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Liam DunneMarch 26th, 2015BlogComments Off on WrestleMania 31 Predictions

WrestleMania 31 Predictions

Sadly I couldn’t make it onto the latest edition of The Suplah Bytesize this past week due to prior commitments on a film shoot (I think that means I’ve missed 3 shows in a row?), and it really did annoy me that I had to sit it out this time, especially because it was the last edition of The Suplah Show before the biggest wrestling event of the entire year, WrestleMania.

Even though Bytesizes tend to be shorter than our usual show, I wanted to go on there and really discuss my thoughts and predictions going into this years event. Especially considering it has been one of the more turbulent cards, probably being more problematic last year’s Mania. And with all the real life controversy behind the main event, I really wanted to give my two cents on it. So if it’s not with my audio-chocolaty voice, I guess it’s with my barely-there grasp of the English language.

So ladies and gents… I present to you… Some random guys thoughts on an event that nobody will be reading about in 3 months!

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Lesnar Reigns

Typically we start our discussions on The Suplah from the bottom of the card and move up to the main event as the last topic of choice. This year however I want to start off talking about the main event, simply because, to me, the result of this match will chose my predictions of two of the other major matches on the card.

Just like last year, this years main title match is filled with real life issues and fan backlash. However last year WWE managed to turn the situation around at the very last minute by inserting Daniel Bryan into the match, who then went on to win it. This year however it seems that WWE is less reluctant to listen to the fans, you know, the ones they want to try and purchase this event with their hard earned cash. Now I won’t go into how badly WWE has handled this by ignoring the audience as we have many episodes of The Suplah dedicated to that very topic. I’m here to discuss the hand we’ve been dealt which is Lesnar vs. Reigns.

So let’s just start with Reigns for a moment. The man went from being the silent muscle of The Shield, probably the most intimidating member of the group. He was cheered when he really should have been booed. But now, he’s supposed to be the babyface, going after his first major world title and on the biggest stage of it all. He should be the underdog we’re all rooting for, that’s the way he’s been written and the storyline was originally booked. But along the way it seemed that it all back fired. I don’t personally understand all the hate on him. Yes, okay, he isn’t the best on the microphone, but neither is Lesnar. He should have just remained a silent enforcer type, a “actions speak louder than words” kind of guy. Instead the writing team think it’s best to give him promos based off nursery rhymes. But the ultimate nail in the coffin for the next face of the company was his win at the Royal Rumble when, clearly, the audience wanted Daniel Bryan. WWE has absolutely failed to book Reigns in a way where the fans care, even if he’s being booed, it should have been written into his character, but just like with John Cena, they have stubbornly stood their ground and insist this is really what we want. But not even this company can be dumb enough to put the belt onto a character that is despised by the audience with X-Pac heat.

Brock Lesnar, up until quite recently, was on the verge of becoming a free agent. Unlike the first time this happened, during the build up to his big face off with Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania 20, this time his contract negotiations were made public and were often referenced during his promos and build up. In fact it suddenly became the focus of the entire match when it seemed that WWE were starting to catch wind that the audience didn’t care about Roman Reigns. With Lesnar’s WWE career, legitimately, on the line, it seemed as if Reigns winning was a guarantee. But now, a mear few days after, Lesnar retaining not only would get WWE a way out from the fan backlash against Reigns, but also adds more unpredictability to the event. For once the Cinderella story, the underdog in the fight… it all fails, it closes on a sad note. Like a wrestling version of “Get Carter”. Lesnar retaining would be a much more poignant ending. It seems Lesnar going over Reigns isn’t just the smart and logical move, but now with his signing, it seems the most realistic too.


John Cena vs. Rusev
United States Championship

Rusev Cena

So keeping in mind that I believe Lesnar is going to retain the title, this means that the belt will stay with a part-timer. Now that we are about to exit the Road To WrestleMania, a road we won’t see again for another 9 months, WWE is going to be without their World Champion for even more big events such as Extreme Rules (that’s still a thing right?), WWE needs to figure a way out to market their events if their big attraction isn’t around to help them. Negotiations backstage seem to have fuelled the idea that, in the event of Lesnar retaining the belt this Sunday, they plan to elevate both the United States title and the Intercontinental title. As great as Rusev has been, as an unstoppable force, the sort of “What Vladimir Kozlov should have been if we didn’t give him a stupid dancing gimmick and then team him with Santino” character, he is going against the biggest name wrestling right now, John Cena.

