WWE WrestleMania 30: GSM's Pick, Preview and Potential for Each Match
On Sunday, April 6, WWE will present its historic WrestleMania 30 pay-per-view event, live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at a special start time of 7 p.m. ET.
With it being the 30th anniversary of the biggest show of the year, WWE has done a terrific job of building up anticipation for all of the card's marquee matches. Hosted by Hulk Hogan, this year's Show of Shows should be nothing short of amazing.
The biggest question leading into WrestleMania is if Daniel Bryan can overcome the odds by going through Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton all in the same night to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Bryan finally stick it to The Authority, or will we witness someone else walk out of New Orleans with the title in tow?
After months of being ambushed, John Cena will seek vengeance against The Wyatt Family on Sunday night when he goes one-on-one with Bray Wyatt. Will Cena cement his legacy against Wyatt, or will the leader of the bearded clan score a major upset on The Grandest Stage of Them All?
The Undertaker is set to do battle with Brock Lesnar and will look to extend his illustrious undefeated streak at WrestleMania to 22-0. Can 'Taker pull out yet another victory on the big stage over Lesnar, or will The Beast be the one to snap the streak?
Here, I will provide my personal preview, prediction and potential for every match on the advertised card.
Pre-Show: Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match (WWE Tag Team Championships)
After a four-year-long journey, The Usos finally captured their first WWE Tag Team Championships on the March 3 Raw. The New Age Outlaws originally intended to invoke their rematch clause, but never did.
Instead, a No. 1 contender's match was made on the March 21 SmackDown to name new challengers to the straps, and while a winner was not ultimately determined, Kane granted tag team title shots to The Real Americans and the duo of Ryback and Curtis Axel for their help in dismantling The Shield. Los Matadores were later added to the match following their win over Ryback and Axel on the March 24 Raw.
Personally, I would have rather seen The Usos win the belts at WrestleMania 30 as opposed to on Raw, but the title change made for a great moment in Chicago on March 3, so I let it slide. That being said, I see no reason for them to drop the straps here. Los Matadores are a complete joke and have no business in this match (Cody Rhodes and Goldust, anyone?).
Ryback and Axel have zero chemistry as a team and shouldn't be champs, either. As for The Real Americans, they are an excellent team and deserve a run with the tag titles, but not at the expense of The Usos. At this point, I think it would be best to split Cesaro from Jack Swagger finally, and when better to do it than in front of an electric crowd at WrestleMania or the next night on Raw?
The Usos and The Real Americans have consistently had great matches regardless of who they're working with, so I'm sure they'll be able to get a good match out of Los Matadores and Axel and Ryback.
There's no denying that Los Matadores are fun to watch in the ring; it's just that their gimmick is terrible. Nevertheless, with this match being placed on the pre-show (and rightfully so), its enjoyable action should kick off 'Mania on a high note.
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
Since June 2013, AJ Lee has reigned supreme over the Divas division as its champion, becoming the longest reigning titleholder in January. She has knocked off almost every conceivable threat in her time as champion and has gone on record in saying that she has no competition left.
On the March 24 Raw, Vickie Guerrero made a match for WrestleMania 30 that will see every women's wrestler in WWE today compete against each other in an open invitational. It was later established that whoever scores the first pinfall or submission will win the championship.
Some have said that AJ's reign as Divas champion has grown stale, and while I do agree with that to an extent, I think it has more to due with the fact that she's been booked to lose every non-title match she's been involved in as of late. Thus, I would have no problem with her dropping the strap at WrestleMania and being put in chase mode against whoever ultimately wins it.
However, Tamina Snuka seems like the most popular candidate to win the strap given her recent issues with AJ, and I have absolutely no desire to see her as a babyface. Nikki Bella or Naomi would be logical choices to win as well, but unfortunately, I've got Tamina as my pick to win.
Is there doubt in anyone's mind that this match will be a complete train wreck? I suppose it's better that the first pinfall or submission ends the match as opposed to doing separate matches between the participants (who wants to see Aksana vs. Rosa Mendes?).
