As is tradition around here, and as part of our Required WrestleMania Reading section, the staff of Wrestling Merchandise and Memories attempts to pick who will win at The Showcase Of The Immortals. This includes two prognosticators under the age of 10: The Big Rybowski's nearly seven year-old son Roman Zane, and Adam Zimmerman's nine year-old nephew. Plus we have the returning ZAH! So without further adieu.... it's pick-em time!
Winner Take All Championship Unification
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Adam Zimmerman: No Pick. (Note: My nine year-old nephew was visiting the day I was making these predictions, so I decided to get his input into how a young WWE fan thinks.) My nephew said he couldn't call this one. Both guys are great even though (according to my nephew) Brock has been beaten by Roman "many times." He considers this a toss-up between the two.
The Big Rybowski: Roman Reigns. This seems like a match that Brock should win based on all the build-up, but I see Reigns as the better choice to be the Big Dog for both Raw and Smackdown over the next little while.
Canadian Bulldog: Roman Reigns. For the sole reason that Reigns is already the longest-reigning champion in modern history, does it make a lot of sense to end that kind of momentum now... and then not have a defending champion on either brand? In an ideal world, Reigns keeps the belt, keeps destroying people on both brands for the next year, and finally has the dream match with The Rock.
Mike Rickard: Roman Reigns. WWE is pushing Reigns to the moon and I can’t imagine a part-time Lesnar winning, unless WWE wants to continue this program.
Roman Zane: Roman Reigns. I think he's going to win because he's the best wrestler now.
ZAH: Brock Lesnar. This rivalry has primarily been in Roman’s favor over the years. With Lesnar’s newfound popularity, it seems right to end WrestleMania with a babyface pop. They can have a “final” blowoff feud down the road.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair
The Big Rybowski: Ronda Rousey. The only way I can see Rousey losing this match is if they want to carry this program on to Backlash, but even still………
Canadian Bulldog: Ronda Rousey. It would destroy Rousey's credibility to lose here (unlike a few years back, when leaving without the belt made sense). It's time to give Ronda another run with the gold and see if she has still has the same box office appeal.
Mike Rickard: Ronda Rousey. Rousey didn’t come back to do the J-O-B and the WWE is using this to book a title vs. title between Becky and Ronda at WrestleMania XXXIX.
Roman Zane: Ronda Rousey. Ronda Rousey because she is way stronger. She’s a boxer and they have to be really strong.
ZAH: Ronda Rousey. As much as I don’t think she deserves it, WWE is all about Rousey and they want to keep her at the forefront of the women’s division. Her win at WrestleMania will create storyline opportunities for her to get “screwed over” in the future, thus setting up a new champion and a new feud.
Raw Womens Championship Match
Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
The Big Rybowski: Bianca Belair. This match has been setup as a redemption story and I see it ending with Bianca not getting her revenge from last Mania
Canadian Bulldog: Becky Lynch. It's almost too obvious to give Bianca the win, given the story dating back to SummerSlam and the expectation of a big hero comeback. So this is one where I think WWE may use reverse psychology to swerve us, ultimately keeping the momentum with Big Time Becks for a while yet.
Mike Rickard: Bianca Belair. While WWE might go with its “Becky is unbeatable” until ‘Mania XXXIX, I think they may give Bianca a short reign so the fans don’t lose their minds at this year’s insane booking.
Roman Zane: Becky Lynch. I think Becky Lynch will win because she is the champion.
ZAH: Becky Lynch. I’m just not as big on Belair as most people are. Yes, she’s physically gifted and one of the most exciting women to ever enter the squared circle.
However, her personality and charisma just aren’t top notch yet. Lynch is “The Man” and will continue to be.
Stone Cold Steve Austin on the KO Show
(Because this isn't billed as a match, we're not picking winners, per se)
The Big Rybowski: Really no idea what to expect here. If they were going to fight, why wouldn't they advertise it that way? If it's just a KO Show with Stone Cold giving a Stunner at the end, then why the big deal? I'm going with a bold prediction that the KO Show on WrestleMania Saturday leads to an actual match the following day.
