WWE descends upon Orlando, Florida this weekend for the Ultimate Thrill Ride known as WrestleMania and it is shaping up to be one hell of a show. With NXT Taking over Orlando the night before, the company knows that have to pull it out of the bag on Sunday.
Every current WWE Championship ( except the SmackDown Tag Team Championships) Will be on the line this weekend with Brock Lesnar and Goldberg main eventing the show as they fight it out for the Universal Championship, whilst Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton represent SmackDown in their fight for the WWE Championship.
The kickoff show will also see three matches this year, as WrestleMania begins in the UK at the much earlier time of 10pm. As ever The Brass Ring team are here to share their predictions ahead of what is set to be a stacked 13 match card for this year’s event, and the panel includes Jake Waring, Steven Dimelow, Andy Arthurs, Andrew Parker, Tom Simpson, Zach Brassington, Adam Nakhuda, Daniel Standring, Chris Rossington, Vickie Hopwood, Joseph Steerment, Phillipa Hopwood and Callum Hopkin.
Phillipa, Tom, Vickie, Jake, Zach, Dan, Steven, Callum – Braun Strowman
Andy – Samoa Joe
Andrew – Sami Zayn
Chris – The Big Show
Thoughts by Andy – Ah. The “Sorry about the Rumble” battle royal. The pinnacle of the push waster. This year marks the fourth incarnation of the Andre the Giant battle royal. The match intended to create stars have seen the previous winners, somewhat flounder. Cesaro, Big Show and Baron Corbin have all etched their names onto the golden plaque, without much fanfare afterwards. Here’s hoping that the fourth will create a bigger star than anyone can imagine. Who’s in? That’s probably the hardest part. It’s a surprise to see who pops up, and it’s even better to see who wins. Will they continue a monster push for Braun? Will they create a new star in a floundering undercard talent? Will Roman enter and win? Where’s Shaq? Will the Gobbley Gooker get a Mania win? All I know… I’m picking the fans more favourable Samoan called Joe. Although he’s not officially in, expect him to carve havoc one way or another.
Phillipa, Jake, Steven – Austin Aries
Andy, Andrew, Tom, Vickie, Zach, Dan, Callum, Chris – Neville
Thoughts by Tom – I think In the Cruiserweight Championship match between the current champion Neville and Austin Aries will be an awesome match between the two great wrestlers. After hard-fought wins over Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher in recent months, I feel Neville has what it takes to retain his Championship over someone of Aries calibre. I think after his recent heel turn Neville has really started something amazing. WWE turning Neville heel was a masterstroke and it has really given him a new lease on life. I think Neshouldshoudl remain as Champion and Aries can continue to chase the Championship in the coming weeks.
Alexa Bliss Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Mickie James Vs. Natalya Vs. Carmella Vs. Naomi Vs. Any Other Women on The SD Roster – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Andy, Jake, Dan, Callum – Naomi
Andrew – Becky Lynch
Tom, Vickie – Alexa Bliss
Zach – Asuka
Thoughts by Callum – Alexa Bliss is being punished by SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan and he’s forcing her to defend her Championship against all other available women on the SmackDown roster. That means that anyone could be added to this match, including Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, the returning Eva Marie and of course NXT Women’s Champion Asuka. Asuka is currently undefeated so if she’s added to the match then it is likely that she will win. This is highly unlikely, though, and it feasible that WWE will give the title back to Naomi in her hometown since she shouldn’t have lost it in the first place.
Dean Ambrose Vs. Baron Corbin – Intercontinental Championship
Phillipa, Andy, Tom, Vickie, Jake, Dan, Steven, Callum – Baron Corbin
Andrew, Zach, Chris – Dean Ambrose
Thoughts by Vickie – Dean Ambrose hasn’t favoured very well since he was drafted to SmackDown a few months ago. He lost his WWE Championship and it seems as though he never fully recovered. Even though he took the title out of his rivalry with The Miz, it could be argued that The Miz got the better of that deal, because now Ambrose has to go toe-to-toe with The Lone Wolf at WrestleMania in a few days time. Baron has had Ambrose’s number ever since Elimination Chamber and even though Ambrose is resilient and gets up every time he’s knocked down, it could be another singles loss at WrestleMania for The Lunatic. Baron is on a hot streak and he will go straight through Ambrose in his second WrestleMania appearance on Sunday Night.
