Ok, in my first Wrestlemania article I put forward my thoughts on the Smackdown brand. This time I'm going to deal with the "flagship" Raw brand and ECW. This is just my second article and again I'll welcome all feedback.
1. Cena vs. Orton
This is going to be the main event. I've seen rumours about Orton coming up against Stone Cold at Wrestlemania but I'll just address them quickly.
Austin (being my all-time favourite wrestler) has not competed in a match since Wrestlemania 19. (The last brilliant Mania in my eyes) Orton has just won the Royal Rumble and become embroiled in a feud with the McMahons. He's the top heel at the moment and if he was to face Austin in a match he'd have to go over.
Austin will win his last match, if he competes. It wouldn't make sense or be fair to Orton to take him out of the title picture at this stage. He is obviously being built up to be the major player in '09. A Wrestlemania match against anyone other than a legit competing superstar wouldn't do anything for his career at this stage. No doubt it would just take away from the Royal Rumble match also. The winner of the Rumble must (and I can't stress this enough) take part in the main event at the grand-daddy of them all.
Now to Cena, the champ. I'm not a hater of the guy but being honest I don't like the gimmick. I loved him as a heel but I understand why WWE made him the top guy over the last few years. He's a name and he's the safe bet to be in title picture. Jeff Hardy might be the only other guy who can beat him for popularity but we all know how Vince sticks to the big guys when it comes to big shows.
He can put on a good match and even though hes been very quiet on Raw lately he can no doubt deliver against Orton.
My overall personal gripe about the buildup to this match is the whole McMahon situation. Orton should be at Cena's throat, not looking weak to Shane O Mac.
Think about it—the past manias were great because the build-up was set out so clear: the top heel and the top face putting it all on the line for the top prize in the sport. Of course storylines make it interesting but not when they stop these two superstars going at each other.
Basically I'm just saying that the week after the Rumble, Orton should have addressed Cena, not the McMahon family.
2. Legacy vs. Miz and Morrision
Argubly two of WWE brightest hopes. I like the guys though I feel they're not being used to their best. They need to go after the tag-team titles. After all that's what wrestling's all about.
Leaving them in the last stages of the Rumble showed that WWE aren't afraid to put them out on the grand stage. They get heat and I feel a feud with them could turn Miz and Morrison face.
Miz and Morrison are the apple of ECW's eye. (When they're on the show.) They have no doubt similarities with Edge and Christian of old and I feel these guys could go the same way of the aforementioned. I only see them going two ways, either face or splitting the guys up.
However, coming so close to Wrestlemania, setting this match up could be a gamble. The younger fans not might buy this match but I've no doubt it would do the tag-team division good.
Oh and keep Legacy out of the main-event bout. Just ban them from ringside, simple.
3. JBL and Micheals
I'm not different to the other marks. I can't stand JBL; he's a horrible worker. I don't know why he's even with the company, let alone main event calibre.
(On another random note, Ron Simmons was one of my favourite wrestlers, even though he never quite got what he deserved)
Micheals, what can we say about Micheals? He hasn't won a world title in years yet he still puts on top-rate matches at almost every PPV. I feared that he's wasted his spot on the card with JBL but after the No Way Out match I'm not 100 percent sure what he could get up to.
Forget Undertaker. If HBK were to take on someone from Smackdown I'd love it to be Jeff Hardy. This would be a classic if the build-up were right (and HBK made the well overdue heel turn).
Anyway, who knows what could happen? I know I've dodged this badly but I'm really confused. Undertaker appearing on Raw next week could possibly set it up for a HBK/JBL/Deadman feud.
Either way JBL, Micheals, and Wrestlemania should not be mentioned in the same sentence.
4. Jericho, Kofi, Kane, CM Punk, Rey, Knox
Money in the bank could be interesting. I doubt CM Punk is going to defend the Intercontinental title at Mania. I think WWE will go with Shelton vs. MVP for the U.S. title.
Jericho is in limbo at the moment and hopefully he's back in the title picture soon. Don't give him Rourke; give him Kofi and 20 minutes and it'll both please the fans and establish Kofi as a real main event superstar.
Rey and Knox don't deserve a spot on the card because I think this feud is really just a time-filler. But maybe a returning Evan Bourne could bring a nice addition to this match.
Kane, what can I say? Heel, face, heel, face. Give him a storyline with some substance or have him return to the brooding monster we all remember.
5. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer
OK, I don't watch ECW. I can't get it where I live.
Swagger in my eyes is a great competer. Maybe he was a bit "CM Punked" but I like wrestlers with amateur backgrounds and who knows what the future holds for him. He can also work the mic well and that smug smile he always sports is a nice touch to his personality.
Talks about Dreamer and retirement have popped up a few times in the past. I think Dreamer deserves an ECW title at Wrestlemania. He's an original and probably the only link ECW have now with the EC(F'N)W of past. It would be nice to see him get this in the latter stage of his career.
Swagger is going to beat Finlay at No Way Out. He's going to become a top name in WWE in the future. I'm not too upset about this because, as I said, I think the guy can do a good job and put on a good match.