Bleacher Report’s WWE Staff Predictions for WrestleMania 2019

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    Triple H and Batista.

    Triple H and Batista.Credit: WWE.com

    WrestleMania 35 is shaping up to be one of the biggest shows in the history of WWE, so it makes sense for us to have the biggest expert panel we have had to make predictions.

    For the first time ever, 10 Bleacher Report writers and employees have contributed their predictions for The Showcase of the Immortals.

    Here is a look at the lineup of contributors:

Each person will answer three questions. Everyone will answer the same questions about the WWE and Women’s Championships bouts, but each person will also answer a third question about a different random match.

Before we get to answering some burning questions and making predictions, let’s take a look at the massive lineup WWE has put together for Sunday’s WrestleMania 35. 

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    Here is a look at the card for WrestleMania 35, according to WWE.com:

  • Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships)
  • Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship)
  • Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)
  • Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio (United States Championship)
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship)
  • Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred)
  • The Miz vs. Shane McMahon (Falls Count Anywhere)
  • Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin
  • AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
  • Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese (Cruiserweight Championship)
  • Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The IIconics vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya (Women’s Tag Team Championships)
  • The Usos vs. The Bar vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
  • The Revival vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder (Raw Tag Team Championships)
  • Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
  • WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    Just as WWE added the Women’s Tag Team Championships that can be defended on any of the company’s brands, a unified Women’s World Championship would add prestige to the title and cement any champion as the undisputed best in the business.

    Who better to unify the belts and carry the WWE Universe into the next era than The Man?

                              

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    With all of the momentum on Kofi Kingston’s side heading into WrestleMania, WWE would be wise to put the world title around his waist and keep The New Day together.

    If that’s not an option, Kingston should remain on SmackDown as WWE champion and the duo of Xavier Woods and Big E should head to Raw in order to help save the red brand’s struggling tag team division.

                                 

    The Miz vs. Shane McMahon

    Q: Do you think The Miz should remain a babyface for a little while or would you rather see him turn heel again after this feud is over? 

    The Miz should’ve turned on Shane McMahon at Fastlane, but that’s water under the bridge.

    As a face, WWE should ride with The Miz as a good guy as long as he gets positive reactions. He’s won much of the WWE Universe over by cutting top-tier promos and improving his in-ring skills.

    Giving Miz a run on Raw as a top face before he turns on the likes of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns would be interesting.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    Neither brand’s women’s

    division is all that strong at the moment, but there is enough talent on both to justify having two titles. Fingers crossed that whoever wins this match doesn’t hold both belts for long and we can go back to having two separate champions soon after WrestleMania. Otherwise, there are going to be even more women getting lost in the shuffle.

                                   

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team?

    First and foremost, breaking up The New Day any time soon considering they are at their peak at the moment would be ridiculous.

    That said, if WWE were to split them up, Kingston should stay put on SmackDown Live with Big E and Woods going back to Raw as a tag team. Kingston has proved he can fend for himself if this Road to WrestleMania has been any indication.

                                 

    AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton

    Q: Neither one of these men will suffer much if they lose, but who stands to gain the most from a victory and why?

    It is entirely possible one of these two is sent packing to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up. Not because this rivalry has run its course, but because both guys have accomplished everything imaginable on SmackDown Live and would benefit from a change of scenery.

    That said, Styles has the most to gain from a victory at WrestleMania considering it would ideally get him back to main event status. Orton, on the other hand, is already established and wouldn’t benefit much from winning at this stage of his career.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    This all depends on WWE’s plans for the brands after the SmackDown switch to Fox in October. Since the WWE Clash of Champions is happening right around that time, it’s very suspicious that there may be title unifications on that card. If so, WWE should cut to the chase and unify these belts at WrestleMania and start to ease into the brands becoming one again.

    If not, and the plan is to keep everything separate, the winner should defend each title separately and lose one of them after being cashed in on by the Money in the Bank winner.

                                 

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team?

