WrestleMania XXXI: Predictions
March 25, 2015
It's that time of year again, time for my annual WrestleMania predictions. I've been making predictions for WrestleMania results (wins and losses) since 2006 and while I don't seem very good at it, people seem to enjoy it so I keep doing it. After real strong showings for Mania 28 & 29 last year was not a good year for me. There were only 7 matches on the show and seeing that the Battle Royal was won by a guy who wasn't even announced in the match, I threw that result out, and ended up 3-3.
Going into my 10th Mania of predictions I stand just slightly better than a coins toss at 53%, but that isn't really a fair comparison because many of these matches have more than 2 people in them so picking a winner is harder than just flipping a coin. MITB matches; Battle Royals, etc. really kill your chances of picking the winners. Also be aware I never count preshow matches just official WrestleMania matches in my percentages.
My record so far:
Mania 23: 63%
Mania 24: 44%
Mania 25: 50%
Mania 26: 20%
Mania 27: 38%
Mania 28: 75%
Mania 29: 75%
Mania 30: 50%
As of right now the Tag Team Title match is designated for the pre-show, which I don't count in my picks. Should this match be added to the main card at the last minute I'll pick Tyson & Cesaro to retain.
Andre the Giant Battle Royal: Much like last year this match could end up getting thrown out, for my picks. So far I belief they have announced 17 people for this match, which means there could be at least 3 more added to the match. Picking 1 out of 20 is already a near impossible task but when you don't even know who some of those people are it becomes ridiculous. If Sheamus makes his return in this match I'm picking him to win. If he's not winning, the smart thing to do is hold his return off until the Monday after Mania. If Sheamus isn't added to the match, I've got a few options. There will be 1 NXT guy added to the match, because they announced a 4 man tournament at Axxess for that 1 NXT spot. The 4 NXT guys are Fin Balor, Hideo Atami, Tyler Breeze, and Adrian Neville. If Balor wins the spot I'm picking him to win the Battle Royal. This guy has Star written all over him so beating him in his debut on a stage this large would be asinine in my opinion. If he isn't winning, have Kevin Owen cost him the loss in the tournament. Due to their height and shall we say more subtle personalities I think putting Neville or Atami on this match with such huge guys, would be a mistake so I don’t see either of them winning the spot. Should Neville end up in it, I predict they are going ahead with the rumored "Might Mouse" type gimmick and he will win the "traditional" big guy match. If they aren't putting the NXT guy over, I'd put Breeze in the match. His colourful personality will get him noticed and attract some attention and as a heel the loss won't hurt him as much. So in the event there is no Sheamus, no Balor, no Neville, I'll go with Ryback for the win. As a side note, like last year if someone outside of the 17 announced participants wins, I'm just throwing the whole match out and not counting it towards my average.
AJ & Paige vs. The Bellas: I was going to go with AJ & Paige for this one based solely off the Bellas looking stronger on TV and WWEs trend to balance out the booking, but when I finished all of my predictions there were way too many baby face wins on the show and I think a heel win here will better balance out the show. Bellas for the win.
IC Title Ladder Match: With 7 people to choose from, this match is going to be tough. If you believe WWE math I've got a 14% chance of picking a winner. With the way they started building this match around R-Truth not being in any of the matches but being highlighted tip toeing around stealing the titles I was starting to expect him to pick up the win. Thankfully he wrestled Monday and even picked up a win, so I think I can rule him out. I'm picking Daniel Bryan to win the title and based off his clean loss to Dolph Ziggler, I see spring Live Events featuring Bryan vs. Ziggler IC Titles matches. These should be awesome matches so if WWE is in your area in April and May I'd get tickets.
Rusev vs. John Cena (US Title): I'm predicting John Cena becomes the new US Champion. They seem to be set on down playing Cena a bit to give Reigns a chance so this seems like a decent way to do it. If you give John a strong US Title feud you could theoretically have him headline one loop of house shows as the #2 guy and feature Roman with the World Title on the other loop. Rusev's continued dominance on the final RAW makes me fairly comfortable with this pick. I expect this match to be pretty damn good too.
