On Sunday, March 29th, WWE Wrestlemania 31 will take place at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. Since the 1980’s, the annual Wrestlemania has been to sports entertainment as the Super Bowl is to football, and is the flagship event of World Wrestling Entertainment.
The first Wrestlemania took place on March 31st, 1985 at Madison Square Garden. It featured stars such as Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Mr. T, and André the Giant, among so many others.
This year, there are eight matches on the main match card. There will also be a match on the Wrestlemania pre-show (for information regarding viewing Wrestlemania, go to www.wwe.com).
As the big event gets closer, myself (along with two fellow writers) will preview 1-2 matches per day as Wrestlemania week goes on, and we will give our final predictions for each match as well.
Today, we’ll preview the four-way Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship, and we will also preview the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
First, there’s the match which will take place during the Wrestlemania 31 Pre-Show. It is a Fatal-Four Way Tag Team Match with the WWE Tag Team Championships on the line. The current tag team champions, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, will face off against The Usos, Los Matadores, and The New Day. All four of these teams are agile, high-flying, and very talented.
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) were the most recent tag team champions, until Kidd & Cesaro defeated them at the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view last month. On the March 12th edition of WWE Thursday Night Smackdown. Jey Uso suffered an injury that could very well play a role in the match Sunday for the former champions.
Los Matadores (Primo & Epico) are also former WWE tag team champions, but have not won the titles since becoming Los Matadores (who are accompanied by El Torito, their “bull” mascot). Both Puerto Rican wrestlers, Los Matadores are one of the most acrobatic tag teams in all of World Wrestling Entertainment, and are a formidable opponent.
Finally, there is The New Day. Consisting of Kofi Kingston, Big E Langston, and Xavier Woods, The New Day hasn’t had many top tier matches against the champions, but Big E can match up very well against Cesaro in terms of power.
Jeremy Karp: It has the makings for an exciting match to get people set in the mood for Wrestlemania 31. I expect Los Matadores to really stand out in the match, as well as El Torito to find a way to get involved. In the end, however, I see Tyson Kidd and Cesaro winning the match, and retaining their titles.
Scott Bachelor: “In a repeat match from the previous WrestleMania, we have a four way tag match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Both the Los Matadores and Usos competed in that match along with Cesaro who teamed with Jack Swagger. It is unfortunate that this match seems like another after thought that is put on the pre show just so it can be said it was on the WrestleMania card. I think this is an easy match to predict because of seemingly how little effort there has been to build any story lines. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro retain the championships in what I expect to be a well put together match to get the crowd hot.”
The second match we will preview is the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The winner of the match wins a giant trophy with a statue of the late Hall of Famer on top. This match will feature veteran wrestlers such as Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, as well as wrestlers such as Curtis Axel, Goldust, Zack Ryder, and so many others. This type of match is big for wrestlers who don’t usually appear on television much, or don’t have a main storyline heading into Wrestlemania.
As is typical in battle royals, once you are thrown over the top rope, you are eliminated. One would think this would give people such as the 6’10” 320 lb Kane, or the 7’0″ 415 lb Big Show, but last year, Cesaro single handily picked up the Big Show and lifted him over the top rope.
However, this week, before Wrestlemania (days before in fact), NXT (WWE’s developmental league) will have a four-way match to determine which NXT wrestler will participate in the battle royal. The four participants are: Adrian Neville, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, and Tyler Breeze. Each has had a lot of success in NXT, and any one of them would make a huge impact in the Memorial Battle Royal.
Jeremy Karp: “It will be an entertaining battle royal, even if it may seem obvious as to which wrestlers won’t win the battle royal. In my opinion, whomever wins the NXT four-way match on March 26th and goes to Wrestlemania will win the André the Giant Memorial battle royal. And to me, that person is…. Adrian Neville.”
Scott Bachelor: “This year’s event does not have the star power the inaugural battle royal has. Sure Big Show and Kane are competing and the biggest fan favorites are Damien Mizdow and Ryback. Not exactly an event that has many people excited. In the previous years, there would often times be a battle royal to start WrestleMania to get the lower card guys onto the prestigious PPV, and that seems to be exactly what this is now except with a fancy name and a trophy to go to the winner. While only seventeen names are confirmed thus far, I believe the winner will be a man who has not yet been on television this year. This may come out of the blue but my prediction is that Sheamus returns in a big way within the next week and starts a new reign of terror by winning the second Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.”
Check back with Arch City Sports tomorrow and all this week, as the Wrestlemania 31 preview continues on…