Triple Z is joined by Joshua Gibbs for WWE WrestleMania 33 BreakDownZ
Triple Z: Today on ZWrestleTalk we are trying something new. We are doing a conversational "BreakDownZ" where me and my two special guests will interact more as we predict the show. WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year so ZWrestleTalk needed to do something big. Today joining me is Fansided's Joshua Gibbs.
Josh: Thanks for having me, Zach.
Triple Z: The first match we are going to break down for you is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I don't know about you guys but this is all Braun Strowman. He has nothing going on at WrestleMania!
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Josh: The Andre the Giant match has become one giant (pun intended) "who cares?" What has winning the trophy done for anyone? Cesaro was already over when he won the inaugural bout at WrestleMania 30. Did
Big Show get a push when he won the next year? Did Corbin see any results in the aftermath of his winning? His feud with Ambrose leading into WrestleMania 33 only manifested itself recently so unless you want to tell the winner the
payoff will be in another year I don't see much incentive to win. My point is that winning this trophy doesn't become synonymous with their identity in the same way as winning a title belt or Money in the Bank or even the Royal
Rumble. There is no reward other than the trophy itself. Sadly, this match has become a way for WWE to incorporate the lost souls of their company into the equivalent of a participation ribbon for the biggest show of the year. I do
agree that Strowman (provided he announces his involvement) should be the odds on favorite but not just because of his size. Before his sacrifice upon the altar of Reigns, Strowman was being pushed hard by WWE and quite frankly I
think he deserves better.
All that being said, this trophy is still in its infancy, so perhaps we just need the right kind of champion to give it any kind of gravitas. While Strowman may indeed win this year, I don't see him as the trophy's spokesman since his strength is clearly in the ring and not on the mic but someone else could make it more meaningful. I know it's a long shot, but 'd love to see someone like Gentleman Jack Gallagher win this match. He seems like the last guy who could win a match named after one of the most physically imposing men the company has ever seen and that's precisely why he should. Keep in mind that this match wasn't created simply to allow the largest men in WWE to
compete for their own prize. For those who knew him, Andre the Giant is remembered more for his big heart than his big body and this trophy has sought to embody that larger-than-life spirit, albeit with mixed results. The trophy is 5 feet tall and Gallagher stands at 5'8 so the image of those two standing next to each other would be comical in itself but add in Gallagher's smugness coupled with his unique and incredibly athletic in-ring ability and you have a
champion fans would be proud to cheer on.
Triple Z: Josh you make some incredible points. Jack Gallagher would be a interesting pick for the battle royal.
PICKS: ZACH : Braun Strowman Josh: Jack Gallagher
New Day Hosts WrestleMania
Triple Z: Let's circle back around now. The New Day is hosting WrestleMania. Probably one of the most charismatic groups in WWE history. What do you think they are going to do guys? I'm feeling something will be teased about the Broken Hardy's. Maybe I'm just getting my hopes up. Maybe they finally reveal the "New Day Pops." I mean their slogan for the "New Day Pops" now has a double meaning behind it.
Josh: I'm somewhat puzzled as to why New Day has been relegated to merely a hosting role. Since breaking Demolition's 28 year old record back in December and becoming the longest reigning tag team in WWE history, New Day has been somewhat lost. The downside of breaking these records is that the gimmick has likely become somewhat stale, especially after 483 days. In keeping with the typical WWE formula, New Day broke the record and then lost the titles almost immediately. Since then they have been asked to step aside which may be more about letting someone else have a turn than anything else. I think the reason why New Day was taken away is that WWE is trying to push Enzo and Cass as the top babyface team on RAW and anyone who goes against New Day gets the heat,
intentionally or not. The only way to ensure you keep Enzo and Cass on the good side of these battles is to keep New Day away from in-ring competition. The long shadow cast by New Day has been happening since last year's WrestleMania. In the main event between Triple H and Roman Reigns the crowd was chanting, "Roman sucks", in the same rhythm as "New Day rocks" and that had to boil Vince's blood.
As usual, the tag team division in WWE has taken a back seat to pretty much everything and it's treading water on both shows. We are getting a Triple Threat match for the RAW Tag Team Championship with Gallows and Anderson vs. Enzo and Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus. As of now, the Smackdown titles aren't scheduled to be defended but I'm sure that will change this week. Even with the Usos pulling an upset of American Alpha and winning the belts last week it's not enough to generate real interest in the division. There simply isn't anything new. This lack of excitement may be why the WWE and Hardy seems to be on a collision course. The hype surrounding the Hardy Boys' "will they or
won't they" will be at a fever pitch if they lose their tag team titles at the ROH show they are scheduled for just before WrestleMania. There is no way Vince would allow them on WWE if they were holding the belts of a rival promotion. If they lose the belts, fans will go crazy speculating on whether or not they will appear at WrestleMania or RAW. And they may be needed more than ever since WWE can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time. Apparently we can't have a good balance between singles competition, women's championships and tag team action.One or more of these always suffers when the others are being pushed.
