Inside The Wheelhouse: Breaking Down WrestleMania 26


Shawn Michaels and the UndertakerVery rarely do I decide to sit down and do a blog on pay per view predictions but this pay per view is on a whole different level. As many wrestling fans know around the world, this is our Super Bowl; this is the Mecca of all the other wrestling events in the world. This is WrestleMania 26, the “showcase of the immortals,” the “granddaddy of em’ all” and I feel like this year those phrases will live up to the card the WWE has put out for their biggest show of the year.

I will breakdown each match giving my prediction on what the outcome could be this coming Sunday on pay per view. I will breakdown the match as I can in so many words but if you’re looking for a good show to listen to this weekend to get ready for WrestleMania 26 go to on Saturday afternoon and download this week’s WrestleMania 26 preview edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” with Eric Gargiulo and I. I swear it will be an awesome show and should be a lot of fun to talk about. Enough with the cheap plugs on with the preview of the show!

ShoMiz (The Miz & The Big Show) vs. John Morrison & R-Truth for the Unified Tag Team Championship

First off I believe I speak for a good percentage of wrestling fans when I say that we are happy to see the Tag Team Championship return to WrestleMania and we are not talking about the bonus match on the DVD. While we still wait for an Intercontinental Championship match to return to the WrestleMania card, this match will do for now as it gives us an actual Tag Team Championship match. Now onto the Tag Team Championship match itself.

I really am skeptical on this match first off because of how thrown together it comes off. There was little to no build for this match originally yet creative in the last couple of weeks has given us reasons to actual take this match seriously. While as a fan of wrestling I would have preferred an actual established tag team taking on the ShoMiz (i.e. The Hart Dynasty, Cryme Tyme), R-Truth and John Morrison being involved is still just as good.

The Miz has been without a doubt one of the most improved wrestlers since last year’s WrestleMania and has made a decent amount of wrestling fans forget about his reality television reject past. His promos are solid, he is a great heel and his ring presence is improving. He definitely deserved a spot in this year’s WrestleMania and it is shocking that he is going into as a double champion.

[adinserter block=”1″]This match can go many ways as there have been rumblings about turning Morrison back to a heel. I feel that would be the best way to take his character right now as he has gotten a little flat in months since becoming a face on Smackdown. He was an entertaining heel similar to that of The Miz and if you asked me a year ago which one would be the bigger star come WrestleMania 26 from the Miz/Morrison tag team I would say Morrison without a doubt. It appears as of now I am wrong with that prediction.

Morrison could turn heel on R-Truth and set up a decent mid-card program on Smackdown and let ShoMiz continue to hold onto the gold over on the Raw brand. What I would like to see is that this feud goes over to when the draft happens in April. Miz and Morrison on the same brand would be fun to watch with the United States Championship on the line.

What my prediction is for this match is that come WrestleMania 26 ShoMiz will go over clean on Morrison and Miz to retain the Unified Tag Team Championship. ShoMiz is more established in the fans eyes as a Tag Team and are doing a good job making the Tag Team Championship somewhat important. ShoMiz retains but I see some sort of program (whether it be Morrison/R-Truth or Morrison/Miz) coming out of this match.

Prediction: ShoMiz

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk

This match has the makings of being one of the “unforgotten” good matches at WrestleMania. It would be a good opener to start off the show to get the crowd into as Mysterio is really over with the crowd while Punk is one of the top heels on the Smackdown brand and can really get the crowd to hate him. I see this match being very enjoyable to watch this coming Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.

The Mysterio/Punk match has been built up for quite sometime and it was interesting to see WWE pull the trigger on this match being official just a couple weeks ago. That being said, the buildup has been great to watch and the spotlight it has received for a possibly opening/mid-card match is worth praising WWE creative for. Creative has helped make this match that much more important by adding a little twist that if Mysterio does lose he must join the Straight Edge Society.

The stipulation is going to make the fans that much more interested in the match itself as Mysterio is beloved by many fans of the WWE, while Punk has become so hated in the past year. Punk and Mysterio will put on a great match without a doubt and it should setup a further storyline coming from these guys following WrestleMania. Where creative takes the match itself is going to be interesting to see as a wrestling fan.

If I’m creative I put Punk over Mysterio and have him team up as part of the Straight Edge Society. While Mysterio as a heel will never work in the WWE, it will pull at most fans heartstrings similar to when HBK joined up with JBL a year ago. It’s a reluctant face doing a job for the heel due to some sort of stipulation. It gives the program a greater chance to grow and set up a future match where Rey Mysterio gets the opportunity to break free from the Straight Edge Society.

