Finally, today is the day that WrestleMania weekend starts and can I just say, I love Friday night pay per views. NXT TakeOver New York will be a great show. I can honestly say that I have not seen a disappointing TakeOver since they started doing them. A great card full of great matches, and with over twenty matches scheduled for NXT and WWE this weekend, I think we should jump right into some predictions.
NXT United Kingdom Championship
The longest reigning champion on any brand throughout WWE is current NXT UK champion Pete Dunne. He will be putting his UK championship on the line against WALTER. I think this will be a great match, a physical match and I would be surprised if Pete Dunne left TakeOver with his championship. I like WALTER to pick up the win and put a stop to the lengthy title reign of the ‘bruiserweight’.
GoHomePWB.com pick: WALTER
NXT North American Championship
The TakeOver card is full of my favorites in NXT and this match includes two of them. Champion Velveteen Dream will take on Matt Riddle in what will be a great match. The night after WrestleMania is always a good night to debut established NXT wrestlers and who is more established than Velveteen Dream? I like Riddle in this one and I am calling a main roster debut for Velveteen on RAW or Smackdown after WrestleMania.
GoHomePWB.com pick: Matt Riddle
NXT Tag Team Championship
The War Raiders won the NXT championship at TakeOver Philadelphia in January, and tonight they put the titles on the line against the winners of the Dusty Rhodes tag team classic tournament, Aleister Black and Ricochet. As great as Aleister Black and Ricochet are and as bad as this sounds, they are above the NXT tag team championship. War Raiders win and Aleister Black and Ricochet officially join the main roster.
GoHomePWB.com pick: The War Raiders
NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler will put her NXT women’s championship on the line in a fatal four way tonight against Kairi Saine, Io Shirai and Bianca Belair. I think this will be the show stealer match. Saine and Shirai are incredible, Belair is a beast and Baszler is a legit ‘badass’. In previous matches Baszler has utilized the help from her friends to pick up victories, and I don’t think this is any different. I like Baszler to retain and win the match after some outside interference.
GoHomePWB.com pick: Shayna Baszler
The vacant NXT championship is on the line in a two out of three falls match tonight. Another couple of established NXT wrestlers in Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole will do battle. I think this is a rivalry that will last a while in NXT, but my thoughts are getting the better of me. Both are in conversation for a move to the main roster, and in my personal opinion, Adam Cole would be more successful on the main roster. He has a Shawn Michaels/Dolph Ziggler type of charisma and style.
I honestly have to flip a coin on this one. Obviously it is going take three falls, the question is who gets the third fall? I like Gargano if it’s a legit one on one, but Adam Cole has the Undisputed Era in his corner. I could see something wonky happening like Gargano becoming the leader of Undisputed Era and they turn on Cole. That is an out and it sends Cole to the main roster. I’m flipping a coin… the coin says Gargano, but personally I want Cole to win.
GoHomePWB.com pick: Johnny Gargano
The ‘grandest stage of them all’… WrestleMania! These pay per views seem to be getting longer and longer each year. This year there are sixteen matches… Sixteen matches! That’s a long night, and in the New Jersey area, it’s probably going to be cold. But hopefully, the matches on card will heat things up and the show doesn’t feel like a seven hour show. There are sixteen matches to pick, so let’s get started.
Women’s Battle Royal
WWE likes to get every superstar on the show, and what better way to do it than have a battle royal for those who didn’t make the card in other matches. And one woman on the roster comes to mind as the one who will win this match… Asuka. Just two weeks ago she was the forgotten Smackdown women’s champion, now she’s just forgotten. But I think she wins the battle royal and gets back on track.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Asuka
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I think everyone knows who is going to win this one. Braun Strowman. He is in a storyline with the guys from Saturday Night Live and it’s made the battle royal a little more interesting. I could see something crazy happening and they eliminate Strowman, but that is not going to do any favors for him. Despite the angle, I like Strowman to win.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Braun Strowman
RAW Tag Team Championship
This match was just added yesterday and I wondered why here were the only titles not being defended this weekend. But now The Revival vs Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins will be a match that will probably be forgotten about ten minutes after it’s over. Zack Ryder has been known to have WrestleMania moments, but I think The Revival retain.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: The Revival
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Uso’s will put their Smackdown Live tag team championships on the line at WrestleMania in a fatal four way. The match was just announced on Tuesday by WrestleMania host Alexa Bliss. The Uso’s opponents; The Bar, Aleister Black & Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev. I like the Uso’s to win this one in a quick match.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: The Uso’s
Reigning cruiserweight champion Buddy Murphy will put the title on the line against Tony Nese, during the kickoff show Sunday. Murphy has been great as champion and Nese has been on quite the push lately on 205 live. I think they put on a great match, but my money is on Murphy to retain.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Buddy Murphy
United States Championship
Samoa Joe will be putting his United States title on the line against Rey Mysterio on Sunday. That is at the time of this writing. WWE has announced that Mysterio injured his ankle Monday night in a match against Baron Corbin. It doesn’t really matter to me if it’s Mysterio or someone else, I like Joe to retain.