Phillipa, Andy, Andrew, Tom, Vickie, Joseph, Jake, Zach, Dan, Callum, Chris – AJ Styles
Thoughts by Zach – There is no elephant in the room here. AJ Styles deserves a better match at WrestleMania and pretty much every wrestling fan will agree with that given the successful year AJ has had as World Champion. However, as much as I want to rant and complain I know that nothing I can say will change the fact that AJ Styles is facing Shane McMahon at “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” that is WrestleMania. Let’s not forget that if Styles didn’t attack Shane a few weeks ago then AJ; the most talented wrestler in WWE if not the world, wouldn’t have even been on the card (seriously). There is one thing that is almost guaranteed to happen in this match, and that is the amount of ridiculous high spots. With the recent WrestleMania set photos being leaked and what appears to be a roller coaster being used as part of that set, will we see $hane OMac attempt the unthinkable? I wouldn’t put it past him considering the man literally leapt from the Hell In A Cell with his match against the Undertaker last year. So, credit where credit is due, the man is willing to put his body on the line in the name of entertainment. When it comes down to it, these two could put on something spectacular and dare I say, possibly steal the show. In terms of a victor, it must be AJ Styles. The man has carried SmackDown Live since the brand split and has had an extremely entertaining world title run due to his recent back and forth feud with John Cena.
Chris Jericho Vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship
Phillipa, Andy, Andrew, Vickie, Joseph, Jake, Zach, Dan, Steven, Callum – Kevin Owens
Tom, Chris – Chris Jericho
Thoughts by Dan – This match in my eyes is the match of the night and one of the only matches with any type of emotion surrounding it and that is what is going to make this match stand out from all the rest. Kevin and Chris have done an amazing job putting this angle over with being friends and taking over Raw for many weeks as the best part of the show to the turn of Owens to the title change and the hatred that has stemmed from this feud. I see Kevin walking away with the title because Chris does not need the belt, I’m not saying Owens needs it but he can do some great things with the title now that he has the backing of Triple H. I’m sad to see this one end, but it has been a great few months of entertainment.
Bayley Vs. Nia Jax Vs. Sasha Banks Vs. Charlotte – Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match For The Raw Women’s Championship
Andy, Andrew, Zach, Steven, Callum, Chris – Sasha Banks
Tom, Dan – Nia Jax
Vickie – Charlotte
Thoughts by Jake – For every other pay-per-view I do my predictions for the card first, then look at where that leaves the booking possibilities for this write-up. However, this is Mania and that is basically impossible. I’m pleased with the format of this match, being elimination and involving all four women. Nia has been on a wrecking ball mission to this point and is worthy of her spot. Charlotte (insert heart eye emoji!) is on a revenge mission and although she was scuppered recently, she is still the Queen of PPV in my eyes. Then there’s this much built up Sasha heel turn. This seems like as good a place as any for it to happen. Bayley and Sasha being left at the end could be the route. Then again, Sasha eliminating Bayley straight away would be the real heel move. Basically, I have got no idea so don’t listen to a word I say. I just can’t wait. Bayley retains! Pop!
Luke Gallows And Karl Anderson Vs. Enzo Amore And Big Cass Vs. Sheamus And Cesaro – Triple Threat Ladder Match For The Raw Tag Team Championships
Phillipa, Andy, Vickie, Jake, Zach, Dan, Steven, Callum, Chris – Enzo And Cass
Andrew, Tom – The Club
Thoughts By Andrew – Now this, I’m really looking forward to. There has been a lot of criticism thrown at Enzo and Cass, and a lot of it has been founded in fact. A lot of their matches have been, well, terrible, and their shortcomings in the ring have often been highlighted. However, I believe this is the kind of match that will really suit them. They’ve shown in the past that when with tag-team specialists (eg; The Revival), they’re capable of putting on good matches, and they’re not exactly short of talent to work with here. Furthermore, this is a spot-fest, through and through, and such a style can help hide some of their limitations. The Club have gone from strength to strength as champions, if we ignore the whole Reigns debacle, and Cesaro and Sheamus are, well, Cesaro and Sheamus. Great in ring, entertaining and amazing entrance which I can’t wait to see Wrestlemania-ised. This will be a great match, and I foresee The Club retaining, but only just.
John Cena And Nikki Bella Vs. The Miz And Maryse – Mixed Tag Match
Vickie, Chris – The Miz and Maryse
Thoughts by Steven – John Cena and Nikki Bella taking on The Miz and Maryse was a match that came from out of nowhere, Cena and Miz have historical issues, but considering John Cena was rumoured to be taking on Undertaker this year, this one came as a huge shock. Cena wants to tag with his real-life girlfriend instead this year and Miz and Maryse have been chosen to be their opponents. Cena has been on fire on the mic recently, having an answer to everything Miz throws at him. The fact that this entire rivalry has been about the fact that Miz and Maryse are married and Cena hasn’t asked Nikki to Marry him yet, despite them being together for almost five years, means that Cena is obviously going to ask Nikki to marry him after this match. It’s the ultimate thrill ride so it makes sense.
