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  April 2, 2001

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WrestleMania 31: Main Events

WrestleMania 31: First Half Matches

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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Countdown to WWF WrestleMania X-7

The Astrodome, Houston, Texas.
Sunday, April 1, 2001


Houston, we don't have a problem. No, our SLAM! Wrestling writers aren't scared at all to put their necks on the line predicting who will win and lose this Sunday at WrestleMania X-Seven at the Astrodome. Does The Rock stand a chance at all? Which McMahon will win? Will TLC2 be as good at the first one? But more importantly, who will win the Gimmick Battle Royale? Now that Vince, er, Shane, owns WCW will that mean a last minute entry by the Ding Dongs too? Now that would be sweet! On to the countdown...

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match

Steve Austin

Best Move: The Stunner, his quotes.
Fav saying: And that's the bottom line because Stone Cold said so!
Best Moments: Winning the World title from HBK and The Rock. His late 96/early 97 run when "Stone Cold" was a heel.
Advantage: The Fans cant seem to get enough of this guy.
Disadvantage: Can't work the ring. Most of his moves are just punches and variations of punches.


The Rock (champion)

Best Move: The Rock Bottom. The People's Elbow.
Fav sayings: If ya Smell what The Rock is cookin! Know Your Role. It doesn't matter...
Best Moment: Winning the WWF World title.
Advantage: Youth, energy and charisma.
Disadvantage: Big ego. Third Person Interviews.

SLAM! Predictions

  • John Powell: The Rock will be splitting the scene for awhile so I predict Austin to come out on top and to possibly turn heel. How would they turn Austin into a baddie, you say? Next to impossible, you say? Not really. The introduction of Debra (Austin's real wife) into the mix serves that purpose. If Stone Cold mistreats her the fans will certainly jump on Austin for it. There's also the possibility of WCW and Shane McMahon making an impact during this match as well.

  • John Molinaro: Austin. With the Rock off to Hollywood, the WWF needs a full-time champion, so Austin should go over. Look for The Rock to set a new rocord though: most times he refers to himself in the third person during his prematch promo.

  • Alex Ristic: While not the least interesting match on the card, it ranks pretty low on the excitement scale. Do you realise that this is only the second repeated main event at a WrestleMania ever? What does that say? To me, if it's anything like Hart Vs. Yokozuna at two WrestleManias in a row (IX and X), then you know wrestling is about to go through another slow period. As for a pick, go with Austin. He probably has it in his contract somewhere that he has to win it when he gets back from his injury within the first year. Besides, it's Austin's backyard anyway.

  • Eric Benner: This one's a toughy. The WWF takes pride in swerving the Internet folk. Rock is leaving to go film that movie of his, so in theory would not be able to defend his title. WWF logic says that'll mean he'll keep it, just to surprise people. I mean, he could just lose it the day after. However, last year it was the same case, with him filming his movie, and he actually kept his title the entire time. So who knows. Regardless, if this is as well planned as Rock's pay-per-view main events from early 2000, then this could be one to remember. I'm going to go with Rock.

  • Greg Oliver: Austin will win, and the question is how. The obvious is having Debra turn on Rock and side with her husband. But something tells me what Vince really wants to do is have Debra cost Austin the title somehow, making her and Rock full-fledged heels.

  • Bob Kapur: I believe the last time we saw two faces square off for the title at WrestleMania, was Hogan-Warrior at WM6. I thought that was a great match, despite the technical limitations of both participants. The build-up, over several months, the hype and anticipation, that's what made it so good. This time around, I just don't feel the excitement. Blame the hurry-up storyline, and the forced heat between the two (although the face-to-face on Thursday was kind of intense). Somehow, the two most popular wrestlers in the company are boring me. Hopefully the match will be better than I expect it to be. I pick Austin to win, simply to shake things up again.

