WrestleMania predictions in their most unique form, just like this WrestleMania itself!
WrestleMania is upon us, and soon the time for talking will be over. The event has been moved, scrutinized, and analyzed more than any other, but we’re here. In the meantime, let’s do just a little more! In this feature, we take a look at each match from two very important angles: Who should win? And who will win?
SHOULD and WIN are the two most important words in this equation. WrestleMania sets the table for the wrestling year. “Should” means WWE got it right, at least in my opinion. “Will” is what the company is most likely to do, based on prior precedent and forward looking projections.
Note: If you’re new to me, you will discover this is an acquired taste. I am purely authentic in my opinions, and I don’t try to be purposely controversial or contrarian. I call it like I see it. I bring over 13 years of experience to the table, including experience in the business that continues today. Love ’em or hate ’em, my takes from a good place.
There are 16 matches on this WrestleMania card, carrying varying amounts of importance. You’ll get picks for each–but that level of analysis will vary. You’ll get it for each match, but you’ll get more where it counts.
Now then, let’s have at it!
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WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar (c)
Who Should Win: Drew McIntyre
Who Will Win: Drew McIntyre
If Drew McIntyre doesn’t win the 2020 Royal Rumble, this could look different. But the math here is simple. You don’t have Drew McIntyre eliminate Brock Lesnar AND win the Royal Rumble match (last eliminating Roman Reigns of all people) if you don’t plan to see this through. Having Drew lose would kill any momentum he has, and he has a ton.
NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (c)
Who Should Win: Rhea Ripley
Who Will Win: Charlotte Flair
Rhea Ripley is young, exciting, and ready for her spotlight. She’s a fantastic NXT Champion, but that reign is just getting started. She’s got “the future” written all over her. Charlotte Flair, on the other hand, is a verified legend already. Ripley walking out with the championship is a great idea, but that’s not where the money is. The money is in Charlotte winning the championship, flaunting it on both Raw and NXT, and WWE building to a rematch where Rhea wins it back. LOLCHARLOTTEWINS
Last Man Standing – Edge vs. Randy Orton
Who Should Win: Edge
Who Will Win: Edge
You don’t bring Edge back after 9 years just to have him lose his return match. If this was against someone who needed the rub, I might look at it differently. This is one match that changes a little for me since it’s not in front of 75,000 fans in a football stadium. But Randy Orton loses nothing in a loss, and I don’t see money in Edge doubting himself and working his way back up.
Universal Championship – Braun Strowman vs. Goldberg (c)
Who Should Win: Braun Strowman
Who Will Win: Braun Strowman
The feeling online seems to be that if with Roman Reigns out of this match, the win has to go to Goldberg with a rematch to come after we get out of the Coronavirus. And I just don’t see it. Money talks (yet again), and getting Goldberg to this point likely cost WWE a ton. They’re already losing their asses on this WrestleMania, they’re not going to get held up for more money by 53-year old Bill Goldberg. This one is all Strowman.
Raw Women’s Championship – Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Becky Lynch
Who Should Win: Shayna Baszler
Who Will Win: Shayna Baszler
I wish Shayna Baszler had won the Royal Rumble, but then we couldn’t build Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley. Instead Shayna eliminates just as many people as Bianca Belair, and then eliminated every opponent possible in the Elimination Chamber. Becky is supposedly going away for a break, and in all honesty she needs it. I’m sure she needs it physically, but she her character also needs it. Shayna is the obvious “should” in this case, but I think she’s also the obvious “will.”
Firefly Fun House Match – Bray Wyatt / The Fiend vs. John Cena
Who Should Win: Bray Wyatt / The Fiend
Who Will Win: Bray Wyatt / The Fiend
This might be the easiest match of the 16 to pick! Why in the world would you have John Cena win a Firefly Fun House match against Bray Wyatt and The Fiend? This is going to be a fantastic spectacle, but there’s only one way it can, and will, go. Side note, no match on the card benefited more from the move to a closed set than this one.
Boneyard Match – The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
Who Should Win: The Undertaker
Who Will Win: The Undertaker
If the Firefly Fun House Match benefited the most from the shift to a closed set, no match on the card was hurt more than this one. Specifically AJ Styles. If this is in front of 75,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium, my should is AJ Styles. But I don’t see a reason for AJ Styles to win a match in a graveyard against The Undertaker. Short of burying the Deadman gimmick for good (no way in hell The Undertaker is retiring like this) and bringing back the American Bad Ass Biker Taker, it just doesn’t make sense. This is the Deadman’s to win.
