4.04.2013

WrestleMania XXIX: What COULD Happen, What WILL Happen

Here I'll do the unfathomable and actually attempt to make this introduction brief and painless. Well, as painless as I am capable of. Feel free to skip past.

I stumbled in to professional wrestling fandom in 1998 and watched through the rightfully infamous Attitude Era of the WWF before slowly falling out of regularity with the product during the so-called Ruthless Aggression Era. I would still go to shows when they came to town - including WrestleMania XXIV, an incredible in-person experience - and occasionally hit up the local Hooters for free PPVs but that was it. I recently happened to catch the CM Punk documentary on Netflix Instant, however, and my immediate mark-worthy fascination with the indie icon propelled me to check out modern day, PG Era WWE.

This particular WrestleMania has had a rather lackluster build with weak story development littered with haphazard, potentially career-damaging booking. Hell, Jeff Jarrett's oft-maligned rival TNA has featured vastly superior entertainment since my return to pro wrestling viewership (another can of worms indeed, although I will take advantage of this parenthetical to brag about having been in attendance at the first televised TNA show, and the first TNA PPV). I will still enjoy the hell out of the "Granddaddy of Them All", which coincidentally falls on my birthday this year, for the same reason I enjoyed the Royal Rumble in January - it is a novelty. Here are my thoughts as to what potentials I'd like to see fulfilled, and what the more business-minded WWE will more likely do instead.


YouTube Pre-Show: Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
If you are like me you remember a time when midcard titles meant something. This was once especially true in the case of the Intercontinental Championship - an important stepping stone signaling hot up-and-coming talent that tended to put on better all-around matches than the big guys. Now the allegedly promising Wade Barrett holds the title only to be constantly booked a loser against stars who are out of his league. He was looking at an exciting program against fresh NXT graduate Bo Dallas, but like several other recent feuds that angle fizzled to an inexplicable end. At least Barrett actually has a match at the Show of Shows (even if it is ever so oddly relegated to the YouTube Pre-Show) - I expected the even worse-booked United States Champion Antonio Cesaro to defend against the winner of a Pre-Show battle royal, but unless they're holding their cards unnecessarily close the WWE doesn't seem to want to feature one of their belt-holders nor a traditional multi-man match that allows names missing the main card to at least hit the stage.
Then there's The Miz. I have to admit, despite being predisposed to loathing the guy due to my apparently unfounded idea that he got a free ride via previously existing pseudo-celebrity, Miz' face turn has been insidiously working for me. When he was endlessly battling Cesaro, I actually found myself cheering for his vengeance in spite of myself. Problem is, Miz repeatedly lost title matches against Cesaro yet continued to be booked in an under-promoted title-seeking program with him. When he (recently) graduated from that program, he was immediately thrust in to the Intercontinental scene. Where's the logic in booking one man to lose over and over against a lower tier champion, then rewarding his losses with a shot at the more prestigious midcard belt? What's more, this isn't even the initial challenge from The Miz - he lost to Barrett once already, but is being rewarded yet again. Does The Miz comprise the entire midcard division?

What I'd like to happen: The Miz def. Wade Barrett
Yep, even though Miz is undeserving in the ol' land of kayfabe at the moment, his face run is working despite what the pundits say, and some championship momentum would only help that. This would also potentially free up Mr. Barrett to achieve what those same pundits say he is so capable of achieving (even if his finisher is a standing elbow strike).

What will happen: The Miz def. Wade Barrett
Miz is renowned as WWE's second-most altruistic superstar behind Mr. Make-A-Wish John Cena, so methinks they'd like to accompany his charitable ever-presence with some gold.


Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins
Poor Prince Albert. "Sweet T" marks his fourth WWE repackaging, and each such character shake-up has been worse than the last. I miss the days of T&A (R.I.P. Test).
That said, unless WWE opts for a squash this throwaway match will likely be very entertaining. I find Tons of Funk as embarrassing as the next person (a frequently mentioned quip in my wrestling circles is that their name should have been The Channel Changers), but I'll be damned if on a base level I don't get a kick out of seeing these two lardy behemoths air-shovel and break out the Gangnam Style to Brodus Clay's funky theme music. More importantly, their companions Naomi and Cameron - together, The Funkadactyls - may be the two most talented divas on the current roster. Typically Cameron has opened Funkadactyl tag matches with standard maneuvers before hot-tagging to the energetically acrobatic Naomi, but she did finally prove greater worth akin to Naomi's with an impressive moment or three on this past Monday night's "Go Home" Raw. You don't see talent like this in the women's division anymore (it all moved over to TNA with Tara, Tessmacher, Gail Kim, Velvet Sky and the rest of that frequent match-of-the-night-delivering gang).
The Hip Hop Hippos' male opponents are two of the more promising talents in the WWE today. Contrarily they are also some of the most losing. Sure, winning and losing isn't everything in "sports entertainment", but for all the buckets and buckets of in-ring and on-the-mic talent Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow haul to the squared circle with each appearance, they are merely thanked with sippy cups of jobber juice. WWE needs to figure out what they're doing with these guys.

What I'd like to happen: Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins def. Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls
Cody and Damien deserve this win on a big stage. They deserved a title win at the Royal Rumble and subsequently have at least a spot on the card at Elimination Chamber, but received neither. They are two of the most consistent and entertaining guys in the locker room, yet they always get the shaft. Give the heels a little momentum for when the part-timers depart. While you're at it, Creative, let's see the Primetime Players get a push, eh? Oh, and as for Naomi and Cameron? Not only will losing still provide them ample opportunity to flaunt their great moves in such a grand venue, but losing will also provide better potential for an extension of their program with The Bellas, instead of a win potentially sending them back to dubious arm candy irrelevance.

What will happen: Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls def. Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins
As suggested, there is potential this will be a pathetic squash, just like most (if not all) televised Brodus Clay and Sweet T matches have been thus far (gotta make time for all those video package replays, after all). If not, I still get the feeling WWE will give the fans the "feel good" win here. And that's fine, because I do like Naomi and Cameron well enough to be happy for their first match at the big one being a win. Again, however, they will be able to shine, regardless.


Team Hell No (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston for the Tag Team Championship
Speaking of stagnant teams, didn't the embarrassing odd couple storyline that is Team Hell No end two or three months ago? Why are they still together, wasting one another's time? Daniel Bryan has proven himself time and time again, yet remains a sideshow (albeit successfully over as such). Kane may be an IWC darling but Creative has made his involvement in WWE exponentially worse as time has worn on, and it's time to put the monster out of his misery (maybe after one last pity World Heavyweight Champion run).
Since resuming my viewership, only my very reason for resuming - CM Punk - has impressed me more than Dolph Ziggler. Does the WWE currently have a better in-ring entertainer? He commonly puts on PPV-quality matches, and can make even awful acts such as Ryback look good with his knack for selling. Thing is, Ziggler is long overdue for a show of strength. He looks weak with his recent string of losses, and has only been made to look formidable over the past couple weeks due to the interference of his mini-stable rounded out by Big E. Langston and kayfabe girlfriend AJ Lee. AJ may still present a wild card, but getting the intimidating yet hilarious Langston legally inside the ring for what I believe will be his first sanctioned WWE match is a good move to make the team as a whole look strong.

What I'd like to happen: Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston def. Team Hell No
Putting Mr. Money In the Bank in the floundering tag scene is either a stupid move or a brilliant one. Ziggler and Langston could very likely make for an interesting and versatile in-ring duo and the two do deserve some gold, but are the tag titles the right kind of gold? Team Hell No also needs to combust sooner rather than later, and since it's been stalled this long, why not combust at WrestleMania? Ideally, the Show Offs win here, Ziggler cashes in for the blue brand's big belt later in the night, and perhaps AJ wins a previously unannounced Divas title match resulting in this trifecta being highly decorated as this year's pro wrestling Super Bowl comes to a close.

What will happen: Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston def. Team Hell No
This win won't be clean. AJ's presence will likely either directly assist Ziggy and Big E. or it will cause Byran and Kane - coincidentally two of AJ's many kayfabe ex-boyfriends - to fall off the same page they've suddenly found. I believe WWE knows Team Hell No is at an end, and that they could possibly begin a decent feud here to occupy the two until, say, SummerSlam. Even if the golden pipe dream detailed above does not come true entirely, at least the Show Offs will have a prize to, well, show off for their effervescent talents. I just wish this could have been a ladder match or something.


Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show vs. The Shield
Perhaps I should just chalk it up to WrestleMania season having become the season of the part-timers - the stars of yesteryear returning to earn easy ratings and sell PPVs since the WWE's current crop doesn't have much "casual fan" appeal... but it is baffling how so many young stars in the making are being forced to simply spin their wheels. We've seen at least three versions of this very match already. Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose looked extremely strong (both in-ring and on the mic) as they came up, taking down just about everyone they could from Brad Maddox to The Rock - in their path or otherwise - but now I can barely determine what their agenda is anymore. Why is Sheamus (whose name I hate spelling with that damned 'h') so hell-bent on fighting these guys again? Why are they antagonizing him? What happened to "The John Cena Problem" that made these guys' post-Punk angle so appealing? Why are Randy Orton and Big Show (who just a few weeks ago was getting cheap heat by claiming latinos aren't worth anything, but now he's a good guy I guess) involved other than the fact that it'd be strange if such prominent stars didn't feature on the card? All told, this is probably the match I care about the least out of the ten officially announced, and that is unfortunate to say about a match involving The Shield.

What I'd like to happen: The Shield def. Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show
Many believe Randy Orton is set to turn heel here, either just for the hell of it or to reveal himself as the leader of The Shield (a la Bubba - I mean Bully so effectively did with Aces & Eights not too long ago at TNA's Lockdown PPV). Orton has been stagnant yet technically impressive lately, and while I was indifferent to him in the Evolution faction I have come to respect his work and enjoy his bemused demeanor. A new angle could do him well. I'm not entirely buying it, however, as TNA's Dixie Carter recently announced a mystery signee who would "slither and strike". It would make sense for Orton to jump ship, considering his punishments and current stagnation, and I for one would be thrilled with such a development. We shall see. Maybe Dixie meant Jake Roberts.

What will happenThe Shield def. Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show
This is a tough call. I am inclined to say Creative puts The Shield out of business for the evening the same way they had Cena crush Nexus. Thing is, once the part-timers are gone WWE still needs storylines to work with. Once the PPV buys are in, all bets are off. This is why despite my gut I feel the smart money is on The Shield to prevail yet again as the fragile alliance of the Celtic Warrior, the Viper and the Giant implodes in one way or another (I am certainly not ruling out the Orton turn entirely). This could lead to a stronger Shield program moving forward, once the part-timers' respective absences free up what is already an excess of airtime.


Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
Is the Triple H/Brock Lesnar bout the only match on the card with a legitimate stipulation? Granted, this feud came out of nowhere as Creative was wish-washing around under the watchful Vince McMahon trying to figure out what exactly to do with a handful of superstars, but you'd think there'd be some ladders and cages or something somewhere.
Anyway, I feel like I'm the only guy enjoying this Fandango character. His arrogance is hilarious, as is the sheer ridiculous nature of interrupting matches with a full-blown entrance (for which a special set needs to be erected, cuing his arrival, and also for which he is not even the first person hitting the ramp). I like that he's been paired with Jericho - what better coach for an arrogant heel? These few weeks with Y2J will surely provide indispensable wisdom for the rest of Fandango's career.

What I'd like to happen: Fandango def. Chris Jericho
It sounds preposterous, but this is Fandango's debut (and what a debut it will be!) and not only will Jericho do a stellar job of making him look good, but Jericho will put him over as he makes his mark.

What will happen: Fandango def. Chris Jericho
It'll be nice and clean, too. Really, this is the easiest match on the card to predict. As mentioned above, this is the in-ring debut of a wrestling character we've known about seemingly for ages. There is no way WWE is going to have Fandango lose, especially to the guy who is known for respectfully putting guys over and whose new priority is his music (he reportedly won't be back until late April due to a Fozzy tour). Not that I don't love seeing ol' Lion Heart in the ring (and on the mic), but I also hope Jericho's exciting "Robot Combat League" on SyFy is able to continue as well.