Canadian Bulldog: This should be more of a brawl, and not just "Owens badmouths Austin until he eats a Stunner" because, let's face it, Stone Cold has already done that to so many people over the years. But if it does become more talk show than all-out fight, how cool would it be to have Bret Hart come out and side against Owens in favor of his old WrestleMania rival Austin?
Mike Rickard: This is either a test run for a (limited) in-ring return by “The Texas Rattlesnake” or a great send-off for the fans. Either way, this should be a fun segment.
Roman Zane: I think Stone Cold will beat KO up, they will fight for a little bit, then it will just be a regular show.
ZAH: Expect a brawl between these two with a lot of smoke and mirrors that allows Owens to beat down on Austin without Austin taking any type of serious bump. I imagine it’ll go into the crowd and will include lots of beer. In the end, Austin hits the stunner and takes out Owens. Also, if WWE has actually signed Cody Rhodes then, this is the time to debut him. Havin Rollins run out to “claim his spot” by attacking Austin after his beatdown of Owens. Then Rhodes comes out to a massive pop to save the day. Cue more beer drinking of Austin Rhodes to close out the segment.
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Adam Zimmerman: Edge. My nephew is going with Edge for this because "he's a legend who's beaten many legends". My nephew is also wearing an Edge t-shirt today which may have influenced his decision.
The Big Rybowski: Edge. Once again, Edge is upping his game for a big match. I’m not sure what either guy gains with a win here, but possibly this new persona Edge has another program in him after Mania. Should be a great match!
Canadian Bulldog: Edge. The Rated R Superstar has an impressive record at WrestleMania (7 wins, 5 losses) and I have to think his new persona was for a reason - and that reason probably wasn't putting AJ Styles over.
Mike Rickard: AJ Styles. This should be a multi-match program so I expect it to continue after Mania.
Roman Zane: AJ Styles. I think AJ Styles is going to win because he is Phenomenal!
ZAH: AJ Styles. This should be a highlight of the weekend and is considered an absolute dream match coming true. It just doesn’t make any sense for Edge to win here as he has had more than his fair share of WrestleMania moments. I think a win for Styles cements him as a first-ballot HoF-er.
Seth Rollins vs. An Opponent Of Mr. McMahon's Choo... aw, screw it - Cody Rhodes
Adam Zimmerman: Seth Rollins. My nephew says Seth Rollins because "Cody Rhodes has been in AEW so long and it's his first night back so he hasn't 'practiced' in the WWE for a while so he might not be warmed up yet and Seth Rollins is really good".
The Big Rybowski: Cody Rhodes. This has to be the worst-kept surprise ever. It has to be Cody, right?!? And if so, Cody goes over, right?!?
Canadian Bulldog: Cody Rhodes. This is a make-or-break-it moment for both Cody Rhodes and how WWE views top talent coming in from AEW. Anything else than a decisive victory for The American Nightmare (especially after what's been a brilliant build on television from the normally not-subtle WWE) would be a misfire and let's face it, Rollins can handle a loss if it's as substantial as what this could be.
Mike Rickard: This is exciting and these two will likely steal the show.
Roman Zane: Omos. I think his opponent might be Omos. If it is, Omos will win because he is way bigger and stronger.
Anything Goes Match
Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn
The Big Rybowski: Johnny Knoxville. When celebrities wrestle at WWE PPVs they usually win. This should be a fun match with Knoxville coming out with the win to embarrass Sami Zayn.
Canadian Bulldog: Johnny Knoxville. Having seen Jackass Forever recently, I think Knoxville has a few crazy bumps in him (which also may explain why he didn't do much at the Royal Rumble; he was saving it for Mania). But despite crashing through four tables on fire or whatever the stunt is going to be, I still see Knoxville winning and helping get WWE some mainstream publicity.
Mike Rickard: Johnny Knoxville. Sami is such a great heel and fans will hopefully enjoy watching Johnny Knoxville get the win.
Roman Zane: Sami Zayn. Zayn will win because he’s a wrestler and the other guy is just an actor.
