7 Matches That Need to Happen at WrestleMania 29
The WWE's biggest pay-per-view of 2013, WrestleMania 29, is only five weeks away, but there's still a whole lot of uncertainty about the show's card.
The only two matches announced so far are the long-expected rematch between The Rock and John Cena, this time with the WWE Championship on the line, and Alberto Del Rio defending the World Heavyweight Championship against the controversial Jack Swagger.
We can also count on seeing Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in a rematch from SummerSlam 2012, but beyond that, no other matches have been blatantly set up as of yet.
Being that this is the WWE's most must-see event of the year, however, it's safe to say that we're likely going to see another six or seven matches in addition to the ones announced so far.
But with plenty of top stars still a little unsure of what they'll be doing on the grandest stage of them all, exactly what will those matches look like?
Here are seven realistic matches that should take place at WrestleMania 29.
7. United States Championship: The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro (c)
I'm usually not a big fan of seeing a match we've already seen a handful of times at WrestleMania, but the WWE has chosen to keep this feud between Antonio Cesaro and The Miz going, and it's been surprisingly enjoyable.
Although The Miz hasn't fully adjusted to being a babyface yet, he performs very well in the ring as a good guy, and he's developed some solid chemistry with Cesaro.
This rivalry has gone on for a couple of months now, and while The Miz and Cesaro have already wrestled quite a few matches, their last bout, a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the United States title, ended in controversy when Cesaro held Miz's tights to retain the title.
That leads me to believe that the WWE plans to stretch this feud out until WrestleMania, and that seems to be the best option for both guys at this point.
It's probably too late to build up another legitimate rivalry in time for Mania for either guy anyway, so why not have them face other one more time?
Cesaro and The Miz have built up a nice little rivalry here, and with the screwy finish on last week's SmackDown, the stage is now set for that rivalry to come to a climax on the biggest PPV of the year.
The Miz vs. Cesaro, possibly with some sort of No DQ stipulation, could be a nice undercard bout that highlights the often-forgotten US Championship.
6. WWE Tag Team Championship: Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
It's become pretty clear that the sun has set on Team Hell No and it's time to break up the WWE's top tag team.
It's time for the WWE to grant Bryan's wish.
With the mounting tension between Team Hell No, the two seemed destined to face off soon. But with no viable contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship these days, here's an idea: Why not have them go one-on-one with the winner winning the titles and then getting to choose a new partner?
We all remember the "I'm the tag team champions!" angle these two had, so the WWE could play up the idea that the winner of this match will, in fact, be the team team champions.
Kane and Bryan need to break up soon in some way or another, so facing off for the belts at WrestleMania could be a way to split up this duo without necessarily having to turn either guy heel.
The end result would likely be Kane winning the straps and choosing a new tag team partner down the road while Bryan moves on to something "more serious," like perhaps the World title scene.
5. Money in the Bank (or Something Like It)
Judging by the "build" to WrestleMania so far, it's looking like a lot of talented midcarders are going to either get stuck in a crappy, forgettable match or even be left off the card altogether.
After all, there are no clear-cut feuds lined up for guys like Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Kofi Kingston and a slew of other stars who more than deserve to be on the biggest PPV of the year.
That's why it's absolutely imperative that the WWE come up with some type of multi-man match, other than your standard battle royal, that gets a number of these deserving talents on the card.
There are several ways to do this, but a few possible options are the return of the Money in the Bank match (which would please a lot of fans), a Championship Scramble (or something similar) for the Intercontinental Championship or some sort of elimination tag team match.
The bottom line is that the WWE shouldn't leave so many great talents off the main card, so a match that features six, eight or 10 people could easily solve that problem.
The only thing is, the WWE needs to make a match like this serve some kind of purpose. No one's really going to benefit from it if nothing's on the line.
If, let's say, a title shot or a midcard title hangs in the balance, however, the WWE could suddenly create considerably more interest in the WrestleMania undercard.
4. The Shield vs. Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show
The Shield has been a pleasure to watch so far, but the biggest issue with the group is that it always competes as a trio and three-on-three matches can easily be overdone if we see them too much.
Still, it's doubtful that the WWE will have The Shield compete in anything but a three-on-three match at WrestleMania, so now, the creative team must decide which three stars face the former NXT studs.
The Shield has already defeated Team Hell No, Ryback, Sheamus, Chris Jericho and John Cena thus far, so any trio that faces them is going to have to rival the star power of those aforementioned guys.
