It’s here, it’s here! WrestleMania Sunday. Time to run through the card and get the Chad Dukes Wrestling show & staff picks, including Dukes’ & Thommy’s picks from Wednesday Night’s WrestleMania Preview Show.
Don’t forget! WrestleMania starts at 5PM on the WWE Network with the Kickoff show & with TWO matches on this year’s kickoff I’d expect matches to start around 6PM, so you’re looking at 5 hours of WrestleMania!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
In one corner, the reigning, defending, newly re-signed WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the past 223 days: Brock Lesnar. In the other, the 2015 Royal Rumble winner, public enemy #1 of the bitter (sigh) “internet wrestling community”, and the Samoan Dreamboat, Roman Reigns.
The complexion of this match changed greatly just this past Tuesday with the announcement of Brock Lesnar’s re-signing to a multi-year deal with WWE. Prior to that, those critical of Reigns’ readiness bemoaned the “obvious” coronation of Reigns, but now… all bets are off.
A number of finishes are now on the table. Does the mainstream coverage of Brock Lesnar on Sports Center turn him face? Does Reigns turn heel and join up with Heyman? Does Lesnar retain straight up and continue his “prize-fighter” reign? Does Reigns still prevail as the Chosen One? Does Seth Rollins cash-in?
Whatever the eventual outcome, I think this match, and did before the re-signing, will surprise a lot of people as being a really good, big man, HOSS fight.
- Dukes- Brock Lesnar, Rollins attempts to cash-in, but Lesnar leaves Santa Clara as Champion.
- Thom- Roman Reigns, Rollins cashes in Money In The Bank.
- Goat- Brock Lesnar then Rollins cashes in with an outside shot that Reigns interferes with the cash-in after it’s official, giving Reigns and Rollins beef over the Summer over who gets the shot at Lesnar at SummerSlam.
- Frogman- Brock Lesnar
- Louis Tully – Reigns takes Lesnar to the limit but ultimately Brock Lesnar retains, no Rollins shenanigans.
- Alex Wright- Brock Lesnar
- Richard Martel- Brock Lesnar
The King versus The Vigilante: Triple H vs. Sting
The Icon Sting made his first WWE appearance last November at the Survivor Series thwarting Team Authority’s attack on sole survivor Dolph Ziggler and allowing the Show Off to banish the Authority…temporarily. In the ensuing months, Sting has been a thorn in the side of Triple H, helping John Cena win back his teammates jobs and countering the Cerebral Assassin’s sledgehammer with a baseball bat at every turn.
Now, the WCW legend competes for the first time ever in a WWE ring against one of the most entrenched WWE guys ever, the Game, the King of Kings, Triple H. For me, the mark out moment of Sting wrestling in a WWE ring sells this one regardless of the opponent. With Triple H as his adversary, we’re sure to see a brutal encounter because whatever your opinion of him, Triple H leaves it all in the ring when he’s been back for these Mania matches.
- Dukes- Sting
- Thom- Sting
- Goat- Sting
- Frogman- Sting
- Louis Tully – Sting
- Alex Wright- Sting
- Richard Martel- Triple H
Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
It’s been one year since we’ve seen the Undertaker inside a WWE ring and now he’s returned to answer the challenge of the new face of fear, Bray Wyatt. Wyatt is looking to finish off the wounded animal that is the Undertaker coming off of the end of the Streak at last year’s WrestleMania.
For months, Wyatt has been masterfully building a match all alone using his gifted tounge to spin cryptic promos and the Undertaker’s own props, most notably at last month’s Fast Lane where Wyatt entered in an Undertaker coffin complete with his druids. Finally, three weeks ago on Raw, the Undertaker answered the Eater of Worlds and promised that the Man Comes Around in Levi’s Stadium.
- Dukes- The Undertaker
- Thom- The Undertaker
- Goat- Bray Wyatt via something involving the Sister Abigail back story leading to a Taker loss.
- Frogman- Bray Wyatt
- Louis Tully – The Undertaker
- Alex Wright – The Undertaker
- Richard Martel- The Undertaker
United States Championship: Rusev vs. John Cena
Last month at Fast Lane Rusev defeated John Cena with a well placed low blow and an Accolade causing the leader of the Cenation to pass out in the move. Ever since, Cena had been demanding a rematch but Rusev refused and continued to denigrate the United States of America and by proxy John Cena. Finally, after attacking Rusev and making him pass out in the STF, Lana relented and accepted Cena’s rematch challenge, causing a rift in the Russian power couple, in which we haven’t seen Lana since.
However, Rusev reasserted his dominance this past Monday brutalizing Cena after defeating Jack Swagger, locking Cena in the Accolade on the announce table.
