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WWE: What WrestleMania XXVIII Should Look Like

Anthony RizzutiSenior Analyst IIIOctober 9, 2016

WWE: What WrestleMania XXVIII Should Look Like

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    It is much too early to speculate what WrestleMania XXVIII will look like, but can you really blame me?

    Stuck in a tiresome and highly predictable PG era, the WWE has become as stale as ever. We are trapped in a bland period of wrestling and do not have much to look forward to as of late. John Cena is the WWE Champion, Orton is the World Champion, and CM Punk may be on his way out. 

    So in anticipation of an event that can drag us out of a boring string of incredibly boring angles, story-lines, and title runs--I have composed a promising card for the upcoming WrestleMania.

    And although 'Mania is the company's most touted show, that too has come up disappointing in the past four or five years. Nearly each 'Mania dating back to WrestleMania XIX has been plagued by poor undercard booking.

    Hell, even the main events have been terribly inconsistent. There were gems like Michaels-Taker, Taker-Edge, and Michaels-Cena...but there have been quite a few duds such as Triple H-Orton and Cena-Miz.

    Anyway, I have compiled a card that can bring some pop back to the lackluster event. Hopefully, you will find it well-balanced and potentially very entertaining.

The Rock vs. John Cena

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    This match needs no introduction. Not only because it was announced just a day after the last WrestleMania, but because this is a matchup everyone wanted to see. It is the undisputed main event of the card.

    It'll be the man now vs. the man then. 

    The "You Can't See Me" vs. "If you smell what The Rock is cookin'."

    The giant Fruity Pebble vs. The Great One.

    And hopefully everybody reading this is a smark who heavily favors The Rock. Because I'm sure you can agree with me when I say The Rock potentially beating Cena at "Mania will be the biggest mark-out moment in WWE history.

    But unfortunately for us Rocky marks, there's a very small chance the Brahma Bull will come out victorious in this one. I look at this match as the second version of Rock-Hogan at WrestleMania X8.

    Although it would have been great to see the Hulkster come out with one more huge win, the WWE decided to pass the torch to Rocky.

    This matchup cannot hold a candle to that of Hogan and The Rock, but it will most likely end up with a similar outcome.

    Another note on this match...

    The WWE Title should not be defended here because it doesn't have to. This matchup alone can draw PPV buys from the millions....and millions.

    Even though it is a tough concept for this company to understand, they should allow another wrestler hold the strap into 'Mania to create a deeper card.  

WWE Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. The Miz vs. Alex Riley

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    Assuming CM Punk is gone from the company come April of next year, these three guys should be deep into the WWE Title picture. With their exceptional and ever-growing in-ring skill, Del Rio, Miz, and Riley should be alternatives to John Cena for Raw's main strap. 

    Creating this match would give wrestling smarks a bit of nostalgia for two reasons.

    One, this potential Triple Threat bout represents how feuds should be written. It forces the babyface to take on an underdog role where all the odds are heavily stacked against him. In this case, Riley would act as the face while Miz and Del Rio both maintain their heel angles.

    For a younger, less experienced wrestler such as A-Ry to defeat two top heels makes the feud exciting to tune into. What keeps the babyface as an inspiring figure is the storyline where he finally breaks through to conquer the heel and capture the gold.

    Secondly, it introduces more variety to the brand. Instead of watching John Cena, John Cena, and John Cena winning the strap time and time again, the creative team should throw in more names into the mix.

    Billing Cena as an unbeatable monster makes the show boring and incredibly predictable. He's untouchable and they're forcing you to feel him. 

    Unfortunately, the WWE has forgotten how to take this approach which would explain the bland product they continue to cough up. The days of underdog faces and championship variety has taken a backseat to the dominance of the company's "Breakfast Club."

    Del Rio should defeat Cena at SummerSlam for the strap and carry it into WrestleMania. Put over your next big product in Alex Riley and have him win the Royal Rumble match. (It's about time for a face to come out victorious at the Rumble after seeing three heels win the match in as many years.)

    And since The Miz-Riley feud is the only thing that makes sense right now, continue it into 'Mania by throwing Miz into mix as the brand's top heel.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk

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    Since this article is titled What WrestleMania XXVII Should Look Like, then CM Punk should be involved.

    The WWE should re-sign Punk and should cement him on the top of the card for the better part of his career.

    And why should this match come to be? Because there is no better choice in the company than CM Punk to take on Taker in perhaps his last match. 

    As he stated in his shoot on the WWE, Punk is far and behind the best wrestler in the world today. The combination of his in-ring ability and mic skills is unparalleled and truly a rarity nowadays.

    He is a fan of the industry and one of very few guys in the WWE that respects the responsibility that comes with being a top guy, heel or not.

    Being the most controversial and most convincing heel this company has seen in a while, no current wrestler in the WWE has the potential to make this match what CM Punk can.

    You can expect Punk to effectively carry most of the match and can expect Taker to be his usual self at WrestleMania. This potential matchup undoubtedly has all the makings to be an instant classic.

    But whether you like it or not, it's probably not going to happen.

    What will happen is a rematch between Triple H and Taker. After all, Triple H will undoubtedly have the final say in what he thinks is best. And that's putting himself back into the ring with Taker.

    (If they do go through with this, hopefully they'll address their match from last year during this angle. Because in last year's feud, the WWE conveniently forgot the Taker-HHH match at WrestleMania X-Seven.)

World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

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    Here's another Triple Threat match for a major strap. Sure, having two of these matches for the two major titles at 'Mania is a bit unconventional. And yes, it has never been done in wrestling's biggest stage. But it's something different, which the WWE severely lacks.

