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 Mike Rickard, Canadian Bulldog, The Big Rybowski, Adam Zimmerman (with the help of his ten year-old nephew), and seven year-old prognosticator Roman Zane.
So without further adieu.... it's pick-em time!
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes
Adam Zimmerman (via his 10 year old nephew) : Roman Reigns. Cody Rhodes is faster but I haven't watched him in a while and I don't know if he's good enough to beat Roman.
The Big Rybowski: Cody Rhodes. Is this finally the end of Roman Reigns’ impressive championship run? I’m saying yes. Cody has too much momentum right now to fall short on his chance. And plus, if not Cody then who?
Canadian Bulldog: Cody Rhodes. There's something to be said about a never-ending Roman reign... but I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary following nearly 1,000 days and three straight WrestleMania main events. Cody Rhodes, on the other hand, has transformed into that must-see performer who manages to captivate the audience with his charisma and emotion. I think it's time for him to Finish The Story.
Mike Rickard: Cody Rhodes. The Roman Reigns heel experiment has been an unqualified success but having the belt around his waist for nearly three years; not so much. Reigns has been champion for too long and he’s buried too many opponents. It’s time for the WWE to have him drop the match to someone with the potential to lead the WWE and do so in convincing fashion, i.e. no screwjobs.
Roman Zane: Cody Rhodes. I’m going to say Cody Rhodes because he’s new to WWE and Roman Reigns has had the title for a very long time.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. The Usos
Adam Zimmerman: The Usos. They're just a better team. They're brothers so they know how to work together.
The Big Rybowski: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens. It’s hard to see The Bloodline losing on back to back nights (assuming they split the two matches up), but I just can’t see this match going any other way. Sure, they could end this in a way to leave it open for a rematch, but this story has been told too perfectly to mess up the perfect ending: KO and Sammy Uso...er, Zayn winning the straps on the grandest stage of them all.
Canadian Bulldog: The Usos. I know this is a really unpopular pick (heck - I'm honestly pulling for KO and Zayn), but I have a couple of reasons. First, I find it hard to believe that both Roman and The Usos will lose their titles at WrestleMania. Imagine the powerful story they could tell, though, if the power dynamic shifted within The Bloodline because Jimmy and Jey are still champions while Roman isn't? Second, I just can't shake this weird feeling that Owens will turn on Zayn - KO tried to put this whole situation behind him and finally relented; perhaps this is his way of getting revenge? I could be WAY off base here; this has been classic WWE storytelling, and in many respects, Zayn and Owens have become the modern-day version of The Mega Powers. They can get together, split up, go their separate ways, and still be a top team whenever they need to be. So maybe I'm wrong and still we get a feel-good WrestleMania moment... I just don't think so.
Mike Rickard: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens. KO and Sami are the ideal choice to defeat the Usos both in terms of their quest to crush The Bloodline and that they’re a worthy successor to the titles.
Roman Zane: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens. I think that Kevin and Sami will win because Jey will decide that he does want to team with Sami Zayn after all.
SmackDown Womens Championship Match
Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
The Big Rybowski: Charlotte Flair. If I told you I had very little expectations for this match, I’d be lying. That’s because I have ZERO expectations for this match. I felt like Ripley had so much momentum heading into the Royal Rumble, which has since just halted. She’s great as a member of Judgment Day, but I don’t see the need for this match as there hasn’t been much build for her having a championship run. My pick for this one is Charlotte with something leading to a rematch at the next PLE (feels weird not saying PPV!).
Canadian Bulldog: Rhea Ripley. While their previous WrestleMania match was super-underwhelming (the empty arena may have had a lot to do with that), both competitors have only improved since then. In Rhea Ripley, WWE has a Chyna-esque performer with tremendous talent and mainstream appeal. It would make sense to give her a run on top.
Mike Rickard: Rhea Ripley. Rumor has it that Charlotte is taking time off after WrestleMania but even if she doesn’t, putting Ripley over “The Queen” seems like a good way to show how much “The Nightmare” has improved since first fighting Flair.
Roman Zane: Rhea Ripley. I’m saying Rhea because she’s too strong for Charlotte to beat.
United States Championship Match
Austin Theory vs. John Cena
Adam Zimmerman: John Cena. Why would he not?
The Big Rybowski: Austin Theory. I think this will be a fun match, whether or not Cena still has it (I really believe in Theory’s ability to sell a match). No reason to believe that Cena leaves with the title, I see this as more of a chance to pump Austin Theory’s tires up.
Canadian Bulldog: Austin Theory. Theory kind of has to win here, because I doubt John Cena will take a break from Hollywood to defend the U.S. Championship. Not only that, but the way Cena tore apart Theory in their initial segment makes me feel as though it won't be worth the trouble unless Theory goes over. And historically, Cena hasn't an issue in recent years losing to help someone advance.
