Wrestlemania 35 Predictions: The Demon Becomes Intercontinental Champion
Wrestlemania is coming to PPV and the WWE Network on Sunday, April 7. As of this writing, it's a pratty stacked card, with 13 matches already booked, and more could be added in the upcoming week. Yes, this is going to be a very long show. Plan your bathroom breaks carefully.
The event is happening at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the show's start time set at 4 PM PT / 7 PM ET / 12 AM BST (April 8) The Kickoff Show starts two hours prior. WWE has not announced what matches will happen on the preshow, but more than likely, it will be the Andre The Giant and Women's Battle Royal matches.
While neither tag team championship is represented on this card, there are still seven title matches already booked for Wrestlemania. WWE has been building most of these bouts for months, and you can check out the full card below.
Wrestlemania Match Card:
- Andre The Giant Battle Royal
- Women's Battle Royal
- Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship)
- Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
- Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese (Cruiserweight Championship)
- AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
- Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (Women's Tag Team Championship)
- Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
- Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio (United States Championship)
- Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
- Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred Match)
- Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)
- Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women's Championship)
Like most loudmouths on the internet who are wrestling fans, GameSpot's Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner have strong opinions about Wrestlemania 35. And, like most loudmouths on the internet, theirs are the only ones that matter. Here are there predictions for every match on the card, and our picks will be in bold.
Make sure to come back to GameSpot on April 7 for live coverage of the event.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
Mat's Prediction: What is life? Listen, I love a Kickoff Show Battle Royal. I've been way into this idea dating all the way back to Wrestlemania XXX. However, what I don't understand is the Braun Strowman and SNL storyline leading into it. Hey, I'm all for a good storyline leading into a Kickoff Show match, but this is weird. One of the three men here is going to win. Obviously, you think it's going to be Braun Strowman, but what if I told you that the grand mediator of this whole adventure, Michael Che, ended up winning it all? I'm mainly predicting him because I used to love his stand up. I'm sure I still would, but I don't watch SNL. I'm usually in bed.
Chris: I predict the loser will be us, the viewing audience. No, honestly, the 'Dre--as the cool kids call it--is a fine time waster of a match that gets a ton of people on the card, but it doesn't actually mean anything. I mean, Mojo Rawley won it once, and I don't think he's been on Raw or Smackdown in a year, outside of those mini-promos of his. I honestly don't even remember who won it last year, though it may have been Matt Hardy. This time around, they're injecting a celebrity storyline into it with Colin Jost and Michael Che of SNL feuding with Braun Strowman for some reason. Poor Braun. One day, he'll have a Wrestlemania moment worthy of him. As for the winner, since it doesn't matter, I vote Colin Jost. He loves New York sports teams too much to job at the stadium where the Jets play.
Women's Battle Royal
Mat's Prediction: So here's the thing. As of this writing (March 28), this hasn't been confirmed yet. We don't know who is involved, and there are only rumors of this match taking place. But why have this match last year if you don't plan on having it again? Mania could use another women's match on the card though, especially the kickoff and this is perfect for the event. So, who will win? Well, this feels like it should be a win for Asuka, considering she was stripped of her title and truly deserves it.
Chris: Honestly, is this even going to happen? These battle royales--this one and the Andre--mean nothing. It's just a way to pack more people onto the show. Since Smackdown's Women's Championship is now tied up in the main event, though, this one's important because Smackdown's women's division needs to be represented. As for who will win, I'm just going to say Asuka. She lost the title, she's legitimately the best talent on the blue brand--even if she's never treated like it--and I want her to kick heads.
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. "The Demon" Finn Balor
UPDATE: Since these predictions have been originally made, The Demon is now booked to face Lashley. This does not change what we think will happen though.
Mat's Prediction: If you've been keeping up with these predictions, you know how I feel about Bobby Lashley. I'm not feeling it, but I do enjoy Lio Rush. Out of all the stories for Wrestlemania, this is the one I care the least about, even though Balor is one of my favorite WWE superstars. I feel like Finn Balor needs to win this one to distance himself from this storyline. Let's move on to something else, please.
