This weekend marks the 32nd year of Wrestlemania. WWE (formerly WWF, damn those animal lovers) is something that many of us grew up with and tuned in to see in the early hours of the morning on Sky Sports 1. We would watch great wrestlers like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, HHH, The Undertaker and Kane and Mick Foley throw each other around a squared circle and we loved it. While wrestling is currently in a PG era and doesn’t quite match up to The Attitude Era we all know and love, Wrestlemania is always fun. This year sees many great matches and we at GRM Daily thought we would mark the event with some good old predictions. Writers and self-confessed wrestling fans, Cam and Natz have put together a list of all the matches on offer and who they expect to have their hand raised at the end of the night. Scores will be clocked up and counted and by the end of the event, we will have our first GRM World Heavyweight Champion!
The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (King Barrett, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev
Natz: “Since debuting as a tag team in 2014, The New Day have developed as one of the top tag teams in the WWE, balancing a fine line between being comedic and becoming annoying. A face turn was desperately what they needed and this feud with the “lads” from The League of Nations is just what they needed. The lead up has been fairly calm with the best moments coming from New Day’s comedy antics (their segment with Edge & Christian was hilarious) rather than their in ring matches. In the lead up to the match, there has been no mention of the Tag Team Titles being on line but that shouldn’t matter. Excluding Tag Team Title reigns, the seven members of this match have had 27 single title reigns combined, including the World Heavyweight Championship [Sheamus], WWE Chamionship [ADR] and NXT title [Big E]. There is no shortage of talent in this match and should make for a fast and frantic opening match. If heel tactics prevail, The LoN will restrict the high flying of Kofi and the powerhouse of Big E and focus on Xavier Woods for majority of the match. On the “grandest stage of them all”, you’ve gotta make your champs look strong so The New Day will pull it out of the bag, just. Expect tensions within the ranks of The League of Nations which will cost them the match”.
Cam: “See, I’m not too big a fan of The New Day. I think that Kofi, Big E and Woods are all fantastic individual competitors, but suffer with this pink tights and trombone gimmick. In the past couple of months they’ve been used mainly as a stepping stone to help launch two other tag teams, Y2AJ, who were booked to lose their title match against Kofi and Big E only to set up their Wrestlemania contest, as well as Barrett and Sheamus as The League of Nations: the closest thing we’ll ever get to The Four Horsemen, according to JBL. As if. If I could have my way, I’d have Y2AJ as Tag Team Champs, but since I can’t see that happening, and despite both Sheamus’ and Barrett’s impressive track record as single competitors, I think The New Day will edge it. As far as I understand it, younger fans seem to like their happy-go-lucky, bootylicious promo-cuts, something that the McMahons might want to keep going in order to keep that market from getting lost amidst awful recent booking decisions – right, Roman?”
Natz’s Prediction: The New Day
Cam’s Prediction: The New Day
André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Natz: “At the point of writing, only 16 wrestlers have been announced with the likes of Big Show, Tyler Breeze, Goldust, Mark Henry and Kane set to participate. While the Andre the Giant battle royale was meant to be a highlight of the event, it’s previous incarnations have been rather lacklustre and last year, it was even relegated to the pre-show. Previous winners Cesaro and Big Show have failed to make the most of the opportunity and it seems like the Royal Rumble’s less famous and less cared about baby brother. While I hope that the remaining slots could be filled by an unpredictable return or debut, lets face reality. My choice for this would be Mark Henry. The veteran is into his 20th year with the company and has never really had a standout moment (don’t even mention his run as ECW Champion) and it could be good to give him a “Wrestlemania Moment” before he retires, which may not be far off. Expect Big Show and Kane to dominate, as they’re now a tag team, apparently! Saying all that, if a superstar were to debut/return, expect them to win. Sorry Mark”.