[adinserter block=”2″]The match and program have potential for being the WWE’s best angle in the coming months that has nothing to do with a Championship on the line. If WWE puts Rey over I would guess this angle is dead as could be following post-WrestleMania with a potential follow-up match at Extreme Rules in April. But I truly believe the best thing for this program is to put CM Punk over Mysterio at WrestleMania 26 making Rey a member of the Straight Edge Society. My prediction is the “Straight Edge Savior” pulls out a victory in Arizona.

Prediction: CM Punk

Money In the Bank Ladder Match: Christian vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston

This M.I.T.B. ladder match is the biggest M.I.T.B. ladder match since Chris Jericho proposed the idea prior to WrestleMania 21 five years ago. It has the most competitors in the match with a total of 10 being involved and it could be the final send-off as a mainstay at Mania year after year once it receives its own PPV come July. There are many ways this match could go and it’s nice to see WWE also reward some of their work horses throughout the year to be part of this underrated spectacular of a match.

I have always been a huge fan of the M.I.T.B. match at WrestleMania because they pull out all the stops in the match and give the fans an entertaining twenty minute match with a very huge stipulation involved. The briefcase with a contract for a World Title shot whenever and wherever is a pretty big deal in wrestling terms and even bigger that every person who has every “cashed in” (noticed I didn’t say won M.I.T.B. at Mania…Mr. Kennedy…) the briefcase has gone onto win a World Championship.

The match itself has a lot of wrestlers in it that really haven’t broken through the glass ceiling of Wrestling and could use this match to take them to the next level. The M.I.T.B. match has propelled wrestlers such as Edge, RVD and CM Punk from an upper mid-card wrestler to a top Main Eventer in the WWE. The match is truly important when it comes to the future of the business in that particular year’s time.

When you look at the competitors you have to believe that the two favorites to rise out of this match are Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre. While not taking anything away from the other eight competitors, but when you think you future of the WWE these guys instantly come to mind to me. With that being said there has to be a clear cut winner to win M.I.T.B. this year.

I have to go with the current WWE Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre in this one. The WWE has really done their best to make him a star (Vince McMahon rub, IC Title, etc.) in recent months and I feel like they are going to continue to do so at WrestleMania. They are playing off of this whole “undefeated” angle lately where despite losing matches (to Kane and Matt Hardy), he is still considered undefeated because the WWE Chairman continues to wipe away the losses from his record. That little angle has given him decent heel heat heading into WrestleMania as well as putting a spotlight on him as we head into the match itself.

The WWE wants to strap the rocket ship to him as well and I see Drew McIntyre pulling away with the win & briefcase at this match. There have been some rumblings lately that creative may actually pull the trigger on the winner of M.I.T.B. cashing in his title shot at WrestleMania this year. Which makes a lot of sense since it may be the final M.I.T.B. ever at WrestleMania as it gets its own PPV and it makes even better sense when it comes to who I think will win the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 26. But you’ll have to wait for that in the next couple of blogs.

Prediction: Drew McIntyre

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes

I have talked about this Randy Orton/Legacy angle so much now that it’s starting to make me feel sick how much I have blogged about it on Camel Clutch Blog in the last month. The simple fact is this angle & match made me extremely confused on where WWE was taking this entire thing. One week you believe one thing, the next week you believe another and then the week after that you believe another thing. This has been the worst buildup of any of the WrestleMania matches on the entire card by far.

As many people who have read my blog in recent weeks or heard me on “The Still Real to Us Show” know, I’m not sold on Randy Orton being a face in the WWE. To me he makes a better heel then anything and can not make the simple heel to face turn that someone like Edge made in recent months. I believe the fans want to cheer him as a heel and not a face. That’s why I believe if WWE is committed to making Orton a face they have to do it in a tweener kind of way.

He has to be a modern day “Stone Cold” Steve Austin character without too much copying of what Austin did in the late-90s. He has to give an RKO to not only a heel but a loveable face as well. It will mold “The Viper” into a decent character to cheer for. What WWE did in late-2004 by turning him into a face was horrible, he reminded me of some boy band reject.

So while I still don’t believe that turning Orton face is the right thing to do, I can still see some potential in it. As for the match itself I truly do not know what to expect. The WWE hasn’t really planted any seeds of distrust amongst the members of Legacy until the last Monday Night Raw prior to WrestleMania 26. So we really don’t have a potential for Legacy to turn on one another but of course it will happen at some point in the match when the other person who is not pinning Orton realizes that it’s a Triple Threat match and not a handicap match.

