1. Day 1 - SmackDown: Pros & Cons
My Two Centsss - Wrestlemania 28 Predictions (Featuring Skittlez)
By Super Chrisss
Mar 30, 2012 - 3:22:39 PM
2. Day 2 - My Seven DREAM Wrestlemania Matches
3. Day 3 - Keep The Funk Out Of Wrestlemania
4. Day 4 - My Top Ten Wrestlemania Moments Since 2004
5. Day 5 - Wrestlemania 28 Predictions (Featuring Skittlez)
TeamFarrell, you're the man
PRO: The Champ, The Beauty, And The Beast
Wait a minute. First RAW starts with WWE Champion CM Punk addressing Chris Jericho, and now SmackDown begins with a promo from World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan? I can live with that.
This Bryan/Aj love angle is playing out beautifully. Bryan is such a jerk; from the way he puts words into his girlfriend's mouth to how he keeps on saying "YES! YES! YES!", it's hilarious. Of course Sheamus ends up making his way out to the ring and we get more build to the Sheamus/Bryan match at Wrestlemania 28. Sheamus ends up putting Bryan in his place by leading the crowd into chanting "Danny Boy", which irritated the champ.
One thing I really liked about this segment was that neither guy felt out of place being in the show's opening segment. Bryan is without a doubt the brand's number one heel, and dare I say Sheamus is coming into his own as one of the top faces on SmackDown? At this point, either man could walk out of Wrestlemania the world heavyweight champion and I wouldn't have an issue with either victor.
PRO: Henry vs. Truth
Two years ago, I never would have dreamed of listing a match between Mark Henry and R-Truth as a good thing. Let's face it: Henry was on nobody's radar back in 2010, and Truth was his annoying, rapping self. Fast-forward to the present day when you have a motivated Mark Henry and a slightly less annoying R-Truth, and you have the makings of a decent match.
Both men looked fairly strong here, as Truth was able to score a number of near-falls over The World's Strongest Man. Alas, Team Johnny continued to build momentum after Henry put away Truth with a HUGE World's Strongest Slam. They're really making Team Teddy look like the ultimate underdogs heading into Wrestlemania, aren't they?
PRO: Yokozuna & Team Teddy
You've got to love the tribute package each WWE Hall of Fame inductee receives. I mean, every one of the company's video packages are fantastic, but the ones for the future Hall of Famers are truly top-notch. The song selection, the commentary, the clips from the superstar's career - they're all phenomenal. Another great choice for the 2012 Hall of Fame in the late, great Yokozuna. R.I.P., big man.
So, it's official. Zack Ryder and The Great Khali will be on Team Teddy at Wrestlemania. I know a lot of people are against the move, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Team Johnny is stacked, with four of the five announced participants being former world champions. Ryder is a big name (yes, you know it) so adding him will help improve the star power for Team Teddy. As for Khali? Well, he's the only former world champion on Team Teddy thus far, and the only member who can match the strength of Mark Henry. Both are sound choices, even though I could do without Hornswoggle being the team's "mascot".
CON: Aj vs. A Bella
Here's the thing. I'm digging this Aj push, but I had no idea who to cheer for in this match, and I think the crowd was just as confused as I was (or simply didn't care). Is Aj now heel? Is she a tweener? Are The Bellas supposed to be babyfaces? Their pre-match promo would suggest other wise. Confusion on every level, bro!
Anyways, Aj ended up winning via the ultimate divas finisher, the ROLL-UP, after Bella A accidentally knocked her sister Bella B off the ring apron. This led to Daniel Bryan celebrating Aj's win for her, and (I think) Bella B turning face post-match by announcing her allegiance to Team Teddy.
Ummm isn't this a repeat storyline of three years ago when one Bella sided with John Morrison & The Miz while the other sided with Carlito and Primo, only to re-unite a few weeks after Wrestlemania 25? Okay then.
PRO: Ryder vs. Swagger
The only thing sweeter than Ryder winning this match is something that anti-Ryder fans will absolutely hate - the introduction of Long Island Iced Z's "Five Moves of Doom". Unless I'm mistaken, it consists of a series of jumping clotheslines, followed by a face-slam into the mat, a kick into the turnbuckle, his Broksi Boot, and of course, the Rough Ryder. Hey, haters gonna hate. If Ryder now has his version of the "Five Moves of Doom", I'm guessing his push is far from over. Looks like I was right all along! (#Siiiick)
Getting back on track, I liked this match. Kudos to Michael Cole for reminding us about Ryder and Swagger's history, how it was Swagger who beat Ryder for the U.S. title last January. After a distraction from Hornswoggle, Ryder hit the Rough Ryder and picked up a big, overdue win for Team Teddy. I can't say I'm surprised that Swagger is the Team Johnny member who jobbed, though. Poor Swagger.
Side-Note: Is it just me, or does Flo Rida look a lot like The Rock?
PRO: Kane vs. Big Show
I don't remember who said it, but I believe this is approximately the 1,529th time we are seeing these two square off one-on-one during their lengthy WWE careers. Honestly, the wise fellow was probably being generous with that estimate.
Regardless, just like on Monday, Kane and Big Show showed off their in-ring chemistry on SmackDown. They weren't given too much time to work with, but at least the match didn't end in under two minutes. Just when you thought Show had Kane defeated, Cody Rhodes showed up and caused the disqualification, but unlike on Monday, Show fought him off, and the Intercontinental Champion fled the scene. Back in the ring, Randy Orton showed up and RKOed his Wrestlemania opponent, Kane.