Ryback vs. Mark Henry
When these two first crossed paths, I was thrilled for the possibility of a match at 'Mania. This thrill emerged not due to the match's potential, but because it would mean these two one-note lugs would cancel one another out and provide much-needed time for a bathroom break (not dissimilar to the Batista/Rikishi match from XXIV during which I visited the Orange Bowl restrooms and spent $40 on beer and cheeseburgers).
I am surprised, however, that this match's build has been moderately engaging. Ryback's feats of strength have admittedly wowed me, and Henry's sheer unlikability has made the up-and-coming man-gorilla look better than I believed he could look. This is all considering the two have been primarily squashing the jobbiest of jobbers.
My real disappointment is that Creative used the strength competition for an episode of SmackDown rather than the actual 'Mania event. In this king-of-the-jungle rivalry hatred feels second to one-upsmanship, so a classic powerslam contest or an event in which we see which walking pile of muscle can haul a pickup truck further would have fit right in at the Showcase of the Immortals.

What I'd like to happen: Ryback def. Mark Henry
Can these guys really go all that long in a real match? Both are technically limited and Henry's matches of late have all consisted of him lumbering to the ring, watching someone 200 pounds his junior run around for 30 seconds and performing his underwhelming finisher before shouting "That's what I do!" Whether this match lasts three minutes or fifteen minutes (the former is more than likely), I am pulling for the lesser of two evils to win.

What will happen: Ryback def. Mark Henry
Whether it is by pinfall or the disqualification of Henry, Ryback will take this one to the bank. The strangely named neanderthal is still another newer face for which this is the first opportunity to shine at WrestleMania. Mark Henry doesn't need a push, even if he is slated for one last major title run (at most). Besides, Ryback's PPV record is not a pretty one, and if WWE is still looking to him as a future top guy, they need him to win here. Something tells me Big Hungry won't be Khali's next dancing partner, if you know what I mean.


Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship
Does anyone still care about the World Heavyweight Championship? I suppose the better question would be if WWE still cares about any championship, but you know what I mean. Specific to this controversial-in-more-ways-than-one angle, the better question might be if anyone cares in general. Del Rio's face turn may make sense, but it is floundering under the Mexican Aristocrat's lack of mic skills and his apparent lack of ability to put on a good match with anyone who isn't pulling most of the weight (IE Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes).
I was actually pleased to hear Jack Swagger won the right to compete in this match ("hear" instead of "see" as I refrained from spending money on the Elimination Chamber's disappointing card). It was surprising and encouraging to see WWE throw the returning star a bigger bone as if to say they believe he has potential to be better than he had been in the past. Swagger's scripted behavior in-ring (which insults both sides of his political issue) and unscripted behavior out of it have been troublesome, however, and even Dutch Mantel hasn't been able to rescue the program despite his loyal efforts.
The real question with this match is whether or not Dolph Ziggler will finally cash in his Money in the Bank contract for a shot at (or a steal of) the belt.

What I'd like to happen: Alberto Del Rio def. Jack Swagger; Dolph Ziggler def. Alberto Del Rio
Jack Swagger no longer deserves this match due to his reckless personal actions, and it is shocking that WWE has not pulled the generous opportunity of a lifetime from him. It's not as if they haven't had plenty of time to reposition a things. Swagger does feel somewhat of an afterthought, though, as Ziggler's long-held briefcase looms over this match more than contrived xenophobia. Best case scenario, Del Rio puts Swagger in his kayfabe place as Swagger is forced to lay down on his way toward release from the company (or at least suspension, although I defy anyone to hold that another return for this guy would do any better). Dolph's music hits and, well, ideally he gets a "clean" win on the exhausted champion, but any method of defeat will do (assist from an enraged Swagger, assist from Langston, whatever).