    As mentioned in the earlier slide regarding the WWE Title bout, this company has little to no variety in its major title scenes. It's John Cena and Randy Orton dominating their respective brands day in and day out. The product used to be extremely popular because of its wide range of contenders.

    Back in the Attitude Era there was Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Taker, Jericho, Angle, and a handful of other believable guys. The "Screw-Off" mentality and variety of top guys made that era the greatest in the company's history.

    So in an attempt to think outside of the box, this Triple-Threat match should be billed for the upcoming 'Mania. 

    You can feed his ego and allow Orton to keep the strap all the way into April.

    Have Barrett win the MITB match on Sunday and let him carry it around for a bit.

    And throw in Sheamus since he is the top heel for SmackDown.

    This adds more options to the title scene with building up Barrett as a major player and solidifying Sheamus as the company's biggest heel other than The Miz.

Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara

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    It seems too perfect, right?

    Two masked luchadors with similar looks and similar wrestling styles. 

    There is no better way to put over Triple H's chosen one, Sin Cara, than pitting him against the beloved Rey Mysterio at 'Mania. With Mysterio aging and Cara becoming more popular, this match can serve as a passing of the torch.

    Although they perform for different brands, I'm sure Triple H can force the creative team to work in some kind angle for a potentially intriguing matchup.

John Morrison vs. R-Truth

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    The angle is already there. The creative team just has to follow through with it.

    Thanks to an injury to Morrison that was not scripted, the company has stumbled upon one of its best story-lines.

    Here you have two career long mid-carders trying to make that extra push to the top. If these two great athletes can work an exciting match and receive some pop from the Miami crowd, then the WWE has two more alternatives to Cena on the Raw brand. 

    This should be one of the longest matches on this card so Morrison and Truth can really display their promising skills to the wrestling universe. If they can put on a good show, JoMo and Truth will become that much more legit on the WWE Title scene.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match

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    After its inaugural appearance at WrestleMania 21, fans knew the Money in the Bank match would be just that...money in the bank. This ladder match never failed to disappoint the WWE Universe during its run from 'Mania 21 to 'Mania XXVI. 

    So why not reinstate it to get some more opportunities for more talent?

    Yes, I realize the company made a pay-per-view dedicated to the match, but does that mean they can't book it for another one? No. If anything, WrestleMania should be the exception to any rules.

    So here's who I'd have working this match:

    Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Evan Bourne from Raw.

    Ted DiBiase, Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and Christian from SmackDown.

    Besides Christian, the other nine men can all use some sort of a push. Whether it be a push to the top of the card for guys like Swagger and DiBiase or a mid-card push for deserving talents such as McIntyre or Mahal, this match would aid the company's mission of going with a youth movement.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry

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    A Jackson-Henry angle could feud for a pretty interesting one. At a combined 707 pounds, Mark Henry and Ezekiel Jackson can hold a monster's ball on the company's main stage. 

    The writers can create an angle where Henry continues his rampage over the two brands. He would then run into Jackson and cost him his IC strap at some point before WrestleMania XVIII. 

    It may not be the sexiest suggestion in this slideshow, but it could put Jackson over a bit more as a legit heavyweight.

Intercontinental Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

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    Is anyone else annoyed at the fact that the IC Title has become quite irrelevant? 

    Is it not ridiculous that a title once held by the likes of Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin is hardly being defended anymore?

    In fact, the last Intercontinental Championship match held at WrestleMania took place two years ago.

    To quote The Miz, "Really?"

    So what better way to bring this once coveted strap back into the mix then throw it up in a match between two extremely talented wrestlers?

    Daniel Bryan should grab an IC Title reign sometime before 'Mania and defend it against another upcoming talent in Cody Rhodes. These two can work a phenomenal opening match and kick off the wrestling extravaganza with a bang.

    Bryan and Rhodes have already worked together in their young WWE careers and have the ability to provide the fans with an entertaining battle.

The Card

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    Here is the card from top to bottom:

    The Rock vs. John Cena

    WWE Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. The Miz vs. Alex Riley

    The Undertaker vs. CM Punk

    World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

    Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara

    John Morrison vs. R-Truth

    10-Man Money in the Bank Ladder Match

    Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry

    Intercontinental Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

Notable Omissions

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    Kane and Big Show: I think it's safe to say these two guys aren't going to see any kind of push for the rest of their careers. Show and Kane are just around to pass the torch and put over the younger talent. This wouldn't be the first time Kane or Show were left off the WrestleMania card or wrestled a dark match before the event.. Hell, even Ric Flair worked a dark match at WrestleMania 23.

    Triple H: Although he isn't in any kind of ring work, Triple H still lurks in the shadows. As I stated in the Taker-Punk slide, an HHH-Taker rematch is highly likely. But hopefully Vince's son-in-law can swallow his pride and let the best wrestler in the company take his shot at the Deadman.

    Mason Ryan: He's not that big of a name yet, but there are rumblings of repackaging Mason's character. (Perhaps into the second coming of Batista.) Until then, he's not ready for the big stage quite yet.

    Zack Ryder: Unfortunately, the creative team doesn't know how to handle the Long Island product. I think including him in a 'Mania match may be a bit of a stretch right now.

    Divas: Do we really need to go over this? Kelly Kelly is the top women's wrestler in the company right now. Enough said. The only upside of having a Divas match would be seeing Justin King ref it.

    The Great Khali: This guy still has a job?

    Tag Teams: There once was a time where the Tag Team division was something to look forward to. But until there is a complete overhaul of the thin division, it wouldn't make sense to have a meaningless tag match.

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