I like how WWE managed to kill two birds with one stone here by promoting two Wrestlemania matches at the same time. However, I still can't help but feel Show vs. Rhodes is being given the spotlight over Orton vs. Kane. I'm okay with that, as long as Rhodes goes over at Wrestlemania. I just find it hard to believe Orton is practically on the backburner heading into the biggest PPV of the year next Sunday.
CON: Brodus vs. Slater
I for one am happy to see The Funkasaurus back in action, but I don't understand what was the point of taking him off television, only for him to return a few months later, virtually the same man. Apart from a slightly slimmer physique and a modified finishing maneuver, Brodus Clay is doing the same thing week he was before - squashing jobbers. I already hate Heath Slater enough as it is, and he has to be involved in something fantastic in order to not make me flunk the match or segment. This was NOT one of those times. It's time to get The Funkasaurus some real competition, stat.
CON: Ryder/Eve + HHH/HBK/Taker Re-Visited
Ryder's third on-screen appearance of the night (fourth if you count the Philadelphia rally replay from earlier on) featured an interaction with WWE's newest bitch, Eve. I still don't know where this Eve/Ryder storyline is going, but why did Eve say she and Ryder were going to Wrestlemania when she has a match of her own on April 1? Shouldn't she be hyping that match instead? I don't get it.
As for the HHH/HBK/Taker video package segment from RAW that SHOULDN'T have ended the show, feel free to YouTube it. I have no interest in recapping that anti-climatic confrontation again.
PRO: Ziggler vs. Khali
Before the match even started, I was already wondering how it would be booked. On one hand, Team Johnny is seriously owning Team Teddy, which means Khali should get the win to even things up. But, Khali's opponent happens to be Dolph Ziggler, a man who was very recently in the WWE title picture on RAW. Also keep in mind that it was a series of matches against Khali in 2009 that helped jump-start Ziggler's push on SmackDown, and it would be strange to see Ziggler lose now that's a lot more established.
This was a decent match which saw John Laurinaitis take a page out of the McMahon playbook and revive the Montreal Screwjob by ringing the bell when Ziggler had Khali locked in a Sleeperhold. Teddy Long would then overrule the decision, counted Ziggler out, and after laying out Ziggler, Khali, Long, Santino, and Kofi Kingston would all celebrate their "big victory". Score one for Team Teddy, I think.
Hey, at least the 12-man tag team match has been getting A LOT of hype so far. Christian's commentary at ringside was awesome as well. This could have been much worse than it was.
PRO: Punk & Sheamus vs. Bryan & Miz
Ah, main-event time. Even with very little time remaining in the episode, you knew this match would be fun, mainly because of the participants.
Hey, I was right. The Miz worked the majority of the match for his team, as Bryan played the cowardly heel, trying to avoid his Wrestlemania opponent at all cost. Cole brought up an interesting point about Punk, noting that the WWE Champion seemed unaffected by Jericho's words last Monday. Since Jericho didn't make an appearance during or after the match, was that a slip on Punk's part, or a sign that Punk would no longer be showing an emotional side of him, like he did on RAW? Either way, for the second time tonight, kudos goes out to Michael Cole (I feel dirty saying that).
The match itself was good and ended the only way it could - with Miz taking the pinfall. Seriously, this guy is in such a rut that I really hope WWE has something big planned for him post-Wrestlemania as a way of saying thank you for being the company's resident jobber for over five months now.
Oh, and WWE also did an excellent job tonight of hyping Sheamus vs. Bryan at Wrestlemania. The match very few people cared about is now a must-see for yours truly, and hopefully others as well. Let's just hope they're given a decent amount of time to work with on the big day.
Match/Segment of the Night: This was tough, as tonight's show featured some solid wrestling and a lot of hype for next week's Wrestlemania. I'm going to go with Punk & Sheamus vs. Bryan & Miz simply because it had the potential to be a great match, but time restrictions prevented it from getting there. Also, it really helped set the stage for Bryan vs. Sheamus at Mania.
Grade: B- (Again, some solid wrestling from top-to-bottom, only a few uninteresting matches and segments, and heavy hype for Wrestlemania. Had the main-event been given a few more minutes and tonight's show could have easily gotten a B or a B+ instead.)
Chrisss: Well Mr. Skittlez, the time has come. We endured a below-average Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View. We were treated to an awesome Elimination Chamber event. But the end of March is quickly approaching, which can only mean one thing - Wrestlemania is almost here! Are you as excited as I am?
Skitz: Most likely. I wouldn't exactly describe the February PPV as being 'awesome' but it was certainly passable. WM28 is an entirely separate beast though and I'm just stoked that we've finally reached game time. The Road to WrestleMania and all the build which comes along with it is fantastic but the psyche can only handle so many consecutive weeks of advertsising.
Chrisss: Bah, I enjoyed the hell out of the Chamber PPV, but I can see why it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. But you're right, it's always a good feeling when you know The Road to Wrestlemania is "officially" upon us, and besides the token divas match, WWE have built a really stacked card. Out of curiosity, which bout are you most looking forward to on April 1? If you say Randy Orton vs. Kane, you might as well leave now.