A good friend of mine posited an amazing scenario involving the Hardys. Since Camping World Stadium is open air, you can play with the space more so than in a traditional arena. He asked, what if during WrestleMania we saw Vanguard 1 swoop over the crowd and hover near New Day or the Usos or American Alpha. The JumboTron shows the "Terminator-like" display which lists their tag team name but also lists them as "Obsolete". Before it flies away another mission parameter comes up that says "Mission: April 3d, RAW: DELETE!" While this scenario is only fan boy fiction for now, it would undoubtedly generate a huge amount of interest for RAW and give fans something new and exciting to cheer for as we move into the next season of WWE. I see the Hardys as more likely to appear on Smackdown than anything else since they need the most help in this regard.
Triple Z: The possibilities with Vanguard 1 are endless. The New Day being regulated to host seems like a weird decision. Yet it's better then them losing a throwaway match at WrestleMania. While were talking about tag teams lets cover both tag matches that are happening at WrestleMania 33. First up is for the RAW Tag Team Championships.
Enzo and Big Cass VS Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows VS Sheamus and Cesaro
Triple Z: We have Gallows and Anderson, the underutilized duo from Japan, is finally being utilized on RAW. We got the makeshift team of Cesaro and Sheamus. They have been dreadful to watch the last couple of months. The waste of Cesaro's time and talent. One of the dumbest moves WWE Creative has done since the draft. Finally we have Enzo and Cass. The same tag team that dominated the streets in NXT. Now are faced with the main roster problems. There are two big problems with Enzo and Cass right now.
1. Enzo Amore is becoming a mockery. WWE wants him to be the next Santino Marella. Nothing against Santino as he was an entertaining character it would be awful to see one of the best talkers in the game be regulated to a comedy act.
2. Vince McMahon is enthralled with Big Cass. Vince loves his giants. The sad part is that Vince probably wants Cass to have a even better singles career. Their recent push to the top could be a warning sign. Vince may want this team to reach the top only to have them fall from grace.
My prediction for this RAW Tag Team Match is Enzo and Cass. Just from a crowd standpoint this decision would make the most sense. Even though it is ladder match I still see them winning.
Josh: I've never been overly impressed with Enzo as a wrestler. He's not very unique and he botches more moves than a main roster guy should. His greatest asset is his mouth which would be fine if he was a manager or commentator but he and Cass are essentially the Master Blaster of RAW Town. We can see the writing on the wall for the team to disband since Vince is obsessed with big guys and I fear that Enzo will have nowhere to go since most of his routine involves references to his bigger half.
Josh: I'd agree with this. I think it's been a long time coming for them to have the titles, even with Enzo being the very weak link in their chain. A win at WM33 followed by a few good segments on RAW as our NEEEWWWW tag team champs will
set up the break up. Personally, I'd like to see it happen sooner rather than later. Make it come from out of nowhere like with The Shield. Cass turns on Enzo (or vice versa) because now that they have won tag team gold they need to
break out on their own and go for the Universal Title. You know, since WWE still wants us to think it's on par with the WWE Championship even though it is not.
PICKS: JOSH: ENZO AND CASS ZACH: ENZO AND CASS
Baron Corbin VS Dean Ambrose
Triple Z: I just can't believe that SmackDown Live won't even have a tag team match at WrestleMania. You can totally tell what brand they favor.
Speaking of SmackDown, what do you think about Corbin/Ambrose? This match seems like a cool down to me. Realistically I see Corbin walking out as champion. Any other angle they could do Josh?
Josh: I won't be surprised if they develop something on Smackdown tonight but it
will surprise me if the titles aren't defended at all, even on the pre-show. That in itself would be a huge insult to the brand. Your titles aren't prestigious enough to be showcased at the biggest event of the year. Let's keep it real; the pre-show is basically a house show and it's not the place to put someone you want the fans to take seriously.
