To all our fellow pro-wrestling marks and smarks… It’s that time again!
We’ve reached WrestleMania, our Superbowl, which will be broadcast this Monday on the WWE Network. And to that we say…
Let’s waste no time and break it down.
Cruiserweight Championship: Neville (c) v Austin Aries
Though placed on the pre-show (preliminary bill) this match-up could quite possibly be the best wrestling match on the card. It will be the first time the Cruiserweight championship is defended at WrestleMania since 2004. The match has the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” Neville defending his championship against the charismatic “A Double” Austin Aries.
Aries recently returned to the squared circle after suffering an orbital bone fracture late last year, and appears highly motivated heading into his first WrestleMania match.
However Neville is too hot a bad guy to lose the title. He has single-handedly brought credibility back to the Cruiserweight devision with his “King” gimmick. Prematurely crowing Aries as the champion could do damage to both superstars leading to “hot potato” booking with the belt being passed around at each pay-per-view. Hatch tips Neville to win.
Six-pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Six of Smackdown’s best women will lock up for a chance to be called champion. Another match-up placed on the pre-show, it will see champion Alexa Bliss going against all odds to hold on to her precious title. Naomi returned to Smackdown last week, after recovering from a knee injury, to shake up this match. The only thing working against Naomi is that the fight is in her hometown, Orlando, Florida. In any other sport that would be a major advantage, but WWE fans have watched countless times as hometown heroes are defeated and humiliated in front of their nearest and dearest. Hatch tips Alexa Bliss to win.
Triple H v Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins and Triple H (pictured at top) used to be allies but now they are bitter rivals. They met when Triple H ran a show, NXT, that helped turn promising young wrestlers into superstars and Rollins became one of his top performers. The bust-up came when Rollins returned from a long injury lay-off and tried to regain a title he’d vacated. Rather than help Rollins, Triple H turned on him, ensuring he lost a crunch match. Triple H has justified his action in promos, saying Rollins had spat in his face: “His biggest mistake was pandering to the fans and not me.” Rollins is an athletic and cunning high-flyer. Triple H, now 47, is a no-nonsense brawling veteran who’s been in the business since 1994 and continues to impress. Their contrasting styles, and the bad blood, should make this the match of the night. Hatch tips Triple H to win.
Dean Ambrose v Baron Corbin
The Wiley Dean Ambrose will defend his Intercontinental championship against young buck Baron Corbin. Corbin has been very impressive since he made the top grade after emerging from NXT and won the Andre Memorial Battle Royal at last year’s Wrestlemania. Ambrose, a former world champion is still developing his style and has become faster in his moves. It will be a fluid match that should be a classic. Hatch tips Baron Corbin to win.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
The third annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will pit superstars from Raw and Smackdown Live against each other for a chance to make it into the history books of WrestleMania. Big Men like “The monster among Men” Brawn Strowman and “The world’s Largest Athlete” The Big Show are heavy favourites to win this year. – Kamilia Hanna and Jess Mullens
Image of Seth Rollins and Triple H from the WWE website.