Wrestlemania 26 Predictions
My job here is not fight analysis; wrestling is not on the level as a combat sport, and in my lifetime I have seen a miniature dog, a ladder, a six year old Japanese girl, and a blow up doll win professional wrestling matches. My job is to give you my predictions based on whatever arbitrary understanding of how the show works, and then make some jokes: Warning: not all jokes are funny.
Here is your card:
Glendale, Arizona March 28, 2010
1. World Heavyweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho © vs. Edge
2. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
3. WWE Championship Match: Batista © vs. John Cena
4. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
5. No Holds Barred: Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
6. Unified Tag Team Championship Match: ShoMiz © vs. John Morrison and R-Truth
7. Triple H vs. Sheamus
8. Triple Threat Match: Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
9. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
That of course is not the order the matches will occur on the show, that's just how they're listed on Wikipedia. This is how they will actually line up.
1. Five minutes of Unified Tag Team Championship Match
2. Backstage segment involving Mae Young kissing one of the Hall of Famers, hilarity
3. 30 minutes of musical performance
4. Video package
5. Final two minutes of Unified Tag Team Championship Match
6. Video package
7. Replay of that funny video of Vince McMahon trying to catch a chicken from when he was training for the Royal Rumble. "YOU GOTTA BE QUICK."
8. 10 wrestlers calmly setting up spots for Money in the Bank Ladder Match
9. Video package
10. Triple H vs. Sheamus
11. Video package
12. 15 minutes of a celebrity making you aware of a personal cause
13. Triple threat match where everyone accidentally turns to SpikeTV to see what is on iMPACT
14. Video package
15. Hornswoggle emasculates person with six-figure salary
16. Batista vs. Cena, and it seems exciting until they get to the actual wrestling parts
17. Backstage segment involving Bella Twins and/or Santino that is so bad everyone accidentally turns to the Nashville Network to see what is on ECW
18. Six consecutive video packages
19. Bret Hart collapses in ring, makes everything sad
20. Three hours forty minutes of Shawn Michaels and Undertaker kicking out of finishers
And that is... yep, that is exactly how it goes. If you want, you can just send me the fifty dollars instead and I will send you a high definition video cassette featuring fifteen Dynamite Kid matches better than anything that will happen at Wrestlemania.
Now then! Predictions.
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho © vs. Edge
What I want to happen: I do not know when Edge became the "beloved fan favorite" Edge. He was the biggest possible jerk (humping Tommy Dreamer's wife while in a pin, having live, torrid sex on Raw, stealing poor Booker T's shampoo commercial) and was injured while teaming with Chris Jericho. He comes back and people are cheering for him despite no character growth. Now instead of being compelling and "controversial," he does the spear and says SPEAR and we cheer for him. What I want to happen is for a spear to get reversed into a Codebreaker, and Jericho retains.
What I think will actually happen: A spear will get reversed into a Codebreaker, but Edge will kick out. Jericho will make a very surprised face. He will try a Walls of Jericho, but it will be reversed (!) and through a Rube Goldbergian hand-jive exchange, Edge will hit the spear and become the World Heavyweight Champion. Then: three years of matches with John Cena!
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
What I want to happen: This is the big one. Last year's match was a sports entertainment masterpiece and unless they build on the structure of the first and expand the themes of desperation and destiny it will be what your friends on the Internet call "underwhelming." I'm expecting a lot of "meh" reactions from troglodytes with no vocabulary regardless of how good this is or isn't. It's going to be good. It HAS to be. If this isn't good, wrestling isn't good. Shawn puts up a valiant fight and almost wins on several occaions, but gets tombstoned and the Undertaker's streak continues until he retires. Shawn's career is over until Summerslam, where he has a Randy Orton style Undertaker rematch that he wins and nobody remembers.
What I think will actually happen: What I want to happen is what I think will actually happen here. There is no way the Undertaker's streak ends. It is as important to him as his dong at this point. The rub is in convincing us that mmmmmmmmaybe there is a chance he will lose. That will happen. At some point I'll go "I don't know, maybe he IS going to win!" but no, he isn't.
Winner: The Undertaker
WWE Championship Match: Batista © vs. John Cena
What I want to happen: Slimmed down, sunglasses Batista in his wife's motorcycle clothes is my very favorite thing about wrestling right now. He is dynamic on the microphone and brings a calm, pointed, but still totally over the top attitude that reminds me more of the Four Horsemen than any of the myriad of people who have tried to be Horsemen since 1986. What I want is for both wrestlers to elevate their in-ring game. I want Batista who shows up to Undertaker matches and I want the Cena who shows up to title gimmick matches. I want them throwing bombs at each other for 22 minutes until Cena makes a passionate mistake and eats a Batista Bomb for the loss. The finish HAS to come down to his "I will never back down" shtick or the build-up has been for nothing. Batista's cooler head has to prevail, and he has to legitimize his championship run.
What I think will actually happen: A really cookie-cutter version of what I typed above. Cena will make a mistake and eat the loss, but any of the emotional or character developmental gravitas will be removed in favor of WHAT DOES THIS MEAN KING and a lot of turnbuckle posed chest-slapping.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
What I want to happen: Holy crap there are a lot of people in this match. If I were booking (and I am not), I'd give this one to Christian, who is the only wrestler in the match not casually weakened by how wrestling works right now. He is a ready-made challenger for Edge, both he and Edge can work heel or face so whatever dynamic you want is available, the matches would be good, and he's worked too hard since returning to not get elevated. He's ready, he's been ready, let's do this thing.
