Adzop’s WrestleMania 29 Preview
In this column I’ll run through each match on the card for this year’s WrestleMania – I’ll give my predictions and thoughts for each one. Then I’ll deliver an overview on what I think of the build-up to the PPV, and how I think WWE will move forward after the show is over. No stalling…
WWE Tag Team Championship match
Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
I believe that the long and successful run of Team Hell No comes to an end on Sunday. They have gone a long way in revitalizing the tag team division in WWE. They have featured strongly on TV over the past few months whilst carrying the titles that previously had almost no significance in WWE. I’m taking a punt here, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Ziggy, Biggy, and AJ will be leaving WrestleMania with 3 Championships.
Winners and new Tag Team Champions – Ziggler & Langston.
Fandango vs Chris Jericho
I’ve enjoyed the Fandango gimmick so far. That may be in part due to the fact that I watched NXT when Johnny Curtis was on it, and in Curtis I saw a wrestler with a lot of natural ability and potential to become a huge Superstar in WWE. I watched Curtis ‘get weird’ on a later season on NXT, which I also enjoyed. This was after his promos on Smackdown (when he was originally supposed to debut, but only ever appeared once or twice). You could say I’ve appreciated his work since he first appeared on WWE TV, which is why I’m enjoying seeing him finally get his big break right now. I’ve got absolutely no problem with his over the top persona – he has honestly been a highlight for me on the past few episodes of Raw. Logic says he’ll win here, with Jericho being known for putting over the younger talent.
WWE Intercontinental Championship match
Wade Barrett vs The Miz
This will be on the pre-show. Personally, I think that’s a travesty. This could be a good match. I’m a big fan of Barrett, I’m glad he’s got the IC Championship, but I think he’ll be onto bigger things soon. If this wasn’t the pre-show match, I’d be predicting a win for Barrett. It IS the pre-show match, though, and what better way to get the crowd going for the show than with a title change?
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion – The Miz.
Brodus Clay, Tensai, Cameron & Naomi vs Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and the Bella Twins
I can’t think of anything constructive to say about this. I would say use THIS match for the pre-show instead of Miz/Barrett, but I’m not sure it would get the crowd pumped. Let’s move on.
Winners – BC, Sweet T, N & C. Or the heels. Either way is good/bad with me.
WWE Divas Championship
This hasn’t been announced, but I think there will be a match for the Divas Title. It could be a singles bout or it could be some kind of Battle Royal. I do think AJ Lee will leave WrestleMania with the Championship.
New Divas Champion – AJ Lee.
World Heavyweight Championship match
Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
I’ve really enjoyed watching Jack Swagger since he returned. I guessed that he would win the Elimination Chamber in February and that he would beat Del Rio for the WHC at WrestleMania. Then he got his DUI and everybody thought his push would be curtailed immediately. I was happy to see that this was not the case and I still believed that he would still beat ADR… Until this past Monday on Raw. With him gaining the upper hand over his adversary on the final Raw before the PPV, I figure that WWE have decided that he will be unsuccessful in his bid to become World Champion this time around. What they do with Swagger after this is anybody’s guess at this point. Del Rio’s face turn and title reign hasn’t taken off in the way WWE would have liked, I don’t think – judging by the reactions he’s been (or hasn’t been) receiving at the shows. This leaves me with only one logical option for the finish.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion – Alberto Del Rio…
MITB CASH IN AND NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION – Dolph Ziggler.
Sheamus, Big Show, Randy Orton vs The Shield
This has received quite a lot of build-up. The whole ‘will he, won’t he?’ thing with Big Show was all a little tedious but I guess it will make people believe that Big Show will abandon his team, allowing The Shield to pick up the win. I’m a big fan of The Shield. I think Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose are all great at what they do. I’d like to see them win. But I don’t think they will. They’ve looked too strong for too long – and as much as I would like to see that continue, I think the WWE will want a feel-good moment here, so the babyface team will win this one. I hope I’m wrong.
Winners – Sheamus, Big Show, Orton.
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar
No holds barred. If Triple H loses, he must retire. I can only see Triple H avenging his Summerslam loss to Lesnar, here. I hope this match is better than that one. The whole story of that match was Lesnar trying to get HHH in the Kimura Lock. It’s frustrating because they are capable of so much more than that. Both men are in terrific shape going into WrestleMania and I’m sure it will be an epic battle. Paul Heyman has played a huge part in building the match – he’s extremely reliable in this area, and is one of the best talkers in the company. He’ll probably get a beating on Sunday after Lesnar is vanquished.
Winner – Triple H.
