WWE Pre-WrestleMania 27: Ranking the Top 10 Can't Miss Matches
Just days away from WrestleMania 27, I figured it would be the ideal time to rank the top 10 matches at this year's WrestleMania based on their projected match quality.
Note: this partially takes into account the build for the match. Therefore, even though someone like Daniel Bryan is a phenomenal in-ring competitor, the build for his match with Sheamus is not strong enough to make it the number one projected match.
As we all know, part of any great match is the chemistry and history between the two combatants, which downgrades a match like Bryan-Sheamus.
With that said, let's take a look at the ranking of the matches pre-WrestleMania 27.
10. The Pre-WrestleMania Battle Royal
This match is yet to be announced, but as you can imagine it will not be of the highest quality.
To borrow a phrase from my good friends Justin LaBar and Josh Isenberg over at Wrestlezone.com, it will feature a ton of "Punch, kick, struggle in the corner."
Expect someone like Kofi Kingston or Evan Bourne to win since they are the highest-profile superstars not on the WrestleMania card.
Nonetheless, this will be a disorganized, chaotic match that will not be memorable at all.
9. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
The only reason that this match is not last is because it is actually on the scheduled card, as opposed to the battle royal.
Let's get one thing straight: Michael Cole is not a wrestler; he is an announcer.
While the WWE has done a great job turning Cole into a heel, he shouldn't quit his day job to become a full-time wrestler.
It almost seems ridiculous at this point that so much time has been invested in a match featuring two announcers, but I guess that's the point WWE has reached when they feel that this match is more important than having a 10-minute match between say, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne.
The saving grace of this match will be if everyone can make it out alive and uninjured, while Cole makes it out without calling Stone Cold a homophobic slur (or maybe we want to see that so Cole gets his ass kicked).
8. Kane, the Big Show, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre
I don't know if I will ever recover from Kane playing the air trombone on Raw this past week, but I guess Kane is now a comedic face.
This match was obviously thrown together because they had no better plan for them at WrestleMania.
It would have been great to see someone like Justin Gabriel in the Money in the Bank match if they would have still scheduled it. He fits the high-flyer style that could have made him much more popular in the eyes of a common fan. Obviously, he wouldn't have won, but he could have showcased his talents better than being put in a ridiculous eight-man tag match.
Also, hopefully this is the last appearance we see in this manner for Wade Barrett. The man deserves a hell of a lot better treatment than this.
To think that Barrett went from being in a top feud with John Cena six months ago, to three months ago being scheduled to face the Undertaker at WM, to now being lost in the shuffle is beyond me.
7. John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and Laycool
Snooki doesn't even deserve the recognition of this sentence for her involvement in WrestleMania.
It's a huge disservice to both John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler that they are put in a mixed tag match like this at WrestleMania.
These two could have put on a phenomenal match that lasted 10-12 minutes featuring legitimate wrestling.
Back in January, both of these men were in World Championship matches and have now been relegated to a "sideshow" match.
Instead of Morrison-Ziggler, we will be "treated" to seeing Snooki jump on top of Vicki Guerrero at some point while they pull each other's hair out, and battle for who is the "Most Annoying Person on Television Today."
Excuse me while I go throw up.
6. Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
While Cody Rhodes is on the rise, Mysterio is on his way down.
The number of nagging injuries Mysterio has may inhibit his ability to put on a truly great match, but it will still be the same high-flying Mysterio that we are used to.
Hopefully, WWE will do the right thing and have Rhodes go over Mysterio. Rhodes could benefit greatly by beating one of the biggest faces in the WWE on the main stage.
I see this being similar to the Mysterio/Punk match from last year. Great quality, but only getting six to eight minutes, which is a shame.
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
This is the match that should lead off the show because it will get the crowd excited about seeing an excellent wrestling showcase.
Daniel Bryan is arguably the best technical wrestler alive today, and Sheamus is actually pretty decent as well for all of the crap people give him.
Had this match had more of a back story, as I said in the opening, it would be higher on the list.
But because it was thrown together at the last minute, I don't think it deserves to be higher than fifth.
With that being said, I think for the wrestling purist, this could be one of the two best matches of the night.
4. Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio
Now we are getting to the point where the matches could be ranked any way based on your personal preference.
I think that Del Rio is a great in-ring competitor, and we already know that Edge is, but this match just seems too predictable to me.
Del Rio has been groomed to be the next Heavyweight Champion since his debut, and Edge doesn't move in the ring as well as he once did (that's what putting on so many epic matches does to your body).
If Christian had been inserted in the match, like many had speculated, this would have been higher on the list because it would add to the quality of the match.
With that being said, I still expect a great match, but one we likely won't look back on five years from now as a WrestleMania classic.
3. The Miz vs. John Cena
This match will seem better than it is from a wrestling standpoint, solely based on how much hype and time has been spent on it.
We all know by now that Cena and the Miz are not the greatest in-ring technicians.
On the other hand, they are great at telling a story in the ring, which may be more important on the biggest stage of them all.
We all expect The Rock to get involved physically, but will he cost Cena the title?
Or will he cost The Miz the title?
Or will he become part of the match?
This match will get a substantial amount of time, which will boost its quality. I also believe there will be a number of near falls, which always adds to the suspense of the match.
Overall, I think this match will have us all talking on Monday, not necessarily because of the greatness in the ring, but because of the greatness of the Great One.
2. The Undertaker vs. Triple H
As Triple H alluded to in his promo on Raw, he needs to win this match, unlike HBK, because he has never been able to put on a great match and lose at WrestleMania.
That statement is exactly why I believe that Triple H will give it his all, because he does not want to constantly be looked at as in the shadow of Shawn Michaels when it comes to WrestleMania.
Too many times, Triple H has been featured in the main event at WrestleMania, only to be outdone by a match lower down on the card (Undertaker/HBK WM 25, Edge/Foley WM 22, HBK/Angle WM 21, Rock/Hogan WM X8, etc.).
As a result, I believe that Triple H will truly give it his all to try and wipe out the memory of him being a superstar who only got to the top based on his family ties.
Whether or not that is true, the fact of the matter is he needs this match to be great to cement his name among the WWE Legends.
1. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
This match has the feeling of Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 or Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XIX.
The build-up for this feud has been great with Orton eliminating the Nexus and Punk getting his shots in on Orton.
With CM Punk arguably being the best heel in WWE and Orton being the biggest face in the WWE (besides Cena), this match has the setup to be epic.
I also believe that after WrestleMania 26, when Punk was only given six minutes for his match with Mysterio, and Orton helped to try and get over Rhodes and DiBiase, they deserve to be able to go as long as they want.
Hopefully, we see a bunch of near falls, the resurgence of CM Punk imitating Orton's "Viper" taunt and even Orton attempting the GTS and the Punk attempting the RKO (the true sign of a great match, much like the epic encounters between the Rock and Austin).
In the end, the WWE owes it to two of their biggest stars to let them go as long as they want.
This match absolutely has the ability to steal the show, and hopefully it does.
Check back following WrestleMania for a re-ranking of the matches based on their actual quality.
Follow me on Twitter @BFlow82 as I tweet live from WrestleMania in Atlanta all weekend