WrestleMania 29: The Dream Card
Although WrestleMania 29 is almost a full year away, that doesn’t mean that Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWE aren’t setting up the angles, putting Superstars of present and past together for dream matches in the Meadowlands.
While some have been highly speculated, others remain as potential fits at this point in the preparation. Here’s a list of the dream card for WM29.
Dark Match, United States Championship, Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder (c)
Although this would be a rematch from TLC 2011, why not put this as the dark match and feature it on WWE.com or the YouTube channel to try to get more buys? Both wrestlers have a sizable Internet crowd and are known to be twitter savvy.
This past episode of Z: True Long Island Story featured a scene where the hashtag heel challenged Ryder to his Internet Championship, and the current self-awarded champ Ryder agreed. But what if the match actually had something besides a made-up belt on the line?
Ziggler is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the WWE, but hasn’t been able to capitalize on his skills with additional airtime. Although he was in the WWE title picture earlier this year, he was unable to gain the belt despite defeating CM Punk multiple times leading up to the Royal Rumble.
Ryder, on the other hand, has had a miserable 2011, seemingly demoted and embarrassed due to his feuds with Kane and the loss of his wannabe girlfriend Eve. Both Superstars have large enough fanbases to warrant a match on the card, even if it's not on the PPV.
Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara
A match between these two luchadors has been in the waiting since Sin Cara made his debut in 2011.
However, both of these competitors have been inactive due to serious injuries, with Mysterio also being suspended due to a substance violation.
With Mysterio reaching retirement age, this match needs to happen sooner rather than later, and WrestleMania would be the perfect stage to see a high-flying match between the two.
World Heavyweight Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton (c)
The WWE is currently pushing Cody Rhodes as one of their next huge Superstars, which has shown by his lengthy reign as the Intercontinental Champion. After losing the belt to Big Show at WM 28, he regained what was rightfully his at Extreme Rules.
I believe at some point in 2012, Rhodes will lose the secondary belt and begin a quest for Smackdown’s top title. I expect him to gain the WHC either at the Royal Rumble or at Elimination Chamber.
The Apex Predator remains one of the top draws in the company, and can always be expected to be in a main-event picture.
While Orton has had a difficult start to 2011 by being injured by Wade Barrett and losing to Kane at WM 28, he’s had a comeback of sorts by defeating the Big Red Machine at Extreme Rules and recently a tag team match in which he teamed with Big Show to defeat Rhodes and Kane.
His role has evolved from being a title threat to putting over newer stars, and I believe that his prior history with Rhodes would be a great starting point for a main-event feud set for WrestleMania 29.
A potential victory by Rhodes over Orton would continue his build to becoming one of the next big Superstars in the company.
Divas Championship, Beth Phoenix vs. Kharma (c):
While Kharma has yet to make her full-time return to the WWE stage, it has been widely speculated when she will actually grace the ring.
While Layla currently holds the Divas belt, rumor has it that this was done to set up a championship match between Kharma and the currently injured Beth Phoenix.
The WWE needs to bring life back to this belt, and by having legitimate wrestlers in the match would add excitement.
We're all intrigued to see what the WWE will do with the Divas division, and this seems all but likely at this point.
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
Although Michaels stated he wouldn’t return to the ring, there was considerable controversy with his return as a referee this past WrestleMania when he attempted to call the Triple H vs. Undertaker match fairly.
It was noted that Triple H wouldn’t be able to defeat the Deadman just like his former DX partner, who failed in his two attempts.
Triple H continues to show up at the Big 4 events, and I don’t believe he will stay away from the biggest show of them all. The trouble will be convincing Michaels to return, but he’s stayed in great shape and maybe a two-year break will be long enough to bring him back for one more historic match.
These two had some of the best in-ring chemistry, and if Michaels were to come back, I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to do it against his best friend.
C'mon, HBK, one more match, one more match!
CM Punk vs. 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin
The straight-edge superstar versus the beer drinking, Texas badass, who wouldn’t want to see this match?
