WWE WrestleMania 31
Sunday, March 29
Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
Watch: WWENetwork.com

Follow the rest of our WrestleMania weekend coverage at http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/category/wrestlemania-weekend-2015/

WWE WrestleMania 31 has no shortage of storylines coming in. While the build has been less than stellar (that’s putting it lightly), the event itself comes with a lot of intrigue. The main event will be heavily focused on in these next few days, especially with the news that Brock Lesnar will remain with WWE for another three years. What once seemed like an inevitability (Roman Reigns winning the WWE Title and the crowning of a new WWE poster boy) now has some doubt. The tepid reactions of Reigns leading into ‘Mania has many wondering: will Vince McMahon change his mind again? It was only last year where Daniel Bryan and circumstance threw a wrench in his planned WrestleMania main event. Is Vince willing to change his long-term booking a second year in a row?

Elsewhere on the card, WCW legend Sting makes his WWE debut against Triple H in an oddly built match that still has a ton of cache among casual fans. It’s Sting after all, one of the largest stars of the Attitude Era, finally stepping into a WWE ring. Sure, I think we all would have rather seen The Undertaker vs. Sting this year but when the Stinger finally walks out on that stage, we’re bound to mark out a little bit.

The theme of this show will be the miserable builds leading into potentially good matches. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins has been a miserable build filled with a Randy Orton half-babyface turn but once the bell rings, there’s little doubt it’s going to be above average. John Cena and Rusev may have had the best build of any Mania match — simple and to the point. There’s no reason to believe the match is going to be anything short of really good (given precedent).

The Undertaker also makes his return a year after losing his legendary WrestleMania win streak. He’ll be taking on the equally bizarre Bray Wyatt in a match I’m not sure anyone can quite put their finger on. The build has been what you expect, a lot of smoke, some lightning, standard Undertaker stuff. The big question is what type of shape in The Undertaker in? It wasn’t but a year ago when Vince McMahon made the rash decision to have Taker lose his WrestleMania streak, feeling the Dead Man didn’t have it anymore. Are we to believe a year off has him back on track?

I won’t sugar coat it. The build to WrestleMania 31 has been awful, probably the worst since WrestleMania 23. Regardless, WrestleManias are like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. You aren’t watching the event for a ton of high work rate, 4* matches (there’s about six shows this weekend that will deliver that if it’s what you’re looking for). You’re watching WrestleMania for the pageantry, the fireworks, the entrances, the set, the thousands of fans, the video packages — if a good match happens, great! If it doesn’t, well, oh well, it was still a fun way to waste four hours and celebrate this stupid thing we all love. -Rich Kraetsch

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

Joe Lanza (@JoeMLanza): At one point I was sort of hyped for this, but then I remembered it’s a Randy Orton WrestleMania match. I still think it’s the best hope for a great match that doesn’t involve a ladder. Rollins doesn’t need to win, he has the case. Remember when Orton lost to Kane at WrestleMania for no particular reason?

Prediction: Randy Orton

Sean Flynn (@spiffie6123): Can’t wait to see Randy Orton get his revenge on Seth Rollins from when Seth let Randy beat him up for about 10 straight minutes two weeks ago. Rollins shouldn’t be losing here, though if the plan is to have him cash in that night or the next night an Orton win sets him up as a first challenger. This one is a coin flip for me.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

Alex Wendland (@AlexWendland): It doesn’t make any sense for Seth Rollins to lose this match. It makes some sense why Randy Orton would win it, but it makes no sense for Rollins to lose this match. Make sense? Like a lot of things leading up to WrestleMania, probably not. But Rollins still has the briefcase and he’s looked weak enough as it is. Rollins is a fighter, not a businessman. Too much briefcase carrying. Doesn’t matter, Rollins should win this clean but, let’s be honest, he’ll have help.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

Bryan Rose (@br26): This fun angle started when Randy Orton came back and destroyed Rollins. But instead of just letting things be, they had to tell a STORY. Randy Orton, for no real reason, decided to rejoin the Authority, then made Seth’s life a living hell while pretending to be his friend. The hot reaction he got for his return quickly dissipated. Then Orton plainly tells him one night on RAW that he’s going to destroy him and everyone in the Authority. Rollins acts like the biggest goof in the world, totally believing him just to get laid out in the tag team main event they were in. The build to this match was stupid. But the match should be good. Guessing Orton wins for revenge.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Taylor Mitchell (@MrTCMitchell): This match is going to turn out to be the CM Punk vs. Randy Orton of this year’s WrestleMania. It will be a really solid match, but no one will remember it much a month later. Unfortunately, that is true for much of Randy Orton’s career. This build up has been mishandled. That phrase will be repeated throughout these predictions. Rollins goes over here by some sort of nefarious means because most of the main events will have cleaner finishes.

