1 – Kickoff Match – Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs Austin Aries
I was onboard with Neville when he started, but even his necessary heel turn can’t make up for his leaden lack of charisma. Austin Aries on the other hand, is great. And given that it’s literally Aries season as we speak, well this one’s written in the stars *hisses*
2 – Kickoff Match – Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs Carmella vs Natalya vs Becky Lynch vs Mickie James vs Naomi
I like snotty heel champs so I’m hoping Alexa Bliss retains, albeit in some scumbag fashion befitting of her heel-ness. But if Asuka shows up then Asuka naturally.
PICK: Alexa Bliss
3 – Kickoff Match – Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (announced participants: Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews, Big Show, Curt Hawkins, Braun Strowman, Goldust, R-Truth, Primo, Epico, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Jason Jordan, Chad Gable, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Titus O’Neil, Konnor, Victor, Aiden English, Simon Gotch)
Everyone’s favorite “Make sure everyone on the roster gets a Mania check” match, Braun seems like he’s stronger than he’s ever been, and this would be a good win to cement him as a top-biller next year. That said, I’m obligated to pick Goldust every time.
4 – Raw Tag Team Champions The Club vs Enzo & Big Cass vs Sheamus & Cesaro (Triple Threat Ladder Match)
Has there ever been a truer example of “familiarity breeds contempt” than Enzo and Cass? I want them dead, I want their family dead, I want their homes burned to the ground, I wanna go there in the middle of the night and piss on their ashes. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but there’s no world in which I’m voting for the Georgia Gold chicken-fucker over Sheamus & Cesaro.
PICK: Sheamus & Cesaro
5 – Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
AKA the Receding Hairline Hootenanny. I like Baron Corbin, but I’ve never been able to buy him as an intimidating badass mostly because his resting face just has this muted 1000 yard stare quality that makes him look like he’s constantly thinking about whether or not he remembered to pay his utility bill this month. That said, I like him better than Dean ambrose’s pre-historic schtick so I’m going with the huge guy who’s been crushing everyone over the guy who got arrested for assaulting his daughter’s teenage boyfriend for sending her a dick pic.
PICK: Baron Corbin
6 – John Cena & Nikki Bella vs The Miz & Maryse (Mixed Tag Match)
The Miz promo video where he’s mocking Cena was one of the best things WWE did all year so I’m all in on them winning despite the fact it’s CENA at MANIA.
PICK: Miz & Maryse
7 – United States Champion Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens
I honestly haven’t been paying attention since The Great Breakup, so I’m not sure where this one stands atm. That said, Owens is the world’s greatest, most perfect, shithead so him winning against the guy he betrayed at Mania seems about right. It’ll almost certainly get real nasty given how emotionally involved everyone who gives even a tiny shit about WWE is in this one.
PICK: Kevin Owens
8 – Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles
Are they really still doing this? AJ Styles after Shane McMahon burns up in orbit trying to hit an elbow drop from the International Space Station.
PICK: AJ Styles
9 – Raw Women’s Champion Bayley vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax (Elimination Match)
Nia Jax is huge and therefore gets ganged up on by the other three for a bit. Charlotte seems too Women’s Champion not to be, and the others seem to have sort of lost their way character/promo wise, so Charlotte regains her belt.
10 – Seth Rollins vs Triple H (Non-sanctioned Match)
I of course want it to be my boy Seth, but if HHH books himself at Mania, he’s prob gonna win at Mania as well. Expect the Cerebral Assassin to attack Seth’s weakened knee, which the announcers have all prepared various poems, soliloquies, and haikus to remind you about throughout this match constantly. Bonus points if Seth comes out with a knee brace, double points for bandages AND a knee brace. Quadruple points if they fuck up the canon and he comes out with the brace on the wrong knee.
PICK: Triple H
11 – The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns
Knowing that Taker takes Ls on the regular now, there’s really no reason for Roman Reigns not send the Dead Man to the glue factory. But if this is Taker’s last match (which honestly, it should be) then he goes out on top, and no damage done to Reigns’ rep. Honestly feel it could go either way, but I’ll bet on Takers since I kinda hope he hangs it up after this.
PICK: The Undertaker
12 – WWE Champion Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
I have never liked or enjoyed Randy Orton in any capacity. His fucking smirk drive me insane. “Heh, this teacher thinks he can send ME to the principal’s office??” On the other hand, I still love Bray Wyatt despite the countless fuck ups WWE creative has dumped on him. Remember Evil Cena? Of course you don’t. Holograms? *shudder* Anyways, their current feud has been great and I’m always gonna vote for the voodoo swamp hick over the guy that was wrestling when I was in high school to be the champ.
PICK: Bray Wyatt
13 – Universal Champion Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar
As someone who never watched WCW I had little to no interest in Goldberg, his return hasn’t really done anything for me, and having him squash the unbeatable neon pink ham hock over and over has done little to change that. That said, this HAS to be a match that goes longer than a couple minutes right? Either way, a part-timer ends up with the belt, and I’m certain Golberg has made enough cash off this run to settle back into his Hollywood Hills mansion for a few more years, so he loses to Brock, who seems more likely to remain a sorta-regular.
PICK: Brock Lesnar
RUNNING TIME: 10 minutes, 1 second
There you have it! Reply with your match picks and your choice of wrestler theme for next week’s Patreon-exclusive Cheap Popcast below!