What will happen: Alberto Del Rio def. Jack Swagger; Dolph Ziggler def. Alberto Del Rio
This is another tough call. Ziggler has announced he will cash in at the Show of Shows but not only did this declaration go without much attention, it also wasn't long afterwards he frantically tried and illogically failed to cash in on a regular weekly show. Chances are WWE wants to keep the controversial immigration plot rolling as it has garnered mainstream attention, and that would probably mean giving Swagger the win (perhaps a cheap one involving distraction by both competitors' ringside companions), but hasn't this run its course? Isn't Swagger overdue for an old fashioned post-loss suspension? Will anyone really buy the misguided new "We the People" shirt? What I'm getting at is that I think Ziggler will cash in as soon as this match ends, and the question is whether he's covering the heel or the face. I predict the irresponsible Swagger being deprived his "WrestleMania moment" as Ziggler pins Del Rio for the gold. A Ziggler face turn is not out of the cards but it would surely have to involve betrayal on the part of Langston (and AJ), and that's a storyline for another day.


The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
If the banner up top wasn't clue enough, this is easily my most anticipated match of the night. Ultimate babyface The Undertaker - as with so, so many fans - has always been a favorite of mine, and CM Punk is the key force working to reinvigorate and legitimize a detrimentally stale and complacent product.
With both men currently injured, the build has had to be more cerebral, and the worked-in reliance on Paul Bearer's sad death has been more or less perfect, even going audaciously farther than the fulfillment of my wish that Punk would mock 'Taker's entrance (he mocked a portion of it, dressed the great Paul Heyman as Bearer and assaulted the distraught Phenom, eventually dumping on him the contents of Bearer's urn). I have to imagine the dedicated Mr. Moody himself would be giddy knowing how he is influencing edgy storylines even post-mortem.
And don't think injuries will hinder the match itself - these two bring it hard every time they're in the ring, and you'd better believe they'll be leaving every ounce of willpower they can muster on the mat.

What I'd like to happen: CM Punk def. The Undertaker
Just as the new release of a (distasteful) Jack Swagger shirt may signal contrary to my prediction that WWE plans to keep the so-called "Real American" around longer, the release of the 20-0 Blu-Ray may signal the end of the streak. But then who am I to think WWE wouldn't double-dip with another similar collection whenever 'Taker does actually retire? Product pushing aside, if any a time has come for Undertaker's streak to end, this is it. I believed another of my favorites, Edge, could pull it off at XXIV, and this year I believe Punk stands a chance. The Deadman is hurting and although WrestleMania XXX may seem a more appropriate milestone from which to finally send him off for good, why not view it as more of a fresh start? I agree with the majority that the streak shouldn't end, but as we know Undertaker is old school - he's the kind of guy who wants to go out putting over new talent. He's also the kind of intelligent company man who understands the Second City Saint is that genuine new talent as opposed to the fermenting marketing tool that is John Cena (a likely opponent for XXX lest WWE decides the third time's the charm with a lazy Rock/Cena rubber match). If the streak must go out, I would be absolutely elated to see CM Punk become the guy to end it.

What will happen: The Undertaker def. CM Punk
CM Punk has earned a couple months off. He will punctuate his arduous run by helping (not "carrying") the damaged Phenom through a heated showdown before laying down to keep the streak alive. Unless his condition severely decays over the next year, we can expect Undertaker back for WrestleMania XXX in what I can only imagine would be his final match. If it's a loss to John Cena, however, that's when I just start watching TNA exclusively.


Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H - No Holds Barred; If Triple H loses, he must retire
I'll just lay it out there - I have always loved Triple H. He's the best of the best. The King of Kings, as he'd put it, utilizing one of his infinite number of well-earned nicknames. I am as proud as a fan can be to see him ascending the ranks behind the scenes - the true future of the company.
This reignited feud with Brock Lesnar has seen Lesnar at his most interesting, if only for the fact that he's shaking things up. I still feel a modicum of disdain for the cage fighter, however, as he appears so obviously apathetic toward anything but the money he's raking in from his appearances, and his entertainment value is fairly limited.
The stipulations added to this match are disappointments, as well, because we all know The Game won't be retiring any time soon, and no holds barred is about as generic as Creative could have gotten with these two brutal brawlers. Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing the Cerebral Assassin in sanctioned action once again.

What I'd like to happen: Triple H def. Brock Lesnar
Well, duh. A Triple H win is something I always want. Be damned, those who claim Hunter selfishly buries his opponents! Hunter just wins, because he is still the best, period.

