Joe: They are already at seven hours minimum, and man, it comes to a point where that is simply too much wrestling. I went to Mania last year, and by the final hour, I just wanted things to end. New Japan had their show in Long Beach a couple weeks ago, and that show went 4.5 hours which I think is really as long as you should possibly go. But yeah, WWE will definitely hold a 24-hour card by 2025.
Raw Women’s Title Match Alexa Bliss 13/8 vs. Nia Jax 4/9
LJ: This is a no brainer, and I love the odds here. Getting close to 1/2 on what should be one of the easiest matches to pick is great money. Jax wins, and if the WWE has any sense, she wins in a quick and dominating fashion. I’d go hot start for Jax for a couple minutes, she misses a big move, Bliss gets in a couple of minutes of heel offense/works her leg etc. Jax comes back and wins in another 2, 6-8 minutes is all this match needs and there’s no other story it should tell except for Jax beating Bliss.
Joe: Oh, Jonah. Sweet, sweet baby Jonah. If you think this buildup needs to have Nia Jax go over, then may I remind you of the time Triple H was super racist towards Booker T for months before pinning him cleanly at WrestleMania. Jax SHOULD win, no doubt about it, but these odds almost seem too good to be true. I have to pick Nia Jax, but if I had to book it the other way, maybe the Iconic Duo comes out to help Bliss win the match and create a stable of hot chicks. Oh, and this definitely won’t be the last time I mention The Iconic Duo.
Cruiserweight Title Match Cedric Alexander 2/5 vs. Mustafa Ali 7/4.
LJ: I’ll be honest, I don’t follow the Cruiserweight division like I do the rest of the WWE. These guys are fighting for the vacant Cruiserweight Championship since neither one of them is a rapist or wife beater, that we know of. I’ve seen Cedric Alexander before and he is one of the top talents in the division, so it makes sense for him to win here. I’ll go with the favorite in Alexander.
Joe: Um…well, the one guy does very cool stuff, but the other guy, boy, you got to watch out for them flips, and, ah…(flips coin) Mustafa Ali wins to help the WWE spread their brand to (checks Wikipedia) Bolingbrook, Illinois? Eh, let’s go with it.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Charlotte Flair 4/1 vs. Asuka 1/7.
LJ: I feel like the WWE has booked themselves into a corner here. Undefeated streaks are kind of stupid storylines anyways, and now Asuka almost has to win, but the question becomes who beats her eventually? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, she should have lost her first NXT Title match against Bailey or to Ember Moon on her way out of NXT. But anyway, if I was actually betting I’d stay away from this match because there’s a chance that Carmella cashes in to win the title. She could do it during or after the match so if it was after I suppose Asuka would still technically be the winner of this match. The odds are terrible in this match, but Asuka is going to win, I just wouldn’t recommend betting on it.
Joe: Asuka has to win this match. Carmella has to come out to at least hint at cashing in, but even if she cashes it in, she ain’t winning that title. The only way Charlotte wins is if she somehow convinces The Iconic Duo to join her in a new-age BFFs.
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey 1/5 vs. Triple H and Stephanie 5/1.
LJ: This seems super obvious as well. You don’t bring in Ronda Rousey to have her lose her first match especially when it’s at Wrestlemania. Wait, I feel like I’ve written this before, oh yeah when the WWE brought in Sting and had him lose to Triple H at Wrestlemania for no logical reason. I’ll say Triple H pitches this backstage which turns the match into a shoot which the Olympians easily win. Favorites are the pick again.
Joe: See, this is one where I could see an upset. Kurt Angle can take a pin here without any real issues going on. You were just complaining about how undefeated streaks are bad, so let’s not let Rousey get in one. Have her lose her first match and “protect the biz.” I never want to see Triple H or Stephanie win, but they might do it here, especially if Stephanie gets help from The Iconic Duo.
WWE World Championship Match AJ Styles 2/1 vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 2/5
LJ: The dream match, for people who like to watch good wrestling on a wrestling show. I really hope they give these guys at least 30 minutes to really tear the house down, it should be a hell of a lot of fun. In my opinion, Styles is the best wrestler/best all around performer in the world. That being said, he’s had a good title run and it’s time to make Nakamura a main eventer. The last time he was in the main event he was losing to Jinder Mahal. They need to wash that stink off and make him a legitimate main event player, and that’s why he will beat Styles at Wrestlemania with a knee to face.
