Hold on to your hats, grapple fans, WWE WrestleMania 33 is just around the corner. After months of buildup, the WWE's "Show of Shows" is rolling into Orlando, Florida for a weekend of thrills and spills. Since the January 2017 Royal Rumble, all roads have led to the WWE's showcase event. After months of WrestleMania 33 rumors and news stories, the most important PPV event in the WWE calendar gets underway on Sunday. The importance of WrestleMania 33 to the WWE network should not be underestimated. Each year, the WWE lines up its top superstars for what is truly an all-star event.
In 2017, WrestleMania may be more important than ever to the WWE network. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the WWE is offering a range of special offers to entice subscribers onto the network, and WrestleMania 33 is the promotional vehicle. You expect all the WWE's top stars to appear at WrestleMania, and 2017 will be no different. The Undertaker, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H will all be present in the WrestleMania 33 ring. That said, there have been many rumblings of discontent over the WrestleMania 33 card.
The theme for the 2017 WrestleMania card seems to be pitting active talent against semi-retired or retiring talent. Many have accused the WWE of misusing hard-working superstars by pitting them against part-timers. Those matches dominate the card. Styles, for example, faces Shane McMahon, while Roman Reigns faces off against The Undertaker. Seth Rollins will meet Triple H, his former mentor, who is also another member of the McMahon family.
However you look at it, WrestleMania 33 has a very different feel to it. If Yahoo! Sports interview with Randy Orton is anything to go by, The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns is likely to be WrestleMania 33's headline event. That, together with the other current talent vs. veteran matches, suggests that WrestleMania 33 might just mark the end of an era for the WWE and its superstars.
WrestleMania 33 Predictions: The Final Act For The Undertaker, Shane McMahon, and Triple H?So, what is the WWE setting out to achieve at WrestleMania 33? Perhaps our biggest clue comes from the likely headline match. The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns, a WWE legend vs. the man the WWE universe loves to hate. The Undertaker's career has been defined by WrestleMania, "The Streak," a 21-year winning run at WrestleMania, is the stuff of true wrestling legend, and there can be no doubt that any match involving the Taker of Souls is a match fitting to top any WrestleMania card.
Reigns has been pushed as the face of the WWE network for six years; a strategy that has utterly failed Vince McMahon. The WWE network needs a Roman Reigns heel turn, and fans expect to see it happen at WrestleMania 33. Bleacher Report agrees that a Reigns heel turn is likely this weekend, and they suggest that the time is absolutely right. I expect to see The Undertaker wipe the floor with Reigns, perhaps with a little help from Braun Strowman. Don't expect a long match as The Undertaker's health won't allow it. I expect a match that lasts under 10-minutes, and in the wake of his defeat, Reigns will complete his heel turn by attacking the Taker backstage.
Next, we have Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles. The WWE universe is more than a little upset about this matchup. Styles is undoubtedly the best wrestler on the WWE's books. Styles held SmackDown together for 12-months and was a very worthy world champion. A match against the part-time vice-president of the WWE is scant reward for AJ's efforts over the past 18-months. McMahon's match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 was entertaining but ultimately pointless. While McMahon may still put on an entertaining match with Styles, it is a match too far for the veteran.
Given the dust-ups between Styles and McMahon on recent editions of SmackDown, this one may last a little longer. I expect Styles to pummel McMahon to defeat, gain his respect, and a route back to his world championship. Don't be too surprised if McMahon announces that Styles will take on Randy Orton or Bray Wyatt in a championship match on next Tuesday's SmackDown Live.
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins is perhaps a little more difficult to call. This match is something of a cliché; the master vs. pupil matchup that we see so often. As a member of The Shield, Rollins was promoted as the future of WWE wrestling. Triple H now spends most of his time in a management role, and he is busy trying to extend the WWE's reach in the UK and in Europe. It's unrealistic to expect him to spend much time in the ring.
Rollins, on the other hand, needs a push, and the feud with his former mentor, however unbelievable, has been entertaining. I expect Triple H to win this one, but not alone. It has been rumored for some time, that Triple H is forging a new heel stable with Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens. I expect to see Samoa Joe interfere to help Triple H to victory, which will cement his heel status and set up a long-term feud with Rollins.
The final match in my prediction roundup is John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse. The WWE bill this one as "a collision between power couples." In truth, it seems that the match is really another case of "out with the old, in with the new." Cena returned from a lengthy hiatus to claim AJ Styles title at the Royal Rumble, but he quickly relinquished it to Bray Wyatt at the 2017 Elimination Chamber.
It is a surprise to see 16-time world champion John Cena in a low-card tag match at WrestleMania 33. Cena's TV and movie commitments mean he is an infrequent competitor. It has also been rumored that Nikki Bella will take a hiatus after WrestleMania. Maryse hasn't appeared on the WWE network for years, so it's hard to justify that "power couple" tag. The reality is that this one is a pretty meaningless card filler. It doesn't really matter who wins, but I expect team Cena to triumph, leaving The Miz to build on his "under-appreciated" tag.
It really does seem that the WWE is using WrestleMania 33 to push new talent, and probably to retire the veterans.
[Featured Image by WWE]