March 30, 2017
“Monday Night Raw” and “SmackDown Live” held their “go-home shows,” the last shows before a pay-per-view event, earlier this week, so the card for WrestleMania is set. That is, if the WWE doesn’t decided to add another match during WrestleMania 33.
Neither go-home show made me feel any better about this WrestleMania. Both shows were solid, but they didn’t leave me with an uncontrollable desire to see what happens this Sunday, April 2.
I lost count of how many times a wrestler mentioned in his or her promo that WrestleMania is “the ultimate thrill ride” the tagline for this event. The announcers saying the tagline, as well, seems to just be overkill in promoting the show. How many more times will they say that catchphrase on Sunday? It is just too much at this point.
Still, there is plenty of potential for this to be a good WrestleMania, depending on what the company sees itself doing after this show.
WrestleMania 33 has 13 matches on the card, with three matches on the kickoff show and the other 10 matches on pay-per-view or the WWE Network. The kickoff show will also air at 5 p.m. on the USA Network.
If it was my show—and it's not my show—I would start the kickoff show with the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Personally, I would have this match on the main show, but since it is in the kickoff, I would have it go first.
Alexa Bliss, the current champion, will face five other women from the “SmackDown” roster for the title. The winner will be whoever gets the pinfall or submission, and the event could start fast and furious with each woman executing her finisher in the build up to the ending.
There is no reason for Bliss to lose unless the WWE wants to see Naomi win in her hometown of Orlando, where WrestleMania 33 is taking place. Bliss should keep the title to help build a feud with one of the other five women down the line.
Neville, the current cruiserweight champion, will take on Austin Aries for the cruiserweight title on the kickoff show. The WWE can’t go wrong here unless neither man puts on a great match. Both are solid performers, and either as champ works well.
The finish of the cruiserweight match could end up being tied to the winner of the women’s match. A title change should happen on the free show, so if Naomi wins the title, then Neville retains, and if Bliss retains, expect for A-Double to win.
Finishing up the kickoff show is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Thirty wrestlers will start in the ring, and an opponent must throw them over the top rope to eliminate them. There is only one possible winner of this match, and that is Braun Strowman.
The “monster among men” should be allowed to just run through the field. He could eliminate half the ring by himself, as he is built up to be unstoppable. This could set up a match for the Raw Universal Championship.
They should start the pay-only part of WrestleMania 33 with the ladder match for the Raw Tag Team titles. This allows the crowd to get amped with the entrance of Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and Cesaro and Sheamus coming out to face the champions, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
This could be the first of two spots for Finn Balor to return. If he is going heel, he could return here, and help Gallows and Anderson retain the titles, forming a new stable. This match should end with the champs keeping the belt or putting the belts back on Cesaro and Sheamus.
Dean Ambrose, the Intercontinental champion, defends against “the lone wolf,” Baron Corbin. Neither of these men was on the go-home show for “SmackDown,” and that is why this match should go on early.
If WWE is going to push Corbin to main event status, let him win, but if not, keep the belt on Ambrose. This doesn’t have a big-match feel and should have been on the kickoff show with the SmackDown Women’s Championship getting this spot.
This match could get overbooked if the WWE decides to use a gimmick like the forklift that Corbin on Ambrose used in a recent “SmackDown.” No matter what, this feud should end after this match. It just hasn’t been good for either man, in my opinion.
Next up is John Cena and Nikki Bella taking on The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag match. The WWE needs to sell all those “Hustle Loyalty Respect” pastel Cena shirts, so you know he is going to be on the show.
Miz is doing some of his best heel work since he had the WWE Championship. He and his real-life wife, Maryse, have generated major heat by going after Cena and Bella, who are a real-life couple, as well. It is rumored that Bella is leaving after this match to either take time off or retire, and Cena is leaving to do another film.
Another rumor is that Cena will ask Bella to marry him at his event. The Miz and Maryse did several skits on her wanting Cena to propose during the last two “SmackDown” shows. It seems to be pointing to a proposal at WrestleMania.
If Cena and Bella are leaving, Miz and Maryse should win this match. This is a perfect match Bella’s twin, Brie, to make an appearance, as well as Cena’s potential future brother-in-law, Daniel Bryan, who is married to Brie and is the “SmackDown” general manager.
Miz and Maryse will likely get the victory, but afterward, Brie and Bryan will come and save Cena and Bella from a post-match beat down from the winners. After the save, Cena pops the question, and Bella says yes to end the match on a happy note.
That is six of the 13 matches on the card and a nice spot to end part one of these predictions. Check back tomorrow for part two with the main events.