The Official Bleacher Report WWE Staff Predictions for WrestleMania 37April 9, 2021
The Official Bleacher Report WWE Staff Predictions for WrestleMania 37
After months of waiting, weeks of storyline developments and several days of pro wrestling in a row, WrestleMania 37 will finally arrive on Saturday and Sunday.
The two-night pay-per-view will feature 14 matches with almost every title on the line. Here is a look at the lineup for each night, according to WWE.com:
- Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship)
- Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair (SmackDown Women's Championship)
- Natalya and Tamina vs. Naomi and Lana vs. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Riott Squad
- New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos (Raw Tag Team Championships)
- Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison
- Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon (Steel cage)
- Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
- Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley (Raw Women's Championship)
- Big E vs. Apollo Crews (Intercontinental Championship, Nigerian Drum match)
- Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
- Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
- Riddle vs. Sheamus (United States Championship)
- Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan (Universal Championship)
- Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. TBD (Women's Tag Team Championships)
Let's see how the Bleacher Report staff members think everything will go down. Here's our lineup of contributors:
- Anthony Mango (AM) (@ToeKneeManGo)
- Chris Mueller (CM) (@BR_Doctor)
- Erik Beaston (EB) (@ErikBeaston)
- Jeff J (JJ) (@JeffJSays)
- Graham Matthews (GM) (@WrestleRant)
- Kevin Berge (KB) (@KevinBerge)
- Donald Wood (DW) (@Donald_Wood)
Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley
Q: Ripley was acting more like a heel on Raw this week. Would you prefer to see her solidify that heel turn or remain a babyface?
Raw has more quality babyfaces than heels, especially when you take into consideration the two biggest stars in the division are Charlotte Flair and Asuka. The brand needs heels, and if WWE Creative isn't intent on turning Flair, Ripley makes sense. We have seen her portray the heel before, and given the frustration that came from last year's loss to Flair, there's a story to back it up.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
Q: How do you think Logan Paul will be involved during the match? Should he get physical? If so, in what way?
Paul should stay far, far away from Zayn vs. Owens, but given WWE's tendency to involve celebrities at every turn it possibly can, he's going to get involved. In the biggest twist yet, he should assist Zayn in winning, thus proving the only real conspiracy was the one Zayn formed with the YouTube sensation.
Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair
Q: How would you like to see this match play out?
This match should start with the dynamic that brought Belair and Banks to this point. It should be a battle of women who have learned to hate each other ultimately finding respect. The Legit Boss can play the heel, only to find The EST can overcome her best devious tactics.
Hopefully, the two are given plenty of time before getting to the point where both have done everything to win and it takes just one big move to seal it. Regardless of the result, it would allow Banks and Belair to show each other mutual respect that puts them on the same level.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Q: If this ends up being the final chapter in this storyline, who should both men feud with next?
Wyatt has been best served working in long-term stories that span months and multiple pay-per-views. The best option whether he is champion or not would be McIntyre, but Jeff Hardy also fits the bill if The Scottish Warrior wants to take on more traditional opponents.
Orton can work with just about anyone, but he has already fought much of the roster. The strongest face option left on the roster would be Strowman. That would be a great rivalry to help continue the elevation of The Monster Among Men.
Riddle vs. Sheamus
Q: What is the ideal outcome to this match to please the most possible fans?
This is tough. It's a complete unknown how the fans will treat Riddle. The crowd may be extremely against him, despite how he's the babyface in the story. Even then, it's doubtful Sheamus will get intense cheers. What WWE should do is have two match outcomes in mind, play it by ear based on the reaction and decide on the spot who wins between the two.
Women's Tag Team Turmoil
Q: This is a simple question; which team do you want to see win the most and why?
Sadly, none of this has been handled properly, so no possible scenario will actually be great. Ideally, a surprise team like The Bella Twins will be added to the match to win, just to make it interesting. If it's just these teams, The Riott Squad might as well win and finally capture the titles, as that will at least be a feel-good outcome.
Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
Q: If you were producing this match, how would it go down?
The match these two had at Backlash last June was terrific, so I honestly wouldn't do much different aside from giving them more time. Both men have proved that they can deliver when the spotlight is on them and they're given the time they deserve. I expect a hard-hitting affair with minimal interference to ensure the pace is consistently exciting.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Q: If Cesaro wins, what do you think WWE should do after WrestleMania to keep building momentum with him?
If and when Cesaro beats Rollins, putting him in the Universal Championship picture coming out of WrestleMania is the only answer. He doesn't have to win the title, but one or two strong showings against Reigns on pay-per-view would be huge for him. This needs to be what officially launches Cesaro into the main event scene.
Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
Q: Does adding Bryan make this match better or was it an unnecessary addition?
The addition of Bryan was much needed because of the lack of excitement surrounding a singles match between Reigns and Edge. WWE Creative assumed they were creating an iconic match when they booked Edge vs. Reigns, but wrestling fans didn't care nearly as much as Vince McMahon hoped. If Edge and Reigns were truly mainstream stars, the company wouldn't have been forced to add a wrestler who is actually popular with modern fans.
Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
Q: What do you think of this storyline about McMahon bullying Strowman?
I've covered wrestling for Bleacher Report for over 10 years. In all that time, the war of words between Strowman and McMahon was far and away the worst ever storyline. On paper, the feud should have been great, culminating with an excellent match that cemented Strowman as a true monster. While there is little doubt the cage match will be exciting and unforgettable, the storyline and build leading into Sunday has been atrocious at best.
Big E vs. Apollo Crews
Q: What are your overall thoughts on the new gimmick Crews has right now? Is it sustainable?
I like the attitude shift and gimmick from Crews. He borrows from his indies Uhaa Nation character, representing his Nigerian heritage and lineage. I think there's legitimate criticism toward WWE's use of foreign Superstars as default heels because they know the racial/cultural strings to pull.
Enrage your fanbase with characters who don't fit the American look (i.e. white) and the heat scorches the ring. Or using cultural displays (accents, spears, etc) that may come off as ignorant and insensitive. If Crews unveiled this new gimmick as a face, I think it would have received more universal acceptance. WWE hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt there.
From all indications, he ideated this character shift. This isn't to say people within a culture aren't capable of misrepresentation or exploitation. It's difficult to speak toward race when you're an outsider, but it becomes even more convoluted when you are of the race but not the culture (like me, a Black man who isn't Nigerian). It's nuance inception here.
If this was his idea, I support him and will give him space to flesh out the character. While I'm not sure how long he can keep up the accent—I can see a "King Bookah" type departure from it depending on the situation—I think his Nigerian heritage can be the cornerstone to his overall character going forward.
The New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos
Q: Which team emerging as the victors would offer a more satisfying conclusion?
This is tough. I want to say The New Day because Omos and AJ have tormented them for weeks, so it would be cool for them to receive a proper comeuppance. But we've seen Omos' feats of strength, and the Twins comedy act with AJ has room to grow. New Day doesn't need titles to be relevant. I think it can help Omos and Styles even more and create a new star in the process.
Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs. The Miz and John Morrison
Q: How does Bad Bunny compare to other celebrities who have come in and wrestled for WWE?
As somebody who is not a fan of most celebrity appearances, Bad Bunny has earned my respect. He has shown up almost every week since The Royal Rumble and he has been at the Performance Center regularly to prepare. This isn't just a paycheck or exposure for him. This is clearly something he cares about. Whether any of this equates to a good match at 'Mania is yet to be seen.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. TBD
Q: If they lose the titles, would you prefer to see Jax and Baszler remain partners or break up?
They should stay together, if only to keep some consistency in the women's tag team division. Every team that has held the titles before them has broken up. Jax and Baszler can still pursue individual goals without having to beat each other up and go their separate ways.
All respondents' predictions are represented by their initials next to their choices.
- Lashley (JJ, CM) vs. McIntyre (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW)
- Banks (GM) vs. Belair (EB, KB, AM, DW, JJ, CM)
- Natalya and Tamina (EB, KB) vs. Naomi and Lana (GM, DW, JJ) vs. Rose and Brooke vs. Riott Squad (AM, CM)
- The New Day vs. Styles and Omos (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM)
- Bad Bunny and Priest (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM) vs. The Miz and Morrison
- Strowman (GM, DW, JJ, CM) vs. McMahon (EB, KB, AM)
- Cesaro (EB, KB, AM, GM, JJ, CM) vs. Rollins (DW)
- Asuka vs. Ripley (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM)
- Big E vs. Crews (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM)
- Wyatt (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM) vs. Orton
- Owens (KB, AM, GM, JJ, CM) vs. Zayn (EB, DW)
- Riddle (EB, AM, GM) vs. Sheamus (KB, DW, JJ, CM)
- Reigns (GM, DW, CM) vs. Edge (KB, AM, JJ) vs. Bryan (EB)
- Jax and Baszler vs. TBD (EB, KB, AM, GM, DW, JJ, CM)