WWE WrestleMania 27: Thoughts and Predictions for Sunday's Pay Per View
So here we are the biggest professional wrestling PPV of the year. The event usually has the ability to at least create one memorable moment that everyone can take away with them.
Last year saw the retirement of Shawn Michaels after he failed to defeat The Undertaker for the second year in a row.
This year at least promises some interesting matches providing all goes well. With no Money in the Bank ladder match, the mid-card has been developed much better going into the event, although it could still use some cleaning up.
Last year's card was as follows:
Tag Team Championship: ShoMiz(c) Def. John Morrison and R-Truth By Pinfall
Randy Orton Def. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a Triple Threat Match
Jack Swagger Def. Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Drew McIntyre, Christian, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston and Kane to win Money in the Bank
Triple H Def. Sheamus By Pinfall
Rey Mysterio Def. CM Punk By Pinfall
Bret Hart Def. Mr. McMahon By Submission
World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho(c) Def. Edge By Pinfall
Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Maryse and Layla Def. Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and Eve Torres
WWE Championship: John Cena Def. Batista(c) By Submission
The Undertaker Def. Shawn Michaels By Pinfall
Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Michael Cole
This feud apparently is meant to mirror Jerry Lawler's feud with comedian Andy Kaufman back when he was in his prime. The idea is that a non-wrestling personality becomes so villainous that King eventually steps up and teaches the loudmouth a lesson.
The problem is that Michael Cole, unlike Andy Kaufman, is purely confined to the world of professional wrestling and WWE. The only people who are getting wound up by him are WWE fans.
WWE has overexposed him over the past few months to build up a heel persona. I personally feel that when this match is all said and done, it could be the beginning of the end of Cole as a regular announcer.
The payoff for his antics is that he will blatantly take a beating. If he continues his heelish ways after 'Mania, what can be expected? Another kicking at some point? It would tire incredibly fast.
Of course, Cole has brought Jack Swagger with him, but considering he nearly broke Jim Ross' ankle in the weeks preceding this match, a Stunner from the beginning by Steve Austin wouldn't surprise me at all.
So yeah, this is Jerry Lawler's first match at WrestleMania and to be honest the man deserves it after all he has done but he should really consider retirement from both in-ring and commentary duties after this.
For me, this is Lawler's final hurrah.
Winner: Jerry "The King" Lawler
John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and Laycool
I have never watched an episode of Jersey Shore, I never will watch an episode of it and don't want to. I don't mind celebrity involvement at WrestleMania, because that's what its always been about: the pinnacle of Sports Entertainment.
On the other hand, it really rubs me the wrong way when outsiders manage to make it to the event as competitors.
You see one of the problems is that you know the celebrity will never be on the losing side. Secondly, you have a match with five talents ranging from reasonably good to excellent. WWE has a terrible habit of overshadowing their own people.
How often do they manage to get Trish Stratus to wrestle anyway? This should be the sort of thing they savour so that they can get the most out of the opportunity.
Not long ago both Ziggler and Morrison were competing for World titles, now they are mid card fodder again. Oh, and this is the closest to a Diva's Championship match the event has.
As I said, the celebs never lose.
Winners: Morrison, Trish and Snooki
The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov
It feels like an age since I've since a tag team match this big that hasn't just had main eventers take part. The four members of The Corre give up their numbers advantage to face off against Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. Now depending on how this match is booked it could be a surprise hit of the event or a dud.
The Corre has recently gained their feet on SmackDown after winning (losing and then winning back) the tag team championship and Wade Barrett (finally) won the Intercontinental Championship. Its a shame neither of those belts are going to be defended.
If Kofi Kingston had been included instead of Marella and Kozlov and this was a six-man tag instead, maybe the belts could have been put on the line.
Big Show has been dominant as usual and is once again threatening to squash another stable. Kane has once again gone back to be his usual tweener self, meaning his World Title run was probably his last high run within the company.
As for Marella and Kozlov they've been...well, the same, a comedy tag team who managed to pick up the wins regardless of how silly The Cobra is.
Had the titles been put on the line, it would have been a more interesting match. Considering what we have, it's likely the face team will win.
Winners: Show, Kane, Marella and Kozlov
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes has developed a more serious persona since Rey Mysterio "broke" his nose. He's become a lot meaner and vicious and, with the exception of dropping "Smoke and Mirrors" as his theme, I really like his character change. Am I the only one who thinks with that mask he looks a bit like Christian Bale in American Psycho?
Still his dominance over SmackDown's mid-card is a bad sign when it comes to Rey Mysterio. It is usually a sign that WWE will once again let the underdog win and rationalise that because he had a good run that the loss evens it out at the most.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
If this feud has taught us anything, it's that you should never join a faction led by CM Punk. The Straight Edge Society was destroyed by one man despite having a 3-on-1 advantage and now The Nexus are no more because Orton systematically took all of them out.
The problem is that it made Orton look too strong going into this event and that's why a hasty "leg injury" has been thrown into the mix.
