Tonight, the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania will commence from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. This is always my favorite time of the year as a sports fan. The baseball season is about to get under way, the NCAA championship game is Monday, the NFL Draft is later in the month and WrestleMania caps the "wrestling season". There are 9 matches set for tonight. Lets take a look at the card.
Carlito and Primo Colon vs. Miz and Morrison in a lumberjack match to unify the Tag Team Championship- Lets face it, the days of solid tag team wrestling have been gone for quite a while now. Legion of Doom, Demolition, Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs and The Rockers are 20 years past their glory. It will be nice to unify the Tag Titles- I never really got why there was two sets of champions to begin with. Miz and Morrison are pretty entertaining, have meshed well as a team and have generated a decent fan base. The Colon brothers are a decent team, but I feel that they need to remain a tag team. On his own, Carlito has failed multiple times and he is more entertaining that Primo is. Morrison might be set to eventually move onto bigger and better things. For that reason I think the Colon brothers will become the unified Tag Team Champions.
JBL vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship- JBL won the Intercontinental title not too long ago from CM Punk. He then said he was going to do something historic at Wrestlemania. Rey Mysterio then challenged him for the title. JBL has been suffering from injuries for quite some time now. Texas is his home state. There have been talks of Mysterio moving back to Smackdown at the upcoming draft to help kick start the Latin viewership that Smackdown has lost since he left. Being that JBL has stated he is going to do something historic I predict that JBL will win the match and retire from active wrestling as the champion. This can then set up a tournament for the IC title which will hopefully bring more prestige to the once great belt.
25 Diva Battle Royal to crown Miss Wrestlemania- This will feature Diva's from the present and the past to crown a Miss Wrestlemania. This match is kind of hard to predict because not all of the Diva's have been announced. Some of the confirmed ladies from the past include Torrie Wilson (my personal favorite), Molly Holly, Sunny and recently retired Victoria. Trish Stratus hasn't been confirmed as in the match so it will be tough to pick her to win. Gail Kim makes her return to the WWE in this match, which could set up a victory for her to strengthen her comeback. The only former Diva that I could see winning is Stratus, who is unconfirmed, so I predict that Beth Phoenix wins the match. She is able to do things in the ring that only Chyna could do before her.
Chris Jericho vs. Legends (Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy Superfly Snuka and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, managed by Ric Flair) in a handicapped match- I feel sorry for Jericho. When this story line started out, Jericho was bashing the movie "The Wrestler" which had just been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar awards. Mickey Rourke portrayed Randy the Ram, an aging wrestler who keeps fighting for one more chance to shine. Jericho then bashed all of the "legends" who stay around the wrestling business far too long after their prime. Each week a new legend would come out and cut a promo with Jericho. We saw good promo's from Flair, Piper, Snuka and of course Jericho himself. I thought that this would lead up to an eventual match of Jericho vs. Hulk Hogan. Hogan was in negotiations to appear but then got back surgery taking him out of a potential match. Then I thought maybe it would set up Jericho vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last evening. That didn't happen either. Instead we get left with Jericho vs. Piper, Snuka and Steamboat. Personally, I would have rather just had Jericho vs. Steamboat. The Legends will win this match with help from Mickey Rourke or other Legends that are stated to be at ringside. This could have been a historic bout, but instead we get this. I feel cheated.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy in an extreme rules match- This match has potential to be a good one. The Hardy's are both pretty exciting risk takers which will lead to a lot of big "spots" in this extreme rules match. The problem is I don't really buy into Matt Hardy as the heel. I think it would have been more successful of a match if Jeff was the one who turned on Matt and not vice versa. Jeff is the bigger star of the two, so I think Jeff Hardy will win the match. Matt will probably make up with his brother before Summer Slam because he isn't a believable heel.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match- the winner gets a contract to fight for any title at anytime. (CM Punk, Shelton Benjamin, Kane, Mark Henry, Finlay, Kofi Kingston, Christian and MVP)- The Money in the Bank is always an exciting match and has become a staple of WrestleMania. Every past winner has eventually went on to cash in the contract and win the title (except for Kennedy who lost the briefcase back to Edge who cashed it in). The winner of this match is usually a young guy that is looking to break into the Main Event scene. CM Punk was last years winner and went on to become champion after beating Edge. This years lineup, however, is different than usual. In my opinion the only three guys who have a realistic chance at winning are Punk, Christian and MVP. Christian's re-debut in WWE has been not too impressive and this may jump start it. Punk is the best all around worker of all of them. MVP had a monumental losing streak for most of 2008 and this could be used to gain him back some momentum he lost. I think Christian will win the match and use it to catapult his comeback.
Shawn Michaels Vs. The Undertaker- These two are both true legends of WrestleMania. The Undertaker has never lost in his 16 WrestleMania matches and Shawn Michaels has wrestled in some of WrestleMania's greatest matches. The build up for this match, in my opinion, has been outstanding. Shawn Michaels has gotten the best of the Undertaker for weeks now and seems to be in the head of the Deadman. This is the match I am looking most forward to. Micheals and the Taker always bring their A game to big events and put on a wonderful show. This will be no different and will probably steal the show. I predict the Undertaker will win and continue his undefeated streak in an amazing match.
Edge vs. Big Show vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Title in a Triple Threat Match- This match is a little odd for me. It was put together strangely with Cena first not being included, and then he was because of a love triangle between Edge, Big Show and Edge's wife Vicki Guerrero. I don't think the Big Show has any chance to win this match, but he will provide a few high impact moves to get crowd reactions. This will come down to Edge vs. Cena. I am pretty sure the only reason the Show is included in this match because we have all seen Edge vs. Cena more times than your favorite Seinfeld episode. My previous prediction of the Money in the Bank match will influence my decision here as I think Edge will retain and set up an eventual feud with his former tag team partner Christian.
HHH vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship- This match has had some exciting buildup to it. From Orton punting Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and DDT'ing and kissing a knocked out Stephanie McMahon (HHH's wife in real life), to HHH breaking into Orton's house and sending him flying through the bay window of his living room. I think this is going to be an exciting match. Expect outside interference from Ted Dibiase, Cody Rhodes, Vince and Shane McMahon. The match could go either way, but I think Randy Orton will come out victorious at the end of the night. To go a little farther in my predictions I predict that it will be Shane McMahon that turns on his brother in law HHH and will join the Legacy. It would be very unusual for two heels to win the Main Event at Mania, but I think it makes the most sense going forward.
There we have it. This is not one of the most exciting WrestleMania cards ever, which is a shame since it is the 25th anniversary. However, it is still Wrestlemania. The performers will bring their A game and I am sure that it will be an entertaining show. Look for Michaels vs. Undertaker to be the match as the night as both of these guys always show up big. Enjoy the show!