Mike Rickard: Austin Theory. Austin Theory is the now and forever champion, which sounds like typical wrestling hype until you watch Theory’s in-ring work and microphone skills. Theory has bounced back after that bleak period where he had the Money in the Bank briefcase weighing his career down like an anchor. Now, it’s time to have Cena put him over so Theory can continue to boast about how good he is.
Roman Zane: John Cena. Cena is going to win because he hasn’t been wrestling for so long and he’s really good.
Raw Womens Championship Match
Bianca Belair vs. Asuka
Adam Zimmerman: Asuka. I almost forget who Bianca Belair is. I haven't watched her in a long time but Asuka is good. She'll win.
The Big Rybowski: Bianca Belair. I’m very disappointed with the buildup of both Women’s matches this year. I think that WWE has been going with a “mutual respect” angle between these two, but it just hasn’t drummed up any excitement for me. That’s why I’m thinking that Bianca wins and retains, because there’s no reason for her to lose. I still think they’ll put on a good match though, as their respective styles should pair well together.
Canadian Bulldog: Bianca Belair. Save for her very first WrestleMania match (a random battle royal appearance), Bianca Belair has been positioned as a top star at the event, even headlining WrestleMania's first night a couple of years ago. Asuka is always a game challenger and could certainly pull off the upset... though I think WWE is banking on Belair as their big star.
Mike Rickard: Asuka. Bianca Belair has had the belt for a long time and while there’s no reason to think she couldn’t hold it even longer, having her chase Asuka for the title seems like a better idea.
Roman Zane: Bianca Belair. I think Bianca is going to win. I’m not sure how, I just know she will.
Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Adam Zimmerman: Seth Rollins. Logan Paul is still new and Seth Rollins has been around since 2015 at least.
The Big Rybowski: Logan Paul. Not necessarily the match I’d like to see, but I completely get why WWE went in this direction. Seth was quickly become a top guy and I feel like this is a roadblock in his path. However, if they can put on a good show, all will be forgotten. It’s tricky to predict as I’m not really sure what the plan is for Logan Paul going forward. I could see him getting the win and working towards a program with Cody, but I can also see him taking a loss and disappearing for a while. I guess I’ll go with the former and go on record of predicting Logan Paul vs Cody Rhodes at Summerslam.
Canadian Bulldog: Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins has become the Bret Hart of today's WWE, in that he can have an excellent match with just about anyone. And Logan Paul has definitely proven himself in his limited ring experience, so I have no doubt this will be a banger. But I truly believe Rollins needs this win in order to stay in the top mix of performers.
Mike Rickard: Seth Rollins. Logan is a fantastic heel and fans will want to see him get his comeuppance after plaguing “The Visionary” over the last two months. Look for a Rollins win and a show-stealing match.
Roman Zane: Seth Rollins. Logan Paul is pretty weak.
Hell In A Cell Match
Edge vs. Finn Balor
Adam Zimmerman: Edge. I haven't seen either one wrestle for a long time but I used to really like Edge so I pick him.
The Big Rybowski: Edge. I thought this feud was over, no? Edge usually performs on the big stage, so I don't doubt this will be entertaining. On the other hand, I can't pretend to care anymore about Edge's beef with Judgment Day.
Canadian Bulldog: Edge. The Rated R Superstar has a pretty amazing record at WrestleMania and knowing this may very well be his last year in a WWE ring.. I have to think he's at least the logical choice to go over here.
Mike Rickard: Edge. It’s hard to imagine Edge dropping another match to Balor, especially after all the times Finn has put Edge on the shelf. This should be a Hell in the Cell Match for the ages as “The Demon” battles “The Devil.”
Roman Zane: Edge. I think Edge is going to win because I think Judgment Day will once again join Edge.
Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
Adam Zimmerman: Omos. Omos is a giant. 7 ft at least. Even Brock can't slam him around.
The Big Rybowski: Omos. I’m not as down on this match as everyone else seems to be. Will it be a 5 star match? I’d be shocked! Could Brock have been put in a better spot at Wrestlemania? Maybe? Will it be at least decent? I’m sure it will. Expect a few big spots and a fairly quick contest with Brock putting over the Nigerian Giant.
Canadian Bulldog: Brock Lesnar. This has the potential to either be really ugly, or barely-passable.
Mike Rickard: Omos. I really hope Brock puts Omos over as the big man has shown he’s more than a freak show performer. While it’s difficult to book Omos because he is so big, a hoss fight against Lesnar could be fun and help cement Omos as the real deal.
Roman Zane: Brock Lesnar. They are both really huge and strong, but I’ve seen Brock pull a door off a car, so I’m sure he can beat Omos.
Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL
Adam Zimmerman: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch. They're all legends so they're going to win.
