WrestleMania 33 is the biggest show of 2017, and it’s the favorite time of year for wrestling fans. Here are our WrestleMania 33 predictions, and if any of these turn out to be true, you read it here first!
Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg (WWE Universal Title)
Everyone is wondering which match will go on last, and odds are this is the one. And that terrifies me.
Goldberg hasn’t done anything more than a few spots, except for the Royal Rumble where he was protected and other people were in the ring to cover for him. He admitted twice this past week (on Jim Ross’s podcast and Edge & Christian’s podcast) that he’s forgotten so much of what he learned in the ring, and he didn’t know much to begin with. Brock Lesnar is a great performer, but we need a miracle here.
PREDICTION: Goldberg will bleed. He’s awful at selling, and the blood will add a necessary element to the match to garner sympathy, put Lesnar over as a monster, and distract people from the fact that Goldberg can’t work anymore.
Whether it’s hardway or not, I expect him to bleed a lot more than WWE would like, and it will be one of the talking points coming out of the show. Lesnar will get a clean win here, whether or not Goldberg continues to do more matches with WWE. The crowd will want to go home happy, and even though Lesnar is the “heel” in this match, they will cheer Lesnar’s victory. And Goldberg will embrace his son and wife and still get cheered on his way out.
Roman Reigns vs Undertaker
I don’t think this will go on last because Roman Reigns is going over and they won’t want to end the show with heavy boos. Plus, the match might really suck.
BUT I don’t think the match will be bad. Reigns is a lot better than his critics give him credit for, and the heat will be strong because Reigns is such a big heel to fans right now. Undertaker is practically immobile these days, so Reigns will need to work his ass off. And he will. Because he’s going over.
PREDICTION: Reigns wins, and WWE will market WrestleMania 34 as the battle between the only two men to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Paul Heyman will cut legendary promos hyping it as the battle of “the 2 in 23-2,” referencing Undertaker’s win-loss record at WrestleMania.
Will Reigns turn heel? I don’t think he will overtly do so, but he won’t need to because he’ll be booed like crazy. He will act more like a subtle heel but I’m betting against a full-fledged turn (and I hope I’m wrong).
Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton (WWE Title)
I saw this main event at WWE No Mercy live in Sacramento, and it was as average as average could possibly be. Not because of their work, but because the geniuses in WWE put the main event on first instead of last, so they were already pooped out by the time this match took place.
I expect the same dead crowd here. The work will be very good and they might be good enough to turn the crowd around. Hope so.
PREDICTION: Bray Wyatt goes over and remains champion, but the finish will be disputed. Luke Harper will interfere on behalf of Randy Orton, but Erik Rowan and/or Bo Dallas will even things out for Wyatt. Bo Dallas will become Bo Wyatt and join the Wyatt family with Rowan. I had this hunch even before Bray hinted at it in an interview last week.
Seth Rollins vs HHH
This should be a strong match with good heat and intensity. I have a bad feeling one of them will get injured, which would be horrible for WWE right now, as both are very much needed.
PREDICTION: Stephanie McMahon, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn may all be involved with the finish. If Finn Balor is to return on the show, this will be where it happens. Seth Rollins goes over, although I suspect HHH may continue the feud because WWE is going to lose some main event talent in Q2. Logic says Mick Foley gets his revenge, leading to Rollins winning. But I question that will happen if only because I can’t imagine Foley walking that very long distance to the ring from the back in a timely fashion.
AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
I don’t get the outrage over this match. People clamoring for AJ Styles vs Finn Balor or Shinsuke Nakamura don’t realize how badly such a match would be buried on a card like this. AJ being matched with Shane McMahon guarantees AJ a very high profile position, and it’s not like the match will suck. WWE will always have a McMahon element until the end of time, so we just better get used to it.
On the contrary, I expect this to be a good one. AJ is the best wrestler in the country right now, and guys like Ric Flair have carried guys worse than Shane to good matches. AJ will get his usual spots in, while Shane will do his obligatory big stunt that will elicit “Holy sh*t” chants, and the match will be fine.
PREDICTION: AJ goes over, though not necessarily cleanly. Shane will get hurt and do something over the tope from the ‘thrill ride’ set in the building. It’ll be a brawl to cover up Shane’s weaknesses, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Mean Street Posse returns (either to help or hurt Shane). I could also see Daniel Bryan screwing AJ, and then Bryan brings in Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown to begin a dream feud with AJ.
Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin (WWE Intercontinental Title)
I’m a fan of Baron Corbin and see the same potential in him that WWE does. He’s got a cool, rock star look (though he needs a hair transplant), and most of all, his promos are real and make him come across as a real life prick. Contrast that to guys like Miz or some of the divas who come across as actors and actresses playing a role. Corbin’s work in the ring has also been making significant improvements.
Dean Ambrose is cold as ice, stale as gluten-free bread, and badly needs some sort of repackaging. I expect a good effort here and a well worked match, but how the crowd reacts is another story.
PREDICTION: Corbin will go over, but Ambrose will be booked to look strong. Corbin is on the path to main event heel status and I can’t see WWE booking him to lose right now.
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (WWE US Title)
On television, this has been perhaps the highlight of the pre-Mania hype. I suspect the crowd will be hotter for this match than most of the others, with Chris Jericho as the strong face despite KO’s popularity with hardcore fans.
Match will be allowed to be very good, and they’ll pull out all the stops. This is a dream match for Owens and he’ll be motivated to steal the show, while Jericho can still go and shouldn’t slow him down in the least.
PREDICTION: This is a tough one, because while logic dictates Owens goes over (since Jericho has tour dates coming up), his victory here would mean an awful lot of heels going over on this show. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Jericho retains, only to lose the title either on Raw the next night or soon thereafter. Jericho took a beating in this feud and needs his revenge.
I can also see plenty of interference in the match from Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, and especially Finn Balor. Balor almost surely will feud with Owens at some point, because Balor vs Lesnar seems like a total mismatch if they go in that direction.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs Miz & Maryse
The promos and segments leading into this have been tremendous and creative on both sides. I’ve always said Miz was overrated and has no place in WWE, but his mic work has shut up his critics of late. And Maryse, to me, has impressed me more because I had no idea she could speak so well. John Cena was great with his comebacks, but he’s always been great. Nikki Bella has also been effective in coming off as believable.
The match will be heated, and I’m interested in hearing how the crowd reacts. I suspect Cena will still get his usual 50/50 reaction, and that Miz will get more cheers than usual because this crowd will have appreciated his recent work and applaud him for it. Match quality? This match isn’t about that, but it should be decent enough as long as Maryse isn’t in there much.
PREDICTION: Even with Cena taking time off, I expect him to win here just because it’s Cena and it’s WrestleMania and so many people will be watching the show just for him. Miz won’t be hurt with a loss, and I doubt a win would help him much either since the post-match will feature Cena on one knee proposing to Nikki.
Cena could lose and still get his heat back by the marriage proposal, but I still don’t see that happening. The crowd is expecting the proposal and will pop big for it. It will probably be among the most talked about moments on the show and one of the all-time most memorable WrestleMania moments.
Bayley vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax (WWE Raw Women’s Title)
This match had me intrigued until Nia Jax was thrown in. She’s still not ready and her promos are robotic and painful to watch. But that’s not her fault.
Everyone is expecting Charlotte to take the title here, and then lose it back to Bayley in San Jose at Battleground a month later. This whole feud has been booked incorrectly, but what else is new. Match can be great if they limit Jax, otherwise I sense some major mediocrity here. Charlotte will do a spectacular move, Sasha Banks will be her usual very good self, and Bayley will up her game being on the show of her dream. If it were just those three, it would be epic. But it’s not, and it won’t be.
PREDICTION: Charlotte regains the title for the 785th time, and the hot potato passing back and forth of the title will continue for infinity. Tension will be teased between Sasha and Bayley, since that’s the obvious long-term program (as it should be). I don’t think Dana Brooke will be involved somehow, as they seem to have given up on her. She and Jax should go back to NXT and Asuka should be brought up, but none of that is happening.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Cesaro & Sheamus (WWE Raw Tag Team Titles)
This is just mid-card fodder, but should be okay since everyone here can work except Enzo Amore (and he’s looked less awful of late). It’s Enzo’s first Mania and he probably has a memorable ring intro planned. They won’t be given the time to shine, which is a shame, but such is life when you’ve got a stacked card. While Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were one of the highlights of Southpaw Regional Wrestling, I don’t think they’ll get an extra babyface reaction here from it.
