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'Mania card starts to take shape
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


There's just eight weeks to go until Wrestlemania 23, WWE's equivalent of tomorrow's NFL Super Bowl.

But while gridiron fans have known it'll be a Colts-Bears Super Bowl showdown for the past couple of weeks, even wrestling's highest placed insiders are still in the dark about the 'Mania line-up.

WWE bosses are reportedly going back and forth on the final card for the biggest show of the year, which takes place in Detroit on April 1.

Prior to the Royal Rumble last weekend, it was assumed the 'Mania main event would be John Cena defending the WWE title against Shawn Michaels (with Edge and Randy Orton being considered as potential back-up challengers).

But based on the booking at last weekend's pay-per-view, it looks like WWE has done a complete 180 on the top matches for Wrestlemania 23.

It now appears The Undertaker will challenge for Cena's world title, a controversial collision between WWE's top two golden boys.

Vince McMahon sees Cena as the future star of the company, and protects him as such. The champ is always booked to look strong, and it's highly unlikely WWE will make him lose on the biggest and most visible show of the year.

On the other hand, Undertaker has developed an unparalleled 16-year winning streak at Wrestlemania, an all-time undefeated record which WWE bosses hardly want to bring to an end unnecessarily.

It's doubtful a 'Mania main event would end with a screwy finish, so if this match goes ahead, it'll be one of the most intriguing PPV headliners in history.

'Taker was originally supposed to challenge Batista for the World Heavyweight title in the Smackdown half of the main event, a spot which Michaels is now expected to fill instead.

This leaves Orton and Edge to have a one-on-one singles match, with storyline seeds already being planted to set that feud in motion.

In other big matches, Hulk Hogan is pretty much a lock for a Wrestlemania comeback.

The initial plan was to have the Hulkster take on The Big Show -- recreating the David vs. Goliath dynamic from Hogan's Wrestlemania III match with Andre the Giant, 20 years later.

But Big Show is still on injured list, which means it'll likely be the 7-ft 400-lb Great Khali taking a body slam from the Hulkster instead.

Donald Trump will also be involved in Wrestlemania, doing some kind of angle with Vince McMahon.

It's doubtful The Donald will be taking bumps in the ring, so proxy wrestlers will probably do the dirty work while Trump and McMahon spar verbally from their respective corners.

Other matches on the drawing board include some kind of gimmick match between The Hardy Boyz and MNM (TLC seems to be the most popular rumour) and a Money in the Bank ladder match for a future WW title shot.

Steve Austin and Triple H are both likely to make non-wrestling 'Mania appearances.

RELATED LINKS

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  • Preorder WWE Royal Rumble 2007 DVD