What will happen: Triple H def. Brock Lesnar
Brock hasn't had a single match since his return, so it may be difficult to buy that his first match back will be a loss. The fact is, however, that the Beast has looked incredibly strong (thanks in no small part to Heyman's verbal selling), and of course this is a rematch of an encounter Lesnar came out on top of. I repeat: Triple H isn't retiring any time soon. Shawn Michaels and/or DX and/or McMahon Family involvement or no, the Asskicker is getting his sweet, vicious revenge.


The Rock (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
What's worse than the fact Monday Night Raw has become so drawn out and vanilla it's now excessively promoting its promos from stars such as John Cena and The Rock through the shameless, hyperbolic and yet unenthusiastic and forced commentators? How about the fact that such time could be used to showcase fresher talent? More talented talent. I used to love The Rock as much as the next person. These days he infuriates me as he steals the spotlight from full-timers to hawk movie tickets and PPV buys. Go ahead and shame me for criticizing a business for making business decisions, but I believe more in the integrity of the product. The Rock can come back. That's fine. But don't waste a 400+ day championship run by chucking the belt on the MIA Brahma Bull just because it'll increase those ratings you annoyingly brag about after every inopportune commercial break. At least The Rock has been a bit more in his comfort zone in his last two appearances, which were more satisfying for their nostalgia than any of his painful "Rock concerts", etcetera.
And then there's John Cena. I'm just going to pretend someone at WWE is listening, although as is the case with the above paragraph I'm not saying anything anyone else hasn't gone on about a thousand times already. John Cena may get mixed reactions, and WWE may love that he draws so much from a crowd one way or the other, but take note: the reason behind the boos is not that Cena makes for a great heel, it's that he's constantly shoved down our throats despite being so darn mediocre. Unless his opponent is challenging him his matches are snooze-fests. His shouty promos are even worse, as he fumbles awkward phrases and bellows tired clich├ęs like an out-of-his-element 9-year-old. I get that he appeals to the kiddies, and not only is that a big demographic but it's one I'm rather out of touch with. Or at least I must be, because when I was younger Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon got me to start watching wrestling, and I highly, highly doubt John Cena and John Laurinaitis could have achieved nearly the same. This is The Shield's seemingly forgotten "John Cena Problem". We don't dislike John Cena the same way we dislike, say, Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro is a very skilled individual who plays a heel so effectively that we boo him. Cena's mediocrity represents where the WWE has gone, and this is why we dislike him.

What I'd like to happen: The Rock def. John Cena
Although Cena apologists may say my wanting to see Cena get his ass handed to him makes him a good (pseudo-)heel, the reason I desire this outcome is simply so I don't have to tolerate any more of The Prototype. I am not much anticipating this match, but I do foresee myself becoming caught up simply in the grandeur of a WrestleMania main event. This would put me in a position to go kind of nuts if The Great One puts the quack Dr. of Thuganomics out to pasture for the second year in a row.

What will happen: John Cena def. The Rock
The Rock defeating Cena once makes sense ("Once in a Lifetime"... yeah). It was a "dream match" between legends (or at least one legend and one alleged). A second time? Like it or not, Cena is the face of the company and WWE can't afford to make him look like any more of a chump than he already is. The Rock will do the honorable thing and put Cena over, with a possible rematch of some kind at next month's Extreme Rules PPV. A Rock win here is the right thing to do for the fans, but it is not the right thing to do for the company, especially since despite Rocky's love of pro wrestling his priority is now Hollywood and the electrifier has plenty of upcoming film projects on his docket.
The question becomes whether Cena will turn heel for this win or not. After all, Cena has teased as much through his angry, whiney promos about being better than The Rock in recent weeks (the best part of which was Bret Hart's complete lack of amusement upon seeing the two main eventers go at it mere feet from his chair). Will WWE look to repeat the infamous Rock/Austin Part II with Laurinaitis coming to the ring and giving the assist with a chair? Again, the Cena heel turn is the right thing to do for the fans, but it is not the right thing for the company as Cena is the very definition of a company man behind the scenes (odd that those types are the good guys these days, eh?). I would even go as far as to say his heel-ish promos of late only feel as such through phoned-in writing and poor performing. Clearly signs point to the more interesting "turn" of events, but I do not believe WWE has the cojones to pull that trigger.


