With the road to WrestleMania 29 kicking off this Sunday at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, I got to thinking of all the potential outcomes of the event. Unlike any other year, this year's show of shows seems to be completely unpredictable, as it seems even the dirt sheets are out of the loop of what matches to expect.
A year ago, we were fully aware that we were getting John Cena vs. The Rock in the main event of WrestleMania 28, so everything else seemed to fall in place around that blockbuster bout. However, anything is bound to happen this time around, with many matches and returns being rumored for WrestleMania 29.
With this Sunday being the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, I thought it'd only be appropriate to construct a WrestleMania 29 dream card with all the matches I hope to see on the grandest stage of them all. Keep in mind that most of these matches are far from actually happening this year, but this is just how I would book the show if I was a part of WWE's creative team.
Once it was announced that Sin Cara had signed with WWE in March 2011, rumors ran rampant as to how Sin Cara's arrival would affect Rey Mysterio's place in the company. Of course, a dream match between the two was the first thing that came to everyone's mind upon hearing that Cara was coming to WWE, with all signs pointing to it coming to fruition at WrestleMania 28.
Unfortunately, due to severe injuries sustained by both men, neither lucha libre star was back in time for the event. However, it wasn't until this past summer that the two finally joined forces and put themselves in contention for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
It was strongly believed that the formation of their tandem was done to build towards a match between the two at WrestleMania 29, which still could be in the works despite the fact they're both currently written out of storylines. Instead of having one of them turn heel, just have Mysterio and Cara face one another out of respect, similar to Mysterio's match with Eddie Guerrero in the opening slot of WrestleMania 21.
We've been waiting nearly two years to see this match happen on the grandest stage of them all, and seems like this year might finally be the year.
The history between Kaitlyn and AJ Lee goes back all the way to late 2010, when the two were rookies on the third season of NXT. Although AJ came in third and Kaitlyn ultimately won the competition, AJ was granted a Divas contract in May 2011, where the two reunited as the Chickbusters.
They worked alongside each other for the remainder of 2011 before AJ became involved with Daniel Bryan. After WrestleMania 28, Bryan dumped AJ and she retaliated by venting her anger on Kaitlyn in a very physical fashion.
Their friendship was never the same after that, as AJ went on to become the Raw General Manager while Kaitlyn pursued the Divas Championship. The dynamic Divas had various run-ins over the course of 2012, but it was just last month that AJ ambushed Kaitlyn backstage after the "crazy chick" had aligned with Dolph Ziggler.
On the 20th anniversary of Raw, Kaitlyn finally captured the Divas Championship in her hometown of Houston. Who's stopping AJ from winning her first Divas title in her home state of New Jersey come WrestleMania 29?
While this might not be the most appealing match on paper, hear me out for just a moment.
On the July 27, 2009 edition of Monday Night Raw, Shaquille O'Neal served as the night's special guest host (remember when that was still a weekly thing?). In the main event pitting Jeri-Show vs. Cryme Tyme, Shaq played the role of special guest enforcer, getting physical with Show before the show concluded.
That one spot with Show garnered more attention from ESPN and other news outlets than anything else Raw did that year. It was heavily rumored for awhile that the two would face off at WrestleMania at some point, but Shaq's spring training would always prevent it from happening.
The rumors ran rampant once again last year, but WWE.com went even as far as to confirm themselves that Shaq wouldn't be appearing at the event despite what he had claimed. We ended up getting Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship instead at WrestleMania 28, which was a snoozer of a match.
I understand that the match wouldn't be anything spectacular, but it makes sense and is 10 times better than bringing in reality stars hardly anyone cares for in Snooki and Maria Menounos. Not only that, but Shaq's hometown is Newark, NJ, which isn't too far from the site of WrestleMania 29.
Besides, Show has history with facing celebrities on the grandest stage of them all, having lost to Akebono and Floyd "Money" Mayweather at past WrestleMania events.
Participants: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Brad Maddox, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Kane.
After three long years, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match finally returns to WrestleMania 29, or at least as far as my dream booking goes. Most of these individuals are guys I couldn't fit anywhere else on the card, so that's why it might appear a bit random.
Regardless, the Money in the Bank experience from Del Rio, Kingston, Christian, who Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports is due back from injury soon (h/t wrestlinginc.com) and Kane would certainly make this match extremely entertaining. As for The Shield and Maddox, they're newcomers who have proven in recent months that they're more than capable of holding their own in the ring and when it all matters most.
I don't have a winner in mind for this bout, which I guess would make it that much more unpredictable. There have been reports (via ewrestlingnews.com) indicating the Money in the Bank Ladder match might be returning home this year, so don't be surprised to see it occur if it does make its long awaited comeback to the show of shows.
