Welcome to part three of the week long series previewing WWE Wrestlemania 31. Today’s edition will be the last one to feature two matches, as for the next three days, the remaining three matches will be covered one at a time.
But on with today’s preview!
RANDY ORTON VS. SETH ROLLINS
Talk about a feud that’s been building up for a long time. It’s been full of attitude, intensity, and outstanding promo work by both men in the match. You have Randy Orton, the St. Louis native (who was an amateur wrestler at Hazelwood Central High School), who is looking for revenge against one of the top heels in the company, Seth Rollins. Why? Because four months ago, Rollins attacked Orton during an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw and Orton was kicked out of “The Authority“, the main heel stable in WWE.
For months, Orton was off of television while Rollins shined. However, at the WWE Fastlane PPV, Orton returned to save certain wrestlers from The Authority. The next night, The Authority attempted to convince Orton to rejoin them. And for a while, it seemed like he did. But three weeks ago, Orton viciously attacked Rollins, showing his true colors, and that he never intended to rejoin The Authority.
When all the members of The Authority would later attempt to assault Orton the following week, Sting wound up arriving, and he and Orton fended them all off.
Rollins, as stated earlier, is not only one of the top heels in the company, but he is one of the best wrestlers period. Charismatic, agile, and able to put on great matches, the “future of WWE” will, for the first time, have a singles match at Wrestlemania.
Jeremy Karp: “No titles on the line, no stipulations, no guest referees, just Rollins and Orton, two of the best wrestlers WWE has to offer going at it. It is sure to be an adrenaline-fueled match, but Rollins will have his “security”, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, at ringside, meaning Orton will really have to watch his back. I expect them to cause a distraction at some point, but not bad enough to where it would be a disqualification.
I also expect Orton to hit Rollins with the “RKO” (Orton’s finishing move) during the match, only to have Rollins kick out. Because if there was ever a PPV to elevate a future star, Wrestlemania would be it. Close call, but I predict that Seth Rollins will win the match.”
Scott Bachelor: “This is not a match I am looking forward to but I do have to hand it to the story telling, this is one of the few feuds that actually has a story. I think both guys have the ability to put on a good match together but when I think Orton, I do not think five star match. Rollins on the other hand is just two months removed from what some say was the best triple threat match in history. Maybe even better than either WrestleMania 20 or 30.
I think that Rollins needs the big win going into the last few months he is allowed with the Money in the Bank briefcase. This match will get decent time on the card seeing Rollins getting a big win. Winner: Rollins.”
SEVEN MAN LADDER MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
Some of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania (and WWE in general) history have involved ladders. From the triple-threat tag team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches at both Wrestlemania 2000 and Wrestlemania X-7, to Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon in a Ladder Match at Wrestlemania X, and the annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match (which now has its own pay-per-view), matches like these have had so many moments entrenched in the minds of fans and wrestlers alike.
This year, seven men will be in the ring at once, on their quest to become Intercontinental Champion. They are: Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Luke Harper, Stardust, and the current IC Champion Wade Barrett.
Combined, these seven men have held dozens of titles over their careers, and most have been Intercontinental Champion already.
The build up for this match hasn’t been as intense as other matches on the card, mainly cause there are so many wrestlers in the match to establish character development. Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler put on an amazing match on the March 23rd episode of Raw, which soon led to a brawl between all the wrestlers competing, sans Wade Barrett.
This will be quite an interesting match, to say the least. Without a doubt, high flying moves off the ladder will be performed, and wrestlers will be all over the place: inside the ring and out. Throughout the past month, Wade Barrett (who performs as “Bad News Barrett”), despite being the Intercontinental Champion, has had trouble keeping a hold of his title belt. R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, and basically every other opponent in the match has at one point “stolen” the belt from Barrett, only to have it stolen again. When the match starts, the belt will be hung high above the ring, and naturally, to win, one must climb a ladder and retrieve the belt.
The question is…who will?
Jeremy Karp: “It’s hard to see Luke Harper or R-Truth winning the match, as there would really be no true progression of a feud or storyline after their win. Stardust is absolutely hilarious, and I think that at one point, he will be right there on the ladder ready to grab the title, but his brother Goldust will either interfere or cause a distraction, keeping the flame of the sibling rivalry hot.
Ambrose, Bryan, and Ziggler all have great chances. All of them are unbelievably gifted technical wrestlers, and the crowd gets behind them weekly. And the majority of people seem to predict Daniel Bryan to win the match and the title. But I do not see that being the case.
In my opinion, however, I think Wade Barrett will retain his title belt. Having it “stolen” weekly has begun to really fire him up, and, there is one point that popped in my head that supports my prediction: Wade Barrett NEVER lost his title last year. He had to relinquish it due to injury. Having him retain it at Wrestlemania 31 would help establish a long title run in the future.”
Scott Bacherlor: “I have not fully enjoyed the build to the IC Championship match but I am excited for it. I think every single one of the guys fighting in this match deserve their own spotlight rather than another multi-man match, but they are the future and will get their time soon.
I truly believe any one of the seven could win it, but the front runners have to be Bryan, Ziggler, Ambrose or Barrett. Out of those four, I think both the Title and Bryan benefit from the former World Champion claiming the Intercontinental Title and hopefully getting the decent title run he deserved last year. Winner: Daniel Bryan.”
Hope you enjoyed part three of the Wrestlemania preview series, and of course, feel free to give your predictions below. We are only four days away from Wrestlemania 31, and there’s still three more matches to preview. Stay tuned!