With the Survivor Series out of the way, it appears that we have indeed kicked off the most exciting season in wrestling, the Road to Wrestlemania. Traditionally this time has been used to hint at upcoming matches and feuds for the big dance. It was at this time last year that Edge returned, captured the World Title en route to facing The Undertaker in one of the best main events in recent years, and it was around now that the Ric Flair "Win or Retire" storyline started.
Now, with Cena and Edge returning, the McMahons feuding, and Jeff Hardy starting to snap, it appears that the WWE has set some plans in motion to make the 25th Wrestlemania a good one. I think that when April 5th comes and goes, the card may just look something like this...
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: John Morrison vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. The Miz vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted Dibiase Jr. vs. Cody Rhodes
First off, massive apologies to Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and THE Brian Kendrick, who may just be left off this card, because I simply can not find room for them here. The WWE has a pretty stacked roster right now, and some people have to be left off of the card. Although, if there were a chance to have the two or three of those men face off (potentially for the US-Title?) it would certainly be a welcome addition to any card.
That being said, this has the potential to be an excellent showcase of young talent, with future household names like MVP, Evan Bourne, and Ted Dibiase Jr. all getting a chance to show themselves off. I considered adding both Simply Priceless The Miz and Morrison to a different match, but I think that the two involved in the same match would make for a great dynamic as they both sets of duos would surely try to double cross each other.
As usual, I have written the performers down in order of who I think should win, and I give the easy nod to John Morrison on this one. He is on the cusp of something great right now, and should break on through to the other side (pun definetly intended) in the very near future.
ECW Title Match: Matt Hardy (c) vs. John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Match wise, I would much prefer Chris Jericho challenging Hardy as suggested in my last card prediction, but I just do not see that happening. As usual, the ECW Title will be relegated to the mid-card. JBL has very little mileage left in his tank, so he needs to be used to put over the next set of stars, and this includes the elder Hardy.
JBL has lost in numerous attempts to claim the Big Gold Belt, and so he could easily change his focus to the ECW Title in a quest to cement his legacy. The promos for this feud would be gold with JBL mocking Hardy at every turn, en route to Matt finally getting his hands on JBL and successfully defending his title on the grandest stage of them all.
No Disqualification Match: CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
This would be a huge blow-off for a long simireing feud that started back at Unforgiven. Orton seems to be involved with Batista, while Punk is dealing with Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, but it is only a matter of time before they meet up for an epic encounter. I see the two having a few big matches before this one, with Orton edging out (probably due to interefence from Simply Priceless), with this one serving as a good final blow-off.
Who is Mr. Wrestlemania?: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
I came exceptionally close to changing the matches around and having both of these two men involved in different matches, but I just could not bring myself to cancelling this potentially iconic showcase. This match needs to happen at Wrestlemania, no iffs ands or buts. These two men have proven that they cna get better with age, and deserve a chance to show all of the young stars of today just what can be done with an unquestioned desire to be the best.
The BIGGEST Match Ever: The Great Khali vs. Vladmir Kozlov vs. Umaga vs. Kane vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry
First off, this match would mark a record-tying twelfth consecutive Wrestlemania appearance by Kane (counting his WM XIX pre-show match as an appearance). One more to go and he would break Bret Hart's record!
This is one of those matches that clearly fits under "perverse pleasure". I struggled to fit all of these wrestlers onto the card, and the Money in the Bank match is not for any of them (except Umaga and maybe Kane). This one can be fought under the simple guise of "Brand Superiority" or something like that. Like the Money in the Bank match, I ranked them in order of who should win the most. If you would rather, this could be easily changed to a six-monster tag team match with a little finessing and at least one face turn by either Kane or Umaga.
While it seems strange to have Khali ranked above such serviceable giants as Vladmir Kozlov or Umaga, but one needs to remember the the WWE is looking to expand into India in the near future. As such, they could stand to benefit from having Khali take an ugly win in a pretty meaningless match.
The Biggest vs. The Best II: Rey Mysterio and Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. The Big Show and Kimbo Slice
This one may be a bit of a stretch but it would be pretty great. Apparently there has been a lot of talks about the WWE bringing Kimbo Slice in after his disasterous EliteXC career. Due to his horrible performance he would make a great heel coming up with excuses. Also, they played up a friendship between Mayweather and Mysterio leading into last years Wrestlemania, so it only seems logical for the two to be partners here. Now, I for one, would prefer to have Mayweather play a heel and potentially team up with Big Show and Kimbo against Mysterio and two partners, but the idea of Slice and Mayweather on opposing sides could sell a lot of Pay-per-views.
Alternatively, if the WWE can only get one of the non-wrestlers to appear, than they could easily make them a heel, and put someone like Borune, Kingston, or Kennedy on Mysterio's side.
One Last Match: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho
I have repeatedly said that Wrestlemania 25 should feature Austin's return to the ring, with a variety of suggestions being floated around. However, after Cyber Sunday's finish, when Austin cost Jericho the title, I got the feeling that these two were on a colision course. These two have never really had a direct high-profile one-on-one match, and this would be a great place to have the first (and presumably last) major encounter.
Inter-promotional Inter-gender Match: Brie & Maria Bella and Carlito & Primo Colon vs. Santino Marella, William Regal, Beth Phoenix, and Layla London
This is a bit of a strange match, partially to give a woman's match, partially to have a comedy-cool down match, and partially to get some very deserving wrestlers on the card. The WWE should really play of the twin appeal of the Bella's, and teaming them up with the Colon sibling seems logical and entertaining. These twosomes could face off with RAW's heel couples, in a match that could alternate between intense and ridiculous given the talent involved.
They could put a host of titles on the line in this match if they so desire, given that four of the competitors in here are currently holding gold, and they could easily get a few more mid-card titles into this match if they really wanted to.
World Title Match: John Cena (c) vs. Batista
They need to give these guys a rematch, and they need to do it on a big stage. Given that Cena just won the title, and Batista is gunning for him, it would be great to have Batista get *this* close to a one-on-one match between now and then, only to have him either win the Rumble or an Elimination Chamber Match to qualify for this rematch.
I think that a big momentum for Batista only to have Cena retain to even up the score, to set up a huge rubber match somewhere down the line.
WWE Title Match: Edge (c) vs. Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
Now here is a big deal. The WWE needs to get the title on Jeff Hardy in a bit moment, they have been teasing this for what seems like forever, and this would be the best possible moment to do so. Keeping in a Triple Threat ensures that Jeff doesn't botch anything, and more importantly, erases the memory of what is considered to be the greatest Triple Threat match ever with the greatest Wrestlemania moment ever five years ago. Obviously a Jeff Hardy win, followed by Matt running out with his ECW Title, and having them hugging with confetti is a moment that just plain needs to happen.
Turn back in 4 months to see what happens...
Until next time,
Achieved Predicted Cards
Eight Weeks in Advance
Two Months in Advance
Four Months in Advance
Six Months in Advance
One Year in Advance