Well it appears to be that time again, when my favourite-nerdy-pseudo-sport starts to kick it into high gear. A few times over the course of the year I have tried to predict the card, some of them were wild guesses (Mysterio & Kennedy vs. Big Show & Floyd Mayweather) but some seem like they were pretty spot on (Hardy vs. Hardy). After Randy Orton won the Rumble a few days ago, things seem to have cleared up a bit, but at the same time gotten just a bit more muddled. Either way, I think that the card will look something like this...
United States Title Match: Shelton Benjamin (c) vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy
Here we have three of the WWEs best and brightest talent, so really, why not through them all into one match? MVPs losing streak gimmick seems to be over (thankfully) and he is heading for a feud with Shelton. Combine this with his recent interactions with Kennedy and you have a recpie for a three-way feud. I would love to see what these guys could do if given a little bit of time.
Money in the Bank 5: John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Evan Bourne vs. Christian Cage vs. JBL
Our annual tradition of entertaining spotfests is upon us! This year has the potential to have one of the best Money in the Bank matches ever! Most of the guys listed in the match can really go, and JBL should provide some entertaining brawling and the occasional comedy spot. I may be going on a limb in having Cage come out for this match, but apparently he has resigned with the company and would make a great addition to this match, but if he is not then Carlito would probably be the best replacement. JBL is a natural fit, since it would be his last chance to "Be a hero in his homestate" by winning and cashing the title in. At the end of the day, I think that Morrison would be the best man to be Mr. Money in the Bank, but a Mysterio would could be entertaining as well.
ECW Title Match - Belfast Brawl: Jack Swagger (c) vs. Finlay
These two have already started a feud this week. While I am certain that they will have a match at No Way Out, it would be nice if they can stretch it out to Wrestlemania. Last year, Finlay had an entertaining Belfast Brawl with JBL, and this match should be even better, and would be a great opportunity to cement Swagger a bit higher up on the card.
Brother vs. Brother: Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
You just know that this match is coming, and I for one, can not wait! These two had a largely forgettable feud in 2001 that went nowhere, and Matt turned on Jeff in 2002, but that also went nowhere as Matt ran to Smackdown. Finally these two have a chance to really tear down the house. I see Matt once more costing Jeff the title at No Way Out, by finding a way to interefere in the chamber, thus putting more and more heat on this feud. I think that it would be a great spot to have Matt get the win, only for Jeff to win a bigger match later on down the line.
The Biggest Match Ever: Umaga vs. The Big Show vs. The Great Khali vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Vladmir Kozlov vs. Festus vs. Santino Marella
I know that I suggested this last time, and it doesn't seem like a match that I much want to see, but it could be pretty entertaining. If they wanted to, they could switch this to a 5 on 5 match, but they would have to mess around with some of the face-heel dynamics, which could make it fun. I added Santion to this match for purely comedic reasons, as it would be a lot of fun watching him get beaten up by everyone else. If they wanted to, they could add Finlay to the match, and make it so that the winner gets the ECW Title shot, just like last year, but I think that this has more to gain by being a stand alone, entertainment match.
Tag-Team Revenge Match: Simply Priceless vs. Vince and Shane McMahon
With Orton slated to face Shane at No Way Out, this would be an easy set up. Have Priceless help Orton go after Shane a few times. Then, suddenly, Vince returns and proceeds to challenge these "Young Punks" to a match in order to start to get to Orton. It's not as high-profile as most McMahon matches, but it would go a long way to helping to build some new stars, and apparently Vince has high hopes for both Rhodes and Dibiase.
Who is Mr. Wrestlemania?: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
They started to lay the groundwork for this one at the Rumble, and I think that it needs to happen. They just give HBK vs. JBL at No Way Out, and perhaps make this "Shawn's last chance" by having JBL tell him that he will give him all the money he needs if he can just beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Of course, Taker needs to win here, because well, he's the Deadman.
8 Diva Action: Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Natalya Neidhart, and Jillian Hall vs. Melina, Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins
Yeah, one of those Bunnymania matches. I'm not sure who (if anyone) is going to pose for Playboy this year, but I would imagine that the main contenders are Kelly Kelly and the Bellas. So, simply through them all in one match, let them fight, and get on with it. Either way, a good chance to take a bathroom break and calm down before the next set of matches.
One Last Match: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho
It seemed for most of this week that the WWE was going to build toward Chris Jericho vs. Mikey Rourke. While that had a great deal of potential to be entertaining, and would help lift the buyrates, it appears that Rourke is not going to do this. So instead, we are left with a curious spot for Chris Jericho, and I think that this is the best bet. Austin is a huge name, and deserves a huge send-off. So, really, what better place than to have it in Texas? Jericho would work a very good (and safe) type of a match, and he could do a lot of work on the microphone to carry it.
Legends Battle Royal
There has also been talk of doing a "Legends Match" to coincide with the "Legends of Wrestlemania" release. This would be a great opportunity to showcase some of the characters in the game, and give fans a nice nostalgia trip, similar to the Gimmick Battle Royal from Wrestlemania X-7. I don't know who would perform or win, but it would be fun to watch none-the-less.
WWE Title Match: Edge (c) vs. Triple H
Since H is feuding with Vickie Guerrero this just seems logical. I am not certain as to how Triple H will earn his title shot, but he should do it somehow, someway. Sadly, the WWE threw this match away in July or it would be even more intense. I would have Triple H's 4 mania losing streak end here, but only to give him a short title reign before the belt returns to Edge.
World Title Match: John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton
Now, here we go, a match that we all want to see!! Orton has been simply unreal in these last few months, and was certainly the right choise to win the Rumble, especially after Batista went down. These two had an excellent feud in the summer of 2007, that never properly finished due to Cena's injury. Orton, shocked the world by defeating Cena last year, and would look to do it again. I think that Orton should take the win here, even if it means that Wrestlemania has to end on a down-note. He deserves it.
So there we have it...twelve matches, which may be a little much, however, three of them would probably be very short and little more than comedy matches. Even with all of these matches, there are still a number of excellent performers (the Colons, Cryme Tyme, R-Truth, Hurricane Helms) who are not going to be featured.
Tune back in 2 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