WrestleMania weekend is just about upon us, and while Bill Goldberg might be miserable, we couldn’t be more excited.
Pro wrestling’s version of the Super Bowl will take place Sunday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., where the WWE appears to be building a theme park to celebrate the occasion.
If you’re going to be watching the show, we hope you’re doing so from a comfortable spot, as there’s currently 13 matches scheduled on the jam-packed card. We’ve already run down each match and told you what we’re most looking forward to, so now let’s make some predictions.
Here’s how we see WrestleMania 33 going down.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (preshow)
We obviously mean no disrespect to anyone involved here, but this certainly isn’t going to top anyone’s list of must-see Mania matches. That’s in large because, despite at least 30 entrants in the battle royal, there seems like only one or two who could win. That list is headlined by Braun Strowman, for whom the Andre seems like a step down given his recent work in the main event scene.
The pick: Braun Strowman
Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Live women’s roster (Smackdown women’s championship match)
We’re still not entirely sure how this match is gonna go down, and we’re even less sure after Naomi returned Tuesday on Smackdown, erasing the potential surprise of her return from injury in Orlando (her hometown). Still, we could see her regaining the title in front of the home crowd.
The pick: Naomi
Neville vs. Austin Aries (Cruiserweight championship match, preshow)
This is the best match no one’s paying attention to. They didn’t get a whole lot of time to build the match on RAW, but the 205 Live work they’ve done is captivating. This will easily be the best match on the precard and could steal the entire show.
The pick: Austin Aries
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin (Intercontinental championship match)
It doesn’t feel like anyone’s too invested in this match, which is a bummer because these two certainly will try like hell to get this match over. It’s starting to feel more and more like Corbin’s time, and a win over Ambrose would be a nice boost.
The pick: Baron Corbin
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (Raw tag team championship ladder match)
The end of this match could be overshadowed by a Hardy Boyz return, but if that doesn’t happen — and even if it does — it still feels like a chance to put the belts on Enzo and Cass. The “good guys” usually come out on top at WrestleMania, and while they might not be as hot as they were a month or two ago, the crowd still gets behind those guys.
The pick: Enzo and Cass
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jaxx (Raw women’s championship match)
It wasn’t a great build, but like we said in the match rankings, there’s still reason to believe a good match is on the way. It also feels like a Bayley-Sasha feud is coming. We’ll say the blow-up comes Monday … after the champion retains.
The pick: Bayley
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton (WWE championship match)
This is going to be a terrific match. We’re supposed to be behind Randy Orton, but the guy won the Royal Rumble (earning a title shot), then relinquished the title shot (only to eventually get it back) and then turned on Bray Wyatt by burning down the guy’s compound. Pro wrestling, am I right? But still, they’ve told a great story and they’re both great workers. Maybe this is a chance for a double turn? It feels like there’s more money to be made in a Wyatt title run.
The pick: Bray Wyatt
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
This match is years in the making, with a couple of Rollins knee injuries along the way serving as speed bumps. But the story is good, with Triple H turning on his protege in favor of a bigger and better prospect (Kevin Owens), and now the pupil is out for revenge. Should be another good match, especially if they get time.
The pick: Seth Rollins
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse
On paper, this seems a little weird, but they’ve done a really nice job of making you care about this match and it actually makes you kind of want to see a Cena-Miz feud coming out of WrestleMania. But Cena is going away soon to do some other things, and there’s a large section of wrestling internet who thinks he’ll do it as a newly engaged man.
The pick: John Cena and Nikki Bella … with a post-match proposal
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels recently said on a podcast the company approached him to gauge interest about a potential match with AJ Styles. He obviously rejected and now we’re left with … Shane McMahon? It’s not terribly exciting on paper, and plenty of fans think it’s a waste of Styles’ talent, as he’s on arguably the highest level right now. But he always seems to get good matches out of his opponent, and he should do so with Shane-O-Mac, who probably will jump off the roller coaster or some crazy thing like that.
The pick: AJ Styles
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens (United States championship match)
We already know Jericho’s most recent (and arguably best) WWE run is ending soon. He’s scheduled to go back on tour with his rock band in the next couple of months, which seems to telegraph Owens (who’s younger with a brighter future, anyway) going over in the feud. Maybe Jericho ekes out a win and sets up a rematch for next month, but this just seems like a great chance to get Owens a high-profile win.
The pick: Kevin Owens
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
There would be even more intrigue to this match had The Undertaker not lost his WrestleMania undefeated streak — or if there was some sort of “career on the line” stipulation. But even so, there’s plenty of intrigue here, especially surrounding Reigns, who certainly sounds and looks poised for a heel run. What better way to get the fans to hate him than to have him beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania?
The pick: Roman Reigns
Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (Universal championship match)
It’s hard to say what’s going to happen here because we really don’t know what’s next for either of these guys after Mania, which is the exact opposite of their WrestleMania 20 match, when everyone knew both of their contracts were expiring and fans turned on the match knowing there was no reason to invest in either performer. Is Goldberg, who originally sounded like he was coming back for just one match, making an even longer run into the spring? What’s next for Lesnar? Regardless, there’s no bad choice here, as you can pair plenty of RAW stars (Owens, Rollins, Finn Balor, just to name a few) in a title program with either. In the end, though, we’ll take the surer long-term option.
The pick: Brock Lesnar