Hello all, it’s that time again. Another pay-per-view is brought to us by WWE. This time it isn’t just any pay-per-view. It’s WRESTLEMANIA! With Wrestlemania comes the traditional extravagance of Axxess and the Hall of Fame ceremony, but what isn’t so common is the plethora of questionable contests found on this card scheduled to take place live at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on April 7th at 7pm eastern (with a one-hour “Interactive Pre-Show” set to kick off at 6pm eastern on Youtube, Facebook, and WWE Active on the WWE App). There are a few matches where no matter what happens, the result may seem fairly obvious. Not to say that is the way it WILL go, just that it seems like the most viable option. Other matches however could truly go either way, so without further delay, I present my OFFICIAL predictions for Wrestlemania 29:
INTERACTIVE PRE-SHOW: Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz
I am a huge Mizfit, and I also love the Intercontinental Championship. There is quite a bit of history shared by the Intercontinental Championship and the “Grandest Stage of Them All” some examples include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania 3, Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in the first ladder match in Wrestlemania History (a concept that would later go on to breed the Money in the Bank ladder match), and Rey Mysterio vs. JBL in a match that saw JBL lose his Intercontinental Championship in 25 seconds and he announced his retirement right there on the spot.
Anyway, my point is that I believe this match should be in the main card, but when you look at the kind of build it’s had, it’s more or less a match that is still young. As much as I’d love to see The Miz’s Wrestlemania win streak continue, I’m going to have to side with Wade Barrett here. His title run is just shy of 100 days and the last person to hold the Intercontinental Championship up to or longer than 100 days was Cody Rhodes from August 9, 2011 to April 1, 2012 when a 236 day reign came to an end at the hands of The Big Show. I see Wade Barrett coming out of this match with the title, but regardless of the result, we could easily see these two again possibly on May 19, 2013, but until then…
WINNER and STILL Intercontinental Champion: WADE BARRETT
Fandango vs. Chris Jericho
I’m a fan of Fandango, and I’ve been a Jericholic as long as I can remember. These two appear to be ready to put on a fast-paced, high-flying contest. There isn’t much to say, because Fandango is a major wild card. He has yet to make his in-ring debut on television, and the pressure to perform well on the grandest stage of them all might serve as both a good thing and a bad thing for the mysterious dancer. While he may appear to have no experience in a WWE ring, Wrestlemania is the biggest and brightest stage on which he could possibly stand. No one knows what to expect from Fandango once that bell rings. I see a great match- a relatively short match for this card- but a great match nonetheless. The time these two spend in the ring will have no bearing on the quality of their clash. This match will be one of the more underrated contests, and in another 20 years it may even be forgotten, but on April 7th, 2013, NO ONE will forget the name: “FAAAN….DAAAN…GOOO!”
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
This match falls in the same vein as the Fandango vs. Jericho bout: “New School vs. Old School”. The entire point of this match is to promote Ryback. This match will also be one of the strongest collisions in Wrestlemania history. Similar to that of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre “The Giant” this will be the “irresistable force” of “Feed Me More” vs. “the immovable object” of the “World’s Strongest Man.” Mark Henry and Ryback have both been known to go on raging paths over the past year or so. Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain got derailed by a near career ending injury. He has been in the business for quite some time. It stands to reason that Mark Henry is serving a similar purpose as Jericho these days. He is quite possibly working on borrowed time. His talent is best used to put the talent like Ryback over as the next generation of superstar.
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins
For the longest time, I was convinced that the faces would just win this match as a burn-off push, but I began to think: Why would Tons of Funk, the comedy gimmick go over the established tag team and why would the Bella Twins come back only to lose at Wrestlemania? Not EVERY match has to put over someone new. After all, Tensai has the most experience out of everyone in this match…possibly combined! The Funkadactyls have had a chance to shine as a unit against the Bellas on WWE Superstars and Monday Night Raw, so they now have established credibility whether they have won or not. The heel foursome in this match mocked the faces who cleaned house on Smackdown upon seeing enough of the dressed-up joke. My conclusion is simply that whoever wins this match would deserve some consideration as the next contender’s to the tag team championships. That is why I believe Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins will take the win here.
