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With less than two weeks to go until WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, WWE has announced a jam-packed card of 11 matches, with more expected before April 10-11.
Roman Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan and Edge in a Triple Threat match, Bobby Lashley puts his WWE title up for grabs versus Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks defends the SmackDown women’s title against Bianca Belair, and Raw women’s champion Asuka battles Rhea Ripley in the show’s marquee bouts.
Who might win those four big matches, as well as the other seven, and what are the stories behind them?
Find out now with this look at the card and early predictions for each contest.
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Daniel Bryan was never supposed to be here, and he also wasn’t meant to walk out of WrestleMania 30 in 2014 with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
He did, though, and he may leave the 2021 iteration of WWE’s most prestigious event with gold around his waist when he and Edge challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship in a Triple Threat main event at this year’s Showcase of the Immortals.
Bryan has momentum on his side, so much so that WWE seems to have abandoned plans for Edge to roll into Night 2 of WrestleMania 37 and successfully conclude an inspirational journey back to the pinnacle of WWE, and it has instead turned him heel as he cracks under the pressure of another hurdle in his path.
Reigns has been the best heel in professional wrestling and the industry’s most valuable asset. The company could easily opt to keep the title on him and let The Tribal Chief continue his acclaimed roll atop SmackDown. It could also crown Edge, bad guy or not.
However, this feels like Bryan’s match to win right now, giving fans inside Raymond James Stadium another opportunity to root for the most beloved underdog of the last two decades.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan wins the title
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Bobby Lashley is the hottest star on the Raw roster, with his WWE Championship win over The Miz on March 1 capping a run many expected much earlier in his career.
However, as the CEO of The Hurt Business reigns over the flagship show, WWE finds itself in a sticky situation.
It clearly wants Drew McIntyre to win the title in front of a crowded stadium, further solidifying him as the face of the Raw brand. To do so, though, the company would derail Lashley’s momentum.
While the result may not be met with goodwill and excitement from fans who were delighted with The All Mighty’s title victory, this is McIntyre’s night.
It is a make-good for last year’s victory in front of an empty Performance Center and an opportunity to celebrate amid the pomp and circumstance he was robbed of a year ago.
Prediction: McIntyre wins the WWE Championship
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Sasha Banks is a measuring stick in women’s wrestling, while Bianca Belair is a young upstart coming off a win in the women’s Royal Rumble match and looking to prove herself against the best in the industry.
It is against this background that Banks vs. Belair takes to The Grandest Stage of Them All in the first match between two Black women for a major title in the pay-per-view’s 37-year history.
After a subpar build to start, the feud finally feels like it is building momentum with The Boss as the overconfident champion and the challenger determined to establish her own legacy.
There is no real reason to suspect Banks will retain her title at WrestleMania, though.
She has held it since October when she defeated Bayley inside Hell in a Cell. Since then, she has become one of the faces of WWE, guest-starred on The Mandalorian and continued to establish herself as one of the most celebrated wrestlers of her generation.
This match is not about her and nor should it be. This is the coronation of The EST of WWE.
Belair will win barring any illogical storyline twist and pay off her coming-of-age story. Banks will make her look great, The EST will perform up to the moment, and WWE will have a bright new star around whom it can build the future of women’s wrestling.
Prediction: Belair captures the SmackDown Women’s Championship
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Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods regained the Raw Tag Team Championships on March 15 by defeating The Hurt Business’ Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin but were then immediately challenged by AJ Styles and Omos.
It would be nice to say there was some sort of layered story to set this one up or WWE did right by those involved by giving them something to sink their teeth into creatively.
But it didn’t.
Instead, this feels like little more than a way to get Kingston, Woods and Styles on the WrestleMania 37 card while also shining a spotlight on Omos.
The work will be strong, Omos will be booked like a monster, and none of it will matter within 20 minutes of the match ending, despite the star power involved and the likelihood that the big man wins his first title in WWE.
Prediction: Styles and Omos win the gold
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The most bizarre storyline in WWE will come to a head when The Fiend battles Randy Orton on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37.
Orton burned The Fiend alive at the conclusion of their Firefly Inferno match TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in December. Since then, Alexa Bliss has terrorized and tormented The Viper, costing him matches and toying with his psyche.
Things intensified with the reemergence of the masked maniac at Fastlane on March 21.
The Fiend has twice left Orton lying and while The Legend Killer may get some heat back ahead of the April 11 match, theirs is a contest in which Bray Wyatt’s alter ego will avenge his fiery near-demise and send his rival packing.
The outcome of this one will surprise no one. Hopefully, the quality of the match will.
Prediction: The Fiend
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A year ago, Rhea Ripley entered WrestleMania 36 for a match against Charlotte Flair.