Prediction: Seth Rollins

AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins

Joe Lanza: Nikki Bella might be the most overrated wrestler in the world right now. Every time I read “Nikki Bella is so improved!” I want to punch Twitter. She has gotten better, and I guess she’s a nice little wrestler, but by my rough estimation she’s (at best) the seventh best female wrestler on the roster (and this roster isn’t exactly 1992 All Japan Women). I mean, she’s the third best wrestler in this match. Let’s pump the brakes.

Prediction: AJ Lee & Paige

Sean Flynn: Every minute that LL Cool J runs long, or that they need for Sting’s entrance, is getting shaved off of this match. Expect lots of CM Punk chants, and if we’re lucky a couple of good sequences in the match. I’m thinking that the Bellas win here in order to set up one or more NXT debuts on Raw the next night.

Prediction: Bella Twins

Alex Wendland: But, like, why? I want to give divas a chance, truly, I do. This though? This is not what I signed up for. I know I’m not supposed to like the Bellas, and I don’t, but NO ONE has been able to explain to me why Brie is suddenly on board with Nikki’s shenanigans. No one. Together, the Bellas have been seemingly unbeatable. I think that changes, for some reason. Call it hope, call it naiveity, but I want Bella discention.

Prediction: AJ Lee & Paige

Bryan Rose: I dunno. Both of these tag teams feuded with each other in the last six months, then got together to feud with one another. The build to this match was nonsensical. But given time it should be fine, which it probably won’t, so it’ll be filler.  Let’s have the faces win since they seem to lose all the time on TV.

Prediction: AJ Lee & Paige

Taylor Mitchell: This has the opportunity to be the best Divas match in WrestleMania history. No joke, I mean have you seen their competition? AJ and Paige are the two most talented Divas on the WWE main roster. Nikki has really improved and Brie is good when put in the right situation. If this match gets the right agent that can help these ladies put together an exciting tag team match and they get 10+ minutes this could end up really surprising people with it’s quality. The Bellas are going to win because 1. frenemies and 2. #HatersGonnaHateButBellasGonnaBall

Prediction: The Bella Twins

WWE United States Championship
Rusev © vs. John Cena

Joe Lanza: I very badly want to see Rusev vs Lesnar, and I don’t care how they get there. Logic says Cena gets his win back here, but let’s play devil’s advocate. Cena is teflon, losses can’t really hurt him at this point. Cena is being groomed for the mid 80’s Bruno legend spot, the spot Hogan never wanted when he was pushing 40. Reigns is the new top face, so he should be the one to end Rusev’s winning streak. I think I’ve talked myself into a Rusev win.

Prediction: Rusev

Sean Flynn: If the build for this match had been different I could possibly convince myself that they won’t waste Rusev’s streak on Cena. But when you’ve set the story up as John Cena representing America against the evil Russian, and you’re having the match at Wrestlemania, that’s not the kind of spot where America fails. Vince loves America, Vince loves Cena, and dammit you will too. Hopefully Cena brings his working shoes to make this at least fun until the very end.

Prediction: John Cena

Alex Wendland: This is WrestleMania XXX redux for John Cena without Odds One and Odds Two to overcome at ringside with Bray Wyatt. Rusev SHOULD win. Rusev SHOULD be vaulted to main event status as a result of this match. Rusev SHOULD make John Cena submit/pass out since faces can’t be submitted. But this is WWE and this is John Cena against a young guy at WrestleMania. Time to pay some dues, Rusev.

Prediction: John Cena

Bryan Rose: This is the only feud I think has had some actual steam to it. I enjoyed their match last month at Fast Lane, and they should have a better one here at WrestleMania. I like the idea of John Cena wanting to win the US title, I think that makes the title mean something after like a decade of it not meaning jack squat. I don’t see how Cena doesn’t win here and have a run with the title. Maybe not a long reign, but at least enough to maybe rehab the title. And let’s forget that horrible Russian lawyer guy ever existed.

