As WWE WrestleMania 30 approaches tonight at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Newsday pro wrestling writers Josh Stewart and Alfonso A. Castillo offer their predictions on who will get their hands raised and go home with the gold.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (Winner enters triple threat match with Randy Orton and Batista later in the evening for Orton’s WWE World Heavyweight Title.)
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The prevailing argument on this match is not what will happen, but why. WWE’s brass will never admit that it legitimately wanted to take Bryan out of the championship picture, only for a fan revolt to put him back in a marquee position. WWE finally listened to it fan base and won’t stop now.
Josh Stewart: Bryan wins both matches and title.
Alfonso A. Castillo: Bryan wins both matches and title.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
WWE’s done a nice job the last couple of years making the Undertaker’s “streak” seem in jeopardy, even though the prevailing opinion of many is there’s no chance the Deadman ever loses at Mania. At WrestleMania 28 in Miami it would’ve made sense for Triple H to finally break through in a match deemed the “End of an Era.” Last year at MetLife Stadium the stroke the now-departed CM Punk had earned made a streak stoppage at least a plausible discussion. But Undertaker is a purist. He might someday think the time is right to give a rub to rising star, but never for a twice-a-month attraction like Lesnar.
Josh Stewart: Undertaker
Alfonso A. Castillo: Undertaker
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
We’ve seen this play before. WWE hoped putting The Miz over Cena at WrestleMania 27 would launch the former reality star into rarified WWE air. It didn’t work. Cena is still the company’s biggest cash cow. He’s already out of the main-event picture and they’re not going to de-push him any further with a loss.
Josh Stewart: Cena
Alfonso A. Castillo: Cena
Inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
If nothing else, kudos to WWE for creating an annual match that allows guys who bust their butts all year on the road to get in on some WrestleMania action. Hogan has been hinting all week that although he’s technically just the WrestleMania 30 host, he won’t be afraid to get physical if some young guy gets in his face. Would he call his own number, enter one of the few spots still open and take the inaugural trophy? Or in a poignant moment, does a man once billed as Andre’s son win, then offer a sincerely tearful tribute in the ring for his real-life childhood idol?
Josh Stewart: Big Show
Alfonso A. Castillo: Hulk Hogan
The Shield vs. the New Age Outlaws and Kane
It’s time to break up the “Hounds of Justice.” The bigger question is which of that trio finds the most single’s success after tonight. Roman Reigns is still the front-runner, but Seth Rollins has been sizzling in the home stretch after largely playing third wheel to Reigns and Dean Ambrose for most of their run.
Josh Stewart: Outlaws/Kane
Alfonso A. Castillo: Outlaws/Kane
AJ Lee defends title in Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
Will the winner of this 14-woman scramble be the most deserving female wrestler in WWE, or the person who could subsequently create the most static on future episodes of “Total Divas” for being an undeserving champ?
Josh Stewart: Summer Rae
Alfonso A. Castillo: Natalya
Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way: The Usos vs. Real Americans vs. Los Matadores vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
Both the Real Americans and Ryback/Axel are one creative team idea from being disbanded, and Los Matadores play second fiddle to mascot El Torito. Lots of high spots in this match, but little drama.
Josh Stewart: Usos
Alfonso A. Castillo: Usos