WrestleMania 28 Matches: 13 Storylines That Need to Be Addressed
In only 72 hours, wrestling fans worldwide will bear witness to the greatest spectacle in the history of sports entertainment, known as WrestleMania 28. With the countdown to the most anticipated show in recent memory striking zero this Sunday, words cannot explain how excited I am as fan for this event to finally come to fruition.
For WrestleMania 28 to truly succeed in being the most epic event in Mania history, each component of each scheduled match will need to make sense. While not every bout will be off the charts, they should at least be able to either progress or end a storyline, rather than just being one random moment that isn't followed up properly.
Amongst the eight matches set in stone for this Sunday's card, I'll name 13 angles that need to be addressed in Miami in order to make sense. If everything plays out correctly, only one question begs to be asked: will WrestleMania 28 live up to the heavy hype it's been given over the course of the past year?
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho: Who Is the True Best in the World?
Chris Jericho and CM Punk
Since the moment CM Punk claimed he was the best wrestler in the world during his epic rant last June, a match with Chris Jericho was easily expected and without a doubt highly anticipated. When Jericho returned to the WWE earlier this year, a dream match between the two was pretty much set in stone for WrestleMania 28.
In his first full promo since returning to WWE, Jericho made it clear that his intention in targeting Punk was to prove that he was the true best in the world. However, the feud has since shifted focus to Punk's family and Jericho degrading the WWE Champion week in and week out.
While the Straight Edge Savior's recent vulnerability adds a new layer of interest in this match, let's not forget the real motive behind the title match. If CM Punk is able to defeat Y2J this Sunday without shenanigans, it will further prove why he is indeed the future of this industry.
Will Kharma Confront Beth Phoenix?
When news broke that former TNA Knockout Awesome Kong had signed a contract with WWE, a dream match with Beth Phoenix was the first thing on every wrestling fan's mind. Sadly, we weren't able to see it occur at WrestleMania 27, but I had my hopes up high we'd be getting this year instead.
Due to her unexpected pregnancy, Kharma was sidelined for the remainder of 2011. With her surprise return during this year's annual Royal Rumble match, my desire for a bout between the two titans grew stronger.
As time passed on, my hopes dwindled each week she didn't return to television. When it was reported that she'd need some more time to recover from the unfortunate loss of her baby, we were instead treated with the announcement of a Divas tag team match at WrestleMania 28 featuring Maria Menounos.
While Kharma may not yet be 100% ready to return to the squared circle, the least they can have her do is make an appearance this Sunday in a stare-down with the Divas Champion. It can foreshadow an awesome rivalry down the line, as well as give the Divas' match some interest on Sunday.
Will Randy Orton Embrace the Hate?
Kane and Randy Orton
Randy Orton's unfortunate concussion last month hindered his originally planned WrestleMania program with Alberto Del Rio, calling for him to engage in an abrupt rivalry with the monstrous Kane. From the moment I witnessed this feud ignite, I knew for a fact they'd bring up their encounter last August, and surely enough, they did.
While that sounds like a weak build-up to some, it's better than a shampoo commercial, right? (See: Edge vs. Booker T.)
I give props to Creative for improvising a WrestleMania angle for both Kane and Orton on the spot, but the reasoning behind this story should be addressed at the event this Sunday by having Orton further "embracing the hate."
Is Zack Ryder Still Interested in Eve?
Zack Ryder's issues with Eve are showcased.
Since December, Zack Ryder has been involved in a love angle with Eve in hopes of her becoming his lovely girlfriend. The angle took a shocking twist in February when it was revealed that Eve had only been using Ryder the entire time—yet Ryder is still interested in her, regardless.
Originally, I was expecting Eve and Ryder to be on opposite sides in an inter-gender tag team match at WrestleMania 28, but they've made the Long Island Iced Z look more like a doofus by thinking they're still together instead.
Although the two love birds won't be involved in the same match on Sunday, it's very possible Eve could cost Zack Ryder the victory in his 12-man tag team match by distracting him at ringside. At the very least, throw the two in a backstage segment, otherwise this once-hot program will be cooled off completely.
Will the Miz Make an Impact?
The Miz joins Team Johnny.
For months on end, The Miz complained each and every week about not having a match at WrestleMania 28 despite winning in the main event last year. Finally, he received his rightful bout on the grandest stage of them all, joining Team Johnny this week on Raw.
Does adding him to the 12-man tag team match erase his promos over the past few weeks and render them pointless? Of course not.
Just because he's now got his match doesn't mean he shouldn't still play a major factor on Team Johnny. To show he truly can make an impact, I hope to see him turn on his teammates and join Team Teddy, turning into a full-fledged face in the process.
I can still dream, can't I?
Can Big Show Finally Get His WrestleMania Moment?
Since his debut in 1999, Big Show has been featured in numerous WrestleManias, but hasn't made a lasting impression in any. Of all the matches he's competed in at the Show of Shows, Big Show has only won two of them, and even those two victories were in tag team action.
Over the past two months, Cody Rhodes has targeted Show and verbally abused him with his humiliating (yet entertaining) video packages of the former World Champion's embarrassing moments at WrestleMania. As granted by Teddy Long, Show will receive a shot at Rhodes and his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 28.
Based upon Rhodes' promos recently, I wouldn't be surprised to see Big Show pick up the victory as a way of saying "thank you" from the WWE. If he were to do that, he would also become a Grand Slam Champion for the first time.
Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy: Who Is Superior?