Cam: “I don’t really have much love for this contest – the Social Outcasts’ promo for it this last week really turned me off. Andre was one of the greatest hard-to-hate-heels the business has ever seen, and the reputation of this Battle Royal was diminished by Bo Dallas and co trash talking their way. Although, thinking about it, they do have a numbers advantage over all the individual competitors that are bound to enter. Like Natz, I think that Kane and Big Show will throw-back to their Tag Team Title reign and dominate the match, coming face to face with The Social Outcasts as a few of the last superstars in the ring. I think this event would be a nice opener, or would even sit nicely on the pre-show, but, I don’t know, the fact that I think Bo Dallas is going to steal the win is bound to upset some people. I’d love to see Samoa Joe come in and win it, but, unfortunately, I can’t see that coming to fruition”.
Natz’s Prediction: Mark Henry
Cam’s Prediction: Bo Dallas
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
Natz: “When AJ Styles debuted on WWE at this year’s Royal Rumble, I hit the roof! The Phenomenal One has fought for companies all over the world including WCW, TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling and finally he was ready to bring his fast and exciting style to the WWE. Then they hastily booked him into a feud with Jericho, which seemed to stem from both having a mutual respect for the other. They exchanged wins before Styles made it 2-1 at last months previous PPV, Fastlane. They then became a tag team, Y2AJ, won twice, lost once and are now fighting each other for the FOURTH time at Wrestlemania. If this was the first time and the promotion had been good, I would be more enthusiastic but we’ve seen it before and I don’t know how much people care. The debut of AJ Styles wasn’t utilised correctly and as such, his first Wrestlemania may fade into the background. But that doesn’t mean we can’t expect action and both Styles and Jericho are in-ring experts and will be able to tell a story through their match. As per major events tradition, we may expect an exchange of finishers and seeing Jericho hit the Styles Clash, AJ’s signature move, would make for good TV. My hope is WM will serve as an ending to this story and that Styles will walk out victorious, going on to challenge for titles and enter feuds with other stars such as Kevin Owens [which I’ll come to]”.
Cam: “Since Styles debuted at the Royal Rumble, I have been tuning in just to watch him. Although, I think this feud with Jericho is quite disrespectful to both superstars, from a writer’s point of view. These are two of the best in the company right now, and deserve more than a feud fueled by Jericho’s jealousy of The Phenomenal One. Even though a couple of heckling chants and a couple more code breakers weren’t enough to bring emotion to the rivalry, the match is set to be a highlight on the night. There’s no way you can have this match at Wrestlemania without it being a “Match of the Year”. Jericho is surely starting to think about his way out of the company and Styles is just getting started in the WWE, so they both have a lot to give. In the past few months AJ’s only hit one Styles Clash, so I’d love to see another when they go toe-to-toe in Dallas, and seeing as the whole feud is being used to set up Styles’ future with the company, I can only see him coming away with the victory. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Jericho back on top, but not if it means pushing Styles further down the card. Him and Samoa Joe are why I’m even interested these days”.
Natz’s Prediction: AJ Styles
Cam’s Prediction: AJ Styles
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. The Miz vs. Stardust
Natz: “Ladder matches at Mania have always been a spectacle. From Razor Ramon and Shawn Michael’s epic Wrestlemania 10 match to the Triple Threat Tag Team Titles Match at Wrestlemania 2000 to multiple Money in the Bank matches, they allow for a vast number of superstars to hit big moves from big heights. Just as last year, seven men will compete for the Intercontinental Title held by the arrogant and brash Kevin Owens. His run as Intercontinental champion has been quiet and this match will surely be a big test for him. Owens is a master manipulator and expect to see that play out across the match, as he makes deals with other superstars before looking after #1, himself. This will be Owen’s first match at Wrestlemania and will also be a first for NXT star Sami Zayn. Zayn probably had his last match for NXT this weekend, with a “Match of the Year” candidate alongside Shinsuke Nakamura and this ladder match will serve as his call up to the main roster. Expect to see Zayn having the biggest moment of the match, a massive ladder dive onto Kevin Owens through a table or something like that but I will see Owens walking out of this one, still as champion. Owens has only held the belt for a month and winning this match will solidify him as a champion. He could then enter a title feud with the aforementioned AJ Styles while Zayn tackles another ranking mid-carder”.
