Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow & Brian Damage
So tonight is the night, the culmination of the 2015/16 season of the WWE: WrestleMania 32. On the biggest stage of them all, Triple H defends his title against Roman Reigns and Shane McMahon faces The Undertaker within the confines of the Hell in a Cell. Elsewhere, Kallisto puts his US title on the line against Ryback, Kevin Owen’s IC title is up for grabs in a 7-man ladder match and more. Today the team share their thoughts and predictions on the show.
Pre-Show: 20-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Craig: Line-up wise, this is starting to read like a Book or Cook Battle Royal… For me, I think this one is about making the Wyatts looking strong. After all, that has to happen sooner or later, right? This is the sort of match that Strowman should be all over and he’s my pick for winning this one.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Jamie: Who actually cares? I’m not even sure who’s in the match. If the winner does receive a push then it will last all of two weeks and be exclusive to Smackdown or Main Event anyway. I assume The Big Show’s in it, or even less imaginative maybe Kane might win it this time. Somebody large anyway, thus perpetuating the myth that large men are good in battle royals.
Brian: It’s anyone’s guess really…so I’ll be daring and say the Big Show (Sarcasm)
Winner: The Big Show
Russ: Wow… The lower card is stacked isn’t it…
Pre-Show: The Total Divas (Brie Bella, Paige, Natalya, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie) vs. B.A.D. & Blonde (Naomi, Tamina, Lana, Emma, and Summer Rae)
Craig: Isn’t Eva Marie supposed to be a heel? This makes absolutely no sense, which is no surprise given the care the WWE usually has. A ten-woman tag huh? What could go wrong…This screams “let’s get as many performers their WrestleMania pay cheque”, doesn’t eh? This doesn’t really interest me in the slightest.
Winner: B.A.D & Blonde…
Jamie: A multi-person match, at Wrestlemania? Are you sure?! I love that the Total Divas team are being cast as the babyfaces. Surely the newly formed team wins, but this is WWE and considering my previous sentence…
Winners: Total Divas team
Brian: Bathroom break
Winners: Total Divas team
Pre-Show: The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
Craig: Why? This is a match that should be saved for Raw or Smackdown. The WWE have totally wasted having The Dudley Boyz around, haven’t they? They aren’t given Bubba Ray enough mic time. I know Vince doesn’t watch any other wrestling but anyone that watched TNA will know that with Bubba they have a good talker. Instead, we get treated to the well tread nostalgia act return…
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Jamie: Well, at least it’s a tag team match on a PPV that is not for the titles. This match provides the illusion of an actual tag team division. What shame I couldn’t care less about it though.
Winners: The Usos
Brian: Wow, a Raw or Smackdown match on the biggest show of the year! Yawn.
Winners: The Usos
Pre-Show: WWE United States Title Match: Kalisto vs. Ryback
Craig: Oh God, this is going to be awful. I think with Kalisto the WWE have something quite good and interesting. A clash with Ryback doesn’t benefit him, doesn’t do much for Ryback and does even less for viewers in attendance and at home. Hopefully this will be mercifully quick.
Winner: I hope Kalisto but I expect it to be Ryback.
Jamie: Really? Ryback? Fuck off!
Winner (I hope and pray): Kalisto
Brian: Kalisto deserves better than this typical “David vs Goliath” story.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
Craig: How many times do we need to see this? Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be a good match-up but we’ve already had it several times on Raw and Smackdown! so it just doesn’t feel special, in the slightest, any more. As for a winner? It’s obviously Styles, isn’t it? Have Jericho put him over to give him his WrestleMania moment. Anything else wouldn’t make any sense. That’s a point, maybe Jericho is winning…
Winner: AJ Styles.
Jamie: By the time you read this I very much hope a stipulation has been added. I’ve seen these guys in singles matches before, I’d like something a bit different for Wrestlemania. I felt sure this would be a 2 out of 3 falls match. Oh well, at least it’s a match I should enjoy, even if I have seen it before.
Winner: AJ Styles
Brian: Could be good, should be good, will be good…but we have seen this match three times already.
Winner: Chris Jericho
WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Stardust vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Kevin Owens
Craig: I had to double take, Ryder is on the WrestleMania card? Blimey… There is some absolute dross in this match. This should have been Owens vs. Sami. That would have worked had the WWE used some of its ample TV time to allow both guys to tell the fans who they were and why they loathed each other. That would be too hard, instead lets lump all the guys into one match, give them a ladder, ask them to take some silly bumps. Great… My only hope from this is that it leads to a Zayn and Owens programme.
Winner, and still IC Champion, Kevin Owens.
Jamie: Let me get this straight; WWE have an obvious IC Title singles match in Owens vs. Zayn that had the seeds sewn almost a year ago. Elsewhere on the card Kalisto is struggling to find a challenger so is lumped with Ryback for no reason. Hmmm, I wonder what title should be contested in a multi-person ladder match – bearing in mind the US Champion is the high flying Kalisto? My god WWE, what are you playing at?!
Winner, and new IC Champion: Sami Zayn
Brian: In my humble opinion…a ladder match between just KO and Sami Zayn would have been sufficient. Could still be good, but watered down.
Winner: Sami Zayn
4-on-3 handicap match: New Day vs. The League of Nations
Craig: This is odd, isn’t it? The mid-card heel-by-numbers League of Nations – who the WWE have done very little with to elevate – versus the heel New Day… I’d be devastated if The League of Nations were to triumph in this bout as they have done nothing to deserve any focus on their team.
