Holy freaking crap it’s WrestleMania week and I am so absolutely not ready for it. Not only is it two nights again this year, something I’m not really a fan of cause both nights are only 3 hours and the biggest show of the year shouldn’t be the same amount of time as a typical Raw both nights, but WrestleMania Night 1 (So not a fan of calling everything before and after the Showcase of the Immortals “WrestleMania” everything) just so happens to fall on my 25th birthday this year, and I’m of course spending part of my birthday watching WrestleMania, so Vinny Mac, you better make it worth my while, and hopefully I won’t be drunk off my one legged behind this year for the main event like I was for Sasha vs. Bianca last year (I still hardly remember anything from that match). Anyways, this is Mansfields’ Matchups and this is WRESTLEMANIA!!!!! (Please pray for my fingers!)
The build for WrestleMania this year has been so/so. The fact that, as of this writing, NONE of the two midcard titles are slated to be defended on WrestleMania is just mind boggling (“WrestleMania” SmackDown DOES NOT COUNT AS WRESTLEMANIA, WWE), and the Andre Battle Royal is once again not on the card, and WWE has just given up on and forgot about the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal that should 110% be dedicated to Chyna, (fight me Triple H). I will not be covering the Andre Battle Royal or the Intercontinental Title Triple Threat because they are not on the actual WrestleMania card and likely aren’t getting an actual WrestleMania pay day. Balor vs. Priest has been rumored but there’s nothing concrete, but knowing WWE that’ll change after this goes up, because as we say at NoDQ, WWE just loves to put up new matches after we’ve already done our thing. So, my complaining at WWE’s lazy booking aside, let’s get to this cause there’s a LOT to get to.
WRESTLEMANIA SATURDAY NIGHT 1
RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Becky Lynch ( c ) vs. Bianca Belair
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”. Literally the best promo of Becky Lynch’s career and, I will dare say it, one of the top five WrestleMania build up promos in WWE history. This storyline has been building since August when Becky returned and won the SmackDown Women’s Title from Bianca in literal seconds. Both soon switched brands to Raw and Bianca has been chasing Becky ever since going through everyone, including the Elimination Chamber. Was very glad Bianca didn’t win the Rumble cause she didn’t need it two years in a row, but when she finally pins Becky, it will absolutely mean something when she is the first one to pin Becky for the title since she won it at WrestleMania 35 in 2019. Say what you will about Becky’s current heel run, I didn’t like it either for the most part and reminded me of the Stone Cold 2001 heel turn in a way that just didn’t work, but she has absolutely turned that around in this feud with Bianca and now I can’t wait to see Bianca get her win back, win the title, and catapult her into mega stardom.
WINNER – Bianca Belair (new champion)
The Miz and Logan Paul vs. Rey and Dominik Mysterio
The inclusion of Logan Paul almost really makes me not care about what would otherwise be a great match. Like I just wish I could forget about Logan Paul being in this thing, but WWE won’t let us. I don’t care if he’s good or not, I just don’t care to see him in a ring, period. So, trying to move on from him, The Miz and Rey Mysterio are two of the best veterans in WWE and Dominik has absolutely showed he can hang with the big boys from his amazing debut match against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2020. I was very upset the Fatal 4-Way SmackDown Tag title match wasn’t on the Mania card proper last year with the Mysterios, and I’m so happy Dominik gets to shine on the grandest stage of them all this year. It just sucks that Logan Paul is in this match. We already have one celebrity match this year (I don’t *really* count Pat McAfee as a “Celebrity” right now, since he’s full time with WWE now), and not all celebrities need to win their matches, so I really want to see the Mysterios get their big happy family moment at WrestleMania and shut up the stupid YouTuber thay literally no one cares about. Please WWE, do the right thing.
WINNERS – The Mysterios
Happy Corbin (w/Madcap Moss) vs. Drew McIntyre
I literally could care less. Why is a TV match on WrestleMania, especially when this has been so played out since December. This is my bathroom break match, although I wonder if I’ll actually make it back before the match is over. Poor Drew McIntyre. At least he gets to be the first to kick out of End of Days, I guess.
