WWE has taken exit 16 off the New Jersey Turnpike and are looking for parking at MetLife Stadium as we have reached the end of the Road to WrestleMania 29. After months of anticipation, the biggest WWE pay-per-view of the year is here and despite questionable booking, WrestleMania should still deliver. I am personally very excited as I will be in attendance for WrestleMania in addition to Axxess, the Hall of Fame ceremony and Raw the night after WrestleMania.
Here I will breakdown each scheduled match and predict who will leave New Jersey victorious after WrestleMania 29.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz (Interactive Pre-Show Match)
It is hard to believe that Wade Barrett against The Miz will be the only pre-show match, but either way it should be an underrated match. It will be interesting to see how this match turns out to be interactive. I suspect some sort of stipulation to be added.
[adinserter block=”1″]The outcome of this match is not necessarily predictable. Wade Barrett has been portrayed as weak champion, like the midcard champions have in the recent past. The Miz has a good WrestleMania record, even main eventing and winning WrestleMania 27 against John Cena. Some may think WWE would like to keep Miz’s record strong, but it is also debatable if the pre-show would count in the streak.
Both Miz and Barrett have been featured in WWE Studios films recently so that argument can’t be made for either one. WrestleMania should start out strong and one way of doing this is by having the Miz win the Intercontinental title during the pre-show.
Prediction: The Miz wins and becomes NEW Intercontinental Champion
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins
If this match is not added to the pre-show, then I fully expect it to be the first or second match on the card. I may be in the minority, but I have really enjoyed this feud. WWE has done a great job of integrating male and female wrestlers into a believable feud. Tons of Funk and Team Rhodes Scholars are clearly the top tag teams who are not in the WWE Tag Team Championships match. The Funkadactyls are underrated Divas who have been impressive in starting a feud with the returning Bella Twins.
Whichever team wins this match should be next in line for a tag team title match. We have seen Team Rhodes Scholars against Team Hell No numerous times with the same outcome. It would be intriguing to see a babyface team like Tons of Funk feuding with the tag team champions. WrestleMania needs to include dancing from Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls so the most logical situation would see them win.
Prediction: Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls win
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango
While I agree with the idea that Chris Jericho could have been better utilized in a WrestleMania match, Fandango has been very impressive the last few weeks. Fandango may come across as annoying and frustrating, but isn’t that what a heel is supposed to do?
Johnny Curtis’s new gimmick matches up well with Chris Jericho. They both have experience in dancing. Jericho was featured on Dancing with the Stars in 2011. However, this fact was never discussed on WWE TV during the feud.
Unfortunately for Chris Jericho, Fandango has to win this match. With a loss, his character would lose complete momentum. He is making his WrestleMania debut and cannot afford a loss. Jericho does not need to win and if you couldn’t tell already, returns to WWE to help others get over.
Prediction: Fandango wins.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
Ryback was expected to have a big WrestleMania match after becoming one of the top babyfaces in 2012. The early indication was that Ryback would face Big Show, possibly for the World Heavyweight title. WWE changed that decision and decided to push Alberto Del Rio as the top Latino babyface. Ryback still needed a WrestleMania moment and I believe he will get just that this year.
Big Show would have been a difficult opponent for Ryback to deliver Shell Shock to after he botched the move against Tensai. Mark Henry is still a monster and can help Ryback look strong in his WrestleMania debut.
With that said, Ryback needs to win much more than Henry. Ryback has lost each month on pay-per-view since October’s Hell in a Cell. Henry is nearing the end of his career and putting Ryback over would be a logical decision.
Prediction: Ryback wins
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston
This match in very intriguing for a number of reasons. Big E Langston is making his main roster in-ring debut in this WWE tag team title match. Plus, Dolph Ziggler is still holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. He could potentially leave New Jersey as one-half of the tag team champions and World Heavyweight Champion. Then again, no team has been able to dethrone Kane and Daniel Bryan.
WWE fans have been waiting for the dysfunctional team of Kane and Bryan to break-up prior to WrestleMania 29. This would have led to a match between to the two on Sunday. However, WWE chose to keep the popular pair together and continue their dominance over the less than impressive tag team division.
So who wins this one? Does Big E Langston win or lose in his debut match? Does this unusual pairing of Ziggler and Langston get the honor of defeating Team Hell No?
I don’t think Ziggler and Big E are meant to be tag team champions, but I also don’t like the idea of Langston losing in his debut. Team Hell No has yet to have any serious threats to their titles so perhaps this is the beginning. Then again, Ziggler and Langston could win the match via disqualification and not win the titles.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston win the match, but not necessarily the titles.
Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. The Shield
The Shield has been very dominant since debuting at Survivor Series 2012 and has yet to be defeated as a group. For whatever reason, WWE thinks the fans might actually believe that The Shield could lose with the addition of Big Show. Orton and Sheamus have been feuding with The Shield for months, but Big Show recently turned semi-babyface.
The addition of Big Show will not change anything. The Shield will still win. The bigger question is whether or not Randy Orton will turn heel. It has been a huge debate among wrestling fans for a long time. Personally, I don’t expect a turn. I won’t be surprised if Orton turns heel and joins the Shield. I won’t be surprised if Orton turns heel and doesn’t join the Shield. However, I still don’t expect it to happen. Orton is still a top name in WWE, but there are others WWE seems more focused on pushing.
The Shield will continue their tremendous teamwork and pin either Orton or Sheamus for the win.
Prediction: The Shield wins. No Randy Orton heel turn.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
The World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania must be considered the most underrated match and feud in WWE today. It is also very unpredictable. Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger or Dolph Ziggler will leave New Jersey as champion, but who will it be? Del Rio could win and Ziggler could cash in. Del Rio could win and Ziggler does not cash in. Swagger could win and Ziggler could cash in. Swagger could win and Ziggler does not cash in.
An argument could be made for Del Rio or Swagger winning. Del Rio is currently getting a huge push as the top Latino babyface. WWE would love to continue to gear towards that audience. At the same time, Swagger has received a lot of attention since returning prior to Elimination Chamber. He and his manager Zeb Colter caught the attention of the mainstream media. Colter’s promos have arguably been the best in the company the last few weeks.
As someone who will be in attendance at WrestleMania, I would love to witness Ziggler’s cash in. I attended WWE TLC 2012 and was hoping it would happen then. Four months later, I have another opportunity to witness a Money in the Bank cash in for the first time in my life.
I am going to go out on a limb here and predict Swagger to win, Ziggler to cash in and see a triple threat feud going forward.
Prediction: Jack Swagger wins. Dolph Ziggler cashes in.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (No Holds Barred Match; If Lesnar wins, Triple H must retire)
This was one of the most expected matches to occur at WrestleMania 29 since Triple H and Brock Lesnar had their match at SummerSlam 2012. With Lesnar winning last August, it is widely expected that Triple H will win this time. However, the stipulation that if Lesnar wins, Triple H must retire actually makes the outcome less predictable.
If Triple H wins, he gets redemption from losing to Lesnar last year. If Triple H loses, he can retire and focus solely on helping run the company. Part of me still feels that Triple H will win because he can continue to be an occasional wrestler. He is not in the same shape he was years ago, but the COO has proven he can still perform. Triple H losing would be looked at as a fake retirement.
Prediction: Triple H wins.
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
CM Punk will try and do what no man, woman or child has been able to do. He will try to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Unlike the last number of years, Punk has a realistic chance to win.
After holding the WWE title for over 400 days, breaking the record of the last 25 years, Punk wants to break another record. Undertaker 20-0 in WrestleMania matches, meaning a win would cement Punk’s legacy. The Undertaker probably doesn’t have many more WrestleMania matches left. If someone is going to end the streak, there is a good case for Punk to be the guy.
With that said, I still don’t think CM Punk will end the streak. I feel as though the Undertaker will make it to WrestleMania 30 to face John Cena. Therefore, the streak needs to continue at least one more year.
Prediction: The Undertaker
WWE Champion The Rock vs. John Cena
[adinserter block=”2″]Twice in a lifetime takes place on Sunday when The Rock defends the WWE title against Royal Rumble 2013 winner John Cena. It has to be considered the least anticipated match at this year’s WrestleMania. The outcome is also considered to be quite predictable.
CM Punk lost the title to The Rock. The plan was for Cena to win the Rumble match and beat The Rock at WrestleMania. It seems as though the plan is moving along quite well.
Is there anyone who thinks The Rock will win at WrestleMania? No one? Good.
I am with the popular choice of John Cena winning. I am in no way a John Cena fan, but The Rock is a part-time wrestler and it wouldn’t make any sense for him to win. If Rock were to win and then lose the title to Cena at Extreme Rules, it wouldn’t be as special. Cena needs to win it at WrestleMania.
Prediction: John Cena wins and becomes NEW WWE Champion.
What are your thoughts on my predictions for WrestleMania 29? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be providing my thoughts and pictures throughout WrestleMania weekend as I attend the various festivities.
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com. You can also like GWP on Facebook here.
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