PREDICTION: THE HARDYS WILL RETURN! Yes, I do think they will do a run-in of some sort, resulting in perhaps the biggest pop on the show. With the ladder involved, I expect “Delete” chants the whole match. I don’t know who ends up victorious, but yes I do expect a Hardy run-in, complete with the Broken Hardys gimmick.
I still think they will end up on SmackDown, so that has to be worked out.
Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch vs Naomi vs Natalya vs Mickie James vs Carmella (WWE SmackDown Women’s Title)
Fortunately this match was switched from the pre-show to the main card. Action should be good, but short. Some of these women have had timing problems of late, which is what happens when you bring women up too early.
PREDICTION: I’m madly in love with Alexa Bliss, but I think Becky Lynch goes over here. Not that it matters because they pass around these belts like batons, so Bliss will get it back eventually. Either way, I’ll be dreaming of her Sunday night, Saturday night, Friday night, tonight, and for the foreseeable future.
I can see James Ellsworth getting involved for the finish and costing Carmella the match. She’s eventually going to dump his ass, it’s just a matter of when.
Andre the Giant Battle Royal
This will be the usual clusterf*ck it always is. We know why they have the match, and whoever wins usually doesn’t matter other than it means the office sees them as having potential.
PREDICTION: Most are predicting Braun Strowman, since he’s being groomed for the main events this year. Still, I’m going against the grain and picking Big Show. The poor guy trained his ass off to get in shape for Shaquille O’Neal, and then it never happened. Between that and the fact this may be his last WrestleMania, I think Vince will throw him a bone. But Braun will be booked to look strong, and will get his heat back either after the match or on Raw the next night.
Neville vs Austin Aries (WWE Cruiserweight Title)
God damnit, this could’ve been the show-stealer. Neville is perhaps the best guy in the company, and Austin Aries isn’t all that far behind. The crowd should be hotter for this than the usual cruiserweight match (not high praise), but its positioning on the card ruins the chance for it to steal the show. And that’s a damn shame.
PREDICTION: Aries gets the title at some point, but not sure if it’s tonight. I’ll say Neville retains, only to lose it sometime this Spring. Match will be talked about as good, but not great because it wasn’t in the position to be. If these two were working the main event of, say, the Evolve show this weekend, it would’ve been the match of the weekend. But it’s not, so we’ll just have to take what we can get.
Other Weekend Predictions
Shinsuke Nakamura will debut on either Raw or SmackDown next week. As noted above, WWE is losing so many headliners that they really do need him. He’ll make more of an impact on Raw, but I hope it’s SmackDown because they need him more.
As a byproduct of my prediction above, Bobby Roode will win their title match at NXT Takeover.
Hulk Hogan will make a surprise appearance at WrestleMania, not in a match but in an in-ring segment with the New Day. The idea of his being there with New Day should definitely have double meaning, and those of you paying attention will know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Rock MAY appear, but Steve Austin will not. He’s already said on his podcast he’ll be watching it on the WWE Network.
Shawn Michaels will also appear in some capacity, either in the HHH vs Rollins match or in the Roman Reigns vs Undertaker match.
Jan Ross will be honored at some point over the weekend, probably at the WWE Hall of Fame.
Jim Cornette will do something stupid. Maybe not so much in the induction speech for the Rock N Roll Express, but in some capacity backstage. He’s certifiably insane and won’t be able to help himself.
Kurt Angle will give a fantastic speech and have a much bigger role with WWE this year and beyond than anyone imagined. If he’s cleared to wrestle, he’ll work a match or two with Brock Lesnar. If he’s not cleared (or even if he is), he may be a General Manager of Raw or SmackDown. Either way, expect him to be a major brand ambassador in some capacity, perhaps as WWE expands into the UK.
Daniel Bryan may get involved in the AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon match. I can see him screwing AJ, or perhaps AJ attacking him, leading to Bryan bringing in Shinsuke Nakamura to feud with AJ.
Finn Balor will return this weekend as well, either on Mania or Raw.
Shelton Benjamin will return at SmackDown on Tuesday.
Asuka MAY be brought in at Raw, but that’s very much a maybe. Since Nia Jax already fills the role of the monster destroyer, Asuka would be better off on SmackDown. Oh, and I love her as well.
Overall I feel the show will exceed expectations and even be better received than NXT Takeover will. Raw and SmackDown will also be strong shows. Both brands badly need a shakeup and I think that will happen, with generally positive reviews.
Enjoy the shows!