Why do I use that as the intro? Because in the opinions of most fans and scribes,
'Mania just isn't as exciting this year. For whatever reason, be it the matches
booked, the seeming focus shift to John Cena's movie or other reasons, in the
minds of most this just doesn't feel like 'Mania.
Of course, we've said this in the past and have in the end seen really good
shows, so it's still up in the air as to what to truly expect. In the meantime,
let's run down the card.
|| WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
It's hard not to put this match on last, except for the sneaking suspicion that
the heel will come out on top. Who the heel will be though is to be determined.
Despite everything Randy Orton has done to keep himself hated, the fans still
cheer him. A double-switch could happen here, but it would take a lot of maneuvering
to do so. I expect the turn to happen either on Raw or at Backlash, but for
now let's book Orton to win the match.
This just doesn't have the "Mania Main Event Feel" to me. We've seen
these two wrestle plenty of times before, including in a three-way at last years
Mania, and the build up has been pretty lame. That said, Triple H always brings
his "A" game for WrestleMania so I do expect a good match. Orton wins
to begin the new age of Orton.
Ah yes, these recycled feuds have so much luster, dont they? Orton has
high blood pressure and Triple H broke kayfabe on Raw to admit hes married
to Stephanie McMahon in real life. The WWE has built Orton to be
the maniac of maniacs and thats great and all, but when youre not
family, you dont win the main event at WrestlaMania. Though, it would
be a sweet swerve to see Steph or Shane McMahon help Orton win and be the next
member of Legacy.
The roles should really be reversed here Orton should be the champion
and HHH should be the one chasing him for the title. Nonetheless, look for Orton
to win this and reign as champion until at least Summer Slam.
It's too bad Orton has to lose to the son-in law but that's the way the cookie
This has been a tremendous emotional build with Orton easily becoming the hottest
heel in the company. I don't think anyone is debating that Triple H will come
out on top, but hopefully Orton is kept to look very strong. The Game retains
gold with a Pedigree in the middle of the ring. After Mania, the writing staff
has to start making DiBiase and Rhodes look like viable threats.
Though the buildup was a bit shaky with the HHH house invasion, this feud stepped
up several notches the other week when Orton assaulted Stephanie - that was
fantastic. With Vince and Shane now in the mix, the match might end being a
bit of a cluster, but it should still be a solid match. HHH stands triumphant
at the end of the day.
This match will contain a lot of interference, as Priceless and The McMahons
will get involved at some point. Stephanie McMahon will probably show up towards
the end of the match and wind up costing her husband the title. Orton wins.
| WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
This is the very definition of bad booking. Vickie was so strong as a character
a couple months ago, now she's just annoying. Are we really supposed to believe
that both Edge and Show love her? Is this just going to end up like Dwight and
Andy's love for Angela? Cena's bound to take the title here, in what coule be
the lead-in to the end of Vickie Guerrero on WWE TV.
Another one without the Main Event Feeling to it, the Three-way has become a
crutch in Wrestlemania booking. Sure, the match at WrestleMania 20 was a classic,
but has any of the other three way matches been at all memorable? I had to actually
wrack my brain to remember the match last year. The build for this has been
complete garbage as well. Cena wins to send the crowd home happy.
I like how Show was just added to the match because weve already seen
Edge and Cena about 6,115 times. But Big Show? Come on, cant the bookers,
er, Creative Team, come up with someone else. CM Punk maybe? Cena has the fans,
Edge has the title and Show has, um, well, a bald head. Edge as the world champ
makes sense, but then again, so does Cena. But if Cena wins, does he move to
Smackdown? Nah. Hes a Raw mainstay. Edge retains.
Its either Cena or Edge walking out with the title, and since its
WrestleMania, look for a title change
that means John Cena is your new
champion. This is especially likely given the current world economic crisis
John Cena is a big draw and WWE will be putting the focus back on him
this year, you can count on it.
If Show wins I'll eat Cena's hat. I guess Edge.
Edge is taking time off after Mania so you know he's dropping the title. The
obvious choice is putting the belt back on Cena *boring*, but with John's big
movie coming out I could see him going on a run to promote the film. Vince has
become increasingly paranoid on storylines being leaked so I could see Big Show
getting the surprise win and Cena taking the belt from him at the next pay-per-view.
I'm going out on a limb and picking Show.
Can't say I've liked the buildup for this one nearly as well as the other title
match, and with the inclusion of the Big Show it won't be nearly as good. That
said, Edge and Cena should be able to make this one pretty good. A feel-good
ending is always nice at Mania, so look for Cena to somehow get the win.
Cena's out of the question since he's supposedly shooting a movie around summer-time.
It looks as though the Edge and Big Show feud is going to continue past Mania.
Edge gets the win here and retains, forcing a singles match-up between him and
Show at Backlash with Vickie Guerrero as a Guest Referee or Enforcer.
|| INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
JBL vs. Rey Mysterio
If Monday's match was done to build hype for Sunday's bout, then it failed.
Rey may look like more of a threat, but we already know he can beat JBL. Rey
takes the title and JBL's historic announcement is that he's bringing back WCW.
I have no interest in this match. Hopefully Rey wins.
How this is even a match at Mania is beyond me and why its Rey getting
the title match is also beyond me. But I digress. Whats the history
JBL is supposed to make here? Beat Rey, unmask him and then retire as IC champ?
Thatd be cool. We then would get weeks of tournament matches (and probably
qualifying matches) leading up to a tournament final at whatever PPV is in June.
Mysterio will likely win the strap here, as JBL is pondering retirement and
Mysterio needs something to rejuvenate him because hes been lost in the
shuffle lately. It wasnt too long ago that he was the World champion
look at him.
JBL eats the 619 and Rey Rey win wins
This match was hastily put together, and then they gave it away for free on
Raw! A bout that already meant nothing becomes even more uninteresting. Mysterio
wins IC gold and JBL goes back behind the Smackdown announce table.
Have to say, I'm actually intrigued by what the big announcement from JBL will
be. My guess is that he'll win the match and retire as champion.
Rey Mysterio will come close, but JBL gets the win in his home state.
|| GRUDGE MATCH (EXTREME RULES)
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
The build just got too creepy on Smackdown a couple weeks back, but the bout
itself will be great. Do yourselves a favour and watch the Eddie Guerrero/Edge
Smackdown match on Guerrero's DVD. It will prepare you for this bout, which
I expect to be very similar.
Remember how great the build was to Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart? I wish WWE creative
had gone and watched that TV and it gave them some ideas. This feud has just
been flat. I do expect a great match, although I also expected that in 2001
when they stunk up the joint at Vengence. Matt wins due to the extreme rules,
to continue the feud.
Is this feud one and done? The whole sibling rivalry thing has been done before,
so this type feud is nothing new. We can only hope that Extreme Rules means
more than tin garbage cans, plastic stop signs and metal chairs. These guys
in a one-on-one match that caters to their strengths has the probability to
be epic, but with WWE being watered-down these days, well have to settle
for the above toys being used in this match and some high-flying moves. Probably
no juice, either. Older brother wins here, but my gut says he helps up lil
bro and the two embrace like Randy Savage and Elizabeth did at WrestleMania
Hardy har har, heel hits his finisher for the victoire.
Will it be the match of the night? It's a lot of pressure on a couple of guys
who were at their best in the 1980s. I seriously smell a swerve here, with Flair
getting the upset victory, and then announcing his actual retirement on Raw
with the whole company feting him.
Potential show-stealer right here. If Matt and Jeff go all out we should be
seeing some high flying, risk taking carnage. Jeff picks up the 1-2-3, but only
after both brothers are bloodied and exhausted..
This one could rival even the Money in the Bank match in terms of craziness.
I've never been a big fan of the Hardys personally, but there's no denying they
can deliver when it comes to daredevil moves. Matt deserves to get his comeuppance
for everything he's done to Jeff lately, and Mania should be the climax of the
feud, so look for Jeff to win.
Matt Hardy picks up the win to further the feud with his brother Jeff.
TAG TEAM TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH (LUMBERJACK MATCH)
Los Colons vs. Miz and Morrison
These four guys have had the best matches on WWE TV in the last few months and
unifying the titles makes sense. If it wasn't for MITB, I'd say Ladder Match
here, but I'm guessing that will wait for a couple shows (seems like a good
fit for Extreme Rules). Miz and Morrison win.
Glad to see the tag titles on the show, and this could be a good match even
with the lumberjack stipulation. I'd look for the Colons to walk out with the
Please open the show with this match. None of these guys are top-notch material.
Matt Bishop would backhand me if I didnt pick his man-crushes Miz and
Morrison, so Ill take my chances and say the Colon boys win all four belts
and get both Bellas amid outside interference aplenty.
Finally, theyre doing something smart! With the tag team division so weak,
unifying the titles is the right move. I hope Morrison and The Miz win because
I dont think Carlito and Primo are ready to carry the division yet. So,
thats my pick Morrison and The Miz. The Lumberjack stipulation
is a cheap excuse to get everyone not on the card some camera time at the biggest
event of the year.
Hmm, Colon-ialism wins out over Miz and Morrison.
Good to finally see the two tag belts merged; maybe now this title can mean
something again. A nice slow build with these two teams has been a nice change
in the tag division and the addition of The Bella Twins was a good touch. The
good guys, Carlito and Primo, take home WrestleMania glory.
Unfortunately, what could have been a very good match will suffer - lumberjack
matches aren't a favourite of mine. This will be the standard cliche finish
where interference from one of the outside heels will lead to Miz and Morrison
getting the win.
The Colons use their quickness to get the advantage and take the titles away
from Miz and Morrison.
Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker
The build has been the best all year, and you can thank Michaels for that. It's
obvious that 'Taker wins, but I almost get the feeling there will be a heel
turn tease post match with 'Taker going ballistic on HBK, only for Shawn to
be saved by Batista.
One of only two matches I am really excited about on this show (what does that
say?). The build has been great, and really this is one of the last few "dream
matches" in WWE. I remember the reaction at the Royal Rumble in 2007 when
they were the last two left. To WWE's credit they let this stew for another
two years before pulling the trigger. Undertaker will maintain his streak but
it will be a hell of a match to get there.
In all honesty, this should be the last match on the card. But itll probably
be stuck somewhere in the middle. How much longer can either of these guys go?
I hope this gets at least 20-plus minutes. Michaels has been coming out ahead
on TV recently, so common sense would say he loses at Mania. Not so, say
me. The Streak hits 17-0.
Undertaker wins in what will no doubt be his best WrestleMania match ever. If
his losing streak ever comes to an end, it would be against a young, rising
star to put them over; not an aging Shawn Michaels who doesnt need the
rub hes already a legend.
The most surprising thing on the show would be seeing Taker staring at the lights.
Oh baby I'm looking forward to this one! What a fantastic early '90's type of
build with borderline cheesy vignettes coupled with deadly serious promos. I
pray that Undertaker pulls this out and they save his 1st Mania loss to be to
a youngster who needs the rub. After a classic battle it will be The Dead Man
who stands tall.
This should be the epic match that everyone talks about for years to come. Taker's
streak has become so meaningful to fans that for it to break would be a major
suprise, and I think a major disappointment. Even though Shawn is probably the
only person deserving of the honour, I don't think it's going to happen.
HBK will put on quite a show, but in the end 'Taker's streak will prevail.
MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH
CM PUNK VS. FINLAY VS. SHELTON BENJAMIN VS. CHRISTIAN VS. KANE VS. MARK
HENRY VS. MVP
This is looking pretty weak. A month ago I would've picked MVP, but with the
US title now around his waist that's not going to happen. Shelton Benjamin deserve
the spot more than anyone now and will get the chance to run for the title,
likely against Cena.
Each year it seems WWE gives us some odd additions to this match, yet it still
works out to be something pretty cool. Punk won last year so he is out, and
I can't see him taking it. I will go with Christian, a ladder expert, to walk
away with the briefcase.
Somehow imagining Mark Henry climbing a ladder makes me want to skip a meal
or even seven. Yikes. I like Kofi Kingston or a repeat CM Punk win here. My
dark horse is Christian.
Either Christian or CM Punk, but since Punk dropped the ball with his last opportunity,
Im going with Christian. There are more storyline opportunities that way
he can bother Edge and they can feud over the main event spot, or he
can bug Cena about running him out of WWE a few years back. MVP is the sleeper
Ok the only two viable options are either MVP or Christian to win. CM Punk could
do it, but he won last year and I think he is stuck in the Intercontinental
level for now. My heart says Christian, but my brain tells me that he will be
punished for his TNA choice for a while longer. MVP grabs the briefcase.
What a strange combination of people in this match - Kane? And, seriously, Mark
Henry? Though how cool would it be to see him pick up a ladder and move it away
from the briefcase while someone else is climbing it. I think Christian will
pick up the win. He's strong enough on the mic that having him come out on TV
every week and brag about being the new Mr. MitB will be quite entertaining.
Can't say the same about anyone else.
Gail Kim picks up some steam and wins the Battle Royal.
MISS WRESTLEMANIA MATCH
Maria vs. Natalaya vs. Melina vs. Maryse vs. Rosa Mendez vs. Tiffany
vs. Jillian Hall vs. Katie Lea vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Alicia Fox vs. Brie
Bella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James vs. Candice Michelle
vs. Eve Torres vs. Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Layla vs. Sunny
vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Jackie Gayda vs. Molly Holly vs. Victoria
As odd as it sounds, this one has some good intrigue. A few could win here between
a potentially returning Trish, Gail Kim, either belt-holder or, of course, Santino
Marella. I'll go a different route and pick Sunny.
This is a tough one to pick. On the one hand, it would be great to see a legend
like Sunny win, but at the same time that would be at the expense of all of
the girls who have worked so hard all year to get to this spot. Likely this
will turn into a comedy, with Santino taking out one of the contestants and
replacing her to win.
Incredible 50 breasts in one ring. Who wins? Who cares? But if I had
to pick, Id say Sunny outlasts the other 24 in what will obviously be
a quick three-minute match.
Word on the street is Sunny will be making an appearance in this one. Who cares
who wins, honestly?
ummmmm Trish Stratus?
If Mae Young is in the match, she wins, simply because there's no way she's
going over the top rope. Trish Stratus probably deserves it more than any other
woman, though I wouldn't be too upset if Sunny won it either. Too many choices,
so I'm just going to sit back and watch the beauties in action.
Gail Kim picks up some steam and wins the Battle Royal.
GRUDGE MATCH (HANDICAP)
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat/Roddy Piper/Jimmy Snuka
This won't be good unless it's Steamboat in for the majority of the match. Jericho
wins the battle, but loses the war after Austin comes out for a Stunner. To
top it off, we get the RamJam from Mickey Rourke.
Oh what could have been. Such great promos from Jericho, so much great potential...
and then this. While I am excited to see Steamboat wrestle again, as talented
as Jericho is I can't see this being much more than a gong show. Hopefully Jericho
wins, but gets his comeuppance afterwards, perhaps with a Stunner?
Lets see DVD of Piper. Check. DVD of Snuka upcoming. DVD
of Steamboat soon? This storyline got boring right from the start and
it ends here. Mickey Rourke gets involved and helps the old-timers win. This
much is clear even to a blind and deaf person. I hope Y2J pouts after the match,
too. Its always nice to see a near-40-year-old throw a hissy fit. WWE
is also making him to be a softer, "me use big words that most fans don't
know what they mean" version of Orton. I call that lazy writing by the
Dumbest angle of the year, bar none. The legends will win with help from Ric
Flair and possibly Mickey Rourke.
This could either be a terrific Mania moment or a total disaster. I'm thinking
this will be kept relatively short with Jericho going after Mickey Rourke and
Flair. The Legends will win somehow and I'm thinking Rourke gets in the ring
and lays out Y2J.
Way to blow a marquee match and somehow not set up Y2J against either Stone
Cold, the newest flag-bearer for the Hall of Fame, or Hulk Hogan, the true centrepiece
of the earliest Wrestlemanias. If Steamboat can work even as half as well as
he did twenty years ago, it should be a good match. If not, well, it's going
to tank pretty hard. Should be fun, though. Y2J gets a cheap win, but in the
end, the Legends, Mickey Rourke, and Ric Flair will be standing tall in the
centre of the ring.
Jericho wins the match through questionable tactics, only to be confronted by
"Stone Cold" Steve Austing, who comes to the aide of his fellow Hall
of Famer's and levels Jericho with a Stunner.
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-- compiled by Jon Waldman
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