Ryback vs Mark Henry
The battle of the titans. There won’t be any surprises when this one doesn’t turn out to be a technical masterpiece, but it should be an enjoyable battle between two gigantic Superstars. I can only see one outcome – Ryback winning after delivering a monumental Shellshock to Henry. Ryback needs a few tweaks before embarking on another main event run. They tried to force him into the WWE Title picture too early when he faced CM Punk last year, and now he just rambles on about ‘feeding time’ and relates everything he does to food or the consumption of food. He’s got the look, the intensity and the power to be a major player – and he will be. Later. Ryback wins.
Winner – Ryback.
CM Punk vs The Undertaker
The build-up to this match has been very strange. There was no real reasoning behind the feud to begin with. Undertaker just appeared on Raw with the WrestleMania logo on the Tron and then disappeared again. I guess that was supposed to be some kind of open challenge. Then Punk said randomly that since he’d just seen that ‘Taker was back, he’d beat The Streak at WrestleMania. Then 3 other guys came out and said they wanted a chance instead of Punk. Punk won a fatal four way match to determine who would get the honour of facing The Phenom. Then, sadly, Paul Bearer passed away. With no real fuel for this fire, they used Paul Bearer’s death as part of the storyline and relied so heavily on it, it makes me wonder what they had planned for this feud had Bearer NOT passed away. However, this past Monday on Raw, there was a very good segment to close the show during which Punk beat ‘Taker mercilessly with the urn and then emptied its contents all over The Deadman. Everything before that had been a bit of a disappointment. They’ve not done anything to make me believe that The Streak will end on Sunday, which is frustrating, because a fantastic storyline could be written between these two characters without too much effort. I don’t know why this hasn’t been better.
Winner – The Undertaker.
WWE Championship match
The Rock vs John Cena
The main event. Another match with a disjointed, bizarre build-up. I get it – the match sells itself. Maybe you don’t have to write great storylines when you have one of the biggest movie stars in the world as your champion. I’m pretty sure that every John Cena promo since 2013 began has been terrible. I’m sorry, but I was glad to hear the ‘boring’ chants directed towards him this past Monday on Raw. Whilst I’ve not been a fan of his character for some time, I really have been surprised by the poor quality of his work so far this year, with the exception of a couple of matches. The Rock has been great whilst he’s been around. The reality is, though, when you’re only there 50% of the time, there’s only so much impact you can have on the general quality of your storyline leading up to the biggest event of the year. I know he’s out there getting more and more attention for WWE and I appreciate that – but what I’ve seen as a fan watching WWE programming has been disappointing. I’ve said that too many times in this column. I’d like to see something – anything – surprising happen here. A Cena heel turn, a Rock heel turn, a Rock victory, a Steve Blackman run-in, a double countout – whatever – I just don’t want to see Cena win the title cleanly, do his emotional face thing, do his pose just as the chorus for his theme song kicks in, and for things to just roll on like they have for the past 10 years. Please just make something else happen.
Winner – John Cena.
Of course I’m going to buy WrestleMania. I always do. This year reminds me of WM27, though. There’s just something missing. There’s been something very lacklustre about the build-up, even though the matches on the card should mostly be good. The intensity on Raw has been virtually non-existent, apart from in just one segment per week. That’s not good enough. Raw being 3 hours does not help. Just throwing that in there. I have absolutely no worries that most of this show will be excellent. I think the high profile matches will all be really good, as long as the performers learn from the mistakes of their previous outings against one another. There aren’t any major matches that we haven’t already seen at least once before, which does take away some of the novelty. It’s a shame that Raw has been so difficult to enjoy leading up the Grand Daddy of ‘em all. I understand that this is down to the constraints WWE have had to deal with having most of the main event matches involving part timers. Rock, Lesnar, Undertaker, Triple H – all of these names assure a superb buy-rate for WrestleMania 29 which is the main thing for the business. There’s no reason, though, why the remaining full timers can’t engage in great feuds in the meantime – but they haven’t.
For me, WWE could have tried so much harder to create more interesting stories leading up to this year’s WrestleMania. That being said, the show itself should still be very good. I feel like the exciting moments on Raw have been so few and far between over the four months leading up to this event. It seems to me that WWE feels as though the matches (and The Rock, and the fact that it’s WrestleMania) will sell the show without really having to go all out to write great stories. I can’t see any sense in that whatsoever; it’s just how it feels to me as a viewer. It’s exactly how I felt about WrestleMania 27, 2 years ago.
I will close with this – WrestleMania 29 should be a good one. I can see it matching WM28 and it will certainly be better than WM27. Fingers crossed for great matches, new champions, a huge spectacle, and at least ONE big surprise…