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WrestleMania 35 predictions: Triple H vs. Batista, Shane McMahon vs. The Miz, more!

With WrestleMania 35 all set to invade MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey this Sun., April 7, 2019, 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 our 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 5,000 words to read through, we’ll give the top matches their own post, then cover the undercard.

Got it? Good.

Let’s go:

Triple H vs. Batista

Geno Mrosko: Batista was a leading force in getting James Gunn rehired. He can take down Triple H. Pick: Batista

Sean Rueter: Hunter... Pick: Batista

Kyle Decker: I wish we got a little more of Big Dave during this build since he is really great. But the man has to do his movies and all, so I get it. At least give us a goodbye speech on Monday, Dave. Because this stip choreographs a Triple H wins, and that’s how Batista has always said he’s wanted to retire. Pick: Triple H

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I know Big Dave has said that he wanted this to be his retirement match, but a) he’s a wrestler, and wrestlers never retire, and b) I have to think if he was actually retiring, the stipulation would be “loser retires” rather than just “HHH’s career on the line.” So, if Batista’s not retiring, why should we deviate from the narrative that Hunter just can’t beat him? After all, Dave’s been showing signs of absolutely Cyclopean levels of strategic mastery, and that ain’t just the ruby red sunglasses talking. If Plan One doesn’t work, he’ll just keep going, because lettering your plans is for dumdums that only have twenty-six plans. Pick: Batista

Cain A. Knight: I couldn’t stop laughing when they turned this into a No Holds Barred match with Triple H’s career on the line, since that’s the same exact stipulation they used for him the last time WrestleMania was held in this venue, which also happens to be the last time Triple H was a babyface at WrestleMania. Talk about creative bankruptcy. There better be a bunch of run-ins because the match itself won’t be pretty, especially if it goes long like most Triple H fights. Pick: Triple H

Stella Cheeks: Batista has a job in Hollywood. WWE is all Hunter has. The real winner is the intern who got a raise for that epic HHH photoshopping. Pick: HHH

Shane McMahon vs. The Miz

Geno Mrosko: The Miz is good at being a great character but Shane O’Mac is outstanding at falling off things from really high up. This comes down to whether or not Miz can avoid that. I say he can’t. Pick: Shane McMahon

Sean Rueter: Shane picked up a win at ‘Mania last year, so he should be good until next decade. Pick: The Miz

Kyle Decker: I think instead of Shane jumping off something high, he’ll get pushed off it since now he’s the heel. This has been a good story that’s best to serve give Miz a big win. Plus, Shane doesn’t win singles matches. Pick: The Miz

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I still wish they’d chosen to tell a version of this story where they remain friends, but a falls count anywhere gives us a fine canvas for Shane to do something big and silly and get himself covered for the 1-2-3. Pick: The Miz

Cain A. Knight: The story makes sense and has been told well, but once the bell rings, I’m going to have to sit through like 15 minutes of awful wrestling just to get to the big spot where Shane falls from a tall structure and loses the match. That spot is always cool, but it’s just not worth all the terrible striking and garbage MMA moves from Shane and mediocre wrestling from Miz that will be required to get there. Pick: The Miz

Stella Cheeks: Is anyone else shocked by how good Miz is as a babyface? I had my doubts, but I should know not to doubt The Miz. Honestly, the man understands Sports Entertainment in a deep psychological way. Here 100% for babyface Miz in 2019. Plus, Miz and Mrs. is * maybe * the best show on TV. What does Shane have (other than millions of dollars and a lot of shoes)? Nothing. Pick: The Miz

Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin

Geno Mrosko: I guess if there’s one wrestler on the roster who you don’t mind taking a loss in a spot when they would traditionally win, it’s Corbin. Then again, Vince McMahon is booking here. Either way, this sucks. Pick: Kurt Angle

Sean Rueter: No one wanted this match, and we got it. No one wants Kurt to lose, so how do we think that’s gonna go? Pick: Baron Corbin

