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Countdown to WrestleMania 27 - Part 2
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff






When we last left our heroes, they were halfway through the predictions for WrestleMania.

Having cleared through the "lower card" matches, now, we're ready to launch into the big-deal bouts - the two Heavyweight title matches, The Streak bout and... yes... Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler (hey, legitimately or not, the bout has had the most interesting build practically of any match. Sue us!).

Talk, is cheap. Let's get to the future-telling.


GRUDGE MATCH

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

It seems like the rub from this feud will be Michael Cole becoming Jack Swagger's manager. As stupid as it is, and yes I really hate it, fans rip on Swagger just because he has a lisp. Cole could be a great mouthpiece for Swagger and a couple other heels on SD! whilst young Josh Mathews gets the lead commentating role. Given how Cole's also pissed off the Divas, I'm guessing they will also be in on the epic beatdown, leading to the disgruntled Cole swearing revenge and becoming the manager of Awesome Kong. But it all starts here folks, with the moment we've been waiting for. Michael Cole getting the youknowwhat kicked out of him by Lawler et. al.

Greg Oliver

This will be short, and hopefully they learned from last year's McMahon vs Hart debacle that even revenge can go too long and drag down a show. Lawler takes it. The real question is where they go from here with Cole.

Colin Hunter

Funny how two of the most hated heels of the modern wrestling era emerged not from the WWE locker room, but from behind the announce table. Michael Cole is to 2011 what Mr. McMahon was to 1998 — the pompous, cowardly blowhard who, sooner or later, will be forcefully provided with a new mudhole. Lawler wins. The question is: can Cole take a beating as beautifully as Andy Kaufman?

Andy McNamara

Cole as a heel character is tremendous, but I have no idea how they have him back in the broadcast booth following this match. Does he become a manager? Lawler 100% gets the feel good win in a contest that will involve The King mainly giving chase and fighting off Jack Swagger. Looking forward to some Stone Cold Stunners in this one!

Bob Kapur

I would like Cole’s heel persona so much better if he were a weaselly little manager character, as opposed to the company’s main commentator – it’s so counterproductive when he buries the matches and the wrestlers when that role should be a supporting one intended to make everyone look good. That being said, he has been magic in terms of generating hatred to the point where everyone wants to see him get his comeuppance. And that’s exactly what Jerry Lawler will give him. This one will end with a fist-drop and a pin, followed by a pair of Stunners, and many beers being drank. And that will just be at my house watching the show!

David Hillhouse

Lawler wins while Cole and Swagger get stunned. Please feel free to mock me if I am wrong about what seems to be the most predictable match of the night.

STREAK MATCH

The Undertaker vs. Triple H
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Honestly, Monday's promos by 'Taker and Shawn Michaels had me thinking that Trips had a shot at ending the streak. 'Taker's slight edge towards heeldom and HBK's non-belief made Trips a sympathetic babyface, and I actually go into the match wanting The Game to win. 'Taker's too cocky now, and I almost expect him to be the heel next year for the 20-0 match, which will also likely be a return match vs. Hunter after The Game loses tonight.

Greg Oliver

There's really no doubt in my mind that Undertaker wins, or at least doesn't lose. Why not a DQ to muddy up the waters? Everybody wins. Rematches down the road.

Colin Hunter

Remember WrestleMania 17? Apparently Triple H doesn’t. He seems convinced that he has never had an opportunity to break the Undertaker’s streak. He tried. He failed. And by claiming there's no one else in the locker room that would make a worthy challenge for him this year, HHH effectively buried all his coworkers. Classy. ‘Taker wins. Again. In other words: if HHH wins, I riot.

Andy McNamara

Unless I missed it I don't think it has been really brought up that Undertaker already beat HHH at WrestleMania! Anything with Taker at Mania goes over huge and the work rate should be top notch. The Dead Man goes to 19-0 and don't be surprised if a Shawn Michaels run-in occurs.

Bob Kapur

Simply put, Taker’s streak is money. People want to see it continue, will pay to see him defend it every year, and I think WWE would alienate many fans if it is broken. This should be a good match, as both of these guys can deliver in high profile situations. The no-DQ stipulations should make it that much better, since it will allow for Shawn Michaels to get involved, following up on RAW from this week, and let these guys swing for the fences – in fact, this should be the rare time that the TV-PG “no blood” rule is thrown out, to heighten the stakes even more. Taker wins at the end of a physically and emotionally grueling match.

David Hillhouse

Well, since you already read my Mat Matters column (right?), you know that I think Triple H can win, but that The Undertaker shouldwin. Let's be clear on my opinion - The Undertaker willwin, but it just might come via a little interference from Shawn Michaels to be sure that Triple H doesn't succeed where he himself has failed. After all, since "retirement" in pro wrestling is just another word for "vacation", HBK is probably ready to run the ropes again.

WORLD TITLE MATCH

Edge vs. Alberto del Rio

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

There were a lot of suggestions of late that Christian should be inserted into this match. Certainly it makes sense, but if he did that, then he couldn't turn on Edge in nearly as entertaining a manner. I get the feeling Christian will be back where he belongs -- as a heel -- after destroying his brother/friend after The Rated R Superstar defeats Del Rio.

Greg Oliver

This should be a good match, and it should be given at least 15 minutes. Del Rio goes over, but I don't forsee a long title reign for him. Will Christian finally get a chance as a top guy? Or will he cost Edge the title.

Colin Hunter

Edge has made a habit of losing title matches at WrestleMania, so why stop now? Del Rio is the smarmiest, most admirably despicable heels to come along in ages, and a win at his first ‘Mania will just stoke his heat. A falling-out between Edge and Christian would set up a perfect post-‘Mania feud, especially if Edge is the instigator and Christian is the victim (Edge makes a terrible “good guy” — remember when he tortured and presumably killed Paul Bearer? — so he should return to villainy as soon as possible).

Andy McNamara

This past week added fuel to the fire and Christian's addition has been a solid touch. Del Rio not ready for prime time yet and should look at a long U.S. or I.C. title run before getting one of the top straps. I'm going with Edge via spear.

Bob Kapur

Del Rio has been amazing since debuting, and they should follow through by having him capture the belt here, so as not to cool down this hot commodity. A loss wouldn’t hurt Edge’s legacy, and in fact could open the door for even better things – maybe another run as a bad guy, which is a better fit for him, and a Christian-Del Rio feud for the belt, which seems to be logical, in light of Christian’s recent wins over ADR.

David Hillhouse

Alberto Del Rio is a classic silent-film era villain, and he's getting the star treatment with this title shot. There was a brutally quick build-up of animosity between these two after the Elimination Chamber event, so there's not much drama between them personally. I think Del Rio is going over hands-down, and frankly find it refreshing. Too many heels have been getting their rise through Money in the Bank, pulling a fast one and winning the belt after a run-in. Del Rio should be crowned as the great new villainous champion who will barely, but legitimately, win the title - and then keep it for a lengthy time by running away and other cowardly means.

  WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

John Cena vs. The Miz
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I've read over a few different fan scenarios, and the one that I like the most is Rock vs. Miz at SummerSlam and Rock vs. Cena at WM28. Really, neither Cena nor Miz have any hope in hell of being the last man standing at the end of the night, especially after Raw. Rock will take out Cena, Miz will get the "cheap" win and WWE will pull off a fans vs. fans feud (older fans siding with Team Bring It, younger being part of CeNation), the likes of which haven't been seen since the Canada vs. U.S. fans during the Bret Hart / Steve Austin feud at the start of the Attitude Era.

Greg Oliver

The wild card here is, of course, The Rock. Given the way this has played out, I think the best way to go is to have The Rock cost Cena the title, somehow, not by outright cheating or anything, just something inadvertent. It keeps The Miz as champ, and furthers Rock versus Cena, probably for SummerSlam. The conclusion of Mania is Cena and Rock in a standoff.

Colin Hunter

The proper billing of this match should be “John Cena vs. The Rock, with special guest The Miz.” While The Miz has been a quintessential heel in the lead-up — a conniving, conspiring jerkface — the true draw is the expectation of a showdown between Cena and The Rock. Best-case scenario? Cena wins but turns mega-heel (half the crowd will be booing him anyway), setting up an eventual match against Rock. Worst-case scenario? Freestyle rap-off resulting in handshake and hug.


Andy McNamara

I was skeptical at first, but this build has been amazing and throwing in The Rock as a factor makes this a must see. To legitimize Miz he needs to beat Cena clean. Then a true new main eventer will be born. However, if Miz wins it will be with help from Rock. My pick is Cena goes over clean as a whistle despite all odds for the lame feel good Mania moment.

Bob Kapur

You have to give Miz credit in that he’s held his own against the gigantic personalities of, and the fantastic interplay between Cena and the Rock, and hasn’t let himself become a complete afterthought going into the match. During the match, though, I think it will be a different story. This one is going to be all about Cena and the Rock, with Miz and the title belt unfortunately being treated as mere props in that storyline. Cena walks away with the title, but look for the night to end with a Rock Bottom on the new champ.

David Hillhouse

If this match were really about The Miz defending his title against John Cena, then it would probably serve as the final piece of evidence that The Miz as champ was a failed experiment - at least at this point in his career. The silence heard throughout arenas as The Miz has attacked Cena in the past few weeks has smacked of apathy more than shock or disdain. Plus, as has been pointed out, this match, on paper, has as much drama as when Triple H suggested that beating Cena at Wrestlemania 22 would be a walk in the park (mind you, we all know how that worked out).

However, this match really isn't about that, anyway. It's about The Rock. It's about whether the people's champ is going to pull a Hulk Hogan and jump into the ring for an impromptu match and take home the belt (if Alex Riley throws salt in John Cena's eyes, we'll know for sure). At the very least, The Rock is going to have an impact on the result, and perhaps start the train rolling towards Cena/Rock at SummerSlam. Or, is The Rock not really back?
This match has a lot up in the air, which is my way of weaselling out of a bold prediction. I say The Rock interferes, but Cena still takes home the title, lighting a fire in The Rock to chase the belt.

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-- compiled by Jon Waldman


RELATED LINKS
  • Countdown to WrestleMania 27 - Part 1
  • More on WrestleMania 27
  • WrestleMania 27 photo galleries