WWE WrestleMania 29: Predicting the Grandest Stage of Them All
The Road to WrestleMania has reached its end. It is now time for the biggest event of the year, WrestleMania XXIX!
The very-first event took place at the famous Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985 with Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeating Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff in the main event. WWE’s big event has since become known as the “Grandest Stage of Them All” and the “Showcase of Immortals.”
It has made legends out of the likes of Hogan, Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and many more. The event continues to help create legends and will do so for years to come.
This year’s event features a massive card of 10 matches, four of which will see titles on the line. Also featured will be The Undertaker's legendary undefeated streak on the line, a huge No Holds Barred match and much more. Also expect plenty of surprises, as this is WrestleMania, and a performance by Sean “Diddy” Combs will also take place during the show.
This will no doubt be a show to remember. Here’s the card for WrestleMania XXIX, and who I think is going to win!
Pre-Show: Wade Barrett vs. The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
IC Title Defended at ‘Mania: 19 times
Successfully Defended: 12 times
Barrett's 'Mania Record: 0-1
Miz's 'Mania Record: 3-1
A couple of weeks ago on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel, he and The Miz made fun of Wade Barrett and his role in the WWE film Dead Man Down. That ultimately led to a Triple Threat match for Barrett’s Intercontinental Championship between them, and the champion would retain his title that night.
Jericho would move onto another feud while The Miz kept his sights set on the title. He defeated Barrett in a non-title match the following week, and that led to this matchup getting made.
The entire undercard for this event seems like it was thrown together at the last minute, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be good matches. I was initially disappointed to find out that a title match was on the pre-show, while an eight-person tag match made it onto the main card, but I came to realize that it’s a good call.
Seeing a title match before the main card begins will get fans pumped for the official start time. I don’t think fans necessarily need to get pumped since they already will be, but a match for the Intercontinental Championship will bring in more excitement. This match should be quite the good one, as both wrestlers are solid in-ring performers.
When it comes to the winner, I feel that it’s an easy choice. Barrett has been champion for almost 100 days now and he hasn’t really done much as champion. He has defended it very few times, and there have been no feuds over the title. While he has had many good matches with the top talent of the company, all he has been doing is carrying around the belt and losing most of his matches.
History gives Barrett a 63 percent chance at retaining the title, seeing as 12 champions have retained the Intercontinental Championship out of the 19 times it has been defended at WrestleMania, but I just think that it’s time for a change.
Winner and New Champion: The Miz
Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins
Tons of Funk's 'Mania Record: first event as a team
Funkadactyls' 'Mania Record: first event as a team
Rhodes Scolars' 'Mania Record: first event as a team
Bella's 'Mania Record: 0-1
I really could care less about this match. I would much prefer to see the WWE Divas Championship on the line, especially since the title of the Divas division has not been defended since WrestleMania 23 when the Women’s Championship was still active.
I’m glad to see the Bella Twins back and I’m happy to see The Funkadactyls getting more chances to compete, but I think Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow deserve better than a match that seems to be designed to just fill time.
Brodus Clay, Tensai, Naomi and Cameron dancing with kids in the middle of the ring at the “Grandest Stage of Them All” is a feel-good moment for WrestleMania, so the victory will go to them.
Winners: Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Jericho's 'Mania Record: 4-7
Fandango's 'Mania Record: first event
This is a match that I am somewhat interested in. This feud came out of nowhere like most undercard matches, but it’s the fact that it has the potential to be a great match that intrigues me.
This all came about because Jericho made fun of Fandango’s name, but the name won’t matter once the action starts. Jericho is still one of the best in WWE. It doesn’t matter how many times he leaves, every time he comes back, he’s better than ever.
Fandango, formally known as Johnny Curtis, is a solid in-ring performer in his own right as well. His matches I’ve seen in NXT are typically quite good. Putting him in the ring with a veteran like Jericho is a great idea. Not only is he working with someone that knows what they’re doing, he’s going to get a major rub from wrestling at WrestleMania with a 23-year veteran.
With Jericho touring the United Kingdom throughout the rest of April with Fozzy, the winner of this match will be Fandango.
Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston: WWE Tag Team Championship
Tag Titles Defended at ‘Mania: five times
Successfully Defended: five times
Hell No's 'Mania Record: first event as a team
Ziggler and Big E's 'Mania Record: first event as a team
This feud just kind of happened. Dolph Ziggler would end up defeating both Daniel Bryan and Kane in singles matches before the challenge was made for WrestleMania. This feud has been all Ziggler and Big E Langston as well.
While both members of Team Hell No have taken Ziggler to the limit, The Showoff would defeat them each time. Every time after the match, Langston would take out one or both champions.
This will be Langston’s first official match on the main roster, and having it be at WrestleMania has got to be nerve-racking. He’ll no doubt be fine, especially working with three guys as talented as Kane, Daniel Bryan and Ziggler are. He very well could shine in this match, and I can’t wait to see him and Kane go at it.
History has been very kind to the WWE Tag Team champions at WrestleMania. Since this particular version of the title was created, it has been defended five times at the event. All five title defenses have seen the champions retain their belts.
With Kane and Daniel Bryan on the same page for the first time in months, I feel that history will repeat itself. I always thought that their storyline would lead them to costing themselves the titles, and that won’t happen with them on the same page.
Team Hell No will retain, but the night will not be over for AJ Lee’s team.
Winners and Still Champions: Team Hell No
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Ryback’s ‘Mania Record: first event
Henry’s ‘Mania Record: 1-6
This feud came to be with a simple stare down between the two massive superstars. Other than a “no physicality” clause leading up to the match, and the use of a bar and Santino Marella as weapons, this feud has been all intense staring.
I’m glad that’s what it was, though. I wouldn’t call Ryback vs. Mark Henry a “dream match,” but it’s definitely something I want to see. Both guys are known for their strength and power. Henry’s nickname is the “World’s Strongest Man,” while Ryback has picked up multiple guys for his Shell Shock finisher.
Henry could no doubt out-power Ryback, but the intriguing part of this match is whether or not Ryback can pick up Mark Henry. At over 400 pounds, he will be the biggest man Ryback has tried to lift.
This match is going to come down to two moves, the World’s Strongest Slam and the Shell Shock.
Ryback has been center stage since the fall months. He has had a couple of shots at the WWE Championship and has been an integral part of The Shield storyline. There are no signs of his push stopping, and a win here at WrestleMania will catapult him further.
Henry has nothing to gain from a victory, but Ryback has plenty to gain by defeating a veteran wrestler, former World champion and somebody bigger than him. This match will go to Ryback.
Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show vs. The Shield
Sheamus’ ‘Mania Record: 2-2
Orton’s ‘Mania Record: 4-5
Big Show’s ‘Mania Record: 4-8
Shield’s ‘Mania Record: first event
Back in November, The Shield made their WWE debuts attacking Ryback during a WWE Championship match. They went on to attack many superstars throughout the next five months, claiming to be curing injustice within the WWE.
Three of their most recent targets have been Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show. Big Show wasn’t originally in the match and was only drafted due to Ryback getting a match with Mark Henry.
Sheamus and Orton’s reluctance to work with their enemy was evident from the start. Despite not trusting him, the three have worked as a cohesive unit during some matches the past few weeks. The Shield are not convinced that they are on the same page, and neither am I.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are the definition of a cohesive unit. They trust each other fully and they know what they’re capable of. Sheamus, Orton and Big Show don’t trust each other, and that mistrust leads to not knowing what one is capable of in this situation. The Big Show could take out all three members of The Shield only to turn on Sheamus and Orton, which could ultimately cost them the match.
No matter what happens, The Shield will be coming out of this match victorious. It’s just a matter of how it will go down.
I have given up on Orton turning heel months ago, but WrestleMania is a great time to pull the trigger on a heel turn. I won’t get my hopes up, though. The Shield could very well win cleanly. I just have a feeling that after The Shield beat down The Big Show, Orton will RKO Sheamus.