Winner: The New Day
Jamie: Yet another multi-person match. At least this one almost makes sense. I have to assume New Day will win here. They are on the verge of a full face turn so keeping the titles – which are a large part of their act – makes sense for the time being.
Winners: The New Day
WWE Divas Title Match: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Craig: Yippee, another multi-person match. I hope whatever happens they don’t hug in the ring afterwards. It’s been done, let’s not make it become so obvious and boring. This should actually be alright though. If they get a decent amount of time this could be a strong match. Will they? We’ll have to wait and see. The winner?
Winner, and new divas champion, Sasha Banks.
Jamie: Finally, a match I actually have an interest in. Granted I’ve seen variations of this match in WWE and NXT before, but – like AJ v Jericho – at least it’s something I can be fairly sure will be good. A month ago I would have said Sasha Banks all day long, but now I can make a case for all three. I’ll stick to my guns though.
Winner, and new Divas Champ: Sasha Banks
Brian: Could be really good and hopefully the crowd will get behind this match and not shit all over it.
Street Fight: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
Craig: This should be ace. These two guys will likely spend the entire bout monstering each other. That’s a good thing. This will be a hard hitting affair. In fact, JR would likely describe it as a slobberknocker. The stipulation gives these guys license to take it up a notch and am excited by that. This is also a chance for Ambrose to show he’s worthy to be in the ring with stars and that he can reach that level. The best way to show that? By winning.
Winner: Dean Ambrose.
Jamie: I’ll just have to make my peace with the fact that The Wyatts will probably interfere to cost Lesnar the match, but before that happens this should be a corker. I love matches where someone gets battered but just won’t stay down, which this will surely be, right? The Street Fight stipulation also gives Ambrose a fighting chance even if The Wyatts do not get involved. Either way, surely Ambrose picks up the big win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Brian: This could be either really good or just an absolute train wreck. I sincerely worry the super aggressive and stiff Lesnar will legit hurt Ambrse. We shall see.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Hell in the Cell Match – Undertaker’s Career On the Line: Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon
Craig: Will this go on last? That’s one of many questions for me surrounding this one. I’m more intrigued than excited, per say, about this one. Will Shane be able to bump like old? He certainly delivered that top rope elbow through a table spot on Raw really well. And he really needs to be to make this work. There’s a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that there’s a swerve, or five, to be seen in this match… Who is winning? I honestly just can’t look beyond Shane winning. That’ll obviously mean that The Undertaker can get reinstated the very next night which will make all of this mean very little, right?
Winner: Shane McMahon
Jamie: This is going to sound almost sacrilegious for a WWE fan talking about The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania match, but I don’t care. Nothing about this match or it’s build is particularly appealing to me. There’s too many stipulations for me to take any of them seriously. Chances are I’ll start watching and get drawn in, but right now I’m not interested without getting all hypothetical and unrealistic. Bullet Club anyone?!
Winner: Shane, but certainly not clean
Brian: It seems like a waste to pit Undertaker vs Shane McMahon against each other here. I just seems like a waste of two separate marquee matches. I suspect Vince McMahon will turn on the Undertaker and help his son win in a screwjob finish.
Winner: Shane McMahon
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns
Craig: The most interesting aspect of this will be how badly the crowd shit all over the entrances. Can we really see an ending other that Reigns winning? For the first time in several years the WWE don’t have a get out clause here. No MiTB winner and unless we get a quick stipulation re Ambrose and Lesnar, this will be a one-on-one match. That could indeed be very interesting.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Jamie: Ditto the last match, I’m not interested. I feel like I’ve seen this match already at Wrestlemania 21, with Batista playing part of Reigns. Oh wait, fans actually liked Batista. I think there might be a twist in the tail in this one, because surely WWE are aware that fans will shit all over this at the start, right?
Winner, and new WWE Champion: Roman Reigns
Brian: Roman Reigns will win which won’t be all that shocking. Him finally turning heel and aligning with Vince and Shane will forming a “new” Authority.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Craig: This has been one of the worst build to WrestleManias that I can remember and has a bang-average card that makes me think of the early years when everyone was chucked on the card but the whole even was sold around one or two matches at the top. It’s suffered as a result. And who is to blame? The WWE. They can cite injuries but the main reason it is in the state it is is the over reliance on stars of old over making the stars of today.
Jamie: I don’t begrudge one multi-person match at Wrestlemania, but this year WWE are taking the piss. Wrestlemania is when feuds reach their climax but all bar three or four matches on this card look like they’ve been thrown together at the last minute just to fill the card out. Thank God for Lesnar vs. Ambrose because otherwise I would genuinely give this show a miss. I don’t care if it’s Wrestlemania and I must watch because of that fact. Just because I’ve been a fan for years that doesn’t make my interest a given. That one Street Fight is the one thread connecting me to this show, but who knows, I might enjoy Wrestlemania once I start watching it.
Brian: This show seems slapped together in two weeks time. There seems to be no creativity to it. I don’t completely blame the WWE creative because of all the injuries…but surely on paper they could have done a lot better than this.
Russ: I think this is going to be bad. The crowd are gonna be hot, but I can see some serious venom coming from them at points on the card. Shane should win and hopefully some reboot may come out of this. The next year really depends on this, but I can’t see it delivering in the right way. I don’t think I will b e watching live.