WrestleMania 31 predictions

WrestleMania 31 predictions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the WWE Universe, as WrestleMania 31 is almost upon us. Before The Showcase of the Immortals takes over Levi’s® Stadium tomorrow live on WWE Network, big questions still remain — chief among them, who’s going to win and who’s going to lose?

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To help analyze the lay of the land, WWE.com brought in a star-studded panel listed below to share their WrestleMania 31 predictions. Check out whom they’ve picked to come up big, and then share your own predictions in the comments section.

  • Shawn Michaels — The one and only Mr. WrestleMania, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels is a former WWE Champion, Intercontinental Champion, European Champion, World Tag Team Champion and Royal Rumble Match winner, as well as the master of Sweet Chin Music.
  • Howard Finkel — A WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer, The Fink was hired as WWE’s first employee in 1980, and he remains the company’s longest-tenured operative.
  • Joey Styles — The original voice of Extreme Championship Wrestling, Styles was the lead announcer of Raw in 2005 and 2006. He is currently a vice president of digital media at WWE.
  • Bill Apter — Veteran sports-entertainment journalist Bill Apter was long the face of several ring periodicals, including “Pro Wrestling Illustrated,” and he now heads up 1wrestling.com.
  • Michael Hayes — A founding member of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds and one of the most outspoken Superstars in history, Michael “P.S.” Hayes is now an official with WWE.
  • Tommy Dreamer — Extreme hero Tommy Dreamer is a former ECW Champion and ECW Tag Team Champion, as well as a former multi-time WWE Hardcore Champion. He currently trains aspiring Superstars at the House of Hardcore Wrestling Academy in Pougkeepsie, N.Y.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Match)

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: It’s hard to not pick Big Show as the favorite, but I’m going to say the big man, Erick Rowan. I’m going with the dark horse on this one. WINNER: Erick Rowan

@HowardFinkel: As I do not know the complete list of participants in this encounter, I cannot select a winner for this match in clear conscience. I do, however, look forward to seeing who will win the coveted trophy for being the final entrant remaining in the ring. WINNER: n/a

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal preview |  John Gruden breaks down the field

@JoeyStyles: For the past two months, we’ve seen weekly videos on WWE TV hyping the return of Sheamus. It only makes sense that he picks his shot and returns on The Grandest Stage of Them All. If you go back and watch the videos, they highlight not the happy-go-lucky Irishman, but the vicious, merciless and remorseless Celtic Warrior. Injuries have stopped and started Sheamus’ ascension to main eventer. If the Dubliner wants to once again be WWE World Heavyweight Champion, he needs to start his climb up the ladder of contention much higher than the lowest rung. Winning the Battle Royal named after WWE’s most beloved Hall of Famer at WrestleMania will immediately make Sheamus someone to watch. WINNER: Sheamus

@Apter1wrestling: Twenty Superstars have been announced, but only one can win. That Superstar’s career will take a huge step forward, rising to a whole new level. After examining all the entire field of announced entrants, I predict Damien Mizdow will win and finally find himself out of the shadow of The Miz. The victory will also infuriate Miz! WINNER: Damien Mizdow

@MichaelPSHayes1: I’ll go with The Big Guy, Ryback. Jon Gruden picked him, too, so I know I’m in good company. WINNER: Ryback

Erick Rowan: 1, Damien Mizdow: 1, Sheamus: 1, Ryback: 1

WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way (Kickoff Match)

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: I'm going with Tyson Kidd & Cesaro. They’re both very talented. Tyson is incredible when it comes to anything aerial and Cesaro can pretty much do anything. WINNERS: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

@HowardFinkel: This contest will give the tag team division a very bright spotlight to show its stuff. Each team that is entering as challengers could pull off the win on a moment’s notice, but I will go with the incumbent duo of Tyson Kidd & Cesaro to retain. I also hope these four teams will show the WWE Universe that tag team wrestling was, is and will always be an integral part of the WWE landscape! WINNERS: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Fatal 4-Way Match preview |  Will The Usos ride the wave of momentum into 'Mania?

