WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII: 11 Matches We Could See at the Big Event
Summerslam was a few weeks ago, so now the focus of WWE Programming is beginning to shift towards the grand daddy of them all, WrestleMania.
In seven short months, we will see one of the biggest matches of all time when The Rock takes on John Cena in a dream match for the ages. But what else will the big event feature?
What role will COO Triple H play? How about the hottest thing going, CM Punk? Who will Daniel Bryan challenge for the World Heavyweight Title?
Before we get started, I would be remiss to not mention a similar card put forward a few days ago by fellow Bleacher Report Contributor Sam Watkins. His card is one that I would gladly pay $50 to see! Hopefully one of ours comes true.
In my humblest of opinions, this is what the card will look like...
Intercontinental Title Match: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. John Morrison
Sadly, the Intercontinental Title has only been defended once at WrestleMania in the past 10 years.
With a renewed focus on the mid-card, it seems like this year would be a perfect event to showcase the once great title.
With Cody Rhodes attacking his opponents and putting a paper bag over their heads, it seems like this storyline is just begging for a payoff at WrestleMania. Who better to put a stop to it than the Shaman of Sexy himself?
This could be a great match to really show how important the title is, and can be. I would have Cody win a close one here to really help solidify him as a major player in the coming years.
4-Team Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles
Air Boom vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
vs. Christian and Mason Ryan vs. The Kings of Wrestling
How do you follow a classic match that helped restore a great title? Why, with another one, of course!!
I could see Air Boom getting a nice long reign with the straps to help reestablish the division. After they have taken on all challengers, what is left for them to do? Take them all on at once, of course!
I'll stop asking myself questions, I promise.
This match helps fill the void that was left when Money in the Bank got large enough for its own event. Last year, the train wreck spot fest was sorely missed.
Because having three or more briefcase holders a year is probably too much, this is the next best thing.
While Jack Swagger and Ziggler are hinting at a feud, I would really love to see them get together as a take-no-prisoners-heel team under Vickie Guerrero's guidance.
The second two teams are clearly wild cards. Christian was hinting at getting a bodyguard before Summerslam, and Mason Ryan would be a great choice to fill that roll. Failing him, it could easily be Mark Henry, Ezekial Jackson or a returning Skip Sheffield in his place. The Kings of Wrestling are, of course, the Independent Tag Team of Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero. The pair have been rumoured to be signed to the WWE for months now. What better place to truly showcase them as the future of the division than here? If not them, the next best option I could think of would be Justin Gabriel and Alex Riley.
I would have the KoW win here, but I would be happy to see Swaggler take the gold.
Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara
Ever since the vignettes started for Sin Cara, this match at Wrestlemania has been all but guaranteed.
After reports came out a few weeks ago that the WWE would like to break the Los Angeles Angels Guiness World Record for most people wearing a mask at the same event, this match seems like it is as close to being set in stone as possible.
If that is the case, this is a great match to go after the Ladder match, to allow the fans the chance to catch their breath while they put on their masks.
With the wrestler portraying Sin Cara changing from the original Mistico to Hunico, there is still plenty of drama to help us build up the showdown.
I would see Sin Cara winning in an upset.
The Undertaker vs. Sheamus
This may seem like a let down after the Undertaker's past five matches have been against some of the biggest stars of the generation. But I think it really is a great option for both men, and the company in general.
There had been talk of this match happening last year, but those plans fell out of favour for whatever reason.
Sheamus is a multi-time WWE World Champion and is among the best big men in the WWE today. So why not give him a match against one of the best big men of all time?
This could either stay a straight up face vs. face match, or they could let Sheamus return to his heel roots and do anything imaginable to defeat the Deadman.
A good showing leading up to a loss for Sheamus could go a long way to help establish him as a big star for years to come.
Big Show vs. Shaq
This may seem a little off base, but I for one think there is a definite possibility of this happening.
There was talk of this match happening previously, either at WrestleMania or at a special edition of Raw; however, nothing could be worked out with Shaq's then-NBA teams.
Now that Shaquille O'Neal has retired, that hurdle no longer stands in his way.
The Big Show worked a miracle four years ago against Floyd Mayweather, so who is to say that he can't do it again?
This match would make for a great sideshow, especially in Miami, where the Big Man used to play. He would be very popular, and it would be believable for him to defeat the World's Largest Athlete in a feel-good moment.