I just don't see how there can be a pinfall in a ring filled with 14 Divas. Nevertheless, if the match gets over quickly, it could very well be relatively painless.
The Shield vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws
On the St. Patrick's Day edition of Raw, The Shield turned their backs on The Authority when they ambushed Kane in the middle of the ring. On the subsequent edition of SmackDown, all three members of The Shield were brutally decimated at the hands of Kane and The New Age Outlaws.
It was made official three days later on Raw that Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will do battle with Kane, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn in six-man tag team action at WrestleMania 30.
I, like others, would have liked to see The Shield in a bigger matchup at 'Mania, but I'm content with this contest if only because it keeps The Shield together for a little while longer—not only that, but the three have flourished as faces thus far and could have a great run as fan favorites if booked correctly.
I see no reason for Kane and company to win this match unless there is interference from a new member of The Authority, so giving the victory to The Shield is only logical.
Almost every six-man tag team The Shield has been involved in since its debut has been excellent, and I expect this bout to be no different. It may not be a barnburner of a matchup, but I am more than confident that Kane and The Outlaws will hold their own against the young guns.
Kane and The Outlaws can have good matches when motivated, so this match just might exceed expectations.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
On the March 10 Raw, Hulk Hogan announced that a 30-man Battle Royal would be held at WrestleMania 30 in memory of Andre the Giant. The winner of the match will be awarded an Andre the Giant trophy that he will have possession of for the next year. In subsequent weeks, various Superstars claimed their spot in the match, including Big Show, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and others.
There's almost always a multi-man match held at WrestleMania every year to try to get everyone on the card, and this year, it's the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I like the idea behind the bout, but the fact that many of the participants have been victims of start-and-stop pushes over the last year goes to show how WWE doesn't know how to use any of them at the moment.
Its buildup has been basically nonexistent, and Big Show has dominated each of the competitors at every turn. Big Show winning would make sense given that he's this generation's version of Andre the Giant, but it would be far too obvious.
Giving the victory to someone such as Dolph Ziggler or The Miz would be huge in revitalizing his career, but although he has yet to be announced for the bout (three spots remain), my official prediction is Alexander Rusev.
He hasn't been featured on WWE TV in weeks, but it's obvious that officials are keen on pushing him to the top quickly, so a win here could kick off his career on the main roster on a high note. Furthermore, if it doesn't come down to Cody Rhodes and Goldust (who deserve better than this, to be honest), than I hope to see them involved in an angle of some sort in this match.
Battle Royals can either be very entertaining or very dull, and I feel this one will be somewhere in the middle. The early eliminations of Justin Gabriel and 3MB should be boring, but when it comes down to the final competitors, things should really get interesting. It might not be anything you'll remember a week from now, but it's a nice addition to the undercard to kill some time on the four-hour broadcast.
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
One night removed from the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Brock Lesnar was given the opportunity to pick his opponent for WrestleMania 30. Ultimately, he chose The Undertaker, who then appeared for the first time in nearly a year to deliver a chokeslam to Lesnar through the table.
In the weeks that followed, 'Taker continued to play mind games with Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate finally got the better of Undertaker on the March 31 Raw, nailing The Deadman with an emphatic F5 that put him in the driving seat going into WrestleMania.
Does it really need to be said that this feud has been a total disappointment? Undertaker dominated Lesnar at every turn, and while Lesnar attacked 'Taker on the final Raw before WrestleMania, it didn't feel like enough. Unfortunately, Lesnar doesn't have the same chemistry with Undertaker like past opponents for The Deadman have.
WWE should have done a better job of making fans feel like the streak is in jeopardy, but ultimately, it isn't. Undertaker is certainly winning, but the real question is how. It would be awesome to see Sting help him win the bout and ask for a match against him at WrestleMania 31, but that seems unlikely. Either way, I look forward to seeing how this match unfolds.
While the feud has been underwhelming, I have no doubt that the match will deliver and make up for it. Undertaker may be past his prime, but his matches at 'Mania in recent years have been the highlights of the show.
