It is rare I ever decide to venture into the wrestling field. I used to be a huge fan back in the mainstream days of the Attitude Era, but with the PG-product came my loss of interest. I am a fan of the business strictly now-a-days, and rarely divulge myself into the programs.
Yet it has become impossible to ignore this time of year. That time in which the entire world forgets about the NCAA Tournament, where all eyes are on the spectacle that is Wrestlemania. With this year’s event being held at the same place of my favorite Super Bowl of all-time (18 and 1 Giant loss!), it was impossible for me to ignore the hype (not to mention I do usually catch it on the annual basis).
Moreover, when I heard that the Monday Night Wars Part II were beginning (if you will even call it that), it became imperative that I saw how WWE would approach ‘Mania with the Illuminati breathing down their back in Orlando.
As a whole, the company did not miss with the card. It quickly became quite obvious there would be a Taker vs. HBK II, alongside the heavily anticipated Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon showdown. So how will this show go down? Let’s take a look (I’ll admit that I am not as sharp with the business as I used to be, but have done some research into each match-up).
10-Diva Tag Team Match
Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Eve Torres, and Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox, and Vickie Guerrero
Do not look too in-depth on this one. The typical faces vs. heels match, it will be a nice bathroom break for those attending live (and maybe even those at home). However, if you happen to be interested in the Divas division, then expect a short quarrel with Vickie Guerrero getting it in the end.
Winner(s): The Faces
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
This match enters with the stipulation that if Mysterio loses, he will be forced to joining Punk’s “Straight Edge Society”.
Let me just say that I love Punk. I believe he was a great face, and more importantly, he’s an awesome heel. You hate him so much that you have to love him as well. His mic skills are spectacular, and his gimmick is rather believable.
Mysterio enters as the “popular” favorite if you will, and that is about it. As someone who reads into things behind the scenes more than what appears on TV, I could easily see Punk coming out with the win and some interesting screen time between the two developing over the next few weeks on Friday nights.
Winner: CM Punk
Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
What makes this year’s Wrestlemania so unique is that it is giving some of the youngest stars of the company a chance to skyrocket to main event-status. This is one of those chances.
Randy Orton is the best in the business. He is the greatest heel the company has had in years, and he even does a decent job at being a face. He is maniacal, relentless, and simply horrifying.
Not only this, but Orton is one of the few in the company with the capability to put over the youngsters. This is what should happen, as it would be completely logical for DiBiase or Rhodes (more so DiBiase) to come away with the victory, as Orton would not lose any fanfare with a defeat. However, Randy does not have the front office powers that a certain other man does (who we will discuss later), and cannot control his destiny.
If the WWE wants to play it smart, then let DiBiase win. If they want to just take the easy way out, then give it to Orton. I really hope the former happens, and moreover hope my prediction is wrong.
Winner: Randy Orton
Triple H vs. Sheamus
This match is the second of those which could determine the future of the company. More importantly, I am confident in the result of this one.
Paul Levesque (Triple H) trained Sheamus into the business. He showed him the ropes, how to become a true heel, and more importantly how to perform in the ring.
Though it was at first surprising to see Sheamus rise to super-stardom against the fans’ liking, he has done a nice job at adapting. His performances are slowly getting the respect of many, and he has become a force to be reckoned with.
Above all though, he has the backing of Levesque. Triple H is arguably the most popular name in the business, and he will never lose respect from the fans. With his power in upper-management, be sure that he will put over Sheamus in this one, and that people will finally accept him as a legitimate performer.
Unified Tag Team Title Match
ShowMiz (The Big Show and The Miz) (c) vs. R-Truth and John Morrison
Honestly, I am a little skeptical about this one. When I heard that the WWE was putting Morrison in another Tag Team, I was a little confused. I felt he was much better suit for the Money In The Bank match, as I believe he is on the verge of stardom. Evidently, Vince does not seem to think so. Not yet at least.
What makes this even more confusing is the lack of athleticism on one end versus the pure athleticism of the other. The Big Show is still intimidating, even at this stage in his career. But he cannot move all that well, even with the weight that he lost of late.
I don’t see the whole R-Truth/Morrison tag team lasting that much longer honestly, as I do believe Morrison’s time is coming. Maybe that’s just me being hopeful. Who knows.
Winner(s): The Big Show and The Miz
No Holds Barred Match
Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart
Many are calling this the most anticipated match on the program. Some are even calling for it to be the main event. While I do undoubtedly anxiously await this fight, I cannot say it should be the last on the card.
This match is thirteen years in the making. Ever since the infamous Montreal Screwjob, everyone has wanted to see it. When WWE announced that Hart would be coming in for a program to last through April, I was thrilled.
At the same time, I am a little skeptical. I fear this match will be all too predictable. Brett will put Vince in the Sharpshooter, and likely get him to tap. We can only hope that Brett does not seem too slow on his feet, as we are well aware that Vince is still very much capable of putting on a decent performance in the ring. For this reason, it is good that they decided to go with a No Holds Barred match, as possibly an interference of some sort or the brutality of some weapons may add to the excitement of the match.
