Demarus Dye|BKD TV Insiders
The Granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania, 33rd Edition in Orlando as its being billed as the “Ultimate Thrill Ride”, Kickoff Show @ 5 p.m. ET on WWE Network plus other Internet Platforms, TV preshow – 6 p.m. ET: USA Network or WWE Network & WrestleMania 33 -7 p.m. ET on WWE Network or pay-per-view.
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At Fastlane, Neville retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship by defeating Gentleman Jack Gallagher. The following night on Raw, Neville again retained his championship against Rich Swann in Swann’s rematch from the Royal Rumble. After the match, Neville said there was no one left in the cruiserweight division that could compete with him. Austin Aries, who had been out of action due to injury, disagreed, and attacked Neville, insinuating his desire to challenge Neville for the title. On the March 13 episode of Raw, it was revealed that a Fatal 5-Way Elimination match between Aries, T.J. Perkins, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, and The Brian Kendrick was scheduled for the following night on 205 Live to determine the number one contender for Neville at WrestleMania 33, which was won by Aries and the match was scheduled for the pre-show. The two traded barbs over the next couple of weeks and on the final 205 Live before WrestleMania, Neville attacked Aries and retreated before Aries could counterattack.
Prediction- Most thought this high flying matching between the top 2 Cruiserweights would have been on the main card, but I would say due to time, its best these 2 start off WrestleMania Sunday as the King of the Cruiserweights Neville has done well since being on 205 Live & beeating Rich Swann for the Criserweight Title at the Royal Rumble. The 1st time since WrestleMania 20 that the Cruiserweight Title has been defended @ Mania. I like Double AA(Austin Aries) to dethrone Neville & win.
SIX PACK CHALLENGE FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Naomi vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At Elimination Chamber, Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but due to injury, she had to relinquish the title as she was not able to defend it within 30 days. Bliss then demanded that the title be awarded to her since Naomi could not face her for a rematch. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan instead had Bliss face Becky Lynch for the vacant title, in which Bliss won. The following week, Natalya hinted that she wanted to face Bliss for the title. On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Bliss claimed to be the greatest female wrestler on the SmackDown roster. Lynch then came out and said she would become SmackDown Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Natalya then came out and said she would face Bliss for the title, but Bliss denied her. Bliss’ ally Mickie James then said she would be the one to face Bliss for the title at WrestleMania to Bliss’ surprise. Bryan then came out and said that since Bliss is apparently the greatest female wrestler on the roster, she would have the chance to prove it as she would be defending the title against all available female SmackDown wrestlers at WrestleMania, much to the dismay of Bliss. Bliss and James then teamed up and defeated Lynch and Natalya, and James turned on Bliss after the match. The following week, Lynch defeated Natalya, but after the match, both were attacked by Carmella, who claimed that she would be the next SmackDown Women’s Champion. Later, James defeated Bliss. On the March 21 episode, Natalya interfered in Lynch and Carmella’s match. James then came out followed by Bliss and all the women brawled until Bliss was the last standing. It was then confirmed that the match was scheduled for the pre-show. On the final SmackDown before WrestleMania, Carmella faced Lynch, but the match ended in a no contest after James and Bliss came out. This turned into a tag match where Bliss and Carmella defeated James and Lynch. Naomi made her return and attacked all women, including Natalya who came out. Naomi then confirmed that she would be in the SmackDown Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania, making it a six-pack challenge.
Prediction- The Smackdown Women’s Roster is much more deeper than the Names that are on Raw, with that being so sadly the Smackdown Women’s Title had to be dropped to the Kickoff show which will give this 6-Pack match more time to tell a story & have a good match. I’m taking the Home town favorite that returned to Smackdown on Tuesday Naomi to regain the title, but I could also see Becky Lynch winning also.
ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, The Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Mark Henry, Titus O’Neil, Goldust, R-Truth, Curtis Axel, Primo, Epico, Bo Dallas, Jinder Mahal, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Mojo Rawley, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Kalisto, Viktor, Konnor, Sin Cara
Setup to WrestleMania 33- On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Mojo Rawley became the first wrestler to announce his participation in the 4th annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Afterwards on Talking Smack, Apollo Crews announced that he would be in the match. On the March 13 episode of Raw, after plans for a potential match with Shaquille O’Neal fell through, it was revealed that Big Show would be part of the battle royal. The following week, SmackDown’s Curt Hawkins confirmed his participation. On the March 27 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman, Goldust, R-Truth, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Jinder Mahal were confirmed for the battle royal. Later in the night, Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens in a no disqualification match to qualify for the battle royal. It was then confirmed that the match was scheduled for the pre-show. On the March 28 episode of SmackDown, Heath Slater, Rhyno, American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), Dolph Ziggler, and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) were confirmed for the match. That same episode, a graphic for the match was shown, confirming that Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Kalisto, Titus O’Neil, The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), and The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) would be in the match, making it a 30-man battle royal.
Prediction- Is this not going to be the Braun Strowman Invitational. But it would be nice to get a moment here(maybe Gronk). Wild Card to win is also Mojo Rawley & Sami Zayn also.
Main Show Matches
TRIPLE THREAT LADDER MATCH FOR THE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
Setup to WrestleMania 33- On the Royal Rumble pre-show, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. Cesaro and Sheamus invoked their rematch, but lost due to interference from Enzo Amore and Big Cass. On the February 20 episode of Raw, Enzo and Cass defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to receive a tag title match against Gallows and Anderson at Fastlane, where Gallows and Anderson retained the titles. A rematch occurred the following night on Raw, where Cesaro and Sheamus got involved, costing Enzo and Cass the titles. Later on, Raw General Manager Mick Foley scheduled Cesaro and Sheamus to face Enzo and Cass on the next episode, with the winners going on to challenge Gallows and Anderson for the titles at WrestleMania 33. However, during that match, Gallows and Anderson attacked both teams, causing a double-disqualification. Foley then scheduled Gallows and Anderson to defend the tag titles against both teams at WrestleMania in a triple threat match. The following week, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon fired Foley and in opposition to his decision due to his relationship with Cesaro and Sheamus, she scheduled them to face Gallows, Anderson, Enzo, and Cass in a two-on-four handicap match with the stipulation being that if Cesaro and Sheamus were to lose, they would be out of the WrestleMania match; Cesaro and Sheamus retained their spot in the triple threat match. Backstage the following week, Gallows and Anderson attacked Cesaro and Sheamus with a ladder. In the ring, Gallows and Anderson attempted to attack Enzo and Cass, but Cesaro and Sheamus retaliated and attacked them with a ladder. All three teams brawled and Gallows and Anderson were the last standing. The WrestleMania match was then turned into a triple threat ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championship.
Prediction- Got to be Enzo & Big Cass Moment here at Mania to be crowned Raw Tag Team Champions. This will to me open up the Main Show. Credit to Sheamus & Cesaro to making people care about them being a tag team also with Gallows and Anderson finally getting the Raw Tag Team Titles after just getting beat over several months. I like Enzo & Cass to win.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At Elimination Chamber during the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, as Baron Corbin had a stare down with The Miz, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose eliminated Corbin with a rollup pin. Out of anger, Corbin attacked Ambrose and executed the End of Days on him before he left the chamber; Miz subsequently eliminated Ambrose. On the following SmackDown, Ambrose wanted to exact revenge on Corbin, but got surprise attacked by Corbin as Ambrose made his entrance for his match against James Ellsworth. Ambrose and Corbin then participated in the WWE Championship number one contender’s battle royal, where Ambrose eliminated Corbin. An angered Corbin again attacked Ambrose with the End of Days and Ambrose was eventually eliminated from the match. Ambrose called out Corbin over the next couple of weeks, and Corbin attacked Ambrose backstage and indicated his desire to take the Intercontinental Championship from Ambrose. On the March 14 episode, Corbin formally challenged Ambrose for the title at WrestleMania 33. The following week during Corbin’s match against Randy Orton, Ambrose caused a distraction and cost Corbin his match. He then accepted Corbin’s challenge and executed Dirty Deeds on him.
Prediction- You talk about a thrill ride, Dean Ambrose has been on it the pass year as he got beatdown by Brock Lensar at WM 32 last year, to being WWE Champion when Raw & Smackdown went back to have 2 different rosters again, to being knocked back down to being IC Champ, while Corbin has been moving up the charts very well since winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Last Year at Mania. I like Corbin to win the IC & get another notch under his belt.