Skitz: While I haven't hated the various exchanges between the two throughout March like everyone else has, it definitely wouldn't be Orton/Kane. Honestly, I'd probably have to choose Jericho/Punk; followed closely by the War of GMs. There's been a handful of high caliber feuds leading up to the global phenomenon so it's difficult not setting lofty goals for this particular 'Mania.
Chrisss: I'm with you, bro. Jericho/Punk is still a dream come true, and WWE has invested so much time into Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny, the match better deliver. I hope Sheamus and Daniel Bryan get at least ten minutes to work with, and don't get lost in the card. Speaking of which, will we see the Royal Rumble winner kick off Mania for the second year in a row?
Skitz: In my mind, yes. Given the quality of contests elsewhere on the card, the World Heavyweight Title bout opening the show makes the most sense to me. And considering how the YES Man & Sheamus were relegated to dark match a year ago, the quasi main event fits there perfectly.
Chrisss: LOL @ "Yes Man", clever nickname for D-Bryan. I unfortunately think you're right, but that may be in both men's interest, as the crowd will definitely be into it if it's the opening match.
But enough jibber, let's do our non-paying job and predict Wrestlemania 28!
Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c.) vs. The Big Show
Skitz: How many respective WrestleMania feuds have we seen thus far in '12 include minimal to no physicality? Guess it goes to show how overly cautious the company is about avoiding any serious injuries that might throw a monkey wrench in their plans. This program has followed that same criteria but mainly because of the size differential between Cody & TBS. Although the giant's played his role fine, Rhodes has carried their upcoming contest on the mic. The reigning IC Champ's persona is tailor made for an angle where he's poking fun at his adversary's flaws/failures on a weekly basis.
Chrisss: Well, in the case of Triple vs. Undertaker, you can't blame WWE for preventing any physical interaction between the Hell in A Cell participants, since 'Taker is so fragile at his age. But I see what you're getting at. As far as this feud goes, it makes sense for Show and Rhodes to contain minimal contact. Rhodes is coming across as the cocky, chicken-shit heel, and him constantly fleeing from The Big Show is only enraging the giant, which will make the payoff at Wrestlemania even sweeter. There's almost no way Rhodes can top his match against Mysterio from last year's Mania, is there?
Skitz: Hell no. But that's because Rey Mysterio is a much more accessible wrestler between the ropes and Cody's small enough to keep up with The Mexican Jumping Bean's frenetic pace. Unfortunately, the massive girth of TBS makes it extremely tough to put forth an above par performance with him; especially in a 1-on-1 bout where the giant's limitations are fully exposed. With the way this program's been outlined, the chances of Rhodes exiting victorious are next to impossible.
Chrisss: See, I agree that this feud has been booked heavily in Cody's favour, but tell me this - can you imagine The Big Show becoming the new Intercontinental Champion at Wrestlemania? I certainly cannot, especially in 2012 when the young roster is brimming with potential. I know Show could end up dropping the title a few weeks later, maybe even at Extreme Rules, but I don't see the logic in putting Show over Rhodes on the biggest PPV of the year just for the giant to redeem his Wrestlemania record.
Skitz: But this isn't The Attitude Era anymore, homie. Villains don't routinely own faces on the stick and during matches with little consequence. The 500-pounder's been placed in this spot so the veteran can enjoy his own respective WrestleMania moment before retirement rears its' ugly head. If the company refuses to give him at least one final hurrah as World Champion (FYI: Last December doesn't count), why not treat Big Show to a consolation prize? Besides, Cody's held the belt for roughly seven months and defended it like six times... Big whoop. Rhodes will manage just fine for now without any hardware.
Chrisss: I don't disagree with your logic, but having Big Show beat Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania to win the Intercontinental Championship sounds like bad booking 101 to me. Maybe that's my bias talking, as I'm a huge fan of Rhodes and couldn't care less about Big Show, but that's where I stand on the issue. I'm going with Rhodes using some dirty tactics to retain the title at Mania.
Skitz: Hey, don't get it twisted. I'm rooting for the second generation star to prove me wrong and grace us with yet another unflattering Big Show visual. But reality tells me TBS will finally gain a measure of revenge against his nemesis in Miami. I just hope this receives more than 90 fucking seconds. Save that shit for the Divas and let Cody shine on the big stage.
Chrisss: Preach it, brother. If this match ends up being nothing more than a glorified squash in Big Show's favour, it would put a damper on what could be an epic Wrestlemania. Let's hope you're wrong, though.
Chrisss's pick: Rhodes retains the title
Skitz's pick: Show wins the title
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres
Chrisss: Hey, speaking of the bimbos, it's the match everyone is NOT looking forward to! Seriously, besides the highlights from Extra, has this match received any hype on WWE television whatsoever?
Skitz: Nope. And honestly, it shouldn't. On paper, the twenty-eighth installment of WrestleMania has all the makings of the most technically sound edition yet... minus this cat fight. While I'm sure said tag team bout won't be anything dreadful, an expected Khama/Phoenix clash would've really completed the card in my opinion. Screw childbirth and the complications it brings a professional athlete. The hatred here should really be aimed at Kong's baby daddy. You couldn't decide to have a kid a month or two sooner? What kinda hokey fucking rubbers were you using!? And if this is a birth control issue, so help me God.
