The biggest event of the year, the show that the entire wrestling calendar builds to, and the spectacle known as Wrestlemania is this Sunday on pay per view. Over 70,000 fans will witness it live in Houston and millions more will pay $54.95 to order the show to be able to watch history being made. That’s defiantly a lot of hype to live up to and at this point, I’m still a little skeptical if the WWE can do it. Before getting to the card and predicting the winners, I want to take a minute to discuss something very unique about Wrestlemania. The name value of the show can sell itself and it’s the WWE’s job to try to live up to all the hype surrounding the event but in my opinion, what is very unique about Wrestlemania is despite weather they are WWE fans or not, almost all wrestling fans will tune into Wrestlemania. Aside from that, it’s interesting to note that no other event by any wrestling company has come close to receiving the notoriety of Wrestlemania. Now, let’s get to the matches.
Chris Jericho vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy “Super Fly” Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat might not be the greatest match in Wrestlemania history but I think it really does have the potential to create a very unique “Wrestlemania moment” so to speak. Jericho has done well in his role throughout the storyline and has really generated a lot of heat for the match, which I think was one of the major keys to making the storyline work. That being said, it’s obvious that the legends are going to win this match because after weeks of Jericho attacking the legends, it’s time for the legends to get a victory. Since the build was pretty basic and the result seems obvious, it would seem like this would be a good time to discuss a few of the legends in this particular match. Roddy Piper, in my book (or at least in this column…Ha Ha) is one of the most important figures in pro wrestling history and ironic enough that statement revolves around Wrestlemania. To me, the Hulkmania era in the 1980s wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if it wasn’t for Piper. Don’t get me wrong, Hogan had enough charisma and momentum to draw money with any number of heels during that era but in my view, the reason the original Wrestlemania was so successful is because Piper was a heel with the amount of heat that matched the level of popularity that Hogan had with the fans. Let’s be honest here, the people weren’t going to pay to see Hogan beat up Mike Sharp or Frankie Williams from back in the day. The reason I wanted to point this out is because it seems like since Hogan was the face and his push continued far past the original Wrestlemania, along with Piper taking sporadic breaks from the ring, it seems like sometimes the fans forget exactly how important Piper was to the original Wrestlemania. Ricky Steamboat is also in the match and there’s two main things I want to mention about Steamboat. He was one of the greatest in ring wrestlers of all time, with moves that were poetry in motion. The second thing being, he is without a doubt the best “good guy” of all time. He was a face his entire career and it never got stale simply because that’s who Steamboat is and because of the character he had, I doubt that there was ever a logical way to turn Steamboat heel. Steamboat as a face and as an in ring performer has to right up there with Flair, Rhodes, etc. Snuka also had his share of memorable moments through his career, being involved in the original Wrestlemania and as the well documented dive from the top of the cage in Madison Square Garden that influenced Mick Foley to become a pro wrestler.
There’s a 25 diva battle royal and we are all winners in this one.
The Money in the Bank ladder match looks, on paper at least to be a little bit of a let down in terms of the wrestlers that are in the match. I mean, really what is Mark Henry going to do in a ladder match? Finlay is as very good veteran but judging from his past money in the back match, you can’t expect him to be doing too much with the ladders, which is fine considering that he is a more technical wrestler. CM Punk won the match last year so I doubt that he will win it again. MVP is now the U.S. champion so there’s no reason to add more to him at this point. Shelton has been in every Money in the Bank match there has been so far and he has yet to disappoint so I expect so great action from him but not a win. Kofi is another one that I think will do some great things with the ladders but he hasn’t done much in recent weeks so I doubt he will win this one. Despite deserving another run in the main event picture, I doubt Kane wins the title shot. That leaves us with Christian, who I think would benefit the most from a win and it would create a very interesting storyline for him. It’s been documented many times that Christian was never given the opportunity he deserved in the WWE before he left the company over three years ago but now that he’s back and more over with the crowd than ever, this could be the time for Christian to get a chance. The Money in the Bank has been known the past few years for giving the wrestlers that deserved more of a chance an opportunity in the main event spot light and that’s why I’ll pick Christian to win the Money in the Bank match.
For the Unification Tag Team Title match, I have to say that I think it’s a really good decision for the WWE to unify the titles because it will provide for a better tag division that will span the entire WWE instead of there being two mediocre tag divisions. That being said, it’s tough to pick a winner here because not only have both teams done well in their role as champions, but each team would represent a unified team division well. Miz and Morrison were originally just a team that was thrown together but they have gelled well as a team and have each developed good heel personas. The Colons bring a little bit of an old school element back into the tag team division being a brother team and it should be noted that Carlito has really improved since team with his brother, Primo. For a winner here, I’ll pick Miz and Morrison simply because they’ve had more main stream exposure on Raw, which is the WWE’s most watched show.