WINNER – Drew McIntyre
SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLES
Jimmy and Jey Uso ( c ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
My feelings towards this match remind me of how I felt about the Raw Tag Team Title match at WrestleMania last year, which was: really? Like, that’s the best you got for WrestleMania? Don’t get me wrong, I love Shinsuke, but for goodness sakes how he’s been booked, especially as Intercontinental Champion. Now, yes, he was injured for a good bit of that, but then they should’ve just taken the title off of him. I feel like, logically, The Usos should win this, but like last year, WWE will probably do what they did last year with the Raw tag straps.
WINNERS – Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs (new champions)
Sheamus and Ridge Holland (w/Butch) vs. The New Day Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods
Butch….they’re calling Pete Dunne “Butch” now…..Fs for days. Anyways, this was probably supposed to be a 6 Man Tag before Holland broke Big E’s neck. This match, again, really doesn’t make sense, and these competitors should all just be put in a Scott Hall Intercontinental Championship Memorial Ladder Match, but that would be smart booking then, wouldn’t it? Either way, Holland injured Big E, so no way the New Day don’t win this one, and again….Butch.
WINNERS – The New Day
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. TBA (But really it’s Cody Rhodes)
This match will most definitely steal the show on Night 1, and quite possibly, the entire WrestleMania card. The absolute pop Cody is going to get when he comes out will be one of WWE’s biggest successes in the last 5 years. Rollins has done a fantastic job of building this match up all on his own without WWE every even mentioning Cody even though we all know it’s him (if it’s Shane, people are going to riot, except for Greg Cherry and *possibly* me, cause Shane is in both of our Top 5). I feel like WWE would’ve gotten a lot better build up for Mania itself if Cody would’ve been announced, or came in at Jacksonville like they wanted him to, but either way, former AEW EVP Cody Rhodes returning at WrestleMania to face Raw’s locker room leader, you couldn’t ask for anything better.
WINNER – TBA (Again, it’s Cody)
SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Charlotte Flair ( c ) vs. Ronda Rousey
Ronda, I love you, but please stop talking. The physicality of this buildup has been off the charts. The promos, not so much. I’ll admit, like most, I’m not happy that we’re getting Ronda vs. Charlotte. I wanted Becky vs. Ronda, considering we got Charlotte vs. Ronda at Survivor Series 2018 that ended in DQ, but I think once they stop talking and get to the actual match, these two women will try to tear the house down. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do make this just a Submissions Match, cause that’s really what it needs to be. There’s so much physical aggression in this feud that it’s gonna be a good match as the last proper match on the card, despite the bad promo build ups (and yes, I mean you, Ronda). Seeing Charlotte get tapped out at WrestleMania is going to be a beautiful sight…seeing Ric Flair’s Twitter melt down afterwards, not so much.
WINNER – Ronda Rousey (new champion)
THE KO SHOW WITH SPECIAL GUEST “STONE COLD” STEVE AUSTIN
Because this is a segment and not a match, I won’t say much. I honestly don’t think this should close the show UNLESS it’s turned into an actual match during the segment. And, at that point, they should’ve just made it a match to begin with. Like Rollins, Kevin Owens has done a great job of building up this feud with Stone Cold nowhere to be seen on Raw. But this shouldn’t just be a Stunner and that’s it. This needs to lead up to a match either after the segment or on Night 2. Otherwise, this has no place as the main event slot of WrestleMania Night 1. Is it Stone Cold? Yes, but a match should be what closes out WrestleMania Night 1, not a segment.