ZAH: Sami Zayn. While I applaud Knoxville for continuing this feud for months and having fun with it, I just don’t see Zayn losing this unless there is a MASSIVE interference angle with the Jackass crew. Sigh…poor Zayn.
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
Adam Zimmerman: Rey & Dominik Mysterio. My nephew thinks the Mysterios are going to win because they're smaller and faster and Logan Paul is a boxer who doesn't know how to wrestle.
The Big Rybowski: Rey & Dominik Mysterio. I mentioned before that generally when celebrities wrestle on WWE PPV’s they win... but I feel like this one will be different. Logan Paul seems to embrace the heel persona and there doesn’t seem like much of a reason to have him and the Miz win this one.
Canadian Bulldog: The Miz & Logan Paul. This is a great conflict on paper, as The Miz and Logan Paul play the arrogant D-List celebrities to perfection and can play off the saccharine-sweet babyface Mysterio family quite well. I think Paul will impress us with his wrestling progress, though Miz may be the one to screw over father and son, finally giving us the Mysterio rift we've been expecting for over a year now. And yes, I read Dominik's interview where he doesn't expect to turn on his father, but come on! This is wrestling....
Mike Rickard: Rey & Dominik Mysterio. This should be a fun match, especially if Logan Paul trains hard like Bad Bunny did.
Roman Zane: Rey & Dominik Mysterio. Dominik and Rey will win because they are really tough.
ZAH: The Miz & Logan Paul. I expect a screwjob finish to this. And honestly, I just don’t believe in Dominik’s future as a WWE superstar. They can try to push him all they want…he’s just not “a guy.”
Fatall Four Way for the Women's Tag Team Championship
Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley vs. Queen Zelina & Carmella
vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler & Natalya
The Big Rybowski: Queen Zelina & Carmella. I don’t consider any of these to be “real tag teams.” I’ll go with the defending champs because at least they’ve been a team for a little bit leading into this.
Canadian Bulldog: Sasha Banks & Naomi. Banks and Naomi have been mishandled in the last year, so I'm hopefully that by teaming them up and (hopefully) giving them the tag team belts to defend on both brands, it re-ups their value somewhat.
Mike Rickard: Sasha Banks & Naomi. Both Sasha and Naomi should be in the women’s singles title picture, but those spots are locked down so why not give them a meaningless belt?
Roman Zane: Sasha Banks & Naomi. I don’t know who will win, but I’ll be really excited for that match. I might guess Sasha and Naomi.
ZAH: I Don't Care. Zelina and Carmella will dissolve due to Carmella’s silly storyline with real-life boyfriend Corey Graves. Once that happens, it doesn’t matter who wins.
Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
The Big Rybowski: Austin Theory. I’m really not sure why this match needs to happen. McAfee interviews Mr. McMahon so now he has to fight his protege? Is it a jealousy thing on Theory’s end? Was Vince upset about the interview? I don’t get it...
Canadian Bulldog: Pat McAfee. I get that Austin Theory is being positioned as a big star in the making and I don't doubt he has all the tools to get there eventually. But as of today, Pat McAfee is a larger-than-life character with charisma, mic skills and better-than-average ring work.... who also just happens to run a huge podcast with tons of cross-over appeal. That's the pony I'd be betting on.
Mike Rickard: Pat McAfee. Look for Mr. McMahon to take his wrath out on his protégé Theory after Theory drops the ball.
Roman Zane: Austin Theory. I think Austin Theory will win because Pat McAfee is better at talking than wrestling.
ZAH: Austin Theory. I love Pat McAfee and I think he and Theory could have the sleeper match of the entire weekend. But honestly…will WWE let an announcer and part-time wrestler defeat the up-and-comer who Vince has wanted to work with personally?
Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
Adam Zimmerman: Drew McIntyre. My nephew decided to pick Drew McIntyre for this one because, according to him, Corbin doesn't win very often.
The Big Rybowski: Drew McIntyre. Although this will probably be a decent match, I can’t say I'm invested in this feud. I’ll flip a coin and go with Drew.