Since joining forces this past fall, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow have been an absolute brilliant pairing. They weren't going anywhere as singles competitors at the time, so having the two team up and chase the WWE Tag Team Championship was the next best thing.
After losing to Team Hell No a number of times in recent months, I fully expect Team Rhodes Scholars to win tag titles on Sunday at the Royal Rumble. From there, I'd book them to defend the straps at WrestleMania 29, but against who?
We've seen them face The Usos and the team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara numerous times, so a new pairing must rise to challenge the champs, or rather a team consisting of two familiar faces.
It's been reported that John Morrison might be appearing in Sunday's Royal Rumble match. While a full-time return to the company may not be in the cards right now, what better way to have him return with a bang than having him reunite with his former friend, The Miz?
Before their partnership went sour in April 2009, the Dirt Sheet Duo was one of the most successful tag teams in modern history with their reigns as WWE and World Tag Team Champions respectively. Having them reunite as fan favorites this time around could make the tag division extremely interesting.
Since capturing the title at SummerSlam, Antonio Cesaro has become one of the most dominant United States Champions in recent memory. He's successfully retained his star-spangled prize at every pay-per-view since the biggest party of the summer, which is exactly why I expect him to soundly defeat The Miz in the Royal Rumble pre-show on Sunday.
The U.S. Championship hasn't been defended at WrestleMania since WrestleMania 23 in 2007, but if Cesaro can hold the title until this year's show of shows, I have hope that will change. Cesaro has restored some lost prestige in the title since winning it, so what better way to solidify the resurrection of the belt than having it on the line at WrestleMania 29?
As for who challenges the Swiss sensation, there's plenty of options. You could have Christian return and target Cesaro for putting him on the shelf back in August, or you could have Jack Swagger return and go back for the title he once held.
While those would both be excellent matches, I'd love to see Daniel Bryan compete for the U.S. title against Cesaro. The two have a storied history in Ring of Honor, as well as the fact that the matchup itself would be absolutely phenomenal.
After losing the tag titles at Royal Rumble, I hope to see Bryan embark on a singles run once again that doesn't involved him feuding with Kane for the 100th time.
Although Wade Barrett belongs in the World Heavyweight Championship picture, I was glad to see him capture the Intercontinental Championship on the New Year's Eve edition of Raw a few weeks back. Like Cesaro, I surely hope he defends the title on the grandest stage of them all, as it could be just the boost the belt needs at this point.
There's not much of a mid-card at the moment, so Barrett is a bit short on challengers for his I.C. title. Regardless, there's only one man who comes to mind that could make an Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania 29 feel worth watching: William Regal.
While Regal has stepped back from in-ring competition in recent year, he still wrestles from time to time, with his most recent televised match being against Big Show on Raw in November. He clashed with Wade Barrett in tag team action on SmackDown in England that same month, which got the wheels turning in my head.
Since Regal has yet to have that one last defining matchup, why not have it be against Barrett? It could be a passing of the torch in the sense that Barrett is the next big British star to break through the glass ceiling match in WWE.
Making it a Title vs. Career matchup would undoubtedly raise the stakes, thus making it one of the most must-see Intercontinental title matches in recent memory.
Upon Brock Lesnar's shocking return to WWE in April 2012, the possibilities were endless in regards to how many dream matches we could finally see come to fruition. One Superstar I've always wanted Lesnar to lock up with is Sheamus, as there are many more similarities between the two than one would think.
Less than six months following his WWE debut in 2009, Sheamus won his first WWE Championship by defeating the company's biggest star in John Cena. Lesnar accomplished a similar feat in his debut year of 2002, as he quickly rose to the top by defeating The Rock in the main event of SummerSlam to win his first WWE title.
Not only that, but Lesnar and Sheamus have both won Royal Rumble and King of the Ring tournaments within their first few years in WWE. They're two of the most feared and resilient competitors of their respective eras, which is exactly why an all-out brawl between the two would be highly desired.
I realize Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a SummerSlam rematch at WrestleMania 29 makes much more sense, but come on, who honestly wants to see that match again? You'll notice I haven't included Triple H in my ideal Mania card, as I wish to give him the year off to sell his "in-ring retirement" as legitimate.
With a Randy Orton heel turn in the works, who better to have him solidify his villainous status than one of the most over faces in the company today in Ryback?
While Orton's face turn worked well at first, it's grown incredibly stale in recent years and he's most definitely due for a change in character. A heel turn would do just the trick, but it's all about how the switch from face to heel is approached.
If the heel turn isn't executed properly, than the turn will be considered a failure before it even begins.
