WWE WrestleMania 31 Predictions, Pay Per View Matches, Schedule: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns Main Event; Sting, Undertaker Return
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WWE WrestleMania Preview and Predictions:
"The showcase of the immortals" has arrived for its 31st year, and the WWE's "WrestleMania 31" card is proving to be a show-stealer. Even the "Kickoff" show is proving to have its own substantive card.
From Levis Stadium, "WrestleMania 31" is essentially a showcase of NXT alumni as most of the card features at least one WWE Superstar who entered NXT, the developmental training grounds created by Triple H.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
For the second consecutive year, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal returns although with 20 Superstars instead of 31 from last year. NXT will have representation from its current roster in the form of Hideo Itami after winning a battle royal at WWE's AXXESS fanfare event in promotion for Sunday's show. The other 19 Superstars include 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 and Viktor.
The original pick was Sheamus since he's scheduled to return and the battle royal was originally on the main card of the show. The WWE will unlikely have Sheamus return on the preshow. As a result, the next option Damien Mizdow to have the crowd happy before the main show begins.
WWE Tag Team Championship: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Matadores vs. The Usos:
Also for the second consecutive year is a four-way match for the tag team titles on the "Kickoff" show. Cesaro and Kidd have encountered all challengers in this match in one way or another and either won or last in some manner. The Usos, however, are riding high with a win on "SmackDown," and it could keep the momentum up for this Sunday.
The Usos retained the tag titles last year and could win it this year to keep the crowd happy, but Cesaro and Kidd deserve the win. Cesaro has been on a slump despite winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at "WrestleMania 30," and Kidd is still regaining his footing after a stint on NXT. Don't expect The New Day or The Matadores to win, even with El Torito's help.
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins:
Brie and Nikki Bella have dominated the Divas division since AJ Lee rested for injury and Paige's momentum slowly waned off. Paige has been on the ups since regaining crowd reactions despite her heel turn and battles the Bellas. Lee returned and the tag team title match was quickly announced.
Lee has her fans but is it fair she's given a "WrestleMania" spot after being away since December? Lee is great on the mic and ring, but the announcement of her inclusion in the match came less than a day after her return on "Raw." Despite the questions, Lee and Paige are the preferred winners of the match. It is a shame it's only a tag team match and no stipulation on the Divas Championship.
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Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins:
Randy Orton continues to seek his revenge against Seth Rollins after curb stomping his head onto cinder blocks. Orton has managed to get the upper hand against Rollins since his return and betrayal against The Authority, but Rollins is labeled "The Future," the "Money in the Bank" holder could surprise "The Viper" at the "Grandest Stage of Them All."
Rollins should get the victory against Orton to further the "Money in the Bank" holder's heel and main-event credibility. However, as noted, Rollins is still the "Money in the Bank" holder, and he will bounce back if he successfully cashes in for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In the end, Orton wins.
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust:
The Intercontinental Championship is rightfully one of the most-talked about titles in the WWE. Dean Ambrose has made it his mission to give the title its proper prestige while former champions Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper want to reclaim what was theirs. Stardust and R-Truth's inclusion is slightly random, but Stardust -- formerly known as Cody Rhodes -- was the one who brought the current white title back into WWE programming. Bryan, a four-time world champion who headlined "Wrestlemania 30" last year and won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, never won the Intercontinental Championship, and he wants to claim something new to his repertoire. A IC title win on Sunday for Bryan--who has won the WWE world, Tag Team and U.S. championships--would make him only the 26th Triple Crown winner in WWE history.
Do we have ourselves a new annual ladder match tradition since "Money in the Bank" became its own pay-per-view event? Ambrose is the favorite; after all, he trekked through January's blizzard to announce his decision to give the Intercontinental Championship its rightful glory. Or, could this match see the return of Sheamus?
United States Championship: Rusev (c) vs. John Cena:
The feud has been brewing since the night of the "Royal Rumble," and Rusev already has a win against challenger John Cena. Lana, however, granted Cena another opportunity to avenge America and give Rusev his first official WWE loss by either pin or submission. Lana has not appeared on WWE programming since, but her return could be a factor on Sunday.
Tough decision as Rusev is suppose to be the WWE's big monster heel, and it is the biggest show of the year to see Cena lose. Cena did lose at "Fastlane," and the feud will continue next month, likely for Rusev to recapture the U.S. Championship. Yes, this Sunday, Rusev will be crushed by Cena.
Sting vs. Triple H:
This has been building since "Survivor Series." Sting officially entered the WWE as the "vigilante" against The Authority's executive overreach, and Triple H is set to put an end to the man who essentially was "The Franchise" for WCW. Sting has tested Triple H's patience since November, and even more since the match's confirmation, which will be Sting's first official match in the WWE, and likely since his departure from TNA Wrestling. Oddly, there is no official match stipulation.
It's his first match in the WWE; there is no way Sting will lose on Sunday night. The theory of "veteran putting over the younger wrestler" is out of the window, not only because Triple H is not as young compared to most of the roster, but Sting's presence would be too large to suffer a loss. The WWE, however, could pull a swerve and fool everyone with this expected result and have Triple H win in a manner similar to The Streak ending last year. Nonetheless, Sting will win in a match that should be a no-disqualification match to allow Sting to be more of a striker or use weapons for his lack of wrestling abilities as a result of age.
Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker:
For months, Bray Wyatt has called on "The Deadman" to resurrect himself following end of The Streak. Wyatt has consistently been on the mic delivering enigmatic speeches directed to The Undertaker all while the latter not appearing on WWE programming. It will be The Undertaker's first match since his loss at "WrestleMania 30."
The case of "veteran putting over the younger talent" should come into play here. Wyatt, obviously, has more years in him, and one of the future major WWE Superstars on the roster. The Undertaker, however, suffered a heavy loss last year that took most fans by surprise. Could The Undertaker take another loss? Yes. Wyatt wins to become the next "fear" in the WWE.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns:
Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns enters in the biggest match of his career and its against Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns has deflected criticism about how his immediate path to the main event title scene, while Paul Heyman also has helped build up Reigns' right in the main event. Lesnar also enters "WrestleMania 31" with a new WWE contract that guarantees another three years with the company, which further builds speculation on how the main event will conclude.
Reigns is expected to win the match and get the title away from part-timer Lesnar. With Lesnar's new contract, perhaps he will keep the championship longer and have Reigns continue chasing him. The pick, however, is for Reigns to win.
How to Watch:
Television: Contact your cable or satellite provider for information on how to order the "WWE WrestleMania" pay-per-view with the broadcast set to begin at a special time of 7 p.m. EST.
Online: Live-coverage stream of "WWE WrestleMania" begins at 5 p.m. EST with the two matches on the "Kickoff" show, and it can be seen on WWE Network. The "Kickoff" show can also be seen on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, WWE.com, the WWE App and YouTube.
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