Cena is still WWE’s poster boy, and the fact they have stuck him into a match for the United States championship doesn’t feel like a “well I guess Cena has nothing to do, let’s go with this…” situation. It does feel like WWE wants to try and give meaning to their second tier belts once again. Back in the attitude era the mid card belts, particularly the Intercontinental title, was sort of considered as a back up World title by the company. People on the rise would win that belt before they would be given world title runs, and former champions would go after it if the main event was already taken up by others. It was, without a doubt, the belt that meant something to both main eventers and mid carders. But since the 2010’s their status has seriously dropped to just being accessories to give to random characters (at least that’s my perspective). Now with Lesnar retaining, it would be a perfect opportunity to give meaning back to these belts by having them main event shows and even Pay-Per-Views, and what better way to give meaning back to a belt than to stick it on the poster boy himself? Say what you want about Cena, but when he wins a championship, he gives it meaning again. Remember when he won the World Heavyweight Championship in late 2013, a belt that had basically become a mid card belt too? Suddenly he was thrusted into a storyline against Orton who unified the two belts together. Rusev, you have a great career ahead of you, but sadly I have to give this one to Cena.


7-Man Ladder Match
Intercontinental Championship


I don’t want to step on the toes too much of what I spoke about in the previous match up. Because a lot of points I made whilst discussing my prediction for that match counts towards my pick here, and that is “elevating the championship”. With this in mind, I think they would book a former world champion to pick up the title. This leaves with only two people to choose. Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan. Out of the two of these guys though, I would have to give the advantage to Bryan. Daniel Bryan was in the main event of last years show, where he won the Unified WWE World Heavyweight Title, even though Ziggler has won a world title, he hasn’t quite made it to the same level as Bryan, and to truly elevate the belt I think it would need to go to Bryan, because if it went to Ziggler then it would just stay feeling like a mid-card belt.

Now hear me out Ziggler fans, before you head straight to the comment section to insult my mother. I’m not saying Ziggler can’t be a main event player, at all. Giving the belt to Bryan first would work far more in Zigglers favour than giving it straight to him now. You see if Daniel Bryan wins the championship, and starts a feud with Dolph over it, that culminated in a championship match that Dolph Ziggler wins… I mean that means he just defeated the man who beat Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in one single night to win the Unified WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A clean pin victory over Daniel Bryan would legitimise Ziggler in a way that beating 5 mid-carders and 1 main eventer just couldn’t do!


Triple H vs. Sting

Sting Triple H

If Triple H wins, I will sing Stings theme on The Suplah. Seriously there is so much build to Sting’s WWE debut that, losing, will not be on the cards. I don’t even need to go into detail about this, that’s how obvious this is…


Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker

Taker Wyatt

If this was two years ago. My response to this match would be pretty much the same as my response to the Triple H/Sting match mentioned above.

But Brock Lesnar came along and did something Andy can’t do… he broke the streak (congrats if you get that reference you BroCast fan!)

So with the knowledge that Undertaker could possibly lose. I want to try and turn this conversation on its head a bit and ask the question. Should Undertaker even be wrestling at all? Starting at WrestleMania 25, Undertaker entered a 4 year long story arc that involve him beating Shawn Michaels and Triple H, which culminated in a historic Hell In A Cell match that saw Undertaker defeat Triple H with Shawn Michaels, the man The Undertaker retired, as the special guest referee. It was marketed as “an end of an era” match, looking like it should close out the Attitude Era as it featured the last two major players of that period in wrestling, and to top it off, Undertaker took his undefeated streak to 20-0, a solid, round number.