HHH vs. Sting: This has to be a Sting victory. Beating a guy in his debut would just be so flat and leave you nowhere else to go. HHH is HHH, a win or a loss doesn't change who he is or his drawing power. A big win on this stage makes a big difference for Sting. I would say this match is my safest bet.
Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt: I was real confident with this one, until someone tweeted a story that could be told leading into next year in Texas, should Taker lose. With back to back losses at WrestleMania, you could tell the story of whether the breaking of the Steak was the end of the Undertaker's dominance at Mania. This could lead to his Final match in Texas at Mania 32 billed somehow as his Last Ride, his last chance at redemption. There are 2 problems with this: does Taker have 2 more big Mania matches in him and perhaps more importantly who would be that fitting last big opponent for him? If Taker's body is hurting or they don't have that great opponent for him next year, they could tell the Redemption story in the match on the 29th. You just have Bray dominate early like no one ever has before making us question if The Undertaker still has what he once did, leading to the big sit up spot and the comeback into that final Last Ride; proving Lesnar was an anomaly more than an end to the Undertaker's dominance. Then you can just put him in the HOF next year in Texas. So now that I've pitched a story for both a win and a loss I guess I have to officially pick a winner. Undertaker for the win, 22-1.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins: I had to change my pick for this match after reconsidering the main event. I was originally going with Seth to win but with my new plans in the Main Event, I'll take Orton to win here. The loss won't hurt Rollins because big things are on the horizon. I hope.
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (World Title): This was going to be an easy pick for me and then Brock Lesnar announced that he has re-signed with WWE. Reigns was the long term plan and with Lesnar's contract expiring there really weren't many options, but things have changed. I'm going to go out on a wacky limb here with this prediction but before I do let me explain the many factors I'm taking into account with this prediction. With Lesnar staying long term you want to keep him strong. If you do want to go with Roman Reigns, you will want his first Title run to be a fairly long one to give him a chance to settle in and actually get over. Roman will likely be booed pretty hard on Sunday and at RAW on Monday. The MITB gimmick only has a couple months left until it expires. What I am proposing and I guess predicting is, for Brock and Roman to have a violent drag out, knock down fight, where Roman takes an ungodly beating from Brock Lesnar but just won't stay down or give up. I think this will help get him over long term as a guy who is tough and is earning it and paying his dues. After a long battle where the announcers keep putting over that they can't believe either man is still standing, you have both men do some devastating OMG double down type bump off something Roman does offensively to Brock. At this point Seth comes out to cash in MITB. The ref can be a little confused because there is a match going on, but he screams "It says I can cash in at any time. I'm cashing it in Now, and getting into this match." He then curb stomps Lesnar and picks up the win and the Title.
Brock is somewhat protected because he didn't get beat in a 1 on 1 fair match. Reigns got robbed somewhat, and the focus is off of him at the moment to avoid heavy booing had he won the title. With Seth cashing in, it takes the briefcase out of play moving forward and Reigns who had hit that big move on Lesnar was robbed of his possible victory, can chase Rollins for the title. With a proper chase with a champion on TV every week there is a better chance to build Roman as a baby face and when he wins the title it won't be in front of the Hardcore Mania crowd and he has a better chance of getting that desired pop for the newly crowned champ when he wins. At Extreme Rules you can even do Orton vs. Rollins for the Title off of Orton pinning Seth at Mania, and a Last man Standing match between Lesnar vs. Reigns if you wanted to. After that build towards Rollins vs. Reighns for the Title switch at Summer Slam. So after a very long winded explanation I'm picking Seth Rollins to win the Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns Main Event match at WrestleMania. I'm probably wrong, but if I'm right I'll look like a genius, without the poetry.
Hope everyone enjoys the show.
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