WrestleMania 31: What SHOULD Happen
Hello, gerweck.net readers! It’s been a while since I have had the time to write a column for the site, but with Spring Break here, my career is on pause for a week so I now have the opportunity. In today’s column, I will be looking at what SHOULD happen at WrestleMania 31 this Sunday. This is NOT a prediction blog; this is a column on what I personally think is the best route for the WWE to go. Will all of these things happen? Obviously not, but here is a forum for us all to become our own creative team with our own ideas. All things will be covered, from what the match order should be, to how much time each match should get, and finally, who should get the victories. This might turn in to a rather lengthy column, but bear with me. Hopefully, in the end, we will be able to have a meaningful debate/discussion on things in which you, the gerweck.net readers, may disagree. Without further adieu, here we go.
WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal-Four Way Match: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (c) vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day vs. The Usos
Obviously, perhaps unfortunately, this match will be showcased first due to its placement on the Preshow. This is the second consecutive year that the tag titles will be defended in a four-way on the preshow. Hopefully by WrestleMania 32 in Dallas they will be placed on the actual card, but I digress.
The Build: This match wasn’t even announced on live television, but we could all see it coming. These four teams, well, three now since Jey Uso’s injury, have wrestled on TV a few times, but the title match itself was just made this past week and was scarcely mentioned. Four of the eight men in this match have a Four-Way Match on Smackdown this Thursday (small spoiler), and that’s it before WrestleMania.
What SHOULD Happen: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd should retain by pinning one of the Usos (probably Jimmy since I imagine Jey’s action will be limited) after a 15-20 minute match. By pinning one of the Usos (again), it would further elevate Cesaro and Kidd as the champs. If they simply pin one of the Matadores or a member of the New Day, then what was the point of the Usos being in the match when one of them is injured? The only logical thing to due would be to have Cesaro and Kidd go over by pinning an Uso. Then again, if this gets changed to an elimination match, I suppose the match wouldn’t have to come down to Cesaro/Kidd vs. The Usos as the last two teams, as long as Cesaro and Kidd are the ones to eliminate The Usos at some point.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper vs. R-Truth vs. Stardust)
The Build: The build for this match was pretty basic. All these guys pinned Barrett in the middle of the ring, and it has been a game of hot potato with who has possession of the title belt without the belt actually changing ownership. WWE teased for the longest time that Daniel Bryan would not be in the match, as the other six guys were confirmed for about a week-and-a-half before Bryan made his announcement. Thank goodness that was the case. If not, I may have had to write a piece in this column for a match between Bryan and the returning Sheamus. We’ve been treated to some good matches between the participants in this match in recent weeks, especially between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. Little remembered fact: this will actually be the second time Bryan and Ziggler share the ring at WrestleMania on the actual card (Hell No vs. Ziggler/Langston at Mania 29).
What SHOULD Happen: Daniel Bryan should walk out of WrestleMania as the Intercontinental Champion after a good 20-25 minutes. Sure, there are people who think that Bryan is “above” the Intercontinental title, but let’s just say that Bryan wins and, well… I’ll bring this back up later. Stay tuned. Case and point, Bryan, and nobody else, not even Ziggler or Ambrose, should win this match.
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins
The Build: Paige has been going after the Divas title for a couple months now, while AJ recently returned with revenge on her mind as well. Everything was all fine and dandy until this past Monday when the Bellas seemingly put AJ and Paige at odds to gain the advantage.
What SHOULD Happen: AJ and Paige should get the win here after 7-10 minutes. The Bellas have publicly stated that they will not be renewing their contracts when they run out, so why in the world should they go over on the biggest show of the year? THEY SHOULDN’T, no matter if they are the love birds of John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Sure, Trish Stratus won her (almost) final match back in the day, because she was Trish freakin’ Stratus. These are The Bella Twins. Whoop-de-do. AJ and Paige should to over here, and then the next night on Raw, have Nikki Bella defend against BOTH AJ and Paige, where one of them goes over and the Bellas are gone for good. Sure, we’ll get another Paige/AJ feud out of this, but that’s better than anything involving the Bellas.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor, and the winner of the NXT WrestleMania Axxess Tournament.
The Build: There really hasn’t been much build for this one, honestly. Ryback has looked strong, and Curtis Axel has gotten a lot more TV time lately. There was a ten-man tag on Raw Monday night, Ryder and Rose are feuding on Twitter, and that’s really it.
What SHOULD Happen: First things first, Finn Balor should win the NXT Tournament to get into the match. However, he should not win the Battle Royal. Now that that scenario is out of the way, there are three logical ways in which this Battle Royal should end: 1) Ryback continues his dominance and wins, 2) Curtis Axel wins the match and hopefully gets treated better than Cesaro, or 3) Damien Mizdow wins it by last eliminating The Miz, solidifying their split for a feud over the spring/early summer. This match should get between 10-15 minutes. Any other victors besides those three would seemingly be a waste. Then again, if the returning Sheamus returns in this match, I presume we could guarantee his victory. Hopefully not.
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
The Build: The build for this one started way back when The Authority turned on Randy Orton and Orton was written off of television for months. Fast forward, Orton returns, rejoins the Authority for two weeks, then turns his back on Rollins, leaving Roman Reigns to destroy Rollins during the match, while Orton furthers the beat-down afterwards.
What SHOULD Happen: Randy Orton should get the victory here after 15-20 minutes. This is probably the first match where there will be disagreement, but that is what I am looking for. Rollins should not win this match. No way, no how. Rollins is still Mr. Money in the Bank. A loss to Orton on the biggest show of the year will not hurt him, much like Bray Wyatt’s loss to John Cena at WrestleMania XXX did not hurt him. Now, I’m not saying Rollins cannot beat Orton down the road, say at Extreme Rules, but Rollins cannot beat Orton at WrestleMania 31. If Rollins were to get the win this Sunday, Orton’s return and vengeance would be all for naught. As I stated, Orton should win on Sunday, but the feud needs to continue into Extreme Rules, where Rollins could get his revenge.
