Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover Orlando Predictions

My Wrestlemania Predictions (and Kiddo's!):

Saturday night, the night before Wrestlemania, is NXT Takeover: Orlando. We'll start with our picks for that show.

Aliester Black vs. Andrade Cien Almas

My pick: Black
Kiddo's pick: Black

The guy making the debut almost always wins these kinds of matches.

Sanity vs. Tye Dillinger/No Way Jose/Roderick Strong/Ruby Riot

My pick: Dillinger/Jose/Strong/Riot
Kiddo's pick: Sanity

Kiddo has recently become a huge Nikki Cross fan. I'm going with the same logic as the first match. This is Ruby Riot's debut. Her team wins.

Authors of Pain (Champions) vs. DIY vs. The Revival
For the NXT Tag Team Championships
Elimination match

My pick: Authors of Pain
Kiddo's pick: Authors of Pain

I think the Authors are going to get a dominant run similar to what The Ascension had. I also think there's an excellent chance that we see the Revival on Raw or Smackdown next Monday or Tuesday.

Asuka (Champion) vs. Ember Moon
For the NXT Womens Championship

My pick: Asuka
Kiddo's pick: Asuka

I think Ember Moon wins the title. I just don't think she does it on her first try. I could easily see this going either way, though.

Bobby Roode (Champion) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
For the NXT Championship

My pick: Roode
Kiddo's pick: Nakamura

Roode will emerge victorious (Glorious!), and Nakamura debuts on the main roster either Monday or Tuesday.

Wrestlemania (including pre-show)

Alexa Bliss (Champion) vs. "Every Available Woman on the Smackdown Roster"
For the Smackdown Womens Championship

My pick: Naomi
Kiddo's pick: Bliss

It looks like they're going to go with Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James vs. Naomi, and not adding any other surprise entrants, but I suppose there's always the possibility someone else might enter. Tamina would be the most likely choice if that happens, I doubt they'd call up an NXT competitor here as the womens division in NXT is pretty thin right now, although I suppose they could take the title off Asuka at Takeover and debut her here. I don't see that happening, though, and I'll go with the obvious feel-good story of Naomi getting the win in her home town. I just found out that this may be moved from the pre-show to the main card, which is great because it really needs to be dark in that stadium for Naomi's entrance.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

My pick: Braun Strowman
Kiddo's pick: Finn Balor

I saw a list of 30 names for this event that was mostly tag team guys and low-midcarders. The only likely winners on that list were Big Show, Sami Zayn, Strowman, and long-shots Mojo Rawley and Dolph Ziggler. Today, Tian Bing was announced as being in the match, so clearly more wrestlers could be added (not sure if that means they replace some listed wrestlers or if they push the number of participants to 40). Samoa Joe and Finn Balor are obvious possible additions to the match and either of them are potential winners. Another name that seems a likely addition (but less likely winner) is Elias Sampson, who just lost a "Loser Leaves NXT" match. And they could always throw in a returning legend or two (they used Tatanka and DDP last year), or someone who has been out of action for a while like Kane. In the end, I'm going with the obvious choice here. Strowman has had a great year, and really should have had a singles match at Wrestlemania. So if he's going to be in this match, he should win.

Neville (Champion) vs. Austin Aries
For the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

My pick: Neville
Kiddo's pick: Neville

I could see this going either way, but I think Neville gets the win here, possibly setting up for a rematch down the road.

Dean Ambrose (Champion)vs. Baron Corbin
For the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

My pick: Corbin
Kiddo's pick: Ambrose

Corbin will be 2-0 at Wrestlemania. The IC title is definitely in need of some new blood, and this is a perfect step up for Corbin.

Luke Gallows and Carl Anderson (Champions) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Seamus and Cesaro
For the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
Ladder match

My pick: Enzo & Cass
Kiddo's pick: Enzo & Cass

I could see the champs retaining here, but I think Enzo and Cass get their Wrestlemania Moment. Gallows and Anderson might win the titles back on Monday, though.

Bayley (Champion) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
For the WWE Raw Womens Championship
Elimination match

My pick: Bayley
Kiddo's pick: Banks

I think this is one of the hardest matches to predict. But I feel like Charlotte dominated the division for long enough, and Jax is not quite ready for a title run. I think Sasha could turn heel and win, but they've been hinting at that so strongly that it feels like a red herring. I go with the champ retaining.

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

My pick: Styles
Kiddo's pick: McMahon

This feels like a foregone conclusion. Styles wins after the usual Shane mayhem.

John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse

My pick: Cena & Bella
Kiddo's pick: Cena & Bella

Another fairly obvious outcome. Cena proposes after he and Nikki win.

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H
Unsanctioned match (which I am guessing implies a no-dq no-countout streetfight type of match)

My pick: Rollins
Kiddo's pick: Rollins

I don't really see what is gained with Triple H winning here, although there is enough potential for outside interference that anything is possible.

Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns

My pick: Undertaker
Kiddo's pick: Undertaker

I could see this going either way, but... If they want Reigns to come out as a babyface, he really needs to lose. If they want him to turn heel, then he could do that plenty effectively by losing and then beating down 'Taker in frustration after the match. If they try to go with Reigns winning clean and getting a show of respect, the fans are going to boo Reigns out of the building.

Chris Jericho (Champion) vs. Kevin Owens
For the United States Championship

My pick: Owens
Kiddo's pick: Jericho

Owens wins. Jericho goes on tour with his band.

Bray Wyatt (Champion) vs. Randy Orton
For the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

My pick: Wyatt
Kiddo's pick: Wyatt

We really do not need another Randy Orton title reign. If Bray doesn't win, we Wyatt.

Bill Goldberg (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar
For the WWE Universal Championship

My pick: Lesnar
Kiddo's pick: Lesnar

Lesnar wins. I just hope this goes over five minutes. I want to see Goldberg get taken to Suplex City.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review Recap For March 13-20, 2017

I've read fifteen books so far in 2017 (this includes chapter books read aloud to the Kiddo). I'm ahead of pace on my goal of 55 for the year. Here's a look at what I've read so far: