Final Picks for Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks and WrestleMania 2021 Match Card

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2021

Final Picks for Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks and WrestleMania 2021 Match Card

0 of 13


    The Road to WrestleMania 37 was rough, with many bad booking decisions along the way and an overall rushed and sometimes low-effort feel to much of it. But the time is finally here for WWE's biggest event of the year.

    On paper, the card has its pros and cons. Some of the matches should be fantastic, even if their storylines left a lot to be desired, such as Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair. Others may not be instant classics in the ring, but anything can happen.

    While we don't know whether WWE has any tricks up its sleeve for The Granddaddy of Them All, it's worth taking one last look at the lineup for both nights and tossing out some predictions.

    Before everything kicks off Saturday, let's run down everything advertised for WrestleMania 37 with a final round of picks for who will walk away victorious from each match.

Tag Team Turmoil Match and Women's Tag Team Championship Match

1 of 13


    In an attempt to play into the two-night festivities, WWE has split the difference with the Women's Tag Team Championship. Instead of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defending the belts in a Six-Pack Challenge or something along those lines, there will be a No. 1 contender's match on Night 1.

    The winning team between Lana and Naomi, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose, The Riott Squad, Natalya and Tamina and the unlikely duo of Billie Kay and Carmella will go on to face the champions on Night 2.

    Given how poorly all these teams have been booked in the past year and how little effort has been put into turning that around, this feels like it exists for one reason only: to get the crowd to pop when a babyface team upsets Jax and Baszler.

    The best team to do that is The Riott Squad. While everyone has their supporters, Liv Morgan's fanbase has been rabid and begging for her to get more of a push for nearly two years. WWE has tried a few ways to do that but keeps backing down.

    This may be the time she finally wins a title. Even if it's for one night, it would make it seem like some of that goodwill was paid back.

    Ultimately, as sad as it is to acknowledge, WWE likely doesn't have much planned beyond that. It's likely no attention will be put into booking the champions going forward, no matter who holds the belts, as WWE has made it clear these are titles that don't matter unless the people holding them are a priority.


    Prediction: The Riott Squad wins both the Tag Team Turmoil match and the Women's Tag Team Championship match.

United States Championship Match: Riddle vs. Sheamus

2 of 13


    Sheamus scored a pin over Riddle in a non-title match, which suggests two things were on WWE's mind when that happened.

    First, it was the simplest, easiest, quickest and laziest way to set up The Celtic Warrior as the next challenger for The Original Bro. A win over a champion is normally treated as justification for a title shot.

    Second, it gives Riddle a challenge to overcome so that when he retains the title, it doesn't seem like he beat someone he was destined to retain against. A win over a guy he just beat means less than holding on to the belt in the face of someone he's struggled against.

    This is a coin-flip situation, though. WWE could easily have plans to put the belt on Sheamus just so he can drop it to someone like Keith Lee down the road. If that's the case, we will know in retrospect that's why the title changed hands.

    Still, it's more effort to put the title on someone new than to just keep it on the champion, and since WWE is all about doing as little as possible to pump out the most content these days, that's a more likely route.


    Prediction: Riddle retains.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos

3 of 13


    The New Day is one of the best tag teams in WWE history and have enjoyed 11 reigns as champions.

    However, that means they also had to lose those titles 10 times, and the next defeat may come at WrestleMania 37.

    While most of this feud has revolved around AJ Styles and Omos not being a proper tag team and having no compatibility, they may not need the same chemistry Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston share. As long as they are on the same page, The Phenomenal One is among the best in-ring performers ever and Omos is huge.

    Since this is his debut match, a win for Omos means far more than anything The New Day has to gain by beating him and retaining their titles.

    This is an easy pick. If WWE goes in a different direction, it's likely because Omos and Styles will be going their separate ways.


    Prediction: Omos and Styles win.

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon

4 of 13


    Why would WWE book Braun Strowman—someone who has a gimmick that sees him run around the ring—in a match wherein he is unable to do that?