Sting vs. Triple H
The Build: Way back in November, the build for this showdown began, and we all knew it immediately. Sting has been the constant thorn in the Authority’s side (other than John Cena) since then. Sting has had the upper-hand every time he is around The Authority, especially Triple H.
What SHOULD Happen: Triple H should get the victory after about 15 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly. In case you didn’t, I said: Triple H should get the victory. As unlikely as it is, Triple H needs this victory. There is not a stipulation placed on this match that if Sting wins, The Authority is no longer in power (as I assumed there would be), so why would Sting go over? Just because he’s Sting, the last WCW holdout? Why would the last WCW guy go over THE WWE guy in WWE’s biggest show of the year? To make the crowd happy? I don’t care about that in the least. Plus, a Sting loss opens the door for one more (or more) matches from Sting down the line at the other big PPVs (SummerSlam, perhaps?). Triple H should get the win here. There, I said it a third time just so it will sink in.
WWE United States Championship Match: Rusev (c) vs. John Cena
The Build: These two started feuding right before Fastlane in February, where, if we remember, Rusev had to resort to a low-blow to defeat Cena in the Accolade. Afterwards, Cena wanted revenge, and it was ultimately Lana who caved and gave Cena what he wants: a rematch with Rusev, for the United States Championship, at WrestleMania 31.
What SHOULD Happen: John Cena should win the United States Championship after about 10-15 minutes. Again, I like Rusev as much as the next guy and would like his undefeated streak to continue, but let’s be honest: it’s John Cena at WrestleMania in a mid-card match. He’ll get the victory. It has been ten years since John Cena held the United States Championship. If I remember correctly, he dropped it in February (or March?) of 2005 to Orlando Jordan during the build for his WrestleMania match against JBL. The U.S. title has had long reigns as of late: Ambrose for almost a year, Sheamus for months after that, and now Rusev. The next in line for a long (I’m talking months and months and months) to continue this streak, is John Cena. Ambrose’s reign was pretty forgetful since he rarely defended, Sheamus’ reign was just kind of there, but Rusev’s has actually began to bring back some of that prestige to the title, but he is not the man to fully restore it. John Cena is.
Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
The Build: Wyatt initially began cutting promos about The Undertaker, without saying his name, back in February. He finally name-dropped The Deadman’s name, and a couple weeks later, The Undertaker answered with a lightning bolt that caught Wyatt’s rocking chair on fire. The WWE is deliberately keeping The Undertaker off of TV until WrestleMania, which I was against at first, but became okay with over time, because Bray Wyatt is the kind of guy who can sell a WrestleMania match by himself.
What SHOULD Happen: Bray Wyatt should get the win in about 20 minutes. Yes, The Undertaker should lose at WrestleMania, again, for the second year in a row. In no way, shape, or form should The Undertaker go over in this match. Unlike last year when Wyatt lost and then got his revenge on Cena the next month, The Undertaker won’t be around next month for Wyatt to get an equalizer. A loss here, unlike last year, WOULD hurt Wyatt. It absolutely would. A loss here for The Undertaker, just like last year, would leave some people shocked, but when The Streak died, the mystique of The Undertaker died. He was nothing more than the Streak in recent years. Now that the Streak is gone, The Undertaker should not even sniff a victory at WrestleMania.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
The Build: Reigns won the Rumble, to overwhelming boos from the crowd. He beat Daniel Bryan at Fastline, to overwhelming boos. Lesnar, the heel, has been turned into the fan-favorite for this match, and rightfully so. I actually like this these two did not get physical on Raw this past Monday outside of the tug-of-war for the belt. It adds to this Sunday that much more. Also, let’s not forget that Lesnar just announced that he has re-signed with the WWE on a multi-year deal, on ESPN nonetheless.
What SHOULD Happen:Brock Lesnar should retain the Championship, and in dominating fashion, in about 20 minutes. Now, I’m not saying dominating fashion as in “SummerSlam victory over John Cena” dominant. Reigns needs to get some offense in, but Lesnar, in the end, needs to prove too tough for Reigns. Some people are predicting a double-turn in this match, where Heyman turns on Lesnar and aligns with Reigns. I am pleading to the WWE creative team to not do that. At least not yet. Reigns is nowhere near ready for the title. He’s been groomed as the “next guy” like Cena was in 2005. The only difference is that Cena connected with the crowd. Reigns cannot do that, as much as he tries. Vince tried changing his character. That failed. They changed Reigns back to the badass ass-kicker. That failed. The only logical thing to do here is to keep the title on Lesnar and have him come around every couple months. I’d say Lesnar beats Reigns here, and comes back when Rollins demands his cash in. Again there, Lesnar should go over Rollins as well.
This brings me back to Daniel Bryan, and even John Cena. Those two can do meaningful things with the Intercontinental and United States Championships while Lesnar is off of television. Who is to say Bryan will be stuck in the mid-card with the Intercontinental title? There were times back in the day where the Intercontinental title/champion would headline shows in the main event. Why couldn’t it be done in 2015 while the World Champion is on a break? It can, and will, happen.
Thanks for reading. Agree? Disagree? You can comment in the comment box below (I’ll try my best to respond to everyone). You can also reach me on Twitter (@CoachRiba).
Shameless Plug: Be sure to check out the digital (FREE to the reader!) magazine that I write for, Steel Cage Monthly. The first issue will drop on 4/20/15.