Posted March 30th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

Crystal Ball: Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover

Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skills to guess the winners and loser of an upcoming major wrestling event.

It’s that time again…WrestlemaniaT! For this year’s Crystal Ball, I thought I would also include NXT Takeover’s major matches, as well. So, let’s start with NXT!

NXT Takeover:

DIY vs The Revival vs Authors of Pain
Triple Threat Tag Team Match


All three teams are excellent. This will rival anything the main roster will offer. I have to admit that I am a huge fan off all three, so whichever team wins…I will be happy. That being said, it is time to think logically about this one. Paul Ellering is building his newest Dynaasty/Legion of Doom. Looking at Paul’s history with his original duo, The Road Warriors, he led them to complete domination for years. While I don’t expect the AoP to have a run like Hawk and Animal did, I do think they will hold the straps for quite some time. It may be close but Paul’s boys will retain.

Predicted Winners: Authors of Pain
Predicted Grade: 4.0 out of a possible 5

Asuka vs Ember Moon
NXT Women’s Title Match


Asuka is being compared, already, to Fabulous Moolah. Moolah had a 27 year run as Women’s champion. That was, however, a much different time. Wrestling is more about quick title changes. Asuka is hotly rumored to be heading “Up”, shortly after Mania. That would normally make me be inclined to pick Moon to take the strap. I am going against my normal feelings and predicting Asuka will survive. She may end up surrendering the title so that she can move up (hopefully to Raw, tho Smackdown needs her more).

Predicted Winner: Asuka
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Bobby Roode vs Shinsuke Nakamura
NXT Title Match


This one is just a little harder to predict, for me. Shinsuke has got to be close to moving up to either Smackdown or Raw. However, he has been the most dominant NXT champion in its brief history. At the same time, Bobby can’t be quite ready (in Creative’s mind) to head uptown. If Bobby drops the belt to Nakamura, on Saturday night, it would cripple Bobby’s momentum. I suspect Roode will pull some devious shenanigans to retain. Ok, I realize that means all three titles will stay where they are but it does happen that way sometimes.

Predicted Winner: Bobby Roode
Predicted Grade: 4.5


Andre the Giant Battle Royal


It really sucks that such a fun match gets shifted to the Pre-Show (especially since I have to work during it). The odds are putting Sami Zayn as the winner. I don’t see it happening. Big Show has a chance to double up with trophies. He will likely be taken out by Braun Strowman. Braun probably won’t take it, either. It will appear that he is going to take it but will get careless and end up ousted. I’m going to go way out on a limb and choose one of the Dark Horses…

Predicted Winner: Mojo Rawley
Predicted Grade: 2.75

Carmella vs Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss vs Naomi vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Six Pack Challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Title


I want Natalya to win this one. She has been a solid performer for many years. Sadly, I think Smackdown is planning on giving Naomi another run with the strap. Putting the belt on her could lead to quite a few great feuds. Expect to “Feel the Glow”!

Predicted Winner (and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion): Naomi
Predicted Grade: 2.5

Neville vs Austin Aries
Cruiserweight Title Match


Both of these performers are beyond great. This is their first encounter and it may well steal the show. It is going to come down to Rings of Saturn vs Last Chancellory. My first instinct is to have Neville keep the belt but then the whole “Best for Business” thing pops in my head. Aries has a much stronger persona and works a crowd so much better than Neville. I think WWE is planning on having Aries take the C-Division to higher levels. So, the King will get disposed.

Predicted Winner (and NEW Cruiserweight Champion): Austin Aries
Predicted Grade: 4.75

Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
Intercontinental Title Match


Honestly, I haven’t really gotten into this feud. Both wrestlers are doing quite well, push wise. There always seem to be one or two titles change hands at The Granddaddy of Them All. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be one of them. Baron gets his first taste of gold.

Predicted Winner (and NEW IC Champ): Baron Corbin
Predicted Grade: 2.75

John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse


I hate these kind of fluff matches. They really bring the quality of the event down. It seems obvious, to me, that since Cena vs Undertaker didn’t go, John needed something to do. Give Miz a shot. Wait, Miz vs Cena is old news and stale as week-old donuts. So, spice it up by putting the babes in the battle. Still boring but at least we get some eye candy. Sad. The only thing that might keep this from being a total Popcorn Match would be if John Popped the Question, post match.

