Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shades of Wrestlemania -- 8 Weeks in Advance

I know that I just made one of these predictions a few weeks ago, but this past Sunday night completely changed everything, and I fully expect the card to be booked in the next 3 or 4 weeks, so I may as well make one more stab at it now.

(Note: This actually bothers me, since it is the 24th anniversary of the show, the 25th anniversary will be Wrestlemania 26...do the math)

Titles vs. Titles: The Miz and John Morrison (c) vs. The Colon Brothers (c)

As much as I would love to put all four of these men in the Money in the Bank Match (since I have repeatedly said that Morrison should be this years winner), but I think that I can see the writing on the wall for who will actually take this one. Also, Miz and Morrison have been feuding with the Colon brothers for the past few weeks, centered around the Bella twins. All of the matches that these teams have had have been incredibly entertaining, and it would be a great way to open up such a big show to have two of the best stars of the future carry off four belts between them.

Money in the Bank 5: MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. CM Punk vs. Umaga vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Kane vs. JBL

So here we have the list of other participants who I could not think to put anywhere else. As usual, I have placed them in order of who I think should win, thus meaning that MVP would be the obvious winner. It would be a perfect pay-off (pun intended) to the long lasting loser gimmick. I think that this could be a perfect place for Evan Bourne to really shine and make a name for himself, much like Shelton Benjamin did at Wrestlemania 21. Also Umaga would be an interesting addition to this match, as he can work a good, dominant big-man style match, but he can also really fly, and would create an interesting dynamic, especially when he goes toe-to-toe with Kane at some point in the match.

Battle of the Brands: Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston vs. The Big Show and Vladmir Kozlov

The seeds to this match were planted at No Way Out, when Edge took out Kofi to earn his spot in the Chamber, thus maddening Rey Mysterio. The two high-flyers could go for revenge against Edge and Vickie, only to have the Smackdown GM send Big Show and Kozlov after them in an obvious size mis-match. However, I think that The Big Show is heading for an obvious face turn, and to have him lose (after miscommunication I assume) despite being the heavy (pun once more intended) favourite would be a nice set-up for a post-Mania storyline.

Brother vs. Brother: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy

This match is all but official, and I, for one can't wait! Matt and Jeff have yet to have any direct, face-to-face confrontation since The Rumble, and if the WWE is smart they will not let either of them touch each other until the big match. This should be the first chapter in a long, bitter feud. I would love to see Matt win by nefarious means (or maybe a fluke pin like Owen got 15 years ago), only for Jeff to win in the end after several months of feuding.

ECW Title Match: Jack Swagger (c) vs. Christian

Another match that is all but booked. Christian shocked a lot of people by turning up on ECW last week, and really it is the perfect place for him. He can fit in nicely as the top face for a short term, and gives Swagger a ready-made Wrestlemania opponent. I considered putting Finlay in here for a triple-threat match, but I think that there is more money in a singles competition. Since the WWE announced the Draft will take palce a mere 8 days after Wrestlemania, it seems like Captain Charisma is headed for Smackdown, so he should lay down here for Swagger first in a one-on-one match. Either way, this should be an entertaining contest than last year's ECW Title Match, and will hopefully be given at least 60 times the amount of time (making it a whopping 9:00 long).

Who is Mr. Wrestlemania?: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

A this match which is close to being official. The promo work between JBL and HBK was great, and it gives a good bit of motivation for this feud, and starts it off well. Everyone has wanted to see this match since their amazing performance at the end of the 2007 Royal Rumble, and I fully expect this match to tear the house down, as The Undertaker improves to 17-0.

WWE Diva's Title:
Michelle McCool (c) vs. Trish Stratus

This match has been rumoured at since Stratus made a surprise appearance on RAW back in December. Apparently, she is open to the idea of returning for a match at Wrestlemania, and McCool seems like an obvious opponent. The WWE seems serious of building their Diva's division, and McCool should be the centrepiece of that, which this match would go a long way to establishing.

World Title Match: Edge (c) vs. John Cena

This match was essentially booked during the opening segment of the most recent RAW.
While these men have certainly fought before, including their legendary feud in the summer of 2006, this still feels fresh. There is a lot of history and chemistry here, and I would love to see them put on a classic.

One Last Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho

Something has to come out of Jericho's insulting of legends, and since Flair is not coming back, this seems like the next most obvious match. I would love to see Austin step back in the ring for a proper send-off, and Jericho is a prime-opponent here.

WWE Title Match: Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton

Here we have it, the main event. The match that the WWE has tried to book for at least two separate Wrestlemanias, but it has always fallen through for one reason or another. While their feud last spring hardly set the world on fire, this one is different. Orton has hospitalized Vince, Shane, and Stephanie, and so this really is the next logical step. To be honest, I'm surprised that I (or anybody else who writes about this pseudo-sport on-line) did not see this one coming when Orton punted Vince before the Rumble. This should be a great match, and I really think that Orton should walk out with the WWE Title, restarting The Age of Orton. He is incredibly hot right now, and deserves everything that he has been getting.

So there you have it, my last crack at predicting the biggest show of the year. My sincerest apologies to Finlay, Mike Knox, Ted Dibiase Jr., Cody Rhodes, Santino Marella, and anyone else I may have left off of the card who deserves a place. I figure there will be the usual pre-show Battle Royal with one of them winning somehow or another.

Keep turning back here, while I chronicle the card as it becomes clearer and clearer!

Until next time,


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