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
Photo courtesy of CagesideSeats.com
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.
Happy Holidays to my readers out there who stop by every week and read my ridiculous rants. It is always a pleasure to dish out all the sports news, both good and bad. I wish nothing but happiness to you and your loved ones. Enough with the sappy Lifetime diatribe, let’s kick off the blog!
Here are my Top Three Performances from NFL Week 15:
1. Quarterback Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints): Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Johnny Unitas both have NFL records that are in major trouble, all thanks to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Unitas’ 47 consecutive games with a passing touchdown will have to wait until 2012 but with the way Brees is gaining passing yards these days, Marino’s single season record of 5,084 passing yards may soon fall into silver medal status. Brees certainly had a field day through the air, as the Saints picked up a huge 42-20 road victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Brees completed 32 of 40 pass attempts (80%), threw for 412 yards, and five passing touchdowns.
2. Running Back Reggie Bush (Miami Dolphins): Every once in a while, he just turns into real life video game. This used to be a constant for Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, who would light up the scoreboard, and rewrite the record books during his days as a USC Trojan. After his tenure with the New Orleans Saints in which writers deemed him a bust, Bush has seemed to be finding his groove again in South Beach, and yesterday was proof of that fact. Bush carried the ball 25 times for 203 yards and one touchdown, a 76 yard score in the fourth quarter, to help the Dolphins pick up the 30-23 win on the road against the Buffalo Bills.
3. Defensive End Tamba Hali (Kansas City Chiefs): Who would have thought that the Kansas City Chiefs would be the team to give the undefeated and defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers their first loss of the season? The Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers have been making mince meat of most defenses on their schedule in the 2011 season, even having blow out victories on the road. Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel and his defensive end Tamba Hali weren’t going to lie down that easily to the Packers or even think of losing for that matter. Hali sacked Rodgers three times, hit him twice, forced one fumble, and helped the defense hold the Packers to 315 offensive yards in a shocking 19-14 Chiefs home victory.
Congratulations should also be in order for the Indianapolis Colts, who picked up their first win of the season, beating the Tennessee Titans 27-13 at home. However, the quest for the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft becomes quite interesting in the next two weeks, as the St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings have two wins each. If the Colts choose to show up in the next two games and win at least one game, the chances of not landing Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck becomes too high for comfort. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck both want be the starting quarterback in 2012, and if Dan Orlovsky continues to improve, he may start for a different team.
The ever controversial, media hating, possibly tainted, all-time home run leader Barry Bonds is currently serving hard time…in his mansion. Bonds, who gave misleading information to the federal grand jury in their investigation on steroid use in professional sports, was sentenced to thirty days of house arrest, and two years probation. Not a bad sentence for a guy who used to pay off his former trainer Greg Anderson to keep quiet and serve jail time in order to delay the investigation. If this proves anything, it is that Barry Bonds made a mockery of the system, and the federal jury along with the verdict, looked like a complete joke.
It looks like life as a Lakers fan isn’t faring so well in Los Angeles these days. After a failed trade for Chris Paul which ended up being approved for the Los Angeles Clippers and a trade which sent Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers are left with little to look forward to in the shortened 2012 NBA season. Lakers star player Kobe Bryant will be going through a messy divorce, Derek Fisher isn’t going to play any younger at 37, and Ron Artest, I mean Meta World Peace, is going to be his usual crazy self. New Lakers head coach Mike Brown is going to have his hands full in the Western Conference while other teams around his own continue to grow stronger by the day.
The WWE made a stop at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore last night for its “WWE TLC” pay per view. If you were a fan of surprises and delightful outcomes, last nights wrestling event was the place to be. C.M. Punk retained his WWE Championship in a triple threat ladder match, Daniel Bryan cashed in his “Money In The Bank” contract and won the World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE’s own internet sensation, Zack Ryder won his first WWE singles title as he defeated Dolph Ziggler in a surprisingly good match to win the United States Championship. And the best part of the event: No John Cena in the main event!
I would like to thank you all for reading my blog this week! In the next two weeks, I will give you my own selections for the 2011-12 Pro Bowl teams, and my NFL 2011 Awards. Be sure to check me out on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at email@example.com for any information regarding my blog and future projects. Enjoy your Monday night, I am out.
This past weekend, there have been several things that one can enjoy here in the state of Maryland. The nice weather, a cold beer, some fresh steamed crabs, and some good sports action on the tv screen. Though I do enjoy crabs and beer on a nice summer day, I love my sports alot more.
