of Brock repellent spray from a tactical vest pouch. Lesnar gets flustered, allowing Roman the opportunity to begin his comeback. He hits a spear and cocks his fist. Reigns leaps into the air AND RIGHT INTO A KIMURA FROM BROCK. Lesnar shatters the bone and JBL shouts “THAT’S ANOTHER HUMERUS OUTTA COMMISSION, MAGGLE!”
Austin Heiberg – You don’t give a man a Snickers commercial unless he’s your new golden boy. And call me crazy, but I think Seth Rolllins will, at the very least, tease a Money in the Bank cash-in. In any case, this’ll be anarchy.
Ashley Burns – I don’t see Lesnar losing right after the WWE made the UFC look foolish, even though I thought it was way too obvious that Lesnar would never get back in the octagon again. That said, with the ongoing negative reaction to Reigns’ rise, I’ll say screw it – Reigns wins and becomes the WWE’s champion of everything except charisma. After all, you can’t make a guy a star unless you keep shoving him down our throats. (See: Cena, John.)
Nate Birch – Okay, what the hell, I’m going to be wildly, dangerously optimistic and say Brock Lesnar wins. WWE was kind of backed into a corner when they thought Lesnar might leave after ‘Mania. They couldn’t leave the belt on Brock, and putting it back on Cena would be death, so hitching their caboose to the backfiring, barely mobile Roman Reigns express was the only thing to do.
Well, now they have options, and as cynical as I am about WWE sometimes, I don’t believe they think everything is going smoothly with Roman. Nobody could think that. They know full well this thing has gone off the tracks. Brock doesn’t even have to make some dramatic face turn – him beating the inevitable Roman Reigns will be enough to make him an everlasting hero.
Now, if I could slip on my fantasy booking slacks, I’d have Rollins come out and cash in on a worn out Lesnar. Rollins could get the win with the help of Reigns and Heyman, who turns on Lesnar, setting up the new villainous stable. Seth Rollins as HBK, Reigns as his Diesel and Heyman as their, uh, Heyman. No one person can reasonably challenge Brock, but those three combined could do a pretty good job of it. That exact scenario may not happen, but I’m actually reasonably certain something interesting will happen in the main event now.