LOS ANGELES -- Lights, camera ... rumble! World Wrestling Entertainment's venture into Hollywood should produce one memorable night of punches, drop kicks, suplexes and quite probably the occasional chair shot. Wrestlemania is always the WWE's highlight pay-per-view event of the year and the 21st edition, which emanates tonight from the sold-out Staples Center, should naturally be quite the spectacle of brawn, body slams and babes.
So here's a look at each of the big matches set for the card.
- TRIPLE-H VS. BATISTA - The world heavyweight title is up for grabs as the leader of Evolution takes on the clique's former enforcer. Fans are desperate for the belt to come off Triple-H's waist and they are fervently behind the massive Batista. They'll probably leave disappointed.
PREDICTION: By hook or by crook, Triple-H.
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- JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD VS. JOHN CENA - JBL, the reigning WWE champ, is a terrific heel character. but his hold on the belt has been far too long. Critics think Cena hasn't put a good enough game together to deserve the strap. My feeling is he can do the job just fine.
PREDICTION: The Dr. of Thugonomics prescribes a remedy for the fans' dismay.
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- SHAWN MICHAELS VS. KURT ANGLE - This could easily be the best one-on-one match of the night as RAW's HBK squares off for the first time against Smackdown's real Olympic hero. Both veterans are big-game performers and they won't disappoint. Could this start a long-running, cross-promotional feud?
PREDICTION: Angle takes it by submission, but there's more to this story.
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- MONEY-IN-THE-BAG MATCH - The winner in this RAW six-man ladder contest, featuring Edmonton's own Chris Benoit, Winnipeg's Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Kane and Toronto boys Edge and Christian, is guaranteed a one-time shot at the world heavyweight title at a time of his choosing. My hunch is this will be the show-stealer battle of the night.
PREDICTION: Jericho chose the style of match and the former undisputed champ gets back in the title hunt.
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- EDDIE GUERRERO VS. REY MYSTERIO - The Smackdown! tag-team champs will go mano a mano, dividing what should be a lively Mexican-American contingent in the house. These two will single-handedly bring Lucha Libre wrestling back to the forefront.
PREDICTION: This will be the first step in Guerrero's return to glory. Viva la Raza!
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- TRISH STRATUS VS. CHRISTY HEMME - Our Canadian girl Trish defends her women's championship against the red-hot redhead winner of the WWE Diva contest. Christy's got the sizzle (as evidenced from her Playboy spread) but her steak is in being a beauty not a brawler, even with her "training" from Lita.
PREDICTION: Trish moves forward in a quest to be recognized as the best women's wrestler of all-time.
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- THE UNDERTAKER VS. RANDY ORTON - The Legend against the Legend Killer. Quite honestly, while the promotion for this match has been decent, particularly with Orton turning heel, this one doesn't thrill me. Plus I prefer 'Taker's American Badass biker gimmick to the dead-man theme.
PREDICTION: The Undertaker remains undefeated at Wrestlemania.
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- THE BIG SHOW VS. AKEBONO - Can the ring hold these two behemoths? The seven-foot Show comes in at 493 pounds while Akebono, the American-born sumo grand champion, put down the last California roll after hitting 504 on the (Richter) scale.
PREDICTION: Big Show is first to the buffet table.
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