Well. The Royal Rumble was…..a thing. Yeah. My predictions for that didn’t turn out too well, did they? Shane McMahon got his WrestleMania match taken away from him (insert crying face here), looks like we’re going title vs title with Roman and Brock (insert annoyed face here) and this Road to WrestleMania just got a whole lot more interesting with the recent news coming out Monday night and Tuesday morning. But before we get to the Grand Daddy of Em All (sorry Vince, I will still call it that), this is Mansfield’s Matchups and we gotta make a pitstop at the Elimination Chamber in [country redacted].
The Elimination Chamber is one of my favorite PLEs. I love the match and it sucks I won’t actually be able to watch this year, cause I’ll be at a retreat center over the weekend. With the crapshoot that was the Royal Rumble, the WrestleMania sign hanging high above, and the most Texan of Rattlesnakes and the former Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling both apparently waiting in the wings, this show needs to stand out, especially since most PLE’s that have been done in [country redacted] haven’t lived up to the hype, save last October’s Crown Jewel.
This show has a total of eight matches as of this writing, and THREE of them are women’s matches. Now, let’s take that in for a second: WWE, who for the first few shows in [country redacted] couldn’t even have one women’s match, is now having three INCLUDING a #1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. Speaking of that particular strap, the two competitors facing off in that match were FEATURED ON BILLBOARDS IN [COUNTRY REDACTED]!!! That’s just unheard of, and yes, I may not be a big fan of WWE doing shows in [country redacted], but you can’t deny that this is progress and it’s beautiful to see. Well done ladies!!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the action, cause there’s a lot of it (boy I’m not looking forward to typing out my WrestleMania predictions am I?)
The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Rey Mysterio (w/Dominick Mysterio)
I’ve really been liking this feud on Raw lately. Yes, the 50/50 booking sucks, but giving Dominick some experience with one of the most solid workers in the ring and one of the best on the mic in Miz is great for him. Rey and Miz are not strangers to each other in any way. In fact, it was Rey who pinned The Miz in 2011 to win his first and only WWE Championship after CM Punk had walked out with the belt after Money in the Bank, only for Rey to then lose it later that night to John Cena in the main event (the less said about that, the better). But I think this is the first time they’ve had a proper feud with each other, and both have so many years of experience, that they know how to put on a great match. I think Miz wins this one to keep this feud going till just before WrestleMania, but we’ll see. Either way, this will be a solid match.
WINNER – The Miz
SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Jimmy and Jey Uso ( c ) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
This one is kinda tough. I don’t really see The Usos losing the tag team championship before WrestleMania, but they’ve held them since June, and with there not being other face tag teams for the Usos to feud with besides Kofi and Big E, I can see a title change here, with the Viking Raiders winning and then going on to feud with Los Lotharios, who have been gaining momentum in recent weeks as a heel tag team. It would also add more to Roman Reigns’ storyline heading into WrestleMania that the Bloodline looks weak if the Usos lose the Titles. The SmackDown Tag Title scene needs a shakeup, so I’m going with new champs.
WINNERS – The Viking Raiders (new champs)
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH
Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin) vs. Drew McIntyre
I really hate to say this, cause I love Drew, but I don’t care about this match. Corbin always has had “go away” heat from me and Madcap Moss just doesn’t do it for me. It’ll be a good match probably with all the weapons and all the spots, but as of right now, I just don’t care. Madcap Moss will probably will with help from Corbin to set up Corbin vs, McIntyre at Mania, cause seriously that’s all you can think of for DREW MCINTYRE?!?!
