Well for the third year in a row WrestleMania looks passable at best, with not one match that for me qualifies as "must-see." I miss the urgency of the WrestleManias of yesteryear, when the company put together the best possible feuds and matches so 'Mania felt like a climax instead of a bloated standalone show. This card has 13 bouts scheduled, with at least two of those already bumped to the pre-show. I have to think at least two more will join them - no chance in hell WWE can fit more than 9 matches on the five-hour main PPV, not with that 700-yard entrance ramp. Also, how in the hell is there room on the main card for Goldberg, Taker and Shane but not Zayn, Joe or Kurt Angle?? If you're gonna bring back a near-50-year-old how do you not pick the guy who never stopped wrestling and who could still outwork 90% of the active roster??
Anyway, let's get to it.
***I won the 2016-17 season of predictions, with a 64% accuracy rate to Dan's 56%. We suck.***
Pre-Show Andre the Giant Battle Royal
I've been saying this for two years, but this concept's shelf life is over. The annual Battle Royal to Get Everyone on the Show should be a dark match like in the olden days. Does anyone give a shit about this anymore? Also how do you justify relegating Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn to the goddamn pre-show? Why not do a Strowman-Big Show rematch? Why not do a Zayn-Joe rematch? Christ....
Justin's pick: Strowman is a mortal lock to win this.
Dan's pick: Yeah, he's GOT to.
Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Austin Aries
It's a shame this is on the pre-show because this should be pretty great if given time. Neville's been a great heel Champion so far and Aries is one of the best in the biz. Time to just do a 205 Live PPV event if RAW Creative isn't gonna give this division the main show attention it deserves.
Justin's pick: It's too early to change this belt. Neville retains in a way that allows for a rematch.
Dan's pick: AA will win the day.
Pre-Show Smackdown Women's Championship Six-Pack Challenge: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. Naomi
This is pretty pointless. Again, gotta cram everyone on the card, so let's have a six-way clusterfuck instead of presenting a compelling feud. Instead of a six-pack challenge (which is what I'll be doing from my couch that night) I was really hoping for a six-way Makeout Match.
Justin's pick: Since Naomi just came back, Naomi.
Dan's pick: I dunno...Mickie.
RAW Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: Anderson & Gallows vs. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Enzo & Cass
First off, I'm not sure why WrestleMania needs a goddamn host every year now. It's a pointless bit of window dressing that just takes time away from the wrestling. Furthermore I'm not sure why The New Day isn't involved in this match or why they seem generally uninterested in winning back their Tag Titles. Ya know, the ostensible reason all these guys are in this fake fighting organization? Anyway, this is another match set up to get as many people on the card as possible. Not terribly interested in the tag scenes on either show right now. Both divisions feel like an afterthought. But the addition of the Ladder Match stip just made this a little more interesting. TLC 2000 this won't be, but they have a better chance now of the match being kinda fun.
Justin's pick: A&G just won these damn things so they should retain
Dan's pick: I'm sick of Enzo & Cass' schtick, so I'm hoping they don't win...but I think they will.
Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin
This could be alright. Corbin's been improving slowly over the past few months. I'm still not totally sold on him but Vince obviously is. Because TALL. Should be a fairly unruly match given the two participants.
Justin's pick: Corbin picks up his first Title.
Dan's pick: Yea, I don't dig Corbin too much but he's got the momentum going in.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
I can't even wrap my head around this one. Like him or not, John Cena is still the company's biggest star AND one of its best workers. Why then, in the FUCK, would you waste him in a mixed tag match at the biggest show of the year? This is akin to Savage & Sherri vs. Dusty & Sapphire. In both cases one of the company MVPs was paired with a female wrestler against the guy he was feuding with and his non-wrestler companion. The 1990 match stunk up the Skydome, and I can't see this being all that noteworthy either. The whole situation is fucking baffling to me. Couldn't we at least get Cena vs. Miz one-on-one (And no, I'm not picking on the women, I just don't like mixed tag matches. At all.) since this show is apparently about redoing shitty 'Mania matches from years past?
Justin's pick: Team Cena wins
Dan's pick: This is so dumb. Cena should be fighting Reigns or Taker or JESUS ANYTHING BUT THIS. Whatever. Cena.