    Either the writers didn't think this through, which will lead to a booking disaster, or there is a specific reason why a steel cage match was settled upon rather than having The Monster Among Men destroy Shane McMahon in a Street Fight or some other stipulation match.

    As this storyline has revolved around McMahon making fun of Strowman and calling him dumb, the best message to send would be for the former universal champion to get his revenge and teach McMahon a lesson. However, what if WWE plans to keep this feud going?

    Don't be surprised if McMahon wins on a technicality that sees Strowman toss him off the side of the cage to go crashing down on the commentary table. That way, Strowman gets a measure of payback by taking him out, but McMahon can say it was a dumb move that cost him the win.


    Prediction: McMahon wins.

Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison

5 of 13


    Practically every celebrity who is involved in anything WWE does comes out looking like gold. That is magnified even more at WrestleMania, especially if they are the babyface and happen to be facing The Miz, who is frequently the butt of the joke.

    With Damian Priest by his side to do the bulk of the work, there is no way Bad Bunny comes out of this as a loser.

    The Miz has had 20 championship reigns in WWE, including two world titles, but that has never stopped him from being made to look like a total fool. His job here is to be the fall guy for the more mainstream star so media outlets can show footage of Bad Bunny getting a win at WrestleMania.

    With John Morrison by his side, who could just as easily be the fall guy because he has been even less successful and is just as much of a comedic heel at the moment, one of those two is getting pinned.

    If there is one match and outcome you can bet the house on, it's this one.


    Prediction: Bad Bunny and Priest win.

Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E vs. Apollo Crews

6 of 13


    After having six matches this year, it's good WWE added a stipulation to this to spice things up a bit between Big E and Apollo Crews. Since Big E retained the Intercontinental Championship every time beforehand, it would be bland to see the same result happen a seventh time here.

    Now that this is a Nigerian Drum Fight, the odds have shifted more in favor of Apollo Crews than ever before. We still don't know the full breakdown of what this gimmick is, but if anyone knows more about the loopholes and rules, it's the challenger.

    This is a harder match to predict because it feels like it has to go both ways. Why would WWE bother doing this contest again if it weren't going to have Crews winning the title? Then again, why would Crews lose so often and drag this out so long rather than win the title months ago? For that matter, why would WWE want Big E to lose and upset the fans in attendance?

    The numbers lean more toward Big E, but WWE loves its moments, and it's a bigger deal if the title changes hands.


    Prediction: Crews wins.

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

7 of 13


    The more Seth Rollins points out that Cesaro has all the tools to succeed but has always been unable to reach the next level, the more The Swiss Superman needs to win this match.

    It would be particularly cruel to tease that someone as talented as Cesaro is finally getting the spot in the main event scene he's arguably deserved for nearly a decade just for The Messiah to be right all along and beat him.

    Results like that will take an already problematic card and turn this event into something fans are livid about. WrestleMania should be about making people happy rather than toying with them and reminding them there's a ceiling for their favorites.

    Rollins can take the loss too. He's more than capable of bouncing back, and a win for him means nothing compared to what it would do for Cesaro.


    Prediction: Cesaro wins.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

8 of 13


    By its very nature, if Sami Zayn is convinced there is a conspiracy against him, he needs to lose. If he wins, it goes against his theory.

    This could come about in any number of ways, including Logan Paul doing something to cost Zayn the match. Kevin Owens is a former universal champion, though, so he can just win outright with no shenanigans.

    Ultimately, it boils down to Owens hitting a stunner and pinning Zayn so that there is something for SmackDown's Master Strategist to complain about.


    Prediction: Owens wins.

'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton

9 of 13


    Bray Wyatt picked a fight with Randy Orton in November. More than five months later, with a considerable break after The Fiend was set alight, this needs to end.

    WWE hasn't done a great job distinguishing which Superstar fans should root for in this, as both are heels and evil characters. Wyatt is the slightly more sympathetic of the two at this particular moment. At the very least, he's the one looking to settle a score, so the story relates to whether he will win rather than what The Viper will do.

