WrestleMania is the card that sets the WWE on their course for the next year. Usually it’s the event when championships change from one superstar to another, feuds either ramp up or come to a screeching halt, and sometimes surprises happen when a star return to the company.
This year, the event will take place on Sunday, March 29th in San Francisco at Levi’s Stadium, home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Weather forecasts say the day is supposed to be clear skies with sun and a high of 72 degrees.
The key to that forecast is there’s a zero percent chance of rain, something that could seriously hinder the event and the predicted 75,000 fans that will be on hand to cheer their favorites and catcall the wrestlers they despise.
So far eight matches have been announced for the event, and there’s likely to be some type of tag title match announced for the kickoff show, which will start two hours before bell time at 7pm EST.
Three of the eight matches announced are championship matches, with the main event being Brock Lesnar putting up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against number one contender Roman Reigns.
Never has a main event for a WrestleMania been so scrutinized, with many feeling that it’s going to flop with Reigns not being ready for the main event picture, and the end of Monday Night RAW did nothing to give fans confidence that the match will deliver, with the two stars entering in a ‘tug of war’ for the belt as the show went off the air.
It’s a match that’s easily been 7-8 months in the making, yet it still appears that fans want Daniel Bryan, who is in the ladder match for the Intercontinental Title, to be the guy that goes up against Lesnar for the belt.
Today we look up close at each of the eight announced matches, picking the biggest card of the year and the outcome for each bout that will make up WrestleMania 31.
9 The Usos vs Los Matadores vs New Day vs Cesaro and Tyson Kidd for the WWE Tag Team Titles
This is a pre-show match, but still one that we need to break down. The Tag Team division hasn't been too exciting for the last few months, but they do at least have two talented wrestlers holding the straps at the moment. There's really no reason for Kidd and Cesaro to lose this match, as they should be given more time with the titles, unless they want to get the crowd excited before the main card and have a face team win. In that case, The Usos would be the best choice.
However, in the end, we expect Cesaro and Kidd to walk out as champions, as they are actually getting a decent reaction from the crowd.
Winner: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd by Pinfall
8 Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
The writing was on the wall for this one the moment that Rollins ‘curb stomped’ Orton, putting him out of action for a few months. The Viper is back and wants a piece of his former stablemate in The Authority, and this match should get 12-15 minutes and have plenty of intensity. While Orton is just coming back, he still needs to lose this match to keep up the momentum for Rollins, who is on the fast track to be flirting with the main event at Mania in Dallas in 2016. With J&J Security helping Rollins, expect a screwjob finish that will see Rollins get the win. Also assume this feud is far from over and that we'll see it a few more times on PPV.
Winner: Seth Rollins by Pinfall
7 AJ Lee and Paige vs The Bella Twins
This is the only divas match on the WrestleMania card and it’s a random tag match which will focus on getting the four top Divas in the company together in the same match. Paige and AJ have been friends, then enemies, then friends again. The two went at it on RAW after AJ hit Paige by accident in her title match with Nikki. This time, the two will have to be friends, but still expect tension between the pair. As for the Bella twins, with Nikki having the Divas belt, it’s been their best year in WWE as far as exposure is concerned. The women have never gotten much time in a match on Mania, with most of the matches going between 3 and 5 minutes. Look for much of the same, and for the Bella’s to get a pin to keep up their momentum as two of the best ladies in the company.
Winners: The Bella Twins by Pinfall
6 Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
There’s been talk this week of an eighth competitor joining the match, which would likely be the returning Sheamus, and that he would turn heel and cost Daniel Bryan the IC belt and take it for himself. The thought behind this match is to try and elevate the IC belt, which is a great idea based on the fact it’s been tossed around and has changed hands many times over the last few years. Let someone have it who will get it to the next level, not just lose it on RAW in a month. That’s the thought behind a big name like Bryan winning it, but with the Sheamus rumor gaining steam, here’s calling for the surprise return of the former WWE Champion to not only screw over Bryan, but to take the belt for himself and start a main event type feud with Bryan in the coming months.
5 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
To date, here’s the guys we know will be in the battle royal: Kane, Big Show, Darren Young, Titus O’Neal, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Curtis Axel, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Ryback, Erick Rowan, Sin Cara, Damien Sandow, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Heath Slater, Konnor, and Viktor. There’s 19 wrestlers listed and there's likely to be at least a few more that will actually be included the match. For now, there’s really only a few guys that we see as possible winners, and that would be Sandow, Ryback, Axel, Miz and Rowan. Big Show and Kane will eliminate each other and the rest of the guys are throw-in wrestlers at best. The fans choice will for sure be Sandow, who has been gaining momentum as a face during his on-screen relationship with The Miz. Something tells me that if Sandow doesn’t win it, they will give it to Rowan, who could use a big win to give him a push to being something bigger with the company.
Winner: Erick Rowan
4 The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
There are two ways to look at this match. One being the true end of The Undertaker, as he suffers his second straight WrestleMania loss, which isn’t a bad thing as it would give Wyatt a monster push toward main event status. Another is Taker’s return to the event with a dominant win, which pushes his momentum towards what really should be a retirement match in 2016 at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas vs Sting. I think this could wind up being the best match of the night. Taker doesn’t want to leave the sport flat on his back and he knows the concussion he suffered last year vs Brock Lesnar made that match barley average. He wants to not only look good, but, more importantly, make Wyatt look good. Like Seth Rollins, Wyatt is on his way to a major title, and while he will lose here, a good showing is paramount to him getting a big push towards a major title.
Winner: The Undertaker by Pinfall
3 Rusev vs John Cena for the United State Championship
A rematch from last month’s ‘FastLane’ PPV, a bout that ended with Cena being knocked out and Rusev’s undefeated streak remaining intact. This time I think Cena will go over and in the process make the US Title mean a lot more for the company than it has in a long time. I see huge things in the future for Rusev and just like with Wyatt losing to The Undertaker, a loss here is not as important as making Rusev look good in the process. The crowd should be super-hot for this match, as it was one of the few bouts that fans came alive for during the ‘Fastlane’ PPV. Look for the usual offense from both wrestlers, but in the end I see Cena making Rusev tap out, winning the belt and giving the fans a reason to cheer (or boo) for Cena.
Winner: John Cena by Submission
2 Triple H vs Sting
This will be the first time we see Sting in a WWE ring and it comes on the biggest stage in the business, with him fighting Triple H at WrestleMania. Sting has looked like he really wants it over the last two weeks and that’s a good thing for how this match lines up. It’s hard to think that Triple H won’t be in great shape and ready for this match, but everything is about Sting and what he has left in the tank. This match will have to be well booked and also needs a strong finish. It’s tough to believe that Sting wouldn’t go over here. Why would you bring Sting in only to have him lose in a huge Mania match to an already over star? Sting winning will be the feel good moment of the night for old and new fans, and he should get a monster ovation during his entrance and once he gets the win.
Winner: Sting by Pinfall
1 Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
As stated in the intro, no WrestleMania main event in recent history has been as scrutinized as this one. Many are still of the belief that Reigns isn’t ready to lead the company, and yet it seems like the company is bent on making him the guy that leads them with the Heavyweight title. Lesnar just signed a new deal with the WWE, so we can see him going over and keeping the belt, while remaining a ‘special attraction.’ The thought is that the IC and US titles will get more of a push, and fans will only see the Heavyweight title once in awhile. No matter the case, these guys better get a lot of ring time with each other and this match really needs to be booked well in order for it surpass people's expectations. I think this match will in the end get over with the fans, and both guys will find a way to make this a match that is better than many think it will be.
Winner: Brock Lesnar by Pinfall