While I wish the Corbin/Ambrose feud had more time to simmer, I'm glad to see The Lone Wolf getting some love from the WWE. He and Ambrose have been at odds since Ambrose pinned him first at the Elimination Chamber back in Feb. I liked the forklift incident backstage because it reminded me of the old school RAW is WAR brawls that routinely occurred in places other than the ring. I'd like to see Corbin walk out the champ here because Ambrose
needs something to kickstart the next level of his character. He's been IC champ since Jan and unfortunately that belt hasn't really elevated his performance as much as it could have. Ambrose draws well with crowds, especially at house shows in smaller markets, so WWE has a definite interest in keeping him as one of Smackdown's main guys. I'm just happy he got away from James Ellsworth. That guy is career kryptonite.
PICKS: JOSH: DEAN AMBROSE ZACH: BARON CORBIN
Austin Aries VS Neville
Triple Z: Now onto another flailing part of the WWE product. The Cruiserweight Division! We got an exciting match up! Austin Aries VS Neville but the bigger issue is, will they get enough time? I see Austin Aries walking out as champion. At least they have built the feud that way. The Cruiserweight Championship is a hot potato. I have said this since the beginning. Of course this match is on the pre show.
Josh: Even though it's on the pre-show, I expect a main event style match from these two. Neville has been the best thing the CW division had when he turned heel, but even that has worn stale without any real threat to his title. Austin represents the most likely example of that change and I won't be surprised when he wins.
I'm still concerned with the Andre the Giant battle royal. We still don't have a full roster so I fear that names will just be haphazardly announced over the next few days as Vince scrolls down the roster and sees who doesn't have a spot. Curtis Axel? Sure. R-Truth? Why not?
They recently announced The Shining Stars into the mix, which gets me about as excited as a root canal.
Interesting side note: their catchphrase referencing Puerto Rico ("the Shining Star of the Caribbean") was an actual tagline used by the United States during the Cold War in an effort to promote Puerto Rico as an exotic alternative vacation destination to the communist-controlled island of Cuba. Their gimmick is somewhat tongue-in-cheek due to the real life social and political issues plaguing Puerto Rico which have turned the once prosperous paradise into an economic disaster with a looming great depression.
PICKS: JOSH: AUSTIN ARIES ZACH: AUSTIN ARIES
Alexa Bliss VS Everybody
Triple Z: Did you really expect anything different for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal? It's what you described it earlier. It's the participation trophy for WWE Superstars. It means nothing to anybody. It's just a match that gets romanticized with a big trophy and honorable name.
Now we got Alexa Bliss VS Everybody. Any surprises here? Currently we have Mickie James, Natalya, Becky Lynch, and Carmella stepping up to the plate. I feel like this is another attempt on WWE's part to show they are "progressive" instead of actually building up a one on one match. We have to stuff all the ladies onto the card. This is shown for both sides. On RAW we have a Fatal Four Way and for SmackDown we are going to get a fairly large match.
Josh: It's sad that a trophy named after one of the most beloved superstars of all time gets treated with such disdain. Andre's legacy deserves better than this.
I wonder if the WWE realized just recently that they have no real opponent for Alex Bliss. Instead they have made it some weird 6 woman free for all because, hey, why not? It's lazy storytelling. If these feuds had been a long time coming with each woman joining at certain times for specific reasons, each one tying to each other then it could have been something fantastic. Instead, Naomi comes back at the last minute and says "Hey guys! I'm in this match now! Everybody ok with that?" And where's the management? Where is DB or Shane to step in and say "No, YOU don't decide when you get a title shot." Why is the SD women's championship treated like a volunteer signup sheet at your local middle school. Do you want a chance to be champion but not really earn the opportunity? Just put your name on this list and you get an automatic shot at the biggest show of the year.
RAW has done a slightly better job at putting their match together as we saw a fatal four way coming for a while now. Their biggest issue is the mic work for these women which isn't just bad; it's downright distracting. Their interactions don't seem natural at all and the dialogue is so clichéd that the entire angle would be a disaster if not for the solid in-ring performances that follow.
Zach: I have Naomi walking out as champion what about you?
Josh: If there was a sense of justice then Natalya would win. She has done so much for the company and received little in return in the way of anything significant. She was the Divas champion one time and that was 7 years ago. Since then she has spent most of her career elevating other women and acting more as a mentor which is all well and good but she deserves more credit than she receives. Unfortunately, I agree that Naomi will win back the title she technically didn't lose in the first place. WWE loves a cheap pop, and her hometown of Orlando will definitely give that to Naomi when she wins.
PICKS: JOSH: NAOMI ZACH: NAOMI
The Miz and Maryse VS John Cena and Nikki Bella
Zach: Having Naomi win would definitely fire up the crowd. Continuing with the SmackDown theme what about John Cena and Nikki Bella VS The Miz and Maryse. What do you think happens? I say John Cena and Nikki Bella win obviously.
