Hard to believe it is Wrestlemania time again already.
Intercontinental Championship, JBL (c) vs Rey Mysterio
At first I was expecting this to open the show, but JBL was used in that role last year against Finlay. It still might though. Anyway, JBL continues to promise something historic will go down with him at Wrestlemania. Rumours are abound that he intends to retire as IC champion, which is about the only real "historic" thing I think he could do here, unless Mysterio pins him in 5 seconds... I think he'll announce this will be his last match beforehand, and we'll see Mysterio ruin the Texan's ambitious plans. What with Tazz leaving the announce booth, I think they might squeeze JBL back into his commentator's role. I doubt they have confidence in Striker to step up to Smackdown. Maybe with the draft so soon, we'll see Cole/Ross return to their original shows, reuniting announce teams. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the result of the IC title match.
Winner, New IC Champ: Rey Mysterio
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Finlay vs Mark Henry vs Kane vs CM Punk vs Koffi Kingston vs MVP vs Shelton Benjamin vs Christian
The insane spotfests have been toned down a bit the past few years and downgraded to controlled chaos. You can see the big spots coming, and how they're being set up. Notwithstanding, it'll still be fun to watch. You could make some good arguments for and against several of the competitors. Shelton Benjamin has been stuck in Money In The Bank for several years, and I don't ever see him winning it. They wouldn't repeat themselves with Punk winning. I doubt Henry could logically climb the ladder fast enough to get to the briefcase. Kingston & Benjamin are most likely to take themselves out via an insane big highspot. Easy money is on Christian or MVP. I think storyline wise it would be great for MVP to continue his comeback trail by picking up Money In The Bank so soon after reclaiming the U.S title. But giving the chance to cash in to Christian would give him the opportunity to rise out from ECW and challenge for one of the big two belts.
I'll also go out on a limb and predict that *IF* Christian wins, he'll be the first person to cash in but not win a title...
25 Diva Battle Royal, winner is crowned Miss Wrestlemania
I won't bother listing everyone involved in this one. I like the idea of bringing in divas of yesteryear to make it more of a big deal, although if any casual fan really cares to see Miss Jackie come back, I'd be surprised. I'm pumped to see Molly Holly return. I was never fond of Torie Wilson, but she was around for quite a lot from her WCW days to The Invasion, to her dad marrying Dawn Marie. So despite any real in-ring skills, she had an remarkable run. They haven't announced Trish Stratus as a participant, although I fully expect her to show up. With all the build they've been giving him, I also expect to see Santino Marella compete in drag. Should be comical to see all of the divas gang up on him and toss him out. Everyone knows my love of all things Melina, so I'm rooting for her... but I don't see it going down that way. I think Beth Phoenix is going to have an opportunity to shine (further) as the dominant force of the women's division. Plus I expect some hilarity as a jealous Santino must stand by and watch his girlfriend be crowned Miss Wrestlemania. I smell another Wrestlemania break-up for poor Santino. Should be good.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Chris Jericho vs "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
I'm interested in the novelty of seeing Steamboat wrestle. We've seen Snuka & Piper pop up for one-shot deals several times over the years, but never The Dragon. Hell, Piper even had a cup of coffee with the World Tag Titles... I'm not expecting much wrestling wise out of the three Legends, and fully expect Jericho dominate. I'm guess Jericho will go through Snuka first, and then get a cheap pin on Piper. Enter the Dragon. I doubt Steamboat has the stamina to go long, so by this point I expect Mickey Rouke & Ric Flair to get involved. Maybe Y2J lays out Flair, and it about to do something dastardly to Steamboat, but in comes Rourke with the save. Either way the match ends with Rouke costing Jericho. Post match Jericho could try to have it out with Rourke, but the star of "The Wrestler" & Legends get the better of Jericho.
Winner (s): Steamboat, Snuka & Piper
On a side note, I was just thinking about how great a feud Chris Jericho (circa 2009) would have with Roddy Piper (circa 1991). That would be something wildly entertaining.
