This year’s road to Wrestlemania was a bumpy one to say the least. Actually, somewhere on that road the wagon careened onto the side of the road and landed in a ditch. If you’ve been even casually watching WWE programming lately you’ll know that there isn’t a lot to be pumped for outside of Rock vs Cena and Punk vs The Undertaker. The undercard seems as if it’s been thrown together at the last minute. WWE’s flagship show Monday Night Raw is three hours long and is now just a drawn out snooze fest. Also, WWE Smackdown on Friday nights seems more like a chore now than an entertaining program. Nevertheless, this Sunday four hours of pay-per-view television will be dedicated to wrestling’s Superbowl: Wrestlemania XXIX. Luminaries of the past and present will be there, as well as celebrities, and a mass of media from all around the world. Now that the hard to watch buildup is over, we can get on with the show. The following predictions are my very own. I don’t have a magic eight ball, nor am I stricken with fanboyism, or smarkism. I’m just a guy who likes wrestling.
1) Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls vs Team Rhodes Scholars & The Bella Twins
After being a hot tag team for awhile, Team Rhodes Scholars surprisingly broke up recently. Neither man was able to make it in the singles division after the break up, so they decided to get back together. Standing in their way as a fly in the ointment was Tons of Funk, a seemingly thrown together tag team consisting of Brodus Clay and the much maligned Lord Tensai. I have no idea how they got involved in this match. I originally thought the whole feud started after The Bellas and The Funkadactlys had an awkward backstage encounter. Seriously, the reasoning behind this feud is because Nikki and Brie Bella called The Funkadactyls hoochie-mamas, or something. I don’t care. I just want to see Naomi and Cameron, The Funkadactlys do the booty bump after a victory over Nikki and Brie, who have gotten over on them twice now on TV.
Winner: Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls
2) Chris Jericho vs Fandango
Johnny Curtis was a guy who used to appear on WWE Smackdown and would put chips on his shoulder and pour milk all over his head. Then he went away and we never heard from him again. A year and a half later he returns in a series of really weird video packages that said he was Fabulous, Angelic, Noble, Dapper, Astonishing, Naughty, Graceful, Opulent, and Outstanding. Fandangoo was his name! The video would feature Salsa music and a silhouette of Johnny Curtis dancing by himself. Then he would whimsically utter the phrase “mind if I… cut in?” Then the extra O was dropped and he eventually appeared on WWE programming with sparkly clothing, elaborate staging and a beautiful dance partner. Also, he wouldn’t wrestle until someone said his name “correctly.” This still hasn’t happened. He’s since gone on to antagonize a number of WWE superstars including Chris Jericho, who came back at the Royal Rumble to finish off his feud from 2012 with Dolph Ziggler. The buildup for this match was actually done nicely, with Fandango coming out and dropping an amazing top rope leg drop onto a fallen Chris Jericho on television. I can’t wait to see what happens on Sunday as Fandango tries his usual shtick of not wrestling until someone says his name right. While Chris Jericho has been in the business of losing to help push young talent lately, I believe that he’s not gonna lose to a guy like Fandango, especially not at the biggest show of the year.
Winner: Chris Jericho.
3) Brock Lesnar vs Triple H (No Holds Barred. If Triple H loses he retires forever)
Last year, Brock Lesnar returned to wrestling after having a nice career in the UFC. In his first outing he lost to John Cena. In his second match he “broke” Triple H’s arm in a victory at Summer Slam. Then he went away and we never saw him again. This year he has returned and the rematch has been signed. Triple H, defending his family’s honor after Brock F5’ed Vince McMahon, and his manager, Paul Heyman, cracked jokes about his wife Stephanie McMahon and their children. Triple H was duped into accepting the “win or retire” stipulation, when Brock said he would not agree to the match unless he was allowed to pick any stipulation he wanted. Brock Lesnar is a monster. Triple H is the knight in shining armor who is looking to destroy the monster. Smart money would be for WWE to allow Brock to destroy Triple H again so that he can further his gimmick of being an indestructible monster. In the past Brock Lesnar has had clean victories off big names like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Goldberg. He’s the big scary monster under the bed that we all feared. He would cease to be that monster if Triple H was allowed to beat him and then leave anyway since he is not an active wrestler. Really, the stipulation makes no sense if you look at it that way. You’re forcing a guy who doesn’t wrestle on a consistent basis to retire if he loses. However, Triple H is The Game. He needs to get revenge on the guy who broke his arm, beat up all of his friends, and whose manager took verbal pot shots at his wife and kids on television.
Winner: Triple H.
4) Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston (Tag Team Championship)
Kane and Daniel Bryan have held the WWE Tag Team Championship belts for a very long time. Their gimmick of “we don’t trust each other, we fight all the time, but we have each other’s back,” hasn’t really been utilized much in the buildup to this match. The only factor in this match for Kane, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler is AJ Lee. Big E. Langston just happens to be there. There is no real reason for Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler to be winning the tag team titles at this moment. The only way I can see this happening is if AJ does in fact get to face Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship later in the evening and she wins. Then this oddball group can have a plethora of belts if Dolph does in fact cash in his briefcase and wins the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. There has been talking of turning Ziggler into a good guy. In my opinion that can happen with a really cool swerve of Big E. turning on Dolph and stealing AJ Lee from him. Then he cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase and wins. It’s an interesting concept. I doubt it will happen. I just don’t see why they’d need to have Ziggler and Langston as the tag title holders.
Winner: Team Hell No.
5) Ryback vs Mark Henry
Ryback is a monster who became super popular very quickly. His meteoric rise to stardom is quite baffling to say the least. Mark Henry is an industry stalwart who has been a consistent name with the WWE for a very long time. Henry recently came back after being gone for a very long time. The once foolish big guy became a monster and cemented his place in the company after winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions in 2011. The feud is silly; Henry and Ryback have been one upping each other during the build up, throwing around guys like Santino and Heath Slater since their match was announced. There was even a weightlifting competition that happened, or didn’t happen, according to the record books. A stipulation was added that said that neither man could touch each other before the match. All of this serves as the backdrop for a very strange and subtle feud between Smackdown General Manager Booker T and his assistant Theodore Long. Hopefully we see Teddy Long cost Ryback the match and return to the wonderful world of managing by aligning himself with Mark Henry.
Winner: Mark Henry
6) Sheamus, Randy Orton, Big Show vs The Shield
The Shield debuted at Survivor Series 2011 as mercenaries who helped CM Punk retain his championship. Since then they’ve come out and beaten guys up in the name of “justice.” Then they started having matches and as of this writing are undefeated as a team. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are the classic bad guys who must be stopped. Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show are the classic “we can’t trust each other, how can we work as a unit?” type of team. This trio is going up against the unstoppable force that is The Shield. Unless WWE is ready to push Sheamus, Show and Orton again as headliners It seems like business as usual for everyone.
Winner: The Shield
7) The Undertaker vs CM Punk
After CM Punk exhausted his feud with The Rock he went on to win a match that earned him the opportunity to wrestle The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. It looked to be another rendition of “you will lose your Wrestlemania streak.” No one expected Paul Bearer to pass away. With the blessing of Paul Bearer’s family, CM Punk went on with a build up that mocked the memory of Paul Bearer in the most disrespectful ways. The most disgusting exhibition occurred at the go-home Raw when Paul Heyman dressed up as Paul Bearer, and CM Punk attacked The Undertaker, opening up his famous urn and then dumping the contents, which we were lead to believe were the ashes of Paul Bearer, all over The Undertaker. The whole thing is shocking and appalling. Thus, we all know that The Undertaker is going to get revenge on CM Punk for doing these despicable things to him and his former mentor.
Winner: The Undertaker
8) Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger (World Heavyweight Championship)
Jack Swagger isn’t the greatest talker on the microphone. WWE knows this, so after Swagger earned a title shot at Elimination Chamber, they brought in Dutch Mantel to be his mouthpiece. In a company that is no stranger to controversy, Mantel, who has returned to his old Uncle Zeb gimmick, has gone on racist and xenophobic rants on television. The whole thing was enough to draw the ire of the Tea Party and Glen Beck. Zeb and Swagger have said plenty to Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez regarding his people and that illegals shouldn’t be in this country. Stopping short of pouring a pot of beans on Alberto, Zeb and Swagger are holding nothing back. The two even attacked Del Rio with Ricardo Rodriguez’s crutches, which he had to wear after Swagger broke his ankle. This resulted in real welts and scars all over Del Rio’s back. The bad guy never wins in this situation. That is, unless it’s done only so that Dolph Ziggler can cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase immediately and win the belt from Jack Swagger. Nevertheless, this is fantasy booking and has a slim chance of actually happening.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
P. Diddy performs.
Winner: Nobody. We all lose.
AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn isn’t officially signed as a Wrestlemania match. However, it could still happen. Look for that to happen, and if it does AJ will take the victory. Also Wade Barrett vs The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship during the pre-show. This match just doesn’t seem interesting at all. The Miz will win, only because Barrett has grown stagnant and isn’t doing anything with the IC Title at all.
9) John Cena vs The Rock (WWE Championship)
Last year we were fooled with “Once in a Lifetime.” This year it’s Greatness vs Redemption. Cena claims to have had a crappy year in the WWE since The Rock beat him. Now he is looking for redemption at Wrestlemania. Unless lightning strikes the stadium, this is going to go exactly as expected with the guy seeking redemption getting redemption.
Winner: John Cena