Predicted Winners: John Cena and Nikki Bella
Predicted Grade: 2.25

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs Sheamus and Cesaro
Triple Threat Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Titles


I feel bad for the Usos that they don’t get to defend their belts at Mania. They are stuck in the Battle Royal. As far as Raw’s offering…

The hot rumor is Cesaro is heading out the door to make a run in New Japan. If that is true, there is no chance that they will put the belts on Sheamus and Cesaro. Enzo and Cass have that Bushwackers feel to them. Entertaining as all get out but never a serious threat to the tag belts. Luke and Karl may have a rough time on Sunday but they will leave with what they came in with…

Predicted Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair vs Nia Jax
Fatal Four Way Elimination Match for the Raw Women’s Title


I want Bayley to win this with all my heart. She’s almost like family and I can’t help cheer for her. The deck is so stacked against her. Charlotte is at the top of her game. Sasha is back from some injury issues. Nia was Rookie of the Year and has destroyed just about anyone put in front of her. With the odds being so far against Bayley, there should be no way that the San Jose Hugger keeps her belt. However, I just have a weird sense that she will manage to retain. Nia goes out first. Then Sasha (setting up a future feud with Bayley). Finally, Bayley gets a little help from Dana Brooke to send Charlotte to the showers.

Predicted Winner: Bayley
Predicted Grade: 3.75

Roman Reigns vs Undertaker


This will be Taker’s 25th appearance at Mania. It is strongly believed that it will be his final Mania match. Lottie (my regular writing and life partner) definitely doesn’t feel that Taker is quite ready to hang up the boots, just yet. Taker has taken down some of the biggest men in the industry (Batista, Kane, Diesel, King Kong Bundy, etc…) Taker will make Roman look good but I can’t possibly imagine Roman beating Taker.

Predicted Winner: Undertaker
Predicted Grade: 3.5

Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens
United States Title Match


Since Samoa Joe isn’t scheduled anywhere on the card, he is going to get involved in either this match or the Triple H/Seth Rollins match. There has been a lot of talk about Jericho going on tour with Fozzy. If that were true, Jericho would likely drop the strap to free himself up to exit WWE. That is just a little TOO predictable. I think Jericho will survive Owens, only to drop the belt to Samoa Joe in the near future.

Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
Predicted Grade: 3.5

Seth Rollins vs Triple H
Hold Harmless, Non-Sanctioned Match


This is most likely where Samoa Joe will come into play. Seth is the ultimate underdog in this match. With a bad knee, Seth has a BullsEye painted on his tights. Everyone expects Seth to overcome the odds and defeat HHH. I think Joe will jump Seth, setting up HHH’s Indian Death Lock to finish this one. Seth won’t tap out, he will pass out.

Predicted Winner: Triple H
Predicted Grade: 4.0

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
WWE Title Match


This has to be one of the wildest feuds in recent memory. Bray is a master of mind games but The Viper may have outplayed the Chessmaster with his attack on the Wyatt Compound and destruction of Sister Abigail’s remains. I still find all that to be in serious bad taste.

Anyway, Randy may well be nearing the end of his active career. It would be so great to see Randy get one more run with the title. Bray is such a unique champion, I don’t think WWE is quite ready to pull him down from the championship peak, just yet. Bray still has several potential opponents to face before losing the strap. Sorry, Randy, but Sunday isn’t going to be your night.

Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Predicted Grade: 4.5

Shane McMahon vs A.J. Styles


This match just irritates me. Shane needs to stay out of the ring. If he wants to be a wrestler, then do it FULL TIME. Quit with the back and forth between boss and battler. A.J. Styles deserves so much better than trying to make Shane look good. Styles is one of the best in the business and he gets stuck in a “novelty” contest. Undertaker destroyed Shane, last year, and I feel Styles will embarrass Shane, this time around.

Predicted Winner: A.J. Styles
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar
Universal Title Match


This one is just so hard to call. Goldberg has humbled Brock, twice. One more loss could totally wreck Lesnar’s career. Sadly, even if Brock DOES win, most people will claim he “just got lucky”. If Goldberg wins, it really won’t mean as much. This is really a “No Win” situation. If I were booking this, I only see one option that will benefit BOTH fighters. So…

Predicted Winner: Match Thrown Out
Predicted Grade: 4.25


–Jay Shannon

Category: Wrestling.

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