Joe: If Nakamura was still in Japan, he would probably be considered the greatest thing in wrestling. Instead, he has the stink of the WWE on him and some real lackadaisacal performances against mid-tier competition. I do think him and Styles have a pretty epic match here though. Honestly, they could just recreate Nakamura’s debut against Sami Zayn, and I’d be ecstatic. Nakamura wins, because he has no place to go if he doesn’t.
Universal Championship Match Brock Lesnar 4/1 vs. Roman Reigns 1/6
LJ: I mean come on, this is what the entire last year has been about. This is why not one person has kicked out of the F5 in the past year. This is why Braun Strowman isn’t the Universal Champ, or even near the match. It’s all so Roman Reigns can conquer the unconquerable Brock Lesnar and be the champ. I’ve got some commentary on this match, it will be a hell of a match. Their first match was awesome before the cash in. I just hope that the WWE listens to my warnings and doesn’t put this on last. The worked shoot Brock Lesnar doesn’t show up for work and is going to the UFC angle has worked a lot better than I thought it would, but it’s not going to make Reigns a fan favorite when he wins. Whoever he defends the title against first is going to be getting the better reactions, so they need to be ready for this. Don’t let Reigns cut a promo over a minute long, have him beat people up, or just make him a heel. Book him as such and things will eventually go his way and since they’re insistent on it happening, I can only hope they go about it smartly.
Joe: Little known fact: When you beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, you absorb his undefeated prowess at WrestleMania. Lesnar has not been pinned or submitted since beating The Deadman and neither has Roman Reigns. This will be the ultimate test. I really like Roman Reigns, so I’m going to pick The Big Dog to take out The Beast.
John Cena ? vs. The Undertaker ?
LJ: So I don’t see any odds for this match, which I guess makes sense because there’s no guarantee it will happen. In wrestling though, there’s very rarely build up like this with no payoff. If they fight, and I think it will happen, I think The Undertaker wins. I’m also very torn on my feelings about this match. It’s a match I desperately want to see, or wanted to see five years ago when Taker was undefeated at Wrestlemania and Cena barely ever lost. Also, though Cena’s “desperation” for a Wrestlemania match has been played pretty well, him calling out the 50 something year old Undertaker for not wanting to wrestle any more is a bit off putting. On the other hand, if this match does happen I absolutely hate the fact that Cena has done all the build for this match. The Undertaker could have bothered to come back for a segment or two, just like he could have against Bray Wyatt, where if I remember correctly, Wyatt did all the build and Taker showed up at Mania and got the win.
Joe: I’m not sure who the winner of this match will be, but I can tell you who the loser will be, and that’s the fans, because this match will suck ass if it happens. Undertaker’s garbage, don’t @ me.
LJ: I can’t find actual odds for the other matches, just mentions of who the favorite is so I guess we can talk about those.
Joe: I’m going to go rapid fire on my responses, because if Vegas won’t talk about these matches, neither should I.
Intercontinental Championship Match The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins.
LJ: Balor is apparently the favorite in this match, which is understandable. The guy should be higher up the card, and should have been ever since his return. I’ll never understand how someone else injuring you is a negative against the injured. I’m going against the grain in this match though, and I’m going with The Miz to retain. Miz retains, Balor and Rollins move up into the actual main event part of the card going forward, and Miz gets to become the longest reigning Intercontinental Champ of all time.
Joe: I’ll take Seth Rollins, because Davenport, Iowa is the master and the ruler of the world.
Women’s Battle Royal Match:
LJ: Sasha Banks is the heavy favorite and is around even money to win. She’s a great choice, and is probably the best all around women’s wrestler in the division. Now that she’s back to heel, where she should be, she should be a lot more watchable. I have to imagine Bayley is up there too, and a win here would really rebuild her credibility which has taken a beating due to terrible booking. The only other real possibility I can see if Becky Lynch, who hasn’t been buried like Bayley has, but has really been underused. Beyond that, I have no idea, maybe one of the Bellas if they’re coming back full time? Ember Moon? Rodeo lover Tamina? It’s really got to be one of the Horsewomen, so I’ll go with my personal favorite Bayley to win it.
