With WrestleMania XXVIII just days away, I felt the need to outline the matches we expect to see on Sunday, and offer my commentary and predicted winners.
We've all been witnesses to the hype of what has been billed as the "Match of the Century" between The Rock and John Cena. And, of course, everyone is wondering if this will finally be the year that the immortal streak of The Undertaker ends, as he faces Triple H in a brutal Hell in a Cell match.
Either way, the "Showcase of the Immortals" is shaping up to be a decent-enough pay-per-view for the WWE Universe.
Please keep in mind that these predictions are my own, and feel free to offer your comments as always!
It seems the developing feud between Cody Rhodes and Big Show has bored most fans of the WWE Universe, so it'll be no surprise that this match will most likely be the first of the evening. If not, I wouldn't expect to see it anywhere but right before the midcard starts.
Rhodes has held the intercontinental title since August of last year, and it's no secret that it's been more than difficult for the WWE to find someone of worthy status to compete and have a legitimate feud with him. Add in all the recent injury issues the SmackDown superstars have been dealing with, and it makes sense why they booked this match.
A win at WrestleMania would help put Rhodes over the top and make him the main-event man the WWE wants him to be. But, I don't see that happening in a match against Show.
All in all, I expect this match to be very short—maybe about five-to-10 minutes—with Big Show ultimately coming out on top.
I'm not at all really sure what to expect out of this match, if anything at all.
It continues with the trend of the WWE booking "celebrities" for WrestleMania matches. Maria Menounos isn't your traditional celebrity, but more of a TV personality.
But, it was the best thing the WWE could do on short notice, with Shaq backing out of his expected appearance.
Eve Torres has evolved into a heel role over the last couple of weeks, so her teaming with Beth Phoenix makes perfect sense.
Kelly Kelly is basically the diva equivalent of John Cena, so I expect a quick match, with her and Maria emerging victorious.
This is one of the matches I'm looking most forward to.
Based on the fact that several of the WWE's top-grade talents have publicly voiced their displeasure with John Laurinaitis, and the fact that I personally think he wants to get back to working more behind the scenes, I'd guess that Team Long wins this match.
Again, that's only a hunch.
Laurinaitis' character has done exactly what they wanted it to do, so pulling him away wouldn't make much sense. But sacking a man with the tenure of Teddy Long doesn't make much sense, either.
It makes this match one of the most difficult to predict, next to Undertaker-Triple H.
The only suggestion I can offer, to add a little production value to this showdown, is to make it an elimination tag match.
Aside from the Divas match, this match has the traits and makings to be the most boring of all at WrestleMania XXVIII. Not only that, it's by far the easiest of the group to predict.
Orton is one of the WWE's biggest stars on its SmackDown brand (probably the biggest). Kane returned in very dramatic fashion last December and has been playing a filler role ever since.
Essentially, Kane has been used in matches against the WWE's top talent because the creative staff has run out of storyline ideas and needs them in the ring doing something.
It's likely one of Kane's last runs, and there's no question The Viper wins the match.
I expect Sheamus to win this match. The keyword there is expect.
Both superstars have seen tremendous amounts of success. Sheamus' victory at the Royal Rumble has sent him on a virtual tirade, ripping through any opponent in his path, while Bryan's possession of the world heavyweight championship has given him the opportunity to show his excellent heel and mic skills.
I know the vegan gimmick has been one of the cheesiest things WWE Universe fans have seen, but Bryan has one of the best heel personalities in the company—if it's used right.
A win at WrestleMania will help Sheamus capture his first world heavyweight championship and propel him into the top face role on SmackDown.
In my opinion, the WWE got this match wrong.
Not to take anything away from Jericho, because he will have a superb match with Punk. But, I really feel it should have been Dolph Ziggler.
I know they have to split him from Vickie and Swagger first, but I had the opportunity to see Punk and Ziggler wrestle in several dark matches since the New Year, and they put on some of the greatest matches I've seen in recent memory.
But back to the task at hand.
The bottom line here is that Jericho is essentially a part-time employee for the WWE, and that will ensure that Punk wins the match and retains his title. Jericho is expected to tour with his band in Europe this coming summer, so there's no sense in booking him as WWE champion for two months.
The "End of an Era" match, as it's been dubbed.
The added treat of having Shawn Michaels as the special-guest referee basically put it over the top.
As for the winner, there's no doubt that The Undertaker will win and keep his streak alive. In my mind, anyways.
The Undertaker's streak isn't just a streak, but it is one of the most powerful advertising draws and a selling point for this year's WrestleMania and years to come.
The only thing that is bigger than this match is the anticipation of WWE Universe fans to see whose hand is raised in victory.
It's safe to assume that there is an equal amount of fans that want both superstars to win, but only one will.
And it will be John Cena.
Some fans have spoken of interference from the Miz—who isn't scheduled to compete at this year's event—and having the match end in a disqualification, which would be the worst possible result.
The fact is, John Cena is the Bret Hart, the Stone Cold or even The Rock, if you would prefer, of his generation. He is the company's biggest seller, he is their biggest marketing tool, and if they were going to bury their biggest asset, it would never happen at WrestleMania.