The Granddaddy of them all, Wrestlemania, is this Sunday. While I’ll be preaching an evening service that night, big sweaty men in spandex will be grappling each other in front of 70,000 people….just for kicks.
I like doing Wrestlemania predictions every year. I don’t follow the product like I used to, so here is my best shot.
Pre-Show Intercontinental Title Match
Wade Barrett (C) vs The Miz
Somewhat disappointed this is on the pre-show as I think it has the potential to be a decent 12 minute match. By the way…how far has The Miz fallen with not only headlining by WINNING at WM 27 two years ago, and now he won’t be on the PPV broadcast? I’ll go with Barrett since I don’t see WWE caring much for Miz at this point.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Tons of Funk (Broadus Clay & Tensai) & The Funkadactyls vs The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) & The Bella Twins
I’ll give the WWE some credit here. They always want a Divas match of some sort on the card, and at least this ‘divas match’ includes some young talent to put the spotlight on. Although, Rhodes and Clay are less attractions than they were a year ago. I thought Clay would be a fun, attractional star in WWE, but he really doesn’t seem to be going anywhere else they heel him up.
Winners: Rhodes Scholars & John Cena’s girlfriend (I don’t care)
Chris Jericho vs Fandango
Call me crazy, but I think this will be an entertaining bout. Jericho usually brings it for Mania’, and Vince is personally behind the Fandango character. While the easy pick is Fandango (young star needs put over at Mania, backed by Vince, Jericho isn’t a permanent talent, etc.), I could see Jericho winning. They may want to show Fandango that it’s a privilege to be on the Mania card when many other would die to have his spot. Also, nothing wrong with losing a good match to Jericho. I’ll say that Fandango gets the W since the E’ likes to get behind match streaks, and they need a good heel winning streak to put over a face down the road.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston
I see Team Hell No retaining since I don’t think they will do a break up of the team quite yet, Dolph won’t be teaming with Langston past Mania, and Dolph has bigger fish to fry with his MITB briefcase. Should be short but fun match.
Winner: Team Hello No
Other Winner: Dolph Ziggler doing 10 crazy bumps in a 5 minute span in order to get over with NY crowd.
Ryback vs Mark Henry
This match has gotten bad reviews on the house show circuit. I think part of it has to do with Henry’s healthy and the fact that Ryback needs a good opponent to have a solid match. This bout needs less than 10 minutes and should include a feat of strength or two from Ryback.
The Shield vs Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show
The Mania debut for talented young men like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. I think Ambrose will be main eventing WMs in the future. For this bout, many are picking the Shield to win, and I don’t see any reason why not to. Orton, Sheamus and Show don’t need the win. Also, with the rumor of an Orton heel turn, it makes sense for the faces to lose.
Winner: The Shield
World Heavyweight Title Match
Alberto Del Rio (C) v Jack Swagger
I thought Swagger’s DUI arrest the other month sunk any chance of him getting a push, but it seems he is due for a main event push. I can see Swagger and Colter getting some fan love from NY/NJ as Del Rio isn’t a compelling face.
I’ll go with a bold prediction here. Swagger wins…
Winner: Jack Swagger
BUT! Ziggler maybe turns face, cashes in, and gets his WM moment…much to the delight of the crowd.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
NO DQ, Triple H Retires if He Loses
Triple H w/ Shawn Michaels vs Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman gets to participate in two of the three biggest WM matches this year. Pretty significant. The Triple H retiring stipulation has made most think he will win and avenge his Summerslam loss. I’m not quite so sure. Lesnar just inked a deal where he is with the company until WM 31. He is also scheduled for Extreme Rules next month. Lesnar will be a more active wrestler the next two years than Triple H in his new corporate role. Plus, a ‘loser must retire’ stip doesn’t mean a whole lot in WWE. All it takes for a face or heel to unretire is a new feud. I’ll go with Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
The Undertaker vs CM Punk
I think this will be the show stealer. No one is more competitive than Punk, and no doubt he wishes he was headlining Wrestlemania. He will show everyone why his match should be the main event. Undertaker also respects a student of wrestling like Punk. This match, like Taker’s last four WM matches, will be about the story. Punk is the best storyteller in WWE right now. The conclusion is forgone, but Punk should cement his legacy with his effort.
The Rock (C) vs John Cena
I have tried to imagine how the Rock wins this match. Cena will be boo’d out the building. The popular theory is Cena doing a heel(ish) turn to win, which would make the NY crowd amused, even if they still cheer Rocky. Yet, Cena and everyone else is saying that Cena’s charity work is too important for him to turn heel. Still, I don’t see Cena getting a clean win here. And, a fluke win (Rock has foot on the ropes) would tick off everyone. I will go out on a limb and predict a heelish turn from Cena. Honestly, he doesn’t have many more WM main events left in him. He can always return to being a face (ala Hogan). Also, I have a hard time thinking that Hogan didn’t have a lot of charity and kid-related stuff that pressured him not to turn heel in July 1996, but he did it anyway. Cena seems to be in the same position, and he doesn’t need to be an all-out heel. All he needs to do is say, “Hustle, Loyalty Respect….my way”. Be an independent, loner kind of face-heel. He will still do some charity, and he may sell additional t-shirts to older fans who like the new edgy Cena.
Winner: John Cena