FATAL ELIMINATION 4-WAY FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At Roadblock: End of the Line, Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks to win her record fourth Raw Women’s Championship, ending their long feud, and as per a post-event stipulation, as long as one of them were champion, the other could not challenge for the title.Charlotte then began a feud with Bayley, resulting in a championship match at the Royal Rumble, where Charlotte retained the title.The next night on Raw, Bayley pinned Charlotte in a tag team match, thus granting her a rematch for the title on the February 13 episode of Raw, where she defeated Charlotte to become the new Raw Women’s Champion, thanks to help from Banks. The following week, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon confronted Bayley, asking her to relinquish her title due to Banks’s interference, but Bayley refused. Flair then came out and invoked her championship rematch for Fastlane, which saw Bayley retain after Banks again interfered, which subsequently ended Flair’s undefeated streak in singles matches at pay-per-views. The following night on Raw, Banks said that her and Bayley should face off for the title at WrestleMania 33 as it was a dream of theirs to face each other at the event. Flair came out and demanded that she should have a rematch due to Banks’s interference and said that Banks interfered due to the Roadblock stipulation. Raw General Manager Mick Foley then scheduled Flair to face Banks in which the winner would challenge Bayley for the title at WrestleMania. However, Stephanie changed those plans. She kept Flair in the championship match at WrestleMania, but allowed Banks the opportunity to be added to the match if she could defeat Bayley that night, which she did and made the Raw Women’s Championship match a triple threat match at WrestleMania. The following week, Banks defeated Flair’s ally Dana Brooke, who Flair had ordered to take out Banks. Flair came out and disassociated herself from Brooke, who then attacked Flair. Later, Bayley defeated Nia Jax by disqualification after Jax continued to beat Bayley in the corner beyond the referee’s five count. Stephanie then gave Jax a rematch the following week in a no disqualification match where if Jax won, she would be added to the championship match at WrestleMania. Jax defeated Bayley and turned the Raw Women’s Championship match into a fatal four-way. The following week prior to Raw, the match was turned into a fatal four-way elimination match. On Raw, Bayley and Sasha teamed up and defeated Charlotte and Jax, after which, Jax laid out her three WrestleMania opponents.
Prediction- The Raw Women’s roster has had injury/suspension(Paige, Summer Rae & Emma), misuse (Emma, Alicia Fox) & being green (Dana Brooke) which has pretty much made this a 4 woman division which Nia Jax is still green herself. The Bayley character is a good one that has been misused in my opinion as she has been cheating to win via Sasha Bank and chasing the title & not having it since earlier March should turn heel on Bayley & I see Charlotte already being a 6 time Raw’s Women’s Champ after just a year.
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles lost the WWE Championship to John Cena. Styles was immediately entered into the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon also promised Styles that he would get a one-on-one rematch for the title if he did not win the title back at the pay-per-view. At Elimination Chamber, Bray Wyatt eliminated both Cena and Styles to win the championship. Cena then immediately invoked his rematch clause, but Styles intervened, stating he should get his first. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then scheduled a triple threat match for the WWE Championship, where Wyatt retained. Randy Orton then refused his right as the Royal Rumble winner to face Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania 33, so Bryan scheduled a 10-man battle royal to determine a new number one-contender. Styles was entered into the battle royal, which ended in a draw between him and Luke Harper. The two faced each other in a number one contender’s match the following week. Styles pinned Harper, but the referee did not see Harper’s foot on the rope. Shane came out and restarted the match, which angered Styles, but he again defeated Harper. At the conclusion of the show, however, Orton reclaimed his right to face Wyatt at WrestleMania. Shane and Bryan decided that Styles would have to compete in another number one contender’s match, this time against Orton, who won. After the show backstage, an angered Styles got into a heated argument with Shane. The following week, an irate Styles said that he was tired of Bryan and Shane. He said because of them, he did not have a match at WrestleMania, but Orton, who committed arson, did. Later backstage, Styles attacked Shane and threw him through a car window; Styles was subsequently (kayfabe) fired by Bryan. However, at the end of the show, an injured Shane announced that he would face Styles at WrestleMania, and Styles accepted. At the end of the following week’s episode, Shane called out Styles and the two brawled, which ended with Shane performing a Leap of Faith on Styles through the broadcast table. The following week, the two had a contract signing to make the match official and the two traded barbs.