WINNERS: TEAM RHODES SCHOLARS AND THE BELLA TWINS
WWE Tag Team Championships: Team Hell No (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston
Team Hell No have held the tag team championships since Night of Champions. Their inaugural title reign has surpassed 200 days. There have been online rumors that we could see another push for Daniel Bryan which would require separation from Kane and dropping the tag team championships. As much as I’d love to see Dolph Ziggler carry the tag team title when he cashes in the World Heavyweight contract, I do not see them walking out as champions at the “Grandaddy of Them All.” I do however see Kane and Daniel Bryan loses their tag team championships in a multi-team type of match on Raw on April 8th, outlasting several teams such as Epico and Primo, Tons of Funk, and the Prime Time Players before losing to Rhodes Scholars or The Shield in the final round, which following the winning team’s celebration and exit from the ring- upon Daniel Bryan’s pinfall loss- Kane becomes the outraged, disgruntled monsters he has always been (at least when he is behind the mask). Extreme Rules on May 19th seems rather fitting to rekindle a feud between two of the most deranged superstars in recent years who are in the midst of dissolving one of the most successful tag teams in just as long if not longer. Where does Dolph Ziggler go from here? That may come later…
WINNERS: TEAM HELL NO
Sheamus/Orton/Big Show vs. The Shield
In this feud, Big Show has become somewhat of a fence-straddler. On one hand, he finds an enemy in the hounds of justice just as The Celtic Warrior and The Viper do, but as we’ve seen on multiple occasions this partnership may just be a means to an end for Big Show. He is only in this group to even the odds and find strength in numbers. Sheamus and Big Show have crossed paths on the Road to Wrestlemania even though they are supposed to be on the same team. It is no secret that Big Show and Sheamus have a tumultuous past and at Wrestlemania, only time will tell whether they will be able to put differences aside to conquer the Shield. it is truly a testament to Randy Orton to step in from time to time as mediator to ease the tension between his teammates. The Shield are no job squad. It is going to take as much focus and fortitude as the three former World Champions have and then some if they can even dream of coming close to topping this group of three who are undefeated in tag team action and have yet to lose on pay per view. Of the newest talent to appear in WWE this past calendar year, the Shield have had the strongest consistent showing since their debut at Survivor Series. They even hold a win over John Cena and Chris Jericho just to name a couple of their conquests. I don’t see them stopping any time soon, regardless of the caliber of their competition.
WINNERS: THE SHIELD
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
I have gone back and forth on this match ever since it was made official at Old School Raw. With the death of Paul Bearer adding a sense of psychology to this match (which is the only way I could ever imagine Undertaker vs. CM Punk at Wrestlemania going-purely mental), there have been some serious politically correct gray areas cast over this entire ordeal. This story in its basic form has featured the self-professed “Best in the World” beating The Undertaker down both physically and mentally for the last month. Unless they are pulling a swerve here, I feel like I’ve seen this before with The Undertaker. He doesn’t compete but every doubt is cast to make him look as if he’s just too old or too slow to make it through a match much less secure a decisive victory, yet he manages to prevail by the sheer undeniable mystique of the bond between The Deadman and His Streak at Wrestlemania. Not to say that I would hate to see Punk win. I’ve always said making it to 20 would be a feat for Undertaker to retire and be done, and if anyone could do it it would be The Straight-Edge, Second City Savior. If Punk was still WWE Champion going into Wrestlemania then I’d say he wins without dispute, but with this being a mid-card main event. I just don’t see Undertaker losing outside of the main event.
WINNER: THE UNDERTAKER
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H
Brock won their first encounter at SummerSlam. Triple H has had his arm broken by Lesnar twice. Shawn Michaels has had his arm broken at the hands of Brock Lesnar once. Stephanie McMahon has been a target of Paul Heyman’s distaste since Raw 1000. The Game is no stranger to No Holds Barred or to Wrestlemania matches, so having both at once would have to be heaven for the Cerebral Assassin. Wrestlemania is a bit of a bigger stage than SummerSlam but its close. That is why I could easily see Brock Lesnar sending Triple H into retirement. Nevertheless, Triple H has only had two matches in the past year, this match being the second…and for someone of his stature to lose both of them seems downright ludicrous. Plus having Shawn Michaels in his corner seems way more convenient than Brock having Paul Heyman in his.
