At the door of Fastlane, I thought now would be a good time to see how well I can predict the big show in April. In card order from Kickoff to main event; winners in bold.
Humberto Carrillo Mike Kanellis vs. Buddy Murphy (c)
Up until last night, the only story with momentum behind it was the young babyfaced up-and-comer named Humberto. He’s stealing the hearts of everyone, including Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. Unfortunately for those guys, he got eliminated from the Cruiserweight division’s WrestleMania tournament by Oney Lorcan. Murphy’s challenger could be any of the four contenders left (Lorcan, Alexander, Gulak and Nese) but it feels like the odds-on-favorite is Alexander, who got trusted with a one-on-one ‘Mania kickoff show match last year.
Except, as you can see, I’m not picking Alexander. The big storyline in 205 Live right now is Mike and Maria Kanellis trying to get the attention of Drake Maverick, so let’s say Kanellis finally gets the moment he’s been waiting for since he signed.
13. The Andre: WALTER wins, takes the statue to NXT UK
These Battle Royals don’t do much help for main roster talent, so lets use them to properly promote other shows. I for one can’t wait to see WALTER chop the soul out of Heath Slater,
12. WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal: Toni Storm wins
Assuming this Battle Royal comes back, it’s another chance to get Toni over with the main roster audience, who last saw her at Evolution.
11. Owens vs. Zayn, set up by Sami helping Bryan at FastLane
At Fastlane, neither Kevin Owens nor Daniel Bryan should lose cleanly. Also, Bryan shouldn’t drop the belt, he’s top of the card greatness. The best way out of this match? Sami Zayn shows up at the main event to screw his former best friend out of a title shot. And at ‘Mania, have them fight forever, or for as much time as there is on the card. This will likely be Orton vs Styles, which could relegate Owens and Zayn to the Andre.
10. Miz vs. Shane
We’re building to this. We all know it. Miz certainly seems like the face here. And since not every good guy or gal should win at ‘Mania (gotta build up the crowd’s energy), have Shane pin Miz, and have Mr. Miz screw his own son over to do it.
9. Batista vs. Triple H
We practically know this match is happening. And who bets against Triple H at ‘Mania? Also, the crowd isn’t gonna be on his side, so a Trips victory will help keep the crowd simmering in frustration.
8. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. The Revival (c) vs. The Bar vs. Nakamura & Rusev vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Big E & Xavier Woods vs. The Usos (c) — Men’s Tag Team Unification
If there’s just one Women’s Tag Title, it’s time to unify the Men’s tag titles. Throw all these teams in. Watch the wild magic unfold.
The big story in this match, though, is Dean & Roman, with Reigns trying to convince Ambrose to stick around. I’m fairly certain that the “Dean Isn’t Re-Signing” story is a work — listen to this episode of the WrassleRap podcast to hear recent WWE writer Kazeem Famuyide reveal that news of Reigns coming back to WWE hit the boys in the back in December — a piece of news that has me certain Dean’s fake resignation is something to busy Roman before Reigns returns to the main event title picture. I’d wager Dean eats the pin, fueling curiosity, and then something on Raw gets in the way of him leaving.
7. The Bellas vs. Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection (c)
There’s no other potential heel tag team that could bring the star power to match Bayley and Sasha Banks other than Nikki and Brie Bella.
R-Truth’s Open Challenge Samoa Joe (c) vs. John Cena
People wanted R-Truth’s US Open Challenge to roll to ‘Mania, and be answered by John Cena. SmackDown Live changed the course of this title Tuesday night, and that’s not happening anymore. So, let’s get that Joe/Cena match everyone’s wanted. John’s confirmed he’ll be in New York during ‘Mania week, doing a signing at the historic and prestigious Strand bookstore. And since this wouldn’t be World Title #17, let’s have Joe finally go over for once in a big match.
5. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet vs. Aleister Black vs. Finn Bálor (c) in a Ladder Match
It’s too late in Bálor’s second main roster title reign to have him drop the Intercontinental championship, but this match can let Raw’s crowded roster shine.
4. Asuka’s SDLive Women’s Championship Open Challenge
Alexa Bliss takes the spot, doesn’t win, because Asuka turns heel and cheats. Why the double turn? Just feels like the crowd is ready to cheer Alexa and boo Asuka. I also have zero interest in Lacey Evans facing Asuka, which has been rumored.
3. Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan (c)
Possibly running at the start of the show to give a good, strong babyface victory before a lot of heel wins, #KofiMania has to come true. Maybe this match includes KO (if Zayn doesn’t return as I expect) and/or Mustafa Ali, but the result should be the same. WWE Champ Kofi Kingston.
2. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar (c)
It never felt like Seth would beat Brock. Can’t tell you why, really. But, now that Roman’s back, it feels like Lesnar holds the belt until SummerSlam to drop it to The Big Dog.
1. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey (c)
Do I need to explain this? It’s the most obvious match on the card, and despite what others may say, it’s great that Charlotte’s in this.
Even though she just turned baddie on Monday Night Raw, declaring she was done respecting fantasies (essentially screaming “pro wrestling is fake” in the ring, as opposed to on Twitter) Ronda isn’t the pure heel that Charlotte was born to be. She’s also just not good enough on the mic to drive this story, which heels need to do.
And, yeah, Becky’s gotta get the win here. Not sure if she wins clean at Fastlane, but The Man’s gotta hold the Raw Women’s Title as the fireworks close out WrestleMania. You gonna have the first ever women’s main event in ‘Mania history end with a sour crowd? I wouldn’t.
We’ll see how I do on (and as we get closer to) Sun., April 7 when WrestleMania 35 goes down in East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.
In the interim, give us your picks… or just tell us why you think mine are right, wrong or just plain misguided… in the comments below.