Based on what happened on last week's SmackDown, it looks like the latest star-studded trio that The Shield may face could be Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show.
That's certainly a formidable group to try to take down The Shield, and it presents a lot of interesting possible ways for the match to play out.
Big Show should absolutely not turn babyface again, but he could still wind up on the team opposing The Shield to give this match an interesting twist.
Big Show siding with Orton and Sheamus could lead to a number of interesting scenarios such as Show turning on his own team, walking out on them, etc.
Show doesn't seem to have any other feud lined up, and after a great 2012 (and beginning of 2013), he deserves to have a decent spot on the main card.
Throw him in there with two other directionless big-named stars in Sheamus and Orton, and see what happens. At the very least, this would be another powerful trio that could put over The Shield in a major way.
3. Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Ryback has been battling The Shield on-and-off for the last several months, so it's certainly a possibility that he finds himself involved in a match with the trio at WrestleMania.
But there's an even better way to have Ryback regain his momentum after a really rough three months: Have him take down the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry.
As of now, Henry doesn't really have much of a WrestleMania feud lined up, and being that he's in his 40s now, he can afford to put over a rising star as he nears the end of his career.
Ryback could use the rub more than just about anybody.
Once pushed as an unstoppable beast, Ryback has lost big match after big match lately, and he needs a signature win if the WWE wants to help him get back on track and truly push him as a legitimate top babyface.
Henry has been booked to be a dominant monster since returning after the Royal Rumble, so anyone who beats him straight up in a singles match is going to look really good when he does so.
The man to do that should be Ryback.
Give these two behemoths a short WrestleMania match that ends when Ryback has a major "WrestleMania moment" by hoisting Henry up on his shoulders and giving him a colossal Shell Shocked in ridiculously impressive fashion.
Just like that, Ryback starts to regain some of the momentum that he's lost after a bad stretch of losses. Meanwhile, Henry gets a much-deserved spot on the WrestleMania card.
2. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
It's very odd that so many of the WWE's top stars have no real direction when it's so close to WrestleMania.
Two of those directionless stars are Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler, who seemed to reignite their rivalry when Y2J returned at the Royal Rumble only for it to quickly fizzle away.
With no real feud lined up for either guy at the moment, however, it would be relatively easy for the WWE to simply pick back up on this rivalry and give us Ziggler vs. Jericho at WrestleMania 29.
There's obviously a lot of history between these two dating back to their feud last year, and we all know that a match between two of the WWE's best in-ring performers could be a potential show-stealer.
A logical scenario would be for Jericho and Ziggler to face off on the Mania undercard. Jericho could put Ziggler over early on in the night, which could possibly lead to Ziggler cashing in to become World Heavyweight Champion later in the show.
Imagine if Ziggler were to take down Jericho and Alberto Del Rio in the same night and then leave WrestleMania as the World champion. Instantly, he becomes one of the WWE's most-pushed stars, like many think he deserves to be.
There are a lot of possible routes to take with a potential Y2J/Ziggler match, but mainly, it should happen both because it makes sense and because it would probably be an absolutely fantastic match.
1. The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
The Internet has been abuzz over the last several months about the possibility of The Undertaker defending "The Streak" against CM Punk.
Some hate the idea of it. Others love it. Personally, I think you can't really go wrong with it.
Now that we know Punk is not going to be involved in the WWE title picture come WrestleMania time, almost all of us can agree that he still deserves to be in one of the biggest matches on the card.
The only way for him to do that is to go one-on-one with The Deadman, The Phenom, The Undertaker.
Although Taker hasn't returned yet, the widespread assumption is that he will, and after Punk uttered words like "God" and "immortal" during his promo on last week's Raw, it's pretty clear that the WWE is setting up a match between these two.
Sounds good to me.
Yeah, we've seen Undertaker vs. Punk before, but that happened way back in 2009--long before Punk was the star he is today and without WrestleMania as its backdrop.
While it's a foregone conclusion by many that "The Streak" will never end, Punk is perhaps one of only two guys (John Cena being the other) that could feasibly end the streak or at least come close to it.
Even though Punk would probably lose in the end, the simple fact is that he's not going to get a bigger match than challenging The Undertaker at WrestleMania--at least not this year.
Punk deserves to be in a WrestleMania main event, and there's only one real way for him to get there in 2013: Attempt to do what no one has ever done and beat The Undertaker on the grand stage of WrestleMania.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!