WrestleMania XXVII preview
Predictions for tonight’s WWE pay-per-view:
WWE champion The Miz vs. John Cena: With WrestleMania host The Rock practically guaranteed to get involved, there are any numbers of ways this one could go. When the angle with The Rock and Cena began, I thought for sure that WrestleMania was going to end with the feel-good moment of Cena regaining the WWE title and then he and The Rock burying the hatchet and celebrating together. Now, I don’t see that happening. It sure looks as if WWE is building to a Rock-Cena match somewhere down the line. So does that mean The Miz ends up walking out of WrestleMania with the belt (that’s right, I said belt) still around his waist? It’s certainly possible. Here’s a thought: How great would it be to see Miz and Cena do a double turn in this match? At the WrestleMania press conference in New York last week and at Saturday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony in Atlanta, Cena was booed out of the buildings, while The Miz was cheered. Honestly, I don’t have a strong feeling as to how this is going to turn out (which means WWE has done a great job in the buildup), but since I have to make a prediction, here’s my best guess: After a ref bump, Rock comes in to take over as referee and ends up counting the pin for Cena. After the match, Miz attacks Cena, and Rock makes the save. Then as Rock and Cena shake hands and celebrate, Rock hits a Rock Bottom on him out of nowhere to end the show.
World heavyweight champion Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio: This contest has been overshadowed by the Cena-Rock-Miz program and the Triple H-Undertaker and Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler matches, but I expect it to be a really good match. It has been announced that Christian and Brodus Clay will be in Edge and Del Rio’s corners, respectively. Since Christian has been as much a part of the buildup for this match as the two participants, I think it’s reasonable to assume that he will be involved in the finish in a major way. My guess is that Christian does a heel turn and costs Edge the title, which leads to a post-WrestleMania program between the two former tag team partners.
The Undertaker vs. Triple H in a no holds barred match: I think it’s become obvious that The Undertaker is never losing at WrestleMania, but from what I gather, a number of fans believe Triple H is going to win this match, so WWE has accomplished its main goal – casting doubt on a finish that, to me, can only go one way. It will be impossible for this match to come close to the classics between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at the past two WrestleMania, but I expect these two veterans – despite whatever age, injury or ring rust issues they may have – to put on a good show. The no holds barred stipulation will help them (it’s just too bad that blood is not allowed, as some color would certainly add to the drama). In the end, The Streak will remain intact and The Undertaker will go to 19-0. Of course, the big question is: What role, if any, will Michaels have in the match?
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler (special referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin): A year ago, who would have ever believed that Cole would be one of the hottest heels in the business and a participant in a top match at WrestleMania? Even though Cole is not a wrestler, I think this will be an entertaining match, thanks in large part to Austin being the special referee and Jack Swagger being in Cole’s corner. Look for Lawler to win and finally get his WrestleMania moment, and for Cole and Swagger to get stunned by Austin. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Divas came out to slap Cole around for his disrespectful remarks about them as of late.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: This is a match that could headline most pay-per-views, so the fact that it is at best the fifth-highest match on the card shows just how strong the lineup is. This is another match that I could see going either way. It wouldn’t shock me if Punk won due to outside interference from a brand new member of The Nexus (Ted DiBiase Jr. perhaps?), but I’m going with Orton.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: I don’t expect these two to be given a tremendous amount of time, but I’m betting that they will make the most of however long they have. It seems to make sense for Rhodes to get the win, since he is still making his way up the ladder and a loss will not hurt Mysterio at all.
John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool: It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to Snooki, but she was booed at the WrestleMania press conference last week and when she was shown in a video package at Saturday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony. Look, I don’t like Snooki being in a WrestleMania match either, but it is what it is, and I’d be surprised if this isn’t an entertaining match. Look for the babyfaces to win and perhaps LayCool to (finally) split.
The Corre vs. The Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston: For those who thought it was a crime that Kingston was left off the WrestleMania card while someone such as Kozlov was on it, your prayers have been answered. WWE shot an angle at WrestleMania Axxess in which The Corre attacked Kozlov, and it was then announced that Kingston would take his place in the match. It almost makes me wonder if Kingston – who has been on a losing streak as of late – turns on the babyfaces and joins The Corre, but whether he does or not, look for the heel group to prevail.
U.S. champion Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan: These two work well together, so this figures to be a solid match. It seems as if Sheamus is back on the upswing, so my guess is that he retains the title.
Note: I plan to blog throughout WrestleMania XXVII tonight from the Georgia Dome. The show begins at the arena at 6:30 p.m., with the pay-per-view starting at 7.