This is the first in a two part post that I’ll be doing taking a look at the Wrestlemania card. As Tom mentioned in the previous post, he will be joining in with a look at The Road Less Traveled, which will take a look at the Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA cards among other topics.
Today, a look at the four “undercard” matches. I split the eight announced matches, and one rumored and seems like it’ll happen match into four undercard matches and five “main events”. Obviously there will be only one main event, but I consider the five matches I’ve put as the “main events” to be the ones selling the show. I’ll be back on Monday night with my look at the four main events, but here’s a look at the four (including the rumored bout) undercard matches on Wrestlemania this year.
WADE BARRETT, JUSTIN GABRIEL, HEATH SLATER & EZEKIEL JACKSON VS. THE BIG SHOW, KANE, SANTINO MARELLA & VLADIMIR KOSLOV
This match hasn’t been announced yet, but it seems this is the direction they are going, though there could be a spot for Kofi Kingston here if they have The Corre lay out Marella or Koslov before the bout backstage. Kingston really deserves a spot on the main card, so I do hope something along those lines happens and he gets it. This is the Wrestlemania debut for the entire Corre side of things, and also would be the Wrestlemania debut for Koslov if he makes it. Marella has appeared in a match on the PPV before, but this would be the first time he’s fought men at Wrestlemania. There’s no other way to go here than to have the faces win most likely, though how much could it do for The Corre to win a Wrestlemania match involving The Big Show and Kane, two top level guys who have been around forever. I’d love to see them have Barrett pin one of them clean, but let’s be honest, Barrett’s eating a couple of chokeslams, and a knockout punch and looking up at the lights in his WM debut.
US TITLE MACH
SHEAMUS © VS. DANIEL BRYAN
This is the Wrestlemania debut for Daniel Bryan, who was a part of the NXT Season One cast last year at this time. Sheamus makes his second appearance at Wrestlemania, after losing to Triple H this year. Nothing against Bryan, but this is definitely a shift down the card for Sheamus this year, though I expect it will be a much better in ring match than last year’s bout with HHH. Sheamus just won the title a couple of weeks back from Bryan, and this is the rematch. I would expect this to either open the show, or perhaps be the “cool down match” 2nd from the top between Miz/Cena and Triple H/Undertaker, whichever the 8 man tag doesn’t do. Either way, I expect this will be a good in ring bout, and being a huge fan of Bryan from his days on the indies, it’s very cool to see him get a singles bout on Wrestlemania, the only member of any season of NXT so far that will have that distinction. I’d love to see Bryan get the big win here, but I think they are rebuilding Sheamus, so I would expect another win from him most likely, but Bryan should shine in the loss.
JOHN MORRISON, TRISH STRATUS & SNOOKI VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER, MICHELLE MCCOOL & LAYLA EL
This will obviously be the Wrestlemania debut (and the pro wrestling debut) for Snooki. If Snooki’s in ring time is kept to a minimum, this could actually be a really good match, as Morrison and Ziggler are two rising stars who would love to steal the show, and Stratus, McCool and Layla are all strong in ring women wrestlers. I don’t expect this is leading to any sort of full time comeback for Stratus, as I think she’s just back to promo Tough Enough, but no matter what, she’s a welcome (even short term) addition to the Divas roster. We all know the finish here is Snooki pinning one of Laycool (I’m going to guess Layla), so it’s all about how we get there. Let the others carry the bulk of the match and build to Snooki getting a big spot at the end and getting the win, and I think it’s a win win situation all the way around. I would expect that Vickie Guerrero will be at ringside obviously, so I also think we’ll see Kelly Kelly come out to neutralize her interference at some point.
REY MYSTERIO VS. CODY RHODES
If you’d have told me after Wrestlemania last year that Rhodes would have a singles match this year on Mania, and Ted DiBiase would be the one on a losing streak, and being booked to be a loser, I’d have said you were crazy. Cody Rhodes has grown leaps and bounds in the last year, and could be an outside contender for a breakout year this year. A good showing against the always popular Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania would be a great way to continue his build and his climb. Cody really needs this win more than Rey Mysterio does, but I’m not convinced he gets it either. Many times the babyfaces win at Wrestlemania, but in this case, I don’t see Mania being the end of the feud, so I think Rhodes will win, maybe after a shot with the face mask, which will continue this feud on as we go through the spring. I would be surprised if this match is anything less than good.
Come back on Monday night and see my take on the five main event matches of Wrestlemania 27!