WrestleMania 27 takes place this Sunday in one of pro wrestling’s most historic cities, Atlanta, GA. I think this year’s event can be summed up in two words, The Rock. The WWE will provide a nice supporting cast but at the end of the day the success of WrestleMania rests on the People’s Champion.
The WrestleMania 27 card is a mixed bag to say the least. The usual championship matches will headline the event, sprinkled with a nice dose of The Undertaker, and a gimmick match that is arguably the most anticipated match on the show. Nine big matches and two of the greatest WWE superstars of the Attitude Era will live up to a legacy started back in 1985 at Madison Square Garden.
The Undertaker is the only “Mr. WrestleMania” left in the WWE who will be wrestling on this year’s event. Other WrestleMania legends such as Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, and Kurt Angle are either retired or busy working for the competition. Will anyone step up Sunday and write the first chapter a new legacy in WrestleMania history? Let’s take a look at the big matches on the card and find out.
John Cena has a new foe this year in The Miz. John Cena vs. The Miz may be the most underwhelming WWE championship main-event in the history of WrestleMania. The Miz has probably looked worse since winning the WWE title than any other world champion in WWE history. At this point, The Miz is an afterthought and fans are focused on John Cena vs. The Rock.
I think it is a given that the WrestleMania 27 Guest Host plays a part in the finish of this match. I think we see a ref bump and The Rock hits the ring. The Rock teases helping Cena but instead delivers a Rock Bottom heard around the world. The Miz covers Cena, retains the title, and WWE fans are one step closer to seeing the real main-event which is Cena vs. Rock.
Keep in mind that The Rock is booked live on Monday’s RAW. Some think that The Rock could walk away with the title Sunday in an impromptu match ala: Hogan vs. Yokozuna and drop the belt on Monday. I don’t see that, but I can guarandamntee that the Brahma Bull makes his presence known in this match.
WWE World Championship: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio. The once red hot Del Rio has started to fizzle a bit in recent weeks. The brilliant WWE creative team on SmackDown has followed the pattern on RAW of burying your new top star by having Christian beat Alberto Del Rio the last several weeks on television. Unfortunately for Del Rio fans like me, this one has lost some luster.
Did you know… that Edge has wrestled in a WWE world championship match in the last three WrestleMania events (27 included)? I smell a pattern here.
I think we can all predict a Christian heel turn here. The timing is right and fans have been anxious for a Christian push for the last two years. Since I believe that The Miz will retain his title at WrestleMania (he’d be the first guy since Randy Orton at WrestleMania 24 to do so against John Cena), I think Del Rio goes over in this one. I just hope he gets booked on SmackDown better than the former Real World gone champion has been booked on RAW. I’d say it can’t be much worse but we all know that it could.
No Holds Barred: The Undertaker vs. Triple H. This is an odd match to say the least. I love the matchup but the storyline isn’t doing it for me. For those of you that missed it, nothing else in the WWE matters to Triple H other than ending The Undertaker’s streak. The Undertaker really has nothing to gain here and everything to lose. How we got here is still something I am scratching my head over.
Once you get past the cheesy storyline leading up to the match I think you have a fun match on your hands. These guys tore the house down at WrestleMania X-Seven and had one of the best arena brawls in WrestleMania history. Unfortunately that was 10 years ago, they were in their primes, and heck of a lot younger. Even still, I am expecting great things from these two.
The Undertaker has stepped up his game the last few years and has had a consistent series of great WrestleMania matches. Matches against Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Batista were arguably all show stealers. He faces an opponent who isn’t as quick or youthful as those guys, so having a WrestleMania classic certainly won’t be easy.
As great a WWE career as Triple H has had, his WrestleMania legacy isn’t very good. He really hasn’t had that WrestleMania classic you would expect from someone who has been in so many WrestleMania main-events. Sure, he has had some good matches but I can’t recall him ever having any show stealers. In looking back I tend to think that the WrestleMania X-Seven match against The Undertaker was probably his best. The last nine years have certainly been inconsistent for the WWE heir apparent.
At the end of the day I think these guys will probably put more pressure on themselves than anyone else in the company will. Triple H doesn’t want to be the guy that snaps a great string of matches for The Undertaker. The Undertaker certainly doesn’t want anything less than a show stealer after his last two vs. Shawn Michaels. I predict that these guys steal the show and bring back the WrestleMania X-7 moment which saw The Undertaker chokeslam Triple H seven feet off of the production area. I also expect to see a sledgehammer or two at WrestleMania 27.
So who goes over? Triple H said on the True Story of WrestleMania DVD that “the streak should never be broken.” Does he really mean it? I think this whole match is just the first step in a thirteen month angle that will climax with Triple H putting up his career against The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania 28. With that said, I look for The Undertaker to end Triple H’s two Mania win streak and beat the Game.
