My WrestleMania 37 predictions

Well, thanks to COVID-19 last year, WrestleMania was forced into the Performance Center. This year, with limited fans in attendance, the attempt to pull off this show in Tampa Bay is going to happen. Once again it’s a two-night affair and I am going to make my predictions on what will go down.

Kickoff Pre-show: WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL — NOT HAPPENING
– The match will be cancelled for the second straight year.

Kickoff Pre-show: ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL — SMACKDOWN
– This match happened on SmackDown with Jey Uso winning.

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NIGHT 1

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH 
– Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley (C)

It seems like this is set up for McIntyre to get his WrestleMania moment in front of a live crowd. But should he get the win? The way the story is building up there seems to be more affection towards the Hurt Business and what they’re doing versus what McIntyre’s identity has evolved into recently. I still think the whole plan is to have Drew McIntyre win but I am don’t think it’s the right move. The momentum is hot for Lashley and there’s a lot more potential with him remaining as champ.

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WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
– AJ Styles/Omos vs. The New Day (C)

The build to this has not been that great. Styles and Omos just showed up and got that title show. The New Day have been very consistent as a team and it would make sense they would win. But I like that this is the chance for Omos to really display his power and give AJ Styles another title on his resume. I say Styles and Omos win this with ease to help establish them as a new force in the tag team division.

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WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH
– Naomi/Lana vs. Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke vs. Carmella/Billie Kay vs. The Riott Squad vs. Tamina/Natalya

The winner of this match faces the current tag team champions in Night 2.

This is a thrown together hodgepodge of a match. Right now, the only tag team that has any momentum is Tamina and Natalya. But if they win, would they want two heel teams to face off for the championship? Unlikely. The best storyline would be for Lana to get her vengeance but would WWE want that? Maybe. I still think The Riott Squad could open up a lot of possibilities as well as they are a long-established team. I will pick them to win and face the champs in Night 2.

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CESARO vs. SETH ROLLINS 

Cesaro is seeking that big WrestleMania singles win and this is set up nicely for that to happen. Rollins is still acting like his own egotistic self but that works, adding my sympathy for Cesaro’s plight. I expect a swing rotation to possibly go over 30 and that would help secure Cesaro for the win.

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BAD BUNNY & DAMIAN PRIEST vs. THE MIZ AND JOHN MORRISON 

This is a strange storyline but with Bad Bunny’s name and all eyes on the music star, then it would make sense for him to win. Miz and Morrison are kind of floundering after Miz’s one-week reign as WWE champion. But unfortunately they’re going to lose to the music star and Damian Priest, who would benefit greatly from a win in his rookie year. Bunny and Priest are winning this.

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WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH
– Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (C)

The story has gotten stale but it all points to a big breakout for Bianca Belair. Banks doesn’t need the win but with her influence can elevate Belair to the top. This will be a great match and could possibly steal the show for the night.

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BRAUN STROWMAN vs. SHANE McMAHON (CAGE MATCH)

I don’t like the direction this is going. After being the champ at last year’s Mania, Strowman is stuck with this awful storyline. Give Braun Strowman the win because any other result would make no sense.

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NIGHT 2

WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH
– Daniel Bryan vs. Edge vs. Roman Reigns (C)

This is the most intriguing match of the entire event. Each one of these men could win the title and the direction the company goes with it could work very well. Bryan could recreate his WM30 moment (and maybe have one great run before he retires) and it would be great TV. Edge winning would also complete his comeback and his new heel angle works well. Or if you want to build Reigns as the big bad guy, then him winning would grow his ego and work very well going forward. Nobody suffers with the loss and anyone winning will benefit greatly. I predict Daniel Bryan wins and would have the perfect way to ride off into the sunset.

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WWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH
– Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka (C)

Because of Charlotte Flair getting COVID, it seems that is the reason why Ripley got put in this title picture. Asuka hasn’t had a respected run as champion and they might just give it to Ripley freshen it up. I still think Asuka needs this win to establish her dominance but could Ripley afford consecutive Mania losses? I think Rhea Ripley wins this but I hope Asuka is booked better going forward.

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WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
TBD vs. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax(C)

This should be the Riott Squad based on my prediction and I think they will do it. I expect Reginald to get involved somehow and perhaps Carmella will get her revenge. But even if that doesn’t happen, it’s time to crown new champs and finally give the squad something good to work with after all these years.

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WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH (NIGERIAN DRUM FIGHT)
– Apollo Crews vs. Big E (C)

I am not sure what to make of Crews and his new identity, let alone this match stipulation. I like him embracing his African roots but to jump into an accent like that is just weird. Meanwhile I think Big E takes the win because his momentum needs to continue growing. Is there a way Crews and E can look strong after tonight? Maybe. And I bet that is the way it has to go. No squash or anything. A good brawl.

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“THE FIEND” BRAY WYATT vs. RANDY ORTON

Everything points to Bray Wyatt winning this. His character will benefit from it and it might even be a cinematic match. I’m for this.

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KEVIN OWENS vs. SAMI ZAYN

Kevin Owens got his big moment last year and now it’s time for Sami Zayn to win and get his. The conspiracy theory storyline has been pretty tough to take in but it will all be worth it if he wins and grows a bigger ego on how he is right. I would love for Zayn to actually wrestle and avoid scheming his way out of things. Perhaps we can have a little bit of both to make this work.

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WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH
– Sheamus vs. Riddle (C)

Very simple. Let Riddle keep the title and let him build himself up with his crazy gimmick. Sheamus doesn’t need this right now.

I hope it is a good show through two days. This is as close to normal as we’ve ever had in the pandemic. Hell, maybe Gronk returns for something in either night. Or maybe Becky Lynch or Ronda Rousey make a surprise return. Let’s find out!

What it was like attending Opening Day in 2021

Opening Day in Oakland. April 1, 2021.

Last night was a special night for me. And for Major League Baseball. After not being able to have fans in attendance all of last year except for a few postseason games, the league is back in full swing with fans being able to attend games in limited capacity. Except for you Texas Rangers. Shame on you.  

The COVID-19 pandemic hit across the United States and all of Major League Baseball in early spring last year and the league had to shut down everything. It was only months later into the summer did the league begin playing games. No fans in attendance and my hopes of attending a big league game that season was dashed. 

I usually find myself in Oakland for a handful of games every year to see my hometown A’s. Since moving to Los Angeles, being able to attend games at the Coliseum has been challenging but I have found ways to fly or drive back home. The team didn’t allow any fans in attendance at all last season, opting for cardboard cutouts among other silly gimmicks. But this season, they’re letting fans in at a limited capacity (20 percent) and I knew immediately I wanted to be in attendance for that first game. I booked my flight and bought my ticket to Opening Day in Oakland. I had to be there. 

This will be my first live sporting event since a Warriors game in San Francisco last January. The pandemic took away any other chances of me attending any other sporting events since then. But now a little bit over a year later, I am back at one of my favorite places ever. 

The Coliseum site itself has been a vaccination site in recent months and now it’s welcoming fans back for a live event. I wanted to document everything about my experience in my first game back. I wanted to see what was different now than what it was like in 2019, the last season the team was able to have fans in attendance. Here’s what I saw.

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