GoHomePWB.com pick: Samoa Joe
Women’s Tag Team Championship
Don’t hate me for this, but I don’t think the women’s tag team championship is all that great. For me the women’s division lacks the teams. Women are just thrown together, for instance, Tamina and Nia Jax or Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Both teams are involved in this fatal four way along with the only true tag team in the match, the IIconics. The Boss N Hug Connection will lose the titles to the IIconics in my upset pick of the night.
GoHomePWB.com pick: IIconics
Intercontinental champion Bobby Lashley, who will have Lio Rush in his corner, will defend his title against Finn Balor. But not the ‘laid back, look at my twenty-five abs’ Finn Balor, no, Lashley will defend against ‘the demon’ Finn Balor. For that reason I like Finn Balor to become a two-time intercontinental champion.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Finn Balor
Kurt Angle vs Baron Corbin
In what is being billed as Kurt Angle’s last match, the WWE hall of fame wrestler will go one on one with Baron Corbin. There has been no mention of what role, if any, John Cena will play in WrestleMania, and a part of me thinks he takes Corbin’s spot. Something will go down and I think this will become an Angle vs Cena match. I like Kurt Angle to be victorious either way.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Kurt Angle
Shane McMahon vs The Miz
In what has become a very personal rivalry, Shane McMahon will take on The Miz in a falls count anywhere match. I think we may be in for some surprises and some incredible high risk spots from McMahon. I think The Miz’s dad gets involved and maybe even Vince McMahon, but if I am putting money on this match, I got a dollar on McMahon.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Shane McMahon
Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre
Roman Reigns first singles match since his return from illness, is fittingly at WrestleMania, but what an endeavor he has. Drew McIntyre is no joke, and lives up to the moniker of ‘Scottish psychopath’. I don’t think there is any reason for Reigns to lose this match, and my feeling is he will win. However, I think McIntyre looks strong in the match. Reigns wins with a superman punch and spear.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Roman Reigns
AJ Styles vs Randy Orton
This is the match that I may be looking forward to the most. Both wrestlers have taken some personal jabs at one another verbally, and now it’s time to shut up and fight. AJ Styles and Randy Orton had different paths to start their career, but the two long time veterans sure do know how to build a match. I look for this one to steal the show. And I look for AJ Styles to pick up the win.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: AJ Styles
Part time wrestler Brock Lesnar will put the Universal championship on the line for the first time since the Royal Rumble. His opponent is the winner of the Royal Rumble, Seth Rollins. Rollins has had an unusual ride on the road to WrestleMania. He had been dealing with injury and it’s really hard to build a match, when the other half of the match has only been on RAW three times since the rumble.
I think Brock Lesnar wins, but we get a major surprise. My thinking is, we get a major heel turn from someone and it cost Rollins. I am back and forth on who though, either Roman Reigns or Braun Strowman. Maybe even Dean Amborse who could be swerving us all with the end of contract talks. No matter what the situation is, I think Lesnar retains until Summer Slam.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Brock Lesnar
Triple H vs Batista (No Holds Barred)
A couple of legends in the wrestling business. Scratch that, by Sunday Triple H will be a WWE hall of famer. This match didn’t get as long of a build as some of the others on the card, but it got all it needed. Triple H has never beaten Batista and if he can’t get the job done at WrestleMania, he will retire from in ring competition.
