- Joined Oct 15, 2000
Well, better late than never I guess. The show starts in 15 minutes. No time to ramble. Here's my WrestleMania match by match preview. And for the first time in a few years, the WWE has done a good enough job of building the show to make me actually plunk down my hard earned money and actually buy the show. WrestleMania in HD. I'm excited.
Show Miz (The Big Show and The Miz) (c) vs John Morrison and R-Truth - Unified Tag Team Championship Match
Either this match or the MITB will open the show. If this opens the show, it should be a pretty good match because it will be given enough time. If it's sandwiched somewhere in the middle of the show, it will probably be rushed and forgotten about. Morrison and R-Truth came together when they won't a #1 contenders match on Smackdown a few weeks back. The two have ZERO chemistry together. They don't click as a team. They are just two midcarders working together for WrestleMania. Both are good workers, but I just cannot see them winning the titles here. Being the tag team champs means you can be on both shows, and I don't see any benefit of having Morrison and Truth on both Raw and Smackdown. Maybe six months ago with Morrison, but they completely blew it with his character since then. And R-Truth is a perennial midcarder, and it's pretty well known I despise his character. On the other hand, Show Miz is a great team who's chemistry is still developing. If they lose the titles, I don't see them remaining together as a team, so taking the titles off them would be the wrong move. Plus, The Miz is great. He's not on Jericho's level, but very few are. But to take him off both shows would be a mistake. And without the tag team titles, Show goes back to just another main event jobber. Right now it's the perfect role for both of them, and I expect Show Miz to continue.
Prediction: Show Miz - Retain the Unified Tag Team Titles
Ted Dibiase Jr vs Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes - Triple Threat Match
Remember when Legacy actually had juice to them? Man did they blow this program and cause major damage to all three of these men's characters. Randy Orton was the hottest heel in the company and on the verge of breaking through as a badass babyface. Legacy was a legitimate tag team main eventing against DX. Now? I don't even know. Well I do know that Randy Orton has lost an incredible amount of steam since The Royal Rumble. Is he a heel? Is he a face? I don't know. The fans don't know. I don't even think the WWE knows. And when people don't know how to react to a wrestler, it leads to disinterest. I never thought it would get to the point where people didn't care about Randy Orton, but it is becoming dangerously close. As for Rhodes and Dibiase? These two come across as clowns to me. They have no credibility as stars. They never beat anyone of importance in big matches. They're boring on the mic. The only thing they have going for them is Cody's swag walk. But really, now they are teasing tension between these two? The result of this match will be interesting. I expect Rhodes and Dibiase to blow up on each other. But who wins the match? It will be very telling if they are serious about pushing Rhodes or Dibiase. If one of them wins, the other is left to look like a real loser. If Orton wins, than both Dibiase and Rhodes look like big losers. Since the WWE doesn't seem to know what to do with any of these guys, I expect Orton to get the victory after Rhodes and Dibiase turn on one another. Orton will be pushed back into the main event picture by the summer, while the future of Rhodes and Dibiase is much more murky.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix vs Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox, Vickie Guerrero - 10 Diva Tag Match
This one will be short. I like it a lot more when there is an actual meaningful divas match at Mania, but I understand they want to get all these women their WrestleMania bonus. I can't believe Mickie is even involved given her recent staff infection, so I'm sure she'll be very limited. It seems that maybe they are pushing Eve Torres. I can't tell. If Eve doesn't get the win, then Maryse should. The over/under on Gail botches is 3.5.
Prediction: Face Team (Eve Torres)
HHH vs Sheamus
This one comes down to how generous The King of Kings is feeling. HHH's WrestleMania record is not particularly good, so it wouldn't shock me to see him take the loss here. But just because he loses doesn't mean he's putting Sheamus over strong. The two men are friends in real life, so that bodes well for Sheamus. And obviously Sheamus needs a signature WrestleMania win far more than HHH needs a WrestleMania win over a rookie. So I'm going with Sheamus getting the win here. I'm hoping it's a legitimate victory and not some kind of freak roll up, but you never know. The match will be much more of a brawl than a wrestling match.
Kane vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs MVP vs Christian, vs Dolph Ziggler vs Shelton Benjamin vs Jack Swagger vs Matt Hardy vs Drew McIntyre - Money in the Bank Ladder Match
I don't like that this match has ten entrants. There are too many people involved, and it just leads to sloppiness with no flow in the match. Everyone will just hit one or two big spots, and then the winner will grab the briefcase. Here's a quick look at all ten wrestlers' chances:
Kane - There were no other programs, so we was added to this match to get him on the WM card. I expect a chokeslam off the ladder. That's about it for him.