As the reigning NXT women’s champion, most expected her to defeat The Queen and enjoy a star-making moment on the sports’ grandest stage.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Flair won the title and went on to enjoy another solid year in her already legendary career while the NXT Superstar was left to lick her wounds. Ripley even finished runner-up in the 2021 women’s Royal Rumble match, leaving her to continue chasing the success she enjoyed prior to last year’s Show of Shows.
Seizing an opportunity opened up by Flair’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis, however, Ripley has challenged Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37.
It should be of no real surprise to anyone that this isn’t Asuka’s story. Her entire reign has been built around the angles and developments of other ongoing arcs instead of her own. Since winning the title back at SummerSlam last August, she has been a co-star at best and a complete afterthought at worst.
She deserves better. She is one of the best wrestlers WWE has turned out. That she has been so underwhelmingly booked is an indictment on the company’s creative team.
Unlike other instances where she retained her title despite the focus clearly being on other women in the division, she won’t be so lucky here.
Ripley wins the gold, erases last year’s loss and becomes the centerpiece of the Raw women’s division.
Prediction: Ripley strikes gold, wins Raw title
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Bad Bunny is a lifelong WWE fan whose involvement with the company began at the Royal Rumble, where he performed his hit song “Booker T” and assisted Damian Priest in eliminating The Miz and John Morrison.
Since then, the singer has made enemies of the former tag team champions, leading The A-Lister to formally challenge him to a match at WrestleMania 37.
With Morrison nursing an injury that has left him out of action since Elimination Chamber in February, it will be a singles match rather than the expected tag team contest. Still, Morrison and Priest figure to factor heavily into a bout that will rely on bells and whistles to make up for Bad Bunny’s lack of in-ring experience.
Skilled wrestler or not, though, the Grammy Award winner will win to pay off his story arc and reward him for the merchandise sales and new eyes he has brought to WWE.
Prediction: Bad Bunny silences The Miz
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The single worst storyline in wrestling will write another chapter on April 10 when Braun Strowman looks to avenge Shane McMahon’s verbal assault on his…intelligence?
The feud stems from Shane-O-Mac calling The Monster Among Men “stupid,” prompting this writer to wonder if this feud would best be settled in a grade school playground rather than wrestling’s biggest stage.
Common sense would suggest Strowman silences McMahon and proves he is more than a brute. Every year, though, there is a ‘Mania result that leaves fans scratching their heads. Two years ago, it was McMahon beating The Miz, who could not afford a loss at the time.
History will repeat itself this year when McMahon further diminishes whatever credibility The Monster Among Men has left in what will likely be the emphasis for more between the two. Sadly.
Prediction: McMahon wins
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April 10 will be the single biggest night of Cesaro’s career.
After two decades in pro wrestling, the 40-year-old is in the middle of his most significant push to date—likely one of the last in his career—and he will wrestle his first singles match on The Grandest Stage of Them All when he battles Seth Rollins.
The Messiah may be more known for false prophecies and rambling “vision,” but he has won the biggest matches of his career on wrestling’s most important night. He has captured the most prestigious titles at WrestleMania and beating him means something.
Therein lies where we will find out just how serious WWE is about The Swiss Superman’s push.
Cesaro cannot simply turn in a strong performance and lose. He has made a career of doing that. He needs to beat Rollins decisively, leaving no question as to who the better man was, and WWE must follow it up with more of the same booking.
Otherwise, what has been an acclaimed push to this point will all be for naught.
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At some point, Apollo Crews has to win a match to justify the push he currently finds himself in the middle of.
To this point, he has lost three championship opportunities against Big E. WWE has successfully heated him back up through post-match beatdowns and character tweaks. But all of that can only go so far.
A guy can only afford so many losses before his credibility takes a hit. Crews has arrived at that point, especially after the botched finish that concluded his latest loss at Fastlane.
As great as Big E is, and as much as so many are rooting for him to succeed as a singles star at an even higher level, Crews needs to win at WrestleMania. Otherwise, this was merely a nice little seasonable push with hints of a character that could have been something special.
Prediction: Crews wins the title
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Some Superstars are destined to fight forever.
Both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came out of Quebec to chase their dreams of becoming stars in professional wrestling. They worked hard in the indie scene and earned plaudits for their incredible work in Ring of Honor, where they teamed together and also fought each other.
A move to NXT changed nothing as Owens betrayed Zayn and ignited a rivalry that saw The Prizefighter capture the title from the artist formerly known as El Generico.
The feud continued to the main roster before they reunited to feud with Shane McMahon.
Now, with WrestleMania approaching, they have reignited their rivalry.
Owens has attempted to show Zayn how delusional he has become, only to eat a Helluva Kick for his trouble. He responded to the former intercontinental champion with a Stunner, leaving him in a heap moments after his former friend accepted his challenge for a dance on wrestling’s grandest stage.
For the men behind the characters, this will be a dream come true; for the longtime foes, it will be a hard-hitting, high-impact, emotion-fueled showdown that will serve as the first chapter in a longer feud.
Prediction: Zayn steals the win