John Laurinaitis and Teddy Long
At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view last month, Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis made it clear that he was gunning for the job of SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long. The two authority figures have been at each other's throats in recent weeks, with a 12-man tag team match confirmed for WrestleMania 28 to settle the score, featuring representatives of both men.
This feud is more about Long and Laurinaitis than it is about the brands themselves, which have been shoved down our throats on every Raw and SmackDown broadcast. The action in the match on Sunday should be fine, but I can't wait for this storyline between the two to finally be over.
Will AJ Sacrifice Herself for Daniel Bryan?
Daniel Bryan and AJ
Sheamus winning the 2012 Royal Rumble this year was quite the shock to some people, but it's turned out to be just another afterthought going into WrestleMania 28. Sure, Sheamus challenging Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship had the potential to be a fun feud, but it's been more focused on the relationship between AJ and Bryan rather than the title itself.
At first, it seemed as if AJ's admiration for Bryan was only a cute, little crush. But now it seems that AJ is willing to throw herself in harm's way in order to protect her boyfriend, Daniel Bryan. Of course, the roles in this relationship should be reversed, but that's what makes it so entertaining.
Meanwhile, Sheamus is plowing through every competitor put in front of him in preparation for the biggest match of his career at WrestleMania 28. Look for AJ to play a major factor in the outcome of this Sunday's World Heavyweight Championship match.
Could Lord Tensai Finally Make His Anticipated Debut?
For the past two weeks on Monday Night Raw, we've witnessed various video packages for an arriving force named Lord Tensai. According to reports, Lord Tensai is none other than the returning A-Train, which should make the reveal much more exciting when it finally comes to fruition.
It's also been heavily rumored that Lord Tensai will play the henchman to John Laurinaitis upon his debut, but how will that come about? Since it's too late for Tensai to join Team Johnny at WrestleMania 28, helping his team pick up the victory and getting bonus points with the new General Manager could sure make an impact on the grandest stage of them all.
Will Christian Get "One More Match?"
Christian as World Heavyweight Champion
A number of weeks ago on SmackDown, John Laurinaitis made Christian an official member of his team for WrestleMania 28. However, due to an attack from WWE Champion CM Punk this past Monday night on Raw, Christian has been effectively removed from the match-up after re-aggravating his neck injury.
In reality, Christian was pulled from the bout due to his ankle injury not being 100 percent healed. Regardless, one of the stipulations of Christian joining Team Johnny was that he'd receive his "one more match" for the World Heavyweight Championship if his team were to win at WrestleMania.
While it still hasn't been clearly established, I believe that footnote might still be in play. Sure, Captain Charisma may not be able to compete, but why not add him as an official mascot to Team Johnny to ensure they win instead?
Can Undertaker Extend His Streak to 20?
Undertaker and Triple H
For as long as I can remember, Undertaker's opponents at WrestleMania have always attempted to end his storied streak since the acknowledgement of its existence. Regardless of who the challenger might be, Undertaker has always emerged victorious.
This time around, Triple H is once again claiming that he'll be the one to put an end to his lengthy string of victories at the event. However, they've drawn little to no attention to the fact that this could be Taker's milestone 20th victory if he is to win.
We've been waiting for this Mania to come for years on end, but they're more focused on the end of an era than Undertaker's next huge victory?
One can only hope that the commentators can do an effective job of selling that fact during the epic match on Sunday, as it is certainly history in the making that should not be overlooked.
Will the Relationship Between Triple H and Shawn Michaels Crumble?
Triple H and Shawn Michaels
Originally, I was extremely disappointed that we'd be seeing Triple H challenge Undertaker at WrestleMania for a third time. However, the inclusion of Shawn Michaels into this intense rivalry made things much more suspenseful and personal.
In a move that I was hoping for last year, Shawn Michaels was named the special guest referee for their anticipated Hell in a Cell match at Mania. Over the past few weeks, HBK has hinted at being a biased referee, saying that only he knows who will emerge victorious.
Maybe it's only me, but it seems that there's more tension between Michaels and his best friend Triple H than Taker, despite being WrestleMania opponents a few years back. Could they be fooling us all and actually be in cahoots? Quite possibly, but Micheals could very well end his long-time friendship with The Game in an instant with a single Superkick.
The Rock vs. John Cena: Who Is the Better Man?
The Rock and John Cena
For the past year now, The Rock taking on John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 28 has been billed as the biggest match in Mania history. Who's to argue? We're taking about two of the most iconic Superstars in the history of the WWE, with this probably being one of the most important matches in their respective careers.
Through all the verbal assaults these two have traded, most of them were meant for pure entertainment rather than why they believe they'll be the sole victory of the match. However, their promo this past Monday night on Raw accomplished what no other promo did before: state why we should have incentive to root for either of them come this Sunday.
Sure, you can cheer for who you like more, but I've had a tough time answering the ever-popular question of "Rock or Cena?" recently given that neither man provided any reason why they will they are the better man. As previously said, they did just that this past week, and is certainly a point they need to address when all is said and done.
WrestleMania 28 Promotional Poster
With so much potential on just one card, WWE Creative would seriously have to try to purposefully sabotage this event in order to make it fail. Most of the advertised match-ups look solid on paper, while others could very well make history.
When you tune into WrestleMania 28 this Sunday night, be sure to keep a close lookout for each of these storylines and their respective payoffs. Logic is something that WWE hasn't been lacking as of late, and I wouldn't like to see that start on April 1.
Are there any more angles that are worthy of making this list?
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on each of their storylines and what else needs to be addressed at the Show of Shows. As always, your criticism and overall feedback is greatly appreciated.