Man, WrestleMania XXVII already huh? I can't believe it. It was just 1 year ago that Shawn Michaels retired, Sheamus was the rising superstar, and Chris Jericho and Batista were still with us. Alot can really change in one year.
Any-hoo, nostalgia aside, I'm here to bring you Bleacher's my personal predictions, picks and thoughts for this year's Gran' daddy of em' all!
This Sunday, yet another chapter to the already building WrestleMania history books will be added. WrestleMania moment's will be created, legendary matches will be performed, and legacies will be built and/or furthered.
First off, I want to tell everyone that this WrestleMania might have to be to the most misjudged of all time, with people already hating on the card without thinking about it.
This WrestleMania looks to be really great, and the potential it promises is unbelievable. We get some very solid wrestling matches, star power, and unpredictability all in a 4-hour extravaganza that promises to not dissapoint!
I have said for ages that this WrestleMania could be one of the greatest in a while, a sleeper-hit if you will. I also have said, that whoever order's this year's WrestleMania will not be disappointed.
Anyway's, just like many other's have done, I wanted to offer my personal thoughts and views on this years card. So, withouth further ado, let's get started with the grandest predictions of em' all!....which unfortunately aren't Written In The Stars. HA! See what I did there?
The Build-up: The build-up hasn't been bad by any means, but it hasn't really been that good either. It's a simple case of the heel getting the short end of the stick and challenging the face champion. He wins the title, and the face want's the rematch clause. It's as simple as that.
The Match-up: The good thing with Daniel Bryan is that he is able to work a good match with everyone. He is a flexible guy, and can put on 5-Star matches with anyone on the roster right now. Even with Sheamus's brawling style, Bryan can get comfortable with his opponent and put on a hell of a show. If given time around the 10-20 minute mark, this match can truly be the match of the night.
Ray's Predictions: Sheamus retains via pinfall.
Sheamus desperetly needs this victory. The only reason I have for giving Sheamus a victory is because he has defeated Bryan before on RAW for the title, clean. And also, Sheamus has been on a big losing streak before his title win, and he needs to pick up on momentum if he even wants to smell the main-event again. Winning at WrestleMania can definately provide this momentum and give him some credibility.
Potential Match Rating: 10/10
The Build-up: Obviously, this feud is more between Kane/Big Show and the Corre, with Santino and Kozlov being added in last-minute. Big Show and Kane have been going at it ever since the end of the Royal Rumble, so it seems logical for them to have a match at WrestleMania. The build-up in all was okay, but in no mean's is this an attractive match of any sort. It's just there to fill up the card, and showcase the Big Show and Kane at WrestleMania. My only disappointment lay's in the fact that Kofi Kingston isn't included in the match. He lost his Intercontinental Title to Barrett just 2 weeks before WrestleMania, so I would have much preferred Kofi on being on Kane and Big Show's team instead of Elvis and Costello.
The Match-up: I would love it if this was made last-minute as a Tornado Tag Team match as I love those train-wreck matches. Alas, WWE has totally ignored putting on match stipulation for smaller type matches like these. Expect this match to go around the 5-10 minute mark. I honestly can't see it going on that long, as it can very well be a "take-a-breather" match for the crowd from the other ones.
Ray's Predictions: The Corre win's getting the 1-2-3 via dirty heel tactic's.
The Corre has actually been given a decently good push ever since their arrival on SmackDown!. I expect this to continue at Sunday, where the Corre will go over the ring-veterans. This victory would be big for the Corre, making them one of the best stables WWE have had in a while. It truly will be a step in the right direction here for the Corre, and most importantly Wade Barrett, if Big Show and Kane get them over.
Potential Match Rating: 5.5/10
The Build-up: The build-up for this match so far has been tremendous. I loved how WWE bought in Dusty Rhodes for this feud in the beginning as that really added some much needed intesity to this bout. Rhodes has been really great in the feud thus far, impressing me day-in and day-out with his new aggressive ring-style, great mic-work, and also, amazing facial expressions and acting. Rey Mysterio is playing the same underdog that he plays every year for WrestleMania. It's funny how Rhodes is in a big-time WrestleMania match this year, and his Legacy partner Ted DiBiase will probably be working a WrestleMania Battle Royale.