Cam: “Thank god for this match. I have such high hopes for it. Before it was announced, I wasn’t looking forward to Wrestlemania, I hate to say. Despite Stephanie’s strange reasoning for scheduling the match a couple of weeks ago, I can see it being a real standout on the night. I think all of these superstars have a lot to prove if they want to move themselves up the card in the future, with Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara looking to impress especially. I’d add Stardust to that list, but his name isn’t Cody Rhodes, so him winning this match isn’t something I’d like to see. I really think that Sami Zayn will edge this match, coming close to the win even if he doesn’t. I can see from a booking point of view why the writers would want Owens to win this contest, but I think the demand from the fans to see a favourite win a title is becoming overwhelming, so Sami might come away with it, especially after gaining Authority confidence following his match at NXT Takeover Dallas with Nakamura”.
Natz’s Prediction: Kevin Owens
Cam’s Prediction: Sami Zayn
Divas Title Match: Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Natz: “Even though it isn’t officially advertised as one, this match should serve as one of the main events of this year’s Wrestlemania. Last year at Wrestlemania 31, the Divas title wasn’t even on the line and it served as a reminder of how little WWE valued their female division. This past year has seen the “Divas Revolution” and credible stars made of Sasha Banks, Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte. When Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella for the title last September at Night of Champions, you felt that a change was coming and with the addition of Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, this match is sure to be eventful. First of, we all pray that the match is longer than 15 minutes and is allowed to evolve and grow. With Charlotte serving as a face, we can all expect some teamwork from Banks and Lynch before they eventually turn on each other and let loose. Ric Flair, Charlotte’s dad, is set to attend and we hope that he doesn’t take it upon himself and to get involved and ruin the match. This match is one of the toughest to call as each option makes sense; Charlotte winning promotes her heel status even more, Sasha winning could promote her status and the division and Becky winning could give her credibility among the roster that doesn’t seem to accept her. My money is on Sasha; she has shown that she can handle being champion with her run as NXT Womens champion and has the ability to be both a lovable face and a momentous heel”.
Cam: “Charlotte’s heel turn confused me. She is one of the most reputable legacies in the business right now and gives the Divas division much needed strength. She’s a real competitor, and I’d love to see her ascend to Trish Stratus heights. I mean, I also rated Beth Phoenix and Micky James, though, so what do I know?”
Natz’s Prediction: Sasha Banks
Cam’s Prediction: Charlotte Flair
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
Natz: “For me, this match makes very little sense. While my dream booking would of seen Lesnar take on Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho fight Ambrose, injuries and real booking have led to this match up. What started with Brock beating down Ambrose and Ambrose asking for more has developed into a question of, “how far is Dean Ambrose willing to go in order to defeat the Beast?” Comical segments have seen Ambrose with hardcore legends Mick Foley and Terry Funk as they bestow advice and pass on familiar weapons to aid in his “battle”. The stipulation is No Holds Barred and while this may of been done to introduce the notion of weapons and interference, the primary reason must of been to prevent a straight wrestling match. Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose in a 1 on 1 normal match would result in disastrous effects for Ambrose as in my mind, Lesnar is one of the best ‘wrestlers’ on the card. The no rules approach will certainly allow for lots of big moments and the aspect of interference is sure to end up happening. But in the end, Brock will come out on top because I can’t see a reasonable way in which Ambrose can secure a 3 count over a man whose last pinball loss came in 2014. Dean is looking strong though and won’t go down without a fight”.
Cam: “At the Royal Rumble, I was cheering for Ambrose to snatch the win over Lesnar and Reigns to cement his place as the number one contender for Triple H’s WWE Championship. At Roadblock, I was cheering for him to beat Triple H for the title. Ambrose is of the Seth Rollins ilk, and has a gritty determination about him that makes him such a respectable competitor. I understand that these are matches he is expected to lose, but he leaves nothing behind in the ring, and I like that. Whilst my decision to doubt Brock is probably an ill-advised one, I think that Ambrose will win this match and snatch a Wrestlemania moment in the process. That wagon of weapons he brought out to ringside during Heyman’s promo-cut this past week is sure to come into play, with Heyman set to take a few shots himself.”