@JoeyStyles: The crux of the matter is that The New Day's Big E & Kofi Kingston, Los Matadores and The Usos don’t have to pin or force champions Tyson Kidd or Cesaro to submit to leave with the titles. Making things even worse for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions is the fact that with eight Superstars, a dazzling Diva and a little person in a bull costume running around, a single referee could easily be bamboozled by The Usos or Los Matadores pulling the ol’ switcheroo. In essence, all the eclectic entrances, colorful costumes, awesome acrobatics and livestock involved makes this a circus disguised as a match intended to take the titles from Kidd & Cesaro. That said, I predict the no-frills, fundamentally sound Swiss Superman and Canadian cat-loving fact dropper will defy the odds. WINNERS: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

@Apter1wrestling: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro will retain the WWE Tag Team Titles and here is why: They have figured out how to combat Los Matadores in the many matches they've had against them.  As far as The New Day, I think they are more focused on pleasing the fans with their showmanship, and that takes their focus away from the target they are after. Due to the injury suffered by Jey, The Usos may perform slightly below their usual level (though not by much). The only way I can see the champions losing is if Natalya and Tyson have issues that cause a careless move by them. If not, it's the champions retaining! WINNERS: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro: 4, The Usos: 0, The New Day: 0, Los Matadores: 0

United States Champion Rusev vs. John Cena

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: Definitely John Cena. This is Rusev’s first WrestleMania and John’s had so many big moments at WrestleMania. He’ll find a way to make this one memorable. WINNER: John Cena

@HowardFinkel: This searing rivalry has taken its toll on both men over a period of time, but advantage Rusev, based on the events of this past Monday. I believe that it is all-or-nothing for John Cena. He wants to restore pride and dignity to the U.S. Championship and represent the United States with said title on a global platform. But to accomplish that, he has to climb “Mt. Rusev.” Again, the man has yet to be pinned or submit. I have yet to go against Rusev in my match predictions, and I am not about to change my thinking. Although I envision an epic battle, the better Superstar after all is said and done will be Rusev. WINNER: Rusev

Cena rallies the Cenation on 'Kimmel' |  United States Title Match preview

@JoeyStyles: Really? Is there anyone who thinks John Cena is not going to win back the star-spangled championship from the American-loathing Russian sympathizer on The Grandest Stage of them All? The real questions that need to be asked about this match are: How grandiose will John Cena’s patriotic entrance be? Will Stan Lee take away Captain America’s shield and give it to Cena for WrestleMania? Will Sylvester Stallone remake “Rocky IV” with Cena as “The Italian Stallion”? Will Monday be a national holiday in America? USA! USA! USA! WINNER: John Cena

@Apter1wrestling: This will be one of the most grueling matches John Cena and Rusev will ever compete in throughout their careers. The powerful Bulgarian Brute-turned-Russian sympathizer swears he will not let the United States Title slip into the hands of his most despised enemy. However, Cena's fury and determination will not only see him hand Rusev his first substantial WWE defeat, but also bring the U.S. Championship gold back where it belongs — around the waist of a very proud American. WINNER: John Cena

@MichaelPSHayes1: Here you have John Cena in his tenth or 11th WrestleMania match. This is Rusev’s first. You wonder how much that will affect the outcome. There’s a lot of pressure on Rusev to deliver. Cena always puts a lot of pressure on himself, of course. Though I’d like Cena to win, I’m predicting Rusev comes out on top. WINNER: Rusev

@TheTommyDreamer: I can't believe I'm writing this, but John Cena needs this WrestleMania victory. John has been the face of WWE and rightfully so. He does more for WWE than any other Superstar that I have ever seen. Charity work, media appearances, movies … you name it, he does it. However, John needs to focus on regaining a championship, because without victories, all of those opportunities start to go away. John needs to get himself to the top of WWE once again. The x-factor for Rusev is Lana. Let’s hope she channels her inner Miss Elizabeth circa SummerSlam 1988 and reveals her "assets" to distract John Cena. Without a distraction as awesome as that, I can't see John losing. WINNER: John Cena

John Cena: 4, Rusev: 2

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: This one’s really tough because they’re both very talented and really good at what they do. I think Seth Rollins has to win in order to prove that he’s not just a flash in the pan. And I think he will. WINNER: Seth Rollins

@HowardFinkel: Will this contest be a strict singles meeting, or will J&J Security have a presence outside the ring? In the interest of fairness, I believe Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble should not be at ringside. Let bitter rivals Randy Orton and Seth Rollins battle it out, one-on-one. Rollins has blossomed into a major player in WWE over the past year, while Orton is consistently cunning and methodical. Orton’s break from The Authority was the best thing he did in recent memory, and The Viper will emerge victorious, no matter where J&J Security will be. WINNER: Randy Orton

