I’ll be updating this post later in the day as I’ll be at work and can’t watch the show live unfortunately.
There’s no doubting that the WWE is a very different product nowadays than what it was in the Attitude era. PG-rated, banned chairshots, stoppages for bleeding in matches…its actually quite refreshing to see the product being a little less scummy for a change. And one change I think they’ve really built upon in the last few years is making Wrestlemania a really polished Superbowl style ambassador for the product as a whole. They’ve got a pretty successful formula now for the range of matches, which cover special attraction matches (Bret v Vince), gimmick matches (Money in the Bank) and title bouts. Like everyone else, I’m really looking forward to the two special attraction matches this year, Bret vs Vince and Taker vs Shawn II, but the card as a whole looks pretty good.
Here’s a rundown with some predictions.
Womens Battle Royal
Hopefully better than last years schmozzle where it wasn’t really clear who all the participants were. I’m picking Beth Phoenix for the win.
Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes vs Ted Dibiase
They kinda ballsed up the build to this feud. The two rookies, Rhodes and Dibiase, have generally looked like chumps and the crowd appear to firmly side with Orton even though he’s generally acted rather heel-ish throughout. I guess Orton goes over here and then everyone goes their own way from here?
Showmiz vs Morrison & R-Truth
Big Show looks so chuffed to be at Mania in that photo. All four participants have had a pretty good year, particularly Miz who I don’t think anyone really gave a shit about a couple of years ago. I think there’s more than ShowMiz can do with the belts against other teams so I’m hoping they retain.
CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio
Could actually be one of the better matches of the night if its given a bit of time. Punk is one of my favourites so I’ll definitely be rooting for him against Mysterio in this one. Bonus points if he wins via blatant cheating. No pointing have a stable with two followers if you’re not going to use them, right?
Triple H vs Sheamus
Rather unexpectedly, 2009 gave us Sheamus, the big pasty Irish guy, who has been booked more or less as Brock Lesnar 2K10, winning the World Heavyweight title in his first attempt, after only a couple of months on RAW. He’s also had some clean wins over the bigger stars in the company already. This match will probably give us a pretty big indication of whether the company continues to have him as a main event fixture or whether he’ll lose that momentum. A win isn’t essential here but it’ll be interesting to see how he fares. I’m calling a win for Triple H here personally. Generally a safe bet (although he does have a crap Mania record).
Money In the Bank
Don’t care who wins, really. Well, maybe cheering a bit for Swagger or Kofi. Just looking forward to the annual Shelton Benjamin Spotfest and I’m hoping Evan Bourne does a couple of moves for the highlight reel too.
DAVE Batista vs John Cena
Batista has been quite entertaining since he turned heel, having cut some pretty sweet promos on Cena. Also, their last bout a couple of years ago at Summerslam was pretty decent. Here’s hoping we get more of the same. I go with Cena getting the win here.
Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon
Twelve goddamn years in the making! The only way this can end is Bret sharpshootering Vince in the middle of the ring. Although if they do another screwjob on Bret it would be hilarious.
Chris Jericho vs Speary McSpear Spear
Its pretty sweet to see Jericho in the main event title bout at Wrestlemania as his last one years ago against Triple H was complete crap. Hopefully he can eek out a win here against Edge but I’m not holding my breath.
Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels II – Streak vs Career
They had one of the best matches in Mania history last year. This time they’re upping the stakes in the rematch with Shawn announcing that he’d retire if he didn’t break Undertaker’s undefeated streak (17-0 going in). Regardless of what happens, it should be a huge sendoff for two guys in the twilight of their career. Strangely enough, I find myself wanting Shawn to win but I’m pretty sure Taker will retire him here. Jim Ross twittered that this match will go on last. It’s gonna be amazing (hopefully).
Final Verdict: Show was a little bit so-so. There was some rather blah matches that were too short or didn’t really have a whole lot too them (tag matches, Legacy match, divas) and Bret vs Vince was aaaaabsolutely beyond terrible. On the other hand Taker/Shawn II really delivered, Jericho retained in a World title match, Punk/Rey was fun and Money In The Bank gave us Kofi On Stilts. So overall, lets call it even.