JBL/Rey Mysterio should be a solid match because you have a heel with a lot of heel with JBL and you have a face that is really over with the crowd with Rey. Aside from that, I think Rey really deserves a lot of credit for his work the past few months, specifically at No Way Out when he was the glue of the Elimination Chamber match. Shades of the old Rey have been seen the past few months instead of the frequently injured Rey that was seen early last year. One of the main reasons Rey has been better in the ring is because he’s been wrestling a safer style, which is the smart thing to do because the high risk style could potential shorten Rey’s career but it’s good to see that he is using a safer style to avoid being injured again. Due to Rey’s great performances in the ring the past few months, I’ll predict that he will win the IC title and possibly start a feud with JBL.
The Extreme Rules match with Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy could very well steal the show considering that both of these wrestlers have been involved in show stealing matches at Wrestlemania in the past. Even though the build up to this match is based on Jeff getting revenge on Matt, I don’t think Jeff will get revenge or a win just yet. Jeff has generally being viewed as the more popular and the Hardy that was the most over with the crowd with evidence of that being Jeff’s reign as WWE champion. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Matt is the better technical wrestler but in terms of star power or in the view of the audience, Jeff is still seen as the “better” Hardy for lack of a better term. It’s for that reason that I’ll pick Matt to win the extreme rules match at Wrestlemania because a win over Jeff at such a major event could elevate Matt to Jeff’s level in the audience’s view. Obviously, Matt will still be considered a heel but a win over his brother could boost his star power and also get more mileage out of the feud.
The Undertaker vs. HBK match, more so than either of the main event title matches, is the real selling point of this year’s Wrestlemania. The credentials and the skills of both of these competitors have been well documented in this column so quite simply, this seems to be the big money match at Wrestlemania. I expect a great match and some great drama with back and fourth action during this match as well. I’ve said many times that I don’t think The Undertaker’s streak should ever be defeated at Wrestlemania, which is why I’ll pick him to win the match but more importantly, when there’s two legends as good as these two in the ring you know it’s going to be a great match. Besides how good the actual match could be, I think the build up and promos to this match have been very good and that’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the match.
I’m not expecting much from the World Heavy Weight title match for a few different reasons. First of all, when did it become somewhat of a tradition to have triple threat matches at Wrestlemania? Don’t get me wrong here, some triple threat matches have been very good but then there’s others that consist of one wrestler getting thrown out of the ring then other wrestler gets thrown out and as a result there’s not really much of a pace established in the match. I really don’t think The Big Show is a Wrestlemania main event level wrestler and it would seem like he was really only thrown into the match in a lame attempt to make it look like something different since Edge and Cena feuded very extensively just a few years ago. I also have to mention that the whole Edge/Vickie/Big Show storyline is lame and almost makes a main event of the biggest show of the year somewhat lackluster. I’ll pick John Cena to win the title because it would get the title out of the Edge/Vickie/Big Show storyline and the storyline could progress without the title being stuck in a lame storyline.
Hey, Triple H is in the main event of a Wrestlemania…SURPRISE….who would have thought of that? I guess you can already tell that I’m not thrilled with the WWE title match and right from the start of this paragraph, I’m going to pick Randy Orton to win the title even though I doubt it’s going to happen but I just really, really, really don’t want to see Triple H win at Wrestlemania. One of the reasons that I don’t think Orton is going to win the title is because it almost seems like it wouldn’t make sense for him to win it at this point, almost like this storyline was set up backwards from what you would expect. Orton is the hated heel in this feud but he is the one chasing the title. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Triple H to chase the title as an act of revenge? I’m sorry if this isn’t the best explanation but I just don’t see how Orton could win it. A hated heel winning the title at Wrestlemania? That would basically mean that there would be no comeback for Triple H, which wouldn’t make sense considering the point of almost every storyline is for the “good guy” to have some sort of come back at some point. As I said, I’ll predict Orton to win but I just don’t see how Orton wins the title considering how the storyline was set up.
That’s about it for this column and thank you very much for taking the time to read it. If you’re watching Wrestlemania, enjoy it and have fun watching it. During this time of economic struggle, it’s cool to know that people can all gather together with their friends and family and watch some wrestling to relax and have fun.