Now that Survivor Series has come and gone, we wrestling fans find ourselves looking in one obvious direction: Wrestlemania. Rumours have really started to kick into overdrive as questions have started to be fly. Will CM Punk still be WWE Champion? How will part-time performers like Triple H, Brock Lesnar, and The Undertaker be involved? Will Dolph Ziggler have cashed in his briefcase by then? How about rising stars like Ryback, or the newly debuted NXT Trio?
In this post, I’ll try to answer those questions as well as speculate on a few key matches. In a few months, once the card actually starts to shape up, we can look back and see just how wrong I was.
29 Man Last Chance Battle Royal
These YouTube Pre-Shows seem to be here to stay, and there is no reason to think that they won’t try something big this year. The one thing I’m not certain about is if they even have 29 spare roster members to put in this match, if not it can be a smaller amount of competitors. The winner of this Battle Royal gets a spot on the main card as the 8th member of the Money in the Bank match. Let’s have a returning Christian win, but if he’s not up for it then the winner should be R-Truth or Brodus Clay with an outside chance of Evan Bourne if he’s ready.
Fireworks! Explosions! God Bless America!
Ryback vs. Big Show
On paper this may seem like a dull match to have jerk the curtain, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The Big Show is a recognizable name to the casual fans that only watch Wrestlemania and Ryback is a name that the WWE clearly wants to be recognizable. Get them out both out there right away to get people paying attention and excited. Better still, have Ryback beat the Big Show quickly. Make the match less than five minutes long, including 500-pound Shell Shock to give Ryback a true Wrestlemania moment.
Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
vs. The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
That’s right, this is the year that the Money in the Bank Ladder Match comes back to Wrestlemania! Apparently the Money in the Bank was a plan in the works for last year, but Wade Barrett’s injury made them reschedule. So let’s assume that Barrett’s recovery leads to their original plan this should be a go. While the field is very heel heavy, it makes sense given the landscape of the company at the moment. I ranked the competitors in order of likeliness of victory, with Barrett being the obvious front-runner and Cody Rhodes as a likely second option, assuming he recovers from his injury.
Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Special Guest Referee: Charlie Sheen
There’s not doubt that this match is somewhere on the company’s horizons, it’s just a question of how soon will it happen. To me, they are at the perfect time to set it for Wrestlemania. Have them drop the tag titles in the next month, accidentally eliminate each other from the Royal Rumble, both compete in the Elimination Chamber which leads to a full blown break-up and here we are. Having Charlie Sheen involved may be a bit of a reach for this event, but it makes a lot of sense since the whole “Anger Management” thing was how this partnership started and Sheen was supposed to appear at Summerlam but they couldn’t get a deal done. Celebrities always play a role at Wrestlemania, so it’s obvious that he would come back. Whoever is the face in this match (probably Bryan) would be the logical winner here.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
World Title Match
These three men have been doing the lion share of work on the Blue Brand for a while now and should all be rewarded with a big high-profile match. Add in the fact that they all have a clear chemistry with one another and this match should be great. Ziggler walking in as champion, after the Money in the Bank cash in, makes the most sense, but if he still had the briefcase there could be an interesting side story as well. There have been rumblings of both Orton and Ziggler turning heel and face respectively, so that could very easily play into the build if need be. The winner really depends on where they want to go with any of the three being totally acceptable. I’d vote for a Ziggler win to really help establish him as a top level talent.
Eve vs. AJ
Diva’s Title Match
There’s got to be a Diva’s match on the card, and this is the only one of any interest left to do, is it not? Trish Stratus, Lita, and Mickie James: you are surely missed! I guess AJ should get her first taste of Diva’s gold in as much of a Wrestlemania moment that we can get.
Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)
This match is pretty much set now isn’t it? Not really sure what the point of bringing in Lesnar to have him feud with Triple H and John Cena was, but surely there was some logic there. Their Summerslam match was quite good and the rematch should be equal to the task. Add Shawn Michaels as a corner man and the inevitable Sweet Chin Music on Heyman and it could be even better. If Lesnar is leaving the company then he would leave on his back, again, but if he is sticking around then there is the chance for him to pull out a big win in order to further some other feud.
Seth Rolins and Dean Ambrose vs. Team CoBro
vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd vs. Prime Time Players
WWE Tag Team Title Match
This assumes that the NXT trio that attacked Ryback are here to stay, and will function as a tag team. This group, potentially called The Shield could benefit from a Wrestlemania match and with the renewed focus on the Tag Team Division, a good spotlight match could be just what the doctor ordered. In my mind The Shield has the tag team titles by this point, and is able to defend them under Free Bird Rules. The young trio could greatly benefit from walking in and out of the big event with the belts, even if the match would no doubt be cut short as a bit of a bathroom break/cool down affair.
John Cena vs. The Rock
Once in a lifetime, eh?
Since the company has all but decided on doing Rock-Punk at the Rumble, that leaves the rematch as the main option for The Great One. Their match at Wrestlemania XXVIII was fantastic, and there’s no reason to think that the second one won’t exceed it. Obviously Cena gets the win back, much to the chagrin of 70,000 New Yorkers.
Hall of Fame Spiel featuring Mick Foley and Randy Savage!!!
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
That’s right, this is pretty much the only match that can go on after Rock-Cena. With two of the top matches scheduled to be rematches, it’s exciting to have a fresh attraction. Sure they faced off in two pretty terrible matches back in 2009, but post-pipe-bomb Punk is very different, and well this is Taker at Wrestlemania.
Oddly, the Streak has gotten to the point where being a Streak Victim really helps in the long term. I mean, think of the recent additions to the list: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Batista, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, The Big Show, Kane. These are all surefire Hall of Famers, sure Mark Henry and A-Train were omitted but they can’t all be great. To have Punk added to that very exciting list is nothing short of amazing.
Besides, it’s a great way to get the title off of him after over a year holding it. They can easily do a tournament or whatever right after Wrestlemania when Taker leaves again, or better yet have Wade Barrett or Cody Rhodes cash in the next night on RAW, that would be pretty amazing too.
So there we have it, ten matches, which may be a lot, but it is certainly doable. The last time the company had a ten match Wrestlemania it was Wrestlemania XXVI, and that had some nice long matches, so the company can balance it out again, no thirty minute epics like we had last year, but several matches in the 12-20 minute range and we should be fine.
Obviously, the card is subject to change over the next four months…