It did seem quite odd for WWE to randomly decide to interview Orton about his amazing tour-bus (seriously like he'll travel in a bus and not on a plane like every other wrestler in the company).
You see, if Orton didn't have this setback, people would question why they should pay for a match that is easily predictable.
The leg injury doesn't change my prediction, though, as we all know Orton only needs a quick RKO to win the match. Plus Punk pinned him last month during Elimination Chamber. A snap RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred)
Could this year be the one which finally sees the end of The Streak? Last year, Shawn Michaels put his career on the line and couldn't do it. If someone like HBK didn't win with that much at stake, can Triple H really end the most talked about series of matches in pro wrestling today?
The lack of physicality between the two in the build up is quite rare by today's standards. The promos have had intensity and decent depth, although they began to get a tiny bit repetitive. My biggest problem, however, is how both men have just ignored prior feuds.
Undertaker was buried alive by Kane and The Nexus/Corre and apparently doesn't care. Sheamus was destroyed by Triple H in a few minutes. They may be legends but it doesn't them no good to ignore the future of the company.
Recent hints have suggested that Triple H may finally end The Streak as he claims it is time for Undertaker to end his career. With Shawn Michaels not having belief in Triple H to win on Sunday it suggests The Game is building up for a surprise win.
If he did, the the IWC would forever resent him. I could never go against The Streak. When the Undertaker is retired it is going to be the one thing that sets him apart from the rest.
Winner: The Undertaker
United States Championship: Sheamus(c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Sheamus broke his losing streak by defeating Daniel Bryan for the United States championship. Even though it got him back into the winning swing of things, essentially he is still a step down from his supposed level of competition.
Daniel Bryan has been dominated in this feud essentially only winning by countout during the first week and losing decisively since.
Still, I feel that this had only been done so Sheamus looks like a credible threat going into the match and will either return to the main event scene after 'Mania or go back on a losing streak. With that said, Daniel Bryan will recapture the championship.
Winner and New Champion: Daniel Bryan
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge(c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
Now you may have noticed that my predictions so far have been 100 percent face-oriented. Well the reason for this will be explained in the next two slides. Alberto Del Rio is the winner of the Royal Rumble thus making this what I call the Road match (as in Road to WrestleMania).
Del Rio is the latest in a long line of wrestlers who has skipped the mid-card part of his career and propelled himself straight into the main event.
At least, he has had an unsuccessful title shot before moving on to 'Mania. Edge on the other hand has been pretty dominant as World Champion bar an unnecessary break, courtesy of Dolph Ziggler.
Including Christian into this feud seems like a wise idea although I would have liked to have seen him actually comeback a bit later and compete against Del Rio. Although I feel there is a reason for this.
Edge and Christian are almost like brothers (although WWE actually used to say there were brothers but I digress) and one has had a good deal of success more than the other one.
Let's face it: since coming back, Christian's biggest accolade was becoming ECW Champion twice, which is just a step above being IC or US Champion. I believe Christian will turn on Edge at 'Mania and cost him the belt.
Winner and New Champion: Alberto Del Rio
WWE Championship: The Miz(c) vs. John Cena
So finally onto the last match to predict, and probably due to the result I am about to give, it will not be the main event of the evening. Let's be honest: this feud has never been about John Cena and The Miz, it's been about Cena and The Rock.
Since his return, The Rock has targeted Cena the most and has expressed his dislike of him. For weeks now, they have traded promos back and forth until the final Raw.
The Miz has rightly become upset with this development because he is the WWE Champion. This feud has actually played out perfectly because Cena is ignoring Miz at his own peril and has constantly paid for it.
What has annoyed me the most about this feud is John Cena. More specifically last week on Raw. For weeks, Cena has said he wanted to face Rock like a man. His retort to The Rock's insults was that his reasons for not liking him were his T-shirts, speech pattern and fanbase.
The Rock never said those were the reasons he never liked him, they were just fuel for his insults. Rock made it clear that he didn't like Cena for his comments about Rock when he wasn't in the company to defend himself.
The most annoying thing is Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. Cena's supposed moral code. Cena claims he is always himself. So making fun of Sheamus' skin colour is natural to Cena, as is making gay jokes and pretty much using the same fuel as The Rock for his insults. Sounds like a fun moral code to follow.
I already found Cena's final promo to be hollow once he said it, but the icing on the cake came moments later. For weeks, as I've mentioned, he said he wanted to face Rock like a man.
So he lets Rock take a 2-on-1 attack and then sneak attacks him once he clears Miz and Riley from the ring. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect for you, I guess.
Cena is due a Brahma Bull Ass Whooping this Sunday and personally I think it will cost him the title.
Winner and Still Champion: The Miz
In the End...
I think this will be one of the better WrestleManias of recent years. It definitely had the build up and star power, all it needs now is the right booking.
As I said, I feel this year will be mostly face-dominated, but the two World titles will stay with the heels.
Last year's was pretty good, but not impossible to top. After it is all said and done, I don't care what the results are as long as I enjoy the show, which I think can be said of all of us.
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