    Bonus Predictions

  • Michael Jenkinson, Edmonton Sun: My head says Austin will win, simply because I think Vince McMahon wants one more big run out of Austin before his health does him in for good. Plus there's a natural Austin-HHH post-WM program that can follow, seeing as Hunter beat Austin at No Way Out. My heart hopes Rocky wins, because he's never beaten Austin in a big match, and he lost the title to Austin at WM two years ago. A Rocky win would cement his status as the biggest star in the WWF and Austin could job without losing any heat. Plus we'd get another round of excellent Rock-Kurt Angle matches in the spring. Obviously, the key to the outcome is to figure out whether Debra is going to turn on the Rock, or turn on her husband. At the moment, I'm leaning to Debra turning on the Rock, giving Austin the win and the title. But I'm likely to change my mind on that a half dozen times between now and the PPV.

  • Ron Hutchison, wrestling trainer: My track record in predicting these things leaves a little bit to be desired so I decided to do things just a little bit differently and poll some of the students at my wrestling school to see who they thought would win the main event at WrestleMania. Out of nine students polled, seven of them thought that Steve Austin would win this year's WrestleMania main event while two went with the Rock. I myself do see the potential for one of the biggest heel turns in a long while here by having Debra somehow screw the Rock to help Steve win the match and the title. However, I can't really see that happening as I don't believe that Mr. McMahon would like to incite 65,000 people to riot in the Houston Astrodome!

  • Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun Sports Editor: Stone Cold gets title back. Question is, do they have Rock seriously injured as a story angle to explain his absence after WM? If there's chicanery, look for Triple H or Big Show to have a part in it. No doubt, Pete Rose will once again make an appearance. Another tombstone pildriver? Could we see Undertaker going back to the dark side?

    Triple H

    Best Move: The Pedigree.
    Fav saying: I am The Game
    Best Moments: Winning The World Title. Forming DX with HBK and Chyna. His SummerSlam 97 match with Mankind.
    Advantage: One of the best technical wrestlers the WWF has to offer.
    Disadvantage: Too pridefull and cocky. 'Marriage' to Stephanie McMahon.


    The Undertaker

    Best Move: Tombstone Piledriver.
    Fav saying: Rest in peace!
    Best Moment: Beat Hogan and Sycho Sid for the World title.
    Advantage: Impervious to pain.
    Disadvantage: His size means he's slower. Lame biker gimmick.

    SLAM! Predictions

  • John Powell: I think this one might surprise a few people. Taker has a solid reputation for putting it into gear when it really counts. This may be a "make or break" match for Taker who is at an crossroads in his carrer. Taker re-establishes himself as a main event talent but Triple H wins the match.

  • John Molinaro: HHH do a job on a pay-per-view? As if!!!! Should be a good match though because HHH is every bit as good a wrestler as he is a backstage politician. HHH goes over.

  • Alex Ristic: If anyone deserves to lose it's the Underbiker. Don't get me wrong, he was great in his heyday, but this is no longer it. Having said that though, I will be the only one to go on a limb and pick the Underbiker -- for a few reasons. One, McMahon loves to swerve, and it looks like most people expect HHH to win. Two, a loss to Underbiker won't really hurt HHH, while if the Dead Man gets pinned it pretty much finishes any credibility as a main eventer anymore. Three, McMahon has been known to reward people for their service to him, and this looks like it could be one of those matches.

  • Eric Benner: Both Triple H and Undertaker have gotten their licks in during this fight, though Triple H has clearly been dominant, as is natural for the heel going into the pay-per-view. I'm really looking forward to Undertaker squashing Triple H, and I hope he does just that.

  • Greg Oliver: Undertaker always does what is best for the company, and keeping Triple H is most important now. HHH wins.

  • Bob Kapur: Undertaker has won every match he's been in at WrestleMania. I'm going with him for tradition sake. Look for Triple H to escalate his level of violence during this match, perfect to get him over as the mega-heel to side with Vince in his war against WCW.

    Tables, Ladders & Chairs Tag Title Match

    Edge & Christian

    Best Move: Downward Spiral.
    Fav saying: "For the benefit of those with flash photography..."
    Best Moment: Ladder match with the Hardy Boyz.
    Advantage: Amazing high flyers, no fear, known each other a long time, Rhyno.
    Disadvantage: Sometimes too cocky for their own good.