What I think will actually happen: With the Money in the Bank pay-per-view coming up in a few months, this is their one chance to establish that you don't automatically win the world title just because you won the briefcase. Drew McIntyre will win the match in some weaselly way and cash the briefcase in at the worst possible time, possibly right after the Edge/Jericho match. He will be speared (SPEARED, SPEARED) and lose unceremoniously. This will allow him to whine, and will be a good reason to set up the Money in the Bank re-do.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
No Holds Barred: Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
What I want to happen: Bret Hart hits Vince McMahon with big aluminum garbage cans and cookie sheets in his leather jacket for 15 minutes before slapping on the sharpshooter, making Vince tap out, and redeeming himself for his one true ride into the sunset after 12 years of misery and self-defeat.
What I I think will actually happen: Is there any other way to win this? The only thing I'd add is that you know there's going to be a moment where Vince puts Bret in a submission and makes you think he's going to ring the damn bell. He won't, though. Over/under on times Bret falls over like an old man and makes me wish he wasn't going through with this is three.
Winner: Bret Hart
Unified Tag Team Championship Match: ShoMiz © vs. John Morrison and R-Truth
What I want to happen: In a twist of Nathan Jones-style fate, we head backstage early in the show to find that R-Truth has been brutally assaulted! The Miz and Big Show taunt John Morrison about how he's going to have to wrestle his title match alone unless he finds another partner. Morrison finds another partner, and it is American Dragon Daniel Bryan. Miz loses his bowels and Bryan dismantles him in the ring, Regalplexing and MMA elbowing him until he wishes he was back in Parma Ohio buying tickets to Gallagher at the local head shop. Big Show handles the situation, chokeslams some folks, and helps his team retain. But a message has been sent, and not via Twitter where Michael Cole would raise a stink about it.
What I think will actually happen: R-Truth raps before his match. The match goes less than ten minutes, possibly less than five, with Big Show chokeslamming somebody and the champions retaining. Nothing about Daniel Bryan, The Dirt Sheet, or "Gettin' Rowdy" is mentioned. Extra prediction: this gets bumped to "DVD only special feature."
Triple H vs. Sheamus
What I want to happen: Triple H pedigrees and pins Sheamus quickly, and we don't have to think about it anymore.
What I think will actually happen: Triple H is a big fan of littering his Wrestlemania marquee match-ups with long, drawn out periods of stomping. Stomps will be had. I would be willing to bet my life savings on a finish of Sheamus trying his big kick, it being ducked, and Triple H hitting the pedigree. If Sheamus DOES somehow use his workout buddy card to get a Wrestlemania victory over H here, it will result in nothing more than a call of "SHEAMUS, KING" from Michael Cole and a bunch of Vladimir Kozloving from him for the next 12 months.
Winner: Come on, seriously
Triple Threat Match: Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
What I want to happen: This match is built around the idea that one member of Legacy is going to turn on the other. When Randy Orton RKO'd Dusty Rhodes and Cody got up in his grill about it, it was the perfect time for Cody to snap and beat the hell out of Orton, cementing himself as the new young face who has realized that honor and sportsmanship are more important than cheap victories. Wrestlemania is NOT that time. When Ted DiBiase was forced into a match with Orton as punishment and every time Orton stomped him DiBiase would get this look of anger in his eyes, like he was about to flip out and build an entire city grid out of Dreamstreets, it was the perfect time for Ted to snap and beat the hell out of Orton, cementing himself as the new young face who will not be bullied by the heels and will stand up for what is right. Wrestlemania is NOT that time. And then there was the whole thing with Orton kicking Vince in the head and becoming the new Stone Cold for a week before Shane McMahon showed up with his baby punches and ruined everything. I hope this match is quick, and that when I come back from peeing it is over.
What I think will actually happen: Nineteen minutes of stomping, chinlocks, and Irish whips gone awry. Orton gets the pin on whichever member of Legacy turns on the other, because they are not as Viper-like as the Viper Randy Orton.
Winner: Randy Orton
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
What I want to happen: This is what I'm watching Wrestlemania for. Yes, I am THAT guy. Punk/Mysterio always delivers. Their match from Armageddon featuring the world's most gnarly Go To Sleep is one of my favorites, and I expect them to surpass that here. Punk has been an absolute GOD since taking Jeff Hardy too personally and Mysterio has regained his place amongst the best and most influential workers in the world. The story here is that if Mysterio loses, he has to become a member of the Straight Edge Society. That isn't going to happen (at least not yet), and Mysterio will get the win after a long, brutal back and forth match that is everything there is to love about pro graps. Then we do the long rumored Luchas de Apuestas hair vs. mask match at Backlash, or WWE Scheduled For One Fall, or whatever they are calling the post-Mania pay-per-view now.
What I think will actually happen: The match will be good, but it will be over suddenly, and far too quickly. I remember getting excited for a Punk/Umaga match a while back that let me down, so I know now to go in with realistic expectations and hopefully have them blown away. I'm going to put "Serena comes to my house and watches movies with me" in the "what I think will actually happen" section as a show of good faith.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Additional prediction: Keeping with the annual super hero theme, I'm going to say Rey Mysterio will be dressed in a red and yellow Mr. Miracle theme with a big green cape and his arms shackled together. I'm kidding, it'll probably be something boring, like the Punisher. But a man can dream, can't he?
If I get more matches correct than anyone else on FanHouse, I can win a free DVD! Thank goodness nobody else on FanHouse is making Wrestlemania predictions!