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RassleMania pre-show predictions

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Finally…The Rock…has come back…to…WRESTLEMANIA!

To see how my picks stack up against my longtime rival Scott Tipton, check out comics101.com. I’ll be tweeting my thoughts as the biggest wrestling…er..uh, sports entertainment show of the year unfolds. So if you’re not already following me on Twitter, do so now, jabroni.

Eight-Man Tag Team Match – Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson and WWE Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel vs. Big Show, Kane, Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Morella

Bowden: Heel wins are increasingly few and far between at ‘Mania nowadays. Barrett seems revitalized with his recent IC title win (well, that used to mean something anyway) and Slater/Gabriel are carrying the tag belts, while Jackson looks like quite a force standing perfectly still. Champions almost always lose in nontitle bouts on WWE broadcasts. Still, I’m thinking Corre goes over, in part because Kozlov and Morella replaced Christian and Kofi Kingston on Show’s team earlier this week. Most likely the Italian court jester takes the fall after a failed Cobra attempt on Barrett. (Speaking of cobras and wrestling, authorities have reportedly ruled out Jake Roberts as a suspect in the case of the missing cobra at the Bronx Zoo.) Besides, we already got the “comedic” celebration payoff with Kane actually performing Santino’s air trombone following the unlikely team’s win on RAW. I can’t sit through that twice-I won’t. Kane goes from the World champion heel who left the Undertaker for dead to comedy relief in a little over three months.

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes

Bowden: Don’t underestimate the power of Cody Rhodes, who comes from the loins of daddy Dusty, former three-time NWA World’s heavyweight champion, babbyyyy. This program was a favor to Cody, whom Mysterio reportedly thinks is a great kid with a lot of potential. Still, with Sin Cara debuting on RAW Monday, I think they keep Rey strong with the first masked World champion in the United States getting the pin, perhaps after Dusty’s interference backfires. (OK, technically, Dusty, under the guise of the Midnight Rider, won the NWA title from Ric Flair; however, he was forced to relinquish the 10 pounds of gold when he refused to unmask-a necessity for a passport to defend the strap across the globe.)

United States Champion Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

Bowden: A tough call. Sheamus was literally buried on RAW a few weeks ago in a pile of rubble under the announcers’ desk after “The King of Kings” (it actually hurts typing that) Triple H reclaimed his throne and pedigreed his former protege to kingdom come. Since his loss to Evan Bourne minutes later, the monster push has been seemingly restarted with convincing wins over Daniel Bryan, including a victory for the U.S. title. Given the fact that Daniels has put Sheamus over clean the last few weeks, I’m thinking upset, with the former titlist (and Bryan Danielson) regaining the strap.

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

  Bowden: My heart says Punk, but my head tells me Orton-another example of that “balanced booking” WWE has been known for the last several years. Punk has a win streak against Orton, so it’s now it’s time for “Cowboy” Bob’s kid to get his revenge. I’m thinking Orton sells the knee injury the entire way, with Punk toying with his immobilized prey in a Viper role reversal. Orton rallies at the end and nails the RKO out of nowhere for the win.

John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler & Lay-Cool

Bowden: Snooki and Trish win (perhaps with interference from the Situation) and celebrate for the cameras. The only question is will Snooki be drunker than Steve Austin by night’s end?

Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole with special referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Bowden: The only snag in booking this match is the post-match celebration as Lawler has never tasted a beer in his life. In the late ’90s, when Austin tossed a Steveweiser to the King, he’d politely pop the top and toast the Rattlesnake before slipping it backstage to Downtown Bruno (WWE’s Harvey Whippleman), who’d shotgun that sucker. Maybe Lawler takes a drink and spits his beer (a la Carlito) over a prone Cole, who’s definitely bowing before the King here. Stunners galore for Swagger and Cole…and maybe even JBL. The biggest pop would be reserved for Jim Ross wringing Cole’s neck or stuffing BBQ jerky down his mouth, but that probably ain’t happening.

World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio

Bowden: Christian was under consideration to be added to this bout before Vince himself probably had that idea nixed as he’s never seen the former NWA World champion as a star. It actually makes for a stronger bout one on one, and the three-way dance concept for title matches appears to be thankfully dead for this month. WWE hasn’t shot a big angle on the biggest show in a long time, usually waiting until the next TV shows after ‘Mania. Still, with a vast number of viewers not having access to SMACKDOWN! on SyFy, this makes the perfect time for the lifelong friends to split, especially after briefly uniting as a team one last time on Monday’s RAW. With Edge talking retirement in the next year, I’d imagine he’d like to go out in a potentially star-making feud with his buddy, putting Christian over in the blow-off. Not only have they been building up Del Rio with multiple appearances on both shows and the “upset” Royal Rumble win, but he’s also been doing jobs left and right lately-a sure sign he’s getting the belt.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred Match)


Bowden: During the extremely well-executed angle Monday, Triple H turned to his buddy and said, “Shawn, tell him why I’m going to beat him at WrestleMania.” Shawn didn’t answer, delivering his trademark “I’ve lost my smile” expression, which never fails to…break my heart. At that point, I half expected Stephanie’s music to hit, with Mrs. McMahon-Helmsley coming out to logically explain why her hubby would be breaking the streak. Trouble is, even Steph couldn’t reason that scenario. HBK interferes or distracts Hunter, costing his buddy the win.

WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Cena


Bowden: When WWE finally pulls the trigger (i.e., when his fan base moves on to junior high, and merch sales dip), John Cena is going to make one hell of a heel. Rock will be coming for revenge after Cena adjusted his attitude Monday, but I’m unsure of how far WWE will go with it since an actual match with the Great One doesn’t appear to be in the cards. (If The Rock were truly willing, I think he’d wrestling on this show.) Miz has had a decent run, but he’s fallen short of expectations in the key role. While Miz desperately needs this win for credibility, WWE usually ends its Super Bowl of wrestling sports entertainment with one of their biggest babyfaces winning, basking in the glow of a fireworks celebration. Besides, Miz retaining would potentially upstage the Rock and Cena post-match clash…or reconciliation. While I’m hoping Rock and Cena don’t buddy up at the end, that’s the safest approach…unless, of course, the People’s Champ is willing to return for an actual bout down the road, perhaps at SummerSlam in Los Angeles. (Personally, I’m hoping Johnson delivers a Rock Bottom receipt on Cena’s candy ass.) Cena vs. Rock-the Champ vs. the People’s Champ-at SummerSlam in Hollywood: Now that could get really gets things cooking over the next several months, especially if the Champ…turns…HEEL.

  1. Cousar
    April 4th, 2011 at 05:49 | #1

    WMC-TV had a bit of Wrestlemania coverage on the 6 am news. They showed Snooki’s handsprings and the Rock with Pee Wee Herman, but they didn’t even mention Lawler.

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