CM Punk Georgia Dome Jerry Lawler John Cena Pro Wrestling Randy Orton shawn michaels Snooki Stone Cold Steve Austin The Miz The Rock Triple H trish stratus undertaker Wrestlemania 27 WWE
It’s almost here.
I never book anything in advance, so you can imagine my attempt at acclimating to the idea of Wrestlemania 27 only being a handful of days away. I’ve had this ticket for son long, I’ve almost forgotten that I had it at times. But now is not one of those times.
On Friday, I will be leaving for Atlanta. I’ll be there until Monday. In between, I will eat at some locales made famous by one Adam Richman, attend the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony where I will see my favorite wrestler of all time, Shawn Michaels, cry a lot and most importantly, I will be sitting in section 251 for the Super Bowl of fake sports.
But my personal experiences are another post for a later time. I’m here today to preview the entirety of the card that will fill the four-hour show on Sunday night live in front of 75,000 fans at the Georgia Dome. Plenty to write. Let’s do this.
Rey Mysterios vs. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes
Setting: This is one feud that I wish I had paid more attention to as I rarely get to watch Smackdown. Basically, Rhodes has gone from Randy Orton lackey to this “Dashing” character, an overly self-obsessed and metrosexual gimmick. Except Rey Mysterio broke Rhodes’ nose, sending him into this strange dark whirlwind that’s got hints of Mankind and old school Kane to it.
What I want to happen: This could be a huge chance for Rhodes to get a win and establish himself as a star. I’d like to see WWE let it happen.
What will happen: Rhodes has gotten the best of Mysterio throughout this conflict, so I’m assuming they’re setting up a redeeming Mysterio win at Mania.
The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella
Setting: Uh, The Corre needed an opponent, so the WWE gave them this. Poor Wade Barrett. Oh yeah, and you know that Kane guy that was the most evil dude in WWE a few months ago and buried The Undertaker alive? Well, he’s a happy-go-lucky dancing babyface now. Ugh. This is by far my least favorite match on the card. And Snooki is coming up later in the show.
What I want to happen: Wade Barrett turns on everyone and wins a seven-on-one match.
What will happen: They seem to be moving away from the whole gang thing with the second demise of the Nexus, so I expect the same thing to happen here. Babyfaces win, The Corre starts to hint at a quick breakup.
United States Champion Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship
Setting: Not a huge amount of build up for this one. After winning the King of the Ring tournament late last year, Sheamus went on an embarrassing streak where he was literally losing to everyone. So finally, he got mad, dropped the King gimmick and challenged Daniel Bryan to a U.S. title match with the stipulation being that he would quit WWE if he did not win the belt. Sheamus won, Daniel Bryan challenged him to a rematch and boom, Mania.
What I want to happen: It’s a shame that this title doesn’t feel as important as it should be right now, but this could still be an excellent match. These two can both put on excellent matches, but it’s hard to believe they’ll get too much time to do so here. I’d like to see Sheamus win here and further push the desperate chase of Bryan, who would play best when he’s not at the top.
What will happen: Sheamus’ title run is just now getting life, and there’s no way that will change here. Sheamus wins a match that probably isn’t given more than 10 minutes.
John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool
Setting: Yes, Snooki. Wrestlemania almost always has the random celebrity match to garner a little extra mainstream attention, and this match is this year’s version of it. Are all the Internet wrestling people bashing it? Absolutely. Do those people matter? Absolutely not. People that take wrestling too seriously drive me nuts. It’s supposed to be fun entertainment, stop crying because your favorite midcarder didn’t make the show. Booing Snooki because Kofi Kingston didn’t make the show doesn’t make you cool. It makes you a tool. This will not be the worst thing you see on Sunday night.
What I want to happen: Morrison and Ziggler have some good exchanges, Trish Stratus gets everybody all 90s nostalgic and Snooki somehow gets the pin.