Josh: At first I hated the idea of this match but Miz and Cena have done such a fantastic job of selling it. Their segment on Smackdown the other night was incredible and reminded me of the Miz/Bryan segment on Talking Smack a few months ago. Both men were so convincing that they effectively blurred the lines between real and kayfabe which is exactly what makes this match compelling. Cena proved why he is the biggest star in the WWE and has been for a decade. Not Goldberg. Not Lesnar. This is not my opinion; it's a fact. Miz proved that he's incredibly undervalued by fans and can really turn things up to 11 when put into the right feud. I'm honestly not expecting much from Nikki and Maryse because I've never been a Bellas fan. I think they are terrible wrestlers and even worse on the mic. The real drama will come when Cena and Miz are doing their best to one up each other on the biggest stage of the year. These two guys both have competitive spirits and both will want to give their absolute best performances. More than just a Cena victory I think the stage is set for a Cena proposal to Nikki. Whether or not Nikki is in on it or not is up for debate but I think it's a forgone conclusion at this point.
Zach: Good point bringing up that Cena is a bigger star then Goldberg and Lesnar. So why isn't WWE putting him in the main even this year? Having him in this tag team match just proves he's a team player. Cena is a company man. I think this match will be exciting due to the theatrics of it all. The marriage proposal will be up in the air though. Everybody is expecting it. I won't believe it until I see it.
PICKS: JOSH: CENA AND NIKKI ZACH: CENA AND NIKKI
Kevin Owens VS Chris Jericho
Zach: Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. This feud is one of the longer arcs that was prepared for WrestleMania. The build up to the match has been exciting. I can't pick with my heart. Kevin Owens is going to win this match. Despite Chris Jericho having a great run in WWE. Making Owens the United States Champion will help WWE justify their decision for having Owens lose the Universal Championship.
I'm expecting a solid match between these two. Kevin Owens will have his hand raised by the referee.
Josh: I think Owens and Jericho could steal the show. You've got everything you want in a pro wrestling match. Drama. Talent. Uncertainty. Each man had their own reasons why they will or won't win and fans will be split between them. There's no clear favorite and we will be satisfied with either man winning. It's a can't lose match for fans which makes it all the more fun to watch.
I'm going with KO. He's the long term plan for WWE. I love Jericho and he's a future HOFer for sure but he doesn't need this win to solidify his legacy.
PICKS: JOSH: KEVIN OWENS ZACH: KEVIN OWENS
Sasha Banks VS Bayley VS Charlotte Flair VS Nia Jax
Zach: Lazy booking decisions on WWE's part. This match is just a showcase. No true rivalry, or build up. Bayley will probably retain but who cares? I wanted Banks/Bayley on the grandest stage of them all. Yet WWE decides to do a participation match. WWE has a weird fascination with Charlotte Flair. I've said this many times but she is basically the "Roman Reigns" of the Women's division. Bayley retaining will make the most sense. WWE likes keeping it safe. The true wildcard in this match is Nia Jax. WWE may let her walk out with the title. For my prediction though I'm sticking with Bayley.
Josh: RAW women's. I wanna say it's too early to take the belt away from Bayley but this could be the way to turn Sasha heel. That's been the rumor for awhile and screwing Bayley out of her belt using some underhanded moves would set up a good feud for them going forward. Whatever happens I just don't want another boring Charlotte reign. YAWN. So my vote is for Sasha to win and turn.
PICKS: JOSH: SASHA BANKS ZACH: BAYLEY
Shane McMahon VS AJ Styles
Zach: Two years in a row. Shane McMahon has had an interesting opponent at WrestleMania. I'm assuming this match will be a "No Holds Barred" match. Shane works best inside the hardcore element. I couldn't see him going toe to toe with AJ. There is one thing for sure. This match will be awesome. This match will be better then Shane/Taker last year. That match from last year was a disaster. When you have a part time Superstar in Shane McMahon carrying The Undertaker you know you've screwed up. AJ Styles and Shane McMahon will be a match for the thrill seekers. Bold prediction: Shane McMahon will jump off the roller coaster set. I think Shane will fight his heart out. AJ Styles will still pick up the victory. Hopefully they give these two time to tell a story. Out of all the matches that need to be short this is one that doesn't need to be.
Josh: Shane and Styles. Blech. I hate everything about this match. It's dumb. The storyline is dumb. The plot is dumb. Anything other than Styles completely destroying Shane is dumb. It's a lose/lose for Styles. If he wins, congrats, you beat the 40+ year old son of the boss who had wrestled once in 7 years. If he loses, same reasons apply.