As of late, Ryback has come to the aid of Orton to fend off The Shield, which could very well be setting the stage for a confrontation between the two on the grandest stage of them all. Not only is it a fresh match, but allowing Ryback to go over The Viper at WrestleMania 29 would give him the credibility he needs to be seen as a major player on the main event scene.
The buildup for this bout would be simple: You have Randy Orton turn his back on Ryback as well as the WWE Universe within the next few months. From there, you have Big Hungry start chanting "Feed Me More-ton!" and you've got yourself a high-profile matchup at the show of shows.
Dolph Ziggler has had quite the career since re-debuting under his latest moniker in September 2008, but it wasn't until last July that he took the next step towards the top when he won the SmackDown Money in the Bank briefcase. Since then, Ziggler has scored victories over a number of established stars, including Chris Jericho.
Shortly after winning the opportunistic briefcase, Ziggler entered a feud with Jericho, where he got the better of Y2J more often than not. The two faced off in the opening bout of SummerSlam, where Jericho emerged victorious.
The next night on Raw, Ziggler bounced back from the embarrassing loss by defeating Jericho in a Briefcase vs. Career match, where he sent the inaugural undisputed champion packing. Jericho ambushed the bleached-blonde Superstar following the bout and we haven't seen him on WWE television since.
I realize Chris Jericho entering this year's Royal Rumble match is a long shot, but I'd personally love to see him return to win the annual bout and go on to face Ziggler in a rubber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 29. Of course, this would have to mean that Ziggler would successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase in the next two months.
Before you start spamming me with "Once in a Lifetime" comments, let's face the facts: WWE drew astronomical numbers with John Cena vs. The Rock at WrestleMania 28, and you know they'd do another to have lightning strike twice at WrestleMania 29.
As long as John Cena vs. The Rock II is built correctly going into this year's show of shows, I'll have absolutely no problem with the rematch between the two.
During the Royal Rumble match on Sunday, Cena would come close to winning it all, but would get inevitably eliminated. Realizing he won't be able to headline WrestleMania 29, Cena would go absolutely berserk, similar to HBK's actions at 2010's Royal Rumble event.
Later in the night, Cena could either intentionally or unintentionally (doesn't really matter) cost The Rock the WWE Championship, thus leading Rock to challenge Cena to a rematch at WrestleMania 29. Rather than resorting to unfunny jokes, Cena could develop more of an edge to his character this time around, but not necessarily turn heel.
Since Rock won last year, I'd expect Cena to go over in their inevitable rematch, but I'd be perfectly fine with that. Again, I'm not the biggest supporter of seeing another match between the two, but if it's going to happen, that's how I'd want to see it come about.
Similar to The Rock vs. John Cena, this is another matchup that's been heavily rumored for the WrestleMania 29 card that I wouldn't mind seeing actually occur. Sure, one can argue that we've seen this match before (see: late 2009), but it would have a whole new feel to it over three years later given CM Punk's evolution in character since then.
As stated in the previous slide, I'd like to see CM Punk shock the world by successfully retaining his WWE Championship against The Rock this Sunday at Royal Rumble. From there, Punk would continue his "respect" talk until being challenged by The Undertaker to a title match at WrestleMania 29.
Essentially, this would make for a monumental matchup with CM Punk's near 500-day streak as WWE Champion on the line against Undertaker's near 20-year undefeated streak at WrestleMania. The styles of Punk and Taker would mesh nicely and make for an extraordinary match, but of course, there's no way Punk would be the one to end the storied streak.
After becoming WWE Champion for the first time in over a decade at WrestleMania 29, Taker would proceed to relinquish the title the next night on Raw and announce his retirement from the ring. Even if he didn't retire, I'd still have him vacate the strap regardless.
Over the next month, a tournament would be held to crown a new WWE Champion, eventually culminating on the 50th anniversary of the prestigious prize, which just so happens to fall on the April 29 edition of Raw.
As previously stated, all of the listed matches are based purely off of my opinion and what I'd love to see at WrestleMania 29. While some of these bouts have a slight chance of happening, most of the matches will more than likely not occur at the actual event, but that's the beauty of constructing a dream card.
Of course, we'll never know for sure what's in store for the spring spectacle until after the Royal Rumble on Sunday, an event I, for one, am extremely excited for. From there, the road to WrestleMania will begin and all the matches on the card should start to take form.
Does one of these bouts not belong? Are there any other matches you'd like to see come to fruition at WrestleMania 29?
Drop a comment below with bouts you'd like to witness this April in New Jersey, as well as your thoughts on my suggested card. As always, your criticism and overall feedback of my piece is greatly appreciated.
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