Three matches announced for the pre-show thus far, but generally there's some shuffling back-and-forth before the show. I'll try to keep the info updated here (and of course, any additions after Smackdown tonight).
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus, Triple-Threat Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship: I guess the question is which brand will the Hardys end up on? If Raw, they need heels to face, to Gallows and Anderson retain.
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks, Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match for the Raw Women's Championship: I'll say Banks goes heel (maybe not full-fledged yet) and wins.
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin, Intercontinental Championship Match: Would be a nice upward trajectory for Corbin to win the Andre Battle Royal last year, and IC Title this year.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse, Mixed Tag Match: The babyfaces win. Proposal? Jury is still out.
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens, United States Championship Match: Owens hasn't looked too good lately and Jericho may be gone soon, so Owens wins.
Shane McMahon vs. A.J. Styles: First Ellsworth, now Shane-O-Mac for Styles. A.J. has to win here, but what will that mean for Shane as an authority figure?
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H, Non-Sanctioned Match: Rollins wins, fights off Joe, transitions to a feud with Joe post-Mania.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, WWE Championship Match: Orton takes the title from Bray.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: You have to wonder how much Taker has left in the tank (which I guess could be said any of the last 10 years). Reigns wins.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Universal Championship Match: Lesnar wins, in what will likely be a short match.
Alexa Bliss vs. The Field, Smackdown Women's Championship Match: This has apparently been moved to the main show. Naomi wins the title in her hometown.
(edited by geemoney on 30.3.17 2147) @gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
* Bray retains, thanks to the help of a new Wyatt Family (maybe even with a Sister Abigail character). Let's say....Bo Dallas, Apollo Crews, and old favourite Erick Rowan. Maybe if there's a big Braun-esque NXT trainee who's never on TV to debut, he can fit. (Or just call up the Authors Of Pain.) You could have Orton and Harper form an uneasy alliance to face this new Wyatt group for the next few months on Smackdown.
* Ambrose, since I just weirdly have a feeling he'll win despite Corbin very clearly being a guy WWE/Vince wants to push as a big deal. This is the "wait, Jericho beat Styles and the League beat New Day?" head-scratcher result of the night.
* Owens, since I suspect there's nothing Jericho wants more than to put over his buddy at Wrestlemania and make him look like a million dollars. No counter-intuitive booking for Jericho this year.
* Lesnar, in 10 minutes or less.
* Charlotte, since the Sasha heel turn might be saved for Raw. So, Nia is Big Show, Bayley is Foley, Sasha is Rock and Charlotte is HHH in this tribute to Wrestlemania 16?
* Cena/Nikki, with a bonus prediction that She Says Yes!
* Styles, or else this company truly is hopeless.
* The Hardys, making their shocking return to win the Raw tag titles. This would explain why this match isn't on the preshow, and why it was suddenly made a ladder match.
* Triple H, to keep him strong for this rumoured NXT heel stable on Raw (you know, since Ric Flair always needed to win matches to keep him strong for Evolution). Rollins gets the heavy "what a valiant effort!" remarks from Cole to try and paper over the fact that Rollins jobbed and looked like a fool throughout this whole feud.
* Reigns over Undertaker, since Vince is a fool.
PRESHOW * Neville, in what may be the match of the night. Hopefully since it isn't on the main card, he and Aries get 15-20 minutes to really cut loose. * Naomi, winning the Smackdown women's title in her hometown. * Ziggler, since I'm guessing that if the battle royale is on the preshow, WWE will just give it to some veteran as a gold watch. In true underachieving Dolph fashion, his signature WM win comes on the preshow and doesn't really count. I'm tempted to pick Braun on pure logic or Big Show in a "sorry that Shaq match didn't happen" gold. Sami, Harper, Mojo or Jack Gallagher are also decent random picks to win. There are worse ideas than the Sea Monster from Southpaw Regional Wrestling making his debut and winning it all.
