It’s WrestleMania week, meaning WWE’s biggest card of the year takes place this weekend!
Taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, WrestleMania 37 will mark the first time Vince McMahon’s promotion holds its marquee event across two nights (Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11).
It will also be WWE’s first time performing before a live audience since March 9, 2020, when the professional wrestling giant stopped hosting crowds due to the COVID pandemic. Since then, they’ve broadcast exclusively virtual fans whose images are shown on screens surrounding the inner “Thunderdome” — which has been headquartered at Tropicana Field and the Orlando Amway Center, respectively.
The WrestleMania 37 kickoff pre-shows begin at 7 pm ET on both nights. The main cards will start just an hour later, at 8 pm ET. Here’s the match breakdown over Night One (Saturday) and Night Two (Sunday).
- WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (C) vs. Drew McIntyre
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (C) vs. Bianca Belair
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day (C) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
- Bad Bunny & Damien Priest vs. The Miz & John Morrison
- Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage)
- Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
- Lana & Naomi vs. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs. Riott Squad vs. Natalya & Tamina vs. Billie Kay & Carmella (Tag Team Turmoil Match)
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (C) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
- Intercontinental Championship: Big E (C) vs. Apollo Crews (Nigerian Drum Fight)
- United States Championship: Riddle (C) vs. Sheamus
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (C) vs. Rhea Ripley
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (C) vs. Tag Team Turmoil Winner
- Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
- The Fiend vs. Randy Orton
Despite the match results being predetermined, professional wrestling provides more betting value than you might expect.
- Last Survivor Series, our picks went a perfect six for six, more than quadrupling anyone’s bankroll who wagered an even amount of money on each bet.
- Our Royal Rumble predictions weren’t 100% but were accurate enough to prove that there are repeatable patterns and indicators to make betting on WWE events a lucrative undertaking.
WrestleMania is no different. If anything, its status as pro wrestling’s “Superbowl” makes the Show of Shows more predictable most years. Think of it as the WWE’s season finale, where the long-term storylines are settled. The slate is cleaned, and the following year’s angles begin anew at the RAW After Mania.
Raw WWE Championship – Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
- Matchup Odds
- Bobby Lashley-120
- Drew McIntyre-120
Babyface: Drew McIntyre
Heel: Bobby Lashley
Drew McIntyre’s Owed “WrestleMania Moment”
Early signs point to the WWE using WrestleMania 37 to give Drew McIntyre the moment he was supposed to receive a year ago. At Mania 36, the powerhouse Scotsman defeated Brock Lesnar – wrestling’s most feared beast — to become the WWE Champion in what was meant to be his “coming out party” as a top superstar babyface.
Instead, his title run played out before empty arenas, thanks to COVID. Now, he’ll get another chance at a “WrestleMania moment” on Night One of the WWE’s most prestigious event of the year and their return to performing for a live audience.
McIntyre lost the championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV due to shenanigans.
Initially, he successfully defended the title in the Elimination Chamber but was assaulted post-match by Bobby Lashley. The Almighty left the champ laying for Miz to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and make the pin – the deal being that Miz would give Lashley a title shot a week later.
The Hurt Business’s ace squashed the newly crowned champion on the following RAW, beginning Bobby Lashley’s reign. Since his ascent to the top of the card, however, wrestling fans have grown quite fond of Lashley and his faction – consisting of Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, and managed by MVP.
Many believe Bobby Lashley should retain the title and have a long, dominant run. However, recent decisions by Vince McMahon suggest that he has no intention of changing plans. Drew McIntyre will get the WrestleMania victory he’s owed, only this time, against the next-most-impressive physical specimen after Brock Lesnar: Bobby Lashley.
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2021
Then there’s the fact that Drew McIntyre’s memoir is scheduled for release in early May. WWE will want him to bring the championship belt with him on the press rounds to gain the brand more exposure. When it comes to Vince McMahon’s company, what makes the most business sense always comes first.
The Hurt Business Breakup
Another hint that Saturday is Drew’s night is the Hurt Business’s recent breakup, despite being one of the WWE’s hottest factions. It’s been reported that the group members were unhappy with the decision but could not change Vince McMahon’s mind.
“If you were shocked or unhappy about the split of The Hurt Business, you weren’t alone. According to WWE sources, so were the members of the group.
