I just saw WWE's pre-Wrestlemania PPV "No Way Out", and I have to say I am a little shocked...in a good way.
Two major swerves involving both major titles could mean an unpredictable card for the Biggest Showcase of wrestling—probably the biggest Wrestling PPV ever!
I'm sure you all know by now that Edge lost his WWE Championship after he was eliminated in the first Elimination Chamber match of the night by virtue of a quick inside cradle pin after a failed spear attempt unto the extreme Jeff Hardy, and later weaseled into the World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber match by viciously attacking Kofi Kingston on his way to the ring, and taking his spot in the match up much to the distaste of Rey Mysterio. Edge ended up eliminating his final chamber-mate, Rey Mysterio, after a brutal contest to claim his newest reign as the New World Heavyweight Champion.
Some are still wondering the validity of Edge's reign, if he should've even been allowed to participate considering he is a SmackDown Superstar, and he is the man who took out Kofi Kingston and robbed him of his opportunity to compete for the title. Many will probably claim that he doesn't deserve the gold and that he should be stripped of the title. I really don't see that happening, after all Edge is the Rated-R Superstar so he is no stranger to controversy.
The real question is—where will they go from here?
The question on everyone's mind is "Who will face Orton At WrestleMania XXV?"
Quite frankly, I'd like to know myself...Orton had a good tune up match with Shane McMahon at No Way Out which saw both participants reveal their sadistic natures. Although Orton put Shane down with an RKO, Shane left Randy with the taste of his own blood, as Orton staggered out of the arena after the carnage.
There are two possible scenarios that could play out at WrestleMania...
Randy Orton v Triple H for the WWE Title
Randy Orton v Edge for the World Heavyweight Title
Now, Orton v Triple H was a very intense rivalry throughout the latter part of 2007 to 2008 when Triple H finally dethroned Orton and even put Orton out of commission till Survivor Series, following a grueling rematch for the WWE title in which Triple H retained and in the process injured Orton's chest plate.
You could say Orton might have a bone to pick with the King of Kings, especially considering the 2008 Draft saw Triple H take the WWE titile to Smackdown, ruining any chances for revenge for Orton. Not to mention Orton still has the bitter taste from his original falling out with Triple H as a member of Evolution, as Triple H turned on him and kicked Orton out in a swift betrayl which left the door open for Triple H to claim the World Heavyweight Title from Orton—who was fresh off his victory over the previous reigning champ Chris Benoit.
He might take his chance to get Triple H, and take his Title back to Raw on the Grandest Stage Of Them All—Wrestlemania 25! Sounds good right? Well at least I think so, it is a Main-Event worthy match.
Now what about scenario No. 2? Edge vs Orton would be a very impressive match up. Two young, experienced, and relentless heels going head to head...there was even a time when Edge and Orton had each other's back, Rated RKO, united to take down D-Generation X.
Shortly afterwards, both men became champs in their respective brands. Babyfaces have John Cena and Batista, their the heel equivalents—Randy Orton and Edge!
The question is will this make a good main event? Unlike Triple H and Orton, Edge and Randy Orton don't have an extensive history, and many fans will might see this as a purely athletic match-up, with no drama.
It is true the Edge and Orton have had their differences—I'm reminded of a time when Edge was still a face on Raw and he was fighting the dominant force of Evolution which still included Orton, and he made it a mission to end Orton's near year long Intercontinental Championship reign—but it has been a long time since, and both men have changed their personas and in ring savy since then.
Could this be an opportunity for either one of the men to turn face? But who is the less of the two evils? Who would the fans rather see as a face?
There is a possible third scenario which might play out if the first two don't. I didn't feel the need to elaborate earlier because, let's be honest, the WWE is playing this hand very close to the chest, and they don't want to give away the Main-Event card for WrestleMania just yet.
But there might be the off chance that Orton would not be involved in a Championship match at all...facing instead someone sent to physically punish Orton for the assaults on the McMahons, maybe somebody hand picked by Stephanie McMahon. Triple H might be a possibility which would make a storyline that comes full circle (see scenario No. 1 for more details).