The Viper vs. 'The Future of WWE' |  Watch Orton's beatdown on Rollins

@JoeyStyles: What a butt-kicking! The Viper gave the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” payback with interest when he battered and beat him all over the arena, then RKO’ed him through the announce table on Raw. Though an awesome athlete and a Money in the Bank winner, Rollins has been unable to win big money matches without The Authority in his corner. However, it’s safe to assume that Big Show, Kane and J&J Security will indeed be running interference for Rollins. I see Orton having Rollins ready for a match-ending RKO several times, only to be thwarted by Authority interference. Sooner or later, though even a myopic Cyclops in a referee shirt is going to catch them in the act and disqualify Mr. Money in the Bank. WINNER: Randy Orton

@Apter1wrestling: Seth Rollins has plenty of insurance to destroy Randy Orton. With J&J Security, and possibly Kane and Big Show, in his corner, it will be tough for Orton to gain a victory. However, as we have learned from the past, The Viper has a highly unpredictable, combative persona. That, coupled with his deep hatred for the entire Authority, will see him RKO his way to victory against Mr. Money in the Bank and his henchman. WINNER: Randy Orton

@MichaelPSHayes1: Seth Rollins seems to always figure out a way, but he hasn’t faced The Viper in a singles match. Nonetheless, I’m going to go with the ever-resourceful Seth Rollins. WINNER: Seth Rollins

Randy Orton: 3, Seth Rollins: 2

AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: I see AJ and Paige as the outsiders, with Paige as the newcomer, of sorts. The Bella Twins have come a long way and really improved a lot, along with the Divas division. I think this one goes to The Bellas. WINNERS: The Bella Twins

@HowardFinkel: Just when you thought AJ Lee and Paige were getting along, the events of this past Monday night shattered that myth. There are definite problems between the two, and The Bellas are right in the eye of their storm. The fragile bond that was recently rekindled between AJ and Paige will now be tested this Sunday, and to me, it’s purely an oil-and-water situation. As long as the tension remains in the air, then The Bellas will score the win, perhaps with “relative” ease. WINNERS: The Bella Twins

AJ & Paige unite on SmackDown |  Divas tag team match preview

@JoeyStyles: Enough! I’ve had enough of Brie & Nikki tearing down AJ & Paige for not resembling bronzed bikini models. I’ve had enough of Nikki routinely retaining the Divas Championship only because of Brie’s interference. You know who has even less tolerance for The Bellas’ better-than-thou bluster? AJ & Paige. With both Nikki & Brie in the match, unless they have a long lost Bella triplet, there will be nowhere for the twin terrors to hide. I can’t predict that this is exactly how the match will end, especially given the obvious problems between Paige & AJ, but I would love to see simultaneous submissions to the PTO and Black Widow. WINNERS: AJ Lee & Paige

@Apter1wrestling: I cannot realistically see AJ & Paige winning. They are fine singles competitors, but new as a tag team. The Bellas are on the same wavelength, and although they will take a beating, they will emerge as victors in this Divas grudge match. WINNERS: The Bella Twins

The Bella Twins: 3  AJ Lee & Paige: 1

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: I take nothing away from Bray Wyatt at all, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to face The Undertaker after last year. WINNER: The Undertaker

@HowardFinkel: Flash back to WrestleMania one year ago: The Undertaker’s vaunted unbeaten Streak came to a stunning end. Silence ensued. Shock abounded. Then, recently, Bray Wyatt began goading The Undertaker to accept a match. It’s simple: Wyatt is on a mission to challenge himself on The Grandest Stage of Them All; what better way than to go after one of WrestleMania’s all-time greats? Unfortunately for Wyatt, The Undertaker will be more than ready to return to WrestleMania with a vengeance. There is no way The Phenom suffers consecutive losses in as many years. WINNER: The Undertaker

Video preview: The Phenom vs. The New Face of Fear at WrestleMania 31

@JoeyStyles: Kudos to Bray Wyatt for calling out The Undertaker. If you are a young Superstar looking to make your mark in history, you have to compete against WWE’s biggest Superstars. Last year, Wyatt fell in a very evenly contested match against John Cena at WrestleMania. The result of the match doesn’t matter. Wyatt proved he can hang with the best in the world under the biggest spotlight. Still, The Undertaker must be enraged. Last year, not only did his Streak end, but it happened in a rather one-sided match that resulted in The Deadman collapsing backstage and leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in an ambulance. This match is not about a title. This match is not about a streak. This match is about the fact The Phenom is a proud gladiator who doesn’t want last year’s showing to be the final impression he leaves the world with. To preserve his legacy, The Undertaker must win this match, and he will. WINNER: The Undertaker

@Apter1wrestling: Bray Wyatt has bitten off more than he can chew. His brazen challenge to The Undertaker is the biggest mistake of his controversial career path. He has awoken a dormant giant whose juices to return to the ring are now flowing through his body. I pity Wyatt. This match will not only alter his career, but his life as well. The Undertaker has a Tombstone with Wyatt's name on it at WrestleMania. WINNER: The Undertaker

