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Early WWE WrestleMania 28 card predictions (March 2012) – Inside The Wheelhouse

WrestleMania 28 predictionsWe are roughly four weeks away from WrestleMania 28 and this is the latest & final installment of my WrestleMania 28 predictions blog series that I have done every month since December 2011. While some matches have been confirmed, there are still a slew of undercard matches waiting to fill out the biggest night in professional wrestling. With that being said let’s look at my latest WrestleMania 28 predictions for March 2012:

The Rock vs. John Cena (confirmed)

Like I have said every month since December, this match was official the day after WrestleMania 27 so there is nothing really to predict. If there is anything to be discussed about this match it will be the intrigue to the build up of April 1st, 2012 in Miami, Florida. I must admit that I had my quorums about how this match would be built and thus far the WWE has done a great job getting people pumped for this WrestleMania “dream match.”

The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell) (confirmed)

This was one match I have predicted successfully since the very first blog back in December. It’s not something that I went out on a limb to do since it was a foregone conclusion that these two would meet since the way the WrestleMania 27 match ended. I had a feeling there would be someone big involved in this match (initially I thought it would be Steve Austin last year, then I thought it would be Brock Lesnar) and it looks like they will go that route with Shawn Michaels there in some capacity. I’m not a big fan of this match being in a hell in a cell but I can understand the WWE wanted to bring more “gimmick intrigue” to the match.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk (c) (For WWE Championship) (confirmed)

Just like The Undertaker/Triple H match this is another one I’m glad to say I got right and just like Undertaker/Triple H it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Sure there were moments where it was thought of that Jericho may not be returning to the WWE after all but once he did everyone all knew it was looking more & more like Jericho/Punk come WrestleMania time. This match may be the best “wrestling” match on the card come “the day after WrestleMania 28” and we all “Monday morning quarterback the event.” I only say “may” because of the next match that has been confirmed.

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (c) (For World Heavyweight Championship) (confirmed)

How great of a story is this match? A year ago these two wrestlers were left off of the main show of WrestleMania 27, secluded to a DVD dark match (which ended up being a battle royal won by The Great Khali) and now they are one of the main event matches, a World Title match mind you, at WrestleMania 27. This story was too good to be true that after the December 2011 predictions blog I didn’t see anyway that Daniel Bryan could be the World Champion come WrestleMania. I didn’t think it could happen because I never got the feeling that the WWE was fully behind him as a wrestler just yet, thankfully my suspicious were proven to be false and these two guys should put on a great show in Miami, Florida come April 1st.

The Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes (c) (For WWE Intercontinental Championship) (confirmed)

Here is a match I never got right and never saw coming to be honest. To me I saw The Big Show wrestling Shaquille O’Neal, which has been rumored for sometime and makes sense for that “celebrity match” the WWE tends to have at WrestleMania. But as for Cody Rhodes I saw him wrestling Goldust (January blog) and then predicted Mick Foley (February blog). Reason being is because this guy really reminds me of a younger Randy Orton, the paths are very similar and having Rhodes beat “legends” makes a lot of sense to me to help make him into a bigger star. Rhodes is a future main eventer in the WWE and I’ll be interested to see where this match goes leading up to WrestleMania 28.

Team Teddy Long: Randy Orton, Santino Marella, Shaquille O’Neal & The Great Khali vs. Team John Laurinaitis: Kane, David Otunga, Mark Henry & Alberto Del Rio (Winner controls both RAW and Smackdown!)

Now this is where my predictions start to get interesting and I tend to whip out the ol’ “bold predictions” card. I think a lot of people believe (as they should) that as of right now Kane vs. Randy Orton is the more likely choice then this one on the card. The only problem is if they do that then the whole Teddy Long/John Laurinaitis feud lacks star power as I believe these two won’t actually wrestle one another but will have a team of wrestlers represent them.

Randy Orton is the only available “face” option left to really give this match star power and even it out for a Teddy Long/John Laurinaitis team battle. I’ve also added Santino Marella since he is Teddy Long’s Assistant and The Great Khali to even it out since it appeared that since the WWE brought Khali back in January that the point was to have him at WrestleMania. But the catch in this whole thing is adding Shaquille O’Neal to the mix.

Shaq gives the WWE that “celebrity match” and also protects Shaq (and the WWE) from having him look poorly in the ring if it was a one-on-one match (as the rumored Big Show match was supposed to be). The WWE did this last year with Snooki and it worked really well & made her look good for just a 10 second span. It was enough to get the “sportscenter/entertainment tonight etc.” moment and that’s what WWE tries to do every year. Despite recent reports I still believe Shaq will be involved somehow at WrestleMania since the WWE loves to include celebs to event and this match would be perfect for him in my opinion.

As for “Team John Laurinaitis” there are no real surprises as Kane makes sense due to the current Randy Orton feud, Mark Henry & Alberto Del Rio accompanied John Laurinaitis in his bid to be the general manager for both shows at Elimination Chamber (I believe the WWE will still hold Christian out so he gets a “face” reaction at the Hall of Fame ceremony when he inducts Edge) and David Otunga, like Santino Marella to Teddy Long, is John Laurinaitis’ “right hand man.” It’s a bold prediction right now but one that I like making.

