Jamie Lithgow, Craig Wilson, John Carbery, Russ Morgan, Brian Damage and Earl Marx
Over the last few years, members of the RTDB team have attempted to predict the Wrestlemania card well in advance of any matches actually being announced. With the Royal Rumble fast approaching, this year we have left our predictions to the last minute. So before the winner of the Royal Rumble is crowned, and Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg becomes official, in today’s Sunday Sermon the team will gaze into their crystal balls as they attempt to predict what Wrestlemania 33 will look like…
Jamie: Shall we begin with the general layout of the main card? We need WWE and Universal Title matches. One would hope both Women’s titles are defended on the main show too. Ditto the Tag Titles. It would be quite a fall from grace should the Raw titles be defended on the pre-show after the run New Day had with the belts. The United States and Intercontinental Titles will likely be defended, but will the Cruiserweight Title make the main show? It would be awesome to see an NXT Title match somewhere on the card – thus all brands will be represented – but I’m not sure there will be space. So, for title matches alone there will likely be a minimum of six and a maximum of ten. Even discounting the NXT and Cruiserweight belts, that’s eight matches that really should be on the main card. To put this into perspective, Wrestlemania 32 featured nine matches on the main show, three on the pre-show and lasted something in the region of six hours!
I’m sure we’ve all heard rumours about Goldberg vs. Lesnar, Rollins vs. Triple H and The Undertaker vs. someone, but will these be title matches and if not how will WWE fit everything in and still have time for a pointless cameo from The Rock?!
Craig: Agree re much of the rest regarding titles. However, for some reason I see the Smackdown tag titles getting bumped off the main show and onto the pre-show. Largely because of the relative lack of depth of the Smackdown tag division.
I don’t anticipate an NXT match, sadly and I expect a multi-man 205 Live match on pre-show. Ladder match, anyone?
I think Goldberg vs. Brock is a lock and Rollins vs. Trips is mighty close to being the same. I also think Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens is a cert. Which sadly makes me think that Reigns will head in as Universal champion. If The Undertaker wins Rumble, as I expect, is it him versus Cena for the title, let’s be honest, he’s winning at Rumble eh?
Universal title match: Reigns vs tba
WWE title: Taker vs. Cena
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
IC title match: Ambrose vs. The miz?
Raw tag match
Smackdown women’s match
Raw women’s match
John: I’d love to see a rematch between new UK Champion Tyler Bate and the man he faced in the final, Pete Dunne on the main card. It’d be a real statement from WWE on how seriously they’re taking the UK scene. They had the best WWE match in months in the finals of the tournament and should be rewarded for their efforts.
I don’t see AJ Styles listed anywhere near the main events which is both a shame and a missed opportunity. I hope he gets a suitable opponent and a marquee match at the big show. As his match with Cena from Summerslam showed, he delivers on the biggest stages. Maybe they could do a Smackdown vs Raw match and have him face off against a returning Finn Balor?
Speaking of Balor, I’d love to see him return unexpectedly and win the Royal Rumble to go on to face Reigns for the Universal Championship. It’s a perfect story, Vince’s chosen one vs the man who never lost the title.
Jamie: I’m with you regarding the Smackdown tag titles, and I actually fear for their Women’s belt too. That’ll be a hard one to justify if there is supposed to be a rivalry between the two shows but Raw gets handed all the best spots at ‘Mania…
I’ll give you Taker winning the Rumble. I’m not totally convinced he will, but I don’t have an alternative so happy to accept the Undertaker argument. That being; if he’s not winning it then why book him in the match? I disagree about him facing Cena though, I think he challenges the Universal Champion. He appeared on Raw recently to announce his participation in the Rumble. Erm, isn’t he a Smackdown guy?! With Lesnar vs. Goldberg ticking the old-school box I can’t see Taker vs. Cena too. Taker vs. Reigns, on the other hand, sounds like a new idea that fans will most certainly have an opinion on…
I’m in two minds regarding Owens vs. Jericho. Obviously, that is the way their angle is heading, but does it culminate at Wrestlemania or just begin there? It’s been a while since we had an actual storyline development at Wrestlemania and Jericho turning on Owens (or vice versa) could be just that. That said, I believe Jericho goes on tour with Fozzy after ‘Mania and those two could fill the US Title spot.