Joe: Iconic Duo both win.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
LJ: This one’s tough because I’m really not sure who’s in it. In past years there were a few big names in it to choose from, this year everyone is in a 3 or 4 way match so it’s kind of tough to figure out who’s not already in a match who could win. The names that jump out at me that don’t have a match are Matt and Jeff Hardy, Bray Wyatt, and Elias. Big Cass and Samoa Joe could be healthy enough for a return, and while the battle royal doesn’t feel like a great use of Joe it could be a good use for Big Cass. Beyond them, maybe a thank you win for Kane? Someone in a tag team that could have a bright future ahead of them like Chad Gable? A re debuting Bobby Lashley? To make an official pick, I’ll take Elias. He’s plenty over and way too important to be doing nothing at Wrestlemania. Let him win the battle royal and sing about it for a year.
Joe: What better way to memorialize Andre The Giant than having his greatest rival, Hulk Hogan, come back to win the Battle Royal. Hulk ain’t taking no bumps, brother.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match The Bar vs. Braun and ???
LJ: Brains Strowman would be pretty awesome, but I don’t think he’s the real pick. The best options for the pick are the guys who could win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Could be Elias who has been MIA since a feud with Braun, could be a reborn Bray Wyatt who has history with Strowman. Could be Big Cass for giant tag team. Could be Bobby Lashely for some reason or other. Some NXT guy? All those choices make a lot more sense than my official choice, James Ellsworth. It all comes full circle with Ellsworth, he started off being dominated by Braun so he makes his triumphant return as his tag team partner. Also, Braun and whoever are winning this match because Braun needs to be kept busy and out of the World Title picture while Roman is trying to get over. Defending the tag team belts is a great way for him to do that.
Joe: Braun Strowman’s partner will be Big Show, and they will win.
US Title Match: Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode vs. Rusev
LJ: I’ve read Jinder is the favorite in this match, so I’m happy to pick against the favorite in this one. I get the guy is muscular and foreign, but so is Rusev. Rusev is also charasmatic as all get out and a hell of a worker in the ring. It’s time for the WWE to actually get behind pushing this future world champion and give Rusev the win on the grandest stage of them all.
Joe: It’s RUSEV DAY!
Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
LJ: Couldn’t find any mention of this match so no idea who the favorite is. I’ll take the Bludgeon Brothers, if they fail here it seems like the tag team is pretty much dead, so if you want to keep Harper and Rowan together they need to win. Have them feud with The Usos for a few months, should be fun. Have The New Day move onto pursuing singles gold since Big E is a future world champion.
Joe: New Day Rocks!
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
LJ: Well for this story to make any sense, Kevin and Sami have to win since they can’t be fired. Of course I said that about Shane McMahon beating The Undertaker so that story could continue, and then it just did for no raisin. In theory, I guess they could go to RAW after Wrestlemania if they lose this match. This is Daniel Bryan’s first match back in years though, he can’t lose clean. In a Russoesque twist, I see Shane McMahon costing Daniel Bryan the match allowing Kevin and Sami to win the match and regain their jobs.
Joe: Owens and Zayn win when Brie Bella costs Daniel Bryan the match. She then says the baby is actually Sami Zayn’s. I also predict Shane McMahon sweats a lot.
LJ: In terms of crazy surprises you can probably bet on somewhere, I think The Rock makes a polite appearance. In much more surprising news, I think Connor McGregor and Donald Trump make appearances. Trump possibly via satelite, but maybe in person. He’s got to get ready to be the XFL commissioner in 2020. Since we’re in New Orleans, I hope we get a visit from everyone’s favorite Voodoo Doctor Papa Shango. I’ve saved the best and most shocking surprise for last. Kid Rock’s performance will be interrupted by WCW legends The No Limit Soldiers. Master P will do whatever his finishing maneuver was, and the group will lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of Make Em Say Uhhhh.
Joe: Rock, Hogan, Stone Cold, short-haired Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, and Dan “The Beast” Severn. Oh, and The Iconic Duo.