WWE & World Tag Title Unification, Morrison & The Miz vs Carlitto & Primo Colon
I'll assume each of the Bella twins will accompany their team to the ring barring no major ankle or knee injuries stemming from the Diva battle royal. I honestly don't know which one is which and who likes who. Which is kind of sad, because I've actually enjoyed this feud. It's drawn out longer than most and I've been very entertained by the in-ring work and outside the ring work. There was something wonderfully campy and old school about Miz & Morrison taking the Bellas to a restaurant only to have Carlitto & Primo dress as the waiters and make asses of themselves. I think we'll see some great fast paced, high flying action in this one. The unification of the tag titles makes sense considering Miz & Morrison have been on all three shows on a continuous basis for the past ten months. What brand extension? Anyway. Miz & Morrison seem to be the pinnacle of what WWE wants from a tag team. Might as well give them the historic win.
Winners & Unified Tag Team Champions, John Morrison & The Miz
I completely forgot this is supposed to be a lumberjack match, so they can get the rest of the roster out in front of the crowd for a Wrestlemania payday. There are some odd choices for lumberjacks in this. Especially Vladmir Kozlov. This guy was JUST in the Elimination Chamber at No Way Out in Feb. This is quite a step down for him. The Great Khali is a former World champion, and he's stuck on lumberjack duty. Chavo Guerrero who is somewhat involved with the World title story is relegated to lumberjack status alongside Funaki and Hawkins & Ryder. I dunno, it doesn't make much sense to me. Anyway, regardless of the lumberjacks, I don't see them having any significant impact on the match. So moving on....
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels
Mr. Wrestlemania attempts to disrupt the streak and make it 16-1... That should be good. HBK has gotten the best of Undertaker repeatedly every week since the matchup was announced. Hrmmm. Let's think about that.
Extreme Rules, no DQ; Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy
In anticipation of this match, I threw in my DVD of Vengeance 2001 featuring the first take on Matt vs Jeff. That match was heavily crapped on by the IWC and wrestling critics. Upon watching it again many years later, it wasn't as bad as I remember it being. Lita's involvement though was the biggest downside. Now it's strictly brother vs brother. I think making it extreme rules is WWE's way of preventing this from being another Vengeance. Weapons always keep things fresh. When Matt first turned on Jeff, I was expecting them to still reveal that Christian was behind the accidents... Looks like that is not the case, and it was Jeff's evil brother all along. All right, I'll buy that. Jeff can lose without losing any heat with the crowd, as has been documented again and again. A win for Matt here would be really huge, as his heel persona is still taking off. I'll go with the dark horse, and let Jeff get his at Backlash.
Winner: Matt Hardy
World Title, Edge (c) vs John Cena vs The Big Show
This has had an interesting build coming into Wrestlemania. John Cena blackmailed his way into the match. Big Show sleeps with Vickie Guerrero to get into the match. Edge... well. Dunno what to say about Edge at this point. I don't have high expectations for this match. Cena vs Edge has been done to death. There' s not much else they can do with them. So I expect Show to figure heavily into the scheme of things. Floyd Mayweather, Undertaker, Mankind, Akebono, Kane, Triple-H... What do they all have in common? They have all beat The Big Show at Wrestlemania. In face, The Big Show has yet to score a win of his own on wrestling's grandest stage. He did win a tag team match at 'Mania 22, but it was Kane who scored the pinfall, so I'm going to ignore it. In ten years of being with WWE, Big Show has never won here. All I can say is that someone is due their Wrestlemania moment. The streak shall end.
Winner, The Big Show
Although what I would give to see Edge win and Christian cash in Money in the bank... Damn.
WWE Title, Triple H (c) vs Randy Orton
This has had the most personal build of the bunch... Triple H vs Randy Orton has been brewing for years since Orton's departure from Evolution. Let's ignore the fact that they both competed last year in a triple threat with Cena, shall we? I don't know what I can say about this match. Despite the build, I have little to no interest in it. The leader of Legacy has been on a giant roll, culminating with winning the Royal Rumble. Most Rumble winners move on to win the big one at 'mania. Not this time, the McMahons will see to that. Oh, and HHH hasn't won at Wrestlemania in six years. I doubt that fact is lost on anyone in the booking commitee.
Winner & Still WWE Champ: Triple H to send 'em home happy
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Hard to believe it is Wrestlemania time again already.
