Pre Show Match: The New Age Outlaws vs Cody Rhodes & Goldust for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Prediction: New Age Outlaws win
I expect the Outlaws will pick up a dirty win here, carry the belts into Mania and put over a team like the Usos or Real Americans at Wrestlemania. God forbid it is a team like Big Show & Mysterio. The Rhodes Brothers title run started strong with the angle against the authority, and while they are still solid in the ring they don’t seem to get much in the way of storylines, or anything in the way of mic time.
The Corporate New Age Outlaws are money, and I see nothing wrong with them picking up another reign as tag champions. Sure they are old, but they both still have the ability to perform just as well as they did 10-15 years ago. The tag division has been adding more teams and producing a lot of quality matches, but the Outlaws can bring some credibility to the titles and give one lucky team a helluva rub; just gotta hope WWE chooses the right team, which again, for me it is obvious both the Usos and Real Americans are ready to carry the tag titles.
Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins
I feel like I’m going out on a limb here, and it probably won’t “pay off” so to speak, but dammit, Bray needs this victory! It doesn’t have to be clean, there are plenty of ways he can go over without making Bryan look weak, and it won’t hurt Bryan’s momentum any (how could you??). All throughout this entire process the Wyatts, including Bray, have looked not only like dumbasses, but pussies as well. They jobbed multiple times to the Usos, including a match that Bray was a part of with Bryan. Bray was completely helpless in a cage with Bryan without his Family to help him two weeks ago.
And to top it all off they look completely pathetic with WWE rushing the angle and having Bryan reveal he hadn’t been brainwashed by the Family, he had simply infiltrated and taken them down in a 3 Raw process! Man, and the rumor is that Wyatt will face Cena of all people at Mania? I’d be interested to see WWE connect those dots over the next 3 months.
I really think Bray needs to win here, either by cheating or through interference, or else he will really come out of this feud carrying some serious stank. While this match is intriguing, however, the real question is will Bryan compete in the Rumble later in the night? I would have to guess ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’, but maybe WWE will decide that since he wasn’t going to win it that a simple singles match victory over Bray was the way to go.
Big Show vs Brock Lesnar
Result: Brock Lesnar wins
Lesnar will go over here, every knows that much, but watching him manhandle Big Show should be great even without the result being up in the air. Will he F5 Show? Snap his arm with the kimura? Brock’s stiff brawling style is great to watch, and if anyone on the roster is built to take punishment from Brock it would be Big Show with his massive frame. Frankly these two should beat the piss out of each other and it will be great to see.
Lesnar will exit this match with some momentum, having taken out monsters in Henry and Show, and likely head towards a title match at the Elimination Chamber PPV. I think he is the most likely candidate to carry the WWE Championship into Wrestlemania, as I think he will defeat the winner of Cena/Orton.
John Cena vs Randy Orton
Prediction: John Cena wins
Again, this is just me throwing shit to the wall, but bear with me. What match makes more sense at Elimination Chamber: Brock vs Orton or Brock vs Cena? Clearly the latter. Which match would be a bigger draw for that PPV? Brock vs Cena. Would you put it past WWE to give Cena a stat-padding 1 month title run as a transitional champ from Orton to Lesnar? I would not.
While WWE has made a clear declaration to Randy Orton begging him to be the man, I don’t think anyone can argue that his time in the spotlight as the feature of Raw has been dull at best. They may have wanted for Orton to carry the strap into Mania as the heel corporate champ originally, but plans change and Orton has played his way to the bench in my eyes. Most people expect Orton to win, WWE tosses a curveball and gives us Cena vs Lesnar at the Elimination Chamber.
Maybe its just wishful thinking on my part, but Orton has to drop the title before Mania. He has become a complete afterthought when discussing Wrestlemania; this in spite of the fact that he is the focal point of Raw more often than not. People are much more interested in who will challenge the streak? Who will Bryan face? What will Brock do? Even as champion nobody has any fucks to give for Randy Orton.
The Royal Rumble
Prediction: Batista Wins
I’m lukewarm to the idea of Batista winning, but I do picture Batista vs Brock at Wrestlemania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship being what is “best for business”. Here are the list of guys who won multiple Royal Rumbles in their career: Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold and John Cena. Now, love Batista or hate Batista, we can all agree that he hasn’t had nearly the impact on the WWE that those other 4 guys did.
But, ultimately, he has star power in an era that sorely lacks it. Who else can I see winning it? I think Punk is the 2nd most likely option. Him overcoming the odds from the #1 entry position to stick it to the authority would really help bolster his claim as “the best in the world” and I don’t think its a stretch to see him main eventing Wrestlemania, as WWE clearly has faith in him after pairing him with big names like Rock, Taker and Brock over the past year.
A lot of people point to Bryan to win it, but I just can’t picture it. I’ll gladly eat a big heaping plate of crow if he does somehow pull it off, but I truly can’t imagine it happening. At this point I’m sort of leaning toward him not even being in the match. The darkhorse for me is Roman Reigns, who could potentially wind up with a rocket ship on his back straight to the Mania main event and most people would roll with it. I don’t think he will win, but I do expect a big showing for Reigns with lots of spears and lots of eliminations, and I’m also hoping for either a split of the Shield or some serious tension during the Rumble amongst Shield Members.