Prediction- AJ Styles has his work cut out for him to make this match look good with Shane McMahon. AJ should be with a better wrestling opponent but being with Shane is a good match in name only. I like AJ to beat Shane-O-Mac & Shane to jump off something.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse with Al Roker as special guest ring announcer
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At Elimination Chamber, Nikki Bella and Natalya had a backstage confrontation that lead to Natalya shoving Nikki into Maryse. Later that night, The Miz attempted to eliminate John Cena from the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, but Cena eliminated Miz. On the February 21 episode of SmackDown, Nikki and Natalya’s Falls Count Anywhere match led to the backstage area, where Natalya again shoved Nikki into Maryse, who retaliated by hitting Nikki with a lead pipe, costing Nikki her match. In that episode’s main event, the same incident between Cena and Miz happened in the WWE Championship number one contender’s battle royal; this time, however, Miz returned and caused Cena’s elimination. Cena was then the guest on Miz TV where Miz criticized Cena for being a hypocrite, as Cena was basically doing the same thing that he himself had criticized The Rock for doing: leaving the WWE and going to Hollywood. Miz said that he works as hard as Cena, but does not get the same opportunities, and he eliminated Cena to prevent him from going to WrestleMania 33, and wanted Cena to know what he felt when Cena defeated him for the WWE Championship back in 2011. Miz also said that Cena gets what he wants, but Cena said if that were true, he would be facing The Undertaker. Cena then criticized Miz for copying other people’s gimmicks and moves, which caused Maryse to slap Cena for insulting her husband. Nikki then came out and Maryse and Miz retreated. The following week, The Miz and Maryse attacked Cena and Nikki after the latter two’s match. The Miz said he was tired of Cena’s lies and said his relationship with Nikki was also a lie. Afterwards, on Talking Smack, The Miz and Maryse said that Nikki was where she was at now because of Cena, and that Nikki was jealous of them because Cena will not marry Nikki. The following week, Miz and Maryse continued their insults against Cena and Nikki, and the two came out and chased Miz and Maryse out of the ring. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then came out and said that since he could not fight The Miz, who had been insulting him for months, both The Miz and Maryse would face Cena and Nikki at WrestleMania; Maryse’s last match was in 2011. The Miz and Maryse then made fun of Cena and Nikki’s reality show Total Bellas by impersonating them in “unaired footage”. On March 27, Cena was a guest host on NBC’s Today and announced that weatherman Al Roker would be the special guest ring announcer for the match. On the final SmackDown before WrestleMania, more “unaired footage” from Total Bellas was shown. The Miz and Maryse then threw more insults at Cena and Nikki, including Cena not wanting to have kids. Cena retaliated and asked how many kids does Miz and Maryse have. Cena said that although he takes time off to make movies, he comes back to the WWE when he is done, just as The Miz and other superstars have done before. Cena called Maryse a waste of a paycheck as she does not do much on the show and that she was only back in the WWE because Miz begged for it. Cena then said that he and Nikki would destroy Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania.
Prediction- The best builds in wrestling is when the lines are blurred between reality & art. This program has all of that & more. The Miz has had a great year & this is his award to be in a high profile match plus that Total Bella parody was a hit for the Miz & Maryse, Nikki Bella will have her Swan song just like her sister Brie on Sunday, while Cena is going back to Hollywood for a while. I like Cena & Nikki to win & maybe even a certain question to be popped.