    From the sheer momentum alone and the possibility he could be holding a singles championship at the time, Kingston should be the one to fly solo.

    Woods and Big E are so fantastic as a unit and both would struggle to find their own footing in singles competition, whereas Kingston could focus on defending his title and branching off into showing a different side of his character.

    The New Day spirit could still live on with Woods and Big E, while Kingston could be more serious. Then, after the title reign is finished, a reunion could always be on the table, just like The Shield and D-Generation X have had.

                                

    Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins

    Q: What role, if any, do you see Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose playing in this match?

    If either makes an appearance here, it will be to help Rollins win the championship. However, I don’t see any of that happening, as Ambrose will probably not do a single thing at WrestleMania and Reigns will simply wrestle McIntyre.

    I have no faith anymore that WWE will take the belt off Lesnar, so I have no reason to believe in any scenario that he’ll lose, with or without help from the rest of The Shield.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    There’s too much precedent with title unifications in WWE to defend both belts on Raw and Smackdown. Selectively defending one of the belts could minimize storylines on the shows and stunt development for characters. However, we do see title defenses by weight class by double champs in UFC and boxing. In the new WWE era where inventiveness reigns supreme, why not shake things up a bit?

                                                          

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    There’s no way The New Day separates as a squad. They’re both a freebird-like tag team and a faction. However, if they did split, I think Big E should go solo. He’s one of the pillars of WWE’s future, was a compelling singles star in NXT and early in his WWE career, and he has limitless potential to achieve the same stardom Kingston has accrued.

    WWE shouldn’t wait 11 years to showcase his deft singles competitor skills.

                               

    Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor

    Q: The Demon should be a merchandising goldmine. Why don’t you think WWE has allowed Finn Balor to use it more often?

    The Demon is like Super Saiyan God Goku. You only unleash your final form in dire circumstances. WWE has created this character to exact supernatural vengeance on Finn Balor’s opponents, so it’s no longer a special attraction if you use it every week.

    The real marketing goldmine is if they allowed Balor to adorn a variety of paint motifs as the former Prince Devitt unveiled regularly in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. 

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    Twenty-seven women are actively working on the main roster of WWE, with Beth Phoenix potentially staying around after WrestleMania as well. It would make no sense to leave one of the brands without a singles champion, especially with more stars heading to the main roster in the next year.

    Whoever wins on Sunday should be the champion separately for both brands until she loses one of the titles. The division can easily sustain two legitimate singles champions while also keeping a tag team division growing.

                             

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    A few months back, Big E would have been my pick, but given Kingston’s popularity, it would only be right for the veteran to be the one to stay solo. I highly doubt the trio would be broken up, but it is obvious who the star is now for New Day.

    Even if he does not win the WWE Championship, it is time to figure out how far Kingston can go. His popularity would be wasted in a tag team for the coming months at least.

                               

    Triple H vs. Batista

    Q: If you could pick one more opponent for Batista after WrestleMania, who would it be and why?

    If Batista were to compete against one last opponent past Triple H, I would want it to be someone who makes sense for him to pass the torch. While a few options stand out, Reigns comes off as the most logical and would likely produce the best match.

    The Big Dog has a similar style and spotlight to Batista at his peak, and the two can work a heavy-hitting, main event-level clash. Moreover, the story would be easy to tell even if it might divide audiences as Reigns is the guy to stand up for professional wrestling while The Animal has moved past the business.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    No doubt about it, the titles must be defended separately.

    WWE has more women on its roster than ever before, and you only have to look at the caliber of competitors who aren’t in the main event to see just how much talent there is.

    Having only one unified title would reduce opportunities for female wrestlers dramatically, so whoever wins must defend both titles and lose one of them sooner, rather than later, too.

                           

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    Big E should go solo, leaving Kingston and Woods as a tag team. I don’t see that happening because I think Kingston will win the gold at WrestleMania, and The New Day will stay together for a while longer yet.

