Liam Hoofe with his predictions for WrestleMania 33…
WrestleMania 33 – ‘The Ultimate Thrill Ride’ – is this Sunday night and the WWE have put together one hell of a stacked card. Every title, bar the Smackdown tag team championships, are set to be defended on the show, while several legends like Triple H and The Undertaker are also stepping back into the ring.
Whether or not the card will be any good remains to be seen, but the company has done a fairly good job in building some excitement for the event in the last month or so – and surely it can’t be any worse than WrestleMania 32? Who knows, but before we get to the event, here are my predictions for how each of the announced matches will play out…
Neville Vs Austin Aries – Cruiserweight Championship
Neville has breathed new life into the Cruiserweight division since his return and his match with Aries could potentially steal the show at WrestleMania. Well, it would have done had it not been wrongly moved to the pre-card this week.
These two are two of the best wrestlers in the WWE and if given the correct amount of time, this match could really put the Cruiserweight division on the map.
Aries should take the loss here, though. Having Neville as the king of the cruiserweights is best for business right now, and a questionable finish will allow the two to continue to feud for a couple more PPVs.
Prediction: Neville finds a way to hang on to his belt after one helluva match.
Dean Ambrose Vs Baron Corbin – Intercontinental Championship
Baron Corbin has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the brand split and The Lone Wolf has really found his feet on the roster in the last couple of months.
These two have clearly been enjoying their feud and hopefully Ambrose can get a better match out of Corbin here than he did out of Lesnar last year. Corbin should pick up the belt here and establish himself a key player on the Smackdown roster.
Prediction: Baron Corbin wins his first piece of gold.
The Andre the Giant Battle Royal Memorial
As things stand there are only three people I can see winning this, with Braun Strowman being the obvious favourite on the night. The other two men who could win it are Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn.
Joe is not yet booked, but he is nowhere else on the card and he has been booked like an animal since his debut last month, while Zayn picking up the win would provide a feel good moment, with him perhaps finally getting one over on Strowman/Joe on the biggest night of the year.
Prediction: Braun Strowman wins.
Enzo and Cass Vs The Club Vs Sheamus and Cesaro – Tag Team Championship
The Raw tag team title scene is pretty weak right now. The Club have been booked terribly since becoming champions, Sheamus and Cesaro are solid but should be wrestling solo and Enzo and Cass have been put into the title scene far too late.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this match switched to the pre-show. If it’s on the card I expect it to open the show, with Enzo and Cass getting their big moment to get the crowd excited for the rest of the night.
Prediction: Enzo and Cass finally win the gold.
The Miz and Maryse Vs John Cena and Nikki Bella
The Miz is awesome. He’s been telling it us for years but the last 8-9 months since the brand split he has really proven himself to be so.
He and Maryse have carried this feud and made it a really fascinating encounter. Of course, we would have all loved to have seen Cena take on Taker, but the build to this match has been great and it should be a solid enough encounter.
Unfortunately, Cena and Nikki are likely to get the win here, with the former Doctor of Thuganomics expected to drop down to one knee when the match is done.
Prediction: Cena and Nikki win – Cena proposes.
Kevin Owens Vs Chris Jericho – US Championship
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho have been the best thing about Raw since the brand split last year and the execution of this feud has been perfect. The two squaring off at WrestleMania could potentially steal the show.
Whether or not the match needs to be for the US title is another matter. The belt has effectively just been used as a prop in the feud and some would argue that it would have been best served elsewhere.
Owens has to pick up the win here. WrestleMania 33 should be the night when the ‘new era’ pick up some big wins over the older generation and get their WrestleMania moments and with Jericho on his way out shortly a win for him here would be wasted.
Prediction: Kevin Owens become US Champion.
Roman Reigns Vs The Undertaker
This one is going to be fun. The fans are guaranteed to be 100% behind The Deadman from bell to bel, so the question really is, do WWE have the audacity to allow Reigns to win as a face or have him turn heel and finally just embrace the hate?