Kofi Kingston - A few months ago, I would have bet the house that he was winning this match. Now? He's a long shot thanks to the WWE burying him for no apparent reason (other than messing up a spot with Randy Orton). Funny how neither man has been the same since that botch. Anyway, I think he has a very outside chance, but I'm not betting on him.
Evan Bourne - A few big spots. No chance of winning.
MVP - Needs a gimmick change so badly. No chance of winning.
Christian - He's my number two choice to win the match. He has that "big star" feel and credibility. Plus, he's well known despite being banished to ECW for the past year. And there is a logical storyline that he could challenge his "brother" Edge for the title.
Dolph Ziggler - Man, this is the match of wrestler's who the WWE has blown getting over. Ziggler was on the verge of being a star in his series with Mysterio. But he never broke through, and thus became Mr. Ziggles. I'd put his chances about the same as Kofi's.
Shelton Benjamin - It's a shame that he has been in every single MITB match and has never been a legitimate contender to win. He's always good for some spectacular spots though.
Jack Swagger - Same song again. The WWE decided to stop pushing him for no apparent reason. A year ago I would have thought he'd be a favorite to win this, now he's not. Another long shot.
Matt Hardy - Hardy's time has passed. If he hasn't been a champion by now, he's never going to be.
Drew McIntyre - He's my favorite to win this match. They spent the time with the angle of him not being able to get into the match compared to where every other competitor won their qualifying matches in about 2 minutes. McIntyre is also Mr. McMahon's "chosen one." He has the look and gimmick. It looks like he's the WWE's next big thing, and I'm going with him to win the match. On a side note, I think he'd be even better if he had a heel valet. Maybe Layla (the British connection).
On Raw, Jack Swagger hinted that the Money in the Bank contract could be cashed in at anytime and was never cashed in at WrestleMania. That pretty much sealed it for me that tonight's winner will be cashing in the contract tonight. Add to the fact that this will be the last MITB match at WrestleMania since we are now being treated to the Money In The Bank PPV, I think they want to make this one especially memorable. So without getting ahead of myself, I think McIntyre wins the match and goes on to challenge and defeat the winner of the Jericho/Edge match.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre
CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio Jr
Maybe I've just been oblivious to it, but WWE.com no longer refers to Mysterio with the 'junior'. Anyway, this feud has been awesome, thanks in part to CM Punk being the man and the involvement of the Mysterio family. I'm usually not very enthused about Mysterio matches, but that can't be said for this one. The stipulation is that if Mysterio loses, he has to join the Straight Edge Society. Would that mean he has to stop taking steroids and pain killers? I kid, I kid. Anyway, key to this match will be if they give Punk some mic time before the match. The crowd should be really hot as there will likely be a large Hispanic contingent in the crowd with the show being in Phoenix. I expect this program to continue past WrestleMania, and the only logical way it continues is with Punk getting the win here. Mysterio will then be forced to join the Straight Edge Society until he eventually is able to win back his freedom which will be the conclusion of the program. It sounds simple enough, right? Let's see if the WWE writers agree.
Prediction: CM Punk - Rey Mysterio Joins the Straight Edge Society
Chris Jericho (c) vs Edge - World Championship Match
This has been a great program, and that of course is to be expected when you have two of the best in the industry working together. The story is simple enough. Edge and Jericho were tag team champions. Edge gets injured. Jericho calls Edge the weak link of the team and further bad mouths him. Edge shockingly returns to win The Royal Rumble. After Chris Jericho won the World Title at Elimination Chamber in February, Edge announced the following night on Raw that he wanted his revenge and was coming for Jericho's title at WrestleMania. Edge plays a great 'psycho' character, and he has been absolutely obsessed with spearing Jericho at WrestleMania to win the title. SPEAR, SPEAR, SPEAR. It's been driven into the audience's head. Edge has hit Jericho with the spear again and again leading up to the match. But Jericho has also been on the offensive as well. When it looked like Edge was about to once again spear Jericho, Jericho pulled out the title belt and slammed it into Edge's head knocking him out. No blood was needed for the angle to be effective (take note TNA). So will Edge get his ultimate revenge tonight and Spear his way to the World Championship, or will Jericho lock in the Liontamer to make Edge tap? I'm going with the former, but ultimately it will lead to another short title reign for Edge.