Chrisss: Mr. Kharma is a selfish bastard, no doubt about it. Then again, Phoenix vs. Kharma would have made the card a bit TOO perfect. I guess WWE didn't want to deprive the fans their cherished bathroom break, especially during a four-hour show. But that's no excuse for this match-up, though. Since Natalya is apparently a face now, they could have at least went with Natalya vs. Phoenix, but noooo Kelly, Eve, and Maria Something are obviously more deserving of a match at Wrestlemania instead. *smh*
Skitz: Disgusting, isn't it? We should be thankful though for Menounos having some experience in the squard circle (unlike Snooki). In a perfect world, The Glamazon would decimate everybody; prompting Kharma to appear and trade punches with Beth. Pipe dreams aside, I believe a large part of this Divas dribble is to highlight Eve's heel turn and Phoenix evening the score with Maria from her upset win at Tribute to the Troops
Chrisss: Whoa there, buddy! Snooki wasn't half-bad last year. She didn't let the boos get to her, and I laughed when she shut the crowd up with her impressive acrobats. Maria may have the experience, but how good can any match be that also includes Kelly and Eve? I really hope Kharma does make an appearance, as it's the only thing that would make this bout worth half my time. I'm sure the face team picks up the win, although we could see the Beth and Eve screw over the goody-goodies, but honestly, who cares?
Skitz: For reals. I apologize for being predictable and jumping aboard the Divas hate train but the upside to this bloody tampon is virtually non-existent. I'm holding out hope that the only reason WWE pulled the plug on a rumored Beth/Kharma title bout is because they were prolonging Kong's return until 'Mania itself. This crapfest holds zero bearing on the future which doesn't help its' cause whatsoever. Eve will keep toying with Zack Ryder's emotions, Maria will go back to her lousy TV show and The Glamazon will continue being underutilized.
Chrisss: In other words, this match is a complete waste of time and nothing but filler at Wrestlemania. Oh, well. Maybe one day we'll get a decent women's match at Wrestlemania. We haven't seen one since Trish vs. Mickie at Wrestlemania 22, which is an eternity ago. Sigh. Pick a winner so we can get on with the good stuff.
Skitz: The heels walk away with the 'W'. The company officials wanna push Eve in the ring as well as on the microphone and I just can't picture Phoenix jobbing to a non-wrestler again; much less on a platform of this magnitude. Pray that the visual torture lasts under 5 or 6 minutes and features a low number of miscues. But for the record, I'd much rather watch Rosa Mendes shake her hips that duration. Mmmmmm mesmerizing.
Chrisss: I was fortunate enough to see Rosa in person when WWE came to Montreal last week, and damn does she move those hips, son. It's crazy. I again disagree with you and I'm going with the face team. Why? Because it's Wrestlemania, and the face divas and celebrities usually win at the big event, and that trend won't change this year. I just hope Eve is the one who takes the pin, not the divas champion.
Chrisss's pick: Kelly & Maria win
Skitz's pick: Beth & Eve win
Kane vs. Randy Orton
Skitz: Apparently, the majority of our fellow IWC members are displeased with The Viper & Big Red Machine's heated confrontations which I just don't understand. Both individuals are, in some form or another, bigger than the 12-man tag team contest. Each warrants prominent placement and this a completely mutual comprimise for me. While I would've preferred Orton being added to Bryan/Sheamus, facing Kane allows for a much more hard hitting brawl that better suits Randy.
Chrisss: Yeah, I don't get all the hatred for this match-up. Is it a thrown-together feud? Without a doubt. But other than adding Orton to Bryan vs. Sheamus, what else would Orton have done at Mania? Being a part of Team Teddy makes no sense considering Long is responsible for removing Orton from Elimination Chamber in the first place. Wade Barrett got injured at the last minute, and Rhodes is busy with Big Show. Coming off a major rivalry with John Cena, Kane was the best choice to face Orton at Mania. The match won't be a classic, but it won't be terrible either.
Skitz: Indeed. I imagine their bout being structured similar to Kane/Angle from WrestleMania X8 (albeit consisting of a tad less athleticism). And judging on how this feud's been booked up to this point, the man who gets his hand raised this Sunday is anything but academic. Folks who rush to bring up the endless string of RKO's that Orton has hit each week are fucking idiots. Surely, you dildos don't have storyline amnesia? Give WWE a little bit more credit than completely burying the Big Red Machine all month and then putting The Viper over cleanly.
Chrisss: Another comparison to Angle/Kane from ten years earlier, I see. It almost feels like we're seeing a renewed version of Wrestlemania 17/18 with Kane vs. Orton, Cena vs. The Rock (instead of Rock/Hogan) and Triple H vs. The Undertaker. Can't be a coincidence, no way.
Going back to your point, I find it strange WWE is booking Kane rather weakly in this feud because I can't wrap my brain around the thought of The Big Red Machine leaving Miami with the win. I'm sure there's a chance of it happening, but if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on The Viper, who was once WWE's second biggest star (Hi CM Punk). This is a tough one to call, actually. Both guys sort of need the win.
Skitz: True but Kane could benefit more from a victory. The poor dude is STARVING for some sense of triumph over a premier star. Sadly, I also can't imagine the Big Red Machine scoring a three count... but he will leave Miami with the upper hand in a rivalry that's only beginning. I've given this match staunch consideration and believe The Viper wins via disqualification. Orton attempts the RKO and one of two things happens: Either Randy connects with his finisher and Kane rolls out of the ring or Mr. See No Evil thwarts the move and grabs a weapon. That's how I see this bad boy playing out; setting up a gimmick bout of some sort at Extreme Rules.