Intercontinental Championship – Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn (c)
Who Should Win: Daniel Bryan
Who Will Win: Daniel Bryan
I am a big Sami Zayn fan, even if he’s the least talented of the three people in his makeshift faction. That’s saying a ton, because Sami Zayn is damn good. But Daniel Bryan loves the Intercontinental Championship, and the last time he held it his reign was cut short. He corrected the red in his ledger with the world title, now he’s going to do it with the Intercontinental Championship. Plus, I don’t know how many more WrestleManias Daniel Bryan has left. No reason he loses this match regardless of environment.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
Who Should Win: Kevin Owens
Who Will Win: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was left off of the card last year. He was healthy, but Kofi Kingston was THE GUY for WrestleMania 35, and Owens was the collateral damage. He has a ton of momentum now, and losing here would hurt that. I can see Seth Rollins taking a break–and now isn’t the best time for it character-wise–with Becky Lynch. It does make a little sense since everyone in the Monday Night Messiah’s stable is hurt right now.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane (c)) vs. Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
Who Should Win: Kabuki Warriors
Who Will Win: Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
When we did picks on Chairshot Radio, I went with the Kabuki Warriors as my should and will win. But now I really see the company giving Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross the win. I am more shocked that they’re still a team, but they are. Asuka and Kairi still have a ton they can do, and maybe they’ll win them back. But I can’t shake the feeling that BlissCross is taking the win here.
Smackdown Women’s Championship – Lacey Evans vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks vs. Tamina vs. Bayley (c)
Who Should Win: Bayley
Who Will Win: Bayley
Now isn’t the time to split up Sasha Banks and Bayley, but I could see a random Lacey Evans win happening here. That said, I am sticking with Karen to retain as my should and will.
Ladder Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship – The Miz & John Morrison (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E)
Who Should Win: Miz & Morrison
Who Will Win: The Usos
I am really intrigued as we’re supposedly getting Morrison vs. an Uso in a ladder match since The Miz was sick, but where does that leave The New Day? There’s a ton of entertainment they can provide in any capacity, even if it’s not a match. And I can see them out by choice. If this went down as announced, I would say Miz & Morrison. But it’s such a wildcard that I have to go with The Usos as a “safe bet.”
Elias vs. King Baron Corbin
Who Should Win: King Baron Corbin
Who Will Win: King Baron Corbin
Elias seems like the obvious choice, no? Braun Strowman needs an early challenger, and Corbin makes the most sense. I don’t see the heel losing out here.
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
Who Should Win: Dolph Ziggler
Who Will Win: Dolph Ziggler
There’s no way Vince McMahon would have Dolph Ziggler lose this match. He’s a two-time world champion, and Otis is a comedy tag team guy.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
Who Should Win: Aleister Black
Who Will Win: Aleister Black
Rumors have it that Bobby Lashley was also sick, meaning this will get changed. I think Black was winning no matter what, though.
Raw Tag Team Championship – The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins (c)) vs. Angel Garza & Austin Theory
Who Should Win: Street Profits
Who Will Win: Street Profits
It makes no sense to have the Street Profits lose here, even against future WrestleMania main eventer Austin Theory.
WrestleMania, in it’s strangest form ever, is here! Drop a comment or hit me up on social media @ChairshotGreg and let me know what you see happening.
Random NXT Stuff 2.0: Worlds Collide
Brad gives his 2.0 cents about some Worlds Collide fantasy booking! So the NXT opinion isn’t over…just…different. Check it out!
It’s time to fantasy book NXT Worlds Collide, the mashup special that always produces top quality matches. And I renamed my column. Catchy, right?
6. Noam Dar versus Swerve Scott for the North American Championship – Dar deserves a bigger platform so the entire world can experience his greatness. It might as well be for a title. The personality clash between these two would produce more fireworks than any bloated, overproduced WrestleMania opener.
5. Meiko Satomura versus Dakota Kai for the NXT UK Women’s Championship – Champion versus champion is too easy and lacks drama. Kai can hold her own against Satomura, and it is entirely believable that she could win and move to NXT UK. That is the extra level of storytelling and drama we wouldn’t get with Satomura versus Raquel Gonzalez. And I’m still a Dakota Guy.
4. Johnny Gargano versus Kenny Williams versus Jordan Devlin – I love triple threat matches. I love all three of these guys. I love that the winner of this match gets a title shot of his choosing on either NXT brand.
3. Tyler Bate versus Pete Dunne for the Heritage Cup – So much history between two of the founding fathers of British Strong Style. This rivalry should be Flair/Steamboat of British wrestling. Let’s add another chapter to what I hope is a very long story between two of the best wrestlers on the planet.
2. Tommaso Ciampa versus Ijla Dragunov – Remember when I said champ versus champ would lack drama? Forget that. I want to see these two stiff shot the stuffing out of each other to see who is the roughest, toughest, most violent champion in the company. And in the spirit of NXT 2.0, they are also fighting for control of Cameron Grimes’ estate, because he’s currently MIA after his one-man space flight goes horribly wrong.
1. MSK versus Pretty Deadly – The main event. Yes, the main event. I want to headline a show with the two best tag teams in a place where tag team wrestling still gets the respect it deserves. For now. Both teams have been absolutely crushing it in 2021. It really is too close to say who has been better, so we might as well settle it in the ring. And it might as well be for the first time ever winner takes both titles.
Cook’s WWE Extreme Rules 2021 Gambling Picks
Did you forget Extreme Rules was Sunday? Cook didn’t! And he brought Gambling Picks!
Extreme Rules takes place this Sunday! With everything happening in WWE right now, it’s easy to forget which Peacock special is next on the agenda.