    But Big E looks to be the wrestler who has the most potential, although I’m biased because I remember thinking his “Five” gimmick in NXT was incredible. But he is a world champion of the future without question.

                                 

    Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio

    Q: Would Rey Mysterio help the cruiserweight division or is 205 Live a lost cause at this point?

    It would be worth a try, but at this stage, 205 Live feels like it’s slowly fading away into obscurity.

    Rey Mysterio’s opportunities may well be limited moving forward on SmackDown, assuming he loses to Samoa Joe this weekend. And adding star power in the shape of Neville didn’t harm the cruiserweight division in the past, though this time, the ship may finally have sailed for 205 Live’s chances of holding its own in WWE.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately?

    I’m going with secret option C, which is for the winner to vacate the title that doesn’t correspond to the brand they get drafted to after WrestleMania. Unifying the titles would do more harm than good in terms of making the women’s division on one brand essentially irrelevant.

    By vacating one of the titles, it sets up the possibility of a huge tournament that could be branded “Queen of the Ring” and feature matches for weeks on end leading to the crowning of a new champion at a pay-per-view.

                                  

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    If Kingston wins the WWE Championship like I expect him to, my preference would be for New Day to stay together and for Big E and Woods to go on to feud with The Usos and beat them for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

    Even if Kingston doesn’t win at WrestleMania, he’s earned a lengthy singles run, which means Big E and Woods should be locked in as a tag team for now regardless.

                                  

    Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin

    Q: Why do you think WWE fans are so upset that Baron Corbin was chosen as Kurt Angle’s final opponent?

    It comes down to fans wanting Kurt Angle’s illustrious career to have a fitting end.

    He is one of the best in-ring performers of all-time and Corbin isn’t. Angle can’t put on a five-star classic against anyone at this stage in his career, but there are far better options from an in-ring perspective.

    Also, Corbin’s name doesn’t come anywhere close to carrying the type of clout Angle’s does, unlike John Cena or The Undertaker.

    Ultimately, I think fans will leave WrestleMania happy because I see Angle beating Corbin in a quick squash before Cena appears to challenge the Olympian to one final match, which would be fitting considering Cena’s first main roster match was against Angle.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    WWE should have the champion defend them separately. WWE Creative is not strong enough to book an entire women’s division with just one championship to strive for.

    There are already women lost in the shuffle on Raw and SmackDown with respective champions to chase. It would only get worse with only one title to compete over. Also, the champion could lend her star power to both shows.

                                  

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    Breaking up New Day is a terrible idea and WWE should never, ever consider it. If it is a necessity, it should absolutely be Kingston. He’s the hot babyface, he is about to headline WrestleMania and his journey has already struck a chord with fans. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

                                

    Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

    Q: Based solely on personal opinion, who do you want to see win this match and why?

    Reigns.

    After everything he has endured over the last year, including a below-par WrestleMania main event with Lesnar in New Orleans, his leukemia diagnosis and an emotional comeback, defeating the seemingly unconquerable McIntyre would be a nice conclusion to his road back.

    McIntyre can get his heat back relatively easy on Raw, restoring his momentum.

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately? 

    I think staying away from unification is the best option right now. One could argue the SmackDown division isn’t all that deep, but keeping two titles enables building both brands at the same time.

    Having two titles could also lead to some interesting storylines as far as getting one of them off of the ‘Mania winner goes.

                                 

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team? 

    Big E, hands down. His original run was terribly fun, but it was clear he was still green. He’s got it all, from the looks to athleticism to mic skills. He’s easily big main event material that is believable in the ring with anybody.

                               

    The Usos vs. The Bar vs. Rusev and Nakamura vs. Ricochet and Black

    Q: Would you rather see Black and Ricochet continue as a tag team or are they more valuable as singles stars? Elaborate

    I’d rather they split up sooner than later. They’re an odd pairing to begin with, though a fun one. Richoet is bound for singles titles quickly given his fan appeal and audience command. Black is an amazing character who, if handled properly, might be a top guy too. The latter requires keeping some mystique around him though, which is already a bit dashed in the tag team as is. But the potential for both as singles workers is right there, whereas their current tag team just feels like another random pairing WWE threw together to get guys on shows. 