PICKS: JOSH: AJ STYLES ZACH: AJ STYLES
Seth Rollins VS Triple H
Zach: KING OF KINGS VS THE KINGSLAYER
THE CEREBRAL ASSASSIN VS THE MAN
THE CREATOR VS THE ARCHITECT
I literally cannot wait for this match. Seth Rollins VS Triple H is the match we were robbed of last year. This year we won't be robbed of that match. This will be an absolute battle. There is only one outcome though. Seth Rollins standing tall over his creator Triple H. The student will beat the master.
Josh: Triple H and Rollins could be a lot of fun. I don't think Rollins is "reinjured" because there is no way WWE would risk one of their biggest stars being out another 8-9 months. If he wasn't fully healed he wouldn't be in this match but that doesn't mean they won't keep selling it. Just like last year, HHH exists to put over the new talent, not bury them. I have Rollins winning.
PICKS: JOSH: SETH ROLLINS ZACH: SETH ROLLINS
Bray Wyatt VS Randy Orton
Zach: Randy Orton winning the Royal Rumble still makes no sense. It's whatever at this rate but looking back on it. It didn't make any sense. Everybody is leaning towards Bray Wyatt. I disagree, and it's with good judgement. WWE loves Randy Orton. Why do you think he won the Royal Rumble this year? Orton is going to walk out as champion. Orton winning would complete this SmackDown Live story arc.
Josh: Wyatt and Orton is a lot like Triple H and Rollins. Orton is the crafty veteran and Wyatt is the (relative) new guy. Wyatt shouldn't lose his belt this quickly because who knows when he'll get another chance to be champ. It's a crime that it took this long. I'm hoping for a longer stay in the cult of Wyatt.
PICKS: JOSH: BRAY WYATT ZACH: RANDY ORTON
Goldberg VS Brock Lesnar
Zach: I find it comical. Goldberg VS Brock Lesnar in 2017. The reason why this match is no longer the main event is because the result has already been leaked. Goldberg has been telling people that he's taking a long break after WrestleMania. After these insider leaks came out. Reports began to fly in saying WWE changed their minds with this match. WWE now wants Goldberg to continue as champion. I don't see this happening. This match is a big toss up. I'm going to be bold with this prediction. Now that WWE moved Reigns/Taker to the main event. I think WWE will want a happy outcome in this match. Especially now that the night is going to end with Reigns dismantling the Deadman. Goldberg will wrestle Brock for eight minutes. Goldberg will win with a spear and a jackhammer. The crowd will be once again shocked.
Josh: Goldberg and Lesnar. I've been hearing the same rumors that things may be changed since fans "know" Lesnar is going to win. A Goldberg win would be surprising but would also bury one of your biggest names. As of now Goldberg doesn't have a long term contract with WWE so is it worth making Lesnar look weak? That might affect him long term. I could see some interference so Lesnar gets the win but not clean. WWE isn't above that to save face for either man. I'm still going with Lesnar.
PICKS: JOSH: BROCK LESNAR ZACH: GOLDBERG
The Undertaker VS Roman Reigns
Zach: Roman Reigns is going to end The Undertaker's career.
That felt very weird to type. Taker's retirement is long overdue. It's just sad to see him go out on his back. I actually feel bad for Roman Reigns. He has to carry a match with The Undertaker. Taker is a crippled shell of his former self. The man should've retired at WrestleMania 32. Yet I have the eerie feeling that he is chasing redemption. I have a feeling WWE/Taker want him to wrestle at WrestleMania 34. It would be in the same location where the streak ended. Four years after the shocking moment. I just don't think Taker has it in him anymore. That's why I think this will be his final match.
Now you may ask… Will this help Roman Reigns get over??? Roman Reigns is already a dominant heel. Anyone who thinks he's still a baby face is dumb. I don't think anything or anybody could get Reigns over. He's just not the guy. He was thrusted into a position that he really can't handle. Maybe him beating Taker will boost his career but I sincerely doubt it.
Josh: Taker and Reigns is another toss up. My heart wants to say Taker but my head says Reigns. We all know Vince is so high on Reigns he might as well adopt him. A win against Taker would boost his resume but fans would absolutely hate it, which has never stopped Vince before. Undertaker needs hip surgery so we know this will be his last match for awhile, maybe ever. Hip surgery isn't something a 50+ wrestler comes back from so saying this is UTs last match may not be crying wolf. A loss for Reigns buries him further down the pecking order and Vince wants him to headline WM 34. For that reason I'll go with Reigns.
PICKS: JOSH: ROMAN REIGNS ZACH: ROMAN REIGNS
Who should be the next guest on Triple Z's conversational BreakDownZ. Let us know down in the comments.
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