Roman Reigns Vs. The Undertaker
Phillipa, Andrew, Zach, Steven, Callum – Roman Reigns
Andy, Tom, Vickie, Joseph, Jake, Dan, Chris – Undertaker
Thoughts by Joseph – Okay so the match practically no one is interested in happening. Why Roman has headlined Wrestlemania for the last two years, why does he keep getting the top match spots? This is what every Reigns sceptic is saying. Instead of focusing on hating Roman I am personally looking at this possibly being The Undertakers last bout. The rivalry has been somewhat lacklustre and seeing The Deadman’s state of health it’s starting to look like he’s riding off into the sunset and everyone is expecting Roman to go over because every great goes out on their backs to push over new talent. But I’m thinking Taker is going to be the exception if this is his last match and we could be looking like we could finally see Reigns long fabled heel turn. What better way to do this at this point is to have Reigns fall short of putting down the living legend when it truly counts? I give this one to The Undertaker even if this is his last Mania and its the next best way to turn Roman heel at the same time.
Phillipa, Andy. Andrew, Tom, Zach, Dan, Callum, Chris, Steven – Seth Rollins
Vickie, Jake – Triple H
Thoughts by Phillipa – This has been a match two years in the making. Seth Rollins was the chosen one and he buckled under the pressure of carrying the entire company on his back. Triple H thinks that he handed everything to Rollins and he was unable to follow through for him. Since Rollins was injured in November 2015, The Game has found a new Plan B and now he has Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens on the payroll, there is no need for Seth Rollins. The Architect is not going down that easy, though, despite being injured and potentially out of WrestleMania Seth vowed to be there and signed a contract where anything can happen to him at the hands of Triple H. Rollins knows this was a career-altering decision, he also knows that a win over Triple H here could put him back in the position he was in before he was injured. Rollins needs to reignite his career and he needs to do it at the hands of Triple H on Sunday night. If Samoa Joe interferes then hopefully Sami Zayn will be the equaliser, either way, it’s hard to see past a Rollins win despite his injuries.
Phillipa, Andy, Andrew, Jake, Zach, Callum, Chris, Steven – Bray Wyatt
Adam, Tom, Vickie, Dan – Randy Orton
Thoughts by Adam – One of the blockbusters of this year’s WrestleMania sees “The Eater Of Worlds” Bray Wyatt take on “The Viper” Randy Orton. After Randy Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble, the match was pretty much set, but The Viper dramatically turned down the match against his leader and instead it was fellow family member Luke Harper turned on The Patriarch and it seemed as though the match for WrestleMania was set. However, Orton being the snake that he is, revealed that it was all a plan from the beginning to get the keys to the kingdom and to take down Bray from the inside. He then burned down The Wyatt Family Compound and Sister Abigail along with it before declaring that he would face Bray at WrestleMania. This was expected because traditionally it has to be the winner of the Rumble against the Champion, but SmackDown Live have managed to pull out many swerves so far on the Road to WrestleMania and the match itself could well see the return of both Erick Rowan and Luke Harper with this match turning into a proper family affair.
Phillipa, Andy, Andrew, Tom, Vickie, Joseph, Jake, Zach, Dan, Callum, Steven – Brock Lesnar
Chris – Goldberg
Thoughts by Chris – So Fantasy Warfare became reality since last year at Survivor Series, Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar in less than two minutes. This ultimately set the stage for what has surely one of the biggest feuds of the year after the duo once again faced off inside The Royal Rumble a few months ago. Now The WWE Universal Championship has also been thrown into the mix since Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens at Fastlane at the beginning of the month. This now becomes a recipe for one of the best matches scheduled for this year’s WrestleMania, we all know Goldberg has only returned to the WWE so that his son could finally see him wrestle, and seeing him beat The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar in record time is an experience his son will never forget. At WrestleMania Goldberg could potentially lose the WWE Universal title as Lesnar has seen much of the momentum swing into his favour in recent weeks. The only thing is, WWE have asked Lesnar to stay on after Wrestlemania so could we see a man known as Goldberg retain the WWE Universal Championship. My money is on Brock Lesnar after he was released from UFC he has a lot of free time, so he could be set to make a full-time return to wrestling after this weekend’s event, whereas Goldberg could be walking away the night after WrestleMania.
WrestleMania is live from 10pm in the UK on Sky Box Office and Tthe WWE Network, The kickoff show is also available from 10pm on Youtube and Facebook Live.