Posted by Kicking Air at 4/05/2009 02:35:00 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Friday, March 28, 2008
Well, we are once again upon another Wrestlemania, this time taking place from the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The superbowl of wrestling will be happening in an outdoor venue for the first time since 1994. I am in favor of anything that changes the standardized look of WWE broadcasts. So the outdoor ring is cool with me. And if it rains? It will be just one of many Wrestlemania memories that stand the test of time…
Okay, dramatics aside, I’m pretty excited for Wrestlemania this year. They’ve done a phenomenal job at marketing it. They set the majority of the card up early giving lot’s of time for build.
Unfortunately for you dear reader, I’m bored. So I’m going to go with an in-depth look at each of the matches. I apologize for the lengthiness.
Here we go…
CM Punk v. John Morrison v. Chris Jericho v. M.V.P v. Shelton Benjamin v. Carlito v. Mr. Kennedy
Seven men? I kind of wish they put Matt Hardy in this match to even it out at eight. Not because I want to see him in another ladder match. I firmly believe that Matt Hardy v. M.V.P should have been on this card, and interjecting Matt into Money In The Bank would be a way to see that. That match had some of the best build I have seen in years (If you forget the pizza eating contest). I guess I’ll have to wait for Backlash. Let’s look at the actual participants:
Chris Jericho – Making a return to the match that he created, the Intercontinental champion also makes his return to Wrestlemania after several years off. Jericho has shown his worth in ladder matches in the past, without taking insane bumps (ala Jeff Hardy).
Mr. Kennedy – Proved that the company is willing to get behind him by winning it last year. If it weren’t for an injury that took away the briefcase, who knows how Kennedy would have cashed in? This year we know. He’s told us. He intends to cash in Money in The Bank at this very Wrestlemania.
Shelton Benjamin – The Gold Standard of ECW was interjected into this match because of his ability to shine in matches like this. Doesn’t have a hope in Hell of winning, but is sure to create a Wrestlemania moment or two.
John Morrison – I really don’t have anything to say about Morrison. I would have much rather seen him defend the Tag Team titles with the Miz, but that is a moot point. Much like Benjamin, “The Shaman Of Sexy” shall fulfill his duty of being a spot monkey and nothing else.
CM Punk – I’m not blindly behind CM Punk because of his ROH/Indy work, because frankly I haven’t seen it. However, I do think he is a character that the crowd can and will get behind, and if it weren’t for the glass ceiling in WWE, I would expect big things from him. I thought we’d see more from him in last year’s Money In The Bank, so this could be a second chance to steal the show. Personally, I am rooting for Punk although I am not optimistic. Prove me wrong WWE.
Carlito – Adrift in the directionless mid-card of Raw, he’s been spending his time teaming with Santino Marella. With Santino’s split from Maria, I see these tag team partners drifting apart as well. Which leaves Carlito open for new endeavors. Winning Money In The Bank would be a good way to start rebuilding the credibility that Carlito once had.
M.V.P – Since defeating Chris Benoit, M.V.P has held onto the U.S title for close to a year now for one of the longest reigns in many years. Sure he rarely defends it, but that’s irrelevant. He’s shown his worth by competing against some of Smackdown’s biggest names, and proved to be very entertaining in his feud with Matt Hardy. What better way to add more bling to M.V.P’s career than to give him the coveted opportunity that awaits inside that briefcase?
Finlay v. J.B.L
All right, a street fight. I mean Belfast Brawl. To-ma-toe, tom-at-oe. After months and months of build with the Mr. McMahon’s son storyline, it finally comes to fruition and pays off with Finlay and J.B.L.
Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either.
If you asked me six months ago how the Hornswoggle storyline would play out, I’ll admit I couldn’t have come up with this. That’s a good and a bad thing. At least it was unpredictable. These two have big reputations for being stiff workers, and the match stipulations give a lot of room for them to live up to it. It really does feel that there are more layers to this story, so I expect more to happen post Wrestlemania. What better way to continue on a feud than by letting the heel win?
Ashley & Maria v. Melina & Beth Phoenix
What exactly does Bunny-Mania consist of? I’m not entirely sure, but I know it involves Snoop Dogg as master of ceremonies, the roster of divas at ringside as Lumberjills, and a lot of Playboy tie-in’s and references. Essentially, this match is an excuse to parade around the WWE Divas and not much else. You know of my love of all things Melina, but I am afraid that she is no match for the promotional powerhouse that is Playboy.
Winners: Maria & Ashley
After all, we have magazines to sell.
And as a side note, I REALLY hope we see some Santino Marella involved with Bunny-Mania.
