Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Malcolm Spinedi1
Sports Entertainment Weekly: Wrestlemania Predictions Special
The WWE can be a tricky thing to follow. They have a show just about everyday and some of them are over three hours. If only there was some jerk out there who brought up the important things of the week into a column and made catching up easy. Well fear not, for I am that jerk! Join me as I talk about some of bigger moments in the WWE this week and why they are worth noticing. To quote one of my personal favorites:
I have returned!!!! Many apologies for my long absence, but PAX East takes a surprising amount of time to cover. So for this article, I am just going to cover the meat of the matter, and thats Wrestlemania XXVIIII. Sure I could go over how WWE’s given up on Wade Barrett and why Fandango is stupid but let’s get real. It’s Wrestlemania 29, and you want to know what’s going to happen. Plus, everything in the WWE is building to these matches. So what better to catch up than to go over the matches and predict the outcomes. Birds falling due to a lesser amount of stones!
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Wade Barrett vs. The Miz
The build for this one has been weird. It began with making it look like Sheamus was feuding with Barrett, and then showing us Miz vs. Barrett 50 times during the road to Wrestlemania. Because that’s the smart thing to do if you’re building up a match for a PPV; show it off for free multiple times first.
On paper, this match should be awesome. This match is the battle of the movie stars with Wade and Miz both in movies… not that you’d know based on how WWE has been promoting this. I have a feeling that a big reason for that is because Dead Man Down (the one with Wade Barrett) tanked at the box office. Of course, a little of that blame could easily fall on the WWE, based on how they promoted the movie.
It’s basic logic, WWE. If you treat Wade Barrett’s role like it’s a joke; a wrestling fan isn’t going to want to see it. The video above is a clear message to fans “If you like Wade, don’t bother with this movie. He does nothing.” This could have been a big deal for Wade and the WWE, but they decided to shoot themselves in the foot. But I digress.
This match was recently announced for WWE’s pre-show, which I’m pleased with. Typically, the pre-show match is something I care to see and I get upset it’s not on the show proper. For instance, the WWE Tag Title Unification Match of Wrestlemania XXV and the US title match with Sheamus and Daniel Bryan of Wrestlemania XXVII. This year, it’s a match I’ve seen 50 times this month. So I’ll just consider this a WWE Miracle.
As for an outcome, we’re going to have a new champion. Wade has gone on to do nothing with his IC title reign, and has sadly squandered every push given to him. The Miz has been good as a face. Yes he had a really rough start, but I’ve come to actually enjoy him as time went on. Plus, he’s about due for a title reign, especially after his feud with Antonio Cesaro. Seems wasteful to have him put over both mid-tier champions. Lastly, nothing pumps up a crowd more than seeing a live title change. Miz winning the belt to start off will do wonders for the Wrestlemania card.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: THE MIZ
Rhodes Scholars & The Bellas vs. Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls
Expect this one to open the show proper. I’m sure this will be a very entertaining affair as all involved are commendable workers. Rhodes Scholars are future main eventers, and you may remember I’ve written about how much I love the story of Tensai and Brodus. The Funkadactyls are surprisingly good wrestlers and the Bellas have a lot of personality. Yes, the gimmick is they’re skanks, but you have to admit they do it well.
Not too hard to predict this one thanks to the WWE Law of Reverse Momentum: The stronger a wrestler looks going into a PPV, the more likely it is that he will lose. Both Rhodes Scholars and The Bellas have gotten wins over the faces, so it looks the faces are due for a win at Wrestlemania. Followed by a big Dance Party…. oh God. The WWE’s going to go for that Harlem Shake record, aren’t they?
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
With the exception of one tiny thing, I’ve otherwise enjoyed the build for this match. I loved that they remembered Ryback still has an issue with The Shield and that he wouldn’t just drop that because Mark Henry walked past him a few times. Henry attacks Ryback to set up this feud, and Ryback surrenders his spot in the six-man to get Henry… least that’s what should have happened. Why did Teddy Long and Vickie pull Ryback out of the match? It would have made more sense if Ryback did it himself. What do they care if they destroy each other? But I digress.
I’m actually looking forward to this. Mark Henry has been one of my favorites since he turned heel. His matches with Big Show were amazingly entertaining as they felt more like monster movies than matches (Which can be fun). Ryback, mark my words, is on his way to being the guy in WWE. His existence and the reaction he gets from the crowd, give me hope that we will see Cena heel turn one day. The WWE just needs to pull the trigger and we will have a star on our hands.
I think this one will surprise a lot, however make no mistake in who is going over. Ryback is the star on the raise here, and this win will do a lot for him. The WWE can tell the value of him, they just want to make sure his body can last. Till then, WWE will continue to build him up slowly and Wrestlemania will be a great stepping stone for him.