Orton is by far the favorite in this match with many different angles possibly coming out of the outcome. You can have one of the Legacy members turn on the other to join back up with Orton, making Orton a heel again and giving him the victory. Or you can have Orton stay a tweener/face and put him over Legacy because Rhodes & DiBiase just can’t co-exist in the match, which could also set up a Rhodes/DiBiase program.

There are many ways this match could end up and I’ve beaten this subject up to death in the last month so no sense in breaking it down anymore. Either way I see this match being a short term program and it’s more of a way to build Rhodes and DiBiase as we get closer to the WWE draft where the official end of Legacy takes place with them on different brands. This match is doing nothing more but making Rhodes and DiBiase legit wrestlers and possibly making “The Viper” a legit tweener/face heading into the summertime.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Triple H vs. Sheamus

Like Punk vs. Mysterio, this match can also be an “underrated” match on a deep card for a WrestleMania. Almost like a forgotten match up until you watch the DVD again and say to yourself how good of a match it really was. I’m actually really looking forward to the match on many levels due to what it could mean for a guy like Sheamus, who is clearly a future star in the business.

This will be the first WrestleMania that Triple H is competing in (he was injured at WrestleMania 23) since WrestleMania 17 that he will not be involved in the Main Event spot for a World Championship. That is almost ten years where we don’t have Triple H involved in the World Championship angle heading into WrestleMania. That is a pretty big deal to wrestling fans because of how consistent “The Game” has been every year leading up to the “super bowl” of the sport.

That little statistic right there works in the favor of a guy like Sheamus. It instantly makes the match look and feel important because of whom he will be entering the ring with at Glendale, Arizona. This match has the makings of turning Sheamus into a “transition champion” in the eyes of some and into a legit “main eventer.”

Triple H outside of the wrestling ring truly sees something in Sheamus that we may all see at WrestleMania 26 because he has been a big behind the scenes supporter of making the “Celtic Warrior” a star. What that also means for wrestling fans watching WrestleMania this Sunday is that we will get everything from Triple H to make us believe that Sheamus is an actual future and current star in the wrestling business. The potential for this match in huge and should be the official catapult to take Sheamus to the next level.

With that being said I actually believe that the WWE may put Sheamus over Triple H at WrestleMania 26. For as much flack as Triple H can tend to receive from wrestling fans you have to admit that the guy puts over the talent when it counts the most. Look at his track record at WrestleMania’s when it comes to putting over talent and taking them to the next level.

At WrestleMania 20 he put over Chris Benoit, at WrestleMania 21 he put over Batista, at WrestleMania 22 it was John Cena, WrestleMania 24 it was Randy Orton. He has a really decent track record of putting over talent and helping catapult them to the next level of their wrestling careers, the same level that Triple H himself belongs to. I believe Triple H sees a lot in Sheamus and he will be doing the same to help make him a star this Sunday at WrestleMania 26.

Prediction: Sheamus

Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Vince McMahon

No wrestling fan ever thought they would see Bret “The Hitman” Hart ever again perform for the WWE and let alone perform at WrestleMania. Hell many wrestling fans thought they would never see Bret Hart put the tights on ever again period. Let alone be it a match with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 26.

This match obviously has the most history then any other match on the rest of the card as this is something that has been building in the wrestling industry for thirteen years. That is more years then a good percentage of wrestling fans tuning into Raw and Smackdown every week! It was a truly great moment to see Bret Hart return this past January to the WWE as I am a huge fan of Bret Hart’s growing up. When I was watching WWE when I was younger this was my favorite wrestler.So for him to be back with the WWE and wrestling at WrestleMania, it’s a very special moment to see and I expect to see Bret Hart give whatever he has left in the tank to this match.

It’s very hard to argue that Vince McMahon despite not being an actual trained wrestler does not bring it to WrestleMania when he performs. His matches at WrestleMania have been actually pretty memorable and he has entertained the heck out of the fans of the WWE. Look back at his track record of WrestleMania matches and it’s hard to argue that they haven’t been entertaining.

WrestleMania 17 he and “his son” Shane McMahon put on a show with their street fight match. At WrestleMania 19 he and Hulk Hogan also put on a hell of a show for the fans giving us a match to remember. Then finally his match at WrestleMania 22 with Shawn Michaels was also a very entertaining match to watch. Despite being in his 60s and the owner of a billion dollar company he still gives it his all at WrestleMania and I don’t expect anything less this Sunday.