- Brian Kendrick
- Cody Rhodes
- Hacksaw Jim Duggan
- Hardcore Holly
- Lance Cade
- Trevor Murdoch
- Val Venis
- Chuck Palumbo
- Jamie Noble
- Jimmy Wang Yang
- Mark Henry
- Shannon Moore
- The Great Khali
- Elijah Burke
- Kofi Kingston
- Matt Striker
- The Miz
- Tommy Dreamer
Time for another much maligned Pre-Wrestlemania battle royal. Originally slated to be on the card, the match was pushed back to the pre-show and will be broadcast live on WWE.com. Personally, I am all in favor of another battle royal at Wrestlemania. Why? Because it gets just about everyone on the card. Not only does it give the wrestlers a nice Wrestlemania payday, but it showcases the depth of the roster. In the “showcase of the immortals”, the underappreciated mid-card gets to have their moment. Plus, I really like battle royals. Call it a guilty pleasure I guess.
How do you accurately predict a battle royal? With 24 choices, it ain’t easy. But using a little bit of “booking logic” can help weed out the possibilities. Let’s be realistic. Lance Cade doesn’t have a hope in Hell. Shannon Moore? Not going to happen. With the winner receiving a shot against Chavo Guerrero for the ECW title, it’s going to be someone who can justify having that spot at Wrestlemania. Realistically speaking, it comes down to a handful of guys, all whom the WWE has been pushing in that direction.
Smart money is on The Great Khali. He won a battle royal for the World title, why couldn’t he win here? Defeating Stevie Richards in 10 seconds a few weeks back on ECW TV landed Khali in headlines across India. WWE is said to be pushing heavily for more of a presence in that market. I’m sure Khali winning the battle royal and beating Guerrero for the ECW title would be good for business there. So logic wise and business wise, Khali is a smart choice. I don’t see it happening though.
Will it be Kane? Potentially. A perennial player at Wrestlemania, Kane has a long history participating in the event and it is kind of sad to see him relegated to preshow battle royal status… Nonetheless, challenging Chavo would be a giant mountain for the champ to climb.
Wrestlemania has a history of giving due to the underdog. Eddie Guerrero. Chris Benoit. Rey Mysterio. So why not the heart and soul of ECW, Tommy Dreamer? Chavo defeated Dreamer in three minutes on TV this past week which doesn’t help, but more importantly they raised the idea of Dreamer challenging.
And what about the world’s strongest man, Mark Henry?
Okay, I doubt they’d give the shot to Henry, but logically it would make sense. The Silverback (does he still go by that?) is built like a wall and would be very difficult to toss over the top rope. To be honest though, I just don’t see it happening.
So who is it going to be?
If I were booking it, I would want someone that fans could rally behind. So eliminate the heels. I would want someone capable of putting on a great show. Surviving a 24 man battle royal and competing for a title later on makes someone an underdog.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer
And to be fair, I thought that BEFORE ECW tv this week...
Chavo Guerrero v. Winner of aforementioned battle royal
Winning a battle royal and winning an ECW title match require defying many odds, especially when you consider that Chavo will be fresh having not competed earlier. All in all, I don’t see all three titles changing hands, and this is the one title that doesn’t appear to be a foregone conclusion. I think having Tommy Dreamer win the battle royal and compete for the ECW Title would be a Hell of a story… But I didn’t say the story had a happy ending.
Winner: Chavo Guerrero
Umaga VS Batista
… another fight for brand supremacy? How many of those have we seen over the years? Sadly I think both of these guys were afterthoughts when drafting the Wrestlemania 24 picture. Bastista stole the show last year with Undertaker, and Umaga is consistent if anything. Word has leaked online that they intend this feud to be a bridge to bring Umaga to Smackdown for other purposes, and it makes the most sense to me. I don’t expect much from this throwaway match.
The Big Show v. Floyd "Money" Mayweather
I’m not a boxing fan, but even I know of Floyd Mayweather. Sure, I didn’t know his name, but I knew him as the obnoxious loud mouth that I would love to see get knocked out. I don’t know how much of Floyd Mayweather is a character he portrays, but he certainly comes off as a dislikable heel in the world of wrestling. Sometimes the arena fans see it, sometimes not. I know I’d boo him… No one seems to be too certain of the rules of the match I’ve heard rumblings that they’ve announced that it will be no holds barred. So that puts Mayweather’s posse into the mix of things.
