RANDY ORTON vs TRIPLE H – RETIREMENT MATCH
Again, I called this last year for WrestleMania 36. Instead, we got our first Mania that didn’t feature a Triple H match since 2007 (Mania 23) and the first with Triple H available but not used since his Mania debut in 1996 (Mania 12). Here’s what I said last year:
Yeah, it’s time. Triple H seems like he has enough self-awareness to know better than to keep going out there at age 55, 60, 65, looking worse and worse with every outing. He’s not had a great singles match since Roadblock, 2015 and ending things on the highest note possible is the best way to go. As for his opponent, it would feel cheap to call up HBK to do the deed. You might want some NXT hotshot to be given the nod, but do you really trust Vince not to screw up that NXT guy? I think someone with history who is also on his way out the door in a few years makes the most sense. Flair went out via HBK (two years away from retirement). Batista went out via Triple H this year. I’m sure Randy Orton will go out in a few years too (he’s only 39 but he’s been doing this for a long time and has a ton of money). It feels right letting Triple H go down for good via an RKO.
I agree with that one year later, although my argument is slightly different: I think it should be Randy Orton over any NXT hotshot simply because Vince won’t want to risk having the guy who retires Triple H jump ship to AEW a year or so later. He’ll want that honor given to a lifer. In that case, Randy Orton fits the bill.
EDGE vs SETH ROLLINS
This is a match everyone should have circled alongside Edge vs AJ Styles. It’s a match we need to see. Whether or not WWE holds off on it until Mania is up for debate. Maybe we’ll get the AJ Styles match at SummerSlam, leaving this one for the show of shows. If it happens, and I predict it will, I expect it to live up to the hype in all the ways Edge’s big return match this year did not.
UNDERTAKER vs AJ STYLES
In this case, I predict it will be an actual match. Unforeseen circumstances forced a shakeup of this match this year but there’s no reason AJ Styles can’t help Undertaker along to a proper match. In fact, AJ might be the guy to give Undertaker his last final “real” match. After this, I think they can get by with Undertaker coming back for something like the program he worked with John Cena a few years ago; lots of spectacle but ultimately a three-minute squash.
If you didn’t know, Undertaker signed a new fifteen-year contract with WWE last year, meaning he’s locked-in to having at least a forty-four year WWF/E career. If you don’t think they’ll try and push that to fifty, you’re crazy. When all is said and done Undertaker will go down as the greatest “sports entertainer” of all time.
In the meantime, I predict he’ll wrestle AJ Styles in a 10-minute match that’s good enough and occasionally a little better than good.
ASUKA (c) vs KAIRI SANE – WOMENS TITLE MATCH
I’ll be honest: I just want to see Kairi get her pirate ship moment in Tampa Bay. If that means a title match or an appearance in a battle royal on the preshow, I don’t care; whatever gives me the pirate ship moment, I’m fine. A match vs Asuka would be a great way to pass the torch to her. There’s going to be a hole with the loss of Becky Lynch, so this division may be completely upside and different next year. If not, this is what I want to see.
THE FIEND (c) vs ROMAN REIGNS – UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH
Roman right now is persona non grata but once the quarantine is over, I expect him to be back and pushed with the push the pandemic deprived us of: Fiend vs Roman. This program may happen earlier but I would hold off and keep the belt on The Fiend for the time being, building up to the moment when the villain is finally vanquished. Whether you think Roman is deserving of that honor is irrelevant; it’s what was in the cards for this year and it’s almost certainly going to happen sometime. I predict Mania.
DANIEL BRYAN (c) vs DREW McINTYRE – CAREER vs WWE TITLE
Prediction: Next year will be Daniel Bryan’s last as a full-time performer. He made his big comeback and proved wrong everyone who doubted him or disbelieved he’d ever return to wrestling. He’s also starting a family and I think will be steering away from full-time competition. We might be so lucky to see him in a short run here and there, but the days of being spoiled with him on TV every week are nearing an end, I think. I can’t imagine a better way to go out than on his back, putting over the new top guy.
Of course, that’s not THE main-event. The real show-closer, I predict, will be…
ROCK vs BROCK – ICON vs ICON
As I said last year, when predicting Rock vs Roman…
Yep. It’ll cost Vince more money than he’s ever spent on a single match, but he’ll pay it. Right now the Rock is earning about $20-30mm per film, not counting bonuses and such. Vince would have to drop $50-$100mm to make the match happen, and he will.
Those are my predictions, insanely wrong though they likely are.
Have any to share? Leave a comment below!