WRESTLEMANIA NIGHT 2 (SUNDAY)
FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH FOR THE WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Queen Zelina and Carmella ( c ) vs. Natalya and Shayna Baszler vs. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley vs. Sasha Banks and Naomi
Like the Intercontinental Championship, the Women’s Tag Team Titles have not been defended on PLE since WrestleMania of last year. It’s funny how WWE can come up with all these teams for WrestleMania, but not during the rest of the year? This match has some fantastic competitors in it, and I would honestly be okay with any team but the champions walking out with the gold. The build up has been solid, minus the actual champions themselves in my opinion, and people seem pretty well divided on at least two of the teams, being Sasha and Naomi and Liv and Rhea. While I would personally love for Natalya and Shayna to get the win, I don’t think they’ll go from one heel team to another, though. Sasha and Naomi seem to be the main favorites. I honestly thought this was an odd team up, especially with Bayley’s return right around the corner, but they do have the most gold between them and the current best odds. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if “Banks gonna Banks” (to steal a phrase from Adam Blampied) and turns on Naomi, even though that would mean another loss for Sasha at WrestleMania. The underdog favorites are undoubtedly Rhea and Liv. Liv is the only woman in this match to never hold gold and Rhea won the Raw Women’s Title from Asuka last year at WrestleMania. I think people want to see Liv finally get her moment after her great feud with Becky Lynch. Picking between both of these teams is really tough, but I think I’m gonna go with Sasha and Naomi to stay on the safe side
WINNERS – Saha Banks and Naomi (new champions)
Omos vs. Bobby Lashley
Seeing Bobby Lashley work as a face again is going to be a sight to see vs. Omos. I think if anyone can get a good match out of Omos, it’s going to be Lashley. Now, if only they would bring back his old theme (which I am listening to right now as I type this match prediction out coincidentally). Omos has been criticized for his in ring work and not being able to move for a while now, especially after splitting from A.J. Styles, whose own skill could hide Omos’s inadequacies pretty well. But Vince is big on big monsters like Omos, no matter their in ring ability, and you can bet Lashley will sell like crazy to put Omos over. I don’t think Lashley will win, but there are some saying it’s possible. Lashley’s gotten the short end of the stick lately with a couple weeks Title run only to be taken out due to legit injury, so WWE could give him this win as a consolation prize. But, if WWE wants to still push Omos as this big monster threat, then he needs to win this one.
WINNER – Omos
ANYTHING GOES MATCH
Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville
Sweet goodness, I thought we’d be done with this after the Royal Rumble. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline has been absolutely fantastic and Sami Zayn has proven himself as a fantastic heel 100%, but I really don’t want to see a movie star stuntman pin Sami Zayn at WrestleMania, cause we all know it’s happening. I get it, actors and celebrities power level in WWE is typically over 9,000 (little easter egg for my anime nerds out there), but they shouldn’t just straight up best them, except in major exceptions like Bad Bunny, who literally trained to become a wrestler with fantastic trainers and loves this business and worked his butt off (bite me, Virtue) or Pat McAffee, a former 2x Pro Bowler with the Indianapolis Colts, who showed he’s absolutely got what it takes in the ring in NXT (but more on him later). Knoxville is 51, so there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors and weapons probably to make it convincing, and probably interference from the rest of the Jackass crew. Either way, Knoxville is winning, Sami is going to sell like crazy, and hopefully this match is at least decent.
WINNER – Johnny Knxville
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR THE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) ( c ) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
I’ll be honest, I did not expect RK-Bro to win the tag team titles back a few weeks ago on Raw. I thought they were going to lose, then break up, and have their match here at WrestleMania. But, RK-Bro is big in merch, big in popularity, and one of Vince’s favorite things (Do. Not. Screw. Up. Their. Split, Vincent!!). If the tag team matches we’ve seen from these teams in the past few weeks are any indication, we are in for an absolute barn burner. As much as I would love for RK-Bro to get this big win at WrestleMania, WWE have seemed to be showing that they are going in the direction of the Street Profits as champions. My guess is that Alpha Academy, specifically Chad Gable, will take the pin so Orton and Riddle don’t look weak, but this will be the Street Profits night this year.