Both wrestlers have hinted at a possible match on twitter, and it’s widely known that Austin believes that not only would Punk be a worthy opponent for WrestleMania, but that the Rattlesnake's return could outshine any other wrestler on the card.
Punk can’t carry the belt forever, as he’s already held it since Survivor Series, but after the success of his match against Jericho at WM 28, he needs to have a feature match in the Meadowlands as he’s the WWE’s No. 2 guy at the moment.
I'd expect some rust from Stone Cold, but at the same time, I think it could be the best match on the card and go down in WrestleMania history.
Tag Team Championship: Kofi Kingston/R-Truth (c) vs. Christian & Evan Bourne
I know, this is completely random. I wish I could say a match like Money in the Bank where multiple Superstars could perform, but it's highly unlikely due to the success of MitB being such a successful PPV in its own right.
I don't know how long Kofi & Truth will hold the title, but I did see them in a match when Raw came to LA back in February as part of the Raw Tour, more than two full months before they actually defeated Epico & Primo for the belt, so the WWE has been planning it for awhile.
Anyways, I always enjoyed the TLC matches, and the three-way matches back at WrestleMania 2000 & WM X-Seven where the Hardyz, the Dudleyz, and Edge & Christian put on impressive matches.
While no one is every likely to repeat those performances, the WWE has to put some life back into the tag team matches, and TLC is the perfect way of doing so.
So while I doubt Evan Bourne & Christian would ever become a team, it would be pretty awesome seeing them and Kofi in a TLC match due to their high-flying abilities and risky maneuvers. R-Truth would be no slouch, as I can see him going full force as well.
Intercontinental Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Chris Jericho
Who knows if Jericho will still be in the WWE come next April, but it would be awesome to see the nine-time Intercontinental Champion take on one of the best wrestlers in the world for the title.
Though Bryan is regarded as one of the best, there may not be a upper-echelon title for him to go after such as the WWE or WHC belt. By giving him the secondary title on Smackdown, viewers would still be able to watch him battle each week and allow him to showcase his abilities.
Jericho & Bryan have already shown off incredible chemistry due to their past matches on NXT, but Bryan deserves a vintage match at WrestleMania after his 18-second defeat to the Great White at WM 28.
Undertaker vs. Kane
Maybe they can send off the Deadman with a match against his brother. Looking at the available wrestlers, Undertaker has seemingly defeated everyone in his path.
If he plans to retire at 21-0, why not have him face his best adversary and give Kane one more WrestleMania match, let's see this a third time on the biggest stage! There's certainly had a long enough passage of time.
Though both wrestlers have slowed due to age, I believe they would still have insane chemistry and would be able to put on a high-quality match for this card. Kane has shown over the past few months that he's still a capable wrestler and decent athlete, while 'Taker is as big as a draw as anyone in the company.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. The Rock vs. John Cena
After the Rock’s defeat of Cena at WM 28, he proclaimed that he would remain with the company in his pursuit for the WWE Championship. Rumor has it that Lesnar will eventually take the belt off of current champion CM Punk, with the plan to have him lose it to The Rock at WM 29.
With no room for Cena, why not make it a triple-headed match? After the success of 28, why wouldn’t Vince want to one-up the previous year and add the “new face of the WWE” to the mix?
I know triple-headed matches aren’t usually don’t feature the most exciting wrestling, but if anyone could put together a memorable match, it would be these three. Brock’s contract also expires after WM 29, and McMahon may look to take the belt off of him right as he leaves.
I really don't see Cena going against Undertaker as that would be three straight losses for the company's top dog. Although we haven't seen Cena vs. 'Taker at a WrestleMania, that doesn't mean we have to. I would pay for this PPV based off this match alone (and I HATE paying for them).
Putting together a "Dream" Card is impossible, you'll have to leave main event stars out, especially if you bring back past stars (the path the WWE is currently on, all the past Superstars except for Stone Cold had a role in WM28).
How do guys like Sheamus or Wade Barrett factor in? Would Alberto Del Rio make it to the big stage? It always seems like Vince gives him big pushes.
Anyways, thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed and that these opinions will help spark some conversation.
You can follow me on twitter at @metta_colin