The Rock: The Once and Future Champion. Book It.
In a previous article, I wrote about how I think WWE has had plans for this upcoming WrestleMania pay per view. It generated quite a few responses (87 at the time of writing), including a lot of speculation about what else may happen leading up to WrestleMania.
I believe I have a strong indication for what will happen leading up to WWE's biggest event of the year. So if you're not interested in speculation, stop reading here.
I believe that, if done correctly, the WWE can have a "dream card." There are so many storylines simmering right now that, if ignited all at once, can lead to one hell of a pay per view, one that could be discussed for a decade or more. I want to focus on 4 matches I believe are guaranteed to happen, and one that may happen. These matches will be at the top of the card, creating the best WrestleMania in a long time, and maybe even ever.
These matches are as follows:
- Undertaker vs. Unknown (I'll explain later).
- Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar II.
- CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.
- Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship.
- The Rock vs. Cena II for the WWE Championship.
I know you're probably thinking: how the hell are these matches going to happen?, Well, allow me the time, and I will explain each match, and how it happens.
1. Undertaker vs. Unknown
The reason I believe this match will happen is because the WWE wants to run up 'Taker's streak. And if we don't see him in The Meadowlands, we likely won't see Undertaker until Wrestlemania XXX. I personally believe he will fight a heel Orton or the Big Show, and the match will be a quick match (5-7 minutes) in the middle of the card. This match won't be as important this year, so it will not be hyped as much.
Because of Undertaker's health, this is the one match on my list I can easily see not happening.
Will Rock vs Cena II Happen at WrestleMania XXIX?
2. Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar II
Triple H and Brock Lesnar had a brutal match at SummerSlam. Lesnar won. But he insulted Triple H's family, questioned his abilities, and (supposedly) ended his career. Triple H will want revenge. Since there is no guarantee Lesnar will be around after WrestleMania, this is the last guaranteed chance to get that rematch.
It would be a fantastic way to blow off that feud and let Triple H finally retire after one last WrestleMania win.
3. CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Here's where these matches, and the run-up to them, get interesting.
As we all know, Punk believes he's "The Best in the World". He keeps name-dropping Austin, and we'll come back to this. I am convinced that CM Punk will retain his championship at TLC, meaning he'll walk into the Royal Rumble to face The Rock, having held his title for 434 days. That total surpasses Cena, and will further inflate Punk's ego.
Punk has major beef with The Rock, calling him "Dwayne" and constantly complaining about how he and Cena are what's wrong with wrestling. As such, Punk and Rock need to have a match, and it will be at the Royal Rumble. At the Rumble, I firmly believe The Rock will defeat CM Punk and win the WWE Championship. The Rock won't lose that title, and will walk into WrestleMania XXIX as the WWE Champion.
Punk will be upset (obviously) and begin taking out his frustration on the usual suspects: Jerry Lawler, various backstage reporters, and most importantly, Good Ol' JR. Seeing JR and Austin are good friends, repeated harassment of JR by Punk will eventually lead to a Rattlesnake appearance, and a match will be set for WrestleMania.
4. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship
This match will take place because WWE needs to get a title on Ryback, and Ziggler will have cashed in his Money in the Bank contract by then. If I were to guess, Orton will feud with Big Show, winning the Big Gold Belt at the Royal Rumble.
Ziggler will cash in between the Rumble and the end of Elimination Chamber, giving him at least six weeks with the title. With the WWE title busy, WWE will need to do something big with Ryback. That big thing will be having Ryback win the World Heavyweight Championship over Dolph Ziggler.
The match will showcase two of the better up-and-coming wrestlers in WWE. And if Ryback can get to a level a lot of people think he can get, this is the perfect springboard. Ryback can have a championship, Ziggler can chase, and it will allow Ryback to hold on to a major championship until the WWE title picture clears up.
So how does this even come to pass? Simple: Ryback will win the 2013 Royal Rumble, giving him the option to choose which title to chase. He'll choose Ziggler whenever he becomes champion. Ziggler will walk into Wrestlemania as World Heavyweight Champion, and Ryback will walk out with that title.
5. The Rock vs John Cena II for the WWE Championship
This is the match of the century that lots of fans don't ever want to see happen. But it will, and here's why.
The Rock will defeat CM Punk at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship, and retain it at Elimination Chamber (if he even defends it there). Cena will let The Rock know they have unfinished business, and Cena will somehow win or gain a rematch (maybe in a number one contender Elimination Chamber match).
This rematch is the biggest rematch in WrestleMania history, or at least that will be how WWE will promote it. Rock will be in his tenth world title reign (2 time WCW and now 8 time WWE Champion). John Cena will be going for his 13th world title reign (2 World Heavyweight and currently 10 time WWE Champion).
That thirteenth reign would tie him with Triple H, second only to Ric Flair with 16 world title reigns. This would be a huge accomplishment, would place Cena by default in the upper echelon of wrestlers, and he would have to be recognized as one of the most successful wrestlers who has ever lived.
On top of that, losing to The Rock is currently the one big "failure" on Cena's resume. He's literally done everything else. Beating Rock in the WrestleMania main event will cement Cena in wrestling history.
It will also be a nice cap on an incredibly successful career. Cena will be 36 just weeks after WrestleMania, and his workload is starting to take its toll. He's slowing down, and I would bet that after this WrestleMania, he won't be in the WWE title picture much longer. That's why he'll beat The Rock and win his thirteenth world title.
Having Rock walk into 'Mania as champion also makes a ton of sense. Fast 6 will be coming out just weeks before WrestleMania. Rock will be making talk show appearances, showing up on TMZ, and will walk the red carpet in Hollywood, all with the WWE Championship slung over his shoulder. This exposure provides exactly what Vince McMahon craves: mainstream media coverage and free publicity.
This match alone will outsell last years WrestleMania, and likely every other wrestling pay per view ever.
These five matches will give WrestleMania XXIX a "dream card," and I firmly believe we will see every one of these matches, except the Undertaker match, which will depend on his health. Regardless of what you think about these matches, or how much you disagree, WWE will not pass on Rock vs. Cena II for the WWE Championship. CM Punk and/or Ryback WILL NOT be in that rematch: it is way too important to water down with more wrestlers.
Rock vs. Cena II WILL happen. That is a guarantee. What is also a guarantee is that if this card happens, and believe it will, it has the opportunity to be the biggest WrestleMania ever. WWE won't pass up this that opportunity.