Well the game has changed, what seemed a sure plan for Wrestlemania has now been scrapped and now everything is up in the air. What am I talking about? Simply put Cena vs Batista 2: The Rematch. With Batista sidelined with an injury and not due back till after Wrestlemania it seems that match is off the card.
Officially it may have never been on the card, but since the day after they met at Summerslam the seed was planted. It happened the next night on RAW when John Cena approached Batista and congratulated him on winning a hard-fought match against him, but things would be different...at the rematch! Right then I said to myself 'Well now I know what to expect at Wrestlemania'.
And really could the rematch to such a hotly anticipated match-up occur at any other event with that kind of lead up? Not only that but with John Cena the current World Heavyweight Champion it seemed to only be aiming to take it up a notch by pitting the title on the line this time. This was on my mind right until last weeks RAW, until they announced he would be out due to injury.
Now it would seem that the PPV of the year is a complete crap shoot. RAW's show is without what seemed to be their sure-fire main event, and Smackdown! is so clustered with contenders for the WWE Championship sometimes I wonder if they have any real plan with what they want to do on that show.
So here is what I hope to expect from 'the Grandaddy of Sports Entertainment'. Now these are not so much predictions, just an insight into what could happen that would make this years' Wrestlemania great.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship Match)
I think right now with the tear that Randy Orton has been on this match is a must if Cena vs Batista 2 is off the card. Never have I seen Randy so over as a heel, and he is fighting on on cylinders it seems. Plus out of everyone on the RAW roster in the top tier has already faced Cena a few times already it seems (Chris Jericho, JBL, etc.). I cannot recall Cena and Orton ever going 1-on-1 for a title, and even if they had, Orton has never been like this, which is why I would push this for RAW's main event.
Triple H vs. Mr. Kennedy (WWE Championship Match)
Now I know Jeff Hardy fans are sure to point out that Triple H is not the champ anymore, but I have a feeling that Jeff Hardy's title reign won't last long, as WWE has always had problems of effectively putting over a non conventional World Champion. Just look at Rey Mysterio's World title run, he just got beat by big guys time after time before losing it. CM Punk is another case where a new breed of champ was born but was wrote into a bad storyline which had him winning only due to unwarranted outside interference.
That aside another reason I could not put Jeff Hardy as champion against Ken Kennedy is that it would be a double underdog fight. Ken Kennedy has never won WWE gold before, and this is Jeff's first go with the gold, it's still to early to say if he's just a transitional champ or not. But if Kennedy were to face the Game at Wrestlemania, and win, it would solidify him as being a viable World Champion and give him more credibility down the road.
The major drawback of this match is that Kennedy is still injured and not due back till February, after No Way Out I believe. The only way a good story could formulate in time for this would be for Kennedy to return early from his injury and win the Elimination Chamber match at the PPV. Which would mean that either Randy Orton or some ECW superstar would need to be the Royal Rumble winner.
Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne (ECW Championship Match)
This match is something I think ECW needs more than anything. The show really isn't much to watch, and their champions have been rather unimpressive lately. And considering how disappointing their Wrestlemania matches were last year, what with the ECW Battle Royal not even being televised and Chavo losing in like 8 seconds, this match may be their saving grace.
Evan Bourne is on fire right now...well maybe not right now, but when he is injury free the fans love him. He is also very talented and original, putting the ECW title on him will only help the show I think. The WWE's ECW has really been the proving ground lately, and whenever someone gets big in ECW they move off to bigger and better thing on RAW or Smackdown! They need to give Bourne this opportunity here or else he'll be lost in the shuffle on either of the other 2 shows.
Of course it would seem that because of his injury Evan Bourne will not be at the Royal Rumble this year, and that would imply that Randy Orton will be the Rumble winner. That is something that I can see happening yet I don't feel this is the best time in his career for him to win it. Again, like Mr. Kennedy, I am hoping for an early return at the Royal Rumble and a surprise win by Bourne.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Retirement Match)
To be completely honest, this match came to me in a dream, after I started thinking about writing this article. Before that I was trying to think of a opponent for the Deadman at Wrestlemania to add to his streak, but no one came up. I figured that the Undertaker doesn't have to defend his legacy every Wrestlemania anyways. But this is the match that I think needs to happen.