“Fightful was told that Vince McMahon alone made the decision to split up the Hurt Business last week on Raw, much to the chagrin of those in the group. We’re told that he was set in his choice to fracture the group, even after MVP and Bobby Lashley were vocal about not being in support of the move. Sources indicated that both MVP and Lashley met with Vince McMahon about the idea, but the latter dug his heels in even more.
“Based on several wrestlers that we spoke to, the decision, and McMahon’s insistence to continue down that road was a blow to morale.”
They had the challenger defeat Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a handicap match, which stipulated that neither man may be present ringside during the championship match.
No It’s Not https://t.co/IvXMD7ZApQ
— PRIME Alexander (@CedricAlexander) April 7, 2021
This led to Lashley and MVP turning on the duo and breaking up the group.
The Champ then squashed his former teammates in back-to-back singles matches in the weeks leading up to this weekend.
Since they were already banned from ringside, it’s doubtful that breaking up the Hurt Business was misdirection. McMahon is doing everything in his power to make sure Lashley is received as a heel. Having the champion team up with Baron Corbin is further proof that this is the case.
Baron Corbin is NOT, I repeat NOT in The Hurt Business.
— MVP (@The305MVP) March 31, 2021
Maybe after he wins back the title and is appropriately showered with live fans’ cheers, Vince McMahon will allow the Hurt Business to re-form and continue their reign as one of the most “over” factions in the industry.
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair
- Matchup Odds
- Bianca Belair -300
- Sasha Banks +200
Babyface: Bianca Belair
Heel: Sasha Banks
On paper, Bianca Belair versus Sasha Banks has all the makings of a classic “passing of the torch” match. It reminds me of The New Day dropping the titles to The Street Profits at the last Survivor Series. Belair made her main roster debut one year ago at WrestleMania 36 and has been one of the WWE’s breakout stars ever since.
The EST celebrated the most significant victory of her career by outlasting 29 other competitors to win the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble. The winner of the Rumble earns a shot at either of the WWE brands’ titles. Bianca Belair used the opportunity to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks.
Saturday’s showdown is also a momentous occasion for Banks. Despite being one of the most prominent faces of the WWE – especially during the COVID pandemic – her defense against Belair will be Sasha’s first one-on-one contest at WrestleMania.
While the writers have hinted at this weekend being the culmination of Bianca Belair’s rise to the top of the women’s division, I’m expecting a misdirect. I think Sasha Banks will retain her title in what will likely be the best match of Night One.
One name that’s notably absent from the two-day WrestleMania schedule is Bayley — one of the most popular wrestlers in the company, who, along with Sasha Banks, helped carry the SmackDown women’s division while much of the roster was unavailable due to COVID.
When asked in an interview with talkSPORT, the first women’s Triple Crown Champion and Grand Slam winner in WWE history responded with the following:
“I cannot give you an honest answer, dude. I don’t know. I’m sorry guys, it just didn’t happen. Even if there was something, I don’t know if I would tell you guys because it would spoil it. It’s okay, I’ll be here for a long time.”
There’s no way the WWE couldn’t find a spot for Bayley – not at the first two-night WrestleMania. That means that whatever she’s doing is a surprise.
Sasha and Bayley are two of the Four Horsewomen who have led the women’s revolution since joining NXT. They’ve teamed together and broken up more than almost any pair of wrestlers on the planet. Sasha also won the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Bayley at Hell in the Cell.
Bayley also has a history with Bianca Belair, dropping singles and tag-team matches to the emerging superstar in recent months. Still, I don’t think she’ll interfere at the expense of Banks.
Assuming there’s no way WWE leaves Bayley off the WrestleMania card, she has to either do a run-in, compete in a surprise match (more on that later), or participate in a non-wrestling segment. Of the scheduled contests, Banks versus Belair is the most obvious fit.
RAW Tag Match – Miz and John Morrison vs. Damian Priest and Bad Bunny
- Matchup Odds
- Damian Priest and Bad Bunny -2000
- Miz and John Morrison +800
Babyface: Damian Priest and Bad Bunny
Heel: Miz and John Morrison
Bad Bunny has been a godsend for WWE. It’s not often the most prominent musical artist in the world dips their toes into the professional wrestling world – and when they do, they rarely take the business as seriously as the Puerto Rican superstar has.
