CRYSTAL BALL: WRESTLEMANIA

Posted April 7th, 2013 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Wrestlemania

Jay Shannon draws upon all his powers of prediction to try and figure out the winners and losers of a major wrestling event.

Welcome to the first installment of my new Crystal Ball column. In these columns, I will look at the matches for an upcoming major wrestling event and try, my best, to figure out what is going to happen. Initially, this was set to be a video column but circumstances (like not figuring out the silly webcam) have put that on hold, temporarily. So, I’m going Old School for this one. And what better event to start a new column with but the “Showcase of the Immortals”: Wrestlemania! Let’s take a look at the card and I’ll give you my predictions…

Wade Barrett vs The Miz (Pre-Show)
Intercontinental Title Match

The Build-Up:

Wade won the title, a few months back. Since winning it, Wade has taunted The Miz. On top of that, both men have movies out, right now. Miz has come back and scored a non-title win over the champ.

Prediction:

This match could easily go either way. Wade has dodged the bullet, several times, in recent weeks. With Miz now employing the Figure Four, I really think Miz is going to make Wade tap out. I could even see Miz dedicate the match to his mentor, Ric Flair, who is still dealing with the tragic loss of his son, Reid.

Your Winner (and New Champion): The Miz
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 4

Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus vs The Shield

Build Up:

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns invaded the WWE and tore through everyone in sight. The claim to be on a campaign for truth and justice. (Put them in red cape and slap a big “S” on their chest, why don’t you?) Ryback was originally scheduled to team with Orton and Sheamus, but he was pulled to battle Mark Henry. Big Show asked to join the team, since The Shield had attacked him. There is serious dissention on the Face Team.

Predictions:

The Shield has hinted that either Orton, Sheamus or Big Show will turn on their teammates. While it seems so obvious that it would be Big Show, I don’t think so. I’m going way out on a limb with this one but I think it will be Orton that turns and reveals himself as the true Leader of The Shield. The Shield has a paramilitary feel. Orton is well-known for his time in the military. NO one will see that one coming. That could lead to a great set of feuds with Orton battling Ryback, Big Show and Sheamus.

Your Winners; The Shield
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 3

Kane and Daniel Bryan vs Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler
World Tag Team Title Match

Build Up:

Kane and Daniel Bryan have both had unsuccessful relationships with A.J. Lee. Last year, Lee’s kissed distracted Daniel to the point where Sheamus was able to take him out in 18 seconds with the Brogue Kick. A.J. is now (at least for the moment) linked to Dolph Ziggler. Lee also brought in Big E Langston to become the Diesel to Dolph’s Shawn Michaels. Te four have had several run-ins. Daniel and Kane wanted to fight Dolph and Big E. A.J. accepted for her team, but only if the tag belts would be on the line at Mania.

Prediction:

For reasons that will come clear, a little later on, I feel that Kane and Daniel Bryan will survive this challenge. There will be a major meltdown between A.J. and Dolph, as it will likely be Dolph that gets pinned. I think it will “appear” that Dolph and Big E are through. More to come…

Your Winners: Daniel Bryan and Kane
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 3

Ryback vs Mark Henry

The Build Up:

It was a crossing of paths and stand off. That led to a series of “One Ups”. Mark would battle two men. Ryback would destroy three. Mark and Ryback got into it but it got sidelined by the arrival of The Shield. Ryback was going to battle in the tag match, as I mentioned above. However, Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero pulled Ryback to face the World’s Strongest Man.

Prediction:

I just keep thinking back to Kane vs Great Khali, from several Manias back. That match was horribly painful to watch. I have a really bad feeling that this may equal that disaster or might even reach the level of Giant Gonzalez vs Undertaker. Both men have incredible strength but Mark’s bulk seriously hinders him doing much of anything beyond simple power moves. Ryback has some good moves in his arsenal but Mark’s size neutralizes many of them. I really think Mark is going to take the win. Mark’s been on a huge push, while Ryback has been sliding in recent months. Mark nails the World’s Strongest Slam. I do think that, after the match, Mark is going to taunt Ryback and get laid out with Shell Shocked.