WINNER: TRIPLE H
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger
I am firmly behind “Jack Swagger’s America.” While I grow tired of Yosemite Sam Colter’s ramblings sometimes, this gimmick shift has proven to be much appreciated. Jack Swagger and his new character have established a legitimate case to become World Heavyweight Champion, however Alberto Del Rio’s face run has also been enjoyable. They may have put the title on him rather quickly but I’d take Del Rio over Big Show as World Champion any day. With Dolph Ziggler’s Money in the Bank contract floating out there, I believe that while Jack Swagger puts forth a strong draw to be a solid champion with a long reign in the near future, it seems more fitting that Jack would lose to Alberto Del Rio Sunday at Wrestlemania (possibly by DQ), fly off the handle in one of the worst ways, leave Del Rio beaten, battered and abused next to an equally mangled Ricardo Rodriguez…but we don’t get Ziggler. Instead the following night on Raw, as Alberto Del Rio addresses the attack alone in the ring (Ricardo received much worse treatment at the hands of Swagger and therefore could not stand by Del Rio’s side), Jack Swagger returns to finish the job he obviously did not complete the night before. As he walks away proud of his achievements, Smackdown General Manager Booker T could later issue a suspension for Swagger’s behavior which would be unlawful attacks on multiple occasions to two different people (thus removing Swagger from television to serve any DUI/ pot bust punishments). Del Rio staggers to his feet as Big E Langston comes out of nowhere to lay him out with his finisher not once or twice, but three times…then Dolph Ziggler initiates the contract cash-in only to have Del Rio break out of a sleeper hold, get distracted by Swagger standing at the stage or in the crowd, and Ziggler drops The Mexican Aristocrat with a Zig Zag for the win and the World Heavyweight Championship…
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe Ziggler won’t even have Big E by his side come Monday. Maybe they will split at Wrestlemania instead of Hell No. Maybe Swagger and Del Rio carry their feud until May 19th without Ziggler’s involvement, and maybe we’ll get to see a submission match Patriot Lock vs. Cross Armbar. I’ve always wanted to see a submission match get booked, and Extreme Rules Del Rio vs. Swagger seems like the best place for it in my opinion. Regardless of how the story plays out, Wrestlemania- right under Lady Liberty and in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge- Alberto Del Rio will retain his World Heavyweight Championship.
WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RIO
WWE Championship: The Rock (c) vs. John Cena
I know I’m not the only one who saw this rematch coming since the first match was announced on April 4, 2011. “This time for the title” as I like to call it will certainly be an intense match. It won’t be an easy win for either man. I’ve heard considerations of John Laurinaitis coming in and Cena going heel in order to align with the purveyor of “People Power” to achieve his victory. While a Cena heel turn may seem far-fetched or difficult to imagine, I could see it going down exactly like that. It’s been a LONG time since anything truly earth-shattering has happened in WWE. Even the initiation of the new title design could’ve felt a little more special. When thinking of ways that things could be shaken up, I thought of Wrestlemania X-Seven. People saw something then that they thought they’d never see. Austin turned heel with an assist from Vince McMahon. Vince handed Austin a chair to lead him to victory over The Rock. While Rock/Cena II has yet to receive a stipulation, the interactive pre-show could have other plans. There are stark parallels between these two matches. For one, the Rock is in the match. it’s for the WWE Championship. It’s at Wrestlemania. The only missing link is an authority figure who has been a thorn in the side of John Cena. Well, in April of 2013 right after Cena loss to The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII, Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE (much like Goldberg did the night after Wrestlemania XIX for his limited-appearance yearlong deal). Who took the credit for “bringing the pain” back to WWE, spouting off things like “legitimacy” or “its what the people want”? Why, it’s Johnny Ace- sans skateboard, of course. John Laurinaitis would then go on to become a little power hungry before gaining Big Show as muscle, but at No Way Out Laurinaitis was fired and sent packing by John Cena. Certainly, no one would expect the CeNation Leader to side with Big Johnny, but anything can happen in WWE. No matter what happens as far as John Cena’s character is concerned, I still see an 11 Time WWE Champion walking out of MetLife Stadium on Sunday April 7th.
WINNER: JOHN CENA
That does it for my predictions. Whether I am right or wrong, I truly will not be disappointed with any result as long as I am entertained. I know many people who would fly off the handle at the simply thought of any particular outcome, whether it’s Cena winning, Punk winning, or anything like that. While I may not necessarily agree with any one occurrence, it is still a television program and making a big fuss over nothing doesn’t seem very productive in the long run. We may not have all of the answers at the conclusion of Wrestlemania 29. As a matter of fact, Wrestlemania 29 may leave us with even more questions. The only thing we know for sure is that this is the “Show of Shows”, “The Showcase of the Immortals” and it all comes down to this. I feel like we could see some major shake-ups in WWE. Stay tuned…
What are some of your predictions? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below.