With WrestleMania 31 all set to invade Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California this coming Sun., Mar. 29, 2015, 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 next:
Triple H vs. Sting
The General: If Sting represents WCW resurrected (and he can say that's not the case in a promo, but let's be real, this is WWE), and Triple H is the flag bearer for WWE, are we honestly expecting Triple H to do the job here? Is that a victory Vince McMahon is willing to give away? This company is still run by the same man who booked the invasion back in 2001. You know, the same invasion that kept Sting from signing with this company for the past 14 years because he was scared to death they would destroy his character by booking him the way they booked every other "star" from WCW who was brought in to go up against the then WWF. Remember DDP stalking Undertaker's wife and then never getting in any offense in his the ensuing matches? I just can't imagine a creative meeting on this match ending with the decision being made to put the WCW star over the WWE star. Plus, this could be Sting's final match and tradition dictates he does the job for the guy who will be around to work matches in the future. It's going to break my heart, but I can't see the Stinger winning here.
Pick: Triple H
Sean Rueter: The Game is getting to the point Chris Jericho has reached where we're going to start wondering what a win over him "means", but at least Hunter's losses are to Daniel Bryan and not Fandango. That's a problem for another day, however, because a win here would be as wrong as Kevin Nash headlining the Hall of Fame ceremony over the Macho Man. I remain confused by all the WCW talk Haitch threw at us in the run-up to this one, but since they never tied any kind of stakes to that, it's just a bunch of noise that we'll all forget about in time. What we won't forget about is the outcome of this showdown of legends. And I can't believe that even WWE wants to waste a marketing tool like the Stinger by having him lose his initial and possibly only match in the company, or that Steve Borden would finally break down and sign with Vince McMahon to eat a loss at Mania.
Keith Harris: On a card that desperately needs genuine feel good moments, Sting by all rights should win. If there's more than one match left in his tank, then a victory keeps him strong for future business. But it's rare for WWE to book an outsider like that. I mean this is the company that booked Brock Lesnar to lose his first match back in the promotion, because Vince McMahon had to prove that his top guy could beat UFC's top guy! Old habits die hard, so I find it very difficult to believe that when push comes to shove Vince McMahon will have a WCW icon come out on top in a feud which has taken a lot of inspiration from WWE Monday Night War talking points. Plus, if there's no plans in place for Sting to wrestle again after WrestleMania, WWE's booking MO dictates that he loses to the guy who will still be around next year.
Pick: Triple H
Cain A. Knight: WWE is lying to you when they claim that Triple H versus Sting is a dream match that's been 15 years in the making. My wrestling fandom was at its peak during the Attitude Era, and Triple H versus Sting was never a match that I was dying to witness one day. Fast forward the clock 15 years and I still have very little interest in this match. Triple H simply did not play a major role in putting WCW out of business, and so the story for this match doesn't work. Furthermore, WCW isn't a hot topic anymore and WWE needs to do better than revolve an entire storyline around a company that died nearly 15 years ago. Nobody cares about WCW anymore, especially WWE's revisionist history of WCW. With that rant out of the way, WWE has done well in presenting Sting as major star thus far, with the exception of that one awful Black Scorpion audio piece. Sting has popped up in major moments and has thwarted Triple H just about every time. And that trend should continue at WrestleMania 31 because this is Sting's first match in WWE, and because Triple H doesn't need to win another match ever again. Triple H hasn't won a match in nearly two years, but the last time he won it was putting himself over Brock F'N Lesnar at WrestleMania. So yeah, screw this idea that Triple H needs a win to look strong. Sting is the one who needs this win, and I hope WWE does the right thing and doesn't make a mockery of Sting's return by booking it otherwise.
Joshua Gagnon: If this feud is somehow based on WWE vs. WCW, WWE isn't going to lose.
Pick: Triple H
Jason Martin: Is Sting/H a dream match? Maybe. But it's not THE dream match, because that would require the Undertaker playing the role of Hunter Hearst Helmsley. I spell out his name because the story of this match, though at times sloppily delivered, begins with an unhappy, underutilized Paul Levesque departing WCW, taking less money for a fresh start up north. H claims he was one of the largest reasons for WCW's demise, forgetting that internal forces, Steve Austin, The Rock, and arguably, Undertaker and Mick Foley, were larger reasons, not to mention the incredible rise of the tag division and the successful repurposing of WCW defectors. The reasons are irrelevant. The match has one indisputable thing going for it that can't be changed. We, as the wrestling world, finally get to see Sting in a WWE ring in an honest to God bell-to-bell "match." Why use quotes around that word? Simple. In no way should this resemble a wrestling match, both because of age and in-ring storytelling strength and because this kind of feud, with one man committed to avenging injustice while the other engages in constant abuses of power, should be a fight. It should leave the ring, it should head up the ramp, and it should have its share of bells and whistles. Expect massive interference. A close friend of mine in the media suggested former longtime, important WCW employees who now work for Vince, show up for Sting. That led me to the fantasy of reigniting the Invasion angle. Trust me, we're willing to forget 2001. Just do it right. That's wishful thinking, but what seems overly clear is Sting wins this match. He has to leave on top, and H knows it most of all, because the backlash that would come of luring Sting to WWE only to beat him would be tremendously undesirable. They've scripted it meticulously, both men are terrific performers, big-stage performers, and they want to make this work. It will. This will be fun as hell, and Sting will have his hand raised.
Those are our predictions, Cagesiders. What are yours?