So, barring the possible (though unlikely) appearance of unannounced United States Championship and Divas Championship matches, there's our WrestleMania XXIX card. I'm surprised to see so many of my desired results falling in line with my more realistic predictions. Although hey, isn't it less about who defeats who and more about how it happens? That'd be a different article entirely. XXIX will be fun, as it always is, even if people like me will only wind up bitching about it both before and after. Who knows, maybe I'll be surprised come April the 7th.

Thanks for reading.

4 comments:

  1. The Miz/Wade Barrett makes no sense to me, either. Personally, I find Miz as a face even more grating than Miz as a heel, though. I do want Wade to be a bigger ass-kicker, and him coming out and eating a boot from Triple H randomly last week can only be summed up by an animated gif I saw:

    I know work is work but man, if I was Matt Bloom (currently Sweet T), I would be embarrassed. Heck, I'm embarrassed FOR him! I just want that match to go away (I can only stand two of the eight people involved). I haven't seen Naomi, mostly because I can't get over Cameron's horribly bad answer to Stone Cold on Tough Enough: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgCVHcAl99U
    I lol'd at sippy cups of jobber juice. Why isn't Rhodes Scholars going up against Team Hell No? Even if it was a triple threat tag team match so Dolph/Big E could be there - although, even there, there's no need. My on-the-fly booking says put Dolph vs Miz in a match instead.

    I agree that Prime Time Players should have a spot, too. Could even have been a four-way tag team match now!

    The Shield match makes little sense, but I am hoping they pull out a victory over Team Random Dudes. I don't think it will happen, though.

    I agree than Fandango will beat Jericho, since he's been losing ever since he returned in January 2012 (yes, 2012), but this is another "why the f?" match. I'd prefer to see Cesaro/Jericho at WM29 (instead of just randomly on this past Raw). And I'm not keen on this Fandango character myself.

    I expect Ryback to beat Mark Henry since Ryback's been on a bad PPV losing streak since his first PPV appearance. I'm hoping to be impressed by the end of the match, though. Ryback's gotta try a Shell Shocked on Mark Henry, which will either be a WOW or a LOL depending on how it turns out.

    I can't seem to care about the WHC anymore, either. I expect Del Rio to just barely win, causing Swagger to beat the crap out of him, and leading to a Dolph cash-in. At least I hope!

    I agree with everything said about Punk/UT. I want Punk to win but feel like, with the amount Punk has egged on Taker and how things are in WWE, it won't happen. I actually wouldn't be TOO shocked if it was a squash match (though hopefully not an 18-second one like last year). Oh, and if Cena beats UT, yeah, sayonora WWE.

    I'm pretty sure a deaf and blind person would still predict HHH over Lesnar. I doubt WWE will shake up that match with a Lesnar win.

    I also agree with everything said about Rock/Cena, although I'm still pulling for a Cena heel turn (as unlikely as it is) just so there's something DIFFERENT once Rock leaves (since we all know Cena will still be in the spotlight).

    Lastly, give AJ the title over Kaitlyn! Imagine Raw with Dolph holding one half the tag titles, the WHC, Big E with the other title, and AJ with the Diva's title! Ah, I can dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That HHH/Barrett moment was baffling. I understand things have been changed and changed again at the last minute (I just read Sin Cara's up-in-the-air injury status is why Cesaro doesn't have a match... so much for a Plan B I guess) so wheels have been spinning, but outright making your midcard champs look bad like that? Just weird.

      That Tough Enough clip will never get old.

      I also agree the tag titles match should have been a four-way between Hell No, Rhodes Scholars, PTP and Tons of Funk, with Dolph put in a more appropriate match for his talents! Also, I was kind of hoping New Age Outlaws would have a longer legends run, because they've clearly still got it, they're still loads of fun, and they don't take much from the full-timers.

      A Shell Shocked on Henry would be nuts! A WM moment that would be replayed and replayed for decades.

      Absolutely agreed with everything else. Wish you could be here for the birthday/WM party we're throwing!

      Delete
  2. Whoops! Forgot the HHH-related GIF:
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/5da7bb244d38375d8ac8366c8614ac5d/tumblr_mk98bnPCx01r1uq0jo1_250.gif

    ReplyDelete

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