Or it might turn out that instead he has to share his opportunity with the likes of John Cena, Myserio—hell maybe even Kofi Kingston since he took him out at No Way Out—against Edge if he can hold on to the title till Wrestlemania, making it a Triple-Threat or Fatal Four-Way. The truth is I don't really know how I see this playing out.
Okay, enough with the head scratching about Orton's fate.
Speaking of fate—what will happen as far as Hardy's? What new twists await this sibling rivalry? I foresee a Hardy vs Hardy match at WM 25, not sure to what lengths they will go, or if they will reveal who was behind the sabotage attempts on Jeff Hardy Prior to The Royal Rumble, or who indeed attacked him in his hotel the night of Survivor Series which gave Edge an opportunity to become the WWE champ in late 2008.
I'm personally hoping for a ladder match, or something of that caliber, but any match with these two will be gold. So, no unnecessary twists are needed to make this worth watching.
Another match that has been hyped up in the previous weekes is Chris Jericho vs Hall of Famer Ric Flair. This is purely a way to keep Jericho out of the title picture, and have him make way for bigger heels like Orton or Edge (although his talent is undeniable and a great heel in his own right), or maybe this is a stepping stone for another comeback by Ric Flair, and who better to have it with then the 2008 Slammy award winning Superstar of the Year.
Flair ended his WWE career with HBK, and he might hope to re-ignite it with a victory over the man who had HBK's number (and vice versa) for most of 2008—Chris Jericho.
For a minute there I was worried we'd have another publicity stunt like Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. when Jericho was calling out Mickey Rouke, but I think I can see Rouke coming out as Flair's manager, special referee, special enforcer, or even announcer for this match. Whatever the case, worth watching, whether you're a Flair fan, Jericho fan, or if you just want to see two professionals do what they do best.
United States Title match Shelton Benjamin vs MVP
This match is going to happen, and it might as well take place at WM 25, the build up has been steady for the last couple of weeks so do not be surprised to see this on the card.
Money in the Bank
Something you can always count on when talking about WM 25, the question is who will be on the list? I think Kane, The Miz & Morrison, Kofi Kingston, The Colon Brothers, CM punk, Umaga, Mr. Kennedy, R-Truth, Chavo Guerrero, Mike Knox, William Regal, Finaly, Vladimir Kozlov and the Big Show are a good pool of talent to pull from, and any combination of these men might make it to WM 25. I'm looking forward to this match, and to the preliminary matches that will decide who will make it to MITB ladder match at WM25 that will probably start ASAP.
Jack Swagger vs Christian for the ECW Championship, this match is bound to happen because everyone is waiting for Christian's triumphant return to the WWE. What better way to cement it than by defeating Swagger, who came out of nowhere really, and take his ECW title and boosting some ratings for the Sci-Fi based brand in the process.
Here are a couple of things I'm not to clear on yet:
Specifically, what role they will play in WM25. I'm thinking of a rematch between Beth Phoenix and Melina for the Women's Championship, or maybe a grudge match between Michelle McCool and Maria or Eve. Maybe they'll have a Diva Battle Royal or something, with the winning diva winning a match against their choice of either Women's Champion or Diva's Champion later on in the night.
I'm not sure but I'm certain the WWE will clear it up prior to WM25.
Whoever doesn't face Orton...who will Triple H fight if Orton does not challenge him, I'm guessing maybe a Triple H vs Undertaker match, No Way Out was a perfect build-up for a match like that, maybe even turning one of them into a heel afterwards (my money is on Triple H cause he is just so good as a heel).
Who will Edge face if Orton doesn't challenge him? Maybe a John Cena vs Edge match, or a Mysterio vs Edge match, or maybe a Triple Threat: Edge vs Cena vs Mysterio, or maybe somebody else will get a shot?
What will be next for HBK and JBL
Will there be a rematch at WM25? Will JBL exact a measure of revenge? Maybe they will get thrown into the fray of the title hunt against Edge, or maybe even participate in the Money in the Bank Ladder match....
I'm not sure if I've overlooked anything, or anyone...with WM25 so close it'll be hard to be able to put my finger on anything, but that's how I see things working out. Whatever the case I will definitely enjoy watching the build up and waiting to see how it plays out.