Chrisss: I've always hated when feuds don't end at Wrestlemania but instead use the big stage to begin their rivalry. It's also why I've never been too fond of WWE's April and May PPVs. That's why it pains me to admit you may very well be right, but I cannot imagine such an "important match" - if you ask Orton - ending via disqualification or no contest at Wrestlemania. Therefore, I'm going with Orton for the clean win via RKO. Kane could always get his heat back by assaulting The Viper post-match.
Skitz: Fair point. Based on how 'personally intense' a few of these rivalries have been hyped as such, we're bound to witness a non-finish somewhere on the card. If I had to make an assumption, Orton/Kane is my odds-on favorite to end messily. As they say, there's always tomorrow. I'm firmly opposed to The Viper defeating his foe cleanly at 'Mania though.
Chrisss: Opposed to Orton winning - or "burying" - Kane? You're not the only one, bro, trust me. But this isn't a discussion of what we feel is right and wrong, it's about picking who we think will be enjoying the pleasure of victory. Like it or not, I have to listen to my head and go with Orton for the win.
Skitz: Stubborn ass foreigner. Please change the subject before I lose my temper
Chrisss: You mad = me right. As you wish, bud.
Chrisss's pick: Orton wins
Skitz's pick: No-Contest
World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan (c.) vs. Sheamus
Chrisss: We briefly touched on this match-up earlier on, but I want to take this moment to credit both men for taking the minimal amount of TV time they've been given to promote their match and making it must-see. A few weeks ago, Sheamus vs. Bryan almost felt like an afterthought, and if the world title wasn't on the line, you'd think WWE was toying with the idea of bumping them off Mania for the second consecutive year. However, both men have been playing their roles excellently, with Sheamus, the brave number one contender chasing after Bryan, the cowardly world champion. I don't know why, but I'm really excited for their match on Sunday. Aren't you?
Skitz: Well for a guy who's booking (sans winning the '12 Royal Rumble) has been uninspiring since becoming a face last summer, The Celtic Warrior has improved tenfold just over the past calendar year. From wrestling smart matches to speaking more comfortably on the stick, Sheamus is on another level nowadays. And on the other side of the spectrum, D-Bryan has been killin' it every Friday night since cashing in his MITB opportunity three plus months ago. Many people have compared The Dragon's heel transformation to Punk's 2009 campaign but they're totally different in execution. Bryan deserves every compliment thrown in his direction since the TLC pay per view. Not to mention the World Heavyweight Champion has graced us with A.J.'s sexy butt every time he's made an appearance. Who wouldn't spread those legs or bend that over? Omitting gay dudes of course.
Chrisss: Only you would turn a conversation about Bryan and Sheamus into an analysis of Aj's ass (side-note - i would so hit that, Lord Have Mercy!)
Anyways, I couldn't agree more. Both men have done a stellar job in making WWE look like fools for bumping them off Wrestlemania 27 by turning their characters into gimmicks the fans are really into. Sheamus went from a heel receiving lukewarm heat to a face who is quickly catching up to Orton in terms of popularity on SmackDown. Bryan went from being a face midcarder to - dare I say - the blue brand's top heel. Each evolution took place in less than six months, and there is no one more deserving of fighting for SmackDown's top prize at Wrestlemania (except for maybe Mark Henry. Poor guy).
Skitz: Bah SkidMark can suck my nuts. He's exactly where he belongs on the card; in a dominant position representing Team Johnny. However it doesn't matter how badass of a heel Henry became during the second half of 2011... I still don't want that negro anywhere near a WrestleMania main event unless it's a multi-man scenario. Just strikes me as Snoozeville and there are droves of younger, more talented wrestlers better equipped to headline the global phenomenon. No matter where the World Title contest lands on the card, I'm confident that Bryan and The Great White will do everything with the time they're given to steal the show.
Chrisss: Pfft, hater. Henry deserved that world title reign based on his hilarious mic work alone. But at least he made it back in time for Wrestlemania, so I can't complain.
The way I see it, Sheamus and Bryan have as good a chance of stealing the show as anybody else, if not better. As long as they don't go on after HHH/Taker, they should be fine. I'm still against the idea of the Royal Rumble winner competing in the opening match at Mania, but in this case, it might work to their advantage, as it did with Del Rio vs. Edge last year. As for the winner, you've got to go with Sheamus. Bryan's had a great run as champion, but Wrestlemania is the time to pull the trigger on Sheamus being the brand's top face. Orton won't be happy, but that's life.
Skitz: Ha! I had an inkling you'd lean in that direction. As strong as the ginger's looked on television since busting a load on Christian's face last fall, Sheamus isn't removing the gold from Bryan's waist yet. You'd figure the Royal Rumble winner would finally seize success at this 'Mania since the #1 contender hasn't completed the journey since 2007 but D-Bri is on too much of a roll. Basically, it'd be a crime for management to schedule a title switch at this juncture. Sheamus will capture the World Heavyweight Championship sooner rather than later but not on April 1st. Not. Fuckin'. Happening.
Chrisss: Ah, but that's partly why I am picking Sheamus to win the title at Wrestlemania. Like you said, it's been five long years since the Royal Rumble winner has gotten the job done at Mania. Sheamus will be the one to break the curse, I guarantee it. WWE's annual "All About The Numbers" Royal Rumble video package is getting a lower percentage of title wins with every passing year. At this rate, a superstar is better off competing for the title at Elimination Chamber than going through twenty-nine other men in January. I love Bryan, but he's going down on April 1.
