With less than 2 weeks until the big show (and the Big Show), I figured I might as well post up my predictions because it looks like the card is pretty final at this point. Of course, if any changes are made, I’ll update and reflect those here.
Buildup’s been pretty bad for this show. Some of the worst ever for a Mania, but that’s the just senile nature of Vince these days. He doesn’t know what he wants to do anymore and is more wishy-washy than John Kerry. BE A MAN, Vince!
As bad as the buildup is though, the actual matches should be pretty decent, even if they aren’t matches anyone really cares about or wants to see.
Bold is my predicted winner.
Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton
We’re finally getting to see this match at WM. It’s only been, what? 4 years or so since they originally wanted it to happen? That said, we’ve seen it way too many times over the last 4 years and it’s never really set the world on fire, though I think this match will certainly be “good” if not “great”.
The buildup has been horrible. Orton lost all cred he’s built up over the last year by brushing up against HHH (what a surprise) and Legacy might as well not even exist. BUT… This past Monday really did a lot of put the heat back on Orton make shoot him back into the #1 heel slot. While I see HHH eventually winning this feud in a dominating fashion, I don’t think the blowoff is going to be at Mania.
-World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Once the rumor was put out there that this was going to be a triple-threat match, I immediately thought Big Show would be winning. It gives further juice to the Show/Vickie angle, which really only seems like it’s just now taking off. And yes, I’m picking two heels as the winners of the two big title matches. I don’t wanna hear that “feel good” WM ending reasoning for why a face HAS to win one of these matches. The buildup for this match and the whole show has been lame, so why would they care about how WM’s ending “feels”?
And no, brands didn’t even come into play when picking who was winning these top title matches either, because brands never come into play when the shows are being written. If WWE doesn’t care, why should I?
JBL (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
No real story here. Match was announced by Michael Cole. Rey wanted a title shot @ JBL and so he got one. Pretty simple, but it’s my belief WM matches should at least have a couple of weeks worth of build and this one does not.
JBL is apparently going to rock the world with whatever he does at Mania. You could say being the first man to defend the IC title at a WrestleMania in SEVEN YEARS is earth-shattering enough, but most people are saying the big deal is he’ll be retiring as a champion, at WrestleMania, in his home state.
Whatever the big reveal is, Rey doesn’t stand a chance because he’s moving to Smackdown very soon.
-Extreme Rules Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
That Vince, what a smart guy. He “swerved” the fans by making Matt a heel because so many people knew Christian was going to be Hardy’s tormentor. Leaks or not, people were going to figure that out because A- IT MADE SENSE and B- people wanted to see it happen. Just because something is predictable/logical doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. I never heard one person COMPLAIN about Christian being Jeff’s attacker.
Anyway, what we’re left with is an unbelievable, cheesy brother vs. brother feud that has hit a few lowpoints in this supposedly “PG Era”. You really wanna put a guy on TV and have him confess to burning down a house which killed a dog? Even besides the fact that it’s a stupid storyline point, it’s pretty messed up for WWE and the Hardys to agree to bringing the real life death of a dog into this, IMO.
Much like with Christian, there is no management faith in Matt (probably even less). He’s done horrible in his promos, and while he was a good heel as the cocky, arrogant V1 chracter, this diabolical, sinister personality does not fit him at all.
Should be a really good spotfest that’ll see Jeff win and both stay stuck in the midcard. BTW– in another bit where WWE decides to punish the fans by not giving them what they want and what makes sense, this is EXTREME RULES. Who up there isn’t smart enough to see this deserves to be labled TLC?
-WWE Tag Team Champions vs. World Tag Team Champions (Unified Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match)
Carlito & Primo (WWE Tag Champions) vs. John Morrison & The Miz (World Tag Champions)
The buildup to this match has actually been some goofy fun. I doubt the match gets much time, but it’ll be decent. Hard to pick’em though. The M&M push seems to know no bounds, so I’ll go with them getting the win. I don’t really care who wins, just as long as the tag titles are unified and STAY that way. Next up, they need to unify the Women’s/Diva title.
-Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker
Definitely a match worthy of WrestleMania, and on this show, it’s the only one. The “Shawn in graveyard” bit was stupid and unncessary, but everything else has been done well. I know this is going to be a Match of the Year candidate and we all know ‘taker is winning. When/if the time comes for The Streak to end, it’s gonna be to a fresher face than HBK.
-Money in the Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. Finlay vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston
This is one is a tough call. Let’s look at who WON’T be winning: Punk (won it last year), Mark Henry (was never supposed to be in the match), Finlay (it’s Finlay) and Kofi (he’s just there for spots). So, what we’re left with is 3 potential winners in Christian, MVP and Shelton.
We know Christian isn’t favored by Vince, but apparently many people backstage are pushing for more Christian recognition. So, even with Vince not supporting the guy, I still think he’s a top contender. MVP has the US belt, which some people say is the reason he *won’t* be winning MITB and Shelton just lost the belt, which some people say is the reason he *will* be winning MITB.
Meltzer seems to think the booking is looking like Shelton is winning. I don’t see it. BUT… If he does win, I can totally see them letting Shelton be the one who cashes in the very same night and then loses. Or just cashes in and loses period. Still, I can’t fathom a Shelton win.
I’m gonna go with Christian, hoping that others are able to talk Vince into it.
-25-Diva Battle Royal
Mmm… Doesn’t really matter who wins this one. It’s just meaningless filler, but hey, who wouldn’t wanna stare at 25 Divas? Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Melina, Maryse, or Mickie James. Pick one.
-Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka
Wow. Another match where the ball was completely dropped. Rourke/Jericho? Nope. Austin/Jericho? Nope. Just a handful of Legends taking on Jericho. I’m not sure if this is a handicap match or justFlair/Jericho? Nope. a collection of one-on-one matches, but I know it’s going to be awful during the Snuka & Piper parts. I’m interested in seeing what Steamboat can do though. Heck, I’d rather it was Jericho vs. Steamboat only. Look for Flair to get involved too, but hopefully they’re smart enough to NOT put some broken down 50+ year olds over an active competitor.