Hello, folks! Callum Petch, here, returning to Screened to preview the biggest night of the WWE’s year in the form of WrestleMania XXVIII! And what a night we, in theory, have in store! We have, what I imagine is, the last match of The Undertaker. We have Daniel Bryan walking into Mania as the champ. We have CM Punk fighting Chris Jericho in what is surely going to be a match for the ages. And, of course, we have The Rock against John Cena.
There’s a big fight feel to most of this card and at least half of the card is guaranteed to be fantastic. There’s one match that is a bit of a wildcard and could go either way. And then... well... you can always take a bathroom break then?
Anyways, this preview piece will take a similar form to my previous previews (from waaaaaaaaaaay back last year). Specifically, I’ll run down the matches in order of what I think they’ll go on and prematurely decide how much they’ll suck or how much they’ll not suck. In addition, I’ll use my powers of Opposite Momentum, knowledge of the wrestling industry and sheer, bloody minded guess work to pick out who the winner will be. Whether I’m right is entirely up for debate, so don’t come crying to me if you lose money!
Well, enough talk. Time to bring it.
Note: (c) means “champion going into the bout”.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
Hey! Remember when these two were supposed to fight at last year’s WrestleMania but then it was shunted down to a dark match and then turned into a random gauntlet match and was then won by The Great Khali of all f*cking people? Yeah... Dark days in Bryan’s life. But now, he’s the world champion! Yay! Or, more accurately, “YES! YES!”
This one’s quality has the potential to be really good. Sheamus is not a particularly great wrestler but he does know how to tell a decent story, and Bryan can make a broomstick look like a million bucks if given 5 minutes. Sadly, though, Bryan is not leaving Mania with the title. Sheamus is basically unstoppable and they are telegraphing AJ finally standing up to her (possibly abusive) man so hard it can be seen from space. Sheamus is going over here.
Cody Rhodes (c) vs. The Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship
This is the one that could go either way. Cody Rhodes has done absolutely fantastic in the heel role and is the sole person carrying this incredibly one-sided feud. Hell, he’s making me feel sorry for The Big Show! The Big Show! He needs to move on to bigger and better things, specifically as the contender to Sheamus’ brand spanking new title. A win could solidify this momentum or keep him stuck down in the Intercontinental leagues. But a loss could kill his momentum or free him to chase the big belt.
The quality depends on how long it lasts and how much offense Big Show gets in. As for who wins, I’m guessing Show finally gets one over on Rhodes. This, incidentally, will mean that Big Show will have held every single active title in the WWE at least once. Except the Divas title, obviously.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
Wait... This is an actual thing? I didn’t hallucinate its existence in some kind of fever dream? This is actually happening? Oh, for the love of the Maker... Why are they even fighting? What’s going on? Just... Why?! Urgh... Orton wins but, I believe, the real losers are, in fact, all of us. Not just the people who paid money to watch the pay-per-view. All of humanity. Everyone. Just losers because of this match.
Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali & Booker T) vs. Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz & Drew McIntyre) to determine the ONE GM TO RULE THEM ALL!!
Well this doesn’t have the potential to be rubbish, whatsoever! In fact, this could be a show stealer! We could see some innovative spots, and some good technical wrestling, and some exciting back and forth and... And...
Yeah, this is gonna be complete sh*t.
I, personally, would rather see neither GM take victory here. Teddy Long is far too predictable (there’s a reason someone’s made a Teddy Long flowchart, after all) and not in the least bit entertaining. And I hate John Laurinaitis for the same reason I hate Michael Cole: he’s a cretinous human being who also happens to have no talent or charisma on the mic.
Very sadly for all us, you can get more mileage out of a heel GM, so Team Johnny will get the win here. Even worse, Cole will be the “Official Commentator for Team Johnny”, so I hope you’ve all taken your anti-migraine meds. I suggest that you do what I’m going to do during this match: drink a sh*t tonne of cleaning fluid and hope you regain consciousness in time for the next match...
CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
If this doesn’t steal the whole night from under everyone’s noses I will be utterly amazed. You have to hand this to Jericho, Punk and WWE Creative; they have done an incredible job at salvaging this feud. From Jericho’s pointless loss at the Rumble, to the whole “you’re all just ripping me off” misfire of an angle, they’ve finally found a way to add some exceptional heat heading into this match. The whole family dynamic was a brilliant route to go down for once in this industry and it has genuinely got me wanting Punk to kick Jericho’s head in! You get that? Me! I’m actually into a feud and want the bad guy to lose! Again, great job!
But who’s going to win? That is the $64,000 question. One would assume Punk, what with Opposite Momentum and everything. But the next pay-per-view (Extreme Rules) is in Chicago; Punk’s hometown. Now, I have a feeling that this feud will run til about SummerSlam so the major question is what will work best. Punk heading into Chicago the champ, or chasing the title? And then, of course, what about winning or losing the belt in Chicago? This one could genuinely go either way but I’m going to blindly guess that Punk will retain by the skin of his teeth. Whatever happens, though, this match will rule.
The Undertaker vs. Triple H in a Hell In A Cell Match with Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee
Taker is winning. Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s list the biggest demand that I have for this match. THIS MATCH MUST HAVE BLOOD. I’m not joking. There is only one way you can make it seem like these two have gone further than last time and are genuinely trying to kill each other and that’s to show some blood. I know that little Timmy’s brain may be scarred, scrambled and f*cked forever due to the mere sight of these two competitor’s faces turning crimson; I don’t care. I need to see blood to absolutely invested in this match. Actually, I know that this will be incredible and that everyone involved will give it their all no matter what, but blood would seriously enhance the story you’re trying to tell.
The other major question mark is just how shiny Taker’s head will look when he puts his hood down. I mean, are we talking Elmer Fudd baldness or You Don’t Know Jack baldness here? Expect 75% of Twitterers during the match to be focussing way more on Taker’s shiny dome than the actual match at hand. Regardless, it’ll surely be a WrestleMania moment!
Oh yeah, and something about Shawn Michaels possibly screwing Trips out of a victory. It’s probably not that important.
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Eve & Beth Phoenix
Normally I’d say “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...” but, in actuality, I’m really happy this match exists. Not because I’m looking forward to it or anything. But because it’ll provide a nice little bit of breathing room between Trips/Taker and Rock/Cena. Plus, a bathroom break. It’s always nice to have one of those, isn’t it? Maria has two broken ribs and, as such, will be able to do bugger all in terms of wrestling (just like her perfectly healthy partner. BOOM!). Nevertheless, the faces will go over because that’s how celeb matches always turn out.
The Rock vs. John Cena
This is super hard to call, but, at the same time, I would hate to be the poor sod who has to book this one. There has to be a clean finish. Unless Brock Lesnar comes out and F-5’s someone (which, if you believe the rumoursphere, is extremely likely), we fans will not tolerate a dirty finish. This has to end clean. But if Rock wins, Cena looks weak. And if Cena wins, what was the point of the whole thing?
Opposite Momentum dictates that Rocky just about eeks out a win. But he’s in his hometown of Miami and I’m fairly certain it’s written in WWE contracts that you must jobski any matches you have in your hometown. But if The Rock loses, then Miami is basically going to be burned to the ground and Cena will become the heeliest heel to ever heel his way through heeldom in the great state of Florida.
In fact, this one is so hard to call that I’m not even going to try. Let’s instead talk about what we can expect. This won’t be an amazing technical showcase. This won’t be a spotfest. This probably won’t even be all that good when we look back on it in a few months. But what it will be is an event and the crowd is what’s going to decide the quality on this one. If they are completely sold on the action and throw all of their energy into the match, I can guarantee that everyone watching at home will too.
This will be fantastic purely due to the fact that this is (for now, anyway) a once in a lifetime event where anything can happen. And, really, how often do you get one of those nowadays? Strap in, folks! This is gonna be one hell of a ride!
And that’s WrestleMania XXVIII’s card thoroughly analysed. But what are your predictions and thoughts on the card? Hit the comments below and voice your opinions! I’m more than willing to jump into the discussion too!
I may return on Tuesday with a full review of the show but that depends on a multitude of factors. Regardless, I’m right there with you waiting with baited breath to view this thing (tomorrow morning, do you really think I’d stay up til 5am to watch it in full on time)! See you there!
Callum Petch is in the man from Mars and goes out at night eating cars.