3 days until the biggest pro wrestling show of the year takes place. WWE will hold Wrestlemania 29 on April 7th at Giant Stadium in New Jersey. The Rock and John Cena will headline the show for the 2nd straight year which is only the second time in history that WWE they will do the same main event in back to back years (The First was Bret Hart vs Yokozuna at WrestleMania 9 and 10 in 93 and 94). It is expected that 70,000 fans will attend the show which is a sell out. WWE plans to put more tickets on sale after the set is completed. The show will draw $11 Million which will break the record of $8.2 Million set at lasts years Wrestlemania. In the end WrestleMania 29 will be in the top 4 attended shows in the history of WWE trailing only Summerslam 92, WrestleMania III and WrestleMania 23.
Besides the WrestleMania event WWE will hold its fan fest dubbed Axxess which fans can see original costumes and props from the comapnys history. Also at the Axxess event fans can meet past and present Wrestlers though the top stars such as Cena, Punk, HHH etc are only avalible through a VIP package. Also WWE will hold its annual Hall of Fame cermony from Maddison Square Garden which I previewed in a post a few weeks back.
Pre-Show: Unlike other WWE Pre-Shows within the last year WWE will present an hour long show on their youtube page and WWE.com. The one match officialy announced for the pre-show is Miz vs Wade Barrett with the IC Title currently held by Barrett on the line. Here I see Miz winning the belt to get the show off to a good start by having a babyface win a belt to set the tone of the night. Ever since Barrett won the belt he has been very weak in terms of how he has been used by WWE. I think there is more upside in Miz being a holder of a mid card title than Barrett who can be pushed to a main event spot within months if he is booked right. Besides the match I can see WWE doing some comedy segements with the likes of Santino and Yoshi Tatsu so they get on the show and get the WrestleMania pay day.
Main Show: (1) Tons of Fun with Cameron and Naomi vs Rhodes Schollars with The Bella Twins: 8 man match just to get people on the show. Much like the pre-show I see the faces winning to kick the main show off to a good start. Even though there is more upside in Rhodes and Sandow in the long term than Brodus Clay and Tensai none of that matters when its WrestleMania were the goal is to have faces go over the heels to conclude angles. This will proably be the weakest match on the show.
(2) Chris Jericho vs FANDANGO: After weeks of teasing his debut FANDANGO will finally make his in-ring debut on WWE TV. FANDANGO should win beacuse of Jericho wanting to put talent over to set the next era of WWE ready for the future. At this point there is very little that can effect Jericho and his spot and how over he is with fans so a loss here is not going to kill his momentum.
(3) WWE Tag Titles: Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston (With AJ Lee) I see this a heel win. Hell No have been champions since Night Of Champions and that show happened in late September. Despite the length Hell No run they haven’t really built a tag division around them rather than just use the tag belts as a prop in the ever running Kane/Bryan angle. Ziggler and Langston could be a modern day Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash duo with Ziggler as the cocky heel who thinks hes better than everyone and Langston as the Big Bodyguard who just interferes in matches and can take care of business when needed to. But none of these men matter as much as the use of AJ in this match. Iv’e never been a fan of the AJ push but I think shes going to play a role in the finish judging from her past history with both Daniel Bryan and Kane throughout 2012. Winners: Ziggler and Langston
Mark Henry vs Ryback: This could be pretty good or very bad depending on how much time WWE gives this. If they get about 10 minutes this could be a good big man match. The future is sadly in Ryback rather than Henry. Ryback needs a win after a bad run of results on PPV since his loss to CM Punk at Hell In A Cell in October. Henry who has been so great since they turned him heel in 2011 and began the Hall of Pain gimmick. The idea of these two huge men just going into this wanting to kill each other is great and the build of them trying to up the other with feats of stength has been great also. I see Ryback getting the win.
The Shield vs Randy Orton, Sheaus and Big Show: The whole purpose of this match is to get Orton back as a heel. In recent weeks they have really been playing up Orton as the babyface to make his turn seem huge. Orton has been rallying for a heel turn for months and turning him here as he screws Sheamus and gives the Shield the win. Shield gets the win.
