Saturday, March 31, 2012

Head 2 Head: WWE WrestleMania 28

Wrestlemania, the Granddaddy of them all, the biggest stage in sports entertainment, the Super Bowl of wrestling, is upon us! Tom and I continue our “Head 2 Head” bet here with our look at Wrestlemania. Take a look at the matches we have to pick here!

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres

Well, we had to get a celeb on the show somewhere, and apparently things fell apart with Shaq to get him on the show for some reason, so Maria Menounos it is. This is obviously her Wrestlemania debut. She actually looked alright the only other time she was in the ring, so this shouldn’t be too bad. Though, word has come out that she broke a rib in training for Dancing with the Stars, so hopefully that won’t hinder her too much. My guess is Kelly Kelly does the lion’s share of the work in this one. Normally I’d pick the team with the Divas champ on it, but not with a celeb there. Maria isn’t coming to lose, so, Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos is the easy pick for me here.

TOM: Can Maria Menounos outperform Snookie? That is the million dollar question, right? All kidding aside, you don’t bring in her to not put her and her teammate over, Kelly Kelly in this case. I know WWE has done a great job at making Beth Phoenix a monster, but she won’t factor in the finish here. Kelly & Maria are my pick.

Randy Orton vs. Kane

Well, I haven’t exactly loved the return of Kane as those who read here regularly know. But, he is a long time member of the roster who deserves his spot on the Wrestlemania card. I don’t think this match will last really long, as honestly, the issue between these two has only just begun (though I’m hoping this is the end of it to be honest). I think it’s going to be RKO city for Kane here, and Orton gets the win.

TOM: I’ve seen only a little bit of the build for this, but I am really, really surprised Randy Orton is not in a more high-profile match. Orton has way more upside and there is no reason he should not win here. Randy Orton is my pick.

Winning Team gets control of Raw & Smackdown for their team GM
Team Teddy: Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali & Booker T vs. Team Johnny: David Otunga, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz & Drew McIntyre

This is the in ring Wrestlemania debut for Zack Ryder and David Otunga. Obviously the story here is the control of both shows. I expect this will be crammed full of shenanigans and interference from Long, Johnny Ace, Hornswoggle, and just about anyone else that they can find. Marella has had a heck of a run lately, and I’d love to see him get the feel good win here, but I just don’t think there is any chance Team Teddy wins. Instead, I think it’s gotta be Team Johnny, as there is a story to be told with Teddy trying to regain some power. So, Team Johnny gets the win here. I am hoping that they let Ziggler or Henry get the win for the team, as those two have the most upside on the team (or maybe The Miz too).

TOM: Originally when this match was introduced, I was underwhelmed. The more it has built and been added to, the more I have taken a liking to it. As you know from reading me before, I am a HUGE Ziggler mark and I hope he gets to have a good WrestleMania moment. There does seem to be too many weak links in the chain of Team Teddy compared to Team Johnny, but I think the there is more chance that the babyface team wins than Jim does. That stated, I think there is much more to the story if Team Johnny wins and that is my pick.

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Cody Rhodes (C) vs. The Big Show

They’ve told an interesting story here with Rhodes being a cocky son of a gun that keeps bringing up the less than stellar moments Big Show has had at Wrestlemania. The only real payoff that can happen here is Big Show getting his “moment” at Wrestlemania by winning the Intercontinental Title. It will also make him the only man to hold every active title that he is eligible for (he can’t win the Divas title obviously). As much as I’d like to see Cody Rhodes get another big win at Wrestlemania, I see him going down to The Big Show here.

TOM: When this was set up, I could not picture Big Show as I-C Champion. The way that Rhodes has set up the stage for this match, how can Big Show not get the win? I would hope and wish for Cody to retain as well, but must choose Big Show to win.

World Heavyweight Title Match
Daniel Bryan (C) vs. Sheamus

This is Daniel Bryan’s Wrestlemania debut, after this exact match got bumped off the show last year and turned into a pre-show match which then morphed into a battle royal that neither man won. Bryan is also one of only a very small handful of men to make his Wrestlemania debut as either World Heavyweight or WWE Champion, so definitely a cool moment for Bryan! Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble to set this up makes him the likely favorite coming into the match, but really, I have loved Bryan’s sneaky smarmy heel character, so I hope he pulls out the win here and then maybe loses it to Sheamus next month at Extreme Rules or something. Bryan is my slight upset pick here.