BTW, don’t be surprised to see him go over with the Shell Shock.
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
I’m shocked that I even wrote this match, still. Despite what I say in the next paragraph, I have to go on record that this is a terrible waste of Chris Jericho. The man is a legend and is here for a limited time; so you have him wrestling a comedy character? We could’ve had Ziggler vs. Jericho, but instead he’s wasting his time with a character that will be a jobber in 2 months. Come on, WWE!
That being said, the build has been very decent, even entertaining. The thing is it feels like a 80′s feud, which works really well. The whole thing is just so basic that it works. Fandango hates Jericho because he messed up his name. That’s the whole feud! I know it sounds stupid on paper, but the way Jericho plays it up is hysterical. Fandango has been playing up the role nicely too, jumping Jericho leading up to the event. So in the end, I can’t say I hate this.
As for who will win, Jericho all the way. I don’t even need the Law of Reverse Momentum here (though it works here). Unless Fandango has a brighter future than any of us can anticipate, Jericho is going over. I’d like to think it’s a thank you on the WWE’s part. Jericho has for the most part been jobbing since returning, and a Wrestlemania win would be very cool. Jericho beating Fandango doesn’t hurt him as he hasn’t been built up yet, so Jericho gets his win. Fandango’s time will come (next time I need movie tickets), but it’s not quite at Mania.
WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO
WWE Tag Title Match: Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston
This one has become tough to call. At first I thought this would be a win for the Faces, as I thought Kaitlyn vs. AJ for the WWE Diva’s title was a thing (where AJ would win) and Dolph was going to cash-in. With Dolph winning the big one (I wouldn’t count out a MitB cash-in at Wrestlemania) and AJ winning a belt too, I didn’t think the WWE would splurge and have them win all the titles. However, the fact that AJ’s moment is going to have to wait awhile longer (though with the way WWE focuses on the Divas, I could see them booking the match at the PPV), Team Ziggler winning could be a definite possibility.
Just the same, I think Team Hello No has this. They’re still too big an act for the WWE to let go. Even (possibly) worse, I’m not confident the WWE has planned ahead as to what to do with Kane or Bryan after they break up. besides, it’s not like they’re stale yet. Granted, I don’t know who you put them up against after; but with NXT call-ups possibly happening, the roster could be getting bigger.
I really hope I’m wrong here, and Team Dolph wins. I really want to see Dolph covered in gold, but I don’t see the WWE doing that.
WINNERS AND STILL THE TAG CHAMPIONS: TEAM HELL NO
Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield
The wheel of faces for Shield to face landed on Sheamus, Orton, and (Random pick) Big Show this month as the WWE continues to drive home the fact that the Shield are a big deal. No offense to the WWE and it’s writing team, but I got the jist that Shield is a big deal after they went over John Cena at Elimination Chamber. Can you just do something with them aside from drive home the fact that they’re jerks?
The intrigue of this is the belief someone is turning among the faces. That is the big question mark on this one: Can the faces really work together? It is Wrestlemania, if the Shield’s leader (if there is one) is going to reveal himself, it would be cool if it was one of the faces. Of course, it could even just be one of them turning for the heck of it. The odds on favorite for this happening would be Orton, who has been begging the WWE to turn for 2 years now. You know, I don’t disagree with this plan. Let’s face it, Orton has been stale and boring for a long time now. If Orton being heel is what it takes to be interesting again, I’m for it. Or the WWE could play it safe and have Big Show (still) be a heel. No way Sheamus turns, he’s too marketable a face for that.
Whether someone turns or no, The Shield wins here. The WWE has an ultimate plan for these guys, one that involves them going over so many super faces that we have no choice but to take them seriously. If the Shield are losing anytime soon, it makes no sense to have them do it to these three.
World Heavyweight Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
The build for this match has been interesting simply because we started with this new gimmick for Swagger going from being so interesting and full of potential to realizing “Oh wait. It’s still just Jack Swagger.” Yes while the Xenophobe gimmick was interesting, the harsh reality is that Jack Swagger has a minus 40 to charisma. As a result, his new manager Zeb Coulter has done so much talking for him, that I thought it was Zeb vs. ADR for a while! Thankfully, I think the WWE has realized this, hence why this feud has become so vicious. Otherwise, all Swagger did leading up to this was say “We the People…” a few dozen times.
If Swagger had any chance of winning this, I think it literally went “up in smoke”. After Swagger was busted for a DUI while in possession of marijuana, it’s a shock he kept his Mania spot. While the WWE may have decided to keep him in the match, the odds of him regaining the title are slim to none at this point. I doubt the WWE would risk sending such a bad message as to have Swagger get a title reign out of all this.