Prediction: John Cena

Taylor Mitchell: Rusev has been the most well-built superstar that the WWE has had since the Shield. They have protected this guy at all the right moments and Rusev has been hitting home runs every time he has stepped up to the plate. Rusev is just great. He knows his character down to every little nuance and knows how his character would naturally react to any given situation. No matter the result the United States Championship will come out of this PPV looking better than it has since its WWE inception. I’m going with Rusev for the win. Since Brock Lesnar renewed his WWE contract it makes me still holdout for the dream title for title, Rusev vs. Lesnar at Summerslam. Book it.

Prediction: Rusev

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt

Joe Lanza: People enjoy the Undertaker WrestleMania entrance, so I’m not going to break this down nerd/workrate/smark style or go on and on about how they should be doing the Sting match now or shit in people’s Cornflakes. Enjoy the spectacle.

Prediction: The Undertaker

Sean Flynn: The entrances will likely be the highlight of this match. Undertaker is old and hardly ever works and Bray really needs someone better than him to anchor the match. That said, no one is watching to see intricate matwork or amazing striking. I had been thinking the Undertaker wins here, and I still am. But Bray’s balls to the wall promo on Raw last Monday really has me doubting it. I’m still saying Taker, but I wouldn’t want to be betting anything of value on the outcome.

Prediction: The Undertaker

Alex Wendland: The mystique surrounding the Deadman is real. We haven’t seen him since the Streak ended and we don’t know what kind of Undertaker we’ll see on Sunday. This match is really the precursor to WrestleMania Star in Dallas next year. Does Undertaker have enough left in the tank for both Wyatt and Sting? Is the Streak so irrelevant after one loss that The Undertaker should lose another? The biggest questions surrounding this match have nothing to do with the match itself, a unique experience for an Undertaker match at WrestleMania.

Prediction: Does it matter? No. The Undertaker, whatever.

Bryan Rose: The build to this has been Bray Wyatt rambling. Not impressed. Not expecting big things for this bout. I know that the big thing is the mystique of Undertaker returning after his loss at last year’s WrestleMania…but feuding with a guy is a two way street. Undertaker wins.

Prediction: The Undertaker

Taylor Mitchell: The most interesting part of this match will be before the bell rings. The entrances will be grandiose and get everyone pumped. The match will be just okay. We will definitely see a spot where Bray does his upside down spider pose and Undertaker will sit up at the same time. This will get a big pop. The WWE needs to keep this around the 10-12 minute mark to avoid losing the crowd. Undertaker will win to move on to face Sting at next year’s WrestleMania that will have more than 108,000 fans in attendance based on what the WWE tells us. Whether or not that number will be real is another prediction for another day.

Prediction: The Undertaker

WWE Intercontinental Ladder Match
Bad News Barrett © vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan

Joe Lanza: This is the only match i’m looking forward to, and it’s the “get everybody on the card” clusterfuck. Ziggler should do some cool things, Harper is so so awesome in these types of matches, Ambrose is insane so he should be good for at least one mental spot, and Stardust…well, Stardust still stinks (sup, Cody?).

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Sean Flynn: I find seven guys in a match irksome. Therefore I have decided, despite the complete lack of any evidence to support it, that Sheamus is returning in this match. As for the match itself, it’s a ladder match. We’ll enjoy it, guys will do really dangerous things, and maybe one or two spots will end up in highlight reels for years to come. I’m going with Bryan to win as an attempt to appease the smark-heavy crowd, and to begin the three weeks or so that WWE will pretend to care about the I-C belt.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Alex Wendland: A serious match for a serious title, right guys? Seven FELLAS in a single match is both a lot of guys and a weird number to land on. I REALLY want the Intercontinental Title to mean something. The IC is my favorite title in all of wrestling and I want it to be on the rise again. I’d love to the title to be able to elevate someone like Luke Harper. If this was the IC belt in 2000, Harper should win and get to that next level, but the belt needs rehab. Daniel Bryan is the IC title’s 12 Step program. I say this because I try, very hard, to be an optimist.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Bryan Rose: Weeks of this build included the midcard geeks stealing the belt from the loser champion and making him look like a complete idiot every time he tried to get the title. Let’s also not forget the prestigious Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett has won maybe one match since winning the title. I’m guessing Daniel Bryan wins just so we get rid of his push for good.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Taylor Mitchell: The build up to this match has been mishandled. (I told you that phrase would be used again!) This buildup has been too cartoony to take the Intercontinental Championship seriously. If Daniel Bryan is going over and wants to make the IC title important and be Mr. Thursday Night, then they will have to change their course post-WrestleMania. This match will be full of dangerous spots that will get pops, but no one will remember. Do you remember the big spot from the WrestleMania XXVI Money in the Bank match? Exactly.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Joe Lanza: My second most anticipated match on the show, and it’s even more of a “get everybody on the card” clusterfuck than the first one. This match was a lot of fun last year, and probably will be again, unless it’s relegated to the preshow.

