With WrestleMania 35 all set to invade MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey this Sun., April 7, 2019, live on pay-per-view (PPV) and the WWE Network, it’s time to go about making predictions for the biggest show of the year. The match card is filled out and our staff of learned blowhards will give their best guess on who is going to emerge victorious this weekend.
But instead of doing this all in one post and giving you a wall of text and 5,000 words to read through, we’ll give the top matches their own post, then cover the undercard.
Got it? Good.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston
Geno Mrosko: WrestleMania is a show where babyfaces finally get to see their dreams realized and heels finally get their comeuppance. Or, at least, that’s usually how things go. It’s hard to imagine this match going any way other than Kingston finally reaching the tippy top of the mountain, and Bryan is exactly the right guy to do the job for him. It almost shocking how well this has played out, and it’s easily the best story WWE has told going into this show. There’s really only one way to end the story too. Pick: Kofi Kingston
Sean Rueter: There’s so much more mileage in The New Daniel Bryan, and even though the character doesn’t have to be champ – that hempen belt is simultaneously a stroke of genius and thing of beauty. In any other situation, his reign should continue until at least SummerSlam. But this ain’t any other situation. However you look at it, this is a no brainer: crowd-pleasing story, sends the right message to the locker room about persevering, and makes a statement about equality without appearing overly manufactured. I’ve been watching Vince McMahon-booked wrestling shows for almost four decades, so I can be pretty cynical. But they don’t have time to overthink this one like they have the main event, so while I’ve watched WWE f*** up a lot of wet dreams, I believe they’ll get this one right. Pick: Kofi Kingston
Kyle Decker: What a great ride this has been. The crowd response to Kofi is reminiscent of Daniel Bryan five years ago. Which makes it that much better that Bryan is the villain of this story! Given the fact this was never the plan, I could envision a scenario where Kofi doesn’t win and they move onto whatever the original plan it. (Win or lose, I want to see face Miz against heel Bryan at one point.) But they really should put the title on Kofi, even if it is for a short period of time. And I really can’t pick against my heart here. Don’t break it, Vince. Pick: Kofi Kingston
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: To borrow a phrase from my esteemed colleague Henry T. Casey, put the wood on Kofi! Sure, maybe ideally Bryan’s reign would have had a few more months to really develop and percolate and build, but this Kofi story is lightning in a bottle, and you can’t get much better of a way to end it than Kingston winning the WWE Championship in his first ever one-on-one shot on the Grandest Stage of Them All, even if he just ends up dropping it right back at [MAY PAY-PER-VIEW]. And as much as I love the American Dragon, if he retains this will go down as one of the great all-time blunders of wrestling booking. Pick: Kofi Kingston
Cain A. Knight: I never expected Kofi Kingston to be in this spot at WrestleMania, and it’s amazing to watch how he has risen up the card so quickly. Considering how this story has been told, Kingston really needs to win the championship. I think WWE is well aware that a Kofi loss here would result in immediate comparisons to Booker T’s loss at WrestleMania 19 against Triple H, and I think they know better than to repeat that colossal mistake. So to me, Kofi winning this match isn’t enough to really show that anything is changing in WWE. The way WWE books Kofi after he wins the title will provide more insight into that area. I don’t expect Daniel Bryan to work any Saudi Arabia shows going forward, so my best guess is that Kofi will win the title and successfully defend it until Saudi Arabia is out of the way, and then WWE will probably switch the title back to Bryan. At that point, will Kofi Kingston still be booked as a top star, or will he go back to doing mid-card tag team matches? Pick: Kofi Kingston
Stella Cheeks: I am an OG New Day Stan. I loved them when they were culturally questionable preachers, I loved them when the time traveled in a cardboard box and I even loved them when they weirdly hosted WrestleMania. It is literally impossible for me to root against the New Day. Don’t get me wrong, Daniel Bryan – who is not one of my favorites. SUE ME! – has been doing incredible work (but for real, please listen to him and try and save the planet. It’s pretty dire, ok?) BUT KOFI FRICKEN’ KINGSTON could walk out of WrestleMania the CHAMPION! Daniel will still be doing great work without the championship, Kofi has earned this. It’s his time. #PutTheWoodOnKofi. Pick: Kofi Kingston
That’s what we think.