The “No Holds Barred” feel gives the match a whole different perspective that we will witness making it a match that should be brutal and entertaining to watch. It’s pretty obvious that the WWE has held onto the “sharpshooter” spot since Bret Hart’s return for a reason and I look for it to be a “WrestleMania Moment” this Sunday in Arizona. Watching Vince McMahon tap out to the move that Bret Hart made famous after years of historic animosity and hatred between to two should give a good ending to what was a rough thirteen years away from the WWE.

As a wrestling fan and even more a huge fan of Bret Hart’s, I’m just happy to see Bret back in the WWE, looking healthy and great, having a great attitude and finally burying the hatchet to a low point in his life & career. This match will give wrestling fans new and old a great feeling to finally see this chapter end this coming Sunday. It should be extremely fun to watch and I expect “The Hitman” to go out in style.

Prediction: Bret “The Hitman” Hart

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

If I was booking WrestleMania 26 this weekend this is the bout that I would have to close the show. When you look back at the last 15-20 years of the WWE there are no two guys that have defined the WWE more then The Undertaker and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. Granted both are towards the end of the career and this may be the very last WrestleMania for one, if not both. It may also be one’s final match.

The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels mean so much too many wrestling fans around the world for their years of service in the WWE. They are both heavily respected amongst many fans and wrestlers themselves. If this is the last toast for HBK we are sure to not miss the entertainment “Mr. WrestleMania” will give us this Sunday.

It’s going to be very hard to repeat the magic these two guys had in the ring at last year’s WrestleMania. To out do and out perform last year’s classic of a match will be a task in itself for these two wrestlers. But if you were to put money on two guys to come through at WrestleMania it is without a doubt these two wrestlers by far.

There is a lot riding on this match going into Sunday. On one side you have the heavily respect and heavily honored “undefeated WrestleMania streak” that belongs to The Undertaker. On the other side you have the career of one of, if not the greatest wrestler of all-time in Shawn Michaels. This is without a doubt the most anticipated match for wrestling fans this Sunday.

When it comes to previewing this match there really is nothing much you can say, both of these guys will put on a hell of a show for all of us wrestling fans. This match may not live up to last year’s match but it will most certainly not disappoint at all. Whatever these two guys have in the tank we will get and this match alone could be the price of admission for WrestleMania 26.

As for a result in this match I believe The Undertaker will come out victorious in this one and improving the undefeated streak to 18-0. The rumor is this is the last hurrah for Shawn Michaels and that he plans on retiring for good following WrestleMania 26 this year. Shawn has two young kids at home and understandably wants to take time off to be with them. The years of punishment to his body are also enough cause to finally hang up the boots.

If this is the last hurrah for Shawn Michaels then he will be truly missed and all wrestling fans our truly thankful for the entertainment he has given. I will save a farewell blog to Shawn Michaels if it does happen but for now I believe it does. Either way this match is going to be extremely fun and exciting to watch.

Prediction: The Undertaker

Chris Jericho vs. Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship

This Main Event match truly is not getting the just it deserves in my opinion as I felt like it has taken a backseat to the Cena/Batista and Undertaker/HBK storyline when it comes to order of importance. With that being said I expect Chris Jericho and Edge to completely tear the house down this Sunday. These guys are two of the best in the game today and should really work well together; I am stoked that it will be on the stage of WrestleMania.

I think the fans are still having a tough time embracing Edge as a true face still but he seems to be gaining momentum heading into the event due to the way he’s been booked in recent weeks. While I will miss “the ultimate opportunist” side of the Edge character, I must admit I enjoy the face Edge with the humor that he has. It is strange to see him as a face after all these years of being a dominating heel but it is starting to catch on with me.

As for the match I feel like it may be the best match on the card, while it may not be the most memorable (I fully expect Undertaker/Shawn Michaels to take that honor), it will be the match people are talking about the next day. You can’t deny that we may be having a match with what could be the two present time best wrestlers in the business today. These guys have carried the ball in the WWE for quite sometimes in the ring, outside the ring, on the microphone, by giving the best angles etc. These guys deserve to be in the Main Event spot and more importantly deserve for it to be a Jericho/Edge match.

When it comes to selecting a winner in this match I expect to see Edge win the World Heavyweight Championship. The long journey back from his injury, to returning to win the Royal Rumble and then finally to win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 26 is a really good story for wrestling fans to get a hold of. Edge makes a really good champion and it will be interesting to see how he molds into a World Champion as a face for the first time in his entire career.