Your Winner: Mark Henry
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 2

Chris Jericho vs Fandango

The Build Up:

Fandango ran several weeks of vignettes and then seemed ready to enter the ring wars. However, when the ring announcers and/or opponents butchered (in Fanny’s mind) the pronunciation of his name, he refused to compete. Chris Jericho rode the wave of mispronunciation and mocked the Ballroom Dancer. Fanny snapped and has beaten down Jericho, several times, in the past few weeks. Jericho asked for this match.

Prediction:

There is just no way that Fandango loses this one. I can’t stand the character. It’s like Razor Ramon had a child with Disco Inferno. That being said, if Fanny were to lose at Mania, he’s done in the company. Jericho is enough of a superstar that a loss to Fandango will not hurt him, at all. I do expect this match to steal the show. We really haven’t seen Fanny do his thing, so the chants of “You Can’t Wrestle!” might be completely off the mark. Expect to see Fandango hit the Guillotine Leg Drop to take the win. Jericho will likely come back at the next PPV and even the score. Fanny has to have this win or there is no tomorrow.

Your Winner: Fandango
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 4 or maybe even a 5

Naomi, Cameron, Sweet T and Brodus Clay vs Brie and Nikki Bella, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow

The Build Up:

Damien Sandow was seriously offended by the dancing group known as the Funkadactklys and Tons of Funk. Damien reenlisted the help of the “Best Friend”, Cody Rhodes, to battle Clay and the former Tensai. Damien then brought in the Bellas to counter the Funkadactyls. The Bellas have won the opening battles but this is the Big One.

Prediction: Depending on where they put this match on the card will determine who wins. If it follows Undertaker vs Punk, I see the Faces taking it. If it follows Brock vs HHH, it goes to the Heels. In the real world, the Bellas would never beat Naomi. She’s that darn good. She’s possibly one of the top 5 female wrestlers, talent wise, in the last 10 years or so. Sadly, Naomi is stuck with this goofy cheerleader/dancer schtick.

Your Winner: Toss Up
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 3

Triple H vs Brock Lesnar

The Build Up:

Brock and Trip had a brutal battle at Summerslam. Both disappeared from sight, for some time. Brock then came back and attacked Vince McMahon, HHH’s father-in-law. After breaking Vince’s hip, Triple H was ready for war. Brock and his manager, Paul Heyman, manipulated Triple H into signing a contract that puts his career on the line.

Prediction:

This one is going to seriously push the TV-14 rating. There is going to be blood and lots of it. Expect chairs, sledge hammers, kendo sticks, monitors, the ring bell and anything the two men can get their hands on. Expect Paul Heyman to try and get involved. Shawn Michaels is going to take him out. I had a passing thought that Shawn might turn on Triple H and cost him his career. Nah! Brock has been allowed to dominate almost every contest that he’s been involved with. Time for him to get his butt handed to him. Triple H finishes off Brock with a wicked Pedigree, very likely through the announce table or something equally painful.

Your Winner: Triple H
Predicted Media Meter Score: 4

Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
World Title Match

The Build Up:

Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show to take the World title. Jack Swagger then won the Elimination Chamber match to win the title shot. Swagger and his mentor/manager, Zeb Colter, have gone on a rampage against non-Americans that have come to the States to “steal” jobs from good little Americans. Swagger took the rivalry to a personal level when he broke the ankle of Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio’s ring announcer and friend.

Prediction:

I just can’t imagine that the WWE would risk putting the belt on a racist. I don’t, for a second, believe that either Jack Swagger or Zeb Colter (“Dirty” Dutch Mantel) truly believe the vile words that are coming out of their mouths. I do think Swagger will make a fantastic showing in this match. I think Swagger will eventually fall to the Cross Armbreaker. That could lead to a future Submissions match between the two.

