With WrestleMania 30 all set to invade the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this coming Sun., April 6, 2014, live on pay-per-view (PPV) and the WWE Network, it's time to go about making predictions for the biggest show of the year. The match card is filled out and the cSs staff of learned blowhards will give their best guess on who is going to emerge victorious this weekend.
But instead of doing this all in one post and giving you a wall of text and 3,000 words to read through, we'll give the top five matches their own post then cover the undercard.
Got it? Good. Up first:
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
(Rey Mysterio vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Great Khali vs. Darren Young vs. Brodus Clay vs. Justin Gabriel vs. R-Truth vs. Santino Marella vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust vs. Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Heath Slater vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Damien Sandow vs. Titus O'Neil vs. Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show)
The General: There's a big part of me that thinks WWE is of the belief that Big Show has to win this match due to the natural connection between himself and Andre the Giant, even if none exists in reality. Then again, there is ample opportunity to use this match to push a wrestler who creative has struggled to come up with stories for, like a Fandango or a Big E or even an Alberto Del Rio. Then again, Show is one of those guys who gets pushed big, fails, gets knocked back down the card for a bit, then gets pushed big again. I wouldn't be shocked at all if he won here as his next big push that will undoubtedly go nowhere. Keep in mind, there are four slots still available in this match as of this writing, and no word just yet on who will occupy those slots. I'm going to bet on Alexander Rusev finally making a splash so WWE can pay off all those weeks of wasting our time with three minute segments where Lana made you want to pierce your own skull with an axe and Rusev said things that nearly put you to sleep. It's time to put him to work.
Pick: Alexander Rusev
Sean Rueter: Looking at the list of announced entrants, and the pervasive rumor that went around about a certain Bulgarian "super athletic", I'd say there are eight names that have a realistic shot of winning this bad boy. Some would be more surprising than others, others more pleasing to my cynical smark heart, but if any of Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, The Miz or Alexander Rusev was the last man in the ring, I wouldn't fall of the couch. Miz and Del Rio are always candidates for an out-of-nowhere push for public relations reasons, but their booking the last month or so (Miz especially) would make it almost a swerve for swerve's sake to have them win. Rhodes seems more likely to somehow get hosed by his big brother, and I'm just not sure E or Dolph have enough support backstage to get a rub here. That leaves the super-heavyweights. I think we would have seen Rusev in action somewhere other than NXT between the Rumble and now if they had any idea of what they wanted to do with him. Given that he's not even a lock to be in the match, I'm not picking him. And I think last fall taught them that there's a use for Big Show, but it's not as the focal point of anything more than a mid-card angle. He should look good as the last man the winner dumps over the top rope, though.
Hulk Holland: I think this match could be a great way to give a rub to a future star if the organization makes it a part of the annual WrestleMania pay-per-view (PPV) event. But for the inaugural trophy, it's hard not to favor The Big Show. He certainly doesn't need the juice, but for the sake of continuity, he did have that whole "I'm related to Andre the Giant" shtick when he debuted in WCW way back when. In addition, you can still make a young guy look strong the same way you do in any other battle royal. Have him eliminate a shit-ton of other superstars, then get dumped in the final four by way of sneak attack. And hey, anything that keeps The Big Show out of the main event is fine by me.
Pick: Big Show
Keith Harris: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Predicting this match is a bit of a crapshoot, as Vince McMahon could wake up on the day and decide out of the blue that he's gonna give Rey Mysterio the nod or the right person gets into his ear and convinces him to give Dolph Ziggler another shot or they've got a secret victor lined up that's not on the announced list. Given that everyone in the match has been treading water in the lead up to WrestleMania 30, it probably makes most sense to give the winning spot to an outsider who'll be around for a bit. Rob Van Dam fits the bill, so he's my slightly out of the box pick to win.
Pick: Rob Van Dam
Cain A. Knight: Big Show has been pushed as the favorite to win this match, so right away I am going to discard him from consideration for being too obvious. If a monster is going to win this match, I'd pick Rusev instead of Big Show or Mark Henry. Miz and Fandango have WrestleMania undefeated streaks on the line here, but killing those streaks off is really no big deal since those guys are just different levels of jobber at this point. Glancing through the list of competitors, Sheamus stands out as the guy with the most star power who is also not on the downside of his career. Sheamus has been an afterthought for much of the last year, but his past pushes show that WWE loves the guy. He has defeated Cena multiple times for the WWE Championship and he held on to the world heavyweight title for over 200 days back in 2012. Sheamus was also one of the final three survivor in this year's Royal Rumble, which is a much more important Battle Royal than this one. It's either Sheamus or Rusev, so I'll stick with the guy who WWE has a record of pushing hard.
Those are our predictions, Cagesiders. What are yours?