WWE Insiders Pick WrestleMania 33

By Chuck Carroll

Can you imagine what would happen if Roman Reigns beats the Undertaker at WrestleMania? If you think the boos are loud now, you haven’t heard anything yet. I’m writing this in Washington, D.C. and have no doubt the collective jeers will reverberate all the way up here from Orlando. Is that even a possibility? According to my WWE journalism brethren, yes. And a very good one at that.

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Is there any way that Brock Lesnar doesn’t finally triumph over Goldberg to capture the WWE Universal Title? As we see it, no. But, there are 13 matches on the WrestleMania card, and if there’s one thing we should know about WWE when it comes to the granddaddy of ‘em all — anything is possible.

Picking the matches with me as always are my fellow wrestling insiders. They’ll be baking in the hot Orlando sun this weekend.

Aaron Oster (@TheAOster) – Pro wrestling contributor, Rolling Stone and Baltimore Sun; Host, Jobbing Out Podcast
Pick record: 11-4 (Note: Didn’t pick Royal Rumble)

Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) – Pro wrestling contributor, Miami Herald and Channel Guide Magazine
Pick record: 14-9

Chuck Carroll (@ChuckCarrollWLC) – Pro wrestling contributor, CBS Local Sports
Pick record: 10-13

WWE Championship Match
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton

Aaron: This could go either way. My head says Orton. My heart says Bray. And in this case, I just hope they let Bray shine here. Pick: Bray Wyatt

Scott: There is still more mileage with Bray Wyatt as champion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some interference from other Wyatt Family members. Pick: Bray Wyatt

Chuck: Randy Orton wouldn’t gain much by winning the WWE Championship, but Bray Wyatt getting a signature win would solidify his status as one of the dominant forces in WWE. The gold was a long time coming for him, and his patience should be rewarded with a longer run as champion. Pick: Bray Wyatt

Universal Championship Match
Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

Aaron: Brock is winning this match. He’s not losing AGAIN. The only question is does him winning close out the show, or will there be a twist? Pick: Brock Lesnar

Scott: There is no way Brock Lesnar would lose in such decisive fashion at Survivor Series and get dominated by Bill Goldberg if there wasn’t some retribution. And it’s happening on the biggest stage possible. The real questions hereare how long the match will be and if we are going to see something or someone after it concludes. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Chuck: I like Goldberg a tremendous amount. He used to come on a former show of mine each week. But I think that his time as Universal Champion is about to come to a close. I hope it’s not the last we see of him, but I think it’ll be the last we see of him as champion. Pick: Brock Lesnar

The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns

Aaron: The past month has screamed a Roman heel turn. And what better way to turn heel than by beating the Deadman at WrestleMania, particularly if you either cheat, or just completely brutalize Undertaker? Pick: Roman Reigns

Scott: This is the perfect opportunity to solidify Roman Reigns as a heel if WWE wants to go in that direction. I can see Reigns defeating Undertaker in some shady way. Imagine the boos then. Pick: Roman Reigns

Chuck: “If Cena Roman Wins We Riot.” There’s a better than good chance we’ll see a few of those signs sprinkled in the crowd at Camping World Stadium. My colleagues are bullish on Reigns here. I’m see Roman’s stock as bearish in this one. Plus, I’m just trying to keep the peace. Pick: The Undertaker

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John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

Aaron: Somehow this has become one of the most anticipated matchups due to the strong promo work by Cena and Miz. Even though it’ll be brutal to see Miz lose after the verbal beatdown he suffered on Tuesday, there’s no way Cena is losing this. Pick: Cena & Bella

Scott: John Cena and Nikki Bella are the clear favorites here, but The Miz and Maryse have built this one up masterfully. I wouldn’t be surprised if Al Roker interferes in this to get that Today Show rub. Question is: will we see Cena really propose to Nikki? Pick: Cena & Bella

Chuck: There are unconfirmed rumors that Nikki Bella is retiring after this match. I’m not sold that is the case. I’m also not sold that Cena will propose after they win, but it would make for a nice WrestleMania moment that the Today Show can replay again and again. Of course they already have that with Al Roker involved. Pick: Cena & Bella

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

Aaron: I’m very surprised that this isn’t a street fight. It certainly changes the dynamics of the match. However, the one thing that should not be in doubt is that AJ will walk out the winner. Pick: AJ Styles

Scott: This is going to be a fun match with some insane spots (Especially when there is a stage setup involving a freakin’ rollercoaster!). However, can’t see any scenario playing out where Styles doesn’t win. Shane McMahon has nothing to gain with a victory here. Pick: AJ Styles

Chuck: AJ Styles

Shane McMahon’s childhood friend and former Mean Street Posse member Pete Gas told me that the SmackDown Live General Manager is an adrenalin junkie. His whole in-ring career has been based off of lethal leaps and cross-ring trashcan stomps. We’ll see something spectacular, but AJ wins. Anything else would lack complete logic. Pick: AJ Styles

RAW Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax

Aaron: The booking of this has thrown me so off. Everyone involved has been booked pretty terribly. I’ll say the champ retains, simply because a loss after months of losses and dirty wins would really hurt her. But a Sasha win is very plausible. Pick: Bayley

Scott: Really don’t want to see the Women’s Championship continue the hot-potato game, so going with Bayley. A hint of dissension with Sasha Banks and Bayley is possible as well. Pick: Bayley