@TheTommyDreamer: I really want to see this match. Bray is so unique I don’t think he will be intimidated by The Undertaker’s presence. The Undertaker needs this match. The Streak ending was one of the most devastating things to happen in wrestling history. The Undertaker knows this and has something to prove — not to his fans, but to himself. Is Father Time sneaking up to him? Will this be his last ever WrestleMania match? The wildcard here is the supernatural; who knows what could happen? These men worship from a different altar. Lightning, fire, the raining of blood, locusts … any of that could happen with these two involved. Ultimately, I predict experience will win out. The best win/loss record in WrestleMania history will be redeemed, and a new Streak will start. WINNER: The Undertaker

The Undertaker: 5, Bray Wyatt: 0

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: I'm going with Daniel Bryan, and not just because he was trained by me. I think the Intercontinental Championship isn’t looked at the same as it once was and if anyone can make it special, it’s Daniel Bryan. WINNER: Daniel Bryan

@HowardFinkel: Seems to me that all seven participants in this match have “held” the Intercontinental Championship in some form or fashion in recent weeks. I am going out on a limb in selecting R-Truth to emerge from the scrum as the neeewwww Intercontinental Champion — my upset special of WrestleMania. I’ve seen a newfound gleam in Truth’s eyes since he was announced for this match. He now has a purpose on the grand stage that is WrestleMania, and I truly believe that this ring veteran will find a way to outlast the competition, climb the ladder and emerge victorious. WINNER: R-Truth

Must-read round table: Former Intercontinental Champions on why the title matters

@JoeyStyles: Any prediction of a winner in this seven-Superstar demolition derby is just a guess. Therefore, I’m going to make my official prediction what I would like to see happen. I’d love nothing better than for Daniel Bryan, who many fans were hoping would challenge Brock Lesnar, to win his first Intercontinental Championship. Subsequently, the 30-year WWE fan in me wants to see Bryan defend that title on every Raw, every SmackDown, every pay-per-view and every Live Event. I long to see him defend against every workhorse in WWE, fan favorite or villain, including the other six competitors in Sunday’s Ladder Match and NXT’s Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Finn Bálor, Hideo Itami and more! WINNER: Daniel Bryan

@Apter1wrestling: I've got some bad news for six competitors here. Climbing the ladder of success and retaining the Intercontinental Championship will be Bad News Barrett.  Ziggler, Ambrose and Bryan will get close, but it's a bright outlook for Barrett as he keeps the title. WINNER: Bad News Barrett

@MichaelPSHayes1: I like Dean Ambrose’s chances. I think he throws more caution to the wind than any of his opponents, and in these kinds of matches, that’s the mindset you have to have. His resiliency speaks for itself. I imagine the favorites would be Daniel Bryan or Dolph Ziggler, but I say Ambrose. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Daniel Bryan: 2 Bad News Barrett: 1, Dean Ambrose: 1, R-Truth: 1, Dolph Ziggler: 0, Stardust: 0, Luke Harper: 0

Sting vs. Triple H

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: It’s a shame because I have a ton of respect for Sting and everything he’s done in his career. But I’m loyal to WWE and my best friend in the world is Triple H. So — again, blind loyalty — I’m going with Triple H. WINNER: Triple H

@HowardFinkel: I have my interest piqued for this match, with my anticipation level being high. It is somewhat tough to pick a winner here. The Game is well-embedded in the WWE fabric, and has been for quite some time. Sting was a loyal WCW soldier for years. Now Sting — with whom HHH has had problems for months — will soon realize what I would perceive as his “dream come true” opportunity to get his WrestleMania moment. I’m sure that nerves and anxiousness will be prevalent, and I’m certain Triple H knows that as well. It’s all about The Game and how you play it, and Triple H will play it to perfection in defeating Sting. WINNER: Triple H

Video preview: The Vigilante vs. The King of Kings |  Ric Flair makes his prediction on WrestleMania Today

@JoeyStyles: Sting did not finally show up in WWE to lose at WrestleMania. This match is about the consummate hero seeing Triple H and The Authority as another evil force that needs to be vanquished, just like the Four Horsemen in the 1980s and the New World Order in the ‘90s. After changing his training from aesthetic bodybuilding to functional athletic, The Game is in the best condition he’s ever been in. The question is, is Sting in ring shape? Has he been working off ring rust wherever he currently hangs his bat? If Sting shows up ready to rumble at WrestleMania, it’s Game Over for Triple H. WINNER: Sting

