This Sunday is Wrestlemania XXVI and I know The Blasian and The Bearded One don’t give a crap but there are a ton of you out there who do.  Yes, I’m a huge wrestling mark and this is my Super Bowl.  I watch RAW, NXT, SmackDown and I scour the websites for wrestling news every day.  I also contribute to The Don Tony and Kevin Castle Show.  The Blasian and The Bearded One are laughing right now but they can suck it.

There are nine matches announced and I like them all.  The Hart v McMahon match might be the weakest on paper but I think outside interference will make it a better match.  Top to bottom, all the matches look like they could tear down the house.  Thankfully, there isn’t a diva match on the card to bring this Wrestlemania down.

The matches:

Undertaker v Shawn Michaels – This is a rematch of last year’s epic showdown.  It will be a career vs streak match.  There is no way Undertaker loses this match and there is no way Michaels retires.  So how do they make this work?  Officially, Undertaker pins HBK but it won’t be clean.  There has to be someone who affects the outcome.  The top candidates are Bret Hart, Vince McMahon and HHH.

Bret Hart could get revenge for the Montreal Screwjob by costing Michaels the match and his career.  They reconciled on TV on January 4th, or so it seemed, but that may have been a way for Hart to lull HBK into a false sense of security.  Does Bret Hart really want to go out like that?  While this is interesting, it’s unlikely that Bret would want to be known as the person who ended Michaels’ career.  Maybe The Hart Dynasty could do the job for him?

Vince McMahon could punish HBK for getting involved in his business.  HHH told him to stay out of the Bret-Vince thing because Michaels has already been punished before for sticking his nose in the Chairman’s business.  Vince loves being the bad guy so it wouldn’t be hard for him to get involved in this.

The only problem with Bret Hart or Vince McMahon getting involved in this match is that they will have already fought earlier in the card.  The HBK – Taker match should close the show.

HHH is my likely candidate to get involved and cost Michaels his career.  There has been dissention in the DX ranks for a few months and maybe HHH has had enough of Michaels only thinking about himself.  Plus, HHH needs a change and heel turn might do him good.

Whoever gets involved, The Undertaker will be 18-0 after Mania and HBK will be retired, for now.  If Vince or HHH gets involved then look for Michaels to be away for about six months and then come back to get his revenge, and then retire for good.

WWE Champ Batista v John Cena – The build-up to this match has been tremendous.  Cena is the same ol’ Cena but Batista has taken it to the next level.  This heel Batista is the best he’s ever been.  He’s been telling the world what he thinks about Cena and it’s exactly what we have been thinking for quite a long time.  He’s ripped Cena as a corporate creation and isn’t impressed with his clever turn of phrase.

Hopefully this match can live up to the great build but I have a feeling it won’t.  It should be decent but if there’s interference in the Hart-McMahon match, this might be the lesser of all the matches.  Methinks John Cena takes the belt and that would be a shame.  WWE needs to keep building Batista’s heel persona, move past Cena and set his sights on another wrestler the fans might be tiring of (HHH?).

Look for Batista to destroy Cena for most of the match but then Cena will turn into Super Cena and somehow fight back and get the win.  That would be disappointing.  These guys really need to have a knock-down, drag-out brawl for this not to be a stinker.

World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho v Edge – Get ready for a fantastic match.  The build to this has been so good because of the work these guys do on the mic.  Jericho, Edge and CM Punk are the best talkers in the business right now and put Jericho and Edge on the list of all-time mic guys.

Edge came back to win the Rumble to get a shot at Chris Jericho.  Jericho bad mouthed Edge after Edge’s injury so we could see this coming from a mile away.  Edge is the face heel to Jericho’s textbook heel character.  I don’t know if I like Edge getting cheered but that spear chant is pretty awesome when the whole arena gets into it.  Jericho is just good period.  Plus, he’s not a bad singer.