    The Dudley Boys

    Best Move: The Dudley Death Drop (3-D).
    Fav Saying: Obscene insults directed towards the fans.
    Best Moment: Winning the ECW tag belts six times.
    Advantage: Fans are behind them to deliver the destruction of tables.
    Disadvantage: Sometimes too obsessed with violence rather than winning the match.


    Hardy Boyz

    Best Move: Swanton Bomb.
    Fav saying: Matt lets his lips do the talking, heh, heh.
    Best Moment: Ladder match with the Edge & Christian.
    Advantage: Amazing high flyers, no fear, young.
    Disadvantage: High flying ain't everything.

    SLAM! Predictions

  • John Powell: The winners will be the ones who walk away in one piece. It will be insane action from three teams who should be recognized for revitalizing the WWF tag team division. I gotta back the hometown boys Edge and Christian.

  • John Molinaro: Edge and Christian. I think they're the promotion's top tag team and it doesn't seem right for them not have the belts.

  • Alex Ristic: This is the only match that gives pause for thought in terms of picking a winner. All three teams held the title in one night recently for Godsake. Got to go with Dudleyz once more. They got Spike, plus, the WWF keeps teasing a Hardys fall out, and they keep saying E&C will go singles soon anyway. If Austin "needs" the WWF title, than the Dudleyz need the tag titles because they can't do anything else.

  • Eric Benner: I hope nobody gets hurt. Secondarily to that, I'd like to see a great match. I'm sure I won't be disappointed on the second point, at least. I'll never root for another team over Edge and Christian, so I'm in their corner, but I think a dominant victory by the Brothers Hardy would be more appropriate here. Still, go Edge and Christian!

  • Greg Oliver: I think this is the Dudleys kind of a match, and they will come out with the belts this year.

  • Bob Kapur: The Hardyz have been teasing a break-up for a while, so I look for that to happen at WrestleMania. Edge & Christian, by all reports, look to be some of the ambassadors to WCW, having been at Nitro last week. I figure they'll go in and work with those guys for a while. That leaves the Dudley Boys free to take the belts... fine by me (I'm such a "mark" for the Dudley's, I know.).

    Street Fight with Mick Foley as referee

    Vince McMahon

    Best Move: His version of the Stunner. His Pocketbook.
    Fav saying: In this very ring...
    Best Moments: Buying the company from his father. Winning the WWF Title. Winning the 1999 Royal Rumble.
    Advantage: He owns the WWF.
    Disadvantage: Anger can get the best of him.


    Vince McMahon

    Best Move: Being born to powerful parents, 'buying' WCW.
    Fav saying: Just keeps talking and talking...
    Best Moments: Believe it or not, has been both a Hardcore and European champion.
    Advantage: He knows how to annoy his father.
    Disadvantage: Overconfident punk son.

    SLAM! Predictions

  • John Powell: Vince "The Almighty" is doomed. Shane pounds him. Linda "wakes-up" and costs Vince the match. WCW talent strike and draw first blood in this "war" between the feds. The only wild card in this is that Linda might not be too happy with Shane either. Maybe Linda will buy ECW and Steph can have WOW. Heh. Heh.

  • John Molinaro: The Holy Lord and Julius Caesar of wrestling. Winner: Vince "You don't like your contract? Tough. You don't like your push? Too bad. You're fired. I can do that now because I have a total monopoly on the wrestling business" McMahon.

  • Alex Ristic: The winner will be McMahon. Seriously, the gut says go with Shane, or at the very least a major ass kicking by Shane. Mom's in his corner, Trish secretly wants revenge, etc. If Vince does win, Shane will still get in his licks -- it's a pretty bad sign of what you're going to do with WCW if you script yourself as totally kicking your son's butt.

  • Eric Benner: This one should be an overbooked mess. There's no other way to book a match between two non-wrestlers, as talented as Shane may be, on the signature pay-per-view of the year. Brawling, blood, and lots of interference. Maybe Linda will awaken from her coma - after all, she's been doing that frequently lately to do her weekly press conferences. Maybe Trish Stratus has a master plan. Maybe both. I just hope they plan something original. My money's on Vince, so that we get frustrated going into the upper tier matches.