Your Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 4

Post-Match:

Swagger is going to lose it and attack Del Rio. He and Colter will pummel Del Rio into oblivion. Swagger may even break Del Rio’s ankle with the Patriot Lock. Ricardo will get laid out, as well. Dolph Ziggler will wait until Swagger and Colter leave the ring and will rush down. A.J. Lee will stroll out with the Briefcase and it will appear that she is keeping the briefcase from him. It’s all a ploy. Big E Langston hits the ring and does the stare down with Dolph. Dolph will smile and nod. Langston will lay out Del Rio with the Big Finish. Dolph will then clamp on The Sleeper and Del Rio will lose the World title belt.

Your Winner (and New World Champion): Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Mania Meter Score: N/A

The Undertaker vs C.M. Punk

The Build Up:

C.M. Punk won a Fatal Four Way match to earn the shot at Undertaker. Punk then stole the precious Urn from Undertaker and Kane. Punk has continued to irritate Taker by disrespecting the memory of the recently departed Paul Bearer. Punk even went so far as to dump the contents of the Urn onto himself and Undertaker.

Prediction:

I know. I know. Undertaker never loses at Mania. It would be so easy to take the simple route and give the win to Undertaker. I am betting that I’m going to be way off the mark with this one, but what the heck? Punk has mentioned, several times, about a Count Out or Disqualification still being considered a loss. The WWE could so market it as “The only person capable of beating the Undertaker was…The Undertaker!” It could also push Punk’s evil character even harder and put him right back on the path to championship gold. I don’t see something like Heyman takes off with the Urn and Taker gets counted out, chasing him. That would be far too disrespectful to the legacy of the Undertaker. What I see happening is Undertaker traps Punk in the Devil’s Gate submission hold. Punk passes out and the ref calls for the bell. Undertaker absolutely refuses to release the hold and the ref finally has no choice but to reverse the decision. While Punk would crow that he beat the Undertaker, the fans would realize the Taker truly won the battle but couldn’t control his anger.

Your Winner (by Reverse Decision): C.M. Punk
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 5

John Cena vs The Rock
WWE Title Match

The Build Up:

John Cena lost to The Rock at last year’s Wrestlemania. Cena fell from grace and went into a professional and personal spiral. The Rock declared he would capture the WWE title at Royal Rumble…and he did. He ended C.M. Punk’s 400+ day title reign. On the same show, John Cena won the Royal Rumble. He decided to go after The Rock, again.

Prediction:

I’ve talked with a lot of people about this one, including our own Bill Apter. Almost everyone agrees with me on this one. John Cena has been building momentum since just before the first of the year. He has overcome the odds to win the Rumble. He finally defeated C.M. Punk (which he had never done in the past) to keep his date with destiny. If Cena loses this one, something is seriously wrong in the WWE. A Cena win would open the door for the Rubber Match at Wrestlemania XXX. It would also take the title off Rock, allowing him to take a lesser schedule in the company. Cena could then move on to battle a re-energized C.M. Punk, Wade Barrett, and several other top contenders. This might be the catalyst to finally turn Cena heel, again. I kind of doubt it but this would seem like the last chance if they ever want to try and turn him. Both men will hit all their finishers, like last year. The main difference, this time, is that Cena will be more focused and won’t try to showboat. Attitude Adjustment into the STF. Rock will tap out.

Your Winner (and New WWE Title): John Cena
Predicted Mania Meter Score: 4

Final Wrap Up:

I do think there will be more good matches than crappy ones. Jericho vs Fandango is going to be the match to watch. It’s kind of sad that Antonio Cesaro’s US Title isn’t on the line. Neither is the Divas title. Of course, WWE often pitches in an additional match or two on bigger shows. There are so many great WWE stars that are going to get to shine. Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Justin Gabriel, the Prime Time Players and so many others are going to just have to sit back and watch. Don’t be surprised if they end up in a few backstage vignettes.

We will have team coverage of this great event, starting shortly before 7pm EST. See you then…

Peace

–Jay Shannon
JesseCShannon@att.net

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