    Hopefully this match has enough spectacle to stop it from being a rehash—no one needs a repeat of their WrestleMania 33 match, during which bugs were projected on to the mat.

    Most likely, The Legend Killer will lose and take some time off, while Wyatt will move on to something else post-WrestleMania.


    Prediction: The Fiend wins.

Raw Women's Championship Match: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley

10 of 13


    Outside of temporarily dropping the belt to Sasha Banks for a few weeks, Asuka has held the Raw Women's Championship since the night after Money in the Bank 2020, when she was awarded the title following Becky Lynch's announcement she was going on maternity leave.

    Unfortunately, WWE has done little to make The Empress of Tomorrow seem like a priority during this past year, as virtually every other storyline in the women's division took up more of the spotlight. In essence, Asuka was a big deal solely because she held the title rather than because WWE cared to make her a featured player.

    But she's held it long enough that it's time for someone new to take the reins, and Rhea Ripley is the perfect woman for the job.

    A title win in front of this crowd will start the healing process from the yearlong misuse brought about by losing to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36. That mistake cost Ripley all her momentum, and WWE has yet to get her back on track. A victory Sunday will help correct her course.


    Prediction: Ripley wins.

WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

11 of 13


    Whether or not fans will be disappointed to see Bobby Lashley's title reign end so soon, that is the most likely scenario for the WWE Championship match.

    Drew McIntyre didn't get a single crowd reaction to his time as champion. WWE probably had him drop the title in the first place so that he could win it back in front of the audience at Raymond James Stadium to receive that response.

    It won't be close to what it would have been when he defeated Brock Lesnar. WWE cannot recapture that lightning in a bottle. Lashley is not The Beast Incarnate and doesn't have the same buildup or mystique about him. And this is not The Scottish Warrior's first world title win or the product of a men's Royal Rumble victory.

    Still, whether it is to rousing cheers, boos or an indifferent crowd that saw it coming from a mile away, McIntyre stands a better chance to win back the title than Lashley does to retain it.


    Prediction: McIntyre wins.

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair

12 of 13


    All too often in a scenario like this, when it's obvious Bianca Belair should win the SmackDown Women's Championship, WWE is tempted to go in the other direction just to swerve people.

    Based on how poorly this feud has played out and the terrible storyline revolving more around Carmella's sommelier, Reginald, than any true competition between the women's Royal Rumble winner and SmackDown's champion, there is a good chance Sasha Banks retains the title.

    It would be a mistake, though. The amount of momentum The EST of WWE would lose by coming up short is drastic. The Boss can easily drop the belt and her standing as one of the greats will not be tarnished in the slightest.

    WWE has to do the right thing with every match on this card, but this one isn't up for debate about what the correct decision is. Belair must win the title, and anything short of that—no matter how it goes down—will be nothing but problematic.

    Hopefully cooler heads prevail rather than the ones trying to think of how to subvert everyone's expectations for one surprise at the expense of the Superstars and the product as a whole.


    Prediction: Belair wins.

Universal Championship Triple Threat Match

13 of 13


    The Triple Threat match for the Universal Championship is among the most difficult to predict because there's an argument to be made for all three competitors.

    The least likely scenario is Daniel Bryan walking out with the title. His role is probably to be the underdog babyface and the anchor for the in-ring action as well as the one who takes the pin. Bryan is amazing, but he had his moment in the sun during WrestleMania XXX's Triple Threat main event.

    Roman Reigns has been doing some of his best character work with his Tribal Chief gimmick. If WWE wishes to make an even bigger deal of his eventual loss, he should retain the title.

    However, The Big Dog has struggled with his title defenses. He's cheated to win numerous times and even tapped out to Bryan at Fastlane, which proves he's not unstoppable.

    Also, Edge winning the title 10 years to the day after he announced his retirement is the happiest way to end this match, despite WWE framing The Rated-R Superstar in a more antagonistic light in recent weeks.

    Nothing is guaranteed, but since Edge can pin Bryan to keep Reigns looking strong, that may be WWE's game plan.


    Prediction: Edge wins.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.