Mega-wrestling fan and all around good guy Tyler ( @MoeTWWE ) set me up with an interesting challenge this evening - create a realistic card for Wrestlemania 31. Never one to shy away from making some un-informed predictions, here we go, in no particular order of course.
Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett vs. Cesaro vs. Luke Harper
Why? Why not, I say? This would make one HELL of an opening match for 'Mania. Tyler didn't ask me to create the backstory for these matches, necessarily, so I'm not going to. Let's just say WWE worked its incredible creative wizardry.
Who wins? The fans. That's who wins.
Charlotte vs. Paige (Divas Title)
Both women are outstanding wrestlers with familial ties to the business. Both are (arguably for Paige, not so for Charlotte, whom as many of you know, will be, in my mind, the best women's wrestler in history.) the class of women's wrestling in WWE. Some of you are likely going "What about AJ?", but do you really think April Brooks will still be a WWE employee by 'Mania? Come on now.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal 2
I truthfully hope this becomes an annual part of Wrestlemania. It's a great way to feature as much talent as possible and most battle royals are good for at least one or two "OMG" moments.
I'm not going to go ahead and list all the combatants. Just subtract the talent I list here from the WWE roster. That counts.
Who wins? I'm torn between either Sami Zayn, Damien Sandow or Daniel Bryan
Yes, that's right, I said Daniel Bryan. More on that later.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Stardust
One again, you read that right. I do think we'll see the long-hyped match between the Runnels boys, but unlike many, I don't think we'll see Cody vs. Goldust. Why? Because Cody seems to be pouring so much of himself into the Stardust persona, that's why. How do you backpedal from that?
It's easier to justify this as Dustin getting sick of Stardust overshadowing him and being too "Bizarre." Or, at least, it is to me.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
How did I get here? Not sure, really. After Bray finishes this feud with Ambrose, Orton seems to be the next logical step. Plus, I'm counting on Randy to do what John Cena wouldn't and what Chris Jericho couldn't - fully get Bray onto the main event stage.
Kane and Big Show vs. The Ascension (Double Retirement match for the Tag Titles)
We all know that both Glenn Jacobs and Paul Wight are on borrowed time, wrestling wise. Most of us also know that The Ascension are going to be the next "big" tag team, even if neither member of the team is quite "big".
Having a double retirement match (Show and Kane) lets them both go out in style while also giving one final rub (that sounds bad when I re-read it) to two guys who will sorely need legitimacy.
Here's a quick fix to the logic police - If Show and Kane were to win, they still retire, so the titles become vacant and a tournament occurs.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (IC and US unification match)
People have been assuming these two mid-level belts will be fused into one at some point. This is as good a time as any.
Now, on Twitter just this evening I was lamenting how Ziggler didn't make that immediate jump to main event status following his stellar performance at Survivor Series. If that's my feeling, I hear you saying, why do I have him with the IC belt once again come Wrestlemania?
Simple. My column, my rules.
Plus, both these talents can make these belts seriously mean something, especially if it'll be the last time we see one of them.
Plus plus - Ziggler wins. He's the one to beat Rusev. That's huge.
Ok, time for our TRIPLE main event!
Sting vs. Triple H
This one wasn't hard to predict. Writing is on the wall, isn't it?
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Said it before and will say it again - Roman won't be ready by March / April. You can't give him the responsibility of being the face of the company. It'll backfire, I'm sure of it. Having what will undoubtedly be the first of many Shield Triple Threat matches gives all three talents a chance to shine without the pressures of The Beast or The Belt.
It's better this way, I promise.
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (60 Minute Ironman match for the WHC)
Hear me out, gang. I know you saw this and immediately started breaking out your DC Matthews voodoo dolls.
Tyler asked me for REALISTIC predictions, did he not? So, until I hear both the wrestler AND a legitimate (non-WWE affiliated) medical expert say so, I can't REALISTICALLY believe that Daniel Bryan will be ready to compete in a main event role at Wrestlemania. He MIGHT be able to handle the Battle Royal, which is why I placed him there.
So Bryan is out. Reigns, as I've said, isn't ready. It's not going to be Ambrose or Rollins. Angle's not coming back, even though I'd love him to.
It has to be Cena. He's the WWE's only legitimate option. Adding the Ironman stipulation is just my way of having fun with it, so Lesnar can have a 4-0 advantage 10 minutes into the match, only to watch Cena slowwwly start working his way back.
Hate me if you want, but this is how its happening:
Cena doesn't win at the Rumble, which Heyman will arrange to be Cena's absolute LAST shot at the title. Cena has only one option, doesn't he - He brings back The Authority, on the condition that they force the winner of the Rumble (Reigns) to put up his Mania title shot, possibly in an Elimination Chamber. The Shield take each other out (leading to the Triple Threat) and Cena wins, possibly with more help from The Authority.
Forget Sami Zayn, gang - This is John Cena's Road to Redemption.
The only reason you're so mad is because you know how right I am.