@Apter1wrestling: Sting loves his fans. Their passionate cry to see him in a WWE ring has been on his mind for several years. He wanted to please their wishes, but he had to make sure his WWE debut would make a huge impact, and his rivalry with Triple H has done just that. Sting fever has erupted in WWE. Triple H has been training day and night to get in the best physical and mental condition of his career. Unfortunately for the leader of The Authority, there is nothing that can stop The Vigilante and his legion of Stingers from soundly defeating Triple H. WINNER: Sting

@MichaelPSHayes1: Wow. I say the advantage goes to The Cerebral Assassin, Triple H. It’s like Cena versus Rusev. This is Triple H’s umpteenth WrestleMania, but only Sting’s first. That makes a huge difference, and it might be insurmountable for The Vigilante. WINNER: Triple H

@TheTommyDreamer: I never thought this match would happen. This is a fan’s dream. Sting has this amazing force and drive that motivates him. He doesn't appear often, but when he does, it’s impactful. Triple H is moving on to the next stage of his career — becoming more of a behind-the-scenes presence and not wrestling a full-time schedule — but never underestimate The Game.This should be more of a brawl than a wrestling match; the baseball bat versus the sledgehammer, the established Franchise of WCW versus the guiding force behind WWE. Neither guy left his company. (Side note:  Someone in ECW did the same, staying to the end. He has a kendo stick, is hardcore and will fight you both, *cough cough*.) I’m sure Stephanie McMahon will get involved, and as she can't be embarrassed at WrestleMania, I bet she will do anything to stand by her man and her company. WINNER: Triple H

Triple H: 4, Sting: 2

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

WrestleMania 31 predictions

@ShawnMichaels: I’m taking Brock. Roman Reigns has a lot of steam and momentum behind him, but I’ve never been one to bet against Brock Lesnar. WINNER: Brock Lesnar

@HowardFinkel: When the demise of The Shield took place, I was interested to see how all three members would fare individually, especially Roman Reigns. He seemed to take a “slow and steady wins the race” approach. When he won this year’s Royal Rumble Match, Reigns was locked and loaded for WrestleMania. Enter Brock Lesnar, who has proven that less is more, as to when he’s been in action. The collision is imminent. I believe Lesnar has prepared himself both mentally and physically to do what it takes to defeat his opponent, which he will. WINNER: Brock Lesnar

@JoeyStyles: I know Roman Reigns hates to be told “you can’t” and even has a new T-shirt contradicting that assertion. However, many more people skeptical of Reigns doubted Brock Lesnar when they told him he couldn’t become UFC World Heavyweight Champion, couldn’tbreak The Undertaker’s undefeated Streak or couldn’t beat John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar can do anything he damn well pleases, including retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Believe that! WINNER: Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar's warning to Roman Reigns | Watch The Big Dog's workout |  Video preview

@Apter1wrestling: Roman Reigns has so much going for him. He is talented, superbly conditioned and has a natural sensibility of anticipating what his opponent’s game plan will be. This comes from his deep-rooted Samoan heritage. As the son of Sika, nephew of Afa and relative of The Rock, you would think he's got all the right ingredients to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I don't doubt that he does; he just doesn’tthistime. Brock Lesnar is a bully who can't be beaten by this near super-powered Samoan. I don't know who on the WWE roster is capable of taking the title away from the grip of Paul Heyman's out-for-blood client. I take nothing away from Roman Reigns … except this match. Brock Lesnar will be victorious and retain WWE's top title. WINNER: Brock Lesnar

@MichaelPSHayes1: This match is going to be an absolute war. I would go with Roman Reigns, and I wouldn’t call it an upset, either. WINNER: Roman Reigns

@TheTommyDreamer: Not knowing your own future can play a big factor with your mind. The only distraction I ever saw going into this match was Brock’s status with WWE, with all the media attention about him signing a new, multi-year contract. That distraction is no more. Brock will continue to dominate as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Reigns is the future of WWE, but Brock is thenow. I see doubt in Reigns’ eyes, and you cannot have any doubt when stepping into a WWE ring, especially in the main event of WrestleMania and the opponent staring a hole through you is a fighting machine like Brock Lesner. Then there’s Paul Heyman, who, as history has proven, has no loyalty to anyone. He is all about the money, so don't think he’s above cut side deals with Reigns or Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins, to secure his own future. But with Brock re-signing, I can't see Paul leaving his cash cow now. Then again, he has shocked us before. WINNER: Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar: 5, Roman Reigns: 1

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