  • Greg Oliver: I think that Shane wins with the help of Trish, sending her off to boost the ratings in WCW.

  • Bob Kapur: Unfortunately, it looks like the McMahon family is going to be feuding until the end of time. At this rate, I can see Shane's future kids fighting against Stephanie's future kids at WM40. God help us. At least it brought Mick Foley back, so there's some good news. And both McMahon's have been known to take some cool bumps, so maybe not all is lost. What I would love to see is Ric Flair interfere on Shane's behalf, giving him the win. I doubt it will happen quite like that, but look for Shane to be victorious anyway.

    Gimmick Battle Royale

    Who's In?: Brother Love, The Bushwhackers, Doink the Clown, The Gobbeldy Gooker, Iron Sheik, Kamala, Michael Hayes, Nikolai Volkoff, Sgt. Slaughter, Typhoon, Earthquake, Repo-Man, Hillbilly Jim, Kim Chee, The Goon
    Best Move: Has to be The Iron Sheik's Camel Clutch!
    Fav saying: Brother Love's "I luvvvvvv yooooouuuuu!"
    Best Moments: Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter were both world champs.
    Advantage: The big men, like Kamala, Earthquake and Typhoon are hard to eliminate.
    Disadvantage: Kim Chee, Brother Love and The Gobbeldy Gooker were never portrayed as wrestlers.

    SLAM! Predictions

  • John Powell: Oh, man. This one's gonna hurt. Michael Hayes and Kamala are my favourites but I highly doubt that this is gonna do anything for their respective carrers. Could it be Al Snow under that Doink costume? Hmmm.

  • John Molinaro: I refuse to comment as such a match is an insult to my intelligence.

  • Alex Ristic: And now, the nobody cares category. Go with Doink. They haven't said if it's any one of the original guys who have played the character as being under the mask. I see the WWF sticking a ringer under the clown make-up.

  • Eric Benner: This is probably going to be pretty dumb. I can't imagine it being too terribly organized. Should be fun if they do it Royal Rumble style, one entrance at a time, never knowing who's next. Will the winner be the most deserving or just the funniest. It won't be Repo Man - that, I assure you. Instead, my money's on Sgt. Slaughter or Kamala, though I do have a soft spot for Brother Love from his Undertaker days.

  • Greg Oliver: It's tough to believe that they will reward anyone not on their payroll with a win. That leaves guys like Sgt. Slaughter, Steve Lombardi / Brooklyn Brawler / Kim Chee, and Hillbilly Jim as the most likely winners. But let's pull a swerve, and have Pete Rose as The Gobbeldy Gooker win the thing, and have Kane destroy him afterwards. Hey, it's a new WrestleMania tradition!

  • Bob Kapur: Should be good for the comic relief only. I figure George "The Animal" Steele will be a surprise entry, hide under the ring for the entire match, and then throw out the last guy when his back is turned in celebration.

    Undercard Matches
    Match John Powell John Molinaro Alex Ristic Eric Benner Greg Oliver Bob Kapur
    Chris Jericho versus William Regal (Intercontinental title)
    Jericho Jericho Regal Jericho Regal Jericho
    Tazz & APA versus Right To Censor
    Tazz & APA Tazz & APA Tazz & APA Tazz & APA Tazz & APA (Val turns) RTC
    Test versus Eddie Guerrero (European title)
    Guerrero Test Guerrero Guerrero Test Guerrero
    Kurt Angle versus Chris Benoit
    Benoit Angle Benoit Angle Angle Angle
    Big Show versus Raven versus Kane (Hardcore title)
    Raven Big Show Raven Raven Raven Other (Tommy Dreamer)
    Ivory versus Chyna (Women's title)
    I hate to say it but...Chyna. That over-paid, over-pushed, never-was, no talent, sloth Chyna Chyna Chyna Ivory Chyna

    WWF WrestleMania X-7 will be broadcast live on pay-per-view and home satellite and is available in Canada on Viewer's Choice. Check with your local cable company for availability.

    More coverage of WrestleMania XVII

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