World Heavyweight Title: Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger: This can go either way. Del RIo has been very meh as a face since he turned. Swagger has been really great since they bought him back with this new gimmick. This could be a match that little care about. Del Rio will retain here and I can see Ziggler cashing in his MITB title shot to win the belt and possibly set up a 3 way feud between Swagger, Ziggler and Del Rio going forward.
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar; Unlike Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker in 2010 when they really built up the fact Shawn could very well retire this has been the total opposite. Triple H is in no jeprody of losing this match hes just been postioned to strong in the feud to be in any trouble of losing to Lesnar. The idea they have HHH look so strong is just random seeing they are booking a carer match and HHH doesn’t really seem to care that if he looses his WWE carer is over. Going forward Lesnar should win judging from the plans for WrestleMania 30 for 2014. But this is WWE and HHH is a top ranked person in how the company is run so he is pretty much doing this feud on his own terms rather than the lower matches on the card. As much as I hate to say it HHH wins when he and Michaels do the old DX double finish on Lesnar.
CM Punk vs The Undertaker: This build has been very poor going from the last few Undertkaer Mania matches. I don’t think WWE had a clear idea on where to go with this feud before the death of Paul Bearer several weeks ago. The feud has been pushed on Undertaker getting revenge on Punk for mocking the death of Bearer which just screams lazy booking. Taker is winning no question or dobut about it. The question is how good is the match going to be. I remember Punk and Taker worked a series of matches in the fall of 2009 and they weren’t good. Im not saying they were bad but considering the level of worker both men are they just weren’t that good. But back then Punk was in the shitter with WWE for his choice of clothing while on tour the matches were bascially squash matches with Taker beating Punk. Now Punk is higher on the todempole so I see this being a lot better. But Taker is bangded up bad and even with the year off he is still quite banged up. None the less Taker just gives it his all at Mania and since 2007 he has given Match of The Night or in some cases Year performances. 21-0
WWE Title: John Cena vs The Rock: This is the the match the show is built on. Unlike last year when we had a year build we have a road to redemption. The idea is that when Cena lost to the Rock last year his whole life turned around and they have hinted to his loss to Rock leading to his real life divorce which is just laughable. The whole story has been Cena needed to avenge that loss and I guess that none of his carer means anything besides this win which is funny cos they make it seem Cena has never won the belt before with him going I need the title even though hes held it like 12 times which is the record for WWE title reigns. Rock on the otherhand hasn’t been as great as he was a year ago due to the fact he hasn’t been around as much as he was a year ago. Cena on the other hand has been a lot better in how hes taking this match. Last year he was just crying that Rock never showed up after he said he was never leaving again following his return to WWE in 2011. This year he is more determained to get his win and reclaim his title. During the debate segment on the March 25th Raw they really hinted a Cena heel turn where WWE played the 2001 Steve Austin card with him saying he needed to beat Rock which is what Austin said to Rock prior to their Mania match and Austin did turn heel aligning with Vince McMahon to get the WWE title back. If they do infact go with the Cena heel turn they need to do something where he just cuts a promo on the fans the next night on RAW about them booing him and that hes over it. Unlike the 2001 Austin turn they can’t align him with a heel authority figure because none of them are effectve as McMahon was back then. Either way Cena is walking out with the WWE Championship its been a year in the making and it sets up their final match for either Extreme Rules or SummerSlam.
Full Card Predictions
Pre-Show, Miz beats Wade Barrett for the IC Title
Main Show (1) Tons of Funk def Rhodes Scholars
(2) FANDANGO def Chris Jericho
(3) WWE Tag Team Titles: Ziggler and Langston def Team Hell No
(4) Ryback def Mark Henry
(5) The Shield def Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus
(6) World Heavyweight Championship: Del Rio def Swagger
(7) Triple H def Brock Lesnar
(8) The Undertaker def CM Punk
(9) WWE Championship: John Cena def The Rock