Not only has Bad Bunny continually promoted the WWE to his massive social media followings, but he also wore his 24/7 title during his musical performances on Saturday Night Live. The rapper, singer, songwriter has also been a leading seller of WWE merchandise since beginning his foray into wrestling.
WrestleMania is where Bad Bunny pays off his storyline with a defiant win over The Miz and John Morrison. The promotion has teamed the global music star with Damian Priest, a recent NXT call-up with tons of potential to headline events, but without much time to reach his peak at 38-years-old. The writers will use this enormous opportunity under the brightest of lights to springboard his career into main event status.
Unfortunately, it’s so obvious that Priest and Bad Bunny are going to triumph, they’re -2000 favorites. Thankfully, the oddsmakers at MyBookie have given us an alternative.
Bonus WrestleMania Prop! Will Bad Bunny Score the Pin to Win His Tag Match?
Bad Bunny Scores the Pin?
- Matchup Odds
- Yes -200
You can also bet on whether the Latin megastar is the one to pin Miz or Morrisson. After the heel duo vandalized Bad Bunny’s $3.6 million Bugatti and jumped the musician during the go-home episode of RAW, I think “Yes” is the bet to make.
The celebrity guest at any WrestleMania event is usually expected to prevail but this time, they’re especially deserving. Bad Bunny has put more care and effort into his WWE appearances than almost any short-timer in recent memory, despite being far and away the biggest worldwide star to hop in the ring.
RAW Tag Team Championship – The New Day vs. AJ Styles & Omos
- Matchup Odds
- AJ Styles & Omos -150
- The New Day +120
Babyface: The New Day
Heel: AJ Styles & Omos
The New Day dropped the tag-team titles to The Street Profits at Survivor Series and won them back from the Hurt Business on the March 15 edition of Monday Night RAW. Styles and his hired muscle, Omos, made the challenge to Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston shortly thereafter.
I’m taking the challengers in this match for two reasons:
- If AJ Styles wins the tag titles, he will have held every major belt in the WWE, becoming a Grand Slam Champion. Styles has been one of the most consistently high-level performers on the roster, so I believe they’ll grant him that honor.
- The Phenomenal One has endured a sudden string of losses in the lead-up to WrestleMania. He’s lost to both members of the New Day in singles competition over the past three weeks. I believe the losses were to highlight Omos’s dominance when he puts AJ Styles over the top in defeating the champions.
The New Day have held the tag titles numerous times before, and they’ll hold them numerous times again in the future. However, at WrestleMania, their role will be to give AJ Styles the last WWE championship that’s eluded the decorated veteran and make Omos look as strong as possible.
Smackdown Singles Match – Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
- Matchup Odds
- Seth Rollins +160
Heel: Seth Rollins
Cesaro is one of the most widely respected and underrated pro wrestlers alive. Listen to any interview with wrestlers who have worked with the Swiss Superman – either in WWE or during his indie career – and they’ll have nothing but glowing praise.
Yet, he’s never gotten pushed to the top of the WWE main event ladder. In an interview on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, Vince McMahon explained that Cesaro lacks charisma and mic skills, despite having all the physical and technical wrestling skills to be a champion.
(Sorry for the poor quality; this is the only clip of McMahon’s comments I could find:)
Cesaro has been so underutilized, this Saturday’s grudge match against Seth Rollins will be the former’s first WrestleMania singles competition. In the build-up to the bout, Rollins – who recently returned to the roster after the birth of his first child — has repeatedly taunted his opponent with variations of Vince’s criticisms.
Most of their interactions have ended in Rollins being caught in Cesaro’s humiliating swing (he literally grabs the opponent by their ankles and spins them in circles). Still, Seth’s line of insults suggests to me that Cesaro is a sure winner. I doubt he’d weaponize legitimate criticisms from the company’s owner unless the story had a happy ending for the babyface.
Remember, Cesaro is universally respected as one of the best wrestlers alive. Behind the scenes, I’d bet Rollins has lobbied to put his peer over on the grandest stage of them all.
Plus, the WWE has been obsessed with manufacturing “WrestleMania Moments” recently. Since Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania 30 victory, the promotion has been determined to give underappreciated performers their just dues every year.