Skitz: Nonsense. So you're telling me in their current states, Sheamus needs the strap more than D-Bri? The YES Man would prosper more if he retained the hardware at WM28 and carried the title for an extra month or two.
Chrisss: I disagree. Bryan has held onto the title for over three months now. I think he's done enough to not stumble too far down the card once he drops the belt. A lot of people won't like it, but a Sheamus victory is the way to go.
Chrisss's pick: Sheamus wins the title
Skitz's pick: Bryan retains the title
12-Man Tag Team Match: Team Teddy (Santino Marella, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Booker T, and Zack Ryder) vs. Team Johnny (David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry, and The Miz)
Skitz: All joking aside, I've been pleasantly surprised with how this feud's developed over the past few months. Right off the bat, we as wrestling fans should be completely content with how this situation has blossomed into a Survivor Series-esque clusterfuck. Fuck the clowns trolling the LOP forums who constantly complain about Del Rio, Christian, Rey Mysterio, Brodus Clay, Mick Foley, etc. being left off each team. You bastards should be thanking the Lord above every night that WWE didn't saddle us with Laurinaitis versus Long 1-on-1 at WM28. Next thing I know, dudes will be complaining about their bitches' pussy being too wet. Try smiling once in awhile and maybe go a week without beating your pets or children.
Chrisss: Thoughts of Cole vs. Lawler from last year's show were the first thing that came to mind when Teddy and Johnny began feuding last month. Fortunately, WWE were wise enough to learn from their past mistakes and keep the non-active wrestlers out of the squared circle. As far as the actual teams go, I have little to complain about. Everyone who should be on the card is in this match, as there's a healthy balance of veterans - Miz, Booker, Henry - mixed with new blood - Otunga, Ryder, Ziggler - to make this one worth seeing. The question is, will WWE devote some time to the action and make the hype worthwhile, or will it be a repeat of last year's clusterfuck eight-man tag which lasted all of two minutes?
Skitz: Fortunately, management's devoted so much TV time to this storyline that we're pretty much guaranteed the multi-man melee will receive ample minutes. Not to mention the fate of both General Manager is hanging in the balance. Do I envision the 12-man tag bout reaching its full potential? Hell no. But considering that not every guy in this match is a laughing stalk, I can imagine this being given closer to half an hour; factoring in the 49 separate ring entrances of course. My main concern here is the focus on individual performance. While studs like Ziggler & Kofi should shoulder most of the work load, I better see every participant used or else booked properly dammit.
Chrisss: In other words, if Khail wrestles the majority of the match for Team Teddy, we got a problem, don't we? I agree that Team Teddy is quite the odd bunch (minorities for the win?) but they have some of the company's most popular superstars on the same team, so I can't see the crowd being dead for the action, no matter how long it goes. What I'm wondering is if we get the predictable - and logical - Team Johnny victory, or do you sense a swerve coming, in Miz screwing over his team and turning face in the process?
Skitz: Think about it logically, Canuck. From a fan's perspective, you're constantly wishing for the best possible entertainment possible. And while Johnny hasn't exactly set the world on fire since filling in during Hunter's absence, Mr. Excitement's offered us a corporate suit who's gone mad with power. I dunno about you but a villanous GM sounds much more intriguing than Theo shimmy'ing on both brands for the next year plus. Long's been doing the same shtick for 7 fucking years which tells me the prodict desperately needs a bit of change. Now on the contrary, the faces could realistically win at 'Mania and Laurinaitis becomes a manager of Otunga or Lord Tensai but I'm not convinced.
Chrisss: Oh, don't get me wrong, by no means am I underestimating Big Johnny. It's always possible that Long wins, only for Johnny to reveal he is still the E.V.P. of Talent Relations and fires Teddy on the spot, thus rendering the match (and feud) rather pointless. But with so many faces on one side, and with Team Johnny being booked so strongly, I'd find it a bit odd if the good guys go down at Wrestlemania. That being said, I cannot picture Long being in charge of both shows, especially at his tender age. F*** it, I'm going with Team Johnny for the win.
Skitz: Uh seconded. Vince & Co. might be prepared to swerve the majority but I'm playing it safe here. Johnny's recruited a quartet of former World Champion and two wrestlers each fresh off daunting losing streaks. You've gotta figure both Miz & Drew's luck are bound to change soon and this event could certainly be the catalyst. An elimination type format would've been sweet tits but with a dozen bodies all interacting at once, the odds of a quick pinfall are ridiculously slim.
Chrisss: Exactamundo. Let's just hope they save the swerve for Cody vs. Big Show instead.
Chrisss's pick: Team Johnny wins
Skitz's pick: Team Johnny wins
WWE Championship: CM Punk (c.) vs. Chris Jericho
Chrisss: With all due respect for Triple H/Undertaker and Cena/Rock, THIS is the match I'm dying to see come Sunday night. It is a dream match that I've been waiting to see since Punk created the Straight-Edge Society many years ago. Both men truly are two of the best wrestlers in the world, and I have no doubt they will tear the house down, no matter where they end up on the card. I still think WWE would be making a huge blunder by having them go on first, though.