Chris: Please let Finn win this one. Lasley having the Intercontinental Championship does nothing for him or the belt, meanwhile Balor needs some serious rebuilding after falling into the vortex of NXT guys that WWE isn't sure what to do with. Give him the title, make him more than "the abs guy that smiles a lot," and let Finn Balor become the main event player he should be.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Mat's Prediction: This is the match I didn't know I needed. McIntyre vs. Reigns makes perfect sense, and puts two big guys in one titanic battle. There is nothing at stake. This isn't for a championship. This is just a grudge match, in a classic face vs. heel bout. I can see this one going either way, honestly, but it feels like with Roman Reigns returning after beating cancer, that this match is his to win.
Chris: The thing about this match is it's not something we see too often anymore. It's just a classic vicious feud. Drew beat up Roman, beat up Roman's friend, and wants to end Roman's career. Roman, meanwhile, has made a heroic recovery from leukemia, and wants to avenge not only his fallen comrade but his own dignity. Now, these two are going to duke it out in what I can only assume it an extremely hard-hitting Mania match. I think Roman Reigns winning this match is a foregone conclusion. That said, I expect Drew to take him to the very limit and perhaps only lose via some kind of rollup. Drew McIntyre has proven he's better than what he's been doing on Raw prior to this fud and hopefully this will catapult him higher up the card.
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Tony Nese
Mat's Prediction: Like with almost every PPV, the cruiserweight championship will more than likely be the match of the night. However, also like every PPV, it will get overshadowed by something else, like a big surprise. Here's something for free: I don't watch 205 Live. Yes, I love the 205 Live matches on PPVs. I'm lukewarm on Tony Nese, but he'll bring something different to this match, as we've mainly seen more high flyers on the PPV matches. I've predicted Murphy to lose at PPVs time and time again, and I'm always wrong. However, I'm going to give Buddy Murphy the win on this one, as he's proven himself at these major shows that he's worthy of a big Wrestlemania moment.
Chris: The thing about the Cruiserweight Champion is that, like Mat, nobody watches 205 Live. It happens to be its own show with a plethora of super talented wrestlers that don't get the proper WWE spotlight. In fact, I'm guessing NXT has at least twice the audience of 205 Live. Did you know Mike Kannellis is back? Yeah, he's on 205 Live. Who knew? It's unfortunate because Buddy Murphy has been an incredible champion since winning that title, and I have no doubt he will retain at Wrestlemania. Why? Because there's plenty of more suitable names for him to finally drop the title to when the time comes. That said, my one wish is for the 205 Live guys to get screen time on Raw again. Raw is three hours long. I think they can give the cruiserweights a segment or two.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
Mat's Prediction: Two great competitors in a storyline that screams, "These guys need something to do." The booking behind is is pretty weak, with Orton saying he's a company man and AJ Styles saying he's the hair that built the place. Styles does a great impression of that pose Orton does that has always confused me. You know the one. Where it looks like he's trying to hold a cloud above his head while simultaneously smelling it. Whatever. It'll still be a great match, and one that seems can go either way. Believe it or not, I'm going with Randy Orton for the win on this one. Why not?
Chris: This is sort of the opposite of Roman vs. Drew. This is a feud for feud's sake, in which neither man will really gain much from the win. However, both men have a lot to love from doing the job. The way Randy Orton has been booked the last year or so, I in no way buy him as a credible threat to anyone. He's just the elder statesman of Smackdown Live that's become a one-move punchline to any segment that stick him in. I wish he had more to do, but WWE's roster is so jam-packed that I wouldn't know what they could do with him anyway. AJ, on the other hand, needs anything but a loss--which is why I think AJ Styles will win. He's gone from the WWE Champion-level "face that runs the place" to meandering about in this feud with Orton. He should be in a higher profile Wrestlemania match. Even tossing a number one contender stipulation on this would make it more worthwhile.
Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. The IIconics vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (Women's Tag Team Championship
Mat's Prediction: This fatal four-way for the Women's Tag Team Championship feels like a bit much, doesn't it? There's a rivalry between Banks & Bayley and Jax & Tamina, but now Phoenix and Natalya are thrown into the mix, and then The IIconics are here. It's essentially just a dump of the active women's tag teams into one match. I'm a bit concerned it's going to be a little too crazy and tough to keep track of. And where do you go from here? Phoenix and Natalya aren't teaming for the fun of it. It seems like Phoenix is here for the long haul. Because of this, even though Banks & Bayley are new champions, I'm giving the win to Phoenix & Natalya.