Spear, Spear, Spear, Spear

This should be a physical match and these guys will take lots of bumps.  I’d be surprised if they didn’t bring the house down.  Too bad there are no stipulations or a special match.  I gotta believe Edge takes this and feuds with Jericho a bit more after Mania before moving on to start a program with Christian (MITB?).

HHH v Sheamus – Should be physical but no way HHH lets Sheamus get over on him at Wrestlemania.  Sheamus already had the spotlight.  Now it’s time for him to build himself back up but it won’t be here.  It should be the same formula as the Batista-Cena fight.  Sheamus will destroy HHH for a good portion of the match and then HHH fights back and hits a spine-buster out of nowhere and then the Pedigree.  This match can be saved with a lot of action outside the ring.

I haven't seen anyone this pasty since John Stockton

If, by some strange reason, Sheamus were to beat HHH here than look for a pissed off Hunter to turn heel and either cost Shawn his match or join forces with Vince against Bret Hart.  Maybe a heel turn would do him good.

Money In The Bank – Christian v Dolph Ziggler v Kane v Shelton Benjamin v Jack Swagger v MVP v Drew McIntyre v Kofi Kingston v Evan Bourne v Matt Hardy – Spot-fest but very enjoyable.  The legitimate winners of this match should be Christian, Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre (???).  Why The Chairman is in love with Drew McIntyre is beyond me but he’s in here and in the back of your mind you gotta believe he’s got a shot at winning this.  WWE wants him to be a big star and maybe him holding the briefcase makes him look more important than he really is.

Kofi Kingston’s stock has fallen in recent months but he’s a big draw and he’ll be back on top and maybe this is the match to get him there.  Rumor has it that Randy Orton was furious with Kofi after he botched a spot that led Orton to miss an RKO.  Randy complained, Vince listened, Kofi de-pushed.  Let’s see if this gets him back on track.  Look for a boom shot onto a ladder.

Boom all you want, just don't mess up Randy's RKO. He hates that.

Evan Bourne is in this for the crazy stuff he can do.  He has no shot of winning but he’ll fly around and take serious bumps.  Shelton Benjamin has been in this before and he can do some crazy stuff.  Kane is in this for name value and he can do a spot here and there.  Dolph Ziggler is just filler and I’d be surprised if he was still in at the end.

MVP is in so people can get excited about him and maybe he can get a push after this.  He needs a belt to matter.  He doesn’t have to win this (he won’t) but he needs to do something so people can remember him.

Jack Swagger needs this match (a good showing).  He went from ECW Champion to losing to Santino Marella.  He’s physical and can work but he doesn’t have anyone to feud with.  He needs a move to SmackDown to take on R-Truth and/or John Morrison.

The All-American American

Matt Hardy is a huge fan favorite and he knows his way around a ladder match.  He’ll do some crazy stuff, guaranteed.  Besides that, maybe WWE is giving him a rub in this match to keep him happy.  They would hate to see The Hardy Boyz reunite on TNA.  Matt is hot right now.  His rookie, Justin Gabriel, is a way over on NXT and it looks like WWE wants to push him.  I’d like to see him win this match but it won’t happen.  He’ll be in until the end.

Christian is the likely winner of the Money In The Bank Ladder Match.  I see him on a collision course with Edge.  That program would be awesome.  The only question is when would he cash in the briefcase?  He could do it later in the show but that wouldn’t be smart.  Edge and Christian are so over right now and WWE wouldn’t want either of them to start getting booed.  With an all Money In The Bank PPV coming later in the year, the winner can’t hold off too long.  We’ll see but this match will have you jumping out of your chair.

Unified Tag Team Championship – ShowMiz (Big Show & The Miz) v Truth and Wisdom (R-Truth & John Morrison) – Hopefully Big Show doesn’t play a big role in this match.  I see R-Truth and Morrison taking home the belts.  R-Truth needs to win some gold.  He’s over, moves merch and he’s done everything the company’s asked him to do.  It’s funny that Morrison is the more successful WWE wrestler of the two but he needs the rub of being with R-Truth to take the next step with the fans.  Truth makes up for Morrison not be able to talk on the mic.