First off, I would like to congratulate the U.S. Womens Soccer Team for a strong showing in the 2011 FIFA Womens World Cup. Despite a tough loss to Japan, the U.S. team showed nothing but guts and integrity throughout the entire tournament. But giving credit where it is due, the ladies of Japan showed up when it counted. They took advantage of Hope Solo’s miscues and played great defensively towards the end, especially in penalty kicks. And for a country that has endured alot of hell in the past year, they needed this win alot more than we did. With the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL as the top dogs in the USA sports universe, the ladies of the U.S. team still have a long way to go to capture the eyes of those who refuse to give them the acknowledgement and credit they deserve after this past week.
The Orioles are now on a winning streak!…..Okay, it’s a 2 game winning streak but it certainly is nice to hear after losing nine of the past ten. Regardless of the Cleveland Indians taking the first two games of the series, the Baltimore Orioles fought back hard in the final two. Credit pitcher Alfredo Simon and outfielder Felix Pie for their strong performances in the 6-5 win on Saturday, and also credit Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and the unlikely utility infielder Robert Andino for hitting home runs in the 8-3 win on Sunday. Tonight could be the start of a 3 game winning streak for the Baltimore Orioles as they take on the Boston Red Sox. Boston played a lengthy 16 inning game on Sunday as they snuck out of Tampa Bay with a 1-0 victory over the Rays. If the Orioles can knock out the starter early tonight, look for the Birds to feast on a tired Red Sox bullpen. Prediction: Orioles 8, Red Sox 5.
After this past weekend during the NFL owner and NFLPA meetings, it looks like this 120 plus day lockout is officially coming to an end. If signed in the next few days, free agency will be set to start on July 25th. With less than a month and a half left to start the 2011 season, it’ll be fun watching the sports ticker as many moves and signings will take place. Should be chaotic but exciting to witness.
For the first time in a long time, I was saddened that I missed a wrestling pay per view. From what many people in the internet community have written, the WWE Money In The Bank pay per view was “must see wrestling action”. Tuning into Youtube to see if there was any clips of the event, I came to find out that there is one thing that now holds true: Chicago has the best wrestling fans out there today. Watching CM Punk make his entrance to the hometown crowd was magnificent to see. And even better, seeing CM Punk win the WWE Championship and celebrating with the Chicago fans was icing on the cake. I am looking forward to watching Monday Night Raw tonight to see what the aftermath of Punk’s win and “departure” brings to the storyline. Will CM Punk ever return? What is the legacy of the WWE Title? Is John Cena going to be fired? And better yet, is now the time for John Cena to turn heel?
I hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Monday Mayhem Blog! Feel free to contact me on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding my work and future projects. Long live the Ravens, the Orioles, the U.S. Womens Soccer Team, and CM Punk!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know that I won’t be having any breakfast this morning (besides my traditional cup of coffee) because I’m still full, believe it or not. Yesterday, we had some compelling football yesterday from the NFL and are sure to get some more on the college level today, but more on that later.
This morning, I wanted to shake things up a little bit and talk about the world of professional wresting. That too, is a sport I’m very passionate about but now a little less. After watching last nights Thanksgiving episode of TNA Wrestling “IMPACT!”, it really got the wheels churning for me again as far as wrestling goes. Especially, with word of a Jeff Hardy shoot interview that surfaced on the internet a short while ago. In case you’re wondering, Jeff is currently the World Heavyweight Champion in TNA.
Just as I always say and many have said before me, you have two types of people on this subject: Those that love wrestling and those that don’t admit they love wrestling. I’ve always loved wrestling and I’m not afraid to admit it. Not today, not ever. I grew up watching WWF and WCW and even invested in the cult following that was ECW. I love it all. I do admit that I don’t get to watch it as much as I once did and some of that is by choice and the quality of the product nowadays. One of the things I always loved about wrestling was the behind the scenes politics and the authentic parts of wrestling that go unnoticed to the casual fan.
I could go on and on about all of the different things and the little nuances that get me geared up about wrestling but I’ll spare you of that out of fear that I won’t be able to stop.
Anyway, the Internet rumors and what to believe verses what not to believe always fascinated me but really it was the raw authenticities and the ‘shoots’ that came out sometimes that really interested me. I watch all of the documentaries and everything but in this day and age of Twitter rants and You Tube, it takes on a whole new life. One of the more shocking examples I have seen in quite some time, TNA Wrestling’s world champion Jeff Hardy and his brother Matt (formally of WWE) shooting on former ECW and current WWE star CM Punk. Not only was the content a little off color but also the physical and mental state of both Matt and Jeff is what surprised me most.