Chris: This is… a lot. It also flies in the face of what Bayley and Sasha have said since winning the belts. Any brand is eligible, right? Then why isn't NXT or NXT UK represented here? What better place to spotlight those talents than in a Wrestlemania match? I'm all for Beth Phoenix coming out of retirement and don't want her dropped from this match. That said, why are Nia Jax and Tamina involved? They has a two-on-two opportunity and lost. Natalya and Phoenix should b the Raw component of this match with an NXT team rounding it out. In the end,
The Boss N Hug ConnectionBanks & Bayley--in your face, Mat--will retain. And they should. Let's establish these titles a bit more.
Editor's Note: I still hate Bayley & Banks' tag team name.
Hayner's note: Nobody cares, Mat.
Editor's note: I'm sure at least one of my Twitter followers does.
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Mat's Prediction: I love The Miz, but I hate this story line. Sure, it makes sense, but how many times can we play the "McMahons are the bad guys and will screw you" story play out? There are literally two of these exact types of stories happening on Smackdown leading to Wrestlemania. The whole match seems contrived to push Miz as a face even more. I'm very behind McMahon using superstars as a Mean Street Posse 2.0, especially Sanity, who has been missing from TV for months. But this match is about Miz overing odds, and that being said, I'm giving Miz the win.
Chris: If Shane McMahon wins, we riot. Listen, Shane's heel turn was bad. I think we all agree. He's slowly going in the right direction, though, and I truly hope Sanity is his Mean Street Posse 2.0. I'm also coming around on The Miz as a face. The sympathy the audience has for him is astonishing, given literally everything he's done as a dastardly heel. But I'm loving it, and I'm excited to watch Miz beat the crap out of him at Mania. However, I'm actually going to predict Shane McMahon as victorious. This is a Falls Count Anywhere match, and I want to see Sanity come in and lay Miz out. Sorry, Miz. I still love you.
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
(United States Championship)
Mat's Prediction: Man, I was really hoping to see Mysterio vs. Andrade for the title at Wrestlemania. Don't get me wrong though, as this is going to be a dynamite bout. Now, onto the weird storyline. Mysterio's son Dominic is involved. Remember Dominic? Years ago, Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero had a ladder match for the custody of the child. And that was in WWE, not some weird indie promotion. By the way, I'm not dissing that story. Weird stuff like that is what I'm into. Anyway, Dominic is all grown up and like two feet taller than his father. Why is he here, storywise? No clue. Anyway, I guess Samoa Joe will win because Dominic has been training, and he'll interfere in the match, DQing his father.
Chris: I love Rey Mysterio. I love Samoa Joe. I don't love this feud. Dominic Mysterio Jr. né Guerrero (That's his legal name, right?) doesn't belong anywhere near this. Yes, he's training to be a wrestler. But also, yes, this is Wrestlemania. What could be a fun match between the giant killer and a killing machine will instead be about who's on the outside. I'm sure the match will still be fantastic, but having Dominic out there is an added distraction we don't need. I think Samoa Joe will win and choke out every member of the Mysterio family. Oh man, or Dominic Mysterio Jr. né Guerrero turns on Rey when he realizes Samoa Joe was his dad the whole time!
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
Mat's Prediction: Finally, the final match that Kurt Angle deserves. Facing John Cena, the superstar who had his first main roster match against the Olympic hero? Not happening. What about Shelton Benjamin, who could use a nice push and worked with Angle when he was called up to the main roster? Nope! At this point, I've accepted how weird this match is, and I've come to love that when Baron Corbin is announced before a match, all of his accreditations are listed. It's stupidly long and right up my alley. Listen, this may not be the match you want, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to be a bad match. It exists to put Kurt Angle over and to squash Corbin, and bless that lone wolf for constantly being put in this position.
Chris: Hahahahahaha, this match can't happen at Wrestlemania. Right? Please? Please tell me this isn't going to actually take place at Wrestlemania as Kurt Angle's final match. Jesus Christ, what are we even doing? If this happens at Mania, I'll be surprised. That said, it'll be a short match and Baron Corbin will win. Why? Because Corbin can't do matches that are both long and good., and Kurt Angle's "farewell tour" has consisted of quick bouts with some of the best wrestlers on the roster. Kurt Angle deserves better than this, though. We all do.
Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred Match)
Mat's Prediction: Here's to hoping Triple H doesn't tear anything in this match because he seems to have a knack for that, and I don't want anything bad to happen to the cerebral assassin. I'm actually really excited for this bout as there has been a fantastic build for the story. But what I'm most excited for are the entrances. Triple H is going to come out in some ridiculous costume and probably riding a motorcycle, and I'm gonna be so into it. However, as soon as Batista's music hits, I'll be screaming "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" I will then proceed to high five everyone around me because Batista's music is awesome. Actually, I'm giving Batista the win based solely on his entrance music. Sorry about your career, Hunter.
Chris: The winner of this match is an easy one to predict. It's whoever designs entrances at Wrestlemania, because holy cow, the pyro, lighting, and--I can only assume--custom motorcycles Triple H has become fond of are going to be so over-the-top. Honestly, this should be a really fun match, and one that hasn't been overexposed through the years. Dave and Triple H main evented Wrestlemania 21 in a really good match and this one should be even better. I was fairly sure Batista was going to win until the stipulation was added that Triple H's career was on the line. Given that he's shown he has no problem losing when he returns--especially as a heel--I expect Batista to do the honors here. Triple H will be victorious and continue wrestling at Mania and whenever WWE goes to Saudi Arabia.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Mat's Prediction: There is only one match on this card with a better build than this one, and we'll get to that later. Everything about this match is near perfection. Sure, it's another "McMahon is evil and calling someone a B+ player" schtick, but you can recycle storylines as long as the superstars involved can bring something extra to it. The New Daniel Bryan has inserted himself as a "Yes Man" into this, all while Kofi Kingston is playing the hero who has to rise to the occasion, surrounded by his supportive friends who were ready to "jump ship" from the company. This has the potential to be one of the best matches of the evening. I can actually really see Daniel Bryan winning here, but this feels like Kofi Kingston's match to win.
Chris: Kofimania is running wild, and I am here for it. I love the new Daniel Bryan. I think he's incredibly entertaining, and it's a take on the character I don't want to go away for a very long time. That said, WWE has to recognize the excitement with what they have on their hands. The audience loves Kofi Kingston, and they should. He's a veteran who hasn't gotten a real chance to be a main event player, and the crowd feels like it's time. It's so exciting watching what is essentially Daniel Bryan's Wrestlemania XXX storyline but with himself cast as the villain. I have no doubt this match will rule, and I'm also hopeful that when all is said and done, Kofi Kingston will be your new WWE Champion.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Mat's Prediction: The Universal Championship has no prestige, thanks to the part-time champion, Brock Lesnar. It needs to be rebuilt and have a solid face holding it above his head, week after week. I want to be mean here, but I'm keeping it restrained. Seth Rollins wins, and Brock Lesnar disappears faster than a R-Truth vs. John Cena storyline.
Chris: I don't even want to go into detail here. Seth Rollins wins and Brock Lesnar goes away. It's time. It's been time for a few years. Goodbye Brock.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
(Winner Takes All)
UPDATE: Since these predictions were originally made, the stipulation has been made for the match. It is now a "winner takes all" bout; however, this does not change our predictions.
Mat's Prediction:Becky Lynch. Let's just get that out of the way because if you've followed my predictions for the past three years or so, I've picked Lynch to win every single time--except once (I'm sorry). This is the best feud in WWE and Lynch is the biggest star in the company right now. Don't agree with me? Well, that's because you've been living in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean for the past year. Now, she'll main event Wrestlemania. There are also two other competitors I like in this match, but I've got Manfluenza, an incurable disease that forces me to talk only about how great Lynch's evolution has been over the past year. Becky wins. I cheer. I high five Chris.
Side note: Why does Charlotte need to be champion for this? Asuka deserves better.
Chris: First, let me say the winner of this match is everybody. It's exciting to know that women are going to main event Wrestlemania. And they're doing it with the best feud on WWE TV and three of the biggest names the company has. While there have been some speedbumps on the road to this match--Remember Becky's crutches?--this has all been done so well and now we're getting what I can only assume will be a match of the night contender, as Becky, Charlotte, and Rhonda close out the biggest show of the year. They should be proud of what they've put together, and I can't wait to see it. Now, as for who walks out with the Raw Women's Championship, I'm going with Becky Lynch. "The Man" has risen above any possible expectations WWE could have had for her and become one of the most popular stars of her era. This is Becky's time, and she deserves to reign supreme.