Skitz: Yeah there's no disputing anything here because 90% of my WrestleMania investment lies in this contest. Despite Edge/ADR opening the show in '11, this bad boy should land nowehere on the card besides the tail end. By and large your MOTN for several reasons. Technically, no other WM28 match can hang with Punk/Y2J. And say what you will about Jericho airing the reigning champ's dirty laundry on national television but I'll take a personal angle over the straightforward approach of Wrestler 'A' versus Wrestler 'B' any day. Determining who's the best in the world is fine and dandy but a feud set for the global phenomenon requires more than that.
Chrisss: Exactly. If this ISN'T the match of the night, I'll be shocked, no doubt about it. But the only thing troubling me is the outcome. I know Jericho is rumored to once again be leaving WWE a few months from now, but Jericho could be trolling the IWC for the millionth time this century. Or, even if Jericho does plan on leaving, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the company putting the belt on Jericho this Sunday just so the two could face off at the next two PPVs as well. Hmmm, Punk or Jericho? Help me out, Candyman.
Skitz: With the elevation of Punk since last summer, management still needs to further establish him. Stone Cold, Triple H & John Cena all had singnature World Title reigns during their peak years. To drive home the point that Mr. Sobriety is in fact the real deal, WWE must book Punk as the victor this Sunday. I believe solidifying Cookie Monster's status atop RAW was the companies' motivation for bringing Jericho back when they did. The Straightedge Superstar's defeating credible names such as Cena, Del Rio & The Miz which should be impressive enough by itself. But in order to build towards the future, Punkster's career hinges on holding his own against a HOF caliber talent who's succeeded outside the world of pro wrestling.
Chrisss: Makes sense to me. Punk has come up short at the last two Wrestlemanias, and he needs a big singles victory to solidify his main-event status. While I agree that Jericho is the perfect guy to put Punk over (since Night of Champions proved Triple H is not willing to do the job just yet), where does Jericho go from here? One more shot at Punk and his WWE Championship at Extreme Rules? Does he put over another up-and-comer? Or does he ride off into the sunset for the hundredth time in his career? It's not Punk's future that troubles me, but that of Y2J.
Skitz: Eh I'm not concerned. There was some news bit posted a few days ago citing that the first-ever Undisputed Champion had extended his contract with WWE through this summer which warms my cockles. There are plenty of avenues for Jericho to explore after he parts ways with Mr. Sobriety and people will laugh but I'd look no farther than Zack Ryder. Can you even fathom how much a young buck like the Long Island Iced Z could learn from working a dozen or so matches with Y2J? Also keep in mind, the Fozzy frontman doesn't necessarily need to feud with another star extensively right after his current program finishes. I'd have no issue with Jericho simply facing the companies' younger athletes and shaking the tree a bit.
Chrisss: I was contemplating a feud between Ryder and Jericho, but I'm glad you beat me to it, so I won't sound like a fanboy as usual. Contract extension or not, you've sold me on this one. Punk retains, and gets revenge on Jericho for crossing the line these past few weeks on RAW.
Skitz: Lovely. Glad to hear I'm skilled at influencing the weak minded. Given the other co-main event contests on the card, I'll be pleased as punch if the WWE Championship bout receives over 17 minutes. Truthfully, anything less would be highway robbery. Y2J thrives on stealing the show at 'Mania whenever he's involved so barring random injury, I'm quite confident that Jericho and The Straightedge Superstar will create their own electricity in Miami. But despite the challenger's best efforts, Cookie Monster will exact revenge and exit with his title stint intact.
Chrisss's pick: Punk retains the title
Skitz's pick: Punk retains the title
Hell In A Cell Match: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (with Shawn Michaels as Guest Referee)
Skitz: As per expected, we witnessed zero physicality between the two throughout the build-up to their showdown on April 1st; even after Michaels' announcement that he'd be officiating the rematch. While they often furiate me, I'll give WWE kudos for adding extra ingrediants to HHH/Taker III because booking a HIAC contest was the only scenario in which Sir Fruity would approve such redundancy. Based on The Phenom & Hunter's respective history inside the cell, it's rather fitting that the structure's most dominant victims would resolve their tension surrounded by steel. Toss in the wild card of HBK who's serving as referee and I'm sold.
Chrisss: Sometimes we think alike. It scares me. I was dreading this contest as soon as they began hinting at it months ago, but as long as the cell is around, I'm fine with it. The Streak may not be in any more jeopardy than it was last year, with or without HBK in striped colours, but it's going to be one hell of a match. I really hope Shawn does more than just Sweet Chin Music one of them, because it means he'll be standing out doing nothing for 20+ minutes. Many people I've talked to are insisting this should be the main-event, not Rock vs. Cena, which I think is blasphemy, but with WWE, you never know. Thoughts?
Skitz: Humorous. What ass backwards retard would assume Undertaker & The Game headline the event when WWE booked Cena/Rock a year in advance and have hyped it to absurd proportions? Without question, Johnson and Mr. HLR are closing the show. Yet I wouldn't be shocked whatsoever if the HIAC war impresses more people than said dream match. Trips, Shawn & The Deadman all have fantastic chemistry and know better than most how to capitalize on an opportunity of this magnitude.
Chrisss: That's what I said, but they refused to listen. Stubborn bastards. But more on Team Bring It And Team Cenation in a bit. I agree that three musketeers have plenty of chemistry, but Michaels and Taker proved at WM26 that it's quite the challenge to make a rematch completely different from the first. Possible, yes, but difficult. Of course, the demonic structure and the mysterious Michaels will change the atmosphere dramatically compared to last year, but can they silence their critics once and for all?
