WrestleMania 31 Preview: Four Days To Go

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Today we cover two major straight-up singles matches. These matches have no titles on the line, but all grudge looking to be settled. Although, this is pro wrestling we are talking about, grudges never really end. Sometimes, they are simply forgotten. Will these feuds be unforgettable, or in six months, simply be forgotten?

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton

The sad thing, this match does more for Randy Orton than it does Seth Rollins. This is not a case of Rollins having to beat a main-tier guy in order to prove he is WWE Champion material, because he has already been a main-event guy for months now, and does not need a win over Orton to prove anything. In the past few weeks, we predictably saw Orton fully face turn, again, and mess with Seth Rollins. Two weeks ago, we had STING out of all people standing side-by-side with the Apex Predator (I despise that moniker) to fight off the whole Authority. Unfreakinbelievable. Sting and Orton. As excited as I was to see Sting get in on the action, my heart sank watching him with Randy. This pushes WWE’s faith in Orton, and forces the WWE Universe folk to say “Hey! Sting rescued Orton! We NEED to cheer him again!” I hated forced crap like that, but then again, it did also help further the feud between Sting and Triple H, showing Sting will always be there to thwart his nefarious plans.

So what is the deal? For Rollins, it is about proving he is better than a guy who was the original “spoiled brat” of the company. There is a half-truth there, Orton was fed the World Heavyweight Championship, defeating whoever took the belt from Triple H at WrestleMania XX. I checked WWE’s record books, I think there are a few pages missing. In any case, Orton has been untouchable and always in the running for a title or main event storyline. Within those storylines, he has been on the receiving end of both fan support and fan rage, depending on his actions. For a time, he was a bit of the anti-hero, and the crowd loved it. RKO-ing was a thing for about a month, but I think this was more for people injuring themselves and posting on Vine or YouTube.

Does a win help Orton? Sure it does, but will it get him anywhere? No. He defeats the poster boy of the Authority. Does he go face Brock Lesnar? Hell no. If one of the reasons WWE fired Mr. Kennedy because he nearly injured Orton off a Suplex, there is no way in hell WWE would book Orton to go one-on-one against an ultimate fighting machine without some padding.

Does a win help Seth Rollins? A win never hurts, but even if he loses, he will likely still look strong as long as it was a clean finish without multiple counts of interference. Cage match maybe? Rollins could lose to Orton, and by the end of the night cash in his briefcase and walk out of WrestleMania as WWE Champion.

 

Bray Wyatt challenges The Undertaker.

If there was a match which scared me, it would be Bray Wyatt versus the Undertaker. One has to wonder what sort of “Deadman” we will see on Sunday. I doubt he will come out as the motorcycle riding, American flag waving American Bad Ass, but this whole angle is based on the premise, The Undertaker has lost his luster. No more Streak. No more immortality. How does one fear someone who no longer commands it? The character of Bray Wyatt challenges this. The Undertaker is just a man. The claim is Wyatt is the “New Face of Fear.” This is interesting for a guy who has a WrestleMania loss under his belt already. Wyatt has not exactly been on top of the food chain in recent months, having lost a number of high-profile feuds, even when he wins one the impact is lacking. Wyatt as a character remains intriguing and yet despite multiple losses, always remains able to keep the attention from fans on a consistent basis. Despite winning his feud with Dean Ambrose, many wondered what else WWE could have Wyatt do? In a reasonably short time, Wyatt feuded with John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, and even Daniel Bryan. The stable wars between the Shield and the Wyatt Family were incredible to watch. Almost a shame to have seen that end. Wyatt on his own has proven, win or lose, he can own the microphone and hypnotize an audience. One has to wonder, after feuding with the Undertaker will the Bray Wyatt gimmick only grow stronger or fizzle out?

The same can be said of the Undertaker. Losing last year was heart-wrenching to watch. We all wanted the Streak to continue, but as the saying goes, “all good things… must come to an end.” It really was a shame, and now this leads us to wonder if the Deadman is truly fallible. Yes, he has been pinned before. He has won and lost championships. But this was WrestleMania we were talking about. The one place, the one holy site where the Undertaker ruled a kingdom. Suddenly, he has been cast off that throne, and now a usurper comes to possess it. 21 and 1. Paul Heyman reminds us of this as often as possible. Does WWE regret this decision? Who knows. It does not matter. What is done, is done. Will we see a humbled Undertaker, or a Phenom who will appear to be unfazed by the one blemish on his career. Will he be a god or a man come march 29th? The question everyone is wondering, is whether the Undertaker will embark on a losing streak. I cringe at the thought. This is a wrestler I grew up watching as a kid. To see him lose again would kill me, and this is what I fear WWE has up their sleeves. I really thought after the loss, it was over, finished. Undertaker would be gone, inducted into the Hall of Fame, and that my friends, is how the character of The Undertaker would Rest In Peace.

This is not the case. The Phenom is rolled out one more time to do battle, and my real number one concern is his health. Real life. For the past three years, Mark Calloway had to be taken to a hospital. Last year being the worst, he did not make it until the end of the show, Vince McMahon personally left the show and rode in the ambulance. The year before, CM Punk gave him a run for his money, and one year prior, a Hell in the Cell match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels as guest referee took a toll too great to bear.

Bray Wyatt is no CM Punk, and certainly no Brock Lesnar. I remember last year how it was so clearly visible, Lesnar was so careful when suplexing the Deadman around. Wyatt may not have the similar repertoire of Lesnar or Punk, but Wyatt can do a 20-minute match. Can Mark Calloway keep up without risking his health?