(edited by Big Bad on 29.3.17 1044) George Michael weighed his options. Maeby had chastised him for not taking risks, and what would be a bigger risk than perpetuating a lie about software just to ignite the passions of a woman? Of course it would be a lie, and since Maeby wouldn't know it was a lie, he wouldn't appear to be taking a risk. Perhaps the bigger risk was to tell his father he was lying, that he came up with it because he wanted his father to leave so he could enjoy what remained of his senior year. After all, he wondered, wouldn't that be the course of action taken by an overtly sexual man, a man who owns a pair of matador pants? He had not responded now for 41 seconds according to his unfailing internal clock, and it was time to come clean.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus, Triple-Threat Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship: Gallows & Anderson. Enzo hurts himself somehow.
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks, Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match for the Raw Women's Championship: Charlotte gets her belt back after Sasha-Bayley accidentally hit each other, Sasha finally goes gloriously heel and destroys Bayley after the match.
Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin, Intercontinental Championship Match: Corbin. The fans go meh.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse, Mixed Tag Match: Miz & Maryse in an upset.
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens, United States Championship Match: KO.
Shane McMahon vs. A.J. Styles: AJ wins but all the replays care about is Shane doing whatever stupid stunt he does this year.
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H, Non-Sanctioned Match: HHH wins, Rollins earns his respect or some nonsense.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, WWE Championship Match: Orton.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: Roman, but WWE continues to try to convince us that he's the guy we should cheer for because Vince.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Universal Championship Match: Lesnar.
Preshow: I'm going out there and just saying Mickie James.
Andre battle royal - Brauuuuuun or riot.
Cruiserweights - Austin Aries.
I bet we somehow get a six man cruiserweights match as well, in which Team Gallagher wins.
A) Neville/Aries (WWE Cruiserweight Title Match) - Aries with the Last Chancery to win the title.
B) Alexa vs. most of the Smackdown Women's World (Smackdown Women's Title Match - 6 Pack Challenge) - Naomi wins title with the Rear View.
C) Those without a match (ARMBAR) - Strowman is the last survivor.
1) Gallows/Anderson vs. Enzo/Cass vs. Cesaro/Sheamus (Raw Tag Title Match - Ladder Match) - Enzo/Cass break through and grab the titles. I cringe having this a ladder match after Sheamus getting busted open by the ladder and having stitches put in six days before the match.
2) Bayley/Charlotte/Nia/Sasha (Raw Women's Title Match - Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match) - Bayley accidentally knocks out Sasha to get her eliminated, Nia gets DQ'd, Bayley with the Bayley to Belly to retain.
3) Ambrose/Corbin (IC Title Match) - Corbin finally gets gold after the End of Days.
4) Cena/Nikki vs Miz/Maryse (Mixed Tag Team Match) - Cena/Nikki with the AA/Rack 2.0 to dualing STF's. The proposal will happen after the match in the middle of the ring.
5) Jericho/Owens (US Title Match featuring two Canadians) - Owens with the Pop Up Powerbomb to win title.
6) Shane/Styles (Grudge Match) - Styles with the Phenominal Forearm for the pin after McMahon almost kills himself jumping off some high staging area.
7) Rollins/Triple H (Non-Sanctioned Match) - Rollins somehow survives after Joe-ference, Steph-ference, and Sledgehammer-ference, with a pedigree.
8) Wyatt/Orton (WWE Championship Match) - Wyatt with the Sister Abigail after Rowan-ference.
9) Undertaker/Reigns - Reigns after three spears, even though I would not be surprised if UT closes his career with a win.
10) Goldberg/Lesnar (WWE Universal Championship Match) - Very stiff fight, Lesnar with multiple F5's to win title.
Other stuff on Sunday:
- New Day will annoy, but will somehow end up in some form of physicality. They will also be in a weird segment where Ron Simmons does his usual cameo to end the segment.
- Pitbull and Friends vs. the bathroom - I'll go with the bathroom.
- HOF intro biggest ovation: Angle
- HOF intro smallest ovation: Rock and Roll Express
Other stuff on Monday for Raw (which could be the most fun, or the most cringeworthy Raw of the year):
- Turns: Sasha turns on Bayley, and some kind of face turn, but don't know who
- Biggest chants: CM Punk, Obsolete/Delete (maybe put Big Show vs. Mark Henry to get this chant), 10-12 wrestlers who are either not in WWE or dead, and for my amusement...Byron Saxton (just to hear what Graves says once it starts), and any random vendor in the building
- Will there be a wave: Unfortunately, yes
- Will there be a beach ball involved: Yes
- Call-ups from NXT (either for Raw or Smackdown): Nakamura, Asuka, Revival, Dillinger, Samson (love to see him on Raw to annoy Graves like he did in NXT, cracks me up every time)
Alright, fuck it. I'm just going to go for some batshit crazy picks this year.
Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Big Cass vs. SheaMaro for the Raw Tag Team Championship: New Day. With the absolutely abysmal state of RAW's tag scene right now, why not drop their most popular act in at the last minute to win a third championship?
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women's Championship: Bayley. She just really needs the win to legitimize her. Do the Sasha turn on Monday to set up the next feud.
Ambrose vs. Corbin for the Intercontinental Championship: Corbin. Ambrose isn't benefiting from the IC belt, nor is it benefiting from him. Corbin needs something to do, and Ambrose deserves to be back in the main event.
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse: CenaBella. As much as I'd love to see Miz et Maryse wreck these two for their absolute refusal to put any effort into this feud while Miz has been doing absolutely Herculean, career-making work, I know better by now. CenaBella give them nothing once again, and we get the proposal everyone expects, which ironically makes it look just as fake as Miz has been claiming.
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship: Jericho, for reasons I'll give in a minute here. I think Joey Samoey winds up as the next contender, and probably next champion.
Shane McMahon vs. A.J. Styles: AJ. C'mon, right!? Although, I bet he'll have to shake Shane's hand after the match. Y'know, unless Shane dies in the ring, which is a constant fear.
Seth Rollins vs. HHH: Rollins. While there always exists the danger of HHH thinking that the right move is to go over, prolong the feud, and never give the win back, I don't think that's going to happen here. I think this is more of a Daniel Bryan scenario, where HHH realizes that he makes himself look better by putting his guy over.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship: Wyatt, although I'm on the fence with this one. Mainly, I'm hoping that we can get to a real Wyatt/Harper feud, ending in Luke Harper, WWE Champion.
Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: Man, I don't even know. Let's say Undertaker, further demonstrating the stupidity of ever breaking the streak.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Universal Championship Match: Finn Balor. Okay, wait, hear me out. I think the actual winner of the listed match winds up being Lesnar, but no matter who wins, you wind up with a paper champion that nobody's going to see again for who knows how many months. Meanwhile, we know Finn's healthy and ready, and we've only got two other options for him. One's the ARMBaR, which is a real letdown because it's on the preshow and also nobody cares about it this year, and the other is the next Monday, which is again a letdown, because the plan all along was for Finn to be healthy for WrestleMania, and that would mean they left him off the show on purpose. Doing a surprise return for Finn is a rabbit out of the hat that fixes all their problems, it's easy to set up with a quick Heyman promo after the initial match, and there's precedent for it (WM10). That leaves us with Kevin Owens, who is still owed a rematch, as the post-Mania feud (hence why I don't see him winning the US belt), and we know those two guys do great work together.
Edit: With the ladies' six-pack challenge added to the main show, I'll also take Naomi. It really seems like they're trying to make this hometown show a make-good for her.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale: I'm going to say Sami wins by eliminating Braun. Sami is one of the few guys that actually has a storyline going and this is a chance for him to get a win over Braun without actually pinning him.
WWE Smackdown Women's Championship: Naomi wins in her hometwon.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: I think Neville probably should keep it a little longer but giving titles to somehow immediately is what WWE does so Aries wins.
WWE Championship: This is one of the few I think is a true toss up. I'm going to say Bray keeps it for a little while.
WWE Universal Championship: Brock
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: Reigns
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse: Cena and Nikki
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H: Triple H w/Samoa Joe
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles: Styles, but I think it's possible it's only by DQ when Shane does something illegal.
WWE Raw Women's Championship: Bayley and Sasha team up to eliminate Nia Jax and Charlotte then Sasha beats Bayley by underhanded tactics.
WWE United States Championship: Kevin Owens
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Corbin
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship. Anderson and Gallows. Makes sense for the Hardys to show up and take the titles but I don't think a team that isn't in the match can win so even if the Hardys take the titles Anderson and Gallows are still technically champions.
He comes across on tv as a good enough guy, and I certainly like him, but my question is why does everyone assume that he has nothing to do with the booking *now*? All I read about him is "Please give the book to Shane!!!!