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
Setup to WrestleMania 33- In 2014, The Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns) were involved in a rivalry with Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista). After multiple losses to The Shield, Batista out of anger left the WWE, which disbanded Evolution. Triple H then revealed his “plan B”: Seth Rollins. Rollins attacked his former Shield brothers and joined Triple H in The Authority, turning heel. Rollins was the forefront of The Authority for over a year and won the then-WWE World Heavyweight Championship (now WWE Championship) at WrestleMania 31, but was forced to vacate the title in November 2015 due to injury. He returned in mid-2016 and was drafted to the Raw brand and then unsuccessfully faced Finn Bálor for the inaugural WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. After Bálor was forced to vacate the title due to injury, Rollins qualified for a fatal four-way match for the vacant title. During that match, a returning Triple H, who had not been seen since WrestleMania 32, helped Rollins to eliminate Reigns, but then turned on Rollins by giving him a Pedigree, allowing Kevin Owens to win the championship. Rollins did not address the incident until December, and called out Triple H. On the January 23, 2017 episode of Raw, during Rollins’ match with Sami Zayn, Triple H’s music played, which distracted Rollins and allowed Zayn to win Rollins’ spot in the Royal Rumble match. Rollins appeared at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio the day before the Royal Rumble and challenged Triple H to a match. Triple H came out and signaled for security, who took Rollins away. On the January 30 episode of Raw, Raw Commissioner and Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon confronted Rollins about his appearance at TakeOver and revealed that Triple H would be there later that night. Triple H showed up, said that Rollins disappointed him and called Rollins out. As Rollins made his way to the ring, he was attacked by Samoa Joe, who made his main roster debut. Joe’s attack on Rollins re-injured Rollins’ knee, which had sidelined him for six months. It was then reported that Rollins would be out of action for up to eight weeks. Rollins appeared on the February 27 episode of Raw to address the status of his injury where he said that it was unlikely that he would be at WrestleMania 33. Triple H came out with Joe and told Rollins not to come to WrestleMania, because if he does, he would end him. Rollins then declared that he would be at WrestleMania. The following week, videos of Rollins’ rehabilitation were shown and Triple H said that Rollins was ignorant for going against doctors advice and trying to compete at WrestleMania. Two weeks later, Triple H got into an altercation with Raw General Manager Mick Foley, after which Rollins came down, dropped his crutch, and attacked Triple H. However, Triple H recovered and attacked Rollins’ knee. On the March 20 episode, Foley was fired as Raw General Manager for his actions, and Rollins’ physical therapist Kevin Wilk said that Rollins should not compete at WrestleMania. Triple H later challenged Rollins to a non-sanctioned match, which would keep Rollins from suing the WWE should he be injured again. The following week, Rollins signed the contract, thus making the match official, and the two brawled.
Prediction- The redemption of Seth Rollins will come full circle as he will go at Triple H injury & all. Seth Rollins betrayed his Shield brothers in 2014, won the WWE Title at WM 31, but injuries has hurt him & not fully healed now. Triple H cost Rollins the WWE Universal Championship & he turned on Rollins, to help Kevin Owens win. I like Triple H to win with some Samoa Joe help & Seth should get a win back at SummerSlam.
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Setup to WrestleMania 33- In mid-2016, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens began teaming and assisting each other. Jericho played a part in Owens winning the vacant WWE Universal Championship, which ultimately led to them becoming best friends. Jericho then assisted Owens in retaining the Universal title against Seth Rollins at Clash of Champions, and again at Hell in a Cell. The two were then made co-captains of Team Raw’s men’s team at Survivor Series, but ultimately lost to Team SmackDown. On the following episode of Raw, tensions were high as Jericho was about to blame Owens for using “The List of Jericho” as a weapon. Owens defended himself, stating that he was trying to protect Jericho from being eliminated. The two then agreed that it was Rollins and Roman Reigns’ fault for the team’s loss. Rollins then faced Owens for the Universal title, but Jericho again interfered. The following week, Reigns challenged Owens for the Universal title, but questioned Owens’ ability to win a match without Jericho. Owens declared that he did not need Jericho, and the match was scheduled for Roadblock: End of the Line. At the event, Jericho seemingly turned on Owens by attacking him during Owens’ title match, which was revealed to be Jericho’s plan so that Owens would win and retain the title. The two then challenged Reigns for his United States Championship in the following weeks, and Jericho ultimately won the title. Reigns received a rematch for the title, but lost due to interference from Owens. At the Royal Rumble, Reigns again faced Owens for the Universal title, where Jericho was suspended above the ring inside of a shark cage. Despite this, Owens retained due to interference from Braun Strowman. Jericho, who hinted at wanting to face Owens in a title for title match at WrestleMania 33, accepted Goldberg’s challenge on Owens’ behalf for the Universal title at Fastlane, which was made official to the dismay of Owens. Jericho then held a “Festival of Friendship” for Owens, however, Owens turned on Jericho and brutally attacked him. In retaliation, Jericho cost Owens his match and Universal Championship at Fastlane. The following night on Raw, Jericho said that he screwed Owens for betraying him and then demanded an answer as to why Owens betrayed him. Owens said that they were never actually friends, and that he only used Jericho who became useless to him after Jericho accepted Goldberg’s challenge on his behalf. Jericho then challenged Owens to a match at WrestleMania, which Owens accepted only if it were for the United States Championship, and Jericho agreed. Owens said he would eventually get a rematch for the Universal title, but he first wanted to take the United States title from Jericho as Jericho took his title from him. On the March 20 episode, on Jericho’s Highlight Reel, Jericho revealed the “real” Kevin Owens, who attacked Jericho from behind and destroyed “The List of Jericho”. The following week, Owens faced Sami Zayn in a no disqualification match where if Zayn lost, he would be fired. During the match, Samoa Joe, who had been feuding with Zayn, attempted to interfere and help Owens win, but Jericho appeared, stopped Joe, and helped Zayn win. Jericho then brought out a new list and added Owens’ name to it.