What will happen: Morrison and Ziggler have some good exchanges, Trish Stratus gets everybody all 90s nostalgic and Snooki somehow gets the pin.
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
Setting: This really might be my favorite feud coming into Wrestlemania. Punk and Orton are probably my two favorite current performers in WWE, so I was sucked into this automatically. However, what they have done since has taken my interest ridiculously far. They have both played their roles to perfection. Punk is the verbal agitator who carries the crowd like a lunch box, and Orton is the quiet but fierce monster who prefers a punt to the skull over a promo. Their characters complement each other perfectly and this certainly isn’t the last time we’ll see this feud during their careers. The transformation from Punk whining and watching all of his Nexus members get taken out to his current vicious streak has been done well, too.
What I want to happen: All I ask for in this one is that these two get a decent amount of time to work their match. I could care less who wins either way as it won’t hurt the feud either way. I’ll gladly take two of the smaller matches getting squash treatment if it means these guys can go for 15 to 20 minutes.
What will happen: Orton wins, but Punk attacks him afterward to keep the feud going.
Michael Cole (w/ Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry Lawler with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee
Setting: This match is all about setting because really this is just a quick and easy way to get Lawler his long-overdue Wrestlemania moment and Stone Cold to pass out some Stunners and drink some damn beer. It has been a little less than a year since Cole started to become a heel announcer and a few months since he and Lawler began trading verbal jabs. Cole is a giant douche. It is the basis of his character and the reason why people have booed him for years. Pro wrestling is built off crowd reactions, so the louder the boos got, the more Cole got pushed. We all know generally what will happen. Lawler deserves his first-ever Mania match and Cole has been built up so much that the crowd is going to freak when he finally takes him out.
What I want to happen: Lawler gets his feel-good moment, and Stone Cold finishes everybody off. The two go through more cold Coors Lights than Miguel Cabrera before they depart together.
What will happen: See above.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge (w/ Christian) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Brodus Clay) for the World Heavyweight Championship
Setting: This match has had one of the more classic Wrestlemania main event set-ups. In this case, the blue collar babyface champion is Edge, who is on what is almost certainly his hottest run as a face in a career that’s largely been carried out as a heel. The challenger is Del Rio, a white collar heel who was four months away from even debuting in WWE at this time last year. Del Rio has hit the scene and gotten way over in a ridiculously short amount of time. The feud has stretched over two months without a single match between the two, and each has picked up a corner man along the way. For Edge, it is longtime tag team partner and best friedn Christian. For Del Rio, it is former NXT cast member and former Snoop Dogg bodyguard Brodus Clay.
What I want to happen: Edge is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, and I have never seen him work in person before. So I am very biased when I say that I would absolutely love to see Edge retain in front of a hugely pro-Edge crowd on the biggest stage of them all. However, I’m a realist, so …
What will happen: Del Rio’s huge push will come to a climax on Sunday night. It really feels like he’s being built for a huge moment, and I expect everything about it to be grand. His entrances are grand on a weekly basis, so one can only imagine what the Mexican aristocrat will have in store for Wrestlemania. I expect him to win a long match, and Edge to continue working against younger heels as he has said that he may be very close to retirement.
WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
Setting: Wait, have I really gone this entire time without mentioning THE GREAT ONE? Yes, for some terrible reason, I have. WWE has yet to give us any clue of exactly how The Rock will be involved in this match, but one has to assume that he will play a major role. All signs seem to lead to him going after Cena, but if there’s one thing we know about pro wrestling, the obvious rarely happens. The Miz/Cena feud is rare in today’s age in that it has found a way to go on for well over a year even though teh two have both gone through various feuds in the meantime. It’s a credit to The Miz that it has lasted this long. Just go back to a couple years ago when Miz was wearing glittery shorts, an Anti-Cena shirt, Mizuno gloves and a purple faux-hawk, and imagine that guy headlining Wrestlemania with Cena. It’s truly incredible.