The Match-up: The only thing that can possibly go wrong about this match is lack of time. These two can put on a performance of a lifetime that is, if given the chance. Rey Mysterio's watered down lucha libre style will mesh nicely with Cody's generating great spots throughout the match.
Ray's Predictions: Tough call....I'll go Cody Rhodes with the beautiful disaster or a new finisher.
It really is a tough decision to make right now. On one side we have a fast rising talented heel named Cody Rhodes, who this victory would do wonders for his career for. On the other side, we have Mysterio, who doesn't really need this victory at this point in his career. Backstage rumors said that Rey personally requested to work with Rhodes this WrestleMania, so it makes sense to put him over.
However, Rey Mysterio is Rey Mysterio, and he has to get wins in order to sell merchandise. Also, Mysterio is well known for not putting over younger talent (case in point Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler). So it's a really really hard prediction to make. However I'm still sticking to my pick Cody Rhodes, with the hope that Mysterio will put him over. Even if this match does end up with Mysterio winning, the feud should ultimately end with Cody Rhodes winning.
Potential Match Rating: 9.5/10
Special Guest Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Build-up: The build-up has been phenomenal so far. WWE has really invested some time into this feud, and we can see the results. Bringing up Jerry's mother just a week after she passed was unecessary, but it definately adds something to the feud. Michael Cole having the "Cole-Mine" was absolute brilliance, and was needed to further the feud between the two. Other then that, the J.R. angle where Jim Ross came to RAW and spoke about Jerry, and also got attacked was gold. Brian Lawler coming out was also great. It's safe to say that this match is one of the best built up matches that WWE has had in a while, and also most anticiapted.
The Match-up: Obviously don't expect a five-star Wrestling match from these guys. It's just there to end a long heated rivalry and feud. Expect it to go a very good 10-15 minutes. Also, a major factor in this match will be the Texas Rattlesnake, Steve Austin. With Stone Cold Steve Austin in as special guest referee, expect the unexpected. Stone Cold obviously is really great friends with Jim Ross in and out of the business, and with J.R getting ambushed by Cole and Swagger, expect Stone Cold to get a measure of revenge on Swagger and Jerry. With Swagger under control by Austin, Cole will be beaten to a pulp by Jerry Lawler and will eventually get the pin.
Ray's Prediction: Jerry Lawler, no doubt about it. Lawler wins via fist drop, or if we're lucky, a Piledriver!
Most people will be paying for WrestleMania just to see the image of Michael Cole getting beat up (to some extent, me as well). On top of that, Jim Ross will most likely come in as announcer which will be a much added bonus to the match! April 3rd will be the day Cole hater's will rejoice together. The image of Stone Cold Steve Austin stunning the life out of Michael Cole should be the last thing we see of Michael Cole on April 3rd, and will be a WrestleMania moment, no doubt about it.
Potential Match Rating: 10/10 (Just to see the image of Michael Cole getting beaten up).
The Build-up: This match has to have one of the greatest build-ups in a while. Orton portrayed his role well. CM Punk portrayed his role BRILLIANTLY. I really hope CM Punk is in the title chase after this feud is over because he is an absolute gem in the WWE. Getting back to the build-up, it truly feels like these guys hate each other. The WWE has booked this rivalry to the best of the ability they can. Getting Orton's family in this situation was a very great addition to an already heated feud. Albeit the rivalry started in a wierd manner, with CM Punk getting revenge for a punt 2-year old, the feud progressed in a great manner after that. Getting Nexus out of the equation was a smart decision by booking, and getting Randy Orton injured now stabilizes the playing field psychologically.
The Match-up: Give this match 15 minutes or more, and it could be a show-stealer. There has already been so much time invested in this feud that it would be foolish to give these guys only 8 minutes of match-time. Other then that, that match-up can really be great. Orton has a habit of slowing down his matches, but hopefully CM Punk can pick up the pace with some good reversals and spots. Expect Punk to go for Orton's injured leg, and Orton...well being Orton and taking beating only to come back strong. I want this match to have some good back and forth action with near falls. Maybe even Punk kicking out of an RKO and and Orton doing the same with the GTS.
Ray's Prediction: Really tough call. Booking 101 states that the guy with the most momentum loses at the PPV, so I'll go Randy Orton. Orton win's after an RKO outta nowhere.