Prediction: Edge - New World Champion
As I said above, I believe that Drew McIntyre will win the Money in the Bank match and cash in his contract tonight. After a grueling match between Edge and Jericho, McIntyre will hit the scene and defeat Edge to win his first heavyweight championship.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre - New World Champion
Batista (c) vs John Cena - WWE Championship Match
Let's all say this together... Heel Batista is freaking awesome. I never thought I'd be using the words 'Batista' and 'awesome' in the same sentence, but since Batista's heel turn, there nothing else to say other than he's the man. Maybe it has something to do with him not actually having wrestled since winning the title, but that's besides the fact. His mic work has been phenomenal. Whether he's insulting Cena or the 'WWE Universe', he's been money. Throw in his wardrobe choices, and Batista's swag is off the charts. As for Cena, it's the same old Cena. He recites his overly scripted promos. You think someone would tell him or whoever writes these promos that no one actually talks like that. It's like a bad movie script. There's no sense of believability. Plus, Cena cuts so many goofy, overly-cute promos, that when he tries to be serious, it makes him come across as more of a fraud. As for this match itself, it won't be a great wrestling match, but it will have that 'big match' feel which we rarely get anymore. WrestleMania crowds are usually smarkier than normal crowds, but with a crowd this large, you never know. Regardless, it will be interesting to hear if they are pro- or anti-Cena. I think Batista retains the title and have a few reasons. One, it's Batista's first match as champion. Two, the match isn't going on last, so the face doesn't necessarily have to retain. And three, since this is their first match and I expect the program to continue, it makes sense for Batista to retain and have Cena chasing the title. It would be a big mistake to take any of the heat off Batista that he has right now.
Prediction: Batista - Retains WWE Title
Bret Hart vs Mr. McMahon - No Holds Barred Match
Unfortunately I'm running low on time, so I need to be short. I really never thought we'd see this match. I honestly thought Bret had completely distanced himself from the WWE. So when I heard he was returning in January, I was legitimately shocked. The program hasn't been booked exactly how I would have liked, but for the most part it has worked. The car crash angle initially seemed like a train wreck but now being able to see the entire angle, it served it's purpose. I'm still not crazy about it, but they needed to do something to draw this feud out for almost three months. This past Monday on Raw Mr. McMahon told Bret that he will screw him again. Considering Vince is in his 60's and Bret is very limited physically, I expect all types of smoke and mirrors to be used here. Outside interference, fighting around the arena, ref bumps. Basically anything they can do to take the focus off of Bret and Vince. On the WrestlingObserver site, they brought up the fact that a Hebner may be involved in the match (whether it is Earl or Dave). I never even thought of this possibility, but it seems very possible. As Dom posted in the News and Notes, the WWE hotel is on lockdown, so a surprise appearance from someone wouldn't shock me in the least for the match. As for the match, I'm sure everything has been laid out from start to finish and it will be an entertaining match that will see Bret finally get his ultimate revenge against Mr. McMahon by having him tap out to the Sharpshooter in the culmination of 12 years of personal bitterness.
Prediction: Bret Hart
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels - The Streak vs Career Match
And here it is. The main event of the night. The streak vs the career. The match that everyone wants to see. The match between two of the biggest stars in wrestling history. The match that was the match of the year in 2009. The match that stole WrestleMania 25. And it looks like the WWE has made the right decision to put this match on last. The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels aren't young men anymore. Both have been bruised and broken in the ring. They didn't let that hold them back last year as they put on a match that any 25 year old wrestler could only hope to emulate. However, it is another year later, and both men's bodies have continued to deteriorate, The Undertaker's more so than Shawn Michaels'. However, this is the biggest stage of the year, and both men will have plenty of time to recover afterward, so I'm not expecting them to hold anything back tonight. They have a huge precedent to live up to after last year's match, but if any two men can do it, it's these two. Since the only way to win this match is by pinfall or submission, you would think that they will use weapons and fighting outside of the ring to help hide their limitations. However, with the same exact thing expected in the Hart/McMahon match, and it being expected that these two matches will take place back to back, having the same type of match twice in a row may wear on the crowd a bit. And the WWE almost never has the same type of match twice in one show. Regardless, I have high expectations for this match and am fully expecting it to deliver. When the dust settles, I think The Undertaker's streak will improve to 18-0 at WrestleMania, and Shawn Michaels will be making a tearful walk to the back with his career being ended. So often in wrestling, we are accustomed to stipulations being disregarded within weeks, but I think this one may stick. There have been numerous whispers of Shawn Michaels pondering retirement. Could this really bit it? I guess only time will tell. But if Shawn does lose tonight, I don't expect to see him again in a WWE ring anytime in the near future.
Prediction: The Undertaker