Kyle Decker: Normally, the person retiring puts over the young guy, but Corbin already has a win over Angle. The story should end with Kurt finally beating him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats him quickly and then fights someone else. Pick: Kurt Angle

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Can we just have a vortex open up in time and space and swallow us all? No? Pick: Kurt Angle

Cain A. Knight: Kurt struggles these days to even put on a passable match with a great worker like Chad Gable. Asking him to do a singles match with Baron Corbin is a terrible idea. They should keep this one short and focus more on giving Kurt the big send off afterwards. Pick: Kurt Angle

Stella Cheeks: ... Pick: John Cena

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

Geno Mrosko: This has been a lot more fun than expected. Let’s hope the match delivers the same. This show is going to need a heel win here and there. Pick: Randy Orton

Sean Rueter: It’s time for AJ to go to Raw, and I know somebody who’d make a fitting first challenger for the new WWE champ if he comes out of WrestleMania with a big win. #StupidStupidStupid Pick: Randy Orton

Kyle Decker: As long as AJ doesn’t springboard off of anything, he’ll be fine. We already got that RKO spot on Tuesday so he’ll probably avoid it this time and pick up a win. Pick: AJ Styles

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: It still feels kind of unreal, but AJ Styles is a guy that gets featured matches with no titles involved at WrestleMania, against guys like Randy Orton... and wins. And after they gave the Phenomenal Forearm into the RKO away on SmackDown this week... Pick: AJ Styles

Cain A. Knight: I was all ready to pick Orton here since it’s presented as the indy darling versus the long-term WWE guy, and that sounds like the sort of match where Vince would give the win to the long-term WWE guy. But I’m looking at the recent history with these guys, and Randy has gotten over on AJ way too many times already. Pick: AJ Styles

Stella Cheeks: UGH. Every time I pick Randy’s opponent Randy wins. So...reverse psychology dictates that I Pick: Randy Orton

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

Geno Mrosko: This could be the first in a series, so I’ll go against. Pick: Drew McIntyre

Sean Rueter: It is not Drew’s yard. Pick: Roman Reigns

Kyle Decker: Roman isn’t losing his first singles match back after returning from leukemia. Also, this match should rule. Pick: Roman Reigns

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: This show is approximately 12 hours long and something needs to give somewhere, so as much as I like a classic between these two men, I think this is short and sweet to show us that the Big Dog has still got it and Drew will just have to find a way to bounce back. Pick: Roman Reigns

Cain A. Knight: This is tied for the easiest match on the card to predict, right alongside Balor and Batista’s match. There is no way that Roman is losing to Drew in his first singles match since his comeback from leukemia. Pick: Roman Reigns

Stella Cheeks: Look, I know Roman is going to win against the love of my life, Drew McIntyre, but, frankly, I don’t care. This match is going to RULE. Sure Roman will win, but Drew McIntyre gets to wrestle in a solo match a WrestleMania and I am just so happy for him. This match is a sleeper and has the potential to be a favorite of the night. Punch, Kick, PUNCH! Pick: Roman Reigns

Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio

Geno Mrosko: Like I already mentioned, this show will need some heels to win out and not every title can change hands. Pick: Samoa Joe

Sean Rueter: Whoever could have foreseen Rey getting hurt? Oh yeah, everybody. Since this will probably involve a last minute replacement, I don’t see them booking a title change, even if said last minute replacement ends up standing tall. Pick: Samoa Joe

Kyle Decker: Rey Mysterio has never held the United States championship, which is the fact they let us know about someone before they win a championship. Pick: Rey Mysterio

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Rey’s hurt, y’all. Samoa Joe by forfeit, and not the heartwarming Usos kind. Pick: Samoa Joe

Cain A. Knight: This match was disappointingly sacrificed to the Angle/Corbin feud in recent weeks, with Kurt defeating Joe and then Baron defeating Rey. Now Rey is hurt and might not be able to compete, so maybe this is where Owens or Cena fits into the show as a surprise replacement. Pick: Rey Mysterio (or whoever fights in his place)