Skitz: Ugh probably not. It goes back to spoiled little shits who expect the world on a platter. You know, as well as I do, the IWC faithful will find something or another to complain about when it relates to veteran stars in powerful positions. "OMG the match was so slow and boring that I was literally falling asleep ten minutes in"... "HBK didn't add anything to HIAC and sucked as a referee".... "WWE is sooooooo predictable. We all knew who was gonna wins"... "Fuck all three of them for hogging the spotlight from da younger guys"... "My vagina's sore and cramping"... Etc, etc, etc.
Chrisss: Amen to that. WWE are spoiling us with Jericho vs. Punk at Mania and THEY'RE STILL NOT HAPPY!!! I gave up on those people a long time ago, and so should you. Anyways, I think it's pretty clear The Streak reaches 20-0 on Sunday. But I'm going to take it a step further and say HBK screws over his buddy, Triple H.
Skitz: I actually agree with you to a degree. As far as the contest's closing moments are concerned, I suspect the finish will play out one of two ways. 1) Michaels drops Taker with sweet chin music but then does a 180 and floors his best buddy. 2) Shawn attempts to blast The Phenom but accidentally superkicks Hunter and begrudgingly counts to three. Management wouldn't have booked HBK as a third party unless he was playing an intricate part in the final decision. No matter what shenanigans ensue within the steel structure, Undertaker survives a tricky situation. Besides, the C.O.O. needs to profit off him at future WrestleMania's.
Chrisss: Interesting finish, I wouldn't mind seeing it go down that way. As long as The Streak survives, I'm a happy camper.
Chrisss's pick: Undertaker wins
Skitz's pick: Undertaker wins
The Rock vs. John Cena
Chrisss: Well, we're finally here. After 364 days of Twitter wars, promo battles, and a forgettable Survivor Series main-event (R.I.P. Awesome Truth), the wait is finally over. This Sunday, we are treated to the biggest Wrestlemania main-event since Rock did battle with Hulk Hogan exactly ten years earlier. The build-up to this juggernaut has been disappointing at best, but that won't stop the fans from going bonkers for this match.
Skitz: Wrestling marks have been overly critical of the interaction between these crossover celebrities and rightfully so on certain occasions. However any man, woman or child who thought Rocky & Cenation would come to blows before WM28 are dumbfucks. Vince has seemingly done everything possible to refrain from the movie stars blowing their wads ahead of schedule; whether it be battle raps, music concerts, history lessons or dick measuring competitions. The promos seemed stagnant here and there but Cena constantly owned his opposition on the mic which should provide WWE's Poster Boy with extra ammunition in Miami.
Chrisss: Cena still hasn't won over the marks, though. I can name some casual wrestling fans I see everyday at work who are convinced Rock's concert was better than Cena's rap. But I digress.
I wouldn't have minded at least a hint of contact on last Monday's show. Not a Rock Bottom or AA, but maybe a shove or a slap or something. I find it a bit strange they were more physical in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania 27 than they were for this year's event.
Skitz: Touche. But it's nothing to get your feathers all ruffled, right? People need to chill the fuck out, hit a Zanax and tune in this Sunday. Problem solved. I'm anticipating this dream match as much as the next guy... as long as it proves to be 'once in a lifetime' as the hour long special on USA suggests. Please do us a favor and CEASE the 'Mania rematches. I have absolutley no desire to watch this again at WM29; the same goes for Taker/HHH IV. Leave it alone and create fresh feuds you lazy, predictable bastards.
Chrisss: I'm sure it's just dirt sheet bullshit. How dumb would WWE look if they promote Rock vs. Cena as "Once In A Lifetime" only to announce a rematch for next year's Mania less than a month later? Nah, we're going to get either Cena vs. Taker or Rock vs. Taker next year, don't get your panties all tangled up. BUT, to play it safe, Cena has to win on Sunday. Like he said himself, he has to. It the biggest match of his career. If he can't beat a part-time wrestler, then it makes him look like a joke.
Skitz: How awesome would it be if Cena pulled a Steve Austin (minus the alliance with Mr. McMahon) and turned heel en route to beating Johnson? I'd fall off the couch in disbelief but then regroup and watch history unfold. Ahhhhhh to dream of the unrealistic. The man who has his hand raised here is an afterthought. We've known who's leaving 'Mania with a W since last year's event. The Brahma Bull rock bottomed Cenation at WM27 and repeated his actions at Survivor Series last November. Hmmmmmmm....
Chrisss: Screw it, I'd mark like crazy for a Cena heel turn, even if it's for one-night only (come on Vince, it's Miami, Rock's hometown - Cena ain't getting no 50/50 reaction). I guess it's obvious Rock is jobbing to The Occasional Doctor Of Thuganomics, much to the crowd's displeasure.
Skitz: No doubt. Let Mr. Hustle, Loyalty & Respect pick up the career defining victory and continue doing what he's best at... hypnotizing small impressionable children into buying John Cena merchandise with their parents' money to increase his newt worth and stirring up crowds across the country.
Chrisss's pick: Cena wins
Skitz's pick: Cena wins
This will unfortunately be my final column before Wrestlemania goes down Sunday night. I had originally planned on doing a "What If..." Wrestlemania edition sometime this week, but time restraints shot down that idea. I'll be back on Monday with my Wrestlemania thoughts, so until then, have awesome Mania weekend. It should be a great show.
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Until next time, ciao!