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    Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

    Q: Whoever wins this match will leave with both titles. Should they be unified or should WWE have the champion defend them separately?

    I would rather see them defended separately just because of the storyline possibilities it would create. We could see the champion forced to defend both titles on the same night in two different matches, creating some interesting scenarios in the process.

    Imagine Lynch having to fight through Asuka in one match and then having to fight someone like Natalya later in the show. It would make her look like more of a badass champion before she eventually loses one of the belts. 

                                

    Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston

    Q: If WWE was going to break up The New Day during the upcoming Superstar Shake-up, which Superstar should go solo and which two should remain a tag team?

    Big E and Woods have the classic big man/little man combination that works so well in tag teams. Kingston has proved he can be a main event star on his own during the buildup to ‘Mania, so he would be the safest as a solo act.

    However, breaking up The New Day would be a mistake, as they are one of the only acts WWE can send out to get an angry crowd to calm down. 

                                     

    Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection vs. Nia Jax and Tamina vs. The IIconics vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya

    Q: We have seen Beth Phoenix, Lita and Trish Stratus compete in recent years. What other former women’s wrestler would you like to see return for one more run? Why them?

    Victoria is one of the most underrated talents to ever work in the women’s division, and it would be great to see her return for a match or two. She competed in multiple eras and had some great contests with some of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all-time.

    It would be awesome to see her mix it up with someone like Ruby Riott or Sasha Banks. 

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    These predictions were put together before WWE announced The Revival would be facing Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, so that is the one match not included below.

    Each person’s prediction will be represented by their initials next to the chosen Superstar’s name.

  • Rousey vs. Charlotte (JJ) vs. Lynch (GM, AM, KB, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM)
  • Bryan (JJ, KB) vs. Kingston (GM, AM, AB, MC, EB CR, DW, CM)
  • Lesnar (GM, AM, JJ, EB, CR) vs. Rollins (KB, AB, MC, DW, CM)
  • Samoa Joe (GM, AM, JJ, KB, AB, EB, CR, DW) vs. Rey Mysterio (MC, CM)
  • Lashley vs. Balor (GM, AM, JJ, KB, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM)
  • Triple H (GM, AM, JJ, KB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM) vs. Batista (AB)
  • The Miz (GM, AM, JJ, K, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM) vs. McMahon 
  • Reigns (GM, AM, JJ, KB, MC, EB, DW) vs. McIntyre (AB, CR, CM)
  • Angle (AM, JJ, KB, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM) vs. Corbin (GM)
  • Styles (AM, JJ, KB) vs. Orton (GM, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM)
  • Murphy (AM, KB, AB, MC, EB, CR, DW) vs. Nese (GM, JJ, CM)
  • Bayley and Banks (GM, AM, JJ, KB, MC, EB, CR, DW, CM) vs. Jax and Tamina vs. The IIconics (AB) vs. Phoenix and Natalya
  • The Usos (GM, AM, KB, MC, EB, CR) vs. The Bar (CM) vs. Rusev and Nakamura (AB) vs. Black and Ricochet (JJ, DW)

                                

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

  • GM: Ali
  • AM: Braun Strowman
  • JJ: Kevin Owens
  • KB: Andrade
  • AB: Andrade
  • MC: Rob Gronkowski
  • EB: Kevin Owens
  • CR: Ali
  • DW: Braun Strowman
  • CM: Sami Zayn

                             

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal

  • GM: Lacey Evans
  • AM: Lacey Evans
  • JJ: Asuka
  • KB: Asuka 
  • AB: Asuka
  • MC: Lacey Evans
  • EB: Lacey Evans
  • CR: Asuka
  • DW: Asuka
  • CM: Ruby Riott

What are your predictions for WrestleMania 35?

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