Chuck: A win for Charlotte would ascend the queen of pay-per-views back to the throne. You’re going to see some sort of shenanigans between Bayley and Sasha Banks. I think whatever that turns out to be will cost them the match and allow Charlotte to get the win. Pick: Charlotte

United States Championship Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens

Aaron: The only reason Kevin Owens should have lost the Universal title was because he’s going to win the U.S. title. We love Jericho. Jericho has to lose. Pick: Kevin Owens

Scott: Chris Jericho is getting ready to tour with Fozzy and turn his attention to his music once again. So I’m going with Owens in this match. Jericho also has no problem putting over the current crop of talent (Fandango). Pick: Kevin Owens

Chuck: K.O. Mania. This will be the Kevin Owens Show without a doubt. Jericho is a true veteran who enjoys putting over the young guys, and this is Owens’ time to shine. This last run has been Y2J’s best run in years, and it’s been incredibly enjoyable to watch. Now he’s gotta go be a rock star, and for those about to rock, we salute you. Pick: Kevin Owens

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H

Aaron: Is there a way to have Rollins lose without looking bad? Sure. But this story needs a Rollins win here. Pick: Seth Rollins

Scott: Seth Rollins has got to go over here with the way the story has played out. A win over Triple H at WrestleMania is equivalent to a championship in my book. An almost passing of the torch. Pick: Seth Rollins

Chuck: There is no way this match ends cleanly. Of course, it wasn’t designed to anyway. But in the end I see Seth Rollins getting the win and going on to feud with Samoa Joe. That way they can to milk the angle, and it give’s Joe an A-list talent to work with. Pick: Seth Rollins

Intercontinental Championship Match
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin

Aaron: The IC title scene has gotten a little stale. Corbin winning feels right for this moment, though I’m not sure that it will be a long reign. Pick: Baron Corbin

Scott: WWE has been high on Baron Corbin these days, so I’m going with the “Lone Wolf” to secure the IC title. At the same time, something is needed to bring Dean Ambrose back to the forefront. Pick: Baron Corbin

Chuck: There is just something about the Baron Corbin character that is missing. It falls a bit flat with me in the same way Apollo Crews does. Both are phenomenally talented, but I haven’t seen the “it” factor from either yet. And while Ambrose’s character may be a little stale at the moment, he’s still a viable champion. Pick: Dean Ambrose

RAW Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus

Aaron: Can you picture a better way to get the crowd hot than starting the show with a ladder match, and having Enzo and Cass come out on top? Pick: Enzo & Cass

Scott: I simply want Enzo and Big Cass to finally win the championships, and WrestleMania is the perfect place for it to happen. Although, when the dust settles, the question is if we will see someone left “Broken.” Pick: Enzo & Cass

Chuck: Enzo and Cass have earned this. They seemed to be the heir apparent to the tag titles before Enzo was knocked unconscious during a freak in-ring accident nearly a year ago. They are enormously popular, and their promo in front of a sold-out stadium Sunday is going to be epic. To Scott’s point, if the Hardys return, I see them going to SmackDown to breathe new life into the tag team division there. Pick: Enzo & Cass

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Match)
Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, Goldust, R-Truth, Curtis Axel, Dolph Ziggler, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Primo, Epico, Bo Dallas, Jinder Mahal, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley, Big Show, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Breeze, Fandango.

Aaron: Did they really do all of this with Sami Zayn the past two weeks just to have him lose at Mania? Sure, it’s possible, but it seems like a mistake. Pick: Sami Zayn

Scott: This match was made for Braun Strowman. It would be a nice feather in the cap for someone in the early part of his career. Sami Zayn is my second pick, since the guy defeated Kevin Owens and has that underdog story going for him. Pick: Braun Strowman

Chuck: WWE is high on Strowman right now, and this could be another feather in his cap. Strowman wins this one and goes on to feud with Roman Reigns. Big Show would be a solid backup, as this is perhaps his final WrestleMania. Pick: Braun Strowman

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Champion Alexa Bliss to defend against all female SmackDown Live Superstars available to compete

Aaron: Naomi’s return definitely put a wrinkle in this. Though I almost feel like if she would win, they would have just given her a big moment at Mania. Thus, I’m going Alexa here. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Scott: I like Alexa Bliss conquering “The World” in the form of all the ladies in the match. It’s a nice way to build her up further. At same time, I wouldn’t mind watching Naomi win back the gold in her hometown. This should have one or two women from the past involved. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Chuck: Naomi was way over with the crowd when she returned from the knee injury that forced her to vacate the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It would be amazing, as her entrance music says, for her to win in her hometown. I don’t see that happening here unfortunately. And I think it’s possible we’ll see a surprise name or two pop up in this match. Pick: Alexa Bliss

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries

Aaron: So much of this screams a title win for Aries. Yet, they’ve actually started to hit a groove with Neville as cruiserweight champ. Do they dare shake it up at this point? Pick: Neville

Scott: This is Austin Aries’ WrestleMania debut, and winning the Cruiserweight Championship would be icing on the cake. Neville has been great for the division. Regardless of the outcome, there are more miles WWE can get out of the feud. Pick: Austin Aries

Chuck: Aries made a name for himself in Orlando during a successful stint with Impact Wrestling. Now it’s time for him to make an even bigger impact with WWE. This is his WrestleMania moment. And there will definitely be a rematch for these guys. So stay tuned… Pick: Austin Aries

Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.

Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.

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