Big Show will try to use his size and power to control the match and slow it down.  When Miz, R-Truth and Morrison are involved it should be fast-paced with some nice spots.  Somehow I have a feeling that Big Show might walk out on his partner for some reason.  He’s known to do that.  That would cost them the match.

Who knows, maybe Miz’ NXT rookie, Daniel Bryan, could interfere and cost ShowMiz the belts.  The Miz has been trying to teach Bryan a lesson since day one of NXT and it could be a little payback.  This would make this Tuesday more interesting on NXT because it time to grade the rookies.

Randy Orton vs Ted DiBiase vs Cody Rhodes – Is this the match that elevates DiBiase or does Orton get over on his ex-Legacy members?  Cody Rhodes seems least likely to win this match.  Maybe Rhodes turns on DiBiase and does the job to prove his worth to Orton.  Cody Rhodes needs to be on a team because I don’t think he can get over as a singles wrestler, yet.  Ted DiBiase is ready to go single and win some belts.  He has the most to gain in this match.  Orton will still be Orton after the match.  Randy Orton could turn face but I don’t see how that would work.  My pick is DiBiase but I don’t know how it will happen.

Another interesting angle is that these guys just beat the hell out of each other and Randy Orton is so impressed that he reforms Legacy.  Sounds good but is that the best thing for DiBiase?

They need to get back together

CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio – If Mysterio loses, he has to join The Straight Edge Society.  There was talk of this being a hair vs mask match but I don’t think anyone believes that Mysterio will ever lose his mask.  The gimmick would die and WWE couldn’t afford to let that happen.  Mysterio is over and sells tons of merchandise.

Plus, CM Punk getting his head shaved would damage The Straight Edge Society and they need to last for a while.  It’s the best gimmick going and CM Punk is the best heel in the business (sorry Jericho) and no one is even close.  When Punk was singing Happy Birthday to Mysterio’s daughter on SmackDown, it was one of the creepiest things in a long time.  Punk is Jim Jones and he sells it so well.  His looks and the way he talks are so believable and he generates so much heat every time he comes out.

CM Punk wins this match.  It should be wild with plenty of nice spots.  So Mysterio will be in The Straight Edge Society?  How will that work?  Will he reluctantly join Punk’s clan or will a full heel turn be in Mysterio’s future?  Can the fans get behind a heel Mysterio?  This could be interesting.

Saving us from ourselves

Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon – This No Holds Barred match has interference written all over it.  This should be the last hurrah for Hart and I doubt he came back to lose in this match.  If WWE was smart, they would have The Hart Dynasty help out Bret and that would give them a rub because they’re not getting over on their own.

Shawn Michaels could get involved but on who’s side?  This would be interesting but how would he pull it off with his big match on the card.  If he got involved, it would have to be on Bret Hart’s side because I don’t think the fan’s want a Shawn Michaels heel turn.

Whoever gets involved, don’t expect Bret Hart to do too much and that’s why I think the interference will be on his side.  Bret Hart takes this and Vince McMahon takes a lot of punishment.  Bret Hart gets his revenge and goes out on top at Wrestlemania.  Bret gets his closure and will be back in the future to induct Owen into the Hall of Fame.

Quite the card.  I’m looking forward to it.  My favorite match on the card is Jericho vs Edge.  I hope WWE has Shawn Michaels – Undertaker end the show because the fans will be exhausted after the match and it won’t be fair to whoever would have to follow them.  If you’re a wrestling fan you shouldn’t miss this.  Even if you’re a TNA mark you can’t tell me that you’re not interested.  If you’re back in the States and don’t want to pay $50 for the PPV, go to Buffalo Wild Wings or any one of these locations and check it out.  I’m sure I’ll have lots to talk about on Monday.

  1. sittingpugs says:

    You’re right. Chris Jericho can carry a tune…until the 1:25 mark. I’d like to hear him sing “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper or “Black Velvet” by Alanah Myles.

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