Winners: The Shield
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: No Holds Barred; If Triple H Loses, He Must Retire
Lesnar’s ‘Mania Record: 1-1
Triple H’s ‘Mania Record: 7-9
At SummerSlam in August, Brock Lesnar and Triple H went one-on-one for the first time ever. Lesnar defeated the Game that night, and both of them disappeared from WWE television afterwards.
After the Royal Rumble event, Lesnar made his return to protect Paul Heyman from getting fired. The situation saw him F-5 the WWE chairman and Triple H’s father-in-law, Vince McMahon.
A few weeks later, Triple H made his return to Raw and busted Lesnar wide open. First blood was drawn, but Lesnar and Heyman may be having the last laugh. In order to get his rematch, Triple H had to sign the contract without knowing the stipulations of the match. He signed it and was happy to discover the No Holds Barred stipulation, but he wasn’t too happy about it also being a Career Threatening match.
Now with Shawn Michaels in his corner, Triple H looks to not only avenge his SummerSlam loss, but save his career.
The end result of this match has many possibilities. Either superstar could win cleanly; Michaels could help the Game win, or even cost him the match, Heyman could be the deciding factor or a McMahon could get involved.
Adding HBK to the match at the last minute tells me that he will be a factor in the finish in some way. A part of me feels that Michaels will cost Triple H the match, but the other part thinks the Game has one more big match in him after this.
Retirement storylines don’t always last, so seeing him lose and come back for a match next year is entirely possible. In the end, I’m going with a Triple H victory. Shawn Michaels will hit Lesnar with some Sweet Chin Music, which will result in the win.
If that does happen, could the situation see the Heartbreak Kid come out of retirement for one more match against Triple H at WrestleMania XXX? Never say never, but I won’t be getting my hopes up. No matter the way it goes down, Triple H will be winning.
Winner: Triple H
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger: World Heavyweight Championship
World Title Defended at ‘Mania: 10 times
Successfully Defended: three times
Del Rio’s ‘Mania Record: 0-1
Swagger’s ‘Mania Record: 2-0
At the Elimination Chamber event in February, six superstars battled it out inside the Chamber to gain a shot at Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship. With names like Chris Jericho and Randy Orton in the match, nobody expected to see Jack Swagger win it.
With Zeb Colter by his side, he has since been talking about “Jack Swagger’s America,” and how illegal immigrants were destroying the United States. Being from Mexico, champion Del Rio took offense to what they were saying. The feud was mostly talking and jokes until it finally began to get physical a few weeks ago.
This is the most interesting Swagger has been in years. The former World champion was barely interesting when he was champion. Colter has brought new life to the “Real American,” and has given him one of the best characters in WWE.
While I don’t agree with the views of their characters, I actually want Colter to have a microphone in hand. What he says is controversial, and controversy brings attention. Attention is exactly what WWE wants for WrestleMania.
Del Rio has been an overall great champion. He has consistently put on solid matches and has really thrived in the babyface role. Some fans still haven’t bought in yet, which is evident from Ricardo Rodriguez getting cheered for announcing and some crowds dying when Del Rio’s music hits, but he’s making the most of his new role.
I can’t remember the last time a heel won a World title at WrestleMania. A good number have retained a World title, but if someone won one of the two belts, it was a babyface. Swagger could very well be the heel to win the title.
History certainly does give him an advantage. Only 30 percent of World champions have retained the title at WrestleMania. Since being introduced, the World Heavyweight Championship has been defended 10 times at the event, but only three champions have ever retained.
Alberto Del Rio is historically at a disadvantage, but I think it will all come down to one thing. By the end of this match, Del Rio will still be World champion.
Winner and Still Champion: Alberto Del Rio
That one thing, though, will be a visit from AJ Lee, Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler. As Del Rio celebrates, AJ will appear to distract him long enough for Langston to attack him from behind. As Del Rio is laid out in the middle of the ring, The Showoff will finally cash in Money in the Bank.