Special Guest Referee Stone Cold Steve Austin: Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole with Jack Swagger. For about two weeks the Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler segments on RAW did higher ratings than John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker, and yes even The Rock. Believe it or not more people were interested in this wacky storyline for a few weeks than anything else on WrestleMania 27 and rightfully so because the build up for this match has been simply awesome.
The WWE gets a lot of criticism for what many call short-term booking. Yet every once in a while they will luck into an angle at the right time which can be carried for almost a year and the heel Michael Cole is exactly that angle. I can’t believe that almost a year ago when Michael Cole started doing heel commentary that the plan from day one was to have him wrestle the King at WrestleMania 27. However, something happened and the worlds aligned for a variety of reasons to make this match and give fans one of the most entertaining feuds in recent memory.
Steve Austin will return to his role as WrestleMania special guest referee which he has played to critical acclaim several times before. Austin is a nice touch to this match but honestly, I almost think he detracts from it. Lawler and Cole on their own was enough in my opinion to create a dramatic and compelling match. At the same time I’ll never complain about seeing Steve Austin open up a can of you know what at WrestleMania.
Jerry Lawler has wrestled these kinds of matches against non-wrestlers dozens of times during the peak of his career in Memphis, TN. Whether it was Andy Kaufman or Jimmy Hart, Lawler always knew how to make these matches work. I have faith that the King can do it again. I don’t think that these guys will steal the show, but I do think they have the potential to deliver one of the most entertaining matches at WrestleMania.
Two weeks ago I would have predicted a Michael Cole win. After Cole’s poor choice of tweet last week I think he has tweeted himself into Vince McMahon’s dog house. I think Lawler wins with a piledriver and Cole takes a short hiatus. I can’t imagine Austin not playing some kind of role in the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jim Ross make some kind of appearance that ends with him cold cocking Cole as his buddy Stone Cole turns a blind eye and allows Lawler to cover him for the win.
The WWE creative team tends to struggle with putting Punk in good spots throughout the year, yet they always seem to get behind him during the WrestleMania time. Punk also could use a good rebound from the generous six minute afterthought he had last year against Rey Mysterio and for him, Randy Orton is the perfect opponent.
This match has the potential to be very good. It really all comes down to the WWE and how much time they are given. Neither one of these guys got over ten minutes last year for their matches. It is imperative that they are given 15-20 to make this one work although I can’t see that happening.
I think CM Punk takes the win in this one. For many years WrestleMania was the culmination of a year’s worth stories. Today, WrestleMania is actually the start for the spring/summer WWE storylines. Most WrestleMania matches get two-four pay-per-view rematches by the time SummerSlam is over. I see this as being one of those long summer feuds. There is no need for the babyface to go over in this one if they are coming back with more matches. However, in the fun world of WWE politics, an Orton win wouldn’t surprise me.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes. This is a match that I am really looking forward to. Last year when everyone was predicting greatness for Ted DiBiase during the Legacy breakup, I was singing the praises of Cody Rhodes on the Still Real to Us podcast and Pro Wrestling Radio. I still believe he has great potential and there isn’t a better opponent to get the best out of him than Rey Mysterio.
Unfortunately Rey Mysterio has really underwhelmed the last few years at WrestleMania. He has had good matches on paper that just haven’t lived up to expectations in the ring. Since Rey went to management and asked to wrestle Cody here I’d expect him to come up with something good. I would also not be surprised to see Cody pull out a win so I am going with the grandson of a plumber in this one.
United States Championship: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan. One year ago Sheamus walked into WrestleMania and had a fun brawl with Triple H. Unfortunately his career has gone downhill fast since the night after Mania in which he laid out the Game. If the last year hasn’t been a humbling experience for the U.S. champion I don’t think anything ever will.
I think it is fair to say that Daniel Bryan doesn’t deliver bad matches. I am expecting a big WWE career out of Daniel Bryan and it all starts at WrestleMania. With the support of the front office, Bryan at 29 has the potential to carve out a WrestleMania legacy to rival his trainer Shawn Michaels. Having anything less than a stellar WrestleMania debut won’t do it and could set back the former ROH champion a few years.
I think that these guys have a real fun match. I like what they have done over the last few weeks on RAW. Unfortunately I’d be surprised to see them get more than six minutes which will definitely preclude them from offering any kind of WrestleMania classic. Sheamus has gone over the last few weeks which makes me believe that Daniel Bryan regains the title in this one.
The Full WrestleMania 27 lineup
Edge (with Christian) vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Brodus Clay) – World Heavyweight Championship
The Miz vs. John Cena – WWE Championship
Triple H vs. The Undertaker – No Holds Barred match
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) with special guest referee Steve Austin[
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
Trish Stratus, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) (with Vickie Guerrero)
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan - United States Championship
Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella, and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre (Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater)
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