Spring is here and it brings pastel eggs, flowers, and rainbows. Oh, and suplexes, DDTs and chokeslams at the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania. This year they are celebrating the twenty-fourth edition of the over-the-top wrestling special in Orlando, Florida.
The card for the show doesn’t seem quite as spectacular as shows they’ve had in the past. Perhaps they’re saving their extra special ideas for the 25th anniversary show next year, or perhaps they just don’t have the same level of talent. Or I just don’t get the same entertainment from these guys as a whole than I did from the guys a few years ago. Anyway, let’s get on with the predictions.
24-Man Battle Royal – Winner faces ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero
This is the ‘we want to give these guys something to do but we don’t really have anything else’ match. I think the four guys with the best chance of winning this are Tommy Dreamer, Hardcore Holly, Kane, and Jamie Noble. Dreamer is always a good choice to go up against ECW bad guys whether he beats them or not. Holly has the respect from the fans and also would be a good guy to throw up against a hated champion. Kane has to have a legitimate chance, as he’s been involved in matches with ECW wrestlers for the past couple months. Noble has just turned face again during a feud with Chuck Palumbo and deserves the boost of a run at the title.
Who Should Win: Jamie Noble
Who Will Win: Any of those previous four would have a good match with Champion Chavo Guerrero.
‘Playboy’ BunnyMania Lumberjack Match featuring Snoop Dogg – Ashley & Maria vs. ‘The Glamazon’ Beth Phoenix & Melina
A women’s Lumberjack match should make this interesting, as will the inclusion of Snoop Dogg. Champion Beth Phoenix will probably destroy whoever is in the ring with her, but I think Maria is going to get the win, since it is a Playboy match, and she’s on the cover this month. The next contender for Beth’s championship will probably come out of this match, I’m guessing Ashley. I’m also predicting that at least four girls will have their costumes ripped off. Snoop will get smothered by boobs.
Who Should Win: Maria
Who Will Win: Maria
Belfast Brawl – Fit Finlay vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
It has been revealed that Fit Finlay is the real father of Hornswoggle, not Vince McMahon. JBL put the little leprechaun in the hospital and Finlay wants to hurt him for it. I hope they take this fight all over the arena; through the stands, past the merch tables and into the bathrooms. It will probably be bloody and both men will expend themselves. JBL might be working on a way to trick his opponent, but Finlay isn’t dumb. I expect he will drag JBL into a trap of his own so a little short man can pull off a splash and set JBL up for the losing side of a 1-2-3 count, end of feud. Finlay takes Hornswoggle home for good to retire the angle, and JBL finds someone else to pick on until he’s ready for one last championship chase.
Who Should Win: Finlay
Who Will Win: Finlay
SmackDown vs. Raw: Batista vs. Umaga
I don’t really care much about this match, or maybe I just don’t care much for Batista or Umaga. Batista came back from his time off a little too close to Wrestlemania, so they are using this match to give him a decisive victory over a ‘monster’ and propel him directly to the championship level again. Umaga could probably use the rub of a win better than Batista, however.
Who Should Win: Umaga
Who Will Win: Batista
Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Mr. Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match is one of the best gimmick matches that the WWE has come up with in the past few years. The winner of the match not only beats six other near-main eventers, but they constantly remind everyone of that fact by carrying around a briefcase containing their contract. One of the neat things about the contract is that it is good for the next year, so the WWE doesn’t have to immediately send the winner into a championship match. They can wait until the time is right and spring it on us at the most surprising moments. Out of the contenders, I think only two have a legit chance: Mr. Kennedy and Chris Jericho. The others aren’t quite up to the task of going up against a world champion just yet. But that’s part of what makes this gimmick great. If the WWE has a good plan, they could pick any of these guys, and baring an injury, push them to a believable position so they can use their title shot. However, at the moment it’s Kennedy and Jericho. Based on what I heard WWE wanted to do with Kennedy last year, I think he’s the winner here. He’s very entertaining both on the mic and in the ring and I think he is the type of wrestler that can be on the top for many years to come. Jericho just came back from a long layoff and needs a few more months before getting a legit title shot.
Who Should Win: Mr. Kennedy
Who Will Win: Mr. Kennedy
Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels (Career Threatening Match)
Flair’s career is on the line here. The next match he loses will be his last. I really like this angle. I don’t know where they are heading with it, but as long as he loses to someone who uses the rub to take themselves to the highest level of the sport, I’m fine with it. Shawn Michaels, however, is not the right person to end Flair’s career. Michaels already made his name and doesn’t need anyone or anything to make him a legit challenger to a title, so I don’t see him going over Flair here. It’s probably Flair’s last Wrestlemania as a wrestler and beating someone of the caliber of Shawn Micheals is special. Flair will lose before the end of 2008, but it won’t be here.
Who Should Win: Ric Flair
Who Will Win: Ric Flair
Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Big Show
A few years ago, Vince McMahon said that they didn’t need to bring in stars from other places anymore to get people to watch Wrestlemania; the wrestlers were the superstars. I guess the current batch of superstars aren’t so super, so they brought in welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather. He’s entered into a feud with 400-pounder Big Show, who is returning after 100 pounds and 14 month away from the ring. Mayweather has brought a little bit of extra attention to Wrestlemania, but not nearly the amount that Mike Tyson did a decade ago. The funny thing about this match is that the crowd doesn’t seem to care much for Mayweather. Maybe it’s his ‘I’m the greatest’ attitude, or the fact that he’s an outsider, but I think this was a waste of cash by the WWE to bring him in. Big Show trained to become a boxer at within this past year, but I guess he thought better of it and came back to the wrestling. If Big Show doesn’t win then his returning momentum is stunted and he’ll have to fight harder to get it back over the next few months.
Who Should Win: Big Show
Who Will Win: Floyd Mayweather
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Undertaker
Undertaker has a 15 and 0 record at Wrestlemania. If this were last year, I would say that Edge had a shot at the win and could use it to vault up the company ladder. Since last year, however, he’s won the title twice. The first time was from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract for a match with the Undertaker in his weakened state right after a draw against Batista. I think he’s a good main event heel and can get a title shot later on this year without having to prove himself. Undertaker is nearing the end of his career and will probably get one last title run before calling it quits next year at Wrestlemania 25, not to mention getting his revenge.
Who Should Win: Undertaker
Who Will Win: Undertaker
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton
This match is the hardest to predict, and that’s probably how the WWE wants it. Each one of these guys has been able to one-up the other two over the past three weeks. Triple H doesn’t really need a title right now. He is better used building up some young stars and I think a belt would hinder that. The young stars don’t have a legit reason to be going after the belt yet so it’s easier if he doesn’t have it. Randy Orton is a good heel champion. I don’t think he’s fully solidified himself as a perennial championship contender just yet and it would do him good to hold onto the belt for awhile longer and perhaps take on some challengers who haven’t been at the top yet. John Cena still gets a pretty split reaction from the crowd. Half the people like him and half the people hate him. As long as the crown hates to love someone more than they love to hate Cena, he’ll be ok. Giving him the belt won’t do him any good as I think being the underdog helps him more than holding the belt will in the crowd’s eyes. Knowing the WWE though, they’ll give the belt to Cena because they like shoving him down our throats to prove that they know what is best for us.
Who Should Win: Randy Orton
Who Will Win: John Cena
We’ll check back in next week to see how my predictions fared.