Now we all know that retiring from wrestling, is what it is. Triple H only wrestles about a dozen times a year and only half of those matches are televised. I wouldn’t put it past Batista to win, but my gut is telling me Triple H. The no holds barred stipulation benefits Triple H. Maybe Ric Flair gets involved and helps Triple H win? Maybe a sledgehammer makes and appearance? I like Triple H in this one.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Triple H
Daniel Bryan will put his WWE championship on the line against everyone’s favorite wrestler right now, Kofi Kingston. I am torn on this one. Knowing that the women are the main event of WrestleMania messes with my thought process on how things may pan out. I typically can get a hunch based on the go home show, however this week, I feel like Bryan and Kofi were pretty well match in their verbal back and forth during the contract signing.
Kofi is doing what Bryan did five years ago at WrestleMania when he defied all the odds and beat Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in the same night to become champion. Typically the WWE likes to send the fans home happy, especially after a seven hour show. Which makes me think, they may save the big title change for the main event.
My heart says Kofi, my gut says Daniel Bryan. There might be an attempt to interfere by Rowan and maybe Big E and Xavier Woods, but I think the ref sends them to the back. The more I think about it, the more I think Kofi gets his WrestleMania moment. Even if he losses the title a month later, I think he gets his moment and wins.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Kofi Kingston
WWE Women’s Championship
For the first time ever, a women’s match will main event WrestleMania. The winner of this match will take all championships on the line. I called for a unification of the titles back at the Royal Rumble, so I think I should get an extra point for that. All jokes aside, this will be a historic moment in professional wrestling.
RAW women’s champion Ronda Rousey, Smackdown Women’s champion Charlotte Flair and the most popular woman on the roster Becky Lynch, will go at it in a triple threat match. I like the development of all three characters over the past year. One year ago, Becky was in the battle royal, Charlotte defeated Asuka to retain the Smackdown women’s title and Ronda Rousey made her in ring debut.
Since then, Becky has managed to morph her character from a clean baby face, to a heel, to a baby face with heel tendencies. Charlotte went from a humble champion, to a more physical, dominate and braggadocios champion. Ronda Rousey has had the best transformation in my opinion. Her heel turn a month ago was the best thing she could have done for her pro wrestling career. Her new character blurs the lines between work and shoot, much like one of my all time favorites, Brian Pillman.
Who ever wins this match has quite an arduous task. Not only are they the last match of a seven hour, fifteen match card, they have to follow what are going to be some great, matches. Not to mention the expectation of excellence, being the first ever women to main event a WrestleMania. With that said, I think it’s the right match to put on last.
I posted earlier this year that I didn’t think it would happen, and I honestly thought with all the Kofi-Mania going on, that perhaps that match would go last, but I am glad to be wrong. The women have worked hard for this moment and it is well deserved and long over due. Regardless of how the match goes, what a moment this will be.
As for the winner… I am just going on a whim here. I want to say Becky, but I just don’t see how she is going to get it done. Adding Charlotte to the match, gives Ronda an out. She can lose and still look strong. It’s the only way to get the title off of her. Becky promised to make someone tap out at WrestleMania, but I doubt very seriously it’s Rousey.
Rousey is my favorite to win the match. I think she could win and keeps the title ‘hostage’ much like Brock Lesnar has with the universal title. If Kofi wins the WWE title, I think it would be unlikely Becky wins the women’s title. If Kofi loses, then I think Becky wins. The wild card is Charlotte Flair. She has never looked better and is the hand-picked participant in this match by Vince McMahon.
It’s such a tough call, but I am going to go with Becky Lynch finding a way to win. I don’t think she makes Rousey tap, but I think she can get Charlotte to tap. This match is going to be physical and it’s going to take a toll on everyone in the ring. A triple threat is no dis qualification, so I think this match will be all over the place. In the end, eighty thousand people go home happy as Becky Lynch holds both women’s titles up high.
GoHomePWB.com Pick: Becky Lynch
It’s going to be a long night, but a fun one. Hopefully the matches go smoothly and I am telling you, we are in for a few surprises. Conspicuously absent from the card is The Undertaker and John Cena. Perhaps one or both show up in some capacity, I guess we will have to watch and see. I hope you enjoy the shows this weekend, and be sure to check out my review of TakeOver tomorrow morning. As always thanks for checking out GoHomePWB.com, the people’s wrestling blog!