Now when it comes to this match this is where I make my bold prediction for the matchup. As I have teased before in one of my earlier blogs previewing WrestleMania; there has been a rumor going around that this is finally the year someone cashes in the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania as it will most likely be the last time M.I.T.B. is at WrestleMania once it gets its own PPV starting in July. I predicted for Drew McIntyre to win the M.I.T.B. ladder match and earn the right to a title shot whenever and wherever he wanted it in a year’s time.

Who better to have someone cash in the M.I.T.B. briefcase on then Edge. He is coined as “The Ultimate Oppertunist,” had it done to him once before by CM Punk, but this time it would be different following an expected amazing match with Chris Jericho. It would set up a new fresh feud with Edge/McIntyre, give a “WrestleMania moment” and make Drew McIntyre a legit star in the WWE.

But we can save that bold prediction that could be formed into a blog depending on what happens Sunday in the future. When it comes to this match, I see Edge winning and regaining the World Heavyweight Championship after an amazing battle back to get in the ring following a devastating injury back in June. This match should be a lot of fun to watch and possibly be the best match overall.

Prediction: Edge

John Cena vs. Batista for the WWE Championship

If someone told me a year ago that I would be pumped up to watch this match at WrestleMania 26 I would not believe them at all. But the truth is I am. I’m pumped up for this match because this has been the best angle going into this year’s WrestleMania by far.

Love Cena & Batista or hate them but you can not take away how well this angle has been portrayed on television in the last month. The MVP for the “Road to WrestleMania” has to be without a doubt Batista for his great work as a heel these last couple of weeks and frankly months since he made the turn. His character has become more dimensional and a lot more entertaining to watch then the face he has been portraying since WrestleMania 21.

While a lot of people will criticize these guys for their wrestling ability in the ring, I still expect an entertaining match come from them. They may not be Michaels/Undertaker or Jericho/Edge but you will still get an entertaining match this Sunday from the both of them. You may get the best match in their entire careers.

Let’s be honest here. Whether we like it or not these are the two guys that were given the flags in the post-attitude era of the WWE. Both of them had an entire WrestleMania molded around them becoming huge stars and becoming the flag carriers for the next generation of the WWE (WrestleMania 21). Not many stars get that kind of treatment to close a chapter of the WWE and usher a new one in with them as the person(s) leading the charge.

Look at the history of when the WWE used a WrestleMania to usher in a new era of their company. At the first WrestleMania you could argue it was the birth of the Hogan era in the WWE at that time. At WrestleMania 6, it was the baton being passed from Hogan to the Ultimate Warrior. That really didn’t work. At WrestleMania 10 you had Bret Hart become the flag holder for the “new generation.” At WrestleMania 14 you had Stone Cold Steve Austin ushering in the “attitude era.” WrestleMania 21 was about Cena and Batista becoming the next stars in the company for the next chapter of the WWE. It was a huge deal and a huge honor.

So when you look at this match as a wrestling fan you have to admit, whether you like it or not, that this match between Cena vs. Batista at WrestleMania, is a big deal. The WWE creative team has made it into a big deal and I fully expect this match to close the show at WrestleMania 26. It is that important to the WWE and by far the most heavily promoted match on the “road to WrestleMania” this year.

The angle of Cena never being able to beat Batista has been played really well. It gives the fans more intrigue then that of it being a big deal due to them being the top stars in the company for the last five years. While you have that angle of Cena never being able to beat Batista you also have the equally great angle of Cena receiving the baton from Steve Austin at last year’s Hall of Fame ceremony. The jealousy and anger Batista has shown from that particular incident has been great to watch.

While the match will more then likely not steal the show nor won’t be the most memorable match on the card, it does have the opportunity to be a surprise bout for how good it could be. Both of these guys are the top stars in the WWE and they deserve to be in this spot at WrestleMania. It truly has that “big game” or “super bowl” feel as the main event of WrestleMania.

As for the match I feel like we will finally see John Cena defeat Batista and regain the WWE Championship. It will end the event on a good note for a good percentage of fans watching at home and in the arena. While it may not be a 5-star match, I fully expect it to be more entertaining then most wrestling fans expect it to be.

Prediction: John Cena

Like what you have read? Download this week’s edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” around 3pm ET on Saturday March 27th over at to find out Jeff Peck and Eric Gargiulo’s predictions for WrestleMania 26 this weekend!

If you have any questions or comments for Eric Gargiulo and I for this week’s “The Still Real to us Show” please e-mail us at

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at and at @ 2am ET/11pm PT

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