WWE’s road to WrestleMania 28 has been a dull and repetitive one, for the most part.
That’s what happens when a wrestling promotion relies almost exclusively upon dueling speeches and video packages to hype a show. In the main events especially, that’s all we got: lots and lots of talk from The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
There was a time when WWE would have generously sprinkled action over all those words. Can you imagine how much intrigue – and ratings – WWE could have wrenched from a tag-team Raw main event pitting Triple H and The Undertaker against The Rock and John Cena? And what about the old-fashioned beatdowns of yesteryear? Outside of Cody Rhodes comically teeing off on a tied-up Big Show with boxing gloves, not one WrestleMania bad guy made me want to see him get some comeuppance at the April 1 show (Chris Jericho’s Raw stage attack on CM Punk already feels too long ago to even count here).
Its shortcomings aside, the build-up to Sunday’s show has been successful in one way: I have no idea who’s going to win anything. But that’s not so much a credit to the WrestleMania 28 hype machine as it is to the WrestleMania 29 rumor mill – and I’ll explain why in my predictions for this Sunday’s show:
It’s that time of year again, the time when even the most casual fan of pro wrestling is aware of what’s going on. Wrestlemania 28 will be live this Sunday from Miami, Florida. Millions will watch on pay per view, and 70,000 plus will pack Sun Life Stadium to see a main event with a full year of hype behind it. Current WWE Superstar John Cena will take on legendary WWE superstar and current Hollywood box office draw Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock.
As I did last year, I’ll look at who I think will win each match and who I think should win each match.
World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
- Who will win – Sheamus – This is actually a rematch from last Wrestlemania, only the roles are reversed. It’s now Bryan that is hated by the fans while Sheamus is the babyface. Personally I’m not a fan of Sheamus, but I can’t see them having him lose with the huge push he’s been receiving of late.
- Who should win - Sheamus – I hate to say it, but a win for Sheamus may be the best thing to happen for the current story line. Bryan is so over right now with his little prick persona, that he could still get a crowd hot even without the strap. And Sheamus could use the title to keep him at the top of the Smackdown brand for a while.
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve
- Who will win - WWE always has some non wrestling celebrity come in for the Granddaddy Of Them All, and this year it’s Menounos. However, I’ve never really cared for the celebrity matches in the past and I don’t like the woman wrestlers at all so this match isn’t even worth my time.
- Who should win - Again, I don’t care and I think these matches are pointless. See the notion above.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
- Who will win – Randy Orton – Orton has been injured a bit leading up to Wrestlemania, otherwise he would have had a higher profile match. Kane came back after a long hiatus, but his character seems stale. This is a throw in match that no one really cares about, but it does get their top face from Smackdown on the big show.
- Who should win – Randy Orton – Kane winning makes zero sense.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship
- Who will win – Cody Rhodes – I can see this one going either way. Rhodes has really been pushing the “Big Show as a Wrestlemania failure” angle the last month, so you have to expect them to let Show get the W. But since that’s expected, they’ll probably go the other way and have Rhodes win. I think he’ll win, but the Big Show will have the last laugh somehow.
- Who should win – Big Show – A win by Big Show would help squash the notion that he’s been a boob in Wrestlemanias past. Also a win by the Big Show, in a way that allows Rhodes to save face somehow, will allow him to take the next step in his career and have him challenge for the World Title without the Intercontinental belt.
Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre) vs. Team Teddy (Santino Marella. R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Great Khali, Zack Ryder, and Booker T) 12 Man Tag Team Match for Control of Both RAW and Smackdown
- Who will win – Team Johnny – Every one loves to hate John Laurinaitis these days. His segments are usually the best on TV, even though he flubs a line or two every week. But the star power on his team far outweighs Team Teddy, so no way will his guys lose.
- Who should win – Team Johnny – They need the win to set up the evil GM on both shows. With the obligatory story line to follow with Teddy Long trying to get his show back.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
- Who will win – CM Punk – Punk is as popular as he’s every been with the WWE so keeping him on top is the logical thing to do. They can milk a couple rematches out of this feud, and have a title switch take place in a month or two.
- Who should win – Chris Jericho – I think angry CM Punk is better than top of the world CM Punk. Having Jericho win in an underhanded manner would be good for the current story line. Jericho plays smug as good as anyone in the business, and Punk can be the rebellious challenger trying to get his title back. If we’re lucky, they’ll bring back Stephanie McMahon to interfere some how.
Undertaker vs. Triple H In a Hell In A Cell Match with Shawn Michaels as Guest Referee
- Who will win – Undertaker – I’ve never liked Undertaker (that’s no secret to any of you who know me) but that fact is, he’s undefeated at Wrestlemania, and he’ll eventually lose to an up and comer when it’s the right thing to do. Losing to a part timer like HHH makes no sense what so ever.
- Who should win – Undertaker – As I said, I don’t like the guy and I’m an HHH fan but let’s face it, If HHH wins his ego will have officially surpassed Hulk Hogans. Taker wins in a bloody exhausting match similar to last year.
The Rock vs. John Cena
- Who will win – The Rock – This will no doubt be the Main Event of the evening, and the WWE (9 times out of 10) has the popular choice go over at Wrestlemania to send the crowd home happy. And even though the WWE has tried to steer the storyline so Cena and Rock will have more of a 50/50 crowd reaction, there’s no way the Miami crowd will boo their hometown Rocky. Even though Cena has to get back to work on WWE TV the next night while The Rock goes off to Hollywood to film another flick, there’s no way WWE Head Honcho Vince McMahon will disappoint the majority of the crowd. I could see a scenario where Cena wins only to get a after match beatdown, but that wouldn’t be any fun.
- Who should win – The Rock – I was solidly of the thought that Cena needed to win until I read this article from the pro wrestling website, Cageside Seats, then I made a complete 180 on the subject.
“But sometimes it is failure that defines a moment, a game, a season, a lifetime. There is a reason John Cena is loved and cherished by many. He represents hard work, dedication, passion, and perseverance. Never give up, and never surrender. No matter how high the odds are stacked against him, Cena always finds a way to rise above. The funny thing about always winning, though, is that it is boring as hell.”
It’ll be good to see Cena have to build himself back up and it will be good to see him struggle and maybe even go on a prolonged losing streak. Have him tease a heel turn while becoming frustrated with his situation. That is as long as they don’t panic and turn him back into Super Cena after only a week.
**Possible Spoiler** According to F4WOnline.com former WWE and UFC star Brock Lesnar has signed a one year deal with WWE, which would clear him to make an appearance tonight WrestleMania. Lesnar has reportedly landed in Miami and was flanked by a large contingent of security.
*Wrestlemania 28 will be a live 4 hour show this Sunday, starting at 7pm Eastern time and only on Pay-Per-View! Head over to WWE.com’s WrestleMainia 28 page for more details.