What I want to happen: I’m at a point where I no longer believe that Cena can operate as a face, especially as long as guys like Rock and Austin are anywhere near. You just can’t be promoting a guy as your company’s top babyface when he’s getting the ass of the crowd in his biggest feuds. Yes, I understand the whole kids and merchandise thing, but at a certain point it becomes unrealistic for everyone. My theory is this: Cena wins the WWE title and Rock comes out and attempts to make nice and raise his hand and congratulate him. That’s when Cena flips and beats the living hell out of The Rock. I’m talking a 15-minute beating that puts so much sympathy on Rock that the Georgia Dome is hurling $9 beers at Cena. The seed for the turn in is simple. cena has done everything for the fans and worked harder than anyone, and the second Rock comes back, they turn on him. Hell, he can even keep up his pandering to the kids deal as long as he rips everyone else in the audience. There WWE, it’s the hottest summer storyline you’ve ever had.
What will happen: I hate to gay out here, but I really can’t predict this one. I have no idea what’s going to happen, and that’s a very good thing.
Triple H vs. The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred Match
Setting: Has a single promo ever done more for a match than the one that aired on Raw Monday between Triple H, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels? The 22-minute segment completely sold not only this match but the PPV as a whole. The three veterans put on an absolute microphone clinic, and it took this match to a level that it had been struggling to get to without the two participants coming face to face. I’m still surprised that they did not go personal over the previous weeks with Take digging into Shawn’s retirement more, but what they did definitely worked. It’s unrealistic to think that Taker will ever lose at Mania, and to an extent, it seems even less in question this year than usual. But they have taken the story from Triple H beating Taker to Triple H crumbling in emotions a bit. Maybe the best quiet line in wrestling in 10 years: “You can’t win. I’m sorry.” – HBK
What I want to happen: It’d be selfish to say that I want Triple H to win just so I can say I’m there when the streak ends, but I might not mind it. I’m really happy either way here. Just seeing this match live will be great.
What will happen: 19-0. It’s that simple. Taker wins a drawn-out brawl after a few upset teases.
I’m like a kid at Christmas, except more excited.
Alberto Del Rio Atlanta Big Daddy Cool Big Sexy Booker T Boston CM Punk Diesel Dolph Ziggler Edge Georgia Domw John Cena Kelly Kelly Kevin Nash Nexus Pay-Per-View Pro Wrestling Randy Orton Ricardo Rodriguez Royal Rumble The Miz Wrestlemania Wrestlemania 27 WWE
Sunday night was my second favorite fake sporting event of the year. No, I’m not referring to the Pro Bowl, a game that embarrassed itself to even lower levels than usual last night. I could write a post about how much I think the Pro Bowl sucks and shouldn’t exist, but I think that’s been beat to hell pretty well today. There is a need to address the pants that some of the NFL’s finest [who felt like going to Hawaii] were wearing. What’s next? Stirrups?
But as you can tell by the title, this isn’t a post about fake football. It’s a post about fake bloodsport. Yes, there is a similarity between the two. Most stop caring about both in roughly the fifth grade.
Last night was the Royal Rumble, and while it is getting some mixed reviews around the Internet today, I thought it was pretty awesome. Here’s why:
Edge defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Title matches usually aren’t given too much of an emphasis at the Royal Rumble due to the fact that the event’s namesake match does the heavy lifting in selling the show. However, this match served as the opener and offered the best action of the night.
I almost wanted to see Ziggler win this match simply because I really enjoy this feud and would like to see it continue until Wrestlemania. However, I’m a little biased in that area as I am going to Wrestlemania this year. Edge’s win combined with the result of the Royal Rumble match makes it look like this feud is over which is too bad.
