As many of you know, I’m a massive fan of Professional Wrestling/ Sports-Entertainment. My love for this industry and the WWE are unwavering as I’ve been a fan for 14 glorious years. No event in any sport or entertainment field means more to me than WrestleMania. To me it’s bigger than the Oscars, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the National Jenga Championships, anything. It is a spectacle that has delighted millions of fans for nearly 28 years. Four days from now it’s potentially the biggest WrestleMania in history. In this entry I’ll give my expertise fan analysis on the matches that will take place on the grandest stage of them all. Let’s get started.
1. World Heavyweight Championship Match- Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Sheamus. Sheamus winning the 2012 Royal Rumble match allowed him to choose any champion he wanted to face at WrestleMania. He decided to face the current World Champion Daniel Bryan. Looking at these two, the logical choice would be Sheamus. He’s physically bigger and stronger than the 5’11 World Champion, but Bryan has found ways to win when it didn’t seem possible. I do find it funny that the match that was supposed to take place at last years WrestleMania for the United States Championship between these two that was cut, is now the World Championship match at this years show. What a difference a year makes I suppose.
My prediction: Sheamus. Bryan has had a great run, but Sheamus is being built to be the next star in WWE. He’s already been a two time WWE Champion, but he’s gotten significantly over with the fans in the last year that the WWE Universe (I hate they call the fans that) will welcome a new top superstar on the same level as Cena and Orton. Winning the World Championship will only push him to a new level of superstar. He has to win it on the grand stage for it to mean something.
2. WWE Championship- CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho. I love how this feud has played out in recent week. Both men claim to be the best in the world and will settle their issue at the big show for the richest championship in the industry. For Jericho to do some additional mudslinging about Punk’s family has made this more of an intriguing personal feud. Both men are evenly matched and will most likely steal the show with their unparalleled in ring skills.
My prediction: CM Punk. I wouldn’t be disappointed to see Jericho win. Hell, he eventually will become WWE Champion at some point by beating Punk, but not at Mania. CM Punk deserves to get his validation in WWE. Winning a championship match at Mania (which Jericho has done before) can only get you that validation of a top star and put Punk in the same company as Stone Cold Steve Austin and so many other great anti-hero champions. Also, considering how Punk rattled the cages of WWE in the past year, it’s very difficult to see him not walk out of Miami the WWE Champion.
3. End of an Era/ Hell in a Cell Match- Triple H vs. The Undertaker (Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels). This is the match I’m looking forward to seeing more than any other WrestleMania contest. It is the end of an era. Triple H, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are the heart, soul and mind of the WWE. Over the last four years there has been some combination of the three in matches that define the spirit of WrestleMania. In 2oo9, Shawn and Undertaker set the bar higher than anyone having arguably the greatest WrestleMania match ever. One year later, the Rematch was the most anticipated match in over a decade, where Shawn retired when it was over. Last year, Triple H and Undertaker had a brutal no holds barred match where in the end Taker won, but was physically unable to stand when it was all over.
This brings us to Miami. There is one more match that will end an era of WWE that we’ll never see again, with the two best in WWE history. Only one structure could contain these men, Hell in a Cell. The cage that Triple H and Undertaker built their legacies in separately and defined the structures brutality. Together both men have been in 19 Hell in a Cell matches combined, but never one on one against each other inside of it. This is the ultimate conclusion to a rivalry and an era of WWE that’s lasted for 17 years.
My prediction: The Undertaker goes 20-0 at WrestleMania. You don’t bet against The Streak. Triple H and Shawn Michaels came the closest, and I guarantee there will be several close calls and several heart stopping moments, especially if Shawn isn’t is impartial. The Deadman owns WrestleMania and will end an era once and for all. Hunter and Shawn are my two all time favorites, but on Sunday night myself and millions of others will be pulling for the Undertaker to continue the greatest winning streak of anyone else anywhere.
4. THE MAIN EVENT: Once in a Lifetime- John Cena vs. The Rock. One year ago in Atlanta, GA the night after WrestleMania XXVII the match was set between two of the biggest icons in WWE history for this years WrestleMania. As a fan, I knew the build and anticipation for an encounter between these two men would be worth the wait. There were several encounters and trash talk amongst the two for well over the past year, but the time for face to face stare downs is over. Both men, consummate performers and pop culture icons will have the one on one encounter the WWE fans have dreamed about for nearly a decade this Sunday night.
My prediction: This is really a tough one for me to decide. Monday night on Raw, Cena made his claims that he needs to win because the WWE is his life and will still continue to be a part of WWE long after Sunday, while the Rock has several other projects outside the company. The Rock however says he needs to beat Cena in order to become the greatest superstar of all time, as he’s beaten Hogan and Austin at this very event before. After thinking it over, I’m predicting John Cena gets the victory and continues to bear the WWE flag. Regardless I doubt, this will be the only Cena vs. Rock match, but the first one is important and will set the bar high for the rematch. Whether we have to wait one year at WrestleMania 29 or just a couple of months. If Cena wins, it will eat away at the Rock that he’s never beaten Cena and Cena will be accepted in the same company as legends whether the fans like it or not. If the Rock wins, Cena will be frowned upon by many of his peers and won’t be able to let loose of the sting that is the loss to the Rock from their first encounter. I’m a fan of both, more so of the Rock, but I’m predicting Cena the victor at WrestleMania.
Other matches on the card:
Team John Laurinaitis (Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Drew McIntyre, and David Otunga) vs. Team Teddy Long (Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Booker T. and Santino Marella) Winning GM Team controls both Raw and Smack Down. My prediction: Team Laurinaitis wins. John Laurinaitis is a character fans love to hate, so him being in control of both shows is something that makes sense for good TV drama. Besides Teddy Long has been the GM of Smack Down for eight years now. No offense, but it’s time for something different.
Intercontinental Championship- Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Big Show. My prediction: Big Show becomes the new Intercontinental Champion. This has been booked so well with Rhodes publicly embarrassing Big Show about his horrible win record at WrestleMania. Out of Show’s 11 appearances, he’s only won 3 matches and they were all tag team matches. He needs a one on one victory and he may be validated to win one. Even if he has the title for a few days and it goes back to Cody Rhodes, Big Show deserves a victory.
Kane vs. Randy Orton. My prediction: Randy Orton. Orton wins all the time and Kane, as physically imposing as he is, will be another victory for Orton. I’ll be very surprised if it’s not.
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve. My prediction: Eve and Beth win. Yes, that’s Maria from NBC’s “Extra.” It wouldn’t be WrestleMania without a celebrity getting involved in a match.
That’s my summary of WrestleMania XXVIII. Hopefully my predictions come true, but if not then WWE television should become very intriguing starting the following Monday Night Raw. I love this time of year and highly anticipate the show Sunday night and it will be interesting to see if I was right or wrong. Check back in a few weeks on this site as well as a new installment of WrestlingCast will be available for your listening pleasure. Until then refresh yourself with last years episode. Until then, welcome to WrestleMania!