That was the perfect book end to a fantastic career and an unbeatable streak that would live forever. But instead he kept going, until last year the streak ended. With that over, the Undertaker really has nothing left to gain by wrestling.

So my theory is this. I think that, after the piss poor performance he had against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30, Undertaker wishes to come back for one last match (fucking hopefully one last match, for the love of God), so he’s chosen to have the final match with Wyatt. Unlike Lesnar, who’s very physical in the ring, Wyatt is more of a character, and what I mean by that is that he’s a bit slower and, like the Undertaker, is a bit more of a showman. Indeed, Taker and Lesnar had some good matches back in 2002, but 2002 was 13 years ago. Undertaker is in his 50’s, he can’t hang the way he used to back then. So he needs somebody who can go a bit easier on him, but still have an entertaining match through the psychology as opposed to being tossed around. So for that, to think of it as Taker’s last departing match, to top of his career with a final fantastic bout… that is what makes me believe Undertaker will have his hand held high and the bells toll for Wyatt.


Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

Orton Rollins

Now, I should probably briefly mention that, it seems, most of this feud was built during my hiatus from The Suplah and wrestling in general. So please excuse my general lack of interest in this match. I don’t mean that as being offensive to the two characters in the ring who’ll be performing, but for me I’ve always looked at wrestling from the storyline point of view and not really the in ring action. That’s probably why I have never had interest in the indys.

So from what I do know, it seems that Rollins put Orton out of action (although no really because Randy wanted to go make a movie), so in typical WWE fashion this should, and probably will, be the match were Orton gets his redemption against Rollins and picks up the win.


AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins


I’m glad that the #GiveDivasAChance has seemed to have some sort of impact with the management backstage, although Divas still typically only get one match per show, they seem to last longer than a minute now. It’s been particularly tough for the Divas are WrestleMania too. Like at last years show, a 14 woman invitational match that lasted around 6 minutes, or before that at WrestleMania 29, the only match that was meant to feature vaginas was cancelled at the last minute because The Rock and John Cena wanted to fit in about 10 more finisher-kickouts to their bout.

With that in mind, the result of this match doesn’t matter so much, but the chance for these four girls to shine does. So often the Divas matches become the toilet break due to general lack of interest and quickness of the matches. So if they have a good length (hopefully around 10 minutes) and put on a match that people will talk about then I will be happy.

Having said that, from a storyline perspective, it makes the most sense for the Bella Twins to win the match for me. As much as I like AJ and Paige, the two of them aren’t meant to trust each other, as we witnessed on the go-home edition of RAW where AJ and Paige got into a confrontation. The Bella Twins aren’t the most interesting characters, and their weird love-hate relationship last year only to be rectonned into Brie being Nikki’s bitch was just… bloody confusing. But with the Bellas winning, I can see the progression into either continuing the story or evolving into a new one. If AJ and Paige win, I’m not sure where things can go…


The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal


Does this even really matter? Let’s be honest. Last year Cesaro won the match, and we all believed that this meant he would go on to be pushed in some capacity. This theory was given more legitimacy when he was paired with Paul Heyman… then… well nothing. The pair quietly broke things off and then he went on a losing streak, really only getting some redemption recently by winning the Tag Team belts with Tyson Kidd. So it becomes clear that this match isn’t meant to be taken as the “New Money In The Bank” match, where the future world champions are predicted. Instead it’s meant to be taken as the “Well you’re doing nothing at this years WrestleMania, so here’s you chance to be on the card. NO HAVE SOME FUN DAMMIT”


This years WrestleMania will definitely be memorable, specifically for the main event’s polarising fan reaction, and Sting finally debuting in the WWE after 14 years of speculation. The Intercontinental title match will be the spot fest and provide the most replayed moments of the year, so that will be fun. But really there isn’t much else that this card provides that I really am invested in. Saying that, my opinion was the same last year with WrestleMania 30, and that turned out to be a fantastic show, with only 1 or 2 dud matches. The Grandaddy of them all is only a few days away, and once it’s over we shall know if this will be an all time high like Mania 17, or an all time low like Mania 27…

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below!

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