But plenty good came out of it. The Kelly Kelly interference was out of the ordinary as it wasn’t anything that had a set-up to it, and Edge’s use of Christian’s finisher to end the match will bring speculation that a Christian return is coming sooner than later, possibly as a feud for Edge if he loses the title at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
Also, people can pan the lack of originality in Vickie Guerrero’s banning of the Spear all they want to, but it made the crowd ridiculously hot for that move last night. And that’s something that the WWE failed to do with Edge’s signature maneuver going into Wrestlemania 26.
The Miz defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship
The question going into this match was whether or not the WWE trusted the most successful “Real World” cast member of all time to carry its most prized belt into the most important stretch of the pro wrestling year, the “Road to Wrestlemania.”
By beating Orton, Miz seemingly ends a feud that has gone on for a couple of months and moves on to a program with John Cena based on his actions in the Rumble. Once again, The Miz beat Orton in an unclean finish when members of the new Nexus invaded and essentially handed him the victory.
For those complaining about Miz never winning clean, get over it. Miz is never going to win clean. His gimmick is that he’s a weak champion and there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve read people saying that all WWE is doing is making it look like the title should be on someone else. And that’s the truth.
It makes me think back to when I was a little kid, and I hated Ric Flair because he always “won” matches in the most ridiculous fashions. As a young viewer, it frustrated the hell out of you and made you beg your mom to buy the next pay-per-view so you could see someone, anyone beat him. That’s called good business.
The most pleasant accident in WWE right now is this underlying feud between Cena and Miz that has gone on for almost two years. What began as the squash of a comical figure has turned into a legitimate possibility to headline April 3 at the Georgia Dome and that is a huge tribute to how far The Miz has come in that time.
Eve defeated Natalya and LayCool to win the Divas Championship
Uh, cool moonsault?
Not too much to talk about on this one as it did little more than serve as a buffer between the two larger title matches and the Rumble. Something tells me Eve won’t exactly have a very lengthy title reign.
Alberto Del Rio won the 40-man Royal Rumble match to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania 27
It speaks to the anticipation of Triple H’s return that his failure to appear at the Rumble trumped the surprises of seeing Booker T and Diesel in a WWE ring again, or the fact that an upstart won a match that’s usually dominated by veterans.
If there was one thing that everyone could agree on going into the Rumble, it was that it would be the night for Triple H’s return. But it didn’t happen because, well, Vince McMahon is brilliant.
We know he’s coming back before Wrestlemania, and we know that his return is something that we’re excited about seeing, which is why Sunday night was all about leaving the fan wanting to see more. They’re going to milk Triple H’s return for as much as they can. They’re going to do the same with Awesome Kong’s WWE debut. They gave us just the slightest taste of Booker T and Diesel that made us want to see them again.
During the most important television time of the year for WWE, it’s genius work.
But aside from the personnel surprises, it is newsworthy that Del Rio won the Rumble if for no other reason than McMahon is usually unenthusiastic about letting fresh faces main event his biggest show. Del Rio will main event Wrestlemania just over seven months after his WWE debut.
Does he deserve it?
His performances leading up to Wrestlemania, and his in-ring work at the big event will answer that question. The former MMA fighter does provide a fresh main event face, a concept that we have seen more and more in the WWE’s recent youth movement.
Del Rio’s victory likely leads to a title match with Edge, a program that both should be able to carry well for the next couple months.
As far as the Rumble match as a whole, it was very enjoyable. It told a number of great stories and was broken up into separate pieces that made the largest Rumble ever easy to digest.
I especially enjoyed the transition from the very serious, Nexus-dominated portion of the match to the brief-but-fun Hornswoggle show. The Hornswoggle portion has caught tons of heat on the Internet today to which I say that the Internet needs to shut up and stop taking entertainment so seriously. John Morrison also took HBK’s trademark “skinning the cat” to a whole new level with this little maneuver:
WWE’s only job is to appeal to the casual fan, and they did so very well last night. The live crowd loved the Rumble and that’s really all that matters.
Tyson Kidd is hopeless anyways. He deserved to get beat up by a leprechaun.
Anyways, good show. Can’t wait for Mania.