Winner and New Champion: Dolph Ziggler
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
Undertaker’s ‘Mania Record: 20-0
Punk’s ‘Mania Record: 3-3
At the “Old School” edition of Monday Night Raw, The Undertaker made his return to open the show. He simply walked out and signified that he was looking for his next victim for WrestleMania.
CM Punk won a Fatal 4-Way in the main event to gain that distinction, and the match between the Best in the World and the legendary streak was on.
The feud got a jump start due to the untimely and unfortunate passing of The Undertaker’s former manager Paul Bearer. Punk would interrupt the Phenom’s tribute and ultimately steal the urn by the end of the night.
This past Monday on Raw, the situation saw The Undertaker declare that while the streak could end, Punk would never live brag about it. Punk responded by not only beating him with the urn, but dumping the ashes inside on him.
This feud has been a personal one. Some fans hate it due to the use of Paul Bearer, while others have enjoyed it. When they first started the storyline, I didn’t like that they were going to use his death. As it went on, though, I came to accept and enjoy what was going on.
The Undertaker has wrestled 20 times at WrestleMania, and each time he got into the head of his opponents due to what his character is and defeated them. For the first time, somebody is in the head of the Deadman. Mind games are The Undertaker’s strategy, but this year, it is his mind that’s being played with.
The Undertaker is emotional and wants to punish Punk for what he has done, and WWE is treating it as a possible downfall for the streak. A disqualification is still a loss, and with his emotional state in the storyline, it very well could happen. I always felt that The Undertaker was destined to go to 20-0. Anything after that, though, was up in the air. I figured that he’d be done after hitting 20, but I figured wrong.
Punk calls himself the “Best in the World,” and what better way to show that than to defeat The Undertaker in his yard, on his stage and at his event?
The streak very well could be in jeopardy, but I’m going to play it safe and say the legend that is The Undertaker at WrestleMania will remain undefeated.
Winner: The Undertaker
The Rock vs. John Cena: WWE Championship
WWE Title Defended at ‘Mania: 28 times
Successfully Defended: 12 times
Percentage of Rumble Winner Victories: 63 percent (19 shots awarded, 12 victories)
Rock’s ‘Mania Record: 5-4
Cena’s ‘Mania Record: 6-3
WrestleMania XXVIII saw the “Once in a Lifetime” match between The Rock and John Cena. One year later, that match will be happening for the second time in a lifetime. This one will be different, though, as the WWE Championship will be on the line!
This whole feud has been centered around Cena’s redemption. After losing last year, Cena declared that his life went into shambles. Troubles at home, failure to win the WWE Championship and a work scandal involving AJ Lee plagued him throughout 2012.
Cena blames himself since The Rock didn’t actually defeat him. Cena beat himself. The Rock is going in with confidence, though, since he knows he can defeat the face of the WWE. Cena thinks he can win, but The Rock knows that he can.
Add in a bit of physicality, including a Rock Bottom, and there’s the feud for the WWE Championship in a nutshell.
I think this match is a little more unpredictable then some give it credit for. Since Cena has lost at the last two WrestleMania events, and seeing as he hasn’t held the WWE Championship since October 2011, it could be a safe bet that he’ll win this match.
At the same time, Cena’s “redemption” has been built up huge. He needs this victory, he needs to defeat The Rock and he needs the WWE Championship. I think it’s entirely possible for The Rock to win, thus seeing everything Cena has worked for come crashing down hard.
With “boring” chants during his promo on Raw this past Monday, and it being very likely that Cena could get booed out of the building at WrestleMania, WWE could play it safe by keeping the title on The Rock for just a bit longer.
A heel turn for Cena is very unlikely, but a second loss to The Rock isn’t.
History hasn’t been too kind to WWE champions at WrestleMania. The WWE Championship has been defended 28 times with only 12 champions retaining the belt. That’s only 43 percent of champions. 63 percent of Royal Rumble winners have gone on to win the title at WrestleMania as well. Historically, Cena has an advantage. Will he win, though?
Last year I predicted John Cena to win because it was a “safe bet” and the most likely scenario, but this year, I’m going with my gut. I’m going with The Rock retaining the WWE Championship.
Winner and Still Champion: The Rock