WINNER AND STILL WORLD CHAMPION, ALBERTO DEL RIO
No Holds Barred: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
The match where if Triple H loses, he is forced to retire. But if he wins… he will be off TV for a majority of the year, and may as well be retired…. Who wrote this?
Awhile ago I wrote that this could be a cool match just to watch them destroy each other. This is still very true and this could be a fun match, but the build has been a bit on the dumb side causing folks to forget this. I blame this a lot on the match stipulation segment on Raw awhile back. It’s bad enough that they gave a Retirement Stip for a guy who doesn’t even qualify as a part time wrestler, but they made it also no holds barred. A stip that doesn’t hold a lot of weight when their previous match was also No Holds Barred. So a lot of it is stuff we’ve already seen, with a stip that gives away the winner.
Some have argued that Triple H could lose the match, and then use his powers to restore his job… but that makes no sense. Keep in mind, this is a retirement at Wrestlemania. Whether you all realize it or not, the WWE takes those seriously. Don’t believe me? When was the last time JBL, Shawn Michaels, or Ric Flair have wrestled? Not since all three retired at Mania. So if Trips loses, that’s it for him wrestling. If that happens, that’s a lot of potential storylines gone. Remember the magic of Mr. McMahon? You could easily pull that off in the future with Triple H, except with better matches. So for this reason alone, Hunter wins.
WINNER: TRIPLE H
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
I’ll make several very bold calls about this one: 1) This will be the match of the night, and 2) The Streak will end.
If there was ever a time the Streak could end, it is this is the year, people. The belief has been that the Streak should “be broken by a hot new rising star that would benefit most.” Hey look at that! A hot rising star named CM Punk! Punk, especially after his incredible 434 day reign as WWE Champion, is the biggest threat to Taker’s Streak in some time. It makes sense he’d be the guy who ends it. Plus, whoever ends the streak will be hated instantly, and who better to have that on than the biggest heel in the company?
Marketing-wise it’s perfect too. The WWE released a DVD called 20-0 about the The Streak last year. Ending it this year would make great sense, as now you have a DVD set to remember the Streak back in it’s glory, without having to make a new one for the extra matches.
As for the quick and questionable build (would we have this story if not for Paul Bearer’s death?), many feel this doesn’t have the proper build for it to be over. However, what if that was the swerve? What if all of that is to make you think the Streak isn’t ending, so you’re more shocked when it does?
The biggest and most understandable reason for it not ending is the fact the feud is built on Punk spitting on Bearer’s legacy. Cripes, Punk even rubbed his ashes on himself Kratos-style after dumping him on Taker’s body too. The argument is Punk has to lose, and it’s true. Taker has to get retribution, but he doesn’t need to win to do that. What if Taker becomes so enraged during this match, that he does get himself DQ’d like Punk said? What if then afterwards Taker fully loses it and hurts him so bad after the bell that Punk is on the shelf? Both guys would then win.
I acknowledge my belief is a long shot, however I can’t fight my instincts a,nd if I have to be the one guy who picks Punk, so be it.
WINNER: CM PUNK
WWE Title Match: The Rock vs. John Cena
The million dollar question: Is John Cena turning? The last two weeks on RAW are screaming this idea. But would the WWE really turn their top face? The answer is yes, but maybe not this year.
After some study, I think I’ve gathered that the point of this entire feud is to turn John Cena. Rock is a personality that is simply loved by more people, and lot of that isn’t Cena’s fault. The fact that Rock steps out of the limelight as often as he does, really does help him as the fans have that opportunity to miss him. Cena is here everyday, yes, but that means we get sick of him. Plus the character is stale, so I understand the mixed reaction he gets. However, next to the Rock he’s not even close. This isn’t like Rock/Hogan where the cheers were perfectly split. Rock has the edge in fans each time.
This is a slow burn story. Cena failed to beat the Rock at last year’s Wrestlemania. Many assume he’ll win to even it out… but what if he doesn’t? What if after everything Cena has said about redemption and swearing to give the Rock a heartbreaking loss, he can’t deliver again? The idea of John Cena lowering into desperatation and finally giving into his demons could make for an amazing story. Personally, especially with rumors of Rock/Cena III next year, I think this will be the case.
So I think one of two things will happen.
1) Cena loses, and the turn comes next year.
2) Cena loses, turns heel and brutally assaults the Rock after the match. Rock is so hurt he has to drop the title, and is out till next year’s Wrestlemania.
Whatever happens, the single common thread remains.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: THE ROCK
So what do you guys think? Am I spot on or do you think differently about how Wrestlemania is going to go? Write in on the comments below and let us know!