WINNER – Madcap Moss
Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville vs. Ronda Rousey and Naomi
For Ronda’s first match back since 2019, and since she had her baby, I think it makes sense for it to be a tag team match, just like her very first WWE match was. This is obviously leading to Sonya vs. Naomi at WrestleMania as well. With Sonya’s arm in a sling still, the stipulation for Ronda to have her arm tied behind her back might hinder the match a little, but I think WWE will just have Charlotte and Naomi do most of the work after they put on a classic in their SmackDown Women’s Championship main event last week. It doesn’t really make much sense for Rousey and Naomi to lose this one, especially it being Rousey’s first match back. Who gets the pin over who, I’m not sure, but I think it’ll just be interesting to see how they even make this match work with the stipulation.
WINNERS – Ronda Rousey and Naomi
#1 CONTENDER’S ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP AT WRESTLEMANIA
Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Doudrop vs. Liv Morgan vs. Niki A.S.H. vs. Alexa Bliss
This match is historic. Period. End of story. Whether you like all the competitors in this match or think they belong in it (I don’t), this match is history. Now, onto the match, and man, this is both an easy match to predict but I think it’ll be a hard one to watch. First off, Doudrop and Niki A.S.H. are not winning, it’s not happening. Liv Morgan has proven herself as a worker for months now, and I’m excited to see what spots she does in this match, but she isn’t winning either. That brings us down to the three most likely, of which, I will pick two. This match is, and should be, the Bianca and Rhea show, They have made so much magic together in their matches, that they can easily turn this into a really good showing if they’re allowed to do what they do (please Tyson Kidd come back soon, we all miss you). As much as I would love Becky vs. Rhea at WrestleMania, WWE clearly want to go in the direction of Bianca getting her win back against BEcky for what happened at SummerSlam, so Bianca is the obvious favorite here. Alexa Bliss is having her first match back since her really weird match against Randy Orton in early 2021. Alexa is a great performer and a multi time former champion, and now she’s back to her Goddess gimmick, with hopefully no spooky Fiend stuff left. It’ll be really great to see her interact with Niki considering their history as former Women’s Tag Team Champions. Seeing her and Rhea go after Niki together could make for some great storytelling inside the Chamber. Because she’s just coming back, I don’t think she’s a first pick to win, but if WWE wants to swerve us and give her a major storyline again, this could be the way to do it, and Becky vs. Alexa doesn’t sound too bad either.
1st pick: Bianca Belair
2nd pick: Alexa Bliss
RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Becky Lynch ( c ) vs. Lita
I’ll be the first to admit that I popped BIG for Lita showing up on Raw after the Rumble to set up this match. I was hoping for Lita vs. Charlotte at WrestleMania, but we’re obviously not getting that. Lita is a legend and hasn’t had a legit one on one match since her retirement against Mickie James at Survivor Series 2006 (unless you count her beating Heath Slater at Raw 1000 with the help of a bunch of legends, and I consider that more of a gimmick than a match). Lita still has gas left in the tank as her Rumble appearances through the years has shown, and her tag team match with Trish Stratus vs. Mickie and Alicia Fox at Evolution a few years ago. Lita is a Hall of Famer whose name adds credibility to whoever she’s in the ring with. The woman she happens to be facing, of course, is “The Man” Becky Lynch who, while an active competitor, has consistently held championship gold since 2019. Lita has caused Becky to step up her game in this rivalry, as I’ll admit, Becky had gotten a bit stale before this whole match was announced. Lita can bring out the best in BEcky, and the storyline going into this has been great of Becky trying to take down one of her childhood heroes. This is a WrestleMania caliber match and it’s even more awesome how much publicity it’s getting in [country redacted]. If done right, these two can steal the show, which is probably what WWE is going for. It’s pretty clear Lita isn’t walking away with the title, but I still hope she gets a spot on the WrestleMania card if this match delivers. Lita vs. Bayley or Lita vs. Sasha (if Sasha doesn’t get added into the SmackDown Women’s Title match like everyone wants), could all deliver on the Grandest Stage.