I do ask of one thing however. Whatever way you decide to end the match, WWE, please do not give it a “Screwjob” finish. We have seen it all too many times, and though it would be nice to see Vince get screwed, it became stale thirteen years ago when if happened.
Winner: Bret Hart
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Matt Hardy vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
Let us be clear. I love the Money in the Bank match. I love the concept, and I think it is something everyone looks forward to on a yearly basis. I do have a few complaints however.
1. It has become a pawn match.
Think realistically. Do we honestly see Kane winning this match? Not at all. WWE has done a nice job at staging this match every year, but it features some guys who really do not stand a chance at winning. Most notably, Shelton Benjamin. The guy is the most athletic wrestler in all of the business, yet he never even comes close to making the big time (and do not count “ECW” as big time). They have also wasted Evan Bourne, who’s natural abilities almost rival Benjamin’s.
2. The PG-rating eliminates the thrill.
Apparently the WWE has a problem with blood, which is what gave them all their fans in the first place. No more chair shots to the head (though I am somewhat on this bandwagon), and minimal-to-no blood. The first match of this type was unbelievable, but unfortunately now it has become almost a joke where the winner will get the briefcase and simply capture the title soon after.
Still, it will be an interesting one to watch. I pray that this is the year they let Shelton win it, as it is inevitable he will jump ship to TNA once his contract expires if he does not get some respect soon.
More likely though, it will go to Kofi Kingston, who’s name has already been used in the main event circuit. It is similar to what happened with Punk, who himself was considered amongst the ECW elite if you will when his time came to win the match. Kofi will win handily and likely earn a title shot soon, much to my dismay. But hey, you can’t always get what you want.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Edge
There was no doubt in my mind or anybody else’s mind that upon Edge’s return, WWE would use him as Jericho’s nemesis. I like Edge as a face, but I much prefer him as a heel. Still, his return at the Rumble was very unexpected, and they did a nice job at making it work.
My biggest problem with it all is the little hype that has gone into this. It almost creates a mockery of the Royal Rumble, who’s winner always used to get the most attention heading into Wrestlemania. Instead, this will be thrown before the Batista/Cena match, and lose its importance.
As for the bout itself, it would make sense for Edge to come away with the title in this one. He was supposed to stay in the picture up intil his injury anyway, and he is much more marketable as someone who people are chasing after.
Jericho is a pro, and he knows how to put over those returning. It will be a fun match to watch, in which we are likely to see several tease finishes. In the end, it will be Edge who walks away with the title and a heel turn in his future.
WWE Championship Match
Batista (c) vs. John Cena
This match is reportedly the last on the card, and I could not be any more furious about it. John Cena is the reason I stopped watching wrestling, and I speak on behalf of the entire world when I say I am beyond tired with his success as the companies top face.
Cena actually made a formidable heel at One Night Stand in 2006 when he squared off with Van Dam, and I liked his package there. Now though, he is stale, and is facing someone who fits the heel persona perfectly.
Batista has everything that fits a heel perfectly. He is arrogant, huge, destructive, and most importantly, believable. Dave is much better with this gimmick than as a face, and his versatility to be both will work well for him in the future.
Still, Vince will allow his two puppets to square-off, and it will be a mildly enjoyable match. Hopefully it beats my expectations and allows for Batista to win in the end, but I highly doubt it. Vince still believes the people are behind Cena. He is sadly mistaken.
Winner: John Cena
Streak vs. Career Match
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
The match that should be, must be, and won’t be the closer to the event, Taker and HBK will embark to top their legendary match of last year. For those of you not interested in spoilers, I suggest you do not read on, because those who read into the business are well aware of what is going to go down here.
Various reports are stating that this match will be Shawn Michaels final match ever in the WWE (and obviously overall). Though none are confirmed, they all believe nagging injuries and his family have lead him to the decision. Because of this, Taker’s streak will not end, and I can guarantee though this match will be arguably the best of Michaels’ unbelievable career.
Expect this one to be a long one, and a hard fought one at that. Is it right that the Undertaker be the one to end it all for Shawn? Not really, as HHH would have made a lot more sense. However, he is still a very logical choice, and it seems like it could be a passing of the torch, as Taker could be on his way out at next year’s big event.
If this is to be Shawn’s last match, I hope that it will be the finest. I expect him to have a formal goodbye later on, and even if they decide to pull the whole loophole storyline and have him come back months from now, it should pave out to be a fitting farewell.
Winner: The Undertaker
As Wrestlemania XXVI aims to take its place in history, the world will be watching. While I am not a fan of the WWE in particular, I am a supporter of the business, and hope that this can change the image of wrestling for a long time to come. It would seem impossible that the WWE fails to miss the boat on this one, and should be very enjoyable for all to watch.