The Big Rybowski: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch. One word, one syllable: MEH.
Trish, Becky and Lita will take this.
Canadian Bulldog: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch. I suppose this could go either way, but it just feels like the type of match that could use a happy ending. And honestly, I hope for their sake that Damage CTRL goes their separate ways following this one.
Mike Rickard: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch. This match should be good both for nostalgia but also for the quality of all six competitors. While Damage CTRL vs Becky Lynch hasn’t been as good as it could have, this could be a good finale for the feud between Becky’s friends and Bayley’s partners in crime.
Roman Zane: Trish Stratus, Becky Lynch & Lita. I don’t think they are going to lose.
Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Gunther vs. Sheamus
Adam Zimmerman: Gunther. I want to point out that Gunther is someone who I've taken notice of lately so I showed my nephew a video a friend of mine sent me the other night. It was a collection of Gunther/Walter's pre-WWE chops and he was chopping the shit out of people. It even made me cringe. My nephew's pick "Gunther because his 'slaps' (as my nephew calls them) are really hard! He might even kill someone with his 'slaps'".
The Big Rybowski: Gunther. This should be a great show between these three heavy hitters. I would’ve liked to see a ladder match for the IC title (I thought that’s where the build was going), but in the end we’re getting a Wrestlemania worthy match. The way I see it, Sheamus and Drew cancel each other out, which will lead to Gunther getting the victory.
Canadian Bulldog: Drew McIntyre. Drew needs a big win to keep him at the appropriate level; he really hasn't been there since Clash at the Castle and arguably even before that. As much as I admire Gunther's long title reign, I feel as though we've seen that same story play out with other guys recently.
Mike Rickard: Gunther. If you thought Sheamus vs Gunther at Clash at the Castle was a slobberknocker, wait until you see this. Expect some heavy lifting and some major wreckage in and around the ring. The WWE has been pushing Gunther so hard that it’s difficult to imagine him losing the belt just yet. Expect Sheamus to get pinned and blame Drew, leading to a repeat of their on-again off-again vendetta.
Roman Zane: Drew McIntyre. I think at the end Gunther will be beating Sheamus, but Drew will come in with a double Claymore and win the belt.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Adam Zimmerman: Dominik Mysterio. My nephew said they were equal in skill and he couldn't make a choice but I'm calling Dominick. It seems like they're pushing him and his dad is a legend so why wouldn't he put him over at Wrestlemania. I could be wrong, though
The Big Rybowski: Rey Mysterio. The culmination of the most anti-climatic ”will they/won’t they” (hint: they were always going to). Although this slow build wasn’t the most intriguing, this could be a real sleeper for an amazing match. Dominik has been getting rapidly better in (and out) of the ring, and it’s hard to imagine that these two won’t have chemistry together. Logic says that Dominik gets over in this one, but my pick is going to Rey. He’s going to be newly inducted to the Hall of Fame, and I think it would be disappointing storytelling to let Dom get away with being a total asshole to his father for many months. What kind of lesson would that be for the children? ("Ohhh, won't somebody please think of the children!?!?")
Canadian Bulldog: Dominik Mysterio. Last year, in this very space, I brought up the idea of Dominik FINALLY turning on his father to have a match with Rey. Now we're actually there, and I have to say I love how well this one has been built up. Ex-Con Dom needs a big win to show he's more than a comedy character and really, to solidify his spot in Judgment Day. I can't imagine that Rey would have any issue putting his son over; he's probably been waiting ages for this very moment.
Mike Rickard: Rey Mysterio. This feud has too much momentum to end it at WrestleMania. Rey is going to make Dominik (who has been 24 karat gold as a heel) regret he ever asked for a match. However, count on Dom doing something dastardly to set up an eventual mask vs hair match.
Roman Zane: Rey Mysterio. Rey can do some pretty sick moves. He’s way too fast for Dominik.
Womens WrestleMania Showcase Match
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya & Shotzi
vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. TBD
Canadian Bulldog: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler. Unless the final team announced are people we've never even heard of... Ronda & Shayna are the only standouts as a team in this entire division. I think they badly need this win, followed by a meaningful tag team run.
Mens WrestleMania Showcase Match
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Street Profits
vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders
Canadian Bulldog: The Street Profits. This is like flipping a coin, and it's kind of sad. Both the Street Profits and Alpha Academy were in a slightly better position last year, and yet they were still in an underwhelming Triple Threat versus RK-Bro. This feels like a massive step down and while I love The Profits, it's truly anyone's choice.
Mike Rickard: The Viking Raiders. This match is a reminder at how the WWE has painted itself into a corner by only having one tag team championship. All four teams are championship material but their booking has been inconsistent or weak. The Viking Raiders have so much potential and a win here could help send them in the right direction.