Stella Cheeks: Isn’t Rey hurt? I mean, Joe was gonna win anyways but he totally is now. Pick: Samoa Joe

Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor

Geno Mrosko: The Demon is coming. Pick: Finn Balor

Sean Rueter: Mostly I’m just mad he brought the facepaint for this and not Lesnar. Whatever, man. For that alone... Pick: Bobby Lashley

Kyle Decker: The Demon is still a spoiler. And you’re not gonna have Bobby frickin’ Lashley be the one to change that. Pick: Finn Bálor

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: The Demon wins and future generations are confused forever as to why Lashley even won the title back in the first place. Pick: Finn Balor

Cain A. Knight: I am jaded as hell but even I can’t see the Demon losing to Bobby Lashley. This one should be a straight up squash because WrestleMania is way too long and this one primarily exists for the Demon entrance rather than the match itself, which we’ve already seen too many times on Raw. Pick: Finn Balor

Stella Cheeks: The Demon is stupid and I hate wrestling. Pick: Finn Balor

The Usos vs. The Bar vs. Rusev & Nakamura vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black

Geno Mrosko: Ricochet and Black have been given the big push but you shouldn’t ever count out The Usos, who always seem to find their way to the tippity top of the mountain. Pick: The Usos

Sean Rueter: Stealing my man Henry’s idea from our TakeOver predictions post - let’s deck the NXT guys out in all the tag gold & silver and unify these things like they are for the ladies. Pick: Aleister Black & Ricochet

Kyle Decker: I’m between the Usos and Ric/Black here, and I think either way, that’s the program coming out of this match. The Usos just re-upped their contract so they’ll hold the straps a bit longer. Pick: The Usos

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: The Bar don’t need it, World Tag League don’t deserve it, and I just can’t see Al & Ric taking it so soon, so call the warden— the Uso Penitentiary is staying on lockdown. Pick: The Usos

Cain A. Knight: The Bar lost the Raw tag titles to Some Kid last year and then lost the SmackDown tag titles to Shane this year, so I can’t take them seriously in this match. It’s not clear why Rusev and Nakamura are a tag team, and considering they can’t even beat R-Truth, they don’t have much hope here. Ricochet & Black will probably go their separate ways after the roster shakeup. Pick: The Usos

Stella Cheeks: Black and Ricochet are going to lose on Friday night to War Machine, but that’s okay because they are going to win the SD tag championships and become full time main roster wrestlers on Sunday. Pick: Black & Ricochet

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. The IIconics vs. Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Nia Jax & Tamina

Geno Mrosko: Legitimately have no clue what direction they go here, so I’ll just play it safe. Pick: Banks & Bayley

Sean Rueter: Seems like a perfect set-up for a pair of sneaky heels to slide in, steal a pin, and increase their credibility by giving them a major win to annoy everybody when they brag about it nonstop forever. Pick: The IIconics

Kyle Decker: Boss ‘n’ Hug are the safe pick, but man, I can’t pick a team with a name that bad. Instead, I’m going to pick the Divas of Doom. They’re going to get a chance to hold the titles that weren’t available for them years back. Beth will stick around a month or so and then they’ll drop the straps. Pick: Divas of Doom

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Jax and Tamina aren’t winning after having lost at Fastlane and the Iconics are a red herring, so it’s down to just the two. And now that the dream of all Four Horsewomen holding titles high at the end of the night is dead thanks to winner takes all, I’m voting with my mark heart and getting a tissue out because Beth Phoenix means the world to me and I am going to cry if she wins. A lot. Pick: Divas of Doom

Cain A. Knight: Beth Phoenix is awesome and it’s really cool to see her mix it up with badass wrestlers like Sasha Banks and Bayley, while tossing around the IIconics at will. It looks to me like either the champs will retain or the IIconics will steal it. When in doubt, stick with the champs. Pick: Sasha Banks & Bayley