Again, like Rhodes vs. Mysterio, the only thing that could go with this match is giving it less time. I really want CM Punk to win at WrestleMania, but CM Punk has been looking exceptionally weak ever since he lost his Nexus goons. So the best that WWE can do right now if they really want to give Orton the win is to have Punk look really strong in the match.
Potential Match Rating: 9/10
Christian is in Edge's corner, and Brodus Clay is in Alberto Del Rio's corner.
The Build-up: It's a simple case of Royal Rumble winner vs. Champion. I applaud WWE for adding Christian into the mix and on Edge's corner for deeper back-story, as that makes the match-up that more interesting. To counter-act that, creative added Brodus Clay to del Rio's corner, who has been shown as a monster as of late. I just gotta say, the con-chair-to that del Rio did to Edge was brilliant. Other then adding Christian, this buildup is nothing special. As I said, WWE tried to make this match-up personal by adding Christian, but besides that, it's just the Rumble winner challenging a champion.
The Match-up: This match already happened at a SmackDown! last year when del Rio was still relatively new to the company. Of course, that was free on cable television so it was nothing extraordianary. But this match has the potential to be. Del Rio needs a strong performance here, and needs to kick out of a big move cementing himself as a big dog in the company. Del Rio will most likely go for Edge's arm which he has been exposing for the past couple SmackDown's! and RAW's. It should be a good match-up, but like I said, WWE needs to have del Rio come on strong here. This match can make it, or break it for del Rio.
Ray's Prediction: Alberto del Rio wins the World Heavyweight Title via submission to the Cross Armbreaker.
Lot's of people are expecting a Christian interference here, causing Edge to lose the title, and Christian to turn heel, and quite frankly, so am I. Christian is added there for a reason, and I can't help but think that there's going to be a heel turn, and a dirty finish. Not only will this be a good decision for Christian's career, but also for Del Rio and Edge. Edge needs something to do after WrestleMania because he will not be in the title chase anymore, and a feud with Christian will keep him busy while other conteder's are challenging del Rio for the belt. Christian turning heel could setup a much anticipated Triple Threat Match at Extreme Rules. Either that, or Christian doesn't do anything, Edge loses his rematch clause, and Edge and Christian reunite E&C to spice up the tag team division. It seems like a win-win either way.
Potential Match Rating: 8.5/10
6 Person Tag Team Intergender match.
The Build-up: It's been a rather confusing build-up. Ziggler somehow get's into RAW. Same goes for Vicki. John Morrison is having matches with Dolph Ziggler on RAW and somehow Snooki, LayCool, and Trish Stratus get involved with those matches? I'm sorry, but as you can tell, I always change the channel or take a bathroom break whenever Snooki's segments came up on RAW or SmackDown! From what I've been hearing around the internet, most people have actually been doing the same.
The Match-up: It's safe to assume that Snooki's role in this match will be kept to a minimal. All she's going to be doing is standing up on the ring apron, slapping the smack out of LayCool and Vicki, and getting the pin on Ziggler after Morrison and Stratus hit their finisher's on him. This match will probably go around 10 minutes time and expect Morrison and Ziggler to get most of that time with Trish and Lay-cool getting the other bit.
Ray's Prediction: Common booking and momentum aside, when was the last time that a celebrity actually lost a match at WrestleMania? Unless you name is Pete Rose, your alway's destined to be winning in a WWE ring. And I expect that this week will be the same. Snooki's team will win it.
Vince McMahon is trying so desperetly to rack in those extra buys from Jersey Shore fans. Horrible wrestling decision. Great business decision. I guess we now know what Vince value's more. I agree with the fact that Vince McMahon has probably never even seen a Jersey Shore episode in his life. Vince should consider himself lucky.
Potential Match Rating: 7.5/10
The Build-up: The buildup was getting quite stale and unappealing for this main-event match until this week's RAW. I gotta mention the special 2/21/11 edition of RAW where The Game and The Phenom stared off infront of the WrestleMania marquee was just epic. After that, there was no build-up for this match besides the occasional Triple H and Undertaker promo on RAW and SmackDown! and the promotion of the match through video packages by Shawn Michaels and various other WWE stars. Although like I said, this week's edition of RAW changed all that with the question left in the viewers mind of "What will Shawn Michaels role be in this match?". Bringing back Shawn Michaels makes this feud very intriguing, to the point that it's unpredictability rises even more then it already was. For a person who hasn't watched WrestleMania X-Seven (which I would assume most of the kids), this is a must buy.