Wade Barrett Defends the United States Title in a 20-Man Battle Royal
Featuring: Justin Gabirel, Alex Riley, Mark Henry, Kane, Tyson Kidd, The Great Khali, Kinder Mahal, Ezekial Jackson, Heath Slater, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Drew McIntyre and WWE Legends
This would be a great match to get everyone on the card, and to give the fans a break after watching a celebrity showdown in the match before.
The WWE seems set on pushing Wade Barrett again soon, so I could see him with a reign as the United States Champion—foreign heels can make such great US Champions, after all.
Perhaps after having a problem with Triple H, he could be forced to defend his title against all comers in order to really stack the odds against him.
The participants are the biggest names to not be featured elsewhere on the card. I thought it could be fun to combine a cocky title defense with a throwback to the Gimmick Battle Royal from WrestleMania X-7. Bring back whatever capable WWE Legends like Jummy Snuka, Sargent Slaughter and whoever else would be interested in returning for another WrestleMania moment.
I would have a plucky face like Justin Gabriel, Zack Ryder or Santino Marella pull out an upset win. Perhaps even after entering the match dressed up as a legend of the past like Doink the Clown or the Gobbledygooker in a fun WrestleMania moment.
World Heavyweight Title Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Hogan-Andre had Savage-Steamboat, so let's give Cena-Rock Punk-Bryan.
Both men can lay legitimate claim to being the best in the world. Why not give them a chance to prove it?
The setup to this would be so simple. Daniel Bryan already has a shot at the big gold belt. CM Punk knows how good he is, so he wants a chance to face him at WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan is flattered but refuses to give up on his goal. So CM Punk chases after the World Heavyweight Champion before winning the belt at Elimination Chamber to set up the indy dream match.
The winner of this match could be anyone, but it would definitely be the millions of us who get the privilege of watching this match.
I would have CM Punk win in a close match, and have Daniel Bryan snap and turn heel, to set up a long, drawn-out feud between the two. But I certainly wouldn't complain to see him hoist the strap at the end of the match.
The Miz (with R-Truth) vs. Triple H (with Shawn Michaels)
Now that The Miz is ready to Fight the Power, who better for him to go up against the WWE COO, HHH?
The promos leading up to this match would be great, and it looks like they started already this past Monday when Awesome Truth started to call out The Game.
Of course, The Miz would have R-Truth in his corner, and Triple H would look to even the odds by bringing back his old running buddy, Mr. Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels, to stand in his corner.
As much as I would love to see The Miz win, it's pretty obvious that he would eat a Superkick, then a Pedigree, then look up at the lights for three seconds.
Kharma, Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs. Kelly Kelly and the Bellas
This has been the typical women's match spot in recent years, even though this is not a typical women's match.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya have been great as The Diva's of Doom in the past few weeks. Kharma should return early 2012, and it seems like she would join that duo in their quest to rid the WWE of its Barbie Dolls.
I know that the Bellas are heels right now, but they have quietly improved leaps and bounds in the ring this year and would deserve a match at WrestleMania. They could probably be replaced with different divas, though, if they stay heels.
I would like to see Kharma look dominant by squashing someone and getting the big win here.
WWE Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho
I really hope that Alberto Del Rio gets a nice, long run with the title belt. It would really help establish him as a top-level name.
After he has finished his issues with John Cena and CM Punk, there is another big name for him to take on: Randy Orton.
The brand extension appears to be essentially finished anyway, so Orton is clear to challenge whoever he wants.
Chris Jericho is rumoured to be returning soon, and he should go after Orton (for punting him out of the company in September 2010).
Either Jericho or Orton could win the Royal Rumble, and somehow the other could find himself in this match. I would love to have Jericho return at the Rumble, eliminate Orton, but have the refs not see it. Orton would then slide back in the ring, eliminate Jericho and win the event. Jericho complains and gets put into the match as well, setting up this great event.
I would like to see Del Rio get the WrestleMania win he was denied last year, and have the "Rumble Curse" extend another year.
But this is the WWE, so I guess Randy Orton wins.
The Rock vs. John Cena
The most hyped match in the past decade will obviously close the show.
The crowd response to this will be nothing short of sensational.
Two icons, face to face, move for move, hold for hold.
Two of the most charismatic performers in any field together.
There are no words to describe this—it's going to be nothing short of epic.
As for who wins...I would have to give the nod to John Cena, even though this is in The Rock's hometown.
Andre the Giant laid down for Hulk Hogan, and Hogan laid down for The Rock. The torch gets past on April 1, 2012.