Miz vs. Ambrose sounds uninspired, and thus sounds about right for an IC Title match. Like John said, what about AJ Styles and surely Finn Balor is back by then too? Could we kill two birds with one stone? How about a Raw vs. Smackdown dream match with Balor vs. Styles? Maybe WWE sign Kenny Omega too and leave the IWC unable to control their bodily functions?!
Russ: I’m slightly concerned going back to Goldberg’s speech when he had beaten Lesnar. The day after on Raw, he said Steph asked him if he had “one more title run in him”. If this is the case, it will be sooner rather than later. Not that I’m saying Goldberg will win the Rumble, but things can change quickly.
AJ Styles versus Taker I would be down with to be honest. Taker needs someone who can call the match and take the big spots. Either way, Styles needs to be on the card.
Craig: You raise a valid point regarding Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. After all, with Jericho hanging above the ring in the sharkcage it’s unlikely that he’ll have much of an input in the match so can’t cost Owens. Can he? If so, maybe that does start at WrestleMania rather than lead to a match at the show.
I’d be quite keen to see Styles versus the Undertaker too. I saw a suggestion online that Vince McMahon had nixed plans for John Cena vs. The Undertaker so maybe, after all, Styles does retain the title…
Could they, though, have Roman Reigns versus The Undertaker? It’s an option, I guess. Maybe Reigns eliminates The Undertaker or vice versa… Does anyone particularly want that? I’m not convinced it would be a classic clash nor do I believe that it would benefit Reigns in the long term to go over. A tough one…
Brian: Lord knows the WWE has the talent now to put on one heck of a card if they so choose. Aside from the already obvious matches like Big Show vs Shaq, Seth Rollins vs Triple H and Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg, everything is seemingly up in the air.
I think Charlotte vs Bayley will culminate at Wrestlemania with Bayley finally defeating Charlotte to end her pay per view streak. Seeing how Bayley is a lifelong fan of WWE and a favorite (supposedly) of Vince McMahon, I see it as the feel good story of Wrestlemania. On the other side of the Women’s division on Smackdown, I think Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Bella will happen just because, well, it’s Nikki Bella and she needs to be on the show, right?
I presume that Neville will be Cruiserweight champion by the time Mania rolls along and I see some sort of multi-person match with cruiserweights flying all over the place. I still think John Cena will wrestle the Undertaker which means that Cena will defeat AJ Styles for the title and the Undertaker will win the Rumble.
I agree that the inevitable feud between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens will START at Wrestlemania rather than end there. AJ Styles vs Kenny Omega 😉 a guy can dream can’t he? Don’t forget the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal and the New Day will surely be featured prominently on the card.
Craig: I’d actually forgotten about Big Show vs. Shaq, surprising considering all the social media pieces on the Big Show’s weight loss, which is mighty impressive.
Charlotte and Bayley, with the latter winning, seems like a perfect WrestleMania story. I’d hope for something better than Bliss vs. Nikki Bella but that woeful programme with Natalya can’t really stretch out till ‘mania nor is it worthy of an appearance on that show.
Ah yes, the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. For me, that’s got to be Braun Strowman’s, it seems the perfect way to continue his push. He’ll be hoping to benefit more than Baron Corbin has…
Earl: This year’s Wrestlemania is such a toss up. I honestly love it!!! I have heard so many rumors, allusions, theories, etc., but there are truly a number of ways the card could go and I don’t think we’ll get a definite idea until the Rumble is in the books. With this in mind, I will try not to fantasy book and give some realistic thoughts (albeit some of my personal preferences may still creep in).
WWE Championship – John Cena (c) vs Undertaker
Seth Rollins vs Triple H
Universal Championship – Roman Reign(s) vs ???
United States Championship – Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
Raw Women’s Championship – Charlotte(c) vs Bayley
Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Big Show vs Shaquille O’ Neal
That’s 10 matches. Quite a bit. I must admit – I feel like Braun and Roman are on a collision course, but to see it at Mania would be very ugh to me. Ha. I just don’t think it would be good to see. We have a considerable number of titles floating out there, so we cannot expect them all to make the card. I’d like to include another Women’s title match, but it may be too much. This ‘Mania is so great in terms of possibilities!
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.