I don’t really know what we’re going to see out of this match. A part of me wonders if this is redemption for Big Show after an unsuccessful attempt at cross brand promotion when he faced Akebono at Wrestlemania 21 in a sumo match. Will Floyd Mayweather fufil his promise of breaking Big Show’s jaw? Will Big Show end Floyd Mayweather’s pro-boxing career? I don’t know. But I know the end result and will sum it up in as simple terms as I can put it.
There is no way that a boxing world champion would agree to do this gig if he wasn’t going to look good doing it.
Winner: Floyd Mayweather
Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair
Is it really such a foregone conclusion that Ric Flair’s career will be ending at Wrestlemania? I don’t think so. Of all people to end The Nature Boy’s career, I just don’t see it being Shawn Michaels. In the long list of accomplishments in HBK’s career, I don’t think we need to see that. Michaels is pretty choosy about whom he puts over, especially at an event like Wrestlemania… But I think Flair would be on that short list. If both men’s careers were on the line, that would drastically change the complexion of this match. The bigger story here is if Ric Flair wins. People seem to be calling for this match to go on last, and for it to steal the show. I disagree with both. I don’t think Ric Flair is important enough today to warrant closing the biggest PPV of the year, and I’m not sure he has it in him any more to keep up with Michaels and compete at that level. Sorry ‘Natch fans, it’s how I feel.
But remember what I said earlier about underdogs? Flair is about as big of an underdog as can be, and this is where I think we’ll get that happy ending as Ric Flair lives to fight another day.
Winner: Ric Flair
Edge v. The Undertaker
There is a lot of history contained within this match. Whether WWE chooses to acknowledge it or not remains to be seen. As far as recent history goes, this one started when Edge cashed in Money In The Bank to rob Undertaker of the title last year and “injured” Undertaker, sidelining him for months. Everyone knows of Undertaker’s storied 15-0 Wrestlemania win streak which to me is more significant than the WWE title in this match. I don’t consider this a streak v. streak match because in my books Edge lost last year. He wasn’t pinned, but he didn’t win either. Generally, I’m not a big Undertaker fan, but I have to give him credit for pulling out an amazing, show stealing match with Batista last year… I haven’t watched a lot of Smackdown lately, so I don’t know all of the build to this aside from Taker continuously squashing Edge’s minions, Hawkins and Ryder… But I don’t see Edge winning. The streak is too important to end at the hands of the Rated-R Superstar.
Winner: Undertaker, 16-0
Randy Orton v. Triple H v. John Cena
Okay, seriously. Who expects Randy Orton to win? It comes down to Cena or Triple H. Either way, I think there is enough story between the two that we will end up seeing Cena v. Triple H over the next few months. Whether Triple H will turn heel for it, I don’t really know. It’s possible. Cena made a Hell of a comeback by winning the Royal Rumble. No one saw that coming. I'm no fan of Cena's, but I can't deny that he turns it on much like Triple H and HBK when it comes to big time shows. I don't know, somthing about this match comes off as too formulaic for my liking. I feel like we’ve seen it before, at Wrestlemania 20. But this time, Triple H plays the role of the face and gets to celebrate in front of 60,000 fans as we close Wrestlemania with the King of Kings reclaiming his throne.
Winner: Triple H
…. And if Mr. Kennedy should win Money in the Bank, will we see him cash it in as promised and win the World title? I highly doubt it. If they decide to tack on an ending like that, it like so many others, will end with a boot to the gut and a pedigree. Hail to the king.
Remember my predictions are not based on what I want to see, but rather what I think we shall see. If I were betting in Vegas, these are my picks. I’ve been REALLY wrong sometimes, usually at the smaller, lesser pay per views. But to use a word twice, Wrestlemania has become really formulaic over the years. Good guys will win, titles will change hands, celebrities will look good (Except Pete Rose…), Undertaker’s streak will continue. All amongst a sea of thousand of screaming fans, a high tech ring set up, and millions watching at home live on Pay Per View.
For some alternate takes on Wrestlemania, check out my wrestling cohorts Crosblog or Crimson Joe's livejournal. Beebs, get posting...
Posted by Kicking Air at 3/28/2008 01:45:00 PM