With WrestleMania 28 quickly approaching, wrestling's biggest event is shaping up to potentially be one of the best in recent history.
There are currently five matches confirmed with more expected to be announced over the coming weeks on Raw and SmackDown.
Here are my predictions for what I anticipate to be a very strong nine-match pay-per-view.
Big Show to win.
Big Show needs to win this match and will. It's the best thing for both superstars and the title involved for three main reasons.
- It would leave Cody open to a longer rivalry with Big Show or alternatively a push into the World Heavyweight Championship picture.
- It would secure Big Show in a strong position, having just dropped down from the main event scene.
- It would make the Intercontinental Championship relevant again—rather than an accessory for Cody to bring to the ring.
Santino Marella to win.
With Santino winning the title whilst Raw was under the control of Teddy Long, it makes sense for Johnny Ace to try his best to get it back from Santino’s waist in the run up to WrestleMania.
I see him looking first towards Jack Swagger, then Dolph Ziggler and then a combination of the two on April 1st.
The tensions that will arise within Vicky Guerrero’s stable will be their downfall and will leave Santino as champion at the end of the night.
This will also open up the possibility of a Ziggler-Swagger rivalry beginning again.
Beth Phoenix to win.
With Trish having expressed an interest in wrestling Beth Phoenix, it might make sense to do it at WrestleMania.
Whilst it may seem like a problem putting the title on the line against a non-active Trish Stratus, there wouldn't be an issue if Beth was to win, and a victory for the Glamazon is just what I expect.
I see the real story being a post-match appearance from Kharma though, destroying Phoenix and showing her that there is someone ready to challenge her. This should spark a rivalry that will hopefully reinvigorate the Divas division.
Randy Orton to win.
Both superstars will be shown as strong, but Randy will get the win with an RKO out of nowhere.
Following the match, this rivalry will be done with. Randy can move into the main event picture, and Kane can move into the evolving storyline with Zack Ryder and Eve, possibly being affiliated with the latter.
Team Laurinaitis to win.
The rumors of this match taking place for control of both SmackDown and Raw persist as the rivalry between the two GMs continues to pick up pace.
Following the support from Alberto Del Rio, Christian and Mark Henry at the Elimination Chamber event, it would make sense for these superstars to be involved for Laurinaitis alongside Johnny’s ever-present companion David Otunga.
Team Long is more difficult, but here are my predictions for the members:
- Kofi Kingston. He accompanied Teddy Long to the ring on Raw, and this is just the type of match he often gets put into.
- Ezekiel Jackson. He has been Long’s go-to guy.
- Justin Gabriel. He’s on the end of a little push by WWE at the moment, and it would mean they could get Hornswaggle involved, which they love to do.
- Rey Mysterio. He’s rumoured to be close to a return; it would get a pop from the crowd, and it’s not too much of an intense match in which to make a return.
If this happens, I see Kofi and Mysterio looking strong but Team Laurinaitis getting the win so "Mr. Excitement" can continue to rile the crowds.
Sheamus to win.
Sheamus is coming into this match with a lot of momentum following his Royal Rumble victory and has a huge amount of fan support. Clearly WWE sees him as one of the brightest of their younger stars and will want to continue his progression with a victory and a top title.
If Bryan was to win, it would have to be in less than clean circumstances, and Sheamus is being put over as so strong that he should be able to overcome any dirty tactics Bryan may employ.
So whilst I’m a huge fan of Daniel Bryan as the World Heavyweight Champion, I suspect that this title reign may have run its course.
Chris Jericho to win.
Chris Jericho’s long-term future in WWE remains uncertain, but if he is to have any continued involvement in the months following WrestleMania, he needs to beat CM Punk. A clean loss leaves him in no man’s land.
I may be giving WWE too much credit in regards to long-term planning here, but this may be the event for the "she" from Jericho’s return vignettes to appear.
We were told in the vignettes that "when he beckons her, he will return to claim what is his." What is "his" has been revealed to be the title of "best in the world" and along with it the WWE title.
WrestleMania could mark the reappearance of Stephanie McMahon as "she," and Jericho’s return to WWE could finally live up to its original hype with a victory and a title reign.
Undertaker to win.
Undertaker has to win and will. He needs to get to 20–0 for his legacy to remain untarnished.
Shawn Michaels will call this thing down the middle; any angle on bias refereeing would take away from the contest. Dirty refereeing will be hinted at in the run up to the event for sure, but on the day it’ll be called fairly.
In the weeks following, Triple H will either blame the loss on HBK or accuse him of being happy to see him lose. This will set it up nicely for Shawn Michaels to get back in the ring one more time against his friend of 17 years.
John Cena to win.
This one’s hard to call. The match is in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson’s hometown, and there would be a huge pop if he were to win. But does it make sense to have a non-committed performer beat John Cena—the face of WWE?
The answer is no, and that’s why I'm backing John Cena to win this match.
Despite suggestions that The Rock may have a part to play in next year’s WrestleMania, no one knows what part.
One thing you can know though, is that he won’t be on Raw every week. John Cena will be, and he will continue to be the face of the company long after Dwayne goes back to Hollywood.
These are my predictions, but alas, I am only one man.
Let me know what you think. Am I wide of the mark, or right on the money?
Whatever your opinion, thanks for reading!