I say this because I really think Reigns is getting the victory here. Sure it’s not going to be popular but the streak is dead and it doesn’t benefit the company to keep feeding full-time roster members to part-time stars, even when those stars are The Undertaker.
This will likely be Taker’s last match and I don’t expect he will want to lose it if that is the case. So please, WWE, if you’re going to give Reigns the win, please turn him heel in the process.
Prediction: Roman Reigns gets the biggest win of his career.
Charlotte Vs Sasha Vs Bayley Vs Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Championship
So everyone thought at the start of the year that this was going to be Bayley’s big crowning moment but then the company pulled the rug from under us and gave her the belt on Raw. Then we believed it was going to be the night Charlotte lost her unbeaten streak, but then, once again, they pulled the rug and she lost at Fastlane.
Because of this, the story going into this match is not as strong as it could have been and the match made much more sense when it was a triple threat as opposed to the fatal-4-way situation we now find ourselves in.
The women’s title needs some stability, however, I expect it to change hands here. Sasha has been teasing some heel like behavior for a while now and I expect her to turn on her friend here to win the belt.
Sasha and Bayley can then have an extended program leading through to summer. Also, how awesome would it be if a heel Sasha joined the impending Triple H faction!?
Prediction: Sasha turns heel, becomes champion again.
Triple H Vs Seth Rollins
This is the match I’m the most uncertain about heading into the night. Smart money would go on a Seth Rollins victory, however, the fact that it is now a non-sanctioned match, means we could see several interferences which establish Triple H’s new stable.
The most obvious interference would come in the form of Samoa Joe, but if WWE wanted to pull a swerve they could have Finn Balor return and cost Rollins the match. Rollins was, after all, the man who cost him in his title last season because of injury. A Rollins Vs Balor feud would be great for the months following Mania so I kind of want to see that happen. The other options of course if for Finn to interfere on Seth’s behalf or Rollins to overcome all the odds and get his big victory on the grandest stage.
I was going to play it safe here and go for Rollins but instead I’m going with Triple H. Beating Rollins here and then having Rollins feud with him and his stable would continue the feud to Summerslam when the two could have a rematch and Rollins is 100%.
Prediction: Triple H gets the win his with assistance.
Shane McMahon Vs AJ Styles
Credit where it’s due – WWE has done a fairly good job of building this feud over the last month. However, no matter what they do they will not convince me that Shane is a legitimate opponent for AJ, the man who has carried the blue brand for the last 6 months, at WrestleMania.
AJ could get a good match out of a piece of cardboard right now so I don’t expect this to be a bad match by any stretch of the imagination, I just hope The Phenomenal One picks up the win.
Prediction: AJ better win this one.
Smackdown Women’s Title Match
As things stand we don’t even know exactly who will be competing in this match. It is being advertised as every available woman on the Smackdown roster and my assumption is that is because they want to leave the door open for Naomi to return.
If that happens, then expect her to win. Either way, I can’t see this being a great match up.
Prediction: Naomi returns and wins the belt she never lost.
Randy Orton Vs Bray Wyatt
This match could really go either way. Bray and Orton have been feuding for months now and I expect there to be some sort of short continuation after Mania regardless.
To be fair to the company the build for this match has been quite fun, if not a little ridiculous and the two should deliver a good match on the night. You have to go all the way back to WrestleMania 21 to see both titles change hands at Wrestlemania and I don’t see that changing here. Randy will do the business and put Bray over at Mania, potentially with the help of Erick Rowan, the one family member Orton hasn’t taken out.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt retains his title.
Goldberg Vs Brock Lesnar
Whether we like it or not, this match is likely to close the show. This is the match WWE have really pushed as the biggest of the night and I do see a potential fan backlash against Goldberg taking place here.
The biggest problem is Goldberg’s physical condition. The champ is not likely to be able to go very long in the ring and the best we can expect here is a five-to-ten minute encounter. Lesnar will gain his redemption on the night though and leave Wrestlemania as champion.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins a match that goes between five and ten minutes.
What do you think will go down this Sunday at WrestleMania? Let us know in the comments below and let Liam know on Twitter here – @liamhoofe