Zack Ryder & Kelly Kelly vs. Eve Torres & The Miz

We are starting to see the seeds planted for this match right now when it comes to Zack Ryder, Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres the last couple of weeks on television. As for The Miz there is no indication whatsoever that he will be involved in this match right now. But to me it makes perfect sense as the long standing rumor has been that Eve will be paired up with a heel when she turns heel and since Kane (who made the most sense) appears to be involved in another feud, a pairing of The Miz (last good heel left not on the WWE roster) would be my best guess right now.

The Miz has been complaining on recent weeks that he will be on the WrestleMania 28 card “at all costs.” The storyline is quite interesting if you ask me as he will do anything to get on the card and taking out a wrestler like Zack Ryder (when he returns) would be some decent stuff. The Miz can look at the situation as Zack Ryder doesn’t deserve to be at ‘Mania or the success Ryder had in the recent year has overshadowed The Miz’s success which could lead to this inter-gender pairing.

I have a tough time believing that the WWE would leave both The Miz and Zack Ryder off of WrestleMania 28 this year & I don’t think the WWE would give us Eve vs. Kelly Kelly at WrestleMania either. This match makes a lot of sense to me right now and actually has some good build-up right now. The Miz and Zack Ryder have been two internet darlings the last couple of years so seeing them battle on the biggest stage may make a lot of fans happy. It also makes Zack Ryder a believable star in my opinion to be in the ring with someone who has headlined a WrestleMania (believe it or not) in The Miz.

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger vs. Primo & Epico (c) (For WWE Tag Team Championship)

I really hope the WWE makes this match happen at WrestleMania because I love tag team wrestling and would love to see the Tag Team title defended at WrestleMania since it really hasn’t consistently in quite a while. Similar to the Intercontinental Championship (which hasn’t been defended at WrestleMania since WM 25), I believe the Tag Team Championship should be defended at WrestleMania as well. The last time the Tag Team titles were defended at WrestleMania was WM 26 & prior to that it was WM 20.

The WWE has done a pretty good job of building this match in recent weeks and making the Tag Team championship valuable again, something they haven’t done in quite a while. The three tag teams in this match are filled with tremendous wrestlers and I believe they certainly will deliver a great tag team match for the fans in Miami. While I like the participants and the fact that there is a good chance right now that the Tag Titles will be defended at WrestleMania there is some drawback to this match.

First off Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston would be two of my top picks to win a “Money in the Bank” match had there been one at this year’s event. They are two top young stars and could have really used the “Money in the Bank” publicity. Also while Ziggler & Swagger are somewhat of a team, Kofi & R-Truth were just paired recently which takes something out of this match in my opinion. They are great wrestlers no doubt but I believe fans really enjoy seeing teams paired together consistently perform, obviously that would’ve been a different story had Evan Bourne not been suspended again.

As for Epico & Primo I just don’t believe the fans can take this team seriously. While they are Tag Team Champions they really haven’t been focused on television all that much and don’t bring the same “star power” as the other four wrestlers. Had they been given a little bit more build this match could prove to be good prior to WrestleMania. Either way, I shouldn’t really complain since it appears Tag Team wrestling is returning to WrestleMania 28 and I wouldn’t be shocked that if this match surprises everyone & steals the show if given a decent amount of time.

Kharma vs. Beth Phoenix (c) (For WWE Divas Championship)

I feel like you can put this prediction in the same category as the predictions on made early on about Triple vs. The Undertaker and Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk. None of us will be surprised to see this one happen at WrestleMania but we would be shocked if it doesn’t. I think the only thing holding back this match currently is the health of Kharma.

Since Kharma returned at the Royal Rumble we have not seen her perform on RAW or Smackdown, which is concerning given that she did recently become a mother and her health is very important to her performance. Hopefully everything is all “good to go” for her in the coming weeks where she can start building to a match with Beth Phoenix. I think this is quite possibly the only female “dream match” that fans want to see and having it at WrestleMania does give a women’s match (which at WrestleMania in recent history is a after thought) a “big match” feel to it.

Another thing that the WWE will hopefully start doing soon is giving Beth Phoenix more of a “push” on television. Having the Divas Champion secluded to Superstars and not RAW or Smackdown doesn’t help her WrestleMania stock. It’s also not a good thing when Eve and Kelly Kelly are getting more television time then the Champion. I personally think they have held Beth Phoenix off from TV until they know Kharma is medically cleared which will hopefully be soon since this match looks to be a good one.

Now that the predictions series blog is in the books check out my WrestleMania 28 preview & predictions blog here at Camelclutchblog.com come the week of April 1st and of course listen to “The Still Real to Us Show: WrestleMania 28 preview podcast” on Thursday March 29th at wheelhouseradio.com & wrestlechat.net!

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday March 8th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected]

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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