Well, last year at about this time I was gearing up to head to Atlanta for Wrestlemania 27, and a fine adventure it turned out to be. This year I won’t be able to get to Florida for WM 28; instead I’ll head to Tobacco Road in Midtown, since they’ll be showing the event on a dozen big-screen TVs around the bar. That should suffice…and since WM 29 will be in New Jersey next year, count on me being at that one in person too. But even if I can’t be close enough the see the sweat fly this time around, I can still make my predictions who’s coming out on top. Here they are:
John Cena vs The Rock: this will be the main event, eclipsing the two world title matches. The hype for this has been building for a year, and being a “traditional” wrestling fan, and also not a dumpy middle-aged housewife or a seven year old, I hate John Cena. His persona in the ring has never rung true to me. He acts like he’s from the street, but he grew up in West Newbury, Mass, and attended private schools. On top of that, he can’t wrestle for shit, and that’s ultimately the deciding factor on whether I like a guy or not. As a fan, I’ve had to put up with Cena’s crap for nearly a decade, and brother, am I sick of it. But there’s no way the Rock wins here. I’d love to see it, but he’s a movie star at this point, not an every day in-ring performer. I expect a good match, because of the Rock, but ultimately, my pick is: John Cena.
HHH vs Undertaker Hell in a Cell: a rematch of last year’s show-stealing encounter. Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee adds some intrigue, as does the hell in a cell stipulation. I’ve enjoyed the buildup between these two veterans, and I have no doubt they’ll try to steal the show again, even though they’re both near the end of their storied careers. It makes no sense to have Taker’s streak end unless it’s to put over a younger guy, so my pick must be: The Undertaker, to run the streak to 20-0.
WWE Championship match: Chris Jericho vs (c) C.M. Punk: I was there to see Punk win the title in November at Survivor Series, and he’s had a good run since then. He’s over with the fans, while Jericho has been a good heel since his return in January. This should be a good match too, between two guys who can go. But Jericho is the past, and Punk is the present. So I expect the winner to be: C.M. Punk.
World Heavyweight Championship match: Sheamus vs (c) Daniel Brian: I was pleased when they gave Brian the World Heavyweight title, and it’s been fun seeing him turn heel over the past couple of months while still remaining champion; that’s a rarity in wrestling. It’s a shame they’re putting him in the ring with a bunch of bigger guys where he can’t really show off the full extent of his submission talents. Sheamus is over with the fans right now, and he’s that big, brawny type that Vince likes. Therefore I expect the winner, and new champion, to be: Sheamus.
Intercontinental Title match: Big Show vs (c) Cody Rhodes: Cody is on the rise, but it seems like they’re not quite ready to give him a world title yet. Maybe this is his year. Show is on the downside of his career, and he’s done everything, held every title. This is a throw-away feud, and while putting the title on the line is an interesting twist, I don’t expect this match to be given more than ten minutes, tops. They’ve emphasized in the buildup how Show has never won a singles match at ‘Mania, which is true. This is a tough call, as I could see it going either way. My bet, though, is that Cody will pull a chickenshit heel move and get himself disqualified. My pick is: Big Show by disqualification. Cody retains the title.
Randy Orton vs Kane: this is a singles match I really could have done without. Kane has been in few good matches over the years, and if it ever happens, it’s because of the other guy, not him. This won’t be an exception, and with no title or anything else on the line, this should be twelve or so pointless minutes followed by an RKO to finish it. No way Kane wins. My pick: Randy Orton, in a snooze fest.
Maria Menounos/Kelly Kelly vs Eve Torres/Beth Phoenix: ah yes, the unavoidable diva match/celebrity involvement. If you count Menounos as a celebrity…who the hell is she, exactly? Some sort of reporter? TV personality? At Wrestlemania, non-wrestlers always beat established wrestlers. Look at Butterbean over Bart Gunn, that sumo guy over Big Show, Floyd Mayweather over Big Show, Laurence Taylor over Bam Bam Bigelow, etc, etc, etc. The winners are: Menounos and Kelly Kelly, and I hope to God it’s over quickly.
Team Teddy Long vs Team John Laurenitis for control of both shows: basically, all the mid-card talent not doing anything was thrown into this match. It’s tempting to just take the face, Teddy Long, except that I’ve pretty much got all the faces going over in this card, which leads me to think a couple of my picks must be wrong. That’s the only reason I’m picking team Johnny here, because of all the other faces going over. But this is another one I don’t really care much about…in fact, the more I keep studying this card, the more I feel I’m excited for the four “main events” and the other four scheduled matches don’t do a whole lot for me. This is a four hour PPV, and they only have eight scheduled matches?! You have to figure Hell in a Cell and Cena/Rock are going to run long, but still…just for the hell of it, I’ll stick with: Team Johnny. Though I don’t have much emotionally invested either way.
And that’s all she wrote. We’ll see on Sunday how my powers of prognostication are working. And for those of you who were tuning in this week for taut political discourse or updates on the writing, sorry bout that. It’s all about priorities, people. More soon.