Prediction: Harmless FUN

Sean Flynn: The highlight of this match is going to come in the middle, when Miz and Mizdow finally have their official breakup. Other than that there will be many spots of guys laying on the ropes. I don’t see the Mizdow angle playing into the finish. I don’t know what happened to Cesaro last year, maybe Vince heard him talk for the first time at the Mania afterparty. Hopefully this year they’ll put it on someone they actually like. Hence, The Big Guy.

Prediction: Ryback

Alex Wendland: Look at Bryan Rose, guys. He’s predicting the NXT entrant wins. That’s a bold move. I’d quite like to see it. But WrestleMania is not a place for bold moves. If this doesn’t go well for the winner, the ARMBAR is going to get a Madden Curse stink associated with it. Since I’m almost certain that the winner will be mishandled and made to look stupid, I’m going with Damian Mizdow to carry the curse and the trophy for maybe, MAYBE, more than one night before it’s smashed by a jealous Miz.

Prediction: Damien Mizdow

Bryan Rose: geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks

Prediction: a geek. Probably whoever wins the NXT tournament

Taylor Mitchell: This match ended with Cesaro winning last year. What was Cesaro’s biggest claim to fame afterward? Vince McMahon saying he was too European to get over. This year The Miz and Damien Mizdow will finally have their big moment and break up after months of teased dissension. Damien Mizdow will win and then be subjected to wrestling on Superstars and Main Event by this time next year. Why? Because his popularity just screams “Zach Ryder circa 2011.”

Prediction: Damien Mizdow

Sting vs. Triple H

Joe Lanza: OK, so this is where I’ll rant about the fact that they should have done Undertaker vs Sting right now, asap. In MMA, a rule of thumb is to make the money match as soon as you can make it, or you run the risk of one of the principals losing a fight in the interim and killing the draw, or getting injured or retiring or whatever. Wrestling is worked, so within that controlled environment it’s a little different, but not when you’re dealing with two guys who probably have less than two or three (legitimate) matches left in the tank combined. Undertaker can barely walk, and could literally fall apart like a Jenga tower at any moment. Lesnar worked light as a feather with him last year and still nearly killed him. Sting has been in the t-shirt phase of his career for like a decade. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Don’t even get me started on the build, as if anybody who follows this shit (aside from Max Landis) believes for one single second that the WWE answer to what Sting meant to WCW is Triple Fucking H. Get lost.

Prediction: Sting

Sean Flynn: Despite the obvious flaws in the choice of who is in this match, this is still the best built match on the show. Sting has retained the air of being someone special, someone to be believed in. Given how WWE routinely makes their faces look like clownshoes this is an important thing to note. The match will be laid out well and I’m thinking WWE does the right storywise. But then Kevin Nash is in the building…

Prediction: Sting

Alex Wendland: Sting. It has to be Sting. Triple H doesn’t win matches anymore, he’s just a stellar dance partner. There were only two things wrong with this build. First was the stupid altered voice in the Sting promo, but whatever. The bigger thing is that “The Vigilante” Sting quickly became “Washed Up and Wildly Untimely WCW Guy” Sting. Instead of Sting defending the WCW legacy 15 years too late, Sting should be the arbiter of good taste saving the day for good guys going up against the reunited Authority. You know, the way he was booked when he first got to WWE. Their face-to-faces have been great, though. Triple H has done an immaculate job of selling Sting’s danger and importance.

Prediction: Sting

Bryan Rose: I think this feud has mostly been fine, but at the end of the day so I really want to see Triple H vs. Sting? I dunno. I guess it’s a match. It’s not a match I would think about when it came to Sting’s big in ring debut, but I guess Undertaker isn’t available. Except he is. I dunno. I think Triple H is smart enough to work a great smoke and mirrors match with Sting, and I don’t think it’ll be as bad as people expect. Not expecting a whole lot, but should be interesting. I think Sting wins here.