WINNERS – The Street Profits, new champions
Austin Theory vs. Pat McAffee
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest Austin Theory fan. Never really have been. But, I do admit that he is good in the ring. Pat McAfee, I have loved his work since his match vs. Adam Cole in 2020. He is such a talented performer and I have no doubt that these two will have a great match. The original rumor was that it was Pat McAffee vs. Vince McMahon, but that was later changed to Vince announcing McAfee would have a match at WrestleMania on Pat’s podcast and then off-screan choosing Austin Theory, who he’s been mentoring. Vince has stayed involved with this, though in the background. I think this match will probably be better than a lot of people expect. As for who comes out on top, I’m tempted to say Theory with how much support he has from Vince, but I think in this match McAfee will be too much for Theory, especially with all the fan support behind him to knock Theory’s smile off his face.
WINNER – Pat McAfee
Edge vs. A.J. Styles
I will be the very first to admit, I was not happy at the beginning with Edge’s heel turn, not happy with Edge switching music (although I just finally listened to it as I was typing this up and it’s REALLY good!), and not happy with this new weird character for Edge. I don’t think this storyline needed anything more than two legends wanting to prove themselves in a dream match of who is better. But, I gotta say, it REALLY worked, and as long as this match steals the show, on Night 2, I’m fine with it. Fans have been wanting this match since the second Edge returned at the 2020 Royal Rumble. Both Edge and A.J. have been killing it with their promos in this buildup, and yes, I know people are expecting it, but I can’t wait to see Edge counter the Phenomenal Forearm into a Spear. There isn’t really much to say except that this match is going to be, well….phenomenal. Oh, and Edge is winning. I can’t root against Edge. It’s just not in my nature.
WINNER – Edge
WINNER TAKE ALL UNIFICATION MATCH FOR THE WWE AND UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman)
Full stop, I hate that it’s title unification. It’s stupid. Very. And we all know this wouldn’t be a title vs title unification match if Roman never got Covid and we actually got the Day 1 match we were supposed to. That threw the entire WrestleMania card and buildup to it completely off kilter, as seen by the scrambling and hot potatoing of the WWE Title and Lesnar winning the Royal Rumble this year much to my chagrin. There were so many directions WWE could’ve gone with in the WWE Title picture (Seth, Owens, Balor, Lashley, A.J.), but they didn’t do either of them. They are trying to build this up as the greatest WrestleMania match in WWE history (that’s for the fans to decide, not you), and this will be the third time we have seen Lesnar vs. Reigns main event at WrestleMania and the third time a title for title match has happened on the main card, as well as main evented the show (Hogan vs. Warrior WWE vs. Intercontinental Titles at WrestleMania VI and the Triple Threat for the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles with Ronda, Charlotte, and Becky at WrestleMania 35). The difference this time is that WWE has FINALLY gotten the crowd support for Roman Reigns by turning him heel and he will finally get the reaction that they’ve been wanting for this match for about 7 years. As long as we get a match more like WrestleMania 31 and Crown Jewel than WrestleMania 34, then I think this will prove to finally be Reigns’ triumphant moment that, again, WWE has been trying for seven years now. I don’t think that there is any realistic way that Brock walks out as the Champion. Not again. Reigns walks out with both belts and relinquishes one the next night on Raw. WWE should absolutely NOT retire the WWE Title. If anything, retire the Universal Title and bring back the World Heavyweight Title (yes, we’ve been saying this since 2016, I don’t care) that objectively has more prestige and value than the WWE Title look-alike knock off that can’t decide if it’s hot or cold. Do we get The Rock after this match to set up Reigns vs. Rock next year? Who knows. But I don’t think there is any threat for Reigns on the immediate horizon (it should’ve been Big E, let’s be honest here) except for Bron Breakker, but he still needs to be built up right as a killer on the main roster, unlike Karion Kross was. Because once Roman has firmly and finally conquered the Beast at WrestleMania for both titles, who in the heck is going to stand in his way or take him down? Acknowledge him.
WINNER – Roman Reigns, new WWE Champion, retains Universal Championship
Well, that was a LOT of typing and my fingers are done. Let me know what you all think and be sure to share this column with others, and don’t forget to #SayYesToNoDQ.