When WWE has ratings to keep at a certain level, they feel the need to blow through things at a rapid pace. Just last week I was reading about how New Day vs. The Bloodline would be great to do on Survivor Series. The next day, it was announced for Raw. Then, people thought about how great a match between Big E, Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley would be. It happened on the same episode of Raw.
This is an important time for WWE. A Draft is on the horizon. Football is taking a chunk out of their viewership, though not as much as usual since much of the regular viewership either moved on to other things or are viewing the show through other means. Then there’s AEW getting neck & neck with Raw in the demo, which people say shouldn’t matter that much but you know drives Vince McMahon insane. What happens at Extreme Rules and events surrounding the no-longer Horror Show could impact things for years to come. Or at least days. Maybe even weeks!
So what’s happening on this show? Let’s find out! As usual, odds are provided by BetOnline, and are purely for the purposes of entertainment.
Becky Lynch (-400) vs. Bianca Belair (+250)
Don’t you want to go shopping with Becky & Seth Rollins? I bet that’d be nothing but a great time. Going to all the big stores and finding the drippiest clothes one could find! I’ll bet that kid of theirs has some really rockin’ onesies too. I was a bit skeptical of turning Lynch so soon after her return, but it’s worked out well enough. A new spin on Becky’s character that still embraces being The Man and all that it entails.
I kinda feel bad for Bianca because of the way her title reign ended and the fact she isn’t winning here. No reason for Becky Lynch to drop the SmackDown Women’s Championship unless they plan on moving her & Seth to Raw, and I don’t really see any reason to do that. I’d keep Bianca & Becky on the same brand and keep things going until Survivor Series, or an important SmackDown episode. Whichever.
Charlotte Flair (-200) vs. Alexa Bliss (+150)
Above we see Charlotte & Alexa addressing the problems that most of us have with their personas. They also play with dolls. Some people really, really loved this segment. Some people really hated it. As the Gemini I am, I see both sides of the argument. Even though I’m not big on Alexa’s character, I see it has value for a portion of WWE’s audience. And if you’re into shooty promos with wrestlers addressing things that annoy us about other wrestlers, I can see this scratching that itch.
One thing I don’t get is the complaint that Charlotte’s character is nothing without a championship. Shouldn’t all wrestlers be trying to win championships? Why else would they be there? To play with dolls? You can do that at home if you like, it’s a lot harder to win championships at home unless fantasy sports is your bag.
The most likely finish here? Spooky nonsense. I don’t see this thing having a proper winner or loser. Alexa will do something silly and we’ll be asked to act like it’s groundbreaking television. I think Charlotte Flair retains the Raw Women’s Championship, so if you need to bet on this for some reason that’s what I’d go with.
Damian Preist (-275) vs. Sheamus (+230) vs. Jeff Hardy (+500)
The simplest booking is the best booking. The result that makes the most sense is Priest going over at the expense of Sheamus & Hardy, both of who have been around for ages and will remain at the same level no matter what happens. Neither Sheamus or Hardy will get more over if they win. They are what they are after their decades with WWE. Damian Priest still has room for growth.
Granted, Sheamus has an outside shot at winning, and maybe they throw Hardy a bone to make Twitter happy. I wouldn’t bet on it though, and isn’t that why we’re here?
Liv Morgan (-400) vs. Carmella (+250)
Liv is one of those people that we want to see do well. She’s very easy to root for, and frankly WWE could use more challengers for their Women’s Championships. You could see her doing well as an underdog against somebody like Charlotte or Becky. Nothing against Carmella, it’s just that we’ve already seen her get chances. Now, hopefully, will be Liv Morgan‘s time.
Roman Reigns (-1000) vs. Finn Balor (+500)
The Demon King returns at Extreme Rules! I suppose that’s what’s supposed to make the match extreme, right? Typically, the Demon emerges after a lengthy feud between Finn Balor and another wrestler. Once Finn has taken all he can stands and can’t stands no more, the Demon shows up to even the score. This time, the Demon has appeared because Balor lost a championship match against Roman Reigns.
Usually it takes more than that, but Balor surely realizes that he has no chance of beating Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship unless he becomes the Demon. I’d hate to think what the odds here would be if it was regular ol’ Finn Balor! BetOnline would probably take this thing off the board. Even by Roman match standards, Demon Finn is being given no chance in hell.
There’s an argument for Brock Lesnar costing Roman the match to set up their match in Saudi Arabia. I just don’t see it happening. Even if that match doesn’t need a title, it’s getting one. The Demon’s gonna lose to Roman Reigns. It is acknowledged.
(Remember when wrestlers demanded to be worshipped? Now they just want to be acknowledged. Expectations get lower by the year.)
The Usos (-250) vs. The Street Profits (+170)
For one thing, we need to pick an underdog here. Gotta make things interesting. For another thing, the story being told here is that the Usos can’t beat the Street Profits without help from Roman Reigns. Roman will still be in the building, but he’s got an Extreme Rules match with a Demon to prepare for. He doesn’t have time to take care of his cousins’ business for them. Too bad for their SmackDown Tag Team Championship reign.
The Street Profits deserve a big win, and we deserve to make a profit from this show.
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