Prediction: Sting

Taylor Mitchell: This has been the best built match on this card. Everything about the build to this match (with the exception of that bizarre voiced over video from Sting) has been great compared to the rest of the matches at WrestleMania. Sting has looked fantastic on the last two weeks of Raw. WWE has finally let Sting do his own thing and stopped trying to manufacture their own version of Sting. The entrances will be great complete with Triple H doing a “Terminator” themed entrance. Sting has to win here to set up that Undertaker match that is going to break the attendance record that will be WWE’s version of math that they will manufacture.

Prediction: Sting

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar © vs. Roman Reigns

Joe Lanza: Some people are overthinking this. I’m hearing all kinds of creative ideas, some good, some terrible. Paul Heyman turning on Brock, double turns where Reigns wins, double turns where Lesnar wins, Lesnar wins and faces Rusev heel vs heel at SummerSlam, and all sorts of other wacky scenarios. Look, this is going to be simple. Vince chose Reigns a long time ago, and he’s been super protected from day one. I’m not going to beat a dead horse. We all know he isn’t ready. We all know this is super rushed. But it’s happening. This will be simple, this will be clean, this will be the coronation of Roman Reigns, and this will be the start of his Randy Orton floor, John Cena ceiling decade long run at the top. Settle in to your seats people, because this dude is getting the rocket strap whether you like it or not, and much like Randy Orton, they’re going to insist he’s an enormous star from here on out whether he really becomes one or otherwise. And who knows? He might.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Sean Flynn: With the news of Lesnar resigning is the inevitable perhaps a bit more evitable? Not really. They’ve gone this far with Reigns, essentially neutering all other possible contenders, that they really have no choice but to finish the job. I would however overlook all storyline flaws that need ignoring if the ending is a Shield Reunion.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Alex Wendland: BROCK LESNAR HAS RE-SIGNED WITH WWE. That makes this interesting and not the horrible, horrible thing we were all expecting. There’s suspense, intrigue and someone to root for! Unfortunately, it’s the heel. We haven’t taken any polls, but I would be surprised if more than 25% of VOW readers wanted to see Roman Reigns complete the journey at WrestleMania Play Button. I’ll be completely honest, Reigns is getting there, but am I supposed to root for a smarmy douchenozzle? If so, then why is Seth Rollins a heel? There’s almost nothing likeable about Reigns outside of his steely eyes and overall dreamyness. Lesnar has the best mouthpiece in the world outside of Bobby Fish in Paul Heyman. Lesnar is a legitimate badass. Lesnar is the antihero we want running roughshod against the Authority. Dangerous Alliance anyone? So many ways this COULD go that would be awesome, and I’m hoping against hope that they do. This is the WrestleMania I want and I’m really testing my (admittedly very limited) optimism on this one, but…

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Bryan Rose: There were some good spots here, to be fair, and Heyman tried his best, but in the end this is just a flat program. Reigns wasn’t the guy to go with. He gets good reactions at house shows, but every time he came out to the crowd leading to WrestleMania he got colder and colder and colder. Then they had a tug of war before the last Raw before WrestleMania aired.  Yeah, I have no idea how they’re going to come out of this one. I say they’ll stick to their guns and Roman wins, only because they stubbornly decided to go with him even though he got the reactions he did, but good luck trying to build him over the summer. Or ever, with this booking.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Taylor Mitchell: As the conductor of the Roman Reigns Train I have been his No. 1 advocate since his return this past Fall, but WWE seems to pull the rug out from under this guy everytime he seems to turn a corner (see: Tug of War). Roman Reigns as the new “top guy” for WWE is not going to be as bad as people think. You take a look at John Cena at WrestleMania 21 and he wasn’t getting a surplus of stars thrown at his matches. Cena of that time outdid Reigns on the mic, but Reigns’ Five Moves of Doom are far more exciting than Cena’s. This match is going to be really good. Brock Lesnar has only had great matches against regular roster members since his return in 2012. Reigns had a great match against Daniel Bryan last month. I predicted it last month and was right. I am predicting it again for this match. This will be a four star match. And after a valiant effort, Reigns will lose to Lesnar leading to that awesome Rusev vs Lesnar match at SummerSlam. Reigns gets the opportunity to play sympathetic babyface on the chase for the WWE championship down the road.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar