WWE Wrestlemania 31 preview part two: New Lesnar deal bad for Reigns
They call Wrestlemania ‘the showcase of the immortals’. Now in its 31st year, Coral brings you all the betting on WWE’s biggest event in sports entertainment.
We’ve broken the eight main matches down for the delectation of punters and speculating wrestling fans alike. In the second of two parts, our experts discuss the main events, which include Triple H facing Sting in his first-ever WWE match, the return of The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar putting his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against 2015 Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns.
Seven-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship
The betting market doesn’t make good reading for reigning IC champ Bad News Barrett, who hails from Preston and is a staunch supporter of his hometown football club.
Involved in a recent social media spat with Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney over a controversial penalty that helped the Red Devils beat North End in the FA Cup, British brawler Barrett is 8/1 to retain his title.
Coral make hugely popular WWE superstar Daniel Bryan their odds-on favourite to climb the ladder and retrieve the gold. It’s something of a comedown from wrestling twice at and headlining last year’s sports entertainment spectacular for Bryan, but he can win championships at two consecutive Wrestlemanias with victory here.
‘The Lunatic Fringe’ Dean Ambrose is also fancied in some quarters at 3/1, but this former US champ and ex-member of The Shield may be included just to do some sensational spots and falls which enhance his crazy gimmick.
Dolph Ziggler will want to steal the spotlight here, and ‘The Showoff’ is an 8/1 shot to capture a fifth IC crown. Luke Harper (20/1) and Stardust (25/1), formerly Cody Rhodes, have also held this belt before, but are outsiders like R-Truth (33/1), who has never won the title.
The Undertaker v Bray Wyatt
If you caught last year’s Wrestlemania, then you will have witnessed one of sports entertainment’s most shocking moments ever; The Undertaker lost his perfect winning streak of 21 consecutive victories by falling to Brock Lesnar. See highlights as history was made below:
‘The Phenom’ hasn’t been seen in WWE since, but will return to face Bray Wyatt, who has proclaimed himself to be ‘The New Face of Fear’. He caught the eye in a losing effort to John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX, but will it be a similar story when encountering a wrestling legend here?
It’s odds-on at 2/7 that ‘Taker makes a winning return to competition. Punters may not see the logic in this, though, and nor do our experts. Wyatt’s price of 5/2 is tempting because the streak is broken and ‘The Deadman’ can never repair that. Putting over a hot heel with a killer gimmick makes more sense, so back Bray to make Undertaker rest in peace.
Triple H v Sting
This is a battle between two men who have each held 13 world titles in their storied careers. WWE’s COO Triple H takes on ‘the franchise of WCW’ Sting in a dream match, which is why many fans are tuning in to Wrestlemania.
‘The Stinger’ is a heavy odds-on 1/7 favourite to beat ‘The Game’ here in what may be his first and only match for Vince McMahon’s company. Sting is a wrestling icon, and this storyline has built up nicely over several months.
Making a case for Triple H winning is very difficult. That is reflected in a huge outside price of 4/1, so it looks like Sting shall be victorious. Just sit back and enjoy a piece of wrestling history here, and check out this promo:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) v Roman Reigns
Just a few weeks back, this would have been a clear cut match to call. Lesnar was out of contract with WWE and mulling over a return to MMA. Had he opted for that, then they would have to take the belt off him and put it on Reigns.
Lesnar has re-signed on a multi-year deal to stay with WWE recently, however, and that raises the prospect of him keeping the world title around his waist. This is reflected in an even-money price for ‘The Beast Incarnate’ to retain.
Reigns, who is a cousin of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, remains a narrow odds-on 8/11 favourite to take the belt off Brock, who squashed John Cena at Summerslam to capture his fourth WWE world title. Despite a heavy push, crowd reactions to Reigns have not been as hoped, so Lesnar looks to be the one to back.