Prediction- The Jericho & Owens partnership started before SummerSlam 2016 & it was good comedy but the downside was once Owens won the Universal Title this act was good but it hurt the newly Unversal title. The Festival of Friendship was good & Owens turning on Jericho was great TV. Now Jericho has not defended the US Title since he won it from Roman Reigns. The List of Jericho is great but I see Kevin Owens in a span of the over a year winning the Intercontinental, Universal & US Title if he wins Sunday, which I think he does.
Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker was a competitor in the titular Royal Rumble match. Roman Reigns, who lost his Universal Championship match earlier that night, entered the match at number 30 and eventually eliminated Undertaker from the match. The two had a stare down and Reigns claimed that the ring was his yard now; for many years, Undertaker had claimed that the ring was his yard. On the March 6 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman, who lost to Reigns at Fastlane, called Reigns out, stating that Reigns got lucky, but The Undertaker came out instead. The Undertaker stared down Strowman until Strowman left the ring. As The Undertaker was about to leave, Reigns came out and confronted him. Reigns said that Strowman had called him out and again claimed that the ring was his yard now. The two had a stare down and both looked up to the WrestleMania sign. The Undertaker then attacked Reigns with a chokeslam. A match between the two at WrestleMania 33 was confirmed the following week. Later on Raw during Reigns’ match against Jinder Mahal, The Undertaker’s gong sounded, which caused a minor distraction for Reigns, but Reigns defeated Mahal. After the match, Reigns called out Undertaker, however, Shawn Michaels came out instead and warned Reigns about The Undertaker and that he needed to focus. Reigns said that he appreciated the advice, but said that he would retire The Undertaker just as Undertaker retired Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI. The following week, during Reigns’ Fastlane rematch with Strowman, The Undertaker appeared. Instead of attacking Reigns, he chokeslammed Strowman and Reigns attacked Undertaker with a spear. After Reigns left the ring, Undertaker sat up and performed his throat slash taunt at Reigns. On the final Raw before WrestleMania, The Undertaker delivered a promo, stating that the graveyard would be Reigns’ yard after WrestleMania.
Prediction- Do Roman Reigns needs to beat the Undertaker to be the next Top Guy in WWE no, but do Reigns needs to beat up the Undertaker to become the biggest heel in the WWE, yes. The promos Reigns has been cutting on the Undertaker has been borderline heelish, but the Undertaker has got in some physicality in on Reigns too. Now word is the Undertaker has not looked good backstage & does need full hip surgery which would end the career of the greatest Character in the history of the WWE. Usually when most wrestlers go out they put the put over there opponent, in this case I do think like Ric Flair in Orlando 8 years ago, the Undertaker will meet the same fate & Roman Reigns will finally meet full time heelship.