- Dukes- Rusev
- Thom- John Cena
- Goat- John Cena, with Lana’s return somehow causing Rusev’s downfall.
- Frogman- Rusev
- Louis Tully – John Cena
- Alex Wright- John Cena
- Richard Martel- John Cena
Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan
The game of Intercontinental Championship hot potato comes to an end today in Santa Clara as the title will be suspended above the ring and 6 of WWE’s best young stars & R-Truth will compete in a demolition derby for the strap. It all began back at Fast Lane when Dean Ambrose made off with Bad News Barrett’s title following a DQ loss to the champion.
For weeks since, superstars have been stealing and making their intentions for the belt known resulting in a match that should be a show-stealer. This match is the spiritual child of the old Money in the Bank Ladder Matches of WrestleMania’s past and along with the United States Championship match should do wonders for building up both of these secondary titles.
- Dukes- Bad News Barrett
- Thom- Dean Ambrose
- Goat- Dolph Ziggler
- Frogman- Daniel Bryan
- Louis Tully – Daniel Bryan
- Alex Wright- Daniel Bryan
- Richard Martel- Bad News Barrett
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
In the grudgeiest match on the card, the Viper takes on Mr. Money in the Bank. The tensions between these two started last October when Randy Orton was curb stomped by Seth Rollins for no apparent reason following an Authority victory in a street fight match. Over the next month, Orton became increasingly frustrated with the Authority’s favoritism towards Rollins and following a loss to Rollins was attacked the Authority and sidelined by a Seth Rollins curb stomp.
Flash forward three months later, Orton returned to save Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, & Ryback from an Authority gang up at Fast Lane. Strangely however, the following night on Raw, Orton seemingly rejoined the Authority. This reunion proved to be a ruse. After gaining Rollins’ trust, Orton abandoned him in a 2 on 1 handicap match against Roman Reigns and then mercilessly attacked Rollins post-match.
- Dukes- Randy Orton
- Thom- Seth Rollins
- Goat- Randy Orton
- Frogman- Seth Rollins
- Louis Tully – Seth Rollins
- Alex Wright- Randy Orton
- Richard Martel- Seth Rollins
AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins
In the interests of giving the divas a chance, a tag match between the top 4 divas on the main roster get the spotlight at Levi’s Stadium. All four divas in this one have been intertwined since last year’s WrestleMania.
Paige defeated AJ Lee for the Diva’s Championship the night after WrestleMania 30 and the two traded the belt back and forth throughout 2014 on Raw, SummerSlam, & Night of Champions. The Bella Twins broke up as a team at SummerSlam in August, feuded, and reunited at Survivor Series when Nikki Bella broke up AJ & Paige’s stranglehold on the Diva’s title by defeating AJ in a 35-second re-enactment of the Daniel Bryan-Sheamus WrestleMania 28 match.
After AJ disappeared, Paige became the focus of the twins’ scorn after rescuing Natalya from them in January and challenging Nikki for the Diva’s Championship on several occasions. Finally, after a Bella double team, AJ Lee returned from hiatus to help the anti-diva in her war with the Bellas.
- Goat- The Bella Twins
- Frogman- The Bella Twins
- Louis Tully – AJ & Paige
- Alex Wright- The Bella Twins
- Richard Martel- The Bella Twins
Kickoff Match: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
It’s the 2nd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and this year it looks to be a scaled-back affair from last year’s 31 entrants with just 20 entrants announced at press time: The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor, & Hideo Itami.
Many are expecting the Celtic Warrior Sheamus to appear during this match as well, but nothing has been confirmed and I wonder if the switch of the match to the pre-show changes things a bit.
- Goat- Ryback
- Frogman- Head says Damien Mizdow, heart says #AxelMania
- Louis Tully – Gonna a go against the Sheamus consensus and pick Damien Mizdow to screw over the Miz for the win.
- Alex Wright- Sheamus
- Richard Martel- Damien Mizdow
Kickoff Match: Fatal Four Way for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores vs. The Usos
The Brass Ring Club- Kidd & Cesaro defend their recently won tag team championships against a field of tag teams to help open The Grandaddy of Them All. All four teams in this one have been trading wins, but you have to think Cesaro & Kidd have the advantage. Not only due to their ability to clap in unison, but outside of the Usos, who are suffering from a shoulder injury, the other two teams have not been presented as a serious tag team threat. FACT.
- Goat- The New Day and the New Day turns heel, reinstating the “Freebird Rules.”
- Frogman- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
- Louis Tully – Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
- Alex Wright- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
- Richard Martel- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro