SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestlemania 22
   September 01, 2014



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Countdown to WrestleMania XXII
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for the main event...of the year

Yes folks, we are finally finished our long road to WrestleMania. With Chicago ready to throw a huge party for our wrestling heroes tonight, one can only expect the magic to be in the air tonight that emanates over each and every 'Mania.

Some would say that this magic is especially needed for this card with lacklustre bouts across the board. Even these pundits, however, cannot argue that the build for just about every match has been as strong as any programs within the last few years. This should result in a very strong card overall.

Here now are the SLAM! predictions for WrestleMania XXII.


 
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
 


SLAM! Predictions

Greg Oliver
Orton is the chosen one, and he'll pin Mysterio in a barnburner of a match.

Ed Ludwig
A strong match on paper and, like the RAW main event, a good build-up. Watching Angle, Mysterio and Orton outside of the ring verbally ripping each other has been as fun as watching all three in the ring. Orton pins Mysterio to win the title.

Jason Clevett
One of the few matches that has a Wrestlemania feel to me, even if it's not a mega dream match. In all honesty, I think this should be the finale as a) RAW has closed out the last two Wrestlemanias and b) Mysterio celebrating with the belt would be a great closing moment akin to Benoit winning in 2004. He may not have it long but I think Rey will get the win in the match of the night.

Andy McNamara
Being the Smackdown reporter I may be a little bias, but this has match of the night written all over it. Although the Eddie Guerrero storyline between Mysterio and Orton has been questionable, there is no doubt that these three stellar athletes will lay it all on the line. Rey is the feel good story for the match, but I see Angle and Orton as the two real contenders. I'm going to give the nod to Angle, as I predict a feud continuing with Randy through the spring. Later on this year, the Legend Killer will defeat Angle for the championship...but not this night.

Chris Sokol
WWE screwed this one up by adding a third opponent. No disrespect to Mysterio, but Angle vs. Orton could have been a great singles classic. I am not sure if that same magic can be captured when all three are put in the ring at the same time. Mysterio will put forth a good effort, but Angle will walk out champion, allowing his feud with Orton to continue with no harm done to "Rey Rey".


 
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

John Cena vs. Triple H
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
You know, I'm probably going to kick myself for this later, but I think they might actually keep the strap on Cena. At the last two Mania's, they ended the show on a happy note with the face celebrating in the ring after beating Triple H. Why not expect that once again?

Greg Oliver
All signs point to Triple H emerging victorious, so I'm going to buck the trend and say Cena wins to send the fans home happy with a face victory. Two heels can't win the world title the same night.

Jason Clevett
The placement of this match in my mind effects the outcome. With the exception of 2000 and WMXVII, Mania has always ended with the feel good moment of the face walking out with the belt. However, much like 2000, it's Triple H in the match. It's hard to call, if this wasn't seemingly going to be the final match I would go with HHH but if it's going to be the last one I am leaning towards Cena. I'll pick Cena to add fuel to when HHH takes the belt at Backlash.

Andy McNamara
I think this match will be anti-climactic after the Smackdown main event, but will definitely be the final bout of the night. Cena's crowd response has continued to be erratic and Triple H has been without the title for too long now. Look for this one to be bloody, intense and for The Game to pull out all the stops. The real question is post WrestleMania - where does Cena go storyline wise? Regardless it will be Triple H leaving Mania as the 11-time WWE Champion.

Chris Sokol
John Cena goes from the semi-main event to Main Event of 'Mania; not bad. Hopefully Triple H can carry Cena through a decent match. The funny thing about this feud is the fact that their "shoot" promos are almost to a tee. Cena is not a great wrestler, he is not polished like a Triple H or Randy Orton; however, this should be a good main event with Triple H stealing the title away.


 
MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH


Ric Flair vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Fit Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Matt Hardy
 


SLAM! Predictions

WHAT YOU THINK
We asked SLAM! Wrestling readers who would win.
Rob Van Dam -- 45%
Ric Flair -- 23%
Bobby Lashley -- 18%
Matt Hardy -- 7%
Shelton Benjamin -- 5%
Fit Finlay -- 2%
Bob Kapur
Flair, Finlay (oh, for a singles match between those two!), and Lashley shouldn't be here. Now healthy, RVD should get a push, so he's my pick.

Ed Ludwig
It wont be as exciting as last year's Money In The Bank Ladder Match but it should be entertaining nonetheless. This could easily be a pick 'em match as none of the six competitors are serious title contenders at this point in time. RVD takes it to earn a future world title shot.

Greg Oliver
This is probably the hardest match on the card to call. I can honestly see any of the six winning. Sure, a Smackdown guy winning would be a surprise, but it would also give some legitimacy to the show. But I'll go safe and say RVD wins. He'll call for his title shot at the ECW PPV.

Andy McNamara
This popular match from last year's WrestleMania returns, but with a weaker lineup. Obviously Finlay is not going over, and sadly neither will Hardy. Van Dam definitely deserves a push but this one comes down to Ric Flair and Lashley. Flair's been pushed hard as of late, and it will be The Nature Boy getting one last shot at glory by picking up the win.

Chris Sokol
Finlay and Lashley have something going on, so count them out. Same with Benjamin and RVD. Matt Hardy is a long shot, but Ric Flair seems to be golden in this match. Expect Flair to win and cash in after a bloody Triple H wins the Main Event. Flair title reign number 17 could begin at Wrestlemania 22.


WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

Kane/Big Show vs. Chris Masters/Carlito


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
Two pairs of singles guys fighting for tag gold... whatever happened to real tag teams? Worse yet, the one they have – MNM - isn't on the card at all! Show/Kane retain.

Ed Ludwig
New tag team champs will be crowned as Carlito and Masters take a tainted victory over Kane and Big Show. In the past they have teased a break-up of sorts between the two young stars but as a team it could work to their benefit to stay together and eventually pursue singles success.

Jason Clevett
Kane and Show have been champions for months. Time to move on. Why the hell aren't MNM on this show?!?!?!?!??!

Greg Oliver
Kane and Big Show will feud (yet again...) after losing the titles to Masters and Carlito. The young studs will have continue to have trouble getting along, but that adds to the fun backstage stuff on Raw.

Chris Sokol
Kane and Big Show have been a good "power" tag team, but their title reign looks to be coming to an end. While Masters and Carlito are both great singles stars, their tag team relationship has been somewhat enjoyable as well, so a title reign wouldn't be bad at all.


UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH

JBL vs. Chris Benoit


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
If Benoit elevates JBL like I think he can, this could be the sleeper match of the night. JBL guaranteed a victory, and I think he'll make good on it.

Ed Ludwig
JBL's stock is sinking fast and his weight gain has major momentum. After the two minute loss against Boogeyman at Royal Rumble their appears to be no solid plans for him. Chris Benoit makes JBL tap and retains the US title.

Jason Clevett
Benoit will be out to steal the show. This should be a great combo of brawl and technical. This could be JBL's best match ever.

Andy McNamara
These two are going to beat the hell out of eachother in a sleeper match that I believe will be surprisingly entertaining. Benoit will have his work cut out pulling a wrestling match out of JBL so look for major brawling. In the end, by hook or by crook, Bradshaw will hit The Clothesline from Hell and begin a lengthy U.S. title reign.

Greg Oliver
JBL doesn't need the belt quite yet, and this feud is just beginning. Benoit wins here.


WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH

Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
This feud is too entertaining to end it just yet. Mickey wins the belt, and the war rages on.

Ed Ludwig
This is a Women's title match that could very well deliver as both Trish Stratus and Mickie James are very talented and can be taken seriously. James will be crowned new champion and the feud will continue for months to come.

Jason Clevett
A Women's match with some history and meat to it. I am actually looking forward to this one.

Andy McNamara
This storyline has been played out beautifully with a psychotic Mickie James leaving you wondering what she will do next. Trish has been champ for well over a year now and since there are no other real contenders for the title I see James pulling out the upset victory. This feud will be long from over so look for many future encounters.

Chris Sokol
James has becoming really entertaining, and she's not a bad wrestler. This one should be much better than the Stratus/Hemme debacle of WrestleMania XXI. James takes the gold and rises further up the ranks in WWE.


NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH

Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon

SLAM! Predictions

Greg Oliver
The Heartbreak Kid has to get his hand raised here, otherwise, what was the point of it all? Shane McMahon's interfere will backfire.

Ed Ludwig
Not much to say about this one except Shawn Michaels will not suffer a loss to the boss. HBK takes it.

Jason Clevett
No kids, Bret is not refereeing/interfering/doing anything in this match. Vince surprised me against Hogan at Wrestlemania XIX, but that was three years ago. Still, Shawn proved he can work his war around it like with Hogan at Summerslam.

Andy McNamara
In the most hyped match of this year's WrestleMania can HBK finally stop McMahon's reign of terror over him? With the McMahons embarrassing and beating up Michaels over the past few weeks, HBK is definitely due. After lots of plunder and interference Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music and gains his revenge.

Chris Sokol
This has the potential to be one of the best matches on the night, but with all the build up surrounding Bret Hart, as well as the screwjob finish being used again, I wouldn't doubt "The Hitman" makes a surprise appearance in this one. Sure he vows he won't, but this is wrestling right?


CASKET MATCH

Undertaker vs. Mark Henry
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
After Taker's great matches against Angle recently, to put him in with Henry is a real waste. Taker wins in a squash.

Greg Oliver
Undertaker wins. It had better be a big, reinforced casket.

Jason Clevett
Zzzz. The streak continues.

Andy McNamara
Certainly not the dream WrestleMania matchup Undertaker was hoping for, but at least his WrestleMania unbeaten streak will stay in place. With not too many 'Manias left in him, hopefully next year will bring the classic battle that The Dead Man so craves.

Chris Sokol
I hope that nobody is banking on Henry to end Undertaker's winning streak at Wrestlemania. This is WWE's way of sending Henry off again after realizing that pushing him to the Heavyweight Title scene wasn't the greatest idea they've had.


 
HARDCORE MATCH

Edge vs. Mick Foley
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
Edge caps off his banner year by beating Foley in a violent bloodbath.

Ed Ludwig
The Rated R Superstar has been on somewhat of a slide recently and Mick Foley has been on the sidelines. This should be a candidate for match of the night. Edge will come out of this, bruised, battered and bloody; but most important of all, he will be announced the winner.

Greg Oliver
Foley has always been a professional about doing the right thing. He'll put out a great effort, but the slippery, despicable Edge will someone come out victorious.

Andy McNamara
Mick Foley may be the most unselfish wrestler of all time...that is also why that, at least to me, that the match is not quite as compelling as it could be. This war will no doubt be gory and rivetting, however, in the end Edge will douse Foley's dream for Mania glory with a win.

Chris Sokol
Add another one in the win column for Edge, as he pulls through another Wrestlemania victory. This should be another great match on the card, and a great way to get Edge back in the title hunt.


 
GRUDGE MATCH

Boogeyman vs. Booker T/Sharmell
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
The buildup has been fun, but what will be more fun is seeing which one of Sharmelle or Boogeyman is worse in the ring. Boogeyman wins.

Ed Ludwig
The Boogeyman by countout.

Jason Clevett
Booker deserves better then this, although the build up has been corny but fun.

Greg Oliver
Sharmelle is technically in the match, but other than getting some worms on her, she's a non-factor. It'll be a short win for The Boogeyman wins.

Chris Sokol
Gotta love the The Boogeyman. This should be a worm-filled match that sees Sharmell take the fall for her team.


 
PLAYBOY PILLOW FIGHT MATCH

Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur
Who besides me is hoping for a run-in by Chyna and Sable, the other WWE Playboy playmates? Nobody, that's who.

Ed Ludwig
The current Playboy playmate takes it.

Jason Clevett
Blah. I hate these matches and they kill the crowd - see the pillowfight at WM XIX with the Catfight Girls and the Playboy match at WM 20.

Andy McNamara
Well as most pillow fight, lingerie matches, etc. go, this will have posing, hair pulling and sloppy moves. It doesn't really matter who wins but lets say Candice pins Torrie with an assist from Victoria.

Greg Oliver
No cheering from the press box, right? We all win/lose, depending on your perspective.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman



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