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton
Setup to WrestleMania 33- The winner of the Royal Rumble match traditionally earns a world championship match at WrestleMania. With the reintroduction of the brand extension in mid-2016, which resulted in two world titles in the promotion again, the Royal Rumble winner received a match for either Raw’s WWE Universal Championship or SmackDown’s WWE Championship. Randy Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble, the second in his career, and thereby earned a title match for his brand’s WWE Championship. At Elimination Chamber on February 12, Orton’s fellow Wyatt Family member Bray Wyatt won the Elimination Chamber match to become the new WWE Champion, and then retained the championship against John Cena and AJ Styles on the following SmackDown. Afterwards, Orton said that he refused to fight Wyatt at WrestleMania due to his devotion to Wyatt. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then scheduled a 10-man battle royal to find a new opponent for Wyatt at WrestleMania. The battle royal ended in a draw when both Styles and Luke Harper went over the top rope simultaneously; Styles then defeated Harper the following week to become the number one contender. However, at the conclusion of the episode, Orton appeared on the titan-tron, interrupting Wyatt, and was at The Wyatt Family compound, which was also the burial site of Sister Abigail, the cult leader that Wyatt followed and named his finisher after. Orton declared that he was no longer Wyatt’s servant and that he only joined The Wyatt Family to destroy them from the inside (Orton joined the Wyatts in October 2016 after failing to defeat them in several matches). Orton then set the compound ablaze, which caused Wyatt to have a mental breakdown, and Orton said he was coming for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Due to this confusion, Daniel Bryan and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon decided that Orton would face Styles on the March 7 episode of SmackDown to determine the decisive number one contender for Wyatt, in which Orton defeated Styles. On the March 14 episode, Orton was interrupted by Wyatt, who claimed to now have the powers of Sister Abigail as he covered himself in her ashes. The following week, Harper warned Orton about Wyatt’s new “powers”, but said he would take out Wyatt on the next episode. Later, Orton was attacked backstage by followers of Wyatt, and Wyatt performed a ritual on Orton. On the final SmackDown before WrestleMania, after Wyatt defeated Harper, Orton appeared on the titan-tron and claimed to have destroyed the powers of Sister Abigail.
Prediction- This program has had it’s ups & downs. Randy Orton’s acting has been the down plus Orton has done more heel like stuff than the Heel in the match WWE Champion Bray Wyatt. Orton in the ring was great as he saved Bray to soften him up for the full tone & even denied his Royal Rumble Stipulation to be in the main event of Mania. I think Bray will retain the title but would be even better is a double turn.
WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
Setup to WrestleMania 33- At WrestleMania XX in 2004, Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar in their first match against each other. Both left the company after the event, however, Lesnar returned in 2012. After twelve years, Goldberg returned in 2016 and immediately began a feud with Lesnar, thanks in part due to the WWE 2K17 video game, which featured Lesnar on the cover and Goldberg as the pre-order bonus. This culminated in a match at Survivor Series, in which Goldberg humiliated Lesnar by defeating him in one minute and twenty-six seconds. Both then competed in the Royal Rumble match; Lesnar entered at number twenty-six and dispatched of several other wrestlers before Goldberg came out at number twenty-eight and once again humiliated Lesnar by quickly eliminating him from the match; Goldberg was soon after eliminated by The Undertaker. The next night on Raw, Lesnar and Paul Heyman appeared and challenged Goldberg to one final match at WrestleMania 33. The next week on Raw, Goldberg accepted Lesnar’s challenge and also challenged Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane on March 5. Lesnar and Heyman said in an interview with Michael Cole that if Goldberg wins the Universal Championship, Lesnar would challenge him for the title at WrestleMania. Goldberg appeared the next week and promised that he would defeat Owens and be the Universal Champion going into WrestleMania against Lesnar. At Fastlane, Goldberg kept his promise and turned his WrestleMania match against Lesnar into a match for the Universal Championship. The next night on Raw, Lesnar confronted Goldberg and offered to shake his hand to congratulate him. Goldberg refused and Heyman said that at WrestleMania, Goldberg would be “Brock’s bitch” and Lesnar attacked Goldberg with an F-5. The following week, Lesnar and Heyman gloated about Lesnar giving an F-5 to Goldberg and Heyman said that at WrestleMania, Lesnar would have the “greatest comeback in sports entertainment history”. On the final Raw before WrestleMania, Goldberg and Lesnar had one last confrontation where Goldberg speared Lesnar.
Prediction- Goldberg has the number of Brock Lensar & to the WWE credit they have keep Goldberg in ring action quick & a mystery. But the mystery will be up on Sunday as Lensar will be put over & win the Universal Title (aka the Red Fruit Rollup Belt) & put creditablity on the title. Goldberg has had a great run & hopefully he stays to pop up again soon.
I’ll be back with the WrestleMania 33 review after the event on Monday everybody.