TOM: After Cena-Rock, I am most looking forward to this match. Having followed Daniel Bryan since 2002, seeing him enter WrestleMania as a World Champion is very important and special. As Jim mentioned too, this match being bumped on last year’s ‘Mania to now being a title/featured match speaks to both Bryan and Sheamus as competitors and wrestlers. I think all of the build with AJ and Bryan comes to a head here and AJ does something (as simple as siding with Sheamus) to throw Bryan off his game. I hope this match gets good time. Sheamus is my pick and I finally differ with Jim.

WWE Title Match
CM Punk (C) vs. Chris Jericho

Punk and Jericho should absolutely steal the show as far as in ring work goes. I hope they get 15+ minutes (and preferably 20 or so) to really tell a story, as they are both great at that. Either way, this match will be absolutely awesome (if they are given time), and I can’t wait to see it. It’s so cool that going into this Wrestlemania, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are the defending champs…who’d have thunk it! That being said, while I see Bryan retaining, I don’t see Punk getting out of here with his title. I think Jericho wins it, and then the story turns to whether Punk will give in to his “demons”.

TOM: With the introduction of the Jericho psychological storyline over the last few weeks, it will be interesting to see if it plays into throwing Punk off of his game. I would have been just fine had they kept it about a battle over who really is the “best” but in WWE creative infinite wisdom that was not enough. There are a number of directions they could still go and I must agree with Jim that the more time, the more they can put on a classic. With Jericho being a Ricky Steamboat fan and Punk being a Randy Savage fan, I would go bananas if they paid homage to their WrestleMania III bout. I think Jericho must win the title here because it has been his mission and purpose since returning. Jericho is my pick.

Hell in a Cell
The Undertaker vs. Triple H

When I first heard they were going to do this match again, I was kind of thinking that I really didn’t care anymore, and that they had a good brawl last year, so why bother? Then they went all the way with this, and for only the second time in Wrestlemania history, we have a Hell in a Cell match at the Granddaddy of them all! I believe this may be the only time in Wrestlemania history where we’ve had three singles matchups between two guys. (Rock and Austin met three times, but the first was a 4 way match). This should be a lot of fun in the Cell, and I wonder if they’ll allow blood (as it could add a lot to this match). Probably not, but one has to wonder. It’s Wrestlemania, and there is no chance in hell Triple H should win here, so Undertaker is my pick.

TOM: I caught a glimpse of the Cell they are using for this match and it is fitting, black steel and brings the element of darkness into the match. The build has been pretty good, but has also lacked that something extra. It certainly is interesting that WWE has set up Shawn Michaels as the Special Ref as very much aligned with Triple H headed into the match. That alone will build to a great dramatic spot where Shawn finally has to call the match or something else in ‘Takers favor. This match too has the chance to be epic and I hope that both indeed deliver. There is no reason Undertaker does not remain undefeated. He is my pick here.

Once in a Lifetime Main Event
The Rock vs. John Cena

This match has been one year in the making, and is one of the very few matches that can really have that “Wrestlemania Dream Match” feel to it. Austin/Punk, Cena/Taker, and just about anyone with Lesnar are about the only ones out there right now. But Rock/Cena should have an incredible atmosphere, and I must admit, I’m a bit jealous of those who will be there live for it. I’ve been at 4 out of the last 5 Wrestlemania’s live, and I don’t think any of them had the atmosphere that this match will have. The build for this match worked for me, as I am rooting for Cena all the way, and I never thought that would be possible before the build started. Some haven’t liked it, but for the most part, it’s worked for me. In the end, one of these guys are going to be around after next Monday, and one won’t be, so John Cena absolutely has to get the win here.

TOM: The closer we get to this match, the more excited I get. While I’ve been less and less impressed with Rock and how he is choosing to portray himself in the build-up, Cena to me has done a magnificent job in getting the many who were ardently against him to take his side and see Rock (the REAL Rock) the way Cena sees him. In doing so, Cena has regained fans that had tired of him over the years as he was seen as “Super Cena” and unbeatable. In addition to the incredible atmosphere that should result in the match, I have high expectations that this will also deliver in the ring. John Cena is the face of WWE and will remain so for a long, long time. He must get the win here and I expect Rock will show respect to him and seal their issue once and for all.

So there you have it! Jim and I only differ on one pick. Who will be correct and take the lead in “Head 2 Head?” Check back next week for that update and our opinions on all of the wrestling that continues on this weekend!

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