Canadian Bulldog: Drew McIntyre. I truly feel bad for McIntyre. He's gone from being the company's standard-bearer during the pandemic era to... this, a match that would have felt unimportant had it been on an episode of SmackDown. If he can't beat Happy Frickin' Corbin at the biggest show of the year... something is seriously wrong with the universe.
Mike Rickard: Drew McIntyre. No matter how big of a star you are, you can’t always main event WrestleMania. This is a good consolation match until the WWE feeds Drew to Roman.
Roman Zane: Drew McIntyre. I think this match will be really exciting. Drew will win but I don’t know why.
ZAH: Happy Corbin. Vince has always been super high on Corbin and, for some reason, really loves his new gimmick. McIntyre is still trying to battle back to the top of the card so he can have his title opportunity on a WrestleMania show. This will be a match everybody forgets about by the time RAW starts.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs. The Usos
Adam Zimmerman: The Usos. My nephew picked The Usos in this match because even though he likes Nakamura; he has no idea who Rick Boogs is. I can't say that I'm familiar with him either to be honest.
The Big Rybowski: The Usos. This seems like a typical "get the champion on the card" type of match. I see The Usos taking the win in this one.
Canadian Bulldog: The Usos. Talk about an underwhelming tag team match. The Usos finally have a spot on The Showcase Of The Immortals, and they're facing Nakamura and Boogs? Kind of shocking when you compare SmackDown's tag team division with Raw's... let alone AEW's massive tag roster. Usos should retain here to strengthen The Bloodline.
Mike Rickard: The Usos. Although it’s time for the Usos to drop the tag titles, the team is so good they should drop the belts to a well-established team that can wrestle as well (or close) as they can.
Roman Zane: Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs. I think Shinsuke and Boogs will win because Boogs isn't really hurt and he's strong.
ZAH: The Usos. Please let Nakamura go to AEW or back to NJPW. He’s just a shell of his former self and I desperately want to see the Nakamura of old. And with Rick Boogs… WWE has stripped him of everything that made him cool in NXT and how he’s a jacked-up Freddie Mercury wannabe. Embarrassing.
Raw Tag Team Championship (Triple Threat Match)
RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
The Big Rybowski: RK-Bro. I don't think that they'd book RK-Bro to win the straps only to turn and drop them at Mania. I see RK-Bro going over, but I think this should be a solid match.
Canadian Bulldog: RK-Bro. Randy Orton and Riddle have been one of the most unexpected success stories over the past year and, with their story going back to before SummerSlam, this is no longer a temporary tag team. Could Orton turn on Riddle here? Perhaps, but I do think they're still one of the unique flag-bearers of the Raw brand, and you could keep the slow burn going for a while yet.
Mike Rickard: RK-Bro. Although a Riddle/Orton feud is inevitable, RK-Bro is too hot to break up right now (at least if you apply common sense to your booking).
Roman Zane: RK-Bro. RK-Bro will win because Randy Orton and Riddle are really good.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Canadian Bulldog: Bobby Lashley. I feel as though this is Lashley's match to lose, especially if they want to build on the momentum they've been giving him over the last year and a half. Omos can easily absorb his first loss and still come across as the resident monster any time WWE wants to pull that trigger.
Mike Rickard: This is interesting because it’s unknown if Lashley is fully recovered or this match is being used to give him time off. This will be interesting because Omos needs to start working matches that are longer than two minutes. While he shouldn’t be in 60-minute Broadways, he needs to show he can at least work Goldberg-length bouts.
The New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland
The Big Rybowski: The New Day. This was setting up perfectly to be a 3 on 3 match, and I could have seem Sheamus, Ridge and Butch getting the win. But due to circumstances with Big E, I think The New Day will get the win as a sort of retribution.
Canadian Bulldog: The New Day. Obviously this was originally going to be a six-man tag match, but after Big E's unfortunate injury, it's now two against two. Sheamus still has time to establish his new crew; I'd really like The New Day to get the W here, though.
Mike Rickard: The New Day. This is another match where WWE can make up for bad booking with a feel-good moment. Look for The New Day to win this one.
Roman Zane: The New Day. New Day will win because Xavier Woods just came back, so he is the fresh man in the match.