JC’s Top Rope Report: Updated Wrestlemania 31 Predictions

After SummerSlam this year, I gave my early predictions for the Wrestlemania 31 card. In case you forgot, here was what I predicted the card would be at the time:

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns

Triple H vs Dean Ambrose

Daniel Bryan vs Seth Rollins

The Rock vs Batista

The Undertaker, Sting and Kane vs The Wyatt Family

John Cena vs Bad News Barrett

Randy Orton vs Cesaro

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

It’s been three months since those predictions were given, and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve decided to change some of those. Some of the reasons for changing them are fairly obvious. The Wyatt Family is no longer together. And with the recent way he has been booked, there’s no way in hell Cesaro is getting any kind of singles match at Wrestlemania. At this point he will be lucky to even be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

At this point, I would assume that the WWE has a pretty good idea of what the top of their card will look like. If they don’t, then the WWE is even in more chaos then what most people think it is. Now obviously injuries, or crowd reactions, or wrestlers walking out, can change plans in an instant. But the WWE probably knows what they are looking for. Their problem, however, is that they book backward and have a tough time filling in the middle part of their storylines.

I preach on this point every year, and it holds even more water this year after CM Punk’s comments, is that the WWE needs to do a better job of building up their full time talent during Wrestlemania season. It’s okay to have part timers around for Wrestlemania season to help boost ratings and what not. But if you don’t give the casual viewers who only tune in for Wrestlemania season a reason to stick around, then it almost seems like everything was a waste. Sure it’s good to bring in viewers from January to March. But if you push your full time talent during that time, maybe the casual viewers will take a liking to some of them and stick around after Wrestlemania.

I could go on about the problems with the WWE’s booking for hours, but lets get to my new Wrestlemania card for now.

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns

-I’m sticking with this one at the top of the card, for now. When I gave my thoughts on this after SummerSlam, I said that Roman Reigns had the rest of 2014 to show he belonged in this spot. Well, he was injured a month later. I still think the WWE is committed to this because they need a new top star to take the “reigns” from John Cena. However, if Roman Reigns absolutely flops in his return come December, I could see a change happening. I’ll be curious to see how the crowd takes to Reigns upon his return. I think at this point, the man that would replace Reigns would be Daniel Bryan. Dean Ambrose has cooled off a little bit since SummerSlam. I don’t need to get into the Brock Lesnar Title reign again. I’ve states my disappointment with it already, and nothing has changed since then.

Sting vs The Undertaker

-This prediction has flip flopped in the last two days. Originally, it was Sting/Undertaker. Then I had Triple H vs Sting. Then on Monday Night the WWE played that WWE2K15 teaser between Sting and Undertaker. So if I would have published this before RAW, it would have been Sting/HHH. But I settled on Sting/Taker as of now. Will the match be a good wrestling match? Probably not. But this one is all about the spectacle. I think Sting will wrestle Triple H before Mania, then go out against Taker. The two can work a safe, basic match. With these two it is all about the showmanship and giving wrestling fans the one dream match they’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H

-The one thing changing from Triple H/Sting to Undertaker/Sting did is free up a spot for Daniel Bryan. I was having a really tough time finding a spot for Daniel Bryan because he already feuded with a lot of guys still left. If the WWE is going with a power struggle storyline, and The Rock isn’t going to wrestle at Wrestlemania, then a Bryan/HHH match makes sense. The WWE can find a way to make it work. Someone goes to Cena and asks for the match, Vince tells Cena who is choice is, and Cena agrees to it because he knows Daniel Bryan can beat HHH one-on-one. It’s the WWE, they will find a way to make it work even if it doesn’t make sense.

John Cena vs Rusev

-If I would have written this column a week ago, it would have been Rusev vs Ryback for the United States Title. It seemed like Ryback might have been in line for a decent push but the way he was booked on Survivor Series and RAW leads me to believe otherwise. I think that leaves John Cena as the next logical choice to face Rusev. At this point in his career John Cena should be used as the gatekeeper to guys looking to get up to the main event. He did it last year with Bray Wyatt. It didn’t work out well, but it was the right choice. Rusev is moving up the card and is improving every week in the ring and I’ve enjoyed his work. Rusev working with Cena would be good for him and I think Rusev is destined for a main event push in 2015.

Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins

-We really didn’t get any clear finality to this program. Sure, Seth Rollins beat Ambrose twice. But the last win that we all assumed would be a clean, final win wasn’t. So that’s why I think we get this match here. These two finally get a one-on-one match with no gimmicks attached. They can just go out and wrestle a 20 minute wrestling match and entertain the crowd. I would assume that Ambrose would get the win here, and we would see Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank contract soon after and get the last laugh down the line. Ambrose has cooled off a bit in the last month but I think a feud with Rollins will help give some new life to his character, especially since the two have such great chemistry.

Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt

-This is honestly the best spot for both men. If Orton is going to be a face upon his return, there really aren’t many people left for him to feud with. These two have not had a program before so at least it is something new for both men to do. I may have soured on the Bray Wyatt character recently but he still deserves a singles match at Wrestlemania and this is right about where Bray, and Orton, should be.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

-I’m assuming this is still going to happen. I would say your favorites to win this year would be the likes of Ryback, Luke Harper, and Bad News Barrett.

Throw in a Divas Match, and maybe a Tag Titles Match on the pre-show and there is your Wrestlemania card. So what would be your Wrestlemania 31 card if you put one together today?

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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