After Shawn Michaels retired Ric Flair at Wrestlemania last year what better way to follow it up by retiring another great, the Phenom! By making this a match Undertaker needs to win or be forced into retirement all the gusto is there. HBK will either end the Deadman's Wrestlemania glory or be added to the list himself. I think this would be a phenomenal match, as both of these competitors are classics and a match like this would live in infamy.
Featuring: *Shelton Benjamin *John Morrison *Kofi Kingston *Edge *Ted Dibiase *Chris Jericho
I'm not going to lie, originally in place of Edge I had Dolph Ziggler, and still I would put him in place of any of these men if a substitute needed to be added. But I figured as impressive as he has been Dolph still needs to prove himself before I could put him on this list with no worries.
Otherwise I think this list has everything that could be asked for. Shelton, Morrison and Kofi give the agility and inventiveness to this match, whereas Edge and Jericho are the two season veterans that can help this match along if need be. Lastly Ted Dibiase is the one out of place guy who really hasn't proven how versatile he can be, and this would be a great time and place to show off.
I have 3 main qualms about this match though. First I have not been able to find a suitable power competitor to add to the fray. Kane would be the best I could fit for the role and is another brawler I wouldn't mind substituting in for another competitor if need be. Secondly MVP is not in this match, if he's not in this match I can't see him really being in any match come Wrestlemania, so again he is another good substitution. Finally, and maybe this isn't so much a qualm, but if they decide to go for the 8-man set-up this year that opens the spots for Kane, Dolph, MVP and another guy on the back burner Gregory Helms. Problem is with more than 6 people I find the match becomes very messy and uncoordinated.
What I like about this match is that it favours giving the briefcase to a young gun, a grappler who has not yet held World Title gold. Both Edge and Jericho are there to provide some good back-up should the young guys need it, plus if anything Jericho and Edge have proven they can run with the big dogs, so it'd be no worries if they were to take the case.
The only drawback, out of the 6 listed Kingston is the only one on the list who is a face currently. There doesn't have to be equality between the faces and heels in this match, but as I do not see Kofi becoming a World Champ anytime soon, it even puts less hope for the one face hope.
Tag Team Fatal Fourway Hardcore Match (WWE Smackdown Tag Title Match)
Featuring: Carlito & Primo vs. the Brian Kendrick & Ezekial Jackson vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. Jessie & Festus
This one was thrown in because that I have a theory when it comes to Wrestlemania, the top titles from each show mustbe defended (WWE, World Heavyweight, ECW). Then 1 midcard (Intercontinental or US), 1 tag (Smackdown or RAW tag team titles) and one other title (Women's or Diva) must be defended.
Since I already used Morrison, one half of the RAW tag team champions in the last match, that means it has to be Smackdown! As Carlito and Primo are the tag team champs for now they have to be in, and because the tag team division is struggling a straight up tag vs tag match wouldn't go over to well for a Wrestlemania card, especially when looking at Smackdown's roster.
To spice things up this match needed some zest, it couldn't be a straight up match it needed some stipulation added to it. The easiest way to do that is to make it a hardcore match. This would give everyone in this match, with the possible exception of Carlito and the Brian Kendrick, the chance to show what they can do in a non-conventional match type.
Plus this match-up would also allow for use of the ringbell as a weapon, which could lead to some interesting Festus antics.
CM Punk vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Manu (Intercontinental Championship Match)
This is the midcard title match that I think is best for the show. Because Shelton is the US champ and also listed in my Money-In-the-Bank match the US title is out. So that leaves the Intercontinental title left, and I don't imagine they will let William Regal hold the title till Wrestlemania. Therefor I figure CM Punk will dethrone him of the IC title by then, and go into Wrestlemania as champ.
Cody Rhodes needs to prove himself, which is why I have given him this opportunity. Rhodes has been making good use of his mouth lately, unfortunately for him he has yet to prove he can back it up in the ring. By securing IC gold at Wrestlemania I think Rhodes will come across better to fans and secure a spot higher up on the WWE ladder.
So why does Manu have to be there you may ask. Well if 'Legacy' is still kicking by then they will need to show some kind of unity at the PPV, with Orton in the main event and the status of Ted Dibiase and Sim Snuka as members unconfirmed this seems the only opportunity.
Manu is still a little green to use effectively at Wrestlemania, but he would add the power game to this match that would be lacking, plus his involvement would soil Cody Rhodes victory should that happen thus keeping him as a heel. With Rhodes and Manu both having a feud with Kofi and Punk a while ago for the tag titles there can still be some grudge that can be carried over for this match to create a back story.
- Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Mickie James vs. Melina (Women's Championship Match)
This is my 'other' title that needs to be defended, obviously it had to be either the diva's or the womens' title, but because I feel with the RAW roster has better divas in terms of wrestling skills I went with this match-up.
I believe that Beth Phoenix is the greatest thing to happen in the womens' division in a while. She is not just a pretty face or a juggernaut, but an athlete. The girl can wrestle. But much like the tag division, the women's division isn't nearly as good as it could be, which is why I again vied for a Fatal Four Way. This not only creates more interest in the match but will also give credit to the Glamazon in that no 1 woman can beat here.
The contenders are fairly well-rounded as well, with both Mickie James and Melina as former title holders able to carry the weight if the gold needs to be passed, and able to assist if the match needs stimulation. Kelly Kelly is the one who is probably the weakest when it comes to wrestling refinement, but after watching her from he beginnings in ECW it is clear that she is growing as a wrestler day-by-day. I believe a Womens' title run is not out of the question for Kelly Kelly and even if she loses this match-up it'll be a good prelude to what may happen in the future.
The one problem with this match, much like the Money-In-The-Bank match is that it favours one side, this time it's faces. There is 3-to-1 odds on a face Diva walking away with the strap. Now as I said before there is no rule saying it has to be even, but because Melina works so well as a heel I hope that by this time she could make the transistion back over and work he magic in this match.
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
I think if I left Jeff Hardy off the card altogether people may start trying to kill me. But that's not the only reason I put Jeff on the card, he is still good, and he meshes well with Umaga, who I also want to see at Wrestlemania. They have met numerous times and the history here can carry through if need be.
However, prior to his injury Umaga seemed to be on a face run, so if that were the case when he returns I would replace Jeff Hardy with the Big Show. Not that 2 faces cannot go at one another at Wrestlemania, but it is really hard to pull off and seems to be reserved for only main events, the same can be said for heel vs heel match-ups.
So why Big Show? Well Umaga is 'the Samoan Bulldozer' and Big Show is the biggest thing Smackdown! has got to offer, if anything is too big for Umaga it's the Big Show. This would be a battle of the titans like no other. Few times has Umaga been rivaled on pure brute power, but Big Show can definitely match it. Umaga's size paired with his uncanny agility makes him an opponent many have not seen yet, which also applies to the Big Show.
The Big Show has been much more vicious since his return, and had quite the streak going until the end of his feud with the Undertaker. Umaga always seems to be rolling over the competition, so these 2 big boys are like two trains on the same track with no slowing own, the result can be nothing but utter obliteration.
Wild Card Match
Last years Wrestlemania was 10 matches long, and up now I was at 9. Now I could easily make up some match, just to throw in a few of my favorites, but looking back at Wrestlemania's gone by there always seems to be that one wild card match you can't predict until at least February. Be it Big Show vs Mayweather last year or any of the Playboy bunny matches that occurred over the years, heck we've had gimmick battle royals and Big Show sumo wrestling over the years.
This is the match I have to leave open, there is absolutely nothing to go on yet, plus the match itself will probably be unlike anything we could expect so it would be foolhardy of me to make any guesses, predictions or even hopes.
Well that is what I hope Wrestlemania could be this year, and yes I am sure that some of these matches will not happen. However this is what I think would be the best program for Wrestlemania. If you feel otherwise please feel free to leave a comment on what you would change or where you think I went wrong or right.