Natz’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Cam’s Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
Natz: “You cant think of Wrestlemania without thinking of the legacy of the The Undertaker. The Deadman has ruled over Wrestlemania for over 3 decades and has currently performed at 17 consecutive Wrestlemanias. While his infamous ‘streak’ was broken by Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30, his pressence at the event is unmistakable and any opponent selected would be scared to be face to face in Texas this year. However, Taker’s Road to Wrestlemania hasn’t been the most clearest, for him, for us and for his opponent, Shane McMahon. The match was put together by WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon and has a number of stipulations. If Shane wins, he controls Monday Night RAW and it will be Taker’s last Wrestlemania. And the match is in a Hell in the Cell, Undertaker’s favourite match. So as a fan, its’s hard to choose who I want to win because Shane controlling Raw will hopefully lead to it becoming more watchable but Taker losing has detrimental effects, so I don’t know. The sell of the match is that Shane O’Mac has shown that he will take extreme measures in order to keep us entertained and the Hell in the Cell will be a perfect playground for big spots and hard hits. I can’t really say why but I feel that Shane will win, some way, some how”.
Cam: “Is it possible to have too much on the line in a single ‘Mania match? I think so. Michaels vs Flair at Wrestlemania 24 as a Career vs Career match was necessary, as Flair was looking for a way off of the roster, with a tasty Sweet Chin Music as a retirement present, but Taker’s Legacy vs the future of the WWE sounds a bit too over-the-top. Shane has to walk away with a confusing win in what’s been an absurd rivalry. Undertaker is an absolute monster, and Shane O’ is a…well, he’s a rich man’s son. This should never have become a real thing. Why couldn’t Shane just take a 3v1 handicap against the Wyatt’s? Why did Taker’s reputation have to be jeopardised in Vince’s plans to rejuvenate Raw? I still have to suppress his loss to Brock, and you best expect I’ll supress this predicted loss, as well. Despite all the confusion surrounding it, I reckon this match will actually be a really good one. Shane is always looking to take things to another level, and has a huge cell to jump off, so I can’t see why he won’t do just that. An elbow off the top off the steel structure and a three count on the Deadman will leave the future of Raw in some capable hands. Finally.”
Natz’s Prediction: Shane McMahon
Cam’s Prediction: Shane McMahon
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Natz: “This match has been a hard sell for the WWE. In what should be a story of a superstar who has fought so hard to accomplish his goals only to be knocked down by authority, rising up and seizing the gold, the crowd just haven’t taken to Reigns. They boo every time he enters an arena and while the WWE try their hardest to push him as the face of the company, it just doesn’t seem to be working. The Road to Wrestlemania hasn’t been kind to Reigns but hopefully Wrestlemania will act as a game changer. The clear winner in this has to be Reigns (wait!) because we need a full-time champion and HHH is most certainly not. While the match will serve as a momentous occasion for both and feature hard and powerful action, Reigns needs to come out on top. But he needs to come out on top, by cheating. On the grand stage of Wrestlemania, Reigns has a chance to reinvent himself and become the heel we all (or maybe just me) want him to be. With the control of RAW in Shane’s hands and the authority all but gone, Reigns can be the main villian on TV and turn on the likes of Dean Ambrose and The Usos. If you want Reigns as champion, you have to do it right. And ending the show with Reigns on top and turning heel will top off another year of Wrestlemania”.
Cam: “What a great main event we’re in store for. A 14-time World Champion going head-to-head with one of the most hated babyfaces ever to have stepped into the squared circle. Like me, you’re probably crediting the writers with this awesome booking. Unfortunately, it would be stupid to see Reigns not walk away with the belt, because they need to build him up to take Cena’s mantle as the face of the company. I am going to wishfully predict Triple H to retain, though, hoping that the WWE have realised in the run up to Wrestlemania, just how awful Roman’s promo-cuts and in-ring performances have been since he won at the Rumble and returned from injury. A mediocre contest to cap off an average Wrestlemania, with Triple H sealing the deal after a couple superman punches and pedigrees.”
Natz’s Prediction: Roman Reigns
Cam’s Prediction: Triple H