RAW Singles Match – Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
- Matchup Odds
- Braun Strowman -600
- Shane McMahon +350
Babyface: Braun Strowman
Heel: Shane McMahon
Alright, here’s one of our best opportunities to win a sizable payout. Braun Strowman versus Shane McMahon has been one of the most bizarre storylines on RAW during the Road to WrestleMania.
The monstrous Strowman is the babyface against Shane McMahon, who’s been calling the giant powerhouse “stupid.” During the go-home episode of Raw, Braun gave an impassioned speech, dedicated the steel cage match to anyone who’s ever been bullied and teased for their lack of intelligence.
Given the opportunity to choose a match stipulation, the Monster Among Men picked a steel cage match, meaning McMahon would have nowhere to run or no goons to interfere on his behalf. It has all the designs of a classic beatdown when the babyface finally gets their hands on the cowardly heel.
Yet, I firmly believe that Shane-O-Mac comes away with the win.
- Every big-time Shane McMahon match has one thing in common: the chairman’s son always goes flying off a tall structure. Meanwhile, a steel cage match can only be won by escaping the cage – either by climbing over the top or exiting the cage door.
- The WWE also loves to produce ridiculous feats of strength for Braun Strowman. The man has flipped over an ambulance, for godsakes!
Given their histories, this match seems destined to end by Strowman throwing Shane through, or over the top of the cage, and onto the floor or announce table below.
RAW Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka
- Matchup Odds
- Rhea Ripley -200
- Asuka +160
Heel: Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley challenged Asuka for her RAW Women’s Championship on the former’s debut on the Monday night brand. Prior to being called up, Ripley was an NXT women’s champion and one of the most highly anticipated performers yet to reach the main roster.
On Monday, she turned heel, turning on Asuka during a tag match against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax, the RAW women’s tag team champions. The last-minute turn could have something to do with what the WWE has planned for the belt after WrestleMania.
Before testing positive for COVID-19, Charlotte Flair was supposed to be involved in the title picture. This weekend, it will have been roughly three weeks since her positive test – long enough to recover. I believe Charlotte will interfere with this match somehow.
Flair and Asuka were tag team champions together for a few months before dropping them to the current champs. She also scored a controversial win over Rhea Ripley at last year’s WrestleMania – so there’s plenty of history with both parties.
However, I don’t expect both Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair to have the same result. If Belair defeats Banks, I believe that means Ripley will beat Asuka – and vice versa. So, use the Night One outcome to inform your Night Two wager.
RAW Singles Match – The Fiend vs. Randy Orton
- Matchup Odds
- The Fiend -500
- Randy Orton +300
Babyface: Randy Orton
Heel: The Fiend
This has been one of the most ridiculous angles on WWE television. It seems like a never-ending pattern of Bray Wyatt / The Fiend doing spooky stuff to Randy Orton every week on RAW, then Orton murdering the mystical monster wizard on PPVs.
The last time the two met in an official match, Randy lit The Fiend on fire. Then he disappeared for a month or so, only to return as a charbroiled Fiend.
Wyatt’s psycho monster persona hasn’t been back long enough to take another loss unless they plan to reset the character completely.
Since his new burnt-up clothes and mask look pretty intricate, I’m guessing they cost a decent amount of money – as such, The Fiend should probably finally get his big victory over the man who burned down his house and lit him on fire in separate incidences years apart.
Intercontinental Championship – Big E vs. Apollo Crews
- Matchup Odds
- Big E -120
- Apollo Crews -120
Babyface: Big E
Heel: Apollo Crews
Big E and Apollo Crews are facing off in a “Nigerian Drum Fight.” I don’t have the slightest clue what a “Nigerian Drum Fight” is, but I’m guessing it’s about as authentic as Crews’ new accent.
These two have been locked in a rivalry ever since Big E beat Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship in December. Big E has won all but one of their five previous meetings (4 singles matches, 1 triple-threat).
Over the course of his many losses, Crews turned heel and developed a new accent. If they’re not pulling the trigger with his new character at WrestleMania, it’s never going to happen.
I think this Intercontinental Championship run was a test for Big E to see if he could be a top-of-the-card contender. Now that he’s earned a spot in the main event picture, it’s time to drop the title to younger up-and-coming talent like Crews.