WINNER – Becky Lynch (champion retains)
UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Roman Reigns ( c ) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Goldberg
There’s a big part of me that REALLY wants Goldberg to destroy Roman just to make wrestling Twitter explode, because you just know you really still can’t put it past WWE to do it, can you? This match was supposed to happen at WrestleMania 36 before Covid reared its ugly head, forced the show to go without fans in the Performance Center, and forced Reigns to back out. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of that match idea back then after what Oldberg did to the Fiend, but I’m more intrigued now. Will Goldberg win? Probably not. Will the match go over 10 minutes? Hell would freeze over first. I haven’t really been interested in Goldberg matches since he almost killed The Undertaker at Crown Jewel a few years ago. Don’t care to see him wrestle anymore. Only time I would really look forward to and enjoy a Goldberg match is if Riddle finally got the chance to kick Goldberg’s head clean off his neck. But, my feelings on the old man who could never wrestle aside, I can’t deny that this match is major money. And, once Reigns beats Goldberg, he’ll have beaten every single title holder that has held the Universal Championship to this date in his current run, except for Seth Rollins, who won via DQ at the Royal Rumble. Defeating a Hall of Famer like Goldberg on the way to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania is big, like it or not. Reigns is almost certainly winning this, but believe me when I tell you that if somehow Goldberg wins this, Vince McMahon will have proven to be the biggest troll in all of wrestling.
WINNER – Roman Reigns (champion retains)
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Bobby Lashley ( c ) vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. A.J. Styles vs. Riddle vs. Austin Theory
Okay, this match (besides Austin Theory) is STACKED!! I would legit be okay with anyone besides Theory or Lesnar winning this match. I really, REALLY don’t want a Title vs. Title match between Reigns and Lesnar at WrestleMania, but unfortunately that’s the way it looks like it’s going. But discounting that, there are so many other ways that this match could go, and this match has some great competitors that are going to really shine. Most of all, I really hope that Lesnar and Riddle get to work together in this match besides just Lesnar suplexing the heck out of Riddle. I really don’t think Bobby should lose the WWE Championship in this match after just getting it back at the Rumble, cause that would really hot potato the title, which it doesn’t need, but let’s try to be realistic to what Brock has been campaigning for, though I would love to see it not happen. With Seth’s opponent for WrestleMania now no longer Shane McMahon, but with another major unnamed star now penciled in, wouldn’t it be great if he went into that match as champion, something he has never done at WrestleMania. A.J. Styles getting a main event push again with the title at Mania would be great to make up for his match with Shinsuke Nakamura that under delivered a few years ago. Him vs. Finn Balor at WrestleMania would be pure GOLD if Vince pulled the trigger. Austin Theory ain’t winning this, so not even gonna worry about him. But the one man, above all, I would love to win this match is Riddle. Riddle has been a favorite of mine since day 1 and he has consistently delivered with a big stamp of approval from Vince. He’s been United States Champion and more recently Raw Tag Team Champion with Randy Orton as RKBro in one of the best and most refreshing things to come out of the tag division in years. It was rumored by some that Riddle was supposed to win the Royal Rumble then go on to face Randy Orton at WrestleMania. Randy Orton vs. Riddle for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania is the perfect way to end RKBro when they eventually do, with Riddle going over as the heel when it happens. Now, of course, there’s the now large looming presence of the now former EVP of AEW Cody Rhodes who has all but put pen to paper for a new WWE deal with a rumored big push and match at WrestleMania. I think the biggest way to bring Cody back would be to have Austin Theory taken out before the match by someone, and for Cody to take his place and win the match and the WWE Championship. The founder of AEW coming back and winning the WWE Title is exactly the kind of thing Vince would do to stick it to Tony Khan, something Vince is always looking to do. But, let’s be real here, Lesnar is winning, I’m not happy about it and neither are you, so let’s just hope this match is a bar burner and gets us far more hyped for WrestleMania than the Rumble did and for all the other major matches currently rumored for this year’s Showcase of the Immortals
1st pick: Brock Lesnar
2nd pick: Riddle