The Match-up: Giving this match the No Holds Barred stipulation is a great thing to do because of the fact that Triple H has a strong record in No Holds Barred & that the Undertaker and Triple H can brawl outside of the ring instead of actually wrestle. Expect this match to go a good solid 20-30 minutes, and while it won't be as classic as the Undertaker's last two matches at WrestleMania, this match can be very very entertaining, especially with Shawn in the equation. Near falls will be necessary, and the "kicking out of each other's finishers atleast once" would be a great thing to add to this match as well.
Ray's Prediction: The Undertaker's 18-0 at WrestleMania. Vince McMahon won't let 18 year's of solid gold just burn because his son-in-law wants too. The Undertaker's got this in the bag. Undertaker win's via pinfall by a couple of Tombstones.
Yes, this match occured 10 year's prior, but it still have the potential to be a great match. Undertaker and Triple H have indeed lost some ability in their Wrestling skill ever since 10 years ago, but these legends still have a good match left in them, and this Sunday, they will define an Era.
Potential Match Rating: 8/10
The Build-up: I really thought that we were in for a treat for the build-up for this match because it featured two of the greatest talker's that WWE had to offer right now. I was right...well, to an extent. At time's, the build-up was horrible, while at times, it was brilliant. The big factor in the build-up and this entire match is the Rock. This is really good example of when a storyline overshadow's what's supposed to be a big match. Rocky shouldn't have gotten involved, and while that segment on last week's RAW sold some serious buys for WrestleMania, everybody in attendance at the Georgia Dome will now be looking at the stage for a Rocky sighting, then actually looking at the Cena/Miz match. That being said, the segment on RAW featuring the Rock, John Cena, and the Miz was simply amazing, and it intrigues me to no limit as to what the Rock will do at WrestleMania, although like I said, this has it's negative results of it's own. Although I gotta give it to creative for building up the Miz to be the biggest threat to Cena's title thus far.
The Match-up: I think alot of people are really underestimating this match. John Cena can work a really great match when he wants to, and the Miz has been steadily improving in-ring each and every week. Expect a bit of technical wrestling for the first 5 minutes or so, with the match then moving on to brawling and signature maneuvers and reversals for the next 15 giving us a solid 20-25 minute Wrestling match. Might I add, Cena and Miz have met on various occasions before this, and that will hopefully equate to some sort of chemistry between Cena and Miz.
Ray's Prediction: C'mon. John Cena is WrestleMania. He's not going to lose this match, even if the Rock interferes. Cena is the one selling tickets for Mania, not Miz. He is selling the merchandie, not Miz. He is the face of the company, not Miz. John Cena hasn't held world title since June 2010. He is undefeated at WrestleMania in singles competition, and I don't expect that to change this Sunday. Plus Alberto will more then likely win the title, and WWE needs to balance the heel and face wins with this. Plus, there's always the element of sending your crowd home happy, and that can only happen with Cena hoisting the WWE title up high this Sunday. Cena will win this one via STF.
I personally don't expect Rock to cost Cena the Championship. It will more than likely play out in a way like this: Cena wins the title after a gruelling match. Rock's music play's and he comes out to the ring. Rock then challenge's Cena at SummerSlam 2011 or next year's WrestleMania for the WWE Championship (which is rumoured to happen), and Rocky then deliver's Rock-bottom on John Cena.
Potential Match Rating: 8/10
Those are my predictions folks! WrestleMania is this Sunday, so I hope you guys will be ordering it and watching it with your buddies! I know I am!
Please leave a comment telling me about your picks and predictions and why, as I would be glad to hear them! Also, if you want to get into the WrestleMania spirit, I recommand you read my WrestleMania Spirit 7 part series!
Make sure to stick around for my review of WrestleMania XXVII, which will be coming out soon after the conclusion of WrestleMania XXVII. As I've said, I think that people are really underestimating the potential of this WrestleMania. It really has the potential to be really great!
Anyway's, I hope you have fun reading my WrestleMania XXVII thoughts and predictions! This is Ray Samuels signing off!