Smackdown Singles Match – Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
- Matchup Odds
- Kevin Owens -200
- Sami Zayn +160
Babyface: Kevin Owens
Heel: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has the most hilarious gimmick running right now. He’s a deranged conspiracy theorist shooting a documentary about all the ways the WWE works to undermine his career.
His long-time friend and oldest rival, Kevin Owens, challenged Zayn to a WrestleMania match in the hopes of knocking some sense into the paranoid documentarian.
The Logan Paul Factor
Somewhere along the way, Sami got Logan Paul involved in his whole ordeal. Paul was present in the ring when Zayn debuted the trailer to his film – a segment that ended with KO assaulting his opponent and leaving him lying in the ring.
Logan Paul is also expected to be ringside at WrestleMania. It’s a near guarantee that any celebrity guest situated near the action will interfere in the match at some point; the question is how. The YouTube sensation may have been Sami’s guest at the red-carpet premiere, but subsequent footage leaves room for doubt regarding whose side Paul will ultimately take.
My head is telling me Kevin Owens will be victorious, by my heart is with Sami Zayn.
He’s doing the best character work of his WWE career and deserves recognition on sports entertainment’s grandest stage.
On the other hand, Zayn’s conspiracy theorist character almost works better when he loses. Losses only provide more material for his insane “everyone is out to get me” rants.
Thankfully, the loss will only worsen Sami’s paranoia and add to his movie. Not only will the character continue his craziness, but the feud with Kevin Owens will continue past WrestleMania.
Universal Championship – Edge vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
- Matchup Odds
- Edge +110
- Roman Reigns +140
- Daniel Bryan +200
Babyface: Daniel Bryan
Heels: Edge; Roman Reigns
This is the most challenging match to call on the WrestleMania card. I can see any of the three competitors winning to set up angles down the road. Roman Reigns has been more entertaining as the Tribal Chief than at any other time in his illustrious career. He’s felt destined to hold the title until The Rock could challenge for his seat at “the head of the table.”
Then you have Edge, who returned from what was believed to be a career-ending injury. He returned briefly in January 2020 but only participated in three matches before being sidelined again. He re-debuted at the 2021 Royal Rumble, going the distance as one of the first two entrants to win the 30-man endurance gauntlet.
Sunday, the night of the WrestleMania triple-threat match for the Universal Championship, will mark the 10th anniversary of Edge’s retirement speech. It would be a perfect “WrestleMania Moment” for the Rated-R Superstar to become champion once again after so long away from the ring.
Adding the Third Man
Another hint towards WrestleMania being Edge’s night is the late addition of Daniel Bryan to the mix. The match was previously meant to be between Edge and Roman Reigns. Often, when a third person is added to a contest like this, it’s so the title can change hands without the champion eating the pin.
Of course, the WWE has gotten good at telegraphing obvious conclusions, only to “swerve” fans at the last moment.
For example, at the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton started the match with Edge. However, while Edge endured the entire battle royal, Orton went to the locker room with an apparent injury early in the proceedings. As Edge approached the last remaining opponents, it became clear that Randy would return, completely refreshed, and steal the win away at the last second.
Additionally, when the writers are going to for the misdirection finish, they usually don’t acknowledge the telegraphed ending.
Yet, on one of the last SmackDowns before the PPV, Edge met with Roman Reigns about a potential alliance against Daniel Bryan. During the brief conversation, he mentioned the fact that Roman could lose the belt without being pinned.
That makes me think they’re setting us up for the Edge victory with every intention of swerving the fans. Keep in mind that this will be the final match of WrestleMania, so they’ll want to end the PPV by leaving a lasting impression.
That said, this WrestleMania main event could genuinely go either way. Edge or Daniel Bryan winning the title and entering into a championship feud against each other makes perfect sense. Both wrestlers were forced into injury retirements before miraculously returning to their passion.
The problem with any of those outcomes is that I can’t picture what they’d do with Roman Reigns if he lost. He’s not going to start a new angle not involving the belt while Edge and Bryan battle it out. So, a title change only makes sense if the Big Dog stays in the hunt.
Barring a returning superstar like Brock Lesnar appearing and giving Reigns a new focus, I don’t see how the Universal Champ loses on Sunday.