Stella Cheeks: Before Steph made the main event a winner takes all match I would have bet my house that Sasha and Bayley walked out of Mania with their titles. But now that the dream of all 4HW holding belts at the end of Mania has been dashed, I think it’s time for my girls, the IIconics, to shine. Now that’s Schmick. Pick: IIconics

The Revival vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins

Geno Mrosko: It would be the ultimate to have the streak continue in their hometown, letting down the few fans they have left. That’s how life goes for losers. Pick: The Revival

Sean Rueter: Can’t wait until people are complaining about the Iced Z’s Hall of Fame induction in 2039. Pick: Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder

Kyle Decker: Losing to the losingest team on the biggest stage is the most Revival thing ever. Pick: Ryder and Hawkins

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Woo woo woo, you know it, bro. Pick: Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder

Cain A. Knight: This match would seem like obvious filler on an episode of Raw. The fact that it’s booked for WrestleMania can mean only one thing. Pick: Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

Stella Cheeks: “THE STREAK HAS BEEN BROKEN!” <Insert Shocked Fan Meme Here> Pick: Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese

Geno Mrosko: Pick: Buddy Murphy

Sean Rueter: Bless these guys. Whoever wins will probably be the last WWE Cruiserweight champ for a while. Pick: Buddy Murphy

Kyle Decker: Abs-a-plenty or the Australian Juggernaut? Let’s say Juggernaut. Pick: Buddy Murphy

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: God help me, I believe in Tony Nese. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, I never liked him overmuch in Evolve, but I kinda think he’s gonna do it. Maybe it was his little promo on the go-home talking about how he knows everyone thinks he can’t do it? Maybe. Pick: Tony Nese

Cain A. Knight: I have a hard time believing that Murphy held on to the title all this time just to lose it to Tony Nese. Pick: Buddy Murphy

Stella Cheeks: Let Buddy Murphy keep the belt until 205 Live is canceled. Pick: Buddy Murphy

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Geno Mrosko: They’ve got us thinking Braun Strowman here, and maybe someone like Ali, so I’ll go against all of it. Pick: Sami Zayn

Sean Rueter: Like my old editor told me, “you miss 100 percent of your picks”. Pick: Michael Che

Kyle Decker: Braun Strowman is totally getting outsmarted by Colin Jost and Michael Che and is going to get eliminated. That leaves me choosing between Ali & Andrade. This victory is better suited for a heel, so let’s say Andrade. Pick: Andrade

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I have negative interest in this whole SNL thing, so I’m just going to make a pick that (surprise) is going to make me cry if it happens. Pick: Mustafa Ali

Cain A. Knight: Even though he seems like the favorite to win this match, the bottom line is that Braun Strowman is on the pre-show doing comedy spots with some SNL guys. I’m not complaining about that; this is exactly where Braun should be on the card. Pick: Braun Strowman

Stella Cheeks: * shrug emoji * Pick: Kevin Owens

Women’s Battle Royal

Geno Mrosko: Hey, she’s gotta get this thing going at some point, right? Pick: Lacey Evans

Sean Rueter: To be the woman, you’ve got to beat the woman. And as far as I’m concerned, Trin is the forever champ of this match. Pick: Naomi

Kyle Decker: Honestly, I’ll be surprised if Lacey Evans doesn’t win this match. They’re going to pay off her walking eventually. Makes sense to do it here. Pick: Lacey Evans

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Honestly I panicked a little and realized I wasn’t even sure who was in this, but looking over the list, what choice do I have? South Jersey lesbian squad represent. Pick: Sonya Deville

Cain A. Knight: Asuka’s already won a Royal Rumble match, so she’s been there and done that in this type of match, and a win does nothing for her. I assume all the pointless cameos from Lacey Evans in recent months have occurred because Vince McMahon plans to push her very soon, and that probably begins with a win in this Battle Royal. Pick: Lacey Evans

Stella Cheeks: Ruby Riott consistently turns out great matches despite WWE constantly screwing her and the squad over. A win here would help to solidify her as a contender going forward in 2019. Shake that roster up and give me Riott vs Asuka please! Pick: Ruby Riott

That’s what we think.


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