Lesnar, on the other hand, has had a handful of excellent matches since returning to WWE two years ago, and this contest should be no exception. I also wouldn't be surprised to see a no-disqualification stipulation added if only because it would benefit both men.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, The Wyatt Family interfered in John Cena's match with Randy Orton and cost him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. History repeated itself the next month at Elimination Chamber, where The Wyatt Family once again ensured that Cena didn't leave with any gold.
In the subsequent month, Bray Wyatt played mind games with Cena, promising to destroy his legacy at WrestleMania 30. While he initially showed signs of fear, a confident Cena got the better of Wyatt on the March 31 Raw and promised to end it all at The Show of Shows.
Aside from the long-running feud between Daniel Bryan and Triple H, I have enjoyed this rivalry more than any other on the WrestleMania card. Both Cena and Wyatt have brought the best out of each other in the last month and have had a gem of a feud thus far. I originally didn't want to see this match go down at 'Mania when it was first rumored by F4WOnline (h/t Wrestling Inc.com), but it has definitely exceeded my expectations.
Cena winning wouldn't benefit him in the slightest, so a win for Wyatt makes the most sense. I also see the feud continuing past this point, so Wyatt emerging victorious will allow that to happen and give him his WrestleMania moment in the process. I can't see Cena losing cleanly to Wyatt, so expect interference from Luke Harper and Erik Rowan toward the end.
Cena and Wyatt have never worked with each other before, so this match should definitely be an interesting clash of styles. Cena has proven time and time again in the last number of years that he can have great matches with the right opponent. Wyatt's matches with Daniel Bryan and The Shield in recent months speak for themselves, meaning his match against the 14-time world champion should be fantastic.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
At August's SummerSlam pay-per-view, Daniel Bryan won his first WWE Championship, only for it to be taken away after Triple H and Randy Orton conspired against him. Since then, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, otherwise known as The Authority, have done everything in their power to prevent Bryan from winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Bryan was never able to get Triple H to agree to fight him until the March 10 Raw, where it was also made official that if Bryan beats Triple H at WrestleMania 30, he would be entered into the title match with Randy Orton and Batista. Triple H later announced that if he were to beat Bryan, he would enter the title match instead.
Triple H, as well as Stephanie McMahon, is playing his heel role to perfection at the moment and has made it clear that he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The heat he's garnered as of late has been terrific, and Bryan is a brilliant foil for him. I can't see Bryan not being involved in the main event, but Triple H should be a part of it as well.
That being said, Bryan could win here via a roll-up, and Triple H will put himself in the title match, regardless. Either that, or Triple H costs Bryan the victory, allowing Vince McMahon to return and make the main event a Fatal 4-Way.
I have been looking forward to this match since SummerSlam and have faith that it could be excellent. They have yet to clash one-on-one, which makes this match and its potential to steal the show all the more unpredictable. Barring any interference or shenanigans, this match should be great given its suspense and anticipation.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Since his heel turn in August, Randy Orton has been the central focus of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture. He defeated Daniel Bryan to win the WWE title at Hell in a Cell before merging it with the world heavyweight title for the first time ever at TLC in December.
Batista returned to the WWE on the January 20 Raw and went on to win the annual Royal Rumble match six days later, earning himself a shot at the prestigious prize at WrestleMaina 30. However, it was later announced that the winner of Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H at the event would be added to the championship match as well, thus making it a Triple Threat match.
Notice how I didn't write the participants of the match in the title of the slide? It's only because I have a feeling that this match will transition into a Fatal 4-Way, as mentioned previously. Bryan's main beef is with Triple H, so it would only make sense for The Game to be the one whom Bryan pins to win the belt on this show.
It would also make Bryan that much more of an underdog and tease the Internet Wrestling Community that Triple H just might win the title. Either way, this event must end with Bryan capturing the strap and leading a massive "Yes!" chant to close WrestleMania.
Multi-man matches can usually be hit or miss, but with everything riding on this match, it is sure to be suspenseful. Regardless of whether Triple H or Bryan (or both) is involved, this match will be one to remember and could be the highlight of the night. All of the competitors have great chemistry with each other, so expect the action to exciting.
Read more prediction pieces for past WWE pay-per-views here.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.